Kingsli’s Favorite Things | January 2019

by Kingsli Kraft | January 11, 2019

One of my favorite past times is exploring our wonderful little downtown, especially as we grow and welcome new shops and businesses into our community. This past November was the first time I ever went out for Small Business Saturday and, I have to say, it was a fun and magical day that inspired this new blog series: Kingsli’s Favorite Things. On the second Monday of every month, I’ll round up my top five favorite things in Downtown Alpena and share them with all of you.

All of this blustery, wintry weather leaves me wanting nothing less than complete coziness. Warm creamy coffee, thick and comfy sweaters, lavender and vanilla scented candles, and an armchair by a fireplace where I can curl up with a book and a blanket.

This month’s favorites are all inspired by this cozy aesthetic, and they’re all available downtown.

The Nutty Irishman at Cabin Creek Coffee

The house specialties at Cabin Creek Coffee

If you know me, you know that one thing I am most passionate about is coffee. My favorite drink downtown this month is the Nutty Irishman on Cabin Creek Coffee’s menu. It’s a latte flavored with Irish Cream and Hazelnut and it’s like a hug from someone you haven’t seen in a long time. I first tried this drink on a chilly spring day when I worked at the State Theater and knew I’d need a little caffeine to make it through my late shift. After trying it once, it quickly became my favorite drink and I get one before each of shifts. If cozy was a flavor, it would be this. I drink mine with almond milk instead of regular milk, but it’s delicious either way. Stop in and try it on one of these chilly days!

KeepCups at Rusty Petunias Marketplace

Photo from Rusty Petunias Marketplace LLC Facebook Page

Now you need something to carry that latte around. One of my resolutions has been to reduce the amount of waste I create. The biggest contributor to the garbage in my trash can is takeaway cups, so I went looking for a travel mug that I liked. I knew I wanted one that wasn’t plastic, ceramic, or metal. I found KeepCups online at first, and I ordered one that way. They come in several sizes and colors ranging from 8oz to 16oz. The cups themselves are made of plastic or glass and have cork or silicone bands to protect your hands from the hot liquid inside. I took the first one I bought into Rusty Petunias Marketplace one day and they loved it so much that they started to carry them! So I went back and got the 12oz KeepCup as well. I love these cups because they keep your drink warm but allow it to cool off enough that you can start drinking it sooner. Stop and get your KeepCup at Rusty Petunias Marketplace—support a local business and make a small change that could have a big impact on our planet.

Lisa Ann’s Artwork at Art in the Loft

Artwork by Lisa Ann

As I’m writing this, freezing rain is now pelting the windows. I love my neutrals, but I have to admit that color can also do a lot to brighten and warm up those long, winter nights. One of my many favorite local artists is Lisa Ann whose work is displayed at Art in the Loft right now for their Winterview show. I love the way she celebrates color in her pieces, and uses a mixture of warm and cool colors. Everytime I look at her pieces (which is often because I also work part-time at Art in the Loft) I feel a little warmer and happier. I love this display with all of the different shades of pink and the touches of purple. If you haven’t seen her artwork, you should come up to the Loft to check it out sometime! The Winterview show is open until March 14, 2019!

Blanket Scarves at The Rabbit Hole

One of our newest businesses in Downtown Alpena is the Rabbit Hole. It’s located on Chisholm Street in the same building as the Wallace Firm, next to Saint Bernard Catholic Church. It’s a wonderful little shop with tons of cute eclectic items, pillows, keychains, essential oils, and—another of my faves this month—blanket scarves. I’ve been trying to find one of these scarves for a while because they’re so functional. They’re great for keeping your face warm on a hike whether it be out at Norway Ridge Pathway or two blocks to a coffee shop or restaurant. They also provide a socially acceptable way for you to wrap yourself up in a blanket at work, which was really the key selling point for me.

Spiced Cherry Wine at Thunder Bay Winery

The last, but certainly not the least of my favorite things downtown this month is the Spiced Cherry Wine at Thunder Bay Winery. Every Tuesday night I meet up with friends at the Winery to have a glass and chat about life. I was skeptical at first about the idea of warm wine. I’d heard of it, but I wasn’t sure I would like it.  Isn’t it more refreshing to sip a chilled glass of bubbly? Everyone was raving about it and I had been told by multiple people that I had to try it. So I ordered a glass and I am so glad I did! I’m no somelier, so I don’t know all the technical terms about this wine. I just know that it’s delicious—an excellent balance of sweet and spiced. Now, I can tell you with total certainty that sitting in Thunder Bay Winery, surrounded by your friends, laughing, drinking a glass of Warm Spiced Cherry Wine is absolutely the perfect way to spend a freezing winter evening.

What are your favorite things in Downtown Alpena? This will be a new monthly blog series so stay tuned to find out what my favorite’s are next month!

Kingsli Kraft wrote this article for Blog Downtown Alpena. Kingsli is a recent graduate from University of Michigan with a degree in Human Ecology. She enjoys reading, writing, yoga, hiking, caring for all of her plants and trying new recipes. You can follow her on Instagram here.

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