April 2017: In a Nutshell.

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Boston in Bloom – April 2017

Good Morning and Happy Sunday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

xx

Chocolate Bunnies, Marathons and Floral Arrangements…

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My Family’s Dessert Table – Easter, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Someday I’ll run the marathon. Someday…

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

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

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

Have a great day, everyone!

xx

One April Day…

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

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

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

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

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

xx

Notes of Spring…

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Firstly- it is absolutely GORGEOUS out today! It’s cool, but not cold- sunny with only a few clouds scattered throughout the sky- and there is absolutely NO snow to be found anywhere! I’d nearly forgotten what grass looked like until now. I had my car windows down earlier this morning when I stepped out to run some errands, and on the road I saw more than one person savoring this beautiful day on their motorcycle.

It’s official- Spring is finally, FINALLY– here! No question about it- unless we get another freak snowstorm or something.

We made it through, New England!

Not that I haven’t been ready for it for weeks now. A peek into some of my entries from January through February, and even throughout March- showed (plenty of times) that I was so over and done with winter, to the point where I just wanted to bundle myself up in blankets and hibernate- and that I was more than ready to enjoy the warmer weather and sunshine.

Since a short time before Easter I’ve been adorning my home with fresh flowers and embracing the pastels in my wardrobe, storing away my heavy coats and dark colored shirts and sweaters until the end of the year. My makeup collection has even received a Spring makeover (I’ll write about that soon,) which has me looking fresh-faced and bright as of late.

I’m heading out with some friends to enjoy the remainder of this lovely weekend, and on Monday morning- I’ll be selecting a winner of my “Is It Summer Yet?” Giveaway. There’s still a few more hours to enter if you haven’t done so already!

‘Til next time!

xox

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“Is It Summer Yet?” Giveaway!

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In some of my recent posts, I had hinted at an upcoming giveaway I was putting together in celebration of the Spring and Summer seasons finally arriving after what was undoubtedly one of the worst winters my neck of the woods has seen in a very, very long time. I wanted the giveaway to be seasonal, fun, and have a more personal touch with reflections of some of the items and essentials I covet in the warmer months. I’ve been carefully curating the contents (say that five times fast,) over the past couple of weeks, and I’m excited to announce that it’s finally time to share what one lucky, randomly selected winner will receive in my Summer-themed giveaway!

The “Is It Summer Yet?” giveaway is pretty self-explanatory- consisting of accessories, cosmetics, a bit of home decor- and a little something for the foodies out there. Each item was selected to help jump start a Summer/beachy frame of mind for the winner and are all products that I also own and use regularly every year after I dig myself out of the snow and welcome the sunshine!

*This giveaway IS NOT limited to United States residents only! Since I will be paying for the shipping and handling out of my own pocket- it’s open to those of you across the pond, below (or above) the border, and anywhere in between, too!*

Here’s what’s included:

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Lush’s Ocean Salt Scrub:

The first step to getting glowing Summer-ready skin is exfoliation, and I turn to this incredible face and body salt scrub from Lush to do just that! A scoop of this bright blue, Margarita-scented scrub is enough to gently buff away dead and dry cells, revitalize the surface of my skin, and leave my face, elbows, knees, etc. super smooth.

Bath & Body Works “Cool Amazon Rain” Body Lotion:

After exfoliating, I turn to lightweight body lotions that quickly absorb as they’re applied to keep my skin soft and hydrated all day and night. I love this newer lotion from Bath & Body Works which has an energizing, citrus, “tropical” smell to it.

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Harney & Sons Fresh Brew Iced Tea Tins in Peach and Raspberry Herbal:

I love iced coffee, especially before I go in for a long day at work- but in the warmer months I find myself taking afternoon iced tea breaks, too. These individually packaged fruit-flavored teas- made specifically to be iced- are especially nice and refreshing.

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Good Housekeeping Juices & Smoothies Recipe Book:

Iced coffees and iced teas aside- Summer is also the season of smoothies and healthy juices (and milkshakes and frozen margaritas on “cheat days” from all that healthy eating.) This hardcover book from Good Housekeeping has really great recipes that cover all ends of the frozen-beverage spectrum and will be sure to come in handy when you’re ready to have a picnic, BBQ, camp-out, beach day- or any other outdoor get-together.

