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!

Date Night: Buffalo Collective

Recently, we were invited to Buffalo Collective’s space 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….

Pic: @buffalocollective

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!

DETAILS:

Buffalo Collective locations: see online (Southtowns, Northtowns) Street parking in Southtowns.

Instagram // Facebook

Perfect for girl night, fam time, date night, parties, solo, fundraisers.

Drinks for purchase, smocks on site, immediate assistance.

Colors and Magic at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Aren’t we so lucky to have these incredible museums right here in our backyard? As kids, we are exposed to them through field trips and as adults we get to relive those moments all over again but with fresh eyes and respect.

Beau and I have been Albright-Knox Art Gallery lovers for life. My school did field trips here and I was able to experience my Mother (now a retired Art Teacher) taking her students to it as well. We went as a family a few times and as a ‘big kid’, Beau and I have attended for live music and special exhibits. Now that we have Chloe, it’s a whole new adventure. We took her for her very first Albright experience last weekend and it was more magical than we expected.

AKG had a hands-on exhibit called ‘Art of the Senses’ which included works you could taste, touch, and hear. Great interaction for people of all ages, especially babies! Chloe was looking everywhere and seemed to love the bright art the most. The museum was packed and rightly so- the second exhibit featured the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami which was colorful, mesmerizing, and imaginative. (Think: the Japanese Lisa Frank)

AKG is stroller-friendly (can carefully take stairs, too, but there is a small elevator). There is a cafe inside you can grab lunch at- a sit down so you can enjoy your time. The gift shop is always fun afterward because you will find unique art supplies, books, and decor. You see classic artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Matisse and they even brought back the ever-popular favorite: The Mirrored Room by Lucas Samaras. *bring socks so you can step inside!

We’re pretty cheesy, if you didn’t already know. Every time we had Chloe take some pics, she giggled and posed- clearly she has the cheese, too. Must be in our genes! How can you not want to get a cool shot in the Albright-Knox though??

These exhibits I mentioned have ended their time at AKG, but the museum is constantly curating new exhibits and artists to come. The best place to see what is currently there and arriving soon is on their website: Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Follow their Instagram, too!

This is seriously one of our top fav date places in Buffalo! You can solo, grab a friend, bring the kids and baby, cross generations, or go on a date.

Grab your camera, grab your person…even download their app to play some fun games. We are too lucky not to keep going to AKG again and again, to expose our young selves once again and of course to enlighten the future youth.

Details:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery // 2182 Delaware Ave. Buffalo 14216

Tuesday – Sunday 10-5 // First Friday of each month is 10-10

Parking in lot: $5 for guests

Available street parking behind the museum

Family / friends / solo / date night / day date

The Perfect Basic Fall Day

Fall. It’s pretty. It’s sweater weather. It’s pumpkin  everything. Admit it- you LOVE busting out your plaid, having a PSL in hand, and doing super cheesy fall things like jumping in to pile of leaves and filming it in slow-mo.

We do, too. And we ain’t afraid to admit it!

We’re sharing our fall day with you, BabyLovebird in tow. It’s great for everyone- couples, families, and besties. Get the itinerary here:

Apple Picking and Hayrides: Becker Farms- Gasport, NY

Beau and Chloe

Up in country territory, Becker Farms has grown from a small cute farm to a destination filled with craft beer, donuts, apple picking, pumpkins, and winery. Dang. We drove up north to start with the apples- you pay only $5 to get access to the orchard experience which includes a hayride to the apple, a 4 quart bag to pick them, and apple education. A Family pack is $20 for 5 bags worth.

There is a ton of things for adults and kids including petting zoos, bounce house, goat races (yep), a haunted hayride, and a pumpkin patch.

Becker Farms // 3724 Quaker Rd. Gasport, NY 14067

Pumpkin Everything: The Great Pumpkin Farm- Clarence, NY

gotta get a pumpkin shot!

The ultimate pumpkin patch is here. You can find any size Pumpkin, super warty gourds, and a corn maze. Each weekend is a different festival with fun family things to do. The place is huge so plan on spending a good chunk of time here. Make sure you get a pick sitting on the benches amongst the pumpkins and make your kid do a pony ride.

The Great Pumpkin Farm // 11199 Main St. Clarence, NY 14031

Apple Cider & Donuts: Mayer Brothers Cider Mill- West Seneca, NY


Our ultimate fav spot each fall for cider is (obviously) Mayer Brothers. Right off Transit, you can spot the beautiful red building that is perfect for a selfie or filtering the heck out of an Americana exterior shot.

The small shop has Donuts, pies, soup mix, old school candy, and of course- cider. A great deal is the Harvest Pack for $21. You get a pie, a dozen donuts, and one gallon of cider. Make sure before you leave, you grab a couple apple cider slushies.

Mayer Brothers Cider Mill // 1540 Seneca St. West Seneca, NY 14224

Fall is a wonderful time of year to spend time with family and friends, especially doing fun outdoor things like picking apples, corn mazes, and buying pumpkins from a big or local stand to take home and carve. We can’t wait to continue making more of these places in to traditions for our family! 

Lindsay, Beau, and BabyLovebird Chloe
apples galore from Mayer Brothers
great hair spotted at the Great Pumpkin Farm
#babygoals

Wedding Music Playlist: How We Got You On the Dance Floor

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.

Lindsay & Beau, 8/8/15

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?! :

Capture

we had maracas for everyone since it was a fiesta theme
fun fact: this guy here was born next to me in Lockport Hospital…come to find out, he was also Beau’s good friend all throughout school. SMALL. CRAZY. WORLD.

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. 

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Beau & the boys
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party girlfriends

 

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Buffalovebirds get married.

 

Chocolate Date for the New Generation: Platter’s Chocolates


We love chocolate. Lots of it. So when we were invited to go hang out at Platter’s and experience their place, there really was no question on if we should go or not.

We noticed Platter’s Chocolates new digs up on Niagara Falls Boulevard in November of 2016 when they opened their new shop. Located in the old Wurlitzer building, they’re more than just a spot to grab some candy- it’s become a full-on destination filled with a modern industrial design and cozy hangout areas for anyone to chill at. Platter’s started with a husband and wife team in 1938 who created their chocolate in their home. After retiring in the late 60’s, a former neighborhood kid bought it in 1972 and kept the tradition while growing at the same time. The family continues on with making it bigger and better!


Saturday afternoon we headed up to North Tonawanda with BabyLovebird Chloe in tow, expecting to peruse shelves full of chocolate. But hold the phone- this place is WAY more than we thought it would be. We were greeted by bright and bubbly Nicole, one of the managers and also part of the owner’s family. Their new location has coffee, lattes, teas, Perry’s ice cream, sundaes, candy, sponge, smoothies, chocolate…it’s a complete surprise when you walk in!

we’re suckers for some good plants

 

 


The space is huge and has nook areas with seating, fireplaces, tv’s, and large windows that look in to their candy and chocolate factory. (of course there are still shelves filled with chocolates and gifts to grab) We both opted for coffee- one iced with Toasted Marshmallow and another hot with orange chocolate- and Beau HAD to get the orange sponge sundae.

 

 

Poor Chloe!! Sorry, baby, you can’t have any yet!The place was bustling; filled with kids and families…a mom and her two college-aged daughters…an older gentleman sitting and reading the paper with his coffee…it’s a new generation of chocolate shops.

While there is no sponge production to watch right now (since it’s humid in the summer!), the machines and operations were all quiet. But come fall, the place will be making and baking like crazy. You will be quite surprised how large their 24,000 square-foot space is and the various types of machinery they use (some even from Germany!).

You can see inside their production room!


Now you can’t pass by Platter’s- you have to go see for yourself! (psstt! It’s only minutes away from the Boulevard Mall) It is too charming not to go again and again and again. We are looking forward to visiting soon to watch the Platter’s and the Chocolate Factory work their magic come sponge season!

Details

  • Platter’s Chocolates / The Wurlitzer Building, 908 Niagara Falls Blvd. / North Tonawanda, NY 14120
  • 716-693-5391
  • M-F 7am-10pm…Saturday 8am-10pm…Sunday 10am-10pm (they’re open late!!)
  • grab chocolate gifts, watch them making sweet treats
  • perfect for family, kids, solo, casual first date, dessert, coffee date
  • Platter’s Chocolates Facebook

 

  • The Orange Chocolate custard with Orange Chocolate Fudge and Orange Chocolate Sponge! Whoa. So damn good!


    they even have teamed up with the new events space inside the Wurlitzer building to have their Chocolate and Sponge at weddings held there!