“Slip Into the Autumn Shade…”

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Even though I’ve had to gradually add more and more layers to my wardrobe over the past couple of days because the mornings and evenings have been particular chilly- I have been having the absolute best time outdoors with friends hiking through the woods and past old cemeteries, as well as driving down leaf-lined back roads to farm stands and pumpkin patches. While many of the trees still have a lot of green on them, it looks so beautiful mixed in with the yellows, oranges, and occasional reds that are practically glowing on the branches.

On Saturday, I took a long and aimless drive to Brattleboro, Vermont (which isn’t much farther from my beloved Western Massachusetts) where I stopped numerous times to photograph the foliage, pick up a pumpkin for my mom’s front porch (it’s a tradition!), buy some locally grown vegetables and baked bread, and take in the cozy charm that only the small and picturesque communities in Vermont could offer.

… I also got to feed a baby goat- which had me in near hysterics with how cute it was. I’m such a softie for baby animals.

Each time I visit the area, I always end up asking myself why I don’t spend more time up there. It really is lovely. Especially this time of year.






If Saturday’s excursion wasn’t enough nature for me- I also headed to the Middlesex Fells Reservation on Sunday afternoon with a group of my friends for a couple of hours of hiking and posing for plenty of photos before the sun began to set and we had to start back to where we’d parked before it got too dark out. The Fells is such a massive area to explore, and even though we were there for quite some time- we’d only covered a very small fraction of all there was to do and see. I’d love to head back in the coming weeks before it gets too old (or worse- icy!) to explore a little more. It’s simply awe-inspiring- especially when you catch a glimpse of the area (and the far away Boston skyline) from the top of Wright’s Tower.

All in all, I had such a relaxing and beautiful weekend. My photos just don’t do it justice.


A day in the wilderness isn’t exactly easy on hair like mine.


Horrors of Netflix: “The Traveler”

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TheTravelerPosterOh, you’re damned right I’m kicking off October with one of my favorite traditions- reviewing the absolute worst horror movies that Netflix has to offer! Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a masochist, since watching most of these 1-2 star rated flicks on a regular basis over the course of a month could be considered a form of torture or punishment to those with a more refined cinematic palate- but I really and truly do enjoy it. You could say I’m even inspired by these typically low-budget filmmaking endeavors- because you know that as bad as they are (and they usually are pretty terrible)– they came from a place of love and respect for one of my favorite genres, and were made with the best of intentions…

… They’re just almost always executed awfully from start to finish.

Choosing the first movie to sink my teeth into for what will be my third year of doing “Horrors of Netflix” proved to be slightly difficult. I mean, I wanted to start this season’s reviews with a bang. Scrolling down my recommendations and watching as the rating for each film that passed by my eyes gradually became lower and lower and the covers became more and more cheesy- I wanted something that looked suspenseful, not-too-old- and, wait–

— oh my God, is that Val Kilmer? The same Val Kilmer I had a crush on when I was nine?

We have a winner.

2010’s “The Traveler” boasts a rating that falls just a fraction higher than one star. The synopsis, via Netflix:

“A mysterious drifter wanders into a small-town police station and confesses to a series of murders, none of which has occurred… yet.”

Wuh oh. That “yet” in the description is pretty ominous!

As always, I’ll be posting the thorough and detailed review under a “Continue Reading” cut for those who would rather watch the movie for themselves. You’ve been warned! If you don’t want to be spoiled- do not proceed!

Continue reading

September 2015: In a Nutshell.

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I take my apple picking very seriously.

If you’ve been reading ‘Legally Redhead’ for any good length of time, then you surely must know by now that October is hands down my favorite month out of the entire year. The New England weather, watching scary movies (the good AND the bad ones,) the return of ‘The Walking Dead’, haunted hay rides, houses and corn mazes, Halloween- and so much more! October has it all for me- and this coming one is looking to be one of the best and busiest yet!

For starters, I’m going to be doing a LOT of traveling in the coming weeks- including stops in Vermont, Las Vegas, San Diego, and NYC- just to name a few. I’ll also be doing some long overdue urban exploration shoots, cooking up some festive Fall-food, attending a couple of weddings, suffering through the worst scary movies Netflix has to offer for my annual ‘Horrors of Netflix’ series, and preparing for the long-awaited return of my main squeeze of the post-apocalypse, Daryl Dixon (and my flawless Queen, Michonne!)

