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

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


one for you


{ one for me, too. }



{ 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. }


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.

this is what makes a gift giver great!


#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. }


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!


  • 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.”


  • 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. }


  • 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! }

My Collection. Box + Cupcake ring are handmade!

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


  • 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.


  • 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. }


  • 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. }

Roll On bracelets are Fair Trade + support women.

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


  • 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.


  • 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. }


  • 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. }

#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. } ♥.



Shopping’s More Fun With … Flower City Fashionista!






{ 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




The Devil May Care … It’s {almost} Halloween!

{ Even angels come out on Halloween. … And you can wear your lingerie all year long. }


tips + tricks + treats



{ I wrote this post a few days ago + saw this on Instagram yesterday. Make sure to check out Devil May Care’s Halloween Top Drawer for the perfect fit to a Halloween you can sink your teeth into! } 

make your skin crawl … in a sexy way

Halloween in Rochester, NY would not be complete without a nod to Devil May Care Lingerie. After all, what is Halloween without:

  • heedless
  • jovial
  • rakish
  • flirty
  • fun
  • sexy antics?

It’s a funked-up wardrobe, candy addicted, potentially delusional fetish–that’s what. Which is fine. But a little lingerie makes it finer. Whether your costume screams ghoulish, ridiculous, provocative, or silly, it can’t hurt to feel super sleek + sexy + sophisticated beneath it all.

6 tempting picks

  1. BRASALEXA BRA + LASCIVIOUS MILLA BRA – Add a little BDSM + a lot of class {yes, the 2 can co-exist} into your closet + onto your … breasts! {Gasp.} … Note: I’d take any DMC bra.
  2. UNDERWEARPENELOPE GARTER PANTIES – Glam factor, vintage appeal, + practical. Wear them with or without the garters. {Plus – they’re high-waisted. I love high-waisted panties.}
  3. LEGWEARPRETTY POLLY HOUSE OF HOLLAND SUSPENDER HOSE – Perfect costume top-off … and a sophisticated addition to any ensemble. {Confession – I already own a pair in black.}
  4. LOUNGEWEARGAIA WINGS WRAP SHAPEWEAR – Been feeling the vampire vibe lately. This Kris Soonik pleads “Angel,” but I say it’s 100% Sexy. Stealthy. Mysterious. And Vampy.
  5. SHAPEWEAR/SALERYAN BODYSUIT – Deadly beautiful – name cannot possibly describe. “Playboy bunny” reads the description + to that I add: Marie Antoinette, Marilyn Monroe, Angelina Jolie. Unleash your inner firecracker with this devilish red.
  6. MENSBOXER BRIEF – Men celebrate Halloween, too. Though I won’t discriminate, I say the tighter the undergarment the better … check out these microfiber boxer briefs. {And if I’m not mistaken, there might be a hidden message, at least in these Lascivious variety – trick or treat??}

#devilmaycarelingerie | #dmclingerie

Halloween’s a Devil May Care celebration. Don’t leave your skivvies to the last minute. … You never know who has x-ray vision. {Or xxx-ray vision if we’re getting borderline-sleazy.}







Which Monster are You?? Vampires, Werewolves, + Witches … oh my.

{ Eve tattoo by Karrah Teague at Lucky Lotus Tattoo.}


vampires + werewolves + witches, oh my


{ I had a migraine this weekend that failed to leave me at peace. It hit in waves + knocked me out several times throughout Friday + Saturday. I missed literally every tip + trick + treat I suggested for this weekend … boo to that … . Well – I did make it to Lux. I also made it to ORBS to celebrate a friend’s new job + Mint Salon for the freshy-fresh on my curls. The weekend wasn’t fully lost, but it did get me thinking about the monster–or monsters–that live inside of me … . }

Folklore + fairytales exist as cautionary tales. Moral + practical guides to life where, the end-game, is: a) fit-in + b) survive. I’m no folklore aficionado. Not even my enthusiasm for Hocus Pocus (full movie guys!!) grants me expert status. But I do know that just as much as they can feed-on our humanity, they actually feed it as well.

Like talismans, folklore + fairytales help us cope + conquer the complex, dark layers of our existence.

So the question remains … which monster are you??


Lux Lounge – 666 South Avenue.


These simple motifs reveal how folklore translates to daily life lessons … ones that never die.

  1. A Vampire cannot come in unless he or she is invited.
    modern equivalent: Don’t take candy from a stranger.
    translation: Stranger Danger. Don’t invite strangers into your personal space, even if they look innocent, needy, or tempting.
  2. It’s really hard for a Vampire or a Werewolf to control or curb his or her cravings for blood + flesh, but is necessary in order to maintain some semblance of humanity.
    modern equivalent: McDonald’s. Cocaine. Sex.
    translation: DARE. Don’t do drugs–or engage in addictive behaviors–when it risks controlling you.
  3. Witches are devil worshippers and consorts.
    modern equivalent: Woman are winey sluts who cannot be trusted, are disreputable, and unreliable.
    translation: Sexism. It’s pervasive and insidious. It turns entire societies, comprised of men + women + children, against any woman who deviates from societal norms and expectations, especially if this woman is powerful { … or enchanting … }.

monsters + humanity


Count Barbara – Avoiding daylight.

In very mundane, worldly ways, anyone can relate to all of these monsters. In fact, our monsters are the actual keys to unlocking our humanity.


Here are a few of my own comparisons.

  1. Vampires
    A. Vampires cannot go into the daylight.
    Me – When I have migraines … daylight destroys me.
    B. Vampires have an insatiable craving for blood.
    Me – I have an insatiable craving for water. My body shuts-down quicker than others when I can’t have it. When I get it, I drink it so fast, it guzzles down my chin and chest. I swear, I can almost sniff it out.
    C. Vampires are strong + sexy + wear dark lipstick.
    Me – Me too.
  2. Werewolves
    A. Werewolves transform every month.
    Me – Every single month, my body doesn’t just change. It transforms. Boobs? I mean, I don’t even recognize them. Then there’s the pain. My insides feel like a corkscrew. I am both bewildered + angry. Every single month.
    B. Werewolves are affected by the moon.
    Me – I have full-on full moon syndrome. That shit makes my life crazy, every single time. {Maybe because I drink so much water, who even knows.}
    C. Werewolves are big dogs. Kind of.
    Me – I love to cuddle + shunggle dogs. They are extra perceptive of my moods.
  3. Witches
    A. Witches use energy to heal.
    Me – I believe in, study, and practice using energy through Chakras, meditation, acupuncture, + yoga. {It works.}
    B. Witches are very intuitive + listen to their primal instincts.
    Me – Everyone should trust their gut. Not listening to your instincts is one of the most dangerous things you can do to yourself.
    C. Witches don’t give a fuck what you think.
    Me – I don’t give a fuck what you think, in the most empowering of ways of course.

Halloween is just 5 days away. Get in touch with your inner-monster before a new soul year begins on All Saints’ Day/Day of the Dead November 1.




Pre-Halloween is > than Pre-Gaming.

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


tips + tricks + treats


{ 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


  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.


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.


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.




#drinklocal {not blood}