Friday Favorites

This week has left me questioning a handful of things, leaving me unsure of what my next steps may be, but I know I need to take a step back because it will all work out, it always does. I think part of my uncertainty may come from me comparing myself to others. While social media can be a great tool for many, it can also leave you feeling like you’re not doing as well or as much as you should and quite frankly it can make you feel low and want to quit when you really shouldn’t feel that way. As much as you want to use it, sometimes it may be best to take a break or step away from it so you can truly focus on you and nothing else.

As I was thinking of what to share for today’s post, it made me feel a little better seeing the simple things that happened this week and put things in perspective for me. Like last week, I’d love for you to share at least one positive thing that happened to you this week.

-B

my family had to say goodbye to Wallace our wiener dog at the beginning of the week. While we are still coping with not having him physically here, he lived a great life and brought a lot of joy and love to us and for that I am so thankful.

my family had to say goodbye to Wallace our wiener dog at the beginning of the week. While we are still coping with not having him physically here, he lived a great life and brought a lot of joy and love to us and for that I am so thankful.

I met with Kim and Ginny, owners of the Zero Waste Buffalo group on Facebook and Instagram page for a blog feature I’ll be sharing next week. This photo shows just some simple things you can carry in your bag to help reduce use of single use plastics. More to come on this..

I met with Kim and Ginny, owners of the Zero Waste Buffalo group on Facebook and Instagram page for a blog feature I’ll be sharing next week. This photo shows just some simple things you can carry in your bag to help reduce use of single use plastics. More to come on this..

I was able to catch up with an old co-worker, turned friend at The Little Club this week. Its always a nice feeling to surround yourself with great friends.

I was able to catch up with an old co-worker, turned friend at The Little Club this week. Its always a nice feeling to surround yourself with great friends.

Changed up my Thursday workout routine and took a class on lunch at Impact with my friend Kelsey. It was a nice way to break up the day.

Changed up my Thursday workout routine and took a class on lunch at Impact with my friend Kelsey. It was a nice way to break up the day.

Waterkeeper Wednesday

photo from Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper website

photo from Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper website

Today for Waterkeeper Wednesday I’m highlighting the importance of Waterkeeper Weekend, the “Un-Gala Fundraiser” and Shoreline Sweep which are all coming up next weekend - May 10th-May 12th, 2019.

Let’s begin with Waterkeeper Weekend as a whole, I want to provide you with some facts. Since 2017 thanks to the help of BN Waterkeeper’s donors 7,845 linear feet of shoreline has been restored. 2,200 volunteers have been engaged and donated over 9,000 hours of their time and $10 million has been launched for the Buffalo Blueway Project with Empire State Development. 40 tons of trash has been cleaned out of the river thanks to the help of people like yourselves in the local community participating in the shoreline sweep that Waterkeeper hosts, and while there has been great progress its not done yet. Monthly cleanups like the one being held on May 11th are vital in efforts to restore our waterways.

The Great Lakes are one of the world’s largest surface freshwater ecosystems. 84% of North America's surface fresh water comes from the Great Lakes - right in our backyard…

photo courtesy of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

photo courtesy of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

Before rolling up your sleeves and helping at one of the 50 sites for Shoreline Sweep Waterkeeper is hosting an “Un-Gala Fundraiser” at Lakeward Spirits at the Barrel Factory on May 10th to celebrate advocacy and access to our water. It’s a fun evening with food, beverage, raffles, distillery tours and live music supporting a wonderful cause. Tickets for the event can be found here

photo courtesy of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

photo courtesy of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

Whatever you choose to do, try to be a part of the celebration of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper’s 30th anniversary.

-B

As part of the Shoreline Sweep I’m raising money for Waterkeeper, if you feel generous no amount is to big or small, please consider donating to the cause - Just a Blonde In Buffalo’s team page

Friday Favorites

When I began my blog a little over six years ago I did a “Favorite" Friday’s” series highlighting things from the past week or the upcoming weekend that I was excited about. After taking a little hiatus from it I decided I wanted to bring it back, this time though I really want YOU to share as little or as many positive things that happened to you from the past week. In a world where we focus so much on the negative I want to focus on the positive, no matter how big or small they may seem. I want to hear what’s making you feel good. xo

-B

Celebrating Dyngus Day with a great group of friends and family. Also this year I was a judge for the Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa Contest - a great experience to be a part of in the Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood that I grew up in as a child.

