Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Rhode to Last Minute Christmas Shopping

Late to the Christmas-shopping game this year? Don't worry, the state of Rhode Island has got you covered! The Ocean State’s quaint waterfront towns and cities evoke a lifetime’s worth of holiday charm, with festive decorations, scenic streets, locally minded shops, and excellent restaurants offering limitless exploration (and gift buying) throughout the season. If you’re visiting for just a day or weekend, Boston.com shares the five Rhode Island locales with an abundance of Christmas spirit that can truly contribute to your last minute shopping list!

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1. Newport
There’s enough holiday cheer in the “City by the Sea” to necessitate a full weekend visit. Through January 1, the evergreen-, poinsettia-, and wreath-bedecked Gilded Age Newport Mansions, including the Elms, Marble House, and the Breakers, are a must-see for any newbie. Afterward, spend the day shopping along Thames Street. Preppy women’s clothing store Pink Pineapple (380 Thames St.), kid-centric Groovy Gator (479 Thames St.), and the nautical jewelry shop Lemon and Line (421 Thames St.) await.

Bring or rent skates for the Newport Skating Center’s grand opening and annual tree lighting at 5 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Newport Yachting Center (20 Commercial Wharf), then head for a BYOB dinner of fried chicken and Southern sides at Winner Winner (677 Thames St.). Or, book a reservation at the White Horse Tavern (26 Marlborough St.), where Rhode Island-sourced seafood and meats are turned into meals worthy of a holiday feast.

2. Warren
This artsy waterfront town features tree-lined streets brimming with restaurants, art galleries, and shops. Plan a visit around the Breakfast with Santa event at the Central Fire Company (1 Joyce St.) from 7 to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 10, or the Atwater-Donnelly family-friendly concert at 2 p.m., Dec. 16, at the George Hail Library (530 Main St.), featuring Christmas carols and songs that celebrate the winter solstice, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Back up your visit with a vintage shopping adventure at the Flashback Vintage Emporium (450 Main St.), where you’ll find trinkets, toys, and some really neat vintage bikes for sale. Down the street, In Your Ear! record shop (462 Main St.) stocks some of the greatest albums of all time. Swing by Made in Warren (476 Main St.), a collaborative shop of artists, and nearby Muse (279 Water St.) for handcrafted jewelry from Rhode Island designers. Across the street from the latter, slurp down $1 oysters on Mondays at the cozy seafood restaurant Bywater (54 State St.), or go for waterfront views and upscale cuisine at Trafford (285 Water St.).

No trip is complete without hot wieners served all the way at Rod’s Grill (6 Washington St.) and a famous coffee cabinet (a Rhode Island-style milkshake made with house-made coffee syrup) from Delekta’s (496 Main St.), a former pharmacy turned soda fountain and gift shop.

3. Bristol
Giant twinkling stars and bright white lights line Bristol’s streets, where visitors stop in cute little shops and admire decorated Colonial homes. But first — brunch: Head to the kid-friendly Beehive CafĂ© (10 Franklin St.), where servers hand out toy animals at the front counter to mark orders while guests wait for freshly baked pastries and dishes like butternut squash cornbread hash served with eggs.

Next up is some shopping: Mosey over to Harbor Bath and Body (251 Thames St.) for skincare products from Rhode Island-based brands like Farmaesthetics and Rhode Island Soapworks, then swing by Kate and Company (301 Hope St.) for gourmet food products, clothing, and luxe vegan handbags.

Cap off the day by admiring yuletide finery at the Linden Place Museum (500 Hope St.), where there’s a Holiday Family Day from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 9 that includes photos with Santa, scavenger hunts, and treats. The decked-out Blithewold mansion, gardens, and arboretum (101 Ferry Road) also hosts live holiday music in the living room on Saturdays and Sundays from 3 to 4 p.m.

4. Providence
Providence’s friendly neighborhoods overflow with jolly personality. Skate with Santa at the Providence Rink at the Alex and Ani City Center (2 Kennedy Plaza) on Dec. 16 and 23 from noon to 2 p.m., then hit up Westminster Street to shop at stylish women’s boutique Queen of Hearts (222 Westminster St.), or Craftland (212 Westminster St.), which is a hub for artists to sell wares like hand-drawn holiday cards and quirky onesies. On Dec. 10, 16, and 17, the Providence Flea Holiday Markets fill Hope High School (324 Hope St.) with 60-plus artists, vintage vendors, and a rotating lineup of the city’s most popular food trucks.

Hope Street is a foodie mecca, too. Stock Culinary Goods (756 Hope St.) touts everything from heirloom-worthy copper pots and pans from East Coast Tinning to nifty cookie cutters in all shapes and sizes, and Olive del Mondo (815 Hope St.) pours tastes of artisanal olive oil and balsamic vinegar from around the world.

Back downtown, top off a day of shopping with a theater-friendly prix fixe at Gracie’s (194 Washington St.), followed by a showing of A Christmas Carol at Trinity Repertory Company (201 Washington St.), showing Wednesday through Sunday nights through Dec. 31.

