The Call of Shop Local Seduces.

{ City View at the Strathallan … on my 31st birthday! }

HEY FRANDS

shop.local.

HOW I’VE MISSED YOU

The call of Shop Local is something like the Call of the Sirens — all of the intoxicating, none of the danger: and at the end of the journey — you just can’t stay away. 

BESL has been on sabbatical for over 1 year! Shop Local, on the other hand: anything but. Since I’ve been absent, beautiful, bountiful, + incredible Buy Local Shop Small Support Local blogs, initiatives, events, businesses, camaraderies  — you name it — have abounded.

here are just a few:

*(585) Mag

*Sir Rocha Says

*Explore Rochester

*Exploring Upstate

*Harts Local Grocers

*HypeBooth

*IRocPolkaDots

*RocGirlGang

*The Rochesteriat

*Transit Apparel

*Yelp Rochester

Why did BESL cease? For many reasons. But, quite frankly, while BESL absolutely did { and will continue to } promote Shop Local — BESL truly focused on Barbara Ellen’s Shop Local. Not Rochester’s. It’s true! No shame. No worries. And so, as we Take 2, BESL will stay true to her roots by honing the true spirit behind her namesake.

Our newest chapter explores just that:

Barbara Ellen’s Adventures with Everything Shop Local

So let’s get down to business. And let me be completely transparent. { Because Barbara Ellen don’t got pasty, pale skin for nothing … } . Here is the plan:

Structure: Post once/week. { To start. Hey — gotta start somewhere. }

Promotions: Instagram + Twitter, for now. { Let’s have some fun! Follow me: @babsiell. }

Content: 2 main themes —

  1. Adventures of Barbara Ellen Shopping Local. { Yas. }
  2. And Barbara Ellen’s Spiritual Journies. { Because, above all else, this is the heart + soul of it. }

Goal: BESL has the same exact goals as the tenants of Shop Local. To:

  • Share
  • Explore
  • Express
  • Sustain

Can’t wait to take some wild + fancy free Adventures with all of you.

To the SIrens.

To #Roc.

To #shoplocal.

Full Disclosure: Clean Gut Diet { + Brittany Angell! }

{ My first haul. … Stevia pop – not approved. (But Stevia is.) }

GET IN

clean

MY  BELLY

gut diet

{ It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. … And you can decide if that is a reference to A Tale of Two Cities … or Chumbawumba (because you know that’s what you thought of when reading it). }

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Eat this once a day.

I have so much to say about this incredible + horrible, incredibly horrible, and horribly incredible … diet.

Let me tell you why.

NAY’S This is what you cannot eat.

  • fruit
  • peanuts
  • corn
  • beans
  • rice
  • potatoes
  • grain
  • caffeine or alcohol
  • processed sugar/foods

As a human, that’s just unnatural. 

YAY’S This is what you can eat.

  • berries
  • tree nuts
  • vegetables
  • meat
  • preferably organic
  • preferably hormone free/free range

clean gut diet is not a lifestyle

{ paleo is }

I’m doing this diet/cleanse for health reasons. I should clarify – I’m not even doing the cleanse part. { Which requires liquid breakfast + dinner. … } When I say “cleanse,” I mean that this diet has the purpose of cleansing my stomach + intestines.

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Yum.

messiah medicine

HEALTH BENEFITS – A trinity of healing powers …

RELIEF + BALANCE

  • migraine relief
  • anxiety relief
  • brain fog relief
  • bipolar disorder balance
  • hypothyroid balance

BODY + MEDICINE

  • constipation
  • … so I don’t wake-up feeling hungover every single morning … for no reason at all
  • eliminate side-effects from primary medications so that I don’t take so many secondary

DIAGNOSE

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Spaghetti Squash – I will always eat this.

full disclosure

The worst part about what’s been happening to my body this past year??

CONSTIPATION

Let me tell you about being 29 years old, jogging regularly + supplementing with yoga and kickboxing. Eating fruits + veg on the reg. Not partying a lot.  … And being constipated like a 75 year old man. { This gets graphic. }

  • Two words: bloody nose.

This happens when you’re trying to shit out a weeks worth of fruit + veg. And you can’t.

  • One word: balloon.

Squeeze a long balloon, from both ends. That’s my guts.

love for clean gut

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I heart squash.

Take 5 { Shits }.

Day 2 – no hungover feeling when I awake. Incredible.

Day 4 – I can finally shit. I can still shit.

Thank you, god. The only time I struggled was Day 13 + Day 14, wherein I severely cheated on my diet Day 12 { migraine … while traveling } after having been clean for 12 days.

non-love for clean gut

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Inedible.

I Used to Have an Eating Disorder.

I can’t do diets! Fuck that. Give me a 3 day or a week long cleanse with genuine health benefits – I’m about it. But Clean Gut … is 21 days long. { And then you painstakingly reintroduce foods … which can take another month, at least! } After a week and a half, these are some side-effects I incurred:

  • perfectionism
  • acutely aware of body fat
  • obsessing over being thinner
  • guilt when I don’t eat healthier … and I’m eating the most healthy any being can

and that’s why I’m not pissed …

I’ve cheated

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Cookie recipe with coconut sugar.

No Shame.

You cannot shame-spiral when on any diet. The end objective is what’s most important. For me, this means asking –

Can I shit? Can I not shit?

Do I wake-up feeling hungover? Do I wake up feeling refreshed?

And, with just 2 days left, before I begin reintroducing foods … I repeat this like an affirmation.

lifestyle change 

The best outcome from Clean Gut? Awareness. Paleo is a lifestyle I can handle. It is very healthy, more realistic, + way less restrictive.

Brittany Angell

Coincidentally, I’ve just discovered Brittany Angell! A Rochester native, who is a gluten-free + paleo goddess.

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Hot Coca with Stevia + Coconut Sugar. YUM.

I truly look forward to continue using a ton of savory vegetables + simple dietary substitutions in my daily cooking and eating.

{ For videos detailing my journey … check it. }

#eatlocal

#bewell

XO.

Shopping’s More Fun With … Flower City Fashionista!

BESL

+

FLOWER CITY FASHIONISTA

(equals)

#SHOPLOCAL LOVE

{ Hey Guys! I’m happy to announce that BESL is collab-ing with Ms. Jenny Sanzo, The Flower City Fashionista. Read more below! … And all about how I’m sweet-as-punch. (Love this.) }

How excited are you. Because I’m stoked. Jenny is an incredible blogger, businesswoman, stylist, mother, friend, and {duh} fashionista. She’s brought #Roc the likes of:

And #ShopLocal. Jenny’s always been a Shop Local PIC since Day 1, and now…

Jenny’s featuring BESL #ShopLocal posts!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Visit, Read, Subscribe to Flower City Fashionista
  2. Look for #ShopLocal posts from me
  3. Stick around FCF + see what #Rocs
  4. Head on back to BESL + see what pops
  5. #ShopLocal! {Great deal + incredible benefit.}

 In the words of Mrs. Jenny Sanzo herself:

and roc gets more love

to love of + love for the #Roc

#shoplocal

#flowercityfashionista

XO.

Fall For Your Favorite Snacks: French Fries!!

FALL FAVORITES

 { SNACKS }

FRENCH FRIES!

{ It’s no surprise that french fries are one of my favorite snacks, meals, medicines, + general past times of all time. But I especially find them appealing in the fall. Fall, in general, is a capital time to snack. For one – it’s #back2school, which pretty much fuels the snack industry. For two – it’s getting just a tad bit cooler, which begs us to whip-up heartier combos. }

My fall snack staples include:

  • hot coca with marshmallows
  • popcorn with evoo, salt, pepper, + a sprinkling of cheese
  • homemade french fries!

I’ll eat anyone’s french fries. But I’ve just discovered that I can fry my own! This tickles me. Before we talk recipe, check out my quick tips for all of these delectable + comforting snacks:

  • Hot Coca with Marshmallows: Healthy for your World.

I buy Fair Trade Equal Exchange cocoa mix + vegan marshmallows from Abundance Cooperative Market. The coca is more expensive. … But so is craft beer, and even I {the woman who can no longer drink beer} know it’s worth it. Plus, Fair Trade Equal Exchange ensures an “economically just and environmentally sound” world. I’m down.

  • Pop Corn: Healthy for You.

I pop my own … in a microwave! Yes. This is true. Scoop 1/2 cup of un-popped, regular kernels into a brown paper lunch bag. Micro as per usual. (I do 2.5 minutes or until the popping slows.) Pour into a bowl + season. How. Much. Fun. Is. That. … And you control the toppings. Recently, I made garlic infused butter and poured this overtop with parmesan cheese. … Instant gourmet snack, in literally 2.5 – 3 minutes.

Homemade Fried French Fries

I cannot find the recipe I used last night. It was that magical.

These are neither healthy for you nor healthy for your world (unless you buy local or organic or IPM … you get the point). But they are flippin’ fun. I recommend looking up your own recipe. (There are a ton!) Here’s my informal version and the tips + tricks I used:

  1. Ingredients + Materials – dutch oven (or huge sauce pan) | canola oil (or peanut oil – any oil with a high smoke point) | russet potatoes (most sites recommend these or any high starch potato) | paper towel | plate | salt | mesh spoon (whatever that’s called) | recommended – thermometer | optional – bowl, water, strainer
    • tips + tricks Mr. Potato Head. It’s a funny thing while stove-top frying instead of deep frying. Most recipes encourage you to buy high starch potatoes for crispy, sturdy, meaty fries.  The recipe I used last night instructed to use a high starch potato, but to draw the starch out, exactly because this is a stove-top fry. I’ll speak more to that soon. In the meantime, I say – use whatever potato you got. (Look up separate recipes for sweet potatoes.)
  2. Prep – slice potatoes to desired thickness (1/4 – 3/8 in.) | soak potatoes if doing so | if not or while potatoes drain + dry: add oil to pot + heat
    • tips + tricks Practice Safe Frying. One time my mom fried a chicken wing and almost burnt her face-off. It’s because we underestimate how much oil bubbles once something’s dropped in. IE – If you’re waiting for your oil to bubble so you can guess how hot it is … DON’T. First – make sure whatever pot you use is no more than 1/3 – 1/2 filled. Second – This is why a thermometer is highly recommended. (Goal temp: whatever your recipe says.) … I didn’t use a thermometer (because I don’t own one), + I felt comfortable eye-balling it. But I was lucky I didn’t overfill my pot with oil. Phew. Once I added those fries, it really got a bubble going.
  3. Recommendation – Add to bowl of cold water for 20 minutes. If you use a red potato, white, or new potato (low starch), try 10 – 15 minutes. This draws out the starch.
    • tips + tricks – The Starch Factor. Apparently high starch is best when frying. But, according to the recipe I used last night, high starch might not be best while stove top frying. I soaked a low starch potato, and the result was perfect. (To my taste buds.) Though I can see how it could have been crispier. Solution? Try something in between: i.e. soak, and then thoroughly dry, a high starch potato.
  4. Fry – When oil reaches frying temp, use wire mesh spoon to gently add potato slices to oil. Flip slices mid-way through. Fry for 5-6 minutes. Drain on rack or paper-towel lined plate when finished. Salt to taste.
    • tips + tricks – Give Them Their Space. Do not add too many at once – fry in batches. This ensures even coloration and crispness. If you happen to pull some before desired doneness, add them back! (Worked for me.)
  5. Rest – Most recipes call for 10-15 minute cool time. … Just don’t burn your fingers or your tongue.
    • tips + tricks – Worth It. I wasn’t that patient. But I also didn’t burn myself. Maybe clean up some of your surroundings while the fries cool. This way, your will power isn’t totally … fried.
  6. EAT – Enjoy salted and plain. As a snack or with a meal. Dress up in a cute cup. Or eat off the grease-stained plate.
    • tips + tricks – You Think You Fancy, Huh. I would include a photograph of my plated fries … except that I devoured them instead. But I did make a garlic mayo (veganaise) and pair it beside ketchup, both of which I placed in bowl and plated amongst my salty, savory, fresh french fries.

* * *

I love fall, and fall snacks might just be my favorite snacks. They’re so comfy + cozy + crispy + yum. What are your fall favs?!?

#fallfavorites
#eatlocal

XO.

Barbara Ellen Shops Local.

We’re Shopping Local.

Above: Shop Local at Antiques, Heirlooms & Art in Canandaigua, NY.

Sweater: $5 Leather Boots: $25 Slip: $8 Vintage ’50’s Dress: $35

Hey Guys!

Shop Local has always been a dominant theme on Barbara Ellen blogs. All of them. (Baby: mynameisbarbaraellen.blogspot.com. Big Sister: barbaraellenwrites.com.) That’s because Shop Local is Rochester, NY. Shop Local is unique. Shop Local is sustainable. Shop Local is economical. Shop Local is affordable. Shop Local is our city. Shop Local is the #roc in Rochester, NY.

So, it’s time for us to support Shop Local! Every Day. Every single day. Shop Local isn’t just birthdays and festivals and other special occasions. Shop Local is a lifestyle. Shop Local is a convenient, affordable, individual lifestyle. With this blog, I will share, discuss, celebrate, capture, depict, and discover Shop Local, around Rochester, NY, and #shoplocal only! < Don’t worry. You can still find my musings–mental health, fashion/style, spiritual, and otherwise–on Tumblr: mindbarbarasoul.tumblr.com. {It’s pretty + it’s wise + it’s slightly edgy.}> I cannot wait to hear from all of you about your own #shoplocal favs and finds, tricks and tips!! Please share them all! … Like right now, below. Comment. Post. Share!

Why do you #shoplocal?

< I’ll Begin >

  • I Shop Local because it supports incredibly talented, often lesser-known, artists and entrepreneurs in our community. I Shop Local because these artists and entrepreneurs often use more sustainable processes and materials to create a product that is way more unique than any major retailer’s. I Shop Local because great gifts and great style always have great stories! I Shop Local because, given a choice, I will always support Rochester, NY and our community, first.
  • You Shop Local because…

Can’t wait to Shop Local with you!

#shoplocal

XO.