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Serenity Life celebrates first anniversary, expands its North Ave. offices

27 Jun

In this day and age when we too often hear about businesses having to close up shop, it’s nice to hear about one which is actually expanding.

Serenity Life Creative Arts Therapy, located at 98 North Ave. in the Village of Webster, has recently added two new counseling rooms/offices, doubling the practice’s original space, just as the business celebrates its first anniversary.

Serenity Life specializes in counseling services and creative arts therapy for anxiety, life stressors, addiction, healing trauma and more. The office’s 13 service providers are trained in traditional talk therapy AND art therapy. What that means is you don’t have to be artistic to seek out their help, but art, music and even dance can be incorporated into sessions when appropriate.

Serenity Life is directed by Webster Schroeder graduate Mattye McKibben, herself an experienced art therapy clinician. Mattye first learned about the discipline in her Advanced Placement art class, and after graduation pursued degrees in art therapy and creative arts therapy. She worked in the local hospital system for 11 years before opening her own counseling office — Serenity Life — last July.

“We take a person-centered, solution-focused approach to counseling where clients feel partnered with, heard, like they have choices in the services they receive,” Mattye said. “Our goal is for folks to feel they are making progress right away. We pride ourselves on finding a great therapeutic match with the counselor because this is one of the biggest indicators that therapy will be successful.”

Mattye says she’s still working on decorating the new offices, striving to furnish them “in a fun way,” with a “mid-century vibe,” using lots of vintage furniture. The walls are filled with artwork painted by Mattye herself, or one of her very talented family members.

The results are immediately obvious when you step through the door. The rooms are bright, welcoming, calming and comforting … just as they should be in a counseling office.

Even though Serenity Life only joined the Village of Webster business scene a short time ago, it’s already become a strong community supporter. During the Fall in Love With Webster event last February, for example, they hosted a free “Love Yourself” virtual group therapy class. In April they stuffed 100 plastic eggs for the Village of Webster’s Easter Egg Hunt, and coming up next month, keep an eye out for them in the Firemen’s Parade.

Community involvement is an important part of their mission, Mattye said.

“We’re part of the community. We want to be your friendly neighborhood counselor that’s trustworthy, relatable and inclusive, creating a safe environment for everyone.”

Click here to find out more about Serenity Life Creative Arts Therapy. Here’s a peek at the offices:

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 6/27/2022)

A sad farewell to a village business

25 Jun

One of East Main Street’s most charming shops will soon be closing its doors.

Village HandWorks opened last September at 19 E. Main, right next door to the Village Quilt Shoppe. Owner Jenn Ratcliffe, an avid spinner, weaver and knitter herself, was hoping it would become a favorite stop for anyone interested in practicing and learning more about those and other handicrafts. She began by offering classes and in-store demonstrations, but before long branched out into retail, selling yarns and other locally-produced handcrafted items.

But interest and sales never quite got very robust.

“I saved money for a long time to be able to pay rent in a shop for a year,” Jenn said. “Hopefully in that year I’d be able to get the sales to where they needed to be to at least make a decent dent in the rent and utilities. But it’s just not doing it.”

As a result of the slow sales and other rental property issues, Jenn has given up on her dream … but don’t count her out completely just yet.

“The people are fantastic here in the village,” she said. “I love them. I’m considering keeping the shop in the village, but right now there’s no place available with decent rent.”

So for now, Jenn said, she’s going to “bring her business home.” Much of her inventory will go into a storage unit, and her 15 local artisans will retrieve their products. Then, she says, she’ll take her yarns and her looms and teach weaving and knitting out of her house for now.

“And then kind of figure out where I want to be. Where I need to be.”

Village HandWorks is located at 19 E. Main Street in the Village of Webster. The shop will be open through Thursday June 30.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 6/25/2022)

Village of Webster to hold huge sidewalk sale this weekend

15 Jun

You’re going to want to make some time to do some shopping this weekend, as more than a dozen Village merchants move their business outside for the Village of Webster Sidewalk Sale.

All day Friday and Saturday June 17 and 18, you’ll find tables set up along East and West Main St. and North Ave., offering super deals on super products, perhaps some handouts and maybe even some valuable store coupons. Details are still coming together, but so far at least 13 shops are participating, and the list keeps growing every day. Here’s who’s signed up so far:

  • Crafy Christy’s Boutique, 7 West Main (lower level)
  • Curated by JUSTINteriors, 44 E. Main (next to Village Bakery)
  • Lala’s, 36-38 East Main
  • Nest Things, 11 East Main
  • Ohhh, Lordee! Everything Sauce, 5 West Main (lower level)
  • Orville’s Home Appliances, 185 West Main
  • Performance Hobbies, 15 West Main
  • rSalon, 28 East Main
  • The Modified Collective, 5 West Main (upper level)
  • The North Bee, 27 North Ave.
  • The Village Quilt Shoppe, 21 East Main
  • Village Handworks, 19 East Main
  • Whimsies, 32 East Main

This is going to be a great chance to get to know a lot of our village merchants better, have some fun shopping and get some great deals!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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(posted 6/15/2022)

Tropical shirts? Beach drinks? It’s Webster-itaville (take two)

8 Jun

If you were disappointed that Jimmy Buffett Night at Lala of Webster was postponed last April, I have good news! It’s been rescheduled for Thursday night June 9, and it’s actually bigger and better than the original event was going to be.

From 5 to 7 p.m., Lala will be featuring Jimmy Buffett-themed music, food and drink. Everyone’s encouraged to come dressed in your favorite tropical attire and bright colors, and escape for some beach-time (or at least beach-like) fun.

The party continues next door at Jojo Bistro and Wine Bar, which will have live music and be serving up some tropical drink specials (like a Strawberry Margarita, Coconut Mojito and a non-alcoholic Strawberry Breeze) and snacks (including coconut shrimp).

Need dinner? Across the street, Webster Hots will be grilling up a Cheeseburger in Paradise combo, featuring a burger and fries for $8 or two burgers and a large fry for $13. It’s the same burger served in the actual Jimmy Buffet Restaurant.

So make sure to head into the village this Thursday night and kick your summer off in a fun way. (P.S. keep an eye out for parrots.)

Lala of Webster is located at 38 East Main Street.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 6/8/2022)

Curated, the Village of Webster’s newest business, has hit the ground running

1 Jun

The Village of Webster recently welcomed a new business to East Main Street, and it’s already become an enthusiastic supporter of the Webster community.

Curated officially opened its doors on May 20 at 44 East Main, in the lower parking lot between Village Bakery and ROC & Soul Fitness. Those who walk through the door will find themselves immersed in what feels like a beautifully-appointed home, a comfortable, welcoming space decorated with artfully-placed furniture, decorative and functional home items, and gifts.

Owner Justin Brown explains that, true to the meaning of the word “curated,” his shop features a collection of items gathered over time.

I’m a mix of vintage and new pieces. In my design aesthetic I always intermix the two. I like to have mixed metals, mixed woods. … We have a lot of items from upholstery to lighting, special order, case goods, all the way to gift items for the kitchen and women’s jewelry. It’s a collection of pieces that I personally love. 

Justin brings with him extensive experience in retail and interior design, having worked for American Eagle, Anthropologie, MacKenzie Childs in New York City, and most recently the Windsor Cottage Store on Winton Place.

When the owner there decided to close up shop after 21 years, Justin thought to himself, “I always wanted a shop of my own. No time like the present.” So he started investigating available storefronts. Webster was the first place he considered, and despite looking at several other locations, he kept coming back to 44 East Main.

“I wanted to be in a village atmosphere,” he said. “I wanted people to be able to get out, walk store to store and have a local mentality, not necessarily be next to a big box retailer or franchises.” 

“(This location) really does have a neighborhood feel. Having the bakery next door, ROC & Soul, Lalas, it really gave me a feel of a neighborhood but still has lots of options for clients and residents to come to park, walk around and enjoy a sense of neighborhood.”

Pulling the new shop together was a labor of love. It was “raw space,” Justin said, requiring a full build-out, including framing, insulating, drywall, floors, baseboards, a drop ceiling and more, even before painting could begin. Construction delays put him behind schedule, so that by the time everything was done, he had less than a week to move in, get all the merchandise delivered and set up before his already-planned grand opening on May 20. But with lots of help from his husband, parents, sisters and in-laws, it all came together in time.

Justin has already demonstrated that he wants to be a strong village and community partner. He’s joined the Business Improvement District and less than 48 hours after officially opening his doors, participated in the first Webster Wine Walk of the season.

“It’s the least that I can do as a small business owner,” Justin said. “If I’m asking the community to support me, I need to support the community.” 

“I feel it’s only right.”

Curated is located at 44 East Main St., in the lower parking lot between Village Bakery and ROC & Soul Fitness. Read more about the shop on their website and Facebook page.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 6/1/2022)

Craft as therapy for veterans, courtesy Crafty Christy’s

26 May

When Christina Barnum opened her adorable Crafty Christy’s Boutique last October, she had a few simple goals.

She wanted her shop to be unique. She wanted to specialize in vintage clothing, handmade jewelry and artisan pieces designed “for the flower child in all of us.” She endeavored to recycle, reuse and recreate as much as she could in the items she made and sold.

And especially, she wanted to support the military, reflecting her own service in the Marines. One of the ways she hoped to accomplish that was to offer craft therapy classes for veterans.

Last weekend, Christina held the first of those classes, and reported that it was a “huge success.”

She wrote,

Eight ladies came last Saturday and all had a great time. I am proud of myself for reaching my goal of reaching out to the community. My thanks go out to the generous donation that enabled me to give each veteran a gift certificate to pay it forward to other veterans. All the ladies are looking forward to attending more classes.   

Here are a few photos from the afternoon:

In her own small way, Christina Barnum is making the world a little better for our veterans.

Crafty Christy’s Boutique is located at 7 West Main St. in the Village of Webster, in the lower parking lot across from the gazebo. Find out more on her Facebook page and website. You can also click here to read the blog I wrote shortly after the shop opened.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/26/2022)

Webster community mailbag

18 May

Webster Parks and Recreation has a great family-friendly event coming up this Friday, May 20 at Challenger Miracle Field, 1000 Ridge Rd.

It’s called the Family Fun Night. From 6 to 8 p.m., there’ll be food trucks, concessions, and tables set up by local community groups. It looks like it’s going to be a very nice night weather-wise, so bring the whole family! Registration is NOT required.


Speaking of Webster Parks and Recreation, I got some news a short time ago that the Rec Center’s awesome Mud Run will be back again this September.

Last year’s first-ever Mud Run was so well received, they started making plans almost immediately for this year’s event. They promise it’s going to be even bigger and better (that might mean messier) than the first. It’s scheduled for Saturday Sept. 17, with the first wave going off at 10 a.m.

Here are a few pictures from last year. Stay tuned for more details, but make sure to get this one on your calendar now!


Don’t forget about Saturday’s Webster Wine Walk, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Village of Webster. Glass pickup will be at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Dr. from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 (plus sales tax and fees) and are available here. For more information, visit the Webster BID website.


The Friends of Webster Trails invites concerned nature-lovers to join them for a Trail Work Day this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Four Mile Creek Preserve, at the corner of Phillips and Lake roads.

They’ll be working on creating a new trail in the preserve. If you have them, bring along a shovel, wheelbarrow, lopper and/or mattock. Make sure to wear gloves, long sleeves and long pants.


Also this Saturday, don’t forget about the second annual Duck Derby hosted by Webster Comfort Care Home.

You can read this blog for more details, but basically, participants purchase rubber duckies for $5 each, and each has a number on it. At the appointed time, the ducks are dumped into Mill Creek, where they leisurely float down towards the lake. The “owners” of the first three ducks to cross the finish line win cash prizes.

Because the ducks take a while to meander downstream, there will be other activities to keep everyone busy while you’re waiting.

The race will begin at the Webster Park Beeches Pavilion at 10 a.m. on Saturday May 21. There’s plenty of parking. Ducks can be purchased online here, by calling 585-872-5290, emailing Director@webstercomfortcare.org, or by stopping by the Webster Comfort Care Home at the corner of Holt and Klem. Payment is accepted by cash, check or credit card, and PayPal online. Tickets are available now.


Need pancakes? The Williamson Flying Club’s annual Pancake Breakfast takes place this Sunday, May 22 from 7 a.m. to noon at the club, 5502 Rt. 104, rain or shine.

In addition to a great breakfast, there’ll be airplane and helicopter rides. Cost for $6 for kids, $10 for adults. Presale tickets are available by clicking here.

You can fly in or drive in, but if you drive, please enter from Centenary Rd.


Godzilla has come to the Webster Museum.

You’ll want to enter the museum very cautiously for the next few months, because Godzilla is waiting to greet you in a BIG way.

He’ll glare at you (and perhaps even growl at you) from a striking poster provided to the museum by Lenny Schwartz, long-time manager of the much-missed Empire Drive-in theater. In the new exhibit, you’ll learn more about Lenny and the drive-in, and read memories of Webster residents who took their pajama-clad kids to the drive-in from March through December in years gone by. (Maybe you were one of them?)

Check out the impressive exhibit at the Webster Museum, 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. The museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/18/2022)

Webster community mailbag

10 May

I was going to put this mailbag off for a couple more days, but I just heard news of a great fundraiser happening on Friday night, and I don’t want anyone to miss out.

It’s a big kickball game hosted by Spry Middle School on Friday night May 13 at Rochester Challenger Miracle Field, located on Ridge Rd. behind Town Hall. (Parking is off of Van Ingen Drive.) Three dozen Spry students will be playing, representing the school’s three houses (red, white and blue). Each house team will also include two Challenger players.

The kickball game is the culminating event of this year’s Spirit Week at Spry. Each year the school’s Student Council chooses a charity to benefit from a Spirit Week competition. Usually the game is basketball, but Challenger Miracle Field was chosen this year, so kickball seemed more appropriate.

The game will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, and concessions will be available for just $1. There’s plenty of free parking. All proceeds from admission and concessions will benefit Challenger Miracle Field.

Make plans to stay around after the game. That’s when the Spirit Stick will be awarded to the house which has accumulated the most spirit points all week — including extra points for winning kickball!


I found out about ALL of the following events in the Webster This Week newsletter, published weekly by the Town of Webster. If you haven’t signed up for this great source of information yet, you should.

Remember that the Webster Public Library’s spring used book sale happens this Thursday through Saturday, May 12-14. Nothing is priced more than $1, and all paperbacks are just 50 cents.

Hours are Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to noon. The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd. at the back of the plaza, off of Van Ingen Drive.


Got stuff to shred?

Reliant Federal Credit Union is holding a free shredding event at their Webster branch, 870 Holt Rd., on Saturday May 14 from 9 a.m. to noon.

There are no quantity limits, but everyone is asked to remove file folders, binders and plastic bags. And plan on taking your empty boxes back home with you.

While you’re there, you can take advantage of raffles and giveaways, and enjoy refreshments and entertainment.


Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 131 W. Main Street in the Village of Webster, is holding a food drive this Saturday May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Donations of non-perishable food, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items will be used to support the Weekend Food Backpack Program and the church’s Little Free Pantry.


Also on Saturday May 14, the Ukrainian Cultural Center of Rochester, 1040 Jackson Rd., will hold a Sunflowers for Ukraine paint and sip fundraiser event.

Artist Deanna Derhak will guide participants in painting an original sunflower composition using acrylic paint on a 12″ x 12″ canvas. All supplies are included, and yes, there will be wine available.

The event will be held from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Cost is $40. Click here for tickets.


The Webster Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a Vendor Fair and Craft Event on Sunday May 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Firemen’s Exempt building, 172 Sanford St. (on the south side of Firemen’s Field).

In addition to the great items for sale, there’ll be crafts, a raffle, 50/50 ticket sales, and a door prize of $100 worth of scratch-off tickets.

Admission is free and there’s lots of parking.


On the other side of town, the West Webster Fire Department is holding a Bike Helmet and Safety Rodeo on Saturday May 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event, designed for children ages 4 to 14, will feature a bike safety course, helmet fittings and bike safety checks. There’ll be lots of activities, and of course lots of fire trucks! Helmets will be provided on loan for anyone who needs one.

Registration is free. The West Webster Fire Dept. is located at 1051 Gravel Rd.


The Wine Walks are back!

The Village of Webster’s first Wine Walk of the season has been scheduled for Saturday May 21 from 4 to 7 p.m.

Glass pickup will be at Webster Interiors, 975 Ebner Dr. from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 (plus sales tax and fees) and are available here. For more information, visit the Webster BID website.


The Webster Lions Club will host a Sticky Lips BBQ fundraiser on Thursday May 26 from 3 to 6 p.m. at 1175 Ridge Rd.

Meals will be $15 each, and include a quarter charcoal-cooked chicken, smoked St. Louis ribs, mac salad, BBQ beans and cornbread. You can pay at the event of get pre-sale tickets online at www.StickyLipsBBQFundraisers.com.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

(posted 5/10/2022)

Tropical shirts, beach drinks? It’s Webster-itaville!

26 Apr

Important update: This event has been postponed due to COVID concerns. Stay tuned for the new date!

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Didn’t make it to a sunny, warm beach during Spring Break last week? No worries, Lala of Webster is bringing the beach to us!

It’s Jimmy Buffett Night in the Village this Thursday night. From 5 to 7 p.m., Lala will be featuring Jimmy Buffett-themed music, food and drink. Everyone’s encouraged to come dressed in your favorite tropical attire and bright colors, and escape for some beach-time (or at least beach-like) fun.

Then, just like Betty White Night in February, the party continues next door at Jojo Bistro, which will have live music and be serving up some Buffett-themed drink specials. Need dinner? Across the street, Webster Hots will have a Cheeseburger in Paradise and Margaritaville combos, featuring a burger and fries for $8 or two burgers and a large fry for $13.

There’ll be door prizes as well, so make sure to head into the village this Thursday night and shake off the spring chill. (P.S. keep an eye out for parrots.)

Lala of Webster is located at 38 East Main Street.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Summer events are back in Webster

22 Apr

OK, OK, it’s not summer yet. But I came away from the most recent meeting of the Webster Business Improvement District (BID) very excited by the long list of special events our local merchants are planning for late spring and summer, reminding us what a normal summer feels like in the Village of Webster.

The BID is the organization, remember, that organizes the very popular Trick or Treat Trail, White Christmas in the Village, Movie Nights, Friday Night Gazebo Concerts, Wine Walks and others. Those events are definitely returning this year, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Basically, every month this summer — from June through September — the BID has scheduled at least one entertaining, family-friendly event, and sometimes two or three or more.

It all starts in late June with the first Family Games Night and Movie Night. Then in July things really kick up a notch with more movies, another Family Games Night, the return of the Friday night concert series in the gazebo, and a second Wine Walk (the first one is on May 21).

In August, there are more concerts, yet another movie night and game night, plus the Webster Jazz Festival hits the pubs and West Main St. later in the month.

Things don’t cool down too much in September, either. The BID will be getting involved with the second annual ALS Awareness Concert, and are talking about a brand new (albeit tentative) event called a “Parking Day.”

Looking ahead to the fall, the Oktoberfest, Beer Walk and Trick or Treat Trail will return in October, and the annual Bourbon Bash in November.

There are still a lot of details to work out with many of these events, and some of them are not yet set in stone. As dates are finalized, you’ll find all the information you need at the Webster BID website. For example, you’ll already find dates there for the two Wine Walks, some of the gazebo concerts and the Jazz Festival.

Basically, Webster summer fun is back big time after two long summers without much to do. So get your calendars out and start filling them in!

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@missyblog)

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.