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Impact Artists Gallery

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

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

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.

JAG In Her Basement


JAG In Her Basement


JAG is "Just A Girl in her basement" giving you advice on all sorts of issues related to women! JAG is interested in what interests you, so don't be afraid to let JAG know what's on your mind, because she doesn't have a problem letting you know what's on hers.

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.

Income Tax

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Detecting Odometer Fraud in a Used Car

Hello, I’m Lauren Fix, The Car Coach. Mileage is one of the biggest factors in determining the price of a used car. But across the country, especially in New York, many buyers soon find out that the number on their odometer doesn’t come close to matching their car’s true mileage.

We use mileage to determine when to get our oil changed, when to rotate our tires, and how much our vehicle is valued, but that mileage on your new “used” vehicle, may not be what you paid for.

The people at CarFax tells us that, unfortunately, “odometer fraud” is not a forgotten scam. It’s been around for decades but, with the advent of the digital odometer, many people mistakenly believe that odometer roll-backs are no longer possible. However going digital has actually made odometer fraud easier; it’s just like hacking a computer. The bad news is that New York is one of the top five states with the most amount of “roll-back” cars.

Just like a hacker can do damage to a computer, someone with the right software and hardware can make a digital odometer read whatever number they want.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates consumers will lose billions of dollars to odometer fraud this year. Despite efforts to combat odometer fraud – including tougher laws and increased enforcement, like certain states passing odometer disclosure statement laws – consumers are increasingly at risk to this age-old scam.

Unfortunately, digital odometer tampering is even harder to detect than tampering of a traditional mechanical odometer (since digital odometers have no visible moving parts). A vehicle’s condition and a CARFAX Vehicle History Report are the best clues a buyer has for determining whether clocking has occurred.

Detecting Odometer Fraud

Ask to see the title and compare the mileage listed on the title with the vehicle’s odometer. Examine the title closely if the mileage notation seems obscured or is hard to read.

Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage indicated on the vehicle’s maintenance or inspection records.

Look at the wear and tear on the vehicle – especially the gas, brake and clutch pedals – to see if the wear seems consistent with and appropriate for the number of miles displayed on the odometer.

The Federal Truth in Mileage Act (TIMA) requires sellers to provide actual, truthful odometer readings and to disclose any known inaccuracies. TIMA makes odometer fraud a felony. Failure to disclose that an odometer has been changed or repaired (altered in any way) and/or falsifying mileage documentation will result in fines and/or imprisonment.


Emotions Do Matter! …What are yours telling you today?

Emotions Do Matter!

I recently listened to a webinar on our emotions being a wonderful coping tool for us.  Yes, a coping tool! I’m a big believer around the Ladder of Emotions.  In my many years I think I’ve experienced most of them!  The learning, of course, is that no one can move you up the ladder of emotions but yourself.  You have to find a way

to move out of the lower end and into the higher end—as much of the time as possible.   In a sense, we each have a stop light inside us….we know whether we can cruise on green, whether to have caution when on yellow, and when we’ve got a big emotional problem and we have to stop and regroup on red—we know all that just by the emotions we are feeling!  We know we have to move back to green!

Unfortunately, as humans in this day and age, we tend to have a negativity bias….it takes more effort to climb up than it does to regress downward.  It is as if our negative emotions are “Velcro”—and they stick to us; while our more positive emotions are “Teflon”---and they are quick to slip away.   Is that not the reason for the old saying, “Smell the Roses”….!    Yes, grab on to the good while you can…..because once the downward emotional slipping starts we have to work hard to climb up again!  And the only one that can move you back up that ladder….is  YOU!  Cultivating your own ways for climbing up (recognizing them, repeating them) is a life learning to acknowledge.  And it starts by being ‘aware’….yes, aware of where you are at any given time on the Emotional Ladder; then moving back up!

How do you bring yourself up?  What are your climbing tools?  What do I do?  I work very hard at finding the positive; Dealing with the reality of the situation; learning the lesson in it.  Being grateful.   Trying to see the good in situations.  And, primarily, by diverting my attention to something that is good, that brings joy, that sends love.  Being positive.---Works every time!


Ladder of Emotions:


"I Can't Do It!"

The other morning, as I was about to tackle my daily challenge of doing my daughter's very thick, long, naturally curly hair; I asked that she first take out the rubber band. I did this, because now that she is 8, I'm trying to teach her little steps in caring for her own hair.  After attempting for a few seconds, Lana got frustrated saying, "I can't do it. I tried. It's too hard." 
I was slightly annoyed by this, since I was getting ready too, and I could've used her help. Yet, I used the situation as a "teachable moment".  I responded, "No, you didn't really try. Trying is when you persevere. Trying is when you keep at it, until it comes off. That's trying! Trying means NOT GIVING UP, until you accomplish that which you set out to do."
At that, my daughter smiled, and said, "oka-a-ay". Next thing I knew, she was pulling the rubber band, every which way, until came out. I went on to encourage her, & talk to her about how her perseverance paid off. These are the core traits that I believe are both caught, and taught. "Why taught?" you may ask.  Our children may grow up to be very determined to persevere during the most difficult of times; and they may have been born with this strong personality trait. Thus, they "caught" it, as it was passed on.  Yet, at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are kids who are not driven at all. Hence, they are able to be "taught" this important trait, along with so many other must-have characteristics for life's journey of survival.
Whether caught or taught, take advantage of every opportunity to open up the lines of communication with your children. Use those practical, everyday moments to teach them these qualities, or "tools" if you will; that I feel one must possess in order to succeed in this ever changing world. As in the example with my daughter, I could've chosen to simply give in to her whining, and do it for her. However, rather than giving in, I showed her some tough love. Therefore, she was forced to step up to the plate, and figure out how to remove the hair tie. While the example given is a small matter, it serves as a platform for greater things to come. 
Today more than ever, when we are living with a generation that has a sense of "entitlement",  our society could benefit from children who are learning not to give up easily, but instead who keep trying in the face of adversity. They will be the same ones who will go on to work at least two jobs to put themselves through Graduate School, if need be. For so many others who've been dealt the horrific, all consuming blow of losing a family member suddenly & unexpectedly at an age far too young, to wrap their heads around; but go on they do! Sometimes, we go on because others are depending on us. Other times, it may be all we know to do. Thus, we march on continuing to put one foot in front of the other.       And despite the fact that I am marching to a different beat these days, due to my life being riddled by severe daily migraines...and Fibromyalgia for several years now, I press on! Each day is a new day to get it right. Press on! Press in! Don't look back, but to learn from, then move on! If you fall, get back up & try again tomorrow. If you are ill, make adjustments as needed. However, DO NOT ALLOW YOUR ILLNESS TO DEFINE YOU, OR STOP YOU FROM LIVING. Focus your attention on those things which you DO have control over, and give them your all. It will help you feel a sense of purpose again. This will also be an inspiration to others, going through similar circumstances. The only limits on your future, will be the ones you set!


Evolution Wearable Art Show & Competition is all the BUZZ!

WNYWOMEN.COM was a proud corporate sponsor of Impact Artists Gallery's wearable art fashion show and competition April 6th at the beautiful venue the Tonawanda Castle!  The excitement and the buzz is still happening.

The place was packed, and as each designer/astists model walked the runway the crowd watched in awe as they were totally engaged with the spectacular wearable art!  This premier event was the first of it's kind for this region.  A fundraising event with the purpose of revitalizing Impact Artists Gallery, which just celebrated it's 20th year in Buffalo.  The gallery is working under a new Board of Directors, and Executive Director Carmen Wroz with the intent to bring new programs and young adults to the art gallery realm.   This show brought out so much talent, and was co-produced by Impact Artist Galleries President and Vice President of the Board of Directors, Maria Dugan-Kowalski and Dori Montini-Kotzin.  The entertainment and casting of models was the work of Celina Robinson, also owner of Entertainment WNY with the help of the talented artist and large producer of wearable art Mary Grace Ohrum.  The show took all of six months to put together behind the scenes, but now that the premier show was such a huge success, that work will come in handy to push this forward to an even bigger format. We are looking for the support of all the participants at Impact Artists Gallery for next years Evolution II.  The show would not have been complete without the involvement of so much talent, and our prominent judges panel.

Special Thanks to: All the Artists/Designers, judges Dr. Jocelyn Burdett, Josef Bajus, Michael Beam, Marcus Wise, Rick Dudkowski and Guest judge Model Grace Modi.

Backstage Manger Jackie Hooper for the daunting responsibility of getting 100 + people ready for the stage, Co-Chairwomen of Stage Production; Mary Grace Ohrum, for working on so many aspects of this show, ticket sales,getting models, public relations, doing music line-up, photographers and helping backstage & on stage, enlisting talent. Celina Robinson for entertainment, model casting, stage line-up, photographers, hair & make-up artists,audio production, lighting, stage, vendors, and auditions. Paula Green Damico for WKBW Channel 7's involvement and vendor participation, committee involvement with a busy schedule as a Producer of WNY news with WKBW-TV. Tiffany Lundberg from WKBW for Master of Ceremonies, great job! Maria Guizzotti for the swag bags, wristbands, organization of being the VIP party Manger. Carmen Wroz as Ticket Manager, set up and ticket sales, constant involvement as Executive Director of Impact Artists Gallery in the daily decisions of Evolution, printing, raffle tickets, and support.
Miss Millie for volunteering to bring her many talents to the front stage, supplying advise, hairstylist, vendors, food for our backstage crew, and introducing us to Grace Modi. All the vendors that supported Evolution, the husbands and volunteers that worked the ballroom floor and supported all of us. Amy Kotzin for designing a very useful computer excel program to tally judges votes in a snap (sorry it was abandoned). Diane Menchetti for bringing several key players to the forefront of this event that helped make Evolution a success. Grace Modi for her special appearance and serving as the only model in the industry on our panel of prominent judges. Thank you Grace for your time and energy and most of all expertise in scoring from the view of stage presence. I'd like to thank the Tonawanda Castle, Lindsay and Jamie for the perfect venue for just such a show! The food was fabulous, the service beyond excellent!! I would strongly recommend the Tonawanda Castle for any event. Last, but certainly not least...Maria Dugan-Kowalski my co-producer and partner in producing Evolution. We struggled through many days of producing, communication, and just long hard hours of work together. Somehow we managed to find our places in all of this to do all sorts of projects, meetings, publicity, printing, communication, and worked many many hours behind the scenes putting together the framework that brought all of you together to make Evolution the kind of success it was. Maria thank you for your hard work and dedication, the final program, the scoring of the event, the ticket sales, the publicity, the people you brought to the table, the meetings, and support! I'm sure I missed some things here, but I really want everyone to know how appreciated you are, because Evolution was a HUGE success because of everything you all did!! Thank You from the bottom of my heart. I believe we proved that a group of volunteers can make great things happen in their community. Evolution is being raved about!! - Dori Montini-Kotzin


Less Struggling, More Peace

Less Struggling, More Peace

Find your way through your life path with less struggling and more peace

As you age, become closer to the truth about yourself and where we are in life’s path.  Begin to see that life is like a clock, ticking on wherever you are.

Personal Awe Moments

I have had more awe moments in the last few years, more than in my entire life. Maybe I was not looking because I was so busy doing things in life that I thought were important.

For over 50 years I was busy trying to make a living or trying to force things into place that did not fit, and this made the struggling much more difficult than it had to be.

Now I see the sunrises and sunsets. And now I find time to tell others how much beauty can be missed if you are not looking.

The next time you struggle, you may want to think about whether you are putting a round peg into a square hole; forcing things into place that do not belong.

Read more...



"GODSPELL is cause to rejoice! This will make you a believer in the power of musical theater!"
USA Today
From the composer of WICKED & PIPPIN,
O'Connell & Company proudly presents,
an all new production of the Steven Schwartz, classic musical,
April 24 – May 25, 2014

Read more...


Stocking Girl

erase wrinkles

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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.

Buffalo Healthy Living


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.

Kimberly Montini

R+F Independent Consultant


Kim Montini

your consultant

My Story

I am proud to represent Rodan + Fields Dermatologists.

These uniquely effective skincare products are designed by two of the most respected dermatologists in the country with a legacy of delivering on what they promise.

I believe that using Rodan + Fields is as close as you can get to visiting a dermatologist … without an appointment.

Rodan and Fields can truly transform your skin.

Linda Chalmer Zemel

Linda Chaimer Zemel

Linda Chalmer Zemel has been a News Book Reviewer for The Buffalo News, and her op-ed pieces have been published in Her feature stories have been published in regional newspapers since 1986. She created, wrote, and hosted “What’s New,” a radio interview series for WHLD, 1270 AM in Buffalo. She received her BA and MA at the University of Rochester, where she also did doctoral work in human development. She has worked under grants to develop distance learning programs and to train teacher aides for the Buffalo schools. She retired from the State University of New York as adjunct assistant professor of English at Monroe Community College. Linda teaches media writing  in the Communication Department at Buffalo State College.

Ingulge: Home Spa Parties


Indulge: Home Spa Parties

Take a break and get your friends together to loosen up and unwind in the comfort of your own home. All we need is a private area (approx. 8x6) to set up a table and music for relaxing massages and an area in your living room to set up a mini oases for your hands and feet. Whip up some snacks, mix up some drinks and let us take you away from your daily routine....
Rest, Relax, Rejuvinate; Self Indulge at Home.

These parties are also great combined with baby showers, birthday parties, bachelorette parties or just an excuse to get your friends together and pamper yourselves!

We also do kids parties with chair massage, mini manis and mini pedis!! Just ask for details!

Give us a call to book your party today!! 716-392-1550 or 716-998-2333

In loving memory...

In loving memory of Solana Rae banner

Web site design by: Dori Montini-Kotzin - with special thanks to Evadware Productions, Ltd. for their assistance with the development of this web site.