Just wing it. #Wingfest18


My love for carbs and cheese is pretty obvious, I talk about it all the time. I went on a date the other day and we spent at least 30 minutes talking about how it’s great that I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, just a carbovore. I decided to trade in pasta and bread for some of the world’s best Chicken Wings/Buffalo Wings* on Sunday, for research.

(From left to right) remnants of the Peach BBQ wing, the Chicken French wing and the Sticky wing

 

I partnered with #WingFest18 at Coca Cola Field in Buffalo and tried several “out of the box” wing flavors including..

  • Peach BBQ from Windjammers-there were giant chunks of sugar crystals on top of the bbq peach sauce, eliminating some of the heat. The perfect end of summer wing! It’s officially peach season here and I could go for another helping of these… BONUS -it was a flat wing, which I never really realized I prefer, until now.

 

  • Chicken French from Windjammers– lemon, butter and white wine on almost ANYTHING is going to be amazing, but on a fried chicken wing, it’s next level. My fellow blogger Briana aka BJMagg went back for a second Chicken French wing here, which with so many wing options in one place, really means this was a winner.

 

  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s from Boneheads Wing Bar– who would’ve thought you could find a wing with the iconic 1961 Audrey Hepburn film as the clear inspiration? Well you can’t get them in New York, but if you find yourself in Warwick, RI check out Boneheads. They had several funky flavor combinations (pepper and mountain dew, what?!) and a trophy on their front table recognizing their successes as a crowd favorite. I liked how for this particular wing tasted like maple bacon and was clearly acceptable to eat for breakfast, hence the title. Holy Golightly would approve.

 

  • Butterscotch BBQ from Quaker Steak and Lube -they had such a great range of wing flavor options at the QSL booth, but I didn’t feel like this particular wing was anything too extraordinary. I would compare it to a mellow BBQ, but I didn’t really pick up on the butterscotch like I had hoped. If someone had these at a Bills party I would eat them, but I would be a few drinks in.

 

  • Captain’s Candy Apple from Scallywag’s Grub & Spirits– sweet and spicy, but in a cinnamon-y way! It would probably be the basic white girl option, if we weren’t talking about chicken wings. I was so confused by this non-traditional dessert combo, but I really enjoyed it. Not sure I would eat with pizza though… Vanilla bean ice cream seems like a better accompaniment, but these are still wings we’re talking about ?!

 

  • The Sticky Wings, the Queens Choice – this saturated strawberry sauce chicken wing was from a booth with Queen Elizabeth and Meghan Markle photos abound. It was DELICIOUS. Although I can’t picture the Queen of England in a fascinator and matching gloves, elegantly diving into a bowl of sticky wings, I certainly would. We’d both probably wear pearls, in traditional preppy fashion.

 

I had a blast being a #wingfestpartner this weekend. What better all-American way to celebrate the end of summer than going to the National Buffalo Wing Festival?

 

*gasp, in case you’re from somewhere outside New York

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The Grand Opening of H&M at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara


I’d guess that most people aren’t especially excited about Thursdays. Sure, it’s not Monday, but it’s not Friday and most of the time I am also indifferent about a Thursday.. but Thursday August 2, 2018 was the grand opening of the H&M at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara and it wasn’t just your ordinary Thursday!

One of the local marketing groups reached out to a select group of WNY bloggers and influencers to come 2 hours before the official opening of the new store at noon, to check it out and shop around. They supplied us with a gift card and discount card, making the offer difficult to refuse! I’ve become a loyal Old Navy, TJ Maxx and Amazon customer, so I was also interested in exploring H&M just to see how they have or haven’t changed since ~2012. After all, isn’t every news article claiming malls are on their way out?

First Impressions:

  • They picked a great location in the Niagara Outlets, the store is in the newest wing super close to Forever 21. H&M knows their audience.
  • IT’S SO CLEAN. Going into an untouched and undisturbed retail store, when you have worked in the chaotic, high energy overwhelming industry, is especially impressive. The group of us who were invited to the store early had the chance to duck under the red ribbon, dive into all of the racks and see how flawlessly organized and impeccably marketed the store can really be.
  • H&M knows how to keep up with trends. The semi off the shoulder tops, wide legged jumpsuits and flowy pieces were plentiful. I appreciated this part about fast cheap fashion in highschool, stores like H&M make it easy to keep up

Second Impressions:

  • I’m too big for nearly half of their clothing. I felt this way in highschool, 50 pound ago, and the same holds true today. The difference is that I am much more similarly sized to the average American woman now, so what the hell is that about? I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to work with H&M and the Fashion Outlets, but it would be dishonest to not acknowledge that a majority of the bottoms in this location only went up to a size 10 when your girl is a comfortable 14. Also worth noting that one of my best friends wears a size 4-6 and was grabbing 8-10s.
  • They have expanded their target market and are catering to more styles than I remember! The business casual area was a pleasant surprise with multiple midi dresses and dressy flats/sandals. I immediately think of H&M as catering to a youthful festival attending/boho audience so this rather unexpected. With companies like The Limited eliminating brick and mortar locations it’s great to find other options!
  • This particular location has an entire room just for their sale section. $2 dress pants, $5 rompers and $8 sweaters were plentiful. There were a lot of unique pieces, perfect for dressing up at a drastic discount. Take the time to rifle through this room with deals for anyone (they carry clothes for men, women and children), as they can really cater to people on a budget.

I left the store with 2 jackets, 1 pair of dress capris, 3 sweaters and 1 tank for $120 today. I’ll be honest, I didn’t stick to the sale section, I went with what grabbed my attention the most and what I thought I would get the most use out of! I am completely aware of how impulsive I can be in a less expensive store, in highschool I blew every paycheck I had on fast fashion. I feel that thinking through my purchases now is a sign of growth. H&M is a great store for basics and versatile pieces, that’s how I would describe everything I bought! Check out my instagram story for my first ever unveiling of my purchases -and don’t judge too harshly it’s so ~awk~ to talk to the mirror in 10 second increments šŸ™‚

*Thank you to Fashion Outlets of Niagara and H&M for sponsoring my instagram posts. As always my opinions are my own and not influenced by sponsorship. For more information on collaborating click the Work With Me tab or email me at clearingpreppysname@gmail.com.

Things to do in Buffalo -May


May has come and gone and it blows my mind! We skipped over spring pretty quickly in Western New York. The increasing temperatures and beautiful sunshine means there are a plethora of options for things to do in Buffalo.

Brunch on a patio!

I am a sucker for a fruity alcoholic beverage midday and some delectable carbs with a view. I am also a firm believer that God created brunch as a celebration of the conclusion of a tough work week.. and the gorgeous weather means the patios are open! To be honest, I’m willing to brunch just about anywhere, but here are some of my favorites:

Cecilia’s Ristorante (Elmwood Village)

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Gourmet Mac n’ Cheese + Bottomless Mimosas = <3. There are few places in Western New York where I have found bottomless mimosas that aren’t watered down. This is one of them. Combine that with Cannoli French Toast or their scrumptious Mac n’ Cheese and that is my happy place.

The Steer (Main St.)

I’m biased because my friends work here and provide impeccable service šŸ˜‰ but if you need another reason to visit: FRENCH TOAST CHICKEN WINGS. I feel like these are the real reason that people should come to Buffalo -sorry Duffs and Anchor Bar-. French toast batter dipped and drizzled with maple syrup and powdered sugar yaaaaas.

Mangia Cafe (Center St. Lewiston)

I don’t go to brunch for healthy reasons whatsoever (see above suggestions), but lets say I did. Mangia is a great alternative to cheesy, deep fried wonderfulness and alcohol. They have lots of omelets, fruity salads and my favorite chicken salad sandwich ever. It’s a lunch/brunch cafe only open until 3 so on the weekends it’s bound to attract the “after church crowd”, but it’s worth the wait. Next door is Orange Cat Coffee Co. where the amazing actor Joseph Gordan Levitt was spotted last weekend so that’s also another reason to stop by and dine outside near the front gardens.

orange cat coffee co, joseph gordan levitt, lewiston ny, celebrities in lewiston ny,

The heart throb from 500 Days of Summer decided to visit Lewiston! (photo courtesy of Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page)

 

A day at the beach!

Believe it or not, I visited my friend Tess in Florida at the beginning of May and did not make it to the beach while I was there. This made me even more determined to get to a beach relatively close by once I returned home.

Sunset Bay (Irving)

My friends recommended this spot and it did not disappoint. The best part was that I felt like I was temporarily far far away from Buffalo and sometimes that’s exactly what you need. There is a beach club and bar/restaurant right on the shore. My friend Natalie and I packed a picnic lunch. Also, I suspect that they do not charge admission or parking midweek because I went on a Tuesday and it was free! Talk about a cheap getaway.

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I haven’t made it to Sodus Point (bordering Canada north of Rochester) or any of the Canadian beaches north of Niagara on the Lake yet, but I am determined to check them out after my great Sunset Bay experience.

Go shopping!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while you probably know that I am all about a great deal. Whether it is providing other people with one by selling my gently used clothes on the Poshmark app or shopping with 3 coupon codes and a student discount, I am the queen of bargains.

The World’s Largest Yard Sale (Hamburg)

Admission was $3, but from that point on YOU determined how much you spent at the yard sale. They had everything and tons of vendors which attracted nearly 7,000 people each day. This is an annual event at the fairgrounds and already happened May 6-7, but now you know what to expect for next year! I have a friend who took this opportunity to refurnish her apartment on a budget. It’s the perfect place to find eclectic and DIY decor for pennies on the dollar.

Garage Sales

I had the day off on a Sunday in mid-May and decided to drive around Lewiston and Youngstown hunting for some garage sales. The weather was beautiful and the people were pleasant. I’m pretty excited the town wide garage sale weekends coming up. Memorial Day Weekend was Wilson’s garage sale days, June 3-5 is Newfane’s garage sale days and June 10-12 is the 10 mile garage sale weekend featuring sales in Youngstown, Lewiston and Ransomville.

Local Boutiques (Main St. East Aurora, Elmwood Buffalo, Hertel Ave Buffalo, Allen Buffalo, Center St. Lewiston, Main St. Williamsville)

On my way back from Sunset Bay I stopped at Firefly Cupcakes in East Aurora on Tuesday. My mom sent me and my friends a dozen gigantic cupcakes from Firefly for my 18th birthday and they still are as glorious as I remember.

 

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While in East Aurora I stopped in a records store, a vintage store and Ooo La La boutique -the first Western New York Fashion Truck’s brick and mortar store. I love drawing inspiration for my own wardrobe styling from local retail stores. In May I explored many boutiques on Hertel Ave in Buffalo, including this great little gem I found called Modern Nostalgia, which now also has a location at Canalside. Because of how close I live to Lewiston, I frequently visit stores on Center St. This just became even easier with the start of the “Discover Niagara” shuttle running from Niagara Falls to Youngstown, stopping at 15 locations throughout theĀ FREE ride. I plan on taking totalĀ advantage of this!

Since June is now upon us, that means there will be loads of festivals coming up. I’m so excited because of this little taste of summer that I already had in May.