Hatchets & Hops

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

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

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

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

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

-B

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Buffalo Boss Babes

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

Cover photo - Buffalo Boss Babes Facebook page photo

This photo - Buffalo Boss Babes Instagram post

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

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

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

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

-B

WE ARE HAPPY

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

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

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

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

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

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

-B



# 22. You Define Meaning

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

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

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

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

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

Happy New Year!

-B

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-B

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

A Reason to be Excited for the Winter

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

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

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

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

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The Brains and Beauties Behind Alchemy Wine & Beer

Nicole Casell & Anne McIntosh - owners of Alchemy Wine & 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

—-

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!






















The Draft Room- Buffalo, NY

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Some of you may have seen it already, but the anticipated The Draft Room is set to open to the public tomorrow (11/17) alongside the new Labatt Brew House.

Last weekend I was able to attend a preview night and it was a pretty cool experience. From the tasting room by the entrance, to walking around the building and ordering the food, the staff was very knowledgeable, service was quick and overall friendly.

Beer Flights

Beer Flights

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I think it is going to be a hot place to check out whether for a casual happy hour or for drinks before or after attending an event downtown. Its one of a kind and will bring many beer drinkers together.

-B

My top food picks from the food we split:

  • Candied Bacon

  • French Bread Pizza

  • Poutine Burger

Beer Picks:

  • Labatt Blue Citra

  • Kellerbier

  • Hefeweizen

  • IPA

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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 Little Taste of Buffalo Out West

The last couple of weekends I took some time to travel to Milwaukee and Houston. One trip was to reconnect with some of my closest friends for more than just a couple hours and the other was to attend (what we hoped would be a successful) Bills game.

Both trips had a little taste of Buffalo. Milwaukee was really cool, mostly because Shanna and Michelle (both Buffalo natives) were there, but it also reminded me a lot like Buffalo, just bigger - lots of breweries, great concert venues and good food.

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Houston was cool because not only did I have the opportunity to check out the Zoo and Discovery Green ( a cool urban green space in the middle of the city), but also got to spend time with a handful of my friends who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. Houston’s tailgating was good compared to other out of town sporting events I’ve been to, but was still “tame” compared to the Buffalo Bills tailgating back home. The food was really good and the people here for the most part are pretty friendly.

While this trip to Houston especially has given me some “me” time, what I’ve enjoyed the most over these last two weeks is just being around friends that matter the most to me. They remind me to have fun, make me laugh and are there to offer advice and guidance when needed.

While this blog post doesn’t necessarily feature something in Buffalo, it reminds me that no matter where I go there is always a piece of Buffalo with me and that won’t ever change.

-B

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.)

The Buffalo Lighthouse

Being at the Outer Harbor for last few years, I decided this year for the end of season staff outing I wanted my staff to get something out of the Harbor (outside of just the programs and events we run) so I scheduled a private tour of the Buffalo Lighthouse with Mike Vogel.

We walked the property, learned about the history of the space and future plans. And at the end of the day we were able to experience a cool opportunity that provides much history about Buffalo.

I encourage anyone looking for something new to experience to look into the Buffalo Lighthouse Association. If you’d like to learn more about the 1833 Buffalo Lighthouse go to www.buffalolight.org

Getting ready to climb the lighthouse!   Did you know the Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest structures on the Great Lakes. Located at the foot of the Buffalo River.  Another fun fact - The Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest still standing in its original location in the city of Buffalo. It is 60 feet tall and has an octagonal limestone shape.

Getting ready to climb the lighthouse!

Did you know the Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest structures on the Great Lakes. Located at the foot of the Buffalo River.

Another fun fact - The Buffalo Lighthouse is the oldest still standing in its original location in the city of Buffalo. It is 60 feet tall and has an octagonal limestone shape.

(Photo on the left) Group Shot (missing part of our staff)

(Center photo) City of Buffalo Shots

(Photo on the right) Oh hey guys!

Featured Exhibition: Robert Indiana: A Sculpture Retrospective

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I was looking for something to do earlier today so I stopped by the Albright Knox art gallery and visited the Robert Indiana exhibition that is currently on display. Today is the last day for the exhibition, but his Numbers ONE through ZERO are on display at Wilkeson Pointe until September 2019.

It was a nice way to spend part of my day. Check out my photos below showcasing some of his work that was on display.

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TWO - Robert Indiana’s Favorite Number

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2018 Make a Wish WNY/ 97 Rock Radiothon

MAW Family

MAW Family

Over the course of the last 24 years The Make a Wish WNY/ 97 Rock Radiothon has brought in over $3 million to benefit children in the Western New York area. Thursday afternoon I was able to spend some of my time on the auction lines helping take calls.

Make a Wish WNY is one of the first organizations I began to volunteer with over 9 years ago and it has opened my life to a whole new world. To be able to help give back and help a child see their wish come true is one of the best feelings in the world.

The Radiothon runs until 10am on Friday 9/14, so there is still plenty of time to donate online, stop by the Eastern Hills Mall to drop off a donation in person or call the pledge line (716) 587-8500 or the auction line (716) 587-8577. For more information check out https://501auctions.com/mawradiothon or tune into 97 Rock at 96.9.

-B

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