I’m Going to Law School!

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It’s been a minute hasn’t it? Well, if you missed me don’t fret – you’re about to get the full scoop on what I’ve been up to while I’ve been MIA around here. When I first started Bay State Blonde it was so I could share all my favorite things, the things that bring me all the joy this crazy world has to offer. I feel in some ways I’ve succeeded in that and in others, I have come up short. I really hope that in this next chapter of my life (that you’ll hear about shortly!) I will be able to stay true to that mission and help BSB really grow into what it was always meant to be. So what’s been going on? What on earth has made me so busy that I’ve neglected one of my biggest passions? 

Well…after graduating nearly a year ago, I have started a full time job in Boston, adopted the cutest pup in the world, oh and got into law school.

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew I wanted to be a lawyer, but it’s been all I ever saw myself doing since I was in grade school. Law school was one of those dreams I woke up with each morning and went to bed with each night. This dream and I grew to be so intertwined that there came a point where I couldn’t even tell who I was if not an aspiring lawyer. Well, as it goes with most dreams, this one came with its share of trying times and seemingly endless challenges. Firstly, I knew very little people who had applied to law school before and I was the first in my family to ever even entertain the idea of grad school. Next, there was the biggest roadblock at all – the voice in my head telling me all the things I couldn’t do instead of all the amazing things I could. I could (and probably will) write an entire post about that voice and how I’ve learned to quiet it. But for the sake of saving you guys from having to read a novel today, I’ll just say that this voice proved to be my most tenacious rival throughout this process. Now let me tell you something you probably already know, applying to school is hard work. It’s a full time job on top of your full time job. I had to make sacrifices – this blog was unfortunately one of them – but… it paid off!

I spent most of last summer studying for the LSAT and all of fall working on my applications. I sent my applications to a few schools in early December very unsure of what to expect. I was hoping for good news to come as an early Christmas present. But given the fact that schools take anywhere from weeks to months to get back to you, I knew it was a long shot. Nevertheless, I found myself checking my email so often it became a mindless habit.

Christmas came and went and I left for Florida to spend New Year’s with my boyfriend and his family. While away I did my best not to think about it and to just enjoy my time, but the curiosity, nervousness, and excitement permeated my every thought. I’ve always had high hopes of big things happening in 2019 and I was dizzy with the thought of what this next year could bring. After returning from all the New Year’s Eve celebrations, I have this distinct memory of looking at myself in the mirror and seeing something different I couldn’t quite explain. Blame it on the champagne, but in that moment I said, “this year I’m finally going to live my dream.” Well, God wasted no time. On the evening of January 1st, I opened my email to find a message with the subject “Welcome to Duke Law.”

That moment is one I already know I’ll remember forever. I couldn’t believe that my dream was finally a reality. At the time I didn’t know what school I would choose, but it’s not surprising that I ended up choosing the school that made me feel so special right off the bat.

Despite all the excitement I was afraid to really consider what this news meant. I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life, aside from the four years I spent just an hour away in Providence. I know that moving away is a normal part of life and something that people do every day, but to me it seemed like the most daunting thought in the world. Over the next few months I waited as more schools got back to me, but with each new acceptance I couldn’t help but compare it to Duke.

In late March, I went down to visit Duke’s campus. At first I felt like I was in a foreign world. Where were the old colonial houses I grew so used to back home? Why was the city so quiet? After grabbing dinner, my mom and I took a drive to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on campus and that’s all it took. I think it took a good minute or two for me to pick my jaw up off the ground after seeing the awe inspiring beauty of this place. The sun had just started to slip below the tallest tree line and specks of golden light were splattered along the rows of flowers. In that moment this place that once seemed too foreign and far, felt entirely like home. If you ever have the chance to visit, please do. It really is quite a beautiful piece of our little world.

For the first time in weeks, I went to sleep that night with more excitement than fear about this new chapter of my life. The following day was filled with the kindest faces that made Duke feel even more like home. By the end of the day I was itching to get to the bookstore to start building my collection of apparel. When it was time to go, all I wanted to do was stay. The flight home felt far quicker than it had been on the way down. Everything truly began to fall into place and to add to an already happy ending, my little brother decided to move down with me and be my roommate. Such a beautiful surprise that I never would have expected, instantly settled any last worries I had about being alone. As it turns out, my new home will be filled with family and tons and tons of love. We will be heading down in August together and at last, I feel as though I understand when people say “if it’s meant to be it will be.” A year ago I could only dream that someday I’d be writing this post. I cannot wait to see what other beautiful surprises lie ahead.

