Favorites: October 2019!

Good Evening, everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a wonderful day so far!

Tonight’s post is arriving a little late. I’ve said it before, I’m sure- but even the most carefully thought out plans or the strictest of schedules can get a bit delayed or botched up a bit when life throws us a curve ball. I had wanted to get this post up a little earlier today, as is my typical way of running “Blondie Birdie”- but a day filled with meetings, phone calls, and back-to-back commitments kept me a little preoccupied throughout the morning and early afternoon.

But, I’m here- and October is winding down (I can’t believe it either!) and although I’ll have my monthly recap up this coming Thursday morning- I promise! – I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from these past few weeks that have helped make my non-stop countdown to Halloween a bit more comfy, cozy and healthy!

That’s right, y’all! It’s a late night edition of “Favorites” for October 2019!

This month’s list isn’t particularly lengthy- but it’s a good one for sure. So, without wasting any more time- let’s take a look!

Back in 2016, a day before a departing flight to Las Vegas- I picked up a super cheap pair of moccasins to wear on board so I wouldn’t be uncomfortable and so that I could slip them on and off with ease while getting through the TSA checkpoints. They ended up being the most comfortable pair of shoes I’d ever owned- and I wore them constantly.

Earlier this year, they finally gave out after years of wear and tear- and I haven’t been able to replicate them since. This sherpa-lined pair, while a little bit bulkier- are still super comfortable and still look very cute with a pair of jeans and a flannel, or a pair of leggings with a long sweater. They’re perfect for the sunnier Fall days we’ve had where I don’t want to commit to boots but still want my feet to stay warm!

Although I try to eat healthy, work out regularly and follow a pretty hardcore skin regimen- sometimes it helps to have a little extra boost working on the inside to keep me looking and feeling as radiant as I’m striving for. Earlier this month, I started taking these daily skin-boosting vitamins from EVOLUTION_18 (by Bobbi Brown)– and I can say that my skin looks brighter, clearer, and smoother after only a few weeks.

Loaded with collagen and Vitamin C- this is my new miracle vitamin that I’m swearing by now and forever! My skin has never looked better- and that’s coming from someone who has tried pretty much every mask, cream, spa procedure- and everything in-between!

Of course, my face isn’t the only thing that needs a little extra TLC this time of year- especially since I’ve been wearing heeled boots pretty much non-stop. Although I stick to my mani/pedis every few weeks (despite the weather outside)– sometimes you need some additional self-care in-between spa visits.

I love this pumpkin-infused foot scrub from ONYX– which smells delicious and smooths out my heels in no time at all. I like to use these packets after a long day at work on my feet or on the weekends when I’m indulging in some lazy, Netflix and Chillin’ on my own. They just relax me so much!

And finally- even though I like to be spooky 24/7- some days I don’t have time to pull off a costume or horror-inspired look. That’s why I’ve embraced ultra-soft and knotted headbands with fun and festive prints on them to give me a fun Halloween vibe without all the time-consumption AND keep my curls away from my eyes when I’m busy working out/running errands/getting things done.

This one in particular, which features bats and masks- was designed by my boss’ fianc√©- who is starting her own accessories business in the coming weeks ahead. I love it!

And that’s it for the photogenic things- but I’ve got a couple more things on my list this month!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Joker” – Controversial? Sure. Entertaining? You bet! I was in the majority of people who truly enjoyed this movie and celebrated Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in it. Despite all the fears of violence surrounding the film’s opening day- I had a great time watching this in theaters and would absolutely see it again!

“Big Mouth (Season 3)” – My favorite raunchy comedy about raging hormones and teenage angst returned for it’s third season on Netflix earlier this month- and I binged the entire thing over the course of an evening. Just like the seasons before it, “Big Mouth” delivered another dosage of “too close to home” humor surrounding all the awkwardness that comes with puberty and adolescence.

And I think that just about does it for October, my lovelies! My favorite month filled with some of my (new) favorite things!

I’ll let you all get some much-needed rest now, and I’ll be back on Thursday morning before the Halloween hi-jinks officially commence to take a reflective look back on the month that was.

Have a great night, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: August 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

The end (of August and the Summer!) is nigh- but I’m ready for sweaters, leaf peeping, scary movies and pumpkin patches- especially now that I’m living in one of the most picturesque, straight-out-of-a-postcard areas in New England! It’s going to be my first Fall in the Pioneer Valley- and there are so many things I want to do!

But respects must be paid to August and really the entire Summer of 2019, first- which I fully intend to do tomorrow morning for my monthly “In a Nutshell” post where I recap the weeks that were and talk about what I have planned for the weeks ahead. There’s a lot of ground to cover- but it’s going to be a fun trip down (recent) Memory Lane!

Before that, though- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from August 2019. From beauty products, to jewelry, to silly sentimental pieces- all the way to movies, music, television, etc.

This is my usual months-end “Favorites” post- and as always- I’ll be starting with the things I was able to photograph, first!

Starting with the silly, sentimental pieces- I had picked up this pair of silver, glittery sandals for about $8 at Primark a couple of years ago when I was strapped for footwear just hours before I was headed to a beach bonfire- but these have become my default Summer shoe choice ever since. This past August was no different, as I wore these trusty, surprisingly durable beauties during road trips, ice cream pit stops, lazier days at the office- and lounging lake-side.

I’m going to store them in the back of my closet until next Summer- where I’m sure they’ll see more adventures.

Exfoliation is key year-round, but especially in the Summer when I’m all about exposed legs, arms, and the occasional exposed midriff. I want my skin glowing and smooth- so I try to find scrubs that both buff away the dead skin but also conditions without drying me out.¬† I’m partial to sugar scrubs, and this whipped one from LALICIOUS does the job just right.

Not only does this scrub smell incredible, like a candy shop- but it leaves my skin touchable, soft, and glowing.

The scrub is $35, but a little goes a long way- so one tub of this will last you well over the course of a season!

Of course, I can’t exfoliate my body without making sure my face is super smooth, too- but being that it’s far more sensitive than say, my knees or my elbows- I rely on this gentle microdermabrasion scrub from Mary Kay that a friend turned me onto earlier this month.

I only use this lightweight exfoliant about 2 times a week if that- but the results are instant- and my serums and moisturizers sink into my skin with so much more ease whenever I apply them after gently cleansing my skin with this scrub. Throughout August, my complexion has been clear, smooth, and even.

Finally, my go-to jewelry for August was simple and consisted of two things. One, a moonstone statement ring I had picked up a couple of weekends ago during the annual Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend.

The other? A throwback to my pre-teen and early teenage years with the return of the cowrie shell craze. While I couldn’t bring myself to wear a choker of these like the guys I grew up with used to do all. the. time.– I thought the anklet was a nice, more subtle choice.

I wore this all during the Summer, but it really made a splash in August when more people noticed and seemed to get on board with the trend making a comeback! Now we just need to bring back those glittery butterfly-shaped hair clips and I’ll be thrilled.

And that, my friends- just about does it for the photogenic favorites. But, as always- a one or two more things made the list this month, too!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

All Things Seafood – I had said that my Summer 2019 bucket list consisted of eating as much lobster, crab and scallops as possible, and in August I rose to the challenge since many of my favorite seaside shacks close up after Labor Day.

With stops at some of my longtime favorite locations and some new finds here in the Valley (including a delicious chowder house- which I’ll be revisiting soon!) I’m pretty sure I don’t even want to look at anything from the ocean again until next May/June at least.

Clowns, Baby! – With “It: Chapter 2” coming out in theaters next week, a new trailer for “The Joker” dropping earlier this week (the movie premieres in October) and a new teaser poster for the next Harley Quinn movie making the rounds recently- Summer 2019 is all about clownery and I am here for it. My apologies for anyone with a clown phobia- but I am so, so excited for all of it!

Aaaaand now I’m finished! Although it’s the end of the work-week, I’ve still got some things to do around the office before I break for the long weekend- so I’ve got to get going!

As always, if you’d like to share your own favorite things from this past August- feel free to drop me a line!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: July 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Monday, y’all!

After a busy Saturday in Boston (my first time downtown in over two months!) with Indie617 and spending my Sunday catching up on errands I had fallen behind on while I was ill last week- I think it’s safe to say I’m back to full health and ready to return to my normal work and blogging schedule.

With only a couple of days of July left- and no, I can’t believe it’s over already either!- my attention turns to recapping the month and preparing for some serious “Summertime Bucket List” cramming in August. I have a lot of thoughts about July- which was filled with many ups, downs, surprises and heatwaves- but I’m reserving those for Wednesday morning’s scheduled “In a Nutshell” post- as is tradition!

