Category: Buffalo Locals

Stop & Smell the Scents at Her Story Boutique’s Fragrance Bar

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{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

One thing I’ve had on my bucket list of things to do was to create my own fragrance and with the help of Her Story Boutique I was able to check that fun experience off my list this week. Her Story has a fragrance bar where you can purchase pre-made perfume or for $25 you can make your own from a handful of different scents they have.

I just walked in one day to do this, but I learned its best to call ahead to make an appointment with Sue. Creating your own fragrance takes about an hour {especially if you are indecisive}, but if you know what you like it could be done quicker. It was a lot of fun smelling the different scents and seeing what you really like and don’t like and seeing what you think goes well together and what doesn’t.

My final scent was Green Tea, Fig and Sage.

her story perfume

Her Story does private fragrance parties {which I am hoping to host soon with my girlfriends} as well as having a number of pop up shops taking place around town at local events.

Make sure to follow on social media to see where they will be.



buffalo links flowers

  1. Its that time of year again where the Broadway Market will be bustling with thousands of people and it all kicks off this Friday with the Easter season approaching in a few short weeks. Here is a list of hours and activities taking place.
  2. Another new Escape Room I found out about this past week is right in the heart of Downtown Buffalo next door to the Convention Center – The Great Escape Room is a fun place to go – with a number of different rooms, it makes for great team building activities for businesses in the area.
  3. Looking for a neat way to meet the Easter Bunny? How about taking a ride on the Arcade and Attica Railroad. Meet the Easter Bunny and friends and participate in an Easter Egg Hunt. March 19th & 20th. For more details click here.
  4. If you missed the winter version of the Artists Market at the Ellicott Square Building – you’re in luck! Event organizers are hosting another one taking place on March 24th. Don’t miss out and mark you calendars today!
  5.  A new pop up market that I am loving is ShopCraft located inside Thin Ice. For more info on them check out their Facebook page.

March Madness

March Madness is happening in Buffalo and it has nothing to do with basketball, but a lot to do with fun events to look forward to the rest of this month. Here is my list of “things to do”:

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Buffalo Home & Garden Show – March 6, 12, 13

Roller Skate Nights throughout the month of March at Buffalo Riverworks

Shamrock Run – March 12

Limoncello Tasting at Amherst St Wine & Liquor – March 12

Weaving Workshop with Makers Buffalo – March 12

Barre @ the Bar – Pure Barre at Lockhouse distillery – March 15

DIY Wall Herb Garden – March 15

Mini Makers Easter Egg Dying – March 19th

MessFest at the Buffalo Museum of Science – March 19

Maple Weekend – March 19-20

St. Patty’s Day Parade – Old First Ward – March 19

Buffalo Bisons Open House – March 19

St. Patty’s Day Parade – Delaware Ave – March 20th

Soap Making with Zandra and Makers Buffalo – March 23

Guided Tour & Candlelit Yin Yang Yoga at the Darwin Martin House – March 26

Dyngus Day festivities – March 28th

Putts & Pints for First Tee WNY – March 30



Promoting & Giving Back…All At The Same Time

One of my goals for 2015 was to get my blog’s name out in the community more, but at the same time give back too. So I thought with my involvement with the Zoo what better way to kick off this initiative of mine than to be a sponsor of one their exhibits. While I won’t lie my first pick was the Elephant’s House {their exhibit was not available}, the Maned Wolf was a very good runner up! I didn’t even know the Buffalo Zoo had a Maned Wolf and I’ve been to the Zoo a lot, so it makes me happy to sponsor their exhibit and let the community know about these beautiful animals.

maned wolf

The next time you’re at the Buffalo Zoo make sure to stop by the Vanishing Animals Exhibit and learn more about them and the other vanishing animals on site.



expo jabib photo

Expo Market opened last week Thursday and it is the best thing that happened to Downtown Buffalo in a while. A food court style venue that offers a lot of Buffalo favorites.

  • Bobby Alfman’s Gourmet Sandwiches
  • Crush Juicery
  • Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar
  • Newbury Street
  • Osteria
  • Sun Restaurant

I stopped by Mercato by Osteria and built my own pasta dish that was extremely delicious and affordable. You can’t go wrong with any one of the vendors as all of them had steady lines of people during the lunch hour. It is a new hot spot to be for lunch or dinner and as they have on their website it is “Downtown Buffalo’s gathering place.”

expo jabib

If you work downtown this is a place to go when you need to take a break.


{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

“Join Our Journey” My Trip to the Aquarium of Niagara

The Aquarium of Niagara – one of Niagara Falls, NY’s gems. While I personally feel like the Aquarium doesn’t get enough recognition from its neighboring suburbs, it has so, SO much to offer! A short 30 minute drive from the City of Buffalo, their are multiple sea mammal shows, talks with the keepers and feedings that take place throughout the day and are free with admission.

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Last week I was lucky enough to sit down and snag some time with Ilene Strober the Director of Development and Marketing at the Aquarium, she told me about their Capital Campaign and fun things taking place, so I won’t waste any time and will jump right into it.


“Join Our Journey”  – is a $3.2 million capital campaign featuring an interactive exhibit with classroom, smart boards and a beautiful, one of a kind home for the Humboldt Penguins.  The Aquarium of Niagara is above code in everything, but in order to receive accreditation with the AZA {Association of Zoos and Aquariums} a new exhibit needs to be built for the Humboldt Penguins. This new exhibit will be an exhibit for people of all ages.

Currently the Aquarium is $1 million short of their goal – so they are calling on the community for support. The Aquarium has visitors from all over Niagara County, Erie County, Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Southern Ontario. A non -profit that does so much for the community, now will the community help them?

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One thing that opened my eyes during my interview with Ilene is how big the Aquarium is on conservation, not only here at home, but all over the world – from local lakes and rivers to ocean life. We play a huge part in these animals lives and habitats and we have to learn to do a better job on sustainability.

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{These Humboldt penguins are the cutest!}

While walking through the building I learned a lot from talking with Ilene. There are 23 new/refurbished exhibits on hand. Penguins have their own personalities and have strong bonds with one another- they come out in pairs. All of the sea lions, including seals that are at the Aquarium of Niagara are rescued and non-releasable into the wild. The shows that are held for the guests actually help the trainers teach them things and to help them learn enrichment.

ripple game

{Ripple – a fun interactive video game for kids to play when they visit}

Some other fun facts I learned from my visit -Octopus only live for 3-5 year, use their brain and are very smart. Sturgeon fish have a 100 year life span, but are endangered because they are hunted before they are sexually mature, because of this there is no reproducing taking place – going back to the whole sustainability topic I mentioned earlier.  We can throw off the ecosystem if we have to much of one thing.

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{Trainers Hallie and Colleen with sea lions Kia and Arie}

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{Sea lions are extremely curious and playful}

And how about this – the Aquarium of Niagara has one of the most poisonous and deadly fish there is – a lion fish. If you ask me they look pretty cool though!

lion fish

What other fun things can you do at the Aquarium, do you ask? {obviously call ahead to make an appointment for these activities}

Public Touch Tank, Meet a Seal, Behind the Scenes Tour {there is so much more to the animals exhibits that the public doesn’t see}, Humboldt Penguin Interactive Program, the list goes on. For more info on any of these activities click here. And for a complete list of upcoming events go here . SEALED with a Kiss is coming up on Valentine’s Day weekend and that looks to be a fun event to take part in.

meet a seal

A few summers ago I took my niece to feed the seals and she had such a fun time and thought it was the coolest thing. For a couple of dollars she got to experience something not a lot of people say they do. The Aquarium of Niagara is such a fun place to go, all year round.

If you want to help be a part of the journey contact Ilene to see how you can help.



{All photos: Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

A Hidden Gem in the Heart of the West Side Neighborhood: Tipico Coffee

Calling all Coffee Lovers! Have you been to one of the newest places on Buffalo’s West Side? Tipico Coffee opened a few short months ago and it is A-Mazing!!!

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I was lucky enough to sit down with the owner Jesse Crouse and talk about how he got started and what made him open a coffee shop in the heart of the west side neighborhood.

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From coffee to lattes to tea and more, Tipico rotates their coffee on a regular basis and on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays they have pastries from local vendors such as Breadhive and Butter Block, they also have an ever so tasty and popular avocado toast! Jesse started his passion for coffee while he was studying poetry in Chicago. Down the street from him was Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea, a high end specialty coffee shop that drew him in and over the last 5+ years he has worked with coffee farms studying the supply aspect of the business.

After having children, Jesse and his wife Kristen {originally from Western New York} were trying to find an affordable place to open a business and decided to move to the area, after being on the west coast for a while. “Buffalo felt right” The couple along with Jesse’s in-laws wanted to help influence and shape the community they are living in. Their love for making food and the idea of homesteading offers a unique gift to customers as well. Bringing in 80-90% of their produce and milk from New York State their menu may be small, but is nice and compliments the drinks they serve. Jesse’s goal is to offer a revolving menu once the spring time comes and host more casual gatherings and events throughout the year.

Having the largest masonry stove, an iced coffee window that will be offered in the warmer weather months, being one of the first walking destination businesses in the middle of the West Side’s residential neighborhood, hosting brunches from time to time {the list goes on}; if you think you’re going to walk into the same old coffee shop, you’re wrong – Tipico is not your average café, its more than that. It’s a place where you go and the staff remembers your name, says thank you for stopping by and see ya soon when you leave. During my interview with Jesse he said hello and goodbye to every person that walked in and out of the door. That is what a small business owner in my opinion is. They know their customers, care about them and want to build a relationship with them.

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Starting on a shoe string budget, Jesse thought of doing a pop up shop, but just so happened to stumble upon his current location through his landlord. Everything was built out and the only thing he had to focus on was the equipment, putting a menu together and finding employees. It took 2 months to open and it wasn’t an easy process, but when you have passion for something you care about so much, it helps get you through. When I asked Jesse what he loves about the area, he said he loves the community. The warm welcoming he receives from the customers and community is what he and his staff give back to the area. The West Side of Buffalo is turning into the walking side of the community and having it be a walking destination gets people who may not be familiar with the area, out and about, seeing all the great things taking shape.

Tipico is really in the heart of the west side of Buffalo – the “hidden gem” in the neighborhood. To me, seeing a business like this in an area that is developing is really exciting. As someone who enjoys going to new places, it’s nice to meet local business owners who have a passion and believe in the area they work in. To see them excited, makes you get excited to see the growth of the community. If you enjoy coffee you should definitely make a stop to Tipico. And if you aren’t a coffee lover you don’t have to worry, Tipico also carries a wide variety of teas for tea lovers. It really is a one-of-a kind café in the area.


tipico latte

{Latte- YUM!}


{Just a Blonde in Buffalo photos}

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