OOTD: Fleece Navidad

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

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Mine was as busy as ever- with my wrapping up the last of my Christmas shopping, swinging by a really fun holiday party at one of my favorite local breweries in Malden, and spending some time with my family eating great food and making plans for the coming weeks ahead.

Today is shaping up to be a busy one- not just because of work and some scheduled errands later on this afternoon/evening- but also because the World Series trophy is making a scheduled appearance near my office today. It’s a big deal- especially with the lot of us here being Red Sox fans- so we’re re-configuring our entire afternoon around photo-ops and selfies. As one does, I suppose.

But before I fix my hair and re-apply some lipstick for my own shameless selfie- I wanted to share one of my favorite, festive sweaters to wear this time of year- and one I actually sported this past weekend. Ugly Christmas sweaters and the holiday parties that celebrate them aren’t going away anytime soon- but I like that this one in-particular is actually pretty funny, creative- and kind of cute!

Also- it’s definitely cozy!

I layered this sweater with a white tank top and paired it with a pair of skinny jeans and my knee-high brown boots. The sweater got a lot of laughs, which is always good- and I ended up keeping it on post-party when I met up with friends later on, too!

I plan on wearing this again at least one or two more times before Christmas this year. I love it so much and I never get the chance to wear it- for obvious reasons.

But for now I’m off to get my usual start-of-the-week grind going and begin checking my voicemails, e-mails and reviewing my cases for this week. I’m not thrilled about it- although I’m never thrilled on Monday mornings- but it’s just the first step towards Friday!

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day and that the next few days are as stress-free and painless as possible!

xx

– Ashley –

November 2018: In a Nutshell

Good Morning, Happy Friday- and Hello (Almost) December, everyone!

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are practically here- and there’s still so much to be done before we deck the halls and prepare to ring in 2019! Yes, it’s officially the busiest and one of the most beautiful times of year again- and I’m both excited and anxious (mostly excited, though!) It feels like I can’t sit still!

Before I tumble into December with my Christmas decorations, various gingerbread recipes and gift shopping lists in tow- I wanted to take a look back on November and all the late-Autumn fun that came with it. In a year filled with months that seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye- November actually felt much longer than usual- which had it’s ups and downs, of course.

November started off with a celebratory bang- with one of my dearest long-time friends getting married in a beautiful ceremony (with an equally gorgeous reception) a few days after the month had kicked off. This was followed-up by a different kind of celebration as one of my other friends celebrated their 35th birthday and then yet another friend announced her engagement! It was a solid 72 hours filled with laughter, ecstatic squealing- and cake…

… So much cake, you guys.

With Daylight Savings Time and the first significant snowfall of the season taking place this month and pretty much sending the message that Winter was well on it’s way- November became less about pumpkin spice and crunchy leaves and more about hot chocolate and bundling up. By the end of last week- temperatures had dropped significantly enough to where I needed a hat, a scarf, and an ice scraper for my windshield.

Only in New England, I suppose- but I love living here- and have to take the bad with the good.

Of course, as November began to wind down- it was all about the food. Multiple Friendsgivings and the actual Thanksgiving meal itself left me stuffed and overly lazy these past few days- but the quality time spent with family and friends was worth having to practically crawl to my couch by the time dessert was done.

Admittedly, November had it’s not-so-great parts, too. With the holiday(s) came stress, and with the decreased sunlight came that first wave of Vitamin D deficiency (and seasonal depression.) Late last week and then earlier this week I had a bit of a falling out with a guy friend of mine I’d been spending a lot of time with for most of the year and leading up to now. He’s overwhelmed. I’m overworked and exhausted- and now our future heading into December is a bit uncertain.

It’s not a great feeling, especially with things like Christmas approaching- but I’m trying to stay busy and optimistic. Whatever is meant to happen will happen on it’s own and in due time. The silver lining is that the experience gave me some much-needed perspective and now, as I prepare to draft my resolutions for the New Year- I’ll have some tangible goals to put into motion.

All that being said, what do I have planned for December? A *ton* of holiday stuff, obviously! That includes recipes, festive OOTDs, plenty of parties, travel to some of New England’s most beautiful and picturesque Christmas-y locations and attractions- a few retrospectives and recaps on the more memorable moments of 2018- and a lot of shopping and preparations!

I’m determined to make December one of the most fun months ever- and to see 2018 off properly! And I’ll be blogging as I do it, of course.

But for now- it’s time to get to work before I head off for the weekend!

Enjoy your Friday and the coming days ahead, everyone! See you all again on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –

How Many More Weeks of Winter?

Good Morning, everyone!

No, the photo above isn’t a snapshot from December that I waited to post ’til now- but was actually taken yesterday morning during a break from shoveling my way out of the aftermath of Winter Storm Quinn- which dumped just under two feet of snow on my neighborhood.

After the “thunder snow” (a thunderstorm within a blizzard) passed- the cleanup of powder, downed trees and power lines was completed surprisingly quickly! The temperatures have thankfully been on the warmer side, too- so a lot of this should hopefully melt within the next few days- or at least until the next storm, rumored to hit on Monday- rolls in.

