Drizzly Days, Royal Weddings and Doughnuts…

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 –

May Flowers, Margaritas and Mirror Selfies…

Good Morning, everyone!

Although Cinco de Mayo was this past Saturday- I held off on hitting up some of my favorite Mexican food restaurants and/or any bars until Sunday afternoon at the absolute earliest. It’s a tricky holiday (much like St. Patrick’s Day), especially in the city- and even moreso when that city has a large college population. There’s a lot of drunk people running around- most of whom don’t know what Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates- and an alarming amount of white people wearing sombreros and making packed places somehow feel even smaller.

I digress. While many people were recovering from their hangovers on Sunday morning/afternoon- I took the opportunity to visit Citrus & Salt in Back Bay to try one of their signature cocktails and catch the Bruins game while I chowed down on homemade tortilla chips and fresh guacamole. Some of my friends had been there before and raved about it- so I decided to check it out on my own while I was in the area.

Firstly, the decor to the place is gorgeous- like a mix of a beach party meets a Día de Muertos celebration- so many pretty colors and skulls everywhere- and the food was awesome. Everything was made fresh and had so much flavor to it.

My cocktail of choice was the “I Didn’t Text You- Tequila Did”- which combined tequila, a coconut puree, and a big Popsicle  dunked into it. It was strong- but delicious- and got me a little buzzed right away. I liked that the name of the drink was prominently displayed on the bathroom mirror, too…

When I was done dining, I headed back towards Boston Common and the Public Garden where I was meeting friends who had gotten a late start due to those aforementioned hangovers. Although the sky was a bit grey and dreary at  times- the park was vibrant with the newly planted tulips along the pedestrian walkways and around the statues/monuments. I couldn’t resist getting a little tourist-y and snapping some pics while I waited. Below are a few of my favorite shots!

I’ve got a meeting to get to this morning and some work to catch up on this afternoon before I head back downtown for dinner plans with some friends and to pose in one of my favorite dresses for the Spring/Summer season. Keep an eye out for it this Friday!

‘Til then- enjoy your Wednesday/Hump Day, everyone! We’re almost to the weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Mid-Week Hooky

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

Okay, so technically this past Wednesday wasn’t an actual day of hooky- since my job knew I wasn’t coming in just for the sake of having a day off while the temperatures hit the mid-80s (!!!)– but there was something kind of thrilling about being out and enjoying such a beautiful day when I knew my co-workers were back at the office. The day was made even more fun, of course- since I didn’t make any specific plans and was just sort of rolling with the punches as they came.

There were plenty of options. Would I catch the Red Sox game at Fenway in the early afternoon? Tempting- but my seats would have had me roasting under the sun well before the fourth inning. Would I go day-drinking and enjoy one too many margaritas near the park? Also a possibility- except that finding parking on a weekday around lunchtime is a nightmare- and leaving the car while I went from place to place until the evening when I would be back to normal and ready to drive home would have likely landed me with expired meters and plenty of tickets tucked onto my windshield. Or, would I head to Cambridge to see Ronan Farrow discuss his new book? This choice nearly won- and I would have loved to have gone if I hadn’t gotten sidetracked.

Instead, my best friend (who ended up playing a bit of hooky as well) and I packed some snacks, a couple of towels, and some SPF 50 and headed to Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea to get our 2018 “Beach Bums” season underway while the coast wasn’t crowded.

5/2/18. Beach Bum. Literally.

I couldn’t find my swimsuit from last year and had to improvise with one from 2014/2015- but I’ve been meaning to buy a new one anyway, and a lot of the cuts/colors/embellishments I’ve been seeing on this year’s hottest and trendiest swimwear has me excited to try something completely new! I’ll share whatever I eventually go with- but I’m hoping to find something bright, colorful, flattering- and comfortable!

But I digress- the water was still a bit too cold to dive into- so I kept things dry and laid back on the sand. I sat under an umbrella and read while my friend worked on an assignment they’re completing for degree work. Afterwards, when it started to get dark out and the late-night beach goers began rolling in for their planned bonfires- we headed back to Melrose where we stopped at Wood + Fire for some salad and to split a pasta dish (their wood fired Gnocchi is delicious,  by the way!) before it came time to call it a night and get ready to head back to work the next morning.

Overall, a “Just Because” day off was just what I needed. It was laid-back, stress-free, spent with the comfort of a good friend in beautiful scenery- and included a fantastic meal. I highly recommended taking a day off every now and then to decompress, unwind, and then prepare yourself to get back to work and start fresh. It’s invigorating!

Speaking of, I’ve got to get to work so I can begin re-organizing my schedule for next week. I like to stay a couple of steps ahead of things!

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend, everyone! See you all on Monday- where I’ll have a BBQ/Cookout-inspired recipe to share!

5/2/18. Manchester-by-The-Sea

xx

– Ashley –

April 2018: In a Nutshell

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

With the exception of a couple of showers (that went away as quickly as they came)– this past weekend was gorgeous- and the forecast looks to only get better as this week goes on. I took a “just because” day off from work this Wednesday once I’d heard the temperatures were going to be near 80. It seems like such a shame to spend that kind of day cooped up inside of an office- especially after the rough Winter and rocky beginning to Spring that we had here in Boston! A day like that calls for a picnic, or maybe even an afternoon at the beach.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I dive into May and all the fun, outdoorsy plans I have (both here and out of state) as the Summer gets closer and closer- I wanted to tip my oversized Kentucky Derby hat that I’m dusting off for this weekend to the month of April- filled with plenty of family gatherings, quite a few nights out, and a LOT of unpredictable weather.

April kicked off with Easter and a house filled with brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles and at least two dogs- as well as enough food to feed a small army- and from there the momentum only continued to build. In the days that followed, I was celebrating my best girl-friend’s boozy birthday, donning a purple wig for another friend’s Wrestlemania party, and racing through the streets by Fenway to catch a gig from Franz Ferdinand.

When the snow finally stopped falling and stayed gone long enough for the trees and flowers to begin blooming- I was able to break out the pastels and florals and fully commit to Springtime. I even took the plunge and dyed my hair a subtle and lovely shade of rose gold to commemorate the occasion!

Of course, April had some minor and inconvenient setbacks. A couple of weeks ago I had gotten into a car accident when another vehicle pulled from a stop sign and hit my car as I was traveling on the road- resulting in some dents/scrapes and a brief period of shoulder pain in the days that followed. Thankfully, it wasn’t any worse than that- and my car has since been repaired and returned to me- so it all seems to have worked out for now! We’ll see how it goes when it comes time for the insurance companies to get reimbursed. I’m really pleased and impressed with my own company, though- because they handled everything so quickly and efficiently.

But overall- April was a joy- and now that May is here and things are winding down at work while everyone begins to plan their vacations, cookouts, gardening, etc. I’m really excited for the coming weeks. Boston Calling is this coming month, which is shaping up to be an amazing festival- and although I didn’t make it to NYC this past month as I’d originally planned due to a scheduling conflict- I intend to visit Manhattan again in May. I’m also in the process of putting together another adventure to Washington D.C. for Memorial Day weekend with a longtime friend I haven’t seen in a couple of years since they moved from San Diego to Chicago a while back!

As always, I’ll have my usual rotation of recipes and OOTD posts (now that it’s getting warm enough to show a little leg!) but I’ve also got a really fun contest/collaboration coming up a little later on this week to get everyone into the Spring/Summer accessories frame of mind- as well as some local and product reviews, and plenty of pictures along the way.

Speaking of- to close out this post (and this month), I thought I’d share a series of photos I snapped while out and about this past weekend. Commonwealth Avenue was in full bloom on Saturday, and set against the historic brownstones in the neighborhood and the warm weather- it was a bright, beautiful way to begin the evening!

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, everyone! I’ll see you all on Wednesday- where I’ll have the contest details!

xx

– Ashley –

Send Pizza and Hot Chocolate…

My view from Tuesday’s storm (3/13/18)

Happy Friday, everyone!

I don’t know about you all- but I’m so happy and so excited the weekend is here! After another busy, snowy week- I’m looking forward to spending a little bit of time away from home. I’m supposed to head to NYC tomorrow morning to spend a day in Brooklyn- just for fun- and check out the David Bowie exhibit over at the Brooklyn Museum (and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at a couple of Irish pubs around the city.)

On Sunday, it’s back to Boston just in time to stop by the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade- a tradition for my friends and I- and partake in a little day-drinking before I head to my place, throw on some sweatpants and watch ‘The Walking Dead’.

Expect a lot of pictures!

I’m really looking forward to just being able to get outside and not have to shovel, really. My brother and my sister-in-law were kind enough to stop by during Tuesday’s blizzard to help me get my driveway clear and my car cleaned off of snow- but I don’t know how much more of this I can take!

“Go on without me. I’m done for.”

I heard we have another storm coming next Tuesday/Wednesday- although reports have varied so I really don’t know how accurate that is. I’m hoping it’s just a rumor or, worst case scenario- we just get some rain, instead. I’m keeping the shovels nearby, though. Just in case!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone- and have a fun, safe St. Patrick’s Day if you’re planning on partying!

xoxo

– Ashley –