BEFORE & AFTER: A SIT BACK ON MATCH.COM

BEFORE & AFTER: A SIT BACK ON MATCH.COM

photo copy

BEFORE:
LIFELESS ROLLING OTTOMANS
THRIFT-SHOP PICK

BEFORE:

Here’s how I found them at the Salvation Army. Having all the money in the world should not prevent you from entering a donation center or secondhand retail store. Age has beauty and frankly people tend to trash their greatest treasures. Understand that key to life and  if you haven’t yet, change an old habit and shop someplace new.

“The fixity of a habit is generally in direct proportion to its absurdity.” ― Marcel Proust

Here’s what I like about the Ottomans:

1. On Wheels

2. Vintage Brss drop handles with back plates

3. Use of Textured Vinyl

4. Button-cinched square

5. Price: 3 for $25.00

I went to the Salvation Army to shop for my clients on HGTV. I ended up with a few things, including these ottomans. The  budget for the show is tight but the design is free if you open your mind and the end result looks expansive. More on that later #tease.

photo

HGTV, that’s another day. Everday, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. That’s why it is always later on the West Coast. It’s to gain the advantage of sunlight. Midday the sun shines its brightest onto the paddock outside my windows and blasts amazing natural light into my bedroom. I couldn’t get this in the city that never sleeps, though for the record I tried. I lived in an Upper East, second floor walk up for three-straight years.

New York City ate me up.  I went back to the outdoors and hometown Greenwich in August, 2013. I am single, attached is the link to my highly spinster-style home in lonny.com. I am taking advantage of it now.  The next house, I decorate for two.

Single is frightening in any geography, that is why I really didn’t worry about the move. Love where you live  is what I say, love your environment and it will feed you.  Attraction is a state of mind and that means it can happen anywhere. You have to focus on it. I have always wanted to be in-love but haven’t put the focus on it.  There’s always been my career. It is a safe place that is guaranteed to love me back and which has fueled me to become a successful business woman.   Before Tiger Lily’s, I was a lucky broadcast news journalist and most of that time all I wanted to make it to Network TV so I  never took my personal relationships seriously. My apologies to anyone who took “us” to be. and my joy in watching my old broadcast roomie Ginger-Zee’s rise to the top. Lara Spencer my mentor also made it there. Ladies come get me or God marry me off 🙂

This morning, I woke  up and watched a coyote cross my paddock. It looked nothing like the road-runner. Animals in nature have a spring in their step. Even my domestic dogs do. I’ve had Smeagie most my adult-life. Charlie was a rescue from sister, 7-weeks ago. They surprisingly are a good-match.

IMG_9507

HOME BOYS
SMEAGIE & CHARLIE

“It is might just be a trick of the mind that life is better on the inside, wild animals have it right.”–Samantha Knapp, author

Native American Indians worship Coyotes. “Coyote appears as the Creator himself; but he may at the same time be the messenger, the culture hero, the trickster, the fool. He has also the ability of the transformer: in some stories he is a handsome young man; in others he is an animal; yet others present him as just a power, a sacred one.”

Call it a mythical sign, I had do something radical. I relaunched match.com

photo copy 2


HERE I AM
ON MATCH.COMGO EASY ON ME 

Match.com almost worked for me once.  Following that experience I swore on my life I wouldn’t return here.  But here I am, go easy on me. It had a heart wrenching effect. I told “Mr. Bunny”  that to his face. Never in my life until then, had I met the man I really thought that I could marry. That’s my match hasn’t appealed to me. I told the Bunny I would never go back but never is like forever and you’ll never really know how long that it. The more things you want in life, the closer that gap.

When you go bacl to something that you think didn’t work, the reason is because you still have the desired right outcome. You have to try for you want. The Dallas Buyers Club got turned down over 150-times before a company bought the screen-play.  In doing so, it legitimized  playboy Matthew McConaughey as an Oscar worthy actor. I saw that movie. Three-thumbs up.

It’s been a year-and-half since I have been on this site. This signifies moving on from a very true love match. For now  it is the same old profile, I am not sure yet if I am embracing the idea. Afterall living in the suburbs, surrounded by trees and one person you love, I had always thought it would happen more organically. Life is all just an experience.

“Everything that happens once can never happen again.But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.”–Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

z3MwXiwRgSS7TCaikRYDDl_xPiclZAElGjJ0tQU_rI8

AFTER:
BUY ME: $2,495.00
http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com


AFTER:

There is nothing like a good re-introduction to the world. I brought the ottomans back to the custom workroom. That’s where the magic happens, they were striped down to the naked bone. I upholstered more simply this time with genuine bone colored supple-to -the-hand, leathe and dded more hardware with brass nailheads.  More is always more, that one of my tips you’ll see at http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com. That’s my store, log-on and buy-me.  The ottomans now are $2,495.00. Always remember you are buying a well executed idea. It comes at different prices at different times. My website is retail pricing, luxury product and is not cheap.

I have written to date 289 blogs and the majority of which I like to end in quote. I think Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.Wish me luck on Match. To make something a habit, you have to be at approximately 90-straight days. In 3-months, if you don’t love someone, you never will. It is probably more accurate to say if you don’t love someone immediately, he’s not it. The number is three. I have been on Match twice before, once with outstanding results. I am nearing in on 300-blogs. It goes without saying that strikes come in threes.   Three,  your-out! Or clear three diamond  bases and you’ll make a home run.  The average is one in every-three. I like the odds of that.

“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there”–Yogi Berra

#ONELOVE

 

Advertisements

NOT FROM THE OLIVE GARDEN-A COOK’S IN BLOOM: CHICKEN ROSEMARY RAVIOLI IN TOMATOE-PESTO SAUCE

NOT FROM THE OLIVE GARDEN: COOK’S IN BLOOM ROSEMARY RAVIOLI IN TOMATOE PESTO SAUCE

There are far different costs associated with cooking in and eatting out. There’s price and quality to consider. There’s convenience and occasion to consider. It boils down as the Italian’s say to, “Di stagione – in season.”

The chain Olive Garden does fast food Italian.  There are over 800 restuarants, one in every major city in the United States and it trickles down from there. There are 12, in a 45-mile radius from my house. If you have been to one, you have been to them all. They are programmed by corporate to taste the same.

There’s no guarantee what I could once will taste the same twice. That’s my guarantee and this is my recipe.

BEFORE:

Image

YOU WILL NEED:

1. Mediterranean Pine Nuts 2. Rana Ravioli Chicken Rosemary 3. Canned Tomatoes 4. Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese 5. Olive Oil 6. Garlic 7. Chicken Breast 8. Jar Pesto Sauce 9. Onion 10. Cherry Tomatoes 11. Chardonnay, Went Vineyards  

Currently at Olive Garden, there is an existing special where two people can eat for $25.00. About the only other places $12.50 gets you a meal is at a chain like McDonalds or in a third-world nation.  The special includes unlimited bread sticks and appetizer followed by a choice between nine entrees. If you skip the appetizer, you can sample one of five desserts.

I’m not food-expert. I earn a living as an interior designer in a business http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com, along with my family I own. Home-cooking is a hobby which gives me the authority to ask where is the profit in that? What possibly can be the quality of that food source?

Image

When you cook from home, you cook from scratch. With that comes the unique knowledge that from here on out you know the layers of ingredients that went into the food you eat. That’s the benefit. To create a base, I start by flavoring the olive oil with onions, garlic and fresh cherry tomatoes. The seasoned olive oil will be the frying component for the chicken and later the stewed tomatoes.

This is the most important part of the meal. Take liberty here with the flavoring.

Image

To the existing base, I added pesto and wine. Let it sweat then add the chicken. A this point the kitchen should smell deliciously like good food is cooking. Here’s the other cool part of me, I start thinking about how my mother use to do it and does it still. I sit back at our old kitchen counter and watch her cook.

Cooking is a natural, family thing.  You are born to eat and learn how to cook from your family. The ability is in your blood and destiny brings it out. If your mom was a good cook, you are too. It is that simple of an equation. When given the choice to eat out, carry-in or cook for your husband and kids. I would cook.

Image

The actual tomatoe sauce is an entirely different thought. Up until now in the recipe, I have not cooked with any dairy.  Jews by religion do not mix meat & dairy. I observe it if possible but I can’t live by that rule. My ancestors on my mother’s side did according to the Book of Exodus, which forbids “boiling a (kid) goat in its mother’s milk”.  Admittedly graphic, the mixture is also a luxury. Historically to mix the two, you were rich enough to purchase it fresh.  My father’s ancestors are Italian. They divorced. For the purpose of this recipe, lets seperate the two.

This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations” –Book of Exodus

  •  

God said that. In life he goes on to say a lot more. Factor in the millions of ideas or quotes attributed to him through other people’s thoughts and it starts to make sense that it boils down to the little things. The tradition of cooking and for me, for as long as possible keeping the meat and dairy separate.

Image

In a seperate pan reheat the olive oil-pesto base over high heat. Who ever peeled, stewed and canned tomatoes was genius.

Image

It an old idea when you think about it. It pre-dates metal cans to glass jars and seasonal preserves. The greatest thing about time is if you live long enough the simpliest of ideas comes back again. . The canning provides a distinguished taste that also differs in texture. Once upon a time, families only ate at home. Once upon time there was no Olive Garden. Once upon a time to eat a vegetable in the winter, it came out of jar sealed during harvest months.

“In the winter I use canned vegatables. It is the closest thing to what our ancestors got.”–Samantha Knapp

Image

Fry the tomatoes in the heated oil. This process is messy, stand back to avoid being burned by the heat. There is so much water in the canning process that it is absolutely neccessary to keep the heat high to cook off the juice.

Perhaps canned tomatoes is what we have in common. That’s me and the Oil Garden. The truth is alot of their menu items all year round comes measured out exactly and shipped from one central hub. No one buys food locally. That is a fact but please don’t take this as a full out assault, I recognize from a corporate-economy perspective chains provide jobs and for whatever it is worth, a good portion of consuming america eats there.

Here’s where we throw religion right out the door. At this point the tomatoes should have cooked down and become stocky in its own liquid. To this add the Ricotta. There are two types of italian cooking and they split on the dairy. Here’s where both meet. Use a hand blender to mix the sauce.

Image

When complete, let the sauce come together for at least ten more minutes under high heat. The bel

WImageImage

You have to give it to recieve it.

Chi conserva quando ha, mangia quando vuole (Who preserves when have abundance, eats when desires to) It is kind of a heavy meal. So as the Italians say, take it slow.

LAURYN HILL: MY OPINION…EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING

LAURYN HILL: MY OPINION…EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING

Image

“Be honest, brutally honest. That is what’s going to maintain relationships”–Lauryn Hill

I wrote an honest opinion about the restuarant La Cremaillere on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s just my opinion. A lot of people read it. I have graditude for that support base. Opinions matter. I always have one. You should have one, too. It should come from a good place. It should be brutally honest. I ask guys that I date, “Do you want to get married, yes  or no?” There is a very simple answer to this question. My answer for the record is yes.

Image

Lauryn Hill says, “Everything is everything, Everything is everything, After winter, must come spring, Everything is everything”.  

This is just one of her philosophies that has paid off over time and lead to multi-million dollar record sales.  I recently went to her concert and formed an very positive opionion. Lauryn Hill, like me, is also not married. I don’t know if her answer would be yes or no,  but I do know she had five of her six children with one Marley man. Hill is a working mother, nearing 40 and very clearly taking care of herself and her kids.

Her maternal energy on stage is strong making it hard to imagine that like all of us said mortals her path went through high school.  Lauryn’s resume as I understand strictly through the record of Wikipedia, reads deep. It is clear she is the decision maker behind what relationships she does and doesn’t keep.  An over-achiever in high school, she juggled academics, the student body, sports and music with a budding acting career that brought her small rolls like the one beside Whoopi Goldberg in the Sister Act. She has worked hard to get here and continues.

IMG_0003

BUILDING RETURN TOUR

Ms. Hill came live to The Capitol Theater in Port Chester on Friday night, January 31st. This is a very initimate venue reserved for independent artists that operate on the highest of playing fields but appreciate the most basic levels.  The theater is unique like that. The floor is general addmission, no seats. The upper balcony is better seating, a different vantage point but no better acoustics. You can’t buy the perfect seat in this theater and that is what makes it perfect. You can also park free on the street and walk to the venue.

Image

LAURYN HILL
LIVE, CAPITOL THEATRE JAN 31

I image that for preformers who have repeatedly sold out MSG, the small venue is a humbling place of graditude. Not everyone fits here. Lauryn Hill is one of those exceptions. A little after 9PM, she took the stage with Killing Me Softly in a version of the song that came from years of studying her step-father (loose term) Bob Marley and his Rasta culture.  Native to New Jersey, her energy transends into an ethnically delivered style that provides a rhythmic sense of roots and celebrated culture in songs.

Her choice of songs drew on her childhood influeced by Stevie Wonder, her years as a Fugee, her celebrated Mis-Education and Bob Marley. The Fugees cover of Marley’s No Woman No Cry was a part of the masterfully woven multi-platinum album, The Score.  It was perhaps kismet that she went on to build a relationship with his son, Rohan and have an instrumental part in his continued legacy baring his grand-children. Marley’s grandsons and daughter played in the dim lit corners of the stage more or less dancing to their mother’s beat. Musicians born.  They appeared as a squad of support.

Image

Toss the rumors that Hill is angry for her life or somehow irrevocably scorned. The mother of six does not come across that way. Nurturing and in control of her band, she let them shine independently on more then one occasion. Her guitarist jammed solo as did her back up singers. Her eye-contact with her band was sharp and not overly rehearsed.

Hill entertained and reminded us all that the Mis-Education was among the smartest decisions of her life. Songs like X-Factor, Doo-Whop, Everything is Everything, now  7-years their prime sounded fresh and current. Each was a complementary version of the original compiled on an album that won five times at the 41st Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Best New Artist.

images-2

“Tell me, who I have to be
To get some reciprocity
No one loves you more than me
And no one ever will”

Work she does. Lauryn Hill is waging a comeback from a prison sentence that could have been avoided had she paid her back-taxes in a manner that showed the judge she took her penalty seriously. Returning to court with just a slim percentage paid, she was asked to serve out her remaining sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury. She served three-months. At that hearing, she is quoted to have indentified herself as a child of former slaves, ...”who has a system imposed on them”.

What ever her relationship is with our government is, it seemed not to have impact on this paritcular preformance. In a poodle-like skirt and expensive high-heel snow-booties, she appeared to enjoy working the inner core of the capital system, generating revenue from a live show just five months since her prison release. Her live appearances are limited in geography during her probation.

Lauryn Hill lives an open book which only adds freedom to her performance.  Search google and her life story ebbs and flows like any other great achiever in history. There are moments of extreme success in High School, the Fugees, success as a independent artist along side her lowest moments that include her willingness to be lead in council by a religious zealot critics say orchestrated a cult, to her failed philathropy The Refugee Project  to the highly disfunctional sexual relationship she had for years with bandmate Wyclef.

IMG_0197

Perhaps in the past Hill has shown an entitlement to walk away from the public and its demands. She has changed since then, humbled in a way that the old and the wise carry when they realize the secret to life is happiness. She is also a preformer. The audience is her blood, she seemed to feed off of it and transend.

As she closed and on more than one occasion she thanked the audience. It is as-if to say she loves the people that have brought her much success. Afterall, it has been a success so grand it allowed her to identfy with roots beyond New Jersey and gave her the courage or furstrated humor to say to a judge first and foremost despite ambition and privilege, she is the daughter of slaves that will not pay taxes.

Her energy was magnetic. So instead, I  thank you Lauryn Hill for sticking around and showing that reinvention is possible everyday when you live from truth. ##ONE LOVE

“To those supporters who were told that I abandoned them, that is untrue. I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise, never you, and never the artistic gifts and abilities that sustained me.”–Lauryn Hill

LA CREMAILLERE: WE CAME FOR THE BREAD, NOT THE GROUPON.


IMG_9913

LA CREMAILLERE: WE CAME FOR THE BREAD, NOT THE GROUPON.  

The old institution La Cremaillere is apparently trying new things. One of them is Groupon. The other is management. I don’t know if it has changed in the last 10-years but if historic reputation serves me, a star rating on Zagat documents,  I can only believe so.

If you want service at La Cremaillere located conveniently at 46 Bedford-Banksville Road, be prepared to ask for it. That was my experience, last night. Pre-Superbowl Saturday found me with one of my best-friends and colleagues, Laura Bays, in celebration of her wedding engagement to Jacksonville Jaguar and friend Brandon Deaderick.

IMG_9909

There is a correlation between a  Mink Coat,  Chanel Bag,  Barney’s Shoes and the  ability to pay a check. Call it consumer profiling. It seemed grossly underestimated by the wait-staff.  In fact, being an educated and self-employed woman had an opposing effect on our Maitre D’Hotel. It quickly became clear we were sitting in a floral chintz draped  room of chauvism celebrating older white males,  when our waiter greeted us on an assumption that we were table three taking advantage of a Groupon.

For the record,  I am bargain hunter but I didn’t take advantage of this particular sale. I also didn’t take lightly the assumption that perhaps being under 40 and stylishly dressed somehow quanitified us as only coming in for a discount

IMG_9911

First of all who wouldn’t take advantage of a groupon if it was available to them. It turns out about 700-people  did before the deal ended. I found the offer later on the internet, after we dined. I won’t have believed it otherwise.  La Cremaillere does not have a reputation for soliciting new clientele but if their was a need to fill tables, Groupon met the challenge.

700 is an impressive number. I own a family run small, local  business, http://www.tigerlilysgreenwich.com. If a Groupon promotion for our business had a similar outcome, I would execute graditude. On the contrary the reference to the groupon by our waiter had a degratory tone to it, as if we couldn’t possily pay a full retail bill.

IMG_9907

La Cremaillere is a destination restaurant. It is reached by car only, in the middle of nowhere which happens to be my neighborhood. For others, when you agree to drive to this remote georgraphical place you  have made the decision  to park valet,  to pay for club soda at $4.50 a glass and well beyond that should you chose to tap into the renowned and sommelier selected wine cellar.  To put this beverage  figure into perspective consider that club sofa is just water infused with carbon dioxide, it is usually free and at the grocery store you can buy a 24-pack of Diet Coke for about the same price   No one stumbles upon La Cremaillere. You know you are paying out the pocket when you go,  but with that expense you expect a magical fine dining experience. Afterall, La Cremaillere greets you with a warm fresh french farm loaf. The service in general in impeccable according to folklore. If you have lint on your coat, it is rumored the maitre d’  dusts you right off. It is a place to celebrate. Prior to this, I had on occasion.

I was excited to share my experience with Laura Bays. So, you can imagine my surprise by the Groupon Greeting. The waiter, took the liberty to walk over with a special discount groupon menu with out first introducing himself. I found that incredibly insulting and simply had to ask him if indeed I should be insulted by that? He responded with an equally snide comment.

Sale item or not, waiting tables is a service business. Patrons should be valued for the money they are chosing to spend at retail or discounted prices and treated first class.   Clearly we were off to a bad start.

Image

I said it earlier,  you come for the bread.  You stay for the soup laddled out of a porcelain soup tureen and the entree that is revealed from beneath a silver plate lid.  The food by and far is excellent with the exception on this night of the special soft-shell crab spring rolls that came out soggy, a gritty after taste to the scallops and the lack of pronounced sage in the brown butter sauce.  It is however more the service that I am opionated about.

Following the akward introduction our head waiter began an uncomfortable food service.

1. He pretended to listen and write down a specialized order request of a simple Parisienne take on the Italian’s linguine with olive oil & garlic. It never came.

2. He accused me of having a problem because I order the soup to sample only  and didn’t finish the bowl.

3. He never brought us water glasses and only filled our club soda glasses upon request which of course we were paying for.

4. He never asked us if we needed anything after the highly anticipated main course reveal.

5. When I later flagged him down to ask for fresh ground pepper for a pasta that I hadn’t yet ate, he retailated by saying it was not a customary garnish for my plate. Pepper is my preference. I frankly did not ask if it was appropriate. All that said, my food that came out warm had cooled significantly by the time I ate it.

6. On the subject of pasta, he left before Laura could ask for her missing side.

Image

DIRTY LINEN CLOTH

At any given time in the dining room, there were two lead waiters, two subwaiters and one bus boy.  The ratio per table by 8:30 at night was pretty close to one-on-one. Yet, despite that, any service we got we flagged down and asked for. At one point, I was a spectacle forced to wave my hand for attention to get the assistant waiter to replace my dirty knife. The same exercise was the only reason we were able to  request our  final bill.  It came late and not before the table was properly bustled with a brush to remove the drippy dessert crumb in front of me.  We must have sat 15-minutes in filth.

However neglient or dismissive our head waiter was with us, he managed to take care and time  to smooze with the gentleman from New York City that sat next to us. That guy’s navigation had taken him the longest route possible from the Upper West,  along Route 22. It turns out he was on a date.   From the attention the young-blond Russian  gave her phone when he excused himself, I can conclude they won’t be back together again. I won’t either.

Image

When the numbers add up, the odds were in my favor. I am local business owner, though the waiter never cared to ask and the literal next door neighbor to this place. I like to eat and make recommendations. I have no problem spending money on food and expect good service to accompany it. I expect my dollar bill to matter as much as the man next me and as much as the groupon coupon… if there is such a thing. How about treating everyone equally?

On the subject of the numbers, our bill did added up, We asked up front, if the waiter left the side of pasta on our bill before we opened it. This was in fact the first time we called his attention to this gross oversight. He had a chance to take the bill back and make an adjustment.  He answered with out skipping a beat that he was sorry he forgot, didn’t think to write it down for the kitchen and didn’t remember it enough to put on the bill.

There was no discount. We paid the bill with a tip.  There was no further recognition of the order mishap or that  we were greeted as grouponies who might be deserving of such.

I can’t recommend La Cremaillere.  If you can believe Zagat, here’s what it  says:

“Bedford “treasure” for many decades, this “class act” dispenses “sublime” French fare in a converted white-clapboard 18th-century farmhouse with “enchanting”, “old-school elegant decor”; factor in a “gracious” staff both “unobtrusive” and “vigilant to your needs” and no one seems to mind paying “an arm and a leg” for a “true special-event experience”; P.S. jackets suggested.”–Zagat

There’s a lesson in all this. We could have afterall been influential food bloggers. Treat everyone the same. #onelove