Shop Local Rochester: Shop With a Cause – Black Friday + Small Business Saturday

{ Boutique Juniper near Miami University, Ohio. Shop Local discount cards – year ’round! }


black friday


small business saturday


{ Tricky thing about traveling the week of Thanksgiving is … you get around to doing things later than you would like. (Like writing this post!) Great thing about traveling for Thanksgiving?? You get to see all of the other cities + towns that rally for #ShopLocal. }


This week is not about shopping. It’s about giving thanks. The beautiful thing about #ShopLocal is it affords the ability to shop + to give thanks to your:

  • local merchants
  • economy
  • community
  • culture

Should you feel inspired to shop this weekend, shop with a cause. And give thanks to those merchants who improve our neighborhoods + lifestyles. 

consumerism as activism

#PROTIP: Like your favorite merchants + stores on Facebook!

  1. Like on Facebook
  2. Regularly see updates on deals + sales at all your favorite shops
  3. Many stores don’t announce Black Friday + Small Business Saturday deals until last minute!


Check out these deals to see how our merchants give thanks to us:


AARON’S ALLEYDiscounted products, raffles, + prizes Saturday

FAR OUT VINTAGEAll Items – 50% off Friday

TREASURE TROVE VINTAGE – BOGO 50% off Friday + Saturday


BEBE MILLS – 20% off with donation to Brockport Food Shelf Saturday + more!

FAHSYESpecial Deals Black Friday + Savings and Give Aways Small Business Saturday

PEPPERMINT – Insane deals { Like them on Facebook } – watch to find out

#PROTIP: Donate items for Verona Street Animal Society

  1. Christmas for Critters bin at Peppermint
  2. Another Christmas for Critters bin at Fahsye!
  3. See all locations here


LOLLYPOP FARMSBlack Friday Adoption Deals – Friday Only! { these guys are too cute }

VERONA STREET ANIMAL SOCIETY – 50% off ALL Puppies + Kittens!!! Friday


CARRIE GEORGE LEATHER – Not 100% sure on the deals – But these handmade in Roc leather bags are a deal!

CHLOE + ISABELUp to 40% off Estate Vintage Classics through Sunday

#PROTIP: Check out American Express Shop Small Campaign

  1. Use your AmEx on Small Business Saturday
  2. At participating vendors
  3. And receive up to $30 back for every $10 that you spend!

Peppermint Line cardi from Peppermint. GO. You’ll thank me.


#PROTIP: of all??

Remember to #shoplocalroc + snap a photo of your Shop Local buys for entry to win great prizes from your favorite local merchants!!






Shop Local Rochester: Myths, Gifts, + Favs!

{ To The Late Mr. “Klonks” Klondike. My forever Elf + Soul Mate. }








{ This holiday, a curly-haired elf named BESL gift-wraps your season with a whole lotta #shoplocalroc love. We’re dressing-up our normal categories — Lifestyle, Tips + Tricks, Week Wrap-Up — so you can #Roc The Holiday right. From now until 12/24, sprinkle the season with — Myths, Gifts, + Favs — and out-sparkle those snow crystals … just to show them who is boss. }

look good, feel good

MYTHS – Not your typical shopping. Why don’t we #ShopLocal more?? We already know that it’s:

  • affordable
  • unique
  • convenient
  • sustainable
  • fun

Because it’s not a part of our daily habits! Tiny myths we’ve learned along the way have become huge barriers that keep #ShopLocal from our daily routines. This season, BESL dispels these 5 mighty myths:

  1. no parking!
  2. too expensive!
  3. not a 1-stop-shop!
  4. out of the way!
  5. weird hours!

this weekend: rmsc holiday bazaar rwms ultimate women’s expo

{ I’ll be at rwms with ouzon soda sat! }

GIFTS – Not your typical gifting. Gift giving–great gift giving–shouldn’t have to be a mystery. The secret?

  • what
  • where

Knowing what makes a gift great + knowing where to find that gift are 2 very different things. They often contradict! { Many of the greatest gifts, are the rarest. } All season long, #shoplocalroc guides you to more satisfying gifts.

better than a star in the sky + 10 reindeer

Just look at all these resources!

