Makeup and Mini-Golf…

Makeup and Mini-Golf…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

As I had mentioned a bit earlier this week- my schedule got a bit hectic with work and some unexpected car repairs- and I’ve been playing a bit of catch-up ever since. Thankfully, things have seemed to calm down and my life (and posting schedule) can hopefully return to some sense of normalcy.

I mean, my life has never really been all that “normal”- but I’m sure you know what I mean.

Despite the chaos, I’ve still managed to have some fun. Last Sunday night, for example- was my friend Phill’s annual Summer-Slam party at his home in Salem. A group of us prepare our best WWE-themed snacks and head over to watch the PPV, eat loads of food, and laugh a LOT.

This year, I donned my best blonde wig to go as Charlotte Flair. My snack? WOOO!-pie pies, of course!

We always have a blast. Our next event will be in January for the Royal Rumble and I cannot wait.

Tuesday night saw a triumphant return- and my first since I was about nine years old- to Crystal Caves Mini Golf in Auburn, Massachusetts- just a few miles away from my hometown. Troy had been running some errands in the area while I was visiting my mom- and we decided to meet up for dinner, drinks and some friendly competition during a break in our evening.

Crystal Caves is exactly how I remember it- loaded with mosquitoes and right off of a loud and busy interstate- but we still had so much fun. I ended up losing by a mere 2 points- but I have a feeling the margaritas we’d indulged in earlier may have resulted in a miscount.

I’m going to set up a rematch eventually.

With the weekend pretty much here- I’m off to finish up work at the office, prepare for dinner with my family at my mom’s house tonight, get ready for my show on Indie617 tomorrow- and plotting some Sunday travel to Connecticut- weather permitting!

I’ll be back on Monday with some more Summer Bucket List fun.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

My Summer Makeup Routine!

My Summer Makeup Routine!

Good Afternoon and Happy “Hump Day,” everyone!

I had wanted to get this post up bright and early on Monday morning- since I’m one of those people who typically sticks to a pretty strict schedule in terms of work and writing- but life, distractions, and side-tracks happen. In this case, it was a bit of tire trouble with my car (see: completely flat!) and some last minute rearrangements at my office that required my full attention.

With the dust settling and my finishing a productive and peaceful half-day-work-from-home-day (the best kind of work day, really!) I wanted to share my makeup routine I’ve been swearing by throughout Summer 2019. I typically do these posts once every few months to share what I’m coveting during the given season- and it’s always fun to sort of compare/contrast what I’m wearing now to what I was wearing this time last year or the years before that.

If you’d like to sneak a peek into the past- I’ve linked everything here!

SUMMER: [ 2018 ]

FALL: [ 2018 ]

WINTER: [ 2019 ]

SPRING: [ 2019 ]

Now let’s get to it, shall we? It’s a beautiful day and I have a lot of stuff I want to do!

L’Oréal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream: In the Summer, when it’s hot and humid and my skin gets oily and shiny- the last thing I want to wear is a heavy foundation that is going to run right off of my face. I turn to lightweight BB creams- and I’ve found the most interesting concoction via L’Oréal.

This translucent BB cream (shown below in the swatches) applies as a white/pearl color- but quickly blends in with your skin’s natural tone and offers light-to-medium coverage that stays in place all day. My skin looks fresh, bright, even- and stays that way until I wash this off!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Physicians Formula “Healthy Powder” with SPF16: I always brush on a little finishing powder before I step out for the day since my skin had a tendency to get a little oily- especially in hotter weather/temperatures. This light-textured press powder with build-able coverage applies easily enough (without making me look chalky) and offers me much-needed sun protection along with Vitamins A, C and E while covering my pores and giving me a smooth, satin finish.

