Serious question. Have you done an adult scavenger hunt? We have! Last year we hopped in a car with two other friends and cruised through the city of Buffalo, answering trivia questions and completing fun… More
Or, at least, it was supposed to be.
Babies typically never arrive on their guesstimated date but we were so hoping that Baby Lovebird would make a grand entrance today. C’mon, weekend! We are banking now on her arrival over the next couple of days. Big Daddy Beau can barely contain himself and I am now simply tapped out. Ladies, you weren’t kidding when you said the last month is the hardest! Whew. And having three girlfriends, who were ‘due’ after Baby Lovebird, already have their babies this past week- makes me even more antsy and flustered.
But having the extra time at home this week gave us the chance to put more touches on the little tyke’s future room, giving us some relief and sense of nesting. There are still a couple more things we want to add in but we thought we would share what we have now!
Early on last summer, we knew we wanted to do a monochromatic room with greys, whites, and black. Babies see blacks and whites in their early weeks and months of coming in to the world and it helps stimulate them visually. We thought that was a neat fact! It helps that current nursery trends are modern and classic so we went for it. The style fits ‘us’ as well- we like to be up on what’s ‘in’.
I always had a vision for what the room would look like, so you can imagine the excitement a 40 week pregnant lady would feel when it all starts coming together!
Here is the scoop on what we placed in her room:
Wait…a Wu Tang poster? Yes- you are seeing that! We had this in our bedroom at the Hotel Lafayette after picking it up at an Elmwood Art Festival a few years ago. Thanks, WNY Book Arts! They designed this when the clan performed at Town Ballroom in Buffalo. Beau is a massive old-school hip-hop fan and as for me, being a musician and who teaches Ethnomusicology, this design totally makes sense. We wanted pops of color in her room and Wu Tang brought it. #CoolBaby
How fun are the clothing dividers we found on Etsy?? They’re printable and can be found here. Now to find cool hangers!
It’s a thing now. Heading out beyond the ‘burbs and in to *gasp* the country to take pics in the sunflower fields. Specifically in Sanborn, NY. We all are on year 2 for making this an annual end-of-summer trip…so why not check out the best of the best up north once you get that super perfect angle with a VSCO filter shot? We’ve got the deets for ya, guys.
So you’re in Sanborn…uhhh, now what?
All these selfies make me hungry. Here are some must-eat joints nearby:
Lewiston, 20 minutes from the sunflowers.
The Silo: on the water, kid friendly, ice cream, eat outside. More selfies.
Cask and Cow: burgers. The end. Kid friendly.
Brickyard Pub: BBQ and then a really good nap. In the village, so make sure you walk around the shops afterward. Yes to kids.
Water Street Landing: right on the river with a great view, drinks, eat outside, live music. Kids in the right condition.
Wilson, 15 minute drive.
Woodcock Brothers Brewery: beer, kid friendly. You’re happy now, I bet.
Sunset Grill: patio, drinks, good for kids. Tell Chad the bartender Lindsay sent you.
The Wilson House: so happy this is restored. Check out this 1844 home-turned-restaurant in the center of town.
Lockport, 13 minute drive.
Steak, Stone, and Sushi: cook on a hot rock. You’ll be surprised. Kids can go- we took Chloe and she had a hoot.
Lock 34: a good ol’ staple and the same place Beau and I met (previous name and owner). Music, kid friendly.
Danny Sheehan’s: steak and potatoes. So good. Where everybody knows your name.
Aguacates: Mexican, baby.
Ennis’ West End Tavern: Seafood. Meat. Hearty plates. Cannot go wrong at all here.
Ugh, I’m exhausted from smiling so much. I need a coffee:
Lewiston: Orange Cat Coffee
Wilson: Wilson Brew
Well, I packed the kids up and now I guess I drive home? Nope:
Niagara Zipper– zipline along the Erie Canal! Located in Lockport
Ice Bumper Cars– Also in Lockport- you haven’t seenthese yet because this is the only place in WNY to do it!
What other kind of fun things can we do?:
Wine Tours– figure out a plan to hit some of the local Niagara County Wine Trail spots- vineyard selfies are cool, too. (drive safely)
Stop at local farm stands! They’re everywhere up there!
Spa time at Niagara Crossing (formerly Barton Hill Spa)- check it out online to get a little spa time in Lewiston.
**check all sites for times of businesses before you drive somewhere!
We have some serious Mom’s rockin’ it over on Instagram that are living in WNY. Isn’t it weird how one day you find a new person to follow and you look…*boom!*…they’re from Buffalo? How did I know about you before!?
Here’s a list of some Mama Bear’s you should start following ASAP on Instagram. They have killer followings (ugh, and here we are in the corner like a newbie loser…), they share fun insights in to their lives and of their kiddos, some have a great blog game, others are like us and share their adventures strictly on social. Take a look at some of our favs! (*all pics from Instagram accounts):
@astoldmymama– Rachael Burow
Rachael wears a lot of fun hats- mama of 2, a photographer (opening her studio now!), a former model, and blogger. Her hair is fab and her baby girl is adorbs.
Erica’s smile is SUPER contagious and her family vacations are to die for! Take us with you, Erica! She gives a peek in to real life and photographer boss work.
@rachellynjohnson– Rachel Johnson
Rachel gives you kids, fashion (denim!), reviews, and daily thoughts of mom life. She always has cute glasses! Check out her blog feminineindenim.com
@ktnewms– Caitie Newman
I always die here. How can I get perfect shots and overhead views of babies in baskets!? Oh, the envy! Caitie’s pics are perfect and so are her babes.
@aratariathome– Lindsay Aratari
Hey, what a great name! 😉 Lindsay has the house we want and the pics to prove it. She gives glimpses of fam life while making us wonder where we can find her pillows….
@mintberrymarket – Aubrey Hlavaty
Aubrey curates and makes super cute baby/toddler/adult clothing here in Buffalo! Her sweet girls often model her products and you can get her goods on her site or at Village Designs on Elmwood.
@kinandkindling– Samantha Jo Gill
Samantha Jo shows us her cute fam trips and also runs BuffaloMoms.com while also writing the majority of those fun Only In Your State lists we can’t get enough of!
@thefebruaryfox– Sarabeth McElhaney
We recently stumbled upon Sarabeth and her beautiful fam pics which are super real and down-to-earth. She’s blogging at thefebruaryfox.com
Wait, she was in Japan?! We want to see more! Hannah shares her cutie patootie all the while sharing real-life mom probz and stories.
@lifeaskristinab– Kristina Battaglia
I’ve known Kristina since I was 16 and it has been so fun to watch her with her twin boys, baby girl, empire of fitness, and daily life. There’s a ton of real-life commentary here that will have you saying ‘yassss, girl’ for days.
@mollysowinski– Molly Sowinski
Molly is 1/2 of Molly + Kate in Hamburg, shares Insta stories of her kid crew, and then hits us with home inspo envy on every dang post.
Okay, how can we travel the world like this fam?! Major international envy here! Sarah and her boys travel the globe frequently and shows their experience plus writes about how to do it!
Who are some of your fav Mom blogs from Buffalo? Or even abroad? Isn’t it fab that we can connect so easily with one another in this tech age? I don’t think there’s anything cooler than future, current, and past mama’s sharing real life stories and offering up the best advice possible while balancing everything life throws at them.
I mean, c’mon. Guys could never do what we do.
“Okay, I feel like I’m in a Hallmark movie.” – @chessabond
Any second, Reese Witherspoon was going to walk in to the party donning a stunning makeover from her neighbor and lock eyes with the strapping man who moved back to his hometown to care for his Mother and run the family farm while building houses with his bare hands and donning a dirty-yet-clean unbuttoned plaid shirt with his best jeans for the night.
Now the exterior scene is set for the 3rd Medina Farm to Table dinner that shuts down Main St. every summer and fills the air with laughter, music, and wine bottles popping.
We’ve told you once, we’ll tell you twice- Beau and I hail from Niagara County originally and take it pretty seriously when something incredible is happening up in ‘the country’ towns. It’s equally important to pay attention to our hometowns if they are making an effort to preserve and start something new in order to thrive and grow. We truly never knew about this humble, delicious event until we met up with Scott and Alix of the Shirt Factory Cafe (and boomerangs of WNY, who host the blog In a DC Minute). We had followed one another for a while on social and when the two took over the Shirt Factory Cafe in Medina, they invited a small handful of influencers out to test an upcoming Toast Bar they’re releasing and to talk about how Medina is changing. (see our visit to their cafe here!)