I had originally planned an OOTD/Outfit of the Day post for today to showcase one of my early Spring styles- but given the recent weather- it looks like I’ll have to postpone it for next week, instead.

This coming weekend I’m staying close to home (so many flights, trains, ferries, etc. have been cancelled/delayed due to the weather- so I’m going to wait a few days to let things get sorted out before I travel again!) to spend time with family and friends- but I’m planning a day trip to Brooklyn next weekend, as well as catching the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

Until then, I’ve got a recipe to share and a peek at some of the metallic pieces currently brightening up my closet coming up on the blog within the next few days.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone- and if you’re in the Northeast- stay warm!

xx

– Ashley –

Bomb Cyclones and Burgers

Good Morning, everyone! I’m currently in the midst of preparing for what will be the second major Winter Storm to hit New England in less than a week- and moving to Nevada is looking better and better right now, honestly.

Last Friday night, we got slammed with major rainfall, dangerously high winds and flooding when Winter Storm Riley barreled over us. While my neighborhood (thankfully) remained above the rising water levels and only lost power in small, quick increments- areas of Boston and Quincy were all but completely submerged- especially when high tide came in.

Power lines and trees were blown over and uprooted, and by the time the storm passed- it looked like a tornado had touched down.

Things got so serious that the National Guard came in to help First Responders get people who were trapped with nowhere to go and no heat/power to safety and shelter. It was an absolute mess- and unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

And now, with residents only just returning to their homes for the first time since the storm moved inland- we’re about to get slammed by Winter Storm Quinn- which is reportedly going to dump a considerable amount of snow on us. Whether or not I’ll be able to get to and/or remain at my office to accomplish anything is still a mystery- but I know for a fact I’m probably just going to give up on shoveling anything in the aftermath.

Nope. I am DONE with this weather. Where is Spring? We keep getting teasers- but I’m ready for it to get here and stay here already.

I digress. Despite the weather, I had a pretty good weekend. I got a lot accomplished in terms of errands and tasks I’d been putting off- and I got to spend some time with friends around my hometown, as well! Sean, who had lost power in his own apartment- made the trek to Central Massachusetts with me to get out of the cold and spend some time playing board games and grabbing late night burgers with a few of our longtime friends from back home.

Can’t let a Winter Hurricane keep us down! 3/4/18

Sunday was all about brunch, relaxing, getting ready for the work week- and flipping back and forth between the Oscars and ‘The Walking Dead’ as the night wore on. It was nice just to do nothing for a day- although this coming weekend is looking like it’s going to be pretty busy. I’m glad I could embrace and enjoy the laziness while I had the time!

For those of you who live in New England – stay safe and warm and let’s ride this thing out together! To those of you watching this unfold from other parts of the world- please send snacks. We need them.

See you all on Friday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

We did it! We made it through the week and it’s time to kick back and enjoy the weekend- unless you live in New England, that is- in which case you’re probably getting ready to start shoveling yourself out of whatever the incoming Winter Storm Riley has in store for us.

It’s been rather lovely outside these past few days- albeit a little chilly- so to suddenly have about a foot of snow dropped back on us is a little disheartening, to say the least.

Regardless, I’m determined to enjoy my weekend- and have set aside a little “me” time to get my hair and my nails touched up for the Saint Patrick’s Day festivities and the First *official* day of Spring in a couple of weeks. I’m also looking forward to cooking up a couple of new dishes- provided that the storm doesn’t knock out my power since we’re expecting to get some pretty high winds where I am.

Now that it’s March, I’m getting an early start on my Spring cleaning. Old mail/bills are being shredded, bedsheets and pillow cases are being washed and refreshed, odds & ends that have been laying around all Winter and collecting dust are being rounded up and discarded- and I’m starting to rotate out my Winter wardrobe to donate the things I don’t wear anymore while simultaneously clearing up some space to fit my Spring/Summer clothing and accessories.

I have taken some time to enjoy the little things this past week, though. On Wednesday night I had a friend-date in Western Massachusetts with a guy I’ve known for a long time that included a pretty good blue cheese burger at a local brewery, followed by a late-night Sega Genesis game session at said friend’s apartment. He dug out Maximum Carnage (one of my favorites from when I was a kid!) and I honestly needed a minute to compose myself from the excitement.

Last night, after I’d run some errands and returned home- I enjoyed a long, hot soak in my tub while I flipped through the Spring issue of InStyle Magazine and enjoyed a glass of wine while a Lush Bath Bomb fizzed around me. I slept like a baby last night once I’d dried off and gone to lay down- that’s how relaxing it was!

Weather permitting, I have a luncheon scheduled with some friends from work a little later on this afternoon- and from there- I’m hoping it’s smooth sailing as I wrap up this work week (which was unbelievably productive for me!) and jump right into my Saturday plans.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I’ll see you on Monday!

xx

– Ashley –