500th Post – With a Big Announcement!

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Happy Friday, everyone- and what a beautiful Friday it is! It’s also a very special occasion for ‘Legally Redhead’. This is my 500th post!

When I first started this blog back on New Year’s Day in 2013, I never thought I’d make it to 500 posts. I didn’t even know if I’d make it to 100, honestly- but it quickly became a passionate project of mine- and getting the opportunity to interact with so many incredible, insightful and talented people about a variety of subjects over the years has been the icing on a pretty amazing cake.

First and foremost, I want to thank each and every one of you who have subscribed to/followed Legally Redhead since it’s inception. Your support and your feedback throughout the years has kept me going- even when I sometimes wondered what the point was (it happens to all bloggers at some point, trust me…) and I have worked incredibly hard to give you all content I was proud of and hoped you would all enjoy. It means the world to me to know that other people care about this little corner of the web as much as I do.

I also want to thank the brands/companies I’ve partnered with over these past few years. You all took a chance with me- an inexperienced blogger by comparison to more established and well-known websites/figures- and I’m so honored to have had the privilege to work with all of you. Truly. I’m so, so grateful for so many wonderful opportunities that were presented to me.

But times- they are a changing- and it’s with immense pride (and a little sorrow) that I have to announce that I’m closing the chapter of my life known as ‘Legally Redhead’.

Wait- what?!

Okay, okay- so I’m not done blogging- I’m just done blogging here, is all! I’m heading on over to a sparkling new URL to start fresh and provide more frequent and more polished content (as opposed to my sporadic posting style here at ‘Legally Redhead’).

Today marks the launch of my latest project: Blondie Birdie!

But- why?!

Well, the simple answer is that I’m not the same person I was when I first started ‘Legally Redhead’- a site that was created in the aftermath of my father’s unexpected death during my mid-20s. While many of my interests and goals remain (mostly) the same- I’ve changed a lot over the past couple of years- especially with my breakup last Summer. I wanted a fresh start and the chance to really focus on blogging full-time alongside my current career path as I transitioned into the next stage of my life.

Also- I’m not a redhead anymore- and haven’t been for a while! So, you know- I needed an update to better reflect my hair color!

What’s going to happen to ‘Legally Redhead’?

Nothing at all! The site is going to stay up- just the way it is- so that people can reference my past posts about recipes, travel, makeup, fashion, etc. There just won’t be any new updates after this post. All of my new content will be over at Blondie Birdie starting today!

What will Blondie Birdie be about?

Well, in a lot of ways- Blondie Birdie will be similar to ‘Legally Redhead’. I still intend to share recipes, cosmetic/skin care reviews, travel recaps, etc. but I’m also hoping to have more structured and professional-looking posts about a larger variety of topics- many of which I’ve been tempted to post about here but just never got around to.

What about ‘Legally Redhead’s social media?

Not to worry! I’ve taken care of everything. I’ve updated my CONTACTS page here on ‘Legally Redhead’ reflecting any changes in usernames- and will also have the CONTACTS page on Blondie Birdie updated accordingly. If you’re looking for me- I won’t be hard to find. Promise!

How do I follow Blondie Birdie?

The same way you followed me here. There’s a “FOLLOW ME” button along the side-bar of my homepage. Simply add your e-mail or click the button to be logged into WordPress and you’ll be notified every time I post! I’ll also have my social media links up if you want to follow me on any of those platforms!

I think that’s pretty much everything. I sincerely hope that all of you who have been so supportive and incredible these past few years come along with me during the next chapter in my life. I’m excited to begin writing it- and I hope you’re all just as excited to read about it!

Thank you for an incredible 4+ years.

See you over on Blondie Birdie!

xx

www.blondiebirdie.com

Quick Eats: Fried Shallot Cheeseburger

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It doesn’t look like it or feel like it- but Summer is here in New England and we’re all trying to get into the spirit of things despite the most recent onslaught of torrential downpours and temperature drops. I’ve broken out my maxi dresses for work, my sandals for the weekend, and have been feverishly searching for the best alcohol-infused Popsicle recipes to make in my kitchen in what little spare time I have these days.

One of the telltale signs of the season is the abundance of cookouts and backyard BBQs on the nicer, sunnier days. Unfortunately, we haven’t had one of those in a while- so I’ve resorted to cooking up burgers, fries, and mixing some milkshakes in the comfort of my kitchen and making the best of things. I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with some of the recipes in my recently purchased Shake Shack cookbook- and thought I’d share a slightly modified version of one of my favorite concoctions so far.

I love anything with onions, so this recipe was a must-try the second I spotted it in the book- and the sauce I coated the potato buns with? SO good.

Best of all? These are super easy to make!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

FOR THE SAUCE/”SHAKESAUCE”:

  • 1/2 cup Hellman’s mayonaise
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoons of Heinz ketchup
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher dill pickling brine
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper.

FOR THE BURGERS:

  • 4 hamburger potato buns
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons of the mixed sauce (“Shakesauce”)
  • 1 pound of very cold ground beef, divided into 4 pucks
  • 1/2 pound of thin, fried shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of your cheese of choice (for this particular attempt, I stuck with American cheese!)

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

FOR THE SAUCE/”SHAKESAUCE”:

1. Put all of the ingredients (listed above) in a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

2. Chill the sauce for about 15-20 minutes prior to use. Any extra sauce will keep, if covered and properly refrigerated, for up to one week.

FOR THE BURGERS:

1. Heat a cast-iron griddle over medium-low heat until warm. Meanwhile, brush the insides of the hamburger potato buns with the melted butter. Place the buns buttered side down and toast until golden brown (2-3 minutes). Transfer the buns onto a plate and spoon your mixed and chilled “Shakesauce” on the top bun.

2. Increase the heat to medium and heat the griddle until hot (2-3 minutes)

3. Evenly sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on top of each puck of ground beef.

4. Place the pucks on the griddle, seasoned side down. Using a large, sturdy metal spatula, firmly smash each puck into a 1/3-inch thick round patty. Pressing down the spatula with another stiff spatula helps flatten the burger quickly. Evenly sprinkle more salt and pepper on the patties.

5. Cook the burgers until the edges beneath are brown and crisp, and juices on the surface are bubbling hot (about 2 1/2 minutes). Slide one of the spatulas beneath the burger to release it from the griddle and scrape up the caramelized browned crust. Use the other spatula to steady the burger and keep it from sliding. Flip the burgers.

6. Put the cheese on top and cook the burgers for one minute longer for medium, and longer for a more well-done texture. Transfer the cheeseburgers to the prepared buns- top with your fried shallots- and enjoy!

Crispy, tangy, and with just the right amount of spice- these burgers are pretty great and are definitely something I plan to bust out at my next outdoor get together with my friends- assuming it ever stops raining!

xx

Weekend Warrior

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The weather here in New England is almost always unpredictable, to say the least- and most weather reports are taken with a grain of salt until we actually see snow/rain/sun/tornadoes for ourselves. I knew well before this past weekend that I wanted to go to the beach, regardless of the conditions- so when the scheduled sun was blocked out by the clouds and occasional showers- I didn’t let it stop me. Myself and a couple of friends headed over to Singing Beach in Manchester-By-The-Sea to lounge around on the near-empty landscape and watch the waves roll in for a couple of hours.

It wasn’t anything like laying on Ocean Beach by the Pacific in San Diego- but it’ll do for now.

Apart from a strong gust of wind every so often, it was a pleasantly warm afternoon. We had a small picnic with the snacks we had packed before eventually making our way to Captain Dusty’s Ice Cream for a couple of cones to bring with us as we headed back into the city.

Singing Beach is quickly starting to become one of my favorite Summer spots- not only because it’s impossibly clean and picturesque- but it’s also a lot easier to navigate to and less crowded than some of the other, more popular beaches in New Hampshire or down by the Cape. I’m tempted to do a write-up of the area, similar to my comparison post about Hampton Beach & Old Orchard Beach back in 2015- to assist those visiting for the first time! There’s truly a lot to see and do around the neighborhood. You just have to know where to look and how far to venture!

With Summer 2017 officially underway (albeit delayed because of the rain throughout Memorial Day Weekend kind of messing things up)– I also saw my first Summer blockbuster yesterday with my friend Stef after a late brunch during a long overdue girl date. We made it a regular women’s celebration and saw an afternoon screening of ‘Wonder Woman’- and wow. It was incredible, you guys. I’m not as big on the DC Universe as I am with Marvel- but it completely blew me away. It was powerful, action-packed, funny, sweet, AND heartbreaking- and I’m honestly just so thrilled with how well it’s doing at the box office because I would LOVE sequels.

I might even go see it again later on this week- that’s how much I enjoyed it from start to finish!

Today I’m all about work and getting things done at the office since it’s shaping up to be a pretty busy week. On Wednesday, I’ll have a really awesome and delicious recipe post to share- and then Friday is the date I’m announcing my big blogging news!

Enjoy your Monday, everyone!

xx

May 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Memorial Day Weekend, 2017.

Good Morning! This already short week (thanks to Memorial Day) is nearly finished and I couldn’t be more ready for the weekend to arrive so I can try a do-over on my cookout that was rained out this past Monday afternoon or attempt to head to the beach if the weather ever clears up. I’ll take any bit of sunshine I can get at this point- even if it’s just for a few minutes. This rain has been ridiculous! I thought “May Grey” was a SoCal thing- but it looks like it may have just hitched a ride with me back to the East Coast, instead!

I digress- lousy weather aside- May was a pretty fantastic month for a lot of different reasons. I’ve been crushing it at work lately, which is always a good feeling- and getting to know and further bond with some of my co-workers outside of the office has been a lot of fun, too- since I love meeting and getting to know new people. One outing in particular- a meet-up in my hometown to catch a local outdoor film festival/short film competition at one of my favorite bars this past Saturday- resulted in my running into Nev and Max from MTV’s “Catfish” (the guiltiest of guilty pleasures)– who were/are in the area to film an episode, I believe.

I had a MOMENT telling them how much I love their show- but they were thankfully super chill and sweet. Check it out!

This is the face of a girl who never misses an episode.

My co-workers got a kick out of my excited flailing- and that was before I’d even had a drink.

What else? My cousin and my best friend both finished college this month- graduating and obtaining their respective degrees within days of each other- so a good portion of May felt like one big, non-stop party for a while as we all commemorated such wonderful milestones. My cousin is now heading off to begin her career as a chemist, while my best friend is preparing for a month-long residency in Spain later on this Summer. We’re trying to plan a few beach-side bonfires and bar crawls before he goes, though- just so he’ll have some fresher memories of home to take with him while he’s gone.

And by now we all know I had headed to Las Vegas and San Diego a little more than a week ago to unwind, sunbathe, and low-key look at some property outside of the Vegas strip for a few days- and the trip ended up being one of my favorites in recent memory. No stress. No nonsense- lots of Mexican food- and it was AMAZING to spend some quality time with some of the people I love and cherish so much out there. Truly. My only regret is that I couldn’t stay longer because I was having such an incredible time and it was hard to leave it all behind to come back to my life here in Boston.

And now Summer is upon us (even though it doesn’t look/feel like it outside right now) and my big blogging news is just a few days away from going public. Some of you may have seen me discussing it on social media- I know a few friends and some brand representatives have been getting the promotional train running already- but by next week there’s going to be some exciting updates (and the beginnings of a giveaway!) here on Legally Redhead that I’ve been preparing to share for what feels like an eternity now- and I thank everyone for their continued patience while I smooth out the last of the details. It’s been such a fun journey so far and I know it’s only going to get better and brighter from here.

All that being said, I’m reluctantly saying goodbye to May- as much as I want to hold onto it for a little while longer- and saying hello to June, instead. Bring on the Summer and all the sunshine that goes with it!

Sunset in Vegas, May 2017.

‘Til next time!

xx

May Hits List!

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope those of you in the States had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Mine was mostly rained out, unfortunately- but I still managed to have my share of fun with friends and family while paying respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while they were defending our country and our freedoms.

I’m back at work this morning bright and early to get a jump start on anything that may have accumulated over the long weekend and to assist with training a newcomer to the team (and she’s an absolute doll! I’m so excited to work with her!) but I wanted to take a little bit of time to share some of my favorite things from the month of May. Some are helping me prep for this Summer, others were the breakout stars during my recent trip to the West Coast- but I’ve put them (and some other things!) all right here to share.

Let’s take a look!

I had previously showed off these holograph sneakers from Primark in my pre-vacation haul/shopping spree post a couple of weeks ago- and while I am still completely smitten with how cool they look- I also just want to comment on how unbelievably comfortable they are, too. I was sporting these in the airport, around the Las Vegas strip, and throughout downtown San Diego last week and not once did my feet ever feel sore or stiff.

Considering I paid less than $20 for these- I wasn’t expecting long-term comfort or style- but these made it to and from the West Coast and are still in great shape. I’m so, so thrilled about this purchase that I had to share them again!

Last month, an Aveeno face wash had made my “Hits List” for being my g0-to cleanser when I was freshening up post-workout at the gym. This month, the brand returns- but in the form of a really incredible nighttime repair cream that I’ve been swearing by in recent weeks. I brought this with me to California and it’s a lifesaver, to put it plainly.

Between the climate change, staying out late with my friends out West and having one too many drinks (more than once)– I was pretty much expecting to wake up every morning of my vacation looking rough and tired- but after generously smearing this cream all over my face and neck every night when I got back to where I was staying/crashing- I THANKFULLY always looked fresh-faced and radiant. The multi-vitamins and soy complex loaded into this fluffy, lightweight moisturizer worked wonders at repairing, hydrating, and protecting my skin while I slept. I’m a believer now and I can’t recommend it enough.

I’ve also been using this incredible color-changing/complimenting lipstick from Lipstick Queen I received in a recent POPSUGAR “Must Have” box pretty much non-stop. While the lipstick appears yellow in the tube, it quickly transforms into a flattering coral shade once it hits your lips. It brightens me up in the mornings when I head to work and is perfect for that no-fuss “beachy” look I covet around this time every year. I always keep it nearby in my bag for quick touch-ups!

As much as I love the latest Vegas key chain I picked up for my collection during last week’s visit- the key chain itself isn’t the only thing that made the “Hits List!” this month- but the overall memories, really.

I went to Vegas with a bit of an agenda- one, was to visit some friends I wish I got to see more often (which was also part of my agenda when I went to California shortly thereafter) and the other thing was to give a serious look and some consideration into the real estate options out that way.

I would love to live in San Diego- anywhere in SoCal, really- but the truth of the matter is that it is obscenely expensive. What I pay now for a lovely enough place that suits me and my present lifestyle where I’m currently located is barely enough to afford a decent studio (or even a basement apartment) in that region. Finding good condos or a suitable house is like winning the lottery- and I’m not getting any younger. I have to be realistic- and while I continue to take some roommate offers into consideration- the possibility of moving to the slightly-less-West-but-still-West-enough and infinitely cheaper Las Vegas/Henderson region has piqued my interest.

I did look at a couple of homes in the desert during my stay- still close enough to civilization so I’m not cut off but far enough away from the bright lights and the noise where I can get a full night’s sleep. I haven’t made any definitive decisions yet- but this entire trip really felt like a step in the right direction for a lot of reasons (some very personal) so that is a hit as far as I’m concerned.

On Mother’s Day, while out in Western Massachusetts for a day of shopping with my darling mom- I picked up a couple of packets of these punch mixes at a farmer’s market/general store to make on the hotter days this Summer. I ended up making them as soon as I got home- and yeah, I’m addicted. So much, in fact- that I went back and bought a few more during one of my recent days off- some for myself and some to gift to friends for their respective cookouts and BBQs.

These things are refreshing, and can be made with or without alcohol (guess which I prefer!) I have a feeling I’ll be including a couple in an upcoming giveaway I have planned for the Summer and a blogging milestone.

Finally, I’m in the process of compiling a list of my favorite burger joints around the New England area (the most fun part being the field research, of course)– but I’ve also been actively working on perfecting the art of the burger, myself. I recently picked up this cookbook featuring some of Shake Shack’s most famous recipes and it. is. awesome. Seriously- they have everything. Burgers. Fries. Breakfast sandwiches. Milkshakes. I’ve been working my ass off all Winter/Spring to get into shape and I’m going to blow it for the sake of trying everything in this book- but it’s gonna’ be worth it.

I’m actually thinking of sharing one of my recipe attempts a little later on this week/over the weekend- so stay tuned!

And now, for a couple of things that couldn’t quite be photographed so easily:

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

– WWE: Okay, hear me out. When I was a kid- I desperately wanted to be like my two older brothers- who were the coolest as far as I was concerned. That included getting into what was then called the WWF and keeping a brave face on whenever either one of them would attempt to throw me in a figure four leg-lock or a Sharpshooter after every installment of Monday Night Raw or SmackDown! we’d watch together (I always tapped out, for the record. That shit is PAINFUL.)

My favorite wrestlers back then were undeniably Matt and Jeff Hardy- who recently made a triumphant comeback and thus caused me to sit down and tune in again. A group of my friends are still really into it, and have been giving me lessons on all the new faces and feuds I didn’t recognize- and I gotta’ say- it’s still wildly entertaining. I’ve been having a ball watching along- and now my brothers may be jumping back into it, too- which means I need to learn how to get out of a chokehold ASAP.

– “Wonder Woman”: While the movie hasn’t officially hit theaters yet, the early reviews are all fantastic so far- and I’ve been anticipating it’s release for a long time now. Coupled with some recent controversy over some “Women Only” screenings scheduled across the country- WW is looking to be the feminist movie us ladies need right now and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I might even go see it twice- just because.

I think that’s pretty much everything for May 2017’s “Hits List!”- it might not seem like much- but it’s all been helpful/fun.

Feel free to share your own favorites for the month of May!

xx

Homeward Bound…

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Before I even begin talking about my recent vacation (of which I’m still recovering now that I’m back in slightly chillier/rainy temperatures on the East Coast)– there’s a couple of things that happened in the past week that I would like to address. While I was having the time of my life in Las Vegas and San Diego these past few days- I know there was some really dark, heavy stuff happening in the world and it doesn’t feel right just jumping into something super upbeat without acknowledging those things, first.

As I write this, I’m revisiting some Audioslave tracks I enjoyed a lot when I was in my teens and truly reflecting on the magnitude of the loss of one of the most incredible voices in rock- Chris Cornell. To lose someone with so much talent and whose music holds such a special spot in so many people’s lives and memories (especially us 90s kids) is tragic enough- but to know his death was the result of suicide makes it hurt just that much more. It cannot be said enough- but mental illness and depression are serious business and are nothing to be ashamed of- nor should they be dealt with or tackled alone. If you or someone you know is suffering and need help- I urge you to reach out. You’re not alone in this and there are people who are always available to help and who want to see you well and feeling better.

And in equally stunning and horrible music news- there are no words to describe my emotions when I heard about what happened in Manchester. I had been grabbing my phone charger from my hotel room when the news alerts started coming in- and every breaking news segment just became worse and worse as the situation played out in real time. It’s unfathomable and inconceivable and thoughts and prayers can only go so far when so many precious, young lives have been lost and so many families have been irreversibly changed for the worse.

Shows and concerts are a magical experience- completely unique to each fan in attendance- for so many reasons. I’ve gone to many and have gotten emotional more than once when a band played my favorite song or struck a certain chord that just hit me the right way. Shows are a place of love, and acceptance, and being able to lose yourself in music with friends and strangers alike for a night- and to see something so wonderful and precious destroyed by senseless violence is heartbreaking and terrifying and every part of me aches for those who have been affected by this- but I implore you not to be afraid. Do not let the hateful ideology behind what happened in Manchester keep you from enjoying live music and stop you from being present in the world for one another.

This was truly an ugly moment in the world- but I promise you all that there’s more good than bad out there. You just have to be fearless enough to go and seek it out and fight against any evil you may encounter along the way with nothing but love.

And now, to hopefully lift the mood of this post a bit- let me share some bits and pieces from my vacation.

I did not win big. At all.

I didn’t spend a lot of time in Vegas- just over 24 hours, really- but during that time I managed to lose $5 on a “Walking Dead” slot machine, grab In-N-Out Burger (and a couple of cocktails, naturally)– get plenty of steps in as I went from casino to casino- and look at a couple of houses in the area off of the strip that are on the market since I’m still very much intending on making an eventual move out West and wanted to compare Nevada real estate to California’s (spoiler alert: it’s infinitely cheaper to live in Nevada!)

I stayed at Caesar’s Palace in a suite overlooking a portion of the strip, and when my feet eventually started to hurt- I retreated back to my room and to the gigantic Jacuzzi (with a LUSH bath bomb in tow) for some much-needed post-day in the desert rest & relaxation.

Remind me to add “Jacuzzi” to my must-have “House Hunting” list, by the way!

Following Vegas, I headed to San Diego for a few days specifically to visit friends and do absolutely nothing apart from sunbathe and sip cold drinks under palm trees. I was there for a vacation, damn it- which means no itinerary- and did I ever have fun! I actually think this most recent trip, as short as it was- might be one of the best I’ve ever had in Southern California in recent memory. It was so wonderful spending time with some familiar faces (and meeting new ones!) and the weather remained consistently gorgeous throughout my stay- no sign of “May Gray” anywhere!

And although it’s always so hard to leave San Diego and return to the East Coast every time I’m out that way- this time was a little easier- not because I was particularly eager to get back home, but because I have a feeling I’ll be out there again real soon- and might even make a great stride towards a permanent residency after being on the fence and indecisive about it for so long while I attempted to climb the career ladder so I’d have one less thing to worry about. Now that I’ve reached the top of that aforementioned ladder- my options and possibilities are looking a whole lot more bright and attainable!

With Memorial Day this weekend, I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday. I’ll be sharing my favorites from this past month before packing up some beachwear (weather permitting!) to kick off the start of the Summer season- and then it’s onward into June where I’ll finally be able to share my blogging news! I’m so excited!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

xx

Pre-Vacay Haul!

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Good Morning and greetings from Chicago! I’m currently sitting in the airport terminal waiting for boarding to begin for my layover to Las Vegas, Nevada- and I. Am. So. Tired. I know once I’m in Sin City I’ll have a boost of energy that should keep me going all night and well into tomorrow- but right now I just want to curl up with my coffee and take a long and much-needed nap. If only these seats weren’t so uncomfortable!

Anyway, after a long night of packing and being way too excited to get a proper amount of sleep (every. single. time. I. travel)– I think I remembered to bring everything I need- including some new additions to my wardrobe and makeup bag courtesy of Sephora and Primark.

I warned y’all there was going to be a haul post- and here it is!

I have been down to the bare minimum of makeup lately- having traded in elaborate cat-eyes for a more natural look so I could sleep a little later in the mornings before work during the week- so I thought I’d treat myself by picking up replacement foundation, concealer, and powder- but also throwing in some new waterproof mascara, a lipstick (“Stark Naked” by Urban Decay- a lovely nude matte!) and some spa-level face and eye masks to get myself looking alive and awake before I hit the Vegas strip tonight.

I’m a young, single gal on vacation, after all- and I gotta’ look like one!

In terms of clothing- I just wanted to pick up a few things I know I’d get plenty of use out of instead of just wearing it once and forgetting about it for months at a time. First things first- I needed light, cool pajamas to sleep in while I’m resting in the desert since all I currently own are thermals from this past Winter.

I snagged these two pajama sets- one with cute little lemons printed all over them and one with bright fringe/tassels- at $6 per set!

Once I laid eyes on these holographic sneakers- I knew I had to have them for long walks through the airport or from casino to casino on the strip. They’re cushy and comfortable- and definitely eye-catching.

The silver flip flops, for when I finally head poolside or want to dig my toes in the sand when I finally hit California- may not be as attention-grabbing as the sneakers- but they’re sparkly and don’t hurt my feet the way other sandals can- so I love them, too!

I have accepted my pale-ness and no longer attempt to cover it up in embarrassment. I’m as white as a ghost. That’s who I am- and it’s too hot to not be wearing shorts or trying to hide my legs- so I made sure to stock up on a bunch of these low-priced denim and/or crochet style shorts to keep cool and chic wherever I go- as well as a couple of loose-fitting cotton shirts to mix and match them with.

I’m all about going casual for this trip. It’s long overdue!

Of course, there are going to be one or two instances where I may need to dress up a little while I’m away- so I made sure to grab this metallic pleated skirt (one of my favorite trends right now!) to give me a little sparkle if I’m wining and dining anywhere on the West Coast.

A nice top and a little jewelry and I can go from dressed-down to glamour girl in a few minutes. It’s all in the details!

I also don’t intend to walk around with a big purse the entire time I’m on vacation- so I grabbed this little zip-up faux-leather pouch to hold the essentials like my I.D., my hotel room key and some lipstick while simultaneously displaying some hometown love. Cutest $3.50 I’ve ever spent!

And for one last dressy item- I was absolutely smitten with this thin, bell-sleeved floral dress that fit me perfectly when I tried it on. I bought this not only for my trip, but for when I come home and head back to work- too! It’s completely office-appropriate! How lovely is that design?

Overall- I spent just over $200. The Sephora stuff was actually what cost the most (no surprise there) but I think I made out pretty good considering all of the things that I got!

And with that being said- my flight is boarding in a few minutes. Time to try and get some last minute shut-eye on the plane!

For updates from my trip, be sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ll be posting a LOT, I’m sure.

See you all when I get back!

xx

POPSUGAR Must Have Box: May 2017.

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Good Morning! In just a few more days I’ll be 10,000 feet in the air and en route to fabulous Las Vegas (and then San Diego) for a long, extended weekend getaway! I’m excited- and I’ve been getting things in order at work while simultaneously attempting to start my packing so that I’m prepared for my very early flight on Friday morning and can truly de-stress while I’m gone!

Before I post the results of my pre-vacay shopping spree splurge and get ready for take-off, however- I wanted to share what I recently received in my May POPSUGAR “Must Have” box! The contents not only featured some of my favorite items- but also had some great gifts I got to pass along, too!

May’s theme/inspirations centered around home and family- presumably in celebration of Mother’s Day. BE GOOD & FEEL GOOD, FAMILY, MEMORIES, HOME and GRATITUDE were the big ones- and once again I think POPSUGAR perfectly managed to capture the themes with the items that were included.

Let’s take a look!

I can never have enough greeting cards on hand, especially since there always seems to be a special occasion happening at any given point. Weddings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries- you name it and I see about 3-4 of them per week! I thought these three blank cards from Nicely Noted would be a lovely addition to my collection of stand-by stationary since they’re all really cute. One is a simple “thank you!” card, another is for a Summer birthday, and the third- which might be hard to read in the photo- is simply to say hello!

I love strawberry-flavored anything, and I especially love muffins- so I was thrilled when I saw this all-in-one muffin mix from Southern Culture Artisan Foods in this month’s “Must Have” box! With everything included in the kit (which is reasonably priced at $7.99 per kit)– I know I’m going to have so much fun making these this week and even more fun eating them!

POPSUGAR always includes the best candles in the subscription box game. They really do take it to a new level that I feel other monthly/annual services may have a hard time keeping up with. Case in point- this divine and beachy-scented candle from TOCCA– which transported me to my favorite seaside spot in Southern California the first time I caught a whiff of it as I was going through the box for the first time.

It just smells so fresh and clean and I can’t get enough of it! I know I’m going to be buying another one ASAP once this one is gone.

I have a lot of artwork around my house, but not too many photographs- so this lovely 4 x 6″ frame from Swing Design was gifted to my mother so she could put a SUPER unflattering recent photo of me she had in her possession in it (even though I begged her not to.) The frame is simple and looks nice pretty much anywhere since it matches any color scheme/pattern- and it’s currently found a home on my mother’s mantle for all to see….

…. Lord help me.

My second favorite item in May’s “Must Have” box was this chic and durable cuff crafted by Samantha Faye exclusively for POPSUGAR. Inscribed with the inspirational words “Be Good. Do Good. Feel Good.” this adjustable bracelet sits comfortably on my wrist and pairs well with nearly everything in my wardrobe. I’ve been wearing it solo or stacked with some of my other cuffs/bracelets lately and getting a load of compliments on it!

Finally, my absolute favorite item in May’s “Must Have” box was the new color-changing, skin-tone complimenting lipstick from Lipstick Queen.While it indeed looks yellow in the tube- once applied, this creamy formula transforms into a custom (and ultra flattering) coral shade that smooths and hydrates your lips!

I know it’s still technically Spring and I don’t start wearing coral/peach shades until we’re well into the Summer- but I can’t stop applying this stuff! It’s so cool and it looks and feels great when it’s on! This is another item from this month’s “Must Have” box that I’ve been getting tons of compliments on!

POPSUGAR did include some digital goodies, too- including a 15% off voucher for Lipstick Queen and a promo for Gentlemans Box– which I assume is like POPSUGAR but for guys, instead. I have a feeling I’ll be passing that one along to a friend and keeping the Lipstick Queen one for myself!

Overall- I absolutely loved this month’s “Must Have” box! There was a little bit of everything included (and I love variety like that!) and each item was so well made and such high quality that I made back the money my subscription costs x3!

I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store for June!

xx

Quick Eats: Mom’s Swedish Meatballs

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My family and I are a pretty tight knit clan. We try to do things together as much as possible and are always in contact via phone/text/social media- although now that my brothers and I are grown up and aren’t all living under the same roof anymore- it sometimes makes it trickier to get together as often as we’d like- especially when we want to spend time with our mom.

Well, my mother concocted the 2-week dinner rule to avoid us becoming a family who only ever sees each other on holidays or at weddings/funerals. Every two weeks, without fail- we pick weeknight to meet at her house after we all get out of our respective jobs and she cooks for us like she did when we were kids (although the menu is a little more advanced than boxed macaroni & cheese or pizza these days.)

At our most recent meet-up- my mom made one of her specialty recipes, passed down to her by my grandmother and my great-grandmother- which I promptly stole to try making on my own.

If you don’t eat meat and/or don’t like mushrooms- this might not be the recipe for you- but I have a slow cooker and a handwritten note from my mom on how NOT to mess these up- so I was feeling pretty confident I could make her proud!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of celery soup- depending on the type of flavor you want!)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 slightly beaten egg
  • Parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup of minced onion
  • Salt (to taste)

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Combine 1/2 cup of water to your can of soup to thin the consistency.

2. Combine the ground beef with 1/4 cup of the cream of mushroom/celery soup.

3. Add the slightly beaten egg, the breadcrumbs, minced onion, parsley flakes and salt to your mixture.

4. Roll the beef into balls.

5. Brown slightly, and add remaining soup.

6. Cover the meatballs and let them simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes.

7. Serve and enjoy!

Listen, my mom might be one of the greatest cooks on the East Coast- but I think I did a pretty good job with these! They looked and tasted just like her version, and didn’t take long at all to prepare and cook up.

I served my version the way my mom usually does, too- with egg noodles and mixed vegetables. Not pictured? The basket of buttered biscuits she usually sets out for all of us to dig into whenever she cooks for us. I’ll remember it next time for sure!

And with all this talk about my mom’s cooking- I think now is as good a time as any to wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day this weekend! Whether you’re a seasoned veteran like my mom or this is your first Mother’s Day with a new baby- you’re awesome and I hope each and every single one of you have a great day (with lots of sweets!)

xx

I’ve been too long- I’m glad to be back.

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No, I’m not dead and I haven’t been taken prisoner anywhere. Following my last entry a little over a week ago where I wrapped up the month of April, I took a few days off to focus on work, office activities, and upcoming plans for “Legally Redhead” (including a potential name and domain change- shocking, I know- but I intend to keep everyone 100% informed as things proceed forward!) I’ve also been preparing for Mother’s Day this coming Sunday and my extended weekend on the West Coast next weekend. Overall, I’ve been very busy!

I did take some time over the weekend to unwind and go out to a few different bars with friends, however- starting off at Highball Lounge (where I had the most incredible apple brandy beverage imaginable- called “Apple Bottom Jeans”) before working our way over to Silvertone. We didn’t stay long- since Boston bars can get a little rowdy on the weekends- so we closed out the night in much quieter Cambridge. First, at State Park and then at Lord Hobo– which is where that dimly-lit selfie of me was taken after last call had come and gone.

I woke up the next morning feeling surprisingly pretty good (helped in part by a carb-heavy breakfast in Melrose with my much more hungover friends)– but it got me thinking- I should put together an updated version of “My Guide to Boston” from 2015. A lot has changed since then, after all! There’s definitely a lot of newer places I’ve grown fond of and a ton of updated things to do around this lovely little city I call home.

I also intend to start compiling “Top 10” lists as a helpful guide to those visiting not just Boston, but Massachusetts and New England in general- too. I know a lot of really great restaurants, bars, unusual shops, etc. etc. throughout Western Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and so on- and my blog seems like the perfect outlet to share them.

But I digress! This was just a quick update to say that I haven’t vanished entirely- I’m just working on multiple things at once! I have a recipe post planned for later on this week (courtesy of my mom- so you know it’s going to be good!) and I’m excited to share the blog news once all of my plans are finalized and confirmed. Big and long overdue changes are coming!

Once in a while it does the brain (and my knuckles since I type so much!) a little bit of good to take a break- but I think I’m finally caught up on everything that was pressing and in need of my undivided attention- and I’m ready to get back to work here at Legally Redhead!

Stay tuned for some good eats in a couple of days, and a peek inside an upcoming clothing/makeup haul pre-vacation!

Treat yourself: 2017!

xx