Seafood and Shopping…

Good Morning and Happy Hump Day, everyone!

I’m still recovering from last night’s Interpol show at Orpheum Theater (in a good way- they were phenomenal!) and getting ready to launch into my work day- but I wanted to share some of my favorite steals/finds and photos from my annual trip up to Hampton Beach this past weekend!

Labor Day might be the unofficial end to the Summer, but to me and my family- the *true* way to send off the season and get ready for the Fall is to eat as many lobster rolls, scallops and crab cakes as we can while stocking up on bargains at the Seafood Festival.

This year’s festivities were particularly special since it was the first time we were able to bring Oliver with us! He’s such a wonderful, curious and friendly dog- but crowds and loud noises can sometimes make him anxious- and not everyone in Hampton is as mindful of their pets as I am with mine. On the other hand, I didn’t want to leave him home alone all day- which makes him terribly depressed- so I opted for a somewhat unconventional middle ground.

I bought a dog stroller- and Oliver LOVED it. Not only was he able to see all the action (and eat the occasional French fry I’d sneak him)– but when he got worn out from excitement, he was able to lay down comfortably and sleep peacefully while I wheeled him around from booth to booth. Of course, once we’d left the actual festival- I brought him to the shore so he could run free and enjoy the sand and surf, too!

If you’ve got a smaller/medium sized dog that might need one of these in busy, crowded situations- I highly recommend checking out the selection of carriers on Amazon. Mine was made by VIVO- and it was great quality and super easy to assemble, and even easier to clean, pack up and store for safe keeping when the day was done. There’s plenty of storage space for your pet’s treats, toys, etc. and yes- a cup holder for you, too. I kept my much-needed coffee within reach most of the morning.

Overall, it was such a fantastic day- even though it was a bit chilly along the coast. It was nice spending the morning and afternoon eating great food, watching the ocean, and playing some really old arcade games (that have been around since I was a kid!) along the boardwalk with my mom, my cousin- and Oliver.

Of course, I didn’t just eat amazing food. I did some shopping, as well- and scored some really great deals at some of the shops who were clearing out their merchandise for the season before they shutter their store fronts for the Winter!

While there were plenty of novelty t-shirts, sandals, bikinis and bikini cover-ups on sale- I found a couple of Fall-appropriate pieces that I’ve already started integrating into my wardrobe over the past couple of days!

This grey and white striped, collared sweater was hanging out all by it’s lonesome outside of Dudley’s– and when I tried it on and realized not only how flattering it looked but also how warm it would keep me in the Fall- I had to have it. The end of the season price? $7.50. How could I say no?

Additionally, I spotted this peacock feather printed maxi skirt in the very back of one of the boardwalk shops- where it was marked down to $17. How beautiful are the colors in this skirt? I recently paired this with a pair of brown, knee-high boots and an olive green turtleneck during one of our chillier days- and it looked so lovely.

I had mentioned earlier this week that I’m a big fan of anything with sea life printed on it- so when I saw this sterling silver octopus pendant (marked down to $12)– I knew I had to have it to layer with my other pendants and plain chains.

I really love unexpected and unique designs like this- and I feel the octopus (which is a bit sinister looking, really!) is going to catch some attention if people see it mixed among my other every day necklaces!

I tried a sample of this easy-to-make dip from Moose Creek, and oh my gosh- was it delicious! All you need to do is add a little mayonnaise, a little cream cheese, the dip- and as much lobster meat as you want- and you’ve got a really tasty appetizer to serve at your next get together.

Each packet of dip was $4 and can serve quite a lot of people- so it was well worth the price!

And finally, no trip to Hampton is complete without a stop at Sanborn’s Candies! This year I scored some individually wrapped “chocolate leaves” and a half pound of their soft, decadent and amazing chocolate nut fudge to share with my mom and cousin on the drive back home. It was the sweetest way to end the afternoon!

If you’re ever in New Hampshire at the end of the Summer and have the opportunity to check out the Seafood Festival- I strongly recommend it. Parking and traffic is easiest first thing in the morning- and going on an empty stomach is pretty much mandatory so that you can try a little bit of everything from all the great restaurants and food trucks that come to town to showcase the superstars of their menus.

And be sure to bring cash- since not all of the vendors are equipped to handle debit/credit transactions. It’s thankfully not too common- but it does happen!

I know I’ll be back again next year for it!

