Summer time...

 Food Truck Tuesdays at Larkin Square 

Food Truck Tuesdays at Larkin Square 

Its been a while since I posted on my blog and its for the simple fact that summer is the busiest time of the year for me. work wise. BUT I do try my hardest to have some sort of a work/life balance as I possibly can during this time of year. 

Tonight was one of those nights that reminded me that its ok to take a step back and put your phone away and not respond immediately to an email, text or phone call. 

My very good friends Nicole and Jessi did just that. We all met at "Food Truck Tuesday" at Larkin Square {an event I haven't been to since it began}  and enjoyed our glasses of rose wine, the food trucks and just catching up and making new memories. 

 Rose all day.. cheers

Rose all day.. cheers

If there is one thing I'm learning more and more each day, its to enjoy the little moments. Laugh more, experience more and just be in the moment. 

Until next time,

-B 

Feel Good Friday with Revolution Buffalo

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We're heading into Memorial Day weekend and I thought I'd share a feel good post update on the gals from Revolution Buffalo. You see it all started when I met Colleen, Rachel and Amanda in the Carriage House studio on Delaware Ave. a little over three years ago {January 14, 2015 to be exact}.  What was an interview for my blog on a new spin studio to hit town turned into friendships and a lifestyle I am so thankful for. 

I caught up with the gals at their studio {1716 Main Street} a couple weeks ago to see how life has been treating them since they began what I like to call a "Rev Movement."

Read along to learn more...

What have you learned about each other since opening Rev? 

Amanda: If one of us is at a low point or going through something, the other two are there to hype you up and lift your spirits. 

Rachel: Each of us has different strengths that compliment one another.

Colleen: We all balance each other out. 

Did you ever imagine Rev to be this big? 

A,R,C: Yes, our intent was to make it big, but to also make it meaningful.

What is your favorite class to teach? And what is your favorite Rev class to take? 

Rachel: To Teach - Rev Ride 45 minutes, To Take - Rev Shred 

Colleen: To Teach - Rev Ride 60 minutes, To Take - TRX {Colleen is an old school at heart}

Amanda: To Teach - Rev Ride 45 minutes, To Take - Rev Row Strength 

If you know the ladies you know besides having their families, they each have a full time job on top of owning their own business. So I asked them, when do they find time to workout and prep for the classes they teach. 

All of them said they make time throughout their day, whether they stop into the studio on their lunch break or pop into the studio early in the morning before they have a personal training session with a client, they find time in their day. They may even stop by and take a class from other local studios like Long + Lean Pilates or Barre Centric to change up their routine.

They prep for the classes they teach late at night or in the car if they hear a song come on the radio. They plan their classes on how how they're feeling. The playlists they create feature an array of music in which all the Rev instructors can share with one another and that sometimes helps get inspiration for their class.

What do you love most about owning your own business? 

Colleen: The control of the experience for the client. When someone walks in the door that feeling they feel the moment they walk in is special and we are a part of making it special. 

Rachel: Meeting new people and making new connections. 

Amanda: Her life got full when Rev began. Meeting new people and sharing the same interests and lifestyle with new people. And knowing it all doesn't have to get done in one day. Work will always be there.

What is your favorite memory so far? 

Amanda: When they first opened it was all hands on deck. The late nights after teaching classes; cleaning, painting, doing so much to get the studio ready and keep it in tact. Three years later they have a lot more people to help keep the studio running. 

Colleen: When we hired our first instructor and saw the class sell out. Its a cool feeling to be so passionate and have our Rev instructors have that same amount of passion and care as we do. There is pride about Rev fitness and each other and we have a great group of people with us. 

Rachel: When we moved from the carriage house and had our first class at 1716 Main Street. To see the first class take off here was pretty awesome. 

Would you do it all again knowing what you know now? 

A,C,R: YES! Absolutely, we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves without it. 

Why do you think people choose Rev?

A,C,R: Its a combination of things, the sense of intimacy, the high standards not only we carry, but our entire staff carries as well. People come to sweat, but also to be a part of the "Rev life." Good attracts good and we all like to meet new people and be a part of the community's everyday routine.

What have you learned most since opening Rev? 

A, C, R: We all learned how to be flexible and understand what a "true passion" really is and what it really means, when you're 100% in it, it's a cool feeling. We are so much stronger than we used to be. When you face your fear you learn to have thick skin. "I'm in this, own it and move forward."

What are your plans for down the road? 

Well Buffalo, stay tuned for the answer to this question. Some exciting news is to be shared soon, so make sure to follow Revolution Buffalo on social media! :) 

So with that I'm going to put in my two cents now. What I can tell you from my experience going to Rev is, this "Rev Nation" that I like to call it, is strong, powerful and most importantly its positive. Rev is one place in town that I know I can always go and know I will have a good experience. Its a place I count on when I need a pick me up or just feel good vibes, I walk in and my entire mood is changed. Its more than just a building with four walls, its a community, a lifestyle, a family. A family that encourages one another, lifts one another up and represents what Western New York is, a "City of Good Neighbors." 

