The Summer 2019 Bucket List Is Underway!

Good Evening, everyone!

It’s later than usual for me to update “Blondie Birdie,” and I had wanted to get this post up and running earlier this morning- but life happens, and work happens, and errands- and sometimes my schedule just doesn’t go as planned. I’m here, though- resting comfortably in my air conditioned apartment with a sheet mask and a cold glass of lemonade after a long day at the office.

And I’m happy to report that my Summer 2019 To-Do/Bucket List already has one thing scratched off of it!

When I first moved to the Valley, I had talked about wanting to explore pretty much anything and everything there was to do- from off-the-wall attractions, to theater, to parks and museums- and really good places to eat. I’ve grown familiar with certain spots in Northampton I frequent regularly for coffee or dinner- but this past weekend while I was out running errands I happened to pass by Captain Jack’s Roadside Shack in Easthampton that I’d heard about through the grapevine but had never actually visited before.

The place looked pretty busy but not overcrowded- and I was starving- so I stopped with the intention of ordering some fries and a lemonade or something light to get me through the remainder of my afernoon. But, then I saw their lobster rolls- and I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. I had to have one.


It was huge, delicious and worth every penny- and I loved the thin cut fries that came with it, too!

If seafood isn’t your thing, no worries- they also had chicken, burgers, pulled pork, and plenty of sides to choose from! And the portions are massive. I managed to power through the lobster roll and some of the fries but there was no way I could eat all of it on my own in one sitting!

I know I’ll definitely be heading back there soon (they have a crab roll that is calling my name) but for now- I’m just glad I got to scratch “eat a lobster roll” off of my Summer Goals list this early on! Next on the agenda? Hitting the beach, obviously!

A little later on this week I’m going to be sharing my favorite things from this past month. There’s a lot of makeup and hair care included now that the heat and the humidity have arrived here in New England- but I’ve found some great products I’ve been loving and I can’t wait to show them off!

Until then, though- enjoy your night and your Thursday! I’ll see you all again on Friday!


– Ashley –

Backyard BBQ Recipes: Mexican Street Corn Dip

When I was a kid, I was pretty easy to please at backyard BBQs and cookouts. Hot dogs? Cheeseburgers? Potato salad? Okay, sure- fine. I just wanted to jump in the pool with my little pink floaties strapped around my arms so I would eat pretty much anything that was put in front of me just to hurry up and get it over with so I could move onto the swimming part of the day (after waiting 30 minutes post-meal, of course!)

But now that I’m an adult who loves to cook and experiment with flavors, textures, and colors on my plate- those old standbys just don’t do it for me anymore. I need some variety- even if I have to prepare it and bring it to the party myself!

I found this great nacho/dip alternative online a few days ago while searching for recipes for different and/or unique dishes to bring to an upcoming Summertime get together my friends are having this coming weekend. The use of cotija cheese, corn kernels and lime really caught my attention and I had a trial run with the recipe this past Saturday afternoon to make sure it tasted as good as it sounded (Spoiler Alert: It absolutely does!)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups corn kernels (fresh or thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more as needed)
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges


  1. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  2. Add the corn and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the milk and cream and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese until it’s fully melted.
  4. Arrange the tortilla chips in an even layer on a platter, and pour the corn mixture evenly over it.
  5. Sprinkle the cilantro and cotija cheese evenly over the dip, and drizzle the sour cream across it. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper, then serve immediately with lime wedges.
  6. Sit back and bask in the glory of being the V.I.P. of the backyard BBQ!

The different cheeses, the cilantro, the corn and lime juice all blended really beautifully within this recipe- and the taste is a perfect mix of saltiness with just the right amount of sour for an extra tang on your tongue while you’re eating it. I shared this with family after preparing it and they enjoyed it just as much as I did- which is always a good sign!

The prep time for this dip is about 30-40 minutes- depending on how much of it you’re making- and it’s sure to be a hit at your next backyard BBQ, cookout, or beach party! I know I’m looking forward to making it (and eating it) again in the coming days!


– Ashley –

Summer Treats: Champagne and Strawberry Popsicles


Summer has finally and unquestionably arrived here in New England. After a few uncertain recent weeks of non-stop bitterly cold rain and Winter-esque temperature drops- the sun has been shining, the air is hot and humid- and more and more people have been coming out of hiding to brave the beach and get their suntan on.

Of course, with a much-missed season making it’s long overdue debut- a celebration is in order- and you can’t really have a celebration without champagne, can you? Don’t bother digging out the fine glassware and decorative flutes just yet- because this 21+ beach and/or pool party treat is a little less formal and a whole lot sweeter.

And don’t worry- if you don’t want alcohol in these popsicles- it’s easy enough to substitute other ingredients! I’ll give you a few tips!


  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 pint of ripe strawberries
  • 23 cup of champagne (you can substitute the champagne with fruit juice here, or if you still want the fizzy feel- try using flavored seltzer water, instead!)


  1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir the water until the sugar has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Dissolving the sugar has created a syrup, which will help the popsicles have a more smooth texture.
  3. Remove the green tops from the strawberries and puree your strawberries in a blender until they are completely smooth.
  4. Combine the sugar syrup, strawberries, and champagne. Use a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are completely mixed.
  5. Fill your popsicle molds and freeze the mixture until it is completely solid. This usually takes at least two hours, so you’ll have some time to run any errands (or if you’re like me- get a pedicure) before these pops are ready.
  6. Remove your popsicles from the mold, sit back on the nearest beach blanket or hammock- and enjoy!

These popsicles were really refreshing during this past weekend’s scorching heat- and were (naturally) a pretty big hit at brunch. Some friends suggested using the same recipe but creating ice cubes instead of popsicles to throw into chilled mimosas for some added flavor and an extra kick of boozy goodness at the next backyard BBQ or cook-out.

Of course, what makes these so easy is that you can puree pretty much any other type of fruit to give yourself and your guests a variety of flavors to enjoy. Oranges, coconuts, mangoes, bananas- the possibilities are endless but always tasty and tropical. As long as you make your water & sugar mixture/syrup base- you’re good to go!


– Ashley –