Homeward Bound…

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

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

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

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

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

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

I did not win big. At all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend, everyone!


“When Irish Eyes Are Smiling…”

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Only in the city of Boston does St. Patrick’s Day go from being a one-day-only holiday to a weekend-long affair- but we extend the celebration for as long as possible and my God- do I love it! Even if you’re not Irish (and I believe I’m too small a percentage of it to really count)– you are going to celebrate and enjoy every second of it, damn it- whether you want to or not.

From our cherished traditional parade in Southie, green beers on Boylston Street and our annual Celtic punk shows over at the House of Blues- the city of Boston is briefly turned green for a few days around this time of year and everyone is in high spirits (until the hangovers kick in, anyway.)

I’ve been pretty tame the past few St. Patrick’s Days- focusing on work or playing the role of designated driver for my friends who wanted to see how much Guinness they could ingest before 2 p.m.- but since the holiday fell on a Friday this year, I thought I’d have a bit more fun after I’d left the office for the weekend.

While I only had a couple of beers (and some clover cake- as pictured above) on Friday night- the real party started on Saturday when I headed to Agganis Arena to catch a Dropkick Murphys gig where I had been generously provided a V.I.P. pass that got me club room access and a really great seat by the side of the stage where I could see everything. It was AWESOME. I met and sat with so many wonderful people from all corners of the globe who were just buzzing with excitement and positivity that it really just made the whole afternoon even more fantastic.

The set, probably one of my favorites in recent memory- included new and old favorites alike. My ears are still ringing and I’m still a little hoarse from singing along so loudly- but it was worth it.

After the show, I booked it over to the House of Blues across from Fenway to catch the Murphys Boxing match lineup from ringside (another generous treat!) I’m a big boxing fan, and as the night progressed each fight got more and more intense. The definite highlights were finally seeing two of my favorites- Danny O’Connor and Mark Deluca- both win their respective matches. Dropkick Murphys also played an acoustic set before the main event- which was an added bonus for everyone.

I seriously had the best time and I can’t thank Ken enough for going above and beyond for me with the hookup for the show and the fights. I’m so, so grateful and I’ll cherish the day and the experiences forever!

On Sunday, utterly exhausted from the previous day and night- I didn’t attempt the Southie St. Patrick’s Day parade. Instead, I had brunch and some much-needed coffee with friends before taking a long stroll through the Common and all the way to the waterfront to get my blood pumping and energized. It worked wonders- and watching the sun gradually poke it’s way through the clouds as I passed by plenty of people waiting to get into pubs (and sporting as much green as possible)– it seemed like a fitting and peaceful way to end the weekend before I came home to crash and prepare for work on Monday morning.

Every year I say I’ll make it to the parade and every year something comes up that delays or stops me- but I’m really hoping to make it back to the sidelines in 2018. It’s one of my favorite traditions during the early days of Spring!


Bedroom Dance Party: A Playlist

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Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

After a busy work week (that came with plenty of snow!), I’m looking forward to a long holiday weekend to unwind, decompress- and also head back into NYC for a day away!

Leading up to this weekend, I’ve compiled a quick, 10-track playlist of the songs I’ve been listening to over and over lately- typically when I’m in my bedroom and getting ready for work and/or to go out for the night. They get me dancing, or singing along- usually both- and I’ve dubbed this my honorary Spring playlist for 2017- even if we haven’t quite reached Spring yet!

We’re almost there, though- right?

Featuring tracks from Fitz & The Tantrums, Warpaint and Kings of Leon- among others- here’s my latest mix, courtesy of 8Tracks: “Bedroom Dance Party!”

Have a great weekend!


January Hits List!

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Happy Saturday and Chinese New Year, everyone! If you didn’t know, today marks the beginning of the Year of The Rooster (specifically, the Fire Rooster)– and if that’s not another reason to get out there and have yourself a wonderful and celebratory day/night- then I don’t know what is! The Chinese Zodiac is fascinating, and if you haven’t checked out all the associations with this coming year (or even your birth year) like lucky numbers, colors, etc., then I highly recommend it. You just might learn something new about yourself!

I’ll be celebrating with friends tonight, more than likely digging into some Chinese food (as is tradition) and snapping some sparkler and Chinese lantern selfies- but before I get going on my day- I wanted to share some of my favorite odds and ends from this past January. In what has become a monthly tradition here on “Legally Redhead”, it’s my Hits List post: a re-cap of all the things I’ve been loving/using/wearing/watching/eating/etc. over the last few weeks.

