We’re About To Take a Huge Challenge This Month…

Life is nuts. Nuts! We all work long hours, squeeze in some workouts, run kids around to practices and events, and try to find some time for seeing friends and family. For us in the Riggs household, it feels even crazier with our lifestyle but now that we have little Chloe we are refocusing a little bit on spending time together in a different way.

We’ve been getting away from sitting down together and actually having dinner at the table. That’s a major reason why we have teamed up with TOPS Friendly Markets during September- which happens to be National Family Meals Month!

We all know how important it is for everyone to sit down and eat together. Why aren’t we incorporating it more in to our lives? School has begun and it’s the perfect time to join us this month in really committing to cooking and enjoying dinner all at once. TOPS makes it super easy to find recipes on their site and there are some great prepared meals to grab if you’re really on the go.

It’s going to be quite the month of us sticking to it! Think we can do it?? Think YOU can do it?? We bet you can. We’re aiming for as many nights during the week as we can fit in. Follow along here on the blog and over on our Instagram as we show you how we’re doing it, what recipes we turn out, and if Chloe is down for it all. (what is she going to eat?! stay tuned for baby tips…) Head on over to Instagram at @Buffalovebirds for details on this week’s giveaway and see how simple TOPS is making it for us!

Beau has put this on his recipe list this week. Psh, this is easy!:

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TOPS Recipe: Cornbread Fritter Cakes

Baby Must-Haves: Babylovebird’s Top Ten

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

5. Fisher Price Kick ‘n Play Piano Mat

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.

8. Ergobaby

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.

9. Land of Nod Activity Chair

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!

Where to Find the Flowers: Our WNY Guide to Nurseries & Greenhouses

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

Our original go-to spots also in Niagara County:

Zehr’s, West Lake Rd., Burt

La Roses, Ridge Rd, Lockport

Heimiller Greenhouses, Ewings Rd., Newfane

Northtowns:

Spoth’s, Transit Rd., East Amherst

Badding Brothers, Transit Rd., Amherst

Adam’s Nursery, Genesee St., Lancaster

Curated Buffalo Boxes: buffBOX

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. 

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Heidie, the creator of buffBOX at the Mod/Nos pop-up shop

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 fbroadly, 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.

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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)

Holiday- (Valentine/Galentine, Mother’s & Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas

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!

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Heidie, Adam, and Daisy from their Buffalo News photoshoot // pic: The Buffalo News

 

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.

How can people get a buffBOX for someone??

H: Follow @buffBOXes on Instagram! If you are not a user, email me at heidie.buff@gmail.com

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. 🙂 

Best Foot Forward: Babylovebird’s Go-To Booties from BirdRock Baby

Chloe’s closet is becoming almost larger than Mommy and Daddy’s- and that’s not including shoes. Not an easy feat to beat us. Let’s face it- baby shoes are impossible to keep on and you constantly have to watch to make sure you don’t lose one! It’s inevitable. But we found some moccs and a bootie style that are PERFECT for your squirt and they’re from BirdRock Baby.

It was one of those Instagram finds, when we stumbled upon BirdRock’s super cute (not to mention affordable) baby moccs. Chloe has worn them since she was about 6 months and she just added some to her collection.

The Panther (shown above) is what I like to think of as her ‘Louboutin shoe’, Mermaid is a pink metallic holographic mocc, and we tried out their fleece booties that snap around the ankle.

Besides being cute, BirdRock moccs are easy to get on a tiny squirmy human. The elastic is stretchy enough to pull on and then tightens back to normal without denying baby’s foot.

The other cool thing about BRB is that each month they tally up how many moccs and booties have been sold, then donate that amount to Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure children around the globe receive a healthy meal.

Easy on, easy to keep on. The booties from BirdRock Baby are cozy and adjustable. Simply slide baby’s foot in and wrap the two side overtop one another and choose which snap to use to secure around the ankle. Chloe’s been wearing them this winter over jeans, tights, and just crawling like a naked baby throughout the house.

BirdRock baby is a small business based in San Diego and is definitely to be on your baby list for current and future babes. Chloe approves.

The Local Bloggers You May Be Missing Out On

Influencers. Bloggers. Storytellers.

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)

@ktnewms

Ok, envy! This girl hails from our home county of Niagara and her shots have us in love. Follow her for stunning coffee pics, perfectly placed throws and flowers, destroyed denim, and cute baby shots.

@astoldbymama_

A mix of some blog posts and mainly shots on Insta, this mama has some adorable life stills that document her moments as a photographer and mother.

@craftbeerdeer

I mean, her name says it all. Beer. It’s like you step in to a magazine of editorial beer shots on every post. She’s showing you some great international hops along with beautifying the pour itself.

@prettyprchick

Brandi mixes Insta shots with YouTube videos filled with a makeup lover’s dream. I don’t think there is a lipstick color that looks bad on her…

@lifeaskristinab

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.

@CaralynMirand

Stunning plus model Caralyn shares her Buffalo and NYC life via how-tos, stories, and fashion shots. This girl works it and makes us feel beautiful too.

@rachellynjohnson

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.

@seekaxiom

Total photog-inspo. Ryan captures moods through his shots and creates a semi-dreamlike sensation. Follow him for the art of the eye and to see some local familiar faces.

@sexyslices

Our go-to pizza guide on Insta. We literally click on pics of pizza that look scrumdiddlyumptious and order it. This is gonna help you on lazy nights where you don’t know where to order.

@alexisrusselljewelry

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.