April Hits List!

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This post is a couple of days late, having just missed the end-of-April deadline I’d set- but I’m not being too harsh on myself considering how busy I was last month. Having the best intentions when it comes to a regular posting schedule is all well and good- but juggling that with the other day-to-day tasks in life, love and leisure can be a bit challenging at times. My hats off to Vloggers who continually create, produce and publish content on a schedule without fail. I don’t know how you all do it without visibly stressing out or losing your composure- but more power to you!

April’s ‘Hits List’ might appear small at first glance- but a lot of these items have helped me tremendously during my past few weekends when traveling out of state- and some of them are just plain old silly fun I’ve been enjoying since the beginning of last month.

Like I’ve done with past installments of this monthly series- I thought I’d start by sharing the items/products that are easier to be displayed and photographed- before I go into things like music, movies, games and television.

Let’s see what made the list last month!

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Carrying over my Springtime/Summertime coconut-scented-everything obsession from body washes, lotions, and candles into my hair styling regimen, these two products- both from OGX– have made my “apply and go” morning hair care routine even more easy and beneficial to my curls these past few weeks. After washing/conditioning my hair and scalp in the shower, I work a few pumps of the clear COCONUT MILK SERUM through my still damp hair to tame frizz and keep my curls glossy and hydrated from root to tip.

After that, I work through the COCONUT CURLS MOUSSE through my hair- again, from root to tip- before letting it air dry. This product defines my curls without making them crunchy or overloaded with sticky product build-up. And of course, both products smell incredible and don’t cause any kind of fading or discoloration to the red dye/highlights I have.

My hair has been looking and feeling on point since I started using both of these products at the beginning of April- effortless but still well put together. I don’t plan on switching up anything in my routine anytime soon- which should make Summer an easy time for styling!

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I am a shameless caffeine addict. I can barely function without my morning latte and the smell of coffee instantaneously puts me in a more relaxed mood- so it seems only fitting that I would turn to my one and only life source by slathering it all over my face/neck/shoulders to combat clogged pores and dryness, right? I have been absolutely LOVING this ‘Cup O’Coffee’ mask/scrub from LUSH lately- and this is a must-have for any other coffee lovers, too!

I typically use this mask 2-3 times a week- mostly in the morning since the scent gives me a nice boost of energy- leaving it on my skin for a good twenty minutes before I gradually rinse/scrub my face by adding warm water. After I pat my skin dry, my face feels smooth and considerably softer- not tight or dried out.

I’m actually running a little low on this product, so I have a feeling I’ll be replenishing within the next week or so.

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When I was in Virginia at the beginning of April, and spending a couple of days in Alexandria- I was quite surprised by how few souvenirs there were to commemorate the little town- especially now that ‘The Walking Dead’ has made the area even more popular. Every gift shop or gas station I stopped by was filled wall-to-wall with Washington D.C. memorabilia- but nothing for Alexandria. No t-shirts. No postcards. Nothing. Nada.

That’s why I was so happy when I spotted this mug on the top of a shelf that was otherwise lined with cheap aluminum replicas of the neighboring National Memorials. I was quick to snatch it up, elated I’d finally found something to mark my brief but wonderful stay- and I’ve been using it to sip my evening tea before bed.

… And maybe also pretending I’m Rick Grimes while I do it- but that’s another story for another day.

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Is there anybody in this world (apart from Robert Downey Jr.) who is more excited about this week’s release of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ than I am? It feels like I’ve been waiting ages for this movie- and all the promotions, appearances, and advertisements have all but turned the days leading up to it finally arriving in theaters into a week-long event in itself. Of course I’ll be there on opening night- popcorn in hand and probably sporting my favorite Winter Soldier hoodie to celebrate!

Knowing how pumped up I am to see the flick, my friends have been picking up assorted odds and ends for me as presents- the most recent being these two FUNKO figurines of Cap and Black Widow to add to my collection. I’ll never get over how cute these things are- although I’m starting to run out of places to display them!

I have a feeling these two will find a home on my desk at work.

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I’m actually surprised I haven’t mentioned Veet up until now considering it’s been a Spring/Summer staple-slash-lifesaver of mine since my Junior year of high school (yes, really.) I use this gel cream hair remover once a week or every couple of weeks in-between touch-up shaving and it keeps my legs (and arms, depending on how fuzzy they’re looking) smooth and stubble free for DAYS with no irritation and no dryness. I swear by this stuff.

I’ve heard complaints from people who have tried NAIR, another similar brand, and stated they were burned or the product just flat-out didn’t work for them- and honestly I’ve experienced similar issues when I’ve used NAIR- but I’ve never had an issue with Veet. As long as you follow the instructions, don’t leave it on for too long, and make sure to exfoliate and apply some lotion after use- this will be your new best friend in the warmer months. I promise you.

And yes, for curious minds- they have other formulas, too- for face, the bikini area, etc. Just make sure to read the directions before use and you should be just fine and silky smooth in no time!

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And finally, since Prince’s passing- I’ve been re-visiting my vinyl collection as I own a couple of his albums through years of thrifting with friends- and seeing some of what I’ve accumulated over time has been a tremendous amount of fun in recent days. My favorite so far, I have to say, is a copy of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ I bought for about $3 circa 2006/2007 at a Salvation Army near my hometown. Inside the album, I found a series of magazine clippings from the 80s and fan drawings by a girl named Pam (dated 1983) who I can only assume is the previous owner of the record.

Once I’m done re-organizing my collection (and playing ‘Purple Rain’ some more)– I think I’m going to try to track Pam down to return her drawings to her. They’re quite nice!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • ‘Preacher’ – I should really consider buying stock in AMC these days considering how much they own my Sunday nights. ‘Preacher’, set to debut on May 22nd- stars one of my many man-crushes, Dominic Cooper- and is based on the comic of the same name. The previews look awesome, a little creepy, intense and pretty funny- so I’m really excited to sit down and start watching this one once ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ winds down (I won’t be doing a recap of the season, FYI.)

– TECH/APPS/GAMES –

  • Grand Theft Auto – An oldie but a goodie. My friends and I had taken an indefinite hiatus from blowing each other up and running each other over instead of successfully completing missions in GTAV- using our video gaming time to play scarier and more story-driven games in recent months- but April saw us returning to the land of Los Santos to partake in crime sprees and mass destruction once again. If only the world could hear the laughter coming from our microphones late at night when it’s a free-for-all in the streets and we’re hijacking planes, trains and automobiles.
  • eRewards – This is another website I’ve been affiliated with for quite some time now, but am just getting around to mentioning now. eRewards is a survey site, plain and simple- no strings attached. The company will e-mail you a couple of surveys every few days that range anywhere from five minutes to a half hour to complete- and every survey that is completed/partially completed adds a dollar amount credit to your account. After you’ve accrued some money, you can trade it in for gift cards, restaurant vouchers, frequent flyer miles, etc. I’ve been doing it for a few years and I’ve already gotten plenty of Starbucks gift cards, points towards my airline and hotel chain of choice, Macy’s and American Eagle vouchers, etc.

Best of all? It’s completely free to join and there’s NO spam e-mails. Just the surveys!

I think that’s pretty much it for my April hits. I’ve already started compiling my list for May- which I intend on sharing (on time!) in a few more weeks.

And as always- feel free to share your favorites from last month, too!

xx

Comics, Cosplay, and Cheeseburgers

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Yesterday marked the third and final day of Boston’s annual Comic-Con. I had been unable to attend on Friday or Saturday due to prior commitments, but was able to stop by for a few hours in the afternoon in my Peggy Carter costume to browse the booths, admire other cosplayers’ ensembles and intricate props, pose for photos, and geek-out at the guests (like Stan Lee, who I caught a glimpse of as he passed through the photo op area with a coffee in hand and a smile on his face!)

I snapped a few photos with my cell phone, since it was more convenient than digging my big camera out of my bag over and over- and easier to hold while trying to simultaneously juggle my little toy pistol and my purse. There were so many fantastic costumes on display as I roamed the aisles (and quite a few other women dressed as Peggy Carter- all of who looked absolutely beautiful!) and even though my feet were killing me by the time I took my heels off- it was worth it.

Marvel Team!

Marvel Team!

This lovely lady was dressed as Angie from "Agent Carter" and she looked incredible!

This lovely lady was dressed as Angie from “Agent Carter” and she looked incredible!

Ms. Frizzle!

Ms. Frizzle!

Owen and Claire from "Jurassic World". I loved these two!

Owen and Claire from “Jurassic World”. I loved these two!

My ultimate fan-girl moment of the day came when I had the pleasure of meeting and posing for a photo with Peggy Carter herself, the absolutely stunning Miss Hayley Atwell. She’s so beautiful, and so sweet- and her complimenting my costume brought me enough joy to last me through this life and probably well into the afterlife, too. I was so completely elated. I think my huge smile in our photo speaks for itself, really:

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I swear I must have looked like the heart-eyes emoji for hours afterwards.

The best part of the day, though- was that my good friend Steven (who I only get to see once every year or so!) met up with me at the convention. We had so much catching up to do, and when my feet couldn’t take the heels anymore, we continued our conversation all the way to Harvard Square- where after changing into some flip-flops- I gave Steven his first tour of the grounds at Harvard University and stuffed my face with a double cheeseburger and fries at Charlie’s Kitchen. One of the perks of the Peggy Carter costume is that without the hat and the suit jacket, it looks like I’m just enjoying a break from a formal business meeting. It’s a lot more practical (and comfortable!) than my semi-itchy Poison Ivy costume from San Diego Comic-Con last year, for example!

We also caught an evening screening of ‘Ant-Man’ by Fenway, too- which seemed like the perfect way to end a beautiful afternoon of good, old fashioned geek-dom. I really, really enjoyed the movie- so much that I would happily see it again- and I all but clutched my chest at the post-credits scene (no spoilers!)

Tonight, I’m re-joining Steven at the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street for his last night in town where he will be working his lighting magic for Brandon Flowers’ show. I’m so excited. I’ve been loving Brandon’s latest album and I’m looking forward to singing and dancing along.

I’ll be wearing more comfortable shoes for it, at least.

Steven and I post-convention!

Steven and I post-convention!

Planes, Cakes and Automobiles

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The view from my hotel room! 1.23.15

Hello from my hotel room in Downtown San Diego! I arrived in SoCal late yesterday afternoon for a long weekend of sun, sand, Mexican food, and some rest and relaxation. My 29th birthday was this past Thursday- and since I’ve spent pretty much every celebration of my getting yet another year older bundled up in frigid New England temperatures- I thought a couple of days in warmer weather would be a nice change and do me some good.

So far I’ve spent a little time working out, breaking into even more of a sweat in the sauna, and indulging in a little pampering- and I’m planning on doing some shopping this morning before I head to the beach and then meet up with some local friends for dinner and drinks later on tonight.

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Last year for my birthday, my mom surprised me with a small party where she went above and beyond to satisfy my love of all things “The Walking Dead.” This year, knowing how excited I am for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” to be released in the Spring- she decided to stick with a Marvel (and specifically Captain America,) themed party at her house for me with some of my family because even though I’m 29 now- on the cusp of 30- I can still love and appreciate cute toys to add to my growing display of nerd-dom.

I especially loved the chocolate “Hail Ashley” cake, a play on the Marvel baddies, HYDRA- which was so good it was practically evil (see what I did there?) The cake was also huge- so at least I know when I get back to my place from California next week I’ll have more than enough pieces waiting for me!

I can’t wait to see what she does when I turn the big 3-0 next year.

Inspired By: Peggy Carter

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One of my favorite female characters from the Marvel universe has got to be Peggy Carter. Smart, strong, brave, and beautiful- Peggy was never the damsel in distress and never tolerated any B.S. from any man (and she had the mean right hook to back herself up.) Portrayed perfectly by the stunning, talented Hayley Atwell in the “Captain America” movies, I was thrilled when I first heard the news that Hayley would once again be reprising the role and that Peggy would be getting her very own mini-series spin-off on ABC this year.

Premiering tonight at 8 P.M. (EST,) “Agent Carter” focuses on Peggy’s life following the events of “Captain America: The First Avenger” and WWII, where she’s attempting to make it in a male dominated, not-so-female-friendly society while working for the SSR and completing missions for Howard Stark. I cannot wait to watch the series- groundbreaking for women in it’s own right- and once again get emotionally invested in a character I find so inspirational.

Of course, Peggy’s no-nonsense, overall badass-ery isn’t the only thing I love about her. Her makeup- simple yet timeless- and her 1940’s fashion is on point, too. Inspired, I took to my own makeup collection in an attempt to re-create Agent Carter’s look. I’m nowhere near as beautiful as Ms. Atwell, but it was fine to try nonetheless!

My tools, consisting mainly of a natural finish foundation, light rose-colored blush, a nude/light brown eye shadow, black eyeliner for my top lids (and a medium brown for a small section of the bottom lid as to not appear too harsh,) was aided by a lightweight moisturizing gel on my face to plump up and smooth my skin, and a primer for my eyes to hold everything in place.

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And for my lips, I turned to Besame Cosmetics– who, according to Hayley Atwell herself, are the masterminds behind Peggy’s signature red shade. I purchased the exact color, “Red Velvet,” after perusing the website and falling in love with nearly everything. Once I received it, I immediately took a liking to the creamy, comfortable texture of the lipstick- and it’s longevity. The color stayed in place for hours without needing touching up or reapplication!

Also- the packaging. Can we stop and appreciate the packaging for just a moment? It’s lovely.

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Perhaps the easiest part of this “Inspired By” look was my hair and wardrobe. With naturally spiral-curled hair, there was no need for curlers or pins. I simply parted my hair on the side and let it flow freely- and since I work at a law firm- mimicking Peggy’s crisp white blouse and navy blazer was a breeze (I have a collection of them in my closet!)

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I had a lot of fun playing around with this look (although I wish I had Peggy’s snazzy red fedora to complete it!) and am hoping to do more “Inspired By” looks in the future- but first- I have to get ready to finally watch “Agent Carter” tonight!