I always start these posts off with the things/items I could easily photograph before I divulge other random and assorted bits and belongings that aren’t quite as easy to capture with a snapshot. January was chock-full of great stuff, so this post might be a little on the long side. Sorry in advance!

Without further delay- here’s what I adored in January 2017!


January was all about self-care- inside and out- and that included freshening up my skincare and makeup, too. I’ve been sticking to and continually using some of my long-time favorite scrubs and cleansers, but I also integrated a couple of newer products into the mix to keep my complexion looking bright and radiant during these harsher Winter months. Without a doubt, my new favorite face mask is the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask- which I reviewed earlier this month HERE. I use it once a week and still get the same, amazing results- and it’s just as fun to use as the first time I tried it!

At night, I’ve swapped my more oily, plant-based serum for something that will moisturize and tighten my skin without ruining my pillowcases. I’m really liking the ‘Rejuveness’ cream from POND’s lately. My mom had given me a jar of the stuff a little while back when I was in-between moisturizers and needed something to keep my skin hydrated until I could make it to Sephora- and I really liked it. Loaded with Vitamin E, collagen and AHAs- this cream is lightweight, non-greasy and doesn’t clog my pores. I wake up with softer, smoother skin every morning.


Of course, self-care also includes getting a good and undisturbed night’s sleep, too- so I’ve been utilizing this eye mask from Pier 1 Imports to shut out any light while I’m snoozing. I know there are super fancy masks available out there that help reduce puffiness around the eyes or offer cooling sensations and whatnot- but this one does a fine enough job for me. The elastic is adjustable so it’s never too tight or loose, the satin fabric is soft on my skin- and I’m a sucker for zebra print.



I picked up some new makeup in January, too- bold shades to brighten up my more neutral-toned wardrobe pieces this time of year. One of my favorite new additions to my collection is this golden/brown long-lasting liquid lipstick from Sugarpill. Accurately named “Pumpkin Spice” (with the matching scent to boot!) this color glides on effortlessly and dries to a smudge and fade-proof sparkling finish that doesn’t budge for hours. I am absolutely in love with the shade, and often pair it with my copper-colored eye shadow I’ve been wearing on the regular.

When MAC Cosmetics announced they were creating a line of makeup inspired by the Queen of Tejano- Selena- I knew I was all in. I loved Selena growing up, and wanted to get my hands on some of the collection (if not all of it!) After browsing the makeup- which was GORGEOUS– I settled on three products that I felt would better compliment my fair skin tone. There’s the purple “Selena” eye shadow- which is a spot-on match to the singer’s purple disco outfit from her last concert at the Houston Astrodome. Then there’s “Coma La Flor”, a vibrant red lipstick with a shiny finish- and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”- a bubblegum pink lip gloss that doesn’t feel sticky or tacky on my pout.


It’s a weird New Year’s resolution- but I’ve wanted to start wearing some of my perfume collection more often in 2017. So many friends and family have bought me gorgeous bottles of lovely fragrances- and I’ve worn them maybe once or twice before tucking them away where they have unfortunately been overlooked. One of those perfumes, which has stayed in mint condition- is a Prada fragrance (the “Amber” Eau de Parfum) my father bought me while he was away in Las Vegas a few years ago. It’s heavy with sandalwood and Patchouli- and perfect for this more frigid time of year. I forgot how much I loved it and cannot stop wearing it.


Also new this month? My weekly planner. This coral and gold colored notepad is a lifesaver and is already filled from cover to cover with my appointments, engagements, meetings, blog post schedule, vacations, trip details, etc. etc. I check this thing nearly every other day to keep track of all the important happenings and due dates in my life- and I cannot thank my mom enough for picking it up for me. It was a lovely Christmas present last month! She knows how busy I can get.


And finally- I am so, so SO excited that chokers are making a comeback. I used to wear them all the time with my friends in the 90’s and then during their brief resurgence in the early 2000’s. I have to admit that they are much prettier now than they were back then- and lately I’ve been sporting this ultra-sparkly one I picked up at H&M recently. It goes with pretty much everything and adds a nice touch of bling to even the most basic of ensembles. Here’s to recycling more trends in 2017!

That’s it for the stuff I was able to take photos of. Time to get into the random things that also made the list this month!


  • “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia…” – One of my favorite shows of all time, the latest season kicked off earlier this month and it has held no punches. It’s been brutal, offensive-and-funny, and just as hilariously over-the-top. How I needed these five awful, terrible characters back in my life to make me laugh so hard I cried again.
  • Dropkick Murphys: “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” – I am always going to have a special place in my heart for the Dropkick Murphys. The guys are gracious, funny, and have given so much back to their communities and to the city of Boston over the years. I was thrilled when they released their ninth studio album earlier this month. It’s got the fast-paced and clever stuff I know and love, like ‘Rebels with a Cause’ and ‘Kicked to the Curb’- but there’s also a couple of slower and more somber songs, too- such as ‘Blood’ and ‘4-15-13’. My favorite so far has been the closing track, ‘Until the Next Time’- and I’m hoping to catch them live soon!


  • “Resident Evil 7” – Out of all the video game franchises, the ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Silent Hill’ series are by far my favorites- even when the games get ridiculous with their plot lines and character development or when they inspire awful movies. While I don’t personally own a VR headset (yet…), some of my friends do- and we have all been waiting anxiously for the latest installment in the RE series to be released. I’ve played a bit of the demo- which was absolutely terrifying- and later on tonight my friends and I are going to attempt our very first run-through together. If you follow me on Instagram– expect our results to wind up in my feed/story!


  • My “2017 Keep Calm and Quote Movies Daily Desktop Calendar” – Another Christmas present to keep me organized, I had actually wanted to snap a photo of this tear-away daily desk calendar that I’ve been using at work- but accidentally forgot it in my office for the weekend. You can see some of the calendar HERE through Amazon- but basically every day features a different and popular movie quote, all designed similarly to the famous “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters. I’ve been having a blast reading each one every day- and some of the quotes have inspired me to re-watch some of my favorite classic movies or seek out the ones I haven’t seen yet.

And I think that’s pretty much it for this month. There were so many new and exciting things to make these first few weeks of 2017 wonderful and I can’t wait to see what I discover in February!

As always- if you have any of your own personal favorites for January 2017 to share, feel free to leave me a comment or drop me a line!


“It’s good to have you with us, even if it’s just for the day.”

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Five flights, three hotels, countless cups of coffee and one Hell of a head cold later- and I’m back home from a whirlwind week on the West Coast. I took yesterday off for myself to unpack, recover from jet-lag (and some serious post-flight congestion) and get my head back together as I re-adjusted and re-acclimated  to my normal, everyday routine here in New England. Try as I may, though- I really would rather be back in Vegas or San Diego right about now. These chillier than usual Massachusetts temperatures were/are not welcoming at all.

Maybe I was just spoiled by the dry, sunny, desert and SoCal days and nights, though.

Going through my photos, mementos, souvenirs and odds & ends that were stuffed in my purse and in my suitcase- I still can’t believe this past week happened (and happened so fast!) Everything was so surreal. It’s hard to put into words the indescribable feelings and emotions I’m experiencing as I reflect on the past few days- but I’m going to try.

Heading to Vegas, I had two goals in mind- I wanted to see my friends out that way (specifically my dear friend Kelsey, who I haven’t had the pleasure of spending time with since her wedding around this time last year to her wonderful husband, Andrew) and the plethora of people I knew who were going to be in town for The Killers’ special “Sam’s Town” 10-year anniversary gigs (located at the album’s namesake.)

Attending those shows was actually my second goal on the agenda. Although I am a shameless fan of The Killers’ entire body of work- “Sam’s Town” has a special place in my heart. I was 20 when the album was released, and although “Hot Fuss” was my first introduction to the band (and the subsequent tour was my introduction to longtime friends on the crew and within their opening bands)– the “Sam’s Town” era helped deepen those friendships/relationships. It truly was the soundtrack to my growing up and coming into my own. Each song is poignant, and overall the record is pretty flawless from start to finish. There isn’t a track I skip when I re-visit it. I was ecstatic to re-live the magic of those shows in a new and unfamiliar venue.



Although there was a bit of unnecessary drama upon my arrival on Friday night (when you’ve been a fan of the band for as long as I have, you tend to cross a few other people from time to time who aren’t exactly the friendliest or most stable people to deal with)– it was quickly forgotten as soon as I was inside the actual venue, the lights dimmed, and the band took the stage.

