Thursday, April 30, 2015

Five Things to do in May 2015

May…where did the first four months of the year go?!?! Not that I want to bring back that snow or anything!

If you’re looking for something to do in Buffalo in May, here are five ideas:

Support a local farm – most of the area’s farmer’s markets will be opening in May, so show them some Buffa-love. I’ll be putting together a list of farmer’s markets soon, but here’s a 2014 list from Buffalo Spree magazine – most have links to their websites or Facebook pages which should have updated info.

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Food Truck Tuesdays – Larkin Square is back at it for 2015, with the popular Food Truck Tuesdays program starting up on May 5th and running through October 27th. There are over 20 trucks from Buffalo and Rochester (and beyond) on the schedule for 2015, and there will also be live music and local vendors with art, produce, d├ęcor and more. Find out more here.

Change up your workout routine – I’m partial, but Shannon Connors is the best instructor I’ve ever had at a gym – which is why I’ve gone through three gyms with her! She’s finally doing something she should’ve (in my opinion) done three years or so ago – opening her own gym! Check her out on Transit Rd. in Depew – she will kick your a** in a good way! Congrats Shannon! :)

Get back to Canalside – Canalside in downtown Buffalo kicks off the unofficial summer season on Memorial Day weekend with the Boardwalk Carnival at Canalside, happening Saturday through Monday, May 23rd through 25th. Hammerl Amusements will be providing the rides and games, and there will be plenty of food, beverages and entertainment for all ages – get more information here.
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Cherry Blossoms in Buffalo – the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival will take place Saturday, May 2nd through Saturday, May 9th at the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park, located behind the Buffalo History Museum. Events during the festival include a tea ceremony, a Japanese doll display at the Museum, an interactive Parade of Fashion and the Cherry Blossom Challenge Orienteering event. Get the complete schedule at the above-listed link.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Khalessi’s Garden: And the plot…thickens?

Actually, the “plot,” that is, the new garden, kinda thinned out – less grass, for sure!

Future home of Khalessi's Garden!
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I spent the last couple of weekends digging the grass out of this area, eager to put some new garden soil in there and start planting in a few weeks. I modified the original thought I had for the shape of the garden, mainly because I wanted to get it done, but like my mom said, I’ll probably end up digging it out all the way to the fence eventually (don’t you hate it when Mom is right?!).

And as far as planting goes…that won’t happen until the end of May – usually Memorial Day weekend. And so I wait.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Khalessi’s Garden: 2015 is the Year of the Coleus!

One of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to expand my SciFi/Fantasy garden over the last few years was my discovery of Rosy Dawn Coleus and all of their correctly-named coleus – plants like Darth Vader, Lord Voldemort and Hedwig. This year, I added a bunch of others to the order, including Apocalypse (X-Men), Fire Dragon, Red Witch and Yellow Dragon (Game of Thrones).

While I was doing some research for one of my Examiner columns on gardening, I happened upon the National Garden Bureau website, which has proclaimed 2015 as the Year of the Coleus! I personally think every year is the year of the coleus, but I’m a tad bit obsessive over the plants :)

Coleus are most definitely known more for their foliage than their flowers, and it’s not difficult to see why – from bright lime to nearly-black purple to bi-color, trailing to tall, small leaves to large, its leaves are where the story is. Coleus work great in containers and flower beds, and add texture and dimension to any setting. Coleus are considered a shade plant, because sunlight and heat can affect the colors – I, however, use them everywhere!

I love using coleus in containers, especially on my front porch, where a few coleus plants are all that is needed to brighten up a corner. I’ve also mixed them with exotic impatiens and begonias as the “thriller” in the container. Many of my SciFi/Fantasy coleus will be in the ground, but I may group Fire Dragon and Yellow Dragon with Black Dragon, which I usually find in one of the local nurseries.

Here are a couple of my coleus containers from last year (paulathompsonfreelance.com):



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

March 2015 in review

After the excitement of the Garth Brooks show early in the month, and the lack of snow throughout the rest of it, March settled in to be quite a non-eventful month – and that’s a good thing! Believe me, Garth was enough excitement for the month :)


I did make it out to Plantasia, because I needed that little bit of springtime in my life…


And I watched the snow melt away to nothing…there was a time I didn’t think that was going to happen… (those raised beds with the fencing around them on the left? At one point, I only saw the upper 6” of the 3-foot fencing!)



And now, happily, it’s spring – I’d much rather have rain than snow!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Buffalo Finds: Gridlock Lacquer – Smingus Dyngus

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The Buffa-love for Gridlock Lacquer continues today with another seasonal color – Smingus Dyngus! If everyone in Buffalo is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Polish on Dyngus Day, the day after Easter. For the uninitiated, the easiest thing to do is direct you to the official Dyngus Day Buffalo website, which is full of information on the “holiday” and how to celebrate it (besides drinking, which is pretty much a given for most Buffalo holidays!).

Smingus Dyngus is a red gel with red glitter – perfect for Dyngus Day celebrating. Like Butter Lamb, it’s not over-the-top, but it’s definitely showy – I love it on long nails!

Other posts on Gridlock Lacquer:



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Buffalo Finds: Gridlock Lacquer – Butter Lamb

I’m not sure what its popularity is in other parts of the country – or the world, for that matter – but Easter isn’t Easter without a butter lamb in Buffalo. For the uninitiated, yes, it’s butter, and yes, it’s in the form of a lamb…simple things, people, simple things! This has only recently led to things like butter turkeys and butter Christmas trees, but the lamb is the original.

Gridlock Lacquer, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite nail polish brands, celebrates the season with a limited edition polish called, of course, “Butter Lamb.” It’s not a flamboyant, day-glo yellow – it’s definitely more of a buttery-golden-tone on the nail.

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My recent order also included a color called Smingus Dyngus, in celebration of another Buffalo tradition, Dyngus Day! Look for that in the coming days.

Other posts on Gridlock Lacquer: