Shop Local Rochester: Gifts for Friends { And for You! }

{ Give great gifts. And make them look great! Gift box from Sweet Poison Cupcake. }

SAVE MONEY

one for you

SHOP LOCAL

{ one for me, too. }

LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD

#shoplocalroc

{ Between sales, festivals + shows, dope merch, and increased exposure to quality stores + boutiques … shopping local for the holidays is hard! … On your conscience. When shopping local, I say: grab 1 for your family or friend + (at least) 1 for you, too. With these 3 spots – you can. }

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Bath + Body – from The Alternative Fair!

{ Compliments of Shandi Rine. }

Pssst. Did you know there’s a secret to buying the best gifts? It’s the Won’t-Buy-It-For-Myself factor. And it’s powerful! Check it:

  • Ever see something while shopping for yourself + think – YES. But you never buy it.
  • Even better, you say – That’d be a perfect gift for me! { You know you have. }

The It Factor. That’s exactly what these boutiques + artisan have and are. The pieces + items that your family + friends always want, but never buy. Think about it:

  • You find a $20 necklace but don’t want to shell-out the fancy cocktail money? You say – Maybe next time.
  • You gravitate toward seasonal accessories + think – I love it! But what if I don’t wear it next year?
  • What about the piece that enhances your surroundings? – It’s not something I need, you say.

ssshh:
this is what makes a gift giver great!

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#ShopLocal. Cardigan – Peppermint. Tank – Second Storie. Jewelry – Fahsye, The Knotty Owl, Erica Bello.

The It Factor is the Won’t-Buy-It-For-Myself factor. And that’s what makes a gift giver great! When you can identify that 1 gift a friend really loves, but would never buy herself – buy it. Trickiest thing? Not buying one for yourself, too!

fear not!
guilt-free shopping

At these 3 #ShopLocal spots in #Roc – you will find It factor gifts. Great thing? They’re so affordable … you buy something for you, too! { Guilt. Free. }

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Prismatic Gardens by Sigriet Ferrer.

Gifts for Friends { And for You! }

Prismatic GardensOwned by Sigriet Ferrer. Sold at Peppermint, pop-up shops, + online at Etsy!

WHY I LOVE

  • I kill plants. { Eek! } These are EASY to care for.
  • I’m bad at decorating. { Yikes. } These are GORGEOUS.
  • I dig the vibe. { Yes. } Prismatic Gardens says – “A natural synergy within elements.”

WHY FRIENDS LOVE

  • They want plants. { But won’t buy them. }
  • THEY COME WITH DINOSAURS! { Enchanting + one-of-a-kind. }
  • It’s not another bamboo plant. { Be original. }

WHY YOU LOVE

  • They’re flipping adorable. { Look at those little buds. }
  • Sir Rocha SaysYou can hang rings on them! { Double-duty. }
  • LOW MAINTENANCE. { Mine doesn’t even ever have to be watered! }
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My Collection. Box + Cupcake ring are handmade!

Sweet Poison CupcakeOwned by Tempest Paige. Handmade goods! Store at Village Gate + Etsy.

WHY I LOVE

  • I love sweets { but can’t always eat them } … and these are sweets you wear!
  • I’m way into shades. { Who isn’t? } Every shape, size, + color.
  • I only wear color { wait for it } in my accessories – SPC got color.

WHY FRIENDS LOVE

  • Everything is kawaii! { It’s super freakin’ cute. }
  • HANDMADE. { An entire table of handmade accessories! }
  • You know that statement purse?? { Sweet Poison Cupcake has them. }

WHY YOU LOVE

  • Need a lil’ edge? { Try on a dress or a T. }
  • BRIGHT LIPSTICK. { KleanColor – have some fun! }
  • Bling. { Pizzas, French Fries, Keys + Lockets … oh my. }
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Roll On bracelets are Fair Trade + support women.

PeppermintOwned by designer Tanvi Asher. Peppermint Line. Local + artisan jewelry and accessories. 

WHY I LOVE

  • Down the street. { Ya’ heard. } I could live there.
  • Peppermint Line { True Boutique } designed by Tanvi + made in NYC.
  • Features local artisans { Truth } from Rochester, across the US, + around the world.

WHY FRIENDS LOVE

  • JEWELRY. { Earrings, Necklaces, Bracelets – for under $20. }
  • ROC Items. { Magnets, Ornaments, Necklaces, Rings, Bracelets, Earrings. }
  • Scarves, purses, gloves. { Every last thing a woman’s heart desires. }

WHY YOU LOVE

  • Shop with a Cause. { Fair Trade bracelets support working women. }
  • THERE’S A SHOE ROOM. { With insane good–well-priced–shoes. The walls are sunshine yellow. }
  • Affordable Quality. { Even the super nice things. }
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#ROC the Holiday like these guys.

{ Prismatic Gardens Facebook. To see the one I bought: Check It. }

#roc the holiday

Who’s buying 1 for a friend + another 1 for you?? This Girl! … And I bet you will too. { Go for the It factor. } ♥.

#shoplocalroc.

XO.

Shopping’s More Fun With … Flower City Fashionista!

BESL

+

FLOWER CITY FASHIONISTA

(equals)

#SHOPLOCAL LOVE

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

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

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

Jenny’s featuring BESL #ShopLocal posts!

Here’s what you do:

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

 In the words of Mrs. Jenny Sanzo herself:

and roc gets more love

to love of + love for the #Roc

#shoplocal

#flowercityfashionista

XO.

Pre-Halloween.

