Shop Local Rochester: #Roc the Holiday!

#ROC

the holidays are here

the

#shoplocalroc

HOLIDAY

{ The holidays are unofficially here. Although I say, when 20-below weather arrives along with the snow … it’s full-on shopping season! So gear-up + get ready to hear what’s good from the #ROC. Because #ShopLocalRoc is bringing it this holiday season. }

This holiday, shop with a cause.

#shoplocalroc

Two incredible websites + blogs, A-List Rochester + Flower City Fashionista, along with BESL { me } are bringing you access to Rochester’s best #ShopLocal spots + events, gifts + ideas. Why?? Because the holidays are about giving + getting. And that’s exactly what shopping local does for you + for our community.

be sustainable this holiday season.

give + get:

#ShopLocal is sustainable for our:

  • economy
  • environment
  • budgets

#ShopLocalRoc is a fun + festive way to make shop local a lifestyle { while giving the greatest gifts. }

look good, feel good:

#shoplocalroc 

Getting started is simple. { And you can win prizes! }

  1. Shop at a local store or event!
    • And if you want to participate in our contest …
  2. Take a photo
  3. Tag on Facebook or Instagram using: #shoplocalroc
  4. Be entered to receive great prizes from many of our prized shops around Rochester

The best way to spread Holiday Cheer,

is pledging #shoplocalroc loud for all to hear.

Take the { Polar } Pledge. Get loud about it! Why not?

  1. Write a pledge.
  2. Post on Social Media.
  3. Voice your #shoplocalroc feats.

Pledge’s are simple solutions you resolve to take while holiday shopping this season. It could be anything! Some quick ideas are:

  • Before heading to the big box store for children’s toys … I’m going to Archimage on Monroe Ave!
  • Instead of catching that sale on dish ware for the party … I’m going to try my local VOA!
  • Forget the mall for one-stop-shopping. I’m hitting South Ave in the South Wedge!

Let us know what your plans are on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, and hashtag #shoplocalroc.

{ To be eligible for the contest, include a photo of what you’ve purchased. }

make it count:

every $1 spent locally has 3x the impact!

#ShopLocalRoc makes it easy for you to make it count! For all of the best gift giving + gift guides, check-in with:

Cheers.

#shoplocalroc

XO.

Rooftop Pool Party: Celebrate End of Summer, End of Week.

{photo taken from Rochester-A-List Rooftop Pool Party Facebook Invite}

A-LIST ROOFTOP POOL PARTY

THURSDAY 8.21, 5-9PM

BUY TICKETS HERE

FACEBOOK | A-LIST | FLOWER CITY

Celebrate Summer:

unwind as the week winds down.

WHO: Rochester A List to host a Pool Party along with Flower City Fashionista

WHAT:  Swank, Swag, Shopping, Sport, Summer, + Service. 

WHERE: Rooftop of the Radisson Riverside Hotel on East Main Street in the heart of downtown Rochester

WHEN: Thursday, August 21. 5-9PM.

WHY: To party on a rooftop with a sick view of downtown. What else do you need? … Okay, how about:

  • Networking
  • Mingling
  • Relaxing (I mean like spa services)
  • Shopping (we’re talking #shoplocal extreme)
  • Chilling (lawn games, no big)
  • Eating, Drinking, Cigar-rolling
  • People Watching (we’re downtown … and there will be models)

Music, Mingling and Mixed Drinks on the Radisson Riverside Hotel’s Rooftop Pool Deck

Let’s start with some FAQs. You throw after-work pool-party into the mix, and suddenly all of our adult-isms completely take over. As. If.

FAQs.

1. How should I dress? You’re probably coming from work.

Ladies: 3 Letters – LBD. Or another-color equivalent. The idea is a sleek dress or skirt + blouse you feel comfortable enough in all day that easily transitions to night. What helps with this transition?

  • Rocking heels.
  • Great bag.
  • Poppin’ lip.
  • Blazer or wrap to keep it cool + cozy.

Men: Sleek slack, tie-less button-down. Or, bust-out that white T you wear beneath the button-down. Cannot go wrong.

2. But it’s a pool party! What now?

Listen. I’m brining my bathing suit. If there’s a pool, and it’s still hot like the projected 81° daytime temp indicates, and there’s a pool on top of a roof with a downtown view. … You can’t ignore a good pool. It doesn’t mean you have to get in. It doesn’t even mean you try and combine beachwear with after-work evening attire–this isn’t Miami + congrats to the person who does pull this off–but it does mean you are prepared.

TIP: Looking for a demure vintage 1-piece?? I highly recommend Shop Peppermint, which is where I bought mine. (Sorry men, none for you. … .)

3. What should I expect?

Soiree. Shindig. Carnival. Backyard BBQ. I am not the organizers of the event, but this is my take. This is a cocktail party that also has a beer-toss Dress for Success fundraiser. (Let that juxtaposition settle-in.) This is an after-work get-together filled with cigar-rolling + loads of premier #shoplocal shopping. True there are no rides nor corn dogs involved, but there are lawn games. And food, and vodka, and spa services, and–oh yes–a DJ.

non-life threatening lawn games.  Jenny Sanzo

Let’s look at it this way. There are a lot of cool things happening between 5-9PM on Thursday, 8/21. Here’s what this Pool Party got (taken from Rochester A List website!):
Swank. Beauty and Pampering for Men + Women: Mini manicures, massage and a full service braid bar over cocktails.

1. Allora Salon and Spa’s full service braid bar will be on-site for gorgeous tresses. They will also be offering mini manicures and chair massage.

2. Shear Ego Salon and Spa will be offering mini manicures, chair massage, and colored hair chalk – a quick splash of color on several strands of hair that washes out in 2-10 washes.

3. Men, there’s something for you, Shear Ego Men’s Club will be offering MANicures and complimentary nose waxing. One of their male clients’ favorite services!

4. Jamberry Nails will be offering complimentary nail wraps.

5. Motives Cosmeditcs  is known for their quality cosmetics offered at affordable prices. Motives will be sharing their expert makeup tricks, tips, and providing demonstrations.

A woman’s dream come true. $5 braids, $15 manicures, $10 hair chalk.

Swag. Music, Complimentary H’ors D’oeuvres, Drink Specials, and for VIPS 

Admission Tickets: $10

VIP Tickets: $25 – includes entry, one cocktail and one service – braid bar or mini mani, complimentary parking and goodie bag

VIP Tickets: $25 – includes entry, one cocktail and 3 balls for the beer toss to win 24 craft beers, complimentary parking

Shopping. Just basically my all-time favorites. And if you don’t know them, they will be yours, too.
Preview: (That’s right. There’s actually more!)

Artwark: Inspired by elements such as culture, nature, religion, and love Artwark features handcrafted cutting edge jewelry with a personal touch.

BeBe Mills: Nestled in the village of Brockport, BeBe Mills carries contemporary clothing and fashionable accessories for women of all ages.

Christine and Co. Design specializes in one of a kind glass pendants designed by local artisan Christine Meyer.

Dragonfly Jewelry: Dragonfly Jewelry provides unique customizable handmade beaded, leather, wire wrapped, and chainmaille pieces.

Lucends: Handmade by artisan Lucinda Snyder, Lucends has an array of totes, clutches, and cosmetic bags in colorful prints and exclusive fabrics.

LuLaRoe: Style meets comfort with LuLaRoe’s mobile boutique of maxi skirts, pencil skirts, dresses, and leggings for both women and girls.

Motives: Motives carries quality cosmetics at affordable prices with products ranging from custom foundations to eyeshadows, lipsticks, creams, and nail polishes.

Panache Vintage and Finer Consignment will be hosting a pop-up shop of designer and boutique label women’s vintage and finer consignment luxury resale.

Jonelle Maria’s namesake handmade jewelry line is filled with eco-friendly minimalist pieces that take inspiration from geometric patterns, nature, and tribal silhouettes.
Claire-Flair features one-of-a-kind, handmade vintage-inspired accessories guaranteed to add some glamor to any ensemble.

Machinator Chaos specializes in creating one-of-a-kind Industrial, Steampunk and Victorian jewelry and accessories made from everyday materials.

Penny’s Lotions and Potions is a natural skin care haven. All of her products are all-natural, contain only a few ingredients, and are safe for sensitive skin.

Stella and Dot Stylist Krista Jaekle will be showcasing their irresistible line of boutique fashion jewelry and accessories complete with a preview of fall jewelry trends.

Bombay Bangles – Bombay Bangles jewelry is handcrafted in India, drawing upon eastern colors and styles for pieces that truly make a statement.

Origami Owl: Origami Owl representative Carlyn will be bringing her jewelry bar filled with unique charms, lockets, earrings, and chains.

To Your Measure – Ensuring comfort and a flattering fit, To Your Measure creates custom pants designed to fit your unique body measurements.

Treasure Trove Vintage – Treasure Trove Vintage will be providing attendees a glimpse at their collection of quality vintage pieces ranging from the 1900’s to the 19990’s.

Transit Apparel: Created by local artisan Matt Rodgers, Transit Apparel’s line of t-shirts feature exclusive prints that reference Rochester’s heritage and its historic subway system.

Thirty-one – Consultant Rebecca Haley will be showing off their assortment of cute and functional bags, wallets, totes, and home accessories.

CAbi– Featuring women’s clothing for both career and casual wear CAbi inspires women to build a style by mixing and matching pieces with the way they live.

Carrie George – Handmade leather bags and accessories designed and made by local artist Carrie George.

Nerium skincare provides natural skin therapy solutions with day and night creams to promote younger-looking skin.

Sport. Lawn Games. (Non-life threatening.) And how about this:
*Stop by the Hype Booth to capture the night’s memories on film.
*Select a hand rolled cigar from the master roller at Santigo Cigars
*TREE Vodka signature cocktail sampling. Anyone with a pre-sale ticket gets their first cocktail on the house.
*Treat yourself to a guilt-free Sample of Vemma’s insanely healthy energy drinks.
*Sample Eat Me Ice Cream’s inventive flavors made with local, organic ingredients.
Summer. It’s a Pool Party on a Roof, Downtown!
What other summer pool parties do you have to go to right now?
Service. It’s all for a Great Cause.
Great Brewers will be offering a craft beer tasting. Win a selection of 24 craft beers at the Beer Toss forDress For Success.
* * *
Eat Me Ice Cream! Jonelle Maira Jewelry. Treasure Trove Vintage. A (female) DJ Annalyze. Hype Booth. Poolside! And more.
Buy your tickets now, guys. It’s gonna’ be hot.
#shoplocal
#partylocal
#fashionlocal
#AListlocal
XO.

 

Shop Local: VOA Thrift Stores – Upstate New York.

VOA

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA UPSTATE NEW YORK

THRIFT STORES

Break The Cycle of Poverty

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER

WHO: VOA Upstate New York.  Serving: 6,000+ people plus throughout Upstate New York.

WHAT: Over 100 years old! Non-profit. Serves our community and sells some wicked good duds, home wares, shoes + accessories, and more.

WHERE: Flagship Store: Lave Ave (near downtown). 10+ Store Locations throughout Rochester. Shop Online.

WHEN: Founded in Rochester, 1901.

WHY:  Because why not. You should become passionate about VOA. See my list below. To really get it, watch this video:

Rise Out of Poverty, Move Toward Self-Reliance, Reach Toward Full Potential

IMG_7502

Crop Top / Vintage / Wrap Dress / Fashion Jacket – All on my MUST list. All found at VOA.

1. Incredible Deals. 

  • Everyday Low Prices: Recently Dropped Prices on Most Popular Clothing Items! (Prices exclude better brands. … But trust me, those are inexpensive too.)
  1. $.99 Sunday’s + Monday’s
  2. $1.99 Regular Tanks + Tees

    IMG_7401

    Ask for your Rewards Card when you cash out! Earn + Redeem Points.

  3. $3.99 Regular Tops
  4. $4.99 Regular Shorts
  5. $5.99 Regular Bottoms
  • Sales: Change Daily.
  • SUPER SATURDAYS – Everything is 50%. Go THIS SATURDAY, 6/28!!
  • Rewards Card: Ongoing. VOA Rewards Card gives you points (turns into real $$) on each
    purchase you make. Can be used on sale items!

2. Excellent Selection.

  • Brand Names
  • High Quality
  • Unique Finds
  • Women’s Wear
  • Men’s Wear
  • Office Wear (not including Working Wardrobe)
  • Casual
  • Going Out
  • Lounging

    IMG_7400

    Neatly organized + some brand new ones to select from! Like those boots on the end.

  • Junior’s
  • Children’s
  • Children’s Books
  • Shoes
  • Bags
  • Accessories
  • Home Wares
  • Furniture
  • Seasonal Attire

3. Convenient.

  1. Batavia
  2. Brockport

    IMG_7379

    Spotted! 2 dresses I donated to VOA. Patterned halter from HM Toronto + black lace from Target.

  3. Canandaigua
  4. Culver Road
  5. Elmira
  6. Endwell
  7. Fairport
  8. Lake Ave Store  
  9. Lake Ave Outlet
  10. Palmyra
  11. Warsaw
  12. Webster
  • Parking is Accessible
  • Changing Rooms
  • Vending Machines at Lake Ave!

4. Arranged Like Retail Stores.  

  • Thoughtful Layout

    IMG_7384

    Formal Wear. Prom dresses + gowns. … I should really donate mine. Also seems like a great place for old Bridesmaid’s dresses.

  • Clothing Organized by Color / Size / Style
  • Clearly Marked Sections + Sizes
  • Enough Cash Registers

5. Specialty Selections. 

  • Formal Gowns
  1. Wedding
  2. Prom
  3. First Communion
  • Vintage

“We’re here to serve each other. We change lives. We restore hope and dignity. We put others first.”

~JoAnne Ryan, President + CEO (taken from Agency Video)

Thrifting will always have a special place in my heart. From suits to blouses to slacks and shoes to bags: I gave my mom the hardest time, while growing up, for never buying anything new. For never being like the other moms. But she was right. She scraped together just enough change to buy me McDonald’s fries {we have her to thank for this infatuation} and paid for my older brother’s and my grade school tuition. She, a newly graduated full-time engineering UR student, and full-time mom with a new baby boy in the crib, interviewed for jobs out of university. She taught me value. She taught me style. She taught me what it means to be proud of what I have, who I am,  and my community. She taught me to do what I do, whether it is popular or not. She taught me all of this. And she taught me it through thrift shopping.

My aunt, as well. Aunt Katy, my mama’s older sister, is an antique dealer and thrift shopping maverick. With just 1 scan of the perimeter, Aunt Katy knows exactly what’s treasure and exactly what’s … not. Aunt Katy’s taught me, not just the value of a dollar, but also, the value of a flea market, the value of a garage sale, the value of an estate sale, the value of a church sale, and the value of the people behind them. Shopping is fun. Fashion feels good. But thrift shopping, the values and the culture and the people behind thrift shopping, is immortal.

When we thrift shop, yes: we give immortal lives to the things no one wants. More, we give immortality to the spirit surrounding our communities. This is why I thrift shop.

I thrift at VOA because they support and empower our community.

IMG_7408 IMG_7405

VOA CHILDREN’S CENTER

Last Thursday I shopped with Marketing & Media Director, Megan, at the 214 Lake Ave. location, centrally located between Lake Ontario and Downtown. Passersby cannot miss the neatly blocked tan building with familiar red, white, and blue sign that flags down shoppers, outside of this Upstate New York VOA Flagship store. Convenient parking flanks both sides of the Retail Center.

When I finished devouring aisle after aisle of shorts, denim, blouses, tanks, dresses {I even ran into a few of my own that I donated!}, Megan was kind enough to take me next door to the VOA Children’s Center.

My jaw never closed.  A bright jungle gym set-up donated by Top’s. The Universal Preschool that is associated with RCSD. Beautiful, jubilant children, pre-school aged and up, who attentively listened to aids and harmoniously played together, both inside and out. Brightly painted, mural-ed walls. Classrooms fully equipped with sitting spaces, learning areas, bathrooms, books. A full dental center in partnership with RGH. Even more medical services, including Telemed equipment to web conference with doctors as needed.

IMG_7404

Dental Room in partner with RGH at the VOA Children’s Center.

 

My eyes squeezed in tears. Seeing these happy, healthy children and the facilities imparted to teachers and aides to keep these children happy + healthy. These are the programs that improve our world. Programs like these, with the research and altruism and partnership and innovation and heart, are what change our world.

I am so proud that the VOA Children’s Center serves 280 children, between 6 weeks old to 12 years old, 98% of whom live in the most impoverished parts of Rochester. I am so proud we have VOA to serve a number of populations and communities in this exact same manner.

SHOP LOCAL

IMG_7418 IMG_7420

If you didn’t want to shop before {and who doesn’t want to shop}, you want to shop now. {Or this Saturday, 6/28 at SUPER SATURDAY.} Ask for your Rewards Card when you cash-out. I promise, the reward to both you + to our community is not just worth it. It’s immortal.

Thank you to Megan + to VOA for hosting me this past Thursday! See you guys soon.

#shoplocal

#donate

#giveback

#breakthecycleofpoverty

#VOA

XO.

Narrative. #ROCkin that Spidey-Sense.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
(Taken from Google Images.)
Rochester is, in fact, a hot spot for film. (GeorgeEastman. Eastman Theatre. Rochester International Film Fest. High Falls FilmFest. The Little Theater. The Cinema Theatre. ImageOUT: The Rochester LGBT Film& Video Festival.) And now for Spider-Man film. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, to be spidey-cific. Filming for some of the hot chase scenes takes place today, and so Momsly & I used our Spidey Senses on Monday to scout the talent.

 
Ever Get Dressed Up & Walk Down Main Street, in Rochester, NY, During Rush-Hour??
 
Liberty Pole.
And daffodils.
It started with a strategic stroll down Main Street, from East Ave to South. Swarms of city slickers, workers, and students flood the brick-paved sidewalks. Flowing red swing jacket, wafting gray & charcoal cape-coat. Sunglasses. Momsly and I strolled. We looked for glamour &, absolutely, we looked the part. It is no wonder Moms & I were mistaken for tourists–i.e. who tried really hard–when we stalked our first downtown hotel.
Bear Hugs from Indiana. 
 
Babsy, she nudged. I turned toward the bar. I bet they’re with the film. Momsly spied a weary looking four-some of normal-looking people who sat inconspicuously near the Hyatt Regency bar.  No they’re not, mom.
Momsly heard that the actors (and by actors, I mean stunt-doubles) and film crew were bunking at the Hyatt on Main. We had no shame in seeking them out. As soon as we walked in, Moms directed us up the stairwell & toward the main bar. When I suddenly became incredibly self-conscious of our amateur paparazzi skills, I diverted all action toward the gift shop. And let me tell you, you don’t know Rochester, NY until you’ve been in the Rochester Hyatt Regency Hotel Niva Gift Shop.
Actually found in the Rochester, NY
Gift Shop at the Hyatt.
Upon check-out, Momsly & I received the thrill of our lives. As we were shoppers in a hotel gift shop, the cashier—appropriately—asked if we were from Rochester, NY. Amused, Momsly & I quickly claimed our Rochester residency. And then moved onto business. Sharply, Momsly invoked her spy-senses and probed into the whereabouts of our Spidey stars.
Has there been a lot of increased traffic? Well what about the out-of-towners? You know, {nudge nudge}  for the event. The event?! Why the film. Spider-man. Have you seen many actors for the film??! She finally exclaimed.
The cashier, a young and smiling woman, laughed. Promptly, she informed us how the stunt people & crew are booked at the Radisson, next door. Sullen-faced & disappointed, Momsly and I turned to leave. Obviously, to book-it directly to the Riverside Convention Center. And that’s when it happened. Our sweet 15 seconds.
Wait a second. The cashier looked directly our way. She scanned our swing jackets, and oogled the cardi-cape; analyzed the shit-eating grins slapped across our faces. You two are extras. You are in the movie! I knew it!! I knew you’re not from Rochester. The cashier’s mouth hung ajar.
Us? My mother’s hand moved demurely over her chest. Our eyeballs agape. Us?? Why, certainly we are not. {Pause.} In the film, that is. And coyly, as if nothing ever happened save for the giggles that erupted from our bowels, Momsly & I turned on our heels. Practically movie stars.
Emma & Me
and Revlon and CVS.
Radisson Riverside Convention Center & The Freak-Out.
 
Now our senses were honed. Pruned for spider-lebrity. We knew where to go, and we knew that we (maybe) belonged. Watch-out Emma Stone. After our first attempts to enter through the Radisson’s rotating front doors were thwarted–they’re locked, permanently–a lovely bell hop let us in.
Mom. We are stalking people. We don’t even have a room here. She and I aimlessly wound around the first floor only to find barricades at every door, which required room keys. I don’t want to go to the bar! They’ll know. They’ll know that we’re fakes. My voice dropped to a whisper, and then suddenly rose. What if the police find out?!
 
Hotels are public spaces, Momsly authoritatively declared. But I’m pretty sure they’re not. Homeless people can’t just loiter in the hallways of hotels. What’s the difference between the homeless & the strategically stalking? I’m not sure the difference is huge. And I made my concerns known.So, we used the ATM. It was a good cover.
This cameraman is clearly from …
YNN News Station.
And even though we never spied even one Spider-Man celeb, or crew member, or stunt person, we did see trucks. Rows and rows of NYS and NJ licensed plates trucks & SUVS, black and white, that lined the Radisson’s main atrium. Men with rough voices and glimmers of accents  who uttered terse instructions. These are film crews. We sensed it! And then, on the stroll back down Main, I saw him. Him. A photographer. A very official and professional looking photographer. Who Momsly claims snapped a pic of us as we slyly shuffled away after sniping one of him, first.
 
Take-that Spider-Man film man. We found you. We are vicariously famous through you. Spide-cess!!
Reveling in the Spidey-Scent.
 
Rest of the night? Coffee at Spot on East & CVS shopping on Winton. Pretty glam. We had some good coupons and saved $6.50. Then I earned $5 in bonus cash. It was pretty much the most spidey-tacular night, ever. Love you Moms-spidey!
Barbara Threet make-up line.
Also at the Hyatt Regency.
And
Here’s to
xo.