{ Take the Pledge! }
Shop Local Rochester 

FAVS – Not your typical favs. Hidden gems. When shopping, we seek-out hidden gems more than a healthy cookie recipe we’re not ashamed to swap. { Or keep secret. } #ShopLocal is chocked-full of hidden gems! The best part? They’re:

  • directly in our neighborhoods and backyards
  • at familiar spots
  • even in our homes!

This season, here are BESL’s top picks:

  1. Festivals + Bazaars – 3 Weekends of Handcrafted, Fair Trade, Locally Owned Businesses
  2. Thrift – Let the Preparations Begin!
  3. Arts + Reads – Stay Classy
  4. Food + Drink – Hoppy Holidays: Get Cultured
  5. Secret Spots – Stealthy + Strategic

Shopping is inevitable this holiday season.
Make it fun + make it count with Shop Local Rochester.



Shop Local Rochester: #Roc the Holiday!


the holidays are here




{ The holidays are unofficially here. Although I say, when 20-below weather arrives along with the snow … it’s full-on shopping season! So gear-up + get ready to hear what’s good from the #ROC. Because #ShopLocalRoc is bringing it this holiday season. }

This holiday, shop with a cause.


Two incredible websites + blogs, A-List Rochester + Flower City Fashionista, along with BESL { me } are bringing you access to Rochester’s best #ShopLocal spots + events, gifts + ideas. Why?? Because the holidays are about giving + getting. And that’s exactly what shopping local does for you + for our community.

be sustainable this holiday season.

give + get:

#ShopLocal is sustainable for our:

  • economy
  • environment
  • budgets

#ShopLocalRoc is a fun + festive way to make shop local a lifestyle { while giving the greatest gifts. }

look good, feel good:


Getting started is simple. { And you can win prizes! }

  1. Shop at a local store or event!
    • And if you want to participate in our contest …
  2. Take a photo
  3. Tag on Facebook or Instagram using: #shoplocalroc
  4. Be entered to receive great prizes from many of our prized shops around Rochester

The best way to spread Holiday Cheer,

is pledging #shoplocalroc loud for all to hear.

Take the { Polar } Pledge. Get loud about it! Why not?

  1. Write a pledge.
  2. Post on Social Media.
  3. Voice your #shoplocalroc feats.

Pledge’s are simple solutions you resolve to take while holiday shopping this season. It could be anything! Some quick ideas are:

  • Before heading to the big box store for children’s toys … I’m going to Archimage on Monroe Ave!
  • Instead of catching that sale on dish ware for the party … I’m going to try my local VOA!
  • Forget the mall for one-stop-shopping. I’m hitting South Ave in the South Wedge!

Let us know what your plans are on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram, and hashtag #shoplocalroc.

{ To be eligible for the contest, include a photo of what you’ve purchased. }

make it count:

every $1 spent locally has 3x the impact!

#ShopLocalRoc makes it easy for you to make it count! For all of the best gift giving + gift guides, check-in with:




This is Why We Thrift.

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




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! }


  • 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??




Sweetlife Music + Food Festival: Eat Local. Music Local. Lana del Rey.





party with a purpose

WHAT: Music + Food Festival that celebrates Sustainability + Gives Back. Sweetgreen, a restaurant started in 2007 by 3 college students, thinks sustainability and makes an impact. Locally sourced + organic ingredients from trusted partners + farmers feed Sweetgreen goers and DC, MD, VA, + NYC schools. Proceeds from Sweetlife are donated to FoodCorps, the Sweetgreen partner.

WHERE: Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD.

to connect people through food

WHEN: Sweetgreen started in 2007 + Sweetlife began in 2010 behind Sweetgreen’s Dupont location. What started as a 500-person gathering in a parking lot has evolved into a festival to connect people through food + now, through music.

WHY: Community + Education + Farmers + Music + Sustainability + Food. To get why + to see the larger picture, you have to check out the story. Sweetlife Festival + Sweetgreen say it all.

FAVS: Lana Del Rey, Bombay Bicycle Club, Capital Cities, Hozier {Ireland}

#eatlocal #drinklocal #musiclocal #LanadelRey

I cannot contain my excitement. This festival embodies every single last thing I could ever hope for in my entire life. And it’s a celebration of my good friend Katie Regan’s Dirty Thirty. I first met Katie when I was a sophomore in college, visiting SUNY Geneseo for New Year’s Eve. In the near 10 years since I’ve known her, Katie has proven to be the most adventuresome go-getting fun-loving fly-by-the-seat of her smarty-pants fashionista I know. Sweetlife Music Fest + Lana del Rey?? Katie’s idea. Happy Early Birthday Katie. Here’s to the dirty.

I sing the body electric baby

I’m stoked for so many of the acts, even 2 Chainz. But. Let’s face it. #LANA. I love Lana del Rey. I don’t remember the 1st time I heard Lana. I don’t remember the 1st time I fell in love with Lana. Because Lana is entrancing. Lana entrances me. Every single last 1 of Lana’s lyrics on her 2 critically acclaimed albums, Born to Die + Paradise, speak to my soul. I have a snake on my tattoo, and I have the ivy + the ink blue, and I got this Eve tattoo before Paradise even broke. Lana + I are soul mates.

Lana is my National Anthem

Tryin to tell me to wait until Saturday, but I can’t wait to see you, Lana. I hope you like this anthem. For Lana + for Sweetlife.

Sweetlife is the anthem of success, so  I will put on mascara + my party dressThis is what makes us girls, after all. Also, I’ve been out on that open road; I’ve been traveling too long, I’ve been trying too hardI need to sing the Body Electric, baby. I need to hear Lana. We get down [this Saturday] night, dancing + grinding in the pale moonlight. I will pretend I’m not hurt, + go about the world like I’m having fun. Because this weekend, at Sweetlife with Lana, I am. Finally, Katie + Meg + I are the lucky ones. Seeing Lana at Sweetlife,  feels like, feels like, You know it feels like falling in love for the first time.

It’s supposed to thunderstorm this Saturday in Maryland, but I don’t care. I know that I’m a mess with my long hair and my [neon pale skin], [long] dress, bare feet. I don’t care what they say about me. I can handle some rain + mud. Because before Sweetlife, I was in the land of gods + monsters, I was an angel looking to … see Lana. No one’s going to take my soul {or this concert} away. I’m living like Jim Morrison. And I cannot wait!! I cannot wait to feel it in the air. Telephone wires above sizzling like a snare. We’re going to be young, be dope, be proud, Like an American. Like a lover of all things Lana + sustainable + sweet. By the time I leave Sweetlife, I’ll be all: I don’t want to wake up from this tonight. Fact.

Hot summer days. Rock ‘n’ roll. The way you play for me at your show: let’s face it Lana. You are playing for me at this show. You are playing for me at Sweetlife. Will I still love you when you’re no longer young + beautiful, Lana? Yes. Your music + your soul are forever beautiful. Forever wild.

Lana: I would love you ’till the end of time. I would wait a million years. Thankfully, you’re in concert more than once a year. And thankfully, Sweetlife is happening again next year. Feet don’t fail me now. Take me to the finish line Oh my heart breaks every time I get a migraine. The road is long, we carry on Try to have fun in the meantime. Plus, I’m a warrior and have been fighting these migraines off like a champ. If I start to get one, I’ll drink Coca Cola. But Lana sure makes a compelling argument for Pepsi Cola. Lana, you know I got a soul as sweet as blood-red jam + you, Lana, laugh like God, your mind’s like a diamond.

It’s almost like I know you, Lana, like I walked with you once upon a dream. I know you, that look in your eyes is so familiar a gleam. Thank you for singing to me at Sweetlife, Lana. I need this. I need this Sweetlife.



Yayo {pre-intro}

National Anthem

This Is What Makes Us Girls


Body Electric

Lucky Ones


Gods + Monsters

Summertime Sadness


Dark Paradise

Blue Jeans

Young + Beautiful

Born 2 Die


Off To The Races


Once Upon A Dream