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!


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!


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


February 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Valentine's Day, 2017.

Valentine’s Day, 2017.

Good Morning! Although I’m heading into work shortly, I’m in a lovely mood. The weather has been beautiful these past few days and it feels as though Spring may be right around the corner- which means fresh flowers, picking up some new dresses to commemorate the nicer weather- and spending more time outdoors without wanting to sob into a heavy knitted scarf or hide under a wool hat until Summer gets here.

Indeed, March is a magical month in New England- and not just because we know how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day particularly well. It contains the start of a new season, birthdays and anniversaries of people I adore, and more specifically for the coming month ahead- the beginning of a new career path for me!

That’s the biggest news for me to come out of February 2017- I got a promotion I have been working so hard and for so long to get! I’m so excited to get started in my new position within my company and to work with an incredible team of people. I’m in the process of moving things into my new office space as we speak and so far the transition has been a breeze. I go to work with a new title, new responsibilities, a more convenient schedule- and a much appreciated raise- in just a couple of short weeks and I am practically bubbling over in my eagerness to get started!

Oliver, February 2017.

Oliver, February 2017.

It’s been a long and sometimes difficult road to get to this point- but it was worth every frenzied morning, every bitter cup of coffee, every minute of overtime and every late night spent reviewing things over and over and over until my eyes felt like they were on fire. I’m so grateful and the fact that I still look forward to going to work each and every day has kept things in perspective for me. I understand how blessed I am and continue to be and I do not take a moment of it for granted- even on the days where I’m exhausted or frustrated. I’m thankful.

Apart from this joyous work update- what else am I thankful for from February 2017? How about that Patriots win at the Super Bowl? That was a wonderful way to start the month, wasn’t it? I love nail biter games with unexpected endings- and that one pretty much took the cake in that department! The resulting week-long party here in Massachusetts following the win was pretty great as well. Sometimes it feels like my body is still trying to recover from celebrating as much as I did.

And when I wasn’t partying too much- I took some time to travel a bit to a couple of new spots around the city and to New York on a whim as well. Not bad- considering we started the month with a series of intense snowstorms and are ending it without jackets and being able to roll our car windows down!

So apart from getting myself acclimated to my new position at my job- what exactly do I have in store for March? Well, now that it’s easier to brave the outdoors for longer periods of time- I have a few day trips planned for the weekends, some much-needed bonding time with nature planned for my post-office workouts, a couple of highly anticipated concerts around the city and quite a few posts scheduled for the blog- including some new recipes, some makeup and body treatment reviews, and a bit of long overdue photography I’ve been meaning to complete featuring a couple of new places (abandoned or otherwise) around the New England area.

I’m also attempting to coordinate a visit with some friends on the West Coast- although whether or not that will happen in March or a little later on in April has yet to be determined!

So here’s to what has been a really great month, and to the hope that March is just as good- if not better!


New England Sunset, February 2017.

New England Sunset, February 2017.

January 2017: In a Nutshell.

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stellabella2017Before I talk about the rest of the month, I just want to take a moment to pay my respects to my cat, Stella- who passed away Saturday night after a brief battle with an illness. Stella went quickly- surrounded by her favorite toys, her treats, and the people who loved her and took care of her for the past 5-6 years. I buried her in my backyard yesterday morning, in a spot where I plan to grow a flower bed come Spring- and I’m going to miss her terribly.

Stella originally belonged to my friend Sam, who had adopted her when she was just a kitten and who kept her for a couple of years until an unexpected change in Sam’s living situation brought Stella into my home while pet-friendly accommodations were sought out. What was supposed to have been a brief stay- lasting only a couple of weeks- turned into months and eventually years. Stella wasted no time in acclimating herself into my home and within my family- and it took us even less time to embrace her and fall in love with her.

Having pets can be one of the most fulfilling and wonderful experiences in a person’s life- but when you lose them- it’s absolutely brutal. I’m going to be feeling this loss for a long time, and I appreciate my friends and my family for being so kind and supportive in the aftermath and while I work through it.

Apart from this recent tragedy casting a shadow on the final days of this month, January was a lot of fun overall. I started the month (and year) off with a relaxing weekend in rural Vermont, I celebrated my best friend’s birthday- as well as my own- and I recently had a spontaneous day off in NYC in-between working and getting political with the recent Women’s March (and I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot more protesting in the coming months) as well as on social media where I refuse to back down to anyone who promotes or perpetuates sexism, racism, xenophobia, bigotry and intolerance. While the news continues to get more and more insane, depressing and infuriating with every passing day- the one constant is that I continue to stand up for the rights of others and myself. It’s a trend I hope to see more of throughout 2017.

I recently offered my experience as a paralegal to any attorney within my state that may be in need of assistance- free of charge- who were attempting to help refugees or citizens affected by Trump’s newly implemented travel ban. My grandfather risked his life in WWII fighting the Nazis because he believed in democracy and wanted to keep the country he loved safe from tyranny and oppression. His family before him immigrated here looking for a better life and opportunity knowing there would be struggles and plenty of hard work ahead of them- but that was the American dream. Watching people who have that same dream and/or simply want to raise their families in a safe environment be turned away because of the color of their skin, their religion, or where they originated from absolutely breaks my heart and I want to help them in any way I can.

I think Cher said it best in “Clueless”:


But politics and protests aside, I’m thankful that January was- up until the night Stella died- pretty calm and laid back amid international upheaval. I feel like I really needed it after a crazy holiday season and an even crazier workload and schedule at my office. It was nice to have more downtime than usual to spend either on my own or in the comfort of friends and family. It gave me a lot of time to decompress and even more time to prepare for February.

So what’s in store for the coming month? Well, I’m kicking things off by getting in the Super Bowl spirit, planning another trip to NYC, doing some layout/long overdue maintenance on the blog (as well as my place), checking out a couple of new restaurants in the area, getting ready for the return of “The Walking Dead”- and continuing to spend more time with my family and friends.

But first things first. This morning I have an early meeting at work- so I should probably be heading off.

Enjoy the last day of January 2017, everyone!



Pre-Pizza Party: 1/29/17

2016: In a Nutshell.

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(.gif via Tumblr.)

Whenever I go to write one of my annual year-end wrap-up posts, I like to take a look back on the last one I put together- not only to track my progress with the resolutions I had set for myself and adjust any of the ones I didn’t accomplish so that I can try to complete them again- but to also see what events/news changed over the course of the year that followed, too.

Oddly enough, this little snippet from New Year’s Eve in 2015 caught my eye:

Indeed, I’m a little anxious for 2016. Not necessarily in a bad way, but I’m eager for it to begin- not only because it marks the year I will be turning thirty (gasp!) and I’m actually quite excited to enter a new decade of my life with all the wisdom I’ve gained over the past ten years of laughter, tears, triumphs, tragedies and PLENTY of mistakes (and believe me- I’ll have a post up with all of those juicy details and some well-intentioned advice within a couple of weeks just for the occasion!) but because, overall- 2015 was a bit rough for me- and I don’t believe it would be an exaggeration to say it was possibly one of the more difficult years I’ve had since my father’s untimely death in 2012.

Of course, had I known exactly what a dumpster fire 2016 would turn out to be- I never would have taken a moment of 2015 for granted.

Listen: 2016 had good moments. Even the most awful of years have them- and I’m truly grateful they were peppered across the past twelve months. Indeed, my turning 30 was a joyous and wildly celebrated occasion by both friends and family alike. One of my best friends got married to a wonderful guy whom she loves very much. I had an amazing vacation in Las Vegas and San Diego and another (and equally amazing) mini-vacation in Virginia and around D.C. I excelled in my career, I spent time with old friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time (including my long-time West Coast family- Tom, Andrea and their beautiful baby boy, Lorenzo!) I met new and incredible people, and traveled to new & different places- some local and some not-so-local- that I would have otherwise overlooked or missed entirely during my somewhat sporadic days off from my job. Plus, “Captain America: Civil War” came out this year- and that was awesome, right?

But 2016’s rough patches often overshadowed the good times- and not just for me- but for a lot of other people, too.

The biggest blow came at the beginning of Summer when I ended a 7-year relationship (which tied into a 15 year-friendship) that I documented here on “Legally Redhead” shortly after the dust had finally settled. Although in my heart of hearts I know it was for the best and that I had made the right decision to cut the man who had hurt me and betrayed my trust beyond comprehension out of my life entirely- it was still an agonizing ordeal that really screwed me up emotionally and mentally for a long time after the fact. I would be lying if I said that it still doesn’t sting just a little bit when I look back on it- and although I formed a new friendship with another woman who had been hurt by the same guy at the exact same time, which was really the only silver lining to the whole mess of a situation- it was still devastating and draining to me in so many ways.

The breakup had a negative ripple effect into some of my longtime close friendships with a couple of different guys in my life, too. Men I’d known for years and who I thought I had a mutual understanding and respect with suddenly tried to swoop in and become romantically (or just plain physically) involved with me despite my working through a considerable amount of pain and anguish and making things downright uncomfortable and confusing at times. It goes without saying that I’ve been cleaning house and “taking out the trash” in certain aspects of my life for the past few months- actively trying to rid myself and surroundings of people whom I feel have a negative impact on me, my life, my progress, and my overall happiness. It all ties into my resolutions for 2017- which I’ll get to in a bit.

This past year also saw my encounter some financial setbacks due to unforeseen circumstances. A change in my living situation stood to help me save more money, however my old car finally dying once and for all caused a considerable amount of stress when I had to rush out to purchase a new one in order to get myself to/from work and my daily activities. Although I adore my new Elantra- the extra payment every month definitely hurts whenever I dare look at my bank account statements- which isn’t exactly ideal for someone trying to budget a move to the West Coast. I’ve been putting in a lot of overtime at work to help make up some of the funds- and with a recent change in my schedule that provides me a but more flexibility- I’m hoping it will all become easier to manage in the coming months and new year.

Before I jump into my hopes, goals and aspirations for 2017- I wanted to take a look back at this past year that was: the headlines, the trends, and the odds  & ends that made up a wild and unpredictable 12 months that I don’t think any of us are going to forget anytime soon.

This is 2016, in a nutshell:


(Image via People)

What the actual f*ck, America?!: In one of the most stunning upsets in politics and in history in general, former reality TV star, corrupt businessman and present-day puppet to Vladimir Putin (with absolutely no control over his temper- a brilliant combination if there ever was one)- Donald Trump actually convinced people that despite multiple scandals and bankruptcies- he was somehow fit to run a country and was elected President of the United States after a long, volatile, and downright ugly campaign against actual experienced politician, Hillary Clinton. Since then, each and every day’s news headlines just seem to be “oh God, did he really just do/say that?” and sure enough- he did.

I wrote about my feelings on the election results back in November- so reiterating my disgust with Trump, the people he has surrounded himself with, and his supporters isn’t necessary at this point- but I’m hoping that the recent findings of his ties to Russia, Putin, and their proven interference with the election changes the course of this sham of a decision and this embarrassment of a “leader” (and even bigger embarrassment of a man) gets impeached A.S.A.P.


(Image via New York Times)

What the actual f*ck, England?: Not that it helps me feel any better, but America wasn’t the only country who lost their collective minds this past year. In another shocking development- the United Kingdom willingly opted out of remaining in the European Union- “breaking free” after campaigns filled with fear-mongering and anti-immigration sentiments were concocted by those leading the brigade to abandon the EU- and which also played a role in the public assassination of Parliament member Jo Cox- and thus changed their country’s course forever.

Immediate changes included David Cameron stepping down as Prime Minister and the pound quickly (and alarmingly) losing it’s value- although long-term consequences are still up in the air and many are left feeling uncertain about their futures and the future of their economy, national security, livelihoods, healthcare, etc.

We know how you feel, England. You can come sit with us. Let’s talk about it.


(Images via various news sources)

Who DIDN’T die this year?: If you’re reading this, then congratulations- you’re alive- and that’s more than so many beloved musicians, actors/actresses, sports legends and cultural icons can say after 2016. I had a feeling things were going to be bad this year when David Bowie and Alan Rickman passed away unexpectedly within days of each other- but I never anticipated someone like Prince (I wrote about my feelings on his passing here) or Anton Yelchin to go in the horrible ways they did, either. It felt like we were losing people we loved and admired left and right in 2016- and even as I type this- I’m afraid someone else will leave us before I get the chance to publish this post. That’s how frequently it’s been happening.

I know we’re going to lose people in 2017, too. It’s inevitable- but I really, really hope that the losses are few and that most folks get to stick around and enjoy more days ahead just a little longer.

[EDITED TO ADD] Since starting this post, I’ve had to add two additional celebrities to the collage- George Michael and Carrie Fisher. That’s how brutal this year has been.

[EDITED TO ADD II] Rest in Peace, Debbie Reynolds.

(Image via CBS News)

(Image via CBS News)

Flint, Michigan poisoned it’s own residents: Although the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan started back in 2014- the rest of the Nation didn’t really hear much about it until this year. Following officials’ failure to properly apply corrosion inhibitors after changing the source of Flint’s water supply- the area’s drinking water became contaminated with high levels of lead and dangerous neurotoxins. To date, it’s possible 10 people have died due to complications stemming from ailments caused by ingesting the water- and up to 12,000 children have been exposed to the elevated lead amounts- which can cause serious health issues in the future.

Flint was declared to be in a State of Emergency back in January, with officials scrambling to solve the problem at it’s source- and criminal indictments have come down on negligent members in the Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services- but many residents to this day still do not have access to clean drinking water. It’s completely unacceptable and the crisis serves as a painful reminder that we are not being diligent enough in keeping people- especially kids- safe.

(Image via CNN)

(Image via CNN)

This waste of Oxygen got a slap on the wrists for being a rapist: Oh, to be a wealthy white male in 2016. You can get away with pretty much anything- including raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster until two good Samaritans find you and pin your ass on the ground while they wait for the police arrive to put you in cuffs. Such was the case of Brock Turner- a student athlete at Stanford University who was sentenced to six months in prison (but only served three) after he was spotted sexually assaulting an unconscious woman following a house/fraternity party in 2015. Although a jury found Turner guilty of three felonies at the end of his Spring 2016 trial- Judge Aaron Persky handed down one of the lightest sentences imaginable- citing his concern that prison may have had a harmful effect on this piece of shit.

The decision was, understandably, met with harsh criticism and protest. Turner has been banned from competing in any USA Swimming event, and his father faced backlash and public shaming for crude and irresponsible remarks he’d made about the crime following the sentencing. Perhaps the only good thing to come from such a despicable series of events was the victim’s pull-no-punches impact statement- which has since gone viral and has shined a light on the ongoing epidemic of on-campus sexual assaults throughout colleges and universities across the country.

(Image via NY Mag)

(Image via NY Mag)

Oh my God, this gorilla: Back in May, following a toddler climbing into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo- the attraction’s 17-year old gorilla, Harambe- was shot and killed by staff after he’d grabbed at and started to drag the child around. Officials at the zoo explained that there was no other option as the toddler’s safety was in jeopardy when Harambe reportedly became more and more agitated at the panic and hysteria from the onlooking crowd that had gathered. The entire incident was captured on video and uploaded onto the internet where it spread like wildfire across social media.

Tragic? Absolutely. Infuriating? Of course (who doesn’t keep enough of an eye on their child to not catch them climbing a four-foot-high fence and crawling through bushes at a wild animal enclosure?)– but I don’t think any of us expected the memes that followed. Each tribute to Harambe was so over-the-top, so inappropriately funny with it’s exaggerated sincerity- that poor Harambe easily became one of the most recognizable memes to emerge from 2016- spanning across the internet, television, and music alike.

But really, all joking aside- if you take your child to a zoo- watch them carefully, for f*ck’s sake.

(Image via NPR)

(Image via NPR)

Our hearts broke for Orlando: On June 12, 2016- the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida became the site of the deadliest terror attack on American soil since 9/11 and the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history following an attack by a lone gunman with ties to ISIS that left 49 people dead and 53 injured- most of which were members of the LGBT and Latino Community. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Facebook implemented their “Safety Check” feature for the first time in America which allowed those in the area to notify friends, family members and followers that they were out of harm’s way- as stories of courage and bravery amid the chaos from survivors who had risked their lives to help others began to trickle out to various news outlets.

In the aftermath of the shooting, gun control was once again brought to the forefront of political debates and arguments on all facets of social media- and the nation rallied together to voice their support for the victims’ families, the survivors, and for the LGBT Community. The club has since been purchased by the city of Orlando with plans to convert it into a memorial to honor those who had lost their lives while simply trying to have a fun night out dancing and being who they were.

(Image via NYMag)

(Image via NYMag)

Do you believe in miracles?: Coming from Boston, where I witnessed the Red Sox break their own curse back in 2004- nothing gave me more of a thrill than watching the nail-biter, edge-of-your-seat final game in the 2016 World Series, where the Chicago Cubs looked to clinch their first series win since 1908 against the Cleveland Indians (who hadn’t won a series since 1948). With a tie-up that lead to extra innings, a rain delay, and the game running well into the late night hours- seeing the Cubs finally come back and win the whole thing was one of the few truly touching and inspiring sports moments- and moments in general- of 2016.

And although I’m not a Cubs fan by any means- it was an absolute joy to see how happy their supporters and the city of Chicago were following the victory- including a parade that was attended by nearly five million people. I wish I could have been there!

(Image via Variety)

(Image via Variety)

“Hamilton” reigned supreme: Although this Broadway musical made it’s debut in early 2015, it took the show being nominated for- and then winning- 11 of 16 Tony Awards for a lot of people to stop and take notice. Written by and initially starring Lin-Manuel Miranda as the lead role, “Hamilton” tells the story of the life and death of Alexander Hamilton with some of the catchiest songs imaginable- making it infinitely more entertaining than anything I ever watched or read about in history class.

The show took off in 2016- selling out months and months in advance and sparking both a national touring production set to hit the road in 2017 and an overseas residency in the West End in London. Getting tickets for the show is like trying to get the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory- but I’m hopeful I’ll get to see it someday without having to sell my car to afford it.

I mean, if anyone reading this has tickets and wants to just casually slide them over to me- I won’t mind…

(Image via Huffington Post)

(Image via Huffington Post)

The Pipeline was thankfully stopped: With the largest gathering of Indian tribes in over 100 years and the eyes of the world watching- it was announced on December 4th that the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL for short) would be halted. The pipeline, being built throughout parts of North Dakota- was set to assist with the carrying of crude oil across 1,172 miles. It was discovered after a re-route through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, however- that the pipeline not only threatened the tribe’s water supply, but could contaminate their sacred burial grounds, as well.

Protests against the DAPL gradually began to gain momentum in the Spring of 2016- eventually growing to a full-blown movement with thousands of people standing with the tribe come Summer and Fall, however supporters of the pipeline retaliated- using attack dogs, high-powered water cannons (in frigid temperatures) and alleged concussion grenades to try and shut the protests down in order to clear the area and resume the building of the pipeline. The lead-up to the December 4th decision was looking grim, indeed- but the halt of the pipeline’s construction serves as a victory for the Sioux tribe. I’m hoping their land stays protected.


It feels like there is SO MUCH MORE news that needs to be discussed- and I’m absolutely sure I’m missing some key events/headlines- but the above-listed stories are the ones that come to mind whenever I think about this past year. They are the ones that either impacted me and my life directly, or stood out more prominently over these last twelve months.

Of course, there were some other brief, not-so-major stories that should get some recognition, too. As always in my year-end “In a Nutshell” review, here’s the Honorable Mentions:



– Creepy clowns were a horrible, horrible thing: You know how sometimes stories go viral on the internet but there’s never any proof that the events in question ever really happened and it all just seems too absurd to be true? That’s how I felt at the first reports that people were dressing up like clowns (of the circus variety) and terrorizing people around the country by chasing them or running up to their stopped vehicles- sometimes with weapons to make it all the more frightening- as some sort of deranged prank. That was, until- my friend spotted one in Nevada. Then another friend saw one in New Hampshire, and then another and another- and although I still haven’t seen any clowns running around and causing chaos with my own eyes- it was enough to briefly make National news and even resulted in a statement from the White House.

– Pokémon Go got people out of their houses (and occasionally hit by cars): If there was one thing in 2016 that could cause our divided Nation to come together as one- it was chasing cartoon monsters with our phones. 2016 saw the debut of Pokémon Go, an app that allowed people to capture Pokémon using just their mobile device and their own two feet and surroundings. Pokémon would randomly spring up in yards, on subways,  in bathtubs- and random buildings (usually unbeknownst to the owners) would occasionally be designated as gyms where players could gather to battle their Pokémon together. The game caught on like crazy- resulting in more than one incident where someone chased a Pikachu into moving traffic and got tossed up over someone’s hood- but at least it got people moving, right?

– Notorious older cases were thrust back into the limelight: With FX’s debut of their mini-true crime series, “The People Vs. O.J. Simpson” getting critical acclaim (I didn’t see the appeal- and I was much more invested in and moved by ESPN’s “O.J.: Made In America” documentary released earlier this Summer that better tackled subjects like the racial divide in the country leading up to and following the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman- as well as really focusing on the victims themselves)– our morbid fascination with brutal “cold” cases  was reignited. Along with the resurgence of interest in the O.J. Simpson rial was the still unsolved murder of JonBenét Ramsey- whose mysterious death shook the nation twenty years ago. Both cases saw multiple TV specials, mini-movies, and magazine cover speculation throughout 2016.

– It was not a good year for Samsung: As an owner of a Samsung Galaxy 7- nothing made me side-eye more than when I heard the Samsung Galaxy Note 7s were experiencing technical difficulties this year. Specifically- they were exploding- and after a massive recall, their replacement models were exploding, too. A battery flaw in the phones were causing more than one person to have to stop, drop and roll when their Note 7 would randomly burst into flames or blow up- which made the TSA screening process in the airport all that much more faster and enjoyable. The problem became so big that Samsung ended up discontinuing the model all together- and are attempting to save face with the Note 8s which are due to debut (and hopefully will have an attached fire extinguisher with it) in Spring 2017.

– There were some kick-ass (and some guilty pleasure) comebacks this year: Whoever thought that a science fiction/horror series set in the 1980s could be so good? I’m talking about “Stranger Things”, of course. The Netflix based series- which brought Winona Ryder back into our homes and hearts- developed a cult like following in 2016 and for good reason. It was well-written, brilliantly acted, and the story was filled with all sorts of nostalgia that hit you right in your feelings. Also making a comeback this year via Netflix? “Full House”- only the follow-up to the cringe-inducing family comedy from the late 80s & mid 90s was called “Fuller House” and focused on the grown-up Tanner girls (sans-Michelle because the Olsen Twins couldn’t make an appearance) raising their own families. The star of “Fuller House”- much like the original version- was, is and will always be Kimmy Gibler, though.

Both “Stranger Things” and “Fuller House” have been renewed for additional seasons.

– Ryan Lochte remained painfully stupid: Olympic medalist and shameless buffoon Ryan Lochte had everyone talking this year following a fact check on his fabricated story of being robbed at gunpoint by a group of armed men with police badges while in Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympics. As it turns out, a security guard had wielded a gun at Ryan and his friends after their drunken vandalism of a gas station bathroom. Surveillance footage from the gas station corroborated the security guard’s version of events- and it was quickly established that no armed robbery ever took place.

As a result of his dumbass behavior- Lochte was suspended from swimming for ten months and lost a bunch of endorsement deals- reduced to appearing on ‘Dancing with The Stars’ to pass the time. I knew there was a reason I liked Michael Phelps better.

– LEO FINALLY GOT HIS OSCAR: Much like the Cubs winning The World Series, another curse was broken this year: The DiCaprio Curse. For years, poor Leonardo DiCaprio poured blood, swear and tears into his roles and performances- and nearly every year he’d get nominated for an Academy Award only to get snubbed at the last possible second. This year, he finally got to hear his name read from the envelope and hold his very own gold statue for his performance in “The Revenant”. Although I’m going to miss the Leo/Oscar memes- I was genuinely and truly happy for him. He looked so relieved that he wouldn’t have to actually die in his next role to score a win.


And there it is! 2016 in a nutshell! What a crazy year, right? Just looking back on everything is enough to make my head spin- but now that it’s (thankfully) over- it’s time to look ahead towards 2017.

I’ve been contemplating my resolutions for the upcoming year for a while now: editing them, erasing them, re-writing them, editing them some more- but I think I’ve finally got them in order and just the way I want- and I’m ready to share each of them with everyone. 2017 is the year I turn it all around. I’m determined and driven and I’m ready for it.

1. Get healthy and in good shape again: After my early Summer break-up and the months of stress that followed it- I won’t deny that I let myself go. Although I had spikes of energy where I’d work out, eat healthy and get enough sleep to get me feeling like a normal and semi-functioning human being again- I’d often sink back into a depressed slump of eating too much junk food, staying up too late, and not really wanting to get off my couch much unless it was absolutely necessary (and even then- I’d stall.) I don’t feel as great as I did when I actively took care of myself and as a result- I don’t feel I look as good, either. That changes this coming year. Now that the holiday feasting and partying is over- I’ve got my meal and fitness programs planned, my bedroom has been re-vamped so I can get the most restful nights of sleep imaginable- and I’ve taken up meditation and yoga to help melt away any residual stress from my work or personal life. I’ll be chronicling my journey here on “Legally Redhead” as I bounce back and get into the best shape of my life again.

2. Spend more time on my own: It’s not that I’m anti-social. Quite the opposite, in fact- but grief was hard to work through in 2016 when I was consistently surrounded by people at all times and I feel like I lost pieces of myself as a result. In 2017, I plan on taking some time now and then to enjoy my own company and really focus more on rediscovering myself, my interests, my talents and the world around me on solo trips and outings, or even just watching a movie or playing a video game on my own in the comforts of my living room. That’s not to say I won’t spend time with anyone ever again or anything- but I really do think it’s important to have private time now and then, too. You have to be comfortable on your own and confident with yourself before you can truly be comfortable and confident with others.

3. Get organized!: Another consequential setback of falling into a depression earlier this year? Good Lord, did my work and personal space get cluttered! Even my email inbox was a mess for a while, and I’m still getting things tidied up! In 2017, everything that has a place is going in said place- and everything that doesn’t is getting donated or trashed. I was given a beautiful new monthly planner for Christmas, and I’ve already been laying out my upcoming appointments, deadlines, and scheduled social events to keep me in check so I’ll never run late or fall behind again. I’ve always prided myself on staying on top of tasks- and this coming year is when that talent shines through again!

4. Focus on blogging and take ‘Legally Redhead’ to the next level: While I did have some quality posts this year, ones that I’m quite proud of- I admittedly slacked on the blogging front these past few months- mostly due in part to me being extremely distracted with all that was happening around me and in my personal life. Writing was temporarily put on the back burner and for someone like me who takes such pleasure in creating content- that’s simply unacceptable. In 2017, I have big blogging plans I’m looking forward to starting and seeing through. More partnerships, more posts that cover a wider range of topics (while still featuring plenty of the usual stuff!), and more utilizing social media. “Legally Redhead” will be getting a makeover soon to make navigation a bit easier- and I’m excited at new networking prospects that are coming up! Even if I’m not a redhead anymore- I truly love writing this blog and I’m so thankful for everyone who reads it and supports it. I want to put out the best possible stuff for you all and I hope you all enjoy what I have in store during the coming year!

5. Get my finances in order: A move to the West Coast costs money, as do trips to New Orleans, Nashville and all the other places I want to visit in the next year or so- and with a new car throwing a bit of a wrench in my plans- I’d like to save more money in 2017 and better balance my budget. I know it’s going to take a bit of practice to get back into the swing of things now that I have an extra expense to take into consideration- but I’m confident I can do it and store plenty of money away to go on my next great adventure- and working hard will make it all the more enjoyable when I do!

Those are the big ones I’m going to strive for in 2017! There are some random ones, too- like “get my motorcycle license”, “don’t date assholes” and “visit/tour Paisley Park”, for example- but the above five are the ones I truly want to focus on since I feel they will bring me the most peace, satisfaction and happiness in the new year.

And with all that being said- I’m heading up to Vermont for an extended weekend in a Victorian mansion-turned-bed & breakfast to quietly see out 2016 and peacefully usher in 2017 while lounging in front of a fireplace and getting lost in a good book by myself. I wanted to hold off on sharing my New Year’s Eve plans until the last possible minute- since sometimes things can get compromised or intruded upon- but it all looks good to go and I can’t wait to kick off the new year in a new way!

I hope you all have a safe and joyous New Year! If 2016 was a good year for you, and I’m sure it was for some- then I hope your good fortune and happiness continues well into 2017.

And if your 2016 was less than satisfactory, like it was for so many- myself included- then here’s to better, brighter, and much more wonderful days ahead! You made it all the way to this point- even if it feels like you barely got here and even if you’re completely and utterly exhausted- and that’s a feat in itself. Be proud of yourself for surviving such a tough twelve months and making it to the end!


See you all in 2017!


November 2016: In a Nutshell.

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Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We’re in the final stretch, everyone! December is here- and that means Christmas is right around the corner and 2016 is nearly over! We’re almost to 2017!

I fully intend to finish the last of my holiday shopping within the next couple of weeks so I can actually enjoy Christmas this year and not have to worry myself with finding gifts, facing large crowds of people at the stores (or paying extra for in-time-for-Christmas shipping costs with my online orders) wrapping them to deliver, or mailing them if necessary- so on and so forth. I really just want this last month of the year to be as relaxing and as stress-free as possible. I don’t think I’m asking for much, right?

But I digress. Before we can get into the full-swing of December and Christmas- we have to talk about the month of November, first- and it was quite the circus, wasn’t it? Between the election (and I won’t even start on the fact that the results are now being reviewed/investigated in certain states since that’s a whole new can of worms I don’t have the patience to open right now), the subsequent protests, feuds and overall continued division within this country- it all seemed to sort of overshadow the rest of November- including Thanksgiving. I know a lot of people can and usually do have some sort of tension at family gatherings due to differing political opinions- but this year the tension was multiplied considerably for a lot of my friends who spent this past weekend with their extended relatives whom they don’t always see eye to eye with even when politics are taken out of the equation.

Thankfully, I managed to escape that most dreaded of family traditions all together. We didn’t talk politics at dinner- that was the one rule in the house- and instead we all gathered around to watch football and a couple of the Christmas movies the networks had already started to air before the night came to a close and some of my family had to prepare for their Black Friday shopping. I’m happy to report that no one got trampled this year- and my mom was really excited that she picked up a brand new toaster for a pretty good price- so it was a win, I think?

The election and Thanksgiving aside- November was a pretty busy month anyway. My hours at work were recently adjusted- meaning that I have my weekends off again for the first time in nearly a year- which is really exciting! I rounded out the 2016 Comic-Con season by meeting the amazing Jeffrey Dean Morgan in Providence (and to confirm in case I didn’t mention it in my original RICC post- yes, he’s very handsome in person), I watched the Cubs win The World Series in one of the most intense and satisfying games imaginable, and not that it impacted my schedule in any way- but it is worth noting we had our first very light snow this month, too!

I’m looking forward to sharing a couple more recipes over the next month, some of my favorite holiday activities and local destinations to visit in order to get into (and stay in) the Christmas spirit- and of course I’ll be summarizing 2016 in it’s entirety before we head into 2017. It’s going to be a long one- I can tell you that.

See you all in December!


Dessert Table! Thanksgiving 2016

Dessert Table! Thanksgiving 2016

October 2016: In a Nutshell.

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The Many Looks of Halloween 2016

The Many Looks of Halloween 2016

Good Morning and Happy Halloween, boils and ghouls (I’m going to miss typing that until next October!) I can’t believe my favorite month is coming to a close and the holiday season is upon us. I’ve been anxiously waiting for Halloween to get here for a while now, watching horror movies and dressing up in costumes- which isn’t really all that different than how I spend any other month out of the year, but still- in order to prepare for taking my niece Trick-Or-Treating when I get out of work and tonight’s last spooky hurrah with friends shortly after that.

In just a couple of weeks I’ll be getting ready for Thanksgiving, and then- Yikes– Christmas and New Years. Where does the time go?

While October is almost always a pretty busy month for me, anyway- these past few weeks have been nothing short of crazy. For starters, I hit the ground running- kicking off things in Vegas and then San Diego for a few days before I headed back home and immediately dove head-first into work and preparing for/budgeting a potential move to the West Coast in early-to-mid-2017. Also around that time, I began putting things into place for my annual Halloween giveaway while simultaneously adding the finishing touches on a series of Halloween costumes for multiple parties I’d been invited to near the end of this month.

DeLarge Family Reunion! Malcolm McDowell and I at Rock & Shock 2016.

DeLarge Family Reunion! Malcolm McDowell and I at Rock & Shock 2016.

Then, there was the Rock & Shock Horror Convention in my hometown a couple of weeks ago, getting things in order for the last Comic-Con I’ll be attending for 2017 in Rhode Island in early November, recovering from the psychological torture and despair from the recent season premiere of “The Walking Dead”- and fighting off both food poisoning and a relentless cold I’d picked up during a layover in Chicago on my way home from San Diego within mere days of each other.

And then, of course- there was my car. My 2010 Kia- which has been experiencing a multitude of issues for the better part of two years now due to the shoddy work and negligence of a local mechanic I won’t name publicly- finally died for good early last week- prompting me to take some time off in order to find a new vehicle in order to go about my daily routine and get me where I need to be at any given point. I finally decided on a 2016 Elantra which I’m scheduled to pick up either later on today or tomorrow. It’s my first brand new car that I’ve purchased entirely on my own- which was both a stressful and kind of terrifying experience- but I’m really excited to get it on the road and to have something I can drive where I WON’T feel like I’m constantly risking my life by simply starting the engine.

My new ride! I named it Glenn.

My new ride! I named it Glenn.

Such an unexpected and abrupt change definitely delayed things for me a bit. While I focused on finalizing details with the dealership, my agency, my insurance company, and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (a daunting task if there ever was one)– I fell behind on my blogging. My “Horrors of Netflix” series was short and bitterly sweet this year- which left me feeling rather disappointed in myself since I love writing those posts so much- and recipes/reviews/eerie photography trips I had every intention to take and make were postponed if not cancelled outright due to my schedule being jam packed while I had to travel to sign papers and make calls to push things along.

I’m hoping that now that the dust has settled and everything is sorted out for the time being- I can catch up on posts and be more prepared for next October- where I have every intention of going above and beyond with my blogging and horror movie reviews to make up for this year’s unplanned lapse in activity!

For November, prior to the usual holiday craziness- I’m hoping I can take a moment to just relax and catch my breath. I’d like to get caught up with everything: from something as small as personal e-mails all the way to the more important stuff like my workload at the office. I want to get organized and ready before things start getting a little more festive around here. I have plenty of posts planned that I’m looking forward to sharing and more than enough food I look forward to eating once Thanksgiving rolls around.

Thanks to everyone who regularly reads this blog for your patience while I dealt with a LOT this past month! It’s truly appreciated! Here’s hoping the last leg of 2016 is a bit more calm and forgiving for all of us!

Have a Spooky (2SPOOPY) Halloween!


September 2016: In a Nutshell.

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Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Peppermill, LV. 9/29/16

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Peppermill, LV. 9/29/16

Good Morning from Fabulous Las Vegas! The sun hasn’t even started to rise yet, but I’m wide awake in my penthouse suite at The Palms (helllooo, unexpected upgrade!) while my body tries to rest from a day of travel, check-ins, temperature changes and a few celebratory drinks with friends now that I’m here and ready to start my vacation.

Tonight I’ll be heading down to Sam’s Town Casino to catch a gig by some of my favorite Las Vegas-ians, The Killers- and getting ready to dive head-first into my favorite month of them all- but I wanted to talk about September, first. Although much of this month felt like it was the lead-up to where I am now with all my packing and preparing- other important things happened that shaped the beginning of Autumn, as well.

I think one of the biggest things that went down, and that I did for myself in September 2016 was finally open up about everything that was going on in my love-life and with my now-ex. It wasn’t an easy thing to do- especially since some of those wounds were still pretty fresh at the time- but afterwards it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I was free of all the stress that had been building up in me by not talking about it openly and so candidly.

Following my post on the subject, I had so many messages/Tweets/e-mails waiting for me showing love and support. More than one person had contacted me to reveal they, too- had gone through something similar- which also helped with the healing process. It’s easier to move forward into uncertainty when you find out you’re not the only one who has done it and come out on the other side unharmed. I spent hours writing back to those who reached out- both offering and receiving advice- and I’ve never been more ready and excited to see what lays ahead for me in the world of dating and romance.

After I take some much-needed “me” time, of course- which is part of the reason why I’m here on the West Coast for a while.

I continued to grow and thrive within my career in September- which will hopefully open more doors and opportunities for me to broaden my horizons while building my resume/portfolio and generating more income by year’s end. I have so many things I want to do and accomplish- and I’ve been working so hard to ensure that I’m able to do so. It feels like it’s finally starting to pay off in a big way.

Football came back (and how about them Patriots, huh?) this past month, politics were both hard and terrifying to watch as my country creeps closer and closer to Election Day- and back home the leaves are starting to change and fall with Halloween swiftly approaching- which is the only consistent thing this season, really. I can always count on the leaves turning colors and breaking off the trees even though so much else in my life has changed this past month and year.

People sometimes say that Spring is the season of re-birth or rejuvenation- but for me, that feeling has always been represented by Fall. I’m essentially shedding old things and old ways in my life to make room fo newer and fresher experiences and changes (even if that means they come/happen during the dreaded Winter!)

For October, I’m really looking forward to participating in more Fall-activities with my friends, wrapping up the 2016 Comic-Con circuit as it begins to die down over the course of next month and through November- and preparing for Halloween and the subsequent holiday season (and yikes, I can’t believe I’m writing that. How are we this close to the end of 2016?)

I’m also half-excited to start up my much beloved/dreaded “Horrors of Netflix” series again throughout the course of the month, as well as put together my Halloween-themed giveaway. I had wanted more than anything to have a special giveaway during the Summer- but my break-up put a hold on a lot of things in my life while I dealt with it as best as I could. I fully intend to channel that effort and ambition into picking out some really great, 2spoopy4u items to include in this upcoming collection.

And now, the sun is starting to rise here in the desert- and I feel a big breakfast and a long, hot bath calling my name.

Thanks for being eye-opening, empowering and kind to me, September. Here’s to October being just as wonderful.


August 2016: In a Nutshell.

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So long, Summer…

I can’t believe that this is it and that Summer 2016 is officially over (I’m aware the actual first day of Fall isn’t until September 22nd, but still!) It feels like it was just yesterday I was still wearing my Winter jacket and trying to gear myself up for Spring- and now here I am making room in my closet for my sweaters and leggings again.

For anyone who has followed this blog in recent years, you’ll know that Fall is my favorite season. The weather? The fashion? The food and the foliage? Halloween? The return of my “Horrors of Netflix” blogging series? I mean- what’s not to love, right? But Summer is a close second in terms of my favorite season- and I’m sad to see this one go- even if I spent a good amount of it dealing with and subsequently moving on from a former relationship (these types of things just can’t happen in the Winter when everyone is miserable by default, can they? They always have to happen during what’s supposed to be the more fun and laid back times of the year and mess up everything.)

I digress- out of the Summer season- August was probably my favorite month. Not only because the motivation, inspiration and rejuvenation (a lot of “nations” in there) I had started to experience near the end of July had carried over into this month and didn’t show signs of stopping- but also because there was great news and celebrations everywhere- and not just for me, either! One of my best friends got married. Another got promoted at her job- and there were plenty of birthdays and anniversaries to go around. Tonight I have dinner plans with an old friend of mine from high school who just came back to Massachusetts for the first time in years since relocating for their job.

I also found out earlier this month that I’ll be in Las Vegas and San Diego for a week-long vacation/possible apartment hunting adventure during the end of September and beginning of October. I might even catch a show or two while I’m around that way and I’m SO excited to see my friends out West and enjoy a few days of rest, relaxation- and probably some gambling and cocktails, too. While my original plan for a vacation was to finally visit New Orleans to complete one of my New Years resolutions- the recent flooding in and around Louisiana made traveling that way a bit more difficult. The last thing I want to do is sight-see and be a tourist when I know people nearby are struggling to rebuild their homes and lives. It just didn’t feel right.

I’ll be re-scheduling my NOLA trip for early 2017, for sure!

Between hopping from party to party, celebration to celebration, planning for September while soaking up the last of the Summer sun and preparing some long overdue blog posts and updates- I’ve also been putting in some overtime at work to set aside a little extra money for future endeavors and efforts- often coming by my office on my scheduled days off for a few hours at a time. Needless to say, I’ve been keeping busy- but I enjoy it. I like being productive and it’s a nice distraction from certain things.

So here’s to the end of Summer. I hope it was kind to everyone and you all made wonderful memories amidst the heat waves, backyard BBQs and pool parties.

Here’s hoping Fall is lovely!