I’m also in the process of putting the finishing touches on this year’s Halloween Giveaway! The details are going to be up very soon, but I can confidently tell you all that it’s going to be another good one! I’m very pleased with it so far!

But as excited and as eager as I am to lunge into the coming month, I must, of course- reflect on the relaxing transition from Summer to Fall that was this past September. When I was younger, September was almost always a hectic month for my friends and for myself. Returning to school, trying to adjust to a new schedule while shifting out of the late Summer nights mindset, and re-arranging my closet and shoe collection to keep up with the changing temperatures that would vary between unbearably hot and then ridiculously frigid- sometimes within the same day. It could get stressful at times- which is why I’m so thankful that I can just sit back and enjoy the Fall Equinox these days without the distraction of classes or homework. The varying and indecisive New England temperatures, however- will forever be a hassle.

I spent a good amount of September outdoors: enjoying the last lazy days at the beach, late afternoons hiking in the forest, picking apples at a local orchard, and more recently- watching the Super Blood Moon eclipse! I’m looking forward to doing more of that (and then some) in the coming weeks now that the leaves are starting to change colors. When I wasn’t outdoors, I was experimenting in the kitchen and putting in some overtime at the office. I also anticipate doing more of those things in October, too- but I don’t mind. I can’t have “Legally Redhead” without actively participating in the “legal” end of it, right?

So here is one final and fond farewell to September 2015, which was low-key and lovely- the perfect combination to prepare me for the coming craziness of October!

The blood moon eclipse- viewed from my backyard!

The blood moon eclipse- viewed from my backyard!


GLOSSYBOX: September 2015 Review.

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When it comes to subscription services- my favorite ones to receive typically arrive during my favorite time of year (spoiler alert: Autumn.) Of course, September is sort of that ‘still-kind-of-Summer-but-still-Fall-esque’ month where you have to bundle up in a sweater in the morning but are left sweating your butt off by 2 p.m. because it’s so hot out, so I never really know what to expect from beauty box companies like GlossyBox.

Thankfully, GlossyBox took a neutral approach with their assortment of items in September’s box to help those of us who can’t quite commit to one particular seasonal look just yet until the temperatures turn and stay consistent. With hair care, skin care, two rosy hues for the cheeks and nails, and one bold lip color for the daring- I was pleased with the variety of products (three being full-sized!) and couldn’t wait to try them.


STIKS Cosmetiks Lipstik in “Red Lipstik” (*Full Size!*)

Biossance “The Revitalizer” Skin Serum

Emité Makeup Artist Colour Powder Blush in Shade 108 (*Full Size!*)

12 Benefits “Love At First Lather” Foaming Hair Shampoo

Nails, Inc. Uptown Nail Polish (*Full Size!*)



Product # 1: STIKS Cosmetiks Lipstik in “Red Lipstik” ($15)

In a box where the makeup selections were comprised of mostly neutral-tones, this fire engine red lipstick in sleek packaging really stood out from the bunch. As an avid lover and longtime supporter of a good, dramatic red lip- this was the product I absolutely HAD to try first.

STIKS Cosmetiks is designed for the woman on-the-go- and per the informative card I received in this month’s GlossyBox- this particular lipstick is advertised as being able to be applied effortlessly in just a matter of seconds. You flip the clear hinged cap open, click the lipstick up, apply, flip it closed- and you’re on your way. I tested this claim more than once- and each time it took a little longer than a few seconds to get my lips looking just right. The angled tip of the lipstick makes an even application a little difficult and awkward at times, but the formula is creamy and non-drying once it’s on- and it stays in place all day. I’ve made it through my morning coffees, lunches, late-afternoon snacks and chai lattes before the color begins to fade. I’m impressed!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I’d definitely re-purchase this red shade once I run out, and I’d love to try the other colors that are available at STIKS’ website, too. I love the feel of this lipstick, it’s pigmentation, and it’s longevity. Although the application process is a little tricky- this product is a fantastic find and worth the extra effort it takes to get it on evenly.


Product # 2: Biossance “The Revitalizer” Skin Serum ($58)

I have sensitive skin, so putting any kind of oil on it (except for tea tree oil when I get the occasional breakout) always makes me a bit nervous. I don’t want to exacerbate blemishes or cause any kind of horrible reaction on my skin- so I do my best to proceed with caution with samples or new products. That was the case with these drops, made out of 100% squalane (which the body produces naturally, but also tends to wear down over time,) this fragrance-free hydrator can be applied to the skin, cuticles, hair, etc.

I started with my nails just to test this product- and I liked the way the drops softened and conditioned the delicate skin around my cuticles. From there, I used these drops to tame flyaways when styling my hair- and was relieved there was no weird reaction on my scalp or hairline. Finally, I worked up the nerve to gently sweep 2-3 of these drops over my face with a cotton ball. It took a while for them to absorb, but once they did- my skin looked brighter and felt considerably softer to the touch. I didn’t notice any breakouts or bumps- so I’ve continued using this product nightly after removing my makeup and cleansing my face to keep my skin glowing (the drops can be used in the morning, as well- but I don’t like applying makeup over something like this.) It’s been a few days and I’m really liking the results so far!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! $58 might seem a little steep for something as simple as versatile drops for your skin/hair, I know- but a little goes a long way and the results are noticeable almost instantly. I think this decently sized sample will more than likely last me a while- but I’d definitely pick up a full-sized one when I run out to keep my hair and face soft and conditioned.



Product # 3: Emité Makeup Artist Colour Powder Blush in Shade 108 ($22)

It’s that time of year again where I trade in my bronzer and peach/golden-hued Summertime blushes for more rosy and brown/neutral shades for my cheeks. I thought this deep pink blush from Emité seemed perfect in it’s packaging, and I couldn’t wait to see how it looked once I’d applied it.

Be warned, however- this powder blush is VERY pigmented- so even the lightest amount on the tip of your brush bristles will apply heavily. I was a bit horrified at first, but once I’d gradually blended the blush until it looked as natural as I could get it- I was quite smitten with the shade. I thought it complimented my skin tone and gave me a nice, warm pop of color that I’ll definitely need in the coming months.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. This color is beautiful for sure once it’s blended, but I’m still not over the initial shock I get when I first try to apply this blush. It’s so dark and so heavy- and some mornings I just don’t have the time (or the patience) to keep working with it until it looks less garish. That said, I think I may consider this formula in the future- but possibly in a slightly lighter shade to make applying it a little easier.


Product # 4: 12 Benefits “Love At First Lather” Foaming Hair Shampoo ($7.99 – $24)

I am so unbelievably picky about the type of shampoo I use. I know, and I’m sorry- but I have very curly and color-treated red hair- which is the hardest to maintain and care for. For that reason, I have to be careful about what I use when cleansing and styling it. Too many chemicals can turn my hair brassy or worse- flat-out orange, and not enough conditioning benefits can make my curls frizzy and unmanageable. It’s a tricky line to follow to get the best results possible without having to purchase a dozen products.

I had received a leave-in conditioning treatment from 12 Benefits in another GlossyBox some time ago that I had liked very much, so I didn’t think twice about giving this foaming shampoo from them a try since it’s free of many harmful and color-fading chemicals. The shampoo doesn’t require a vigorous amount of lathering since it comes out of the bottle already foamed up- which blew my mind a little bit- and working it through my hair wasn’t an issue. The problem was that while my hair did feel very hydrated and soft after I rinsed it out- my scalp didn’t necessarily feel clean (if that makes sense.) I even repeated the process, concentrating specifically on my roots while I worked the foam through- but it yielded the same results. My scalp felt sort of slick after the fact- even more-so when I followed up with my repairing mask treatment. I’m not sure how to feel about that.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I think this shampoo is pretty innovative and would probably be a great alternative to use in the harsher winters when applied near the dryer sections of my hair like the ends since it’s intensely moisturizing- but when I’m looking for something that will actually clean my hair thoroughly from root to tip- I think I’m going to have to stick with what I’m currently using. Even if I’ll have to get it to lather up on my own.


Product # 5: Nails, Inc. Uptown Nail Polish ($15)

After a Summer of wearing lots of florescent pinks, purples, corals, blues and mint greens on my fingertips- this toasted rose nail polish from Nails, Inc. was a welcomed surprise that I felt would be the perfect and subtle transitional color from Summer to Fall. The neat thing about this particular polish, however- is that it has the same shiny finish and longevity as gel formulas- but with no harmful UV light required! Nails, Inc. has also infused the lacquers in their gel line with nail-strengthening and cuticle conditioning ingredients- making this a hassle-free and easy manicure that’s actually good for your digits.

The photo above was taken after an application of two coats of “Uptown” and a clear top coat. It’s been days, and the polish hasn’t chipped, peeled, or gotten discolored in any way. I’m a big fan of this formula- which surpasses other and similar polishes that I’ve tried that were also inspired by gel-manicures.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Not only would I re-purchase the ‘Uptown’ shade again, but I’m already eyeing some of the other available colors in this collection. This polish was easy to apply, rich in color, and has impressive staying power. I love it!


September’s GlossyBox also came with a 20% off coupon that can be used at BAUBLEBAR (I’ve blocked out my unique code for obvious reasons) which I thought was a nice addition. I’m currently in the process of re-vamping my jewelry collection, so this will come in handy when I’m ready to pick up a couple of new pieces!

Overall, I really enjoyed September’s GlossyBox. There was not one item that I disliked (two of them I am on the fence about, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I hated them!) and the size and value of each item included was really impressive. I’ll be getting a lot of use out of the nail polish, skin oil, and lipstick- and I’m hoping October’s box is just as good!


Loot Crate: September 2015.

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When the theme for September’s Loot Crate, “SUMMON” was announced- I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a recovering World of Warcraft addict (I don’t want to talk about it,) I immediately thought of those nights spent frantically trying to summon a pet or complete a spell to protect my poor little Blood Elf while someone from the opposing team (usually my friends who were playing one room over from me) kept attempting to kill me over and over again.

I also thought of my favorite shows from my early teens, like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and it’s spin-off companion series, ‘Angel’- where summoning ANYTHING almost always resulted in a disaster.

I kept an open mind as I went through the contents of September’s box when it arrived- and here’s what I got!


First up are the usual suspects: my monthly collectors pin and mini-magazine. Aside from the usual puzzles, fan photos, articles, interviews and breakdowns of items in the box- September’s magazine also had the distinction of including a set of five perforated cards printed on card stock to be used for a tabletop game (a sixth card that was included had the instructions printed on them.) I’m going to have to figure out what each card represents before I attempt to play it with anyone- but it looks interesting!



The item that caught my attention almost immediately in September’s crate was this knitted Pikachu hat that I have to admit I think is SO ADORABLE (although I don’t think I’d wear it outside the house.) I remember playing the Pokemon game on my friend’s Game Boy (the big, clunky one) back in Jr. High when the franchise was just starting to get popular, and not really understanding much of the story apart from “oh, these weird little animals are cute and I have to catch them!”- so this was a fun little blast from the past. The hat also has knitted PokeBalls on it, which cracked me up.


I haven’t watched ‘The Simpsons’ in aaaaages, so I wasn’t sure if this Homer/Buddha-hybrid figurine was something cooked up on the show or if it was just something Loot Crate came up with themselves, but it’s still cute (and the fact that it came in a take-out style box was a nice touch.) I think I’ll be gifting this to a friend of mine who is a huge fan of the show and it’s characters since he’ll appreciate it much more than I can!


I KNEW there would be at least one WoW-related item in September’s Loot Crate! I just knew it! This stress ball, molded in the likeness of a Hearthstone, is definitely going to come in handy on those rougher days at work when I need to squeeze away my frustrations. I think this might be my favorite item in September’s box- apart from the Pikachu hat!


Speaking of Hearthstone- I also received a collectible coin and card pack code for the game in this month’s crate. I remember sitting in on a panel at San Diego Comic-Con ’14 that gave audience members a preview of what the game was going to be like- and I remember thinking that my friends, who are big fans of WoW, would probably enjoy it. For that reason- I’ll be gifting this to them since they’ll get more use out of it!

