OOTD: Fleece Navidad

Good Morning and Happy Monday (yuck…), everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was as busy as ever- with my wrapping up the last of my Christmas shopping, swinging by a really fun holiday party at one of my favorite local breweries in Malden, and spending some time with my family eating great food and making plans for the coming weeks ahead.

Today is shaping up to be a busy one- not just because of work and some scheduled errands later on this afternoon/evening- but also because the World Series trophy is making a scheduled appearance near my office today. It’s a big deal- especially with the lot of us here being Red Sox fans- so we’re re-configuring our entire afternoon around photo-ops and selfies. As one does, I suppose.

But before I fix my hair and re-apply some lipstick for my own shameless selfie- I wanted to share one of my favorite, festive sweaters to wear this time of year- and one I actually sported this past weekend. Ugly Christmas sweaters and the holiday parties that celebrate them aren’t going away anytime soon- but I like that this one in-particular is actually pretty funny, creative- and kind of cute!

Also- it’s definitely cozy!

I layered this sweater with a white tank top and paired it with a pair of skinny jeans and my knee-high brown boots. The sweater got a lot of laughs, which is always good- and I ended up keeping it on post-party when I met up with friends later on, too!

I plan on wearing this again at least one or two more times before Christmas this year. I love it so much and I never get the chance to wear it- for obvious reasons.

But for now I’m off to get my usual start-of-the-week grind going and begin checking my voicemails, e-mails and reviewing my cases for this week. I’m not thrilled about it- although I’m never thrilled on Monday mornings- but it’s just the first step towards Friday!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day and that the next few days are as stress-free and painless as possible!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Reindeer Games

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Today is a half day for me at work, after which I’ll be heading out to Concord, Massachusetts for a bit of a seasonal photo project- weather and time permitting (Daylight Savings Time complicates everything after 3:30 p.m. these days!)

I have a lot to do this morning at my office before I take off- but I wanted to share one of my favorite holiday ensembles I wore earlier this week- both to work and then to a little tree lighting ceremony in the common of my neighborhood later on that evening!

It’s been fluctuating between warm and tolerable (but rainy) and frigid and windy (but sunny) over these past few days- so staying warm, dry and comfortable has been my goal while out with friends, getting some holiday shopping done, and running errands. I still want to stay festive and chic, of course- so I opted to sport some insanely soft fleece leggings (with snowflake and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer print!) a crisp, white chunky sweater and faux-fur lined boots.

And I have never been cozier!

And despite any pre-conceived notions of what constitutes “office appropriate” attire- this ensemble was well-received. In a season where ugly holiday sweaters are celebrated across the board- some fuzzy leggings and an over-sized sweater are pretty tame by comparison!

I had purchased these leggings at Primark last year (the sweater came from there, too!) in preparation for a family party, thinking I’d never wear them again- but I’m glad I kept them and that they still fit so nicely!

And this was completely unintentional when I put this outfit on- but I’m quite pleased that my latest holiday manicure color scheme (red and silver) matched perfectly. I wish I could say it was planned and done on purpose- but it was just luck!

But now I’ve got to get started on downing my morning cup of coffee and getting some cases wrapped up!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful “Hump Day”! We’re almost to Friday- and I know we can make it!

xx

– Ashley –

Holiday Trends: Bamboo Earrings

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday and (hopefully) long weekend! I know I certainly did. The past few days have been filled with family, friends, and *so* much food. With all the turkey, vegetables, stuffing, rolls and pie I’ve been eating at all hours since Thursday afternoon- I’m going to be hitting the gym pretty hardcore over the next few weeks to work it all off again…

… Just to make room for all of that delicious Christmas food, of course!

But I digress- I had a lovely few days off and now it’s time to get back to work- both at my office and here on the blog.

Despite the urge to just wear sweatpants during Thanksgiving and the days that followed- I had to stay put together for various parties and outings in and around my hometown. That meant accessorizing and finding stylish (yet practical) shoes to wear out in the snow, too. When it comes to holiday-centric jewelry- I keep the glitz and the glimmer for New Year’s Eve festivities. While I definitely love all things sparkly- sometimes it’s nice to have something a bit more simple and natural to build my look around.

I’ve been wearing these lightweight, uniquely carved bamboo earrings from Green Tree Jewelry all throughout this past week/weekend- and the response I’ve gotten from my loved ones has been great! So much, in fact- that I plan on doing some of my holiday shopping through the company since they carry a variety of beautiful gifts that extend beyond jewelry.

Green Tree, based out of San Diego (my home away from home!) arose from the ashes- literally- following a wildfire that consumed the founders’ previous baseball bat engraving business in 2008. With eco-friendly laser cutters left unscathed in the aftermath, founders Lance Nybye Sr. and Jr. shifted their focus to designing and carving beautiful, intricate, fun and fashionable pieces from sustainable resources within the USA. Their artistry now extends across affordable necklaces, bracelets, ornaments, switch plates and so much more!

What I love most about these earrings, apart from the fact that they don’t feel heavy at all- is that the bamboo isn’t painted/stained or otherwise changed apart from it’s being carved. The natural, smooth wood finish makes each earring different and special in it’s own way.

The smaller pair I’ve been wearing, the Modern Leaf Bamboo Earrings, are my “daytime” pair. Jeans and sweaters? Leggings and long jackets while out and about grabbing lunch with friends, running errands, or digging out the ornaments to get the Christmas tree set up and decorated? These are my go-to accessory.

This pair is simple- yet still beautiful- and just goes so well with most of what I wear during the day.

And my “nighttime”, fancier occasion pair? That would be the larger, insanely cool Greek Bamboo Earrings– which are dramatic (like me!) and look amazing when I’m dressed to the nines and got a good smoky eye or red lip going on. I wore these to a performance I caught over the weekend and they were THE statement piece I needed to make a lasting impression.

Today is Cyber Monday, so if you’re looking for a beautiful gift that will be treasured by someone special in your life this holiday season and you want to support a great business- go give Green Tree Jewelry a browse.

ALSO! If you enter the code “GTJ10” at checkout, you’ll get 10% off your purchase- as well as free shipping!

Have fun getting some great deals today, everyone- and enjoy the start of your week! Let’s push through to Friday together!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Late Fall Florals

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

With the weekend just a couple of days away- and snow allegedly on the horizon ’round my neck of the woods within the next 24 hours (noooo!) I’ve been trying to get as much pre-holiday prep done as possible so no amount of snow or freezing rain delays my schedule.

I’m presently in the process of planning both my Friendsgiving(s) and Thanksgiving wardrobes- which has also been a bit of an adventure in itself. While Thanksgiving will undoubtedly consist of an oversized, chunky sweater and pants with any variation of an elastic waist- I have to dress it up just a little for Friendsgiving- where my friends will be snapping plenty of photos of the food, decor, and our circle of deviants. I want to look good when those tagged photos hit social media!

For this coming weekend, I’ll be sporting this high-collared, bell-sleeved burnt orange and floral-printed dress to stay comfortable and chic while I serve my friends sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie!

I picked up this number at Primark a few weeks ago while shopping for some new fleece and velvet-lined leggings. The beautiful colors and simple design just screamed “Autumn!” to me when I first saw it- and once I tried it on- I knew I had to have it. I intend to pair it with either brown or black leggings and my brown, knee-high faux-leather boots (as shown above.) A girl still has to stay comfortable while she’s going for seconds on the green bean casserole, right?

My favorite part of this dress, however- has got to be the sleeves. They’re cute and feminine and give the dress a bit of character. I wish more of my dresses and tops had sleeves like these!

Pretty soon my wardrobe is going to be a lot more beanies and thermal-wear- so I’m hoping to get a little more use out of this dress before Winter officially kicks in the door and makes all of us miserable for the next 3-4 months (possibly longer- since this is New England!)

But for now, I’m off to work for a few hours before I head out to grab dinner and catch a movie with a handsome fella’ I kinda’ like.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday! Here’s to powering through to Friday!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Lady In Red…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

What a weekend it’s been. One of my longtime and dearest friends tied the knot on Saturday night in one of the most fun ceremonies and celebrations I’ve ever had the fortune of attending (and I’ll have photos from the night up a little later on this week!)– and yesterday, a day that was supposed to be for rest and some self-care- was instead spent at an Urgent Care veterinarian’s office after Oliver sustained a back injury and needed to be checked out.

He’s thankfully okay (it was a strain/sprain and he’s on some anti-inflammation medication to alleviate his symptoms while he recovers)– but my nerves were shot. Once I’d had a chance to come home, shower, and unwind- it took me no time at all to succumb to exhaustion and fall asleep.

And now here I am, at work for another week. Sigh.

Before I launch into my e-mails, voicemails, and caseload for the week- I wanted to share the beautiful, Autumn-appropriate dress I wore to the aforementioned wedding this past weekend, first!

Red is a bold color I never shied away from- my hair was a fire engine red hue for a good several years, after all- and I knew with how bold and exciting my circle of friends are that donning a red dress in a church wouldn’t be frowned upon by them.

I opted for this fitted, quarter-length sleeved red dress that stopped just above my knee and was accentuated with a thin red tie around the waist to break up the simplicity of the fabric. I was covered- perfect for a formal occasion- but was still comfortable when it came time to throw back a couple of drinks and some wedding cake come the time of the reception!

And while more than one female guest ended up taking their heels off by the end of the night- I was able to stay standing in these black velvet, buckled ankle booties with a chunky heel to give me some height and some support. I haven’t really had a chance to wear these out because of all the rain we’ve been having- so I’m glad it was nice out by the time it came ready to head on over to the church!

I turned my convertible faux-snakeskin bag into a clutch for the evening, and the gray and black really played well against the dress, the boots, and my newly acquired dark gray manicure- which really pulled the whole look together for me.

I’m looking forward to getting some more wear out of this dress now that the holidays will be approaching soon- since the red will be pretty festive and the simple style of the dress will be easy enough to doll up or down depending on the event. This one is a keeper, for sure!

But I’ve got a lot of work to do- and this week is going to be another busy one I need to stay on top of- so I’m heading out to get things done before I can even stop and think about getting some much-needed rest and relaxation!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful start to your week and a terrific few days ahead before we reach another weekend!

xx

– Ashley –