The Year of Shop Local: #Roc.




{ Better late than never. And better to put it out there at some point, than nothing at all. That’s what I say for this New Year. And I’m so happy to begin blogging in this new year with a poppin’ shop local weekend I had in the Park Ave + East End neighborhoods. }

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Can you guys feel that?? It’s energy! The energy of this year, 2015, is incredible, + the best thing we can do? Lap-it-up unabashedly, in all it’s glory. Absorb it like rays of sunshine, and let the beauty of this year embody + embolden us all.

do you guys know what this means??!

It means you can get out there + become the essential fabric of this very city–the very things and people, sites and sounds–that you love. It’s true! And now, I’m going to prove this to you by sharing the bomb ass Sunday that I had.


Lines at Scratch Bake Shop Grand Opening Party on Park Ave!

{ not so }
lazy Sunday

Sunday is slightly less-than-1/2 of the entire weekend, and in the history of my life … , the least productive less-than-1/2. So. I get super stoked when the errands I begin running around 3pm on this lazy day yield fantastic + fruitful results. { It’s the greatest! } Here’s what I did:

  1. Peppermint. #ShopPeppermint. #ShopLocal. Tanvi’s doing a reno + so what better way to kick-off a 1 week shut-down than to throw a 30% off everything { including sale items!} sale???! Why does this rock?
    • Bumpin’ scene. So many fun people in-and-out of the store. I feel like I make new friends every time I go.
    • Chillest vibe. And even when it’s quiet, shop keepers ranging from Tanvi { owner }, Emma { part time model }, + Cooper { shop dog } keep the greatest company.
    • Crazy deals. I bought a slammin’ gold sexy little dress { originally $54 } for $18!! That’s how incredible this sale was. And even when there is no sale, you can find artisan + boutique rings + earrings for like $12. Friends. I love.
  2. Scratch Bakeshop. #ToughCookies. Owners, bakers, designers, and creators Kate + Molly are some tough-ass-cookies. And, incredibly, they bake some deliciously delicate + strong, gluten free + vegan { ! }, culinary confections. Their Grand Opening Party! this Sunday was super sweet:
    • Meet The Owners. The coolest part about Rochester is its capacity for owners + artisans + creators to mingle with the general public. It quite figuratively is a match-baked-in-heaven for we, the public, to meet { what I consider to be } our idols; + for they, to feel our gratitude.
    • Feel The Hype. #Hypebooth. I got to meet Marisa Barnard of Hypebooth! You guys. Do you not understand. This is the woman behind the curtain. This is the woman who brings the hype to every kickin’ get together in this city with her portable photobooth + on-site printing. { This is the woman who’s helping to make my 30th the absolute most fun. } It’s such an honor to meet the people we know through Social Media + to actually have some real social interaction. Word.
    • Feel The Love. In meeting Kate + Molly, we got to reconnect over a common bond that we { and many other Shop Local Loves … } have. And that is … Cass McCrory of Capra Strategy!! My former boss + forever mentor — Congrats to you on the new addition to your most beautiful family Cass. And thanks for uniting our Shop Local Fam. ♥
  3. Hart’s Local Grocers. #IHeartHarts. I once described this grocery store as a combination of Wegman’s + Trader Joe’s + The Public Market. Because it is that, + so much more. Why does Hart’s have my heart?
    • Drive + Park. It’s super close by. Just a jaunt down East Ave. And they have a huge parking lot that’s way easier to navigate than any of the other aforementioned markets’.
    • Under Budget. The past 2 weeks, I’ve done my full week’s grocery shopping. Both times: under budget. Guy – look for the sales. Hart’s is stocked with only the best, so the sale items you find will also be the best. <3
    • Hi Friends. Crucial — it lacks the Wegman’s factor of running into every single person you never want to see like a blasted high school reunion. Which is clutch. At the same time, I run into the very people I love to see. { Like Amy Riposo of Rochester A-List, who I saw this Sunday! } And even when you run into no one at all, the staff at Hart’s make you feel like family. So jump on the tree, guys, + find what is great.
  4. Jenny Sanzo. #NoMoreLies. Did you see news channel 10 WHEC this Sunday evening?? Gratefully, I was at my parents’ { who have a TV }, and so I did see it. And I saw my very beautiful friend discussing the campaign she’s started to empower healthier body images. Why this #Rocs:
    • Full Disclosure. Jenny is so real in this campaign + so ready to bare all so that we feel comfortable with all of ourselves. I cannot explain to you how much this means, save to say you probably feel the same.
    • Take Action. You can get involved in so many ways. Pick the one that’s most comfortable for you! Check out Jenny’s Campaign Page, scroll to the bottom, + find your options here.
    • Love Yourself. If I provide full disclosure on myself–and I will–I very intimately relate to this issue that Jenny so bravely voices. Since 7th grade I rigorously counted calories + measured my food. My sophomore year of college I developed an eating disorder. I’m doing so well now, + that’s because–no matter where we are in life + how we live–we must learn to unconditionally love ourselves. It’s the most natural medicine we know.

See what greatness transpires from just 1 fraction of a Shop Local weekend??

{ You meet + become acquainted with incredibly creative + inspiring people. }

{ You begin to write your own stories as well. }

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That’s what this New Year is all about. Writing our own stories. Breaking the rules. Getting out there. Not worrying about a damned thing. I promise, friends, the outlook is great.




Shop Local Rochester: For the Artists, the Readers, the Bakers, + the Beauties.

{ Left to Right: Gallery Salon owner Erika Schramm in action, The Dollop Book of Frosting (my copy), Gallery Salon front counter, TDBOF writer + Dollop Frosting creator Heather Saffer from Facebook. }


look good, feel good


#roc the holiday



{ Ever heard that Girl Scouts song, “Make new friends, but keep the old,”?? That’s exactly what the holidays do. Mix the comfort of “old” with the excitement of “new.” And with that, we create new holiday traditions. That’s right–we create new celebrations that keep us jolly & joyful year after year. The arts, reads, bakes, & beauties below are incredible gift ideas. But more than that, they’re new traditions that keep our old ones alight. }


The past few weeks I’ve had the overwhelming joy of discovering.

  • Rochester native + cookbook author Brittany Angell
  • Cupcake Wars winner, former cupcakery owner, + Rochester native Heather Saffer sells her gourmet Dollop Frostings at Wegmans and Hart’s!
  • Gallery Salon { now off of University } is so much more than any salon I’ve ever been

The past few weeks I’ve discovered that Rochester, NY is about re-imagining + enhancing the old with the new. In fact …

this is how Rochester has survived

{ It’s true! We’re a tough city. Look at how profoundly the small businesses + merchants keep our life-blood flowing + rich. … This is why: #ShopLocal. }

gifts + new tradish’s!

Gallery Salon. Be seduced + enchanted.

Gallery Salon. Be seduced + enchanted.

Who’s the artist in your family? Shop in these spots, in-person or on-line. You are guaranteed to please.

1975Gallery + online shop owned and curated by Erich Lehman.


  • Gallery admittance? FREE.
  • Exposes artists to community + community to art
  • Exhibits and events that entertain, broaden, cultivate, + give-back


  • Local Rochester artists { favorite, obscure, + all of the above } are featured
  • Erich knows art. { the art that artists love + want to know }
  • Incredible, browsable collection from which to choose


  • Style + variety
  • Taste
  • Fresh perspectives


  • Online Buyers: use the code “LOCALSONLY” for free pick-up at the gallery { 89 Charlotte Street }
  • Buyers: Allow 1 business day to transport artwork from secure storage to the gallery
  • Holiday Purchases: Last recommended day to purchase – December 19, 2014
  • Questions??: Contact 1975 directly through the online shop


be enchanted

Sophistication + Comfort. Twinkle lights. Boughs of pine. Chitter-chatter. Cascading lights. Vintage walls, fixtures, + vignettes. Stepping into Gallery Salon Wednesday after work transported me into a world I truly never have known. The bustling business of an exposed brick building, beautified by decadent glass and metal fixtures that mingled with every era, seductively juxtaposed the calm + comfort bestowed by Gallery’s innate grace. { … Guys, I haven’t even gotten to the wall of old mirrors! } There is simply no way to describe Gallery Salon, owned by art collector + expert stylist Erika Schramm. To put it palinly – you just have to go.

The Shop at Gallery Salon. { About 1/5 of it. }

The Shop at Gallery Salon. { About 1/5 of it. }

Not that we’re looking to kill birds … but kill many birds with 1 stone at this off-the-beaten-trail { off-a-main-road } stop.

Gallery Salon. Salon + spa, art gallery, boutique, + vintage paradise owned by Erika Schramm.


  • Seductive + enchanting
  • Vintage knick-knacks everywhere
  • Friendly, knowledgeable, warm, fun staff … + owner!


  • 1-stop-shop { hair product, Mirabella make-up, earrings, bangles, bracelets, necklaces, headbands, T shirts, cards, teas … you get it }
  • Locals featured!
  • Prices that will make your jaw drop { i.e. stud earrings for … $3 per pair! }


  • New art every 2 months! { Courtney Gruttadauria – featured Nov + Dec }
  • Shawnee Hill { paintings, T-shirts, + complimentary buttons! }
  • Richard D. Mekkri { Earthen Woodworking jewelry }
  • Breathtaking architecture, light fixtures, + decor feat. Erika’s personal collection { such as More Fire Glass Studio }


  • Shoppers: Stop by! { 4 Elton Street is directly off University between Merriman + Culver. } Walk in. Say hi. The boutique will greet you with twinkle lights + a cozy seating area.
  • Spa + Salon Goers: Schedule an appointment + lavish in the beautiful decor and boutique that greets you in the waiting area.
  • Relax + Have Fun: The vibe at Gallery Salon? Vibrant. You can’t help but to feel warmed + cozy, energized + relaxed.


new traditions

Old + New. Dollop Frosting, created by #Roc local Heather Saffer, embodies Classics with a Twist. Dollop Frosting isn’t just decadence + dessert. It’s friendly to restrictive diets. It’s healthier + mindful of our diets and our world. Dollop Frosting is one of those things that we can’t afford NOT to have for the holidays { at home, at work, and at school }. Dollop Frosting is safe + festive + fun … and fucking delicious.
firebomb, hot chocolate, peanut butter cookie dough, madagasgar vanilla
Dollop Frosting. Now available at Wegmans + Hart's Grocers!

Dollop Frosting. Now available at Wegmans + Hart’s Grocers! From Dollop Gourmet Facebook Page.

This gift is a win-win. You give the gift of bake … you get baked in return. { And I don’t mean that kind of “baked,” … unless it is your thing. }

Owner, Writer, + Creator Heather Saffer with TDBOF. { From DG Facebook Pg. }

Owner, Writer, + Creator Heather Saffer with TDBOF. { From DG Facebook Pg. }

The Dollop Book of Frosting. By Heather “Cupcakes” Saffer, Rochester native + winner of Cupcake Wars.


  • Heather’s former cupcakery, Dollop { in Penfield … remember this gem!? }, tasted as good as it sounds.
  • Inspirational story. { This woman is a fighter + a visionary + a businesswoman + a doer. }
  • The frosting is AMAZING.
    • { non-GMO. dairy free. gluten free. soy free. vegan. no trans fat. no high fructose corn syrup. BPA-free jars. Sustainably sourced all-natural ingredients. made in the USA. made with more than 90% organic ingredients. DELICIOUS. }


  • You can buy Dollop Frosting at … Wegmans! And Hart’s!
  • Cookie-Dough frosting tastes like real cookie dough without the raw egg { … and you can bake it. }
  • Probably almost every single person you know can eat this.


  • Reads like a book. { Most well-written cook book I have ever read. Heather – I want lessons! }
  • Pictures of every single recipe!
  • Beginners: “Trick of the Trade” + super easy-to-follow recipes
  • Bakers: Everything from “The Classics” to “Be Crazy: Live a Frosted Life”


Sriracha Brownies with Cashew Sriracha Frosting - TDBOF.  { DG Facebook Pg. }

Sriracha Brownies with Cashew Sriracha Frosting – TDBOF. { DG Facebook Pg. }


Every Last CrumbBy Brittany Angell, Rochester native + Paleo cookbook author.


  • GLUTEN FREE – I can truly relate to the chronic health + dietary struggles Brittany has faced .. and to how integral diet is in helping us to overcome!
  • Way healthier than normal breads + sweets
  • You canNOT tell the difference between “regular”/”normal” + paleo with these transformational recipes


  • Something for everyone! – old + new, classics + twists
  • Reference/Encyclopedia for every single bread imaginable { including croissants, naan, English muffins, pancakes, muffins, …. I cannot. }
  • Great for food allergies! Clearly marked combinations of:
    • { dairy free, egg free, nut free, grain free, coconut free }


  • Sumptuous recipes that make you look like an expert
  • Beautiful photographs
  • Professional grade feel with easily applicable { + innovative } recipes
  • Tried, tested + true by Brittany herself, and Club Angell! { for support, tips + tricks, and more. }



Gallery Salon.

Gallery Salon. { Handmade cards from Ithaca, NY. }

It’s easy + simple + inexpensive + fun to #ShopLocal this holiday!!
Start your new traditions, today.

{ And remember to enter the Shop Local Rochester contest! 1. Shop Local 2. Take a Pic 3. Tag #shoplocalroc to Facebook or Instagram. You’re entered! }






Week Wrap Up: Social Media ROCs Shop Local.

(Above: Community Wall at Abundance Cooperative Market. Know your #Roc.)


Everything short of Tumblr enhanced my social calendar this week. Birthday Parties. Art Shows. Photo Shoots. Restaurants. Networking. Now, more than ever, Social Media clues me in to the Rochester I wouldn’t otherwise discover. Best tip? Visit your local hubs for community action like Abundance Coopertive Market downtown on Marshall Street! Or … Find a friend like Katie Regan who has her thumb on the pulse of Rochester. (This chick literally knows what’s up before it does, I swear.) Or … Follow. Follow follow follow. Follow businesses. Follow boutiques. Follow restaurants. Follow artists. Follow musicians. Follow your favorites. Follow those you’re curious about. Follow. I promise you: you will find fun activities you wouldn’t otherwise know. And then, you can have as rad a week + a weekend as I. (…You don’t even want to know how rad Katie’s was, btw. Woman needs a How To #Roc blog… .)






I also had the pleasure of sitting down with Marketing Director, Chris Whitebell, of Abundance Coopertive Market on Marshall Street. Spotlight Feature coming soon. Just know now that all items Abundance sells are either: Local, Organic, IPM, and/or Fair Trade. This means that every single thing you buy from Abundance is a socially conscious purchase.


Cake Pops from Scratch Bakeshop for Peppermint’s 2nd Birthday!




I was straight baller status this weekend. Why? Rochester is Rad at Social Media.



Follow local artist Shawnee Hill–among others–on either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, preferably all 3, and you have an instant pass to all of their features. This week it was a free art opening at Lux Lounge with free food. Lux vibes, always. With a huge backyard, outdoor games, a fire pit, church chairs near the pool table, serious drink specials, nightly events, local art, and free bon bon lollies all of the damn time, you never beat Lux Lounge. You’re a fan after midnight? Try Lux during Happy Hour. Just as chill. And you extend the night. Now combine Lux with an art event. That’s a Friday night. And I met Shawnee Hill! This woman’s art is ethereal; meeting her, other-worldly. Thank you, Social Media. And Lux Lounge.



That’s right. Photo shoots. Plural. Aside from senior portraits in high school, I’ve only done 1 photo shoot–(also with the geniusly talented Anjolee [nee Wolfe] Eggleston of DeMaroux Photography)–so it’s not like this a regular thing for me. It’s not. But, between blogging + Social Media, on Saturday I had 2, which is–technical term–the flossy flossy. One, with Treasure Trove Vintage. The other, Rochester Brainery. I contacted Morgan of TTV. (Note: Original post w TTV accidentally got deleted. Which sucks.) I cannot wait to Spotlight Treasure Trove Vintage for you! Brainery contacted me via Twitter after I tweeted about their Brainery Bazaar. See? Social Media enhancing lives. The shoot? Baller. Not only is Lindsay Lau of Lindsay Stephany Photography a doll + her shared-loft studio at The Hungerford gorgeous, but also we had a riot. I brought friends. We played with props. There was laughter. Danielle and Stephanie from The Brainery were hilarious + helpful + gracious + fun. And, who knows, we could be plastered all over the website.  (No big deal.)

My time spent with Morgan, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage, her mother, Honey, and photographer, Anj of DeMaroux Photography, was also rich. I wore vintage dresses. That fit. Beautifully. Anj had me traipsing around the Park Ave and East End streets like it ain’t no thang. I cannot wait to share this with you!


Both photo shoots happened Saturday: Brainery in the morning and Treasure Trove in the evening. What better way to split some down time than by stopping by Shop Peppermint’s Birthday?! (It helps that Peppermint and Treasure Trove Vintage share a building on the corner of Park + Meigs.) With cute + classy h’orderves by Scratch Bakeshop and endless collections of hip + affordable jewelry, shoes, dresses, blouses, shorts, and even bathing suits … I didn’t want to pull myself away. I truly cannot believe Shop Peppermint turned 2. What on earth did I do–where did I shop–before Shop Peppermint happened to Rochester?


Lunch at The Red Fern. I got the PB+J smoothie. … Again. I want to order all of their smoothies all at one time and drink all of them one after the other without guilt. I couldmake that happen. It would be grand.

Dinner at La Casa. After at least 1 hour of prep (Anj could also be a make-up artist, PS) and 3 hours of shooting, we were famished. Both The Owl House and Cure had wait times. (Duh.) Anj brainstormed La Casa! About 1 year old, on Alexander near Boulder, I’d just driven by it earlier and reminded myself I’ve been meaning to try. IT ROCKED. I felt transported to vacation and right at home, all at the same time. Their patio space also looks rocking. La Casa will be a mainstay, especially this summer. Between the refreshing $5 house margarita, the authentic and hearty appetizers (we ordered 3…), the gracious service, that patio, South Wedge as the hood, and the vibrant energy with chill vibes: I must.


Peppermint inspired ensemb to celebrate!
Blouse – Peppermint Line
(Desiged by Tanvi Asher. Made in NYC.)
Ring | Necklace | Earrings – Shop Peppermint


Thing is? I didn’t even hit on everything this weekend. I missed the Brainery Bazaar, attended by The Knotty Owl! (Best laid plans.) Also, on Sunday I missed A-List’s Blogger Brunch at Hogan’s Hideaway, another local favorite. Super bummed. But, glad to know I can vindicate. By following Rochester on Social Media.

We all know that Rochester, NY is Festival City USA. What we need to know is that we can celebrate Rochester before the end of May. Rochester is Rad. Now follow it so you can always find it.

Oh. And make sure to follow me!


































#ShopLocal. Brainery Bazaar at Village Gate.

Second Saturday. Every month. While The Rochester Brainery, located at N. Goodman Street inside of the Village Gate, features Rochester’s knowledge, the Brainery Bazaar, 10am-6pm every single 2nd Saturday of every single month, features Rochester’s talents. This past Bazaar (Saturday, October 12), I had the pleasure of sitting with co-owner Danielle Raymo and meeting with 10 of her talented vendors to find out more about how the Brainery Bazaar contributes to our #ShopLocal crafters, artisans, and community.


Connect With Your Community. The Rochester Brainery, still in its infancy so far as start-ups are born, walks + talks far beyond its years. The Brainery, hosts nightly classes on topics that span a wide range of interests. From off-location workshops like the tri-series how-to Whisky Workshop at Black Button Distilling (only Saturday, November 2nd, 5-8, is left!) or on-site one-stop classes such as Healthy Holiday Eating on Wednesday, November 13, 6-8:30: The Rochester Brainery has all of your holistic, healthy, how-to’s covered. And what a fabulous holiday gift this would be! With prices that range from $15-$30/class, the more expensive classes tending to promise a take-away in return, it is the economical, unique, and community friendly way to #ShopLocal. My November Picks?


Co-Owner Danielle Raymo + Intern {Rochester Brainery has an Intern Program!} at The Rochester Brainery, Brainery Bazaar.



Monday, October 28, 7-9PM: Write a Novel in 30 Days $15

Walk-ins are most always welcome, and yet I still missed it! So bummed. Especially considering I’ve planned to write my memoir for about 3 years now … 30 days at $15 is an astounding investment.


Saturday, November 2, 5-8PM: Whiskey Workshop at Black Button Distilling $30

Not only are craft cocktails sampled, but additionally, head distiller at Black Button, Jason Barrett, teaches. Should you have any interest in distilling or drinking distilled beverages, this is your chance to let the spirit move you.


Thursday, November 7, 6:30-9:30PM: Internet Marketing 101 for Small Businesses $15

Talk about an investment. From Bloggers to Boutiques to Agencies: small business has become the fabric of Rochester. Internet marketing, which can be very effective+ free or at least low cost, allows this fabric to last.


Tuesday, November 12, 7-9PM: Detoxify the Body $15

Especially withthe holidays upon us, detoxifying and doing it correctly is essential to maintaining balance (another upcoming workshop at The Brainery!) for optimized health.


Wednesday, November 13, 6:30-7:30PM: Rockin’ the Wedges with The Little Bleu Cheese Shop $30

 Definitely my favorite cheese shop in Rochester and absolutely one of my favorite #ShopLocal stops. Expert training by The Little Bleu Cheese Shop’s brains + owner, Ann Duckett, will make for masterful knowledge on selecting, cutting, and serving your favorite cheese wedges this holiday season. And, in fact, every week that you indulge.


Monday, November 18, 7-9PM: Wine for the Holidays $25

Another stellar holiday class that applies to each and every day. Enjoy the pleasure of sitting with Certified Sommelier and Wine Specialist Jason Cordy so that you can wine like a certified foodie this holiday and all of the days in between.


Thursday, November 21, 7-8:30: Holistic Wellness: Herbal Remedies $20

Live a healthier and more holistic life just by learning to use the herbs we most likely already have in our own kitchens. This makes so much sense.


Don’t forget tocheck out December Calendar. Up now!


And while The Holidays are upon us, The Rochester Brainery and its Brainery Bazaar are not just special occasion events. Personal, friendly, family, special, and just because. Here’s what I discovered about the monthly Brainery Bazaar.


Make the Bazaar Part of Your Ordinary.Second Saturday. Every moth. From 10am-6pm. Rochester Brainery at Village Gate. You cannot miss it. Nor should you. From a crafters’/artisans’ stand point, it’s an inexpensive ($30/table) way to vend your goods, networkwith other artists, and connect with your community. For the community, it’s an incredibly unique and inexpensive way to find quality, one-of-a-kind items. Jewelry. Baked Goods. T-Shirts. Quilted Items. More Jewelry. Home Wares. Art.Children’s Toys. Cards. The Brainery Bazaar houses everything handcrafted, homemade, and wonderful. Wonderful, truly it is. With 2 rows of between 4-7 tables within 2 separate rooms, The Brainery does a wonderful job of portioning out vendor’s tables for ease of flow and generous space. Most every vendor accepts cash, as well as credit, so come prepared because—while goods are always priced reasonably—the quality and character of selection will have you wanting to spend.


See What You Missed this Past October!


Jenny Sanzo Shop Your Way Personal Shopper + Stylist: One of the most unique features about the Brainery Bazaar?? It’s a true bazaar! It has a little bit of everything. If you don’t know what to buy, allow this Flower City Fashionista to help figure it out! This past Bazaar, she rocked a table so that you can more easily rock your favorite fashions. The Brainery Bazaar is all about lifestyle and helping you to fit more easily into your own. The Shop Your way personal shopper option, allows you to do as such, gratis.


Claire Flair Vintage Jewelry: This has to be some of my most favorite jewelry in all the land. That’s right. Not just in Rochester. In all of the land. And not just because it is made locally, by Claire Albertson herself, and from vintage pieces. But also, because itis chic and unique and incredibly well priced. I’m already the proud owner of a refurbished golden watch-turned-charm bracelet and neon green chain bracelet. I cannot wait to become the owner and/or giver of this alarming anchor piece and stunning stoneware. In quality, individuality, charm, and price: how can any retailer hold a candle to Claire Flair? {Hint: they can’t.} Consider Claire Flair for all of your personal and gifting needs. She sells at just about every single Saturday Bazaar.


Modest Wanderer + Co. Holistic Shopping: This wholesale store, based out of Rochester, takes a holistic approach to both shopping and caring for our earth. Adventuring. Nesting. Nourishing. Creating. Nurturing. With 5 lifestyle pillars to promote “good and simple living,” Modest Wanderer & Co. purveys items that reinforce these ideals. My favorite?? The upcycled accouterments by EvenOdd Creative, another #ShopLocal Rochester duo who create local wares out of upcycled materials. I can guarantee that at least 1—at least 1—holiday gift will be an EvenOdd Creative. Good think I have 3 places from which to purchase! Great thing Brainery Bazaar is every single 2nd Saturday.


Christine & Co. Design Glass Pendants + More: Christine Meyer has an Etsy Shop and Instagram Account where she can sell and advertise her glass pendant designs, among other creations. {Check out Instagram to see her latest Halloween concoctions!} When asked why she partakes in the monthly Brainery Bazaar, which she’s done ever since July, Christine explains that it’s because of the potential she has to be promoted by the Bazaar. For Christine, $30 upfront each month is a worthy and simple investment if it means networking with other artisans and having face-to-face interaction with the public. When I spoke Brainery Bazaar co-owner, Danielle explained how easy it is for new vendors to lockdown a table. The Bazaar begs for an eclectic mix of artisans and the application form is easily found online. Sign up today!! Next Brainery Bazaar is Saturday, November 9, 10am-6pm.


Emerson & Oliver They’re Going to be Famous: If there’s a growing trend in Rochester, it’s the handcrafted, artisan jewelry of Emerson& Oliver, 2 best friends and Rochester locals who are making a big splash on the fashion scene. Come see them, or theirfriends, in-person every 2nd Saturday and catch a glimpse of their signature Dia bracelets. Like the friendship of their founders, these chic and durable, fashionable and strong bracelets make a statement while blending in classically with otherwrist pieces. My favorite E&O handcrafted jewelry accessory? The flower power earrings, forever unique as they are a staple in your bouquet of studs. Be sure to check-out these ladies both online and at the next Brainery Bazaar. They’re going to get famous, so. You saw them at the Bazaar first.


Manic Metals Handmade + Forged: Owner, Forger, Designer, Metal Worker, Jewelry Maker: Kimberly Crist’s story and pieces astound me. I’m not sure what I noticed first. The gleam of sterling silver studs, powerful against their delicate though sturdy designs, or the blown glass cupcake ring with beadwork by Francesca DeCaire, local glass blower, who I met 2 summers ago at the Monroe Ave Public Market. Regardless, Crist is the real deal. This metalsmither forges her own pieces, as necessary, and makes her own jewelry. On display at the Brainery Bazaar in October was a tastefully simply, though memorable, collection of sterling silver stamped studs and pendant necklaces.


Gifts for Life Knit Stuffed Animals + Scrapbooks: Scrapbooks and hand-knitted stuffed animals {amigurumis}, in vintage colors, that are named. Combine this with a picture of owners’, Tina and Jason Smith’s, puppy atop the business card, and I’m a goner. I encourage you to bring cash and credit to the Brainery Bazaar, only because now you’ve had fair warning. Inanimate cuteness awaits. Squishy, accessorized, fluff + stuff in the shapes of wales and monsters and even Frankensteins {with bows!}, take form. Not having children or not having any children to whom to gift these: not an excuse. The stuffed creations are so chic and tasteful, they’d look good sitting atop the most stoic of mid-century couches. And don’t even think abouttouching that chain toy store. I have no clue why anyone would step foot, when it’s already at your local Bazaar. Like I said, come Saturday, November 9 you’ve had fair warning.


Sensational Sweets Bakery & Bistro:  Even through plastic containers, her confections look that delicious. And baker/owner Ann O’Connor has the street cred to prove it. With a slue of top-notch clients, such as Hedge’s and Xerox, Sensational Sweets even beat out a number of other well known Rochester bakeries in contest this pas tyear. Best way to find her? You can call. Or you can stop by in-person at the upcoming Saturday, November 9 Brainery Bazaar. Cupcakes and cookies and cheesecakes are just as good at 10am as they are at 6pm.


Sam Kay Designs Quilted + Crafted: I am no crafter. And so when I see the likes of quilted and handmade items by Samantha McKeown-Wurme, I tend to freak. By far my favorite had to be her hand stitched, wool pumpkins. Perfect for fall and, according to Samantha, perfect to sew and to relax. …I’m still not convinced as to how crafting can be relaxing, but then again, I’d love to learn. Frequenting the Brainery Bazaar is not just a fun and unique place to support our local community—though it is that for sure—but it is also a space where we get to learn. Just by speaking to artisans like Samantha, I learn so much about the creative process. Truly, it’s inspiring. Even when The Rochester Brainery is not holding classes, it is featuring knowledge. Knowledge and talent at the Rochester Brainery Bazaar. I love it.


Steven Resig Digital Prints: This guy is legit. Both as artist and as Art Instruction Department Chair at Spectrum Creative Arts, an art and education institute that believes in sustainability, fun, and access for all. And to think, I never would have found his art, nor learned about Spectrum Creative Arts on Monroe Ave, if it weren’t for the Bazaar. Steven’s print coasters are pretty rad and belong in any cool kid’s living room, be he dude or she, dudette. I implore you to find this man’s work.


Gods-N-Gladiators T-Shirts: Alexandros Hatzigiannidis makes one godly T. With a semi-pro set up at home, the intriguing Alexandros explained to me that, after years of start-up experience, he plans to go fully pro and make the screen print T-shirt biz his sole bread-n-butter. It’s a sickness I have. It’s almost a curse. From the drawing and design to the screen-printing itself, Hatzigiannidis creates every aspect of the custom T-shirts, long sleeved shirts, and hoodies that he sells. Where? Out of his car, out of Aaron’s Alley, in Dichotomy {one of the newest and one of my most favorite stores on Park} and, of course, at the Brainery Bazaar. The Rochester, NY skyline montage looks powerful as does Alexandros’ representations of the West Thai Warriors. Once you check out Gods-N-Gladiators website, you can’t help but want to find Alexandros, wherever his T-shirts and designs may be.


Eat Me Local, Seasonal, Organic Ice Cream: It’s a Rochester ice cream. It’s all from here, made by us. Supported by our farmers, our people, and for our people. Quoted from the Eat Me Ice Cream Artist Profile video: I now have sweet shivers as though I’ve just sunk my teeth into an organic ice cream pop. The incredible duo that is best friends Cait + Amber mix local + love into their fresh, flavorful, artisanal ice cream, which uses only local farms’ ingredients. They’re done for the season! Yet, without end, I feel inspired. This past season, Eat Me served scoops + sandwiches at the Brighton Farmers Market, the South Wedge Farmers Market, Joe Bean, Abundance Cooperative Market, and the Brainery Bazaar. This is why I savor community-based gatherings such as the 2nd Saturday of every month at The Brainery. You find incredible, local delicacies, crafted in our own backyards and created from our backyards, that otherwise could not be found. With flavors like Organic Pumpkin + Goat Cheese–vegan and gluten free options readily available–this is the actual truth. You cannot find these flavors or this freshness anywhere else. #ShopLocal #EatLocal #BraineryBazaar. {Taste the love + watch Eat Me’s sweet video!}


I want to see this community thrive. You want to see things become more local. A more self -sustaining economy. And we want to be a part of that. That process of: It’s all made here in Rochester. We’re supporting our neighbors.

Eat Me Artist Profile


Purer words from The Prime Ice Cream makers, Eat Me, cannot more poignantly describe what #ShopLocal and community connectedness truly means. Second Saturdays hosted at The Rochester Brainery delivers this to us, loyally. Watch your community thrive.


Brainery Bazaar.

Every 2nd Saturday.

Every month.



Review. Blue Apron Meals.

I am over a blue moon for Blue Apron Meals. Which is an understatement. This evening, I finished cooking the 3rd meal of my 1st delivery from these culinary geniuses, and I cannot wait to tell you all about it!! Food/Meal Delivery Service does not begin to describe Blue Apron Meals, a Brooklyn-based company. Learning about ingredients. Learning to Cook. Eating. Enjoying. Blue Apron Meals is a rich experience. Let’s take a look at some of their claims + I’ll let you know how they measure up!

First Round of Meals: 2 meals/dinner. But I got more!!

My First: {Bottom} Cod with Crispy Kale, Roasted Tomato + Fregola Sarda {I substituted brown rice}. Haul: 2 dinners + 1 lunch. Splendid.

My Fav to Cook: {Right} Spice-Rubbed Pork Medallions with Peach Salsa + Cilantro-Green Bean Rice {left overs box}. Haul4 meals + rice and salsa left-overs!

My Fav to Eat: Lemon Basil Chicken with Corn + Shiitake Mushroom “Risotto.” Haul: 2 meals. I fly solo, so I cannot wait for lunch tomorrow.


Blue Apron – Learn More ~Taken from website: select points summarized. For full list, please visit ~

Original Recipes

*35 min to prepare on average: This is true, but it definitely depends on your knife skills. This week, 2 of my 3 meals took about 35 minutes. Because of the prep involved with the Spice Rubbed Pork dish, it took that long just to cut all of my veg. Yet at the same time, this was my favorite dish too cook because of that. Which brings us to our next point…

*Pre-portioned ingredients to save time + reduce waste: It’s like having your own sous chef! Pre-portioned ingredients put the relax into cook. Not only does it reduce waste, but it also adds ease to my cooking. Constantly wondering if I’ve purchased enough or chopped too much can definitely detract from the culinary experience and often discourages me from trying something new. From a spring of cilantro to a cup full of parmesan, it’s amazing how small a gesture pre-portioned ingredients adds to the experience of cooking and quality of taste.

*Easy to follow beautifully printed recipe cards: If pre-portioned ingredients are your sous chef, then meal cards are your teacher. While each card teaches 1 meal, each meal teaches several recipes. From how to cook cuts of meat to whipping up seriously tasty dressings, Blue Apron Meals may as well be BlueApron Tutorials. The instructions are clear. The pictures add ease. And the ingredients list helps to organize. I’ve already started a binder where I can file these meals away for keeps.

*Premium seasonal ingredients from artisanal purveyors: When I cook, I cook with what I’m already familiar or with what I already have. Basil. Rosemary. Since my herb garden consists namely of these {for now}, this is exactly what I use in most every dish. But Blue Apron Meals teaches you how to spice-it-up. Not only am I cooking with multiple fresh ingredients, but I am using multiple within each recipe. Whereas I would’ve normally relied upon white onion, #BAM provides red onion + shallot. Whereas basil is always my go-to, #BAM mixes it up with basil, cilantro, oregano, and lemon basil. The ingredients are premium. And I’m learning how to pair. Voila.


*Fresher than the supermarket: Fresh. Fresh. Fresh. Yes. My ingredients arrive from Brooklyn, in a refrigerated box, and, yes, they are the freshest. Tomato . Red onion. Peach. Basil. Every ingredient I’ve sampled while doing my prep has tasted like I grow it in my own backyard. And check out the meat! Pork tenderloin + chicken breast, alone, are better cuts than I’d ever pick out or be able to afford in most grocery stores or butcher shops. This week they came from the respected Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors in North Bergen, NJ. The most tender pork + moist chicken I have ever had in my entire life. Ever.

IMG_3601 IMG_3538


*Free and convenient delivery to most of the country: Yup. It’s free. {Check the map on #BAM website to make check on your state.} That huge box with all of those ingredients. I literally pay $60/week for an average of 9 meals. {The plan I signed-up for guarantees 2 meals/dish. For me, it averages to be more, plus some left-overs!}

Convenient Delivery

*Carefully packaged in a refrigerated box, so our meals stay fresh even if you’re not home when we delivery: Absolutely 100% true. I felt so excited by my first delivery, that I intercepted it at lunchtime. This week, I’ll probably wait until I’m home from work around 4:30PM. Delivery is between 8AM + 8PM, and the ingredients will stay fresh.

* * *


Tips + Tricks

*Store your Herbs. Yes, they come pre-portioned in cute little bags, but you will want to ensure they last more than just a few days. I receive my box on Wednesday and when I cooked my final meal today {Sunday}, the lemon basil was too wilted to use. No criticism on #BAM’s part. This week, I’ll just be sure to wrap them in paper towel + then store in their cute pre-portioned packets.

*Be ready for Left-Overs. You will have left overs! From this week’s haul, raw ingredients like 1/2 a shallot and 1 whole lemon still have a spot in my fridge. I’ve even noticed that #BAM sometimes over-proportions ingredients. From the Lemon Basic Chicken recipe, I still have a handful of sugar snap peas to munch on as a snack. Even full servings of a side dish might make an encore appearance. With the Spice Rubbed Pork, not only did I end up with 4 separate meals {again, #BAM portions for 2}, but I also had enough left-over rice + homemade salsa enough to combine as a lunch. Talk about bountiful.

*Have the Basics. While #BAM did provide me with a generous pad of butter for this week’s corn “risotto,” other staples are absolutely necessary. Aside from kitchen utensils, this week the only 3 staples I had to provide on my own was olive oil, salt, + pepper. Blue Apron Meals loves to use olive oil. So if that’s not your jam, know your substitutes. Which brings us to…

*Know your Substitutes. As you may know, I am recently #glutenfree! {Still loving it.} While I do not believe that #BAM has this dietary option yet, I know that, based upon this past week, about 95% of ingredients are gluten free friendly. Still, be prepared. When the Cod with Crispy Kale called for the Italian pasta Fregola Sarda, I substituted brown rice. When Lemon Basil Chicken asked me to dust the cutlets in flower before pan searing, I substituted gluten free pancake mix. {It worked!} Best part about substitutions?? Keep the #BAM ingredients in your cupboard for when the occasion arises. It is a match made in pantry-heaven.

*Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. + Share! Cooking with Blue Apron this week has been a joy. It’s one of the most relaxingly pleasurable ways to harness a serious sense of accomplishment. And I get to share. This past Friday Momsly + I indulged in leftovers from the cod and the pork. She even took a cutlet home, fixins and all, to my dad. My favorite part of sharing?? Posting pics + vid to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Blue Apron Meals with notice. So get to it!! And get your Blue Apron Meals appetite. {For extras + videos, follow me on Instagram + Twitter!! @babsiell.}

Bon Appetit. 

Blue Apron Meals.