Monday, September 30, 2013

Western New York Fall Bucket List

My husband Ben used to balk at the idea of using Pinterest – "It's for women," he'd say. But now that fall is here, he's sending me pins about pumpkin carving and fall activities, which goes to show just how much he loves this season.

Of the pin below, he said, "I want to do every thing on that list, even the fancy coffees."

If you're interested in tackling this bucket list, here's how you can make a dent in it.

Day 1: Pick Apples and Make Caramel Apples

Pick apples at one of the farms listed below, then head to the grocery store to collect supplies for candy apples. Dip them in caramel, drizzle them with chocolate, or add some candy pieces. Click here for a supply list.

Day 2: Make S'mores and Have Fancy Coffees

Enjoy an afternoon in the village of East Aurora. Head to Taste and make s'mores at your table and sample their coffee drinks. Looking for more coffee flavors? Drive to Hamburg, where you'll find pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice coffees at Elizabeth's Gourmet Coffee & Tea Shoppe

Day 3: Go to a Pumpkin Patch and Decorate a Pumpkin

Pick a pumpkin at The Great Pumpkin Farm, then buy painting supplies at JoAnn Fabrics and avoid the mess of carving. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.

Day 4: Picnic, Take a Nature Walk and Make Leaf Art

Picnic at Beaver Island State Park, then burn off the calories with a walk. Grab some leaves along the way to use for one of the art projects below.

Day 5: Go on a Hay-Ride and Explore a Corn Maze

Take a day trip to Pumpkinville in Ellicottville, where you can go on a hay-ride, make your way through their corn maze, and tour an antique cider mill. Plus, pet farm animals, mine for gems and shoot ears of corn at hay bale targets.

Day 6: Make Fall Cookies and Watch Halloween Movies

Make these iced pumpkin cookies and settle in for a day of Halloween movies. Or form teams in your household and have a pie bake-off.


1. Apple Picking

The farms below offer apple picking in their orchards. Call ahead to confirm hours and availability.
Click here for a complete list of U-pick farms.

2. Make Leaf Art

Sunday, October 13 - Fall Leaf and Nature Art at Reinstein Woods

This short indoor presentation about using natural materials to make art will be followed by a trek through the woods to identify fallen tree leaves. Registration required; call 716-683-5959 to sign up.

Craft Tutorials

Painted Wreath

Leaf Artwork

Fall Leaf Bunting

Leaf Stationery

3. Go on a Hay-ride

4. Enjoy a Bonfire with S'mores

5. Make Caramel Apples

Make classic caramel apples or follow the tutorial on the Yummy Life blog to learn how to add chocolate and candies to your creations. Use fresh apples for best results.

6. Corn Maze / Hay Maze

7. Go to a Pumpkin Patch

8. Take a Nature Walk

9. Drink Fancy Coffee Drinks

10. Picnic

Picnicking will be weather-dependent, so go early in the month for your best chance at warmer temperatures. Picnic at:
  • Hoyt Lake, Delaware Park (next to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery)
  • Martin Luther King Park, near the Buffalo Science Museum
  • Beaver Island State Park
  • Niagara Falls State Park
Click here for a list of Western New York parks and for driving directions.

What's on your fall bucket list?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Giveaway: Two Tickets to WomenCare Day of Health

We're giving away two free tickets to the WomenCare Day of Health on Oct. 18th!

Be inspired by women's stories of courage and survival, learn how to take charge of your health and find your style.

You'll hear from AM Buffalo host Linda Pellegrino and health and fashion experts.

As an attendee, you'll enjoy:
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • Shopping
  • Chair massages
Plus, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your health and beauty questions.

How to Enter

Leave a comment below, with a screen name or first name (not as Anonymous), answering this question:
  • What health or beauty questions would you like to be addressed at the event?
To enter, you must be at least 18 years of age and a United States resident.

Winner Announcement

We'll choose a winner at random on October 14. The winner will be announced on the blog. 

To make sure that you don't miss the winner announcement, subscribe to the blog in your feedreader (see the sidebar).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ask Us Anything: If I had a Hysterectomy, Can I Still Get Ovarian Cancer?

"If I had a hysterectomy, can I still get ovarian cancer?"

Dr. Jaime Rehmann Obst Responds:

It certainly is possible to get ovarian cancer after a hysterectomy, but that depends on the type of hysterectomy performed.

To better explain, we need to “de-code” the medical language doctors use to describe these procedures:
  • Total hysterectomy - this refers to the removal of the uterus and cervix
  • Subtotal or supracervical hysterectomy - this refers to the removal of the uterus but leaves the cervix in place
  • Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy - this refers to the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes, and can be done as a separate procedure or combined with either type of hysterectomy.
Recent research studies are now showing that if your doctor removes the fallopian tubes (a “salpingectomy”) along with the uterus, you will have a lower risk of ovarian cancer.

If you’re not sure what kind of hysterectomy you had, you can contact your doctor and see if your fallopian tubes and/or ovaries were removed.

If you still have ovaries, you still have a risk of ovarian cancer.

Talk to your doctor about your family history and risk factors for ovarian cancer, and make sure that you visit your gynecologist every year, since the exam that you receive there is the best method we have to screen for ovarian cancer.

– Dr. Jaime Rehmann Obst

Dr. Jaime Rehmann Obst sees patients at the M. Steven Piver, M.D. Center for Women’s Health & Wellness in Buffalo.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Enter to Win a Makeover Courtesy of Macy's and DiLusso Salon & Spa

As part of our annual WomenCare Day of Health, we're giving away image makeovers to three lucky women.

Our makeover winners will have their hair styled by DiLusso Salon and Spa and will be dressed and advised by Lydia Kirsch, Personal Shopper at the Walden Galleria Macy's and a Life Stylist.

During your consultation with Lydia, she'll consider your lifestyle and goals to tailor a look that works for you.

Entries must be submitted by October 1st. Remember to include as much detail as possible, so that we can best evaluate your entry.

Click here to submit an entry for yourself or to nominate someone you know.

Note: finalists will be asked to submit a photo.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ask Us Anything: How Can I Cook Desserts that are Healthy?

"How can I cook desserts that are healthy? I love desserts with nuts and lemon deserts. Fruit is nice, but sometimes we want something more, without it being high in calories."

Ginny Lyons, RN responds:

There are many recipes using alternative low-fat ingredients.

You mentioned fruit - mix almonds, raisins, walnuts and low-fat yogurt together for variety.

There are always the standards:
  • Lemon ice
  • Sorbets
  • Sherbet 
  • Italian ice
  • Cakes and cookies made with applesauce and yogurt

Good luck and enjoy your healthier choices.

– Ginny Lyons, RN

Note: We reviewed a healthy desserts cookbook called Olive Oil Desserts. Click here to read the review.

Ginny Lyons, RN is a coordinator for Catholic Health's women's service line, WomenCare, a nurse clinician in women's health, a community health educator and a public health speaker for Catholic Health on wellness and prevention seminars.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Choosing the Right Car Seat for Babies & Children Up to Age 12

Most parents assume that their child's car seat is installed correctly, but the numbers tell a different story.

Three out of four children are at an increased risk of injury because their car seats are not being used correctly, and car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12.

Think that your child doesn't need a car seat? You may be surprised to learn that most children should be in a car seat until the age of 8 and a booster seat until the age of 12 (depending on their size).

Upcoming Child Safety Seat Checks

Take another look at your child's car seat. In the days leading up to National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21), you'll have an opportunity to have your car seat inspected by a certified child passenger safety technician.

Reservations may be required.

September 14 - Niagara County
11 a.m - 2 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Park, 7000 Lockport Road, Niagara Falls, New York 14305
Contact: Grace E. Destino at (716) 438-3190

September 21 - Erie County
10 a.m - 2 p.m.
Evans Center Fire Hall, 8298 Erie Road, Angola, NY 14006
Contact: Lt. Mike Masullo at (716) 549-3600

Click here for a complete list of child safety seat checks throughout New York State.

Child Safety Seat Inspection Centers

Can't make an upcoming event?

Go to an inspection station near you to have your car seat inspected. There are over 2 dozen inspection stations in the surrounding area.

Click here for a list of inspection centers.

Choosing a Car Seat

Choose a car seat based on your child's age and size.

Rear-facing Car Seats

Babies and toddlers need a rear-facing car seat. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe, as the seat cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord.

Forward-facing Car Seats

Your child will likely outgrow a rear-facing car seat by the age of 3 and graduate to a forward-facing car seat. This seat has has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash.

Booster Seat

After your child outgrows the forward-facing seat, usually by the age of 8, switch to a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly.

For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.

Your child will probably outgrow the booster seat by the age of 12.

Click here for more information about choosing a car seat.

Learn More About Car Seat Safety

To learn more about car seats, including how to choose and install them, visit

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Winner of a 1-year Subscription to EatingWell Magazine

Thank you to all who entered our giveaway for a one-year subscription to EatingWell Magazine.

A winner has been chosen at random from the comment entries using a random number generator.

The winner is:


In response to our question, "What is your go-to meal when you're in a hurry?", Sharon said that she makes scrambled eggs.

Sharon, to claim your prize, please email Amy Kirst ( by October 2nd with your name and address.

Prizes must be claimed within 3 weeks of draw, or a new winner will be chosen.

Congratulations Sharon!

Don't Miss Our Next Giveaway

To make sure that you don't miss out on our giveaway next month, subscribe to our blog using the email and RSS options in the sidebar to the right.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ask Us Anything: What Should I Do About a Cystocele After Rectocele Repair?

"What do you do about a cystocele that happened after rectocele surgery?"

Note: A cystocele, also called a prolapsed bladder, occurs when the wall of tissue separating the rectum and vagina weakens, and the front wall of the rectum bulges into the vagina. It can occur after childbirth or pelvic surgery. It is sometimes present at birth, but this is rare.

Dr. Ali Ghomi Responds:

Cystocele can present itself after rectocele repair.

 This is most likely due to how intra-abdominal pressure gets transmitted to different sides of vaginal compartments when one site is repaired, such as with rectocele.

It is not uncommon for patients to need to undergo multiple vaginal reconstructive surgeries. In fact, vaginal prolapse recurrence overall is estimated to be 30 of 40%.

Further counseling and specific recommendations cannot be made without a detailed physical examination.

– Dr. Ali Ghomi

Dr. Ghomi is the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery and Chair of The Robotic Surgical Committee at Sisters of Charity Hospital. He is the only physician in Western New York who performs Sacrocolpopexy Prolapse surgery using the da Vinci® robot. Sacrocolpopexy is a proven “gold standard” procedure worldwide to repair severe pelvic prolapse. Click here to learn more about Catholic Health's OB/GYN services.

Dr. Ghomi sees patients at the M. Steven Piver, M.D. Center for Women’s Health & Wellness in Buffalo.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dress Your Family in Scrubs at the Scrub Run This Saturday

Run or walk in scrubs. Dress up like a doctor. Or play one of your favorites from TV, like Dr. House, Doogie Howser, M.D., or Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

The Scrub Run on Saturday, September 7, 2013 is a 5K run and 1-mile walk that benefits patients who are cared for by Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and our Continuing Care and Home Care divisions. Costumes are encouraged.

The race begins at 9:30 a.m. at South Buffalo's Czenovia Park (25 Cazenovia Street, Buffalo).

Grab your kids, family and friends and join us for a day of fun while benefiting a good cause!

Register at the Event

Registration is $30 for runners and walkers.

You can register the day of the race between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. at The Lodge Auction House (212 Cazenovia Street, Buffalo, NY).

After the Race, Enjoy Beer & Refreshments

Once you cross the finish line, head to The Lodge Auction House, where beer and refreshments will be served and prizes will be awarded.

Prizes are given to the top overall male and top overall female finishers. The top three finishers in each age category will also receive awards.

Tell Your Friends

Click on the social media icons below to share the Scrub Run with your friends! See you at the starting line!
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