Sips & Style is Crossing the Bridge!


Since 2014, personal stylist Jill Marinelli and beauty expert Kirsten Brusse have partnered to present Sips & Style, their fashion, beauty and skin care program in a relaxed, screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-5-04-46-pm-400x110.pngfun-filled atmosphere. The event has become a highly-anticipated, bi-annual girls night out in Providence, and this month, the pair are bringing their time-tested tips for looking great to our neck of the woods—or should I say vines. Sips & Shop will take place at Newport Vineyards on April 26. The terrific twosome will springsips6present expert advice, spring and summer trends in fashion and beauty and a Q&A session with a wine tasting.

“In both our lines of work, we find that women can be sometimes intimidated. Finding what to wear in an age of ever-changing trends can be overwhelming, and there are more beauty products on the market than any time in history,” says Jill Marinelli. “Kirsten and I feel strongly that fashion and beauty should be fun and uplifting, so we partnered years ago to create a casual, comfortable event that is welcoming, and fun but also educational and empowering.” 

Here’s the Sips & Style scoop:

Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Venue: Newport Vineyards


And if you’re booked on April 26, the Providence event will take place Thursday, April 27 at Gasbarro’s Wines

FB sips invite.png


Get your tickets today!



April 10, 2017 at 7:45 am 2 comments

Living in Newport: Getting Down at America’s First Discotheque

The coveted historic home plaque outside Joe and Alana Hearn’s nearly 150-year-old Newport home looks stately and dignified, until you take a closer look and realize the elegant font reads: “HHR House, c. 1876, America’s First Discotheque.” It tells you just about everything you need to know about the family that made this place a home.

“It was wreck, badly in need of attention,” is how Joe describes the condition of the home when he bought it 12 years ago. “None of this was the house that I bought,” he says, looking around at the playful-meets-polished, but positively unpretentious surroundings. 

Despite being “a dump,” Joe, single at the time, saw the home’s great potential. Nestled in the core of Newport’s sought-after Historic Hill neighborhood, the 1600-square-foot diamond in the rough was a two-family abode just steps from shops, restaurants and legendary landmarks including the Redwood Library and Athenaeum (the oldest lending library in America still in living in newport ricirculation), the Newport Art Museum and the bustling waterfront.

“At the time, there was no sense of occupying the whole thing… I only needed the downstairs,” explains Joe. A few years later, he and Alana started dating and eventually, the relationship grew more serious. Still, the two lived just fine on the cozy but comfortable first floor. Plus, they were spending much of their time in New York City, where Alana, a third generation Newporter, still works today.

But there’s nothing like an impending life-changing milestone to motivate a person. “After we were engaged we were like, ‘Why don’t we live in the whole space?’” They turned to friend and Newport-based architect Spencer McCombe of Cordtsen Design Architecture for some advice, and to Joe Carey of Carey Floors, also in Newport, to breathe new life into the floors throughout.

Though he had already reconfigured much of the downstairs, including the kitchen and bathroom, Joe says much more needed to be done, starting with the ceilings. “The demo of the old ceiling was just me just grabbing it with one hand and pulling down – the whole thing came down,” he says. “It was a total, total gut job.” Most of the ceilings throughout were opened, replaced or reconfigured. The result was metamorphic. “The biggest difference in the house now is volume,” Joe explains. 

The contemporary kitchen, where the removal of the original ceiling offered an entire new vibe, features white cabinetry that is juxtaposed with punchy Merlot-hued walls. Sleek, stainless steel appliances, including a chef’s grade six-burner gas range, hints at the couple’s passion for dishing up savory meals – and it’s not just the oven that gets hot in the kitchen.
“We both love to cook, but we both are used to getting our own way professionally, and as our relationship started, the kitchen was a battleground,” jokes Joe.

“We love to have people over; we love dinner parties,” adds Alana. “And of course, in every house, people gather in the kitchen.” Because of the kitchen’s magnetic force, the couple ensured the space had an open layout and visual dimension, punctuated best by ceramic tiles designed by South African born, Sausalito-based artist Ruan Hoffman. “We have some other pottery in the house by him,” says Alana. “I’m just a really big fan of his work. I think it’s really cool.”

“Cool” seems to be a theme throughout, though understated in the dining room. The most traditional room in the house, the space is furnished with a decades-old dining room table, chairs and sideboard that belonged to Alana’s grandparents. “It was our wedding gift from my newport ri homeaunt,” she says fondly. “It’s really special.” The couple continues the set’s legacy by hosting their own gatherings of food, family, friends and fun here, even hosting up to 14 guests around the table one time. Though classically furnished, the place stops short of stuffy as a colorful tea set (another Ruan Hoffman creation) graces the sideboard, a contemporary piece by RISD artist John Hung Ha hangs on one wall and an oil on canvas piece by Newport’s Sue McNally on the other, and a collage of just a few snapshots from the couple’s global adventures building homes for Habitat for Humanity all draw you in. A bubble glass orb chandelier illuminates the room – and reminds diners that even in this space, expect the unexpected.  

In the bathroom, a funky, metallic interpretation of the iconic Great Wave Off Kanagawa print by Japanese artist Hokusai takes up most of the wall. It’s actually wallpaper by Brooklyn-based Flavor Paper that has been subtly mounted on a separate core piece that attaches to the wall. “We were so afraid if we ever move we couldn’t take it with us,” says Alana.

The same out of the box thinking is what prompted the reinvention of the only downstairs bedroom into a funky den. Joe’s former closet was transformed into Alana’s compactable home office. Opposite is a wall of built-ins Joe built and a window seat that serves as a comfortable reading nook. An apropos weathered sign that says “Read” was one of those rare treasures only old homes seem to offer up. “When we demoed the ceiling, we realized the structure of 1489603748_c0c1the ceiling was actually a sign that was split and cut into boards. We took the pieces out into the backyard and laid them out. It said, ‘Goff’s Reading Room.’” From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, reading rooms were indeed reading spaces, but also served as social clubs, gentlemen’s clubs and, in some instances, speakeasies. The Hearns looked for any history on “Goff’s Reading Room” with the Newport Historical Society but it was a fruitless endeavor. Regardless, the reclaimed sign makes a fitting, artful piece of the past. 

While Joe is the builder, Alana is the eye. After he taught her how to use a spray gun, Alana went on a tear, salvaging long forgotten pieces from the basement and other sources. More than a dozen colorful finds are peppered throughout the home. “The gun was really a game changer,” she says.

But the biggest transformation may be the upstairs, where they converted the one-time apartment into a spare bedroom and master suite. And there was one other tiny room up there they needed to address. Today, it is the nursery for their newest addition: baby Josephine. “She loves it here,” says Joe of her charmingly whimsy nursery. It’s safe to say she’s not the only one.

March 29, 2017 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

Run. Swim. Shimmy. Shake. Tuck. Stretch. Exhale. Repeat.


Enclothed cognition is impressive sounding name “to describe the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes.” In other words, your clothing can impact your attitude, mood and behavior, and is there any better time to get the right gear to encourage a confidence builder and performance booster than during your workout? Balance on Thames is a women’s active lifestyle boutique dedicated to providing fun, trendy, performance apparel designed with the modern athlete, in mind. The lower



Thames Street shop also stocks swimwear and accessories. “Our goal is to stock quality active fitness gear and stylish everyday sportswear that supports a comfortable, fashionable, and efficient lifestyle,” said owner Jackie Hopkins.


Enjoy active/yoga apparel from: Alo Yoga / Onzie / Spiritual Gangster / Maaji / Electric & Rose / WITH (Wear It To Heart) / Hard Tail

Lifestyle apparel and swimwear from: Billabong / RVCA / Amuse Society / Maaji

Accessories from: Stance Socks / Tavi Noir socks / Toe Socksspirtual-gangster

Yoga Accessories and mats from: Alo Yoga and Jade Yoga Mats.

Plus you’ll find cool jewelry, gifts, headwear and wood mosaic art.

Check out Balance on Thames at 429 Thames Street in Newport.

February 23, 2017 at 12:46 am Leave a comment

Shaken, Not Stirred: The Pink Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight Newport Gimlet


I admit it: I’m a sucker for classics. Classic silhouettes, classic film, classic accessories, classic shoes, classic bags, classic sunglasses and yes, a classic cocktail.

Gimlets date back as early as 1852- perhaps because of it’s (literally) refreshing simplicity. A basic gimlet only requires gin, water, ice and lime juice. Today, craft cocktail culture has produced numerous renditions of the gimlet, and nautical-gin-largeI’ve partnered with Nautical Gin to bring you my twist on this perennial classic. May be you’ve noticed how Nautical Gin has been making it’s way to local Newport hotspots (Salvation Cafe!) and package stores (like Vicker’s Liquors), quickly becoming a City by the Sea staple—and it’s no wonder. Newport is the epicenter of all things nautical and fabulous. So without further ado, may I present the Pink Sky At Night, Sailor’s Delight Newport Gimlet

Pink Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight Newport Gimlet

  • 2 oz. Nautical Gin
  • 4 oz. grapefruit seltzer or grapefruit sparking water (My recommendations: Polar Seltzer Ruby Red Grapefruit Seltzer or Perrier Pink Grapefruit Sparkling Natural Mineral Water)
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1 tbsp Rosemary simple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar (to taste)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 cup of ice

Add Nautical Gin, rosemary simple syrup, sugar and ice to cocktail shaker. Squeeze juice of all four lime wedges into shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into a glass. Add grapefruit seltzer or grapefruit sparking water and garnish with rosemary sprig.


February 7, 2017 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

Jackie Comes to the Jane Pickens Theater



Jackie is the postmortem exploration into the mind of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following the assassination of her husband, the 35th President of the United States. Playing at the Jane Pickens Theater now through Feb. 2 and directed by filmmaker Pablo Larraín, Jackie has been called “…a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband’s legacy and the world of ‘Camelot’ that they created and loved so well.” Yesterday, we learned it has been nominated for three Academy Awards.

Of course, the Kennedy legacy and Camelot—and all it entails—is inextricably tied to jackie_o_cellist_concertNewport. The City by the Sea is where Jackie spent much of her childhood, and ultimately where she exchanged vows with the then-junior Senator from Massachusetts. The film doesn’t address those earliest days as man and wife, but in flashbacks, we see moments that reflect Jackie’s legendary style. Among them:

The recreation of Jackie’s globally-viewed 1962 televised tour of the White House (the First Lady won an Emmy for the CBS special) where she dons a memorable red suit by Chez Nixon inspired by a Christian Dior design (top). Her now-iconic three strand pearl necklace peeks through the bateau neckline and her brunette bouffant coif is perfectly styled. This look is seen on the film’s official promos.

The pink Chanel* double-breasted suit worn in Fort Worth, then Dallas, on that fateful November day. Featuring navy blue lapels and paired with a coordinating pillbox hat 2f989f92c45275387e5edbd0b1775ebc(said to be a favorite of the President) was technically made by Chez Ninon with Chanel boucle wool with permission from the esteemed French fashion house. For this film, costume designer Madeline Fontaine worked directly with Chanel, hand-dying the fabric until it imitated the perfect shade of pink.

Recital of cellist Pablo Casals at the White House, November 13, 1961. I can’t say for certain the film is portraying this specific legendary recital, but the First Lady was known for her passion for arts and culture which included regularly welcoming famed musicians at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In the scene, Jackie is captivating in a soft yellow ivory silk sating evening gown with cap sleeves and cowl neckline paired with elbow length gloves. The gown is emblematic of the many (more than 300) designs she wore by designer Oleg Cassini (above left). The silhouette is reminiscent of the light blue silk shantung evening dress by Chez Ninon during a state visit hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. Notably, she wore the same shade here in gallery-1480719336-image-04afa3ee-f8cc-4059-8c62-8208612a44bcNewport to a dinner during the 1962 America’s Cup (designed by Oleg Cassini) hosted by Ambassador Howard Beale. I wrote about it here a few years ago.

Lastly, we see Jackie in mourning, donning black ensembles through the White House and the surrounding funeral events and ceremonies. Jackie wore a black Givenchy suit with traditional Spanish mantilla veil to escort the flag-draped casket to the U.S. Capitol to lie in state. The next and final day, she led President John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession on foot to St. Matthews Cathedral donning a long sheer black veil.

Jackie is playing at various times at Newport’s Jane Pickens Theater through Feb. 2.

Photos: top, © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;

January 25, 2017 at 2:58 am Leave a comment

5 Fantastic “Wear Right Now” Pieces from J. McLaughlin (including my favorite) – And All On Sale


I knew it as soon as I saw it: the Betts Dress from J. McLaughlin would be the perfect winter staple. Classic A-line silhouette, knee-length and long sleeved—it was altogether elegant but with an eye-catching vegan leather collar and gold buttons complemented by sleek  side welt pockets. It’s so very Claire Underwood. I wore it on this

episode of The Rhode Show and featured it on this episode. And the reason there’s not a link to the dress on this post is because it’s not even available online any longer. There’s some good news for Newport locals though- there are a few left in various sizes at the Newport J. McLaughlin on Bellevue, and marked nearly 50% off at $109.)

So the Winter Sale at JMcL is in full swing with 50% off hundreds of pieces. Four of my other favs right now:

The Elm Skirt ( pictured a top)is a textured jacquard pencil skirt with rich pattern of red, black and gray on winter white. Flattering and fabulous, the skirt is a statement piece that pairs best with a simple solid (likely already in your wardrobe) and is built to last. Originally $189, now $89.90.


Lila Wrap Dress


Not even DVF knew when she invented the wrap dress, the style would be one of the most enduring in women’s fashion. The Lila Wrap Dress in Pop Arcadia (this one: black and off-white) features a v-neckline with point collar, ¾ length sleeves, self-tie belt in reverse color pattern, and most of all, is made from J. McLaughlin’s signature (and super comfy) Catalina Cloth. Though part of the fall collection, this can easily be worn any time of year. Was $225, now $109.90.

I love pieces you can wear the whole year through. They’re more practical and offer much more bang for the buck. Stripes and Newport go together like peas and carrots (viva la Forrest and Jen-nay!). The Campus Sweater in wide stripes of taupe and off white is as perfect for now as it will be on a crisp summer night. Was $198, now $89.90.

The Casey Dress in Mayan Paisley (below) is brilliantly designed to be super flattering. The top half features an angular pattern that skews to the smallest part of the natural waist, while the bottom half sports an art deco-esque pattern that is timeless. Another piece made with JMcL’s Catalina Cloth (and with hidden pockets), this dress is a traveler’s dream. Was $225, now $109.90.


J. McLaughlin in Newport is located at 180 Bellevue Avenue. Happy shopping!

January 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

Four Fabulous Looks for New Year’s Eve from The Rhode Show

New Year’s Eve is around the corner and whether your perfect idea of welcoming on 2017 is watching the ball drop in Times Square while comfortably on the couch or it’s by getting all dolled up and dancing he night away, here are four fashionable looks and easy accessorizing ideas I brought to The Rhode Show this week:

Look 1: Soft cotton CHEERS t-shirt from Old Navy ($5 on sale) and Gap true skinny jeans, both from Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Look 2: Long-sleeve sheer tunic/dress with leather paillettes by Staples from The Sail Loft on Bowen’s Wharf in Newport. Pair with black leggings and heels, opaque black tights and heels, skinny jeans or with a blazer, etc. Shop The Sail Loft now via Shoptiques.  


Cheers, Darling! Bags – Kate Spade

Look 3: Gold, rose gold and silver sequin mini dress with 3/4 sleeves, round neckline and a swing silhouette. Can also be paired with leggings or tights. $189. The Sail Loft on Bowen’s Wharf in Newport. SShop The Sail Loft now via Shoptiques.

Look 4: Long-sleeve shimmering body suit paired with flirty tulle midi skirt. Whole look from Charlotte Russe and  under $50, both from Tanger Outets at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

On me: Use your favorite black dress as a canvas for chic accessories. I’m wearing the J. McLaughlin Betts dress which is as elegant and dramatic as it is comfy and low-maintenance. The vegan leather collar and side welt pockets make for chic detailing. $225, J. McLaughlin Newport.

Easy accessories: Extra long necklace with gold chain and amber-hued stones, J. Crew Factory Store; multi-stone tassel necklace from LOFT, both from Tanger Outets at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Tips for shopping at Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino:

  1. Strategize! Visit first to see which shops you want to explore first so you can make the most of your time there.
  2. Join TangerClub in advance and check in at Shopper Services with your member card for a free coupon book.Free coupon books also offered to police, fire,rescue services & military personnel every time you shop. AARP and AAA members (and CAA) also get the free coupon book.
  3. Download apps for the stores you want to shop in advance for added coupons. Also sign up for any e-newsletters they offer as they will also often have discounts.
  4. Enjoy! The comfy couches between stores are perfect for a email check and to relax.

Happy Shopping!

Disclosure: Tanger Outlets provided me with a gift card to experience the outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino. 

December 24, 2016 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts

Embracing the lifestyle--the look, the flavor, the style--of Newport, Rhode Island!

Share this blog

Bookmark and Share

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Newport Style

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.