“But you’re the Pumpkin King!”

Good Evening and Happy Friday, everyone!

While my posts typically go up fairly early in the morning- I opted to sleep in a little late today before work after a night out- and figured I’d update while I was curled up and cozy and getting ready for a much-needed quiet night in.

The World Series is on, and then it’s a late night horror movie marathon before I kick off my weekend bright and early tomorrow morning!

This past week has been wild- in a good way. Shortly after I shared my Game Day recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Chips on Wednesday, I was live on Indie617 during ‘Morning Glory’ with Michael Marotta where we talked Jack White looking miserable at baseball games, the time Ryan Adams baby-sat me, the good ‘ol days of VH1 reality television- and debated which Strokes album was the best. If you missed the segment and want to give it a listen- CLICK HERE.

My time with Indie617 is extending to tomorrow, as well- where I’ll be making an appearance at their Boos & Brews Halloween Party at the Idle Hands Craft Ales in Malden (DETAILS HERE). I’m so excited to listen to some good music, have some drinks, and savor some pizza skulls- yes, you read that right- pizza skulls!

Last night, my good friends visiting from Pasadena for the week met up with me at Franklin Park Zoo so that we could catch up while we walked through their Jack O’Lantern Journey display (which runs through November 4th!) It was really impressive- and definitely made me want to step up my own Jack O’Lantern game!

It was really good seeing them, since it’s been a couple of years- and I’m looking forward to visiting their neighborhood once I’m out on the West Coast again!

But it’s time to watch the Red Sox and get ready for a busy day tomorrow! I’ll be back on Monday with some of my favorite things from October and a recap of this lovely, spooky month come Halloween!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to stock up on candy for the Trick-Or-Treaters before the stores run out!

xx

– Ashley –

Killer Clowns and Bachelorette Bliss…

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone! We’re nearly to the weekend! Are you excited?

This coming Saturday is shaping up to be a relaxing one, spent in the countryside of Vermont (weather permitting) where I’ll be visiting some of my family, photographing the foliage/scenery- and enjoying some of Montpelier’s finest dining. I’m excited to visit some old spots I haven’t had the opportunity to stop by in years- and discover some new places, too!

The trip will undoubtedly be vastly different to the craziness of this past weekend, of course- which kicked off on Friday night when friends and I bundled up and headed out to the Rocky Woods Reservation to catch a late evening screening of ‘It’ (the 1990 one) in the middle of the woods, courtesy of the Coolidge Corner Theater’s “After Midnight” program.

Along with snacks and beer from local breweries, the screening also included a live Q&A with the film’s screenwriter, Lawrence D. Cohen and a look at Pennywise’s original costume prototype. And- of course- there were red balloons everywhere. Despite the chill in the air by the end of the 4+ hour event- it was a lot of fun.

Saturday saw me out of the woods and back in the city for my longtime friend Stef’s bachelorette party. She’s getting married in a few short weeks, and this past weekend was the only real chance that we- and a bunch of our hometown friends- could get together to celebrate and see her off properly!

Now, while there were plenty of penis-shaped party favors (and a cake) and an appearance by a blowup doll at one point during the evening- as is the tradition of many, if not all bachelorette parties- we actually did things a bit different and opted for entertainment that would keep all of us on our toes and guessing with our alcohol-fogged brains.

The first stop of the night was Boston’s “Escape The Room” experience. Most of us being avid gamers thought this would be a breeze to get through if we worked together as a team- and we opted for the “Clock Tower” escape sequence. Having done a couple of smaller, less intricate escape rooms in the past- I was *not* expecting the level of detail, complexity, and difficulty of the puzzles required for us to maneuver from room to room. It was hard!

With just under ten minutes on the clock to spare, we did eventually make it out before the buzzer- but I thought the #FAIL sign was too funny not to hold up during our group photo.

If you ever get the opportunity to participate in one of these escape rooms- make sure you’re well-rested and on top of your game! It’s really fun- but you’re going to need to stay sharp during it!

Following our victory, we headed down the street to Papagayo’s for a quick snack and a few delicious margaritas that were mixed up by the bartender, Adele- who was lovely and super accommodating to our party.

After getting a little tipsy, our group walked (see: stumbled) through Downtown Crossing to Elephant & Castle to participate in a mob-themed murder mystery dinner- something Stef has always wanted to join in on. The actors/wait staff were adorable, and while dinner was alright- the dessert ruled and the comedy in the show was worth coming back for seconds.

Oddly enough, I guessed the killer correctly for the “who dunnit?” portion of the evening- and won two tickets to any of their upcoming events- so I guess I really will be coming back for more!

Following dinner (and a few more drinks)– the lot of us hit a couple more bars before we retreated to the hotel room that some of the bridal party had got for the night for some late-night conversation and photo ops with “Standy”- the blow-up doll that was supposed to represent Stef’s fiancé, Andy.

We eventually dispersed when exhaustion started to take over- but it was a night spent well. We don’t get many opportunities to spend time together as a whole group since we all have careers or families- so events like this and/or holidays are particularly special and something to really be cherished and looked forward to. I had so much fun- and it was so great seeing everyone in one place again. I’m really excited for the wedding!

Sunday was, thankfully, a day of rest- brunch and football, really- and a chance to catch up on some much-needed sleep before I returned to work on Monday morning. The weekend, overall- was one for the record books, however. It was truly a blast! A little crazy at times- but a blast nonetheless.

But before I start preparing for this coming weekend, I’ve got to get some work done at my office (and I gotta’ take off early today, since it’s my half day!)

Enjoy your “Hump Day”, everyone! I’ll be back on Friday with a true sweater weather-inspired OOTD post!

xx

– Ashley –

Like Real People Do…

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

Today is my newly assigned half day at work for the next couple of months before our company’s schedules shift again right before the new year- and I have a (hopefully) lovely afternoon planned at a local orchard after I head out of my office today! Unfortunately, I’m simultaneously fighting off a bit of a Fall cold, as well- so I may need to take it a little easy over the remainder of the week.

My sneezing and sniffles is the result of some serious rain and a sudden temperature drop in the past few days- and being caught unexpectedly in more than one frigid downpour when I was wearing nothing more than a thin cardigan came back to haunt me.

Of course, it’s all been worth it- since I’ve been having so much fun over the past couple of days. Monday night, after I all but tumbled out of my office in my hurry to get over to Fenway right away- saw me at House of Blues to catch a set by Hozier and meet up with my dearest of dear, longtime friends- Steven- who also happens to be the brilliant lighting designer/wizard for this tour.

Hozier’s made a few appearances in past Fall playlists I’ve put together- since he’s perfected the dreary, haunting vocals/vibe- but I’d never actually seen him live and was completely blown away at how insanely talented he, his band, and their backup singers are. It was truly incredible-and I watched most of it with my mouth hanging open in absolute awe.

The opening band, Hudson Taylor, were also fantastic and fun and had the entire crowd fired up. I enjoyed them so, so much!

And of course, seeing Steven is always wonderful. I wish he and I saw each other more often, but when we are in the same town at the same time- it’s always so great to get the opportunity to catch up, crack jokes, listen to good music and (if I’m lucky-) watch him work his magic with his stage designs. Last night, with how low-key and laid back the show seemed- sort of reminded me of way, way back when he and I first met so many years ago before tours got super extravagant and complex. It was really nice- and I’m hoping he comes back sooner than later.

The evening ended with a set list (my very first Hozier one!) and a late night cheeseburger on my way home- which is fitting for any Monday night out, really!

Last night, after working late and just starting to feel a tad under the weather- I opted to stay in so I could wrap myself up in fleece pajamas, warm blankets, and have a serious video game session with Sean (we played ‘Dead By Daylight’ in opposite rooms, obviously. It’s the only way to do it properly!) so it was a nice way to unwind while taking care of myself and getting some much-needed rest.

But today I am all about getting back out there and picking some apples and pumpkins- rain or shine- so expect quite a few photos on my social media along the way!

I’m off to get some work done first, though! Enjoy your Wednesday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

“An End Has a Start…”

The first time I ever saw Editors live, it was a complete accident.

Well, let me back up a bit- because the word “accident” implies a bad or tragic outcome- and the experience was anything but.

It was 2007, and I was in San Diego (one of my first visits!)– not only for a little vacation but to party at Street Scene San Diego- an outdoor music festival that used to take place annually around the city. I had friends from different bands (and their crews) on the lineup- making it one of the largest gatherings ever of people I knew and cared about in one location/setting. Considering how many hectic schedules people had at any given time- something like that rarely happens! Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Louis XIV etc. Everywhere I turned was a friendly and familiar face, a big hug- and a cold beer.

At one point, while looking for a place to charge my phone- I happened to catch a voice singing from the stage that reminded me of both Paul Banks from Interpol and the late, great Ian Curtis from Joy Division- and immediately hurried over by the performance area to see who it was.

It was Editors- and two minutes into their set- I completely forgot about charging my phone all together.

From that moment on I was a fan- and dove headfirst into their discography (both past and future albums that were released)– but I kept missing them on their tours whenever they’d stop in Boston. One of their last shows in the city, circa 2008/2009- saw them bring a friend’s band on the road with them as an opening act. I was so excited to see them again- but ended up getting a little too drunk with said friend after their opening set and missed Editors entirely.

With a new (and fantastic!) album out earlier this year- the band is currently on their North American tour- and on Wednesday night they made a stop in Boston at our famous Paradise Rock Club. It’s definitely my favorite venue in the city- because there’s not a single bad spot to watch the stage from anywhere in the building- and the sound quality is perfect.

It’s been over ten years since I’d last seen them live, but they were just as great- if not better- than they were on that stifling hot day in San Diego way back when. I was completely blown away and absolutely captivated.

Editors’ sixth album, ‘Violence’, is out now- and I highly recommend giving it a listen and seeing them live if you can. They put on an amazing, energetic, passionate performance. It’s been almost 48 hours since the show and I’ve still got goosebumps!

I’ve got a lot to do today at work, and should probably get to it- but I’m rewarding myself for a busy and productive week with post-office burgers tonight with one of my co-workers. My mouth is watering already!

Here’s hoping you all have an incredible weekend. For those of you who are participating in Royal Wedding-themed fun (guilty as charged)– I can’t wait to see your photos!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Birthday (Dress) Suit

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! I’m still adjusting to being back on the East Coast- but not too much- since I’m leaving for Vegas at the end of next week! I don’t think I even need to fully unpack my suitcase at this point, but we’ll see!

While I was in San Diego a few days ago- I took some time to doll myself up for a planned birthday dinner one of my dearest friends (and numero uno West Coast man-crush) had planned for me prior to his falling ill to some weird stomach bug that was apparently going around the area. I’ve successfully managed to dodge catching it on both coasts now since it was running rampant around here before my departure, as well.

I’m just attributing my seemingly being immune to it on my ability to just sort of fly away from it on a whim. Those airline miles really came in handy for that!

Anyway, I wanted to wear something that could be easily mixed/matched and accessorized with- that had a touch of femininity without being too frilly- and that accentuated my legs since I can’t exactly where high hemlines in Boston this time of year and I really wanted to embrace the SoCal temperatures by showing some skin.

What I found was this adorable black and white number that was fitted just right. It hugged my curves in all the right places.

This ensemble is actually a combination of two pieces: a white cotton crop-top and the black and white, long-sleeved wrap-dress with ruffled detail that tied over everything. Paired with my patent leather black Steve Madden heels- I’d like to think I looked like a combination of “Bad Ass Boss Bitch” and “Sultry Minx”- but that may have been just me who thought so.

What’s great about this outfit is that it can easily be transformed from proper date night wear to professional/business attire with little to no effort at all. Putting on some black tights or trousers instead of going bare-legged makes all the difference- and I feel that I’m bold enough to wear this to my office on any given day and still be taken seriously. It’s all about the details- and I love the ruffles so, so much!

And despite the fact that this outfit saw Downtown San Diego for approximately 15 minutes before things took a turn for the chaotic- I felt super confident (and comfortable!) in it. I gave my eyes a bit of a dramatic pop with some black liner and a couple of layers of black, lengthening mascara- but my lips stayed rose/pink and matte.

As tempting as a bright red gloss sounded- I wanted to keep the dress as the focal point of this outfit- and I felt red would have distracted from it a little too much.

I’m looking forward to cashing in my dinner rain check with this outfit the next time I’m in Southern California. Maybe I’ll wear even higher heels next time, too!

Tonight I’m having a (Belated) Birthday Dinner with my family- and this weekend I’ll be catching up with some friends I haven’t had the time to see since I got back- but next week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things from this past month, talking about my trip and memorable parts of January overall- and sharing a Super Bowl appropriate recipe right before I make another journey out West and catch the game. Go Pats!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –