Live Your Best Life: How To Be You + Be Free.

{ Manhattan Square Park in Rochester, NY at Party in the Park, Thursday, 6/23. }

BE YOU

live your best life.

BE FREE.

Freedom is many things. It is an innate right, + it is incredibly oppressed. It is sought after, + it is sabotaged. It is died for, + it gives life. It is exciting, + it is terrifying. Freedom is elusive. Freedom is precious. Freedom is essential to living our best lives. Freedom should be as natural as it is innate. But Freedom, is not. Thankfully, given the right circumstances, Freedom is attainable.

Because even when we live in “lands of The Free,” our own lifestyles, emotions, thoughts, actions, relationships tear this freedom down, instead of reinforcing it. Building it up.

I’d like to share 3 tips for how I am discovering + uncovering my own freedom.

trauma can happen, + it does not have to control our freedom.

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Walking to Party in the Park Solo at the newly opened Inner Loop, Rochester, NY.

Helllll nah, I was not always this free. The freedom I speak of in this post? It’s been a lifetime in the making. Just recently, it’s truly spread its wings. You’re going to have to wait for the publication of my memoir{s} before fully understanding the trials + tribulations I have endured throughout my life. For now, I’m going to highlight 3 choice experiences.

The goal is to show you that trauma can happen, and it does not have to control our freedom.

1. Food By Oppression. I started counting calories around 1997, when I in the 7th grade. This evolved into carefully portioning-out my food. About 2004, the Disordered Eating manifested into an Eating Disorder my sophomore year of college. It wasn’t until 2008, when I had a major mental breakdown my 2nd semester studying graduate school at Columbia University, that I fully began to heal.

  • how does this limit freedom? Your mind, body, + soul are trapped in a set of beliefs + actions that prevent it from enjoying everything. You are riddled by guilt, shame, fear, self-hate, + a slew of other deamons that have 0 place in your heart + soul.
  • how am I doing now? Much better. I attribute this to therapy and lots + lots + lots of work on self-love. As well as the mental breakdown, because tbh y’all, my mind started itself back-up in “safe mode.” I know not all of us are lucky enough { see what I did there } to endure a mental breakdown. But for me, it truly was a beautiful thing.

2. Assaulted + Charged with Assault. April 20, 2012 I went to the Fun. concert at an establishment I will not name here, but one that has a past riddled with sketch + shade. I was with friends. Not doing drugs. I’d been drinking, but we also took a cab, + I was 27, so. Unfortunately, I’d been separated from my friends the majority of the night. Long-story-short, by the night’s end, as the concert let out, I was afraid + alone + tiny skirmishes started to break-out. That’s when a huge man came up behind me, grabbed me, + started dragging me back into the hall. I panicked. I 100% believe I was going to be raped. I struggled. Another man accosted me from the side. They beat the shit out of me. I felt excited to see the police standing before me. Until the police threw me to the ground, yanked my arms akimbo behind my back, + shoved my head through the back of a cop car. I’d been assaulted by 2 bouncers who then charged me with 3rd degree assault. I’d just been hired into a new job the day before. I lost that job. I was also per diem substitute teaching at the time. Not only did I lose those 2 teaching jobs, but apparently, when HR in education reads — 3rd Degree Assault { b/c who really knows which is worse, 1st or 3rd } — they call you up, personally, to chew-you out, as well as write you very mean letters. I spent my full-savings on a lawyer. When the DA, who was also a young woman, saw the pictures I documented of my bruises + contusions, she assured me that, under no circumstances, would I be charged. The bouncer who pressed charges never showed-up to court. The establishment refused to furnish video footage. I endured 3 separate court appearances across the next 5 months before I was cleared.

  • how does this limit freedom? It makes you feel unsafe everywhere you go. It makes you feel like you have 0 right to be anywhere. It makes you feel you will be accosted, accused, charged, fired, ridiculed, + drained of all your money, even when you do nothing wrong. It seriously tugs on those Victim strings.
  • how am I doing now? Recently, much, much better. I have transformed . { Because of the tips I promise I’m about to share! }. But I can say it still affects me. In October, 2015, I saw a Joywave concert at Anthology. I don’t consider myself to have PTSD, but for whatever reason, 3 years later, I flashed back to the old venue. My panic attacks where so severe that I could no longer recognizes people’s faces. I felt too scared + vulnerable to walk home alone or to even call a cab. That’s what fear does. It takes away all of our choices + all of our options.
    • { post-edit} … And now — today this day, over 1 year later — instead asking — Hey, were you okay? — I just get a lot of passive-aggressive, underhanded comments + side glances. { You know who you are. } That makes you look insecure + pretty ignorant, quite frankly. Not me.

3. Creep Factor. I cannot even begin to describe to you the number of creeps I’ve encountered. What’s more, these 3 experiences pale in comparison to other stuff I’ve endured. Here we go: 1) My 1st semester in NYC 2007, I went on a date with this guy who very seriously engaged me in intimidation tactics. He even carried a duffle bag that he said was filled with batting practice equipment. When I told him he could not come back to my apartment, he followed me into the subway and yelled at me the whole time as if we were long-lost lovers. 2) Around 2012, a UR PhD student took me on a date one summer. I wasn’t feeling the vibe, but one night he still insisted on walking me home. When I refused to let him in, he pressured me by reminding me how nice it was he walked me home in the 90 degree heat + insisted I owe him a glass of water: that I must let him inside. He did not get a glass of water. 3) Most recently, I walked down Goodman Street one weekend night about 1 month ago. I was nearing Monroe Ave between Park + Monroe. A younger guy crossed the street. We made eye-contact + said a simple hi. He walked-on, only to double-back, slap / grab my ass, thereby hiking-up the hemline to my underwear. He then ran away.

  • how does this limit freedom? Feeling unsafe everywhere, at every time of day. Not being able to do what you want or go where you want when you want to. Having to be resilient enough to shrug-off people’s judgements when they make horribly base assumptions, which really reinforces their ignorance, about what you were wearing + what you said, etc.
  • how am I doing now? Almost 0 fear. In a responsible way. { See how I had to qualify that. } How was I a few months back? A mess. I work with the public day-in, day-out. It used to be that 1 wrong look from a client sent me shame spiraling. Well, no more.

be well. be free.
trust yourself. trust your life.

I truly am living the best life I know, right now, in this moment. This past week I socialized with friends, I went to a bar by myself to watch the Copa game — unafraid + uncaring of others’ judgements — and I even let myself shoot a few hoops at 1AM { gasp! } on a Wednesday as I walked back to my apartment from Good Luck. My point? I finally, finally, have the framework + infrastructure to do what I want, when I want. I trust myself. I trust my life. That is freedom. Here’s how to do it:

IMG_4640

Playing hoops solo at the Merriman St. Playground around 1AM on Wednesday.

I finally have the framework + infrastructure to do what I want, when I want.

1. No Judgement. At the root of all of this — we have to stop judging ourselves. Why? Because only when we self-love { which means being judgement-free }, can we make the best, most pure choices for ourselves.

  • counterpoint: Should every woman walk alone to a bar or Party in the Park or shoot hoops at a city park at 1AM? No. Duh. Absolutely not. Just as every woman shouldn’t get married or have babies or backpack the world alone.
  • point: We have to be comfortable + confident making our best decisions given each moment + circumstance. We are capable of this.
  • recommendation: Read The 4 Agreements. Practice it as you read. And then read the Companion Book. Practice that, too. Really, truly practice it. Live it.

feed your feelings healthy “foods” / thoughts.

2. Practice Every Damn Day. People go to the gym regularly. People make it a habit to eat healthy. No one questions this. People talk about this every single day, all of the time. So practice doing these same healthy, holistic habits with your mind + soul. Some of my favorites:

  • recommendations:
    • Sing in the car. Unabashedly! Loudly! Freely! If you cannot express yourself freely while driving in your own, separate vessel … then when can you be free. Anyone else who is near you is driving by, anyway. They are gone from your lives forever. Be free. Sing.
    • Journal. It is not a 4-letter word, frands. Quite literally. It is a very simple practice.
      • Make lists.
      • Draw pictures.
      • Vent.
      • At the very least, practice gratitude.

Really pissed about something? Make a Gratitude List. It does not mean that you are not allowed to be pissed or upset! Yes, you are. Feel. Feel everything. Feel your full range of emotions. What it does mean is you still get to feed yourself positivity, even when you are negative.