Thanks for letting me share this slice of my life with you, but now it’s my turn to read! Have you guys ever moved far away from home? Have you ever gone to law school or grad school? I’d love to share in your experiences as well, so comment below or feel free to reach out to me!

If there’s anything else that I didn’t get to share that you’d like to know more about let me know!

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Fall Fanatic

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Happy fall y’all!

As soon as it was October, I fully embraced every aspect of the autumn season. I think to say fall is my favorite time of the year may be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a total water baby who loves the summer sun, but there is just something about a crisp fall day in New England that brings back years of happy memories. Some of my favorite fall activities include: asking everyone in my family at least once per day if they will go apple picking with me, taking the scenic route home (going way out of my way on my commute home to find any and all trees that have changed color), consuming apple and pumpkin products in any capacity, almost exclusively, making far too many trips to Home Goods, and repeatedly saying “Oh wow, I just love fall.” I welcome the eyerolls from those of you who think I am as basic as they come because I love this time of year and nothing is going to stop me from taking it all in every second I can.

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This fall though is especially wonderful because I now have my pup! I love having a puppy around because I finally have someone who is just as excited by everyday things as I am. Luca doesn’t mind that I want to stop every five seconds to look at a tree or some pumpkins. He is more than happy to stop with me and smell anything and everything in his path. He makes everything an adventure and I am so blessed to have a new companion by my side!

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Our most recent adventure took us to Brooksby’s Farm in Peabody. I have been coming here for as long as I remember. One of our oldest traditions is taking pictures with my siblings in the apple trees. Almost every year it seems make the Christmas card picture because it’s just about the only time my mom can get us all together. I think the only reason this seems to work is because we know that there are warm apple cider donuts waiting for us inside the little farm stand. The line is almost always to the door when we go but the wait is always worth it.

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I think I may have done every fall activity imaginable, but that won’t stop me from trying to find more. If you love fall like I do and have some fun activities to share, comment them below!

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A Sunny Lunch at Sea

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odysseylunch-10Hi guys,

In my last post I talked about my family visiting and how I got to adventure around my home state with them. One of those adventures was a lunch cruise around the Boston Harbor aboard the Odyssey. I have gone on the Odyssey before for a dinner cruise. I absolutely love it every time. It was cool getting the chance to see the views in the daylight and it was absolutely beautiful out.

For my adventure at sea, I wore a pink ruffle top bodysuit and my favorite white eyelet shorts, both from Forever 21. I also wore a pair of nude wedges that I got a few years back and still love to wear. My bag was probably my favorite part of the whole outfit! It was such a fun way to add pops of pink to an everyday summer bag. I got it at Homegoods for under $20 and the best part is that’s insulated, so I can use it as a cooler when I head out for a day at the beach!

Shop this post

Bodysuit: Forever 21 | Shorts: Forever 21 (similar here) | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (similar here) | Bag: Homegoods (similar here & here) |

 

Roaming around Rockport, MA

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My mom’s side of the family have been in town for the past week. They came out to celebrate my sister’s and my graduations. While they were with us, I got to play tourist in the Bay State and explore some of my favorite spots. One of my mom’s and my favorite spots is Rockport, a small beach town. Fun fact: it was on of the shooting locations for the movie “The Proposal,” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

Rockport is known for its nautical charm. I love all the little shops, especially the ones that have salt water taffy. When we first got to Lockport it was raining and the sky was really dark. Luckily though the sun eventually came out and my family got to see the full beauty of this small little port town.

The furry little guy in some of these photos is Luca, my new pup. I can’t wait to share a whole post about him with you guys, but I’m waiting to get a few more good shots of him..and he doesn’t like to sit still for very long which makes that difficult.

Have you guys ever been to Rockport or another costal town? Which is your favorite? Comment below!

Pineapple Grove

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Happy Friday!

If you guys are new to BSB, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite places and styles from me spring break trip to Florida that I took earlier this month. You can check out my other days here! Today’s post is about one of my favorite murals located on Pineapple Grove on Atlantic Avenue, in Delray Beach! I love all the fun colors and, of course, the pineapples!

I’m loving all things pineapple right now (like so many others). I actually recently purchased the cutest pineapple drink mixer from Tommy Bahama at Marshall’s. You can find a similar one here from amazon!

Anyway, my mom and I stayed pretty close to Atlantic Avenue, so we made frequent stops there. On our way to dinner at Park Tavern, we stopped by this mural to capture a few shots. We also walked around through some shops. I always love to go into the Tommy Bahama store on Atlantic (and the one by me at home) because I am in love with the smell. If you haven’t been in, and don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to go and smell for yourself.

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Another favorite shop of mine is the Snappy Turtle, everything is so bright and colorful. It’s really like a dream. Even their dressing rooms are adorable. I love to stop in when I’m in the area and see all the bright patterns.

What are some of your favorite vacation shops? Comment below!

Outfit details: Romper: Tobi (mine is a few years old, so I’ve linked some similar yellow styles here, here, and here) | Jean Jacket: Forever 21 (Old, similar here and here) | Shoes: Old from DSW (similar here, here, and here) | Bag: Revolve, Lulus, Amazon |

 

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Blue and White Stripes at Mizner Park

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Hi guys,

In case you haven’t begun to notice from my last couple of posts, I have been wearing a lot of blue and white so far (and there’s only more to come). I love blue and white together, especially in spring and summer. It makes sense too considering I chose them for my site’s colors, my room, and a huge part of my wardrobe. I think the colors go well together and remind me of my favorite place to be – by the water!

I have also noticed that this trend is catching on. A lot of the stuff I have been seeing at my favorite stores are featuring a lot of blue and white and a lot of stripes! For dinner on Monday night, my mom and I went to a restaurant in Boca, called Louie Bossi. I went there on NYE this year for dinner before heading out for the night. I love their food, especially their pizza which they cook for 90 seconds at 900ºF. It comes out crisp on the bottom but with a nice doughy center to the crust.

For dinner, my mom and I split a wild mushroom pizza and the lobster pasta special they had. It was all so good. I can’t wait to go back next time I’m down there. Before heading to dinner though, we stopped at Mizner Park for a little and walked around. I love Mizner for two reasons. First, the shops are the best! I love to walk through them and see all the cute stuff. Second, it’s pink!…enough said.

What are some of your favorite places in Southern Florida? Comment below!

Outfit details: Top: Forever 21 | Jeans: Joe’s Jeans | Bag: Revolve, Lulus, Amazon | |Shoes: Old from DSW (similar here & here)

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White Capped Waves & White Ruffle Shorts

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Happy Spring!

If you missed my first post about my Spring Break trip to Florida, you can check it out here!

Day two brought even more sunshine and warm weather. On the first day, my mom and I quickly realized that the waves were pretty sneaky after they managed to catch us both by surprise. Today wasn’t any different. About halfway into our shoot a big wave came up and soaked us both. I decided to just give in at that point and proceeded to have a blast in the sand. My mom and I also had a blast trying to get all the sand out of my new eyelet shorts…(don’t worry they survived).

Day one also left us a little too sun-kissed so we did our best to hang in the shade a little more. After hitting the beach for the little, and taking our usual stroll, we stopped by the pool where we were staying. It was mostly empty which was really nice too – I felt like I was queen of the pool having it all to myself.

When I saw these white eyelet, ruffle shorts at Forever 21, I wasn’t sure if I would like them. I loved the details and the material, but I am usually not crazy about the skort style. When I tried them on though, I loved how they fit! They were a tad see-through so I will have to make sure to wear nude under. As a cover up though, they were great, and I really like how they looked with my simple white bikini top. The look reminds me of one of my favorite pictures of Grace Kelly (who is one of my favorite people ever).

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I mean just look at her! She is such an icon and so beautiful. Anyway…more about my sunny trip to come so stay tuned!

Outfit Details: Bikini: Target (Similar here) | Shorts: Forever 21  | Hat: old (similar here)

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Spring Break & Sunshine

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Hi Guys,

Sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve written anything! I am still working on figuring out a cohesive schedule for balancing school, work, friends, and blogging…sometimes I’m great at it, others…not so much.

I had to come on now through to share my spring break adventures with all of you! When I was deciding what to do for my final spring break I was torn between two very different kinds of trips. All my friends were planning a trip to Mexico with a large part of our class and would be staying at an all-inclusive resort. I knew hanging out with my friends would be a blast, but I can be a little more reserved in large social settings and was a bit weary about what this trip would entail.

I ultimately decided that I was looking for something a little more relaxed and that’s just what I got! My mom and I booked a trip to sunny southern Florida and beyond that the plan was strictly limited to relaxing and doing whatever we felt like. I am so happy I chose to go away with my mom because she honestly is one of the coolest women I know.  Plus, since I’m away at college (even though I am fairly close to home), I don’t get to spend as much time with her as I’d like too.

Each day of our trip, my mom and I would wake up and head to the beach before it got too busy and get some beautiful shots in by the water. It felt good being so productive in the morning because then we had the rest of the days to ourselves. My mom loves to go on long walks. I’m generally reluctant to go more than a mile but with the gorgeous weather and the new scenery I was eager to take it all in.

The sun was out and the weather reached the high seventies, so it was the perfect beach day. The craziest thing was how warm 64ºF felt. In New England, that is a nice spring day, but it can still feel pretty chilly, but under the sun it felt perfect with just a gentle wind.

Most of my outfit items from this trip are from Forever 21 because I fell in love with so many of their new spring items. As a college student, it is really my go-to because it’s cute and affordable. The ruffles and polka dots gave my tops a cute feel. I also loved the cropped fit and off-the-shoulder style.  The shorts I chose are my classic jean pair. I got them at a store in Italy a few summers ago, but I have linked similar styles below. I love the way they fit me so I always have them on repeat in warm weather. My hat is also old (I honestly think it is from Walmart), so i’ve linked some of my favorite sunhat looks as well.

What have you guys been up to for spring break? Comment below!

Outfit Details: Top: Forever 21 | Shorts: Old (similar here & here) | Hat: Old (similar here & here) | Bag: Revolve, Lulus, Amazon |

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Bay State Blonde’s Guide to Picking the Best Christmas Tree

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Coat: J.Crew Factory | Scarf: Loft |Jeans: Lucky Brand | Boots: Hunter |

Merry Christmas!

In my family we have a tradition where each kid takes turns picking out the Christmas tree. Even though we’re getting older, this is one tradition I am not ready to give up, especially since this year was my turn!

We usually go to a local stand to pick out our tree. I have a tendency to to pick the biggest tree there, but my process is not that simple. There are several factors that go into a perfect tree.

  1. It has to be full. I like the trees that are a little chubby at the bottom. I usually try and hug the tree (not even kidding) to see how big it is.
  2. It has to be covered to the center. It is the worst when you see a beautiful tree that is bare at the center.
  3. It has to be (fairly) straight. I have learned the hard way that the leaning trees, no matter how pretty, never look as pretty once they’ve fallen over.
  4. It has to have the perfect top to fit our angel. My mom puts a beautiful angel on our tree so I always make sure she has a good spot.
  5. Last, but certainly not least, It has to be tall enough that I can’t reach the top (but not so tall that my dad shakes his head).

Unfortunately, the day we picked out our tree, my go-to photographer (my mom) was sick and my back-up photographer (my brother) was “not feeling it.” So, we couldn’t get the shots, but, luckily Abby and I got a chance to go to Henry’s Christmas Tree Farm in Hope, RI.

It was the first snow of the season and we headed out to Henry’s. We had never been there, but we had heard wonderful things. When we arrived we saw trees as far as the eye could see covered in snow. There was a tractor that drove people out to find their own perfect tree.

Abby and I walked through the snow trying to find the prettiest trees we could find. We watched all the snowflakes move through the air and stick to the trees and us. It was so beautiful and such a fun little adventure to break up finals week.

Have you guys gotten your tree yet? What are some of your favorite tips for picking a tree?

Love Ashley

Farewell to Fall

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As soon as September rolled around, it was all things pumpkin spice and it seemed like summer was in the rearview mirror. Now, I am breaking out my cozy sweaters and Christmas socks and playing holiday music any chance I get. Before I delve completely into winter and all things Christmas, I wanted to take minute to reflect on my favorite season: fall. Fall is such a beautiful time in nature and for me, has always been a time of new beginnings.

Fall is when we get to go back to school again and see all our friends. Fall is when we get to trade our shorts for cozy vests and our flip flops for riding boots. Fall is nature’s finally before everything green is buried in a blanket of snow. What a more beautiful way to mark an ending (and new beginning) than with a vibrant display of beautiful colors.

So here is my farewell to fall, it will be a whole year before we meet again and I hope that the next season of vibrant colors finds me in a new place with renewed hope for life and all its beauty.

Outfit details here.