Oxford Pennant Spring Pop-Up

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Okay, so I have a confession to make.

I’m kind of, sorta, completely, utterly obsessed with Oxford Pennant.  Seriously, this past year, EVERYONE received Oxford pennants from me as gifts.  Best. Ever.

Last year, Oxford created a pop-up shop called The Victory Gardens in December.  I actually wrote a blog post about it which you can find HERE.

For those of you who were able to attend their Holiday pop-up, you remember how incredible it was, right?  Such amazing pieces that were perfect for anyone on your gift list.

But hold up.  Next weekend, Oxford is REOPENING THE VICTORY GARDENS! *cue the heavenly music*  Their Spring pop-up grand re-opening is Saturday, May 20th from 6-9:30pm, and will be running through July 3rd.  I have a little bit of insider intel, and from what I hear, the shop is going to look absolutely beautiful!

Hope to see you there!

The Victory Gardens by Oxford Pennant

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I have noticed that recently, especially with the Holiday season, pop-up shops are becoming increasingly more popular.  Most pop-ups last a weekend or two, but the ever-wonderful Oxford Pennant has blessed us with a month-long pop-up called The Victory Gardens.

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The Victory Gardens is located at Oxford Pennant’s shop on West Tupper in the city and runs through January 1st.  I had the chance to finally stop in a check out the shop this past weekend, and it’s EVERYTHING.

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Not only do they have some of their amazing pennants for sale, they carry some unique items from brands such as Pendleton, Juniper Ridge, Mollyjogger and even custom Hudson Hockey sticks.

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You can find The Victory Gardens at 43 West Tupper in Buffalo.  They are open all week from 12-8 through January 1st.

Make sure to check out their website for a full list of their hand-made pennants available for purchase.  I might have bought about 4 or 5 to give as gifts this year!

Want to learn more about Oxford Pennant? Check out their recent interview on Yeah! Buffalo’s blog!

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I love wearing false lashes.  Having not been very blessed in the lash department, I feel like lashes give a makeup look the finishing touch that pulls everything together.  However, as much as I love wearing falsies, sometimes they can be a complete pain.  Depending on the day, they might not want to cooperate, they can look uneven, they can take quite a bit of time to put on, and the glue might unstick halfway throughout the day and you could end up looking like a total hot mess.

I’ve been hearing about eyelash extensions for a while now and was very intrigued, but never really knew who to contact, where to go, or really anything about the extensions or the process itself.  Lucky for me, the wonderful Gabe from iLash NY recently reached out to me and asked if I would like to come in to try out a set of lash extensions! Of course, I was so excited and said yes, and I am soooo happy that I did.

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iLash NY recently moved into a brand new location and I love how light and bright and open it feels inside, yet it’s still super cozy.  iLashNY opened its doors in 2007, however, Gabe took ownership in late 2012 when she decided to purchase the business and grow the brand. She was trained in lash extensions by the previous owner of the business and after becoming a client of hers, she approached her with the idea of taking over ownership. The idea of being able to have a positive impact on the beauty industry and create an environment that supported women, while building a legacy for her family really excited Gabe, and the rest is history!

Gabe loves that she is able to have an impact on the lives of so many women; not only all the beautiful clients who come in, but also her team. Their mission statement is, “iLashNY is a premier eyelash extension studio dedicated to quality artistry with a distinct passion to allow natural beauty to radiate from the inside, out”.  She has the ability to come alongside so many people to encourage and support them in so many different ways.  Not just by applying lash extensions, but also by providing meaningful conversation in an uplifting environment.

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To start off our appointment, Gabe did a quick assessment of my eye shape and my lashes, deciding on a lash style that would best compliment my features.  I reclined in that giant chair, and let me tell you, that was probably one of the most comfortable chairs that I have ever sat in.  She told me that some clients actually do fall asleep during their appointments, and I can totally see how that can happen!

She then placed these awesome eye pads under my eyes which contained collagen (so they were great for the under eye area) and were super cooling and refreshing on my skin.  At that point Gabe started to work her magic!

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You can find all of the information that you need about lash extensions and the process on their website, but here are a few of the most important ones:

How do eyelash extensions work?

We adhere semi-permanent eyelash extensions using a very carefully manufactured adhesive that is safe for being placed near the eyes.  Each natural lash is completely isolated from its surrounding lashes before receiving an extension, in order to maintain the health of the individual’s natural lash growth.  Typically, we place somewhere between 75-90 extensions on each eye during a Full Set appointment (depending on the number of natural lashes the individual has).

How long does the process generally take?
A Full Set of Classic Lashes takes up to 2 hours and a Full Set of Volume can take up to 3 hours (sometimes a little bit more) each depending on the condition of the individual’s natural lashes.

Do they hurt?
NO. When properly applied you should not feel them at all. They are lightweight and feel totally natural.

How long do they last?
Lash extensions can last up to 6 weeks when not being maintained with followup appointments.  Each individual’s natural lash cycle is different, however, and therefore we recommend coming in for a touch up appointment within 2-3 weeks.  When your natural lash is ready to cycle out and shed, the extension that is adhered to the natural lash will fall off with it.  Many of us don’t realize that we can shed about 5 natural lashes on a daily basis, so touch up appointments ensure that we are maintaining a full look at all times.

How do I take care of them?
It may seem like a lot to remember, but eyelash extensions are very easy to take care of. The most important thing to be aware of is that “oil is the enemy”. Oil will break down the bond of the adhesive and cause premature loss of the extension. You want to make sure there is no oil in anything you use near your eyes. (foundation, eye creams, makeup, etc.) You do not want to get them wet for 24 hours. Never pull on them. Avoid running water on your lashes. Avoid sauna or hot steam. Use only water based makeup remover. Do not rub your eyes. Do not use a mechanical eyelash curler. Do not sleep on your face. When shampooing or conditioning, do not allow them to run over your eyes. iLash NY sends you home with a home care kit and instructions so you do not have to remember all these “do’s and don’t’s”.

What are the benefits of having eyelash extensions?
No more mascara! I’ve said this so many times that I’ve even had a t-shirt made with the phrase, “I miss wearing mascara … said no one ever!”

There is something to be said for a naturally stunning but super low-maintenance look.  Having lash extensions has cut down on my morning routine (I’ve been able to “86” the lash curler and 3 coats of mascara) as well as my nighttime routine (no more scrubbing to get all of that mascara off from under my eyes).

We’re able to customize the shape of our lash extensions to every individual’s eye shape in order to make the eyes POP.  We’ve even had women scheduled for eye lifts who have postponed the surgery after seeing the benefits of their lash extensions.

Can I swim, shower, exercise or visit a spa while wearing lashes?
Yes, if these activities are not done excessively. Our special adhesive allows you to shower, swim, exercise, sleep and spa while wearing extensions. You can enjoy your lash extensions with little need to adjust your lifestyle. Please do not swim or spa (even steam from your shower) for 48 hours after your lash procedure to allow the bonding agent to fully cure. The main thing to remember with these activities is that you just want to make sure the extensions are not excessively exposed to heat and moisture.

How do I take them off?
You can either let them grow out, or have them professionally removed by a trained professional. Please do not attempt to remove them yourself-we have lash extension remover. It will not harm your natural lashes.

How do I prepare for my appointment?
1.  Be sure to have all makeup removed from the eye area. The more time we spend doing this for you, the less time we have to apply lashes!
2. Do not drink too much caffeine before your appointment. This can make your lashes flutter which makes it difficult to apply lashes.
3. Please put your cell phone on vibrate or silent.
4. If you would like, bring your ipod to listen to.
5. You may want to visit the ladies room beforehand.

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My appointment lasted a little over two hours, but honestly the time just flew by.  It was so relaxing and it was great chatting with Gabe about her business.  It’s so refreshing to talk to someone who is so completely passionate about what she does and is all about growing and always up for learning something new.

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Although they specialize in Lash Extensions, they also offer facial waxing and sugaring, as well as Makeup Application services for special occasion and bridal.  In the past couple of years they’ve had an increasing number of requests for makeup tutorials so they’ve also added Makeup Workshops to their menu.  They hold classes quarterly, during which an instructor (usually Gabe) demonstrates a specific makeup look to a group who will then complete the look on themselves during the demo.  They keep the classes pretty small in order to ensure that each participant can receive hands on, individualized instruction.

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Gabe said that she would love for the iLashNY brand to continue to grow within the Western New York beauty community.  She strives to provide a studio that emphasizes education and artistry and her hope is for consumers to realize that is what sets them apart.  She plans to continue to organize lash training and education to artists in our area while growing her team and further developing their artistry.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…my before and after photos!

Here is my before photo. I never realized how sad my lashes actually were until now  😦

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Annnnnnnnddddd here is the wonderful AFTER!

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Yes, hello gorgeous, beautiful, full lashes. Where have you been all my life?

So having these lashes for two days now, I can say that they’ve completely changed my beauty routine for the better.  I didn’t wear any shadow or liner at all yesterday, but I still felt beautiful and polished.  Today I’m just wearing a little bit of black shadow smudged against my lash line and that’s all I really needed!  I’m absolutely going to be keeping up with these bad boys.

Thank you SO MUCH Gabe for an amazing experience.  I can’t wait to continue my lash journey with you.

iLashNY is located at 4764 N French Rd in East Amherst, NY.  Visit their website for more information.

Two Guys Good Buys

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How would you like to drop everything, hit the road and drive across the country buying up tons of vintage clothing and having the time of your life?

Sounds really enticing, doesn’t it.

Well, two local friends Tyler Annalora & Frank Fina did just that.  They started their Etsy shop Two Guys Good Buys in 2013 and it has grown into the trip of a lifetime.  I had the pleasure of meeting Tyler & Frank at their pop up at Ashker’s on Elmwood at the beginning of the month, and they are two of the nicest guys who really have  a passion for what they do.

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They did the local thing for a while, hitting up flea markets and such, but soon decided that they wanted to do more.  They purchased a van that they converted into a camper, and in 2015 they departed on the ultimate road trip, purchasing vintage clothing and accessories along their travels.

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The items that they purchase all have a purpose and have stood the test of time.  They gravitate towards brands like Patagonia, LL Bean, Ralph Lauren and Woolrich.  Items that have a great reputation and functionality.

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I loved the way that they set up their shop.  Everything was so artfully placed and really spoke to who they are as people and what their business represents.

Luckily, I was able to purchase a few items for my husband who really appreciated the care and quality of these vintage finds.  I’m definitely looking forward to the next Two Guys Good Buys pop up.

Congrats on all of the success, Frank & Tyler, and make sure to check out their shop!

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Delighted By: The Original Dessert Hummus

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This post is sponsored by Delighted By. All opinions are my own.

I’ve tried so hard to be a hummus person.  I’ve tried it multiple times in different flavors, but I just couldn’t get into it.  I have some friends who think it’s the best thing ever invented, and that made me feel like I was missing out on this community of healthy dipping.

Well, now I think I can finally join the “I Love Hummus” club thanks to Delighted By.

Delighted By is the first dessert hummus on the market.  I know what you are thinking, “Hummus? For dessert?”  Trust me.  You won’t be disappointed.

Delighted By was founded by Makenzie Marzluff.  She had an idea of opening a custom hummus bar, and while dreaming up recipes, she was hung up on the dessert portion of the menu.  Loving to experiment with new things, she started creating all sorts of dessert hummus recipes in her kitchen.  Not thinking anything of it, Makenzie brought one of her recipes to a Super Bowl party, and people went crazy for it.  It was at that point when she knew that she had something special.

She started bringing her product at Farmer’s Markets in Phoenix, and would sell out every single time.  Finally, Makenzie decided that this was her calling to make the next step to grow her business.  Fast forward a year and LOTS of hard work later, and now you can find Delighted By in Wegmans stores!!  For those of you who are lucky enough to call Wegmans your local grocery store, you know just how major this is.

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I had the pleasure of meeting with Makenzie last weekend, and she was such a delight (pun intended) to speak with.  She exudes an extreme love and passion for her business, and that’s such a refreshing thing to see.  One of my favorite things about Delighted By is their motto, which is “Spread your glitter.”   Your glitter can be anything: love, laughter, friendship, anything that shows how much you shine.  I’m a naturally positive person and tend to see the best in people and situations, so it’s important to me to always spread my glitter around and show the world who I really am.  I think that’s a mantra that we all should follow daily!

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Right now, Makenzie is on a major road trip in her awesome van spreading her glitter all around the country.  If you find yourself near a Wegmans, make sure to pick up a container (or four) of Delighted By.  You’ll be hooked!