Text Your Bestie, Take A Personal Day & Breakfast Or Lunch Here In The OS

That kind of day...

One that inspires people to add a meditation app to their phone, book an hour long massage at a spa they've always wanted to check out or order a pair of pricey, completely impractical shoes that they will wear only once, before stashing the box on an impossibly high shelf in their closet. 


I was in stop & go traffic, and my Botox looked as though it was (already) wearing off. What. The. Heck: Maybe all I needed was a NEW pair of sunglasses? I am overdue, and they are ideal for hiding behind when you can't be bothered with any makeup beyond gloss or Burt's Bees lip balm. 

Thankfully there are plenty of low key amazing places in the OS for vegging out on off days such as this. Especially with Spring and Summer - rain or shine - being some of the BEST monthes to live or visit these parts. So take that personal day, bring along one of your favorite ppl, and explore some of the more under-the-radar destinations where you can stash your phone (or not...I say take that selfie or regret it big time later!) and enjoy a leisurely breakfast or lunch (same goes for food pics). 


Like this one...

Want the ultimate non-touristy, casual food experience in one of the loveliest locations in the state? Go straight to The Cooked Goose on Watch Hill Rd in Westerly. They have morning papers (Call me old school but I still love leafing thru a newspaper.), delicious coffee, wifi (I can laugh about it now, kinda.), and a fantastic menu of classic morning mains and sides. 

The takeout is wonderful too. I lived on their lemon angel hair pasta a few years ago, while recuperating from some emergency surgery in Watch Hill during the month of August. You also never know who you might see (Celeb sightings are possible, so def look up from the paper or your phone. Winky face.), but you didn't hear it from me.






This Bag Used To Be For Carrying Ice But You'll Want It Because It's Still East Coast Cool

Whether it's the style blogosphere or your friend's cousin's sister-in-law over posting on Instagram, there always seems to be a lot of talk about bags. The It Bag of the Moment. Or the hot shapes and colors coming down the runway for next season. But for those of us who simply cannot leave the house without a ton of stuff (as in sunnies, smart phone and backup charger, makeup bag, Kleenex, pens or pencils, and a hair brush for starters) and who want something East Coast classic and durable, especially for Spring and Summer in the OS, there's the LL Bean tote.

 Photo: LL Bean

Photo: LL Bean

What started as a way to carry ice (dating back to the 1940's) and later became a staple of the New England prep look (spotted like crazy on Nantucket and the Vineyard, at Chatham Bars, and of course, in Newport) gradually morphed into a downtime must have carryall for some legit icons of American style, from 90's high profile fashion plates like the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedyindie movie darling Chloe Sevigny, and designer turned sometime RISD professor in residence Todd Oldham to actress and wellness guru Gwyneth Paltrow, movie screen sweetheart Reese Witherspoon, and more recently, RHONY's Tinsley Mortimer.

Bean also has an updated version of their signature boat tote with a braided rope handle that frankly, I'm obsessed with. 

Go Ahead, Make It Your Own

So, both GP and Reese have been known to have theirs monogramed with their initials and that's swell. But you my friend can take things to a whole other level with these awesome alternatives for the snarky sophisticate in all of us, that I stumbled upon after falling down many a rabbit hole over on Pinterest:

In Search Of Vintage Bean

Stalk EBay, Etsy, thrift stores, and your mom's or grandmom's cedar closets for LL Bean leather totes like these from the 60's and 70's:

Also, spotted on social media standouts like Jenny Walton...I guarantee if you're lucky enough to find one in mint condition, you'll have ppl stopping you on the street (or at the dry cleaner's), complimenting your taste and the bag and asking where on Earth you found it. 


*Revised and updated from the original post that appeared on the blog in Spring 2015.

**Photo Credit: Top Image of handbags used with permission; Image of Reese from Just Jared/FlameFlynet Pictures; Image of Gwyneth and Chris Martin courtesy of Pop Sugar/INFphoto.com; Additional bag images also from Pinterest

Tick Season Tips For You & Your Pets, Courtesy Of This PVD Holistic Dr


Here in New England, we all know we’re ground zero for tick infestation and Lyme disease (see map below). Some smart tips for tick prevention and early treatment, however, can prevent the dreaded Lyme disease, which causes a myriad of symptoms from a rash to unusual for summer flu-like symptoms and joint pains. 

 cases of Lyme reported to the CDC in 2016

cases of Lyme reported to the CDC in 2016

What is Lyme disease?

A bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease and is transmitted by the bite of a tiny deer tick that carries the bacteria. While this is the most common bacteria transmitted, there are many other tick born diseases with equally exotic names such as Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Erlichlosis, Powassan, Spotted Fever Rickettsiosis, and other emerging diseases.

How can I keep from contracting Lyme disease?

When out enjoying nature, avoid brushing against tall grasses where ticks love to hang out. Be sure to stick to dirt paths when hiking. Wear light colors, long sleeves and long pants tucked into socks when you’re out gardening or doing yardwork. Save the luxe-smelling, all-natural, essential oil bug repellant for the mosquitoes at the back yard barbecues and outdoor summer parties and use a heavy duty tick repellant sprayed on clothing if you’re spending lots of time in a tick-heavy location.

My favorite tick repellant is Permethrin. It’s over 2250 times more toxic to ticks than to humans and it safe to use in pregnancy since it’s Class B (showing no harm on fertility or fetus). While I would advise spraying it on clothing (it lasts at least several washes!), it’s reassuring to know that when put directly on your skin, less than 1% of active ingredient is absorbed into the body while DEET can be absorbed at over 20 times that rate! 

Spray Permethrin directly on your shoes and clothing and you’ll be well protected. You can find my favorite Permethrin spray at REI or on Amazon

If I get bit, will I definitely get Lyme?

Maybe not. To contract Lyme, the infected tick must remain attached to your skin for 24-48 hours. Other bacteria can infect you more quickly, but it’s rare. Get in the habit of doing a pre-bed tick check on yourself and family members (including furry family members).

If you find a tick, use a pair of tweezers and pull the entire tick off of you as soon as possible. Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water. Next, keep an eye on the area over the next few weeks.

The notorious expanding rash known as a “bullseye rash” can occur at the site of the tick bite 3-30 days after exposure. More commonly, a uniformly red rash 2-3 inches or larger can occur at the site of tick bite. It starts off looking like a spider bite and gets bigger over time. If you see any rash, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor.

A rash isn’t the only symptom to keep an eye on. Some people infected with bacteria from a tick won’t get a rash at all! Flu symptoms in the summer may be early symptoms of Lyme disease, so keep an eye out for symptoms like headache, fever, joint and muscle pain, and unexplained fatigue. If you have these symptoms, go see your doctor as soon as possible.

With prevention including a nightly tick check for your whole family (including the furry ones) and early detection and treatment if necessary, it’s unlikely that you’ll have devastating effects from Lyme Disease. Chronic Lyme is a somewhat controversial diagnosis, but if symptoms persist, Chinese Herbal Medicine can be very effective to restore health. More on that in another post...

About Dr Mary Claire Dilks

Dr Mary Claire Dilks is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and owner of Emerging Energy Acupuncture in Providence (RI). She has also been named Best Of RI ("Best Inner Healing"). Visit her at www.emergingenergy.net.