Text Your BFF's To Make Plans Because This Place Combines 2 Of Your Fav Things

My dad's dream was always to open his own bookstore. For most of his life, however, he worked a full time gig driving a truck (without any heat or ac), delivering books and magazines to shops and markets in the RI and Mass area, in addition to at least 2 part times. He spent most (rare) nights off reading paperbacks, newspapers, and mags while listening to am radio. Other times, he'd go out for a few beers. Exactly why the brand new bookstore + bar on Valley St in Providence kinda, sorta reminds me of him. Growing up surrounded by beaucoup books definitely had an impact on me as well. Hey, I love bookstores, so as soon as I heard about Riffraff, knew I had to get there asap. 

Essentially, they've gone and combined two things that most people I know adore - books big and small with beverages like beer, wine, craft cocktails, and coffee. Their selection of books is small-ish but carefully curated. The front table, we were told, was made up of the owners' current favs. We browsed and picked out an eclectic assortment of fiction and non-fiction titles. Next, it was on to the bar area in the back. Not gonna lie, it's nifty, in a retro (Check out the vintage cash register behind the bar!) meets clean minimalism (Peep the multiple photos below for a look at the Riffraff sign on the back wall that's certain to become a classic PVD image over on Instagram.) way. We wrapped things up with a couple of cocktails (The Hot Toddy, perfect on a freezing cold night in thecity, was almost too smooth.) and snacks, vowing that we'd def be back again soon.

I feel like it's an amazing place to take a date, especially one you're really trying your darnedest to impress. Or those friends always looking for something shiny and new to do locally, or those who are always complaining there's nothing to do in Rhode Island. Also great if you are looking for somewhere low key to hang, drinking coffee, cleaning out your inbox, and flipping thru a new book.

Photo Credits: All Riffraff photos courtesy of PattyJ.com.

Add This Place To Your Beauty Bucket List, So Says This Rhody Native

There is nothing like good advice. Whether you’re in a personal predicament, or looking for a new coffee place, sometimes a friend’s insight can change everything. Upon moving to Manhattan, I craved advice in every aspect of life - work, health, general well being. Although still in progress, some of the best received guidance was about skincare. My skin has always been a point of contention for me - it's mediocre at best. Then I was introduced to HeyDay.

Heyday is a growing organic facial spa. Although not technically a full spa with babbling brooks and zen music, the care and expertise is unparalleled. Each facial I’ve received there, and subsequent advice about my routine moving forward, has been helpful and practical. They know we're not exfoliating every other day on the dot, and aren't judgmental about it. All products are organic & smell great too! Another plus - if you have a terrible memory like me, they send you an email detailing what you should be doing for your skin for the next few months and the recommended products. If you don't find yourself in the city soon, check out their skincare tips online: thinkheyday.com/blog/

Products they recommended for my skin specifically (#thankful they're not pushy salespeople either):

  • Grown alchemist: Gentle Gel Cleanser with Geranium, Bergamot & Rosebud
  • Image: Clear Cell Salicylic Clarifying Tonic

 

*Courtesy of an RI Native who's relocated to The Big Apple this year.

**Photo Credits: Pix courtesy of the Think HeyDay Instagram 

 

The Hottest Coffee Trend Of The Holiday Season That You Haven't Tried (Yet)

It's no secret I'm a big coffee fan. Lately tho instead of parking myself at one of the local cafes or a Starbucks, I've been brewing my own at home more often, precisely why I was so intrigued after seeing a barrage of ads, blogs, and vlogs for Chemex, a line of glass carafe, minimalist looking coffee makers that date back to 1941, are made nearby in Chicopee, MA and resembles something you might find in an Amish or Mennonite pantry. Did someone say now trending?

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A far cry from the Keurig phenom (For the record, I never hopped on that bandwagon.) with its seemingly endless selection of coffee pods (from French roast to Hazelnut DD & beyond) or even the old standby drip machines. The Chemex ia also a drip maker, but almost primitive in that there's no plug in necessary during the brewing process. There's also no need for pushing down on any handles, as is done with a French press, and as has always kinda freaked me out in a big way. Long story really short, add your special filter (Chemex offers 2-3 diff shapes of them, more about that in a sec.) and ground coffee into the cone part at the top, followed by a lively pour over of some boiling hot water, and a few minutes later, you have an hourglass of smooth, tasty (Some say best in the world...) coffee. 

Sounds almost too good to be true, but I've tried it and know whattt? It works (The ole if I can do it anybody can applies here.). My coffees been super smooth with absoutely no bitterness whatsoever, tending to back up their ambitious tag line - "The BEST coffee in the world comes in only one shape." - if you ask me. It's also pretty affordable. I bought a six cup size from their Classic series, along with a 100 pack of the circular filters (There are 4-5 diff makers, along with the filter options we chatted about above. And if you're worried about those getting expensive, I saw both Chemex and a more generic looking choice on the shelf at Whole Foods when I was picking up mine.), for around $52, a far cry from the price tags on some of those fancy Nespresso machines or even higher end drip models. 

For the record, this isn't a sponsored post, I just think this would make a dynamite gift for yourself or the coffee lover on your list this season. (You're very welcome!) They're also widely available right now, featured everywhere from coffee shops that sell cm's (I hear the new Schastea on Broadway in PVD *might* carry some.) to big box and online stores.

Happy caffeinating! 

 

Photo Credits: Chemex image courtesy of Amazon.com