Colors and Magic at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Aren’t we so lucky to have these incredible museums right here in our backyard? As kids, we are exposed to them through field trips and as adults we get to relive those moments all over again but with fresh eyes and respect.

Beau and I have been Albright-Knox Art Gallery lovers for life. My school did field trips here and I was able to experience my Mother (now a retired Art Teacher) taking her students to it as well. We went as a family a few times and as a ‘big kid’, Beau and I have attended for live music and special exhibits. Now that we have Chloe, it’s a whole new adventure. We took her for her very first Albright experience last weekend and it was more magical than we expected.

AKG had a hands-on exhibit called ‘Art of the Senses’ which included works you could taste, touch, and hear. Great interaction for people of all ages, especially babies! Chloe was looking everywhere and seemed to love the bright art the most. The museum was packed and rightly so- the second exhibit featured the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami which was colorful, mesmerizing, and imaginative. (Think: the Japanese Lisa Frank)

AKG is stroller-friendly (can carefully take stairs, too, but there is a small elevator). There is a cafe inside you can grab lunch at- a sit down so you can enjoy your time. The gift shop is always fun afterward because you will find unique art supplies, books, and decor. You see classic artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Matisse and they even brought back the ever-popular favorite: The Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras. *bring socks so you can step inside!

We’re pretty cheesy, if you didn’t already know. Every time we had Chloe take some pics, she giggled and posed- clearly she has the cheese, too. Must be in our genes! How can you not want to get a cool shot in the Albright-Knox though??

These exhibits I mentioned have ended their time at AKG, but the museum is constantly curating new exhibits and artists to come. The best place to see what is currently there and arriving soon is on their website: Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Follow their Instagram, too!

This is seriously one of our top fav date places in Buffalo! You can solo, grab a friend, bring the kids and baby, cross generations, or go on a date.

Grab your camera, grab your person…even download their app to play some fun games. We are too lucky not to keep going to AKG again and again, to expose our young selves once again and of course to enlighten the future youth.

Details:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery // 2182 Delaware Ave. Buffalo 14216

Tuesday – Sunday 10-5 // First Friday of each month is 10-10

Parking in lot: $5 for guests

Available street parking behind the museum

Family / friends / solo / date night / day date

Holiday Looks from the Fashion Outlets Of Niagara Falls

We have a secret: all of our great finds happen at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. Seriously. Beau gets all of his workout gear from Puma, Chloe gets her fancy pants from Janie and Jack, and I get tons of business attire from J. Crew and Banana Republic. Just to name a few.

We teamed up with the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls- they dared us to find a holiday look without breaking our bank. BRING IT. We were so in. There are tons of stores that have incredible deals, especially in December- each day there is up to 75% off pricing and then on top of those deals you can find the holiday pricing too! It’s so easy to find a handful of different party looks…because you can’t be rockin’ the same outfit at every event.

Don’t believe us? That’s ok- this list here shows you all the deals happening in December. See for yourself. The best part of the Outlets is that they are not that far away. REPEAT: they’re dang close. When we lived in downtown Buffalo, it took us 20 minutes and in Orchard Park it takes us 35 minutes. It’s a nice drive with coffee in hand. Take the 190N for a pretty view of the water if you come from the south. And once you get there, you’ll have plenty of shops in and around the outlets plus a lot of options for refueling with food.

Bring the kiddos because Santa is visiting through 12/24 and the fur babies can hang out with him for photos through 12/21. Check here for details. Chloe held on pretty well for her first shot!

Ok ok, so on to our finds for our next casual holiday party!

Chloe: Janie and Jackhat, shorts, tights
Beau: J.Crew- sweater // Express- pants // Michael Kors- watch
Beau: Puma- sneakers // Chloe: Gap- sweatshirt
Chloe: Janie and Jack- hat, top, jacket
Lindsay: J. Crew- top, skirt // Express- earrings // Banana Republic- tights // bare + BEAUTY- bareMinerals lipstick

Check out the most updated list of stores at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. We think you’ll be surprised. Challenge yourself to check out some unique stores like Sarar for men’s suits, Beef Jerky Outlet for the carnivore in your family, Helly Hansen for outdoor ski wear, Le Creuset for cast iron cookware, Just Cozy has all the holiday leggings for Christmas morning, and DAVIDsTEA has the tea-lover needs. The online site has an easy-to-read map so you can plan out where to park (we like coming in through Saks) and which way you’re headed. Oh and our biggest must-do? You MUST check out the Donut Ninja, a little kiosk in the center of the mall. They’re fryin’ up donuts, they’re local, and we’re obsessed.

Thank you, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, for always helping us find what we need! We’ll see you again real soon.

Chocolate Date for the New Generation: Platter’s Chocolates


We love chocolate. Lots of it. So when we were invited to go hang out at Platter’s and experience their place, there really was no question on if we should go or not.

We noticed Platter’s Chocolates new digs up on Niagara Falls Boulevard in November of 2016 when they opened their new shop. Located in the old Wurlitzer building, they’re more than just a spot to grab some candy- it’s become a full-on destination filled with a modern industrial design and cozy hangout areas for anyone to chill at. Platter’s started with a husband and wife team in 1938 who created their chocolate in their home. After retiring in the late 60’s, a former neighborhood kid bought it in 1972 and kept the tradition while growing at the same time. The family continues on with making it bigger and better!


Saturday afternoon we headed up to North Tonawanda with BabyLovebird Chloe in tow, expecting to peruse shelves full of chocolate. But hold the phone- this place is WAY more than we thought it would be. We were greeted by bright and bubbly Nicole, one of the managers and also part of the owner’s family. Their new location has coffee, lattes, teas, Perry’s ice cream, sundaes, candy, sponge, smoothies, chocolate…it’s a complete surprise when you walk in!

we’re suckers for some good plants

 

 


The space is huge and has nook areas with seating, fireplaces, tv’s, and large windows that look in to their candy and chocolate factory. (of course there are still shelves filled with chocolates and gifts to grab) We both opted for coffee- one iced with Toasted Marshmallow and another hot with orange chocolate- and Beau HAD to get the orange sponge sundae.

 

 

Poor Chloe!! Sorry, baby, you can’t have any yet!The place was bustling; filled with kids and families…a mom and her two college-aged daughters…an older gentleman sitting and reading the paper with his coffee…it’s a new generation of chocolate shops.

While there is no sponge production to watch right now (since it’s humid in the summer!), the machines and operations were all quiet. But come fall, the place will be making and baking like crazy. You will be quite surprised how large their 24,000 square-foot space is and the various types of machinery they use (some even from Germany!).

You can see inside their production room!


Now you can’t pass by Platter’s- you have to go see for yourself! (psstt! It’s only minutes away from the Boulevard Mall) It is too charming not to go again and again and again. We are looking forward to visiting soon to watch the Platter’s and the Chocolate Factory work their magic come sponge season!

Details

  • Platter’s Chocolates / The Wurlitzer Building, 908 Niagara Falls Blvd. / North Tonawanda, NY 14120
  • 716-693-5391
  • M-F 7am-10pm…Saturday 8am-10pm…Sunday 10am-10pm (they’re open late!!)
  • grab chocolate gifts, watch them making sweet treats
  • perfect for family, kids, solo, casual first date, dessert, coffee date
  • Platter’s Chocolates Facebook

 

  • The Orange Chocolate custard with Orange Chocolate Fudge and Orange Chocolate Sponge! Whoa. So damn good!


    they even have teamed up with the new events space inside the Wurlitzer building to have their Chocolate and Sponge at weddings held there!

Family Date: BabyLovebird’s First Restaurant at Yoshi

Somehow, we are lucky. Chloe is a super happy, chill, go-with-the-flow baby. Up until she was born we ran through one major scenario (at least it was major to us): Could she handle public places? No= If she goes ape, we take her out. Yes= cool, let’s do this.

yoshi
Chloe is now 4 months old and we made the decision that it was time…time to take her for our fav cuisine: sushi. We’ve been itching to check out Yoshi since it opened late winter 2017. Located on the popular Elm St. in East Aurora, when we got wind that one of the chefs was a previous Seabar dude there was no question we knew this would be great. We passed by it ALL THE TIME when we were grabbing juices at Kornerstone and brunch at Elm St. Bakery…so we went for it. WITH CHLOE.

uh oh, here comes a baby…walking to Yoshi
I called for a reservation (just in case!) and asked my new-Mom question, ‘Is this cool for babies or…no?’ We were told it’s totally fine and that made us feel a little better. Our decisions on where we hit up now depends on if it can handle a small fry. (It’s our opinion to take the babe to appropriate places- no telling you what’s right and wrong here about babies in public) Upon arrival, the sun was shining and Yoshi’s outdoor space was full; inside was quite busy and luckily they saved us a table that had a perfect nook to keep Chloe and her seat in. The vibe inside is cool- modern, clean, light.

Yoshi’s menu is packed with sushi, sashimi, rolls, apps, and specials. Lunch is available during the day, too.

Beau started with sashimi:

I got this, guys
We split the Pork Gyoza (more, please!) and an Anaconda Roll (which sparked us to mutter Sir Mix-A-Lot lyrics under our breath because 1990s kids).

pork gyoza // anaconda roll
So how was Chloe doing? She was great! And even topped off her bottle feeding while laying in her seat. A few whimpers began and we silently panicked. Oh no, was she going to be a Debbie Downer? A quick escape with Dad to burp outside and all she needed after that was to sit on Beau’s lap the rest of the meal. This baby wants nothing more than to chill at the table with people and be part of the action. Okay, kid.

whoa, are you seein’ this, Mommy?
Our second round included the Scallop Crudo (topped with an edible flower, which Chef Kenneth Legnon let us know they get all of theirs from Buffalo local Vertical Fresh Farms). Well, these were delicious! Thinly sliced…with blood orange and puffed rice.

scallop crudo
We finished off with the Short Ribs which melted off the bone. Now THAT was hard to share…the Chef came over to say hello and talk about some details on our plates, giving us a better look in to the artistry around Yoshi’s menu. We expressed how excited we were that the Southtowns finally had a sushi place near us that stood out and rose above. Definitely will be on our go-to places from here on out.

short ribs
As for Chloe O.? BabyLovebird was quiet and observant the whole way through. Her first [inside] restaurant experience was a win and now we can ‘test her out’ at other spaces. Date night hasn’t died- it’s just a little cuter.

 

Get the Details:

Yoshi // 33 Elm St. East Aurora, NY 14052 // 716.714.9372

Tues-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm & 4:30-9:30pm // Saturday 12pm-10pm // closed Sunday

park on Elm St. or appropriate lots nearby (AFTER hours, please!)

great for date night, lunch date, date with friends, bringin’ chill kids, sushi date

*walk around East Aurora afterward! You can check out Roycroft Campus and pick up some local art, catch a movie at the vintage Aurora theatre, or nosh on chocolates at Mambrino King!

hey, guys!

hid the baby // stealth-mode

Quick Date: Hali Boyz Mexican-American Grille

Hali Boyz is one of those rare places we find ourselves completely SALIVATING over the next day.

Two brothers from LA, Malak and Nour, came to Buffalo and opened up shop on Amherst St. after discovering Buffalo could really use some authentic and unique Mexican food. The cool thing about these bros is that they’re half Mexican and half Lebanese which, in our opinion, means it’s no joke when it comes to food and making sure their customers are happy.

Hali Boyz is located at 338 Amherst St. (in the former Lucy Ethiopian which is now at 916 Tonawanda St.) and is filled with cool urban graffiti, hi-top counter seats, and three tables. It’s a walk-up order counter and you kinda start to glaze over in choices when you read the menu. You want everything. When in doubt, ask the brothers for a suggestion. They led me to the Torta. Always a classic.

hali boyz menu and walk-up counter


urban graffiti


Made on spot, they crafted my carne asada torta- mixed with beans, onions, cilantro, mayo, and queso fresco. Always wanting to ‘eat how the locals do’, I asked if I was to add anything. The answer: do you like spicy? The response: hell yes. Red salsa it is.

Not playing around. Legit heat. And that is fine by me. (you can opt for less kick if need be.) The torta? *the angels of heaven sing a chord* All of the flavors compliment one another and you feel satisfied after- and this is the part where you want another one the next day.

carne asada torta *nomnomnom


This was a solo date for me and I can’t wait to bring Beau here- he will flip with happiness. Beau was a Cali boy having lived in LA and worked at a local cantina. Hard to impress. The brothers knew what I meant by this- ya gotta find the real goods once you move away from the authentic place! And here it is- in Buffalo.

Get the Details:

Hali Boyz / 338 Amherst St. Buffalo / parking across the street in the Polish Cadets lot (yes, it is free!)

eat in / take out / late night

perfect for: date night, lunch date, solo date, kid-friendly, quick bite, date with friends

Sunday-Thursday 11am-10:30pm / closed Friday / Saturday 11am-11:30pm

Black Rock neighborhood / authentic Mexican-American

 

-Lindsay

Buffalo Date: The Darwin Martin House

 

We are a lucky duo. After a private invitation to come tour the Darwin Martin House this past weekend, we were brought back to center- remembering what a damn cool place Buffalo is. 


World famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed this Prairie Era home for Darwin D. Martin between 1903 and 1905 and it is filled with his art glass windows, overhanging eaves, original Japanese print collections, and the recently restored central fireplace that leaves you breathless. It is a Buffalo staple and definitely should be on your radar for discovering everything incredible that is in your local backyard.

Buffalo is home to one of Wright’s most prominent and distinguished works- and that is something to take advantage of as a WNYer. You HAVE to experience this. Our adventure brought us together with other well-known Buffalo bloggers and influencers- Kevin (and his gal Krista) of Rise Collaborative,  Elizabeth of Buffalo Black Book, Bryan from Visit Buffalo Niagara, Sean and Jackie of Wrafterbuilt, Kevin of @buffalony, Michele of @michelesgoldfarb, Stephanie of @artiswhy, Step Out Buffalo (how did we not run in to you!?), Julia of @juliaguliaaa…a room filled with those who knew each other from their Instagram handles. I have no doubt it was entertaining to watch us all meet! We were led through the house by Executive Director, Mary Roberts, who gave us not only historical knowledge but behind-the-scenes fun facts on the Martin family and Wright himself.

After a 25 year restoration process, the Martin House is complete and it’s perfect timing- June 8th is Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday! To celebrate, the Martin House is hosting 150 hours of parties, lectures, cocktail evenings, and exhibits. On Thursday 6/8, the self-guided tours are $1.50! Did you see that? A DOLLAR FIFTY.

See the events happening now through June 11

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the details are even in the lighting- staying true to Wright’s designs
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It is incredible seeing this home amidst the Parkside neighborhood. Other local Wright designs can be seen at Graycliff in Derby, NY (the Martin family’s summer home)…the Blue Sky Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery…the once Larkin Administration Building (demolished in 1950…ughhhhh let’s not talk about it)… and the replicated design of the Filling Station (gas station) that lives inside the Pierce Arrow Museum downtown. How lucky are we, people??

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pergola model: @juliaguliaaa
So you always wanted to check out the Martin House? No excuses– this is the perfect time to go! Bring the kids, make it a date, go solo, gather friends…step inside an incredible time capsule and immerse yourself in the mind of one of the greatest architects in the world.

Our top picks:

Wednesday 6/7: Cocktails with The Dapper Goose from 4-7pm

Thursday 6/8: Happy BDay, Frank! $1.50 tours 10-3…Flying Bison and music 5:30-8:30pm

Saturday 6/10: Family tours with games & Ted’a Hot Dog truck..also yoga for the kiddos from Parkside Yoga 12-3pm

Sunday 6/11: Party! BW’s BBQ ($10) and music from the Colored Musicians Club (free!)

*there are also events at Graycliff!

japanese print
gold between the brick

fireplace in the receiving room
Hey, guy bird
recently restored fireplace details