OOTD: Elf on the Shelf…

Good Morning and Happy Thursday, everyone!

This week and throughout this weekend is jam packed with holiday parties and get togethers with family and friends- including dinners, gift exchanges, etc. Tomorrow, as is tradition- is my office’s “Ugly Holiday Sweater Day”- and although I’ve had some trusted favorites to fall back on in the past, this year I’ve got a new contender in my closet to show off!

This over-sized sweater, a gift from Troy in preparation for this year’s holiday cards- is covered in sequins, bells, different colors and fuzzy stuff- and I absolutely love it. From the peppermint striped sleeves and buttons to the sparkly collar to the illusion of it being belted. It’s adorable and hideous all at once.

I’ve worn this a couple of times since receiving it- and it’s easy to dress up or down. My go-to is a pair of skinny jeans, my knee-high boots and a green velvet Santa hat (with tiny rhinestones sewn into the white cotton- which you may not be able to see in the photos!)

Best of all- the sweater is surprisingly comfortable- not itchy or smothering at all.

I’m gonna’ wear this around this time next year, too.

Next week on the blog I’ll be sharing my favorite things from December 2019, and revisiting my top favorite photos from this past year, as well. I’ll certainly be posting before Christmas Day- so here’s to a fun, safe, stress-free weekend ahead!

Be good to each other out there, everybody!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: November 2019!

Good Morning and Happy (Black) Friday, everyone!

I had wanted to get this post up yesterday morning before making the journey to my family’s home back East for Thanksgiving- but as most of you know- the holidays can get pretty crazy. Blogging had to temporarily be put on the back burner so I could focus on retrieving a pre-ordered chocolate pie and packing up some presents to get on the road in time!

But I’ve since made it back to the Valley and slept in nice and late this morning to dream away the stuffing and mashed potatoes I over-indulged in last night- and avoid the Black Friday crowds in the early A.M. hours!

I’m going to be heading out in a little while to grab a much-needed coffee and try to get a jump on my holiday shopping- but before I do- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month as we enter the final couple of days of November and the end of 2019 is officially upon us!

This month’s list is short and sweet- since a lot of my Fall favorites from September and October carried over into these past weeks as well- but some new things made the list that I’m excited to talk about!

Let’s take a look!

Earlier this month, I revisited my PS4 since colder/snowier weather is on the way and in the event I should be confined to my apartment- I’m going to need something to keep me entertained until the roads are clear (and there’s only so much Netflix a person can watch.) Troy, who appeared to be in the same mindset- surprised me with these wireless surround sound headphones from Turtle Beach a few weeks ago to take our online gaming to the next level.

They work awesome, and I’ve been having so much fun with late night GTA and “Resident Evil” sessions with some help from these. I haven’t tried them with a game that will be making an appearance a little later on in the post- but I should- since surround sound might help me understand the story a bit better!

To save myself time and money in the mornings before work, I’ve been living the K-Cup life. The problem is- sometimes they can taste really, really gross and you have to liven them up with some flavored creamer or sugar in order to get your caffeine fix without gagging.

I finally found a good (albeit limited time only!) creamer from International Delights that actually tastes like what it’s supposed to- French Toast!

As part of their Holiday 2019 flavors- I should really consider stocking up on this before it’s gone. It tastes really good, and just a splash of it in my coffee can make even the most stale K-Cup bearable.

One of my stops today- and probably not until much later on this evening- may be Kohl’s so that I can try and stock up on more of these knee-high wool socks- which have gotten me through the rainier, colder days this past November!

Thick without making my boots feel tight/uncomfortable, and high enough to wear over or under my jeans or leggings- these socks keep my legs and feet dry and warm regardless of how much time I spend outdoors. They’re super soft, too- which is always nice this time of year when my skin tends to get on the dry side.

Here’s hoping the Black Friday crowds left some for me!

As I prepare to decorate my apartment for the holidays- I’m also focused on making it a bit warmer and cozier for myself and guests who stop by when it’s frigid out. For myself when I go to bed- I want to be toasty and cozy- and I have been loving (and living in) these flannel sheets from Cuddl Duds throughout November.

With a very cute, cabin-inspired patchwork print- these sheets have made my bedroom look like a rustic little Christmastime getaway. I’m thinking I might try to stock up on more of these tonight, too!

And I think that’s it for the photogenic favorites- but I’ve got a few more things that made the list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

Living the Hozier Life – Where October was all about Bon Iver and experiencing their Boston show from the front row- November was all about going on a mini-Hozier tour with people I adore and enjoying a few days off from work to celebrate good music, beautiful venues, and a weekend of firsts.

My VIP passes are proudly on display in my apartment right now.

– GAMES/TECH/APPS –

“Death Stranding” – Okay, so I have *no* idea what is even happening right now- but I love this game and I love listening to Mads Mikkelsen say “bee-bee” over and over. So, although I haven’t beaten it yet- I’m on the side of the fence of a very divided nation that thinks this is a pretty good, compelling, and odd video game to pass the time with!

And that just about does it for my November faves, everyone! Tomorrow morning on the blog I’ll have my full recap of this past month that was before it’s time to dive headfirst into Christmas, wrapping up this decade, and New Year’s Eve!

The next few weeks are going to be insanely busy- but fun and reflective- so I’m looking forward to a little downtime this coming weekend before we get into the thick of the seasonal spirit!

Before that, though- enjoy your Friday! Be safe out there- and more importantly- be good to one another!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: February 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It’s a short posting week for me- both because of how busy my schedule is over the next couple of days and also because of the way the last day of the month and the first day of March falls. Before I jump into Daylight Savings Time, Saint Patrick’s Day, and the beginning of Spring- I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from February- including some skin care, makeup, and a book I have not been able to put down since I started reading it about a week or so ago!

My full re-cap of the month will be up on Thursday- but until then- here’s my Favorites from February 2019!

And, as usual- the other odds and ends that I couldn’t quite capture with a camera will follow the photos and details below.

Every few months, when I’m running low on body wash and lotions- I like to stop by Bath & Body Works to take advantage of their “Buy 3/Get 3 Free” sales (such a good deal!) and stock up. With Winter winding down and my bottles and containers of pumpkin and mint-scented body care nearly empty- I’ve got Spring and floral scents on my mind.

To leap into a new season and a new fragrance, I made my semi-annual trip earlier this month and picked up the newest addition to their collection- the ‘Rose’ body wash, lotion, and perfume mist. The scent, which is a lovely combination of rose, jasmine and musk- is sweet and light- not heavy and overpowering.

It’s perfect for this time of year and I look forward to using it every morning when I’m getting ready to start my day!

With an impending change in the seasons ahead- I’ll undoubtedly need to re-tweak my skin/hair care routine and products to stay ahead of the temperature and climate shifts here in New England. Until then, however- I’ve got to keep myself hydrated and protected against the still bitter cold that has remained strong and fierce where I live.

Lately I’ve been incorporating an extra step into my morning and evening skin care- this Vitamin C-loaded and lightweight ‘C.E.O. Glow’ serum from Sunday Riley. A couple of drops covers my entire face post-toning and pre-moisturizer- and the result is a softer, smoother, noticeably brighter complexion.

My skin feels amazing after I apply this stuff- and since I began using it earlier this month- I’ve noticed that some darker spots that typically pop up during PMS vanished in a matter of days and haven’t been back since. Consider me a lifelong fan!

With February being the month of all things Valentine’s Day, it should come as no surprise that I turned to a lot of pinks and reds with my makeup, fashion and accessories choices over the past few weeks. Two of my favorites- for my lips and my nails, respectively- were bright, fun- and got a lot of compliments.

First, I looked no further for a bold, neon pink lip than Fenty’s Stunna Lip Paint in their latest shade, “Unlocked”. Super pigmented, non-drying, and ultra long-lasting (my lips stay slightly tinted for a day or so after I take this off with makeup remover- that’s how strong it is!)– this liquid-to-matte lipstick definitely turns heads and had me feeling a bit more romantic each time I wore it.

Not to be outdone, I relied on NCLA’s red/pink polish in “Call My Agent” to get my digits through the month of February unscathed. I love this Vegan and cruelty-free cream polish- which adds so much color and shine to my nails without all the harmful chemicals.

Best of all? It’s pretty resilient, too-which means I don’t need to touch up my nails every couple of hours!

This absolutely adorable red beret with floral accents made an appearance on Blondie Birdie last week, and it is definitely one of my favorite accessories from this past month. I wear it everywhere- and will probably continue to do so right up until the moment Spring is here to stay.

The hat, a gift from a friend of mine, is just the right amount of vintage and cutesy charm to make me look like a starlett from the Classical Hollywood era whenever I have it on. It goes with everything, too- from wool coats to fancy sweaters to jeans and t-shirts on my more casual days.

I love the fit, the color, and the flowers that stand out along the side!

A show that made the ‘Favorites’ cut this month (which I’ll get to in just a moment) was inspired by the memoir and fascinating true life/true crime story I’ve been lowkey obsessed with for a while now. Fauna Hodel, granddaughter of the notorious George Hodel- a prominent physician and aristocrat in Los Angeles during the 30s and 40s who was thought to be the perpetrator behind the still unsolved ‘Black Dahlia’ murder- spent the first part of her life with an adoptive black family in Nevada. When she finds out who she really is- she sets off to find her real family- and uncovers the most INSANE secrets.

