The Neatest Store in Town!

Standard

Over the weekend I was looking for something fun to do around town, when I remembered this amazing little store I had often visited with my parents when I was young. It’s name is Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, and it sells just what its name describes. The store boasts tons and tons of top-of-the-line bicycles, and lots of adorable retro toys! What really hooked me, were the the retro toys! Founded in 1946, it prides itself on being “The Neatest Store in Town.”

8 Center St, Batavia, NY 14020

8 Center St, Batavia, NY 14020

When I walked in the front door I was immediately greeted by a gorgeous bicycle built for two, that is available for rent. Now wouldn’t that make for a truly unique family-fun activity? I should convince my husband to peddle it around town with me!

image

There were walls and walls of board games and puzzles, paper dolls, and model airplanes, you really can’t digest everything in just one visit. They even have a decorative Rubik’s Cube hanging from the ceiling!

image

image

image

The store began it’s life almost 70 years ago as strictly a bike shop, and its roots remain strong. They still offer the best bicycle repair in town, and the back contains practically a legion of bikes!! Just look at this!

image

image

image

This display bicycle was absolutely beautiful, but sadly not for sale…. Not that I could afford it!!

What really caught my eye, was this cute little clapping monkey, because it reminded me of my favorite musical The Phantom of the Opera. Isn’t he adorable?

image

I must have wandered around this store in a daze for a good hour, just soaking it all in. If you’re in town I highly recommend stopping by this vibrant, living museum. My husband got a nifty bouncy ball out of the experience, so he was happy.

adammiller-chamber2014-8

image

Photography!

_MG_0541
Standard

Looking for a new hobby? Try Photography!

Photography is the process of capturing images with a camera. It isn’t very difficult and there are many different types of cameras out there tailored to fit beginners, average photographers, and professionals.

Yosuke Takada resting by Horseshoe Lake Rd.

Yosuke Takada resting by Horseshoe Lake Rd.

There are many reasons to take a picture. People snap shots to document their life, create art, spread a message, or for their job. For example, dentist use x-ray photography to diagnose the oral health of their patients, baby photographers uses photography to capture the beauty and vulnerability of children, and paparazzi use their cameras like machine guns to shoot down stars.

Bryan Grant posing on a fountain in Central Park, NYC.

Bryan Grant posing on a fountain in Central Park, NYC.

Some people use photography as an art to express personal beliefs, to share an idea, or to aesthetically please.

Ronell Cohill walking along the Coney Island Beach.

Ronell Cohill walking along the Coney Island Beach.

Personally, I find photography to be stress relieving and gratifying. I enjoy taking a photo and enhancing it’s qualities in a photo editor. It always feels good to see the completion something you’ve worked on, and photography provides that feeling within minutes (or hours, depending on how long you shoot and edit).

Editing photos is fun and a way to let out your creative juices! You can enhance, distort, or make reality completely unrecognizable. My favorite photo editing program is Adobe Lightroom, but I also have fun on Google Picasa (which is free).

I think anyone can have fun with photography. There is some basic information about how a camera works that would benefit potential photographers.

  • Shutter Speed – How long your camera takes to take a photo. Your camera has a shutter, think of it as a door. When you take a picture, the door opens, and when the picture is finished being taken the door closes. If your camera takes 1 second to take a photo, then the shutter will be open for 1 second. Easy to understand right? Now get this, when the shutter is open, light comes into the camera. This is important because without light you can’t see. So the longer your shutter is open, the more light enters you camera AND the brighter your pictures will be. (People who take pictures of the stars at night have to let their shutter stay open for 15 – 60 seconds to capture as much light from space as they can. Cool huh?) Shutter speed can be as fast as 1/4000th of a second.1274841_1405603719667930_313164025_o
  • Aperture – How wide open are your eyes? You camera lens is like an eye, and the wider open it is, the more light comes into the camera. Yay! But squinting your eyes has its’ benefits too doesn’t it? When the camera lens is narrow, things that are further away come into focus, and less light is let in (which helps on a sunny day).  Have you ever seen a picture of something close up and clear with a beautiful blurry backgroundBlackberry tree? The camera’s eye (lens) is wide open and only the closer subject is focus. Also, a lot of light is let into the camera. The opposite happens when the camera’s eye squints, or is narrow, things that are close up and far away are in focus. On most camera’s and their lenses, aperture can be set from 2 – 22. Now you’d think 2 would be narrow, and 22 wide, but it’s the opposite. 2 is wide open, and 22 is really narrow.satellite
  • ISO – Sensitivity. The brighter your environment, the less you need ISO because ISO brightens your images. If you are indoors, chances are you have to bump up your ISO setting. It ranges from 100 – 6400 on most cameras, 100 being the weakest (you set it here on a sunny day). ISO can really help if you need to set your Aperture small (squinting) or your shutter speed fast, but it can backfire. If your depending on your ISO too much, you can see it in your photos, they will look grainy and snowy.

