A Newport Day on an Antique Yacht

In Newport, Rhode Island you're unlikely to find yourself scratching your heading, thinking, well, there's nothing else to do. I've done it all. Better get home before I'm bored! Newport is stuffed to the brim with activities, places to ogle, dozens of restaurants serving diverse cuisine, and plenty of shops to plunk down your hard-earned cash for anything from cheap souvenirs to swanky attire and art.

I love Newport! Having a membership to the famous Gilded Age Newport Mansions, I always like to stop in and visit one or two of them. I usually have a routine down on visits - hit the mansions, walk the Point section of town to gawk at the beautiful colonial architecture, enjoy the Cliff Walk if it's a warm day, and of course, indulge in some rich food and sweet cocktails. I vary it up with something new each time, but it is all the standard (and worthwhile) things to do that everyone knows about.

Recently, I was invited on a charter cruise aboard the antique yacht, Temma, which is something I've never done or thought to do in Newport. I didn't know the option existed. I was ready for a new, unique experience in one of my favorite cities. Launched in 1928 in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, Temma is as elegant and sleek as the era she was built in. As a history enthusiast, I found all the 1920's details irresistible!

Greg and Alana, the owners and crew, are personable, friendly, and relaxed. My kind of people! They hosted us on a stunning ride through Narragansett Harbor. 

The Temma has been thoughtfully taken care of and kept up beautifully, with gleaming wood surfaces and fresh, comfy cushions, everything is warm and inviting. Sitting back and relaxing against the pillows was just my speed.

I enjoyed boat watching from small personal crafts to massive yachts, from working boats and schooners to ferries, they were all eye candy to me. Greg and Alana filled us in on many of the boats' stories, which was fascinating.

A sailboat in front of the island mansion, Clingstone

Sailing by the Newport Bridge and Rose Island lighthouse

And viewing the sights along the shoreline was breathtaking!

The New York Yacht Club

Castle Hill Inn and Castle Hill lighthouse in the background

Passing Ida Lewis Rock which once was the Lime Rock lighthouse. Now it's the Ida Lewis Yacht Club.

Castle Hill lighthouse

Clingstone mansion, built in 1905, sits on a rock in the harbor and can actually be rented for a stay.

Bowen's Wharf

There was a bit of wildlife, too.

The cruise on Temma, was a unique and relaxing experience. I got to take in Newport from a completely different perspective and learned some interesting things along the way, all aboard a stunning piece of history. If you're looking for something out of the ordinary in the City by the Sea, check out the antique yacht: here. To get an even better idea of the sights you can see with Greg and Alana, check out their instagram: here, which is full of stunning images. 

I can't wait to board her again!


Cocktail Friday - National Tequila Day

It's National Tequila Day and I had to make a yummy margarita! This is one of my favorite cocktails - a raspberry margarita.

5 raspberries
4 oz sweet and sour mix
2 oz tequila 
1 oz Cointreau (or triple sec)
2 oz Chambord (raspberry liqueur) 

Muddle raspberries in cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake. Pour into ice-filled glass and enjoy.

Cheers and happy National Tequila Day!


Cocktail Friday - Nantucket Red

Murray's Toggery Shop in Nantucket, home of the real Nantucket reds.

Murray's Toggery Shop is the home of the real Nantucket red shorts, pants, and more that are so popular among New Englanders. But have you heard of the Nantucket red cocktail? I've seen a few different recipes floating around for this, and the one thing they all seem to have in common is champagne and cranberry juice. So, I made my own version, and I love it! Since I am spending my week in gorgeous Nantucket, this is my cocktail of choice this week.

Nantucket Red Cocktail:
2 oz cranberry juice
1 oz raspberry liquor 
3-4 oz champagne

Pour cranberry juice and raspberry liquor into ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until chilled. Pour into cocktail glass. Fill the rest of the glass with champagne and enjoy!



Yankee Magazine and The Wayside Inn Ghost

Longfellow's Wayside Inn

Old colonial New England inns and taverns have long had the reputation for being haunted. It seems one cannot exist without a resident ghost. I had fun exploring the reputed ghost of the Wayside Inn, Jerusha Howe, and her alleged haunted bedroom, where you can stay overnight, room #9. I wrote an article on this fascinating inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts and the woman who is said to haunt its halls recently for Yankee Magazine. You can read all about it: here

Jerusha's supposedly haunted room at Longfellow's Wayside Inn, room #9


My Beauty Must-Haves for a New England Summer

New England summers are unpredictable. They can go from humid to dry and back again. The summers here usually include some jacket weather days and some dripping-with-sweat hot days. All of this can wreck havoc on your skin, hair, and makeup. So, I've come to rely on some must-have products for my dry skin and hair during this very unpredictable season.

Block Island sunscreen SPF 30 - Sunblock is the most important beauty product, so we must start there! I use sunblock every day of the year. I don't care if it's 20 degrees outside, I will slather any exposed skin with it. I was sent this product for free from the company, but I wasn't prepared to like it as much as I did. It's mineral based (in order to block UV rays) and is organic. I love that I wasn't rubbing a bunch of artificial chemicals into my skin! It absorbs into the skin fast and was not greasy. The best mineral based product I've ever tried, and most importantly, it did its job. (For 15% off this product on their website through Sunday, 7/19, use discount code = alyson)

S'well water bottle - Water is obviously super important, but especially on these hot and humid summer days. I tend to dehydrate very quickly in summer weather, leading to depilating headaches and exhaustion, not to mention dried out skin. I recently discovered the S'well bottle and I'm in love! It's an insulated stainless steel bottle that will keep your water cold for 24 hours, and because it's insulated there is no annoying, drippy condensation to wipe up (Hallelujah!). Slightly less important is how beautiful these bottles are. I have two and they are both hand-painted and feel like fashion accessories in my hands. Also, this company gives to the U.S. Fund for Unicef, helping to provide clean water to vulnerable children all over the world. You've got to love that!

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer - This stuff keeps your skin hydrated and dewy, important for those with dry skin like me. It provides a nice surface for your makeup too!

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb, and Rosewater - Another great find for my dry skin! A perfect pick-me-up for those days when my skin is feeling especially sensitive and tight. I always keep this bottle stashed in my purse.

Redken Curvaceous Wave Ahead Texturizing Mousse - I have wavy, curly, frizzy hair. Lucky me! I usually straighten it or use a curling iron, but on those summer days when the humidity is creeping up and I just can't fight the natural texture, I use this product and go wild and curly. This product is good, but a little tricky. I've noticed the negative reviews, and I think those might be because it must be used carefully. Only use a very small amount. Also, be sure to use some hydrating oil on your hair first.

Smooth Sexy Hair Frizz Eliminator - I love, love, love this product! As I mentioned, I have frizzy hair, and most frizz eliminating products don't do a thing for me. This one actually makes a dramatic, noticeable difference. And I love that it is used on dry hair since I like to use it for touch ups all day long.

Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Deep Conditioning Packette - This is one of the few hair treatments that has done anything for me. Most of the time treatments end up making my hair feel coated and dull. This one makes my hair super soft and helps with the summer frizz! And, even better, you can get several uses out of one packet and it's cheap!

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H - I like a good full-coverage foundation that stays put and this one just works for me! I've never had a long-wearing foundation actually last a full day that doesn't dry out my skin, until this one.

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion - My eye shadow used to always crease by mid-day, and even earlier in the summer heat. This primer is amazing and works every single time, all year round! Don't ever want to go without it!

Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray - I can't imagine going through a summer without this product. It's like hair spray for your makeup. I never allow myself to run out of this. It keeps everything in place. No more summer melt!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish - I tend to let my manicures and pedicures go in the winter. Just seems like too much work when you're all covered up, but in the summer I get a bit obsessive with them. I discovered Miracle Gel a few months ago and it's done a pretty good job. My pedicure can go weeks without a touchup. Since I have super fast growing finger nails, though, I have to reapply once a week. Still, I have found that I don't get nearly as many chips in the paint as I usually do.

And those are my current summer beauty must-haves! Being a beauty product junkie, I'm constantly experimenting and these have been tried and true products for me. I'd love to hear about any of your summer beauty must-haves too!