  • Toast Yourself. Fill your cup with milk, or whatever, Cheers to you. Acknowledge what you have accomplished. Celebrate it. Big or small.
  • Smile at Yourself. Step 1) Look in the mirror. Step 2) Smile. Optional) Put your hands on your hips, breathe deep, peel those lips. Smile. Recommended) Do a butt-wiggle. Bonus points?? Compliment yourself.

Every single time you look in that mirror, say something nice. You said something critical, too? No worries. Let that go. Follow-it-up by saying something nice. 

if you cannot express yourself freely, while driving in your own separate vessel … then when can you be free?

3. Root Yourself. This is a bit higher level, + that’s why it’s #3. Progression. What is Rooting Yourself?? It is taking ourselves from all of the assumptions + what-if’s. It is coming back to our minds, our bodies, our true light, + our present moment. Rooting Yourself is placing yourself within the present moment.

  • recommendations:
    • Practice Mindfulness. I talk about it here. You can start by reading it here. Very simple. Very solid. Very whole.
    • Practice Chakra Healing. This has been 1 of the most transformational elements of my life these past few months. I really enjoy the affirmations + information on this website. When I am stressed or fearful, questioning or critical, I quiet that destruction + replace it with the wholesome “food” of chakra affirmations.
    • Affirmations. Chakras not your thing? Come up with your own phrases to say over + over + over again. Re-hone and refocus. Quiet + heal.
    • Be a Kid. Walk barefoot in the grass. This is very healing + rooting. If you practice chakra healing, you know this balances the Root { grounding } + the Heart { childlike spirit + connection with nature } Chakras. By being a kid, we honor + practice our most root freedom.

Swing on a swing. Play a sport. Go to a park. Do bounce ball soccer or trampoline exercises. Climb a rock wall or play some volleyball. In Rochester, alone, there are a million ways to honor your inner-kid.

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Swimming in Lake Ontario at Charlotte Beach, 1 of my favorite places to get away + go alone.

Thank you for taking the time to read with me + about my experiences today. I’d love to continue this conversation + hear what you guys have to say! My thanks for your energy.

#bewell.

#belocal.

#befree.

.

Shop Local Rochester: Merry Merry – Food + Drink + Play!

{ Left to Right: Archimage bad ass key chain, Abundance, Roc Brewing, + Hart’s. }

FOOD

look good

DRINK

feel good

TOYS

#Roc the holiday

#shoplocalroc

{ HAPPY HOLIDAYS! It is officially The Holidays. What better way to keep that flame alight than … to finish your holiday shopping!? Be it stocking stuffers + last minute gifts or snacks + party menu meals … Shop Local in Rochester, NY has you covered. }

I heart that Hart's is in The Holiday spirit.

I heart that Hart’s is in The Holiday spirit.

Last minute. Final touches. Do any of the following describe you??

  • Need stocking stuffers!
  • Buying last minute gifts
  • Finishing the holiday menu

Whatever you have left – these final days before The Holidays are critical. Best part is – they can also be simple! This past weekend, I traipsed around 2 compact, navigable, + diverse #Roc neighborhoods. Both have an incredible, quality selection of:

  1. food
  2. beverage
  3. gifts
  4. toys
Enjoy urban scenes while you eat deliciously prepared foods at Hart's.

Enjoy urban scenes while eating deliciously prepared foods from Hart’s.

Here is what I found to help fill you with jolly + joy:

MONROE AVENUE

ARCHIMAGE | 668 Monroe Avenue, 14607 | TOYS + GIFTS
Archimage, which was bustling on Friday afternoon, is nestled in the Oxford Mall (between Oxford + Goodman Streets on Monroe Avenue). Convenient off-street parking is located just off Oxford street! (Turn right if heading toward Monroe.)

  • ToysStep away from the Big Box store. Step into Archimage. You will find it. You will probably find more than one of it. And it will be well received. By child or adult.
  • GiftsBe it – jewelry, clothing (including baby clothing!), scarves, socks, candles, journals, instruments, speciality books, novelty items, soaps, trinkets, ethnic, natural, upcycled, handmade, unique. … Whatever it be, Archimage has.
  • 1-Stop-ShopThe entire store is a gift shop. Find your gifts + your cards + your wrapping papers here. { Find your happy place here. Truly. }
Wall upon wall of toys for the kid in everyone!