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Maybelline “Baby Lips” Lip Balm:

When it comes to my Summer lip care, I stick to the basics. Hydrating glosses in bright corals and pinks, and sunscreen-packed balms. One of my favorites is this colorless “Baby Lips” balm from Maybelline with SPF 20. It keeps my pout soft and smooth for all-day wear and I don’t have to worry about any color fading since it applies clear. I just throw this in my bag on-the-go for quick touch-ups.

Sephora’s Formula X Nail Polish in “Prism” and “Incandescent” :

I love bright, tropical colors on my nails in the Summertime- and this year I find myself already gravitating towards bright blues, greens, and orange tones. I picked out two of my favorites, “Prism,” a metallic turquoise with a hint of pearl, and “Incandescent,” a bright and solid cantaloupe-tone. Both are from the Formula X line at Sephora, which is long-lasting and isn’t packed with harsh chemicals.

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Bumble and Bumble “The Surf Set”:

Despite having coarse and curly hair, I’ve managed to develop a relatively quick and simple step-by-step process to achieving beautiful and healthy-looking “beachy” waves over the past couple of years- no flat-iron required- thanks in part to Bumble and Bumble’s “Surf” line. In this giveaway, I’ve included three travel-sized bottles of the set: the shampoo, conditioner, and my personal favorite- the salt spray- guaranteed to get your hair looking like you’ve spent a day at the ocean.

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Old Navy Mint-Colored Beach Tote:

To store all your giveaway goods, I’ve included this faux-leather, mint colored beach tote from Old Navy. While I definitely love bold colors and floral prints in the Summer- I thought this lovely pastel was too pretty to pass up and would be suitable to carry along in the Spring, too.

Old Navy Sunglasses with UV Protection:

Rounded sunglasses seem to be a big trend this year (whereas last year was the Summer of cat-eye sunglasses,) so I opted to keep the shades simple for anyone’s tastes with this pair of chic rose-hued and thin wired sunglasses from Old Navy. I own a very similar pair, and I’ve been loving them so far! I feel kind of like Penny Lane in “Almost Famous” whenever I have them on.

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Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in “Island Margarita”:

And finally, since I couldn’t include actual alcohol in this giveaway- I settled for the next best thing- this margarita scented candle from Bath & Body Works. With the lime part of the fragrance being the most distinctive, this is a great, slow-burning candle that will make your entire space smell amazing and tropical.

IMPORTANT STUFF:

The giveaway is running from now through midnight (EST) on Monday, April 13th, 2015, after which time a winner will be selected  at random through Rafflecopter and contacted directly to obtain additional information to process shipping. If selected, you’ll have 72 hours to respond to the confirmation e-mail. If I don’t receive a response in that time, I’ll unfortunately have to select another winner, instead!

Nothing in this giveaway can be traded or swapped for something else. What you see is what you’ll be receiving if you win!

HOW TO ENTER:

Like each of my past giveaways, I’ve set up an official page for this one using Rafflecopter – CLICK HERE to head over to it, review the guidelines, and make sure your entries are properly counted!

There are two ways to enter the giveaway and you can do one or both of them!

1. Comment on this post with your name and e-mail address. Please keep in mind that I have comment moderation turned on to avoid spambots- so if your comment doesn’t appear right away; don’t panic! I’ll put it through as soon as I’m able!

2. You can tweet about the giveaway and link back directly to this post or to my homepage: LegallyRedhead.com

Good luck, everyone- and remember to check the Rafflecopter page to make sure your entries have been counted!

xo

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Spring Cleaning!

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Breaking out the neon pink lipstick. Spring Brayyyyy-ke Foreva'.

Breaking out the neon pink lipstick. Spring Break Foreva’.

Well hello there!

It’s been a little more than a week since my last post, which hasn’t entirely been an accident. Since recently getting over a cold/flu, I’ve taken a few days off from blogging to put in some extra hours at the office to catch up on the work I had missed while I was recuperating at home. I’ve also been doing some long overdue Spring cleaning, both in my place and here on Legally Redhead- where I’ve been updating and organizing links, putting together some posts that will be up throughout the rest of this week and over the weekend- and re-arranging my layout (just a little bit!) while putting some final, last minute touches on blog-related business cards I’ve been designing with a printing company (because they always come in handy at meetups and conventions!)

With PAX East taking place in the city over this past weekend, I managed to spend an evening catching up with my longtime friend Frank, too- who traveled from Canada to attend the convention. I typically only see him once a year around this time- so it was nice to hit the town with him for a few hours.

And with temperatures on a slow rise over the past few days (for now,) I’ve started my Spring/Summer diet and fitness regimen- which admittedly hasn’t exactly been a picnic to begin (I’m already aching all over,) but will surely pay off in the long run as long as I stay focused and determined and stick with it!

Needless to say- I’ve been pretty busy!

Now that I’ve gotten the momentum going and am acclimating to my schedule (and Daylight Savings Time)– it’s time to get back to posting!

Later on this week I’ve got a great promotion for jewelry lovers and a recipe post for my fellow foodies. I’ve also got a really fun, Summer-themed giveaway coming up within a few days that is open to those in Canada and the UK, too!

‘Til next time!

xx

Spring Forward – A Playlist.

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SpringForward2015Good afternoon from my couch, where I’ve been recuperating from a pretty intense battle with a flu that’s been spreading around! I’m slowly on the mend, feeling a little better with each day that passes, but I took yesterday afternoon and today in it’s entirety off from work to rest and stay hydrated. I’m hoping to be back in my office again by tomorrow- since I don’t want to fall behind in my work- but we’ll see how it goes.

With my downtime today, I took the opportunity to go through my 8Tracks account, mending and re-uploading any broken links/songs that I’ve included in some of my playlists I’ve created throughout the past couple of years- so everything should be in working order again.

I also put together a Springtime playlist featuring some upbeat (and dreamy, since I like to keep it balanced,) songs I’ve been listening to as of late as I prepare to come out of hibernation. There’s some Bleachers, some Jenny Lewis, a little bit of BØRNS and Lucius- among others. I hope anyone who gives it a listen enjoys it!

And people say you can’t be productive during a sick day!

✿ Pastels & Flower Crowns ✿ – A Spring Playlist.

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I can’t even put into words how wonderful it feels to be able to shed my jackets and sweaters and enjoy perfect temperatures (and a recent streak of sunshine!) in my floral dresses or a comfortable pair of flats instead of my usual boots. The pollen? Not nearly as enjoyable- but it hasn’t stopped me from rolling my windows down whenever and wherever I’m driving and enjoying the breeze blowing through my hair while I listen to music.

I compiled this little playlist of songs, some slow and dreamy, others more upbeat and dance-able, but each of them feel perfect for Springtime- and I hope anyone who gives it a listen enjoys it as much as I do!

✿ Tracklisting ✿ 

Fleet Foxes – ‘White Winter Hymnal’

Stephin Merritt – ‘One April Day’

Eli et Papillon – ‘Une Chanson Pour Tout Dire’

Beck – ‘Blue Moon’

Royal Teeth – ‘We Can Glow’

HAIM – ‘Forever’

Cage the Elephant – ‘Take It or Leave It’

Lucius – ‘Turn It Around’

Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘Luna’

St. Lucia – ‘Elevate’

Vampire Weekend – ‘Unbelievers’

Paul Banks – ‘Summertime Is Coming’

School of Seven Belles – ‘Half Asleep’

xx

Spring Forward.

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You may not be able to tell from the photos above, since the flowers and trees have not quite bloomed yet, but this weekend’s weather was nothing short of heavenly. Sunny, clear, and the perfect temperature- not too warm- but not too cold. If it could stay like this year-round, it’d be ideal.

I had gone to a casting call in South Boston yesterday afternoon, where I soaked up the sunshine and met some really, really nice people while waiting for my turn to go inside to meet with the casting company. I also had dinner plans much later on with my Canadian friend, Frank, who was in town for PAX East- so in between the two obligations, with no errands left to run- I had a few hours to kill.

I may have already said this in the past at some point, but one of my favorite things to do in Boston (weather permitting, of course,) is wander aimlessly on foot. I know it sounds strange, since there are 1,001+ things I could do instead- but with all the time I spend driving, or riding the T, going from place to place, appointment to commitment and back again- it’s nice to not have any set destination and to just roam freely. Boston is a beautiful city, and I find myself falling in love with it all over again whenever I go for long walks and take it all in at my own pace.

I spent a good portion of my evening people-watching in the Common, iced green tea-lemonade in hand, and snapping photos of Beacon Hill at sunset before I met up with Frank and the two of us headed to Assaggio in the North End (one of my favorite places!) for a delicious meal.

I can’t wait for the flowers to begin showing themselves around here. We have the beautiful weather. Now we just need the beautiful colors, too.

xx