After conversing about childhood, hometowns, farms, city life, teaching, food, social media, and the interesting fact that Buffalo is pretty behind regarding the use of their micro-influencers…Scott and Alix invited us to the Medina Farm to Table Dinner that was developed this year by Zambistro (the original inception restaurant of the event), Mile 303, Mariachi de Oro, Sourced Market & Eatery, and Shirt Factory Cafe. All are local Medina restaurants collaborating to put on a 200 person dinner in the middle of the Main St.. The Orleans Renaissance Group hosts the dinner and it typically sells out in under 2 hours. You can get your tickets next year at MedinaAlive.com
Okay, so you’ve been to a farm to table event. So have we. But not like this. Medina literally shuts down their street and lines up two huge, long tables which are set with wine glasses for pairings, silverware, simple yet stunning Joanna Gaines-style fresh flowers, live music from Dark Road Duo and Road to Azure, and an entourage of servers delivering food to you as chefs and winemakers stand by your table to share the ingredients and design of each course. There are 200 people here- more than your usual event- and each restaurant serves up a different course which ultimately proves the massive collaboration. We were seated with Scott and Alix who graciously and brilliantly gave us the history and connections of all the owners, chefs, building owners, and family involved. We needed a map! Another influencer, Francesca Bond- a writer for Step Out Buffalo, The Buffalo News, and her own blog Vintage Lillies – sat across from us. To our immediate right were total strangers who became friends by the end of the first course.
Everyone was so damn friendly and happy, how could this not be a movie? All proud (and rightly so) of their town, this event, and having visitors come in to see what it is all about. The scene was perfect since Medina has kept their original buildings and did not fully give in to urban renewal. The canal sat within feet of us and we noticed that almost all of the storefronts were occupied whether it was restaurants, barber shops, paint studios, or the local lady who sews anything you require. Of course we found one degree of separation or at least the knowledge of one anothers’ town- like the older gentleman diagonal from me who lived on a road in Newfane across from my childhood home, the gal who grew up in Albion and knows the old cobblestone homes of the Bacon Family on my maternal side, and retired teachers who knew some people we name-dropped from Lockport and Medina. The beauty of strangers sitting side by side as the sun glistened atop architectural peaks at sunset.
The food was incredible. Fresh, delicious, beautiful. Almost all ingredients used were also from the local Canal Village Farmer’s Market in town. (*squee!* we love it!) We had no idea this town boasted such a culinary surprise. Wine pairings were collaborations with other Niagara and Orleans County makers like Schulze, Chateau Niagara, Leonard Oakes, Freedom Run, 810 Meadworks, and Liten Buffel. Hearing from local owners and Scott himself, the returning generation is working toward reviving this town little by little and opening their doors and arms to any and all who are curious to explore.
‘Eh, the drive is far.’ Oh boo hoo, people. You’ll miss out on a lot of things in WNY if you have that mentality still. If you stop and think about it, we have so many towns and communities within a small radius that are hidden gems and are begging to be polished and history to be re-learned. Our renaissance isn’t just in Buffalo- it’s in our whole region of Buffalo Niagara. The trickle effect of success is seeping out beyond the downtown walls and incredible.
We’ll be talking about the Medina Farm to Table Dinner for a while. That’s how memorable and fun it was. We are so glad we have teamed with Scott and Alix and look forward to the next adventures we can uncover in Medina…and within other towns. We are glad to have met the charming Francesca Bond who is a young lady going places with her writing and immense experience at such a young age. We are glad to have met the locals of Medina, swap travel stories, escape a wine fiasco, and give a standing ‘O’ to the chefs and servers at the end. Keep exploring and keep learning- it’s how our part of New York is going to thrive.
Rooftop fireworks. Martinis. 24/7 kitchen. Modern. Views.
There’s a new staycation in town and it may not be where you would first think of one. It’s the Hyatt Place in Niagara Falls, NY and it’s perfectly located within steps of the Seneca Casino, Old Falls St., and the Canadian border.
We packed up for an overnight stay, dropped Chloe off with the grandparents, and rushed on up to the new Hyatt. Already impressed with its location, we were surprised again once we stepped inside and noticed the modern décor: large sphere lights, wood panel walls, a hand-drawn map of downtown Niagara Falls, and wood with metal detail tables that made us wonder if we could sneak one in to the car and take it home.
Greeted by smiling people, we found our room filled with a charcuterie board, fruits, chocolate-covered strawberries, and Prosecco. (Ooo, who are we right now?!) Our room overlooked the mist of the Falls and peered in to Canada. It made us reminisce of our old Clifton Hill days (amiright?!). We spent time at the bar downstairs, noshing on tacos, sliders, and cheesecake while having a breather to finally just be together again. That’s the point of a staycation for two, after all.
Every Saturday they have live music up on their rooftop that overlooks Niagara Falls State Park. Being a little rainy, it was moved to the lower level where people gathered to just chill and enjoy the music. 90s tunes while we had some drinks? Living our best live in our thirties. At 9:45pm, we went up to the rooftop to get cozy for the fireworks. Each Friday and Saturday night, fireworks roar over the Falls and the Hyatt rooftop is the perfect location to watch! The fire lit up the sky and with the city lights as the backdrop and a wave of new appreciation for this part of WNY rushed over us. Low-key, modern, fun…this was everything the Hyatt was bringing to this night.
We took advantage of the location and stopped by the Casino where we ran in to people we knew, had some drinks, danced in the aisles, downed some coffee, and basically broke even on what we spent at Blackjack. Beau is decent at it and I am like a little old lady hitting up the old-school penny slots. Heading back to the Hyatt, we were once again greeted by smiling faces who asked if we were hungry and if there was anything they could get us. Heck ya! A quesadilla and flatbread were ready in under 20 minutes and we relaxed back in our room, this time enjoying the lights across the way.
There we were, 1:30am and way past our bedtime. Parents night out. Oh, it’s a real thing and we thought our friends made it up. Nope. Somewhere between Planet of the Apes, chugging water, and the last flatbread- we fell asleep and slept in until 8am. Oh em gee, 8 fricken in the morning. Is that as late as our bodies would let us? We’ll take it.
Breakfast was light and fresh- French toast, greek yogurt and granola bar, eggs, juice, coffee…the hotel was bumpin’ and we were glad to see it filled with all types of people visiting the area. We got in a workout at the on-site gym and went for swim at the pool which made for a nice morning.
As we packed up, we said goodbye to the GM Stacey at the Hyatt who was so glad to hear our stay was above and beyond our expectations. The service we encountered was wonderful and the view from the roof was what changed our thoughts on having Niagara Falls as a staycation. While we missed Chloe, it was so awesome getting away together for a night and pretending we were boyfriend and girlfriend again. We all need that…us married folk, that is. Think outside the box…go somewhere you normally wouldn’t…uncover new adventures…eat a quesadilla in bed at 2am…reminisce…watch the fireworks from the rooftop. See what happens.
Hyatt Place Niagara Falls // 310 Rainbow Blvd. S Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Location: minutes to the Seneca Casino, around the corner from Old Falls St., walking distance to Niagara Falls State Park, right at the Canadian border
Breakfast included, contemporary rooms, rooftop
Perfect for: staycations, telling your family and friends where to stay while visiting the falls, event space
ICYMI, Beau and I hail from Niagara County. Yep. I grew up in Newfane and Beau in Lockport. Perhaps my roots a little more country than him and nonetheless, small-town life is what we know. So when there is a place ‘up north’ that is a must-see…we go!
Shirt Factory Cafe is the latest place to be transformed and back on the map in Orleans County. New owners Scott and Alix (you may know them as @DCMinute) have taken over the former Robert H. Newell & Co. building and started its new evolution in to being a staple in Medina, NY. They invited us out to nosh on their soon-to-be revealed Toast Bar and we couldn’t pass it up!
Medina is also going through a resurgence, like Buffalo just on a small town scale. Neighbors of the Shirt Factory Cafe include Mile 303, Zambistro, the vintage shop Ellen J Goods, and Mariachi de Oro. The Erie Canal flows through Medina and was once a popular stopover for trading. Now you can rent a hydrobike or kayak right in town at Pedal and Paddle Medina!
Scott and Alix’s introduction of a Toast Bar is so fun! They’re tweaking the toast now and we got a sneak peek invite to eat ALL OF IT.
Oh em gee.
I had to get a few bites in here and there before Beau ate them all. The cool thing about the ingredients is that Scott and Alix grow the beets and tomatoes in the garden at their beautiful farmhouse. They also source as many items as possible at local businesses like The Bread Basket in town for the toast.
The flight is really great for sharing and just one toast is enough to fill you up. Perfect for a to-go breakfast or lunch!
Their current menu boasts sandwiches, salads, coffee, and smoothies. Breakfast for those locals who need to pop in early and veggie options for those non-carnivorous eaters. We also shared an Avocado and White Bean wrap as well as a Bob Hope (turkey). I could eat the AWB ever day!
Scott and Alix are keeping a few old school Shirt Factory nostalgic items like photos and letters from early and mid 20th century shirt requests which is why we felt so proud to be inside their space. Keeping history with revitalized buildings is so important and they GET IT.
Medina is showing us glimmers of a new destination spot. With wineries nearby, water sports on the canal, and people like Scott and Alix (Medina boomerangs) determined to help shed its old skin there is no doubt you will be checking it out, too. Plans for the Shirt Factory Cafe are coming to fruition with ideas of an upgraded menu, Toast Bar, and eventually cocktails. In the same building, Hart Hotel is open and a boutique style place to stay. Medina is quickly becoming a great day trip or even staycation. Keep your eyes peeled on this one, guys. There’s a new town in…well…town. 😉
Raise your hand if you are totally overwhelmed with how many baby ‘things’ there are out in the world.
Yep, us too.
So that’s why we have compiled a list of Babylovebird’s fav baby things in life….so far. This is our ultimate top ten of what Chloe uses and loves the most- and we swear by all of it. *ages birth to one year
1. Dock a Tot
Chloe, a few days old
Oh it is worth EVERY PENNY. It’s portable, lightweight, and feels like the womb for babies. We have used it for Chloe’s naps and have taken it for overnight travel stays (you can buy a travel case for it). We have used it since she was a newborn and praise it every chance we get. It’s perfect for newborns until they grow out of it. You can buy a second larger size if you want!
2. Binxy Baby
Chloe, shopping of course
The baby shopping hammock! So many comments and questions when Chloe is out and about in the Target aisles. Instead of lugging a huge, heavy, awkward car seat- pop this hammock on to any shopping cart and voila! Chillin’ baby. Easy for you, comfy for baby, and room for groceries. Rolls up for keeping in the car!
3. Muslin Swaddles: Little Unicorn, Oliver+Kit, Mint Berry Market
These three brands have been our favorite. They’re soft and easy to swaddle babies in. Perfect for napping, hanging out on the floor, and cool crisp days. Doesn’t hurt their prints and colors are adorbs. We learned how to swaddle Chloe on YouTube! *you can find Little Unicorn at Research + Design and Sunshine & Bluebirds…Mint Berry is a Buffalo local Mom! Her stuff is online and inside Village Designs!
4. Bink clip holder
Any brand. Doesn’t matter. Get them all. No more binks on the ground or falling out of Chloe’s hands. You’re welcome. See the green strap? Clipped to her with bink tied on. *find some at Buy Buy Baby it on Etsy like this: bink clips
Entertainment! Whew. You’ll find yourself humming the songs it plays but it’s worth having some sort of musical, tangible play mat.
6. Graco Jogger
This one is all Beau. He runs with Chloe to train for his triathlons and it’s been pretty easy to steer and control. Easy to fold down and has decent space underneath for baby gear and bags.
7. Bandana bibs
Get the style anywhere. Not only do they catch all the drool but they look a little bit cooler. We like the muslin ones because they absorb more. Chloe has a ton of them from all sorts of different places like Little Unicorn, Etsy shops, and Target.
The Holy Grail. Another somewhat pricey must-have but also very worth it. Beau carries Chloe wherever we go and it makes it so easy to keep free hands and to not lug a huge stroller around in small areas. Very helpful for festival-going and running errands.
Once Chloe could sit up a little bit, we started integrating the chair. She gets a kick out of sitting in it and playing with the soft features on the ‘tray’. Keeps her occupied longer! Also very portable.
10. 4Moms Highchair
We liked this chair because it was simple and has a magnetized tray. Helpful that it matched our kitchen- so if you’re all about the mono look, too- there ya go. It’s been very easy to clean and the tray comes off a lot easier than most we tried.
As Chloe gets bigger, she obviously will need and want different things to keep her entertained! This is a shortlist that we encourage you to try out. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts about Chloe’s must-haves!