My Irish Experience

            With St. Patrick’s Day apparel hitting stores and shamrock decorations filling store windows, I can’t help but think about my 3-day trip to Dublin, Ireland that I took in January while I was abroad. I hoped on a £15 flight (around $18.00 US dollar,) and before I knew it I was landed in Ireland. I took this trip with 10 other students that were abroad with me, we stayed in an Airbnb and had a very touristy 3 days.

Day 1: Our flight landed around 5:00PM so we didn’t have much time to sight see, plus we were all exhausted. We went home, settled into our Airbnb, ate dinner and got ready for the night. We went to an Irish Pub that was down the street, drank a Guinness and went to bed.

Day 2: Now that we had the entire day, we could be full-blown tourists. First, we went to the Dublin Castle, which is where the Irish royalty once lived. After that we walked around the town before our reservation at the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. When we got to the distillery we got a tour of where all the Jameson Whiskey is made. All of it is made in Dublin and shipped out all over the world. We also got to do a taste testing along with being taught how to make our own whiskey. After that we headed back home and went to another local Irish Pub.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset, Outside of the Dublin Castle
Processed with VSCO with e3 preset, Jameson Whiskey Distillery

Day 3: The most interesting day of the trip. We all woke up at 6:00AM for a bus tour that brought us to Gallaway, which was a 4 hour drive away, and the Cliffs of Moher. We ended up with a very whacky tour guide who could not stop talking for the life of him. Yes, he talked for the entire 4-hour drive from 6AM-10AM. When we arrived at Gallaway, we got off the bus and was able to walk around the city for 2 hours. Long story short, it was Sunday and not one shop or restaurant was open. So, we basically just stood around and waited for time to pass. Next was Cliffs of Moher, which was another 2-hour drive away. You bet the tour guide talked for that entire ride too. When we got to the Cliffs, we were embraced by the worst weather I have ever had to deal with. The wind was so strong it was literally knocking people over- just what you want when you are walking on cliffs, right? Plus, raindrops that felt like pellets when they hit you in the face. Towards the end the weather calmed down and we all were able to appreciate the true beauty of the cliffs. To end the tour, we went to a Ma and Pa Irish restaurant and enjoyed our last Irish meal before we headed back to London.

Cliffs of Moher

            I’m very thankful that I was able to experience Ireland, even if it only was for 3 days. In the 72 hours we were there, the 10 of us made the most out of the trip. Going back is 100% on my bucket list. I hope everyone has a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day! 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset, Beautiful Irish sunset

Looking for a home? Make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com
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Alexa Graff

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Embracing my Afro-Latina!

Growing up I never truly understand what it meant to be an Afro-Latina. As a child my mother would always perm my hair, so that it could be long, STRAIGHT and beautiful. My mother, older sister and I would get perms daily but my middle sister had what I used to consider “good hair” which means she did not need to. She could wash and straighten her hair whenever she pleased. The moment my mother would notice my roots were curly it was time for a perm. As the youngest sibling I always look up to my older sisters and as I got older I started noticing my sister stopped relaxing her hair. My mom was against the idea of going natural but my sister’s hair was growing long, healthy and curly.

In August 2015, I moved to Buffalo for college and knowing my mother I had relaxed my hair a week before left. It was difficult trying to find a Dominican salon, my roommates and I called places but they were expensive. I ended up coming across, Dominican Hair Salon New Touch of Elegance and gained a great relationship with one of the salon ladies there. We both had a lot in common she was Dominican and had just moved to Buffalo from the Bronx. Right away she treated me as if I were one of her own kids. In December of 2017 she had me go natural and refused that I relax or dye my hair. Few years later I love and learned to embrace my hair.

Afro-Latinx women who are role models and embrace their beauty!

Amara La Negra is an Dominican artist who was born and raised in Miami. She is known for her hair and being a role model to those who want to explore and be confident in their own skin. “All because of my looks or because I am dark-skinned. But, that doesn’t make me less Latina.” –Amara La Negra

Tatyana Ali is known for her role on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She is proud to identify herself as black and Afro-Caribbean. “I’m a black woman. I am. Culturally, I would say African-American culture is different. I would say I’m more Afro-Caribbean. My heritage, with my culture, who I am… I’m not going to choose. I am both.” –Tatyana Ali

Lauren Velez is a Puerto Rican descent actress who was born in Brooklyn, NY but grow up in Queens. “Although I’m Afro-Latina, agents said I had to pick one…When Obama won, it was a defining moment in pop culture. We’re (people of mixed heritages and cultures) a part of a much broader experience now.” –Lauren Velez

Feel free to share your experience <3

If you are planning to move to Buffalo and want to live near a salon make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com

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Genesis Burgos

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Bad Luck Charm?

The surge of people. The smell of popcorn. The exposition of orange, black, and white. The occasional orange wig. The excitement in the air as you find your seat. The cheering of the crowd. If you don’t know what I’m describing, let me help you out. I recently attended my first ever Bandits game.

Now I will admit that I am not an athletic person, nor do I watch a lot of sporting events. I’ve been to Sabers games and watch the Bills games on TV, but usually I’m multitasking so the game does not have my full attention. After going up to the 300s I patiently waited for the game to begin. A pleasant surprise was seeing Sabertooth, as I think he is adorable. I loved seeing him with Rax (the Bandits mascot) together throughout the game.

This game was also best friends’ game, so there were best friends’ games and short segments from television shows to break the game up. Being a huge Friends fan myself, seeing Joey and Chandler on the screen was awesome. There was a dad joke challenge, where players told dad jokes to one another to see who would laugh. The beginning of the game was somewhat disappointing score wise, with the Bandits loosing for most of the start, but they were still scoring (so I guess that’s better then a no score game). Now, my first Sabers game I saw in person the Sabers lost, so as I’m watching the Bandits, I stated getting a feeling that I was a bad luck charm. My first game = they lose.

After an intermission of buying a drink and chips, were back to watching the game. The box chant filled the dome and I started catching on to saying it with the crowd. This is when the Bandits came back up. Score after score the caught up and made it a tight race to the finish. 9 points and we stared cheering “we want Moes” (10 points and you get 25% off Moes with your ticket). Not only did I get Moes on Sunday, but we WON WITH 12 POINTS! So I guess I’m not a bad luck charm after all.

Looking for a home? Awesome make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com
Address:
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Adopt Don’t Shop

Around this time last year, my Mom was getting her nails done when the woman doing her nails made her aware of a situation going on. It was about a dog, named Tender, that she knew was being kept in a basement. The owners of the house wanted to get rid of the dog- by get rid of they meant kill or abandon somewhere. My mom, being the animal lover that she is, acted immediately. She called up Diamonds in the Ruff, which is a non-profit organization she is a member of, ran completely by volunteers, that rescue and foster animals until they find a forever home.

            When they arrived at the house the dog was at, they found her in the basement, completely neglected with no quality of life. She had no contact with people or the world outside of the basement. Tender was vomiting blood when found, so my Mom brought her to the vet. When examined, it became clear that Tender had parvovirus due to her lack of vaccination and care. Vets told my Mom and volunteers that it would be easier to euthanize Tender, as treatment to cure this disease was very expensive. Diamonds in the Ruff stuck to their values and refused, a GoFundMe page was set up and members of the organization and the community donated. The $6,000 treatment was completely covered- $2,000 that was raised on the GoFundMe went towards the treatment while the other $4,000 was paid for by Diamonds.

            When she was finally recovered, Tender was placed into foster care with my Mom- except this time her name was Sophia, after the nail lady that made my Mom aware of her situation. Sophia needed to be temporarily kept away from other dogs until the virus was completely out of her system. By the time the virus was gone as Sophia was ready to be adopted, my Mom and my brother, Adam, had grown to love Sophia as they had watched her recover and grow into her personality. Adam decided that he could not watch Sophia go into another home, so he adopted her!

            Sophia went from a dark basement, to vets saying it would be easier to euthanize her, all the way to a forever, happy home. None of that would have been possible without Diamonds in the Ruff. I encourage everyone to adopt and not to shop. There are so many dogs out there with stories similar to Sophia’s, dogs that have been given a second chance at life thanks to local non-profits and donations from people of the community. So why not give them the second chance they deserve?

Sophia happy and healthy in her forever home!

We support local organizations! https://diamondsintheruffanimalrescue.rescuegroups.org/

If you are looking for your future home, make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com
Address:
982 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo NY 14213
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Alexa Graff

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West Side Bazaar Life

As I said in a previous blog post I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone, as I feel I’ve been inside a box for a little too long. I did this on Wednesday, where I visited the West Side Bazaar for the first time with a group of classmates.

If you are unaware on what the West Side Bazaar is, it is a shop of shops (almost like a craft show or a flee market) located on Grant Street in Buffalo. The group that started West Side Bazaar did so to help the refugees and immigrants in the area grow. It is a starting place for refugees and immigrants to start a business with guidance of professionals. Shops here showcase an array of products including clothing, jewelry, cards, artwork, and knickknacks with an ethic twist.

I will admit I was skeptical before going. I do not go to Buffalo much (this internship being the only reason why) and did not know what to expect. Upon entering I saw an array of colors and products. The one side is retail based while the other is food based. I instantly feel in love with every elephant product I say (I LOVE elephants) and liked how everything was so eye catching. On the food side of the building I tried bubble tea (and didn’t like it).

I did not realize but while being distracted by colors and shopping (my favorite) I became comfortable. While speaking to one of the shop owners, a woman named Nadeen who came from Iraq, she told us that she has been in business for four years and really likes Buffalo. She was kind and skilled in making celling plant holders.

So according to drama, anxious me: I pushed myself outside my boundaries and did not die (yay!).

If you’re looking for a new place to call home, make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com
Address:
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Living with your significant other (College Edition)

August 30th 2017 was when my little love story began. It was the 1st week of classes and I was coming back from work. My friends and I decided to head to dining around 7:00pm. I was waiting on line to get French fries, and randomly some guy whispers nutrient facts about the food. I have no idea who this guy is and sometimes I’m not a huge fan of talking to people that I don’t know. My initial reaction was to smile, knob my head and turn around. He was determined, to have a conversation with me. He asked for my name, told me his was Tre and asked for my snap chat. Before I gave it to him my line sister interrupted us, telling him he needed 3 long and 3 short-term goals before trying to talk to me. Later on we started hanging out, became close friends and now the rest is history.

Here are some tips:

Communication!

Communicating within a relationship is important because that’s how you express your feelings. You my not always be right but when communicating try to understand the person. Leaving each other notes or texting your significant other is a way of communicating with them. (For example, after my boyfriend cooked he left the kitchen a mess and I left him a not.)

Personal Space!

Everyone needs his or her own time to think and breathe. So personal space and having your own alone time is an important part when living with someone. You can still keep each other company while having your own alone time. (For us Trevon plays on his PS4 while I watch shows on my laptop or have fun looking at a planner.)

Teamwork!

Make sure you balance the workload, so cleaning and cooking should be a 50/50 deal. Being in a relationship is learning how to work together and build as a team.

Explore!

Being home in a comfortable environment is great but make sure to explore. Go on fun cheap dates or if you want to dress up and go to a fancy restaurant in order to continue building memories. Even by driving around and going no where you are building memories!

Date Night
Banquet

Attention!

You live together and you spend all day together but always make sure to give each other attention. Take 10 minutes to listen on how each other’s day was. Talk about something funny you saw or any struggles you had.

Random!

Be silly! Have fun and if you need to listen to music, dance around. Find different random activities to have fun in a room. Put down your phone and buy board games to play. (Trevon and I play Ludo club against each other for fun.)

Paint Night
Pre-Valentines Day gift

 Feel free to share your experience

If you are planning to move in with you significant other make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com

Address:

982 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo NY 14213

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Genesis Burgos

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Why Thrift?

One of my favorite things is when I’m wearing something and someone goes “OMG, where did you get that?” My response? “The thrift store, $4.00”. Or even better, “OMG I love the new couch, where’d you guys get it?” “The thrift store, $25.00.”

Besides the obvious perk of getting cheap stuff, there are actually many perks to thrift shopping. The first being, they actually have good stuff! Since prices are cheap, that leaves room for creativity. Want to cut some holes in those jeans? Cut them. Want to make that hoodie a crop top hoodie? Cut it. If you mess up, you lose $4.00 compared to $20.00- and it might still be cute to wear.

Compared to big retailers that only restock when they are sold out, thrift stores restock whenever they get new donations- which is almost every day. There is always new stuff being put on the racks to browse through. There also is no stopping who can shop there, they have a woman’s section, a men’s section, a children’s section, a plus size section, a maternity section and more. They also have a section of shoes, furniture and endless amounts of knick-knacks.

Many local thrift stores are also an extension of a non-profit agency, many of the funds and donations they receive go back to the community or too a good cause. Ontop of that, for those of you that are eco-friendly, clothes recycling is a good way to actively help the environment.

So why not thrift? Especially in Buffalo, thrift stores and consignment shops are everywhere. On Elmwood alone, there are four: AMVETS Buffalo, Second Chic, Rumpelstiltskin’s and F&D Thrift Shop. There are dozens throughout the entire area. Next time you are headed to the mall to find an outfit for an occasion, I challenge you to at least once go to a thrift shop. You may just stumble upon something you love.

If you are looking for your future home, make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com
Address:
982 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo NY 14213
Social media:
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Alexa Graff

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What I Want To Be

I’ve had this conversation probably a hundred times.

Person: “What college do you go to?”

Me: “Hilbert College.”

P: “What are you going for?”

M: “English.”

P: “Do you want to be an English teacher?”

M: “No. I want to be an author.”

Then you hear the most unenthusiastic but trying to be supportive “Oh that’s cool” and the conversation plummets. Trust me I get it. English is not an impressive gateway to becoming successful, especially when the one profession you are supposed to go down (teaching) is the one thing I want to avoid. As I entered college my mother tried to push me toward journalism, but I hate journalism more then I hate teaching (no offense to journalists or teachers. I respect both and could never do what you do.)

But growing up I was surrounded by the written word. My mother was (and still is) a lover of books (mostly murder mysteries) and can finish a book a week. I was at the library on a weekly basis as a child, attending every program my mom could sign me up for. When my grandmother passed away, we cleaned out her house and found thirteen half read library books scattered around the house. When I began attending school English class quickly became my favorite subject (I even like Shakespeare). It would be an understatement to say books did not influence my life.

My dream is to one day walk into a Barnes and Nobel and see sitting on the shelf a book with my name on it. I want to challenge people’s opinions and beliefs, informing young adults on a world they may not know much about. I also want to help different places and have already decided that if I do become successful that I am going to donate a portion of book sales to an organization.

I don’t really know what my future holds, as oddly enough you can not exit college and say you’re a famous author and that be the end of it, but I am trying to prepare myself. I try to write on a regular basis, but I do have a while to go. One of my biggest insecurities is people reading my writing (I get the irony connected to wanting to become an author and being afraid to share my stories) but am getting more and more comfortable with sharing my writing. Hopefully this all works out and the disappointed conversations will all be worth it.

If you are like me and are ready to take on your future and are looking for your future home, make sure to give Red Door Real Estate a call at (716) 768-1177 or email us realtyrenee@gmail.com

Address:

982 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo NY 14213

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Stepping out of my comfort zone.

Hi everyone! My name is Alexa Graff and I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. I am currently in my junior year at University at Buffalo, my major is Communications with a concentration in Marketing and Advertising. I am interning at Red Door Real Estate this spring (my first internship ever) and I am so excited.

When I had gotten this internship in November, I had planned to start in January. With the adult world in the near future, how could I not feel guilty being a lump on a log and watching Netflix 24/7 during my winter break? With that being said, I decided to do something with myself for once. I applied for a study abroad program through University at Buffalo for the Winter Session. A few days after applying, I got in! My trip to London for the month of January came up quick and ended even quicker. I can honestly say that trip was one of the best experiences I have ever had.  

The study abroad program consisted of a Sociology of Food course taught by a UB professor, so I was able to gain 3 course credits while traveling the world- who can complain? There were 26 UB students in the program- half being from the New York UB campus and the other half being from the Singapore UB Campus. We all spent every day together, whether it be in class or exploring London after class, we all quickly grew close and made friendships that will last a lifetime. Every moment I was there I consider to be my favorite part, but I would like to share some of my favorite, favorite parts.

The program I was enrolled in had a day to day schedule that included activities outside of the classroom- basically must-see places in London that were covered by program tuition. One of the first places we went to was Hampton Court Palace, which was where King Henry lived. The architecture of the palace was incredible and the garden was beyond beautiful. I remember just looking at everything and thinking to myself ‘there is no way this is real.’

Another favorite, favorite place I went to was the Sky Garden. Being the sixth tallest building in the entire city of London, the few from the top is amazing. There also is a full botanical garden located on the top floor (hence the name, Sky Garden) along with a restaurant. Again, another ‘there is no way this is real’ moment.  On top of being simply beautiful, entrance to the Sky Garden was FREE!

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

I encourage everyone to utilize the opportunities they are surrounded by. University at Buffalo, and I’m sure most other colleges, provide dozens of study abroad programs for students of every major. It seems that not many students actually go and you never really hear much about the amazing trips students that do go have. The point I am trying to make is that your comfort zone WILL kill you. I could have stayed at home, in my comfort zone, during my break and completely missed out on this opportunity. I can say the same for my internship at Red Door- I could’ve stayed in my comfort zone and taken an extra class like every other semester, but instead I am starting a whole new experience that I know I will be glad I did in the end.

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