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. 🙂
Recently, we were invited toBuffalo Collective’sspace over in South Buffalo for a DIY studio pallet night. Sure, we have all heard of the paint nights and probably have been to one (or ten), but THIS is something different. Cool. Like, Joanna Gaines cool.
Sometimes, Beau doesn’t listen. I had told him about ten times what we were going to be doing on this particular date night and when we got there- he said to me, ‘You didn’t tell me I would be painting! Oh my God, what if I mess up?’ The dude knew. Busted, hubby. Luckily, Buffalo Collective guides you through the whole process and in the end you step back and want to do another…and another….
With two locations- one on Abbott Rd. in South Buffalo and the other on Harlem in Amherst, Buffalo Collective was started by a duo of mamas looking to get their creative side out and to other people. It’s a more hands-on place than you expect. You use POWER TOOLS. Pallet boards are pre-cut and sanded for you but you get to put the board together yourself including the backing. The gals (we had one of the owners, Jill) help you through the adventure and offer tips on making your board clean and accurate. Pick your paints, learn about easy ways to pattern your pallets, and sip some wine while waiting for paint to dry. (Yep, you can get a drink at the ‘bar’)
Buffalo Collective has open and private parties available and the best way to get one started (we’re thinkin’ the ‘new’ bachelorette party, friends in town, gather all the ladies in the fam, roll in with your significant other…) is on their website. A private party is a minimum of 12 people, a group booking is 6 people, and you can choose your date online. There are even kid events you can do- perfect for a family date! Getting married? Buffalo Collective also makes signs and table numbers for weddings. Check everything out on their site!
So…here is how our night went:
Beau was in a room filled with ladies, yes, but who cares? Pallet parties are for the boys, too. He was so serious making his board for Chloe’s room that he proclaimed he wanted to return to do it again so he could perfect it. Oh, Beau!
Do something different. Do something fun. Gather your squad and book a night at one of the Buffalo Collective spots. You’ll be proud at the end, channeling your inner Fixer Upper style. We had so much fun!
Buffalo Collective locations: see online (Southtowns, Northtowns) Street parking in Southtowns.
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.
Last Friday night was date night, as always. It’s one of my favorite nights because it is usually a guarantee that Beau and I will go out to eat somewhere new. We are tired from the week, know we have a packed weekend, and realize we will only have a couple of hours to hang out before it’s witching hour…aka- bedtime for 10 month old parents.
I secretly like when Beau makes reservations and doesn’t tell me where. Chloe would be coming with us (the norm) and he said we would be downtown. Hmmm. Then he said Panorama on Seven inside the Marriott Harborcenter. Wahoo! I had only been to events in their rooms the past two years so I was excited to eat there FINALLY. But with Chloe?
Right off the bat, Panorama was accommodating. We chose our table on the semi-quiet evening and they had a high chair for Chloe. A baby in a nicer place? You cray, Buffalovebirds. Yes and no. Chloe is a super chill and happy baby so we have been able to take her everywhere without a peep. Will that change? I’m sure. But for now we’re using it to our advantage. The lights were dim and the view of Canalside was so fun. You can see the ice skaters on the rink- it’s like watching one of those Christmas snow globes your grandma had where there’s little tiny ice skaters on a pond.
We first ordered the Butternut Bisque and a Beet Salad. Well, dang. Simple and delicious. Chloe got to try the bisque, which she approved of tenfold. She ate most of our beets, which is fine. Baby munchkin prefers eating what we do now. Her book was in hand and she grinned ear to ear when we gave her bits of dinner.
Beau had the Prime Rib Grilled Cheese and I opted for the Bolognese- both of which were wonderful. Our server Yonis was excellent- always checking in on us and making sure any food Chloe was going to test did not have pepper or spices in it. We didn’t even ask- he just took the reigns. Service!
We ordered a side of Sweet Potato Mash for Chloe, which they even garnished for her. She had been quiet and smiley the whole evening. If she could have, she would have eaten the whole bowl of mash. It was delicious, we don’t blame ya kid.
Get it, girl
We made brief conversation with an older couple nearby who commented on how well-behaved Chloe is. (Yay, now don’t fail us Chloe!) Our tiny trick we do now when we are out to eat with her is requesting the bill right before we are finished. Beau makes sure to explain everything is great but we just prepare to exit before any malfunction. LOL Yonis scurried, mentioning he had something to bring for us.
Out comes a to-go box of their Sponge Candy Cheesecake for us to take home. Omg, someone knows the secret to our hearts! It was so nice of Panorama to send this off with us! I could tell Beau was thinking he could eat all of it before I even took a bite. There were pieces of sponge candy and dried cherries inside too and we informed Chloe she couldn’t have any. Luckily, she’s language-less right now.
As we packed up Chloe, I ran in to a co-worker and his friends so we said hello and did intros. He brought his crew to eat at (716) and brought them up to Panorama to show off the view. Rightly so, cause it may be the best in Buffalo right now. During daylight, you can see the city, Canalside, and the water. Love.
Before heading out, we inquired about their meeting spaces since Beau hosts clients and colleagues for events periodically at work. They have their M Lounge which is more casual for Marriott guests and beside their large event venues they have a great Boardroom capable of holding 12-14 people. Great view to show off to people!
We had a truly wonderful experience at Panorama and that was makes us want to return again and again and also to share with people what it is like. It’s a great spot for date night, hanging out for a drink or two with friends at the bar, and if you have a super well-behaved Baby then absolutely. (*if Chloe was not that way, we would not be taking her to places. not everywhere is for the two foot tall humans)
Chloe waiting for the elevator. Clearly something is funny.
Thanks, Panorama! We had a great night and can’t wait to visit again!
Panorama on Seven // inside Harborcenter Marriott // 95 Main St. Buffalo
Parking: use valet! A tip given to us for next time. We had parked inside the Harborcenter ramp ($3)
Great for date night, friends, brunch // Business casual & clean
We’ve been getting a lot of questions about our wedding- where did you find your decor and ideas? What food did you have? How did you execute your whole Larkin Square vision? So we’re gonna start sharing our details from our big day in different posts so you can gather some ideas or just read for fun!
Next up: our Wedding Music Playlist.
There is nothing more exciting than seeing a packed dance floor filled with family & friends dancing their butts off non-stop at your wedding. As a serial wedding guest, I’ve noticed that this doesn’t happen too often. Typical wedding music changes over the decades- the fun has gone from the Chicken Dance to the Macarena to the Wobble. Some people like to keep things ‘traditional’…but us? Nope. We wanted people to be surprised, excited, and to dance their pants off. The first part of the night began with the Hot Club of Buffalo performing live on the Larkin stage. They played during our cocktail hour to set a fun vibe- once they ended, the playlist began.
Goal: to have our playlist to represent us- as children, young adults, and now old millennials. The stuff that made our memories. The stuff that evokes unforgettable stories. So instead of having a DJ, we did something a little different- I mixed a non-stop playlist filled with all of the music we loved and that meant something to us. (fun fact: I used to DJ when I lived in North Carolina- but that’s another type of blog!)
Step One: Choosing the Songs
I had an idea- let’s break it in to mini-playlists, complete with tracks to make you jump up and down and some slow jamz to give you all the feels. Each was a perfectly planned mix, segueing in to one another and each ending with a couple slower tunes to cool you down. We made a huge list of song that spanned decades and genres. We wanted our friends to feel like they were back at those middle and high school dances- ‘the best decade of music ever’. (hello, the 90s) Both Beau and I have a taste in music that is all over the map so it was easy to determine which songs HAD to stay. Plus we had songs in there that were specifically put in for people we loved. We did all of the deciding at a random Starbucks five months before the wedding.
Step Two: Setting the Mood
Music is in my blood. As a classically trained flutist, Ethnomusicologist, and instructor of World Music at Mercyhurst University- conjuring emotions with music is my number one goal. Naturally, this happened when I started organizing and outlining which songs. I also took in to consideration the BPM’s for each song and how we could mix them to flow in to one another. Each song had about 2-4 minutes of play time before it segued in to something different. We crossed decades and genres- and it was the bomb.
After mixing and remixing, the playlists were done and loaded on to an iPod. Sound check at Larkin? Done. Volume up loud? Done. Dance floor packed? Done. We will never forget seeing everyone get so excited over Biggie, Benny Benassi, and the Dirty Dancing theme. You would never believe how many people were doing ‘the lift’.
Here are the sets and the music we had. Don’t ya wish you were there?! :
Having our playlist represent us as individuals growing up in the 90s and 00s, it also resonated with our guests. We snuck in a few songs that were just for ‘us’ (Pink Martini for my Dad & I…Bob Seger for Beau’s Mom…Bingo Players for Beau…Balkan Beat Box for me…Billie Holiday tune from ‘The Notebook’ cause romance…etc..) and sometimes it gave people a break to get another prosecco or taco at Lloyd. Our best advice is to create your own list of songs- and take it seriously. If you really want to have your party music to top off the night in a big way, make it your own. You’ll have more fun and your guests will never forget it.