My RI Life: Busy Mom Jessica Cortez

Photo by   Ludo Colle   

Photo by Ludo Colle 

Show of hands if you've traveled outside RI, told someone where you were from, and they instantly confused Rhode Island with Long Island (NY)? Well, today's 'My RI Life' is all about someone who knows the difference - because she herself has made a pretty seamless transition from LI to RI. Read on to find out more about my friend Jessica: She's a working mom who balances a full time job, family, and taking care of herself, all with a smile and an energy that's contagious. 

According To Jessica

"What's Chalkolate?" That's usually the question I get after describing something I recently ate or baked. It's my friends' not so subtle way of reminding me that although I have lived here in Rhode Island for over 13 years, the Long Island girl in me still comes out every now and then...I moved here for college and fell in love with the friends I made and this state. 

Being a full time working mom, I'm always on the go. And I love sharing all the things I find with my friends - most of whom are born and raised Rhode Islanders who are shocked I went "all the way there". My favorite thing is when one of my friends starts using a product I mentioned or checks out a restaurant I told them about, and loves it. Lately, I've been spreading the word about nail care to my friends and introducing them to Jamberry Nail wraps. (No one I know has time or money to waste, so I'm all about maximizing both and JN is another way of doing that.)


Food And Restaurants

Ok I'll admit it, even though I'm in love with a lot this state has to offer, I often find myself looking for restaurants that can provide a taste of Long Island, basically diners, pizza, and Chinese and Spanish food. Here are some places I've found that help me accomplish this:

Sunrise Cafe, Warwick - Run by a former mermaid barista, this breakfast place is a go-to for us when we want a good breakfast fast. There aren't many seats, but everyone is so friendly you don't mind sitting close...Good coffee served in a cup you would have at home is always a plus for me too.

Crusty's Pizza, Warwick - Eating meals together is important to us, but with such limited time, it's often hard. I'm always looking forward to pizza night though and a favorite time saver for us is to call in a pizza and meet at Crusty's to eat in. When I say 'kid friendly', that does not do this place justice. They know everyone that comes in, the family atmosphere is so welcoming, and my son is always so entertained (that) it's a very peaceful meal. Of course we always get the same thing because (we've found) they have the best Hawaiian pizza.

Yummy Kitchen, Warwick - A guilty pleasure. It reminds me of some of the Chinese take out places back home.

When we want home cooking like my aunts make or from a bodega back home, I usually go to Armando's Meat Market in Cranston for meat and cook at home. Sometimes for a special treat, we will go to Carolina's on Broad Street or La Roca on Elmwood Ave. I always get the empanadas, pernil (if I am lucky and they have them!), and rice and beans. We also love California Taco's in Warwick. They have the best enchiladas and I love the chips and salsa, which are a huge indicator (for me) of the quality of Spanish food. Sometimes when my husband has a sweet tooth, he surprises me by bringing home flan from Papi's Taco. He claims it's all for me but conveniently gets more than one.

I'm always in search of a new bakery and recently at the Providence Flea (Another weekend obsession is flea markets.), I had some excellent treats from the North Bakery cart that was set up there. We will definitely be checking them out again soon! 


Favorite Scenic Spots

Being that my husband's work schedule has him sleeping most of the morning and early afternoon, I usually plan things for me and my son to enjoy before my husband joins us. Here are some of the places we frequent:

Jaswell's Farm - My son loves all the pick your own fruits they have during the different seasons. We always check out the farm stand and usually leave with some corn and veggies.

Scarborough Beach - I remember days growing up on Long Island when my mom would grab some nectarines and a blanket and off to the beach we would go. I pack a bit more food and blankets, but I love making memories with my son...Every summer, I get a a pass for all the RI State Beaches, so we can come and go as we please. I also usually like to try out a new beach every year. A favorite for swimming is (Roger) Wheeler. A nice beach for walking or sitting and watching the water is Goddard State Park.


Tips & Tricks For Taking Better Care Of Your Nails And Hands

  • Basic cuticle care is key for a healthy nail bed, regardless of whether you use Jamberry nail wraps or traditional polishes.
  • Pushing back cuticles and using cuticle oil regularly can make a huge difference. 
  • If you don't have cuticle oil, use olive or coconut oil. (You probably have one or both in your kitchen right now.)
  • Keep a cuticle or orange stick within reach - near the couch where you relax and watch tv or Netflix - for quick regular maintenance while you're catching up on a fav show. 
  • For hands, make sure to use an exfoliator as well as lotion to help keep them their softest and smoothest.
  • Also, when applying any scrubs or lotions, be sure to rub the backs of your hands together, so you don't waste any product. (An easy way to make those products last longer too.)
  • When filing your nails, be sure to shape them by filing down sides of nails as well the tips. 


To See More From Jessica

Find her on Instagram @Xtrashot81


Photo Credits: All pictures courtesy of Jessica Cortez, except for the restaurant related ones and the olive/coconut oil images which were found via Google Images.