Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sharing and taking the long way to telling a story, it's all good!

*Be forewarned...this is a post that may ramble..quite a lot!

If there is one thing that I can say about myself, it's that I love to share. (I also love to connect people, and used to love matchmaking, but I can admit I'm not all that great at that..but connecting people..yep, I'm great at that..that's a whole post on it's own!)

When I like something, I can't shut up about it....I find a restaurant that I love...(here, here and here..oh and here..just can't resist to tell you about here too)...I'm telling everyone, I find a product that works in my hair...(like this one, that one, or no, this one!) ...everyone knows about it..I finally find shoes that are comfy and trendy...(they are here, and these too)...everyone that can hear me shout it, will hear it!

It becomes obsessive, I need to tell everyone!...Songs, (you hear them all at the shop).. tv shows, (I'll talk the whole time about Glee or Kyle XY if I think you're interested) movies, (foreign movies that I love)...Books...documentaries, theories, conspiracies..I'm sharing with everyone...You can thank my Mother for that, she gave me the gift of gab and she may be the only person I know that can talk about everything and nothing, better than me.

Hmmm, I've mentioned plenty of times, that I digress. As Thomas would explain it, when telling a story, I stop here, smell these roses, pet that puppy, buy a cocoa...then finally get to the point, painstakingly..much later than most people would like:) Which is why I always add pictures, a picture speaks a thousand words, if you care not to read mine..

Okay now where was I? Oh yes (see Cindy, I do babble too and that there punctuation/grammar is atrocious) oh la la... not there yet, but wait, have I mentioned blogs or people that I adore? Like this guy...he's my new inspiration! (I'm getting closer to my point of this whole post, I swear..I can hear the ending of this post..saying warmer, she's getting warmer..HOT HOT)...just read these blogs, one, (the writer of that blog is the one who is featured on this video and who also helped me design Bijou) two (so excited to just find his, can't wait to catch up and follow that one;) and three.

So all of that brings me to my favorite new obsession. It's like people watching, or people creating, bringing a picture to life, by one of my favorite people, her name is Hetty Easter, a third generation Skaneateles girl, who is a classic artist. You can contact her here and contract her to do a photo of your choice, by clicking here - I love it when I see people I know on portrait a day!!)

We hope to be working on a Bijou project one day soon, when both of our busy chaotic lives grant us that wish. It will involve a contest or something fun!

She will be donating a portrait a day (meaning you will get to give her a photo that you choose) to the Odyssey of the mind fundraiser, because it would not be keeping in the whole theme of this post if I didn't sidetrack to say, my oldest son's Ootm team placed second at the state finals and he will be attending the world championship for Odyssey of the mind at the University of Maryland, this will be his second time, the last time was in 2007, before I opened Bijou and started this blog, I had done a blog for their team, we go back and look at it every once in a while!

(Just a tip for this "loaded" post, when you click a highlighted word, don't get lost, come back with the back button, it's fun:) explore a little!)

And by all means, enjoy the little movie of Shelly, here is the original photo that I took, it's to show you comparison of how great Hetty is!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Kreb's tasting..

This afternoon I was fortunate enough to be invited to a little taste of what might become, the Kreb's menu.

They are in the beginning stages of forming menu's and I guess how these things work is, the Chef creates recipes, then before a restaurant opens they try them out. I've never known how this all works, so for me, it's really interesting to see it from the beginning stages. After starting a business, I'm really curious how other industries do things and how they work.

We were told that several tastings would ensue (over the next 7 months, I believe) and in the end when the final recipes are chosen, they will have everyone who tested the recipes over the next several months, come back to see how it evolved. I wonder what recipes from tonight will be in that last showcase. I know the roasted duck leg confit was one of my favorites and then the char- crusted prime ribeye with the sour cherry steak sauce..and the cheddar ice cream over the apple tart was really tasty too. We were told to be honest, which of course I was. I always appreciate constructive criticism, because it can only help a business grow.

During the beginning of the tasting, we were given privy to a little presentation of the design for the inside of the Kreb's, Andy Ramsgard will be the master-mind behind bringing Adam and Kim's vision for the restaurant. While you can click on any of these words that are highlighted, if you don't have time to do it, I really want to share one important thing: The Weitsman's are doing all of this with such incredible intentions, all net profits will be shared among Onondaga County food banks and other charities. Even if the business isn’t profitable, they will donate a minimum of $100,000 dollars a year to feed the hungry and help children. With the risk of revealing my true corniness, I will admit that I felt very honored to have been able to sit in on a tasting. Thank you again Adam and Kim! For those who may feel intimidated by the scrap yard guy, I can say that he is a giant teddy bear with muscles and "smiling" eyes. I wanted to share a blog post about Adam, that I found while searching for a link to attach to his name for reference. I couldn't have said it better myself!

Here are some of the items we sampled and critiqued today:

  • Spinach and curly endive with Champagne Vinaigrette, Hickory smoked ham, apple and roquefort.
  • Maine Lobster bisque with scallion creme fraiche.
  • Roasted duck leg confit with sauteed broccolini and calamryna fig.
  • Clear spring trout with spinach, sweet onion cous cous and sesame hollandaise sauce.
  • Char crusted prime beef ribeye with whole wheat popover, sour cherry steak sauce, snap peas and butternut squash puree.
  • Seared sea scallops with oyster and hedge hog (he he) mushrooms, carnaroli risotto and swiss chard.
  • Ida red apple tartlett served warm with farm cheddar ice cream and cider reduction.
  • New York cheesecake with hazelnut crust, banana brulee and bourban caramel sauce.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting to know Sam Mattice Mahoney

Name: Samantha Mattice

Years experience: 6

Where did you go to school? B.O.C.E.S. Ithaca and Liverpool

Why did you decide to go to cosmetology school? To be in the fashion world and have my finger on it all.

What is your favorite service to perform? Foils. It's an amazing way to show how creative you can be, I love mixing several colors all to compliment eachother or contrast, whichever you wish.

Do you have a favorite product to use? If so, why? Moroccan Oil. No one should live without it!

My hair right now? Long, chocolate brown, layered, thin butterscotch highlights.

My current style? Very easy, I like to wear it wavy, being a busy Mom, I understand that need for ease.

What's on my Ipod? Adele, Zac Brown Band, Rhianna- I mix it up.

My current favorite product? Aveda Volumizing Tonic and Moroccan Oil.

Things or people that inspire me? I love those people who aren't afraid of change. Those are the ones who are trend setters, like Victoria Beckham. They're not afraid to push the envelope, LOVE THAT!

I'm a hairdresser because... I love to be creative and make people happy.

Why I love working at Bijou (Sorry, I couldn't resist to ask!) It's a big family here.

Favorite quote? The best any of us can ever do is to never quit! Play the hand we've been dealt and accessorize what we've got!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Getting to know Christina Lupo

Name: Christina Lupo

Years experience: 4

Where did you go to school? Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES

Why did you decide to go to cosmetology school? I'm in love with hair and always knew that I wanted to be in a field that is able to help people, this is perfect for me, because I can make them feel good inside and on the outside.

What is your favorite service to perform? My favorite thing to do is a complete makeover, from head to toe. I love that feeling when my client walks out feeling like a million bucks and when people take notice of it. I love it when they report back that everyone loved their new change, because I know that it made them feel great, and it makes me feel great!

Do you have a favorite product to use? If so, why? Eufora, I like the styling products and becuase it's all natural, organic and the main ingredient is Aloe, I love knowing that it's all good stuff in there, plus it makes everyone's hair feel brand new.

My hair right now? Blond highlights the color of butter and caramel, shoulder length sometimes curly, sometimes straight.

My current style? I love a great belted dress with boots, or a layered look with greys and black. You can normally see me wearing skirts or dresses with boots, what on earth will I do in the summer!?!

What's on my IPod? Everything from country to classical, a little of this and that.

My current favorite product? Eufora Sculpting Glaze, it's the best!

Things or people that inspire me? My boss, coworkers (especially Courtney Conley), and my family, my grandparents own the Mandana Inn, they instilled in me a really strong hardworking ethic, when I was younger I always helped out there doing anything I could.

I'm a hairdresser because....I'm very creative, a good listener, good with people and I love making clients feel good about themselves.

Why I love working at Bijou? The atmosphere, we're like a family and have fun all the time.

Favorite quote? "Love the life you live, live the life you love."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Empowering the team using kind affirmations...

This post was actually supposed to be finished right after I did this little creative exercise at our first Team meeting of the year. I took the photos, had what I wanted to share in my head, started it in my new posts, only to let it sit in editing stages for quite some time. However, with the spirit of, everything happens for a reason and timing is everything, here it is. (It must be the right time for someone:)

We have always had team meetings, but they were not as regular as they should have been and they always revolved around dinner. While this is a very nice touch, it's also distracting. At the end of 2010 we decided one goal we would strive for was, monthly meetings. Jen got me right on task to plan them ahead of time, so we were not playing (or shall I say..she was not playing..) 'find a night we are all free, game'...a tricky task, as we are all incredibly busy.

We did it, posted the dates for one year. Perfect! Set guidelines and promised to post agenda's the week before the meeting, keeping them to one hour and taking minutes. Boy, can I say...We should have done this ages ago! The first one is always the hardest, going over the guidelines, philosophy of Bijou, tackling issues, also discussing some new and exciting benefits we were offering to the girls. It went off without a hitch, but I also knew that I wanted to also give them something special too. Somehow I came up with the idea of having each of the girls write something nice about each of their team members. Not knowing the value of this when I came up with the idea, or that my fingers would get glued together. But seeing them all take the time to write something about each person was quite lovely, I was surprised as I read such nice things...and thought, they would have never known their team members thought these wonderful things. I also could tell, it came from their hearts. This set the tone for a great year.

Thinking of my past working experiences and events that happened in those environments, I felt lucky and blessed that each girl had the other girls backs. They genuinely are fond of each other and this I know, as clients tell me this all the time. This is most importantly, what makes Bijou.

We work as a team.