{ I vant to suck your blood. – Finger Lakes Wine: Dr. Konstantin Frank Salmon Run Petit Noir. }

HAPPY

tips + tricks + treats

PRE-HALLOWEEN

{ Halloween is a magical holiday for so many reasons. Including the making of Hocus Pocus, which receives many a-mention on this blog. This year, the bewitching hour befalls a Friday. All will wake from the dead … and become the dead the next day, rest assured. Best part?? Halloween in Rochester – we still celebrate early! So grab your costumes + get yo’ freak on because this weekend proves to be wild. }

ghastly pre-Halloween gasts

WICKED WEEKEND CHOICES

  1. SPECTRAL CARNIVAL: Friday + Saturday. St. Joseph Park {“a piece of local history“}.
  • Family by day.
  • Freaky by night.
  • Incredible artists … follow The Yards on Instagram to get a taste + discover more.

#SpectralCarnival2

2. AL SIGL CENTER WALK ABOUT: Saturday. Eastview Mall.

3. FINGER LAKES RESTAURANT WEEK: Ends Sunday. 11 Finger Lakes Restaurants.

  • Lunch + Dinner Pre-Fixe Specials.
  • Local Food – celebrate the harvest!
  • Frighteningly delicious – a great way to try new cuisine at affordable prices … and an incredible excuse to see that Finger Lakes Fall Foliage + landscape!

4. DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS: Ends November 1. 1975 Gallery.

  • Coincide this exhibit ends on All Saints’ Day?? {I think not.}
  • Devilishly decadent does not begin to describe.
  • 666 or 60+? Like an incantation, the website says it best.

#devilsinthedetails

5. LUX LOUNGEOn Going. South Wedge – 666 South Ave.

  • Located at 666 South Ave. So. “Let your freak flag fly.”
  • Chillest outdoor scene in Roc – picnic tables + hammock, penis stool + ring toss, fire pit + once I roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on it … creepy lady in the window. {Just go.}
  • Incredible art. Last time I was there – Shawnee Hill was up. Just insane.

let’s all raise hell this weekend

Are you not as excited as I that this year, Halloween is a week-long celebration. It’s phantasmic.

#happyhalloween

#eatlocal

#candycorns

#drinklocal {not blood}

#artlocal

XO.

Fall For Your Favorite Snacks: French Fries!!

FALL FAVORITES

 { SNACKS }

FRENCH FRIES!

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

My fall snack staples include:

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

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

  • Hot Coca with Marshmallows: Healthy for your World.

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

  • Pop Corn: Healthy for You.

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

Homemade Fried French Fries

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

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

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

* * *

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

#fallfavorites
#eatlocal

XO.

This is Why We Thrift.

{ PHOTO – Don’t mind me neck pillow. }

THIS IS WHY …

THE LOOK | OVER 90% OFF | THE GIVE

WE THRIFT.

Morgan Delapa - owner of Treasure Trove Vintage.

Morgan Delapa – owner of Treasure Trove Vintage.

{ RECAP: This week I went thrift shopping with Morgan DeLapa, owner of Treasure Trove Vintage, and her mama, Honey, photographer + owner of DeLapa Photography. They showed me the ropes + shared < most > of their trade secrets. (I still don’t know how Morgan finds her incredible vintage pieces, and that’s exactly why she has a boutique!) While I won’t “thrift + tell” the secrets they did divulge, this post shares 2 thrifty sources + 3 reasons to thrift on your own. The loot I cashed-in on??? Less than $35. Take a look! }

thrift-ventory

  • 2 sweatshirts
  • 1 chunky sweater coat
  • 1 sunflower cropped tank
  • 1 suede, satin, embellished vest
  • 1 romper (Forever21)
  • 1 skirt, tags-still-on (Zara)
  • 2 pairs of flats (1 brand name, 1 designer couture)

get your thrift on: this is why we thrift

  1. On Trend. I’m more a classics girl, myself. But when I find super trendy items for less than $5, I am about that single-season-wear. I want it. The on trend pieces from this thrifty trip??
    • cropped sweatshirt – wear it daily
    • suede + satin embellished vest – cannot wait to debut
    • sunflower cropped tank – welcome back ’90’s
    • romper – my 1st romp with ‘er
  2. Designer on a Dime. I don’t buy designer. I actually don’t care … and I can’t afford. But, when it’s designer for less than $50, let alone less than $5–well, that’s just smarts. And, it’s bragging rights:
    • $3, Zara beaded skirt, tags still on – $140 originally
    • $2.50, Joan & David couture, handmade in Italy leather loafers – $350+ estimated 
  3. Sustainability. Thrift shopping sustains 3 main stakes. When you thrift shop you:

I think we also thrift for the sheer excitement of finding exactly what we want for about 90% less than we normally pay. Some people thrift for the thrill + others, for the romance. Regardless, as you set fourth on your new thrift, take every single cue you can get from these 2 Rochester bloggers.

 

 

 

 

Handmade Joan & David Loafers. ... And my thighs.

Handmade Joan & David Loafers.   thrifty sources

 

Simply SarahFollow her on Instagram, Like her on Facebook, + Check out the website. Shit-you-not: once your jealousy over her insanely satiable finds subsides, you’ll remember to feel happy. Because this woman tells you what is up in the world of fashion thrifts + home finds.

The Treasure Trove. Okay! Rouse is up. You, too, can figure out < most > of Morgan’s secrets without accompanying her on a thrifting trip. Follow the blog, Double tap both Instagrams (personal and store), + Like Treasure Trove Vintage on Facebook, to … I hate to admit it … thwart my chances of buying up her entire boutique.

* * * 

And tell me, please … Why do you thrift??

#thrift

#shoplocal

XO.