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

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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"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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The Brains and Beauties Behind Alchemy Wine & Beer

Nicole Casell &amp; Anne McIntosh - owners of Alchemy Wine &amp; Beer  (photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Nicole Casell & Anne McIntosh - owners of Alchemy Wine & Beer

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Its Thanksgiving week and while I have many things to be thankful for I thought I would kick off the week by featuring two women who I was lucky to meet a couple weeks ago. Nicole Casell and Anne McIntosh are the beauty and the brains behind the AMAZING Alchemy Wine & Beer in Hamburg.

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Having opened in June the two gals put everything they had into opening a one of a kind space where all are welcome. Learn more about these two powerhouse women below.

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo)

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo)

How did you two meet?

  • About a decade ago. Nicole’s best friend is Anne’s sister in law. Since then the two have traveled around the world together.

How did Alchemy start?

  • With their passion of wine. It was always an idea and passion project and as the both of them traveled together they continued to find great establishments. While they were in New Orleans they visited a wine bar and in the backyard of the establishment the inspiration came to them and from that inspiration snowballed Alchemy.

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo Instagram @bybuffalob)

(photo Just a Blonde in Buffalo Instagram @bybuffalob)

Why Hamburg?

  • While looking at locations, they looked at the City of Buffalo, but having a couple wine bars already, they decided to plant roots in the southtowns. Why? because the southtowns didn’t have any wine bars and it just made sense. Anne was born and raised in Hamburg and Nicole recently made the move with her family to Hamburg from Buffalo.

What do you love best about Buffalo?

  • The size of Buffalo is the perfect size for a city. The amount of events and activities that take place, its condensed, but big enough to still explore and find new things.

While I was talking with Nicole and Anne, I learned a lot more about them. As you can imagine, opening a business is tough, a lot of time, money and dreams are put on the line and Nicole and Anne did it all on their own. People may have a preconceived notion that they own a business and have staff to do everything, but they are not absentee owners, they are involved and have been involved from the ground up. Alchemy is the outcome of hard work and passion from two normal women who are only in their 30’s.

Here are some other things I’d like you to know:

  • The wine at Alchemy is wine you will not find at your local stores. It’s limited, small batch, boutique wines, opening the customers to experience wine from many regions. It’s meant to show people that wine does not have to be over thought.

  • They also serve beer and cider (for those non wine drinkers).

  • Nicole and Anne are level one Sommelier’s.

  • They have a work life blend - never being unplugged, finding balance and structure is unique, but well worth it.

  • Don’t be afraid to pay for help. Nicole and Anne opened a business not really having a background in business, but pursuing a dream and they learned as they went. Ask questions and do research.

  • Alchemy is meant to be casual, it’s meant to be a gathering space

  • Alchemy is not a sit down, full service restaurant. It is a place that offers an array of appetizers/shared plates - easy and humble food (*check out their Charcuterie board next time you’re there).

  • Alchemy is a wine bar community space

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

(photo courtesy of Nicole and Anne at Alchemy)

Nicole and Anne continue to keep moving forward and growing and as they do so they are paying it forward. They have learned so much in a short amount of time and are willing to share their experiences with others.

In the short amount of time I spent with the both of them, I learned so much and am so thankful for the opportunity to share their story. As a woman in her 30’s these two ladies are very inspiring and meeting with them only motivates me to pursue those passions I have for myself.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with these takeaways that have stuck with me since I met with Nicole and Anne- level set your expectations, find balance, learn to delegate tasks, have a good team and don’t ever give up on something your passionate about. Thank you Nicole and Anne for being the kick ass gals that you are.

-B

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If you follow Alchemy on social media you know they host an array of events, from collaborating with crafters and artists, to hosting live music, tastings and wellness events, any event you attend gives off a feel good vibe. Alchemy is open to collaborating with more people so if you have an event you’d like to host, reach out!






















My Buffalo Cryo Experience

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A few days ago I paid a visit to Buffalo Cryo to try out the cryotherapy technology. Having read and heard about the advantages (see the full list here) of cryotherapy I thought I would experience it for myself and see if the affects really do pay off.

Ready for this!

Ready for this!

Dr. Jake talking to me about what is happening to my body during the session

Dr. Jake talking to me about what is happening to my body during the session

Walking in, it was super easy, friendly and quick. Being my first session, Dr. Jake and Pat (owners) explained each step with me in full detail and really made the process fun and educational. Before heading in the cryosauna Dr. Jake took my temperature (walking in at 86 degrees) you want to see it drop by at least 20 degrees by then end of the three minutes.

While in the chamber Dr. Jake talks to you about all the benefits, what you should be feeling and if anything feels just not right, you let him know. At one point I remember being so cold and he told be that I could march in place and that helped to keep the blood flowing.

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Look at that face (happy with that temperature drop)

Look at that face (happy with that temperature drop)

Once exiting the cryosauna, he took my temperature again and it was at 41 degrees, which was great. Before hoping on the bike to get my blood flowing again, he did a complimentary cryo facial on me (thank you!!) which has all those benefits of the whole body session, but just to your face.

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Over the course of the last few days I’ve noticed the areas where I have had a lot of tension, have eased up, my performance at spin class and running the last two days has been better and I’ve had more energy. It is suggested that you do a session every 7-0 days and you should usually schedule it for after your peak workout session. I’m looking forward to going back.

Some helpful facts to know:

  • Your first session is only $25

  • On Thursdays you can bring a friend and receive 50% off treatments (heck yes!)

  • They offer kombucha from Snowy Owl post sessions

  • They are located in the Creamery building on Scott St. and have customer parking in the lot located next to the building.

  • The whole process only took about 20 minutes which is great for those who have busy schedules and need to get in and out (I went on the lunch hour)

  • Wear loose clothing for post session warm up

And lastly, a very special thank you to my friend K. Sweet for documenting my experience for me. Love you girl!

-B

To see video from my session - check it out on my Insta story - @bybuffalob



day of coordination from the day of Buffalo

Image from the day of  Facebook  page

Image from the day of Facebook page

Recently engaged? Looking for help leading up to your big wedding day or looking for help on the day of your wedding? Let the day of help! Created by Crista Botticello, she started out in the fashion and runway event planning business and has slowly become more involved in the wedding industry.

the day of is WNY’s newest day of coordination company offering an immense list of services to help make your wedding less stressful and more fun. For a complete list of details check out their website here. And be sure to follow them on Insta and Facebook you’ll be happy you did!

BlackBird Cider Works - Cider Hall

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Last weekend BlackBird Cider Works opened their new Cider Hall at 155 Chandler Street in Buffalo. When visiting the spot it took me to a pretty cool neighborhood (Black Rock neighborhood) that I haven’t explored a lot of recently. The Cider Hall is a decent size with a decent amount of seating and offering an assortment of cider, cider flights, light food and craft beers.

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The outside (while not completely finished with the patio area) was a pretty cool spot offering graffiti art collages on most of the outside building walls and a nice lawn that I think will become a pretty cool hangout in the warmer months. Overall I loved the space and can’t wait to take more friends and family to visit over the upcoming Holiday season.

-B

I tend to like drier ciders so I asked for recommendations from the staff, this is what they gave me for my flight - Dry Oak Aged, Semi Sweet Oak Aged, Chandler Street Cherry Tart, Cherry Perry. ALL of them were delicious, but I think if I had to pick a favorite it would have been the Dry Oak Aged.

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A Basic Fall Day in Western New York

Savy and I apple picking

Savy and I apple picking

A couple weeks ago I took the day off to simply hang out and do your basic “Fall time” activities (think apple picking, pumpkins, farm animals and more). When choosing a place to visit, it was quite hard - I mean Western New York has a lot of great places to visit this time of year. After narrowing my list down, I randomly selected Blackman Homestead Farms in Lockport, NY.

About a 40 minute drive north of Buffalo, my niece and I picked a great day to go, it was early afternoon and the weather was just right . The selection of apples we picked from was perfect (perfect in my terms), the apples weren’t picked over, there were a lot still on the trees to pick from and it wasn’t overly crowded, making it easy to walk around and explore.

While there we picked out some pumpkins, visited with the goats and pony’s and I even got myself a few mums for my front lawn.

I would highly recommend this location for your Fall activities.

Next time I’m out that way its on my list to stop and check out their cidery (Blackman Cider Co.)

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

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&nbsp;

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.&nbsp;

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&nbsp;

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