Favorites: April 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to the weekend!

With only a couple of days left in April, this coming weekend is shaping up to be packed with some mid-Spring activities and some much-needed time outdoors (weather permitting- although the forecast is looking pretty good!) around the city and the park tomorrow.

But before I kick things off by closing out some cases at work and heading over to my family’s home for bi-weekly dinner with my mother and older brothers- I wanted to share some of my favorite odds and ends from this past month. While my overall and more in-depth thoughts on this lovely month that was will be up on the blog via my “In a Nutshell” post on Monday morning- it’s worth mentioning that April was sprinkled with a lot of new finds- from beauty, floral fashion, binge-worthy shows, fun (and thought-provoking) apps, as well a little bit of desert-inspired home decor.

Let’s see what made the list, shall we?

The weather at the beginning of April was admittedly a little moody. One day would give us a glimpse of high 50s/low 60s temperatures- and then the next would have us hiding under umbrellas as it snowed/sleeted. Mother Nature’s inability to make up her mind claimed no bigger victim this year than my skin- which did it’s best to keep up with the sporadic climate changes but eventually dried out completely for a couple of weeks.

While applying extra moisturizers and serums in the mornings and evenings helped a little- it took this cucumber-infused roll-on mask from Yes To to give my complexion a boost to get back on track. Cooling, calming, hydrating and mess-free- I’ve been keeping this tube in my fridge and then rolling it on about twice a week for some insta-comfort. This stuff is a lifesaver on the chillier, dryer days- and I’ll be buying these in bulk when it comes time for me to head out to the desert!

Speaking of the desert- I absolutely covet anything with either palm tree or cactus print- including clothing, accessories, stationary, etc. I thought I’d take that love affair and use it to transform my office a bit since it was feeling a little on the boring side lately- and turned to Modcloth for some much-needed and adorable assistance.

These battery-powered fairy lights- shaped like cacti, of course- have found a home along the side of my desk where I keep them illuminated on those more stressful days where I need a little bit of fun to keep me from losing my cool. The cactus-shaped and magnetic desk organizer, however? That stays visible at all times- since it holds my pens, paper clips, and rubber bands in place. I love it!

This time of year, I’m also a big fan of floral prints- and I try to incorporate them in subtle ways so that I don’t look like Spring threw up all over me. A pretty, tiered top? A bright and cheerful blossom-covered dress? Comfortable (and seasonally appropriate flats?) I own ’em all- and I’ve been wearing them throughout April while I wait for the trees and flowers to show off their own buds and blossoms!

  1. Blue and White Floral Top (Primark)
  2. Pink Blossom Dress (Forever 21)
  3. Flowered Flats (Old Navy)

In April, I complimented my floral finesse with some subtle makeup- limiting myself to just a couple of color combinations and nude, moisturized lips. This was made possible with two very simple products. The first, an all-in-one blush, highlighter and eye shadow palette I stumbled upon by chance from Maybelline while I was trying to find replacement mascara at a reasonable price since mine had unexpectedly gotten clumpy.

The ‘Urban Light’ palette includes a soft pink blush, a shimmery golden/peach highlighter, and two eye shadow combinations- one a pink/fuchsia mix, and the other a mint green/yellow combo. I’ve been wearing them daily- mixing and matching to create my own unique look- and every color is so flattering (a rarity with many palettes that cost double the price.) For $11.99- how could you go wrong?

For my lips, which also fell victim to that aforementioned dry-spell- I kept things simple. This color-less, moisture-packed coconut lip balm from Sephora has become my life source and has smoothed and saved my pout time and time throughout the month. At $6 a tube- I got a few of these (for my purse, my office, and my car)– just in case I misplace one. It’s always good to have a backup!

I think that’s everything that could pose for a photo- but a few other things made the list this month, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

indie617 – I’ve been really lucky to have met and connected with friends from various radio stations in Boston over the years. They always open my eyes to new and upcoming artists while simultaneously showing appreciation for the things I grew up listening to- and conversations about shows, albums, recording, etc. are always fascinating. Recently, friends of mine from BCN-turned-Radio BDC launched their own independent streaming radio service- indie617- and it’s AWESOME.

Not only do they play fantastic new music from local and international acts, but they’ve got their finger on all the hottest shows in the city. They sent me to a Franz Ferdinand performance at the House of Blues earlier this month- and I had an amazing time.

You can tune in HERE– but if you’re on the go, the indie617 app is available for iPhone and Android, too! Just check your app store!

Big Mouth – I’m a little late to this raunchy Netflix cartoon about a handful of kids going through puberty, but my BFF Sean introduced me to it a couple of weeks ago by playing one episode and I was immediately hooked and had to binge the entire first season right then and there.

Created by Nick Kroll, ‘Big Mouth’ has a pretty impressive list of celebrities lending voices to the characters- including Jordan Peele, John Mulaney, Kristen Wiig, Jenny Slate and Maya Rudolph (who voices the Hormone Monstress and is INCREDIBLE.) It is laugh-out-loud funny and I’m really excited for season two.

– TECH/APPS –

HQ Trivia – Okay, so my co-worker is the one that got me hooked on this one. I love trivia- even moreso when I can wish cash from playing it- so HQ Trivia is right up my alley. Twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends- everyone who logs into the (free) app answers 12 trivia questions in a live, game show environment. Answer all 12 correctly and you and the remaining players who also answered all the questions right split a pot of money that ranges from $5K to upwards of $300K.

With occasional celebrity hosts (like The Rock and Robert De Niro)– the game gets really challenging but still remains a lot of fun. I’ve been having a blast playing with my co-workers and friends after work.

And I think that’s it for the month of April! Just a lot of cute, fun things that made these past few weeks even more fun and memorable.

And with that being said- I’m off to wrap up work for the week.

I hope everyone out there reading this has a fantastic weekend- and I’ll see you all again on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: August 2017!

Good Morning and Happy Monday 2.0, everyone! As September and Labor Day Weekend creep closer and closer- I thought I’d take a few minutes before I get down to business with meetings and telephone calls at work to share a few of the things that made this past August extra fun for me while I savored these last few weeks of Summer as much as I could!

Product-wise, there isn’t much to share- and that’s mainly because a lot of my favorites from June and July (particularly my beach-friendly beauty finds) carried over into August while I was spending a lot of time in the sun before the temperatures drop over the course of the next few weeks- but three things definitely stood out!

The first was this body wash/shower gel from Bath & Body Works, simply called “At The Beach”. I love fragrances that can transport me to other places whenever I smell them- and this Shea and Vitamin E-loaded wash sends me right back to Southern California whenever I use it. It’s a really lovely mix of coconut and flowers that makes me think of sunsets on OB with my friends whenever I’m visiting the West Coast. Better than that, though- is that it cleanses and moisturizes my skin at the same time.

I can’t wait to pick up a couple of bottles of this stuff when the Fall scent collection is released!

Keeping on topic of beautiful, Summery scents- I had to include this ‘Bahama Breeze’ air freshener from Yankee Candle– which has helped make my car, my home, and even my office smell like a freshly made margarita whenever I’m doing my weekly cleaning ritual and don’t want my desk or my upholstery to smell like bleach or the usual strong/potent detergents. A couple of spritzes of this stuff and Summer gets extended an extra few hours!

And, like the body wash from B&BW- these aerosol sprays are going to have their Fall scents released shortly. I’m looking forward to making the transition from beach-side cocktail to pumpkin latte in the coming month.

Finally, with all the time I’ve been spending at the beach or hiking in the woods- I still need to stay vigilant on my sunscreen application. While my usual go-to had previously been spray-on SPF- I’ve been really enjoying this mousse formula from SuperGoop! that I had received in my July POPSUGAR “Must Have” box. This lightweight SPF50 applies evenly and smells really clean and refreshing- and I like that it doesn’t make my skin feel sticky or greasy.

When Fall rolls around, I’m definitely going to be looking into getting face-friendly versions of this stuff. I wear a lot of sweaters and layers when it gets cooler outside, but my face is still exposed to harmful rays.

I think that’s it for the products I’ve been using- but there were a few other things that made my Favorites List this month!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

The War on Drugs: “A Deeper Understanding”- I know, I know- everyone is talking about Taylor Swift’s new single that dropped last week, but there were two other great releases, too! One of those was the latest from The War on Drugs. This has become my current and quintessential “long drive” album to listen to in it’s entirety when I’m on the road. It’s so relaxing and beautiful from start to finish- and I have a feeling a couple of the tracks will be making an appearance on my annual Fall playlist I usually put together this time of year.

Queens of the Stone Age: “Villains” If “A Deeper Understanding” is my driving album, then the latest from QOTSA is definitely my “getting ready to go out for a night on the town” soundtrack. The album is this sort of unexpected mix of rock and a little funk- but I’m so into it. It’s bad-ass- and it makes putting my mascara on every day a little more fun when I have it blasting in my bedroom.

“Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later” – I absolutely binge-watched this at the beginning of the month during an extended bubble bath on a quiet Friday night- and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This entire series- from the original movie, to the prequel on Netflix and to this long-awaited sequel- has been laugh-out-loud funny and completely insane in the best possible way. Gene and Mitch remain my favorite duo of all time.

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Dunkin Donuts Maple-Pecan Coffee – So I may have gave in to temptation a little early and ordered a Fall-inspired beverage over the weekend when I made a quick stop at Dunkins while en route to Western Massachusetts. With the usual lineup of pumpkin-flavored everything being advertised in the drive-thru- my eyes immediately went to their newest coffee flavor- which is a combination of two of my favorite things. I couldn’t help myself- and honestly the coffee was so good that I didn’t regret it for a second.

Your move, Starbucks. This one is going to be hard to beat and it’s a lot cheaper, too!

And I think that’s everything for August! Now that Fall is (almost) here- you know I’m going to have lots of favorites to share in September!

Alright, I’m off to get some work done- and enjoy my maple-pecan coffee, of course!

xx

– Ashley –