What I loved most was that the show was set up the way it was back when the album was first released. There were the familiar images of the guys during the “Sam’s Town” era projected onto a curtain that dropped just in time for the crowd to be showered in confetti (nicely done, Steven!) during the intro. There was the classic lighted “Sam’s Town” sign hanging behind the stage- and the guys launched into a couple of encores featuring other favorites after they’d performed the “Sam’s Town” album in it’s entirety. My good buddy Brian also joined the boys on stage to perform his part in the song “My List”- which was awesome. I haven’t seen that one live in ages.

Between Friday and Saturday night’s shows- my time consisted of hanging out with old friends, making new ones- and having one too many cocktails. By the time it came for me to fly to San Diego on Sunday morning, I was burnt out. Happy, of course- but exhausted!


While my agenda in Vegas was all about fun- my trip to San Diego was a bit more business-oriented. I still had fun plans, of course. My dear friends Tommy and Andrea came down from Los Angeles with their beautiful baby boy, Lorenzo, so that we could all go to theNAT together and grab lunch. I sat down for a couple of drinks with my longtime friend, Jimmy- and I made a point to stop by my favorite beach (O.B.) and Mexican food restaurant (Pokez) before I jet-setted back to Massachusetts on Wednesday night.

But while I was in the area- I had a bit of a top secret meeting with a law firm in downtown San Diego to discuss possible employment by the end of the year/beginning of 2017. I hadn’t wanted to say anything to anyone, really- just in case it didn’t pan out or I changed my mind- but the firm seemed impressed with me and my resume and offered me a position should I ultimately decide to make the move to SoCal. It’s a HUGE decision- and one I’ve thankfully been given plenty of time to consider and weigh the pros & cons of before giving my answer.

Many factors come into play with a decision like this: finances, my friends & family here in New England, my living situation, my roles and responsibilities- and what I would be both gaining (and losing) with whether I choose to stay or go. It’s a lot to process- and I’m doing it to the best of my ability while throwing myself back into my current job here in Massachusetts and recovering from a cold I picked up somewhere between San Diego and Chicago on my way home.

There also comes the possibility of employment in Las Vegas and/or Henderson, Nevada- where real estate is infinitely more affordable and reasonable than it is in California. The climate is still right up my alley, albeit a tad dry- but anything is better than snow.

Downtown San Diego, 10/4/16

Downtown San Diego, 10/4/16

As you can probably imagine, I’ve been buzzing with excitement (and nerves) while simultaneously driving myself nuts with overthinking pretty much every aspect of the past few days- and the days moving forward.

And we all thought vacations were supposed to be relaxing, right? Not for me, apparently!

Oh well. I had a phenomenal time and that’s really all that matters. I cannot thank my friends and extended family out West enough for making these past few days some of the most fun, crazy and memorable ones I’ve ever had. I love you all so much and I cannot wait to see everyone again soon!



September Hits List!

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Have I ever mentioned how much I detest packing? Because I really, really detest packing. Once my suitcase is loaded up and I’m on my way to my destination- I’m as happy as can be- but trying to sort out outfits, accessories, toiletries and electronics (and all those chargers!) is nothing short of torture. I’m always left feeling like I forgot something and triple-checking every inch of my bag to make sure the necessities are accounted for.

That’s the stage I’m at right now. My flight leaves tomorrow morning and I’m only halfway done with sorting out my vacation wardrobe for the next week- so I thought I’d take a break, decompress, and use some time to share my favorite things from the month of September, instead!

As always, I’ll be starting with the items/things that are easy to photograph- and move onto some other hits I’ve been enjoying these past few weeks.


The first item I’ve been wearing non-stop this past September should come as no surprise- it’s the black, wool, wide-brimmed hat I received from Jack & Lucy in this month’s POPSUGAR “Must Have” box! This thing is just so cute and so comfortable- and it pairs well with pretty much every outfit I’ve been sporting so far- whether it’s full-blown Fall-appropriate sweaters, jeans and booties- to rompers and mini-dresses with flats (the weather has been a bit unpredictable lately.)

I’ll be bringing this with me to the West Coast- not only because it looks so chic- but because it’ll keep the sun out of my eyes, too.


