Friday, August 31, 2018

Labor Day Weekend Sales

Happy Friday (and long weekend), everyone!  Who else is excited for an extra day off on Monday?!  AND who else will be shopping this weekend?  I've rounded up some of my favorite sales and items that I'm loving! 

J Crew - 40% off your entire purchase using BIGSALE

Kate Spade - 30% off with code ONEOFAKIND

Express - 40% off everything

Loft - 40% off your purchase with code LABORDAY

Anthropologie - Extra 40% off sale clothing and home and 20% off furniture

Target - 30% plus an extra 15% off rugs, bedding, furniture, patio items

Wayfair - Up to 75% off clearance

Amazon - Save on select Echo and other Amazon products, like $100 on Echo Show

Barnes & Noble - 15% off your whole order, plus save up to 50% on their whole site book blowout with WKNDBOOKED - 25% off planners and free shipping

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Summertime in Rhode Island: The Food

Growing up in Rhode Island was seriously a dream, especially during the summer.  I went to the beach every day, the weather was sunny and warm, and we had so many amazing places to go out to dinner.  Usually, we go back to visit now at Christmastime or only for a weekend for a wedding.  This time around, when we were in the Northeast earlier this month, I had the chance to go to spend a few awesome days with my parents, and we made sure to go to all of my favorite spots for food.  If you are ever in Lil Rhody, I highly suggest you give all of these amazing places a try!

Del's Lemonade - I had to start with the ultimate Rhode Island staple.  Parked all over the state, you'll find trucks with giant freezers of this delicious, soft frozen lemonade, ready to be scooped into cups.  This same truck has been in my town every summer day since I was little, and I was so excited to still see it there this year, even though the Benny's in that parking lot (what used to be another RI go-to) is now closed.  If you are a true Rhode Islander, you know you don't ask for a spoon or a straw and just drink it straight out of the cup. 
St. Clair's, Westerly - This spot is located right in my hometown, in a little beach strip called Watch Hill.  You may have heard of it because Taylor Swift now owns a house and parties there in the summer, but I know it for the flying horse carousel, the best beaches in town, and St. Clair's.  My favorites are their crinkle-cut French fries, grilled cheese, lobster roll, and fresh-squeezed strawberry lemonade.  Don't forget a scoop of their homemade ice cream afterwards to bring with you as you window shop up and down Main Street!
Champlin's, Narragansett - While St. Clair's is all about the lobster rolls, if you're looking to crack your own fresh lobster, this is the place to do it.  My favorite part is that you get to sit outside and overlook the fishing boats in Galilee while you eat.  They also have some of my favorite chowder in the state; I've always loved New England (white broth), but if you go, don't forget to try the Rhode Island chowder (clear broth).  Also, remember to bring a few singles with you for nutcracker deposits ($2 each!). 
Aunt Carrie's, Narragansett - Give me all the fried seafood at Aunt Carrie's.  Located on Point Judith, one of my earliest memories of going out to dinner is here, and they really do it all out.  If you are really hungry, go for the full shore dinner: their homemade bread basket (OMG the cinnamon bread is wicked good), chowder and clam cakes to start, steamed clams, fried fish, and homemade dessert.   I always go for the "combo" with 3 clam cakes and chowder.  Don't forget the stuffies, too.  Those are stuffed clam shells - yum!  If the line to sit inside is too long, you can order at the window and take the same delicious food outside to any of their outdoor seating.  Either way, make sure you walk down the path to the beach after you're done!
Coffee Milk & Cookies by Warwick Ice Cream - Every delicious meal has to end with dessert, and when I heard about this collaboration earlier this summer, I knew I had to try it.  Warwick Ice Cream is a staple in Rhode Island and so is Autocrat.  Never heard of it?  You're probably from one of the other 49 states in the country, because this is truly a Rhode Island favorite.  We have this thing called coffee syrup that you can add to milk or drizzle on ice cream.  It is so good.  The ice cream tastes just like the syrup, but mixed with delicious cookies and cream ice cream.  Yum!
Rhode Island is definitely one-of-a-kind.  We have a lot of weird food that you won't find in many other places around the country, but it is absolutely worth a summer stop!

Monday, August 27, 2018

A Summer of Northeast Breweries

This has been a fun summer of beer for us!  We took three trips to the northeast (April, June, and August), and we visited our share of breweries.  The craft beer scene definitely started to blow up after we left 4 years ago, and it's been a blast to have new places to visit each time we go back.  Of all the places we visited, I could only narrow it down to ten favorites.  Yes, I know that's a lot!  I've categorized the breweries below by state, because I obviously couldn't rank them - they're all too good!  Hopefully this will help y'all if you live in the area or are planning a visit!


Tree House Brewing, Charlton - If you're a fan of craft beer (no matter where you live), you have probably heard of Tree House, or at least some of their most famous brews: Julius, Green, Haze, Bright.  This is probably one of the most fantastic beer operations I have ever seen (for a "craft" brewery).  They have huge parking lots on the bottom and top of a big driveway as well as shuttles for those who do park in the overflow on the bottom of the hill.  They can during the week and all cans are sold with a certain max allotment.  Plan to wait at least a half hour, if not more than an hour, depending on what is being sold that day, and you can always see what's available in cans through their website here.  Everything is sold in individual cans, and you fill out a slip with exactly what you want after the staff checks your ID - it's a super streamlined process, especially with the high volume of customers.  None of the canned beer is for on-property consumption, but if you're there on a Tuesday or Saturday, you can visit their bar for two pours of any beer they have on draft.  Tree House is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience and worth a half-day trip.
Trillium Brewing, Canton - Trillium has had a small location near the Boston seaport for growler fills and bottle sales for a while, but this is their first true taproom.  They have separate lines for can/swag sales and pints as well as an outside bar for on-site pours.  They have a fantastic assortment of beers.  My favorites were their Peanut Butter PM Dawn, a delicious coffee stout with peanut butter,
Night Shift Brewing, Everett - This one is definitely a hidden gem, located in an industrial area, just north of Boston.  We heard great things about it, especially their incredibly wide selection of beer, so we added it to our must-see list.  We went on a Saturday afternoon, and it was already getting busy!  They check everyone's IDs at the door, so make sure you bring one, and in the evenings, a line does start to form as they do reach capacity.
Lamplighter Brewing, Cambridge - Half coffee, half beer, if I had to design a place for myself and my friends to hang out, this would be it.  They have board games and a big space in the back for parties.  They do pints and set flights with 4 small pours each.  I really enjoyed the "Welcome to the Jungle" flight, especially the Metric System gose and The Upsidedown dark saison.  Definite bonus of this place is the free snacks, too!  You can see more photos from the awesome interior here.
New Jersey

