Anchor Bar


After touring Buffalo's Canalside the family and I were looking for somewhere to grab lunch before we headed to a Buffalo Bisons game. My mother in law suggested the Anchor Bar, the birthplace of Buffalo Wings, and we are so glad she did! It was easy to get to from Canalside, we took the NFTA-Metro subway up to the Summer-Best station (the subway was relatively inexpensive at $2 a person), and I would suggest that to others as well. There is a small parking lot and it fills up very quickly around the lunch/dinner hour.


There was a bit of a wait, which was understandable since we were a party of six, but the time past quickly as we entertained ourselves by browsing the walls covered in license plates!  AMH collects license plates from all over and we had great fun pointing to different states to see if he had that one already.


Not sure what this sweet lady's name is, but she sure made us hungry for Buffalo wings!


While you're waiting be sure to look up! Around the perimeter are real motorcycles and vintage bicycles! 


The Buffalo wings are definatley worth the wait. We opted for the platter of fifty wings, half mild-half medium. These wings are on a whole other level from the wings you may have tried at those themed restaurants. They are so delicious, there isn't even a good enough word to describe how amazing they are (maybe yumlectable?). They are deep fried until crispy and coated in hot sauce and butter and served with celery and blue cheese dip. I loved the medium ones and next time I would like to try a few of the hot ones!

Anchor Bar, 1047 Main St. Buffalo, NY

246.8 million wings served, I believe it! 

Buffalo's Canalside


If you havn't visited Buffalo in a while, this summer is the time to make it happen. There is so much happening in this incredible city - great shopping, excellent food, stellar architecture - and of course, Buffalo's Canalside! 

I spent a considerable amount of time in Buffalo growing up, it has always felt like a second home to me, and I am so proud of how the city is progressing. The downtown core has so much to offer in the way of food and entertainment and the NFTA-Metro, which has a stop right at the entrance of Buffalo's Canalside,  is a great way to visit some of the distinct neighborhoods just outside the downtown core.


Buffalo's Canalside is connected to the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park allowing for some great photo opportunities! I managed to get my youngest brother, the oldest and the youngest (my kids) to pose for a photo in front of the USS Little Rock (boys are not fans of posing for pictures at any age so this was a big win!). Admission to view the ships (there are three of them), equipment and artifacts is $10 for adults and $6 for children 6-16 and seniors.


A view of the canal (in the winter this is turned into a skating rink). There are paddle boats, children's paddle boats and bikes to rent for very reasonable prices ($10 for paddle boats, $5 for children's paddle boats per 20 mins).


You can even rent a motorized sailboat! Sailboat rentals are $11 per half hour and while we didn't have enough time to test them out, I am putting this at the top of my list when I return later this summer. 


The Buffalo Maritime Center houses the Historic Boat Museum and the Boat Building Center, which offers  courses in boat restoration. Both areas are open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 9am-4:30pm.


The are signs along the walkways to share Buffalo's hashtag of the summer #Buffalove15. It's a great campaign that has helped Buffalonians and visitors to the city connect and share tips on what to see and do. 


A tip I learned by searching the #Buffalove15 hashtag was to find Shark Girl. She is a piece of art that was created by Casey Riordan-Millard and is courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Shark Girl is a popular spot for taking a photo and we did wait in a line to pose for our picture. Luckily the people of Buffalo are as enchanting as the city itself and waiting was not a problem, a fellow waiter kindly took our families photo.


The giant 10 foot adirondack chair was provided by the Erie Community College and it honestly made me feel like a little kid jumping into it! Clearly I am not longer a little kid as it took a bit of work to get out of it.


Walking towards Veterans Park we came across this stunning flower that I and my mother in law have never seen before. It grows similar to a lily, is roughly 3 feet tall and the flowers are bright orange-red. If you know what the flower is or have any guesses please let me know! I'd love to plant some of these at home. 


The Civil War Monument honors Buffalo's Irish Regiment, The 155th New York State Volunteers. The inscription on the back read "The 155th New York State Volunteers left Buffalo on October 10 1862 under the command of Col. John E. McMahon and returned July 25, 1865 under the command of Lt. Col. John Byrne." 


The Hispanic-American Veterans Memorial honors Hispanic-Americans who have served in all five branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. 

I get to cross off "Walk along Buffalo's Canalside" from my #Summerbucketlist and in doing so I added about four more things I want to do in Buffalo's Canalside, like taking the ferry to the Outer Bank and touring those amazing ships! 

Hope to see you in Buffalo!

Maker's Mark Bourbonade


After spending the day at the beach in Grand Bend we were in need of a refreshing drink. I'm preparing for a visit to Marker's Mark in Kentucky so what better way to get ready then by making a Marker's Mark Bourbonade! 


The boys love when we set up our little lemonade stand on our old tea cart. This time I added the bourbon so the adults to enjoy a grown up version. I googled a few recipes and was surprised to see how many steps and extra ingredients there were! I wanted to keep this drink simple so I devised a recipe to highlight the fantastic taste of Marker's Mark.


1. Add a few mint leaves and a few ice cubes to a tall glass. Crush the mint leaves with the ice cubes to release the oils. Fill the glass with ice.
2. Add 1oz of Marker's Mark bourbon (1.5 oz for the bourbon lover in your crowd!)
3. Fill with lemonade. Add a sprig of mint and straw to garnish. 
Enjoy! It's as simple as that and the taste is refreshing and highly satisfying.


The Maker's Mark Bourbonade paired nicely with the dinner AMH made, stuffed lobster tails, steak and fresh corn on the cob. It was seriously the best meal I have had all year!

Try the drink out and let me know what you think. Stay tuned for a future blog post on our visit to Marker's Mark!

Heinen's Cleveland


I am a sucker for grocery stores. Can't really explain it but I'm sure I get it from my mom who has been obsessed with Whole Foods since I don't even know when. My lovely husband is well aware that I like to visit local grocery stores when on vacation and he found the most amazing one yet on our recent trip to Cleveland, Heinen's at the corner of East 9th St & Euclid Ave.


The architecture outside is lovely and then you walk into see the ceiling! It is literally breathtaking. The whole family stood in the doorway for a minute just staring! 


They are clearly used to this and posted this great sign asking you to hashtag your photos. There were so many people inside shopping and just as many standing around and taking photos. 


The grocery store is two levels. All your dry goods, bakery, meat & deli are on the first floor with liquor, tea & coffee and specialty items on the second floor. 


Also on the second floor is a lot of seating. Each exquisite marble table has a listing of their special tasting events and is a great place to sit and people watch with a glass of wine. A glass of wine you ask?


There is a wine tasting vending machine! In fact, they have many of them on the second floor. Each section, Cab Sav, various whites, have a tasting machine. If memory serves it was about $3-$4 for a glass.  


Our kids are great travelers and something we have always done is grab snacks and milk at each of our destinations. It has always helped them feel like home isn't too far away. Since we were on our way to the Cleveland Indians game we couldn't grab too many items but these peanuts definitely came home with us. 


The view overlooking the second floor balcony. The middle medallion says Cleveland Trust Company which were the original occupiers of the building. You can read all about the history of this 20th century gem here


I thought I'd died and went to heaven! Their champagne selection is outstanding!


The youngest found this incredible free chilling service near the champagne. It's a cooler filled with ice cold water, the yellow sign tells you how long to keep your bottle in to chill it.


I wonder if they lock the outer solid doors at night? Either way it was an incredible tour through the grocery store. I'm so disappointed that I didn't get to try any of their baked goods, they looked delish!

WOW Wednesday with Crystal Reia - Getting You and Your Children Active This Summer



Well summer is in full swing! What are you and your children doing to stay active this summer? Most Mom’s feel it’s impossible to get a workout in with small children (without daycare), but I’m here to tell you that IT IS possible to get a great workout in and inspire your children to grow up wanting to incorporate fitness into their lifestyle too!





GETTING YOU & YOUR CHILDREN ACTIVE THIS SUMMER

Besides sending the kids off to sports and day camps this summer, there are plenty of other options in your area that you may not have thought of!?! I just heard of a Mom who felt she needed to quit her gym membership because that gym closed its daycare down. How sad!!!

I know of several programs in the tri city area of Baby Zumba, Kids Zumba, Mother/daughter Yoga Classes and or Bootcamps etc. All you have to do is look on-line! There also free videos on-line showing different and fun exercises you can do with your kids at home.

As an option, I actually run two different weekly classes for Mom’s with babies and Mom’s with toddlers or small children!

Strollerfit: A great class done outside (in the spring/summer/fall) at the park, where we get a great full body workout in incorporating, cardio with strollers, strength, balance, core & flexibility using our body weight, park benches, bleachers, resistance bands, or even our babies for extra weight! The babies love it! I also offer an indoor class in the winter, with more baby wearing type exercises. A great way to exercise and bond with your little one and other new Mom’s in your area.
My class runs Thursdays at 10-11am at Riverside Park in Cambridge. I know of other similar StrollerFit classes also running in the surrounding areas too! Check us all out on-line!

Fit4Moms: I took my usual indoor class and moved it to the park this summer on Friday mornings. Moms are welcome to bring their kids along. There is the perfect playground at the front of the park with slides, swings etc. where kids can play while we set up and workout right in front of them. So they are always in Mom’s eye view. Although, usually the kids want to join into our crazy workout antics and you will often see them running along and working out right beside Mom! It is an awesome example to show your children that it’s important to be healthy and incorporate fitness/activity into your routine. It makes your kids want to be more active! You will be surprised how interested they will be in what you are doing in your class.
We also do full bodyweight exercises using park benches etc, resistance bands, weights, interval training, balance, core and stretch! This class runs 10-11am Friday mornings and all levels are welcome! There are several other little boys and girls for your kids to play with. And the park even has a splashpad at the back that you can take your kids to play after the class is over! It makes for a great day out! Totally worth a try if you are looking for something to do and get a great workout in! Drop-Ins welcome!

For Mom’s that are still worried about leaving the household, I do offer in-home programs that you could try out during naptime! Remember, no excuses! There are always, always options for you. You just have to be willing to take that half hour or hour for you!


Kids will most definitely imitate your behavior, so let’s set them up for success and show them how it’s done ladies! Have a fit & fab week everyone and hope to see you out to a class soon!


Crystal Reia
PTS, PFS, OAS
Your Health-Your Choice

Email: yourhealth-yourchoice@live.ca
www.yourhealth-yourchoice.weebly.com 
www.facebook.com/URHealth 
www.twitter.com/URHealthURChoic

Grand Bend

(Instagram @Celebr8thislife)

We finally made it to the beach! After a few rainy weekends we finally got a nice hot sunny day so we packed up the car and headed to Ontario's West Coast. 


My little fish couldn't wait to jump in! Well I guess he's not so little anymore since he is celebrating becoming a teenager this week!


After leaving the hubs, AMH, and the oldest under a beach umbrella, the youngest and I went exploring. Mainly we wanted to get an up close look at the amazing boats coming out of the marina!


Grand Bend Pier


Just one of the incredible sail boats we saw making its way to the Grand Bend Yacht Club (something to add to the #SummerBucketList, the annual regatta on Labour Day weekend)


We have been coming to Grand Bend since the boys were little, it's an annual tradition to celebrate the end of the school year here. Ontario's West Coast has some of the bluest water and sandy beaches, it reminds me so much of little coastal beaches on the Atlantic. It must for the boys as well since we constantly have to remind the boys its not a saltwater beach!


Grand Bend is also a very popular beach! I climbed up to the look out platform to see just how many people were here and even I was surprised! It's a great place to spend a day relaxing on a beach blanket, swimming in the water, playing beach sports, walking into town or renting one of the water vehicles they have. You can go on a power boat ride, rent a sea-do, go parasailing or even rent a water jet pack!


A play area and the splash pad is sure to keep the little ones running around! It was always a hit with my boys, they are a little too big now for it {insert mama tear here}. 


A water selfie with my boys! 


The water was warm and refreshing but...you had to get used to it first! It was amazing to watch everyone in the water turn around when the parasailors went by. I'm still on the fence as to whether I would try it out. 


After our day was over we headed back to the car and I couldn't believe how bright and lively this little beach hotel was, it's a Lilly Pulitzer fans dream come true! The pink and green chairs are adorable and the colour combo is carried throughout the Manor bedrooms, all pink and green! 

Little note to help make your beach day at Grand Bend a successful one. Parking is at a premium here. Try and arrive as early in the day as you can, anything after 1pm and the lots are all full. Bring change and small bills with you. There are metered parking lots and private lots. We opted for a private lot at $15 and luckily we found enough change to cover it. 

What are your favourite beaches? Share in the comments below!

Timeless Cafe and Bakery


Saturday morning I was up bright and early for a breakfast date with a newly engaged friend. We decided to celebrate over breakfast at Timeless Cafe and Bakery after hearing some great reviews. 


I immediately fell in love with the rustic decor. The restaurant is located in the former hen house on a century old farm in Waterloo. We chatted with Lesley the owner who said they have been up and running for three years now. She also told us about the other companies located on the property including a florist and Timeless Material Co. which specializes in reclaimed wood and design. 


The Timeless Breakfast. Two eggs, I like mine scrambled, local peameal bacon, assorted fresh fruit, multigrain bread with jam and butter. The restaurant is a scratch kitchen and everything, right down to the bread, is made in house. Hot fresh ground coffee flowed while we talked the morning away. 


A cozy reading nook to enjoy an afternoon coffee and treat. 


I was so intrigued upon hearing that Timeless Cafe and Bakery is an all scratch kitchen, I wanted to get a little peak of the masters at work in the kitchen. 


Our kind waitress invited us to the front of the restaurant to recommend a few take home goodies. 


The salted hazelnut brownie (gluten free, yippee!) came highly recommended. We asked if the baked goods change often and we were pleasantly surprised to hear that they tend to keep the bakery menu the same. 


I can now count myself as a salted hazelnut brownie fan! It was delicious and had just the right balance of salty and sweet.