Not a Goodbye, but a New Beginning

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Well, folks, the time is here. I am preparing to board the great big ship which will lead me to a new land of opportunities, friendships, and fashions. In simpler terms, this is going to be my last time reporting from the Queen of Hearts Blog.

I mean, not to be dramatic or anything – I am staying in Providence, and will continue to sport the same friends and fashions. Queen of Hearts and Modern Love is quite a gem of a place to be – spending a significant chunk of my first year post-grad here has made the inevitable slump a lot more bearable. It has brought me endless memories, friendships, glamour tips, and life lessons that I will carry with me for years to come.

In this post, I will wax poetic about some of my highlights here at the shop, such as:

-listening to more doo-wop and Talking Heads hits than I’ve ever thought possible.

-unboxing some of the most beautiful clothing and home goods I ever did see. There is actually a video somewhere in the archives of me nearly shedding a tear at the Orla Keily Enamelware set and every Hobo product.

-being introduced to Providence’s colorful cast of characters, some of whom I will definitely make a film about someday.

-being introduced to many of the lovely tourists of the world, sometimes being asked if I own the shop, and then awkwardly explaining that I do not.

-hanging out with my amazingly beautiful, intelligent, talented fellow staff members!

-prancing around at store events, which are always fully loaded with snacks and drinks (Karen’s homemade sangria is primo).

-now having an entire selection of photographs of myself wearing some of the coolest frocks and frills out there! I am usually smiling in them, which means that I finally have photographs to show my mother, that she likes.

There are more, but I will refrain from going on forever, and share a list of some of my all-time favorite products here at the store, complete with online links:

The Sadie Wallet – Harvest Snake

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A classic Hobo with a twist. I love a good snakeskin print, and this one surely takes the cake.

3D Open Diamond Earrings 

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These handmade earrings from David Aubrey are IT, and we are constantly restocking them. They are loud, brash, and have the power to transport a wearer directly to Studio 54.

Soulmate’s Picnic Romper

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This is a brand new arrival at the shop, and I am positively enamored! Eat your heart out, Dolly Parton!

Urban Concrete – Small Tobacco and Patchouli 

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I wrote about this scent in my very first blog post, and it still makes me just as nostalgic for my childhood Italian household. These candleholders can also be repurposed as plant pots after all the candlewax is gone (trust me, I saw this example in the flesh at Wildflour Bakery).

Solid Good Vibes

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I put some of this magical potion stick onto my wrists when I was feeling crummy one day. I felt better, no joke.

Being a part of this immersive environment, planted in the heart of a beautiful city close to my heart, has been utterly fierce. May the next bloggess that comes along have as jolly of a time that I have!

This is Alex, signing out graciously and with style! <3 <3 <3

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Happy PVDFest! Happy Pride! Happy Beach Bumming! Happy Shopping!

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It is finally June, which marks the start of many activity-packed PVD weekends. It is the season when all of us are coming out of our caves, allowing us the opportunity to soak up the sun (/humidity). ‘Tis the season for new friendships, flings, and impromptu photoshoots.

Luckily for us all, this weekend is the fourth annual PVDfest, a city-wide festival jam-packed with local artists, performers, and vendors doing what they do best! Shopping with us is a must this weekend (wink wink), but before or after, be sure to check out the many events spread throughout the city. Hang out in the Creative Capital as “live music, dance, food, and visual art installations transform the city in a four-day, multi-arts take-over of public spaces, parks, and outdoor stages in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island”. Sounds mighty wholesome to me!

Keep all your goods safe and your spine in line with a festive Fjallraven Kanken Backpacks, like this one in Birch Green –  It is guaranteed to prep you for those long city walks!

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Speaking of festiveness, this month is also Pride Month! This is a time for folks in the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate themselves, each others, and the trailblazers (past, present, and future) who have secured us our rights and freedoms. In the invincible spirit of Marsha P. Johnson, use this time to be as kind, understanding, and empathetic as possible.

We also have rainbow umbrellas, if you’re into that. Use it is a rain shield or parasol to protect yourself and your loved ones!

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If you and your pals have done your festival time and need to decompress in a more serene place, Rhode Island offers endless opportunities to hit the beach! Step away from the city crowd and take a long walk along the shore.

BONUS: If you’re really looking to get funky, take one of our untamed OneLogFire logs along. It burns from within, for an uncontested two hours! Its undying flame makes for the best small romantic getaway, or a seaside rager with your best pals, depending on the day. Bring some marshmallows, and unleash your inner flame.

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It’s too nice out for you folks to sit here and listen to me ramble on, so go on, get out! Make new memories, stay fabulous, and burn baby burn!

<3 Alex

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On Fridays We Wear Pink

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Recommended listening to accompany this reading: Janelle Monae – “Pynk

Pink is my favorite color – it has been ever since my adolescent self gained some sense and stopped thinking it was uncool for girls for like pink. Pink occurs to many as a color of excess, usually due to the fact that it is bright, retina-smashing, and enables one to command space. For some unknown reason, people who take up space, particularly femmes, are frowned upon by some. But folks, those who frown upon thee simply wish they were able to exude the same undefeated power as an unabashed wearer of pink.

Fortunately for all you fans of pink, we have an uncontested selection of pink tops and frocks here at Queen of Hearts and Modern Love. On this here blog post, you can find out which is the one for you!

BB Gurl Dress

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OK, so this one is *peach*. But look at this perfect cut, unique sleeve, and delicate first date-esque print. This garment is reminiscent of something that pink-wearing country maven Dolly Parton would have worked in the 80s, before her drastic switch to metallics. Accents of blue gingham give this look a charming handmade touch, and the perfectly placed waist tie makes for a flattering fit for all shapes and sizes!

 

Wrap Me Up Dress

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A slight variation of BB Girl Dress! Although it has the same silhouette, sleeve, and feel, The Wrap Me Up is complete with its own charms – a thick fabric that mimics 50s and 60s fashion, as well as a solid baby pink for unbeatable polish!

 

Donna Crop Top

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The smocked fabric of the Donna is a nod to 2000s street fashion with a modern twist. It is as versatile as a tee, but also has the ability to dress up a pair of jeans (wide-leg are suggested, but whatever your preference is will certainly work).

Or, for that matter, follow #queenofheartsbabe Dara’s lead and pair it with our Volcom Need Now Pant (available in-store), or a classy/sassy Hampton Fedora from Brixton!

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Kate Crossbody Clutches

in Barely Pink and Pink Lemonade

As the name suggests, the Kate Crossbody clutch doubles as a crossbody bag and a clutch, and has sufficient pockets for all your pink and non-pink belongings, including cash, cards, change, and your smartphone! Barely Pink is a barely-there dusty rose, and Pink Lemonade is reminiscent of a peachy sorbet.

 

The Stoned Scraper Short

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These shorts are fabulous, flattering, and look like a sophisticated ice cream parlor if an ice cream parlor was a pair of shorts. They also fall to the perfect length to keep you cool during the hot summer months, and are high waisted – they reach the belly button, so they pass my personal test with flying colors.

Did I forget to mention that these are also GREAT shorts for helping one reach their full butt potential, as demonstrated by our friends at Buns and Bites!

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Gigi Luxury Matte Lipstick

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Because this shade of lip varnish is the best. It’s simple as that.

It is with all the love in my big, pink heart, that I pass this knowledge along to you all. Happy shopping!

<3 Alex

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Find Out Which QOH Item to Include on Your Summer Shopping List (According To Your Zodiac Sign)

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Hello friends, this is your resident bloggess/amateur astrologer, back for another semi-annual #queenofheartsbabe astrology forecast! Tuesday’s New Moon in Taurus, in combination with our recent gloomy weather, has brought out the reclusiveness in all of us – this makes necessary deeds (i.e. socializing & shopping), rather difficult. Thankfully, it is almost Gemini Season, which will coax all of us out of hermit mode and into the sunny streets!

Astrological shenanigans aside, we all made it through this year’s tumultuous winter, and that is an accomplishment no matter what your sign! Find your signs below and treat yourselves to the following items, brought to us directly from the cosmos:

ARIES

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Corkcicle 25oz Dipped Canteen

A very wise Aries friend of mine once described their sign as being “the equivalent of a Saturday night”. Quite on spot-on, I’ve gotta say. Fortunately for you Saturday Night dwellers, this slick, hearty, and red hot canteen can hold an entire bottle of wine. Also use with water, if you’re feeling experimental.

 

TAURUS

Amethyst Geode Drop Necklace

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Taureans, you are a bunch of undeniably charming walking contradictions! You love nature, but you also hate leaving the house. You love food, but your ideal delivery scenario is one which involves food being delivered directly to your bed. This luxurious amethyst geode necklace is a slice of nature in an accessory as glamorous as you!

 

GEMINI

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The Knotted Fringe Earrings – Gold

These earrings are spunky, a great conversation starter, and have one chain to represent each of your fifty personalities. A steal!

 

CANCER

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Kanken Mini Sky Blue

A receptacle for all your most important carry-on items and emotional baggage.

 

LEO

Floss Gloss Second Base & Luxury Matte Lipstick in Gigi

We get two because I love us, and also because these two complimentary items are amazingly affordable! Retina-smashing shades of pink are a tried and true method of making yourself the star of every show this summer. As a bonus, this nail varnish contains reflective glitter specks, catering to our universal love of reflective surfaces.

 

VIRGO

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Botanical Essential Oils – Rest

Sweet Virgos, we all need rest, even you. Bless your perfectionistic hearts.

 

LIBRA

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The Clear Dome Umbrella

This one or two-person umbrella is guaranteed to fulfill your craving for love and romance. Also, if you purchase two of these and hold one upside down in each hand, it’ll kind of look like the Libra scale symbol. Eh ehhhh!

SCORPIO

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The Graveyard Skater Skirt

Not to stereotype, but literally every Scorpio I have ever come across is just a little bit (or a lot) goth, which is a positive attribute! You all have a signature edge – use it to promote local artists, such as the lovely Joseph Aaron Segal for Pretty Snake, whose original print is featured on this skirt.

SAGITTARIUS

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The Brush Strokes Dress

Sag pals, you are hot, cold, unpredictable, and possibly the epitome of Edgy. This one-of-a-kind dress is all of that and more – it includes warm colors, cool colors, unpredictable lines, and even triangles! While the print is wonderfully chaotic, the silhouette is cool and collected, like you can be, sometimes.

CAPRICORN

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Soho Sunnies – Black

Look and feel like a Wall Street Professional in these classically slick, Don Draper-esque sunglasses!

AQUARIUS 

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Because you deserve nothing less than a state-of-the-art pencil set to help you waste the summer away writing state-of-the-art conspiracy theories.

PISCES

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The Chaima Top – Mustard

Pisces, you all are a bunch of flouncy, floaty flower children, and you deserve a dreamy top in which to live your wildest daydreams. The Chaima possesses all of these qualities and more, and is the most gorgeous color!

And that is all for this semi-annual astrology forecast, #queenofheartsbabes. It has been such a joy and an honor to deliver your shopping destiny to you! Good luck, cosmic queens.

<3 Alex

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Bitchin’ Kitchen: A Kitchenware Style Guide

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where groceries haven’t been bought in a week and a half, forcing you to resort to eating overpriced takeout bagels three times a day? One where time is so short that it seems like microwavable mac & cheese is the only option? One where you simply…..don’t feel like cooking anymore? Well, we here at Queen of Hearts and Modern love have just the right tools and tricks to make cooking fun again!

When it comes to owning kitchenware, one tends to choose function over form – for good reason, of course. I mean, who enjoys spending ten minutes scrubbing food that’s stuck to a badly-engineered pan? But, here’s a thought – pots and pans that are functional *and* fashion forward, because let’s face it – there are far too many black and gray appliances. Thankfully, Orla Kiely is here to save us.

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Their enamel cookware collection is a genuine gift to this earth. It is vintage-inspired, beautifully decorated, affordable, and just as functional as they are stylish! In-store, we currently have their Green Casserole Dish, Yellow Saucepan, and Orange Butter Dish (pictured above). Additionally, we have a positively darling Orange Pitcher and a handy Thermos. All of these come in Orla Kiely’s signature 70s floral print, and have wooden handles.

“But Alex, what’s the use of investing in this glamorous cookware if I still don’t feel like cooking anything?”, you ask. While this is a perfectly valid concern, it is also very answerable, considering our expansive cookbook selection!

 

Are you salivating? Me too. These glorious food pics are featured in “Cherry Bombe“, “Half Baked Harvest“, “My Rice Bowl – Korean Cooking Outside the Lines“, and “Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi“, respectively. These cookbooks feature hundreds of unique recipes from a huge variety of cooking styles and cultural perspectives, and between the four of them, you are guaranteed to never run out of new recipes to try…at least for a very, very long time.

“But Alex, where can I get unique and quality handmade ingredients for my new culinary creations? I’m tired of the same old grocery store brands!”, you exclaim. Well, surprise, we have those too!

If you have not heard of Sugar Bob’s handmade maple-based products, you are surely in for a treat.

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The original Smoked Maple Syrup is deliciously potent, and used primarily to add dimension to savory dishes! It is particularly lovely in marinades for meat or fish, and also great on pancakes! If you aren’t ready to commit to the regular sized bottle, we have 2oz minis available as well.

After immense maple syrup success, Sugar Bob expanded into the hot sauce market (thank god). These hot sauces have a maple base, and are as smoky and delicious as they sound. We have them in-store and online in Original, Smoked, Verde, and Very Hot varieties. These delectable delicacies also make great gifts for pals!

 

 

With these items in your kitchen, life is guaranteed to be just that much more bitchin’. Have fun and get funky, #queenofheartsbabes!

<3 Alex

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City Kitty: Upcoming PVD Events & What To Bring To Them

As a wise and talented friend of mine once exclaimed mid-Foo Fest, “Providence is LIT in the summer!”. Two summers ago was my first summer living in the city and it was, in fact, one of the most vibrant, unforgettable, and Lit summers of my life. When the city warms up, the city’s residents warm up to the idea of experiencing the outdoors – the roster of warm weather events only helps us out! Although it is not quite summer yet, we are close enough to that time to start planning! Plus, spring events are still bountiful, and the first one we’ll be talking about is TOMORROW!

Urban Vintage Baazar – April 28th 10am-5pm at the Westminster Arcade

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Urban Vintage Bazaar is a semi-annual popup in which the Arcade’s hallway magically transforms into a treasure trove of vintage goods. There is so much variety at this event, because the vendors (there are over 20!) come from so many different places and backgrounds. My favorite pink and white polka dot blazer comes from this event. So does my favorite Springsteen record. So does my favorite kitty mug. You too are guaranteed to find your new favorite thing at this gem of an event!

 

Taco Fest PVD – May 5th 11pm-6pm on Westminster St. 

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I am salivating just thinking about it. On Cinco De Mayo, InDownCity will be hosting its annual TACOFEST, featuring The Rock n’ Roll Yard Sale. Right outside of our fashion headquarters, and all along Westminster St., look forward to an explosion of local flavors, sights, and sounds. Also experience quality Latin beats from DJ Studebaker Hawk, which will make it very hard to decide whether to dance or chow down. It looks like you’ll simply have to do both.

To dilute all that spice, you’ll want to make sure you bring plenty of water, which can be carried in an irresistably stylish ReTap Water Bottle, available in-store!

 

Hair Brained – at the Providence Public Library, Up Until June 30th

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This exhibit is one of the most beautiful, rare, and carefully curated that I’ve seen in a while – it expertly interweaves (heh, get it) history, beauty, and culture, and its program series is inspired by images and texts in the exhibition. The exhibition itself is “focused on hairstyles throughout history – braids, curls, facial hair, wigs – and the ways in which hair defines and reflects culture, self-identity, agency, and politics”. I mean, need I say more? This is one of those exhibitions that people don’t know they need, but definitely need.

After you’ve garnered enough knowledge and inspiration at the PPL, you’ll undoubtedly want to try something new! The

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Utopian Collection has a plethora of vintage trim headbands, available here at Queen of Hearts and Modern Love.

 

My #queenofheartsbabes, that is all for this month’s events. There are, of course, so many more opportunities than this to support local artists/musicians/businesses, so be sure to keep an eye out!

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Fun Times Sun Times

We aren’t so presumptuous as to call this weather-confused April “spring”, but we’re going to pretend that it is anyway. We here at Queen of Hearts are huge fans of the sun, and the idea of an incoming sunny springtime makes me so excited to bust out my springtime gear that I’m going to write a blog post about it!

Sunglasses are a necessary sun accessory, as anyone who’s ever stared directly into the sun without them is aware of! We are constantly receiving new shipments of AJ Morgan sunnies, which are not only UV 400, but come in some of the slickest, sickest, show stopping styles and colors I’ve seen. Each pair is $24 at the shop and they are *always* going like hotcakes.

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The circular, rosy-amber lensed Moonies Sunnies are a nod to the Mods of the 1960s. I have a pair, and I adore them, because these magical lenses make every day look slightly rosier! They have been particularly effective for this dreary and gray April.

While sunglasses take on the role of protecting your eyes, hats take on the role of keeping your head cooler and warmer (heh, get it?).

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I can confirm that there is no cooler fedora than the Jenna Fedora. It is woven with care from Brixton and decorated with the most adorable rose. Aren’ t the simplest touches the most charming?

Fortunately for all of us, you don’t *just* need to wear plant prints this spring, because we have a bountiful selection of real live plant babies for you and yours!

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Not only do we house small and medium potted succulents, but we also have airplants (tiny and adorable sprouts with the ability to stay afloat without soil!) and mini terrariums for airplants. These plants are all rather low-maintenance, only requiring water twice a week and lots of sunlight. Not to mention, they are such beauties!

…and so are you. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself in the sun! With your hat and sunnies, you are almost set for complete sun protection. However, you can’t forget about your lips – that’s where Barr-Co’s super luxurious Spanish Lime lip balm comes in.

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This balm smells lovely, soothes with shea butter, and leaves lips feeling naturally soft without that horrible sticky feeling.

With this complete package of spring things, you are sure to thrive like one of May’s flowers! So thrive, my #queenofheartsbabes!

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