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.

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.