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January 2019

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This month…

Featured article


Local Artist


New Year, New You

By: Jennifer Mendonca of Dressed in Blessings Blog


As the New year kicks off & everyone is overwhelmed with motivation & that “anything is possible” feeling, it’s easy to start working on your resolutions.

What isn’t as easy? Sticking to those resoltuions well after that dreamy haze at the beginning of the new year has come and gone. Here are 5 fool proof ways to bounce back and still meet those fitness goals this year!


  1. Remember…Quitting “Cold Turkey” does not always work

If you remember one thing from this article, please remember this: quitting something cold turkey almost never works, it’s just human nature. So it is totally fine if on January 1st you were sitting in bed eating chips and watching Netflix. Even though we set extremely high standards for ourselves we can’t really expect to wake up on the 1st of the new year and have somehow morphed into some type of fitness god/goddess over night (am I right?) Instead, try to slowly add in workouts & healthier food options to your daily schedule & before you know it you will have met your fitness goals!


  1. Set a Mantra for yourself

If you remember one thing from this article, please remember this: quitting something cold turkey almost never works, it’s just human nature. So it is totally fine if on January 1st you were sitting in bed eating chips and watching Netflix. Even though we set extremely high standards for ourselves we can’t really expect to wake up on the 1st of the new year and have somehow morphed into some type of fitness god/goddess over night (am I right?) Instead, try to slowly add in workouts & healthier food options to your daily schedule & before you know it you will have met your fitness goals!


  1. Cute clothes never hurt anyone

Finding the motivation to work out is already hard enough, so why not make it a little bit easier with a cute outfit. At least you can work out and know that you look amazing doing it!

Personally, I know that when I sport a cute outfit to work out, my confidence level is 5x higher than if I were to wear whatever crumpled up pieces of clothing I could find first. Another plus to some cute workout gear? You can take all of the selfies you want and look killer doing it.


  1. Post to social media

This one might sound a little bit out there, but you have to trust me on it. If you use social media than you already have a great fitness tool right in your pocket. By posting when you work out or even what you are eating to social media (who cares if people think it’s annoying, let the haters hate) it holds you accountable for your actions! So instead of just telling your friends how much you have been working out and eating better, SHOW THEM. You can post it to your story or you can make a regular post showcasing your #fitspiration for the world to see. The most important aspect of the post is that, not only does it hold you accountable for your actions, but it also allows you to reflect on the better choices you’ve been making. If you haven’t been making very good choices, these posts could be just the motivation that you need!


  1. Hydrate!

I know everyone says this, but it’s really important. The average adult body should contain about 60% water! If you aren’t giving your body the necessary fuel it needs than how can you expect to perform at your best level?

Not only does drinking water hydrate your body so that it operates at maximum quality, but it also makes you less likely to snack in between meals! While healthy snacks are totally fine, cupcakes and cookies are not the best. I am not saying that you should replace meals with water or hunger with water; however, the next time you get the urge to snack, ask yourself if you are properly hydrated before plunging into the pantry. Pair that delicious water with some fruit or veggies & you my friend, will be the epitome of health.


I hope that these tips & tricks will help you reach all of your fitness goals this year!

Thanks so much for reading & be sure to check out my Instagram

@dressedinblessings for some more great content!



Blogger Bio:

My name is Jenn and I am the girl behind Dressed in Blessings. I am a part time fashion, makeup & lifestyle blogger; however, in my day to day life I am a full time Graphic Designer! I have a passion for not only design but I also love photography & videography. I am a twenty three year old on a budget & love to share all of my shopping tips & tricks! Follow along on instagram

@dressedinblessings for more fun and helpful tips!

Why Travel is Good for the Spirit

By: Sarah Viens


Seeing the world is more important thank you think

“Traveling” doesn’t necessarily mean packing a large suitcase for a three-week European excursion from Italy to Spain. Traveling can mean packing up your car and driving two hours north to a friend’s lake house in a new state or town. Traveling is the simple act of moving your body from one location to another, whether you’ve been to that place before or not. Traveling is a time for learning, exploring, and self-healing.


It is important to set aside days in your busy schedule to wander. Long weekends or banked vacation days are secret keys to using up extended periods of time to travel and avoid missing work days. Traveling isn’t for everybody, but it is a passion for most people. So the question is, are you one of those people?


Traveling makes a person more worldly


The world that we live in today allows us to fly across the globe in a day or two. From Boston, you can fly to Europe in six hours or you can fly to Japan in 14 hours. Airlines are becoming cheaper and cheaper and travel is becoming a more popular activity. The first time I traveled out of the U.S. was my sophomore year of high school. I was fortunate enough to attend a weeklong trip to France that my school hosted every other year. This was the start of a very expensive addiction. Since then I have saved a lot of my money and put it towards trips of different varieties. I once heard someone say “spending money on travel is more sentimental than spending money on material goods.” Items and goods will lose your interest or go out of style, but the memories and experiences of traveling to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany or paragliding in the Swiss Alps definitely will never get old.


You will make so many new friends when you travel. I’ve always told myself that the quickest way to get to know someone is to book a trip with them. I absolutely love heading somewhere new with people I barely know. It sounds scary, but you find that people who travel together gravitate towards each other for comfort on your journey, and in turn you get to know each other rather fast. I’ve made some awesome friends through exploration and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Travel is so good for you. As a person, you begin to grow in every direction by learning new languages, trying new foods, seeing historical monuments, and forming new relationships with locals. Traveling is a natural cleanse to your soul. The world is so big and the cultures are so real. We are all so used to the American culture, that when we set foot in a new country for the first time, it’s a complete shell shock. Personally, my biggest culture shock was spending two weeks in Japan and trying to figure out how to use their computerized toilets or simply ask for an ice cream cone from the local vendor. But language barriers can always be broken with a smile and a simple hello.


My advice to you is to get out there. Blow your money on a plane ticket or a skydiving tickets in another state. See something new, try local eats, discover local art. Go see a last minute improv show in Portland, Maine, just for fun and enjoy it. Because you deserve it.


So pack your bags and start spreading the news because it’s time to travel!


Blogger Bio:

Sara Viens is a twenty-something-year-old learning how to navigate life’s paths through Spotify playlists and her fashion blog. A post-grad living in Providence, Rhode Island, she’s currently a Junior Copywriter at ALEX AND ANI and spends her free time running her blog ( Follow her on Instagram for more: @wearssarah

Artist Spotlight

Barry Rubenstein

Owner of Barry’s Boxes


  1. Tell us about your work

I design and make wood jewelry boxes and related items from exotic and domestic hardwoods.


  1. Is there a story behind the name of your business?

Not really. In the age everything-on-line, I kept it simple and easy to remember,


  1. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?

About 25 years ago I began woodworking and made most of our home furniture.


I retired 3 years ago and branched out into designing my own lines of jewelry boxes.


  1. Where do you draw your inspiration?

Nature is my inspiration. You can see it in my “Windswept Collection”. That line of jewelry boxes has an abstract tree growing up and over the box and lid. Other examples of nature’s beauty in my work can be seen in my wrist watch/eyeglass boxes. The design is simple yet elegant, and the lids catch your eye where I use spalted maple. Spalted maple is partially decayed maple; during the decaying process Mother Nature lays down exquisite and totally random features in the wood. To make them stand out even more, every box is velvet lined.


  1. What’s your favorite item to create?

The “Windswept Collection”.


  1. What’s your best seller?

Both at craft fairs and in my Etsy store, the best seller is the wrist watch/eyeglass box. I make it in two sizes and three designs.


  1. How long have you been in Rhode Island?

I’ve lived here 19 years.


  1. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?

I was born and raised in New York City and have lived in Philadelphia, Albany, and Rhode Island. The quality of life in Rhode Island surpasses all of them.


  1. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?

Beavertail State Park.


  1. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?

Make what makes you happy. Think of new designs, especially before you fall asleep! Your mind is clearest at that point.


  1. Please include anything else you’d like to add:

I also incorporate torriefied ash in my designs. This is ash which is heated in a vacuum for about 20 hours; the process caramelizes the sugars in the wood and turns it from cream colored to very dark brown. Love the look. I’ve started using reclaimed American chestnut as well. In the 1920’s a fungal blight from Asia attacked the American chestnut and today it is almost extinct. I use reclaimed chestnut obtained from dismantled barns, factories, etc. The patina gives these boxes a distinct look. I also attach brass plaques to these boxes, describing where the wood came from.

Big City Trends

You and your Rhody Crew will be talking about in the New Year!

By: Patty J


Planners and super strict eating plans? Shoutout to anyone who sticks with those after the first few weeks of January! So forget those for a sec and focus on these three things that are going to be blowing up your feeds (that is, if they aren’t already) in the new year. #2019


  1. Printed Dresses

Prints are having more than a moment! If you’ve found yourself loving the vintagey printed dresses that Sarah Jessica Parker sports on her HBO show “Divorce” (I have!) or you happen to follow ex-glossy mag editor and author Lucy Sykes Rellie, one half of the British sister socialite duo now famous for their Chick Lit novels (I do! And for the record, she also messaged me last year via Instagram, saying my IG posts made her want to visit Rhode Island.), then you might have noticed a shift toward this softer yet still super chic look.

*No need to max out your plastic to copycat. You can always scope out vintage stores locally and online. It helps too to have a great seamstress or tailor who can modify (and repair) any dresses you find.


  1. Celery Juice

Suddenly, celery juice! Believe it or not, the first person I ever heard raving about the benefits of juicing celery in the morning was Kathie Lee Gifford via the Sirius Radio simulcast of her 4th hour of the Today Show chat fest with Hoda Kotby. Locally, Heidi Hope, portrait photographer, creative, and IG celeb, is a fan and early adopter.

*Celery juicing is being celebrated for having many benefits, from increased energy to improved digestion. I say watch for local blends of the stuff to pop up in your fav Rhody juice bar, and your wellness obsessed friend or frenemy to be mad posting about it in 2019.


  1. Pilates

Massive amounts of cardio, supplemented with some yoga and barre here and there? Not giving me the results I wanted, needed, and had to have! So, I started incorporating Pilates into the mix, taking semi-private classes with Cheryl Carbone at her studio, Personal Pilates in Warwick. My sister-in-law has been going for two years, and it’s literally changed her life! Anywho, after a few months, happy to report I’m noticing improvement, especially in my core (less paunch) and legs  (Never had cankles in my 20’s or 30’s, WTH?!?! Cheryl to the rescue.). So, Cheryl is amazing and I can’t say enough great things about my experience.


*Also, I’ve noticed lately a bunch of articles (in Vogue, via Well & Good) and podcasts loudly singing the praises of Pilates on a Reformer. Yes, pilates, particularly the mat version, has been around for a while, but we’re going to see more ppl than ever in the OS cheering about their results with the reformer centered workout this year. And for good reason.



Blogger Bio:

Patty J. is chief content creator at, and founder of, the award winning lifestyle blog, which

showcases noteworthy food & drink, style, and travel (as well as dynamic individuals) within the Ocean State and beyond. Photo by: Stacey Doyle Photography