Shop Local. B is for Birthdays. B is for BarbaraEllen. B is for 28th Birthday Weekend.

Brought to you by The Nicole Jaclyn.
Look at these jewels.
This post is more for me than it is for you. Only because I love making lists, & I feel overwhelmingly compelled to recap/relive/record this 28th Birthday Weekend. Also, everyone should be sick by now of hearing about my Birthday Weekend. Ergo, one final 28th Birthday Gift to me: my own blog post on my own blog. Class.

 

LocalVore Birthday.
Term coined by my mama in a preparatory email she sent to plan these grand shenanigans. Her pitch: Eat Local. Shop Local. Roc-It-Up. Here are the highlights:

FRIDAY
March 8, 2013 – Day of my Birth.

Homemade Tiramisu.
Thanks  Momsly!





Homemade Cookie Cake.
The Rooms. Best I have ever.

















First thing I opened.
Last thing I took off.































28 feels extra special. Something about becoming more adult & still being in my 20’s.

Vanessa Virginia blouse from Anthropologie. Showers of office wishes & Facebook feeds. Pedis with my Mama {I am embarrassingly ticklish}. Homemade Italian din with the fam. Amazingly thoughtful gifts from the girls. Cheshire cocktails & Lux love with the friends.

SATURDAY
March 9, 2013 – 28 & 2 days old.

Geometric Flats.
Shop Peppermint. Also 15% off on Birthdays!!
ShopPeppermint.
Left
Geometric Cranes & Sheer.
Right: Black Lace & Tea.







Thread.
Front & Back. Time for Spring.
















OPI Moneypenny Magnetic Mani.
With Miss Moneypenny!


























Big Spoon.
Little Spoon.























Saturdays are meant to be celebrated. LocalVore theme made it #Roc.
Yoga at Tru. Shopping at ShopPeppermint & Thread. Lunch on Park Ave. The Little Bleu Cheese Shop in the South Wedge. Selfie Manis. Cuddling with the Pups. Freakishly exhausted because I am now 28.

SUNDAY
March 10, 2013 – Sundays in the Sun.

Clockwise from Left: Alex and Ani initials bangles.
Alex and Ani Philosophy {eco-friendly, positive energy}.
Homemade hand lettering card {Nicole} & Chakras {Shan}.
















Just drinking some Limeade on Park Ave.
(Ignore the snow. It was warm.)

























Truly, Sundays are a day of rest. 
Absurd breakfast {Tiramisu, herb-butter grilled cheese & tomato on rye–thank you Da’ Moe!–grape leaf, Coca-Cola, potato chips}. Indulgent facial, Scott Miller. Fabulous, most fabulous, day with my Lady Loves {Anj, Nicole, Shannon} which includes, but is not limited to, loitering on steps, lil’ bit a bridal, stalking an actor, Alex and Ani’s {most positive store everrr}, Sushi, & some seriously large laughs.

Goodnight.
Best
Birthday
Weekend
Ever.
♥ .

Auld Lang Syne. Happy New Year’s Resolutions 2013!!

Here’s to Auld Lang Syne.
And Here’s to New Year’s Resolutions!
1. Practice Patience.
2. Journal Nightly.
3. Yoga & Dance Regularly.
4. Free Range Meat Only.
5. Meditate Daily.
Ronk (Rocky) & Klonk (Klondike)
patiently waiting to ring in the New Year. 2013.
To see what these all lead up to….

Practice Patience. I’m either in a hurry, or I’m in a hurry, and there’s no such thing as not-in-a-hurry. For me, when something exists in this extreme where it lacks even its opposite as a balance, I’ve found that only 1 approach works. The Opposite Approach. Whenever I feel the urge to hurry, I will do the exact opposite of hurry: no ifs-and’s-or-but’s. I will calmly take my time even if I am late for work. For one (and for me), taking my time doesn’t mean wasting it. For two, I bet that I make it to desired destination just as quickly and, now, with a clearer mind. Why Opposite Approach is so crucial? Because if I practice patience wholly and without making excuses, I surmise that it will wholly permeate my every thought & action so that patience becomes second nature. (Think on how, in athletic endeavors, I’m now left-foot -dominate, despite being right-handed, because of wholly playing Left-D in soccer every single game throughout my high school career.)
 
I will calmly take my time even if. 
 
The Book of Chakra Healing, Liz Simpson.
Daily journal, given by a great friend.
Journal Nightly. Throughout junior high, high school, and college, I was a huge journal-er. Not only did it keep me writing daily, which is crucial to the integrity of any writer, but also, it truly helped me to sort through the webs and annals of my brain. To confront the lies that crept in whilst I wasn’t a-watch. Journaling helped me through some of the most crucial and fragile moments in my life so that I could recover and, ultimately, heal. It had to be over 1 year ago that I stopped. A few months ago, when I began learning about and working on Chakras, I realized how integral daily journaling is to keeping me in balance. I’m excited to begin my journaling anew, using both a journal and my laptop to stay connected with the written word and my most tangled-up of thoughts.
 
I will journal nightly, even if it is just one word.
 
Yoga & Dance Regularly. Both of these, I’ve just discovered. Yoga, back around March 2012 and dance—or at least adult dance—as I began to listen to the whisperings and longings to move fluidly, once again. (Or, that’s the idea.) Immediately, upon my first visit to Open Flow with Caroline, I felt at home in the TRU Yoga Studio. Having practiced somewhat regularly for 9 months, I’ve found that Yoga has increased my muscle tone, particularly in my back and shoulders, my breath quality, as in how deeply I can inhale & exhale (and unfortunately not how freshly or sweet my breath naturally smells), and my flexibility so that my muscles feel both longer and more lithe. The anchor of calmness and rejuvenating qualities that yoga affords has changed both the way I move and the way I think. This year, I’ve realized that to attend yoga regularly is not to be indulgent. It is to be whole. Dance, where I will attend classes just across the street at Park Ave Dance Company, will be an exclamation to my newly setting routine. I cannot wait to combine the energy of Contemporary movement with the strength, balance, and flexibility of Yoga.
 
I will practice yoga & dance regularly so that I will be whole.
 
 
Free Range Meat Only. Okay, let us qualify this only. I will still eat cheese burgers, at least to start, even if they are not free range meat. And if your grandmother cooks some chix parm and invites me to dinner, I will eat grandmother’s chicken parm. All things considered, you know? Also, this is a huge dietary change for me; as long as this qualifier helps to guide me to totally free range, I’m okay with it. Why free range, you ask. Here’s the thing. I’m not interested in changing the meat industry. Right now, it’s not my calling. What I am interested in is energy. Positive and Negative Energy. Energy exists, both positive and negative, & energy is transferred. In my personal opinion, if any animal is raised or slaughtered inhumanely (and so with negative energy surrounding it), then that negative energy transfers into me when I eat it. (Again. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It has to go somewhere!) Okay, and the thought of these inhumanely treated animals makes me feel like a hypocrite if I continue to eat them &, yet, in any degree, disagree with the inhumane treatment of any other animal, no matter how large scale or small scale this treatment may be. I’m not saying anyone is wrong for eating meat. I’m just saying that I feel compelled to begin eating only free range meat. And I cannot ignore how I feel (even if another thinks I’m crazy or frivolous or inane or annoying or {insert judgment here}, and if you do care about what I eat, I implore you to ask yourself why. And then why again. Boom.).
 
I will begin to eat only free range meat. 
 
My first book
of meditation & mindfulness.

 
Meditate Daily. I began practicing meditation my senior of college while taking my first creative writing class with a woman who has grown to be one of my most favorite professors at The University of Pittsburgh. A highly accredited writer, Prof. Fiona Cheong explored alternative methods to inspiring creativity and centered her class upon meditation. She asserts that studies show that the same wave lengths emitted by the brain during meditation are akin to those generated during creativity. And so we breathed. At first for 5 minutes while beginning each class. Gradually working up to 10. We also learned. By following the mindfulness practices of Tich Nhat Hanh, this class implored us to fold meditation into our daily lives with activities such as walking meditation, washing dishes meditation, and oranges meditation. Since 2007, it’s taken many years and semi-routine yoga classes to build my mind’s muscles strong enough so that they can let go of all thoughts, moving or not, and breathe. While I typically meditate before falling asleep at night, I’ve found that folding meditation into my daily routines—much like those lessons taught by Tich Nhat Hanh and instilled by Prof. Cheong—centers me. So that I am me, in spite of.
I will meditate daily, in spite of.
 
My hope is that all of these will help me to trust my instincts more fully. If I cannot trust myself, then who or what can I?? 
 
 
Happy New Year 2013!!
♥.
 
 
 
 

How To. Unique Holiday Gifts & a #ShopLocal Guide.

