Farm to Table Fairytale in WNY

“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.

Farm to Table, Medina NY

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

Lobster & Corn Hush Puppy, Zambistro

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.

Corn, Beets, and Some Berries Walk In To A Bar, Mile 303

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.

Mariachi de Oro

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. 

Berry Chocolate Cake, Shirt Factory Cafe

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.

Chicken 3 Ways, Zambistro

The perfect blurry night selfie with Scott and Alix

Father’s Day Gift Guide at Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls

We love shopping at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. Beau gets a lot of his wardrobe there and we love that there are 200 shops to peruse through. So of course we were excited to team up with the Fashion Outlets again and go on the hunt to show you some really great Father’s Day gift ideas. The outlets always have every day prices that are up to 75% off- can’t beat that!

They’re not far at all- only a short drive from downtown Buffalo and are really accessible from anywhere in WNY. Here is what we found for gift ideas this Father’s Day at any budget:

Some things about Dads: they usually always need help in the fashion department, they never can have enough grilling tools, and sometimes you just need to get them beef jerky. Beau spotted a wall of jerky at the Beef Jerky Outlet and I had to pry him out the shop before buying the whole store.

Over at Puma they had a buy one get 1/2 off T-shirt sale which is perfect since Beau is the super athletic dad.

Michael Kors has everything for the traveling business guy from shiny watches and matching business travel bag for those on the go.

Raise your hand if your dad has old holey underwear. Yup. We found deals on boxers at Banana Republic that seems like it was too good to be true always fun colorful print.

With stores like J.A. Zwilling Henckels you can stock the shed and garage with grilling tools perfect just in time for the summer. Find all the fun Buffalo goodies at the BFLO shop where you can hook him up with a grilling apron, a Bills koozie, and a South Buffalo shot glass when he’s outside making those burgers. And just in time for Father’s Day Old Navy is opening Saturday, June 16. Doesn’t Dad need some new shorts??

It’s not just clothes at the Fashion Outlets! You can find a gift for literally anybody on your list especially dad Father’s Day. He might even be super proud of you that you saved a lot of money and found the deals without tapping him for some cash.

DETAILS:

Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls / 1900 Military Rd. Niagara Falls, NY 14304

Directory List of Stores

*the list also shows what deals are going on at each store!

The Ultimate Love Guide Part 2: Valentine Cool Things to Do

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Part 2 in 2017’s Valentine’s lovefest: cool things to do…besides food.

We have rounded up ideas for you- couples, friends, Galentine’s Day lovers, singles, family. Take a look at our top picks to celebrate! If you’re out-of-the-box, this list is for you.


Part 2: Cupid Adventures

2/9: Ashkers: Tango Lessons– why not register you and your better half for tango lessons beginning in March? It is the vertical expression of horizontal desire, after all…tango

2/10: MUSEjar: BYOB Couples Paint Night– for the artists and non-artists. It’s all about teamwork to create this painting. *eat at Elm Street Bakery afterward

2/10: Red Hot Chili Peppers at KeyBank Center- give it away give it away give it away now! 90’s dates are always the answer. *eat at Lagerhaus95 afterward

2/10 – 2/20: Niagara Falls Aquarium: Sealed With A Kiss– get kisses from the aquarium’s Harbor seals & a pic to share on social media (of course)! *cute for kids! eat at Rainforest Cafe or The Griffon Gastropub

2/11: Costamagna Designs: La Seduction– seduction? Yes. A collaboration with Primrose Path Boutique and Private Knives Catering makes for something unique to do with your partner. *get dinner at Rick’s on Main after

2/11: Buffalo Philharmonic: A Valentine Romance– special event with tunes from Broadway and the American songbook. Classic. *get dinner nearby at Lait Cru Brasserie

2/12: Buffalo History Museum: Jazz on Second Sundays– tour the museum and enjoy live jazz music while you mellow out together. *eat at Trattoria Aroma after

hatchets2/14: Hatchets & Hops: Axes and Oh’s– we see what you did there, guys. Want something majorly outside of the box? THIS is what to go to. Throw axes as you celebrate love. YES. *eat at Big Ditch afterward

now through 2/14: Adopt-An-Animal at the Buffalo Zoo! Instead of dinner or chocolate or a card, give your animal lover this opportunity to be a ‘parent’. Includes zoo passes!

2/17: Lake Erie Wine County: Wine & Chocolate Weekend– really, do we need to convince you of this?? *perfect for the girls

2/19: Darwin Martin House: there are a couple events you can check out, but we kinda like the idea of the Snowshoes & Cocoa experience on 2/19!

2/23: The Game of Thrones Experience– well this is different! GOT fans you NEED to go immerse yourself in to the music & visuals with a full live orchestra and choir with theme composer Ramin Djawadi. We are #HouseStark…just sayin’.

2/25 – 2/26: Buffalo Botanical Gardens: Orchid Show– the orchids are back and beautiful, as always! Relax and walk through the beautiful colors at the gardens. *eat at Curly’s afterward

2/26: HEAL BFLO: Yoga Retreat– ya gotta stay flexible if you’re gonna make it work. Hit up this all day retreat with friends or your partner to bring yourself back to center.

latte-art2/27: Public Espresso: Milk Steaming & Latte Art– these guys always have fun events at the Hotel, including this one. Can you latte art? (we can’t) *eat at Casa Azul afterward

Buffalo Science Museum: Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World– now through May 7! Check out the electric evolution of one of the world’s most famous instruments. Rock on. *eat on Hertel Ave. afterward

Niagara Falls Culinary Institute– check out the different events happening throughout February, like ‘Chocolate Truffles’ and ‘Sundae Funday’. *great for families, too!

Buffalo Botanical Gardens: Lumagination– the gardens are lit up at night with fantastic bright colors and this year, they have teamed up with the UB Theatre & Dance Department to bring in never-before-seen designs. *great for bringing the kids, too!

lumagination
Dennis J. Luthart photo

Makers Buffalo– check out everything goin’ down this month at Makers Buffalo that you can do with friends or your significant other. Pick from wood burning, embroidery, or creating the Spike Quartz necklace.

 

Baby Lovebird: Jack & Jill Party Details!

On Saturday, January 21, 2017 we had Baby Lovebird’s party with our friends & family! Beau and I love love love having parties where we can bring everyone together in cool spaces around Buffalo. We held our engagement party at The Lodge, our bridal shower in the Greenhouse Room at the Hotel Lafayette, our wedding vows in the Crystal Ballroom at the Hotel, and the wedding fiesta at Larkin Square with food trucks. This time, we decided to have our baby shower as a Jack & Jill party at Iron Works!

mom-and-dad-to-be

 

What is a Jack & Jill Shower?

Also called a Couples Shower, Jack & Jill’s are open to guys, gals, and- if you want- kids & babies. It takes two to tango and the guys are a big factor in makin’ babies a real thing! Having been to couple of these parties in previous years, we knew a long time ago we wanted one. What better way to have friends & family together in one spot to celebrate?

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At the candy bar- it’s party time!

Picking the spot

You guys know we are big Buffalo supporters! No surprise there. So when it came to thinking of places that would be different, fun, and comfortable for all- Beau immediately said ‘Iron Works’. It is big, we had the place to ourselves, and it’s an awesome music venue. My good friend, the General Manager Josh Holtzman, was great to work with and he introduced me to Lagerhaus 95‘s new head honcho taking care of the catering for Iron Works.

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Husbands, wives, babies!
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Looking down from the top portion of Iron Works in to part of the crowd

Why Saturday?

Why not? We thought it would be nice for people to go off and do what they want the rest of Saturday evening and still have all of Sunday to relax and do what they want! We even created a mini-website for our guests to read up on things to do in Buffalo after the shower!

Inside the party

Lagerhaus 95 did the spread and it was so so good! We chose beef on weck, bbq and medium wings, pasta, salad, hummus and pita, and veggie wraps. It was good to see people going up for seconds and thirds!

We had Paula’s Donuts for dessert and caught people taking a bunch home with them after! We tiered and trayed the donuts so people could help themselves. So. Damn. Good.

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It’s a Buffalo thing when Paula’s is there

Hot pink, cobalt blue, deep orange, sun yellow, and a bright teal color scheme filled the room and a candy bar for the kids lined one section for an immediate sugar rush.

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candy bar

A hot cocoa bar with all sorts of toppings was set up for guests. But who knew it was going to be 62 degrees out?! We had traditional treats plus andes mints, mexican chili powder, caramel drizzle, and sea salt.

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hot cocoa on an unseasonably warm winter day?!

Our good friend brought in a booty duty activity where guests wrote messages on the back of diapers for us to read for a laugh at 3am!

booty-duty

As a musician and Ethnomusicologist, music runs through my blood and soul nonstop. I whipped up a music playlist- all relating to the words ‘baby’ or ‘girl’- and we had ‘Big Daddy’ playing up on the big screen in the background.

The weather was perfect, the venue was comfortable for all, and we are so happy over 55 of our friends & family members joined us to get ready for Baby Riggs! (aka: Baby Lovebird) Why not think outside the box when planning your baby shower? Be daring, be different, be fun! Six more weeks until we are ‘officially parents’- bring it on! 

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Over 70 donuts- DEVOURED
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music, movie in background, lots of food!
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It was so nice to have people mingling in the side area, upstairs, and at the bar!
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Thank you to everyone for celebrating with us! Here we are- future mom & dad!

Win Tickets to the Buffalo Philharmonic for Valentine’s Day 2015!

Kleinhans
Kleinhans

We have a pair of tickets to the BPO’s event this weekend (Valentine’s Day!) to giveaway to the lovebirds out there! Contest begins today Tuesday February 10th and ends Friday February 13th at 11am. The tickets include the concert performance of ‘Festa Italiano’ and the Sweetheart Dance to follow. Why not spend love day with your favorite person at Kleinhans and our beloved Philharmonic?

To enter —> Using Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or email- hashtag a photo of you and your lovebird along with a Frank Sinatra lyric that sums up you as a couple. The concert on Saturday will have Sinatra all over the place and we think that crooner is the epitome of love! Hashtag to use: #buffaloveBPO to enter the contest!

QUICK DETAILS:

win 2 tickets to the BPO this Saturday February 14th, 2015

concert & dance, 8pm

hashtag a pic of you & your lovebird on our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or email buffalovebirds@gmail.com

make sure to use a Sinatra lyric along with it that sums you two up!

use the hashtag: #buffaloveBPO

*winner chosen at random

Festa Italiano: Valentine’s Night with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Valentine’s Day. We look at it as a time to get glitzy and go out on the town! One of our favorite places to feel glamorous and classic is with our beloved local orchestra. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has the perfect evening for you lovebirds to do just that.

On February 14th, the night kicks off at Kleinhans Music Hall- a U.S. National Historic Landmark right here in our beautiful downtown Buffalo. Beginning at 5pm, the ‘Festa Italiano’ party begins with hors d’ourves, drinks, and dinner which will be catered by Oliver’s. (one of our fav spots) Music will fill the air as you toast to one another here in the Mary Seaton Room. Beginning at 8pm you will be entertained with your lovebird as you would in the Rat Pack era! Music of Frank Sinatra and Steve Lippia with the BPO sets the mood for those dancin’ shoes. (We think you should definitely ham this up- true Hollywood glamour: Sharkskin suit, skinny ties, fitted dresses…) After dinner, back in the Mary Seaton Room, is a Sweetheart Dance where you can bring out the romance and sway hand in hand.

The perfect Valentine’s evening happens this year with the BPO! Get glam, get your martini, and get dancing!

DETAILS:

Kleinhans Music Hall 3 Symphony Music Hall Buffalo, NY 14201

‘Festa Italiano’ with Steve Lippia and the BPO

Saturday February 14, 2015

TICKETS:

$150/person for everything (hors d’ourves & drinks, concert, dance)

$34.50-$72.50/person (concert & dance)

Call 716.242.7825 for dinner tickets by Saturday, February 7th

Concert & dance tickets can be found at bpo.org and the box office

Check out this link for details!

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