OOTD: Dressed-Down Dog Walking…

OOTD: Dressed-Down Dog Walking…

Good Morning and Happy “Hump Day”, everyone!

Although next Monday is the sort of unofficial “First Day of Summer” with Memorial Day, the past few days have been hot, dry, loaded with on/off thunderstorms- and super sunny- so I think it’s safe to say we may have skipped right over Spring this year in New England and just went straight for Summertime, instead.

It’s not that I mind, really- except that it makes dressing practical and comfortably a little tricky with rising temps and blustery winds whenever a storm rolls though. Luckily, I have a fail-proof set of Late-Spring-Early-Summer outfits for such occasions/forecasts- and I happened to be wearing one on a windier day earlier this week while I checked in on Oliver and took him for a walk.

The ensemble isn’t exactly groundbreaking- skinny jeans or Capri pants with a bright tank top, a lightweight cardigan and comfortable flats/sneakers. It’s the essential errand/lounging/casual hang out outfit that women have made look sensational for years- but I’m quite fond of this outfit in particular because everything was purchased at Old Navy and cost under $60.

I just moved, guys- I need to grab good deals when I find them!

Also- I am absolutely feeling all things marigold lately- so this tank top is my new “gonna’ wear this ’til it gets destroyed” article of clothing.

And you may not be able to see it in the brightness of these photos or because Oliver is just the cutest ever- but I found a new set of stacked bracelets I’ve fallen head over heels in love with courtesy of Pura Vida. This stack in particular is their 2019 collection, “Dreaming Outloud”- a Summer-inspired set of colors and charms (including a VW bus- my favorite!)

Pura Vida help generate jobs and income for artisans around the globe- while donating a portion of their proceeds to numerous charities worldwide. I love independent fashion and accessory brands that give back and do something positive for their communities while simultaneously creating cute things I love to wear all the time- so I’ll be buying more in the future from this company for sure.

These bracelets will also- most certainly- make my “Favorites” list for May!

But that does it for me today, everyone. There’s lots of work to be done at the office this morning and lots of preparation to go into this upcoming long weekend! I’m looking forward to touching base on Friday before I head back into the city for Boston Calling!

Enjoy your Wednesday, everybody! Be good to one another!

xx

– Ashley –

My Spring Makeup Routine!

My Spring Makeup Routine!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I had wanted to post this past Wednesday, but after my flight was delayed on Tuesday- resulting in me getting home from Vegas much later than expected- I spent the day sleeping in and getting the last of my things packed for tomorrow’s big move. I keep trying to psyche myself up by saying I’m ready and haven’t forgotten anything- but I’m admittedly pretty nervous and I’m 99.999% sure I’m leaving something behind and won’t think of it until three or four days from now.

I digress- it’s the weekend and as busy as it’s going to be- I wanted to share something light and upbeat. I’m not talking about recipes or off-the-wall New England destinations this time- but my Spring makeup routine! These are the products I’ve been wearing non-stop since mid-March- and are going to carry me into the Summer and all the heat and humidity that comes with it!

I’ve done similar posts like this during past seasons, of course. For some quick links to check ’em out- here you go!

But enough delays. Let’s get on with it! From left to right in the image above:

Sephora Collection 10 Hour Wear Perfection Foundation: I love my Fenty foundation in the Fall and the Winter- but come Spring when my skin varies back and forth between being dry and oily and back again- I need something a little less heavy, still oil & fragrance free- and with a natural finish so I don’t look overly made up if I start to sweat.

This medium-coverage, lightweight foundation from Sephora keeps my skin looking and feeling flawless, lasts for hours- and is reasonably priced- making it my must-have this time of year when I want to look natural without breaking the bank.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser/Concealer: On the days, like Wednesday- when I’m feeling overly tired and the dark circles under my eyes aren’t doing me any favors- I slather on this concealer to smooth my skin, brighten my complexion and hide any imperfections around my eyes and face if I’m seeing any redness or blemishes after a rough couple of nights.

I love the longevity and the lightweight feel of this concealer- which blends easily and dries to a natural, “am I wearing makeup or not?” finish. Best of all? It’s only $10.00

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder Foundation: I don’t use this powder all over my face since it would undoubtedly make me look a little too chalky- but I do apply it in the mornings after I apply my liquid makeup as a shine reducer in my T-Zone and it does wonders! The formula, much like Sephora’s liquid foundation- is lightweight and has a natural finish- so my pores never get clogged and I never look like I’m wearing a ton of makeup.