Wall upon wall of toys for the kid in everyone!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

{ BONUS: Also visit – Aaron’s Alley. Huge selection of unique gifts, i.e. Gods ‘N’ Gladiators Roc T’s. Buy some thrift/vintage for yourself! }

ABUNDANCE COOPERATIVE MARKET | 62 Marshall Street, 14607 | FOOD + DRINK + GIFTS
Abundance, tucked off of Marshall Street { after Owl House } and with its own parking lot, is my go-to, small grocery store. I love their products, their deals, their mini-market + cafe, and that I always find every single thing I’m looking for, even if it is different or new!

  • FoodAn abundance of sales! From Abundance Sails { deals until January 6, 2015 } to Coop Deals … make your holiday happy + healthy, while giving back directly to our community.
  • Drink. Ideal for non-alcoholic beverages. Looking for a the local refreshment? Ouzon Soda is pristine, locally made, + refreshingly unique! What about the naturally sugar-free soda pop? Stevia options abound.
  • Gifts20% off stocking stuffer sale until Christmas Eve – Wednesday, 12/24! Abundant options include: hats + mittens, glass water bottles { my personal pick }, hand cut soaps, an alluring array of bath + beauty, and so much more!
Locally Made hand salve made by Rochester Roots!

Locally Made hand salve by Rochester Roots!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAMBLOG

{ BONUS: You should know – Abundance sell items that are solely: Non-GMO, Natural, Fair Trade, Local, Organic, and/or IPM. }

EAST END

ROC BREWING | 56 South Union Street, 14607 | DRINK + GIFTS
Roc Brewing is 1 of 2 bars in Rochester I can confidently walk into, without anyone else, grab a pint, and drink. Which is exactly what I did this past Friday. The doors open at 5pm. On Friday, I walked in at 5:03 + the bar was packed. Talk about holly, jolly, + merry. Roc Brewing #Rocs it.

  • DrinkNine–nine–beers on tap when I arrived. Glutinous Maximus is gluten-free { and has a 7.1% ABV, holler } + it satiated by taste for the beers I’ve missed so much. Buy any of these beers for someone you love. They will respect you for it. And probably love you back. { Though I make no promises on matters-of-the-heart. }
  • GiftsWhich leads us to … The Greatest Gift Deal of the Century. { Kid not. } The Holiday Grumbler Special. That’s 2 Roc Brewing pint glasses, 1 empty mini-grumbler, + a gift certificate to have that grumbler filled on-tap … for JUST $22!!!!! Oh – then there are the T’s + the hoodies, the glasses + the art. Also ask about the Mug Club. { Which might be kicked … as in full! }
  • Unwind This past Friday, I learned that:
    • Roc Brewing now serves food!!!!!!
    • Roc Brewing serves the best gluten-free beer I have ever
    • Roc Brewing is doing a fundraiser for Verona Street Animal Society { which involves coloring books, it’s only $2, and you know I participated } Roc Gives Back in so many other ways, too.
An entire wall of gift ideas, for every occasion.

An entire wall of gift ideas, for everyone + every occasion!

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM 

{ BONUS: You should know – Roc Brewing has trivia for An Epic Trivia Extravaganza, from 5pm – 8pm Christmas Eve evening! }

HART’S LOCAL GROCERS | 10 Winthrop Street, 14607 | FOOD + DRINK + GIFTS
I Heart Hart’s. Hart’s Local Grocers will induce a nirvana-like state, and can best be described (by me) as a Wegman’s – Trader Joes’s – Specialty Market – Trifecta. This grocery, which rests just off East Ave on Winthrop St. and hosts its own off-street parking lot, is captivating. Mesmerizing. My only excuse for just having gone?? I get super excited for things I know I’ll heart … and so delayed gratification. I cannot wait to become a local in Hart’s Local Grocers! 

  • FoodDollop Frosting! I finally found it. As East Ave Wegmans has opted not to carry the gourmet, gluten free/dairy free/soy free/nut free/corn syrup free/organic frostings … I’m much, much elated to find that Hart’s does. Along with a myriad { understatement of the century } locally produced products. In fact, here’s a quick recap of the various food items I heart at Hart’s:
    • great gluten-free selection, along with accommodating other allergies
    • local items in isles + featured at the front, near the cash registers
    • all of your favorite, go-to brands
    • delicious sales
    • a cafe + a deli + a butcher + a coffee shop + a great place to sit, eat, + enjoy the #Roc views!
  • DrinkGet your craft brew here. And your favorite brand name, including a myriad of Rohrbach varieties. Especially delectable for picking up last minute host favors, party gifts, or regular gifts. If you can’t decide upon 1 local brew, check out Hart’s + let their selection entice and suede.
  • GiftsName a local food merchant in Rochester. They probably also sell at Hart’s. From Eat Me Ice Cream to Ouzon Soda to Hedonist Artisan Chocolates to Fuego Coffee to Coffee Connection to Dollop Frostings … that’s not even a fraction of your options. Hart’s is a 1-Stop-Shop, + it will mend any aching hearts you might have incurred throughout this holiday season. { This matter-of-the-heart, I do guarantee. }
Dollop frostings! Local products featured in the front + sold throughout the store.

Dollop frostings! Local products featured in the front + sold throughout the store.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAMNEWS & BLOG

{ BONUS: You should know – Hart’s features special Build-Your-Own Gift Baskets. Customize your own or buy one Hart’s made. What a great gift! }

Roc Brewing knows how to top { off } their Christmas tree.

Roc Brewing knows how to top { off } their Christmas tree.

As you finish your holiday shopping, remember to take a pic + hashtag #shoplocalroc to be auto-entered into the Shop Local Rochester Contest! { It’s best to post pictures to Instagram. When in doubt – also post to Facebook or Twitter. }

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL

Glutinous Minimus { I love that } gluten-free beer. INCREDIBLE.

Glutinous Minimus { I love that } gluten-free beer. INCREDIBLE.

So much love –

#happyholidays

#shoplocal

XO.

Shop Local Rochester: { Forget the Mall } 1-Stop-Spots for The Holidays!

{ “Look at that doggy in the window,” He’s real! Thread in the South Wedge. }

YOUR

#roc the holiday

ONE STOP

#shoplocalroc

SPOTS

{ Loud. Smelly. Crowded. Over Priced. Parking. … I don’t like the mall. Still, the 1 most common myth associated with #ShopLocal is this – It’s not a 1-stop-spot. Untrue! The proximity of diverse shops + merchants found while shopping local rivals any “convenience” the mall offers. Take this Holiday Bazaar + this South Wedge main drag as proof. }

The Yards Holiday Bazaar

10847193_903597892984726_1304375156146652477_o

local convenience

50-52 Public Market Way (above Cure at the Public Market – Facebook)

No to the Mall: What is so “convenient” about shopping at the mall??

  1. Parking – excessively far.
  2. Finding your Car – a chore.
  3. Stores + Food – at opposite ends of 4 different wings.
  4. Loud Nosies – It’s loud, and some stores really smell!
  5. People – Inherent traffic laws of “left + right” seem not apply.

Yes to Shop Local: Shopping Local maximizes convenience while creating experience.

  1. Parking – Never more than 1 { 2 at most } city blocks away.
  2. Finding your Car – glance at street name + intersection: voila.
  3. Stores + Food – all in a row, and { as with bazaars } all in the same space!
  4. No Loud Nosies – played-out music + smells do not dominate the air waves.
  5. People – Joyfully + contently peruse shops and stands in merriment + harmony.
Hedonist ice cream shop has art for you to buy! { Madelyn Neva }

Hedonist ice cream shop has art for you to buy! { Madelyn Neva }

make your holiday light

SHOP

SHOP LOCAL ROCHESTER CONTEST

  1. Shop Local
  2. Photograph your purchase
  3. Post { Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter } + Hashtag – #shoplocalroc
Abode has endless gifting options.

Abode with endless gifting options.

top 3 reasons for 1-stop-spots

“small businesses work really hard to find really unique things,” -Ann Duckett, owner of The Little Bleu Cheese Shop

LBCS also sells local art + has tons of ideas for gifts!

LBCS also sells local art + has tons of ideas for gifts!

The South Wedge

One of the friendliest neighborhoods in Rochester, with some of the friendliest, most gracious merchants in tow.

This past weekend I stopped by Abode, Little Bleu Cheese Shop, + Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, all near the corner of Gregory + South. This is why 1-Stop-Spots like The South Wedge make Holiday Shopping better:

  1. Unique Gifts
  2. Hand Selected Quality
  3. Friendly, Amenable Service
  4. { BONUS: All of these businesses are women owned! }
95% vintage - 5% looks vintage. Abode.

95% vintage – 5% looks vintage. Abode.

ABODE | 289 Gregory Street Rochester, NY 14620 | FACEBOOK

Love Anthropologie? Me too … But. It’s at the mall, + the prices are exorbitantly high. { No way am I decorating my home with decor that exceeds my clothing/make-up/wine budget. } Enter Abode, owned + operated by Ariane Krenichyn + Amanda DeFisher, 2 women with a passion for design, a taste for mid-century, and an eye for local + vintage. At Abode, you will find:

{ BONUS: Find vintage pieces on Etsy! }

More versatile than an LBD. It's LBCS.

More versatile than an LBD. It’s LBCS.

THE LITTLE BLEU CHEESE SHOP | 684 South Avenue Rochester, NY 14620 | FACEBOOK

We simply love cheese,” reads The LBCS tag-line. And I simply love Ann. Owner Ann Duckett selects handcrafted, artisan cheeses from around NYS, the US, + the world to bring us and Rochester the very best. And she does so with love. Every single time I have ever brought LBCS cheeses to a party, a friend’s, a holiday occasion, or as a gift – that parchment packet of goodness has turned each occasion into a gracious celebration. At LBCS, you will find:

  • impeccable cheeses { that take your breath away } + the opportunity to sample
  • more gifts! locally handcrafted cutting blocks + granite blocks + mustards to Brooklyn made pickles to cookbooks and a myriad of unending accoutrements
  • convenience – LBCS is happy to deliver! { the beauty of buying from small businesses }

“At The Little Bleu Cheese Shop, we really get to know our cheese makers,” –Ann Duckett, owner of LBCS

Truffles + Clusters are just the beginning.

Truffles + Clusters are just the beginning.

HEDONIST ARTISAN CHOCOLATES | 672 South Avenue Rochester, NY 14620 | FACEBOOK

Ice cream, sorbet, + chocolate to be, exact. Let’s be clear – this isn’t just any sweets shop. This is down-and-dirty gourmet. With almost a decade in the South Wedge, I wouldn’t expect anything less. Truly, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, owned by Jennifer, lives up to the jovial + rascal-like implications of its name. … Food allergies, you say? Hedonist offers options, including dairy free! At Hedonist, you will find:

{ BONUS: All chocolates in-store last at least until Christmas. Hedonist delivers. And there’s a Goat Cheese Collection! }

A feast for the eyes. South Wedge window displays. { Hedonist. }

A feast for the eyes. South Wedge window displays. { Hedonist. }

This, your last weekend before Hanukkah ends + Christmas begins. Get your 1-Stop-Shopping done + look good, feel good doing it. #Roc the holiday and #ShopLocal!

#happyholidays

#shoplocal

XO.

Shop Local Rochester: You Can Shop { Local } Online!

{ EvenOdd Creative Margo Clutch. Made from reclaimed bike inner tubes. … That’s what I have! }

SHOP

{ LOCAL }

ONLINE

#shoplocalroc

{ So many of our favorite local shopping spots feature websites + therefore, plenty of opportunity to browse at home (or at work!) + shop online. Best thing to do – hop online + see for yourself! To invoke imagination into those of us who disbelieve, please take a look at the following. }

Chances are most of your fav #ShopLocal haunts have websites you can purchase from. Today – I’m going to highlight a few that indiscriminately cater to men + to women … okay, and 1 specifically to women.

Lanyard_group_tags

EvenOdd military grade Lanyard with reclaimed bike inner tube.

EVENODD CREATIVE

WHOAshley + Eliza, 2 graphic designers doing recycled, right. { Check out this article in (585) by Sydney Bell! }

WHATUpcycled, Handcrafted dopeness in the Form of:

WHEREThe Hungerford Building { check out First Fridays! } | Instagram | Online

{ Last day to order online is Wednesday, Dec 17th! }

WHY: EvenOdd captures every single thing it means to be a Rochesterian + adds a slice of succotash on the side. { That’s a good thing. }

  • one-of-a-kind
  • upcycled
  • refurbished
  • custom
  • genuine
  • unique
  • affordable
  • fucking real deal

bonus:
follow Benson { shop French bull dog } on Instagram!

{ And pet him when you go inside. PS – When I ordered online at EvenOdd, I picked-up in shop + it was a breeze! }

1975

WHOErich Lehman – visionary, Wall\Therapy curator, art afficiando, working stiff, Roc enhancer + creative

WHATArt Gallery featuring seriously good art, many local artists, enchanting installations, + incredible events

WHERESuper Close By | Online

WHY1975 Gallery supports the art movement that makes Rochester unique + the artists who live + work here. Additional reasons include:

  • it’s art
  • it’s an investment
  • it’s a piece of Rochester
  • it’s very good art
  • pieces range from all price points, sizes, + tastes

bonus:
find promo code + other 1975 holiday purchasing tips
here

{ Tip: It’s an incredibly personal gift! Give the gift someone wouldn’t normally give him or herself. If you know someone loves a certain artist or a certain piece, chances are … you can find it at 1975. }

EOC151_002

EvenOdd utility pouch with inside detail.

GO BUY ROCHESTER

WHOEquaTEK Interactive, Inc. Initiative

WHATAn online marketplace solely dedicated “to make shopping local easy,”. { See! You can shop online + shop local. } Items include:

WHERE: Online! | { learn more on their Blog }

WHYWhen talking #ShopLocal, you’ll often hear me refer to the “multiplier effect.” This means, “every dollar spent with a locally-owned merchant has three times the impact of a dollar spent at a big box store.” Every single time I quote or cite the Multiplier Effect, it comes straight from GBR! Also …

bonus:
interested merchants can join GBR
here

KURVIE KULTURE

WHO: Latiffany Anderson, owner. Kurvie Kulture is a movement about embracing, empowering, + evolving

WHATThis online fashion boutique { also shoppable via Instagram! } carries a variety of sizes + specializes in plus sized fashion from women. From:

WHERE: Online | Instagram!

WHY: “Embrace Your Kurves, Empower Yourself, Evolove your Life.” Oh, and the …

  • high fashion
  • high quality
  • on trend
  • versatility
  • diversity + options
  • you’re killing it every time

I cannot speak highly enough for what KurvieKulture does for women + for fashion. And here we have it right in Rochester, NY.

bonus:
Enter the
Shop Local Rochester Contest!
{ post a screen shot of your purchase + #shoplocalroc }

Porter Window

EvenOdd Porter Foldover Bag. … Why yes, I would love one.

Shopping Local is easy. It’s also fun, affordable, and { let’s face it } way better than all the other gifts you can buy. A slew of days until Hanukkah ends + Christmas begins. #Roc the holiday + #ShopLocal!!

#shoponline

#shoplocalroc

XO.

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. }

NEW

look good, feel good

HOLIDAY

#roc the holiday

TRADITIONS

#shoplocalroc

{ 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. }

heart-to-heart

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.

ARTISTS
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.

WHY I DIG

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

WHY GIFT GIVERS GIVE

  • 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

WHY ART LOVERS LOVE

  • Style + variety
  • Taste
  • Fresh perspectives

PROMOTIONS + LOGISTICS

  • 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

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | ONLINE SHOP | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

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. }

ARTISTS + BEAUTIES
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.

WHY I DIG

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

WHY GIFT GIVERS GIVE

  • 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! }

WHY ART LOVERS + BEAUTIES LOVE

  • 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 }

WHAT TO DO

  • 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.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | ONLINE SHOP | INSTAGRAM

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.

READERS + BAKERS
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.

WHY I DIG

  • 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. }

WHY GIFT GIVERS GIVE

  • 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.

WHY READERS + BAKERS LOVE

  • 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”

HOW TO GIVE + GET

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

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

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

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

WHY I DIG

  • 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

WHY GIFT GIVERS GIVE

  • 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 }

WHY READERS + BAKERS LOVE

  • 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. }

HOW TO GIVE + GET:

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | CLUB ANGELL | CLUB RECIPES | INSTAGRAM

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! }

#shoplocalroc

#eatlocal

#readlocal

#artlocal

XO.