As much as I love my corals, pinks, and neon purple shades of nail polish- it’s time to retire them to make room for more Autumn-friendly colors to sport on my fingertips and toes for the next few months. I recently splurged a bit over at ncLA on these two lacquers from the company’s “Back to School” themed Fall collection- and although it was a tough choice when there was a beautiful red and royal blue available for purchase- I ultimately settled on “These Grades Are Just A Jumping Off Point” (a deep hunter green) and “2” Above The Knee… Yeah, Right” (a rich canary yellow).

I’m absolutely in love with these polishes and I cannot wait to start rocking them once I’m back home next week!


It’s been a while since I’ve purchased anything from Fortune Cookie Soap– but when they re-released their “Basic Bitch” Fall line (ALL THE PUMPKIN SCENTS)– I snatched up some of their body cream, lip balm, and hand sanitizer. With fun named like ‘Selfie Stick”, “Can’t Even”, and “Yoga Booty”- I have smelled like a pumpkin patch/Starbucks’ PSL for the better part of the month and I’m loving every minute of it.

Best of all? FCS’ products are all SUPER affordable, too!


I’ve had the same phone for about three or four years now, and we’ve been through a lot together: holidays, birthdays, travel, comic-conventions- but by the time I finally got around to upgrading it a few days ago- only half of the touchscreen worked correctly and the battery couldn’t hold a charge for more than a couple of hours. It was finally time to say goodbye and get something new.

My provider went above and beyond with updating my plan, my billing- and hooking me up with a brand new Samsung Galaxy with one of the most insane and incredible cameras I’ve ever seen on a phone (it rivals my professional camera I use for urban exploration shoots- that’s how clear and innovative it is!) as well as a fabulous “TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE” pink and black case from Kate Spade.

I’m so thankful to have this with me when I travel. My shots from Vegas and San Diego are going to be awesome!


What’s a Fall “Hits List” without something from Yankee Candle? While I’ll never get tired of scents like “Harvest” or “Pumpkin Cupcake”- my home has been filled with one of their newest fragrances as of late- “Candied Pecans”. If you’re a fan of sweet and almost peanut buttery scents- you’ll love this one. It smells delicious and really sets the tone for the season. I’m sure I’ll be picking up another one of these soon!


Finally- I can never have enough oversized sweaters in the fall. I live in them- and this knitted red & white cardigan I picked up from Kohls earlier this month is everything. It’s soft, cozy, and keeps me warm- and I’ll be wearing this tomorrow morning during take-off to keep myself toasty (and looking cute) during the flight.

Now that I think about it- I should probably start doing some Fall-inspired “Closet Crushes” posts, shouldn’t I?

I digress. Let’s see what else I loved in September!


  • “Sam’s Town” – Part of my trip to Vegas this week includes a show from The Killers, who are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the release of their sophomore album (and now I feel super old.) The show is at- you guessed it- Sam’s Town Casino, and I’ve never been more excited. I’ve been revisiting the album in the recent days leading up to my trip, and it really does withstand the test of time. It’s pretty flawless from beginning to end and I’m really looking forward to hearing some of the tracks live again.
  • “Apple Cider Afternoons” – Have you all listened to my Autumn-inspired playlist? I’m quite proud of it. It’s a beautiful combination of dreamy, soothing old favorites and newer tracks. It’s perfect to plug into your phone/music player when you’re going for a long walk through the falling leaves or a nice drive to your closest apple orchard.

That’s enough self-promotion. I swear.

  • “American Horror Story: S6” – I’m pretty sure I’ve just been hate-watching the past couple of seasons of AHS, which always start off so strong and then completely fall apart with excess characters and storylines that go absolutely nowhere by mid-season. Although this current season is only a couple of episodes in so far, I’m liking the premise and how there isn’t too much happening at once. I hope it can stay consistently strong and scary (also: where is Evan Peters? Where is he?)

I think that’s pretty much everything for this month. I’ve procrastinated enough- and now it’s time to get back to packing!

Feel free to share your own favorites for the month of September in the comments- and if you’d like to follow my travels over the course of the next few days- I’ll be updating my Instagram regularly!