I carry this powder with me for touch-ups throughout the day, as well- and it’s a life-saver on more hot and humid days for sure!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

ModelCo Eyeshadow Trio in “Mykonos”: Last Spring, I was all about lavender liners and baby pink blush- however this year I’ve been gravitating towards deeper, darker colors for my eyes and lighter, more golden hues for my cheeks. This trio from ModelCo, which I had received in a subscription box a couple of months ago- has quickly become one of my favorites- particularly the peachy highlighter shade and the deep rosy/red color for my crease.

This trio has a subtle amount of shimmer, is easy to blend, and makes my blue eyes pop when I blend the colors together for an all-day look that’s suitable for my office or out on the town. I’ll have some swatches below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Wander Beauty “Mile High Club” Mascara: I finally took a break from my Kush mascara and have fallen in love with a light, lengthening and volumizing mascara (in pretty gold packaging!) from Wander Beauty. Cruelty and Gluten-free, this mascara glides on easily with a brush that hugs every lash- coating them with a conditioning formula that softens as it gives my eyes a fun, flake-free bit of flair.

I can also attest to it’s staying power- since I’ve been doing my fair share of crying while I’ve been packing in recent days/weeks. It stays put!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Benefit Cosmetics “Dandelion Twinkle” Powder Highlighter: I’ve been skipping rosy blushes this time of year for a more subtle, nude shimmer/shine across my cheekbones. I am in love with this pretty little powder from Benefit- which gives me a beautiful glow that really shines when the light hits it right- and fits right in my pocket!

On days when I’m in a rush, I also like to apply a little bit of this by my brow bone, down the bridge of my nose and my chin- to give me a sunkissed look without the harmful UV rays! There’s a swatch below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Sephora Lip Stories in “Oui!”: And finally, to finish off a face of Spring-inspired makeup- I swipe on some of this satin-finished dusty rose lipstick from Sephora (only $8!) that softens my lips and makes them look fuller and plumper. I’m addicted to this long-lasting formula- which doesn’t get dry or patchy as the day wears on- and requires only minimal reapplications from time to time!

And of course, I have a swatch below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

And as promised, here are the swatches!

I know that once Summer is here- I’ll be incorporating a lot more neon and bright colors into my wardrobe and makeup- since I’ve already started collecting some! I can’t wait to share it!

But that does it for me today. It’s my half day at work- and then tomorrow I am off to begin my new life in the Pioneer Valley! I’ll be back next week with some updates from the new apartment, a peek into my newly renovated closet- and maybe a recipe or two to share from my spacious kitchen that I’m excited to cook in!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful and safe weekend ahead!

xx

– Ashley –

April 2019: In a Nutshell

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I had mentioned last Friday that the posting schedule would be a short one this week- mostly due to the way the end of the month fell and my other obligations over the next few days as I prepare for my West Coast vacation and my move (!!!)

April has been insanely busy, surprising and filled with new and exciting changes from start to finish- a theme I foresee carrying over into May and possibly June, as well. The biggest news of all, of course- is that I’ll be moving from the city and out to the Pioneer Valley (and into a lovely loft) within a couple of weeks after quietly and discreetly looking around the area and coordinating the arrangements before I finally got to make the big announcement recently when I’d signed my lease agreement and it was official!

I’m so excited to share my new neighborhood, community and discoveries/explorations as I adapt to life in an absolutely beautiful, picturesque area of the state! I recently shared one of my favorite places (so far!) during one of my last trips out to the soon-to-be-apartment- The Montague Bookmill!

There have been some changes at my full-time job, as well- including a new office space after there was a readjustment and realignment within the company that left some of my co-workers in different departments. I am, admittedly, still adjusting to those changes since I’m now working with an entirely different team that I’m still getting to know over these past couple of weeks- but so far, so good!

As always, I spent time with friends- including ones visiting from out of state and ones that just moved a little further away- and my family, as well. Easter was particularly fun and laid back– and despite all the changes I’ve been adapting to- of course I still had time to talk about the most recent season of “The Walking Dead.” Priorities!

So, with April packaged up nicely with a bow- what’s in store for May? The move, obviously- but next week I venture out to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada (with a quick pit stop in San Diego, California) to spend some long overdue time with my West Coast Wife and her daughter. I’ve also got some fun Memorial Day Weekend plans lined up- as well as my usual assortment of recipes, OOTD/Fashion posts and recaps of nights out in and around the area.