But now, I’ve got to get to work and get things done. Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Feeling Crabby…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

In exactly one week I’ll be soaring above the clouds on my way to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada to embark on a much needed vacation and road trip through the desert with my West Coast Wife- but before I do that- I’ve got to get through this work week, first!

This past weekend, although cloudy and a bit chilly- marked the 29th annual Seafood Festival at Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. It’s a bit of a tradition for myself, my mother, and my cousin to attend at least one of the three days of the festival together every year- and after scoring this crab sweater from ModCloth on sale near the end of last month- I knew well in advance I’d have an appropriate (and fun!) outfit to wear for the occasion!

This sweater, knitted and fitted- features white stripes along both sleeves and a bright red crab front and center. It kept me warm, sure- especially when we stopped along the shore to watch the waves for a while- but it was also a huge hit with other attendees and vendors who kept asking me where I got it.

I’m a big fan of Nautical style, which is pretty prominent along the coastal towns in New England. Anything with anchors, lighthouses and seashells automatically catches my eye- but I’ve been really feeling anything with sea life print, too. Crabs, octopus, seahorses, etc. When done subtlety and simple- like this sweater- they can look so cute!

I paired this new wardrobe favorite with a simple pair of white lace shorts and my white and silver glitter slide sandals so I could stay comfortable while I was scarfing lobster and scallops and looking through the racks of the seaside shops for great deals and steals. I found some fantastic stuff- which I’ll share a little later on this week.

And now, like every Monday morning- I’ve got to throw back some coffee and get to work. There’s even more to do this week since I’ll be out of the office by this time next Monday- so I’ve got to stay one step ahead!

Later on this week I’ve got a haul post where I’ll share some of my finds from the Seafood Festival- and yes, plenty of photos of the food itself. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my Autumn Playlist- which seems appropriate more than ever since the forecast calls for some rain and brisk temperatures over the next few days. Fall is officially here- and I am ready for it!

Here’s hoping you all have a great start to your week and that we make it through the next few days unscathed! One step closer to Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

Sunsets and Sandy Toes…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We managed to make it to another weekend!

This week got progressively more hectic at work as the days wore on, and with the first half of the week being filled with a lot of rain- I started to get a little stir crazy at home and in my office. Luckily, I managed to find some downtime to break up the monotony with a couple of visits to Western Massachusetts (where I’ve been treated to lovely dinners and some incredible chocolate chunk cookies from Insomnia Cookies courtesy of my dear friend Troy.)

I also managed to clear a bit of my schedule and find a lovely spot at “The Wall” at North Beach in New Hampshire for myself to catch one of the most breathtaking of sunsets I’d ever seen after the clouds had cleared for a while.

The area is settled right across the street from one of my favorite surf shops- Cinnamon Rainbows– who are always open late. Once the sun had vanished and the stars were out, I popped by for a few minutes to browse bikinis and boards. I get paid today, and I have a feeling some of that money is going to be used at the shop this coming weekend while “Treat Yo’Self 2018” rages on. They have the cutest clothes!

Today is my half day at work, so by noon I’ll be out of my office, changing out of my heels and my dress into shorts and sneakers- and running some errands before it’s time to launch into my weekend. I have boat-related plans over the next couple of days (if the sun can stick around!) involving checking out some lighthouses around Boston Harbor, a possible burger date in my hometown at one of my favorite spots to eat- and I’ll be cooking up a *ton* of buffalo chicken wings for my friend Phill’s annual ‘Summer Slam’ party in Salem on Sunday night!

As always, I’ll have my recap up at some point next week (alongside a great chicken recipe I stumbled across)– and you can follow-along my journey(s) over at my INSTAGRAM.

Here’s wishing you all an amazing, safe and sunny weekend! Remember to take some time for yourself to decompress- and stay hydrated. It’s hot out there!

See you all on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

“She was an American girl…”

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

It’s back to blogging for me after a few days off to celebrate the Fourth of July, spend some time with friends, and just unplug for a little while. As much as I enjoy putting together new content for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays- sometimes it’s nice to just leave e-mails on unread for a bit and reconnect with nature and loved ones.

I highly recommend taking a break like that every once in a while! I try to do it once a month if it’s possible. It isn’t always easy- but it *is* always rewarding.

But these past few days have been a lot of fun, and I have the photos to prove it!

On Saturday, I headed down to Foxwoods for their annual ComiCONN Comic-Convention with my friend Evan to browse local artists/businesses and see some stars (also also eat the most delicious nachos and quesadillas at Scorpion Bar.) I’ve always been a bit of a Mohegan Sun girl- since most of my favorite bands/artists typically play there- but my first trip to Foxwoods in a long time didn’t disappoint. They’ve really done a lot with the place since the last time I was there and it’s very nice.

While we were there, I got to see/chat up ‘The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand (he plays Aaron)– and he was an absolute sweetheart. He was so kind, funny, charismatic, and personable. That show might be taking all the wrong turns lately- but I’m so excited to see what he does next!

On Sunday, after running some pre-work week errands, I once again found myself in Western Massachusetts- this time at Ashfield Lake for the very first time with a friend of mine. We were desperate to beat the heat wave that has been mercilessly hammering down across New England for the better part of a week- and the water couldn’t have been more perfect. Not too cold, but not too warm after roasting under the sun all day. It was just right- and completely refreshing.

After we dried off, it was off to Amherst for dinner before I had to head back home and get ready for work.

The photo at the top of the post was taken right before we left the lake- as the sun was setting. One of Massachusetts’ hidden gems!

Although I had to work on Monday and Tuesday (and again yesterday and today)– the Fourth of July was spent in the wilderness. Specifically, in the White Mountains- where I spent the day hiking and swimming in streams, under waterfalls, and in lakes until it was time to head back into civilization, the city- and enjoy some fireworks and BBQ.

I especially love the White Mountains this time of year because it’s not ski-season, which means many of the busier areas and attractions aren’t as busy. I was able to rest and relax and just take in the sounds of the mountains around me until I had to rejoin Boston’s nightlife again. It was beautiful.

And now- back home and rejuvenated- I’m preparing for the weekend. After work today, I’ll be visiting a friend in Northampton before he takes the stage this weekend for a Summer-long theater project, and I’ve got a pretty great recipe up my sleeve that I’m excited to whip up tomorrow (and share next week!)

With that and a planned beach day with friends? It’s shaping up to be a lovely couple of days ahead!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Friday, and an even better weekend! I’ve got to get some work done before I take off again!

See you all on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

Drizzly Days, Royal Weddings and Doughnuts…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

This week is shaping up to be a pretty busy one for me. I have a friend coming into town on Wednesday for a couple of days, Friday is the first day of the Boston Calling Music Festival- and Saturday I’m leaving for a weekend away in Washington D.C. to spend Memorial Day with friends who are flying in for a vacation. Between preparing for all of that and work- I have to make sure I stay on top of things (including getting enough sleep!)

Thankfully this past weekend was pretty laid back, and I was able to get some R&R without wasting the days. The weather, for the most part- was a bit gloomy- so staying indoors and under the comfort of blankets to watch the Royal Wedding bright and early on Saturday morning was nice (and what a beautiful ceremony it was!)

Afterwards, while the guests at Windsor Castle departed to enjoy some lemon elderflower cake at the reception- I decided to enjoy an indulgent treat myself- and braved the chilly temperatures and light drizzle to head to Harvard Square for a doughnut-pop up that was being hosted by Harvest. Although I had missed out on their take on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding cake- I did pick up some of their tasty Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Caramel French Cruller and Blueberry Citrus doughnuts, instead.

On Saturday night, after catching up on some e-mails and resting my eyes for a quick refresher- I headed off to Mohegan Sun to meet with friends at the Bow & Arrow Sports Bar to eat some nachos and watch the Celtics and Red Sox (simultaneously.) On a completely unrelated note- how GOOD is Las Vegas’ hockey team? It’s their first season and they have just been dominating lately. It’s going to be so much fun to cheer them on and go to their games when I’m living in the area!

Sorry, I’m getting off track.

Yesterday, after running errands to save myself some time later on this week- I decided to savor the brief break in the rain//fog and soak up the sunshine that had peeked through the clouds up in New Hampshire. I drove along the coast just in time to catch high tide and sat by the water for a couple of hours before grabbing a bite to eat at The Beach Plum and heading home just as the sun started to set.

It was beautiful, peaceful, scenic, and super relaxing.

A little later on this week, I’ve got my trusty “Festival Survival Essentials” to share with you all in preparation for Boston Calling (hint- there’s a lot of sunscreen)– and on Friday- I’m giving everyone access to a playlist I’ve been gradually piecing together to help those of you looking for some new tunes for the Summertime to kick things off during the impending long weekend.

I’m so excited for the coming days and to share my adventures along the way. Be sure to peep my Instagram for the shots I snap while I’m out and about.

Until then, though- let’s power through this Monday and get it out of the way!

xx

– Ashley –