The Mompreneur Guide To End Of Summer Fun & Getting Back To School Ready

The summer of 2017 has been great to me and my family. You really can’t beat summer in Rhode Island.  I love the long days. I love the heat. Hell, I even sort of like the stifling humidity. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my daughter, Pepper, this summer and it's something I really treasure. The New England beaches are one of my favorite places in the world and I have been able to share that with her this summer. She is finally old enough to run around and play in the waves and catch little critters at the beach with my husband.

Since I run my own businesses, I am for the most part able to pick my hours (yay I get to pick which 80 hours I work every week) and so I’ve been able to take Pepper during the day a lot. We go hiking, swimming, exploring, biking, climbing, running, and sometimes just sit outside a cafe soaking up the early morning air. It's been really great but I have been slowly beginning to freak out that the fall is quickly approaching. I have enrolled Pepper in a full time toddler program beginning in September. I did my research and found a really fantastic program that I know she is going to love but….the guilt. I can't help but feel guilty and anxious that I will be seeing her less and that we won't be able to go on adventures almost every day.

After squirming with these feelings I finally came to a resolution.

I am not going to give up our adventures, I'll just make the most of our time together.

So, here are some ideas for squeezing the last drop out of summer and enjoying the start of a school year!

End Of Summer Adventures

1. Blueberry picking with your family and friends. This one must be acted on soon while it's still in season - We always go to the Boughs and Berry Farm in Little Compton RI. It’s never busy, there are berries galore, and if you want to, you can go tag a christmas after your harvest, then continue on to the beach.

2. Grab a Del’s or ice cream, we love Three Sisters ;) and take a relaxing walk outside. I love the cliff walk in Newport, Blackstone Boulevard in Providence, and Colt State Park in Bristol.

3. Eat dinner outside. We love to pack up a quick dinner and head over to the park to have an evening picnic. We live in the city, so we don’t have much of a yard but eating on our front stoop is also nice! Pepper loves running up and down the sidewalk in between bites of her dinner. Plus it's a great way to get to know your neighbors.

4. Take a weekend trip to Martha's Vineyard. The island really empties out in September and you can often find good deal on rooms/airbnbs. The beaches are much less populated but still just as beautiful.

5. Watch Movies on the block outside on Thursday evenings in Downtown Providence. This is a nice free way to enjoy the community. Also a great time to try some new food on Westminster street.

6. Go to Food Truck Friday at Roger Williams Park Carousel! This is a great event for all ages! Love the music and the variety of food. Also, great way to enjoy a cold beer after a long work week in a family friendly environment.

7. Go to Family Fun Fridays at Blithewold (the last one is Friday, Aug 25th). Blithewold is so beautiful and it is nice to get out of the city and try something new.

8. Wine tasting - I don't have a particular favorite vineyard, I love them all! 

For a quick day trip idea: take the ferry from New London to the tip of Long Island. It's ripe with gorgeous vineyards and if you bring your bike, there is some great riding.

Getting Back To School Ready

1. Meet the teachers and tour the school - Visit the school with your kids so they can get familiar with their new environments. This is a great way for both the parents and the kids to feel more comfortable.

2.  Get Involved - Volunteer at school, you’re a big part of your child's education. Ask the teachers what they are covering so you can talk about it and reinforce it after school.

3.  Support local business with back to school shopping. Target has clothes...but so do a lot of other amazing local companies.

4. . Meal Planning - Going from summer schedule back to school can get very hectic. Making sure you have healthy snacks to grab on the go is a great way to stay energized throughout the busy day. One of my favorite snacks are energy balls, there are so many recipes out there but one of my favorites is this one for Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls. (Photo above.)

5. Stay in the Present - We can all get lost in the back to school hustle but it’s important to make sure to stay in the present, let the little things go and take time to take care of yourself!

As summer is coming to an end and school is approaching let’s be sure to squeeze the last drops out of summer and continue the outdoor fun into the fall!  

More about Elizabeth Stone

Elizabeth is a Mompreneur in Rhode Island. Here latest projects include BioSci Labs and Pepper’s Closet. Pepper’s Closet is helping spread ocean literacy and awareness through custom crafted apparel. They donate 10% of all net profits directly to ocean conservation, research and cleanup efforts. Their goal is to create a movement that is as limitless and unstoppable as the ocean itself. Together, we can preserve and protect one of Earth’s greatest miracles. Support them here.

Add A Dash Of 'Pepper' To Your Life

Patio Dining To Hurry & Enjoy Before Summer Takes A Bow

Beach traffic is still a thing, as are ripped tees, vodka lemonades, and belly aching about the humidity. Yeah, it's still summer. But Fall is creeping in. The evidence is everywhere. The sudden barrage of emails about pre-fall clothing and shoes. Those pics of Halloween candy displays that ppl are uploading to FB with captions like lol and smh (Translation - shading my head). And Insta Famous bloggers hinting about trips to New York Fashion Week (My tips for anyone making that sartorial pilgrimmage? Wear flats - unless you have car service - and invest in a portable battery to avoid any panic attacks about your phone dying on you at the worst poss moment.)

Before summer goes into full on fade out mode, however, one thing you should probably do is have drinks or dinner (or both darn it!) on the back patio at Basta in Pawtuxet Village. We did a few weeks ago, and it was one of the best spontaneous decisions of the whole entire season! For reals. Their salads and pizza (Is there such a thing as a pizza vegetarian?) are always awesome and if you're craving other things (like pasta, fish, etc.), they have a full menu of deliciousness. Of course, you can get that menu year round, but there's something enchanting (welcoming and low key cozy) about the outside space. I guarantee that if you haven't been before, you'll fall deep into #obsession with it.

It reminds me a lot of all those charming cafes or restaurants in NYC (with a visual vibe that's sooo secret hideaway) made super famous by Instagram accounts like Hey Davina. It's definitely not a hidden gem - Just ask anyone who lives (or has lived) in the vicinity. Yet I feel like there are still so many people missing out on this standout for patio dining (#patiolife) in the OS this time of year. In other words, add it to your August bucket list.


Photo Credit: All photos above courtesy of  

Why It Might Be Time To Trade Your Signature Drink For This Cocktail Classic

Got a signature drinkie? Bored with it yet? Scroll on to find out about this classsic cocktail that had a mini-resurgence with the popularity of Mad Men, and isn't exactly the most photogenic or Instagram-able, but continues to have a low key, extremely loyal fan base.

Back Story

We have this one friend who is legit obsessed with finding places in RI to get an Old Fashioned (made with whiskey, bitters, sugar, a twist of lemon peel, and water or soda) done right, apparently NOT an easy task. This is her take on the drink and who makes the best ones in the OS. (Oh yeah, she wishes to remain anonymous...for now anyway.)

According To Her

I started ordering them after going to a wedding, where it was the groom's signature drink. I greatly preferred it over the bride's, some pretty, pastel concoction. Of course, I think I was the only woman drinking the men's cocktail. The look of it, the preparation, the association to the era it originated from, and definitely the taste were all very appealing to me. It soon became a favorite, my go-to drink order.

I've since learned that people who drink them usually like Maker's Mark Bourbon and if the wait staff doesn't ask you which bourbon you prefer when you're ordering, it's usually reflected in the result. When made true to the traditional, time honored recipe, it almost has a sweetness. I've found too that it adds to the enjoyment of the entire experience when it's served in a proper 'Old Fashioned' tumbler. 

Yes, there's a lot of interesting information (Quite a history!) you can probably find on this, but I think the best research comes from actually drinking them. And I must say I'm more than happy to do my part to bring back this classic cocktail. 

My 5 Places For An Old Fashioned Done Right

Here's where I recommend getting Don Drapper's drink of choice in Rhode Island:

  1. Mills Tavern
  2. The Waterman Grille
  3. Avenue N
  4. New Rivers
  5. The Capital Grille

Cheers Guys!



Photo Credits: Center photo used in this post with permission courtesy of Getty Images