I’m so excited for the coming weeks and hope you’ll all join me here and on my social media as I share my journey(s). April was a great month for making big decisions and taking huge steps towards goals and opportunities- and I’m sorry it has to end so soon!

I’m off to work for the day, but I’ll be back on Thursday with some updates from the family theater company I’ve been working with, as well as some odds and ends before the posting schedule returns to normal next week.

Here’s wishing you all a great day!

xx

– Ashley –

Monday, Monday…

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

I suppose I can’t complain too much since I have the day off from work- and with Friday being my half day- it’s shaping up to be a quick, easy and painless week at the office for me. Although the sun seems to be indecisive this morning as to whether it wants to come out or not- it’s warm out and I’ve got a lovely drive ahead of me. Not to/from Montpelier, Vermont as originally planned- since there was a change in scheduling (I’ll get to in a minute)– but to meet with my soon-to-be-landlord at my soon-to-be-new-apartment to go over some final details.

I’ll also be taking the remainder of the afternoon to visit one of my favorite places in the Valley and, more specifically- Montague, Massachusetts. It’s been ages since I’ve been and today seems like just as good a time as any to go!

Don’t worry- I’ll have the photos/recap up shortly. It’s one of my favorite well-kept-secrets out in Western Mass!

Did everyone who celebrated Easter have a good one? I’m still a bit sluggish from the huge dinner I had at my mom’s house last night- but the company was great and the weather was perfect. The only downside I can think of is that we were missing a few people due to unexpected illnesses and last minute scheduling conflicts- including my uncle who I had been preparing to pick up in Vermont and bring down to stay with my family for the weekend. He couldn’t make it- although there’s talk of planning a Summer cookout/BBQ for his birthday to make up for it, instead.

Regardless, we all had a wonderful time and I have enough leftovers to last me a few days- which is always appreciated. I even managed to dress Oliver up in his Sunday best for the occasion!

He looks like he’s ready to lead the Debate Team to victory.

As April winds down over the next few days and we prepare for May- I’m also preparing for a week-long trip to the West Coast in a couple of weeks, my move to the Valley, the Boston Calling Festival and other late Spring/early Summer plans and travel I have lined up locally. There’s so much happening and I’m just trying to take it day by day and not burn myself out!

Later on this week I’ll have the photos from my adventure in Montague this afternoon up and running, and then on Friday I’ll be sharing some of my favorite things/items/products/odds and ends/etc. from this past month.

Here’s hoping you all have an easy and stress-free start to your week! I’ll be back on Wednesday!

xx

– Ashley –

Pre-Easter Prep

Good Morning and Happy (Good) Friday, everyone!

I’m not a particularly religious person. My family, rooted in Catholicism since way back when- have grown considerably more lax in our religious beliefs than say, my grandparents or my great-grandparents were in their day. While Easter was all about God and Jesus and uncomfortable, overly-starched frilly dresses or suits for my parents when they were little- they’ve thankfully raised my brothers and I to just make it all about food, fun, and being with family.

A holiday I can get behind, really!

This weekend- which will be spent at my mother’s house- is going to be a bit chaotic, to say the least. In-between all the cooking, cleaning, and decorating- I’m also taking on the responsibility of picking up and bringing back family members who reside way up North in Vermont- more than a few hours away. I don’t mind, since it’s a lovely drive and Spring has sprung and all- but it’ll take place in-between my gig at Indie617 on Saturday and work obligations on Monday.

Needless to say I’m going to need one serious power nap come Monday afternoon/evening- but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. For now, I’m just excited to see my family again before my big move next month! It’s going to be a bit time consuming and hectic around that time- so I’m looking forward to the calm before the storm where I can eat, drink, laugh and catch up with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.

I’ve got some fun photos, re-caps, and my “Monthly Favorites” to share next week when I return to Blondie Birdie bright and early post-holiday on Monday morning- but I’ve got some handy links for those of you who are still getting your Easter breakfasts/brunches/dinners together that I hope will help!

That just about does it for me this week. I’ve got to get going at work and get ready for some plans I have later on today/tonight out in Western Massachusetts.

I hope you all have a fun, safe, candy-filled Easter! I’ll see you all again on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –