Friday, September 26, 2008

What the Bijou girls do outside of work...and how Gourmet make and take saved our family dinners!

Here are my boys, getting started in the kitchen, chopping, cutting and cleaning, before everyone else came! A special treat for sure...Thanks Meg!
Here are the first arrivals, look, it's Kimberlee and her little dino..."T" rex!
All the kids are meeting eachother, it's a fun place to be, a little kitchen in gourmet make and take, was a huge hit!!
Here is Lori's little spit fire "D", she's "4, ya know?!?!"
Courtney and her little guy "C", and look "T" rex is swiping a taste...mmm, he said!
Here is Courtney and her whole little family, making calzones!

Since opening Bijou salon, the one thing that really saved me, as far as family dinners is GOURMET MAKE AND TAKE! (That and Joelles Bistro, Kabuki, BlueWater, Joe's pasta garage and the Sherwood)

I have always had dinner with my kids, it's one thing that I find extremely important and no matter how late it is, everyone should sit down with their families and talk and eat! I am so thankful (Thanks MEG!) that there is such a place, because seriously, dinner would be grilled cheese sandwiches if not for GOURMET MAKE AND TAKE! (I feel like I'm giving subliminal messages here;)

Here is what we do, you'll see its really easy and so value packed, effecting your time and wallet! We go to every Sunday around noon, we make (or you can get them already pre-made in the fridge) 4-6 meals and normally we make the serving that is for 4-6 people, that feeds the 4 of us for 2 days in a row! What I do is take them home Sunday, cook them all, and we eat leftovers all week, this cuts down on cooking time for us, (we don't mind leftovers, some people may not like this way, normal cooking time is from 35-45 minutes for most dishes) On occasion, I will like a lot of the meals and be indecisive, not able to make a decision and I will choose the smaller servings (2-3 servings) and buy 7 or so of them and put them in the freezer, taking them out each day and having my oldest son pop it in the oven before I come home.

However you make it work, let me tell you it works. I have seen a huge difference/CUT in my grocery bill!! AND I have cut back on wasting food (my biggest problem) I now go to GOURMET MAKE AND TAKE once a week, and the grocery store for breakfast and lunch items. I hated when I would make a recipe at home go to the grocery store, have to buy every ingredient, only have to use half of a pepper, when really I was only going to cook one day, and it would kill me, but inevitably that pepper would go to waste.

Now let me tell you how else GOURMET MAKE AND TAKE WORKS! Want to get out with friends, sip some wine, yet still be a productive Mom? GOURMET MAKE AND TAKE will host parties for you and your friends at no extra cost, you can BYOB/W and friends, cook meals for your family, enjoy friends, even bring your kids with to help. Meg and her girls will cook some things to sample, and help you with anything you need! This is what the pictures are from, me and the girls and their families met at GOURMET MAKE AND TAKE, cooked some meals and got to enjoy ourselves outside of work! Everyone was so surprised at how easy and great things were.

I get that, before I ever went there (Kimberlee gave me a gift certificate for Christmas for there) I thought there must be some catch, like maybe the food wasn't fresh or it was already prepared meats or something, BUT the first time I went and saw Meg and her 6 (yep I said 6! young boys in the back chopping, cutting, and cleaning meats, I was SO excited and knew we would be back every week!!! This is the real stuff people, you can't get a deal better than this!!

Okay, now lets get to the food! This week we made Aussie chicken, a honey mustard sauce, with bacon, mushrooms and cheese, bake it for 30 minutes and its awesome! I made chicken enchilada's that were the best way to make them, mix shredded chicken (I got my chicken freshly shredded by one of Meg's boys:) tomato sauce, sour cream, peppers, onions, and lots of other stuff, and roll the tortillas in a row and pour the remaining sauce over them....mmm to die for! I made pork chops with an apple and pecan topping and a really awesome meatloaf, that Lori's little girl helped me with!!

Here is what the menu this month looks like. Another thing, I have also learned so many recipes from them, and learned to prepare things differently, they are always SO accommodating letting me add extra veggies in a meal from other stations if the recipe doesn't have enough in it!! You just can't go wrong and let me tell you, the first time you try it, you'll understand why I'm standing so tall on my soap box for them, this could really bring back sit down dinners with families, instead of eating on the fly, not together, we need to sit down and talk! Mom's these days are not like our Mom's, who stayed home and cooked all day. Most of us work, and this is a great thing for everyone, those who don't prefer to cook or know how, those of us who are lacking time, those who can't think of new things to make, it fits everyone! NOW GET OUT THERE AND GO TO GOURMET MAKE AND TAKE IN AUBURN, RIGHT ACROSS FROM DENNY'S ON THE SAME SIDE AT MARSHALL'S! You won't be sorry!

Click on all the highlighted links above, they will take you to information about Meg's place, and if you come on Sunday, around noon, you too can be her Sunday people:) Seriously, come!! We'll be there! It's really a fun family activity and you kill two birds with one stone, cooking and having fun! What more could you ask for!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Skaneateles all about it!

The Skaneateles Press stopped in about a week ago, I had the pleasure of talking to Miranda, who asked me some questions and hung in there while I was juggling the phone, greeting clients and getting the kids ready for soccer.

I love what she wrote! I really had no idea what to expect, because at the moment she came in, things started bustling:) in a good way of course:)

Here is what she wrote or you can click here to check it out on CNYLINK!


Bijou Salon celebrates first anniversary

Miranda L. Pennock 09/23/08

For 14 years Kim Baker has been coloring, cutting and styling hair at various salons. It wasn’t until last year that she finally felt that the timing was right to open her own business.
“Each place I worked at I collected ideas about what worked really great and what didn’t,” Baker said.
Though she had considered owning her own salon for a while, it just wasn’t the right time until August 2007 when she finally took the advice and support of friends and family and took her keen business sense on a new adventure.
Within a month of saying yes to the space behind Bella Blue Boutique, Bijou, located at 6 Jordan St. in Skaneateles, was prepped, painted and staffed.
“It came about really suddenly,” Baker said. “It was definitely the right timing.”
Bijou and its employees celebrated their one-year anniversary on Sept. 4. Since opening, the salon has seen the addition of several staff members and expanded quite a bit in terms of product lines and services, Baker said. The salon that began with the owner and one employee manning styling stations, now touts seven stylists aside from Baker and an array of services.
Each stylist researches the latest in colors and styles, among other services to pamper their customers, and Baker attends many conferences with her employees so they can continue to evolve as professionals in their field.
Often, ideas come not only from conferences but from clients who have either been having their hair done by Baker for many years or new clients who started coming to Bijou after its opening.
Stylist Courtney Conley has been working on hair for 10 years, and it’s something that is ingrained in her. Her mother has been a stylist for 36 years, she said.
“It’s something I picked up from her,” Conley said. “I absolutely love it.”
She said one of the enjoyable aspects of her job is the relaxing atmosphere she has to work in, which is a benefit to the employees and clients — like Sheila Kelly who has been making appointments for her hair at Bijou for about a year.
“I love it,” Kelly remarked.
Chocolate brown, turquoise and silver paint on the walls and mirrors and fixtures to accent the colors help to bring about a peaceful feeling as clients sit in one of four styling chairs.
Though she had heard many different opinions about owning a business, Baker said she knows she can juggle a few things at once, which has helped to make her successful. It just feels good to have her own business, she said. Helping her out on the money end of the business, Baker’s partner and boyfriend, Thomas Bringas, an engineer, handles the books so she can focus on the many other facets of the business.
“I can’t say that I’ve ever had one day that I’ve said, ‘Ugh, why did I do this?” Baker said.

Miranda L. Pennock/ Bijou stylist Courtney Conley works on client Sheila Kelly’s hair during a recent trip to the salon. Bijou recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where to go, what to do, where to shop.....

The CousCous Royalle
The Banana filled crepes with Chocolate sauce...


I love to talk, especially about what I love! When I find someone or something that I love, I could TALK about it till the cows come home! When I find a product, or a service that I love....I am your best advertiser. I do think this is true for most least all the girls at Bijou, I find it to be true! We will all talk about something we love all day and by the end of the week, the product is the shelf, or for restaurants, no reservations available!

I think it would be fun to add to our blog our favorite places...a bit like the thing I love from Skaneateles suites blog, the "secret places" they too are very convincing about things they love:)

So my first recommendation's will have to be Joelle's Bistro...I can tell you that Thomas, who was born and raised in France, has been very disappointed in French cuisine here, his biggest complaint is the small portions and little towers of food...this is the cuisine they eat in Paris, it is NOT what normal french people eat...(so he says:) The first time we went to Joelle's...he asked if the couscous was real couscous...and if the duck confit was real duck confit. Alain said yes, Joelle makes it herself...Thomas was drooling from the moment he said that until our meal came....we both left wanting to sing to the world that Joelle's was the best!! (we are not the only ones, read these reviews!) And in the four years he has been here, it is the only restaurant that he prefers! Everyone that I suggest to go there, comes back with the same feeling that we's perfection, every taste bud on your tongue will thank you!

