Whole Foods | Welcome to the 716!


On Friday, September 15, 2017, Buffalo got their very first Whole Foods Market.

Happy one week anniversary!

I was only at a Whole Foods once in my entire life. It was in Cleveland and I had been talking about it ever since I went. Once I heard the news that a Whole Foods would be coming to my hometown, I spent every day from the press release three years ago to the grand opening so excited for this exact moment, and it did not disappoint.

Within the four walls of the Buffalo storefront, you can find a multitude of unique and amazing things:

  • Bar 1818 – called so as an ode to the year Amherst was founded, you can find anything from milkshakes that can be upgraded with a shot of alcohol, a pool table, and a killer menu with locally themed items such as Ru’s potato pierogi, a burger on weck, and a vast rotation of local brews.
  • More than 30 local brands to shop through, including Anchor Bar wing sauce, Lloyd Taco Factory rocket sauce, and Weber’s horseradish mustard, to name a few.
  • A bocce court in the front of the store, complete with balls straight from Italy.
  • A spatious produce area filled with perfectly stacked fruits and veggies with a neighboring bulk food station filled with pasta, granola, nuts, and trail mix.
  • A glass alcove cutting room where you are able to watch the butchers carve meats, all within a large display area for seafood and other various forms of meat that is scaled and rated from “no cages, no crates, no crowding” to “animal centered, entire life on the same farm.”
  • A bakery stocked with the most scrumptious variety of freshly baked goods with a neighboring prepared food section big enough and offering a large enough selection to eat something different every single day for at least a week.
  • A coffee and juice bar featuring endless varieties of coffee, espresso, and tea drinks.

The store has a very rustic, yet somewhat modern, feel to it. It is bright, welcoming, and perfectly stocked, especially for the large crowd that was there on opening day. I was impressed with everything from the atmosphere to the food I’d eaten in Bar 1818.


I cannot wait to go back once the “hype” dies down and I will be able to look through all of the products on a closer level, as the amount of people in the store prevented me from appreciating it as it should be.

Where: Whole Foods. 3139 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, New York, 14226.

What to try: Bar 1818 – Sweet Heat burger. A fresh burger patty topped with avocado, pineapple jalapeno relish, pepper jack , and cilantro. Absolutely to die for!

The day I tried to do my makeup like Jaclyn Hill!

As previously documented on my blog, I was one of the lucky ones to get my hands on the Jaclyn Hill palette. Sure, I’ve done some playing around myself with this palette, totally pretending that I am a makeup guru on YouTube and a total professional at this art. But the reality is, I’m just a girl in front of a dirty mirror with bad lighting who pokes herself in the eye with her mascara every. single. day. 

Naturally, my inner fangirl was reeling when my girl Jaclyn posted a makeup tutorial on her YouTube channel using her palette that she considered her go-to, so I figured, hey, must be easy to have a go-to label! If you’re not feeling watching the video, the look can be seen below –

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Granted, it was my first try at this look so I know there was absolutely no way in hell I would come anything close to looking like the queen herself. Let’s just say I am happy I carved out a chunk of my time to work on this and take my time! To achieve one look, this girl used nine colors from her palette.

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The shades used were: silk cream, butter, pukey, buns, mocha, pooter, central park, enlight, and abyss. That is literally one fourth of her palette – today I was overwhelmed is a gross under-exaggeration.

Did my final look resemble that of Jaclyn’s? Truthfully, not really. Mine came out more orange-y than hers, but I still think I did pretty damn good for how hard I tried [and my first try at that]! My final result can be seen below –

I paired this look with the e.l.f. Day to Night lipstick duo in the shade Need it Nudes. I layered both ends of the lipstick duo together!

What I ended up getting out of this video was even more respect for these ladies and men out here putting on faces full of makeup in front of a camera day in and day out because, damn. Not only is it time consuming, but it is sheer talent to be able to achieve some of the looks they do.

What are some of your favorite go-to looks? xoxo.

‘Tis the season for football.

This past weekend was spent in Akron visiting my brother and going to my first football game of the season. This was the first time seeing my brother since he moved in a month ago, and we surprised him by bringing along his girlfriend for her first visit of his new “home.”

Before the game, we tailgated, naturally bringing way too much food for our own good. Pulled pork, chili, fruits, veggies, dips, desserts, and beverages – enough for a small army. During the tailgate, we met the President of the university and got some free swag to boot.

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The football team at the University of Akron, not so great. The stadium, beautiful. The band, wonderful. The fact they sold Papa John’s pizza? Made my boyfriend’s day.

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Sunday brought about exploration of the city of Akron. Having the university plopped right in the middle of the city made this extremely accessible. We visited Lock 3, aka the spot Lebron James’ celebration party after the Cavs championship, as well as his high school! We were able to walk alongside the Erie Canal, making it a legitimate realization that Akron really isn’t that far from home!

Overall, the experience was great. [Although, we all sweated our little butts off, as it was 85 degrees – happy September!] Looking forward to family weekend in a few more weeks! xoxo.

Target haul!

Today I went a little too crazy at Target [as seen on Instagram]. Not that today was really any different from my usual Target run with getting more than I planned, but this time, overboard really is the only way to describe it. I ran in for two simple things: mascara and razors. What did I leave with? Well, stick around, and you’ll soon find out!

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  • e.l.f. HD Powder in the shade sheer
  • e.l.f. Daily Brush Cleanser
  • e.l.f. Lip Primer & Plumper in the shade neutral/clear
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise mascara in the shade blackest black
  • Crest White Strips
  • Razors
  • 6 pumpkin favor bags from the dollar spot
  • A pumpkin candy dish from the dollar spot
  • M&Ms White Pumpkin Pie candies
  • M&Ms Cookies & Scream candies
  • American Greetings Halloween sticker pack
  • 3 bags of “trick or treat” size candy bags

I purchased the same candy dish last year, but the ghost, with my boyfriend for his apartment. On one our most recent trips to Target together, we purchased, again, the same candy dish – this time the vampire. When I saw the pumpkin today, I knew I had to buy it for my mom, as she always keeps a candy dish out in the house.

Much to my surprise, the “trick or treat” size bags of Halloween candy were 40% off! It was a “today only” deal, so of course I had to buy more than one bag to ensure that my family and I had enough to pass out on Halloween, along with enough to bring my kiddos to school!

Perfectly enough, the little pumpkin favor bags [they had other patterns available] were only $1! They will be filled with the sticker sheets and candy for my students – cute, cheap, and easy! Every teacher’s dream!


Of course, every Target run is not complete without an iced beverage from Starbucks. This time, my second PSL of the season. How does one break the trend of being a “basic white girl” when everything fall is just soooo good?

Have you picked up anything good from Target recently? xoxo.

So, you’re two weeks into college.. now what?!


If you are a college student, have been to college once or twice, or know all things college in general, welcome to a survival guide for us kids finally getting into the swing of the semester.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, I am 24 years old and a grad student. Yes, I still struggle to get that motivational push once the semester starts, even 12 semesters later.

  1. Organize every aspect of your life. This could not be any more essential. Let me tell you a little bit about me, here. My entire life needs to be organized. Without organization, I am a failure. I crash and burn. And let me tell you, it is worth the extra time to sit down and organize everything into your calendar, your planner, your Google Docs drive, whatever it may be. Why stress over something so little a few weeks down the line when you can have everything laid out and ready to go now? Three weeks from now, stress over that term paper, girl. Not your planner organization.
  2. Read the textbooks. If you haven’t figured it out by now, almost 99% of the time reading the assigned chapters in your textbooks [or journal articles, or PowerPoints, or whatever your professor assigned to you] will actually help you. I know, it seems like I am a mom relaying this information to you, but I can tell you from personal experience that 9 times out of 10, when I actually took the time to read, my grades reflected this extra effort!
  3. Do laundry on party nights. My brother learned the importance of this little trick real quick. Are you sick of seeing that dirty laundry pile build up? Sometimes it is worth the sacrifice to skip the party and take the time to do your laundry when literally nobody else is around. Any night between Thursday and Saturday, every college student is out on the town, this is no secret. So, it only makes sense that the more people that are out, the more washers and dryers are available! [And the less likely your clothes are to end up on the top of the washer!].
  4. You will end up eating the extra food your Mom packed for your dorm room. Chances are, when you moved into your dorm room, you rolled your eyes at your mother for bringing an insane amount of food and snacks to keep in your room. I will admit, I was totally guilty of this when I lived on campus. However, it was about this time of the semester when I started getting sick of eating the same food over and over again. All of a sudden, Mom is your hero! In fact, [I know, another connection to my brother], my brother just texted me last night thanking me for pushing him to buy some EasyMac for his dorm, because he needed to eat something different and was getting sick of the same routine. It’s okay to need this change, everyone does.
  5. Your grades will get better. By now, it is more likely than not that you’ve had your first college exam. *yikes* In the days leading up to the exam, you were probably stressed out of your mind, studying like a mad-man, and ended up not getting quite as good of a grade as you thought you would. And you know what? Not only is that normal, but it is okay! The first test in every single class will most likely be your lowest test grade of the semester. You are still trying to get a feel of the professor, the exam layouts, and what is expected of you. Once that first exam comes and goes, you will feel like a pro. You will now know what to expect, and you will go into the next exam ready to take it down. Things get better, don’t worry.

If you made it through this blog post, totally feeling like you can relate to anything I just said, welcome to the college club! Take what you’ve read, take what you’ve learned, and run with it! The future’s yours!

What are some tips you can give to us college kids out here? xoxo.

Never forget.

Memorial-Wall

There are not many words that I can say regarding what happened those 16 years ago in New York City. I was in third grade in a little Catholic school in Niagara Falls, New York. We weren’t told what happened that day in school, but it didn’t make a difference. The images flashing across the TV screen are images that I will never, ever forget. In third grade all I felt was fear, many years of it in fact. Today, at twenty-four, I feel hope.

So today, I will leave you with this:

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”– Thich Nhat Hanh

Remember September. 

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Taken directly from the National Alliance on Mental Illness website, “September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. We use this month to reach out to those affected by suicide, raise awareness and connect individuals with suicidal ideation to treatment services. It is also important to ensure that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention. NAMI is here to help.

Suicide is a topic that I have touched upon previously on this blog. It is a topic that I, personally, am not afraid to talk about. And you shouldn’t be either.

90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death. Ninety percent. This number makes me sick for the sole reason that if people weren’t so afraid to talk about mental illness, this number may not be this high today. Starting a conversation could save a life.

For those of you who don’t think a difference will be made, I will take you back to the MTV Video Music Awards from Sunday, August 27, 2017. Rapper Logic gave us an extremely powerful performance of his song 1-800-273-8255, delivering a message about mental health awareness set on a stage with attempted suicide survivors – a message that healing and hope are possible, no matter the crisis – a message that will continue to have a lasting impact on the lives’ of others.

Don’t think that Logic starting a conversation mattered? You are wrong. Three days later, the New York Times reported that there was a 50% increase in call volume to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline after the awards show. He saved a life. So can you.

In three days, I, along with many of my close friends and family, will be walking in the Out of the Darkness Walk in Buffalo, New York. I will be doing this in memory of one of my dear friends who I lost to suicide back in April. You can read all about our team here.

Since we set this team up a few months ago, it has continued to blow me away every single day at how many people out there are willing to join in for a great cause. I remember my friend’s mom wanting to set a goal of $1,000 for our team. At the starting point, it seemed reasonable, and almost too good to be true. As of today, we are at $7,630 and are the first place team for the Buffalo walk. No, being in first place does not matter – not one bit as a matter of fact. What matters is the awareness and the fight – but when you see so much generosity and so many good people coming together for a good cause, you can’t help but smile.

If you are in the Western New York community, join in. If there is an Out of the Darkness walk in your area, join in. This is a stigma that needs to be ended.

We must make our voices heard very loud and strong about mental illness, mental illness stigma and suicide prevention. It is critical. It is crucial. Each life is priceless. We must stop this. 

xoxo.

8 of 12, done!

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Holy crap, guys. It’s September 1st.

By the time this posts, I will be en route to Lake George, New York for the Labor Day weekend. This will be the last few days I have to relax before kick-starting into the new school year! As always, we will end August with a little recap of the month that has passed.

This month’s experiences included:

  • The end of summer session for my kiddos.
  • The final grad parties of the year.
  • A few days off for a mini-vacation.
  • Saying goodbye to my brother, his girlfriend, and my cousin as they went off to college.
  • Celebrating my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary.
  • Moving my brother into college in Akron, Ohio.
  • The beginning of my last semester of grad school. [!!!!!!]
  • Going to the Buffalo Bisons game and eating my first hot dog since age three.
  • Working a couple weeks of summer camp.
  • Going to Canandaigua, New York.
  • Winning for the first time at Bingo.

The month of August was one that, I think, my entire family really dreaded. A lot of changes occurred throughout this month, and some of us have been more effected than others. Nonetheless, the month really was a great end to summer and a good welcoming into the fall season, and there are many things that I have to look forward to during the month of September!

What are some of your hilights for the month of August?! xoxo.

 

Jaclyn Hill can do no wrong.

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Guys, I did it.

I got my hands on the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette.

It took until the third restock to get my hands on this beauty, but you know what they say, third time’s the charm!

For those of you unfamiliar with the goddess that is Jaclyn Hill, she is a beauty blogger/vlogger/YouTuber who is not only drop dead gorgeous, but has the kindest heart and sweetest personality. Also ton be added to her ‘”resume,” she is basically the sole reason that I somewhat know how to apply makeup to my face.

When she announced the creation/launch of her eyeshadow palette collaboration with Morphe cosmetics, it only made sense to me that I had to add this to my ever-growing makeup collection. As stated before, it took me three times to get my hands on this palette, three.

On the morning of restock number three, I literally was so much of a lame-o that I sat by my phone/computer waiting for the clock to strike 11:00am. I kid you not, the second the clock turned to the golden hour, my hands moved quicker than I had ever seen them move before. And I did it. I got it.

I got my palette in the mail on Saturday, almost a week ago, and after playing around with it, I can now see why this is in such high demand. For $38, you get 35 colors, making that a super-affordable $0.92 per pan. I have reached for this palette every single day since I received it – the amount of looks that you can create are endless due to the wide variety of colors. The formula is so creamy, easily bendable, and the colors are gorgeous to a whole new degree.

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[You can see Jaclyn go into detail about her palette here.]

It is my only wish for everyone to be able to get their hands on this palette one day or another, and for everyone to be able to work with this on their own and create their own unique makeup looks. Totally worth the wait, totally a deal, totally perfect. Makeup lovers or not, this is a staple. xoxo.

August playlist.

With a little taste of old and new, take a dive into what I’ve been listening to this month!

What are some songs on your go-to playlist this month?! xoxo.