My Second Quarter Favorites

Me at Drift Cafe. I was smiling under that mask.

I usually do a “Favorites” post for each season, but I skipped a Spring Favorites post this year because I wasn’t buying or loving much in March and April, and May flew by. So I’m going to approach this as a tax year Q2 Favorites post.

And here we go.

Kitoko Heat Defy Spray. I learned years ago that a heat protectant product is essential if you want to help prevent your hair from getting damage, so I always use one before blowdrying and using hot tools. I switch up the brand sometimes, and when I got to the bottom of my last heat protectant spray in April, I thought it was time for a change. I bought Kitoko Heat Defy Spray, which Jennie Kay Beauty, one of the salons I got to, uses. It doesn’t have a strong scent and it doesn’t leave a weird film on my hair like some products do, so I like it. My hair is in good shape/not damaged, and I consider this to be one of the reasons why. You can support a small business and buy it online from Jennie’s salon.

“#blackAF”. Looking for something to watch on Netflix? Check out this Rashida Jones/Kenya Barris bingeworthy series. It’s funny, thought-provoking and different than anything I’ve ever watched. My friend, Sean, recommended it to me and I’m so glad he did. I can’t wait for the next season!

Cameron’s Highlander Grog Rum & Butterscotch Coffee. I have to avoid caffeine because of my chronic vestibular migraines (a rare nervous system disorder that affects my balance), but I still love coffee, so I drink decaf. I brew it at home, because I almost never like coffee from a coffee shop, and it saves money. My grocery store was out of decaf (and everything else) when I first got back to Newport in March, so I checked Amazon. I found Cameron’s Highlander Grog Rum & Butterscotch and I absolutely love it. It smells amazing, isn’t bitter and is just perfect for me. I’m trying to do less Amazon shopping lately, so I’m going to start buying it directly from Cameron’s.

Friend Happy Hours. I’m safe and careful with it, but I have gotten together with a couple friends (separately) at my house for Happy Hours. I have fans going and windows open for air circulation, plus a big enough living room where we can be spaced out, and I make us each our own separate appetizer plates. I’ve found that I prefer getting together with a friend at my house instead of meeting for a drink, partly because that feels safer right now, partly because I’m not impressed with the cocktails at most Newport restaurants anymore, and partly because I like having conversations with friends better when I don’t feel like a nearby table can hear us (not that they’re really close enough to anymore). These Happy Hours are the highlight of each week, and they’ll hopefully continue well past this COVID nightmare.

Drift Cafe. Here are some things that are important to me: 1) Supporting small businesses 2) Supporting local businesses 3) Eating healthy 4) Staying in touch with past clients. Drift Cafe in Newport, owned by past AB Beauty bride, bridesmaid and makeup model Sam DePaola and her husband, Rob, checks off all those boxes for me. And they show some love to Biggie with their wall art! It’s my perfect place.

The Rhode Island SBA. As a small business owner in events, the first industry to close and the last to fully re-open, my business has taken a big hit since March. I applied for and received a PPP loan and an EIDL, which I’m grateful for. But I had a lot of questions about both, so I’ve emailed the Rhode Island SBA several times. They were always quick to respond, helpful and very nice. It’s a bit of a nightmare being a small business owner who works in events, but the SBA has made it much easier for me.

Seven Minute Workout to Lose Belly Fat. We had a lot of rainy weather in RI in early spring, which prevented my  outside runs, so I decided to add a YouTube workout video to my routine. I found this one from trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read, and I love it. It’s easy to follow and I can feel and see that it works. On my best days, I would do this and the Lucy’s original Seven Minute Workout along with this Tracy Campoli bat wings workout I normally do, and my while-my-coffee-is-brewing hamstrings stretches and crunches. It’s not the same as running a few miles, but it’s an indoor workout routine that I feel good about.

NCLA Nail Polish. Nothing stays on longer than gel polish, but occasionally I come across a regular polish with impressive longevity. NCLA is one of those polishes. I’ve worn it in the shade Call My Agent, a vibrant pinky red, several times. I got it as a gift and it got buried in my basket o’ nail polishes, so I’m glad I uncovered this gem. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, so you feel good about wearing it if you’re an animal lover.

“The Great.”I read a biography of Russia’s Catherine The Great once, and I thought, My kind of woman. This satirical, comedic drama was one of my favorite recent Hulu binges. Elle Fanning was fantastic, and I’m psyched that this show has been renewed for a second season.

Not bad for the quarantine months, right? There’s a lot of bad/sad/disgusting stuff out there right now, but recognizing the things that bring a little joy to my life makes me feel better about this shitshow of a spring and summer.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

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