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Diana Craig Sparks

Diana Sparks

Diana Craig Sparks is an Accredited Member of the International Society of Appraisers with a specialty in Antiques & Residential Contents.

Involved in fashion history for over 12 years, she is the owner of Belle à Coeur Treasure Trove Vintage.

Belle à Coeur Treasure Trove Vintage is home to such niceties as delicate antique dresses,

to early 1900s styles, to mid-century fashions,

as well as hats, purses and other accessories as well fabulous vintage jewelry.

Visit the shop at

Lauren Fix: The Car Coach

Lauren Fix

About Lauren Fix: The Car Coach®

• Seen and heard coast to coast on major TV, print,web and radio.            
• Winning professional race car driver and alpha mom.
• Educational background in engineering and marketing.
• Award winning Automotive and Lifestyle Expert
Click here to read Lauren's Articles

Paula D'Amico


Paula D’Amico is on a mission to bring hope and healing into people's lives.

She is a Wife, Mother, TV-Producer, Lightworker, Life Gardener,

and owner/creator of Blessings by Nature®.


Besides a rich background in Communications, Paula has a deep history in horticulture that dates back to her childhood when she worked side by side, deep in the dirt with her father, a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Horticulture.

In the past several years, Paula has studied under several local and international experts uncovering the power of plants and how the simple placement of plants and the use of Feng Shui in conjunction with her deep religious roots can transform one’s life.

Blessings by Nature® creations help heal hearts, lift spirits, re-ignite energy, and celebrate life simply by using the power of plants, herbs, and words.

Creations include a variety of sachets, glass vessels, and custom order baskets filled with a unique combination of gifts, organic herbs, and words helping to restore balance, bring clarity, and deliver positive energy into your life.

Blessings by Nature® also offers “Plant Power” workshops.

For more information:

Angie R. Lucarini

Angie is a wife, and mother of 5 children. She has written countless articles over the years that have been published in the Niagara Gazette. While I have a BS in Elementary Education, and an MS in Educational Foundations, I have always had a passion for writing.
After teaching for many years, I took time off to raise my children, yet I continued to write. In addition to writing articles, I also authored two books, and was keynote motivational speaker at several women's conferences. Later on, I went on to produce, edit, & co-host my own local television show for two years.

Paulette Krakowski, Artist

Paulette Krakowski


Paulette Krakowski is an Artist and the Art Gallery owner of  Enjoy The Journey Art Gallery in West Seneca.  The facility offers monthly art exhibits and openings for local artists, a gift shop and art classes. The gallery is working with many local artists, the two local high school art academies as well as raising funds for scholarships and local charities. The gallery has extended holiday hours for the one-of a kind gifts.

Traveling Vineyard

Dori Montini-Kotzin

Traveling Vineyard

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Welcome to!

BNFF 2015 - Closing Awards Ceremony


BEST FEATURE FILM - Blessid by Rob Fitz

BEST DOCUMENTARY - "When The Bell Rings" by Brad Bores

BEST SHORT FILM - "Bottled Up" by Sam Juergens

BEST DIRECTOR - FEATURE - Rob Fitz for "Blessid"

BEST DIRECTOR - SHORT - Marco J. Riedl for "Keeper Of The Past"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER - Beecher Cotton / Silas Tyler for "Blessid"

(The Best Cinematographer award also included a $15,000 camera package award from Panavision)

BEST SCI-FI, HORROR OR THRILLER - "Truth" by Michael Cramer


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Strong and Steady

When things fall apart in life, can you put them back together?



Broken barns

Sometimes broken objects can be fixed without any detection and other times you need to throw it away or save it in its broken state. Every day I walk by some barns down my street. There are some homes in disrepair and others that are strong and sturdy.

The funny thing about barns is that they can stay up broken, swaying in the wind, and no one seems to wonder why.

Someone once told me that some barns have a center post that keeps the balance in a not so study structure. You too have a heart center that can be strong with strength at the center; keeping you strong in mind, body and spirit. When barns do crash down, there may be many memories tucked inside of them that will never be forgotten. Unlike homes, no one seems to be bothered by a barn falling down. Houses have to be stable with many large beams holding the structure strong and steady. If a house sways with the wind, you need to get out quickly.

Relationships the sway
There are so many different types of relationship crashes and some can be saved while others just have to move on. And just like a barn you may be able to pick up the pieces and carry on carefully finding ways to reconcile, or give up on your relationship as so many people do. You and your partner have to make the decision as to the worth of your structure just as the farmer assesses his loss of his barn.

Your Center and balance

When your center is off you can feel it, especially in your physical being; putting you off balance for the day; leaning to one side or the other. You work on your balance problems with exercises such as standing on one foot or yoga exercises that challenge your posture and balance.

Emotions and Spirit

When your heart center is off it crashes your emotions and spirit; sending you into a tailspin of emotional turmoil that you have to work on to bring back the balance. You struggle trying to figure out what to do to keep yourself in good balance by reading inspirational literature, talking to a therapist who specializes in helping with emotional and spiritual life, or you may find a friend to confide in who is a good listener.

Hopefully when you find your way through the turmoil of a relationship that needs mending as I have, the relationship grows stronger with a center post holding you together.

How do you keep yourself balanced in mind, body and soul?


Two Peace Contests

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 organization based in Santa Barbara, California, hosts two peace contests each year.

The Swackhamer Disarmament Video Contest is an annual contest in which contestants submit short videos on an aspect of nuclear disarmament (the specific topic is announced on February 1 each year). The deadline for submissions is April 1.

The Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Awards is an annual series of awards to encourage poets to explore and illuminate positive visions of peace and the human spirit. The Poetry Awards include three age categories: Adult, Youth 13-18, and Youth 12 & Under. Each year, the deadline for submissions is July 1.




“Witty and Wise!” – Vanity Fair

O'Connell & Company presents


MAY 7 – JUNE 7, 2015


Buffalo, NY: O’Connell & Company, the professional theatre in residence at The Park School of Buffalo, presents LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE opening on May 7 and continuing through June 7, 2015.


Proving that a great show is always in fashion, LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE is a play of monologues and ensemble pieces about women, clothes and memory that covers all the important subjects—mothers, prom dresses, mothers, buying bras, mothers, hating purses and why we only wear black. LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE, written by Nora and Delia Ephron based on the 1995 book of the same name by Ilene Beckerman uses clothing, accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny and often poignant stories about matters of the heart and matters of the closet.

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What Better Day Than Today?

Today was the day of the 5k Envi Race, which I was determined to run. This was my first one, and I was very excited. My partner in crime was my beautiful niece Savannah. We both had spent weeks training for this BIG DAY, the weather was truly Glorious at 65°.  What more could we ask for? Well… maybe just one small additional request, that was for our bodies to cooperate with us, being that we both had some physical ailments to deal with. However, the perseverance that we both obtained, was far greater than any physical issues and was sure to see us through to the finish line.
We were running on pure adrenaline. Seeing people of all ages, races, and nationalities, even people from other countries, come together and physically run for one cause; that being to get to the finish line. While inside each person's spirit and mind they all held their own personal reasons for running the race, and enduring until they reached that end mark of victory.
While training, each week became increasingly more difficult. Yet, I continued to push through. In my spirit, my voice of determination was saying, "Keep on going, there's no turning back, you control your body, and often times, we need to endure the pain in order to gain."  I ran with my other niece in mind, who died of cancer at the young of 14. I ran to break the chains of limitation which attempt to hold me down by the physical pain I fight against daily. I ran to say, "I am going to fight the good fight of perseverance and fortitude, and continue to set goals that are just beyond my reach.
I believe this is a very healthy practice for all of us, applying to many aspects of our every day lives. Very simply put, doing so causes us to get out of our comfort zone and work a little harder for that goal, which we are trying to achieve. Yes, it was a beautiful day for a run indeed! And, a great day to say, "WE DID IT!" Is there something in your life that you've been procrastinating about? A dream or goal that you keep putting off until tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes? Why not begin right now? What better day than today for a run, or anything else that is going to be a positive addition to your life?


Jasmine, Jacarandas and JOY!

I love Marianne Williamson’s writing. One of her quotes is “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” Yes, to think about how good things really are!

So I started this morning’s walk (in St. Petersburg, FL) thinking about this quote.

And I observed my surroundings.  What did I see?   Rows of Jasmine hedges in full fragrance. Hibiscus and Oleander shrubs were in full flower.  And what took my breath away? The Jacaranda tree showing off its royal purple beauty.   As most of my readers know, I am a snowbird.  At the same time as I was observing my southern surroundings, my neighbor-walkers-in the north could observe the beautiful yellow daffodils beginning to burst in my Niagara yard.  Beauty surrounds us everywhere.  And in seeking out the beauty around us, there is JOY!


Everyone knows how to be joyful in the peaks of life. But what about the down-times—when nothing seems to go your way? When everything is falling apart?  When you feel alone?  Where does joy fit into those moments?  We have to seek it until we find it….even in those moments.  And that joy comes from one’s inner being….not from the outside.  (No one else can create your inner joy). We choose the emotions we feel and for how long. We choose how to see a bigger picture; we can reframe things and find solutions and coping methods.  There is a ladder of emotions on which we can slide up and down (from ecstasy to despair and many in-between)….and the good news is that we can choose the emotional rung of the ladder where we want to hang out (joyful and content)…by recognizing that even in the difficult times, in our high-frustration-times, that there is joy to be found.  Think about how good things really are…..!

Read more...


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Claire Knowles

Claire Knowles

Claire Knowles is a retired human resources and labor relations manager,

certified in coaching and mediation. She is a partner in Richard N. Knowles & Associates, Inc.

Her coaching/consulting focus can be viewed at Lights On! is created especially for women:

Presentations, Consulting, Coaching, Retreats, and Facilitations.

Doris Richardson-Edsell


Doris Richardson-Edsell is a retired registered nurse who worked as a counselor and group therapist at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center for over 25 years. She has an MS in Professional Leadership from St. Bonaventure University.

Since her retirement, Doris now works on her passions; teaching  yoga at Southtowns Fitness in Hamburg, NY, and volunteering time and paid work for her former employer teaching yoga and meditation.
"I love to write and post a daily health tip on my website called Body-Mind Health-" Recently, with the help of Amazon, Doris turned her blog posts into books. Her focus is on providing others with healthy mind, body and soulful tips.

Kimberly Montini

R+F Independent Consultant


Kim Montini

your consultant

My Story

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