Wednesday, February 20, 2019

BfloGirlGarden: Five things I’ve learned from the Proven Winners trial plant program

A few years ago, when I was writing for Examiner and covering Buffalo Gardening, I was contacted by Proven Winners to be part of their trial plant program (score!). I already loved PW products and used a number of their annuals every year, so this seemed like a great way to try out some plants I might not have thought to purchase. Here are a few things I’ve learned from PW going into the 2019 gardening season (I have faith that it IS coming!!).

Experimenting with plants is fun! I would often experiment with color, but this way I learned to use different plants and had to make sure they “meshed” well  (light needs, water needs, etc.).

I really like hydrangeas. I was never really a shrub person, but I’ve really enjoyed watching these grow (I have three now). It’s also inspired me to redo the garden they’re in to give them some more room.

Clematis are crazy. I’ve had Pink Mink Clematis for four years, and I’m on my third trellis, each one larger than the last, because these things grow like mad.

Sometimes it’s good to stick with the classics. Petunias, calibrachoas and coleus just make me happy, and PW has amazing specimens of each.

Being able to give a “sneak peak” of new plants makes me feel rock-star-like. When a neighbor walks over and says “What is that?!?!” and you say “Oh, Proven Winners sent me that – it’s available next year…” #plantrockstar

After more than 100 inches of snow, I’m yearning for spring and garden season even more! Thank you Proven Winners for letting me participate in this program!

**Follow me on Instagram for random garden photos, PW trial plant updates and more!**

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

BfloGirlGeek: “The Art of The Brick” comes to Buffalo

Oh, to be a kid again…and play with Legos.

video: YouTube

Yes, I had Barbie dolls, but I also had all the building toys – Legos, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Erector sets – because, well, Dad wanted a boy…so he got a tomboy instead. Mom tried her best to “girlify” me, but she eventually accepted my fate in life (thanks Dad!).

My favorites among those toys were Legos.

Legos have become much more than a toy since I played with them; they’re now art, technology – even an investment in some cases. Art meets tech in a new exhibit at the Buffalo Museum of Science, located at 1020 Humboldt Pkwy. in Buffalo: “The Art of The Brick,” by artist Nathan Sawaya, opens Saturday, Feb, 9 and runs through Sunday, May 5.

The exhibit was named one of CNN’s Top Ten “Global Must-See Exhibitions,” and features not only original art by Sawaya, but reimagined versions of masterpieces like Michelangelo's Statue of David, Van Gogh’s Starry Night and DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. There will also be a hands-on activity area within the exhibit entitled “The Science of The Brick.”

Timed tickets for the exhibit (includes museum admission and exhibit fee) are available at; tickets are $18 for adults (no ages given); $15 for children ages 2+, seniors, students and Military (with ID) (no ages given); and $5 for members.

Since this exhibit runs into May, I’m hoping Mother Nature cooperates and lets me go see this!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A little inspiration…

I’ve not been very inspired lately.

In fact, I had a blog post started early last week and was completely uninspired when it came to finishing it.

Yep, Mother Nature has a lot to do with it – I mean, come on, it was April 19th and it was still flurrying (Is that a word? It probably is in Buffalo).

My poor daffodils were confused. I don’t blame them one bit.

Writing wasn’t the only outlet I was uninspired in. There was also photography – you know, she took away two weeks of my new gig at my happy place (Lancaster Speedway)…she’s not on my nice list.

Then, suddenly, inspiration appeared.

In the form of a few birds.

Actually, some loons…and grebes…and goldeneyes…and osprey.

Work took me through UB’s North Campus last week, and the ponds off of St. Rita’s Ln. were full of migrating birds and ducks.

An oddity of Mother Nature’s wrath? Maybe.

Maybe I’ll forgive her. I’ll think about it.

See more photos on Facebook and Smugmug.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Laying Low (not by choice…)

Yep, I’ve been pretty quiet lately – not by choice, but by season. See, my real-life job is weather-influenced…as in snow-plowing. Mother Nature has not been kind to us this year (I’ve used a few choice names for her…), and particularly on the weekends, leaving me little time to do much of anything besides wait for the phone call to come into work – and little things around the house while I’m waiting (like cleaning the basement…little things, y’know?).

That’s not to say I’ve been completely quiet:
  • Christmas is my favorite holiday (in spite of the snow), and I was able to enjoy it a bit longer since I had my decorating done by the end of November.

  • I was able to do some baking (strategically between snowflakes, of course): cinnamon rolls (the post-plowing breakfast of champions!), mini pigs-in-a-blanket to keep my dad happy, and this easier-than-it-looks pane bianco (already planning to make this again).

  • I was given the amazing opportunity to live out a dream: I will spend the 2018 season as the stock car photographer at Lancaster National Speedway. Having grown up at the track and practiced photography in the stands for many years, this is an absolute #dreamgig.
  • I’ve been dreaming that this winter will end soon…

(Is it spring yet??)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Modeling debut (lol)

I love the folks at Phoenix, A Salon in Williamsville (hi, Amanda!), and was recently featured on their Instagram account (cardi - CuddlDuds on QVC - of course!). [not sponsored - just love this cardi!]

A Buffalo Girl’s World…

Over the past three years or so, my main idea for this blog changed from aspects of my life that might appeal to others living in or visiting Buffalo to a replacement for my writing outlet at the now-defunct (I love that term)

Somewhere along the way, I got bored – like, really bored – with that idea, hence my absence the last few months.

I’m feeling the need to restructure, reinvent, reconfigure some things about this blog – and maybe even reintroduce myself…

I’m in my 40s and don’t feel like it.

I have three fashion addictions: nail polish, boots and thumb holes.

I was brought up in auto racing, and consider it an honor to be able to call Turn 2 at Lancaster Speedway my Saturday night home from April through September.

I think I’m a pretty good photographer, but I can’t take a selfie to save my life.

My annual pilgrimage: Cleveland for a Yankees game (even though the Yanks usually lose, the food package with the bus tour I go on makes up for it!).

My favorite place in Buffalo: the Botanical Gardens (but there are lots of places I have yet to visit!).

I’m a self-professed geek: books, television, movies…Star Wars, GoT, LotR, Marvel, Transformers, etc, etc.

Gardening = therapy. Baking = therapy too.

I should own stock in QVC (actually I do…), and more recently in HSN (oh, yeah, QVC bought them…).

I love music, but my tastes totally run the gamut – the last three CDs I bought (yep, I still buy CDs!) were The Killers, Fergie and Shania Twain.

I love a good pick-up truck, and an even better muscle car.

I have a sick addiction to CuddlDuds (it’s the thumb holes…).

I already miss Chip and Joanna.

I’m not sure where this goes from here, but here’s hoping it’s one hell of a journey.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Five Things to do in July 2017

Taste of Buffalo – Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9 on Delaware Ave. in downtown buffalo, from Niagara Square to Chippewa. The largest two-day food festival in the country will feature over 60 restaurants, food trucks and wineries from throughout the area, as well as cooking demonstrations, a beer tent and live music. Hours are Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (beer tent until 11 p.m.) and Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. – find out more at

Old Home Days parade
Old Home Days – Tuesday through Friday, July 11-14 at Island Park, Main St. in the Village of Williamsville. Events include the giant parade (Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.), bike rodeo (Wednesday at 11 a.m.), midway rides, live music and performances, food and much more. Find out more at the Old Home Days website.

Canal Fest of the Tonawandas – Sunday, July 16 through Sunday, July 23 on both sides of the canal in Tonawanda and North Tonawanda. Features food and beverages, midway rides, demonstrations, live entertainment and more. Events include the Canal Fest parade (Tuesday, July 18), Car Cruise (Wednesday, July 19), Bike Cruise (Friday, July 21) and the Arts & Crafts Show (Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23). Find a complete schedule at

Rock the Barn – Friday and Saturday, July 21-22 at The Big Yellow Barn, 9015 Main St. in Clarence. Two days of music and great food to benefit Meals on Wheels Services in Clarence, Akron and Newstead; Friday features Bon Journey, and Saturday is headlined by Nightrain. Tickets are $20 in advance for both days – free for kids under 10; tickets will be $25 at the door. Find out more about the event at

Glen Park Arts Festival – Saturday and Sunday, July 29-30 at Glen Park in the Village of Williamsville, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. The festival will feature numerous artisans, food, live entertainment and more. Find out more at the Glen Park Arts Festival Facebook Page.