Apple Cider Afternoons: An Autumn Playlist

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(Image via Tumblr)

Despite the fact that it’s been ridiculously humid out these past few days (if you need proof, look no further than my hair)– I’ve been very much in an Autumn frame of mind. I’m planning a trip to a local orchard this coming week to pick some apples, hop on a hay ride, and indulge in all things pumpkin. My boots- both ankle and knee-length versions- have made more than one appearance over the past few days as I transition out of my Summer wardrobe staples- and I’ve been compiling another calm and somewhat slow-paced playlist to match the cooler weather and overall more relaxed tempo of the upcoming season.

Whenever I put together a playlist, especially my annual Autumn ones, I like to select a nice mix of older and newer songs that I feel fit the theme/inspiration I’ve chosen. This year, I thought about brisk afternoons I’ve spent in the company of friends while we sipped cider (the regular and/or hard kind) and went for walks through the falling leaves together, or stayed indoors to bake everything we’d picked up during day trips to the orchard or nearby pumpkin patches- or simply gathered as a group to plan our over-the-top Halloween costumes and parties.

The result was this 10-track mix, titled “Apple Cider Afternoons”- which features artists like SOAK, Low Roar, Angel Olsen and Joseph- among others.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I am!


“I guess the coastal air gets a girl to reflect…”

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The very first time I met Alex Turner, I was 20 years old and visiting NYC while the Arctic Monkeys were touring North America to promote their debut album, ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’. I was waiting to leave a hotel lobby with a couple of friends of mine from their road crew to head out to dinner plans we had made when Alex came off of the elevator and we were introduced.

What I remember most about Alex back then was how baby-faced and young he appeared. We were the same age, but he seemed years younger. He was shy, soft-spoken, polite and had a couple of pimples (I did too- which was a relief)– but never, not once- did he ever strike me as a “rock star”. He was simply Alex from Sheffield. A nice kid in a band that wrote catchy songs and was in the same boat as me in the sense that we were in one of the most exciting cities in the world- but still weren’t old enough to legally get into bars.

Over the years, I’d seen Alex plenty of more times. We laughed and took what is undoubtedly the most unflattering photo of either one of us while I was in London for Reading Festival years ago. We talked music and food backstage at a gig in San Diego after I’d turned 21- and whenever he and the Arctic Monkeys would visit Boston (and specifically the House of Blues)– there would almost always be a competitive bowling tournament next door after the show where the band, the crew, myself, and anyone else who tagged along would pound a few drinks and slide around in bowling shoes until closing time.

Even though his appearance changed from youthful-looking, mop-headed kid into a more put together and handsome adult man- I still always thought of him as Alex from Sheffield. Even when he thrashed around on stage. He was never a “rock star”.


Then I saw Alex and Miles Kane perform as The Last Shadow Puppets this past Sunday at the House of Blues in Boston, and that perception entirely changed. I suddenly understood the crowd- FILLED with shrieking women professing their undying love for Alex- and why they were so frenzied. Gone was the shy, soft-spoken kid I’d met years ago- and in his place was a loud, exciting and provocative rock star. Right there before my eyes.

It was a trip.

The show was impressive and pretty incredible- and I’ve been loving the new album, ‘Everything You’ve Come To Expect’ that they were/are promoting with this current tour. Their opening act, Cameron Avery- was really fun, too. I enjoyed his set very much.

Since Sunday night post-show at the HOB, I’ve been working and trying to get my sleep schedule back on track since these past couple of weeks have consisted of a tremendous amount of staying out late and getting up obscenely early. Tuesday, my usual day off- was spent lazily lounging around my best friend’s new apartment in Melrose- watching “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” episodes on Netflix, napping, fooling around on Snapchat (I just downloaded it for the first time and I’m having way too much fun with it) and only exerting myself when it came time to load up on Mexican food and banana split sundaes.


So, so good. I love my days off!

I’m looking forward to this weekend, since I have a couple of recipes I’ll be trying my hand at- and a trip to Mystic, Connecticut I’ve been meaning to take for a few weeks now.

I’ll be sure to bring my camera with me since the town and it’s surrounding areas are really beautiful in the late Summertime.


“Smile Like You Mean It…”

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Thanks for letting me crash your lighting pit, Steven! ❤

The past week has been a journey for me- one of self-discovery (or maybe rediscovering myself would be more accurate?), carefree fun, and being surrounded by good friends- old and new- who made me feel alive and like myself again.

For those who haven’t been keeping up with the more personal happenings in my life that I’ve been occasionally mentioning here since everything initially went down back in May, here’s a breakdown I shared a few days ago on social media:

For the past (almost) 2 months, I have more or less been completely exhausted and numb to everything and everyone. A 7-year on/off relationship (and even longer friendship) I was involved in crumbled around me when I found out my now ex-whatever-he-was had been deceitful and dishonest with me for nearly a year.

After multiple confrontations, arguments, and even unsuccessful attempts to find resolution and salvage what we could in the mess of things- I was blamed and shamed for our downfall and manipulated into taking responsibility for HIS actions. I was insulted- both about my feelings on the matter and even about trivial things like my body (first I was looking too curvy, and now I’m “disgustingly skinny.”)

Here’s the thing: when someone you loved and trusted tells you these things over and over- especially during times of uncertainty and crisis and confusion- you start to believe them. For the past two months I have felt like I was a horrible person who deserved the bad things that were happening to me. I wasn’t sexy enough to hold a man’s full attention. I wasn’t smart enough to keep them interested. I was irrational and too emotional. Basically- I was being told I was the worst.

I have since cut my ex out of my life- in all aspects and capacities. I knew what he was doing/saying was bullshit and not true- but it didn’t make me feel anymore enthusiastic about re-joining the world around me.

I had been throwing myself into work these past couple of months. I had been avoiding spending long periods of time with people for fear they, too, would think I was the worst and undeserving of basic common decency.

But I got invited by multiple people to come to Connecticut these past couple of nights- both to see a show by one of my favorite bands (The Killers!) and catch up with longtime friends on their touring crew. It took some coercing, even some bribing- but I eventually agreed.

When people you care about and respect- some whom you’ve seen recently and others you haven’t seen in years- act like they are genuinely happy to see you and are thrilled to be in your presence- when they PICK YOU UP TO BEAR HUG YOU IN THEIR EXCITEMENT– it changes you. When those people treat you with a level of kindness and compassion you’d gone so long without experiencing from the one person who SHOULD have been treating you that way to begin with- you start to feel things again.

I needed those last 48 hours. I needed the hugs, the jokes, the understanding as I explained what was happening to me in my life- and yes, the drinks (always the drinks!) I needed to watch one of my favorite bands play songs that still resonate deeply with me from the best seat in the house beside one of my best friends.

I needed that in order to reaffirm with myself and anyone around me within earshot that I’m not going to waste another 7 years of my life. I put things on hold in my twenties for a relationship that went nowhere and ended in flames. I essentially wasted what should have been the fun, wild and carefree years of my life accommodating a dishonest and selfish asshole.

I refuse to do that again now that I’ve entered my 30’s. Not when I’ve been reminded that I matter and that there are good people out there who see my value and appreciate every part of me (even if I’m supposedly “disgustingly skinny.”)

I’m going to do the things I’ve been putting off for YEARS. I’m not going to become complicit with being “comfortable” or settle on playing it safe. I’ve done that for far too long already.

Thank you to my boys- you all know who you are- and also to The Killers, who provided the backdrop and soundtrack to these amazing connections I’ve made over the years.

I love and appreciate all of you. I truly do.

That was written in the late hours of Thursday night/Friday morning, just a short while after I’d watched The Killers play a good chunk of their hits (and some B-sides!) at Mohegan Sun. It’s been a few days, but I’m still buzzing with energy- both from the music and from seeing some of my absolute favorite people for the first time in what felt like ages. I haven’t been that happy or energized in a long time. It was a like a pure shot/jolt of lightning and adrenaline straight into my heart, my mind, and my spirit. A shot/jolt I desperately needed to wake me up and get me out of the perpetual state of depressed fogginess I’d found myself in.

I know I still have some stuff to process and work through, but I feel so much more prepared to do it now, and even more motivated and excited to move forward while simultaneously getting my life back together as I start towards the future- MY future- much stronger and reassured with myself and my value than I had been previously. Just because one person- one guy- didn’t appreciate or respect me doesn’t mean that nobody else does, or that I shouldn’t be appreciated or respected in the first place. It just means it’s his loss- not mine.

I just feel so free, and so excited again- and I also feel so unbelievably grateful to be experiencing emotions that aren’t just awful anymore.

I can’t wait to see what’s next.



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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


  • ‘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.)


  • 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!