I am a better person for knowing these three ladies. Not only do they and their entire staff help make you a stronger person physically, they also make you a stronger person mentally. You will sweat more and laugh more, but you will also learn to love more. That's the #RevLife

And on that note I will end with a quote that has stuck with me since my first class at Rev and that is from Rachel "We are not tired, we are strong." and that we all are. xo

-B

 

The Maned Wolf at the Buffalo Zoo

If you know me you know my love for animals and you know my love for the Buffalo Zoo. A couple years ago I decided to sponsor the Maned Wolf exhibit at the Zoo. Located in the Vanishing Animals North section of the Zoo, the Maned Wolf's exhibit is near Zebras, Scout the {adorable!} red panda and the snow leopards exhibits. 

 Vanishing Animals North is located in the upper right hand corner of the Zoo map

Vanishing Animals North is located in the upper right hand corner of the Zoo map

I reached out to my friends at the Zoo to see if I could learn more about the beautiful animals in the exhibit I sponsor and meet their keeper. Thanks to the Zoo staff I was able to meet with Catherine Carroll about two weeks ago to learn more about Kev and Elisa the two maned wolves that call the Buffalo Zoo their home. To spare you a long, long post {because I could talk forever about animals} I summarized what I learned below...

 Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Zoo 

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Zoo 

Kev is 11 and Elisa is 15, similar to a dog a unique feature guests may not know is the maned wolf has a unique bark/howl that is not 100% a bark, nor howl. Both animals have access to the outdoors at night as long as the temperature outside is over 30 degrees. They have enrichment every day that includes everything from toys, moving around exhibit pieces {such as logs and putting natural spices on them} and hiding toys in hay piles to name a few. They each get a "wolf smoothie" everyday to get the fruits and veggies they need for their diet and they are fed separately. The keepers track records of what they eat, how much they eat and do daily exams on both of them. Kev and Elisa enjoy to snuggle and you can often seem them cuddled together on top of the tall rock on the right hand side of the their exhibit. 

 Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Zoo

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Zoo

Catherine is born and raised in Buffalo and has been a keeper at the Buffalo Zoo for over 25+ years. Let me tell you she is an amazing person! She always knew she wanted to be a keeper and has a love for all animals, saying they are like her"children." She is a lead keeper so not only does she care for the animals and clean the exhibit and prepare meals for them, she also is in charge of scheduling other keepers on her team, ordering supplies and much, much more. She works with other animal departments and other Zoo's to see what enrichment programs they do with their animals and to bounce ideas off of each other. 

 Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Zoo

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Zoo

One thing many people may not know, is a lot of keepers do more than just take care of animals. In their spare time they may run fundraisers or programs that focus on other conservation efforts that play a very important role in not only our lives, but in the lives of the animals they care for each and every day. 

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Talking with Catherine only made me appreciate more of the work her and the rest of the keepers at the Buffalo Zoo and around the world do to care for animals. There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes that we {the general public} may take for granted. The next time you're at the Buffalo Zoo make sure to pay a visit to the Vanishing Animals North section and appreciate all the beautiful animals you can see and learn about. 

Thank you Catherine {& team} for all that you do each and every day. 

-B

 

Experience Great Beer

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Back on April 2, 2014 I shared my first brewery interview with my followers. That brewery has become one of my favorite places in Buffalo and it is Resurgence. Fast forward to present day and I can now say that Jeff and his team have taken me under their wings to let me be apart of their team, "their family" and its quite special. 

I thought it would be fun to catch up with Jeff and see how life is going. So please read on! 

If you haven't heard by now, Resurgence is opening another location in the Old First Ward {specifically 55 Chicago St.} and offering up a lot more space, more beer, open air beer gardens, a banquet hall, a parking lot to accommodate up to 250 spaces and the list goes on. While the new location is prime for those in the OFW and downtown, the Niagara St. location will remain open and become more of an R&D location, providing an opportunity to experiment more. 

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When I spoke with Jeff I asked him what he enjoys most about owning his own business, specifically a beer business and he said he enjoys talking about beer, it was that simple. He enjoys talking about it with his customers, he enjoys flavor profiling and growing the business together with his employees. Its a fun place and to see his employees expand out into bigger roles is exciting to watch. 

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When I asked him what scares him and what he has learned, he said he's learned more about business over the last four years than he could ever imagine. From cash flow, to making beer, packaging, customer service, employee excellence, its all about learning something new everyday, its the best lesson for anyone. 

His favorite memory so far? The first anniversary party. To look back and recap the first year and next year when the Niagara St. location turns five, that will be another favorite memory and when the new location open, another. Its about thinking of more ideas and having them come to fruition. 

