Lactose Intolerant Nutmeggers Can ReJoice: Dairy Free Soft-Serve Hits This Meriden’s Ice Cream Bar Menu

When I realized that I was lactose intolerant about seven years ago, one of the hardest things for me to give up was ice cream. Since then, dairy-free ice cream has popped up at many local ice cream shops and Ben and Jerry’s. Soft serve ice cream, on the other hand, is another story. I have been patiently waiting for the day when Dairy Queen releases a soft serve without dairy, but to this day, they have not.

However, Meriden’s Les’ Dairy Bar has answered my prayers with their new dairy free soft serve vanilla flavor. It is 100 percent dairy free, as it’s made out of pea protein.

This opens a ton of doors for those who can not have dairy. Currently, they only have one flavor of soft serve, but still, having the option of eating soft serve is enough for me.

That said, you can have the non dairy flavor with any of their other choices. However, they recently introduced a Vegan PBJ Parfait and it sounds so delicious. It is the vegan vanilla soft serve, with peanut butter, Nutter Butter cookies, and raspberry syrup.

Now, you may be wondering. How does it taste?

I made the trip to Meriden last week to taste it myself. I ordered a cone with rainbow sprinkles, which was a favorite that I couldn’t have in years. And, it was delicious. It tasted exactly the same as soft serve with dairy. Needless to say, I savored every last lick.

So, it’s safe to say I will be at Les’ Dairy Bar this summer a lot. However, if you have friends and family who can eat dairy, there are a lot of options for them as well. After all, who can resist going out to get ice cream on a hot summer night?

Exactly.

You can view updates for Les’ Dairy Bar by visiting their Facebook page here.

Friday Faves: June 17, 2022

TGIF! I have a three day weekend so I am excited to catch up with my reading at the pool. That said, before we enter into the weekend, I want to catch you up with my favorites of the week.

Part of Your World by Abby Jiminez: Abby Jimenez is one of my favorite discoveries of this year when it comes to reading. I was so obsessed with this novel. It tells the story of Alexis, who is a doctor who is recovering from an abusive relationship. She gets stuck on her way home from a funeral, and then meets Daniel. The two come from different worlds, but fall in love. But, can they make it work? I was obsessed with this novel to the point where I could not put it down. I gave it five stars.

Starbucks Iced Toasted Vanilla Oat Milk Latte: I have been getting into Starbucks a lot lately, and this is my new favorite drink. I am not an iced coffee gal by any means, so for me to like this is a miracle. It is very sweet and honestly so good.

Old Navy Linen Dress: This dress is so cute, comfortable and affordable. I ordered it in four colors, and I can see it being a staple for the summer. For years, Old Navy has been my go-to for sun dresses, and these are probably the best that I’ve ordered to date. I have the olive, the neutral, the black, and the pink, and I am wearing them on repeat.

Aurate Zodiac Necklace: I am obsessed with this bracelet that I mentioned last week, so I decided to snag this necklace. I am so happy that I did. It is simple and dainty, and it’s great to layer with my Tiffany bean. I am a Cancer, and this necklace means so much to me because my mom was a Cancer as well, so I love wearing stuff with my sign because it reminds me of her.

Farmer’s Market Season Arrives In Milford

Summertime is unofficially here, and so marks the beginning of the Downtown Milford Farmers’ Market. This past weekend kicked off the season, which will run through October 8, 2022. And, the 2022 season has a ton of great vendors, food trucks, and music.

The market runs every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and is located on Wasson Field (108 Main Street), in Milford, Conn. Hint, it’s right next to Parsons Government Center.

Now, let’s talk about the vendors. There are a ton of farms that will be present, but there is so much more, such as flowers, jewelry and beauty and wellness. You can view the complete list here, but some notable ones are: Milford Rocks, Helping Hands for Tranquility, Osborne Books, and Livy Lou Flower Truck. Additionally, the CappuGinos food truck will also be present at every market.

In addition to the vendors, there is also live music with a new band every week. You can view the complete list here.

Personally, there is nothing better to kick off the weekend with a cup of delicious coffee in hand exploring a farmer’s market to pick out some fresh fruits and veggies, discover some delicious treats to fuel your workweek, and explore some local vendors.

Be sure to check out the Downtown Milford Farmer’s Market Facebook page for any updates!

New Haven’s Famous Sally’s Patio Is the Place to Be This Summer

When you think of New Haven pizza, two things come to mind. The first, of course, is its delicious taste. The second is the long lines it takes to get in.

Sally’s Pizza is no exception to that rule. But, they seem to have an answer to at least occupying your time while you wait.

That answer is a new bar area/patio area that allows outdoor dining. This area serves wine, beer, and Foxon Park sodas. However, it also offers a few appetizers, including a meat and cheese selection, and pizza sticks. Yum. Once your table is ready, you now have the option to eat your pizza outside, or inside the famous establishment.

With all of these changes, one thing that I would like to note is that the quality of the pizza still remains the same. However, the option to have a glass of wine with your pizza online enhances the experience. I also loved this experience, because I have no patience and crowds give me some anxiety, so this was a relaxing way to pass the time.

I had the opportunity to visit Sally’s this past weekend, and I already was impressed with the improvements. This is the perfect place to go with a couple of friends to relax and catch up, because as I said earlier, there is no better combination then pizza and wine.

However, this new patio isn’t the only change Sally’s is making. They have now optioned a new location in Stamford, so those in Fairfield county can still have a slice of New Haven pizza. And, according to an article in the Hartford Current entitled Sally’s Apizza coming to Wethersfield, New Haven pizza legend’s rep and town official confirm, that is only the beginning. Sally’s will be coming to Wethersfield and Norwalk as well. The date when those locations will be opened is unknown.

Photo credit: Leah Myers

Overall, Sally’s has made some changes over the last few years, and this patio environment is definitely one of the more delicious ones.

Friday Faves: June 10, 2022

TGIF everyone! I am so happy that today is Friday. I am hoping to have a fun and restful weekend, but before I enter in the weekend, I want to share this week’s favorites with you.

Aurate Zodiac Bracelet: I got this because I liked it on Brooke Miccio. That said, I did wait until there was a sale, and then I decided to grab it. I got mine in white gold, and I am a cancer. The only bad thing about this bracelet is that it came only in 6.5 inches. I have an average wrist, so I got an extender on Amazon, and I am obsessed. It is great to layer with other pieces, and it’s dainty to wear on its own. The bracelet also comes in yellow and rose gold, but I opted for white. Furthermore, I have been wearing it with my other beaded bracelets, and I love it.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston: This book has been on my TBR for many years, and I am so happy that I got a chance to read it. It basically tells the story of our main character, August, who has moved from city to city. She meets Jane, on the subway, who is always there when August is. This was definitely worth the wait, and I highly recommend checking this out.

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Lululemon Scuba Hoodie: I bought this when I was in New York City a few weeks ago, and I can safely say that this has become my comfort hoodie. I got the back, and it’s really comfy. I can see myself wearing this into the fall as well. For reference, I got the oversized crop hoodie.

Athleta Santorini Dress: I absolutely love this dress. It is a midi dress and I got the darker rose color. This dress is really comfortable, and since it’s a longer length, I can get away from shaving my legs. This is a great dress to wear to work, and I highly recommend adding this one to your summer wardrobe.

Bag Talk: Is Lululemon’s Everywhere Belt Bag Worth It?

This is the bag that you see everywhere, and it is only right that this bag is called the Everywhere Belt Bag from Lululemon. The Everywhere Belt Bag, which has since been revived with extensive sizing, is a belt bag that can be worn as both a fanny pack and crossbody. The bag retails $38, and for the price, you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. This is by far one of the cheapest things that you can purchase on Lululemon’s website, but it’s definitely one of my favorite purchases to date.

I currently have four — the pink, the white, the neutral, and the black. Out of all of them, I reach for the black the most because I wear a lot of black leggings and it just goes with most of my wardrobe with no issues.

This bag is a great bag to bring everywhere (no pun intended). I have brought this with me when I was just grabbing food, running errands and I wanted to have a bag that was closer to me, and even just on days where I needed to go hands free. I can see myself using this bag also for walks, hiking, and even a trip to the beach. And, since this is made out of nylon, this thing is durable.

What I love about this belt bag is that it’s so comfortable to wear. I am a 40D bust, and I can fit into it comfortably with no problems. It also can hold a ton. Depending on my day, I either stick my Louis Vuitton recto verso with car keys, iPhone 11 Pro, hand sanitizer, chapstick and hand lotion with ease. I also have used this bag to carry my Louis Vuitton reverse monogram card case, 6 ring key holder, iPhone 11 pro, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, and chapstick. I also can fit my AirPods Pro when I do things in this manner as well. I also can fit other things such as period pads without any issues.

Overall, this bag is popular and it’s popular for a reason. It’s versatile, it is easy to use and something that will be a part of my everyday wardrobe for years to come. I recommend this bag for anyone — whether you are the adventurous type, or the laid back. I also think that this would be a great bag to carry for vacations, and beach trips that can be taken into the day to day busy life.

If you are considering purchasing this bag, I highly recommend it because it will quickly become a bag that is incorporated in your daily life, and it’s actually inexpensive. Basically, it’s a bag that you can take everywhere.

Friday Faves: Friday, June 3, 2022

If you’re a Gilmore Girls fan, then you would know the significance of June 3rd. Today is also National Donut Day, so I am sure that there will be a lot of promotions out there for free donuts. If you know, you know.

That said, many of my faves this week are books. And, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as I’ve been in a huge reading slump as well.

Life is Too Short by Abby Jimenez: Guys, I finally finished the Friend Zone series, and this book did not disappoint. In fact, I could not put it down. It tells the story of Adrian, who is a work obsessed lawyer. He goes over to his neighbor, Vanessa’s apartment to calm a crying baby. There is an attraction. Only they become friends instead. However, you know that they want to be together. This book was emotional, but it had all of the things that I look for in a rom com. Like I said, I couldn’t stop reading it.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry: Emily Henry is one of my favorite authors as of late. I read the majority of this book on a train, and I am not sorry. It tells the story of Nora and Charlie, who meet and they instantly hate each other. The two meet again a few years later, where Nora’s sister Libby drags her to a month’s vacation in a small Southern town. Of course, Charlie is there and the two begin to fall for each other. This book is definitely like a Hallmark movie, and I loved it.

T Jazelle Help Bracelet Aqua Stacker: You all know that I love T Jazelle and I have never really dived into the HELP collection. This stacker has been on my wishlist for a while, so I grabbed it a few days ago. I loved it. It stacked well with my T Jazelle bracelets, whether they are gemstones or the Cape bracelets. It is also so much more affordable than the other bracelets in the T Jazelle collection.

Meant to Be by Emily Giffin: I am also a huge fan of Emily Giffin, and her new book came out on Tuesday. I started reading this book yesterday and I couldn’t put it down. Not a surprise for an Emily Giffin book. I can tell you that it’s about Cate and Joe, both raised by single mothers. Joe is from a family that is similar to the Kennedys, while Cate is dealing with her mother’s abusive relationship. So far, I am obsessed with this book and highly recommend checking it out.

Target Skort: I love this skort, and to be honest, Target’s All In Motion brand is just as good as my Lululemon pieces. I bought this skort for New York and I am so glad that I wore it. It is so comfortable and it’s something that I can see myself using throughout the summer. Furthermore, I think that this is such a great piece to have, because it can be something that is just so comfortable and versatile.

Here Are Four Places to Try For National Donut Day

Donuts are my favorite food group. In Connecticut, we thankfully do not have a shortage of donut places to choose from — no matter what part of the state you are from. If you’re looking to celebrate National Donut Day tomorrow, here are some places to check out, and you know, participate:

Whitney Donut, Hamden CT: Let’s start with my hometown. Whitney Donut, located on Whitney Avenue, has some of the freshest donuts that I’ve ever tasted. They are classic to a T, and have the traditional flavors such as glazed, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate frosted, and Boston Creme. But, the cruellers are definitely worth checking out. In addition to donuts, Whitney Donut offers a variety of breakfast and lunch choices, but in all honesty, their donuts are a good enough reason to make the trip.

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Neil’s Donuts, Wallingford and Middletown CT: Ahh, the famous Neil’s. Their slogan is that they have the best donuts around. And, that they do. You can check out my post about them here for further details about them, but they are such a great place to spend National Donut Day.

Donut Crazy, Various: With locations in Shelton, Westport, New Haven, West Hartford, Branford, and Stratford, Donut Crazy has a ton of great locations to choose from. Donut Crazy has many traditional donuts (glazed, sprinkled, etc), but they are known for their crazy donuts. A crazy donut is a donut that has a flavor that you would never imagine. Some of my favorites include S’mores, Nutella, and Cookie Monster. They are worth every single calorie, NGL. And, they also change their crazy menu every single month. It is definitely worth checking out their various locations!

Heavenly Donuts, Derby and Seymour: Last but certainly not least, we are taking it old school with Heavenly Donuts. With donuts that are so light and fluffy, you feel as if you are eating a cloud. They are that good. They have over 35 flavors to choose from, so there is definitely something for everyone.

Book Review: Marissa D’Angelo’s The Cursed Vessel

Photo Credit: Marissa D’Angelo

Romance, betrayal and mystery are 3 words that sum up the plot of Marissa D’Angelo’s latest book, The Cursed Vessel. The Cursed Vessel, which is the third installment of the Charles Island series, tells the tale of William Kidd. At the start of the novel, William is kicked out of school for bad behavior. When he comes home, he learns that his father has died. He is only 13. So, he joins a ship and embarks on several journeys across the Atlantic. During the course of his adventures, he meets local Sarah and the two fall in love.

Overall, I really loved reading this book and I think that this was by far my favorite installment of the series to date. I know — an historical fiction novel about a Scottish pirate does not sound that interesting on the surface. I am more of a romance reader, so I was a bit skeptical going in. However, there is so much more to the story. This book is a juicy mix of romance and drama that kept me on the edge of my seat from the moment I clicked into it to the last page.

Now, let’s talk about the book, because I got a lot to say about this.

First, let’s talk about the romance of the book. Sarah and William meet one night while William is out on the town. Before they meet, William’s mom was questioning why he has travelled so many miles, but still has not met the woman of his dreams. That changes once he lays eyes on Sarah. The second the two meet, they fall instantly in love. Of course, there were some obstacles — which include an arranged marriage and the fact that William has to be away from work so often. However, you can not help but root for them to succeed.

Another thing that I had really enjoyed about this book was the drama throughout the series. There is some betrayal between William and shipmates, which causes him to lose some of the people that he is close to. Honestly, it gave me some Lion King/Macbeth vibes. That said, D’Angelo really did a great job laying down the scene for the reader, and left them hanging at the edge of their seat with their jaw dropped in shock.

Furthermore, I want to discuss some of the themes in this novel. They include: grief, curiosity, and of course, the chosen one arch. These themes can be scene in several other novels D’Angelo wrote as well, including the other two novels in the series.

That said, I have noticed that the island isn’t as big of a setting as it was in previous books. In the other two, the island was this big prominent thing. This one, not so much — although it was referenced from time to time. It did not take away from the quality of the book.

Overall, The Cursed Vessel is a quick read and one that can be consumed in one sitting. It is great black companion and is amazing to read when you need to reach that Goodreads goal. I give this book five out of five out of five stars. I will note that there are trigger warnings for grief and loss of a loved one.

The Cursed Vessel is now available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

Friday Faves: Friday, May 27, 2022

TGIF! There is nothing like a Friday before a three day weekend. I have very little favorites to share this week, but I wanted to pop on really quick to share what favorites will be carrying me into MDW. Both of these are great choices, especially as we are heading into the summer season. So, without further a due, here are this week’s favorites.

Wearing the shoes to a bridal shower!

Woven Sandals: I found these at Target one day and I was obsessed with them. These are really comfortable, and they go really really with casual or dressy outfits. So far, I’ve worn these to work and to a bridal shower and I am in love. I actually took advantage of the sandal sale at Target, and I purchased the blue ones and the black ones. I highly recommend these as we head into the summer.

The People We Met on Vacation by Emily Henry: I have been obsessed with this book all week. It tells the story of our main character, Poppy who meets Alex in college. The two are set up on a blind date, and start to go on vacation together. They become best friends. However, you can tell that there is room for more. I am almost done with this book, so I can’t say how it ends, but I am really enjoying reading it.

RocksBox: I decided to subscribe to Rockbox, and I am so impressed. I got three things in my subscription, and have kept two of the pieces. For those of you who don’t know, Rockbox is a jewelry subscription service that allows you to rent jewelry. Whatever you don’t like, you can return. Whatever you do like, you can buy at a discounted rate. If you use my referral link, you can get a discount as well! It is a great service as summer wedding season begins!