A Daycation To Remember In 4 Sun-sational Steps

In need of a daycation right about now, but not feeling especially beach-y yet? Someone just told me that one of the big trends in Gansett this summer is the mismatched bikini. Not sure I'm feeling bikini brave enough for that myself, thought you might wanna know tho. Anyway, don't stress over bathing suits, but do check out this 4 step plan for daycation nirvana by way of Bristol, RI.

1. The Coffeesesh (aka Coffee Session)

Start off at either Angelina's (We would've had so many great photos from Angie's had we not gone on an Art Of DeCluttering/Mary Kondo purge of our phones a while back and deleted a ton.) or The Beehive Cafe for coffee and breakfast, al fresco or not. Angelina's is bright, kitschy, and 21st century hipster, with outdoor seating out front to boot. The Hive has a more low-key crunchy granola meets college English professor vibe, all with a delightful patio and deck space. Love 'em both! 

2. The Manse

Next, it's on to Blithewold Mansion & Gardens. After stopping at the gift shop/cottage where you buy tix (for around $12 each) for admission, make your way over to the 45 room manse and prepare to be wow'ed by the artifacts, history, and absolute grandeur of it all. We've ooh'ed and aah'ed our way thru the first 2 floors. (Pretty sure the third floor is viewable by appointment only btw.) A must visit for any antique, design or history (Rhody and beyond) buffs. And if you're a native and you've never been, add to your list asap.

3. The Summer Cottage 

Now the grounds: Can you say stunning? You don't have to walk the entire 33 acres, but def venture over to the summer cottage in the woods, a rustic one room with a fireplace that the original owners of the property built for their daughter's wedding. (And you thought you were under wedding planning pressure?) One look at the porch, the rocking chairs, and the peaceful surroundings, and you'll be trying to book a stay there on Airbnb.

4. Best Of RI

End your afternoon with a walk down the gravel path (Wear flats!) to the water, aka, Narragansett Bay. The payoff? Views straight out of a postcard or something. (Do people still send postcards?) There's also a tiny beach area, pristine but rocky and not really all that accessible. No matter - We recommend hanging out on the deck and taking some video for Insta Stories or Facebook Live or just soaking up the Vitamin D. Throw your sunnies and sunblock on and enjoy!


Team Patty J


Photo Credits: Photos of The Beehive exterior and menu board/counter are courtesy of Ashley Farney. All other photos courtesy of PattyJ.com. 



Why Everyone's Talking About This Movie

"Wonder Woman Set to Become Top-Grossing Live-Action Film Directed by a Woman” reads a headline from The Hollywood Reporter, the latest in a slew, heralding the latest film from DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment. But it’s certainly not the first or the last. Right out of the gate, good things were being said about this film. The buzz started before the pre-screenings were even close. Then celebrities who got to see it early on loved it and most fans-in-waiting said they wanted it to be good, but were nervous. Why though? Why were they nervous? Because until the Patty Jenkins helmed movie starring Gal Gadot the DCEU* had let the majority of fans down.

*Geek Translator: DCEU stands for ‘DC Extended Universe’ which includes the most recent reboots of popular DC Comics superheroes: Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad.

This film is groundbreaking, and proving it by smashing records left and right. But let’s back up for one quick second and look at Wonder Woman historically. Created in 1941 as an answer to mounting criticism of the comic industry, she became the first female superhero. She has gone through basically every iteration you can imagine, some less dignified than others. Although they aren’t as easily accessible as Superman or Batman, Wonder Woman has been made into live action versions before. Most notably the 1970’s Linda Carter television series. But there has never been a live action telling of her story done so well on screen until Patty Jenkins made 2017’s Wonder Woman.

I’d like to get this out of the way, because I’ve seen some people online hating the film just to hate the film. It’s good for a DC film, no - it’s a great comic book film and really good movie period. You’re just saying it’s good to be a feminist, nope - while it is a huge step forward in that respect you can’t boil this down to simply gender politics. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, yes - it really is. Because we’ve never seen this story from a strong woman’s point of view done so well. And that’s insane! Wonder Woman, also known as Diana Prince, has been around for 75 years, only Batman and Superman were created before her. And in that time we have had no less than nine Superman films, ten Batman movies, and besides the 1975 show there have been no successful versions representing the first major heroine created.

There are MINOR spoilers ahead, so if you want to avoid those please close your computer, go watch the movie, then come back...


It was really good, right? I know.

So there are some flaws with the movie. Namesly the villains are almost paper-thin and I spotted the surprise reveal literally as soon as I saw the actor on screen. But for reference I would say most comic book movies have a villain problem, it’s a known problem among us geeks. Also there’s a few moments having to do with the plot that hurt the film’s believability. I think that definitely falls squarely on the shoulders of what I’d call studio involvement. Which means Warner Bros., DC, and Zack Snyder told the screenplay writer, Allan Heinberg, to get from A to B, but also include G H F J K and X in that order, oh and have it make sense. But all things considered he did a great job since his only other credits seem to be Scandal, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, and The OC.

The main things this movie did right: balancing action, heart, and dialogue with a character that has been challenging even for some comic book creators. Gal Gadot, who I was nervous about, really owned the character here, delivering much more than just her cameo in BvS. Jenkins gave the film a style all its own and made wise choices in exploring World War I from an outsider’s perspective. It plays like your typical action movie and even has a love interest in Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. And even though the “typical” gender roles are flipped for this movie, I was impressed that it still felt honest and natural to the story. Focusing on Diana trying to rectify her narrow exposure to the world with what she sees during the war makes for touching moments and some satirical ones as well - humor - something that is severely lacking in the rest of the DCEU.

Obviously as a thirty-something white male I can’t sit here and say I experienced this movie in the same way as a woman, nor would I try to. However, as the father of a clever and brave five-year-old girl who has actually had boys ask her to stop hitting them so hard with her lightsaber, I would like to say I appreciate that this film will be inspirational for my daughter. Being able to see someone like you winning box offices globally is so important and we need more of that diversity. So if nothing else Wonder Woman has hopefully started us down a long overdue path in the entertainment industry, a path long fought for and hopefully here to stay.

Thanks for reading,

+      Colin Carlton

About Colin

Colin Carlton is a local author and freelance writer.

For more from him, please check out:


@colincarlton on Twitter + Instagram

@colincarltonofficial on Facebook


Photo Credits: Wonder Woman photo from the Wonder Woman Film page on Instagram 

My RI Life: Mama, Tree Hugger & Owner Of Essence Yoga, Deb Manera

I'm a mama, yogi, tree hugger, animal lover, vegetarian, and owner of Essence Yoga at 2178 Broad St., 2nd floor (on top of the old Lyndsey’s Market...RI directions), in the Pawtuxet Village section of Cranston. I am proud to say I am Providence born and raised. My family resided in the Silver Lake area for over 35 years, up until 2002. I often say that 'Silver Lake is in my blood.' And anyone who grew up in “The Lake” says the same; we sorta have our own extended family. I currently call Cranston my home; it’s where I choose to raise my children (Gabriella and Jordan) and own a business. 


Cranston holds pieces of what I find valuable in order to live, work, and play. We have great retail (Anthropologie, Barrington Books), and food shopping (Whole Foods) in Garden City. Chapel View is where one of my favorite fitness options is located. (In addition to my yoga practice, I’m a big fan of Pure Barre.) St. Mary’s in Knightsville hosts traditions near and dear to my heart yearly with the St. Mary’s Feast and Parade. The quaint OakLawn Village often has family events, plus the bike path is easy access near the OakLawn gazebo. (Perfect for me, G., and J. when we take our German Shepherd and Black Lab for a run). G. and J. are also active in Cranston youth sports. The City and Community support for Cranston’s youth sports is really awesome. G. had a successful Little League run and represented RI out of state this summer. During the softball team’s return celebration, our Mayor was asked to take a “squad pic”. Hard to say NO to a group of 10 year old girls. Being a parent, I can certainly appreciate the Mayor’s light heartedness in taking that “squad pic”. (See photo above.)

Pawtuxet Village

My favorite village is ...Pawtuxet Village! Hey, ­I may be a little biased, but it is a hidden gem, and continues to grow. It’s beautiful year round, and the view of the bay is priceless. We hold the oldest running 5k foot race in June and the Gaspee Day Parade (fun for all ages) follows. The village is full of food options. Fellini’s, Revolution, and Basta are my after work go-­to's for dinner. 

Food & Restaurants

I’m an Italian and vegetarian and I can eat! So I have lots of favs. The Grange, Julian’s, Garden Grille, Rasoi, Spain, Al Forno and Siena just to name a few. I absolutely love outdoor dining and my son loves oysters so you will find us at Matunuck Oyster quite often over summer.

Summer Scenic Spots

Speaking of summer, I am a summer lover! I’m the Mom on Roger Wheeler Beach building sandcastles, jumping waves and collecting sea shells. We are an active trio, and explore this ocean state year round. Blithewold Gardens, Portsmouth Topiary Gardens, Umbrella Factory, Audobon Society Bristol and Frosty Drew Observatory are a few fun outdoor spots. I love watching sunsets. Prospect Park in Providence and Beavertail Lighthouse in Jamestown are great. Do this as a family, with a friend or solo on a summer evening, you will not be disappointed!

Yoga Favs, From Mats To Clothing

I’m often asked what the best yoga mat or yoga apparel line is. We are all different, so seeing what feels best individually is priority. That being said, my favorites are:

  • Jade Yoga Mats­ are environmentally friendly­; I have the XW Fusion, which is priced around $150. I also own Lululemon and Manduka.
  • I LOVE Lululemon yoga pants and sports bras.
  • AloYoga has some great pants that cover your heel with fun colors.
  • For hot yoga, I like Teeki pants (made from recycled water bottles).
  • Glyder Apparel is a new line I’ve been wearing. The pants fit nicely and are a bit higher waisted (Ladies high waist in yoga apparel is a good thing­ - panties should not be seen in downward dog.)

Essence Yoga

I have often called Essence Yoga my third child. And in many ways it has been. Essence recently celebrated 4 years in business, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Over the years the studio has moved locations (just across the street), doubled in size, added classes and most recently, begun offering massage therapy. We have options for every level of yoga practitioner, and a team of knowledgeable instructors, most who live right in the community! There is no place like home...and for Essence, Pawtuxet Village is home.

For info about classes, workshops, and more at Essence, go to EssenceYogaRI.com and follow them on FB by clicking here

*This post has been edited from the original version that appeared on the blog in 2016.

Photo Credits: Photos of Deb and the interior of Essence are courtesy of Kerri Stowik Photography. Photos of Julian's by Ashley Farney.