Sip Champs + Shop Sales

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November 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm Leave a comment

DIY-Not? Transforming Furniture with Picklee on Spring

20141113-224951-82191263.jpgCongratulations to Picklee on Spring, the charming painted furniture and home decor store on Newport’s Spring Street. Owners (and mother/daughter duo) Lisa Kasap & Jordan Reilly create many of the color masterpieces found throughout the shop, from chairs and couches to dressers and unique pieces. Rather than keep their painting techniques to themselves, the two encouage others to take on DIY projects with their secret weapon: Cece Caldwell Chalk Paint. This natural, non-toxic, eco-friendly paint is safe for everyone, extremely forgiving and can often be used on a piece with minimal prep work.

I recently sought Jordan’s advice as I wanted to take a charming, vintage dresser I spotted in North Kingstown into a new era. The 1920-era piece had already been painted once in an off-white shade with some gold accent color highlighting the decorative details. With Jodan’s guidance, I used Cece Caldwell Pure White chalk paint, then waxed the piece to give it a smooth finish (with Cece Caldwell wax) and finished the piece with large, clear crystal drawer pulls. (Chalk paint is also ideal for creating a distressed finish but for this piece I preferred a solid white look).

NOW: THE WINTER CHALK + CLAY PAINT SALE IS ON! Buy 2 (4oz. cans), get 1 free at Picklee on Spring!




Very similar to my vintage piece:



My DIY dresser with Cece Caldwell Chalk Paint:

DIY project

November 13, 2014 at 11:46 pm Leave a comment

Palate Pleaser: Taste of Newport Returns


In a state bordered by more than 400 miles of coastline and peppered with more than 1,000 farms, you’d hardly be surprised that Rhode Island boasts an exorbitant amount of culinary talent–especially when you learn the state is a mere 37 miles wide and 48 miles long. Many of our culinary luminaries will culminate this Sunday night (Nov.16) at the historic Hotel Viking for the 31st annual Taste of Newport benefiting Child & Family, the largest and most comprehensive social service provider in Newport County. In a new and exciting twist, guests will have a choice of two distinct dining experiences, all in the name of community, collaboration and taste.

The TASTE Experience features tasting stations presented by some of the most talented chefs, restaurants and caterers from across Newport County. Also enjoy an exciting silent auction. 5-8pm, Viking Ballroom $125 per person

The DINE Experience, which includes the Dine Experience, features eight of the area’s most acclaimed chefs collaborating in dynamic duos to produce an original four course chefs’ dining experience, paired with wines. Includes riveting live auction. 7:45pm, Bellevue Ballroom $225 per person

The event is the grande finale of Newport Restaurant Week. Tickets still available. For all the fabulous details, CLICK HERE.

November 10, 2014 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World

Soap and water

It’s not often you find a bath and body specialty shop with an idyllic blend of well-known luxury brands alongside tomorrow’s next “must haves,” and it’s especially rare for a shop to offer such a diverse range for men’s grooming . That’s one of the best things about Soap + Water on Newport’s famed Bowen’s Wharf: the unique mix of finds all with the two common denominators—high quality and easily accessible.

1538900_294340614065689_5801708522107237129_nOne of the best known lines they carry for the well-groomed male is Jack Black, offering advanced skin care including shaving creams, moisturizers, grooming sets, cleansers, anti-aging, hair care and body care. As we’ve just jumped into the beginning of “Movember,” right now is the perfect time for Jack Black Beard Lube, a pre-shave oil, shave cream and skin conditioner all in one that penetrates whiskers to soften even the toughest beard. Macadamia nut oil and jojoba oil work below the surface of the skin to soften HomeMainImage1new whisker growth and minimize irritation—ideal for guys who are tenured manscapers as well as the rookie goatee or moustache grower. (It’s a great gift for friends and family of “Newport Muzzy” participants to show your support—and to show that the philanthropic endeavor doesn’t mean grooming goes out the window.) Jack Black’s MP 10® Nourishing Oil helps tame facial hair flyaways and moisturize the skin underneath.

When it’s time to bid adieu to the new beard (or simply give it a good grooming), Italian-imported Poraso Shaving Cream, a “concentrated, creamy soap which brings to mind classic barber shops (especially the Italian variety) with its tingly sensation and old-school packaging.”

truefitt-_-hill-2-_13_But perhaps one of the most interesting brands at Soap + Water for men is Truefitt & Hill. Named after the oldest barbershop in the world (certified by Guinness Book of World Records) which was established in 1805, today the brand is known for the highest quality luxury grooming items for gentlemen: aftershaves, colognes, shaving accessories and hair products. Considering its royal roots (founder William Francis Truefitt established himself as “Court Hair Cutter” and “Court Head Dresser” and Wigmaker by Royal Appointment to His Majesty, King George III), it’s no surprise Truefitt & Hill products are so highly praised and coveted—and in demand at Soap + Water.

And to complete a fresh face, there’s what might the world’s most “contemporary” toothpaste by Marvis. People who use Marvis tend to become voracious loyalists to the brand (seriously, check out the reviews). Made in Italy and decidedly stronger than American toothpaste brands, there are five “Masterpieces of taste” by Marvis currently (and exclusively in Newport) at  Soap + Water.

Only seven more shopping days til Christmas (just sayin’)!

Find Soap + Water at 16 Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, on Facebook and online web-store here.


This post was sponsored by Soap + Water Newport. All opinions expressed are independent and my own.

November 4, 2014 at 11:34 pm Leave a comment

Let’s Hit the Bar

Bar_nautical coordinates

How great are these “Lat & Lo” necklaces, named for Newport’s latitude & longitude coordinates? They were spotted at Island Outfitters and are proudly handcrafted in the US. Available in 14k gold filled, solid gold or solid sterling silver metals, each Lat & Lo piece is custom ordered (so they take a little time). Starting at $48.

October 28, 2014 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

#PoweredByHeels: Rockport’s Total Motion Collection Rocks


Chilly mornings, fall festivals, warm sweaters: it’s officially time to trade in those light summer kicks for fabulous winter shoes and boots. Like a lot of working women, it’s not uncommon for me to be in heels from 7am to 7pm; even longer if there’s an apres work event, organizational rockport_Total_motion_2meeting or impromptu gathering with the girls. For an event at the State House last week, I literally drove to Providence in one pair of heels, did the switch in the car for a more formal pair, and after an hour in those, knew they’d be headed for the consignment pile as soon as I got home.  (And don’t get me started on my days in DC when it was commonplace to rock the power suit with sneakers on the metro and change at the office–I could never succumb to that fashion disaster.)

So when I was invited to try out a pair of new Rockport Total Motion heels, I jumped at the chance. Newport may have one of the most unforgiving streetscapes for heels. In the course of a short lunch walk, I can easily traipse over asphalt, brick, stone pavers, wooden dock, and of course, cobblestone. Designed with technology (which I’ve featured before here), the highly shock-absorbent cushioning protects the heel at impact. In these shimmery, 3″ tall Total Motion Pointy Toe heels (above and left), your step is comfortably supported by a heavenly layer of retention foam and foam-backed lining. The result: easy, comfortable, day into night heels. While I’m not about to drop down to do a set of mountain-climbers in them like this gal, I could if I wanted to:

Rockport’s Total Motion collection includes boots, heels, booties, ballet flats, wedges, driving mocs and more.  Rockport wants to know what keeps you energized and on the move, so they’ve launch a fun #PoweredbyHeels campaign. Follow Rockport and share your photo with tags #PoweredByHeels #Sweeps or upload a photo to their gallery for your chance to win a pair of Total Motion Shoes each Friday, or the Grand Prize of a spa vacation in Miami!  Click the word shoe below for details!

shoe-copyDisclosure: Rockport provided me with a sample of Total Motion Pointy Toe Pumps for purposes of this review. All opinions expressed are independent and my own.

October 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

Getting Fresh: Farmaesthetics Reveals Expanded Space and New Products


Sometimes it can be easy to take something in your own background for granted. The Farmaesthetics flagship shop sits beautifully on Bellevue Avenue where both loyal customers and curious potential new ones can sample new products, lotions, oils, creams and more, but Farmaesthetics_2spas around the world also carry this fabulous line. Always charming with it’s crisp white decor, cobalt blue bottles and eye-catching window displays, Brenda Brock and her awesome team have cleared and finished an expansive space behind the retail space and treatment room, and just beyond, styled a zen-like outdoor patio.

New products from the line include:

Remedy Waters: Also known as hydrolates, flower waters, or herb distillates, but whatever the name we give them, they are beautifully delicate, softly fragrant waters- the last offeringof the plant after steam distillation. They are made from pure, single note, organic hydrosols and applied by misting the skin. Spritz on face, neck, arms, and body or add to bath water to impart the properties of the herb or flower from which the water is derived.

Nutrient Dense Fine Facial Oil: Full of skin-boosting nutrients, luxurious compounds and powerful antioxidants that build tone and texture. Ingredients include evening primrose oil*, sweet cherry seed oil, carrot seed oil*, borage seed oil*, arnica* & calendula* infused in sunflower oil*, natural vitamin e, orange blossom essential oil* (*certified Farmaesthetics_4organic ingredient). For use on oily and dry skin alike. I’m the latter, and I’m loving this oil!

Pre-Wash Treatment Oil for hair, root & scalp: I’ve been using this new product and it soothes and hydrates the  scalp. Massaging oil into your scalp stimulates blood flow to hair follicles, improving circulation to the scalp, allowing more nutrients to reach the follicles. This stimulates new growth and healthier hair overall. Made from nettle-infused sunflower oil*, avocado oil* lavender essential oil* & clove* essential oils with soy oil* and vitamin e (*certified organic ingredient).



October 17, 2014 at 8:41 am Leave a comment

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