I ran into my friend Kate from Love in Motion Yoga at RevRide on Tuesday morning. Kate is someone who always brings those feel good vibes and is just a good human. We caught up for a quick minute and it was just a great way to start my day (so was that RevRide ;) ). Also, these photos are from LIM’s Insta - want one of those hat’s Kate is rocking?!? Deadline to pre-order your’s is today, email info@loveinmotion.yoga for details on how to purchase.

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to attend a Buffalo Blogger’s meetup so I was happy to be able to participate in Tuesday’s meetup. Held at the WNY Books Arts Center myself and fellow bloggers were able to learn more about the organization, shop around and have our try at letterpress. It was a really cool meetup and I can’t wait to go back on my own time. They are a resource for a variety of printing and book-related arts needs . Nicole Cooke and Melissa Rechin thank you for hosting!

I had the chance to meet up with my friend Nicole at a new restaurant (well new to the both of us, because we hadn’t been before Wednesday), The Black Sheep on Connecticut Street. Catching up on life with some wine and a charcuterie board isn’t a bad thing ;)

Yesterday was so nice out, my friend Jen and her daughter Aila invited me to ice cream at Pautler’s in East Amherst. I’ve driven past multiple times but never stopped until yesterday. It was a nice way to break up an hour of my day, enjoying company and a simple ice cream cone. (photo is from Pautler’s website).

Waterkeeper Wednesday

It’s officially spring and with that people are leaving there homes and heading outdoors. Over the course of the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing information about a great organization in town who has and is continuing to do amazing things for our waterways.

Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper protects and restores our water and the surrounding ecosystems and helps prevent new pollution from forming. Getting the community involved and connecting people to the water through the variety of programs they lead inspires those involved to do more.

PROTECT. RESTORE. CONNECT. INSPIRE.

I sat down with Chris Murawski, Director of Community Engagement from Waterkeeper to learn more about the organization, programs and events that are coming up and just general information we should all know as we head to our waterways as the warm weather approaches.

One of Chris’s roles is to educate the community on issues with our waterways and how we can help. His role is also about listening to the community and addressing what the community needs, the problems we face and inspiring people to do more, get more involved and help with hands on activities Waterkeeper hosts.

photo courtesy of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

photo courtesy of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

As most are aware this past Monday was Earth Day and Waterkeeper spent the day planting trees at Ellicott Creek Park. Why are trees important to us? “They help 1. Reduce pollution that goes into our waterways. 2. Provide habitat for wildlife. 3. Improve water quality along shorelines. “ - BN Waterkeeper

In case you missed out on Earth Day festivities, don’t worry this coming Saturday, Waterkeeper is hosting another tree planting event from 1-4 p.m. at Ellicott Creek Park. You can register for the event here - Ellicott Creek Planting

Image courtesy of BN Waterkeeper

Image courtesy of BN Waterkeeper

And if that’s not enough you can join Waterkeeper (and myself) on May 11th for their Shoreline Sweep from 10-12 p.m. There are multiple locations you can chose from and can find a complete list here - Spring Shoreline Sweep 

Next week I’ll be diving more into information on the Shoreline Sweep and why it’s so important to the region, the “Un-Gala” Fundraiser and Waterkeeper Weekend, so stay tuned!

-B

A Staple on the East Side of Buffalo

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I said this in my blog post from 2015, the Broadway Market has been a staple in my childhood. Growing up on Fillmore my family and I would frequent the Market on what seemed to be a weekly basis stopping at the comic book stand (Blind Eddie’s) to pick up the latest Betty and Veronica comic on the corner of Fillmore and Broadway afterwards. Since moving to the suburbs in my junior high years we still would visit the Market but not as often. Fast forward to my adult life now and I visit it multiple times a year and with this week being Holy week I am there a couple times within just a few days.

