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

Blog-versary Celebration

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On the last Friday of 2017 I celebrated with some of the most important people in my life at the Barrel Factory. 5 years ago I began this journey into the "blogging world." Not knowing what I was doing {and sometimes I still don't know}, but enjoying every minute of it. I've learned so much and have been lucky to have the opportunity to experience a lot of new things and meet some amazing people I otherwise wouldn't have.

While I have some ideas for where I would like the next 5 years of Just a Blonde in Buffalo to go, I know things don't always go as planned and am just going to enjoy it day by day. Here's to more adventures, more experiences and meeting some more amazing people. 

To everyone that showed up on Friday at the celebration and to those who were there in spirit thank you for being a part of this journey with me. Cheers to 2018! 

I hope you like the new site! 

-B

xo

Here are more photos from the blog-versary party. 

 

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5 years blogging

A lifetime of support

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 Steve Balesteri performing 

Steve Balesteri performing 

Kitchen Remodel, Post 3 - New Floors

Its been a while since my last post on my kitchen and the reason for that is because my contractor who was planning to install had an accident right after Thanksgiving and it pushed the schedule back. After painting my kitchen cabinets I was going to attempt to put a floor down myself, but didn't want to get in over my head, which I knew I was going to do. My parents had left over flooring from re-doing a room in their basement that I thought would go nice in the kitchen so it helped with some cost savings. Todd is the contractor from Craftsman Renovations that I hired {he has done a lot of work for my Dad, so I know he does a good job} was great. He came this past week and was done in two days. He left the place spotless and I would recommend him to others moving forward. See below for before and after shots and catch my short Instastory on Instagram.

I'm going to take a break from the kitchen remodel until after the new year. Next up on the kitchen project is putting in new butcher block counter tops and a farm sink {I've always wanted one of those}. If you have any places I should check out for counter tops or sinks, send me a message!

-B 

{before photos}

{after photos}

Kitchen Remodel - Post # 2 - Painting Kitchen Cabinets

{part of the mess, my anxiety was so high}

Well this past weekend I took on the project of painting my kitchen cabinets. I went into this scared shitless because all that went thru my head was if I screw this up what am I going to do {haha}, needless to say I moved forward.

{it continued..}

I probably didn't do this the professional way { I know I didn't do it the professional way, I did it the "Beth" way} and I certainly didn't paint the cabinets the way my Mother would have {her response when she walked into my house Saturday afternoon was "oh my, I would have done it ..."}. I tried taking off all the doors, but some of the screws were in so tight that I didn't have the strength to take they down so I improvised {this is where a handyman would have come in play, but that's ok}.

While the color of the cabinets looks more blue to me than light grey, I'm happy with the way the turned out. My kitchen looks a lot brighter and "fresher." I'm still getting used to the new look, but I'm overall happy with the way they turned out.

Next on the list, a new floor. I'm hoping to have that done in the next few weeks if possible.

{this is right before I hit my head on the ceiling like 10 times}

Because I'm trying to do as much of this on my own to save costs, stick to a budget and for some silly reason, to prove to myself that a single female who is living on her own can handle a project like this {it's all about empowerment and telling myself I can do this} I've been trying to cut costs as much as possible. So far for the paint, paint brushes, primer and sand paper my total costs have come to around $70.

{after photos}

{ I painted the bottom half of this wall a navy blue, which I am in love with!! I have an idea for an art mural sort of project for the top portion, but before I commit to that idea, I'm going to keep it like this for right now}

Until the next task is complete... if you have any advice on flooring send them my way!

-B 

It's About Taking Care Of Yourself

I've been feeling more stressed and defeated lately than normal, so when my friends over at gifts.com reached out to me about their 92 Self Care Ideas, it was perfect timing. With our busy lives, it can be SO easy to forget to do little nice things for ourselves and it can even sometimes feel selfish! With work, family and friends it's hard to prioritize making some time for you. It feels like something we can easily put off, even though we shouldn't. There are tons of different ways to treat yourself, you can sort the ideas based on whether you need mental, social, physical, emotional, and practical self care so you can really personalize your self care day.

Check it out!

Kitchen Remodel - Post #1 - Wallpaper removal

I'm entering the third year in my house and I have wanted to redo my kitchen for a while so I finally decided to start this remodel today. If you're a homeowner you know there are always projects for you to work on {unless you're a millionaire and purchased your dream home, but I'm not there yet, so I have to keep dreaming} and the kitchen is probably one of the biggest remodels you can do to your home.

First up was taking down wallpaper above my kitchen sink and cabinets {wallpaper is the worst, the WORST}. A few hours later and the first project is complete. Next up on my list is to sand, prime and paint the cabinets...

{kitchen before pictures}

Because its easy to just call a contractor or hire someone to do these things for you, I'm determined to do as much as I possibly can myself. They say challenging yourself is a good thing, so I'm going to challenge myself to get through these next few weeks as I tackle each project one by one.

If you have any tips or suggestions please pass them along my way! And follow along on my Instagram {@bybuffalob} and FB accounts as I tackle these projects.

-B 

 

No fancy title here, just my thoughts as of recent

 

{Photo by Seek Axiom}

Life is a crazy thing and its scary. As I sit here and type away at the key board I have so many thoughts and feelings going through my head and I don't know how or what is really going to come out or if it will even make any sense. I don't know how people who read this will take it, but at the same time its thoughts that I think a lot of people often ignore because they don't like to deal with things head on. Life is tough, its not always sunshine and rainbows, its hard and sad and while you can sit here and act like life is great and post only what you want people in the world to see, you can only mask things for a certain time and then they resurface.

You see even the toughest people who are strong, independent and smart go through shit and sometimes they need someone to lean on, someone to take care of them. You can have a great job, have an amazing family and amazing friends and still feel like something's missing. You can feel this way and its not because you aren't appreciative of what you have in your life, but because you feel like you have to be the one to always keep your shit together. The one who is always the bigger person, the person who will fix everything, make everything better and let people treat you bad and say "it's okay" because you want to do the right thing and just be a good friend, a good person. But in reality that's not okay. Its not okay because you only have one life, you don't always have a second chance and you aren't guaranteed anything except this moment you are living right now so you have to make it worth it.

SO what is the point of all of this stuff I just wrote, I don't know, maybe its me just wanting to let anyone know that if you're going through a tough time and trying to figure out your life, know its okay, you don't have to have all of the answers, you don't need to always feel like superman or superwoman. You just have to live, do the things that make you happy and say whats on your mind and how you feel. Why? because everyone deserves to be happy and be loved. Everyone needs to know its okay to cry and its okay to be sad. Its okay to be vulnerable sometimes because being vulnerable means being uncomfortable. When we put ourselves out there we often wonder if we will get criticized or feel hurt, but because of this we are courageous for opening up and allowing ourselves experiences that we need in order to bring a purpose to our life.

Lastly, we need to love because love is the most important thing you can do as a person and its also the most risky thing you can do. Love is powerful and uncertain and loving someone leaves you to being emotionally exposed. It's scary, but we're open to being hurt because we can't imagine our lives not being loved or loving others and all of this is vulnerable and risky at the same time, but we allow it.

Its funny how over the last year I've learned so much about myself, but know there is so much more to learn.  I don't think anyone would ever say they like to feel stressed or anxious, sad and defeated, but at the same time I am a very strong believer in things happening for a reason. Lessons being learned during some of your most difficult and stressful times. Its during these times that you learn more, you feel more, appreciate more and find the real meaning of your life, what your supposed to be doing. It's almost as though a light bulb goes off and everything clicks and you find those answers you've been looking for, sometimes it happens quickly and other times it may take a while, but it happens.

As I finish typing and debate in my head if I should really hit the publish button, I'm worried what people will think of this, but then I think of what a good friend told me recently and sometimes you just need 20 seconds of insane courage and then its done. So here's to that 20 seconds...

Just know you have a purpose in this crazy world we live in and each day when we wake up its another opportunity for us to share our love with others. xo

-B

 

Harlie Girl

{the real queen of the house}

Its been a while since I posted an update on my best friend little Miss Harlie girl. Harlie is now about a year and a half old and she is has gained a personality that is truly one of a kind. When she wants something she makes you know, when I have a busy work week she lets me know she isn't happy with me and when she's tired she nestles up next to me.

I'm looking forward to these warmer months when I can get her out of the house and take her on long walks to new places. Each day is a new adventure with her and with that my love for her grows stronger. It really is true, a dog is your best friend she knows when I'm sad and when I'm happy and she knows how to cheer me up. Below are some pictures of her over the last few weeks. Once of the best things as of recent is the ability for me to take her to work with me. Not only do I love it, but I think she enjoys all the attention from my co-workers.

Until next time.

-B 

A Special Shout out...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we enter the weekend, I want to send a special shout out to two coworkers who have become good friends of mine. Not only do they make my work day more enjoyable, but they are really good people who I am lucky to call my friends. So Kelsey and Brad, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope your birthday's are filled with lots of laughs, love and fun memories.

-Beth

Harlie and Me - 1 year

{the first day I got Harlie}

It was 1 year ago that Harlie came into my life. I won't forget the day I went to pick her up from the foster family with my brother, I was excited and nervous. It had been forever since I had a puppy and I didn't want to do anything wrong or make any mistakes. I constantly thought am I doing the right thing. The first few weeks I remember hating to leave her because I didn't want her to think I wasn't coming back. I would come home from work during the day just to check on her and make sure she knew that I would always be here.

As this past year unfolded, I learned a lot about Harlie and I think its safe to say she has learned a lot about me. As I'm writing this post she's laying next to me napping while soaking up the sun.

She reminds me of both my family dogs - she has Sabre's goofiness and she has Wallace's "cuddleness". She knows how to test me, has at least one temper tantrum a day, but also gives me the security I need.

You see buying my home and moving out was one of the most accomplishing things I can say I have done with my life, but it was also a struggle for me to go from being surrounded by people at home to coming home to an empty house. Add that on to my anxiety of being alone at night, having a dog was the solution to my worries. Growing up with dogs in my house since I was little is a part of me. It was choosing the dog that was right for me and Harlie was it, she is like my best friend. Even on my worst days she is always there to cheer me up.

Some people who may read this won't understand, but I really don't care. As Harlie and I celebrate are 1 year anniversary together as a family, we will celebrate with maybe an extra dog treat for her and a glass of wine for me. A special thank you goes out to my friend Kate who helped me with finding Harlie and another thank you goes out to Diamonds in the Ruff for the amazing work you do each and every day.

Until next time.

-B & H

 

Harlie's First Day of Training

IMG_1599 Harlie is 9 months old and in, as I like to call it "doggie toddler mode." She really thinks she runs the house and is in charge, so after help from my Dad and researching a few places I found a dog trainer {Sarah Demerle} on thumbstack she is fairly cheap {compared to local places} and she comes to my house which is convenient for me with my schedule. During the training we focus on Harlie's excitement, jumping on people, play biting and understanding that I am the "Pack Leader." Her first training session went ok, Harlie caught on with some things and other things {like the prong collar} we have to work on. Its crazy how after one session I've learned a lot and I know she has too.

Until next time...

-B

End of Summer Bucket List

FullSizeRender Its hard to believe that Labor Day is around the corner and soon kids will be going back to school. I feel like July just flew by and August isn't slowing down either. I went back to see what I still had on my list of things to do this summer and compiled a decent bucket list I am hoping to accomplish.

Grill on my patio - I haven't used my grill at all this summer and I'm hoping I can have a BBQ before summer ends

Go to and Orioles game - yes nothing to do with Buffalo, but being able to attend an MLB game is a summer classic in my book and the O's are my team

Visit a farmers market

Go berry picking

Attend an outdoor concert

Take an outdoor yoga class

Watch a movie outdoors

Hike the trails at Artpark

Visit Chautauqua Lake - make a day of it!

Have a beer {or two} at Thin Man Brewery

Visit the Southern Tier Wineries

Get a group of people together and try an Escape Room

Stop by the Elmwood Arts Festival

Plan a vacation for the Fall

The Adventures of Harlie

IMG_8496 It's been a few weeks since I last posted about Harlie, so I thought I would share an update. She is almost 5 months old and is getting bigger, I can't tell a huge difference, but when my parents come over they can see it. She is loving this warm weather and enjoys going outside and picking up sticks and rolling in the grass. I only have a partially fenced yard so I feel bad that she can't run around without a leash on, but hopefully in the next few weeks that will change.

She is definitely in a chewing stage, her favorite things to chew on currently are my arms, legs and some of my sneakers shoe laces. I'm hoping this phase goes by quickly and I'm hoping I can take her to a dog park coming up at the end of the month. Until next time.

-B

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{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

National Puppy Day

Harlie - March 2016 Its March 23, and its National Puppy Day, so I thought its only fitting to share Harlie's journey with me so far. She is now 14 weeks old and getting comfortable in her new surroundings. She's playful, lovable and a little mischievous and I love her more and more every day. She is loving the warmer weather and picking up sticks when we are out for walks. I'm looking forward to taking her on a couple puppy play dates in the next few weeks.

Harlie - shoe

St. Patty's Day .... The year of #31

happy st Its just a number, but its a boring one. As I celebrate my 31st birthday today I can't help but think of what I've learned over the past year as a 30 year old. As cliché as it sounds leaving your twenties and entering your thirties isn't scary it just puts your life in a different perspective, at least mine. You're more of an adult, taking on more adult responsibilities and while all of them are not fun, there is a sense of excitement as you enter this "new phase" in your life because you look forward to different "obstacles" to get over. We all have these dreams of how your life is going to turn out and I sure as hell didn't think I would be where I am in my life at 31. Not all of it is what I thought it would be, but a lot of it is positive and for that I'm thankful.

If there is anything I've learned throughout this past year its that every person's story is different and while you may expect your life to go in one direction it may not, it may go in a better direction. The other big lesson I found myself repeating a lot this past year was communication is key to almost every single relationship you have, whether it be personal or professional. If you can't talk with one another, how is anything going to be accomplished. You don't have to agree, but with anything in life, if you don't talk with one another how are you supposed to move forward. Well this St. Patty's Day may not be as exciting for me as the others I've celebrated, I'm looking forward to the lessons I'm going to learn in year 31.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

-B

A Hidden Gem in the Heart of the West Side Neighborhood: Tipico Coffee

Calling all Coffee Lovers! Have you been to one of the newest places on Buffalo’s West Side? Tipico Coffee opened a few short months ago and it is A-Mazing!!! jesse tipico

I was lucky enough to sit down with the owner Jesse Crouse and talk about how he got started and what made him open a coffee shop in the heart of the west side neighborhood.

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From coffee to lattes to tea and more, Tipico rotates their coffee on a regular basis and on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays they have pastries from local vendors such as Breadhive and Butter Block, they also have an ever so tasty and popular avocado toast! Jesse started his passion for coffee while he was studying poetry in Chicago. Down the street from him was Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, a high end specialty coffee shop that drew him in and over the last 5+ years he has worked with coffee farms studying the supply aspect of the business.

After having children, Jesse and his wife Kristen {originally from Western New York} were trying to find an affordable place to open a business and decided to move to the area, after being on the west coast for a while. "Buffalo felt right" The couple along with Jesse's in-laws wanted to help influence and shape the community they are living in. Their love for making food and the idea of homesteading offers a unique gift to customers as well. Bringing in 80-90% of their produce and milk from New York State their menu may be small, but is nice and compliments the drinks they serve. Jesse's goal is to offer a revolving menu once the spring time comes and host more casual gatherings and events throughout the year.

Having the largest masonry stove, an iced coffee window that will be offered in the warmer weather months, being one of the first walking destination businesses in the middle of the West Side's residential neighborhood, hosting brunches from time to time {the list goes on}; if you think you're going to walk into the same old coffee shop, you're wrong - Tipico is not your average café, its more than that. It's a place where you go and the staff remembers your name, says thank you for stopping by and see ya soon when you leave. During my interview with Jesse he said hello and goodbye to every person that walked in and out of the door. That is what a small business owner in my opinion is. They know their customers, care about them and want to build a relationship with them.

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Starting on a shoe string budget, Jesse thought of doing a pop up shop, but just so happened to stumble upon his current location through his landlord. Everything was built out and the only thing he had to focus on was the equipment, putting a menu together and finding employees. It took 2 months to open and it wasn’t an easy process, but when you have passion for something you care about so much, it helps get you through. When I asked Jesse what he loves about the area, he said he loves the community. The warm welcoming he receives from the customers and community is what he and his staff give back to the area. The West Side of Buffalo is turning into the walking side of the community and having it be a walking destination gets people who may not be familiar with the area, out and about, seeing all the great things taking shape.

Tipico is really in the heart of the west side of Buffalo - the "hidden gem" in the neighborhood. To me, seeing a business like this in an area that is developing is really exciting. As someone who enjoys going to new places, it's nice to meet local business owners who have a passion and believe in the area they work in. To see them excited, makes you get excited to see the growth of the community. If you enjoy coffee you should definitely make a stop to Tipico. And if you aren't a coffee lover you don't have to worry, Tipico also carries a wide variety of teas for tea lovers. It really is a one-of-a kind café in the area.

-B

tipico latte

{Latte- YUM!}

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{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

2015 - A Year of Growth

A typical end of year blog post - reflecting on this past year and looking ahead to 2016. When I was going through what I did this year, I couldn't believe all of the things that have taken place {it's quite hard to wrap up a whole year in one blog post}!  The people I've met (Rev gals, Molly Hoeltke, Amy @ Linwood Candles, Gretchen from Makers, Del @ 26 Shirts, Vanessa at MuseJar, Elyse at EXO Supply, and all the other wonderful people I've met along the way.} the things I've done {a pedal tour, whitewater rafting, water bikes, exploring Niagara County, the list goes on.} and the places and events I've attended all have helped me learned more about my hometown. IMG_7587

Like every year there are trying times and happy times. If I had to describe 2015 in one word I would say growth. I turned 30 and have finally {FINALLY} started to learn that I don't have to do it all and that's ok. Enjoying what is happening in the moment is one of the biggest things I'm taking away from this year, along with patience. I've learned that doing things that make me happy and not feeling bad about it is ok - its life.

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Some people wish away a year so they can get a fresh start in the new year, I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm happy this year is over because I've learned a lot during the bumps in the road. But with this year came a new home, more adventures taken {right here at home} and more great people I've met. Those are things I wouldn't change for the world.

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Well I am one who really doesn't make resolutions, I do have goals for 2016, specifically focusing on community involvement, visiting places and attending events I haven't been to in the area and traveling out of the country for a trip of a lifetime. Whatever it is that you have set for yourself I wish you a happy and healthy 2016.

-B

Feeling the Crunch

With Christmas only a few days away some people {myself included} still have last minute shopping to do. With every free minute I have I've been trying to catch up on what feels like the longest Christmas shopping list I have. Below are a few local stores I've stopped into this past week. Not thinking I would purchase anything, sometimes the stores you don't expect to find things in, are the ones you do. A lot of stores will be staying open later this week, make sure to check out their websites and/or social media for the most current information. Happy Shopping and be kind to one another!

-B

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{Sarah Danielle inside the Ellicott Square Building}

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{Local artist - Hometown Decals}

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{Main Street in East Aurora, NY}