April 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Boston in Bloom – April 2017

Good Morning and Happy Sunday!

I’m actually taking a few moments to reflect on this past month before I head out into the city to have brunch with some friends since I’ve been craving a decent omelette for a few days now. I’m hoping we get an outdoor table since it’s been an absolutely gorgeous weekend here in Boston! I’m a little bummed it’s almost over and Monday is once again going to be upon us.

Growing up in New England, the month of April has always been a bit unpredictable. Winter is still fighting to stay in control while Spring and Summer are trying to edge their way in- which results in 99.999% of the population here battling colds and/or allergies- depending on the day. While my annual post-Winter flu finally packed it’s bags and left back in March- there were quite a few rainy, chilly days here scattered throughout the past few weeks that made me feel a bit run down and icky. Couple that with a since-healed pelvic injury I sustained earlier this month- and I was pretty much ready to throw in the towel and hibernate until at least July.

Thankfully, it looks like Spring is finally here to stay now that even the rainy days aren’t bitterly brisk anymore- and I can finally pack up the last of my heavy sweaters and winter coats to put into storage until Fall rolls back around. It also means I can keep the windows open to breathe some much-needed fresh air into my place while I finish the last of my seasonal top-to-bottom cleaning since this is the time of year when I feel the most energized and accomplished!

Weather and injury setbacks aside, April was a good month- spent enjoying my work in my office, time with family and friends around Easter and the Boston Marathon/Patriot’s Day, and even managing to make some semblance of peace with my ex on a couple of occasions- proof that time really does heal some (not all) wounds and that I am a lot more mature than I previously gave myself credit for.

I’ve also been proactively budgeting my recent raise- which means planning for the future (both short AND long-term) doesn’t feel like such a weight on my shoulders all the time- which is pretty exciting and has made it a little easier to breathe and enjoy things a bit more! I’m truly very grateful!

So what’s in store for May? Well, I’m headed to Las Vegas and San Diego in a couple of weeks to visit friends (and eat In-N-Out Burger, of course!) which is always pretty exciting- as well as getting into Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo mode at the office. I’ll also be sharing a couple of new recipes and celebrating the 500th post here on “Legally Redhead” in grand fashion (it’s coming up soon!) I’m hoping to have a lot of really great content and fun photos to share in the coming weeks!

So here’s to Spring finally, well, springing- and plenty of sunny days ahead!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

xx

April Hits List!

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Good Morning! It’s FINALLY Friday, and what a tiring week it’s been! I’ve been so preoccupied with training on new software at my job and preparing for an extended weekend on the West Coast in a couple of weeks that I haven’t had much time for anything else apart from working out and sleeping as much as I can- and don’t even get me started on the never-ending April showers that have plagued New England these past few days.

I did find some time to put together a few of my favorite things from this month, however- and while it isn’t a ton of stuff by any means- they’ve mostly been lifesavers leading up to now.

As always, I thought I’d start with the items/objects that were easier to photograph before jumping right into some of the other miscellaneous things I’ve been loving throughout April- so without further delay- here’s my “Hits List” for April 2017:

I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard in the past few weeks- not only because nicer weather makes it easier to exercise and savor the outdoors- but because I want to look good when I head out to Vegas and California next month. So far, my results have been really great- and there’s no lack of motivation to keep going because of it!

Of course, after working up a sweat- the first thing I want to do after I get out of my gym clothes is wash my face. I have a couple of different cleansers that I use in the mornings and the evenings- but I wanted something mild for a post-workout refresher that would clean any dirt/oil/sweat from of my pores without drying me out. I’ve really, really, REALLY been liking this brightening face wash from Aveeno lately. It cleanses and conditions my skin- and I have actually noticed a visible difference in my complexion’s clarity and overall texture since I started using this, too!

And I can’t wash my face without a follow-up moisturizer. Again, I didn’t want anything too heavy like my morning and nighttime creams- so I turned to Neutrogena’s lightweight and oil-free face lotion to help me out. I like that this formula not only keeps my skin soft and doesn’t clog my pores- but my skin actually feels a little firmer, too. It’s a pretty good feeling after a long workout- and the price of both the face wash and the moisturizer don’t break the bank, either.

When it comes to makeup and cosmetics- I never shy away from experimenting or trying different brands and products- but when it comes to reliable foundation? I almost always turn to Tarte Cosmetics. Their coverage is amazing and their cover-up actually matches my skin tone perfectly!

I’ve been wearing their Rainforest of The Sea water foundation (with SPF 15) lately- and although the eyedropper applicator can be a little tricky to those with even the steadiest hands and strongest of Beauty Blenders- I’m in love with this! It covers any blemishes/imperfections completely, but it still feels so light on my skin- like I’m not wearing anything at all- and it doesn’t budge!

Even after a long day at the office- my skin always looks radiant.

I have a sweet tooth- which isn’t always a good thing when you’re dieting and trying to reach a fitness goal you’ve set for yourself- so I was pretty excited when my co-worker introduced me to the gourmet candy shop Sugarfina, and specifically their champagne and Rosé-infused gummi bears. These things taste ridiculously good and aren’t loaded with fat- which means I can eat a handful at my desk guilt-free!

I’ve personally developed an obsession with their “Bubbly Bears”, which are dusted in a thin coat of sour sugar to give each bear that fizzy feeling on your tongue- but I recommend trying pretty much anything from Sugarfina. They have something to satisfy everyone!

I’ve heard of copper-infused water bottles before, but only recently discovered their magic and wonder courtesy of this sky blue bottle from PURE. I was skeptical of the notion that this bottle could keep a beverage cold (or hot!) for 24 hours- so it pretty much blew my mind when it actually did and the water I sipped after work was just as cold as it was when I’d first poured it into the bottle that morning. It’s awesome.

I hear there’s a lot of health benefits to drinking water from a copper bottle, too- although I don’t know how accurate those statements are. All I know is that my water is always ice cold and it thankfully doesn’t taste metallic- so I’m sold!

Finally, I couldn’t resist picking up this “New Phone- Who Dis?” Ouija pin from Gimme Flair. It’s currently tacked onto my leather jacket and so many people crack up whenever they lean in to catch a glimpse of it. The photo above doesn’t do it justice. It’s really such a great accessory and one I’ve been truly having fun with over the past few weeks!

And that’s it for the photogenic favorites- but a couple of other things made the list,too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

– “Archer: Dreamland” – I’ve loved this series since day one, and each season just gets better and better- but “Dreamland” (set in 1940’s noir while Archer is in a coma from the events of the last season) is side-splitting funny. Krieger and Pam remain my favorite characters!

– “Mystery Science Theater 3000” – Netflix is bringing me all things wonderful and pure lately, including the reboot to one of my favorite shows! I’ve been binging on this when I have the time- usually at night after a long day- and it’s just as fantastic as ever. My love of bad movies with sarcastic commentary by robots knows no bounds.

Alright everyone- I think that’s pretty much it for the month of April. My look back on these past few weeks will be up this weekend before we launch into May- where I’m sure I’ll have more favorites to share!

Enjoy your Friday!

xx

Review: HASK Curl Care Collection

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It should come as no surprise to anyone when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. Naturally thick and curly- unlike anyone else’s in my immediate family (most who have generally pin straight hair)– I have always appreciated and even enjoyed how my curls made me stand out from everyone else. It’s been my trademark of sorts- the way some other women might claim a shade of lipstick or a fashion accessory as their own. My hair has always been my “thing”- something that made me a bit unique- even when I began experimenting with different colored dyes and highlights in my teens through present day.  The curls have always remained in tact to set me apart.

Styling my hair, however? That’s a whole other story. I can remember being a little kid and my scalp being in a perpetual state of agony every morning before school while my poor mother worked tirelessly to get a hairbrush through my curls without ripping them right out of my head (spoiler alert: it never worked out too well) and trying to fight that dreaded “crunchy” look with so many different creams/gels/sprays has always been- and will forever be- one of the most frustrating things for those with curly hair like mine.

Although my styling method has since become less time-consuming and a bit easier with updated, lightweight products and accessories (hello, Wet Brush!)– humid days are still a cause of dread for me and finding hair care formulas that don’t completely dry my curls out can be challenging when so many brands use color-stripping chemicals and otherwise harmful ingredients.

So I was very grateful and excited when HASK recently sent me a package containing full-sized bottles of their coconut milk-infused Curl Care Collection to try out for myself. With shampoo, conditioner and a deep conditioning mask- I couldn’t wait to get started!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo:

From HASK’s website:

“Calling all curls! Add shape and bounce with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo. Enriched with hydrating coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, each wash removes build-up without stressing or stripping curls of their natural oils. Our Memory Curl Complex helps curls bounce back with frizz-proof definition and nonstop shine whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Hello colossal curls!”

I just want to start my review off by saying that each of these products smelled absolutely amazing- like toasted coconut and the tropics. If these aren’t the perfect Summertime shower essentials to whisk you away to an exotic beach somewhere- I don’t know what is.

But I digress! This shampoo lathered up really nicely and a little went a long way- cleansing my hair from root to tip with only a nickel-sized amount in my palm. At first, I was a little concerned that my hair felt a bit slick after I first rinsed the product out, since coconut oil can be on the greasier side depending on how much you use- but after a few more minutes under the running water and the “oily” feeling went away- leaving really soft and tangle-free strands behind, instead. I actually think this shampoo is so moisturizing that it doesn’t even need to be followed up with the conditioner! That’s the only time I’ve ever been able to say that about a shampoo- considering most of them can be on the drying side and a conditioner is almost always needed to replenish basic hydration- but this one did the trick all on it’s own!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“What’s the ultimate style guide for curly hair? HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner! Blended with moisture-rich coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, this formula locks in moisture and luster to help bring dehydrated curls back to life. Our frizz-proof Memory Curl Complex helps every curl bounce back to its unique curl pattern, whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Go ahead, celebrate your curls!”

Even though the shampoo was, in my opinion, moisturizing enough- I still followed it up with this conditioner in an attempt to keep my frizz at bay. Much like the shampoo, a small amount of this product went a long way. I was able to coat my curls from my scalp down to the ends with just a couple of pumps before letting it sink in and work it’s magic for a few minutes. Once I combed it through and rinsed it out- my hair felt even softer and smoother- which I didn’t even think was possible!

When I got out of the shower and started drying my hair, I noticed that my usual amount of frizz was pretty much non-existent. My curls were more defined and looked considerably shinier. Even after I’d styled my hair and headed off to work for the day- there was no poofy-ness or unexpected 80’s hair metal band vibes popping up by the afternoon. Needless to say- I was thrilled!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“Keep your curls looking their best with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner. This deep conditioning treatment quenches thirsty curls on contact for control and definition. Complete with our Memory Curl Complex to help block out frizz, seal split ends and keep unruly curls in line with extra bounce and shine.”

This packet of creamy conditioner is meant to be used as more of a deep repair mask instead of a daily treatment- so I used the product sparingly- applying it twice a week and leaving it in my dampened hair for about ten minutes before combing it through my curls and rinsing it out. While the shampoo and the regular conditioner I’d received from HASK had been working wonders for my hair all on their own- I did notice a significant difference in my ends each time I used this mask- and I strongly recommend it to anyone who may have ongoing issues with split ends. This product fixed them right up for me- and I have color-treated hair that requires a pretty good amount of TLC to maintain- so I was really impressed with this one!

______________________

Overall, I was absolutely blown away by the results I achieved with HASK’s Curl Care Collection in such a short amount of time. My hair is soft, smooth, shiny- and most importantly-manageable! Not only does the entire collection work really, really well- but HASK’s products are also fair and affordable- and there’s a little something for everyone and their individual hair care concerns: color-treated care, thickening solutions, strength-building, damage detox, etc.

I cannot say enough good things about this brand and I urge everyone to give them a try if you’re feeling unsatisfied or underwhelmed with any of the pricier products you might be using right now. I know I’ll be making the switch!

Thank you again to HASK for such a lovely package and for giving me the opportunity to talk about their brand and my results. It was a pleasure!

**I was not paid for this post and all opinions and content contained within are strictly my own. I am not nor have I ever been employed by HASK Beauty. This partnership was made possible by BrandBacker.**

xx

Quick Eats: No-Bake Caramel Cheesecake Shooters

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I spent most of this past Saturday, a drizzly and dreary morning and afternoon- with a pretty powerful migraine and jaw ache following a routine cleaning at my dentist’s office. Whether it was the sound of the scraping or the uncomfortable angle I was positioned in on the chair, I’m not sure- but not even Ibuprofen could help me and I dreaded the thought of chewing anything solid for a few hours.

By the time late afternoon rolled around- I was feeling a little better- but my sweet tooth had been triggered. Not wanting to risk hurting my still-sore jaw with anything too crunchy (which meant cookies were out of the question)– I decided to try whipping up something soft and decadent and pulled up a recipe I’d had saved on my phone for a while now.

I love cheesecake- any variation of it- although making it from scratch can be a bit taxing. Thankfully, this 20-minute recipe gives you all of the taste with a fraction of the prep-time and leaves little to no mess at all!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Shooter glasses (I used 3 larger sized ones for this)
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 1 jar caramel sauce
  • 4.5 ounces of graham crackers
  • Whipped cream

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Crumble your graham crackers. I actually bought mine pre-crumbled (check your local store’s baking goods aisle to see if they have them!) but in case you can’t find any- it’s easy enough to just mash a whole bunch of graham crackers in a bowl.

2. Melt your butter in a separate bowl and then mix it with the crumbled graham crackers. Make sure all of your crumbs are coated with the butter.

3. Spoon a layer of the graham cracker crumb & butter mixture into the bottom of your shooter glasses. Be sure to try and get the top of the layer as flat as possible since you’re going to be adding more layers to this (and you’ll want to have plenty of room!)

4. In a separate bowl, add the cream cheese and 2/3 of the can of condensed milk. Mix together well. Once you’re finished- spoon a layer of this mixture to your shooter glasses on top of your graham cracker layer.

5. Repeat one layer of the graham cracker/butter mixture in your shooter glasses, and then another layer of your cream cheese/condensed milk mixture.

6. Using a small bowl, combine your caramel sauce with the remaining condensed milk and mix well. Pour this mixture into your shooter glasses to top them off.

7. Refrigerate the glasses for 1 hour.

8. Top the shooters with whipped cream (and if you have any graham cracker crumbs remaining- throw those on too!) and serve!

These came out really good. As soon as I dug into one with a spoon, all of the layers just combined perfectly and each bite had a little bit of everything- the caramel, the filling, and the graham cracker crust. So delicious!

I know I’ll be making these again the next time I have company over since they’re easy enough to prepare and would make a great party dessert when there’s a lot of people over. I may even add some chocolate to this recipe just to mix it up a little!

xx

POPSUGAR Must Have Box: April 2017.

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Good Morning and Happy Friday, y’all! I’m getting ready to put in a busy day at work- filled with meetings and phone calls- before I head out with friends to kick-start my weekend. Before I launch right into that morning coffee (and paperwork), though- I wanted to share the goodies that were included in my recently received POPSUGAR “Must Have Box” for the month of April.

It was a good one, for sure! I had a lot of fun going through it.

With Spring finally in the air- POPSUGAR’s themes/inspirations for April’s box weren’t surprising: RESET, NATURAL, HEALING, CLEAN, GROW and SPIRITUAL were the words each item was based around- and I think they hit the mark (again!) this time!

I can honestly use any help I can get when it comes to securing a full night’s sleep. Even with evening yoga, a warm bath and/or an eye mask- I still tend to toss and turn some nights, and then other nights- my dog jumps up on the bed ready to play at 3 a.m. I often wake up in a fog- so when I saw these lavender-infused sachets from Tonic Australia– I was pretty excited to put one near my pillow so I could pass out in peace.

Not only do these smell lovely and are immediately calming- but the pattern on the fabric is really pretty, too!

With all the cooking and baking experiments I conduct in my kitchen- receiving any item designed to make the process easier for me is always a welcomed addition in my home. I really like the look and feel of this bamboo cutting board from Morning Culture–  and I know it’s going to come in handy this weekend when I’m preparing an array of meals to bring to the office with me next week.

I currently have a small pot of bamboo on my desk, and at first I thought it was enough- but then I received this crystal and sand terrarium kit from MakersKit in April’s “Must Have Box” and now I know that I’m going to have to make some room for this when it’s completed, too! There’s so many ways you can rearrange the crystal, preserved moss and sand included in the kit to your liking- but all the combinations are beautiful.

I thought this was such a unique item to include and I’m excited to put it together!

As much as I always love the snacks POPSUGAR occasionally includes in their boxes- I was a little skeptical about this roasted corn snack from Nourish Snacks– but I gotta’ say: they’re pretty good! With just the right amount of a spicy kick to them, these crunchy kernels made for a pretty satisfying afternoon snack at my office. I browsed Nourish Snack’s website during some recent down time and it looks like they have a ton of other goodies to munch on, as well!

Okay, first things first- how cute is the design of this bottle? I love it! Secondly, this moisturizing body wash from The Cottage Greenhouse is pretty awesome. Not only does it smell really good, but it’s loaded with vitamins, carrot (and coconut!) oil and cocoa butter so my skin always feel really soft, smooth and refreshed after every shower- which is perfect this time of year when I’m spending more time outdoors and may not be loading on the lotions as much as I do in the Fall and Winter.

I think this might be my favorite item in this month’s “Must Have Box”!

One might think getting toothpaste and dental floss in a subscription box is a little weird- but I think it’s great since it saves me a trip to the pharmacy to stock up. Infused with coconut oil and with a subtle fruit flavor- I’ve been really liking how clean this floss from Cocofloss makes my mouth feel and how gentle but effective this freshening toothpaste from Sensodyne is.

It’s a pretty great combination to have handy!

Finally, my e-coupon for April’s “Must Have Box” came courtesy of The Cottage Greenhouse- who made that sensational body wash pictured above! I plan on stocking up on more of their supplies, so this 30% voucher is going to be used REAL quick!

It goes without saying that I really enjoyed April’s POPSUGAR box- and each item fit the themes/inspirations brilliantly. I’m a huge fan of the body wash and the terrarium, and the roasted corn kernels were pretty good, too!

‘Til next month!

xx

Chocolate Bunnies, Marathons and Floral Arrangements…

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My Family’s Dessert Table – Easter, 2017

For as long as I can remember, Easter has never particularly been a holiday of significant importance to me. I can understand it’s value to those who recognize or honor it’s religious meaning- but once I was old enough to learn the Easter Bunny was just my mom or dad hiding plastic eggs filled with candy or money around the yard and not really the work of a seven foot tall rabbit- I stopped paying attention to anything more than Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and how itchy and uncomfortable the Spring dresses my mom would make me wear as a little kid to the day’s family functions/get-togethers were.

I digress. Every year, without fail- my family continues that time-honored tradition of gathering for a Thanksgiving-level feast at my mom’s house that starts in the early afternoon and doesn’t usually wrap up until much later on at night. We’re all usually catching up with one another (and there’s a lot of us, you best believe!) or watching sports between bites- and it’s always such a good time. This year was no exception. It was wonderful seeing my brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and my niece after a few long weeks or working non-stop.

Admittedly, this time of the year can also be a little tough for me now and then. I think of my dad a lot during time spent with my immediate and extended family- and how much fun we had when he was still here with us- and it was right around this time last year that things started falling apart with my ex, whom I actually saw and spent some time with a couple of weeks ago. We got along just fine (much to my amazement.)

But to distract myself from what I’ve dubbed the “Pre-Blossom Blues” (still waiting on the trees and flowers to catch up with the rest of the warm weather!) I’ve thrown myself into work and planning an impromptu trip to Vegas and San Diego next month to visit friends and enjoy some In-N-Out Burger during an extended cheat day from my diet. I’m really excited!

On Monday, following my food-coma wearing off- I did what most everyone in Boston was doing and jumped right into the Patriot’s Day celebrations and watching the Boston Marathon from the comfort of my air conditioned office with some take-out in hand with a few of my co-workers. Prior to the actual race, I was able to check out the course over the weekend when I headed down to Boylston Street in the dead of the night. There were a few other people walking the final stretch, as well- but the area was mostly filled with watchful police officers and crew setting up the last of the barricades along the runner’s route.

One of the officers was actually high-fiving people who were crossing the finish line. He gave me a supportive cheer as I leisurely crossed the line- throwing my arms up in victory as I did so- which is just one of the reasons why I love Boston as much as I do. Nearly everyone here just has such a fun sense of humor and buzzes with excitement and enthusiasm for events happening in or around the city.

I did it! In ripped jeans and impractical shoes at 11:30 p.m.- no less!

Someday I’ll run the marathon. Someday…

… Just kidding- but kudos to everyone who musters up the strength and the courage and trains their asses off to do it every year!

But for now, I’ve got some non-marathon-related work to get to!

On Friday, I’m going to be sharing my April POPSUGAR “Must-Have” Box (spoiler alert: it’s another good one!) and next week I’ll finally be posting a pretty cute and easy dessert recipe I picked up recently, reviewing some uh-may-zing hair care products, and going through my favorites for the month of April before I wrap it up and we head straight into May!

Have a great day, everyone!

xx

One April Day…

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Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a pretty hectic week for me- balancing my workload at the office with recuperating from a recent pelvic injury (I’m fine and have since returned to my regularly scheduled workout regimen)– which has pretty much kept me on my toes. I’m glad the weekend and Easter are here- since it’ll give me a chance to catch up on a lot of things (including sleep) and enjoy an afternoon of stuffing my face with good food and chocolate bunnies with my family.

After a lot of back and forth between Winter and Spring- it looks like Spring has finally got the upper hand. The past few days have been only slightly chilly, but comfortable (with the exception of Tuesday when temps briefly skyrocketed into the high 80’s)– which means I’ve been able to spend more time outdoors without having to wear several layers of thermal or risk potentially getting frost bite. It’s great. I’m taking daily walks after work and going on longer hikes during the weekend. The shot above was during a break after an uphill trek just outside Belchertown a few days ago- and the view wasn’t shabby at all.

The only thing I’ve been waiting patiently on is for the trees and the flowers to bloom- but it looks like they’re still a bit shy. I’ve been getting my floral fix at a local greenhouse/farmer’s market whenever I have a free moment- and I plan to make a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden at some point within the next couple of weeks so that I can get those Instagram-able cherry blossom photos while they’re still at peak bloom. If you’re thinking of checking it out for yourself, THIS SITE has been pretty helpful with monitoring the status of the blossoms!

After some much-deserved rest (and gluttony) this coming weekend- I’ll be back with new posts next week- including a really fun dessert recipe (no baking required!) some product reviews, and more Springtime shots from my Easter Sunday.

For those of you celebrating- I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Enjoy your weekend, y’all!

xx

That’s a Wrap! Dissecting Season 7 of “The Walking Dead.”

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Okay, those of you who are *still* traumatized by the absolutely gruesome season seven premiere of “The Walking Dead” from this past October- the dust has settled and this season is finally over. You can uncover your eyes now and we can talk about our feelings (and you all know I have a lot of them.)

It’s funny how the season six, first-person, “did Negan just kill the cameraman?” cliffhanger finale enraged myself and so many other people for various and all pretty good reasons- but had I known what that cliffhanger was leading up to- I probably wouldn’t have complained that much. I knew things were going to be bad when the show returned, but I didn’t really comprehend HOW bad.

The 7th season of the show faced a lot of criticism these past few months. Some thought it had traded in good storytelling and character development for overly barbaric and perhaps unnecessary violence. Others thought there was too much storytelling and character development and not enough violence- and still others thought there weren’t enough zombies (although this is a common complaint season after season despite the fact that hordes of walkers are still an ongoing thing every few episodes so I don’t typically pay attention to reviews that gripe about that too much.)

And to those criticisms I will say something I never thought I would utter as someone who admittedly tends to be a bit harsh when reviewing this show as a whole- season 7 was pretty perfect, save for a couple of setbacks- which I’ll happily discuss.

Of course, I know that not everyone has caught up just yet- so I’ll be placing my review under the cut/”Keep Reading” button.

Please bear in mind before continuing with my review- I am going to spoil things- a LOT of things- and this is your final warning of the aforementioned spoilers before you press on and keep reading.

And, if you’d like to read my thoughts on the past seasons- I’ve linked them here (just in case!)

And without further delay, let Negan’s cocky, psychopathic and fine self guide you into my review:

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March 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Comm Ave – Boston. 3/19/17

T.G.I.F., y’all! I am especially excited for this coming weekend because it’ll be the first in about two weeks where I haven’t been bed-ridden with a cold and/or severely congested. This past March saw some unpredictable weather- with rising temperatures one day and a frigid blizzard the next- and the drastic overnight changes took a toll on me and a few of my friends and co-workers in the form of a pretty aggressive flu that had me down for the count for a few days. It was rough- but I’m nearly back to 100% again and I’m looking forward to kicking off April with some much-needed Spring cleaning and a stop at a local greenhouse to pick up some fresh blossoms to get me into a more warm-weather state of mind. I just want to buy all he tulips and daffodils I can carry!

Apart from my time spent being a stuffy-nosed mess- this month has been incredible! I started my new position at my company after my recent promotion in mid-February- and I LOVE it so far. The work is interesting and fulfilling , the people I work with are so helpful and sweet (and very funny!)– and I truly feel like I’m in my element and actually utilizing the skills I gained with my years in college and prior law experience. I’m so grateful and it feels like my workplace enthusiasm has been reawakened.

Being able to leave my office earlier in the afternoon with my new work schedule during Daylight Savings Time has been beneficial to my health and fitness regimen, too- as I feel more motivated to work out and stay active outdoors since it’s not pitch black outside when I leave the building for the night. Now, it would be even better if the warm weather showed up and actually stayed put- then I’d be getting some real results in no time at all!

This past March also saw an epic 3-day St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the city of Boston- with appearances by my boys in Dropkick Murphys, boxer Danny O’Connor, and friends in South Boston who made sure I didn’t go without my fair share of green and glittery celebratory accessories. I had the time of my life and I hope I get to do it again next year when March rolls around once more.

So what’s in store for April now that I’m back on my feet? I’m hoping to catch up on the posts that didn’t quite make it to the blog this past month, get started on planning a little cross-country (and international!) travel for this coming Summer, share some new dishes I’ve been experimenting with in the kitchen, spotlight a few products/brands I recently teamed up with, cheer on participants in this year’s annual Boston Marathon- and put up my review of this most recent season of “The Walking Dead”- which wraps up this Sunday night! I’m also looking forward to sharing the outlines of my Comic-Con plans with my fellow cosplay and fandom enthusiasts!

Overall, March was lovely (with the exception of the flu!) and I’m ready to take on those April showers if it means more flowers for everyone!

Enjoy your weekend, everybody!

Financial District – Boston. 3/19/17

xx

March Hits List!

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Happy Hump Day, everyone! I’m getting ready to head into my office for another day of keeping busy and staying caffeinated- but I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month that was- and to be honest I’m still a bit shocked that March is almost over since it feels like it only just started! Have I been so preoccupied at my job that I missed these past few weeks? Or did my recent fight with the flu just knock me out for a while and I completely lost track of time?

I’m going to go with the flu, since it was pretty brutal- but oh well. At least I’m feeling better! There’s plenty I can do to make up for lost time in April.

I only have a handful of physical favorites this month- but they’re all a lot of fun and I’m very excited to share them before I get into some of the other things that made March memorable!

In regards to beauty products that I fancied in March- two were breakout stars that garnered repeated usage. In desperate need of a replacement lipstick that walked the fine line between nude and subtle pink- I fell in love with the “Naked” shade of Urban Decay’s VICE Lipstick line. Creamy and long-lasting, this formula gives me a natural pop of color that I can wear with pretty much anything in my Spring wardrobe- day or night.

To keep my digits nice and neutral- I turned to Avon’s TRUE COLOR collection in “Rose Quartz”- which is one of my favorite colors, anyway. The formula is smooth and chip/smudge-resistant, so I can type and text without fear of having to constantly re-apply this. Like the lipstick, this shade matches nearly everything I own.

I really do make an honest and earnest attempt to keep myself from impulse purchases, but sometimes- a girl has got to treat herself and splurge a bit- which is exactly what I did when I spotted these glitter ankle boots from ASOS and knew I needed them in my life immediately. Typically paired with black leggings, jeggings, and a simple top (and a good piece of statement jewelry to balance out my shine)– these super comfortable boots give me just a little bit of height and are easy enough to walk in for long periods of time.

I feel like David Bowie in these and I LOVE them.

Okay, so I recently started my new position at my job following my promotion- and I have to confess: I love it. Truly. It’s such a breath of fresh air. The people I work with are wonderful and fun, the work is challenging and detail-oriented (which I am ALL about) and it’s just so, so rewarding and fulfilling for me and I couldn’t be happier.

That said, I wanted to decorate my new desk space with a little something to keep me motivated when those inevitable challenging days emerge- and I picked up this “W.W.B.D?” desk plaque I had initially seen advertised on ModCloth a while back. I’ve been keeping track of my co-workers’ reactions when they see it for the first time and it’s always priceless.

Finally, I picked up a couple of t-shirts this month that have been getting some considerable wear. The first is my black and white Dropkick Murphys tee from my recent St. Patrick’s Day weekend insanity. The last shirt I own of the band’s is starting to fade out since I’ve had it for so long- and this one is a fine replacement. I love the design on the front!

The second, made of softer material- is this longer gray and pink tee from Yes Way Rosé– because if I’m going to be one of those people who want to tell the world about how much I enjoy a certain type of wine- then I’m just going to show my appreciation with a cute and cozy t-shirt. The brand also offers some other accessories that are adorable, too- so any shameless winos should definitely check it out!

I think that’s it for the more photogenic favorites from March, but I was loving some other stuff, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “Feud: Bette and Joan” – I have a love/hate relationship with “American Horror Story”. Every season starts off with so much potential and promise and five episodes later there are 30 new characters being jammed into a single hour with convoluted plots that serve no real purpose but for some inexplicable reason have to be resolved within the season finale. It’s almost always a mess- and I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard Ryan Murphy was going to be directing a new series based on the off-and-on-camera drama between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Thankfully, the show is excellent. With a small cast led by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange- “Feud” is funny, surprising, and not to miss. I’ve been having a blast watching it.

  • The Lumineers – “Cleopatra” – I know it’s been almost a year since The Lumineers (one of my favorite bands!) dropped “Cleopatra” on us- but it recently ended up back in my regular rotation and I’ve fallen head over heels in love with it all over again. This is one of those albums that is perfect for those rainy day Springtime drives when you just want to mellow out and get some deep soul-searching and contemplation done- and I admit that listening to it again in it’s entirety has moved me to tears more than once in the past couple of weeks.

I’d love to see these guys live someday, but I know I’d be reduced to an emotional wreck three songs into their set.

  • Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Specials – THANK YOU NETFLIX. THANK. YOU. I have not laughed that hard in a long, long time.
  • SYFY’s “Cosplay Melee” – From the same network that brought us the disastrous and overly petty “Heroes of Cosplay” series a couple of years ago, SYFY finally hit the mark with their most recent offering to the cosplay and comic-con community with “Cosplay Melee”- which focuses more on the actual fabrication and construction of the costumes themselves by talented, passionate and actually NICE contestants who are striving to win weekly cash prizes for their efforts instead of perpetuating drama between women week after week. It’s only a couple of episodes in so far- but the show is fascinating.

Which brings me to…

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • Planning For Comic-Con – It’s that time of year again when people spend perfectly good Saturday mornings in front of their computers for hours at a time while hoping and praying they can score badges to this Summer’s San Diego Comic-Con. I recently received the e-mail with the information I’d need for the sale when it happens in a couple of weeks, and as is tradition- I’ll be giving it a shot- but leading up to that point I’ve been focusing on starting the costumes I have planned for the 2017 Comic-Con circuit that typically kicks off at the end of Spring.

While I initially had outfits inspired by “The Walking Dead”, Punisher, and “Preacher” planned out- I’m also going to see if I can go a little further with my detailing and fit in a “Resident Evil” costume into the mix as well. A couple of the costumes are team efforts- so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with great groups of people- and I’m excited to start sewing/gluing/sobbing into plastic molding more than once.

And I think that’s everything for the month of March! I’m looking forward to finding new favorites in April- and as always- my full recap of this month will be up in a couple of days.

If you have any favorites you’d like to share- feel free to drop me a line!

xx