Seeing the Market back in the 1980’s-1990’s and comparing it to now - my oh my how it has changed, I can only imagine how it was when it first opened. From being a place that people would make a part of there daily and weekly routines to now only visiting during the Easter season, it makes me thankful for the time I was able to see it really active.

The Market was created “As immigrants flocked to the east side of Buffalo in the late 1800’s. They looked for the continuation of old world customs in their new and unfamiliar environment. While they wanted to enter the mainstream of city life, they also sought to preserve their Eastern European traditions and heritage. The Broadway Market would prove to serve these needs quite well.” (The Broadway Market -History).

“Started by a group of citizens on a city donated parcel at 999 Broadway in 1888, the Broadway Market quickly became a community meeting place–a place ideal for combining business with socializing and for sharing with one another the latest in gossip and news from the old world. “ (The Broadway Market - History).

As people visit the Market during this week to pick up their traditional Easter pieces, it makes me think what is being done during the rest of the year to help activate the Market. I know last summer they tried to host a series of farmers markets, how successful was that I’m not quite sure. In a news piece Spectrum News posted on 4/14/19 it sounds like plans to make improvements are in the works and over the course of the next couple of years visitors should be able to see those improvements, hopefully calling people to visit more often than just during Holy week.

Visiting my friend Shanna in Milwaukee this past Fall she took us to Milwaukee Public Market - a gathering place where people can eat, get fresh food and even take a cooking class from time to time. To have something like that in Buffalo I think would be great and I think taking ideas from that Milwaukee Public Market and applying to the Broadway Market may be what it needs to reactivate and reinvigorate that area on Broadway and the Market in general. Right now in my opinion Its the dedicated vendors who have been there for decades and the families who are passing down there traditions to the younger generation that keep the Broadway Market thriving. Hopefully if the City invests in the East Side and allots money for improvements in the Market it will last for many more years to come, I guess only time will tell. Maybe its because its been a part of my life, but I feel that at the end of the day the elected officials need to invest more time and efforts in seeing the Market improve.

Lastly here is a shameless plug - follow me on Instagram as I visit the Market this week and come visit me on Monday, I’ll be one of the judges for Buffalo’s Best Kielbasa contest at the Market beginning at noon. Come join in the Dyngus Day festivities.

-B

A special thank you to Aniela Baj from Council Member, Fillmore District David Franczyk’s office and Beverly McLean, President of the Friends of the Broadway Market District, for providing me with information for this piece.

Women Who Move Buffalo - Shawna Stanley

DON’T LET YOURSELF FEEL SMALL
— Shawna Stanley

On this International Women’s Day, that quote above says it all, don’t allow yourself or anyone else to make you feel small.

photo credit - @David_Jaan

photo credit - @David_Jaan

On a Saturday morning at Five Points Bakery I sat down with Shawna Stanley, a photographer (specializing in Birth Photography, Shawna & Co.) and entrepreneur, building The Vanguard House - a co-working community & social club for the modern woman, right here in Buffalo. I was introduced to Shawna through Carrie Rinehart, owner of Rusterior and creator of Buffalo Boss Babes. Meeting Shawna when I did, comes at a time in my life when I need to surround myself with inspiration and positive people. She reminded me that the current situations I am faced with professionally should not have the power to dictate how I feel, make me feel little or make me second guess my talents, hard work and integrity.

From Southern California, Shawna moved to Buffalo with her children to live with her Mother (who is originally from Buffalo and moved back) during a difficult time in her life, looking for extra support. Once being here, Shawna was drawn to the east coast - the people here - it’s a sense of community and she loves the culture of Buffalo.

So you may be asking yourself what is The Vanguard House? What is the idea/concept behind it?

The Vanguard House is a community space here in Buffalo offering support and possibilities to the modern day working woman. Woman will be able to go here and feel empowered and be productive.

Why did Shawna start this?

