The Liebster Award: IV.

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My goodness! The past few days have been busy- between work, spending time with my niece, catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a few weeks, and preparing to select a winner for my Spring Giveaway (tomorrow is the last day to enter!) I’m just now sitting down to gratefully accept what will be my fourth installment of the Liebster Award. I was selected as a recipient by Mandi, the beautiful mind behind Razzle My Dazzle, a beauty, fashion, and healthy eating lifestyle blog based out of Indiana. Mandi’s blog is a great read for any beauty blogger looking for informative reviews and fun tutorials, or for anyone on the hunt for tasty recipes.

Thank you so much, Mandi! I’m very flattered!

The rules for the Liebster Award as provided by Mandi’s original post are as follows:

1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.

2. You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to the nominee before you.

3. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated who also have 500 subscribers or less.

4. You must create 10 questions for your nominees.

Now, in past Liebster Awards posts- sometimes the rules stated that the recipient had to list ten (or more) facts about themselves prior to answering the questions posed to them, and sometimes the rules stated that the people they selected to also receive the award didn’t need a specific subscriber amount/cap- but I’m going by Mandi’s guidelines- which means you’re all spared another round of boring facts about myself!

Here are the questions she asked me:

1. What is a current trend that you will be glad to see disappear?

With Coachella recently wrapping up, and with it, the re-caps of the performances and daily fashion reports- I’d have to say one trend that I can’t wait to see fizzle out and die is over-the-top and completely impractical outdoor festival/Summer style, typically seen on hipsters trying to outdo each other with who can look more uncomfortable, or by celebrities trying (and failing) to blend in with the crowd.

As someone who has been to a few outdoor music festivals over the years, my main goal when choosing my wardrobe for the day/weekend was comfort and practicality. Depending on the climate, it’s almost always stifling during outdoor shows- and if it rains- muddy conditions must be taken into consideration. Jeans, shorts, tank tops, and sneakers or waterproof boots are usually the safest, easiest bet. To see people walking around festivals like Coachella with high heeled thigh-high boots, unnecessary layers of tulle and fringe, and being weighed down by tons of jewelry is something I have never, and probably will never, understand.

2. If you had to wear one color of nail polish for a year straight, what color would it be?

Oh, this is a hard one, because I love pretty much any and all nail polishes. Taking my job into consideration, as well as shades that are seasonally appropriate- I’d say I’d probably sport a nude/beige year-round. It sounds boring, but I”d never have to worry about it clashing with anything I’m wearing.

3. Which season do you get excited for?

Fall, most definitely. The weather is perfect, I can break out my sweaters, boots, and scarves. The changing foliage in New England is breathtakingly beautiful. There’s apple cider and pumpkin picking. “The Walking Dead” premieres every October and then there’s Halloween and all the horror movies that come with it. I don’t even mind that Autumn is a precursor to (usually) terrible Winter. It’s my favorite season.

4. What do you look forward to on your weekends?

Sleeping a little later than I do during weekdays! Well, that, and I love having the time to catch a movie, get lunch with friends, watch everything I have saved on my DVR, or just go for a long drive without any real destination in mind. My weekends are when I unwind and recharge for the week ahead and I try to make them count as much as possible.

5. Do you prefer high-end make-up or cheaper versions?

It really comes down to results. I’ve purchased high-end products that were disappointing and a waste of money, and I’ve purchased drug store brand products that completely blew me away. I can’t really say I have a set preference. I try to do my research, read reviews, look at swatches, etc. before I buy- but a lot of times it usually comes down to trial and error.

6. What inspired you to begin blogging?

Back when I was in my teens and I first started keeping an online journal (oh, LiveJournal- how I miss thee,) it was mainly a way for me to connect with other people around the world who were my age and going through the same things I was: classes, boys, worrying about college, hopes and dreams, etc. It felt nice to just write out my feelings without consequence or judgment. I also used my online diary as a means to connect with others who shared similar interests and discover new things like bands and books, since a lot of people in my school weren’t necessarily into the same things I was. I met a lot of really great, interesting people through keeping an online diary- some of whom I still stay in contact with today and even see from time to time.

As I got older, blogging became less about teenage angst and more about my life as an adult and my interests as I grew up and developed into the person I am today- but making and maintaining connections was always the motivator. I love to network, and now that I have a little bit of knowledge on how to do it properly- I’ve been introduced to so many fascinating people. Blogging is such a wonderful creative outlet that has opened so many doors to so many cool opportunities for me.

7. Lip Gloss, Lip Balm, or Lipstick…which can you not leave the house without?

I’d have to say lipstick. I’m pale, so I need some sort of long-lasting color on my mouth to keep me from looking overly washed out at any given time during the day/night. Bonus points if the lipstick has a built-in moisturizer in it, though!

8. How often are you willing to try out new beauty products?

All the time. I love to experiment and play around with different products and brands. You never know what is going to work really, really well for you- and what won’t. That’s why I love my Ipsy and GlossyBox subscriptions. I’m constantly being introduced to new products- and even though some of them may not end up being my favorites, or even something I particularly care for at all- it’s still fun to try them.

9. What is your favorite post that you’ve posted?

I’d like to think I’m proud and/or pleased with all of my posts, because I do put a lot of effort into writing them and piecing together content- but I think my all-time favorite post to date is my June 2013 post, “I’m Not Crazy- I’m Coping,” in which I detailed my struggle with coming to terms with my father’s untimely death and the resulting anxiety that came with it. The reason it’s my favorite post isn’t necessarily because it’s a fun, happy-go-lucky topic, but because it was one of the hardest, and most personal things for me to write about- but it felt really, really good to share- like lifting a weight off of my shoulders. Completing the post was cathartic for me, and the responses I received via e-mail and on social media were so positive and inspiring that I knew I had done the right thing by publishing it.

10. All time favorite beauty product is….?

Clinique’s ‘Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief Gel.’ I can’t go on without it. It’s a cooling, oil-free gel- suitable for all skin types- that makes my face feel so intensely refreshed and hydrated but NOT greasy. I apply it morning and night and my skin looks and feels healthy, smooth, and soft. It’s incredible.

And now, here are the ten bloggers I’ve selected for this edition of the Liebster Award:

Rainbows & Polka Dots (my latest follower- so I’d love to know more about you!)


A Work of Artifice: A Beauty Blog

Red Lips Ritz

Clicks Beauty Blog

Alison in Geekland (this is my attempt to get Ali back into blogging!)





And finally, my ten questions for each of these wonderful bloggers:

1. What is your most regrettable/embarrassing style moment and/or makeup mistake?

2. Who is your style icon, and why/how do you draw inspiration from them?

3. What is your favorite part about blogging? Your least favorite?

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world- where would you go, and why?

5. What is your one must-have, can’t-leave-home-without-it beauty product?

6. What is your favorite piece of clothing/jewelry, and why is it your favorite?

7. Apart from blogging, what are some of your favorite hobbies/activities?

8. If you could bring back any discontinued beauty product- what would you bring back, and why?

9. If you could raid any celebrity’s closet- who would you choose?

10. And finally, what advice would you offer those who are looking to start blogs of their own?

Thank you again for the nomination, Mandi- and good luck to everyone who takes on my ten questions!


The Liebster Award – Take 3!

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LiebsterAwardTalk about flattering! For the third time since I started this blog, I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award- this time the honor coming from the sensational Nikki over at Girl Behind the Glasses. Nikki’s blog is fairly new, but it’s a must-read if you love makeup and books (which I most certainly do.)

Thank you for this award, Nikki! You’re a sweetheart.

Here’s how the Liebster Award works:

1. The nominee must link back to the blogger who nominated them.

2. The nominee must state 11 facts about themselves, and then answer the 11 question provided for them by the person who nominated them.

3. They nominee must then nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers, who they think deserve the recognition, and pose 11 new questions for them to answer.

4. They must then tell the bloggers who they have nominated about the award.

The most difficult part about posts like these are coming up with 11 random facts about myself. I’ve said it before and I will absolutely say it again- but I don’t consider myself all that interesting! But regardless- here’s 11 more facts I managed to think of:

1. One of my all-time favorite TV shows (besides “The Walking Dead” and “Breaking Bad,” of course,) is “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” I have so many fond memories of watching syndicated episodes on Saturday mornings with my dad when I was a kid and laughing hysterically- even if I didn’t understand the more “adult” jokes at the time. I think my love of suffering and subsequently shredding terrible horror and Sci-Fi movies stems from watching Joel (then Mike!) Crow, and Tom Servo do it every week. I fully plan on owning every DVD box set in the immediate future so I can relive the Saturday morning antics.

2. I’d love to try my hand at making a costume and cosplaying at a comic convention soon. It just looks like so much fun (even though that SyFy’s “Heroes of Cosplay” show is pretty awful,) and I have quite a few friends who have done it and have loved it. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and comic conventions are kind of like a big Halloween party- except without terrible candy corn. Count me in!

3. I played Mary Ingalls in my 5th grade class’ production of “Little House on the Prairie.” Determined to nail my part, I had found out from my mom that Mary was blind- and proceeded to deliberately bump into everyone and everything during rehearsals until my teacher became so frustrated with me that she scrapped the blindness thing all together. The same teacher had also cast me as Europa when we had a “Greek Mythology Week” later on that year. When I started doing research and asking questions about why Zeus kidnapped Europa and brought her to Crete to “ravish” her (and what “ravish” meant,) I was told to stop reading the Greek Mythology textbook immediately.


December ’13.

4. The only celebrity and/or historical figure I can say I’m related to (and it’s a pretty far reach,) is John Wayne. He was my grandmother’s (on my father’s side) cousin. I never really cared much for his movies while growing up, though.

5. When I was 16, I bleached my then naturally dark brown hair to a platinum blonde- and then cut it into a bob. I was trying to look like Debbie Harry, although most people told me I resembled 1980’s Madonna (which I didn’t take as a compliment.) My hair was fried for months until I eventually dyed it back to brown, and no sooner had I done so when No Doubt’s “It’s My Life” music video debuted- and Gwen Stefani was rocking my former blonde bobbed hairstyle. Damn it, Gwen.

6. The most recent movie I’ve seen in theaters was “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and it might very well be one of the best movies I’ve ever watched. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a really, really beautiful film. Ben Stiller did such an amazing job (both as an actor and as the director!)

7. Every single one of my pets from the time I was little up until now have had the middle name “Eggmus.” I have no idea why or where it came from. It was just something I started doing when I was seven and it’s stuck since then. My first cat was Zero Eggmus. The cat I adopted after him was Daphne Eggmus. My current cat’s name is Stella Eggmus and my dog’s name is Oliver Eggmus. I don’t think I’ll ever stop.

8. I’m 5’7″ tall, which makes me roughly the same height as my girlfriends when they’re wearing heels, or a giant by comparison when they aren’t. I know a lot of short people, apparently.

9. Now that I’ve seen the Rolling Stones live, the next band on my “have to see” list is Coldplay. I don’t care what anyone says- I adore them and I shamelessly sing along to their music at the top of my lungs while I’m driving. “The Scientist” still gets me emotional and “Paradise” is just way too fun to blast while I’m on my way to work.

10. My very first stuffed animal, a gift from my uncle when I was a baby, was a tabby cat I named Felix. I brought it everywhere with me all through my toddler years and up until I started Kindergarten. I still have it. It’s in my bedroom- and even though the years have taken a bit of a toll on it, and it’s a little ratty- it’s still in one piece.

11. I’ve consistently had a Marilyn Monroe calendar hanging in my room every year for the past 12-13 years. I love Marilyn (“Seven Year Itch” is the best!)- although I cringe every time someone misquotes her or incorrectly credits her with a popular phrase or saying. I just think she was beautiful, and her story was so tragic and so telling of life in Hollywood for women back then (and sometimes even now.)

The 10 questions Nikki asked me are:

1. Why did you start blogging?

Oh, I hate to sound like a broken record, because my answer is always the same. Taken from the last time I received the Liebster, since my thoughts haven’t changed at all!:

“My blogging days began way back in my sophomore year of high school, where I’d write about the guy I had a crush on, homework assignments I didn’t want to do, PG-13 movies I was excited to go see with my friends (if our parents were willing to lend us money drive us to the theater, of course, since none of us were old enough to work or have our licenses), trips to the mall, and school drama. At first, it was just a way for me to chronicle my life and network with other people my age- like a diary that I shared with others- but after a while it sort of became my creative outlet and evolved over the course of more than a decade into what this blog is today.”

2. What’s the story behind the name of your blog?

Well, I’m a redhead, which explains part of it- but I’m also a full-time paralegal and a big “Legally Blonde” fan. I was inspired by the flawlessness of Elle Woods and her ability to maintain her bubbly, sweet, pink-loving personality while still being really smart, going after what she wants, and not taking any crap from anyone who doubted her. I consider myself the redheaded Elle Woods- without the chihuahua.

3. If you could pick only one beauty product, whether you have it or not right now, to use for a whole month and nothing else, what would it be and why?

Coconut oil, because it’s a universal beauty product with a ton of uses. It’s good for removing makeup, repairing hair, softening cuticles, as an under eye serum, as a mouthwash, etc. One jar would last me longer than a month- so I’d be all set.

4. What was the last book you’ve read, be it fiction or non-fiction? What is it about and would you recommend it to others?

I just re-read Pamela Des Barres’ “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” It’s pretty scandalous, considering Pamela and her former groupie friends all spill the juicy details of some of rock n’ roll’s most legendary stars’ bedroom antics- but it’s also quite entertaining and very comical if you’re at all curious about the things that classic rock Gods used to be able to get away with.

5. What are the things you can’t live without? At least 5 but not more than 10.

1. My mom, because she’s one of my best friends. 2. My dog, because he’s my best four-legged friend. 3. My ever expanding circle of friends and acquaintances. 4. My camera, because I always have to be ready to capture a moment. 5. My cell phone, because it’s connected to everything and everyone! 6.  My music collection. 7. A notebook and a pen, so I can write on the go until my hand cramps up. 8. Hair ties- because sometimes I just have to get these curls off of my face.

6. Who is your style icon? It could be anyone, a friend, your mother or someone famous.

I had been asked this question the last time I received the Liebster, and I had answered with Bettie Page- but I have so many style icons I draw inspiration from, so to give a different answer, I’m going to say Edie Sedgwick. Edie’s tragic life and even more tragic death aside, the girl knew how to dress. She made the most basic ensembles look brilliant- and her makeup was on point. I’ve tried more than once (and unsuccessfully) to re-create Edie’s bold liner look. Someday I’ll get it right. Someday…

7. What camera are you using for your pictures now and what kind do you really want to use?

I currently shoot with a Canon PowerShot SX500 IS, and I absolutely love it. I’m completely content with the quality of my photos and the features the camera has.

8. What is your current obsession? Anything under the sun!

While “The Walking Dead” is on hiatus until next month, my current TV obsession is “The Spoils of Babylon” on IFC. It’s hilarious. Also, for the past few months I have been unable to stop listening to Parov Stelar, an Austrian musician, who combines jazz/big band music with catchy and funky beats. I always end up dancing whenever I hear “Catgroove” or “Booty Swing” among a ton of others. It’s so good.

9. Are you a cat or dog lover? Or another pet perhaps?

I love animals in general. I have a cat and a dog, and even though they can both drive me nuts at times- they’re the best. I’m just going to give a wildcard answer and say that I’m a sloth person. I love sloths.

10. Tell me something random about yourself.

Oh dear. Those 11 facts above weren’t random enough? Hmm. Let me think.  I’m currently wearing socks that have little martini glasses all over them! How’s that?

And here are my questions!

1. What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

2. If you had to prepare a time capsule with 10 items to show future generations what your life was like- what would you pick and why?

3. What was your most embarrassing style moment? (if it makes you feel any better, mine were jeans coated in glitter, circa 2002/2003.)

4. What is your favorite inspirational/motivational quote?

5. Name five things you like about yourself (and it can be anything! I just think it’s nice to remind yourself of your good qualities.)

6. What’s your favorite TV show, be it still on the air or cancelled?

7. If you could vacation in any destination in the world, with money not being an issue- where would you go, and why?

8. Which one of your blog posts is your favorite (so far?)

9. How do you pamper yourself after a stressful day/week?

10. Who is your style icon, and why?

11. What’s one thing you want to accomplish in 2014?

I have a few new followers here at Legally Redhead, and there’s no better way to get to know them than to nominate some of them for this award!

I’m tagging:

Come in the Door

Sarah Loves Makeup

One Curvy Blogger

Thank you again, Nikki!


Liebster Award: Part II.

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LiebsterAwardBack in May, I was nominated for the Liebster Award, an honor passed among bloggers around the globe as recognition for stand-out content and writing, and useful to reach out and connect with other bloggers and readers. I have a lot of fun creating entries for “Legally Redhead,” and I hope that those who follow this blog or have popped in from time to time to check it out enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I was incredibly flattered the first time I received this award, and was more than happy to forward it to other blogs I thought deserving of the nomination.

Imagine my surprise when I was notified by the beautiful Miss Nadina over at The Wallflower Girl that I’d been nominated for a second time this year!  Nadina’s blog is a wonderful mix of fashion, beauty, and candid, honest writings about her life and her thoughts that show her wisdom far beyond her young years. Thank you so much for this, Nadina! xox

And like the last time, here are the guidelines for the Liebster again:

1. The nominee must link back to the blogger who nominated them.

2. The nominee must state 11 facts about themselves, and then answer the 11 question provided for them by the person who nominated them.

3. They nominee must then nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers, who they think deserve the recognition, and pose 11 new questions for them to answer.

4. They must then tell the bloggers who they have nominated about the award.

Although I say with all sincerity that I hardly consider myself interesting enough to warrant 11 facts, I’m going to attempt it again anyway!

1. While I love nearly all genres of music and have a handful of bands/artists I’m a die-hard and loyal fan of, I have to say that my go-to playlist when I’m feeling creative, or cooking, or cleaning, or even just relaxing while doing absolutely nothing consists mostly of big band/classic jazz/swing music. I listen to a lot of Artie Shaw, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Bing Crosby, and Glenn Miller, among many others. The music can make you happy, it can make you cry, it can make you want to dance, it can make you feel romantic- it can make you feel so many things all at once, and in my opinion, it’s truly the greatest genre of them all.

2. My great-great grandfather on my mother’s side was the mayor of my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts until his death. He has a field named after him by one of the colleges in the city, and his portrait still hangs in City Hall. Name-dropping him has never gotten me out of a speeding or parking ticket, however- but I do have a Key to the City that’s been passed down from my grandmother to my mom, and then to me- which I think is pretty cool.

3. There’s been an ongoing joke in my family since I was about two or three years old that Slash from the band Guns N’ Roses was my biological father because I was the only one that has insanely curly hair and no one could quite figure out where it came from. This picture of me dressed as Slash in 1988 didn’t really help matters, either:


4. In 2006 I traveled to the UK to attend the Reading Festival and spend a week sightseeing and gallivanting around London with some friends. It was my first real outdoor festival experience, and apart from the occasional torrential downpour (and resulting very muddy conditions,) it still remains one of my favorite concert memories and something I would highly recommend anyone to go to sometime. Just be sure to bring a good pair of Wellingtons and a warm jacket with you.

5. As convenient and quick as e-mails and text messages are, I still love to write and receive letters, either by hand or in the mail. They just feel more personal to me. I’m also a sucker for beautiful stationary and note cards (PAPYRUS will be the death of me.) Around the holidays, I try to make it a point to pen personalized letters to friends and family rather than just quickly signing my name in a card to let them know I’m thinking of them and wishing them all the best.

6. When I was 10/11, my friends and I, heavily influenced by the movie “The Craft,” decided we were going to practice and study witchcraft. We bought a bunch of “Wicca for Teens” books (seriously. I think I still have one of them,) and spent a large portion of our Summer vacation sitting in a circle in my friend’s basement surrounded by candles, making holy water, and putting protective spells on each other. Sadly, we never reached the “change your hair color just by running your hands through it,” stage- but it was silly fun. Embarrassing to look back on, but fun. (side note: I still love “The Craft!”)

7. I’ve only ever had soda once in my life and I thought it tasted absolutely disgusting (Coca-Cola, for the record.) I’m not a big fan of carbonated drinks in general, but I don’t drink soda at all. Friends have tried to get me to try Sprite or orange soda over the years, insisting that it would taste better, but the Coca-Cola was traumatic enough. I’m all set.

8. My favorite video game series are “Resident Evil,” and “Silent Hill.” It doesn’t matter how bad or nonsensical the plots or characters get. I’ll still play each and every single one that’s released. The first “Resident Evil” on the original Playstation was one of the first video games I ever remember buying for myself with my allowance and baby-sitting money I’d saved up (the other being “PaRappa the Rapper.”) My best friend Sean used to come over my parents’ house all the time after school and on the weekends and we’d take turns playing until he got his own Playstation. Seventeen years later and I still have the most impressive head shot skills when it comes to taking out zombies, Pyramid Head, and Umbrella Corporation’s henchmen. Almost all of the movie adaptations for both series are unwatchable, though.

9. I don’t have any tattoos or piercings (except for my earlobes,) but I’d like very much to get a small yet detailed anchor tattoo somewhere on myself. Not only because of my love for all things nautical, but also in honor of my father, who was very much my “spiritual anchor.” He made sure I kept things in perspective and stayed grounded throughout my life and with all the choices I made.

10. I drive a white 2010 Kia Forte which, with the exception of one time where my fuel line froze after a particularly brutal cold night with next to no gas in my tank- has been very good to me. I take a great deal of pride in my car, and consider it my office-on-the-move, so I keep up with maintenance and am diligent about it’s cleanliness to the point where it may be alarming to any passengers riding with me. I have yet to name it the way some others name their vehicles, though.

11. Sometimes when I’m feeling drained or overwhelmed, a good cry almost always helps flush out my mind, heart, and soul- and makes me feel better. When I need a little help getting the waterworks going, I usually put in a touching movie or listen to a moving soundtrack. My go-to is 2003’s ‘Pieces of April,’ which is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, sweet, and genuinely funny movies I’ve ever seen, backed by a phenomenal soundtrack created by the brilliant Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. I can’t even summarize the plot without getting a little teary-eyed, but please believe me that it’s absolutely worth watching and that you won’t regret it. It’s one of my favorite films of all time.

The questions Nadina asked me are:

1. All time favorite song?

Oh, this is a hard one. There’s so many to pick from. Interpol’s “The Specialist” comes to mind, as does Dropkick Murphys “Boys on the Dock,” but I’d have to say that my all-time favorite song is Gin Blossoms’ “Til I Hear It From You.” I used to sing it all the time when I was a kid (I loved the movie “Empire Records” growing up,) and whenever I hear it, it’s like a shot of nostalgia. It just takes me back to my childhood bedroom in the apartment where I grew up where I watched the music video for the song on MTV back when they still focused on music.

2. What is your holy grail beauty product?

There’s a lot of products I use that I love, but I’d have to say my Holy Grail- crème de la crème- can’t live without it product is organic virgin coconut oil from Trader Joe’s. It’s inexpensive, smells lovely, and has so many beneficial uses for skin, hair, teeth, and overall health. It works as an incredible 5-minute face mask, a deep conditioning hair treatment, a body moisturizer, a deep cleaning mouth wash, a non-abrasive makeup remover, so on and so forth- and, if you want- you can cook with it, too. I always keep a jar handy in the bathroom and I swear by it.

3. What is one thing you would like to do before you die?

There’s so many things I’d love to do or try, but I think the one thing that really sticks out in my mind is that I’d love to go into one of those cages that get lowered into the ocean among the great white sharks. You just float around in scuba gear inside the cage while the most feared animal of the sea swims around you. With my luck, one would probably try to attack the cage or something- but that’s a risk I’d be willing to take.

4. Good childhood memory?

When I was seven, my parents took me, my two older brothers, and my brother’s friend on a road trip from Massachusetts to Disney World for the very first time. Disney itself was a blast, of course- but I can vividly remember having so much fun on the drive there and back. My dad made sure to stop at a bunch of cheesy tourist attractions, including “South of the Border,” which to me at the time was just as much fun as Magic Kingdom. There was some sibling bickering, of course- but overall it was a really, really fun trip.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

When I was younger, I hated my nose. I thought it was too big and didn’t fit my face at all. Now that I’m older, I feel like I’ve grown into it- the same way I did with my curly hair that I would go to war with every morning to try and tame before school with harsh chemicals and even harsher flat-irons. I like myself, and I wouldn’t change much except maybe my tendency to have severe road rage at even the slightest of traffic infractions. There is no way yelling as loud or cursing as much as I do while I’m driving is good for anyone’s psychological health.

6. The best compliment you have ever received?

My friend Troy has a tendency to say things to me that really resonate on a deep, meaningful level. He’ll compliment my personality, or tell me he likes the way I laugh, or that he thinks I’m a caring, kind person. The other night he said that he didn’t think I realized how beautiful I really was- and I swear I blushed for a good twenty minutes. That’s one of the more recent compliments that stand out.

Malcolm McDowell also told me I smelled really good once, so there’s definitely that one, too.

7. Favorite room or place in your house?

I’d love to say it’s the kitchen because that’s where the food is, but I really do just adore my bedroom. It’s kind of a mess right now since I’m moving things around for the impending holidays, but when it’s picked up and organized- it’s a space that is very much “me,” from the bold wallpaper pattern to the pictures and postcards I have tacked up. It’s where I go to rest, where my dog goes to hang out and be lazy, and where I go to blog and get work done.

8. Why did you decide to start a blog?

I had actually answered this question the last time I received this award, and my answer hasn’t really changed much! I’m just going to copy and paste what I had written:

“My blogging days began way back in my sophomore year of high school, where I’d write about the guy I had a crush on, homework assignments I didn’t want to do, PG-13 movies I was excited to go see with my friends (if our parents were willing to lend us money drive us to the theater, of course, since none of us were old enough to work or have our licenses), trips to the mall, and school drama. At first, it was just a way for me to chronicle my life and network with other people my age- like a diary that I shared with others- but after a while it sort of became my creative outlet and evolved over the course of more than a decade into what this blog is today.”

9. What’s your favorite food?

I love trying all different types of food, but my absolute favorite type is Italian food. Carb-counters be damned. I love me some pasta and I especially love me some cheese.

10. Who are your inspirations?

I draw inspiration from so many people, places, and things, but I’d say most of my inspiration comes from Bettie Page. Not only style-wise, because she always looked gorgeous, even in non-pin-up photos, but because she was so influential in terms of re-defining sexuality and what was considered “taboo” in her day. Page was confident, comfortable in her own skin, and didn’t see anything shameful with being sexual. Despite her troubling later years and battle with mental illness, nobody can deny the impact Page had in fashion and for women. I admire courage, confidence, and fearlessness like that- and I model my own life after it.

11. One thing you will never leave your house without, other than your cell phone?

My wallet and keys, of course! I’m also going to go ahead and say mascara and breath mints/gum, because you never know when you’re going to need them.

And here are my questions:

1. What is your absolute favorite movie moment of all time?

2. If you could only choose three (3) beauty items to own for the rest of your life, what would they be- and why?

3. What was the best show/concert you’ve ever been to?

4. What’s your quintessential style/fashion piece?

5. If you were given (or won) one million dollars, what would you do with it?

6. If you could travel through time- where/when would you go, and why?

7. What is the one accomplishment you’ve reached in your life that you’re proudest of?

8. What advice would you give to other aspiring bloggers looking to begin writing their own content?

9. With the holidays coming up, what’s your favorite holiday tradition? If you don’t celebrate the holidays- what’s your favorite seasonal tradition?

10. Have you started writing any New Years Resolutions for 2014? Can you share any?

11. Looking back on 2013 so far, what has been your favorite moment- and why?

For this award, and to pass on these questions, I’ve selected Michelle over at Beautiful Goodies, a beauty/fashion/subscription box review/lifestyle blog I greatly enjoy reading. Keep up the great work, Michelle!

And thank you again to Nadina for the nomination, and to everyone who reads this blog! I truly appreciate it!

Liebster Award.

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LiebsterAwardI’m always so flattered and beyond humbled whenever this blog receives any kind of praise or recognition. With so many phenomenal writers, designers, photographers, and artists out there promoting themselves and trying to leave their mark on the world- it’s such a great feeling to know that my little blog, still spreading it’s wings in it’s first year, is appreciated and even enjoyed.

Much love, and many thanks go out to my dear friend Imogen from Imogen Rose Beauty, who nominated me for the Liebster Award. To show my gratitude, I will NOT be kicking her tea into Boston Harbor and screaming “no taxation without representation!” (it’s an inside joke.)

Here are the guidelines for this award:

1. The nominee must link back to the blogger who nominated them.

2. The nominee must state 11 facts about themselves, and then answer the 11 question provided for them by the person who nominated them.

3. They nominee must then nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers, who they think deserve the recognition, and pose 11 new questions for them to answer.

4. They must then tell the bloggers who they have nominated about the award.

I thought writing down several facts about myself back when I received the Versatile Blogger Award was hard enough, but here’s my attempt at 11 more- just in case anyone was (still) curious about me!

MeBeingCharming1. I have three vacations/adventures I’d really love to try and go on within the next three years (totaling 1 per year): driving historic Route 66 across the country to Santa Monica and back by myself, going to Ireland, and visiting Hawaii for a couple of sun-soaked weeks.

2. One of my favorite books is “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. It was assigned as one of our options for summer reading back when I was still in my pre-teens, and I remember not being able to put it down. I was thoroughly engrossed by Francie Nolan’s story and at times, felt absolute heartache for her struggles, even though I knew the book was fiction. I’ve read it numerous times throughout the years, and although it’s been a while since I’ve picked it up- I always keep it close by in my bedroom.

3. My name was “Max” until the day I was born, and then my parents, in a last minute decision influenced by my grandmother throwing a fit that they were going to name me something so unfeminine, decided to go with the popular 1980’s name, and unquestionably boring, “Ashley”. Thanks, Gram.

4. The first movie I ever saw in theaters was “Jurassic Park” with my dad. My mom was concerned it would scare me. I came home and excitedly told her about how the T-Rex ate the lawyer while he was hiding in the bathroom stall. I recently saw the re-release in IMAX 3D, and still smirked at that scene.

5. My favorite scent is toasted coconut. Whether it be soap, or body lotions, or candles. The aroma is just heavenly and never fails to relax me.

6. I’ve always found tornadoes fascinating, and despite being caught on a highway dangerously close to one that touched down in Massachusetts a couple of years ago, I’d still like to go on one of those storm chasing tours someday and observe one (from a safe distance, of course.)

7. I don’t drink often, but when I do, I like whiskey sours (but only with Jameson whiskey).

8. The first Off-Broadway show I ever saw was Billy Connolly performing stand-up in 2007. My friend Steven brought me and his former co-worker, Scoot, during one of my first outings to NYC. I remember laughing until I had tears in my eyes.

9. I’m not very good at sports, but I can play a mean game of pool, and, my nails permitting- I’m not a bad bowler, either.

10. I have a series of freckles on the right side of my face that, if you connected them with a marker, would resemble the shape of the Big (or Little, depending on your preference) Dipper constellation.

11. My ringtone for as long as I can remember has been The Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way”. It’s the quintessential 80’s new wave song.

The questions Imogen asked me are:

1. If a bear and a shark had a fight, who would win?

If a bear finds itself in the ocean, far enough from the coast where it would be in a position to fight a shark in the first place, then the shark has the advantage since a bear has to keep it’s head above the water to survive. Not only that, but if we’re talking a Great White Shark, then with size, strength, and mobility alone, the shark would definitely destroy the bear.

I put way too much thought into that answer.

2. Why did you start blogging?

My blogging days began way back in my sophomore year of high school, where I’d write about the guy I had a crush on, homework assignments I didn’t want to do, PG-13 movies I was excited to go see with my friends (if our parents were willing to lend us money drive us to the theater, of course, since none of us were old enough to work or have our licenses), trips to the mall, and school drama. At first, it was just a way for me to chronicle my life and network with other people my age- like a diary that I shared with others- but after a while it sort of became my creative outlet and evolved over the course of more than a decade into what this blog is today.

3. What is one thing you do every day without fail?

There’s a lot of things I do every day without fail- shower, eat, brush my teeth, check my e-mail. I guess if I had to pick one that I remind myself to do every day, it’s to laugh- usually at myself. Work can get stressful and my weekends can get crazy, so I always make sure I laugh about something. It just sort of re-centers me so I don’t get overwhelmed and it instantly makes me feel relieved.

4. What’s your one ultimate blogging tip?

It sounds so cliché, but really- be yourself when you blog. Trying to cater to or win over an audience that doesn’t share the same interests as you is exhausting, and over time, readers will catch on that you’re not really passionate about certain things. Blog about things that YOU like and care about, because there will always be an audience who will appreciate the same things, find your writing, and enjoy it. Even if the things you like to blog about are obscure- I guarantee you there will be people out there who will be into it, too. That’s one of the great things about the internet.

Not only that, but being yourself automatically makes you stand out in a sea of blogs. Fashion blogs are a perfect example, since there are so many of them- but there can only be one you- right? Keep on keeping on with yourself.

5. Whats your favourite TV show?

It should come as no surprise that it’s “The Walking Dead”. I’m going through physical and mental anguish that I have to wait for October for season 4 to begin. I love “Breaking Bad”, “Archer”, and “White Collar”, as well- and I have a feeling once I start watching “Game of Thrones” that I’m going to be hooked like everyone else, too.

6. If somebody gave you £20/$20 what would you do with it?

That’s automatic gas money for my car right there, but if I already had a full tank, I’d probably use it over the course of a few days to buy coffee or treat myself to a movie.

7. What’s your favourite possession?

I have a few things, mostly notes, photos, and little trinkets from my dad- but I also have a softcover copy of “A Clockwork Orange” that Malcolm McDowell signed for me a few years ago when I met him. He was so personable and such a gentleman. I’m a big fan of his and it just makes me really happy to have it because it’s a reminder of a lovely experience.


8. Who is your favourite YouTuber?

THE MOST POPULAR GIRLS IN SCHOOL. Hands down! So funny and obscene. I love it.

9. Nearest thing to you?

One of my puppy’s plush sock monkey toys is laying next to me. He brought it to me a little while ago and then took off down the hallway.

10. Worst habit?

Apart from cursing and road rage (which usually go hand in hand)? I’d say twirling my hair. Ever since I was a little girl, I always absentmindedly twirled my hair, which, with it being as curly as it is- tends to result in knots and snarls by the end of the day. I just paused after writing that last sentence and realized I was twirling my hair. It’s a habit I don’t think I’ll ever break.

11. Favourite gift you ever received?

My friends are notorious for buying me the silliest, most impractical things ever for Christmases, birthdays, etc., but one year, my best buddy Sean converted an old (and terrible) horror movie we filmed when we were both 10 years old from VHS format to DVD and gave me a copy for Christmas. Watching it was like re-living the most awkward stage of our childhood, but it was incredibly funny. It took a lot of effort on his part to put it together and I’m just really touched by that.

And here are my questions:

1. Who do you consider your inspiration and why?

2. What is your dream vacation?

3. What is your most embarrassing or cringe-worthy fashion/style moment?

4. What is the last good book you read?

5. What do you like best about blogging?

6. What is one thing that always helps you relax?

7. If you could meet any person in the world, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

8. What is one thing you want to accomplish before the end of 2013?

9. What is your favorite, or most-inspirational quote?

10. What is something you could never leave home without?

11. What is your favorite song, and why?

To pay this award forward, I’ve selected Justin over at Mr. Walk & Talk, a really well put together men’s fashion blog, and Jocelyn at Beauty and Lifestyle of a Broke College Girl, who makes frugal fun.