Fun fact: I grew up on a horticultural farm. My grandfather, parents, Aunt Jillie, siblings, and Great Aunt grew chrysanthemums by the 1,000s in Wrights Corners, NY for years. The tens of acres at my grandparents’ house was magical, beautiful, and hard work. Besides the mums, we also grew vegetables and sunflowers and my Grandpa took much of his garden to the local Farmer’s Market in Lockport every week. My brother studied landscape architecture and my mother is a retired art teacher. So naturally, this whole gardening thing is of interest to me and I am diving in to everything that has to do with the outside of the house.Beau is, too.
My parent’s home in Newfane, NY was meticulously landscaped and they spent every hour they could once the weather broke until the snow fell outside working on their flower beds. It was so stunning that people would drive down our road very slowly to check out the land and ask my Dad questions about what things were. (lol!) I spent ALOT of time in nurseries and greenhouses as a kid and have started to visit many of them now as an adult and getting my own things.
We have some stunning places in WNY and each nursery and greenhouse has a certain personality. Some are fierce flower joints, others focus on shrubs. Some have hearty plants and several are uniquely their own. This list is our personal guide to places we love that you should definitely be hittin’ up this Spring:
Our Top Greenhouses and Nurseries:
Russell’s Tree & Shrub Farm: The best place for trees, bushes, grasses, and shrubs. You can find small to large sizes for your budget and talk about delivery to your place. Transit Rd., East Amherst
Hi-Way Garden Center: A well-maintained and beautiful greenhouse filled with hearty and colorful perennials and annuals. We love getting our coleus, hens and chicks, and vegetables here. (yes, like the veggies you can grow yourself) Tonawanda Creek Rd., Amherst
Lockwood’s: A new discovery for us now that are Southtowners! This place has some stunning houseplants, beautiful spikes, and really hard-to-find annuals. Clark St., Hamburg
Seasonal Nursery: The place to look in to for landscaping design ideas and beautiful hanging baskets. We like to get spikes, sweet potato vines, and impatients here. Bullis Rd., Elma
Angle Acres Greenhouse: Here’s your hidden gem, guys. Angle Acres has 4 greenhouses filled with houseplants and unique varying sizes of succulents. Best place for a photo shoot. ***CASH ONLY. If you forget it’s okay- there is a gas station nearby with an ATM. Angle Rd., Orchard Park
It was one of those serendipitous meetings while strolling along Hertel Ave. last fall. The cutest pop-up caught our eye inside a popular local shop and we hit it off talking about Buffalo, Instagram, and the love of WNY artisans. It was buffBOX– a newly launched curated Buffalo box design that was the hit of all that walked by.
We were so impressed by this unique business that we caught up with owner Heidie Buffomante (I mean, c’mon, even her name is totally Buffalo!). Check out the inspiration behind the boxes and how you can get one, too:
Okay, we gotta start with the basics like…what is buffBOX and who are you?!
H: buffBOXes are curated collections that offer style, function, and feature items from small businesses. Each is thoughtfully created with a lot of love.
My husband, Adam, and I live in Williamsville with our sweet pup Daisy. I work as an Assistant Principal at a Middle School (which was also my favorite grade level to teach).
People in life matter, a ton. Gifting a custom buffBOX evokes feelings of importance and connection. Your gift recipient will feel like they have just received something extra special as they notice the unexpected details such as the elevated packaging or the handwritten note on linen paper. buffBOXes also support Buffalo’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. When purchasing, you are building into the resurgence of our city. It is my hope that the quality and uniqueness of your buffBOX items will get you right back into that small business to buy more and of course, connect with the owner/creator/artisan/entrepreneur.
This is new to the scene! How did it all begin and what was your inspiration behind it all? Everyone has a story about their creations!
H: After a brain injury in August 2014 I spent a significant amount of time at home recovering. It brought me immense joy to remix items throughout our home to optimize their function while also creating something beautiful. I needed to be in a space that elicited feelings of comfort and coziness as Adam and Daisy spent many evenings and weekends tucked inside with me. I evolved into styling spaces for my mom, sister and friends. All the while, I would have consistent FaceTime sessions with my dear friend Aubrey in California where we would dream about this turning into a business. Most recently in October 2017 I decided to share my curated pairings of home goods more broadly, did a big shop, came up with 30 variations, and had a “First Look” with family and friends a week later. Very shortly after that Adam picked me up from work on an afternoon we planned to hit up the small businesses on Hertel. It was a very rainy day and we considered just going home. Instead, we braved the Buffalo weather, had a conversation with a few local entrepreneurs about this passion project, and weeks later we were popped-up inside their store. This launched buffBOXes being featured in local blogs, a segment on Channel 7 news, collaborations with local entrepreneurs, and most importantly Adam and I met a lot of new people in our city of Buffalo. We are forever grateful to Bri at Modern Nostalgia, Matt with Scout & Cedar, and Katie creator of BKindCity for believing in buffBOXes and embracing us on that rainy night.
It’s nice to have a creative-type put these gifts together as a gift! Where do you frequent to find pieces for the boxes?
H: I create buffBOXes with functional and unique items I find on our travels around Buffalo and day trips on the weekend. This ensures there is a small business feature in each box. This is important to me and part of why I enjoy curating buffBOXes because each has its own authentic story that is shared on the personalized stationery packaged inside. I also have my stores I frequent often like Hobby Lobby and Marshall’s. I can always find supporting pieces to the anchor item in each box.
What are some good uses for a buffBOX? What kind of gifts could it be for?
H: Reason- (birthday, baby shower, housewarming, new job, just ‘cause, treat yo’ self)
Season- (spring tablescape, essential summer decor, fall vignette, hot cocoa station for a winter wonderland)
In each custom buffBOX there is a handwritten note sharing the small business feature, where the items have traveled from, or how it will compliment their lifestyle based on the information the gift-giver provides on my custom order form.
What are the ranges of buffBOXes if readers are looking to send a gift?
H: Custom buffBOXes come two ways: Regular $69, and BIG buffBOX for $99
For Pop-Ups at local businesses prices range from $4 to $45 for the Build-Your-Own buffBOX option. You can pick and choose which items you want with attractive price points.
How do the gifts get to the people?
H: Free pickup, $10 delivery within 20 miles of Williamsville. Shipping adds on a cost of the flat rate box.
Where can people see the buffBOXes?
H: Instagram @buffboxes is the platform I use to share what’s available for purchase, dates/locations for pop-ups, completed custom orders (with permission from the gift-giver), and information on how to order your own.
My personal Instagram @heidiebuff is a place to checkout how I style our home through the seasons and behind the scenes footage of my creation stages of buffBOXes in the Instagram Story. I just saved our adventure to Rochester to find some new goodies in the Highlight section.
What visually inspires you?
H: Casual simplicity of Skeem Design, color palettes of Kate Spade NY for spring, craftsmanship of Mariposa, timeless pieces in Mackenzie Childs courtly check, lush blankets in neutral color tones by Barefoot Dreams.
You recently had your home featured in Buffalo News! Yay!! How do you envision certain rooms and looks? What is the style you aim to achieve?
H: I am committed to creating our home spaces that are functional and truly evoke feelings of comfort and coziness. To do this, I start with an anchor item and monochromatic color palette. This helps guide my purchasing of other complementing pieces. For example, our oversized coffee table in white washed wood drove the tone of the wooden tabletop tray stacked with books and the hammered metal coaster set. Our hobbies are also sprinkled throughout the home, like Adam’s fondness of sports and collector items and our board game collection. See more pics here!
So you guys are in the Northtowns- what is your go-to place to eat? Any good date night suggestions?
H: Sandwiches and salads at D’Avolio or Japanese at Kumo for lunch. Roccos, San Marco Restaurant, Share, and Sinatra’s for dinner. The best date nights always involve an activity like bowling, games like Spot It, or popping in to play with our nephew Little Rick.
Working on a new custom order form that will be available soon!
Check out buffBOXes in person and meet Heidie! Pop on over to the Ellicott Square Building for the City of Buffalo Artists Market on Saturday 5/12/2018 from 11am-3pm. And remember- Mother’s Day is coming up on 5/13/18 so you’re going to want to send Mom a super fun buffBOX. 🙂
The cool thing about our lives right now is that we can share our stories on different social media platforms. Media that speaks to us. Some of us are writing it (yea, we wish we had more time to write), some are visual documentarians (yea, we wish we had better camera skills), and some are mixing both into their platforms to share their lives and experiences (we like to think we’re in that realm).
A few are focused on straight up Buffalo and others have a more broad scope that appeals to the world (will we ever get there?). We’re sharing a short list of those who live among us here in the 716, but may be missing out on since they aren’t necessary screaming ‘Buffalo’ in your face. But they’re sending out gorgeous shots, fun stories, and cool vibes. (*all pics from handles)
I actually met Kristina when I was 16- seems like yesterday. A blogger turned social storyteller, follow her for fam life, punny real AF shirts, and inspo on getting off your a** in order to get healthy with her workout coaching.
Rachel is a fashion blogger mama who channels through her site and Instagram. Follow her for all of the things we think silently in our heads as we try not to fall asleep at 8pm while attempting to Netflix & chill.
I pretty much hint beg Beau for one of these rings one day (for a right hand ring). Follow for custom engagement ring ideas and drooling all over your screen. A local handcrafted jeweler designing unique and stunning sparkly things.
Did you know we have some of these incredible Instagrammers? Make sure to follow them! You’re missing out if you don’t.
It’s been a full day of 2018 so far. It was cold, quiet, and went by too fast. We’re back to work in the morning and are thankful we had two long weekends together with our little family. Beau was lucky enough to take the week off and spend it with Chloe.
I wanna be like Daddy.
Why is it that a *new year* makes us want to have resolutions, get organized, and set ourselves up for to-do lists that we swear will get checked off? We try to not promise ourselves anything here at the Riggs house- it’s more of us (meaning mainly Beau) saying, ‘Gonna kick ass and take names this year.’
Perhaps that’s why each year has gotten better and better. Looking at the new year just to be BETTER…at family, at work, at love, at fighting, at communication, at problem-solving, at laughing, and at taking risks. So a cheers to 2018- we already were able to stay up til midnight and watch the ball drop, fill Beau with Theraflu to hack his virus, and document Chloe’s first New Years Day.
A new hot spot has emerged on Elmwood and it’s a new obsession. Rin Thai Bistro opened November 2017 on the corner of Elmwood and Potomac (formerly Gelateria Luca). We are so happy to see a great place to eat pop up here!
Rin is quaint and modern with a great little Thai menu including everyone’s fav Pad Thai, sticky rice, green curry, and pho. (Yasssss, more pho!) The owner, Rin (obviously), is bubbly and happy to help guide you through the menu to make sure you get something you like. The service was quick and the food was DELICIOUS.
This would be great for a quick lunch, laidback dinner, weekend bite in between shopping…with anyone. We definitely will be returning and bringing Chloe- girlfriend needs to try some sticky rice!
The first time was a traditional taste of spring rolls and Pad Thai with chicken:
Rin Thai Bistro is a great addition to the eclectic Elmwood and we cannot wait to return! Quite impressed with the food and atmosphere- and what makes it even better is the happy Rin who bops around table to table making sure you fully enjoy your stay.
Rin Thai Bistro // 988 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo NY 14222
What’s up, WNY? Guy bird here- showing you where I like to take a [workout’] beatin’ these days. If you live or venture out to the Southtowns and enjoy pushing your body to the limits, Grit House is where it’s at. This place is pumping out beats that run through your veins while you watch the sweat drip from your brow. The fitness family here welcomed me with open arms…which quickly turned in to kicking my a** and keeping me focused.
Grit House offers a range of classes 7 days a week from 5:15am to 7:30pm and all are designed to have you crawling to the door. It’s a true experience and their style of workout is unique to them. I have popped in to many gyms and have to say, ya gotta experience the Grit to understand what goes on behind that garage door…but if that garage door is open- prepare yourself. They offer classes like ‘Camp Grit’ and ‘Athlete 2.0’ where you will find familiar terms like spin, cardio, pilates, tabata, ropes, yoga, and boxing.
As someone who has been to tons of workout classes, I know that a place is only as good as their instructors. At Grit, you won’t find anything but intense in-your-face and ready-to-roll instructors. *drum roll, please* You’ve got Ashlee ‘No Joke’ Lonergan, owner. Something about someone smiling as they yell at you has always confused me. Next up- Jay ‘I Run 16 Miles at 2am Then Instruct Back-to-Back Classes’ McFadden. Jay will test you constantly while he admires his sweet beard. Then we have Matt ‘Can’t Stop. Won’t Stop’ Bermingham. This sexy beast of a man is about to be 50. I almost hurled taking his boxing class. Win. Last but not least- Jenea ‘Twinkle Toes’ Castanza-Smith. Her pilates class is unique to her and if my wife won’t say it, I will- my a** is lookin’ pretty good.
The atmosphere and environment at Grit House is genuinely cool. They have accomplished setting themselves apart and creating a style of working out that can only be understood by showing up. Side note…did I mention they have showers? HUGE PERK and I think I may be the only one that uses it and that’s fine with me.
What you need to know: they’re located at 97 Main St. in Hamburg. Download the MindBody App to sign up for classes. They are one of the few that offer a monthly unlimited rate (a no-brainer in my world). Classes fill up quickly and signing up a week in advance is recommended.
To Ashlee and Jay- thank you for welcoming me in to your fitness family down here in the Southtowns and for opening up roughly a year ago. Let the pain, sweat, tears, and smiles continue. December Challenge is in full swing and I’m getting my a** handed to me…but that’s the point.