For those of you who follow me on Instagram (Nicolewhaat), I post more frequently than I should, sometimes twice a day! I justify this with my lack of any other social media; my Facebook will have been deactivated for a year at the end of this month, except for a 36 hour period back in November when I was trying to contact friends from Canada, France and Argentina. ANYWAY, I love IG because you visually connect with other people, be it friends and family, celebrities, brands, or indie photo heroes from California. It's a photographic Twitter phenomenon: you can decide what your feed will look like: random shots from your daily life, breathtaking scenery, throw backs to childhood, or food porn! I openly admit that I dabble in food photos, I have my own cooking hash tag called #properlyplated.
Another trend you would see in my photo feed are from the region that I'm from, the Finger Lakes of Western New York. Honestly, it's taken a few trips half way around the world to realize how stunning the area is where I live. I grow tired of the isolation, lack of infrastructure and 40 minute car rides to any semblance of a city, but the hills, woods and water are worth it. We also have a lovely art community that I've increasingly embraced. Although a bit more expensive than what you'd find in the super market, hand-crafted products make marvelous gifts. Next Friday I'm going to visit my best friends in Maine and New Hampshire, so I hope their families enjoys these little reflections of the region I'm proud to call home.
Behind my friend Kristen's house, who lives in the Bristol hills that surround Honeoye.
I met up with Caitlan and Kristen at the lone coffee shop in our town. It's changed owners a few times but I like the current offerings and ambiance.
F. Olivers Garden Fresh Gremolata Olive Oil, which is a beautifully subtle infusion of parsley, mint, garlic and lemon into olive oil. This shop in Canandaigua sells infused oils and balsamic vinegars. I stopped in their with my friends for the first time yesterday and the sales clerk was so generous, having us taste samples and pairings (think: a peach light balsamic vinegar with tuscan herb olive oil) and helping me select this bottle for my friend's family that loves cooking!
Their site: http://www.folivers.com/
This is just one of the beauties that I picked up at the Wizard of Clay in Bristol. It is a father-son team of potters that make functional art, kitchen ware, vessels and more. I bought this mortar and pestle as a gift for my Chinese host family.. I'm sure they could find some use for it! Their signature design is the Bristol leaf pattern, like what I purchased. They actually hand pick the leaves for each piece, and the impressions are emblazoned after the piece is fired in the kiln.
As of this summer I also became a fan of Wick-edly Scent in Canandaigua. They hand make lotions, soaps, candles and washes in their shop as well. This fall I was obsessed with their Riesling, champagne and grapefruit mimosa-scented soaps. I also bought white tea body lotion, which you can kind of see is almost gone! I purchased a few Canandaigua Lake olive oil soap bars for gifts, then received a few from my mom from Christmas! I have the cranberry orange on my dresser because I don't need it quite yet, and it makes my room smell wonderful.
So no, I wasn't paid or endorsed to write about these shops (but if some one wanted to send samples my way..!) , but it's my pleasure to support and promote their businesses. And you can bet that once I turn 21 next November, I will be touring every winery around! Finger Lakes Rieslings are gaining more national and international prominence, and we're known for ice wines, when the grapes are harvested after the first frost. My particular favorite is the Gewurztraminer grape.. not that I've done any wine tasting before.. ;). So if you're ever in upstate New York, head west towards the hills and water, and there you'll find me.. and let me know! I barely mentioned the diversity things to do in the Finger Lakes, but it's really a place worth visiting!
Listening: "Punching in a Dream" by The Naked and Famous