Even if you keep your camera in auto mode, without fuss with the settings, taking photos is still a fun hobby! I encourage you to get out there and start shooting! I started taking photos a little over 5 years ago on a very basic point and shoot camera, and the hobby grew into something I am very passionate about today. All the photos you see here were taken by me, Iesha DeLesline.

Yuumi Kamata enjoying a book in the library.

Yuumi Kamata enjoying a book in the library.

A bunny at College Village!

A bunny at College Village!

My Disney World Adventure

Standard

In March all of my dreams came true! My husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to Disney World for our honeymoon. For the record, Disney World is my absolute favorite place on Earth. I am a huge Disney nerd, so the trip was like spending a week in paradise. We took a train all the way from New York to Florida, which was an adventure in and of itself. We both love trains, and it was my first experience actually riding on one. The trip took about a day (I slept most of the way), and then we finally arrived at the resort we would be staying at in Orlando.

Sheraton Vistana Resort

Sheraton Vistana Resort

image

The resort included a shuttle to and from all the Disney parks, which we definitely took advantage of. The first park we visited was Magic Kingdom, the stereotypical “Disney” park, complete with giant castle. Our favorite parts of the park where Gaston’s Tavern (a rustic eatery inspired by the charming villain from Beauty and the Beast), and the Wonderland area (of course).

image

Mickey and Minnie Floating in

image

My husband thoroughly enjoying one of Gaston’s Tavern’s famous pork shanks.

image

Just having a little rest in Gaston’s giant throne. No big deal.

I got to ride my favorite Disney World ride, The Mad Tea Party, and then eat at my favorite cat’s cafe!

19618poster           Chesire-Cafe-Magic-Kingdom-Dining2

We even spotted some familiar faces signing autographs nearby!

image

Next up was Epcot! Honestly, we never wanted to leave Epcot. We would have been perfectly happy to move in permanently, and sample all of the amazing international cuisine on a daily basis. The park itself was gorgeous, filled with replica cultural buildings, all built around a sparkling lake.

An ornate arch in "China"

An ornate arch in “China”

Aztec temple in "Mexico"

Aztec temple in “Mexico”

Candy display in the Japanese gift shop!!

Candy display in the Japanese gift shop!!

Our favorite “country” had to be Morocco. We ate there two out of five days, and were left hungry for more! Morocco was so colorful and luxurious, I just wanted to touch everything!

image

Just look at this mouthwatering cuisine!

image

My non-meat eater friendly plate!

image

Shawarma that my husband gulped down

image

Brought to you by Spice Road Table!

Another delectable food item came from the streets of Japan! It’s pink, sweet, completely addictive, and it’s called Frushi! 

image

It’s sushi, made from fruit! I know, right??

We did briefly visit Disney’s Hollywood studios, but it just wasn’t for us. The park is lovely, with a classic Hollywood theme, and lots of documentaries and live shows to watch, we just prefer the more active parks. One of our favorite rides is located in Hollywood Studios however, The Tower of Terror, and we got to see a stunning Beauty and the Beast live show, so it was all worth it.

IMG_2694

Last, but certainly not least, is Animal Kingdom! Now, we had been told by numerous people not to bother visiting this park. They said it was boring, we wouldn’t like it, etc. They were very, very wrong, and we never should have listened! We saved this park for the last day of our trip, figuring we would just pop in quick, and leave. Once we were there however, we wished we would have visited every day! This park has amazing food that easily rivals Epcot, tons of interactive exhibits, Bollywood dancing, and even a safari.

We loved the safari so much that we wanted to do it twice, however we ran out of time…. We saw giraffes, and elephants, and even flamingos, oh my!

imageimageimage

There were also rhinos, lions, hippos, crocodiles, okapi, and pelicans spotted. My favorite creatures spotted in Animal Kingdom (not on the safari), were these adorable bats!

imageI didn’t want to leave them! They were so cute, and kept stretching their wings, and flapping around!

Well, I could talk about Disney World forever and a day, so I’m going to wrap things up here. Disney World really has something for everyone, not just fans of the animation or characters. I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who enjoys great food, animals, history, nature, or just having fun! I can’t wait to go back to Disney World some day, if I had the unlimited funds, I’d live there! I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope I inspired you to take your next family trip to sunny Orlando Florida!

image

Have a Healthy Summer!

Standard

Growing up with a diabetic mother has made me more aware of the benefits of healthy eating. Seeing her suffer through many hospital visits triggered a desire in me to see her healthy. I began to encourage her to eat better and I changed the way I ate as well so that we could do it together. Me and my mother have become more health conscious over the years and we’ve both lost a lot of weight.

Check out the delicious and healthy meals I’ve been cooking up this summer!

  • Fish or Chicken Tacos!

IMG_13471

The chicken was slow cooked in a Crock pot with taco seasoning and water, then pulled apart when soft enough. The fish was sauteed on the stove top with olive oil and taco seasoning. Taco toppings include: guacamole, tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream (optional), lettuce, and a mixture of sauteed onions, peppers, mushrooms, and cilantro.

  • Fish, Salad, & Rice

IMG_13091Okay so the fish was fried! But it doesn’t have to be, you can bake it, or cook it on the stove top! I cut a Swai fish fillet ( just 70 calories) into 3 pieces and dipped them in egg before I fried it. I added some fresh spinach (no salad dressing) and about 1/2 cup of curry seasoned rice.

  • The Lettuce Taco (A Vegetarian Dish)

IMG_13241 IMG_13251IMG_13271

The lettuce taco contains a sauteed mixture of green onions, mushrooms, cilantro, green peppers, and fresh garlic. Split peas and avocado chunks were added to the mixture at the end of the cooking process. Romain lettuce leafs were filled, sprinkled with cheese, and dotted with spicy Sriracha sauce. This dish was my favorite and it’s good for cleaning out the body!

Get creative in the kitchen tonight and try one of these healthy meals out! See you next time! God Bless and Happy Eating!

Cute Back to School Supplies!

Standard

It’s that time of year again! Time to stock up on tons of new gear, and get ready to hit the books. I don’t know about other schools, but I know that GCC starts back up for the Fall on August 24th! I just can’t wait! Therefore, I went out and scouted around town (and the internet), to find the absolute cutest back to school products out there this season. Let’s start off with the locally available goods! Of course you can get these things over the internet as well, I just happened to see them around town.

How about we start with Office Max! I feel like Office Max is an often untapped gem, that tends to get overshadowed by bigger store chains such as Walmart. But if you really take the time to look you can find lots of cute goods, usually at discount prices!

imageMy current favorite products from Office Max are this sweet journal (and there are lots of other journals to choose from, with lots of other quotes), and glitter tape!! Come on, who doesn’t need glitter tape?

image

Next up is Target, where I hit the jackpot on cute backpacks! I’m in Target a lot; I would honestly have to say that it is my favorite go-to store in town. In addition to cute backpacks, I also spotted wonderful folders, thermoses, and bento boxes lining the store’s isles.

Are these not the cutest backpacks ever??

image

I’ve been drooling over this one for weeks! I will, have it!

image

image

Look at this adorable lunchbox! It’s a cookie!

imageI think I also saw french fries and hamburger lunchboxes as well.

Lastly, I want to introduce you to this incredibly affordable, and very cute online school supply store called Modes4U. This store offers everything from travel safe cutlery, to dessert shaped erasers, and I highly recommend checking it out. Personally, I was most obsessed with their amazing pencil pouches. I’ve included my favorites below, with links.

image

Get it HERE!

image

Get it HERE!

image

Get it HERE!

image

Get it HERE!

Thanks for sharing my back to school, excessive excitement with me! I hope that I was able to inspire you to add a liberal dose of cute to your school supplies haul. Remember, for everything in life, there is always a cute alternative!

The Genesee County Fair!!

Standard

Come one, come all, come to the Genesee County Fair! This week only! Located right here in Batavia, at the Genesee County Fair Grounds, 5056 East Main St. Rd. As someone completely obsessed with carnivals and fairs, of course I attended! It was absolutely wonderful!

image

My first order of business was obtaining a great big bag of cotton candy! It was so big, in fact, that I still have half of it left! Then I went directly to the 4H Rabbit Show. Rabbits are my favorite animal, so when I saw this event listed in the complementary event guide, I just couldn’t resist. It was a room with rows and rows of rabbits, it was like rabbit paradise!Once my husband successfully dragged me away from the show, we went to look at the wide array of other animals the fair had to offer. There were the biggest cows I had ever seen, pens and pens of adorable sheep, and lots of friendly goats!

image image

image

Playing with all the animals was my favorite part of the whole fair. Well, except for the food…. Besides my giant bag of cotton candy, I also got some deliciously seasoned salt potatoes, handcrafted soda (with free refills), a snow cone and something I had never before heard tell of….TACHOS. When I saw them on the vendor’s sign I just had to know what they were. The answer, tater tots topped with nacho cheese, sour cream, and your choice of scallions. Let me just say, they were awesome.

image  image

The fair has lots of rides and games, from the classic carousel, to something that looked like an obstacle from the competition show Wipe Out. My husband was even able to win me this adorable little guy, by throwing darts at a wall of balloons! He is now a proud part of my plushie collection.

imageThe fair also features dance teams, karaoke, horse competitions, a flea market, local vendors, and even a fire juggler! There’s just so much to see and do! It’s a good thing this event lasts all week!

imageimage

image

So hurry, hurry, step right up! Don’t miss your chance for tons of family-friendly fun and games! The fair is only in town until July 25th, you definitely don’t want to miss it!

image

A Great New Game Store

Standard

Just the other day my family had a big gathering at my grandmother’s house in Batavia. A big gathering meant that I had to go gather lots of pizza. We decided to go with Dominos, as it was close by, but when I went to pick up the order I received an incredible surprise! A new board game store had moved in right next door to the restaurant!

563 East Main St. Batavia, NY

     563 East Main St.
  Batavia, NY

The name of the store is The Game Cave, and according to their website they offer many different board games, trading card games, and RPGs, along with accessories for all your gaming needs. Different special events are held daily for various games, and walk-in playgroups are always welcome to use play space free of charge.

imageimage

They also offer an exciting new program called the Cave Crate! If you sign up for this monthly renewing subscription, once a month you will receive a box containing a minimum of three assorted Magic: The Gathering Boosters. You also have a chance of getting dice, a deckbox, sleeves, or even special game related artwork and handmade items from local artists. The subscription costs about $40 per crate (including shipping), and each crate contains a minimum of $50 worth of product. If you play Magic: The Gathering this is an excellent bargain, and a great way to support a local shop. I personally don’t play this game, but I know that it is immensely popular, and it’s never too late to start.

An example crate

An example crate

The store is still growing, but it already contains a wide array of trading cards and a healthy selection of board games to choose from. Every time I enter The Game Cave there’s always an exuberant group of game enthusiasts happily taking a new game for a test drive, or busting out an old favorite. The atmosphere of the store is homey and welcoming, and I have always found the staff very attentive and knowledgeable. If you’re looking for something new to do in Batavia, or for an exciting family-friendly activity, look no further than The Game Cave.

image image9