September’s crate did not include any ‘Digital Loot’, just an advertisement/flyer for the aforementioned card game that was included in the monthly mini-magazine.


Finally, I’ve only ever seen a couple of episodes of ‘Supernatural’ and never really got into it (although I have a hard time enjoying anything Jared Padalecki is in because of his overall terrible attitude and presence across social media,) but my two older brothers LOVE the show- and I know one of them will get a kick out of this replica of the Chevy Impala that is said to be prominently featured in it. Loot Crate’s mini magazine states that the license plates on this replica are of the original Kansas ones- which are apparently hard to come by?

Overall- I thought the “SUMMON” box was really creative! There were quite a few items I wouldn’t have expected (and some I definitely would have,) and the quality of everything was impressive.

I had expected another horror-themed box for October, but it was recently revealed that next month’s Loot Crate would have a “TIME” theme- so I’m bracing myself for some Doctor Who items!


Quick Eats: Yogurt Biscuits with Honey Butter.

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When preparing a large home-cooked meal- like my specialty of roasted chicken and vegetables, for example- it just doesn’t feel right not having fresh, warm biscuits at the table, too. Unfortunately, if you love them as much as I do- then you’ll know that eating them in mass quantities (which I have done- not my proudest moment,) isn’t the best thing for you. Of course, these days it’s easier to find considerably healthier substitutes for beloved recipes that don’t skimp on flavor- and I came across this yogurt-infused version of classic biscuits and had to give it a try.



* 3 cups all-purpose flour

* 4 teaspoons baking powder

* 2 teaspoons kosher salt

* 1 1/4 cups Greek yogurt

* 1/3 cup buttermilk

* 2 tablespoons butter, melted

* 1/4 cup honey


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt to combine. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with the buttermilk to combine.


3. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yogurt mixture to it. Using a large spoon, mix to combine. The dough will look crumbly- but it will actually be fully moistened. If you’re unsure of the consistency, it’s okay to add a little more yogurt. (I did this and they came out just fine!)

4. Scoop the dough into 12 even balls and place them side by side, touching each other, in four rows of three.


5. In a small bowl, whisk the butter with the honey to combine. Brush half the mixture over the biscuits and save the rest for when the biscuits are finished baking.

6. Bake the biscuits until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush with the remaining honey butter. The biscuits are best served warm, but can be made up to a day ahead.


The biscuits were sweet, fluffy on the inside, and had just the smallest hint of tangy-ness to them from the yogurt- but they were delicious! While I had made these to accompany a dinner I had cooked- I think I’d like to try these as breakfast biscuits in the future. The honey butter makes them a great way to begin a morning!


POPSUGAR Must Have Box: September 2015.

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Having been so completely impressed and pleased with August’s POPSUGAR Must Have Box, my first with the service, I was practically pacing the floor while awaiting the arrival of my September one. I already knew one of the products that was going to be included this month thanks to the e-mailed spoiler POPSUGAR sent out to subscribers near the end of August, but the rest was a mystery!

September’s theme/inspiration, also revealed near the end of last month- contained items centered around ‘Fashion Fix/Travel/Refresh/Beauty Recovery’. With a Vegas and San Diego trip planned for mid-October- I was especially excited to see what fit into the ‘travel’ aspect of this month’s assortment of products. Whatever can make my packing and/or time spent in the airport easier and less stressful is always a welcomed treat.


Oh, hello again, Briogeo’s Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray! The last time our paths crossed was in my May Ipsy bag– and I had taken quite a liking to a sample of you that I’d received! Coincidentally enough, I had said I would *definitely* purchase a full-sized bottle in the future- and now I don’t have to since POPSUGAR was nice enough to send me one! This conditioning spray is just as lovely as ever (and just as strongly fragranced- but I don’t mind!) and I’ve been using it daily with another styling product over the past few days to protect my color-treated curls and keep my hair soft and shiny.


I’ve been doing an “au naturel” look with my nails lately, which is just a fancier way of saying that I haven’t been able to find the time to get a proper manicure for a couple of weeks now so my fingertips are looking a little rugged. Even with a fresh coat of polish, my cuticles are in need of more than a little TLC these days. I was really happy to see this cuticle oil- in the cutest little dropper bottle- from NCLA in September’s box (retail value of $18) because I know it’ll come in handy when I finally sit down to give my digits the attention and affection they deserve!


I love that POPSUGAR includes at least one food/beverage item in each month’s box. This month, it was this slightly-sweetened almond & dried cherry mix from Nourish Snacks. These are great to keep in your bag for travel since they’re a much healthier (and tastier) alternative to a bag of potato chips, cookies or any other regrettable temptation. Nourish Snacks also has a bunch of other varieties available at their website- all of which look pretty good!



The item I knew I’d be receiving this month was the ‘Brow Envy: Brow Shaping and Defining Kit’ from Too Faced (a $39 value!) My brows have always-thankfully- had a natural high arch and decent thickness to them, so having to maintain and shape them every day as part of my makeup regimen was never really a concern for me- but I feel like this will come in handy in those days between waxings when I need to keep bushy-ness at bay. The kit comes with two brow powders, brushes, tweezers, stencils, instructions for the stencils, a highlighter- and setting wax- all packaged nice and neat. It’s convenient for travel or for simply keeping on hand at home.


I was really happy to see these travel cases (one TSA-friendly clear pouch and two black & white patterned drawstring bags) from Hudson + Bleecker in September’s box. During my last mini-vacation to the West Coast, my usual toiletries pouch was all but destroyed after an impromptu inspection by the TSA in Logan Airport and I haven’t had a chance to replace it. With not one- but three flights scheduled within a few short weeks- I think these bags are really going to make my packing 100x easier. I’m hoping that TSA is gentler with these then they were with my last ones- especially because these are of much higher quality!



My favorite item in September’s POPSUGAR box had to be these XO stud earrings from Kris Nations ($35 value.) I’ve been starting to gravitate towards smaller earrings after years of wearing dramatic dangling ones or chandelier styles (especially in the Fall and Winter when they can easily get snagged on sweaters! Ouch!) and these are perfect transition pieces. Plated in 14K gold, the earrings are subtle, lightweight, and so, so cute.  I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of these. Also? They’re packaged so simple- but it’s still beautiful and unique at the same time!



Finally, the coveted coupons. September’s POPSUGAR box included two 20% coupons for Kris Nations and Too Faced. I’ll be using both since I’m a big fan of both brands (I’ve been eyeing the Massachusetts state pride necklace at Kris Nations for a couple of days now- and I think now is a good time to order it!)

I also received two $10 coupons for anyone looking to subscribe to POPSUGAR’s Must Have Box. Each card has a unique code printed on the back to give you the $10 discount on your very first box!

Overall, September’s POPSUGAR Must Have Box was another wildly successful one for me. The total retail value of the products included surpassed $150- and each item was carefully selected to go hand-in-hand with the listed theme/inspirations. I really loved everything- and I can’t wait to see what’s coming in October!

Crisp Air and Cozy Sweaters: An Autumn Playlist

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Apart from apple picking, visiting pumpkin patches, photographing the foliage, and watching terrible horror movies throughout the month of October (my ‘Horrors of Netflix’ series returns next month and I couldn’t be more excited to suffer for the sake of satire!) one of my other favorite Fall traditions is crafting a playlist of dreamy, calming, and soothing music to listen to while I go for long, lazy afternoon drives through the leaf-littered roads in Western Massachusetts or for when I bundle up in my favorite faux-leather jacket I’ve had since my late teens and a lightweight scarf and step out into the brisk morning air to grab a hot coffee.

I love putting together playlists in general (see my 8Tracks page for some of the ones I’ve created over the past couple of years!) but Autumn has always been my favorite one to create every year- and this year’s mix was no exception.

Inspired by throwing on an oversized and super-comfy sweater and stepping out into that crisp New England air (that always smells of pumpkins, apples, and spices this time of year,) I’ve selected ten tracks for my Autumn 2015 playlist: ‘Crisp Air and Cozy Sweaters’, featuring songs from Daughter, James Bay, and First Aid Kid- among others!

I hope everyone who gives it a listen enjoys it!