I keep this in my purse on especially hot days where I might need a little touchup in the T-Zone here and there.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Benefit Cosmetics GALifornia Powder Blush: I’ve been avoiding bronzers this Summer, opting for a more natural pink/peach flush in my cheeks when I head out to work, the beach, or out on the town with friends. I have been LOVING this blush- which has a bit of a golden tone to it- because it gives me a natural hint of sunkissed color without making me look *too* made up- and it compliments my current dirty blonde beach hair so perfectly.

If I’m ever feeling tired or groggy in the mornings (it happens to the best of us)- this blush never fails to make me look refreshed and recharged. Total game changer.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

ModelCo Eyelites in “St. Barts”: Much like opting for BB creams instead of foundations during the Summer, I opt for “set it and forget it” cream shadows in the Summer to prevent them from melting down my face when I’m outside and soaking up the sunshine. This golden/nude tone from ModelCo is by far my favorite- because it gives my lids a lovely bit of sparkle that I can dress up or down with bright eyeliners (I’ll get to that in a moment) or simply swipe on some mascara for an office-safe “every day” look.

Best of all? This shadow will NOT move. At all. It doesn’t flake, crease, run down onto your cheeks, etc. You dab it on and you are good to go all day and night.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

FENTY Beauty Eyeliner Trio in Papaya Mama, Lime Feva and Skinny Dip: Perhaps my favorite and most Summer-appropriate makeup pick comes courtesy of the fabulous and brilliant Rihanna and her beauty line. I mix and match these bright coral, lime and sea blue liners on the daily- and I’ve had people stop me to ask about them. They’re super pigmented, long-lasting- and match pretty much everything and anything you pair them with from your lips to your fingertips.

As much as I love Fall, I am going to be so sad when I eventually have to put these away and turn to more Autumnal shades for my lids- because these very well could be the best eyeliners I’ve ever purchased. Ever.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Kokie Cosmetics “Stay Dry” Waterproof Mascara: I don’t make it a habit to go swimming with a full-face of makeup on but honestly- you never know where a day is going to take you and I like to be prepared for anything- be it an impromptu dip in the pool/lake, a more-humid-than-expected day, or even a good cry over spilled ice cream (this actually happened.)

Kokie’s “Stay Dry” mascara does just that- protecting my lashes from the elements and keeping them long, curled and conditioned. This brand is definitely one of my favorite drug store finds.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Rimmel London “Stay Glossy” in “Ready To Flamingle”: Finally, Summer 2019 is all about bare lips with SPF-soaked balm or a quick sweep of a fun, pink/peach color. I’ve found that with this shade from Rimmel- which is long-lasting (without feeling sticky) and has just the right amount of sparkle to give my lips a fun pop of color for an evening out on the town.

This has been my go-to these past couple of months before I dip back into darker tones with matte finishes. And, of course- it’s an affordable drug store find!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

And, as promised- I always show swatches of what I wear to give you all a better idea of how the colors look outside the tubes and packaging. I’m on the fair side, of course- so these shades may not look the same on everyone!

And that just about does it for me, everyone. I’ve got to get going on some afternoon/evening plans- but I’ll be back on Friday morning with a look at all of the fun from this past weekend- and even some of these past few days despite all the scrambling around and unexpected calamity!

If you’d like to share some of your own Summer 2019 makeup favorites or suggestions- feel free to drop me a line!

Until then- enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and have a great few days ahead!

xx

– Ashley –

Into The Wild…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

While I’m not particularly thrilled at being back at work in my office so bright and early this morning- I had such a great weekend that I’m still running on that energy so not much can bring me down at this point. I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune by like, 11 a.m.- but right now I’m feeling fine.

Saturday was my usual afternoon routine, where I hosted my Indie617 show from 12-4 (and thanks to everyone who participated in a lively lyric discussion!)– but from there I went on to perform in a “Summer Showcase” dance and performance event in Salem for a studio I’ve been working closely with over these past few months. I presented a piece I wrote and directed myself- inspired by my struggles with depression, anxiety, self-doubt and ultimately acceptance of my flaws- and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

I haven’t mentioned my work there- or my performance- until now as I’d been extremely self-conscious and wanted to perfect it before I went ahead and shared it with the masses via additional shows or social media- but Saturday night’s reaction was definitely a confidence booster.

