did we just become best friends?

When I first walked into the brand new shop on East Main Street in Batavia, I was instantly transported to Covent Garden in London, The Commons in Ithaca, (insert your favorite city’s shopping district here). I was giddy over the place, with its unique home décor and statement dresses. My first thought was, FINALLY. Because I have been waiting for a place like this to exist in our little town.

Ashley, owner of Pollyanna & Dot looks like little birdies help her get dressed in the morning. I mean, she literally wears dessert. SO much to love about her and her style which she is graciously sharing with all of us through both the vintage and bold pieces she carries in her store. She also allegedly doesn’t love having her picture taken. Allegedly.

Ashley grew up loving all things vintage and made it her duty to bring vintage and also more modern European-style frocks to the masses (or Genesee County) to fit every size and every budget.

What I love most about Pollyanna & Dot (other than the name which derived from Ashley’s grandmother’s names put together, so sweet) is that the clothing is both stylish and flattering to women with any body type, especially those of us who are on the full figure side of things. Every shape will find something to make them feel like their most beautiful self.

Leanna, owner of The Hidden Door decided to take the leap in opening her business with an “if not now, then when?” attitude, which I can appreciate as a business owner myself. I was just in awe watching her put together her in-store displays, joking about how stressed out I get about decorating my mantel. But not really joking because my mantel for real stresses me out. It’s so nice to know that I can just walk into the store whenever I want (well, Tuesday-Saturday) and get advice from a chick who not only gets it, but sells it.

What I love most about The Hidden Door is that Leanna is constantly getting cleaned out. So she’s constantly restocking new items, giving us a way better shot at gifting something unique OR having a unique piece in our homes. That, and the candles that smell like wine, because everything in life should smell like rosé if you want my honest opinion.

On behalf of every woman within a 20 mile radius, I want to thank you ladies. For taking the plunge and styling my mantel and me for the foreseeable future.

nail wraps & freedom.

I met Shanda Spink, who is a Team Manager for Jamberry, at the very first Boss Lady Group meeting (they are held at Northgate Free Methodist Church on the first Friday of every month). She’s a spunky chick, so of course I asked to feature her on my blog. Before our session, she graciously let me choose nail wraps to try out for myself. I was heading to Magic Kingdom so I decided on the Minnie Mouse ones, although it was almost impossible to choose, their Disney line is adorable.


This was my first time putting on nail wraps, so I struggled a little, and they didn’t look perfect, but I loved them and know when I get another set I will do a lot better. Also, when I took them off my nails weren’t ruined like gel tends to do if you don’t take it off properly. I just pulled my jams right off and nothing bad happened. You can find her useful application video here.

Now moving on to our session…we both really wanted to show some real-life moments of being a work from home mom. So we took her three kids to the park and I let Shanda do her thing while I took pictures. She was so funny, asking what I wanted her to do. I said, just work! And so she did.

There were a few things that stood out to me about Shanda and her little family during our hour together (side note: she is married, dad stayed at home with the dogs and the yard work). First, she has some super happy kids. They are sweet and polite and helpful with each other. And meeting happy kids just makes you feel good. Second, she is REAL. While chatting she offhandedly mentioned how she thought about getting ready for the photo shoot, but then changed her mind because it just wasn’t her. So she wore what she would normally wear. She also referred to herself as an “alternative businesswoman” and when I asked her what she meant by that, she explained how she doesn’t fit the business lady mold. She doesn’t wear suits or heels, she doesn’t have a full face of makeup on whenever she goes out. She has tattoos and a short dramatic haircut. And her point was that she wants women who don’t necessarily look the part to know they can still be the part. Because she’s doing it, and making more money than she did at her former job that kept her away from her kids.

When it was time to go, Shanda called her kids to her from the playground telling them it was time to leave. There were no dramatic scenes of not wanting to go even though they were having a blast playing with other kids. They grabbed their stuff, went to the van, and her daughter turned to me sweetly and said, “thank you for bringing us to the park.” Shanda, whatever it is that you are doing, you are doing it right.