Today I want to focus on some of my favorite things from July. Products, thrifty finds, entertainment, etc. As always, I start with the things I was able to capture on camera and work my way down the list from there.

So without further delay- let’s get started!

First things first, you’ll notice this month’s items are placed on what is undoubtedly the greatest welcome mat ever created. I decided to truly make my new apartment a *real* home by investing in a proper mat for my door- but not any old one would do. I needed something that perfectly captured my personality and the laid-back, silly vibe I want radiating through my home for anyone who comes to visit.

What better way to do that than by capturing the most infamous line in “The Room” and proudly displaying Tommy Wiseau’s face in the process? This mat, courtesy of TheMatadoorCo, arrived super quick and is high quality. I love it!

I’ve been trying to make time to read before bed each night (when I’m not out late, obviously) since I have so many unfinished books in my collection. I recently added one more, and I haven’t been able to put it down since it arrived via Amazon. Natalie Wood was/is one of my favorite actresses of all time- gone too soon- and this biography by Suzanne Finstad, which was a New York Times Best Seller, is fantastic.

Featuring insight from the people who knew Natalie best and never before seen photos- I’m learning even more about such an incredible and gifted woman whose death still remains a troubling mystery.

I can’t tan. Actually, let me correct that- I can tan, but it requires getting a painful and dangerous sunburn beforehand. And, growing up in the nineties and early 00s- I am not stranger to self-tanners. All of them have left me orange. ALL. OF. THEM.

I was late getting on board the Jergens’ “Natural Glow” train because I assumed it would result in the same, tangerine-tint on my legs and arms that wouldn’t wash off or fade for weeks. Desperate for just a little color- I gave it a shot earlier this month and I’ve been swearing by it ever since. Obviously, this cream works as a moisturizer so my skin stays soft and smooth- but after a couple of weeks of daily use- I have a natural sun-kissed look, too.

It’s nothing too dramatic. I definitely don’t look like I’ve been in Cancun all July- but I also don’t look *as* pasty as usual- and it’s much safer and way more comfortable than getting a sunburn and waiting for it to gradually turn!

Out of all the steps I take in the morning when I’m getting ready for my day- my least favorite is fussing with my very thick and very curly hair. I just like to throw some product in and let it air dry while I tend to more pressing things. However, a lot of products are hit or miss. Some work well, while others leave my hair looking and feeling stiff or crunchy (the worst!)

I recently stumbled on this butter cream product from Garnier– specifically for curly hair and for air drying- and I don’t think I will EVER use anything else other than this moving forward. Not only does it smell delicious- but it softens my curls, tames frizz without making my hair feel heavy and hard- and actually repairs my ends while it’s left in. I have gotten more compliments in the few weeks I’ve been using this than I ever did with other and often more expensive products that were aimed towards women/men with curly hair.

I wanted new sunglasses before Summer wrapped up, and I wanted them to be unique and bright. Being in my early thirties, however- makes finding such a thing at a bit more difficult- especially since I’m a working professional and would be seen entering/exiting my place of employment in them.

I can’t necessarily walk into my office with bright pink flower-shaped sunglasses without raising a few eyebrows.

Instead, I opted for these chic and modified heart-shaped frames from Sojos that give me the best of both worlds- color and a fun, interesting shape- but subdued enough where I can wear them to work or out and about without looking like I’m trying to dress like a teenager.

These come in a variety of shades- but I am absolutely sold on the candy apple red!

When my last tube of mascara got a little goopy in the July heat- I knew it was time for a replacement. While in my local pharmacy, I scoured the aisles for something lengthening, long-lasting and waterproof (a must-have in New Engand humidity.) I spotted the striped packaging for Kokie’s “Stay Dry” black mascara and was immediately intrigued.

I ended up buying a tube, and it has not let me down since. The mascara softens, lengthens and thickens my lashes without making them look too fake or clumped together- and the formula has outlasted sweat, humidity, lake water and unfortunately a few unexpected tears as well.

Best of all? It’s only $7.00 a tube- so I think it’s safe to say this is my new go-to Summertime mascara.

And that just about does it for my photogenic favorites- but a couple of other things made the list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“The Lion King” – With a recent string of childhood movie re-makes and re-imaginations (and more scheduled to come)– this CGI re-telling of what is undoubtedly one of Disney’s most beloved, celebrated, and possibly traumatic children’s movies ever made was surprisingly really, really good.

