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 –

March 2018: In a Nutshell

Brooklyn, New York. March 2018

Good Morning, everyone! Here’s to it finally being the weekend!

It always feels a little odd updating on a Saturday- especially so soon after my monthly favorites post went up only yesterday morning- but it’s the last day of March and attention must be paid!

March started off pretty crazy- bringing four severe blizzards and a ton of coastal flooding within a two week span here in New England- but over the past few days it seems to have warmed up considerably. There’s still some snow remaining on the ground, but it’s slowly melting away with each sunny day that passes! What’s that saying? “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb”? That basically sums up the weather in March where I live.

And although a lot of my time was spent shoveling my way out from beneath feet of snow day after day- I did manage to get out into the world and have some fun, too! March saw my take a long overdue trip to NYC to celebrate David Bowie, as well as take to the streets here at home to call for sensible gun legislation on March 24th’s Nationally organized “March for Our Lives” protest.  I wore my greenest-greens for St. Patrick’s Day (and am now sporting my Lavender-est Lavenders for the season!) while phasing out my Winter wardrobe to make room for my lighter, more colorful Spring-appropriate ensembles. I spent time with friends, made sure to pencil in dinners with my family- and went on a couple of dates that were a lot of fun.

Tomorrow is Easter- and April Fools Day- and from there I have a lot of fun things planned for the coming month: including another trip to Brooklyn to see the cherry blossoms, a ‘Wrestlemania’ party at my friend’s apartment next weekend, some outdoorsy posts now that the warmer weather is en route, a dive back into Urban Exploration photography with some new locations I’ve recently come across, a few delicious (and healthy!) recipes to share for those who need some help getting out of the Winter funk and who want to get motivated again- and finally- some of my favorite fashion/accessories for the Spring!

I had every intention of opening up my closet to the world this past month- but those aforementioned snowstorms caused my Winter wardrobe to hang around just a little while longer.

But for now I’m off to run some errands and start cooking/baking for tomorrow’s big family dinner. Be sure to peep my Instagram for photos along the way!

For those of you celebrating- have a wonderful Easter- and a great weekend, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: March 2018!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve had a pretty busy week- both at the office and in the evenings after work where I’ve been going to various social functions/meet-ups- so I am admittedly pretty tired. I’ve really been looking forward to the weekend so I can kick back, relax, and spend some time with my family on Easter (all while eating way too much food, of course)– but wanted to share a few of my favorite things from March, first- before my “In a Nutshell” month-in-review post goes up tomorrow morning.

March was a bit tricky in terms of favorites- and a lot of it had to do with the weather here in New England. Some days were spent buried under feet of snow while others were spent out and about in nothing more than t-shirts or light sweaters, soaking up the sun. Many of my favorite items from January and February carried over as I tried to keep warm- and then some days newer, more Spring-appropriate things would find their way into my daily regimen.

I was able to narrow my list down to the essentials, however- and I’m hoping that there will be plenty more floral print and pastels to share when it comes time to write about my favorite things for April! I’m praying Spring is finally here to stay for a while!

Although my leopard print coat still got plenty of wear this past month, I also found a new favorite in this gold moto jacket throughout March, too. Form-fitting and eye-catching, this coat kept me warm on cooler days and dressed up even the most basic or “boring” of office ensembles.

I paired it with everything- flared jeans and t-shirts, maxi dresses with boots, jumpsuits with wide-brimmed hats. It just looks so effortlessly cool and dare I say- futuristic- and I know I’ll be wearing it well into April, as well!

March also marked my picking up a new David Bowie t-shirt while I was visiting Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago- and I’ve been wearing it pretty much non-stop on my days off as part of my usual “band tee and comfortable jeans” Weekend Uniform. It’s soft and baggy- which is exactly what I look for when I simply want to be comfortable while running errands or just hanging out in casual settings.

I can’t stress it enough- if you can make it to the Brooklyn Museum anytime soon- you have to check out the “David Bowie Is” exhibit! So worth the ticket price and the lines to get in!

While I’m still experimenting with new colors for the Spring (hello, lavender lipstick)– two products rarely left my face or my makeup bag throughout March- and both were so bright and so fun that at times I felt like I was getting dolled up for a pool party in the middle of Summer.

The first, a cool metallic blue/teal eye liner from Sephora– made my eyes pop and added an unexpected swipe of color along my lash line and against otherwise muted, subtle shadow shades. I love the hue and it’s longevity- which when applied over a primer- lasts all day and well into the night.

And, on my lips- ‘Yacht Week’ by Tarte– a really bright and slightly iridescent orchid/pink/purple shade. The formula is long-lasting and moisturizing, so this color doesn’t dry my lips out or bleed out to the edges of my mouth and leave it looking patchy. Instead, it hydrates my lips and keeps them looking bright and sparkly for hours. I’m in love with this color!

Exfoliation is key- especially in those weeks that transition us from Winter to Spring. Me, personally? I’m prone to dry patches and breakouts when the weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind- but proper exfoliation can slough away dead skin cells and make it easier for my moisturizers/lotions to sink deep into my pores and keep me feeling comfortable and looking dewy fresh.

I have been head over heels in love with the new, gentle exfoliating body scrubs by Dove– particularly this macadamia and rice milk one because it smells like heaven. I use the scrub every 3-4 days, and it’s gentle enough not to strip my body of essential oils- but effective enough to smooth my skin and keep it soft between uses.

It’s also super affordable and can be found at pretty much every drug store/pharmacy- so consider me a devoted fan!

And, with that marking the end of the photogenic items/products- let’s get into some of the other things I loved throughout March!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

Franz Ferdinand: ‘Always Ascending’ – Although this album was released in early February, I wanted to give it a few spins before I weighed in on it, first. I’m a big Franz Ferdinand fan- and it’s always so exciting when they suddenly release an album every few years. Although a couple of the tracks on this one took a little while to grow on me (‘The Academy Award’, for example)– the rest of the album has a sort of dark, discotheque feel to it- and I’m really, really into it!

MGMT: ‘Little Dark Age’ – Another early February release by another one of my favorite bands- MGMT were the light, poppy counterpart to Franz Ferdinand’s dark broodiness throughout my morning commute soundtrack. I’ve been listening to this one, track for track, for the better part of the month now and it’s still just as good as the first time around! I’m really excited to see these guys live soon.

‘Flip or Flop: Las Vegas’ – One of my guiltiest pleasures, really- and not just because I’m moving to Vegas. The couple who star in this obviously-edited-heavily-for-HGTV series spend the bare minimum to fix up houses that otherwise should be condemned due to how dangerous and neglected they are- and then they decorate them in the most gaudy, tacky ways imaginable and try to sell them. It’s an absolute train wreck- but one I can’t turn away from for the life of me!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

Starbucks’ Iced Hazelnut Mocha Coconut Milk Macchiato – If you can get past the ridiculous name when ordering this one, you won’t regret it. I had every intention of cutting back on caffeine this Spring- but then Starbucks came out with this combination of the best flavors ever and I can’t stop drinking them.

And I think that’s it, everyone! I’ll see you all again here tomorrow when I talk about the month overall- but until then- enjoy your Friday!

xx

– Ashley –