Because she moved to Buffalo with her kids in tow, 5 boxes and no income. It was through her diligence in connecting with people in the photography business that she realized there needed to be a place to work - a space that would offer child care opportunities, a place to work and a place to connect. She began by doing her research, visiting other cities (like NYC), sending out surveys (which you can find here) and building great connections.

So where did the name come from?

Her and her fiancee have talked about opening a community garage and using Vanguard, which means a group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas. Since the community garage didn’t happen yet, she took the name of it. The Vanguard House is supposed to feel like a second home to women.

What is Shawna’s favorite thing about Buffalo?

Buffalo gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to put there dreams and ideas to work. They go a long way here.

What are the next steps for both The Vanguard House and Shawna & Co.?

In regards to Shawna’s photography business focusing and dialing in more on family and birth photography are more her passion. As Shawna’s vision for the The Vanguard House continues to grow and her dreams and ideas turn into reality you can follow The Vanguard House on Facebook .

The Vanguard House is about women connecting with themselves. Going through this process has showed her how evident it is that women need this space .

Her favorite quote?

“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” - Fabienne Fredrickson

What motivates her to keep going?

Shawna is thankful to have a tight knit group of people to give her pep talks, keep her going, push her and remind her on those tough days to not give up.

Shawna’s favorite women to follow on social media?

  • Katie Campofelice (partner and friend in The Vanguard House)

  • Mover and Shaker - Miki Agrawal - she started following her through Instagram and connected with her through an online book club.

  • Laurel Flynn - an intuitive coach who helped Shawna push her vision to a more scalable vision

Other local groups that have helped Shawna along the way - Block Club who helped with the branding and a lot of different processes, Small Business Development Center, The Women’s Business Center at Canisius, NAWBO and some private consultants in the business realm.

For more information on The Vanguard House subscribe to the mailing list on their site.

And remember “Hold Fast to Your Dream”

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photo cred - Shawna & Co

Women Who Move Buffalo - Carrie Rinehart

“HERE’S TO STRONG WOMEN. MAY WE KNOW THEM.

MAY WE RAISE THEM. MAY WE BE THEM.”

On a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago I met up with Carrie Rinehart, founder & director of Buffalo Boss Babes and owner of Rusterior. I met Carrie at the first Buffalo Boss Babes Speaker Series event - Growth last April at Buffalo Distilling Company and have since followed her and all the amazingly cool things she has been and continues to do in WNY. Carrie embodies a positive, can-do attitude, is an inspiration to me (and many more!) and is a kick ass business owner, mother, wife and friend (and did I mention she also has full-time job).

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Since attending that first Boss Babes event last April it has truly left an impact on my life. It may be crazy to think attending one networking event can make all the difference, but for me it has. Like many of the women who have attended & spoke at the Boss Babes events, we all struggle with similar worries, ambitions, etc. Being able to have a networking group to turn to, to ask for help, to get advice or feedback, to vent to one another about bumps in the road, or to celebrate achievements, makes all the difference in the world because it reminds us that we aren’t alone. It helps us continue to keep going & pushing towards the goals we set for ourselves vs. giving up & throwing in the towel. We are all hard on ourselves, especially because we all want to succeed & play a role in making a positive influence in our community, but we need to remind ourselves that its OK to take breaks, to go at your own speed & to keep doing you & not worry about the “outside noise.” Its thanks to Carrie creating this blog & providing encouragement & inspiration to us that we have this strong network of women learning about one another & helping each other as we move toward the course we have set out for ourselves.

For those that may not know a lot about Rusterior and Buffalo Boss Babes, let me tell ya a little bit about both. Rusterior is a Goods and Wearable’s shop located in Fredonia, NY (you can find Carrie’s storefront inside Fredonia Farmhouse Finds) you can also shop online. Carrie hand prints cool clothes and goods to have in your everyday lives, so make sure you check her site out! Buffalo Boss Babes is a woman run blog and social media feed that features awesome women in and around Buffalo. The mission of Buffalo Boss Babes is to inspire and empower the creative woman who help build the resurgence in Buffalo.

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Below is my Q&A with Carrie about both Rusterior & Buffalo Boss Babes (BBB).

HOW DID RUSTERIOR HAPPEN?