Shopping Guide 
For Unique Holiday Gifts
 
(Google Images.)
Butternuts Beer & Ale!
at Trader Joe’s
Get’s better the more you read…


Google Images.
Great Jar!
1.    Marshall’s. Let’s just get this out of the way, now. Unique, you ask? Yes. Even      though probably everybody is gifting from Marshall’s (or TJ Maxx, etc), you will still find super unique gifts. Disclaimer: Use only in lieu of items you can only buy commercially. Candles? No. Save those for the Salons & Spas (#3) or, better yet, Fair Trades (#4) or Boutiques! (#5). Large glass jar of Jelly Belly’s for Momsly? Done. It beats retail prices, & she’ll reuse that jar. Another idea is its variety of cute & sexy socks. From over-the-knee wool numbers to thigh-high lace-capades: very few of us buy ourselves nice socks. And that’s why, when luxurious, it presents as a unique gift. As far as beauty goes? I croon for Marshall’s supply of eye creams & serums. Be it a beauty basket or a stocking stuffer, lotions & potions are sure to woo.
 
Google Images.
Moisturizing & Gentle.
2.     Trader Joes. If you’re a Rochesterian, & you haven’t been: go. Whether you’re on a budget or you eat only organic, or both, you will relish in the unique finds & low prices offered by this specialty grocer. For the beer lover, try a European Trader Joe brew or one of its more local offerings, such as a Ithaca Pale Ale or Butternut Brewery creation. A baker? No bounds exist with the boxes of easily prepared confectionaries, such as Chocolate Peppermint Roll, or the wholesome, organic ingredients for the made-from-scratch-mmm-doer. Also, Trader Joe’s also offers bath & beauty varietals. French hand-mill soap, organic oatmeal exfoliates, Vitamin E Oil. (Way less expensive here, than at drug stores.) And, yes, the packaging is pretty. Whether hosting your first (or 500th) holiday shindig or buying-on-the-go, Trader Joe’s is a great stop for your groceries & your gifts.
 
Image From Sephora.
Amazing value for gorgeous make-up.
3.     Salons & Spas. Last year, I found that I bought most of my gifts, from friends to my mom to even my dad, at Sephora. Amazing what bath goods packaged in a masculine box or feminine bag can do. This year, while going for a hair trim in November, I had the same reaction to Rochester’s most renowned salon, Scott Miller. With OPI polishes regularly on-sale for 50% off to sample make-up sets like this  -> from Smashbox, it’s hard not to find something for your lovies & for yourself. Similar to the luxe-socks (mentioned above),  salons & spas often sell the luxury version of everyday items at, of course, a luxury price. Really, who buys a $25 candle for him or herself? No one. And that is exactly the point. No one does, and yet $25 is still affordable. For that candle-burning, under-pampered love in your life, spring for an environmentally friendly, fragrantly soothing $25 candle. I think you’ll both be pleasantly surprised.
 
From Noonday Collection.
Handmade Stationary.
4.     Fair Trade. Ideally, everyone would shop fair trade for all of their holiday gifts. With local and mail-order vendors like One World Goods (potentially 10,000 Villages in your area), Noonday Collection, and Heifer International, the idea of every gift, every voice is possible. The former 2 offer hand crafted gifts the likes of jewelry & home goods. The latter, animals and live stock as food and farm for families. All 3, an investment in the livelihood of international artisans. In the past few years, Momsly and I have developed a tradition of me buying her livestock through Heifer. Two years ago, bunnies. Last year, chickens.
 
Menu for Brick & Motor.
Changes Daily.
5.   Boutiques, Restaurants, Shops. #ShopLocal #ShopLocal #ShopLocal . I guarantee you that anything you buy at the mall—children’s toys, lotions & potions, blouses & bags, gourmet food items, trinkets & knick-knacks, hats, mittens, & socks, anything—you can buy in and around your local communities. Sure, the mall, or even Target, is considered a one-stop-shop. But you still have to traipse. Navigate the unending isles. Fish for a spot. Get shoulder-shoulder with the crowds. So how is this any different than walking a few short blocks to navigate the neighborhood goods? The difference is supporting your local economy. The difference is finding truly unique gifts. Gifts that have a story and are frequently made locally and/or within the United States.
Quick & Dirty #ShopLocal Holiday Guide
to Rochester, NY
Southwedge.com
Use neighborhood websites as your guide
for Holiday Shopping!

University Ave

Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) gift shop, Starry Nites, Craft Co. No. 6, Chocolate & Vines (gift card)

East Ave

The Little Theatre Tickets, Victoire (gift card), Java’s Cafe

Park Ave

PeppermintParkleighSugarMountain Bake ShoppeStever’s Candie’s

Monroe Ave

Archimage, Aaron’s Alley

 South Wedge

Magix, Thread, South Wedge Spirits & Wine, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates, Equal Grounds, Tap & Mallet (gift card), Brock & Motor (food cart gift card)

Irondequoit, NY

Encore Chocolates, Guido’s Pasta Villa, Sips Cafe

Pittsford, NY

Scott Miller Salon, Village of Pittsford (so many shops!!)

Rochester, NY

Every Tuesday & Saturday Morning

#ShopLocal
#MerryMerry
xo. 

Shop Local. Think Global. Traditional Glass Beads from Ghana.

Traditional Glass Beads from Ghana.
Last month, while shopping in Magix (vintage boutique of new & thrifted trends) during South Wedge-Ucation, I spotted the most brilliant blue beads, brazen against the back wall. Miniature dinner plates of zig-zagged-black, enshrined by lightening-bolt-yellow and cast against an inky blue sky, donned earring posts to mingle amongst the bead’s stentorian swag. The price tag? Barely $8. As I gushed to the sales women (both very trendy, knowledgeable, and nice) over these incredibly well priced, handmade Ghanaian beads, a moment of serendipitous sweetness poured over me. There she is, in unison, they chimed. In walked Amy Shema. Purveyor of these creations.
In short: They are Traditional Glass Beads made in Ghana, by-hand using traditional methods, from recycled glass. All proceeds go to fund the education of Ghanian children.
Pictures of the Ghanian Beads
taken in Ghana.
 
Traditional Glass Bridal Beads Made in Ghana.
Stentorian Swag. 

Traditional Transparent Glass Beads Made in Ghana.
Look for First BarbaraEllen Give-Away to Receive a Necklace!
(See Below)
Traditional Powdered Glass Beads Made in Ghana.
Notice the layers and the opaque colors.
A few weeks ago, Amy and I met at Dark Horse Coffee (one of my most favorite coffee shops) so I could learn more about these beautiful creations and this beneficial cause. I learned about the 2 different types, transparent and powdered, how the beads are made using recycled glass and traditional methods, and the cultural significance of the elegant and elongated bridal beads. Below is a Guide:
Bridal Beads: Smaller beads arranged in long strands that women wear over their hips. Not to be seen by the public.
 
Transparent Beads: Use a tool to create the bead’s hole. (Often shinier and more round.)
Powdered Beads: Do not require a tool to create the bead’s hole. Different powders add layers. (Often more matte and less round)
Hand Made: Broken and found glass crushed into powder and placed into clay molds. Each bead is shaped by hand, the artistry and technique passed down generationally. Once cooled, artisans string beads and merchants sell them at market, either raw or as jewelry.
Amy has created booklets aptly titled Bead Making and The Children of Ghana to outline the process and the cause. Aside from Magix and a few other ventures that she has endeavored upon, Amy mostly sells these traditional creations to friends and family. If you would like more information–to access these booklets or to be in contact with Amy because you are interested in viewing or buying from her collection (beads and bags!)–please send a comment below, via Twitter, or Facebook. I will send you all necessary information.
Pictures of Ghanian Beads and Cloth Bags
taken at Dark Horse.
Top: Mix of Traditional Transparent, Bridal, and Powdered Beads.
Bottom: Handmade Cloth Bags with Zipper in Array of Colors.
Strand of Traditional Transparent Glass Beads.
Handmade Cloth Bag in Vibrant Colors.
Rows of Bridal Beads, Worn Around Women’s Hips.
Great Gift for Bridal Showers!!
Top: Transparent Glass Beads.
Bottom: Powdered Glass Beads.

Shop Local, Think Global: If these beads come from Ghana and the fiscal resources, directed back to Ghana, How is this shopping local? you might ask. Local because you aid a local, grassroots cause, with a Think Global component. When you support this local cause, 100% of your resources support the environmentally friendly industry of a village and the education of deserving children. I look at it this way: Buy the beads at Wal-Mart or Michael’s … Or buy them from a local source.

Shop 
Local.
Think
Global.
Get
Beads.
 
♥ .