It’s March, and those resolutions you made on New Year’s Eve are a fading memory. You’re not alone. Have you checked out gym parking lots around town? There are a lot more empty parking spots than there were in the first week of January.
Fear not! Join your fellow resolution breakers by returning to your old bad habits — and maybe even find some new ones. So here’s a list of common resolutions and recommendations for breaking them.
• Tidy Up and Get Rid of Things That Don’t Spark Joy.
You Marie Kondo’d your whole life and you’re left with a book, a spatula and a pair of sneakers. Time to go shopping! My favorite place to pick up cool stuff at a fair price (for men and women) is Wild Fern Boutique in Uptown Village.
Wild Fern is on Main Street sandwiched between the Tip Top and The Thirsty Sasquatch. In 2016, owner Deanna Gaines remodeled this former paint your own pottery studio, transforming it into a tranquil oasis of comfy joggers, thick sweaters, stylish jeans, chic casual dresses and fun sleepwear.
There are also swanky handbags, unique handmade jewelry (such as Wonder Woman-ish wide band gold rings and bracelets), subtly fragrant candles and oils, and hip brands such as Spiritual Gangster and Free People.
You may be reloading your closet, but these things will spark joy. And if you follow Wild Fern on Instagram, you will find daily temptations to buy more stuff.
• Get More Exercise.
Exchange that gym membership for a $20 refillable popcorn bowl at the Kiggins Theatre ($4 per fill up). Trade all those stretchy leggings and tank tops with inspirational statements like I Got This and This Girl is on Fire for a roomy pair of sweat pants — preferably with an elastic waistband. Why break a sweat and fight for stair climbers when you can sit in a cushy seat sipping a local beer and watching a great film?
The Kiggins Theatre is a local one-screen gem built in 1936 that offers independent films, classic films, local shows like Science on Tap and Comedy on Tap, Re-Imagined Radio, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show with The Denton Delinquents. The concession stand is stocked with an alluring collection of soda and candies. There are also ice cream sandwiches from Ice Cream Renaissance.
The Marquee Lounge upstairs is a great place to sip a well curated selection of rotating local beer like Loowit Brewing Co.’s Shadow Shinobi IPA or Fortside Brewing Co.’s Couve A’licious Brown Ale. Thanks to the Kiggins Act (which allows sale and consumption in small theaters throughout Washington) you can bring your beer downstairs and drink in the theater.
• Give Up Carbs.
What were you thinking giving up carbs? Are you training for a bikini bodybuilding competition? Ignore those keto diet people. It’s winter in the Pacific Northwest, a time to give up shaving your legs and settle into warm, comfortable clothing while eating lots of carbs. Follow the dieting advice of that sage screen siren, Sophia Loren, who famously proclaimed, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.”
Vinnie’s Pizza (in downtown Vancouver and Ridgefield) is an excellent place to reunite with your old friends pasta, breadsticks and pizza. Yes, there’s pizza. But there’s also a tantalizing menu of pasta dishes. The pasta with Sunday Sauce is a twirl of perfectly boiled spaghetti covered in a slow cooked meat sauce with the Coco family’s traditional meatballs. This recipe has been passed on for generations traveling from Palermo to New York to California to the Pacific Northwest. It comes with two slices of garlic bread on the side and choice of soup or salad. If you’re like me and watch the film “GoodFellas” for the food scenes, this pasta with Sunday Sauce tastes like the meal that Martin Scorsese’s mom served to Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro.
To increase the carb count, add an order of cheesy bread — warm breadsticks cloaked in a thick covering of melted mozzarella served with a side of marinara for dipping.
• Eat More Veggies.
At Joe Brown’s Cafe you won’t see a green thing on your plate. You will find a sign to encourage your resolution breaking which says: “I’m on two diets (just one won’t give me enough to eat).” Entering this historic place is like taking a trip into the 1930s. It feels like there should be a man in a trench coat and fedora seated at the counter asking questions about a tall blonde who got away.
Joe Brown’s harkens back to a simpler time when there wasn’t all this messing about with food pyramids. There were two food groups — meat and potatoes. There are salads on the menu, but who comes to a diner to get a salad? People come here to eat food graced with almost a century of seasoning on that hot griddle. Joe Brown’s all day breakfast menu is a local favorite with breakfast specials, omelets, waffles, pancakes and crepes. I recommend the hash browns with two eggs, three strips of bacon ($9.99), with an added side of toast ($2.75).
The lunch menu has burgers, sandwiches (grilled cheese, patty melt, hot roast beef), huge sandwiches, homemade chili with cheddar and onions, fries and onion rings. Why not top it off with a large thick milkshake (chocolate, peach, strawberry, vanilla or peanut butter) or a root beer float? Don’t worry, you won’t get a green smoothie by mistake. Kale doesn’t exist in this time warp of an eatery.
• Give Up Sweets.
There are many great bakeries in Clark County that you could visit on a daylong sweetscapade. Some of my favorites are Rosycakes (oh, those cinnamon rolls), Treat, Simply Sweets by Jen, Chandelier Bakery, and Deda’s Bakery. If you need emotional support to follow through with your resolution breaking, you could rent Exo Bus and have some friends join in your sugar fest.
If you’re too lazy to go around town in search of brownies, muffins, cookies and cupcakes, go to Di Tazza Bakery and eat your way through their endless case of fresh baked goodies.
If you’re super lazy and can’t be bothered to move off your couch, get your smartphone out (sorry, this may require some movement) and order Rally Pizza’s frozen custard creations on UberEats or DoorDash. You might crave the Balanced Breakfast sundae — rich, vanilla frozen custard topped with milk chocolate-peanut butter crunch, sea salt caramel sauce, and crunchy Valrhona chocolate pearls topped with whipped cream and a cherry. If you’re in the mood for hardcore chocolate, try the Devil’s Food concrete — a whole slice of chocolate layer cake blended with frozen custard.
If that’s not enough, add extra toppings ($1 each) — honeycomb, malted milk, peanut butter chocolate, Valrhona Pearls, graham crumbles and candied nuts and maybe some extra syrup (50 cents). Don’t be shy. Rally Pizza won’t judge you by your oddball dessert order. Marijuana is legal in Washington, so outrageous frozen concoctions are not unusual.