Magnify Brewing, Fairfield - This little spot puts out some great beer.  Apparently there is a law in New Jersey where you have to give tours at breweries.  Well, they get around this law with an awesome little paper "tour" card slid over to you when you get a menu at the bar.  I absolutely appreciate this so I didn't have to wait 30-45 minutes before my beer!  We also love Magnify because they recently did a collaboration with our hometown brewery, Charles Towne Fermentory!
New York

Captain Lawrence Brewing, Elmsford - I already shared our full Fudgie the Beer adventure (click here to read it), and overall, we were really impressed with the space at Captain Lawrence.  We typically do flights or 405oz tasters at breweries, but to be honest, their "buy the taster for $2 then tokens..." method was a little complicated, so we just opted for full pours.  We had initially heard that it was super dog-friendly, but it looks like something must have happened this spring, because dogs are no longer allowed even outside (part of the reason we had to bring our friends' dog all the way to Jersey), but regardless, it was a cool space!
Peekskill Brewery, Peekskill - On the day we went to Captain Lawrence, we convinced our friends to keep driving north to check out this spot before they headed back to Jersey.  Peekskill was the cutest little town, and I loved the drive up Route 9, along the Hudson River.

Hudson Valley Brewery, Beacon - We first learned about Hudson Valley when Mike did a beer trade earlier this spring.  I was obsessed with the sour we had, so on our beerventure day to New York, this was our last stop before heading back to Connecticut.  It. Did. Not. Disappoint.  Seriously, this place is in one of top five breweries of all-time.  When we walked in, all you could see were barrels... everywhere.  Definitely a good sign of things to come!  I was curious, skeptical, and intrigued, all at the same time, when below each of the funky beer names were suggestions of what the beers tasted like.  They ranged from Flinstones Push-Up Pops and Lifesavers Creme Savers to Honey Bunches of Oats and Mountain Dew.  We tried a bunch of their beers, and by far, my favorite was the Demiurge that they said tasted like Italian Rainbow cookies, a Mai-Tai, and a lime cordial.  Seriously, it did.  Especially if you are a sour IPA fan, this place needs to go on your bucket list.

New Park Brewing, West Hartford - This was one of the five breweries we visited last winter, but as the clearcut winner for us in Hartford, it deserved another couple of visits this summer.  If you go on a can release day, be prepared to wait in lines, just like at Tree House.  It's definitely worth it, though!  My favorite series are Blender (fruited Berliner Weisse) and Expression (New England-style IPA).  They usually only have a few beers on tap on any given day, but the quality of each one is unmatched.
Fat Orange Cat Brew Co., East Hampton - I am so happy we finally got to this spot!  They're only open for a few hours each Saturday and Sunday, and the atmosphere is perfect.  Situated in the middle of the woods, in the middle of farm country, Fat Orange Cat has a garage-sized outdoorsy, tons of outdoor seating, and goats to feed!  Due to liquor and farm laws (I assume) the only tasting they do is through a chip system.  For $7, you're given a glass (to keep!) and four tasting tokens.  Each time you finish a tasting, you redeem another token for a different pour.  Besides the vibe, my other favorite aspect of the brewery is probably the artwork.  They definitely pride themselves in fantastic can and tee shirt art, so, of course, I had to buy a tank while we were there!  Would you believe we even found their white stout and jalapeƱo cream ale here in Charleston last weekend?!
You'll notice the one area where I haven't really shared any breweries is right smack in the middle of all these states: Rhode Island.  To be 100% honest, the RI beer scene is just starting to thrive, but unfortunately, nothing is really open 7 days a week yet.  Being in the Ocean State Sunday night through Wednesday morning was not conducive to visiting any breweries, so next time, there will definitely be some recaps!  For this trip, we focused on the delicious Rhode Island summer seafood, so there will be a recap of those adventures later in the week!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Dreaming of Flamingos

Does anyone else clean like crazy before they leave for vacation?  Seriously, all I want to do when I walk in the door after a trip is sit down and relax (followed by about 5 loads of laundry).  There is nothing better than coming back to a clean house, except maybe a fun package!  Put those two things together, and you have my perfect day.  
When we got back from our trip to the Northeast last week, there was a pretty little package waiting for me from Sant & Abel!  My awesome friend, Erika, tagged me in a giveaway of theirs earlier this summer, and I have since loved following along with their social media.  Seriously, how cute are these flamingos and palms?!
Now, after a twelve-day trip that took us 1,200 miles and through seven states, I need a vacation from my vacation.  I wish it was a tropical getaway like my pajamas, but give me my comfy bed, a book, and some coffee, and I'm a happy lady! 
Pajama shirt and shorts c/o ||| mug from the Masters ||| bedding ||| sheets ||| pillow (similar) ||| settee

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