Yesterday, in the post-show glow-y haze I was in- Troy advised me he was picking me up and taking me to an unknown destination in The Berkshires and, specifically, New York. Never one to back down from an adventure in a new destination- I agreed.

After a long drive through picturesque towns like Stockbridge and Great Barrington (with lunch at The Marketplace on the way)– we reached our destination on the Massachusetts/New York line- Bash Bish Fallls. Or, as I kept calling it- “Bad Bitch Falls.”

The place was absolutely incredible- and worth the steep 20 minute hike to get to. The views were amazing, the water was super cold and clear, and it was the perfect way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon in August. I was on cloud nine.

Of course, I snapped some photos. You can click on them to enlarge them.

On the way back to Northampton and Greenfield- we stopped at the SoCo Creamery in Great Barrington for some ice cream (banana brownie 4eva) and to take in some more views of the town’s most famous street/shopping area. It’s a super cute town with a lot of bouji boutiques and restaurants- but I enjoyed my time there and wouldn’t mind visiting again.

Overall, I had a really perfect weekend and I wish it could have extended another few days- although I do have tomorrow off and a half day on Wednesday- so here’s hoping I can keep that late Summer magic and adventurous energy going strong.

I’ve got to get started on my work for the week, but I’ll be back on Wednesday morning with more updates from the road. Here’s wishing you all a peaceful and stress-free beginning of the work-week ahead!

xx

– Ashley –

“If you leave the light on- then I’ll leave the light on…”

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We did it! The week is pretty much over!

Have you ever had a day/night that was so perfect- just a whirlwind of excitement, unexpected moments, picturesque scenery, incredible company and, if you’re lucky- a fantastic soundtrack to back all of it up- that when the night is over you can’t sleep because you just don’t want any of it to end?

I’ve had a few nights like that throughout my life- but this past Tuesday night was definitely one of them and a really wonderful way to wrap up July.

I’ve never been to MASS MoCA before- which is now a good 45 minutes away from me as opposed to the 2+ hours away it was before I moved. So, when Troy extended an invitation last week for me to come see Maggie Rogers perform there this past Tuesday night- I jumped at the chance. The weather was going to be beautiful (I’ll get to that momentarily) and there’s really nothing quite like spending a beautiful Summer night listening to good music in a new place and with someone you absolutely cherish who can make you laugh ’til it hurts. It’s magic.

The drive to MASS MoCA took us through a portion of the Mohawk Trail- which was absolutely incredible. I’m pretty sure I stayed glued to my window like someone who had never seen rocks and trees before but it was breathtaking and exploring more of it is definitely on my “Summer 2019 Bucket List” now.

The stage/show itself was set in an outdoor courtyard looking area of the museum- between a series of wings of contemporary art. It was a really unique setup that provided great surround sound as we settled in and watched the opening band. It *also* provided a pretty good few of a storm that was starting to roll in from the distance.

By the time Maggie took the stage, we had what looked like a heat lightning storm looming overhead. It didn’t look/feel dangerous- almost like fireworks- but we had been warned that if things started to take a turn for the worse, the show would be delayed until everyone got the okay to return to their designated seating/standing areas.

Sure enough- the storm got worse mid-set, and we were told we’d have to take refuge in the museum until it blew over. We were ushered into one of the wings just as the torrential downpour started- with way more severe lightning.

But, we’re not quitters- we never have been- and we used the time to walk around the wing of the museum we were being kept in (so I essentially got to see some art for free- always appreciated!) before the Powers That Be deemed it was safe enough to go back outside. Maggie, bless her heart- was a trooper and finished her set spectacularly even with some light drizzle and fog. It was incredible.

