Instagram: Instafun! How to Be in the Know, Be Present, + Be Local.

SUMMERTIME IS

Instagram.

HERE.

You might say Social Media is the Antithesis / Antichrist of all things … Social. Like: Being Present, Being Active, Living your Real Life, just to name a few. Au Contraire. Social Media, when used responsibly, enhances all things Social. I’m going to provide 3 Simple Guidelines { because who like Rules } + use Rochester, NY to tell you how! Because, after all, #YOLO.

Vibe With Your Community

How does one strike that delicate balance between SM junkie + SM savvy?? Listen here:

1. Be Discreet. Only check Instagram when on the toilet.

  • Insta picture junkie, I am + I admit. I have a very narrow filter for when I do + don’t post pics because, well … Instant. { However, anything that requires major editing, I wait. }
  • Scrolling / Liking / Commenting junkie, on the other hand, I abstain. I save the big-read for very private, alone times. Such as when I first wake-up. Or when I pee and … Just kidding! But you get what I mean. { And also, don’t do that. That’s gross. }

Why is this important? We don’t want SM to consume our actual social lives. Talk to your friends. Listen to their conversations. It’s fun. Promise — real socializing is pretty great.

2. Be Free. Let Instagram reflect the most pure you.

  • No one’s judging. Unlike Twitter, Instagram has no lists. Give yourself permission to be select with who you do + don’t follow! It’s also okay to Follow individuals who post incredible content, even if you don’t know them.
  • Wear your heart on your sleeve. It’s also okay to Like! Tap that heart, baby. Leave comments when inspired. Don’t be shy. This is what SM is for.

It’s for getting to know your fellow community.

{ And for anyone — me! — who is confused about Post Notifications + the new Inst-algorithim-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, or Understood, … read here. }

Why is this important? For several reasons. The biggest being: Social Media should enhance our identity + individuality. You have control over that. Harness SM to hone You. 

3. Follow Local. Restaurants, Organizations, Stores, Events, Local Bloggers — follow, follow, follow!

Why is this important? Because the more you know, the more you grow. The more you share + interact, the more your community grows.

So get on it! 
Follow your community on Instagram.

And Follow Me! Because Child, there’s even more than that happening in the Roc this week!

  1. South Wedge Sip & Shop: This Thursday!! And every 3rd Thursday until October. { Thank you Thread for this Insta. }
  2. South Wedge Third Thursday Concerts: Also this Thursday + every 3rd until October. { Thank you South Wedge + Star Alley Park … next to Lux. }
  3. Lux Lounge Events: Always a Party! Game Nights, Dance Parties, PB+J, B Movie Wednesdays. { If you’re bored, you’re boring because Lux + Chill. }

So … Go Out, Get Out, Insta-Responsibly, Be Present. And, always, Be Local.

#YOLO.

#bepresent.

#belocal.

Secrets to Unlocking Mindfulness in { Not So } Secret Urban Gardens.

{ RMSC Gardens. Clockwise from Left: Tulips that smell of juicy-juice. Primrose herb. Lungwort herb. The RMSC Herb Garden is my favorite secret getaway in Rochester. }

BREATHE IN.

The RMSC Herb Garden

BREATHE OUT.

Mindfulness is an-all-in-1 spa, gym, + detox
for your mind, body, + soul. 

Mindfulness requires commitment, don’t get me wrong. Commitment in terms of minutes { you will have to consciously + constantly redirect yourself } as well as days + months. Just like resume writing + interviewing, no one is naturally good at Mindfulness; Mindfulness is a skill, + it requires regular practice. Which is good news! Because — Phew! — pressure’s off. With Mindfulness, you never, ever, ever, ever have to be … perfect. { 4 letter word. }

Here’s how it works!

You can practice Mindfulness all day, erry’day. To get started, pick-up Buddhist Monk + Nobel Peace Prize nominee Tich Nhat Hanh’s collection “Peace Begins Here,”. This was my 1st introduction to + practice with Mindfulness { thanks to a solidly progressive Creative Writing course my senior year at Pitt }. Until then … Here is what you do.

  1. Find a { Not So } Secret Garden. Big cities. Small Cities. Non-cities. They. Are. Everywhere. Promise. When I lived in Manhattan, both Central + Riverside Parks where very not-so-secret, but they also had idyllic secret nooks once you explored. Rochester has a ton! Here are 3 within 2 miles:
    • First Unitarian Church of Rochester. 220 S. Winton Rd., Rochester, NY 14610. They have gardens + meditative walking mazes, + anyone can enjoy them.
    • Rochester Museum & Science Center Herb Garden. 657 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607. Herbs, tulips, rose bushes, flowering trees, benches, side gardens, + lots of green grass for walking, picnicking, sports playing, dog walking, jogging, meditating, + relaxing.
    • Historic Gardens at Eastman Museum. 900 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607. Almost right across the street from RMSC, Eastman Museum has gardens for passersby, tours for those who want history, + Garden Vibes summer concerts 1 Wednesday each month, June-August.
  2. Just Breathe. Inhale. Pause. Exhale. Pause. Repeat. Since you have to breathe anyway — might as well hone + harness it. Instead of just oxygenating your lungs, think about the idea of oxygenating every single cell in your entire body. 2 simple steps:
    • Pause. As soon as you arrive to a comfortable spot within the garden, plant your feet. Look around. Notice the color of the sky. Feel the air. Smell nature. Pause and breathe normally. Say to yourself, At this moment in this time, all I have to do is breathe. And then, when you breathe as per usual with your normal breath, feel proud that you have accomplished all you need to accomplish. Feel proud that you have nothing more to do in this very moment.
    • Slow Down. Once you have enjoyed a few regular breaths, let your breath slow down. Do not force your mind or body to slow. Allow your slowed breath to be a natural guide for the rest of your body. Slow your breath in whatever way feels most comfortable. I like to start by inhaling a bit slower + deeper and pausing at the top of the inhale; and then exhaling with the goal of releasing more slowly than I inhaled, and pausing again at the bottom of my exhale.
  3. Let Go. Release your thoughts. Stay present in this moment. Easily the most intimidating part of “mindfulness,” as this part starts to invoke meditation. But both are actually very easy + natural once you try:
    • No Pressure. The goal of letting go, and so meditation, is not to be free of thoughts. It is to be free of the burden of thoughts. Practicing letting go, and therefore meditation, is actually quite freeing because all you’re doing is granting yourself permission to … let go. To say no. To say, Thought, I see you, and I hear you, and I say goodbye to you. Let thoughts come into your mind. In fact, welcome thoughts to do so. The more thoughts that enter, the more practice you have saying good bye.
    • Visualize. Most of us will vastly struggle with letting go of thoughts, at first. A happy bridge to full-meditation is the prop of visualization and/or mantras: both will help you say goodbye to thoughts. What do you visualize? Nothing. Because you visualize your breath. Focus on the air, the space between. Focus on a part of your body that needs more breath. Breathe to this space. If this doesn’t work, try a mantra. What do you say? Something very simple. Positive. Truthful. I am safe + secure. Flowers are beautiful, just like me. Sunshine feels happy. I believe in my values, + I believe in me. Say the same phrase over + over + over, again. Promise, you won’t be thinking 1 thing.

According to Tich Nhat Hanh, this is called Walking Meditation. You can do it anywhere. A room in your apartment. The pavement on the street. Halls at work. Aisles of the grocery store. Walking Meditation, + so Mindfulness, can be achieved anywhere we step foot.

I hope you enjoy trying. Let me know what you think!

#mindfulness

#bepresent

#belocal.

The Call of Shop Local Seduces.

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

HEY FRANDS

shop.local.

HOW I’VE MISSED YOU

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

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

here are just a few:

*(585) Mag

*Sir Rocha Says

*Explore Rochester

*Exploring Upstate

*Harts Local Grocers

*HypeBooth

*IRocPolkaDots

*RocGirlGang

*The Rochesteriat

*Transit Apparel

*Yelp Rochester

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

Our newest chapter explores just that:

Barbara Ellen’s Adventures with Everything Shop Local

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

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

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

Content: 2 main themes —

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

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

  • Share
  • Explore
  • Express
  • Sustain

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

To the SIrens.

To #Roc.

To #shoplocal.

Art is Forever, Exhibits are Not: Shawnee Hill + Adam Francey Openings.

{ Artist Shawnee Hill’s work for Broken Ritual at Bug Jar – taken from Shawnee Hill Facebook. }

ART

IS

FOREVER

{ It’s a bit of a paradox. Art is destroyed, taken down, stolen, vandalized, whatever. But art is forever. No one can take away the experience of art–from the artist who creates or the patron who enjoys. No one can dismantle this creative process or remove our experiences. No one. }

intimate + accessible is the best way to describe art in Rochester. … and poppin’.

One of the most exhilarating parts? Capturing this experience during its lifetime. Rochester, NY is phenomenal for this. Thanks, in part, to galleries like 1975 { right behind Hart’s, 2Vine, and The Little Theatre }, which has FREE admission, where our Roc community can intimately + freely enjoy the works of local + national artists. And 1975 Gallery is just 1 spot.

The best part?? We don’t just have artists. We have artists who share their souls.

Interacting with the artists! Be it Wall\Therapy, were you can watch internationally, critically acclaimed street artists + graff writers produce art on the walls and souls of our streets, or openings at a myriad of coffee shops + businesses.

art in Rochester is alive + interactive

Artist + Muralist Shawnee Hill painting outside of Bug Jar.

Artist + Muralist Shawnee Hill painting outside of Bug Jar.

What’s up this weekend?

A lot.

Friday: Shawnee Hill opening at Bug Jar. #BrokenRitual

Saturday: Adam Francey solo opening at 1975. #BlessThisMess

What you need to know:

  • Friday – Shawnee Hill – Bug Jar  – Broken Ritual
  • Saturday – Adam Francey – 1975 – Bless This Mess
    • 7-10pm, Sat, February 7: Opening Reception
    • February 7 – 28, 2015: Exhibit
    • 1975, 89 Charlotte Street 14607
    • curated by Erich Lehman
    • Adam Francey: New Works in Folk Art + Solo Show + First Art Print Releases
    • HTB Press: prints
    • Adam Francey Tattoos: Francey is a renowned tattooer – see more of his work!

Need some more? Social Media fix:

Mural by Shawnee Hill taken from Shawnee R M Hill Facebook.

Mural by Shawnee Hill taken from Shawnee R M Hill Facebook.

  • Shawnee Hill

FACEBOOK | EVENT INVITE | INSTAGRAM

  • Adam Francey

FACEBOOK | EVENT INVITE | WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM

I am stoked to surround myself this weekend with incredible art that has come from the finger tips of incredibly soulful + talented people who live in my community. I cannot wait to share these experience with the friends I love. I feel honored to be present + in the same spaces as these creators.

See you there!

#brokenritual

#blessthismess

#artlocal

X.

The Year of Shop Local: #Roc.

HAPPY

SHOP LOCAL

NEW YEAR

{ 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. }

* * *

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.

IMG_0919

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. }

* * * 

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.

#shoplocal

#eatlocal

XO.