“The scent of apples – I am drowsing off…”

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One of my favorite Autumn activities in New England is, without a doubt, going apple picking at any of the beautiful orchards located in the more picturesque parts of Massachusetts. I usually take an entire morning and/or afternoon for the occasion so that I can enjoy the scenic drive along back roads to and from the orchard and still have plenty of time to pick my apples while sipping a cup of warmed cider or nibbling on a freshly baked apple dumpling. It’s such a wonderful (and delicious) way to welcome the Fall.

This past Sunday, although drizzling on and off, was just as good as any other day to head to Brookfield Orchards (a longtime favorite location for my family and friends- and one I’ve been going to since I was a little kid,) and stock up on fresh apples for snacking and baking. The trees were unbelievably full- the most I’ve seen them in years- which led to a lot of great photos and quite the haul!







Couldn’t resist a selfie!

I also made it a point to pick up a few of Brookfield Orchard’s very popular apple cider donuts- which you can watch being baked fresh right inside their country store. They’re pretty addictive, and taste amazing when paired with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I really need to find a recipe so that I can try to make my own at home one of these days.


With plenty of apples to get me through the next few days (or weeks), I’m getting ready for my other favorite orchard/Autumn activity- pumpkin picking. I love piling into my car with my friends and going on a state-wide search for the biggest pumpkin imaginable. It’s a time honored tradition!


Seafood Festival: 2015

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Every year around this time, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always headed up to Hampton Beach with my family for the annual end-of-the-Summer Seafood Festival. Since my dad passed away a few years ago, I’ve been making the drive with my mom and my cousin Paige (and occasionally with other relatives who were around and wanted to come, too-) for a carefree day of shopping, eating, skee-ball, and strolling the surf before the water gets too cold.

This past Saturday, the three of us got a bright and early start in an attempt to beat traffic (it kind of worked!) and find a decent parking spot (and that sort of worked, too!) before the mid-afternoon crowds descended upon the boardwalk and made it almost impossible to move around and get in and out of the area.

The head start gave us the advantage of being able to do some thorough browsing of the sales racks without bumping elbows with other people over and over- and I found some incredible bargains!


I’ve always really liked the look of varsity jackets, especially in the Fall over boot cut jeans and a chunky knit sweater- so when I saw this really nice quality jacket (with a stitched Hampton Beach patch)  for only $10 (!!!!)– I knew I had to snatch it up. I’m so excited to rock this in the coming weeks. I love it!



I found a couple of really cute, comfortable pieces for work, too. The grey-ish dress above, with fancy-looking embroidery and dark brown decorative buttons- was marked down to $13. I’m going to be layering it over black tights, and maybe over a black turtleneck on colder days since it hangs a little loosely on me.

The black and white skirt, marked down to $8- is made of lightweight material and will also be worn over black tights (and probably paired with a sweater, too.) I like the way it sways with every step I take. It’s fun.


I took it easy on accessories this year, opting to skip purchasing any jewelry and picking up this $13 bag, instead. I love the size, which accommodates all of my stuff- and I love the colors. I typically carry deeper-toned bags in the Fall/Winter- like dark browns, navy blues, and hunter greens- but the orange, blue, and pink stripes on this bag are a beautiful combination. I’ll be using this to brighten up my “Colder Months” looks!


Finally, I visited the booth for my favorite all-natural soap company, Scentastics, and treated myself to three bars- one of each of their newer fragrances. I love how soft and clean these bars make my skin feel- and they all smell amazing. My favorite of the bunch is ‘Woodstock’, which has a touch of patchouli in it (but it isn’t overpowering.)


Of course, a seafood festival doesn’t live up to it’s name if there’s no actual seafood- so prior to leaving Hampton for the evening- we stopped to enjoy some incredible crab cakes and a fresh fish dinner on an outdoor patio right across from the ocean. Everything was delicious, and our server was a sweetheart (and kudos to her for staying calm and composed even though the place was packed!)

As the sun began to sat- my mom, Paige, and I made one final stop before we started for home- a more secluded part of the beach where we watched the waves roll in from the rocks, paid tribute to my dad in our own special way, and wrote silly messages in the sand. It was the perfect way to end what was a really, really nice day.


“We’re gonna’ need a bigger boat.”