I KNEW I ALWAYS WANTED TO OPEN A BUSINESS SO I STARTED (7 YEARS AGO) BY CREATING ALL DIFFERENT THINGS - SCARVES, ACCESSORIES, THE SEWN BUFFALO ON A SHIRT & IT HAS EVOLVED INTO WHAT IT IS TODAY.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM YOU SELL?

THE BUFFALO HATS . THEY ARE A UNIVERSAL PIECE THAT EVERYONE LIKES AND THEY DON’T NEED A SIZE.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CUSTOMERS FAVORITE PIECE(S) & WHAT PIECE(S) DO YOU LIKE TO MAKE?

THE BUFFALO HATS & SWEATSHIRTS ARE FAVORITE CUSTOMER PIECES. MAKING T-SHIRTS IS SOMETHING I ENJOY DOING THE MOST- SCREEN PRINTING IS A FAVORITE OF MINE.

WHAT ARE SOME GOALS/CHANGES HAPPENING IN 2019? WHAT WILL BE EVOLVING WITH RUSTERIOR AS WE MOVE FORWARD?

A LOT OF CHANGES ARE HAPPENING AT RUSTERIOR. WE ARE MOVING IN THE READY TO SHIP DIRECTION SO CUSTOMERS HAVE A QUICKER SHIP TIME (5-7 DAYS). CUSTOMERS WILL BE ABLE TO ORDER CUSTOM SCREEN PRINTS STILL BUT MAY HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL PRINTING HAPPENS AGAIN.

*NOTE TO YOUR SELF - CARRIE HAS A BUNCH OF ITEMS UP ON HER SHOP LIKE THESE GOODIES:

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SO MAKE SURE TO SNAG YOURS BEFORE THEY’RE GONE.

WHY DID YOU START BUFFALO BOSS BABES?

I WAS LOOKING TO NETWORK MORE AND THE NETWORKING EVENTS I WERE ATTENDING WERE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR. I WANTED TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT BUSINESS. I ATTENDED A ROC GIRL GANG EVENT AND LOVED THE VIBE AND THOUGHT BUFFALO NEEDED THIS AND THAT IS WHAT INSPIRED ME TO CREATE BUFFALO BOSS BABES, WHICH STARTED AS A BLOG AND THEN GREW INTO EVENTS THAT BOSS BABES WANTED TO ME TO START.

WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF BUFFALO BOSS BABES? & WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO GET OUT OF IT?

BBB IS A TRUE COMMUNITY, IT’S RAW & IT’S REAL. IT’S A GROUP OF WOMEN COMING TOGETHER TO INSPIRE ONE ANOTHER, LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER & SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM RUSTERIOR?

YOU’LL NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST STRANGER ONLINE SALE. IT’S A “HOLY COW” MOMENT.

HOW FAR IS YOUR FURTHEST CUSTOMER? & DO YOU COLLABORATE WITH OTHER BOUTIQUES OUTSIDE OF WNY?

MY FURTHEST CUSTOMER WAS IN AUSTRALIA AND I COLLABORATE WITH BOUTIQUES IN IDAHO AND OHIO. FOR ME COLLABORATING FOR RUSTERIOR IS ABOUT ALWAYS REACHING OUT AND FINDING EACH OTHER VIA SOCIAL MEDIA (INSTAGRAM).

WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT IN 2019 FOR BUFFALO BOSS BABES?

BBB WILL HAVE MORE EVENTS, COLLABORATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS. THERE WILL ALSO BE ONE BIG EVENT HAPPENING THIS YEAR SO STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS!

BEST THING YOU LOVE ABOUT BUFFALO?

THE PEOPLE! YOU CAN’T GO ANYWHERE AND FIND GENUINE PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN BE FRIENDS WITH. BUFFALO’S VIBE IS MORE RELAXED AND CHILL.

FAVORITE QUOTE?

“FEAR KILLS MORE DREAMS THAN FAILURE EVER WILL”

WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE THROWING IN THE TOWEL OR TIRED WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

MY SUPPORT SYSTEM. YOU’RE ALLOWED TO TAKE BREAKS AND SHUT DOWN, THE WORLD WILL CONTINUE TO GO ON & THAT’S OK.

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FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLET? FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM?

INSTAGRAM IS MY FAVORITE OUTLET, ALWAYS ON IT. FACEBOOK FOR THE BUSINESS TRAFFIC . SOCIAL MEDIA WHETHER YOU LOVE IT OR HATE IT, IT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.

**Photo Credit shout outs go to: Seek Axiom, Lovern Photography, Alexis Mohr Photography

Art of the Brick at the Buffalo Museum of Science

Last night thanks to my friends at the Buffalo Museum of Science and Visit Buffalo Niagara, I got to attend a preview night for the new exhibit - Art of the Brick opening tomorrow - February 9. The exhibit is labeled as one of CNN’s Top 10 ‘Global Must See Exhibitions’ and I can see why. It is such a cool exhibit, like none other! Running through May 5th, make sure to check it out!

Here are just some of the gazillion photos that my sister and I took last night.

Lumagination 2019

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Its been a few years since I’ve attended the Lumagination event at the Buffalo Botanical Gardens so this past weekend my sister along with my niece and nephew went with me to see “The Magic of Air.” Running until February 24th I suggest getting there early (you may have to wait in line for a few minutes) but walking through the exhibits isn’t as crowded.

There are some special themed nights, like, Family Night with the Buffalo Zoo where Zoo members receive Botanical Garden member prices. They also offer Lumagination Happy Hours for those looking to grab a drink or two before (or after) experiencing the exhibit

You can find pricing, dates, times and more information at Buffalo Gardens. com

Harlie & Me ...& Her Family Tree

It’s been a hot minute since I posted about Harlie. As I’m writing this post she’s currently curled up in a ball next to me sleeping (oh Harlie girl <3). Harlie turned three years old a few weeks ago and we celebrated with some of her best pals coming over (my niece and nephew). Harlie continues to do what she loves - chasing rabbits, eating snow and digging for socks out of the hamper and having me chase her around the house with them in her mouth.

For Christmas, my brother, Matt, got me an Ancestry DNA kit which I was super stoked for, but also got me a Wisdom Panel DNA kit for Harlie (which made me more excited). I didn’t even know they had DNA kits for your pets. The whole process overall, from collecting the DNA to sending it in was pretty simple. I received Harlie’s results a little over a week ago. Check it out…

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So to recap about Harlie, I adopted her from Diamonds in the Ruff (located in Niagara County) when she was about 10 weeks old. All I knew about her was her approximate age, that she came from Kentucky and that she was a boxer/spaniel mix.

When I read through the results I was surprised by some areas and not surprised in others. For instance, Harlie is part boxer (already new that), but she also has part Saint Bernard in her (how cool!). The results also showed me she is not only energetic and smart, but loyal. See below for more details.

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The DNA kit not only broke down the different dog breeds and explanations, but also broke down her family tree all the way to her great grandparents. Overall I’m happy with the results and knowing more about Harlie’s background.

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Until next time,

-B & Harlie

Hatchets & Hops

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As I get older I am more and more a fan of experiences and trying something new whenever I can. I have had on my (long) bucket list to visit and experience Hatchet and Hops when it opened over two years ago, so as a Christmas gift this year I decided I would book a Hatchets and Hops outing for my family and I.

A few weeks ago we made it to 505 Main St. (located downtown near the Hyatt) and had a pretty cool experience. For $40 a person and guaranteed two hours of ax throwing we went head to head with some family members and some strangers to see who could win that free drink from the bar and more importantly gloat about being the best ax thrower in the group (note - I did not win that title). Jake was our instructor and score keeper for the duration of the outing, teaching us the scoring system, how to hold and throw the ax and answering any questions we may have had.

Going head to head with my Dad (I let him win that round)

Going head to head with my Dad (I let him win that round)

You can host group parties, sign up for the weekly ax throwing league or simply go and cheer on your friends and/or family. It would even make a good team building or bonding experience for you and your co-workers. Overall the experience was unique, fun and memorable which are three things I always hope to get out of trying new things.

-B

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Buffalo Boss Babes

Cover photo - Buffalo Boss Babes Facebook page photo  This photo - Buffalo Boss Babes Instagram post

Cover photo - Buffalo Boss Babes Facebook page photo

This photo - Buffalo Boss Babes Instagram post

This Sunday 1/20/19  Buffalo Boss Babes Speakers Series: Community features a kick ass list of women

Beth Voseller from Ace Flag & Visual Promotion
Katharine Phillips from Roaming Buffalo & Exhale Events 
Lindsay Williams from Hoopla House Creative
Raelyn Woltz from West End Interiors

If you haven't been to a Buffalo Boss Babes Speaker Series yet, you have to put it on your list of things to do. This will be my third one and It is one of the best networking events in town, hands down. Not only do you meet amazing women leading the way in WNY but I also find myself more motivated and inspired each time I leave. 

Get your tickets right in the event page below
https://www.facebook.com/events/609412126165616/

-B

WE ARE HAPPY

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If you aren’t a skier, snowboarder or just don’t like outdoor winter activities, this season could be bringing you down right about now. Let’s face it, the bitter cold, gloomy skies are just down right yuck, so thank goodness the Happy Place was created and chose to make a stop in Toronto, Ontario.

Happy Place is a massive social, pop-up experience filled with larger than life size installations, multi-sensory immersive rooms, giving you lots of opportunities to “Capture Your Happy”. It was founded in November of 2017 all because the founder Jared Paul believed our world today could use a lot more happiness.

Happy Place began in Los Angeles and continued to Chicago this past summer before heading to Toronto in November of 2018 and currently making it there home until January 27, 2019. My friend Kelsey and I hit up Toronto this past Sunday for a nice day trip. We began the day visiting the well known Trinity Bellwoods Flea Market before grabbing brunch at Ottos Bierhalle. After that we headed to Happy Place to “find our happy”. The whole experience was quite something, from gumball machines, to rubber ducks, confetti, cookies and ball pits there were plenty of photos, Insta-stories and lots of laughs.

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Tickets are $35.31 (tax included), that is Canadian though so with the exchange rate they are a little less in American dollars (score!). It took us about an hour or so to go through the whole experience and it was never overcrowded which made taking photos and getting through each room nice and easy.

After that experience we ended the day with a quick stop at Lavish and Squalor a super cool store/coffee shop. It offers an array of merchandise from hats and scarves to home decor, kitchenware and more.

If you are looking for something to do during this time of year definitely consider Happy Place as a place to visit before the end of the month.

-B



# 22. You Define Meaning

A meaningful life is what you define it to be.
If you neglect to define meaning, you won’t experience it. Decide what makes life worth living for you, and then design your life around that.
— Live Bold and Bloom
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There are only a few days left until we put the 2018 year in the past and say hello to 2019. For some, this time of year is a time to reflect on all that has happened over the last 365 days - the good and the bad. It is also a time where we look ahead to what we hope to accomplish for ourselves in the upcoming year.

As I take a few moments to think back on this last year, I continue to be very thankful for the opportunities that have come my way. Not all of them have been great, but the lessons I’ve learned have made me a better person (at least I like to think). The latter portion of 2018 was extremely difficult for me, the struggles I’ve come to face were difficult, tiresome and at times left me second guessing my decisions and actions on a more than regular basis, but what I’ve learned from those not so pleasant experiences is that I’m stronger than I may think.

I’m learning more and more that I have been presented wonderful opportunities not only professionally, but in every aspect of my life and when you’re put in unhealthy or continuous uncomfortable situations you have the right to say this is not acceptable and you have the right to make a change and define what your life is supposed to be. 2018 has given me more of those life lessons that I am thankful for each day. I walk away with more gratitude in my heart and a focus on what and who is really important in my life.

As I close out 2018, I celebrate two very special things in my life this weekend - 1. My precious Harlie turns 3 years old. This precious pooch has been one of the best things to happen in my life. She brings me joy, provides comfort when I am sad and is my world. The other special thing I’m celebrating this weekend - My Blog. Heading into my sixth year of Just a Blonde in Buffalo, my blog has been an outlet for me to share my thoughts on a variety of items with the community along with my experiences. I have met some incredible, inspiring people through this and I am so thankful for being able to share other people’s stories. One thing that has not changed throughout this whole process is I share my stories and experiences because I want to. I don’t have this site for followers or the amount of likes I get on social media, I have this site because its an outlet for me to share the good that is Western New York and that will not change.

To my family, friends and the strangers who continue support and encourage me, thank you for giving me a purpose.

Happy New Year!

-B

The quote at the beginning of this post is from live bold and bloom, you can find the full article here.. Its a good read on those life lessons we may sometimes forget about.

"You always have a story with a cup of coffee"

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A few weeks back I was looking for a local coffee shop to donate some product to an event I was helping out at. Having a couple places in mind, there was one that stood out from the rest; Overwinter Coffee. Located in the heart of downtown Buffalo, owners Ben and Josh didn’t hesitate when it came to helping the local community, just proving to me again that Buffalo truly has the best people.

Opening in May of this past year Overwinter sits on Genesee St. near the Hyatt, Rotary Rink and so many more landmarks. When I paid a visit to Ben last week I asked him an array of questions while I was sipping on the DELICIOUS cup of Peanut Brittle coffee. So here it is;

Was opening a coffee shop something you always wanted to do? he said he started roasting last fall and then him and Josh sort of just fell into it. The landlord of his building was looking for a cappuccino spot and the space was great for what they needed to do to roast the coffee beans and have a store front. It offers great traffic and was just to good to be true so they took a leap of faith and opened Overwinter.


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The best part of owning your own business? Not having a boss, being able to do things without asking for permission and making the things he loves about coffee. What do you love about Buffalo? Buffalo loves Buffalo - people in Buffalo love seeing Buffalo succeed and make Buffalo better.

What makes Overwinter stand out from other local coffee shops in town? Overwinter offers single origin coffee’s, not blended. Their product changes with the seasons and they have a consistency of rotation changes. Their coffee names are more descriptive & illustrative to describe the coffee they are serving, that’s why you’ll find the name, origin and flavor notes on their menu.

Outside of the storefront, you can find their espresso at Perks Coffee Shop, Grindhaus Cafe on Allen offers their product, along with Fairycakes on Parkside, Pastry by Camille on Hertel and Maison Le Caer in the Market Arcade building downtown. Other items you can find on the menu at Overwinter are Biscotti for Everybotti along with other dessert treats.

When I asked Ben what his favorite drink is at the moment he said it depends, but sometimes he’ll treat himself to a breve macchiato, its buttery and creamery and just very good. He receives a lot of samples to taste thru and the one thing he mentioned is its “much more than coffee” - there is always a story with a cup of coffee.

If you are a coffee lover and haven’t been to Overwinter yet, I highly suggest you put it on your 2019 list of things to do. They offer classes on how to hand brew coffee which you can find here AND if you’ll be headed downtown to see the ball drop next week, stop in to Overwinter for a cup of coffee to

1. help you stay warm and 2. keep you awake to midnight

On one last note - a special thank you goes out to my friend Nelson for making the introduction for me to meet with Ben.

-B

*thumbnail photo is from Overwinter Coffee’s Facebook page.

A Reason to be Excited for the Winter

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Solo operators must be age 6 or older. Duo passengers are limited to ages 3-5 and must be accompanied by an operator age 18 or older. Riders must wear flat, closed-toe-shoes.

The ice at Canalside opens this Friday 11/23. For more information on this and all the fun events and activities taking place this winter go to Canalsidebuffalo.com

Guys! Whether you love the winter season or not, there is a new reason to be excited for the season. Canalside has a new activity this winter - Ice Bumper Cars!

Ice Bumper Cars will be available on a first come, first serve basis. You can make your reservation at the Canalside Kiosk or Winter Lodge. Each experience is 15 minutes long including the 7 minute on-ice session.

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