The effects were breathtaking, but it was the excellent choice of voice actors that really made this one worth the watch for me- particularly Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner as Timon and Pumbaa. I was actually laughing out loud in the theater whenever you could hear them on screen. It was perfect.

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Starbucks’ S’mores Frappuccino – AKA, the only thing that helped my throat while I was sick. They’re a limited edition Summertime drink- so be sure to grab one before they start rolling out the Fall beverages in early-to-mid September if you haven’t done so already!

And that just about does it for me today, guys. Like I said earlier- I’ll have my full recap of July up and running this coming Wednesday before we swan dive into August. This month was a doozy.

As always, if you want to share some of your favorite things from this past month- feel free to drop me a line!

Enjoy your Monday and here’s hoping it’s an easy start to the work week ahead. Cheers!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: April 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it to another weekend (and in my case – just barely!)

Next week is a short posting week, Tuesday and Thursday only, given that April is winding down and May is just a few days away (!!!)– but before I recap these past few weeks and get ready to jump into a brand new month that is going to be filled with travel, my move, and a LOT of adjustments- I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from April that helped make all these changes a little easier to get through!

This is my monthly “Favorites” post that highlights some of the products, items, impulse buys, and odds & ends that I’ve been enjoying all month- and as always I like to start with the things I was able to capture with a camera before I work my way down to the miscellaneous things- movies, TV shows, food/drinks, etc.

It’s a little list- but a good one- so let’s get started!

With Spring here, I finally get to switch up my makeup from deep gem-toned eye shadows and merlot-colored lipstick to lighter, fresher shades for the warmer weather! The first thing I decided to swap out was my blush. During the Winter I had been using a silvery highlighter all over my face to give me an icy glow- but with Spring here I opted for something a little more on the pink/rosy side (and with a hint of gold to make me look sunkissed!)

I’m loving this tiny little powder blush/highlighter, “Dandelion” from Benefit Cosmetics. The formula is lightweight and the color goes on so smoothly. I always have just the right amount of rose-gold glow whenever I walk out the door with this on!

I always keep a little roller ball perfume in my bag for touch-ups throughout the day- and I have been loving this “Wild Flower” one from Victoria’s Secret (underrated in the beauty/fragrance department, really!) The fragrance makes me smell like a pretty, tropical botanical garden, if that makes sense- with notes of lotus and magnolia- and it lasts a really, really long time- so frequent applications are a thing of the past!

It’s a limited edition, though- so be sure to snatch one up before they’re gone for good!

Just quickly jumping back to makeup for a second- but did you know that Sephora’s brand of makeup is actually amazing (and super affordable?) Case in point- this medium-coverage, oil-free foundation I started rocking the second the last of the snow melted because it gives my skin a chance to breathe while covering any imperfections flawelessly!

Best of all? It’s only $20! This is going to be my go-through the Summer. I just know it.

Of course, I can’t apply serums, creams, and brand new makeup to a puffy face- which is why I’ve finally caved and purchased a rose quartz facial roller at my local pharmacy. I didn’t want to believe the hype, guys- but it actually works!

Here’s what I do- I keep this roller chilled in my refrigerator overnight. In the morning, while I’m making a cup of coffee and before I put anything on my face- I gently roll this over my skin for about 5-10 minutes. The cold and the quartz reduces puffiness, redness, and helps to smooth out my skin for when it’s time to finally dive into my skincare regimen and makeup for the day!

Finally, in my attempt to live a healthier lifestyle in 2019 and embrace the sleeveless season- I’ve also been searching for the right aluminum-free deodorant- which has proven to be a quest in itself. Some don’t work all that well. Others smell, well- pretty weird- but I’ve found a winner with Secret’s new formula!

Clear, and free of harmful chemicals and dyes- this deodorant doesn’t leave marks on my clothes, smells light and pretty, and doesn’t feel greasy or gross after a couple of hours the way some other deodorants and antiperspirants do. I’m in love!

And I think that does it for the photograph-able stuff this month- but like they say in infomercials- “but wait, there’s more!”

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“Game of Thrones” – So I know we’re only two episodes into the final season, and I know I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this show over the years- but how good has it been so far? You can tell everyone involved is really trying to give this one a proper sendoff and actually care about doing it right- so even though this Sunday night’s episode is going to undoubtedly destroy me emotionally- I’m also super excited!

