Just a Blonde in Buffalo’s Holiday Gift Guide – Local Edition

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With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday this week I thought it would be best to share my gift ideas for the upcoming season. These gifts come from some of my favorite shops in town. Enjoy!


For those who like to create memories try getting your loved ones together for a brunch – share stories and laughs around the table at one of these fine places.

Brunch isn’t your thing? Grab your people and go on a tour of local bars in town with Buffalo Pedal Tours – this is great for any out of town guests. Hit up Canalside, Buffalo Riverworks, the list goes on. Just make sure to dress for the weather! Pedaling in the cold not your cup of tea?  Take a group of friends or family to Escape Room Buffalo and try to figure out the clues to get out of a locked room.

The brewery and local distillery scene is booming in town put together a Buffalo Drink Package – grab gift cards and/or product depending on your budget and pick up items at your local favorites:

Resurgence Brewery, Flying Bison, Community Beer Works, Big DitchNY Beer Project {just opened}, Lockhouse Distillery, Tommy Rotter Distillery, Niagara Distilling Co Hamburg Brewing Co.

Looking for a family friendly gift? How about grabbing a season pass down at Canalside. With all the activities taking place down there, there is something for everyone.

Buffalo Science Museum and Buffalo Zoo memberships are great gifts too! If a family goes to at least one or two events during the year, the membership is worth it, plus there are a lot of member events that take place throughout the year if you’re a member.

Have a history person on your hands or someone who just likes learning about the place they live? Explore Buffalo offers a number of tours throughout the year – pick up a one time tour and make a day of it or become a member.

For all those who love fashion a great gift idea is making a basket filled with a variety of different boutiques flair. Anna Grace, Research and Design, Blush, Sarah Danielle and Modern Nostalgia are my top five shops. They all have something different about them. Pick up a different piece of clothing or accessory from each place to truly make a one-of-a-kind gift.

For those who love knick knacks or for those you want to send a little Buffalove too some of my favorite places to shop are Fern + Arrow, Spoiled Rotten, Patricia’s Back Barn and Furnishings

For those coffee lovers out there – yes, Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Dunkin are all great, but we have some cool new coffee shops that just opened. Tipico Coffee and Public espresso + coffee  are nice places to add a different twist to the gift.

For those who like to stay fit and active head to Get Air Buffalo to bounce around on the trampoline, or put together a Buffalo Fitness gift – grab a package to a local fitness studio – perfect for those who always want to try a class, but don’t get around to it- Barre Centric, BikeorBar, Revolution Buffalo, and Power Yoga Buffalo are all great places to check out.

If you are more into giving back this time of year, there are a lot of organizations in the community who have toy drives and gift wish lists. The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County can help you if you don’t have a specific charity close to your heart.

There are a lot more local places in Buffalo that offer great gifts that I didn’t mention on this list. Whatever and wherever you decide to go this Holiday season, I hope you have an enjoyable time spreading some love to those in your life.





Just a Blonde in Buffalo’s Holiday Event Guide

The Holiday Season is upon us and with that comes a number of Christmas Tree lightings and pictures with Santa. Below is a list of Holiday events taking place from now thru the month of December. If there is something you see that’s not on my list let me know, I’m always up for attending new events!!

Happy Holidays!



Holidays at the Market – the Broadway Market that is. Pay a visit to Santa, shop local vendors and get into the holiday spirit at a Buffalo staple.

The Fairgrounds – Festival of Lights – taking place throughout the month of November and December stop by the Fairgrounds for a holiday light spectacular.

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine – Festival of Lights – a beautiful place to visit

November 27, 28 & 29

Christmas in Ellicottville

Tuesday, December 1st

An annual favorite – Festival of Trees at the Niagara Power Vista – come see artificial evergreen trees light up by local non for profits who decorated them

Wednesday, December 2nd

Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Haute Holiday Fashion Show

Friday, December 4th

Canalside Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting – 5-8pm come down to Canalside – ice skate, meet with Santa and watch the Tree light up the Ice.

Friday, December 4th & Saturday, December 5th

Hertel Holidays taking place – walk up and down Hertel Avenue, visiting the shops and dining and you may run into a visit from Santa Claus

Holiday Live at Larkin Square

Saturday, December 5th

Queen City Market event – Karpeles Manuscript {I went to this last year and there are a lot of local vendors with a lot of great gifts ideas – I knocked a lot of people off my list that day}.

Rotary Rink Tree Lighting beginning at 5pm – come for free ice skating and get into the holiday spirit

Pictures with Buster Claus – Coca Cola Field – come down to the ballpark for a unique picture opportunity with Buster Claus. Make a toy donation to Hillside Family of Agencies and be entered in a shopping spree

Wednesday, December 9th

Join Sarah Danielle {local Women’s Boutique} for A City of Buffalo Artists Market. Taking place inside the beautiful Ellicott Square Building, a number of local vendors will be on hand from 4:30-9pm for all of your shopping needs.

Thursday, December 10

Wreath making with Makers Buffalo! Grab some friends and decorate a wreath for the Holidays with Makers and Fern Croft Floral

Friday, December 11

Tree of Hope Celebration at Roswell Park from 4:30-6:30pm

Saturday, December 12th

Buffalo Museum of Science – Celebrations – celebrate cultural traditions from around the world with fun family activities taking place from 10-4pm.

Deck the Halls at the Niagara Power Project – 10-4pm Free pictures with Santa and you can take a stroll on the trolley.

Saturday, December 19th

East Aurora Carolcade – I remember attending this when I was younger and it was so much fun. Make a day of it and stop by the famous Vidlers and MUSEjar’s Holiday Market event!



Woman Who Move Buffalo – Vanessa from MUSEjar

vanessa muse jar{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photo}

Making my way to the beautiful East Aurora, I walked into Musejar for the first time and literally shouted out how much I loved the space and just stood there for a minute to take it all in. So if you didn’t know already today I am featuring Vanessa from MUSE Jar on the blog as a Woman Who Moves Buffalo because of her pure creativity and passion she has brought into the Western New York community.

Majoring in the film industry in NYC Vanessa moved back home and started working at Red Fish Art Studio {located next door to Musejar}. While she was there she noticed that there weren’t any art supply stores in the area and decided to open shop.

2+ years later things are only getting bigger and better for her. Not only does Musejar offer a wide variety of supplies {paint brushes, chalk spray paint, Rublev Natural Paint Pigment, etc.}, but she also hosts an array of art classes {public and private} , parties for all ages {Birthday, Bridal, Holiday, etc.} and collaborates with a lot of local businesses in and out of East Aurora on a number of events. And if you don’t see an art supply you need, she can order them for you!

muse jar pic{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

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Outside of her store, Vanessa does offer offsite lessons and parties – she has done workshops with Fisher Price and has started working with Mandala School in East Aurora to help fill a void with art programs being cut. Her business is a great space to go, for those who still want to get a great art experience.

muse jar 4{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photo}

When asked what some of her favorite areas of her business are, she said she loves the farm-to-table events and wants to grow them more, hoping to make it more of a retreat and offering the full experience. She loves events where she can collaborate with other people and businesses. “The possibilities are endless when you can work with more people.” Hosting kids birthday parties are also a favorite of Vanessa’s. “The raw creativity that comes out of it is amazing.” Being surrounded by creativity everyday keeps her very inspired. Instructors and students who walk through these doors, they are all a daily inspiration for her.

muse jar 3{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photo}

When I asked her what she loves about Western New York she said she loves the East Aurora community, everyone is very supportive of one another and help each other to succeed. The town is changing and evolving and people are being open-minded. Being here is exciting, young families are moving back and the area feels like a “little Brooklyn.”

There are a number of things about MUSEjar that I love, but the one that sticks out the most is that it’s one of a kind. Vanessa taps into areas that you don’t normally think of. When talking with Vanessa she gives off a great energy and you can tell she loves what she does and is passionate in her work. I asked her what MUSEjar means and she said an inspirational jar. She wants people to walk in the store and get inspired, by the supplies, artwork and environment. The goal is to have the store be one large jar of inspiration and it certainly was for me.

Stop by the Holiday Market event she is hosting on December 19th during the East Aurora Carolcade. Come before, during or after the event to check out her shop and the other participating vendors. Let’s help make this a destination spot to visit every year.

1447278717532[1]{MUSEjar photo from website}


Exploring Chestnut Ridge Park

flame{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

This past Sunday called for a coffee date with a friend who I haven’t seen since the summer. Instead of sitting inside a coffee shop to catch up we grabbed the Cup of Joe to go and hit up Chestnut Ridge Park for a little hiking and exploring adventure. We started off in the main park area by the toboggans and then decided to find the “eternal flame” since neither one of us have seen it before.

chestnut ridge

We got to the park around 9:30 and were there for about an hour and a half, two hours. Small signs are placed on trees making it easy to follow on the trail and not get lost. Once we started heading back from seeing the flame, groups of people started to make their way through – justifying are decision to hit up the park early.


With this unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having I’ve been trying to take advantage of being outside every chance I can be. If the weather continues to be decent, my next stop is Devil’s Hole in Niagara Falls, NY.

Until next time..chestnut ridge park


#BuffaloLinks – Lewiston Edition

With my trip to Lewiston Saturday night I thought I would focus my Buffalo Links on that area this week. Every time I make a visit out there are I always wish I had more time to walk the streets and pay visits to the local businesses.


{Photo – The Lewiston Stone House Website}

A wine bar that was recommended by a co-worker/friend, this is a must visit place on my list of things to do. The Lewiston Stone House

the-village-bake-shoppe{Photo – Village Bake Shoppe Website}

A dessert shop that was closed when walking by {that is a good thing} the sweet treats that I saw look like they would taste heavenly. The Village Bake Shoppe

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A quaint little bar and restaurant on Center St. in Lewiston. Apple Granny’s offers a wide variety of American style food items. Definitely a place I would visit again.


A cute shop I wish was open, so I could have stopped in Sister & Brother a children’s apparel store looks like they are on my list to visit next time.







{Photo – Fern + Arrow Facebook page}

This will probably become my second favorite shop on Elmwood after Anna Grace. Fern + Arrow opened last week and I’m obsessed with every photo that is posted. I can’t wait to stop in to purchase items for my new home.

big fuss

{Photo – Nickel City Chef  Facebook page}

Tomorrow night feed your face and help fund a farm. Big Fuss 5.0 is taking place at Artisan Kitchen & Baths from 5:30-8pm. For more info click here.

group shot

{Just A Blonde in Buffalo photo}

A new update to the Buffalo Pedal Tours – As the company continues to grow, they celebrated their first anniversary and announced some exciting news – peddlers can now BYOB – there are some restrictions though –  a 12 ounce can per rider or a few 6 oz plastic bottles of wine per rider works out fine. No glass. No hard liquor. After all the purpose of the pedal tour it to visit and experience local Buffalo bars. They also announced they will be installing motors on a few crawlers to assist going up the Michigan Street lift bridge.


{Photo- Deep South Taco Facebook page}

For those taco Tuesday lovers out there Deep South Taco is a new place downtown to check out. For more info on hours and menu click here.

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