And even though I was feeling pretty tired while working from home on Wednesday morning- and certainly looked a little haggard pre-coffee- it was without question one of the best nights of 2019 thus far and I’m so, so thankful to Troy for bringing me along for the experience.

While I didn’t have my “professional” camera on me (it’s so heavy!) I did manage to snap some photos throughout the chaos with my phone. You know the drill- click on a photo to enlarge!

I’m thinking of heading to MASS MoCA on the next rainy day to see the rest of the museum since I was so captivated by the wing I had been hiding out during the storm. I’m itching to see what else there is to check out!

But for now- I’m off to get started on my work day. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be hosting my usual 12-4 show on Indie617 before I head on over to Salem for a performance and prepare for a little post-show pampering Sunday morning!

See you all again on Monday. Have a great weekend!

xx

– Ashley –

July 2019: In a Nutshell

Good Afternoon and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

While posting this late in the day always makes me feel a bit unproductive- I’ve actually been anything but. I’ve been working from home since 7:30 this morning after a super fun (but super late) night out last night. I’ve been running on fumes but getting SO much done today!

Not bad for someone who hasn’t even had coffee or a shower yet, right? Gross, I know- but that’s next on my “To Do” list for today.

Speaking of “To Do” lists- my Summer 2019 Bucket List is still chock full of things I want to accomplish in these final hazy, humid August weeks ahead before September and Fall creep up on us as they always do. Autumn may be my favorite season, but that’s not to say I don’t love the Summertime, too!

With tomorrow marking the first day of a new month, it’s that time where I look back on the last few weeks and recap the highs and lows of the month that was- and July was full of them.

I started the month by meeting my neighbors and making new friends at a community potluck for the 4th of July– and cooling off at what has quickly become one of my favorite spots in the Valley after I was introduced to it by a friend last Summer while I was visiting the area. I’ve returned to Ashfield Lake multiple times this month- especially when New England was being gripped day after day by heatwaves and scorching temperatures.

I also began to further plant some roots in my community as I embraced and attended the Green River Festival– which takes place a short walking distance (and drive) away from my apartment. Although I had only gone for the day- I had a wonderful time in the sunshine listening to music, eating fun food and buying cute clothes.

Of course, July isn’t without sad memories and reflection. This past month marked seven long years since my father passed away, and I opened up to pen a tell-all about the aftermath, the trauma, and the recovery with losing someone you’re close with so abruptly.

Additionally, work was difficult this month- both at my full-time job where tensions are running higher than the temperatures outside between co-workers, supervisors and at times- myself- but also within the Pioneer Valley theater community where I am preparing to ride out the last few shows of my contracted season while simultaneously juggling a plethora of other responsibilities.

And to top it all off- I got an insane flu during what have been the hottest days of the year to date. I was miserable- but thankfully was able to bounce back without a trip to the ER.

All in all? July left me TIRED, y’all!

But August is just a few hours away, and I’ve edited/re-tweaked my Summer Bucket List to better balance with my still hectic schedule. There’s a lot of fun things I’m determined to do/see and I’m excited to finally get around to it- starting this coming weekend- and of course I’ll take plenty of pictures along the way!

So although July was an emotional, physical, and mental roller coaster at times- it wasn’t all bad. It had it’s wonderful moments between sticky days, sweaty nights, sunburns and sneezing fits. I’ll cheers to the good times, for sure!

But I’m also going to toast to August- a new month filled with new possibilities that I hope is good to us all and doesn’t require nearly as much air conditioning to feel comfortable as July did.

And If you’re in need of some late Summer assistance- don’t forget to:

GIVE MY SUMMER 2019 PLAYLIST A LISTEN!

TRY SOME OF MY RECENT SUMMER-INSPIRED RECIPES!

And also go see a movie because there’s so many good things playing right now. Popcorn AND A/C? Yes please!

I’ll be back on Friday with a look at last night’s shenanigans. Enjoy your “Hump Day”, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –