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Coffee, coffee everywhere …… But not a drop to drink! Driving around Toronto, as we did last week, presents a strange dilemma to the caffeine addict. “Isn't there a Tim Hortons on every corner?” a friend asks. Perhaps. However. Good luck stopping! Beginning the drive back to Buffalo, Buzz and a friend were dying to make a coffee stop. There was no parking. Construction was…

With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, it’s time to start planning what you want to buy your loved ones. Whether it’s chocolates, flowers or something else special, a big expression of love doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.In 2012, the average person celebrating Valentine’s Day shelled out $126.03, up 8.5 percent over 2011, according to the National Retail…

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If you’re harboring dreams of owning a business or can’t seem to get a current venture off the ground, there’s help. The area has a bevy of resources that can arm you with much-needed business acumen.And most of the offerings are free or affordable.From mentoring to networking to technical training opportunities, comprehensive business training is attainable through variou…

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Walk into Debbie Bello’s voice studios in Orchard Park, and you’ll be treated to a symphony of sound. For years the voice coach taught voice lessons to people of all ages. Bello learned to sing as a child in Silver Creek, starting with piano lessons at age 5 and adding voice training by age 7. It wasn’t too long before she set her eyes on “The Star Spangled Banner,” our na…

Lifestyles

It was, I thought, an awfully good joke on critical hype. The title of Joel Lovell’s interview with George Saunders in the Jan. 3 issue of the New York Times Magazine – printed in sarcastically small letters on an otherwise all-black cover – was “George Saunders Has Written the Best Book You’ll Read This Year.”To be pretending to say that on the cover of a year’s first (Ja…

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As a youngster growing up in Cazenovia, southeast of Syracuse, Anne Burrell enjoyed her mother’s delicious, adventurous cooking.But it wasn’t until she began working at Jimmy Mac’s on Elmwood Avenue in the late 1980s that she fell in love with the restaurant business, a path that has led her to stardom on the Food Network.Although she earned her bachelor’s degree in Englis…

Lifestyles

I fell head over heels in love on a chilly, overcast January day in 1962. At 4:15 that Monday afternoon, I walked into a strange house and was greeted at the door by an elderly woman – my first piano teacher! She led me to her studio where a grand piano dominated the room. She asked a few questions, then wasted no time beginning the process of unlocking the world of music,…

In a perfect house, the dog wouldn't shed, the front door wouldn't stick and the knob wouldn't keep falling off our daughter's bedroom door.Small inconveniences, indeed.But the other day, as I pushed the retractable cord button on the hair dryer and saw the cord neatly disappear – zippppp – I was thankful for the little things that do make life easier.A lamp on a timer tha…

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Dreaming of a fresh way to update your home? Look no farther than your kitchen wall. A striking new backsplash may be the answer. While it can be part of a major kitchen redo, it doesn’t have to be. For less money and mess than new counters or cabinets, you can add a backsplash. Or add the backsplash along with a new countertop and cabinet hardware. You may even decide to …

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Rebecca Brandel, a freshman at Mount St. Mary Academy in Kenmore, and Sabina Mogavero, a freshman at Pioneer High School in Yorkshire, both just getting accustomed to high school themselves, agreed to spend a day at each other’s schools – one a private, Catholic school for girls and the other a rural public school. Here is what they found: Off to PioneerBy Rebecca Brandel …

Lifestyles

It’s not every day that I am able to witness history in the making. Last week, I attended the second inauguration of President Obama. I experienced this moment among hundreds of thousands of others who gathered on the National Mall, excited and encouraged about the next four years.I was given this amazing opportunity by Lead America, an organization that brings together st…

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I have a long, checkered history of ingredient stalking. My cupboard holds the sad detritus of a dozen hopeful moments, standing in the aisle of an ethnic grocery, imagining how the foreign foodstuff might be fashioned into a dish of transporting deliciousness.At home, without a recipe or a plan, the packages gather dust.Last week, as I parked behind Sinbad Market, the Mid…

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Banana bread always falls into one of two categories: cakelike or bad. Cakelike banana bread is a sweet snack appealing enough to please even the fieriest banana-hater. But when bakers attempt to make banana bread healthy, by cutting back on sugar and butter, under the apparent delusion that mashed bananas are moist and sweet enough to stand in for both, problems arise. Su…

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It’s difficult for Steve Truesdale to explain the relationship he and Athena, a chocolate Lab mix, have had for 13 years. Trained as an assistance dog, she has picked up dropped items, helped him do chores and provided self-confidence.Athena also has developed an uncanny ability to understand what Truesdale needs, from a cuddle to a walk, and has filled his life with her u…

Lifestyles

Everyone graduates from high school knowing how to read, write and do basic math (hopefully). But to be a self-sufficient adult, those skills are not enough. In fact, they’re nowhere close to enough.Advanced skills in academic areas aren’t going to help a young adult out of every jam he is likely to face in the next few years. Most of those predicaments probably will have …