 Good friends, Jeff and Rob 

Good friends, Jeff and Rob 

One of the best parts of the industry? The opportunity to work with some cool partners like the one he has with the Buffalo Bisons. For both parties its an opportunity to work with cool people and collaborate on new ideas and do fun things. 

Another perk to being a brewery owner? Travelling to other breweries around the country and learning from other brewers and gaining more knowledge from one another.

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So after four years what is one thing Jeff enjoys the most? The creation process, the "recipe development." Experimentation is fun.

Why do you think people come back to Resurgence? Because of the variety, the beer, the area and because anyone is welcome. Resurgence is approachable. We take risks and at times may take some flack, but it brings openness to the brewery, the experience and the process. 

The final question I asked him was would he do it all over again and what did he say: Yes.  

This interview was important for me to share because Jeff was one of the very first people to open his doors to me and show me around, even when the Niagara St. location was still under construction. Hands down, Jeff is one of the best business owners I know in this area. Resurgence is a place where literally anyone can go and enjoy some beer {or wine}, have some laughs, sit out in the best beer garden in Buffalo {that's my opinion} and just relax. 

Thank you Jeff for letting me share your story 4 years ago and again for sharing it today. 

-B

Harlie's Spring Fever

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We've all been sick of this weather so its no surprise when the temperatures rose yesterday everyone probably did the best they could to go outside and soak up some sun and fresh air. That was no different for Miss Harlie girl. 

 photo cred - K/Sweet 

photo cred - K/Sweet 

Yesterday we went to our favorite park - Knox Farms and we had two special guests take part in her "adventure" this time. My friends Kelsey and Chad came along for the fun. Harlie was so excited not only to be out and about, but to be around other people and dogs. It was a fun afternoon by all and Harlie's looking forward to her next trip back to the Farm.  

 Harlie and Friends  

Harlie and Friends  

Check out my Insta-story (@bybuffalob) for some of the videos taken yesterday. 

 Pit stop at the Library in the Woods 

Pit stop at the Library in the Woods 

B

Impact Cycle

 Smoothies and Spin, what could be better...

Smoothies and Spin, what could be better...

Motivation, Strength, Courage - these are just three things IMPACT Next Level does for anyone who steps foot inside their doors. IMPACT is located inside the HarborCenter in downtown Buffalo. While they have been around for a few years, whats new to the streets is their IMPACT Cycle and IMPACT Yoga classes that began last month. :) 

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Thanks to my very good friend, Kelsey I was able to take a cycle class with Jason Jerome last night. If you know Jason you know how passionate, dedicated and encouraging he is and his ability to push you to do your absolute best goes above and beyond anyone's expectations.

The cycle class was fun, encouraging and challenging {in a good way}. So for all my fitness friends and/or friends that work in the downtown area, if you're looking to check out a new place or change up your workout, pay a visit to IMPACT. 

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If you are taking a class note the cycle and yoga studios are located right next door to the Healthy Scratch {perfect for a post work out smoothie or meal ;)}. To see snippets of my class from last night check out my insta-story on Instagram at @bybuffalob. 

IMPACT also offers more than just cycle and yoga classes. To learn more check out impactnextlevel.com for class schedules, pricing and more. 

-B

Providing Inspiration Over Coffee and Conversation

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In one week I will be a part of an evening where people will be sharing stories of hope, love and inspiration. Things I think this world needs a lot more of nowadays. When I was asked to partake in this event, I was honored. Honored in the sense that one of the most important things to me, is inspiring people {whether I know them or not} to never give up and to know there is always someone there for them.

One of the best things I've gotten out of starting my own blog was getting to meet people within the local community who continue to inspire me each and every day. Next Thursday at 6:30 pm I'll be alongside my very good friend Kate from Hope Rises  who invited me to speak about Just a Blonde in Buffalo at the upcoming Daily Chatter event at Daily Planet Coffee Co. Inc. 

Not only will Kate and myself be sharing our stories, but you will get to meet a handful of amazing speakers who will be sharing their stories about hope and love. 

Come enjoy a delicious cup of coffee followed by some good conversation  on the 12th. 

-B

My Easter Traditions

 Dyngus Day 2017 

Dyngus Day 2017 

Easter is one of my favorite times of the year. I don't have any particular reason why, maybe its just because its during a time where we are entering a new season and the fresh air just feels good, who knows. Anyways, last year right around this time I was gearing up to head to Poland with my best friend. While this year I don't have that trip planned I thought I would share with you some of my favorite things to do over these next few days. 