Okay, *now* I’m done!

Short and sweet- much like how the entire month of April felt- those were some of the things that particularly stood out for me.

I’m off to get things done at work before I check out for my half day at the office and run some errands- but I’ll be back on Tuesday! Here’s wishing you all a fun, safe and hopefully sunny weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: March 2019!

Good Evening and Happy Friday, everyone!

Today’s post is coming at you a little late in the day given how busy I’ve been this week. Within the past 24 hours I’ve been given a raise at my full-time job, found out a company shift has left me with a new team to work with- and applied for a lovely loft out in the Pioneer Valley (fingers crossed!)

Needless to say, I’m a little spent and plan on heading to bed early tonight before I head out to do my radio show tomorrow afternoon and spend an evening with my friend Duncan (who is visiting from Chicago for the second time this month! So excited!)

Before I put a sheet mask on and lay down- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month! In terms of items/products- there isn’t much since a lot of my favorite things from February carried over into this month, as well- but what I did choose has definitely made the last few weeks so much easier.

As always- here’s the stuff I was able to take pictures of, first!

Even though this large floral necklace can feel heavy at times- I’ve been wearing it so much this month because it’s bright and bold and yes- a little tacky. But it’s fun and gets me into a Spring frame of mind- which I so desperately need right now given we keep dipping back and forth into warm weather and then bitterly cold days.

While my wardrobe continually switches between light sweaters on one day and heavy wool coats the next- this necklace remains a constant reminder that sunnier days are coming!

And while I gotta’ hold out on the full coverage foundations until it’s officially BB Cream season- I’m still going into Spring mode with my makeup and this rosy pink matte lip paint from Tarte.

This shade, ‘OG’, is long-lasting, non-drying- and super flattering to my still pasty Winter skin tone. It’s not too pale, but not too bright- which makes it perfect to wear at work or when I’m out during the day and going for the minimal makeup look while I’m having lunch or running errands.

If you’re sensing a pink or floral theme this month- you’re not wrong. I got one of these rose sheet masks from Mamonde in a recent subscription box- and I fell in love with how soft and supple it made my sometimes dry skin feel.

And although skincare products with fragrance can sometimes irritate my face- this one did anything but. The rose scent was relaxing and quite pretty- and I didn’t have any redness or small bumps after I finally peeled it off to take on the rest of my night!

Finally, I’m a huge advocate for women and their sexual health- and I’m wary of promoting products I don’t personally use or stand by. That being said, QUEEN V is one of my favorite and affordable brands geared towards women, their sexual pleasure, and their reproductive health.

These daily supplements boost my immune system and digestion while simultaneously keeping *that* area well-balanced so that I’m always feeling on top of my game. 30 capsules is $19- which is a lot more reasonable than other one-a-day vitamins I’ve seen on the market!

And that’s it for the photogenic goods this month- but I’ve still got a couple more things that made the list!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘Captain Marvel’ – Despite man-babies everywhere doing the absolute most to try and stifle this movie’s success from behind their keyboards- I was elated that ‘Captain Marvel’ was such a box office smash because it’s super entertaining and so much fun to watch. Knowing how devastating ‘Avengers: Endgame” will undoubtedly be next month- this was such an uplifting superhero experience to watch well in advance!

‘Us’ – Speaking of excellent movies, does Jordan Peele know how to make AMAZING cinema or what? I have yet to see a skit or a movie he’s been involved with that hasn’t just been expertly shot and acted and I am always left awe-struck and anxiously waiting to see what he’s going to do next. ‘Us’ is super creepy, really unexpected- and could very well be one of the best movies of 2019!

‘What We Do In The Shadows’ – A recent addition, the series inspired by the movie premiered earlier this week on FX and you guys- it is side-splitting funny. For real. I was cracking up so bad within 2 minutes and it just got progressively funnier as time wore on. I can’t wait to see the series through to the finale.

And that’s it for March, you guys! Short and sweet and to the point!

I’m spinning tracks at Indie617 tomorrow from 12-4 before I prepare to wrap up the month with a pretty little bow on Sunday. Lots of stuff and many changes happened this month for me- and I’ll be sure to recap them all with my “In a Nutshell” post!

Enjoy the start of your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –