How To Step Up Your Sunflower Selfie Adventure

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.

Burt, NY nearby: Live Edge Brewing: the newer kid in town in a great space with fun food and kid friendly. Next to Schulze Winery, so there’s no failing here.


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.


Us, 2017 in the Sanborn Sunflower field

Ugh, I’m exhausted from smiling so much. I need a coffee:

Lewiston: Orange Cat Coffee

Lockport/Pendleton: Craft Coffee House, Steamworks Coffee, Scripts Cafe

Wilson: Wilson Brew


Chelsea Victoria Photography, Sanborn Sunflowers

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!

Olcott Carousel– take a drive up to Olcott for their small but cute carousel and other kiddie rides. Get cash out to get Bye’s Popcorn for the way home. **Carousel park closes after Labor Day


@andreeaclairee, Sanborn Sunflowers

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!

Insta Mom Boss: The Buffalo Babes Holdin’ Down the Fort

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.

@littleherdadventures – Erica Zilbauer of City Lights Studio and Buffalo Indie Weddings

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

@hisushimama– Hannah

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.

@sarahctravels– Sarah

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.

Day Date: Shirt Factory Cafe

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!

How much for that baby in the window?

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!

The old Shirt Factory here was quite famous among celebrities around the globe

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.

Chloe approved!

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. 😉

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!

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!

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