 Polska flags are up on Paderewski Drive 

Polska flags are up on Paderewski Drive 

I've already been to the Broadway Market once this week, just to scope things out, grab my pussy willows for my floral arrangement and grab some Easter Polish eggs {something I seek out every year}. Tomorrow is Holy Thursday, when I was in grammar school I remember going to mass in the evening and at the end of it, MSGR. and the altar servers would clear the altar of everything. While I haven't been in a very, very long time, I'm thinking of checking out the One Night and Seven Churches Pilgrimage hosted by Broadway Fillmore Alive tomorrow. 

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Good  Friday is interesting, for the simple fact that my Dad, sister and kids and sometimes my brother head to the Broadway Market in the afternoon to get all the Polish food for Easter breakfast - polish sausage, pierogi, butter lamb, platzek, horseradish and some chocolate. We go at one of the busiest times, but that's what makes it fun!

Heading into Saturday for the last 5 years or so I have been taking the Easter basket to St. Stan's with my good friend Annette to get blessed. Its amazing how many people come to get their baskets blessed there, its actually encouraging to see. From there sometimes my niece will come over and help color eggs and we'll go to evening mass. There are some occasions where we will go to Easter Sunday mass, but the last few years its been Saturday evenings. 

Sunday morning the family will come over and we'll {actually I'll eat way to much pierogi} and the kids will search for Easter eggs in an Easter egg hunt that I make up each year. We'll go visit my Grandma and just relax. And then Monday we celebrate - DYNGUS DAY! If I go out {it really is weather dependent} I always go to the Broadway/Fillmore area - its historic Polonia and if you're going to celebrate it needs to be in the right neighborhood in my opinion. 

While there are other Polish traditions that other family's may celebrate that's just an insight into how my family and I celebrate this holiday. 

Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy!

-B 

33 Years!

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This coming Saturday is my 33rd birthday. I don't know why, but it just feels weird to say I'm going to be 33, maybe its because I feel old in some silly sort of way. Anyways, each year since I've had my blog I've written a post about what I've learned from the past year and focus on an area in my life that I'd like to improve on. This year is no different.  As I look back, especially over these last 8-9 months I've made it a priority to accept me for me, the good and the bad.. you see I am my own worst critic and I've dealt with some of the worst heartache, loss, challenges, and failures that I have had in my life - both personally and professionally.  

Life does not get easier as you get older {that is the truth}, but if you're lucky you get wiser and learn to adapt to those difficult situations when you're faced them. I've taken some risks to see that change happens, I've opened up more to people and I've failed at projects I thought would be successful. But out of what seems to be some negative situations are really great life lessons that I would not have learned without going through these bumps in the road.

So you may be asking yourself right now, who cares Beth, we all go through shit, yes that's certainly right, we all do go through shit, but what I want people to get out of this, even if its the one person who reads this post, is that you need to embrace every second of your life. What I've taken with me from all this crap I've been dealt these last few months is that you are only here for a temporary amount of time and life is so very short, the best thing you can do is find something each day that makes you happy. People today get wrapped up in the non-important things - working all the time to meet deadlines, caring to much about how many likes there photo got, making sure everyone knows what they're doing or where they're going, {the list goes on and on} that they forget to live in the moment and take it all in. 

As I embrace my 33rd birthday in a few short days I want to just live a simple life, travel as much as possible, continue to learn new things and give back as much as I possibly can {sounds cliche, but its the truth, these are the things that make me happy}. I am so thankful for the family and friends in my life and I cherish those relationships I have because they are the greatest gift I could ever receive. My family and friends are who keep me sane, support me and all my crazy ideas and who always have my back. So I say thank you to "year 32" for challenging me, letting me fail and teaching me; it's because of those lessons that I'm going into "year 33" as a stronger and wiser version of myself.

A special shout out goes to the following people in the WNY community for helping me embrace those tough times, you may not think or even know how much you've helped me, but you have in some way, shape or form and for that I am very grateful. Kate at Love in Motion Yoga,  Lindsay at Nickel City Pretty, Ryan at Seek Axiom, Ryan at Brookdog Fishing Co. and the ladies at Rev - Rachel and Colleen- those training sessions we have each week are sessions I truly treasure. Thank you for making me stronger both physically and mentally. If any of you know any of these fine people, you know what a positive impact they have in the WNY community.  XO

-B

Buffalo Distilling Company

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This week I'm kicking off a story on a couple pretty cool guys I met a few weeks ago. I had the chance to meet and chat with Andy and {Frank, in passing} two of the 3 owners of Buffalo Distilling Co. Andy gave me a run down on how it all began and a tour the facility that sits at 860 Seneca Street in the Larkinville area. 

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Buffalo Distilling is a NYS Farm Distillery and while they began production in their first facility  in Bennington, NY they chose to move into the city {Buffalo} where the action is and really where all 3 of them live. What people in Western New York may not know is that the guys at Buffalo Distilling make booze the old fashion way. They create their product to emulate this area, they use grain that is from this area along with product from Smith Orchard in Pendleton to name a few. 

