Celebrating Family

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This weekend was full of family; we celebrated the approaching arrival of a new baby with my dad’s family, and then were on our way to my mom’s family’s annual gathering.

My mom’s parents grew up in northern New Jersey, a beautiful collection of lakes, mountains and green pasture. We filled the cozy grey day with delicious food, new calves, catching up and reminiscing. Just like every year, we spent hours flipping through photo albums full of my grandparents’ generation’s childhood memories and wedding photos.

Celebrating Family, July 2016, Northern New Jersey

Celebrating Family, July 2016, Northern New Jersey

It’s so important to me to know where I came from, to see the places that my Ownmom and Papa Joe spent their childhood and brought their own kids back to. I love the old photos, newspaper clippings and handwritten notes that were so important to past generations. I cherish the chance to celebrate these places, people and things with my family every year.

My Favorite Things: Instagramers

Instagram is, without a doubt, my favorite social media platform. My feed is a constant source of food, travel, decor and fashion inspiration. Take a look at my favorite Instagramers, and let me know who you’re loving at the moment!

1. New York Explored: There is so much beauty across this state, and this account wants you to know about it.

2. Ithaca College: I may be biased, but Ithaca College is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been, and Instagram is a great place to share that beauty. The college’s Instagram takeovers featured some of the school’s cutest students too.

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Welcome to a very special Takeover Tuesday! This week we're featuring Arthas, a five month old, black lab puppy from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind club at #IthacaCollege. Guiding Eyes dogs are "dedicated to enriching the lives of blind and visually impaired men and women by providing them with the freedom to travel safely, thereby assuring greater independence, dignity and new horizons of opportunity." As for Arthas, he loves nothing more than playing in the snow and with his friends, giving big wet kisses, and snuggling. Get ready to be the first people Arthas will be guiding through the day and prepare yourselves for an infusion of cuteness because this is how Arthas sees #IC. 💙🐶💛

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3. Kurt Ross: This local photographer is one of my newer Instagram obsessions, but how could you not love these photos?

4. Bre’an Angell: I had the pleasure of going to high school with Bre’an and I was always copying her gorgeous typography and admiring her paintings in the art room. Her Instagram account is a stunning collection of muted landscapes, interior design and family.

5. Ballerina Project: This collection of photographs from all over the world features beautiful dancers in gorgeous settings captured by talented photographers.

6. Pantone: This is a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I love it. And the colors are just amazing, of course.

7. Sara White: If I could go to Italy tomorrow, I would, thanks to Sara.

8. Kate White: I lived with Kate for a summer, and yes she really is that pretty in person, and yes her life is as cool as it seems.

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blue blue blue ☄🌊💙 🔹

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9. Capture Buffalo: The city I call home is also home to stunning architecture and water views. This account sums all the gorgeousness up so nicely by sharing others’ photography.

11. Christopher Hyzy: This guy’s drone footage of Buffalo is unreal, and I’ve already asked him if I can buy prints of his B for Buffalo series when he’s done.

UPDATE: B is for Buffalo is going to be a book! It’s already on my Christmas list.

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Tonight's sunset was pretty spectacular 🌅

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12. Rifle Paper Co.: I am a sucker for stationary, especially flowery, high-quality, staged stationary.

13. Aerie: I’m not brand-loyal to many brands, but Aerie is one of them. The #aerieREAL campaign is one of the best things to happen to social media and fashion in a long time.

14. Justin Dusett: Buffalo may be cool, but so is Rochester, and Justin proves it.

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Locked out of the house :/

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Misty Copeland, From Ballerina to Brand

Misty Copeland, currently a soloist with the American Ballet Theater (ABT), has always been exceptional. The beautiful dancer is unique in many ways: she was late to the game, is only the third African American soloist in ABT history and dances with a strength that is made possible by her visibly toned muscles.

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Misty began dancing at the age of 13, and was named the Best Young Dancer in the Greater Los Angeles Area only 2 years later. In 2000, a mere 4 years after Misty began dancing, she was awarded a full scholarship to the ABT Summer Intensive Program. At the end of this program, she was offered a spot with the company.

In addition to her role as a soloist at ABT, Misty has also worked with the likes of Ne-Yo and Prince, among others. While many dancers are content with their careers, Misty has widened her reach. This dancer has transformed herself into both a beautiful, stunning ballerina and a national brand.

On a regular basis Misty’s work includes endorsements for dancewear companies Block, LavAzza, Sansha and Capezio, as well as BlackBerry, Payless and Proactive. Giving back the community is extremely important to Misty, and her causes include the Boys and Girls Club, the Sean James Student Athlete Foundation, BET Leading Women Defined, and TedTalks.

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The summer of 2014 was the Summer of Misty, with both a national campaign with Under Armour and a spot as guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance’s 11th season. Her position as a judge was a win-win situation: this was a visible place for Misty to be during the height of the Under Armour campaign, while her presence lent a large dose of credibility to the show.

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“Making Lemonade out of Frozen Lemons”

That’s what the City of Ithaca’s mayor, Svante Myrick, had to say about the Ithaca Tourism Bureau’s recent decision to “surrender” to sunny Key West. The Ithaca agency’s website broadcasted our area’s lack of sun and warmth, while highlighting our frozen lake and heavy snowfall.

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This move turned out to be a brilliant one, with additional coverage by NPR, BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, among others. Our little city was also trending on Facebook due to this humorous stunt.

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Going viral is what every advertiser hopes for, and Ithaca definitely accomplished that. The clever stunt has sparked conversation on a national basis from locals, ex-locals and previous visitors. These people have all added to the positive conversation with their own experiences of “gorges” Ithaca. Although only time will tell, one would have to guess that tourism will be a fairly big business this summer.