Honestly, the phrase “truth is stranger than fiction” has never been more appropriate than it is for Fauna and this book is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve read.

And with that, my photogenic favorites are complete- but as they say in infomercials- wait! There’s a little bit more!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

‘I Am The Night’ – The TNT-based miniseries, which draws inspiration from Fauna Hodel’s memoirs- definitely strays from the book in terms of action, suspense, and additional characters- but the core story is still there and it’s beautifully shot, directed, and acted.

I love when Patty Jenkins and Chris Pine make magic together- and this series is no exception!

Okay, NOW my monthly “Favorites” post is completed!

A little later on this week- I’ll take a look back on February 2019 from start-to-finish (with some recent travel photos added in, as well!) but if you’d like to share some of your favorite things from this past month before then- I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment or drop me a line!

See you all again on Thursday!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Romantic Reds…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

Between shoveling through multiple snowstorms and putting myself into food comas from nights out with friends over the past few days- I’m beyond ready for the weekend so I can catch up on some sleep, eat a salad to balance out the burgers, pasta and tacos I’ve been indulging in- and get some errands done that I’ve been sort of putting on the back burner to make way for my social life.

Before I head off to finish up some work I’ve got left at my office to do- I thought I’d share one of my current favorite outdoor ensembles to wear that definitely makes me stand out amid the non-stop snow flurries!

Back when I was a redhead, wearing more than one article of clothing or an accessory that matched my hair color was cartoonish and usually out of the question. But, now that I’m a bit blonder (and just as pale, of course)– I love experimenting with different shades of red and layer it on as much as possible.

So, given that February is pretty much filled with all things red, pink and white for Valentine’s Day- I love wearing this vintage red wool coat that belonged to my mother before it was gifted to me- and this lovely little red beret (with the most adorable floral accent) that was also a gift from a friend who saw it in a shop and apparently thought of me instantly- whenever I’m out and about.

And even though I love a good swipe of red lipstick- I keep my makeup fairly neutral when I’m sporting the coat and the hat at the same time so that I still look like myself within all this beautiful, bright rouge.

I may not be the biggest fan of Winter- but I am definitely going to wear missing this hat by the time Spring gets here!

Next week on the blog, I’m compiling my favorite things from this past month- and taking a look back on all the highs, lows and bizarre in-between moments these last couple of weeks in my monthly “In a Nutshell” post. I’ll be back on Tuesday for a shortened posting schedule for the end of February- but I’ll see you all then!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

OOTD: Breakin’ Hearts…

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I hope those of you who celebrated Valentine’s Day had a good and delightfully cheesy one yesterday- and those of you who are celebrating Pal-entine’s Day today score some awesome marked down candy and cards so you can share them with your pals at your next get-together¬†(as is tradition!)

I worked my half day at the office yesterday- and while my sorta’, kinda’ Val/Pal-entine is presently out of state for work- I got a series of cards, texts, and little presents from friends, family and co-workers throughout the day that definitely kept me amused and feeling the love.

I dressed festive yesterday, too- without going *too* over-the-top ala wearing Cupid wings or an excessive amount of red and pink. I kept it simple via ModCloth (who are one of my all-time favorites) with this black and white striped short-sleeve sweater- which features bright red “Heart Breaker” lettering across the front.

Cute, a little funny and easy to match with pretty much anything- I wore this sweater with some simple black skinny jeans, black faux-leather combat boots and a black faux-leather jacket to give it an edgier vibe. With my signature red lip- a must in the Winter- and some red/pink glittery polish- I was ready to take on anything the day of love and romance had waiting for me.

What I love about this sweater, apart from how comfortable and flattering it is to my figure- is that I can wear it outside the realm of Valentine’s Day, too. Why I wouldn’t necessarily or actually consider myself a heart breaker- this would still be fun to wear in the Summer with a pair of denim shorts or with a black pencil skirt and some red heels/Mary Janes for a casual dinner with my friends or the fella(s?)

It’s definitely a new favorite in my closet, for sure!

This weekend I’m going to be heading out of town to support a friend’s band who haven’t been around the block in a while- and then try to swing down to lovely Newport, Rhode Island for a little day-cation getaway by the ocean before it’s back to work again first thing on Monday morning.

I’ll have some photos of my travels to share along the way, of course- but I also plan on giving you all another peek into my closet with some more Winter Wear- and a look at the makeup that has been saving my complexion this frigid, arctic time of year where I live!

Until then – here’s wishing you all a warm, safe, and most importantly- FUN– weekend ahead!

xx

– Ashley –