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Their hot button item is their One Foot Cock Bourbon, but they also offer Brandy, Apple Pie Moonshine {which came out right before the Holiday season}, Vodka {which is the only vodka to this day that I can take a straight shot of and not make one of those ugly faces after}. And lastly they are having a Krupnik release party this coming Saturday, March 3rd beginning at 5pm. 

The Krupnik release and Polka party will feature not only tastings of their One Foot Cock Krupnik, but also feature a polish food menu and polka dance party, with Polka Band, Special Delivery performing. Best part {outside of the krupnik} there is no cover! 

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All the guys have a hand in each part of the business and they all take pride in what they do and have a passion for it. Its all about building personal relationships with people and being able to see what you make and how the consumer falls in love with it. 

-B

Paczki Day!!

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Today is Paczki Day,  a Polish tradition that on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the people of Poland would use up food so that it would not be spoiled or wasted. The reason for this was because  Lent was 40 days of fasting; meaning one meal a day and full fasting on Friday. Any rich foods were not allowed. Families would use up their eggs, butter and sugar and fruit by treating themselves one last time before Lent began with these rich donuts.

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While I am sad to miss it this year because I'm out of town {maybe I'll search for something similar, here in Costa Rica..hmm..}, I'm excited for those who are celebrating {I'm talking to you Ben & Chad, don't let me down!} and heading to the Broadway Market  {my favorite place to get them} or their favorite local bakery to enjoy these "oh so bad" for you, but "oh so good" treats. If you are going to the Market, it is open from 7am-5pm today. 

Enjoy! 

-B

More fun wintertime activities

Guys, today on my feature for fun wintertime activities I'm talking about some places I have mentioned before, but all offer great activities to get you through this winter slump. 

 throwing it back to 2017 when me and my friends from work took a trip to the zoo 

throwing it back to 2017 when me and my friends from work took a trip to the zoo 

The first is the Buffalo Zoo. Continuing with embracing the winter in Western New York, head to the zoo during February for Polar Bear Days where admission is only $5 and parking is free. Enjoy the beautiful animals as they embrace the winter season. I love the Zoo year round, but if you hate going in the summer when its crowded this is the perfect time to go.

You can stop by exhibits {indoor and out} and see the animals up close without dealing with all the people. Make sure to check out the Maned Wolf, I heard there's a pretty cool blogger who sponsors that exhibit {lol}.

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Next up on my list is fishing, not ice fishing, but the real, fun fishing with Ryan from Brookdog Fishing Co. Check out his website to get more info, but trust me, its a once in a lifetime experience. You can also check out my past posts too {Nov. 2017, Fishing in the Lower River & July 2017, My newest adventure with Brookdoh Fishing Co.} 

 this photo was from my trip with Ryan back in November, you have such a good time that the cold weather becomes secondary. 

this photo was from my trip with Ryan back in November, you have such a good time that the cold weather becomes secondary. 

Lastly is the fun village of Ellicottville. Of course Holiday Valley offers tubing, skiing, snowboarding and much more, but the heart of village has a variety of different shops, coffee houses and pubs that make it a special place to visit and embrace the winter in the heart of "ski country."

 learn to snowboard at Holiday Valley 

learn to snowboard at Holiday Valley 

I could sit here and list a dozen more things to do from spending a day at the Aquarium in Niagara Falls, NY to learning about science at the Science Museum, or visiting your local library and finding some good books to read on those days school is cancelled or during Presidents Day week. Or go on a distillery or brewery tour, there are so many in town now, that you could make a day of it with your friends. Whatever you decide to do with the rest of this winter season, just embrace each day and all it offers because each day is about creating new memories with those you love. 

-B

 

A Hot Spot at 500 Seneca - Winkler & Samuels

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Wine 

Purveyors

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For those that know me, they know I love wine, like LOVE wine and for those that don't know me, you just learned something new about me. I think at some point in my life I may try to make my own wine, but for now I'll just continue to educate myself on all the different kinds that are out there. Which makes a great segue into my blog post for today, Winkler & Samuels a great, fairly new business in town. 

Located inside 500 Seneca {next to Tommyrotter Distillery} Melissa Winkler a certified sommelier  has a long family history with the neighborhood where Winkler & Samuels sits. Her family previously owned and operated F.X. Winkler and Sons, Buffalo’s oldest grocery store, which stood down the street from her business for 111 years.

The best way I can describe Winkler & Samuels is that it is a top notch wine store with a lot of offerings you don't get at other local stores in town. Not only does Melissa pick each wine out, but she sorts it by region - old vs. new. Its organized making it easy to find your favorite bottle or look for a new kind, it's clean, personal and offers wine you may not see at the typical wine store in your neighborhood.

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I personally love that it is so close to my work so I can stop there on my way home and I love that Melissa is there to offer suggestions or guidance based on what you like or what you're looking for. She's legit, she knows what she's talking about and won't steer you wrong. 

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What's even better? Their wine cellar, located downstairs from their retail store, it costs $25 a month and gives customers their own storage for up to two cases of wine in a climate controlled room. There is more to the membership to! As a member you receive 20% off wine services, free home delivery, 20 % off wine education classes and more. 

 Wine Cellar

Wine Cellar

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So what's one of the best parts of owning your own wine store? One of the best parts of the business is finding new wines and sharing the experience with customers. Carrying wines that are not carried everywhere else offers a unique opportunity for customers to come in and try varieties they may have never known about. 

 On tour of the private event area... Mackenzie smiling ...A man enjoying his wine sample

On tour of the private event area... Mackenzie smiling ...A man enjoying his wine sample

So why Buffalo? Because its a great place to live, its allowed Melissa to open her own wine store and the quality of life is great.

 Private event area 

Private event area 

 Another part of their private event area - under construction

Another part of their private event area - under construction

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What's in store for the future? Continuing to grow the wine cellar program, continuing education classes {they offer a lot, check out the event calendar here}. And if you're looking for a place to host an event, they have a great private event space, so follow along as Melissa continues to grow Winkler & Samuels 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

-B

{A special thank you goes out to my friend  Mackenzie for organizing this interview for me and coming along on the venture xo}

 My purchases :) not all of these were for me, some were for a donation. 

My purchases :) not all of these were for me, some were for a donation. 

Embrace the Winter with Fun Classes from Skate Great, Inc.

 Learn to skate at Canalside with Skate Great! 

Learn to skate at Canalside with Skate Great! 

Continuing with the fun wintertime activities, last week I sat down with Jessica from Skate Great, Inc.  .  I have ice skated a couple times in my life, but I am not good and pretty much have to hang on to the side of the rink so I don't fall. In an effort to share more of my "adventures" with you, I got out on the ice last week at Canalside for a hot minute {if you follow me on Instagram you can check out my insta-story video for the next 24 hours to see how bad I am}. 

Over the next few weeks learning to skate with Skate Great is on my to-do list. Let's face it, if we have to deal with the winter, I want to embrace the fun activities that go along with it. 

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In the meantime learn more about Jess and Skate Great, Inc. below ---->

Celebrating 20 years in Western New York, Skate Great is the largest learn to skate program in the area. Offering a number of programs from learning to skate, hockey skills to baby blades and intro to dance, there is something for everyone. 

 Jess from Skate Great, Inc. 

Jess from Skate Great, Inc. 

Jessica took over ownership of Skate Great six years ago, after the former owner, Janice passed away. Jess started in competitive figure skating and continued to coach in College. Since she has taken over the business, it has grown. Offering programs year round at Holiday Twin Rinks and Leisure Rinks, Skate Great also offers seasonal programs at Canalside, East Aurora and Hamburg. 

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When I asked Jess what her favorite thing about owning a business is, she said she loves teaching beginners and loves seeing people who want to learn and want to skate, the emotions and hard work is special. It's not only personal for Jess, but for every coach that is on the Skate Great team. They are loyal and emotionally attached to the work they do.

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When I asked Jess what her favorite thing about Buffalo is, she said the people. Everybody knows someone, but you still get to meet new people. Buffalo's tough and you only find that in WNY. 

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So if yo're looking for something fun to do, Skate Great offers a number of different programs for all ages, check out their website {HERE} to learn more about their programs and pricing. If you have a question, Jess will always respond, so embrace the wintertime and enjoy some fun activities! 

-B

 

 

Embrace the Chill

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Curling 

Crew...

When I hosted my blog party last month I had a jar on the counter for guests to write down blog post ideas they'd like me to cover. Moving into the next phase of Just a Blonde in Buffalo, I want to focus more on sharing my experiences with you. I think it reflects where and what is going on in my life to a certain degree. 

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I received a number of notes that said they'd like me to feature things to do in WNY during the winter time. Let's face it winter can be very depressing, with the cold, snow and lack of sunlight it can put a damper on things. If you're one that loves winter because you ski, snowboard or whatever it may be, that's great, but I think you are a rare breed and myself and probably others are jealous of you for that. 

 Chris teaching me

Chris teaching me

In an effort to show those who may not necessarily like winter that it can be fun, I've attempted {I say attempt because I am no pro at the activities I'm about to post} a handful of fun wintertime things you, your family and friends can partake in. {Note that what I post this week, not all of these activities are outdoors}. 

Any who, today I'm featuring CURLING! I've never curled before, I don't know how it started or why, but I will tell you I had so many laughs and I still have some bruises {totally worth it}. This activity was a lot of fun and pretty much anyone can do it. 

 Chris showing us the ropes 

Chris showing us the ropes 

Thanks to my friends over at Canalside - Todd, Mike and Erin participated in my "adventure" with me. Are curling instructor for the day was Chris and he started off demonstrating the proper ways to push off the block and slide the stones on the ice. He then showed us the right way to sweep the ice with the curling broom. 

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From there we were ready to compete {everything turns out to be a competition with me}. It was the guys vs. the gals. The first few times I "took off" from the foot block was hysterically embarrassing. My stone didn't even make it to center ice, it wasn't until the 3rd or 4th try that I got the hang of it, needless to say I think everyone got a few good laughs in.

 Look at that face... first time curling 

Look at that face... first time curling 

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Thanks to Erin sweeping the ice and then accidentally falling over one, she was able to knock out the guys stone and we were on the target - that was how we got our 1 and only point and how we took the lead. We went back and forth for a few more rounds and how it ended - the guys won.  

 Girls on the target 

Girls on the target 

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SO here are the details if you  want to Curl at Canalside. 

  1. Visit Canalside Buffalo's website to reserve your spot - Click here and it will take you directly to the Curling page
  2. Sign the waiver before you arrive - this saves you time and give you more time on the ice 
  3. Minimum amount of people is 4, max is 10 people per lane
  4. Curling is 1 hour long 
  5. Pricing during the week is $10 per person. Weekends {beginning 5 p.m. Friday} and Holidays is $15 per person 
  6. Make sure to visit Canalside's website and social media to find out their hours of operation 

I honestly had so much fun, laughed a lot and didn't even think about the cold and dreary weather. Once you're done curling you can visit the warm Winter Lodge for beverages { alcohol and non-alcoholic} and snacks. 

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-B

Women Who Move Buffalo - Kate from Hope Rises

  IGNITING HOPE THROUGH STORIES OF LOVE AND GOODWILL ACROSS THE GLOBE

IGNITING HOPE THROUGH STORIES OF LOVE AND GOODWILL ACROSS THE GLOBE

There are some people that walk into your life and if you're lucky they leave a permanent mark and if you're luckier you can call them your friend. Kate from Hope Rises is one of those people who I am lucky enough to call my friend. She has a huge heart and within the last few months has created Hope Rises, a blog idea that was created on a drive back home from a family trip from Florida. You see Kate was on her way back to Buffalo when the horrible Las Vegas shooting had occurred, feeling helpless she decided to make a difference by bringing positivity to the world by sharing stories of hope, heartfelt humor and happiness. 

Kate loves telling and sharing stories as she has a background in journalism. She tells the story not from her perspective, but from the perspective of her interviewee. As she began this exciting journey back in November she had a lot of help getting Hope Rises off the ground, not only from her loving family, but also from a good friend Nicole Cooke, who helped create the logo and brand.

Through Kate's story she met Annette Adamczak {to read about Annette's story click here} who is now a contributing writer for Hope Rises and a perfect example of faith and hope. The stories featured on Hope Rises are anything from animal rescue stories, military and child illness. They are stories from all over the Country and the World and Kate is looking for more submissions. If you have a feel good story, please feel free to share it with her. You can do that by submitting on her Facebook Page,  Hope Rises or by emailing her at hoperises@gmail.com

What does Kate want people to get out of all of this? She wants it to make an impact on people, even if its just one person. "To make a difference in someones life and to be able to give those who feel they don't have a voice the opportunity to let them share their story that is what its all about." Kate is happy to be able to highlight so many positive people. "You learn that there are a lot of heroes around every corner you turn."

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What I can tell you, is for me, Hope Rises is a site where I can go when I feel like the world is a complete mess, a place I can go when I feel completely defeated, stressed and just want to give up. Its through the positive, heartfelt stories that help me know that things are ok and they will be ok. It puts the important things in perspective.  

Kate, you are making a difference, you are touching many people's lives and you are helping this world. You are helping people know that things will be just fine and when they feel like they don't have a voice, they do. So continue to be that positive force that we need in this world, because we need more people like you, to create change, create hope and spread more love than hate. 

Thank you for letting me share your story and thank you for being that person who walked into my life, left a permanent mark, reminds me to be a better person each day and who I can be lucky enough to call my friend.

-B

The Dapper Goose

Last week my friend Jen and I got together for a much needed dinner date. We were looking forward to going to the Dapper Goose (both of us never being there before and hearing it is really good, we were excited to check it out).

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I don't know if going to the bar for drinks is the thing there, but both of us were not as impressed as we thought we would be. While it is quaint and has nice decor, I didn't think the food was over the moon great. We had a few shared plates (that I thought were very salty, but that may just be me) and don't get me wrong it was ok, but I think maybe hearing all these rave reviews from friends, my expectations were a little high?!? 

I heard they have a good brunch so maybe I need to give it another try, but instead of dinner go for brunch? I'm not sure, but anyways the way they presented the bill was kind of cute, putting it in a little thank you card with a note adds a nice touch. 

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A Day Trip to Rochester - Part Two - Beer, Tacos and Margaritas

 The Lost Borough Brewing Co.   Drink Local

The Lost Borough Brewing Co. 

Drink Local

Part two of my day trip to Rochester post is highlighting places that I never heard of, but Arica took me to. One was a neat brewery call the Lost Borough Brewing Company. The Apple Pie Ale was very good and bonus if you have a dog they are welcome into the building (I'm not sure how that passes health codes, but its nice to know you can bring your furry pup with you on the trip if you want). Overall it was a cool place to go watch a sporting event and have a few beers. Its small, but when we were there we were able to snag a table so it was all good.

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Dorado 

serve me up a margarita 

 

The last stop on the day trip to Rochester was this very, VERY small Mexican restaurant called  Dorado on Park Ave. Arica and her friend Tyler warned me that it is very small, but I didn't realize as soon as you walk in, the bar is right in front of you and then there is seating on the side and that's really it. In a crazy way I loved it though, it was cozy and the food was really good. The margaritas were delish too! Arica was telling me in the summer they use the patio outside to add more seating, making for a great place to go on a warm summer night. 

 This is the El Plato Grande Dish  I got it with Chicken, and it comes with chips sour cream, beans, rice, cheese and guacamole

This is the El Plato Grande Dish

I got it with Chicken, and it comes with chips sour cream, beans, rice, cheese and guacamole

 

Overall my day trip to Rochester was a blast and featured an variety of different local places to visit. While some of it was planned I loved the surprise of the two places Arica just thought I would enjoy and we ventured around. Life is about experiences, living in the moment and enjoying it. I look forward to more experiences and just living more in the moment this year and I hope you do to. 

-B

 

 

A Wedding Experience Like No Other

 photo courtesy of Actors Anonymous Theater Company  

photo courtesy of Actors Anonymous Theater Company  

Celebrating their 17th year, Tony n' Tina's Wedding is one of the longest running interactive shows in Western New York and that is something the Actors Anonymous Theater Company (AATC) should be proud of. When John Pirrone of AATC reached out asking me to share this on my site, I couldn't be happier.

I remember going to this show when it was held at Shea's with my best friend at the time. We were in high school and I didn't know what to expect. As I look back on it now, it was a great experience to be a part of. Not only were there a lot of laughs, but it was a night out where everyone (whether you knew each other or not) you were a big family, just enjoying your time out. 

Running January and February of 2018, Tony n' Tina's Wedding gives guests a special treat. Not only do you receive dinner, drinks and live music, but guests have the opportunity to be a part of some aspects of the wedding. 

Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding is being held at the Lancaster Country Club from January 26, 2018 through February 17, 2018 on Fridays and Saturdays, 7pm.  

Tickets for the show are $40 for VIP, $35 per person or $32 each for groups of six or more. Tickets can be purchased at www.aatc.net or by contacting the box office at 716-633-4355. 

If you are looking for something to do in the upcoming weeks I really recommend attending. Its a unique experience that will bring some laughter and joy into your life.

If you'd like to learn more about the AATC please contact John Pirrone at ActorsAnonymousTheatreCompany@gmail.com

-B

p.s. thank you John for letting me share this! 

 

A Day Trip to Rochester - Burgers, Arcade Games & of course..Wine!

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Let's Have Some Fun

Swillburger THE PLAYHOUSE

Sometimes you just need to get out of town and change the scenery. Right before the New Year I went back to Rochester to visit my friend Arica. There were a bunch of places I wanted to check out and I asked her to go along for the 'adventure.' Today I'm sharing two of the four stops with you.

The first one was Swillburger, a burger and arcade playhouse. First the burger are delicious and the homemade ketchup - not bad! The beer choices are nice and finally the arcade games. Pac Man, Tetris, Jarassic Park, Pinball, I can go on, its so much fun and I highly recommend if you're looking for something to do during these winter months! 

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LIVING ROOTS 

Wine & Co.

 

Next on the list of places to visit is Living Roots Wine & Co. (my friend Colleen told me about this place and when I looked it up I right away put it on my list of places to go, thanks Colleen!!). Its definitely a place I would visit frequently. Offering an array of wines from the Finger Lakes and Australia and cheese boards, its a place to go with your girlfriends or on a date I would think. The one suggestion I have is to add a few more tables and some stools at the bar. They have the space and I think it would get people to stay a little longer. 

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People have asked me to share things to do during the winter months on my blog, so while its about an hour to hour twenty minute drive you can make a day of it. Whether you have young kids and are looking to get them out of the house, Swillburger is a fun place for all ages and on Saturday afternoons there were a decent amount of families there. Living Roots is a good place to go to catch up with friends, go on a date and just chill. 

Over the course of the next few weeks I'll be sharing more activities to do and places to visit during this winter season. In the meantime have a great weekend!

-B