When you walk through the doors, you never feel like you are just visiting a restaurant, you feel as though you have stepped into your French relatives house and they are ready to feed you. The whole experience is a wonderful treat and well worth it! So stop procrastinating and stop passing that little bistro on the way to the route 695, make a reservation and visit Joelle and Alain, trust me, you'll be saying...what everyone else says..."ooh you were so right!!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Skaneateles Journal wrote about us!

To read the awesome article written about us, click here!

It was such a pleasure to sit and answer the questions from John, (and SO easy, although I do sometimes have the gift of gab:) I had met him at different times, with Dylan's Odyssey of the mind team, to name one. I was so pleased when I read the article. And quite happy that the beautiful Kimberlee was featured in the photo page, with only my hair and nose visible while I was hard at work, making Jennifer D. into a new women! (sometimes I make strange faces while concentrating;)

Thank you John for a great article and although the last sentence was lost somewhere, you wrote it so perfectly that I knew just what you were going to finish it with:) Now do stop in for that pedicure someday:) Men really do that, don'tcha know;)

We are so very fortunate and downright lucky! Read our other reviews I happened to find while searching for this article! Click here, here and here! Thank you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

See, we're not all about the celebrating, we still do hair...

Here is our teacher up above, she wanted something different, to wake up her kids!
Simple lines, with a nice wave, just beautiful!

A great cut for any type of hair, easy to handle and simple to maintain!OOOH, some highlights would be good, or some semi permanent color...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Just a taste of what is at Bijou in Skaneateles!

Fresh coffee and Parisienne Macarons!!!! Oooh La-La:)
We have given away at least 18 28 free eyebrow or lip waxes...How fun this is! I wonder if we should make a goal, to give away 100 (maybe 200:) free waxes!!!
It's so fun to give!!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bijou salon in skaneateles turns one today!!!! Hip hip hoooray!!

Now were talking....

I've got your full attention now, don't I?!
You want to know, what is with all the macarons, and what the heck are macarons anyway??

Have I been to Paris to eat these famous Macarons?? Nope, but I've read so much about them, that I sometimes dream about them in my sleep!

I mean really, they are beautiful, bright, colorful little treats. When I tend to dream about things, they eventually happen, I'm lucky like that:) I mentioned my obsession to my dear dear friend, the one who makes such wonderful cakes.

She informed my that she could make those, I was shocked, down right shocked! I knew she was talented, but were talking...making something I've only seen in magazines or on the Internet...apparently they are relatively (heh, heh) easy (heh, heh, heh) to make. They are almond meringue (droool) and ganache or various fillings.

So to celebrate my 1 year anniversary of Bijou salon in Skaneateles....I would like to share these little gem of treats with everyone that stops into Bijou during the month of September!! I am so grateful for every ones support and this is the least I could do...share some macarons!!! ( I only hope that I can keep my lovely girls from scarfing them down, okay and fine, as well as myself;) wink wink!

I would also like to mention as our way of saying a big grateful thank you...For the first half of the month (so, until the 15Th of September) anyone and everyone, man, women or child;) we are offering free eyebrow waxing or lip waxing. So if you have not had the luxury of trying it, come on in and let us work our magic! It will be our pleasure...our next little treat for the 2ND half of the month (starting on the 16Th - 31st) we will be offering free upgrades on our pedicures to the SPA PEDICURE!! Our hot towel cabi is just begging to be used!!

Coming soon will be our single use paraffin mitts, no more dipping into a large communal bath of paraffin wax, you will get your very own mitt that you can dispose of after you are done! Winter is coming and this will be perfect for those dry skin days!

Thank you everyone who has helped spread the word about Bijou, we are all so grateful to you and are so happy to be able to share our little gem with you! Thank you for the kind comments and affirmation, that Skaneateles needed a gem of a little salon, like we dreamt of!

I personally would like to thank in the best order I can. (sorry to be a bit dramatic, and go on like the academy awards, but thank yous are necessary:)

Thank you to my parents for giving me such warmth as a child, that I have been able to pass on to others, always taking care of elderly friends gave me such compassion that I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for telling me you think I could do this (even when you don't think I can drive from NY to IL all by myself) If you would have said you thought it as a terrible idea, I would have probably not done it. Thank you for believing in me.

Thank you to Thomas, my wonderful better half who believes me 100% and with such conviction, I could never doubt myself. You took out the equation that worried me the most, the books...I could not survive without your dedication, waking up early every Sunday to do the week long book work for the salon. Thank you for everything you do, I cannot thank you enough or list all the things you bring into our lives!

Thank you to my little (okay, fine little and one high schooler;) boys, you made this all so easy, you are the most patient little guys in the world, you sweep up for me, you run my errands and you never complain about spending too much time at Bijou. You guys are champs and my greatest source of pride!

Thank you to Gloria from Angels by the lake and all the angels inside of 6 Jordan street. You gave my dream a space a real live space, instead of just in my head (it was getting so crowded in there and I kept changing my theme too much;) You are the best!

Thank you to Chris Gary for making me look my excuses in the eyes and tell them to get on with it, call about the place and take hold of my dreams and have no regrets!! You pushed me, I needed that, I'm grateful for that, you are a great business women, I am so thankful I have you as a sounding board!

Shelly Kennedy, my virtual decorator and cherished friend. How many times had we done a salon in our head. You kept me focused and kept me on task. It could have never turned out so unique and wonderful without your magic touch. You made it all so easy, we just pointed and picked and didn't stress, it just happened like magic. You are magic!

Dina Sakal and Dee Vounas, my two Greek goddesses. You both are my big sisters that I dreamt of, you are always there to support with me with your ears and advice, I am so blessed to have such strong women as friends! I love you both and Thank you for all the help throughout the year with the boys and dinners and making sure we all don't work toooo hard.

Joe and Tom, Thank you for the beautiful floors, and for helping us pack up everything and lend a hand in moving:) You guys are true friends!

Thank you to Ros Schwartz and Betty Congel for entertaining Thomas while he was working all alone at the shop during construction, and thank you for all these years of telling me I should follow my dreams. Your faith in my means the world!

And last but not least (and I'm sorry for those of you I might have missed, but this could go on for days, if I don't let my brain rest:) Thank you to my strong girls at Bijou! Kimberlee, thank you for believing me when I said you would be successful in this town, thank you for being you, thank you for your wit and somewhat dry sense of humor that has me cracking up all the time...thank you for your loyalty and thank you for taking the chance at Bijou, I knew you would be an immediate success, you're awesome! To Jackie, thank you for reading about Bijou in the newspaper and peeking through the windows and getting all excited about there finally being a salon worth your while in this town, I'm so honored to have your expertise and knowledge and I adore your professionalism! To Michele for adding such a colorful spark to Bijou, for singing out loud to yourself (and talking to yourself:) and for taking such gentle care with some of your elderly clients, thanks for your extended hours and coming to work with such zest after a long day at the hospital, you do great work and make people feel good about themselves! To Connie, for feeding me more and more knowledge about Young Living oils and for being such a source of info for all of us what will we do, thanks for hopping so eloquently right into your position and joining in the fun we have, you add so much to Bijou and have been such a wonderful spirit to work with, we hope to see you next year and will miss you dearly when you return to TN. To Courtney "June", you are a go getter and have wonderful people skills, you always throw in extra hours and help everyone, your team work is so appreciated and we are so glad to have you with us at Bijou! To my longtime friend Lori, who I have worked so harmoniously with for many years, thank you for asking that fateful question that day, telling me that I didn't need to answer right away, that I could think about it, I knew my answer the moment you asked me! I'm so happy to have you hear, with your expertise and precision styling and awesome updo's. It is my privilege to have you with our team, you completed a great team for me, you added that last little puzzle we were missing, thank you for transitioning so gracefully and adding so much to the Bijou team! And to Rachel, our newest part time girl, just graduating from beauty school, with so much other accomplishments, licensed massage therapist, licensed esthetician and now licensed cosmetologist. I know you will do great and you will bring us so much knowledge and ideas. We are glad to be able to assist you in training and look forward to getting to know you!

Gee, I am so sorry this turned into such a long post, however when it comes out onto the computer from my fingers typing, it must be said, I could not delete:) Hopefully some of you will make it to the end, so that I can say..."Now stop reading and come on down to Bijou at 6 Jordan Street for some delicious Parisienne Macarons!!!"