5. North Kingstown and Wickford Village
Backdropped by the harbor, Wickford’s decked-out 18th-century homes and historic churches create a holiday scene worthy of a Christmas card. So do the village’s Christmas-themed window displays and doorways hung with holly. Step into the setting of a bygone era when you shop for handcrafted jewelry from designers at JW Graham (26 Brown St.), unusual Christmas ornaments at Different Drummer (7 West Main St.), and toys and designer kids’ duds at Teddy Bearskins (17 Brown St.).

Once your arms are heavy with shopping bags, slide into a table at neighborhood hotspot Tate’s (64 Brown St.) for Italian food, or grab a sandwich and coffee at friendly Shayna’s Place (45 Brown St.).

Finish the day off down the road in South Kingstown for Whalers Brewing Company’s Field of Artisans Holiday Markets (1174 Kingstown Road, South Kingstown) on Dec. 10 and 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sip Rhode Island-brewed craft beers while shopping for locally made art, jewelry, and gifts.

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Not to fear, there's still time to spread holiday cheer! Get on the road to Rhode Island and devour the details of some last minute Christmas-shopping!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wedding Wednesdays: Choose Your Honeymoon Destination Based On the Weather

Choosing the ideal honeymoon spot can start to seem overwhelming—it feels like the more you look the harder it is to choose. One way to narrow down your destination is by the weather for the month you'll be vacationing there. The Knot has put together a list to tell you where to go to find the best weather—or if you have your heart set on a specific destination, what to expect during the month you plan to go. You can also get more details about a destination's year-round weather from a travel guidebook, a quick internet search, or by calling its tourism board. In the meantime, here's the list!

Honeymoon by a beach

January and February
Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bali, Belize, Brazil, Canada (ski destinations), Caribbean, Central & South Africa, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, the Florida Keys, USA (ski destinations)

March
Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Canada (ski destinations), Caribbean, Central & South Africa, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, the Florida Keys, USA (ski destinations, Southeast, Southwest)

April
Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Central & South Africa, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Italy, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, the Florida Keys, USA

May
Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Caribbean, Central & South Africa, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Greece, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Seychelles, Spain, Thailand, the Florida Keys, USA

June
Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Central & South Africa, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Greece, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Spain, Thailand, USA (Alaska, Northeast)

July and August
Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Central & South Africa, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Ireland, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Seychelles, Thailand, USA (Alaska, Northeast)

September
Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Central & South Africa, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Spain, Thailand, USA

October
Australia, Bali, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Central & South Africa, Egypt, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Italy, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Seychelles, Spain, USA

November
Australia, Bahamas, Bali, Belize, Brazil, Canada (ski destinations), Central & South Africa, Egypt, French Polynesia, Hawaii, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Seychelles, Spain, USA (ski destinations, Southeast, Southwest)

December
Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Bali, Belize, Brazil, Canada (ski destinations), Caribbean, Central & South Africa, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, the Florida Keys, USA (ski destinations)

Find your perfect honeymoon destination and devour the details of the predicted forecast with this awesome list from The Knot!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Perfect Pear: 5 Peary Good Recipes

Pears are valuable fruits that have been widely used around the world and savored for their delicious flavor since ancient times. We're here to get you to savor that flavor all holiday season long with these five peary good recipes! From an Italian-inspired dessert to a TV-watching snack, these treats will be your perfect pear. Get the recipes below!

Cinnamon & Sugar Pear Chips

**SEE THE BEST RECIPE FOR FALL!** This recipe for oven baked pear chips with cinnamon and sugar is one of my favorite healthy snacks (or desserts) to make with crisp, ripe Fall bosc pears | via http://www.sipbitego.com/cinnamon-pear-chips-oven-baked #healthysnack

These healthy cinnamon pear chips are an easy afternoon snack. Perfect for binge watching Netflix! They also look fancy on a cheese plate. Get the recipe here.

Chai Pear Scones

Chai Pear Scones | Easy Recipe | Breakfast | Brunch | Baked by an Introvert  via @introvertbaker

These are simply delicious and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea! Get the recipe here.

Maple Vanilla Baked Pears

4 ingredient baked pears infused with maple and vanilla! Top with crunchy granola and yogurt for a healthy, satisfying dessert! Easy recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Top these with crunchy granola and yogurt for a healthy, satisfying dessert! Check out the recipe here.

Italian Pear Almond Cake

Italian Pear Almond Cake - more pears than cake and lightly sweetened, so it's perfect any time of day.

A delicious cake, that's more pears than cake. Moist and lightly sweet, it is perfect for any time of day. Get the recipe here!

Easy Pear Sorbet

Easy Pear Sorbet - Butter With a Side of Bread

Easy to make and easy to serve. This treat will go fast! Check out the recipe.

Be the perfect pear and devour the details of savoring the flavor all holiday season long with any one of these peary good recipes.