I’ve never understood gardening as a hobby. I just can’t seem to fathom why someone would touch dirt on purpose even with gloves. However, as I began paying more attention to detail on my walks through the city, I realized the beauty of the small urban garden. Suddenly, the floral colors began to jump out at me and I started to look forward to passing familiar flowers and watching them bloom throughout the season. These are just a few of my favorite city gardens found in my neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen along with Meatpacking and the Upper East Side.
Would I consider gardening now? I think not. I prefer when other people do it.
According to The Cocktail Guru, lemonade cocktails are so hot right now. After sipping them at Van Gogh Vodka’s Lemonade Social, I couldn’t agree more. Bittersweet lemonade cocktails are perfect for summer or whenever you feel like a quick refresh. Plus, they’re super pretty.
So without further ado, here are a few simple lemonade cocktail recipes by The Cocktail Guru made with some of my favorite Van Gogh Vodka flavors. Extra points if you serve them in a mason jar. Using natural ingredients such as organic lemonade and fruit can help you avoid hangovers. So get out your mixer and drink up!
2 oz. Van Gogh Acai-Blueberry 4 oz. Pink lemonade Add ingredients to a rocks glass with ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon wheel.
Van Gogh Melonade
1 1/2 oz. Van Gogh Melon 3 oz. Pink lemonade Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wheel.
2 oz. Van Gogh Pomegranate 3 oz. Lemonade Pour ingredients into a rocks glass with ice and stir. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Having once been single in NYC, I know from personal experience how bitter dating can be in the Big Apple. Sometimes it can seem like everyone is either waiting for something better to come along or simply looking for a cheap one-night stand. For those seeking a long-term commitment, the New York dating scene can seem hopeless.
So when Ms. Cowan founder of Cowan Introductions, an elite matchmaker catering to New York City’s most eligible bachelors, contacted me with an offer for one lucky Aspiring Socialite reader to be part of one of her monthly relationship seminars for free, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. If you’re a single lady looking for love in NYC, simply click here to sign up and mention that you were referred by Aspiring Socialite in the ‘Message’ section for a chance to be part of one of Ms. Cowan’s monthly relationship seminars.
In order to be considered for membership, women can sign up on the site free of charge. In my opinion, you have nothing to lose by taking a chance on love through a more traditional approach to matchmaking. So go for it! To learn more about Ms. Cowan and how she’s helping New Yorkers find the missing piece, check out my interview with the world-class matchmaker below.
Best of luck in love! xoxo
Q&A with Ms. Cowan
How did you get into matchmaking?
My background is in life coaching which includes assisting clients in building strong relationships, I felt a desire to utilize those skills which led me to start my own matchmaking company. After deciding this is what I wanted to do, I became matchmaking certified and I realized that all of my past experiences had brought me to this place.
Why did you start your company?
I was once a client of a very high-end matchmaking company and did not receive the service I deserved as a paying client. I felt like a number in a multitude of many. Therefore, my wishes went unheard and my thoughts and desires to find love through this vehicle were challenged. From this disappointing experience, it was clear that the high volume environment, which is common in traditional matchmaking agencies, could not offer the personalized service that is needed when connecting two people together. All experiences serve a purpose in this life’s journey and this experience wasn’t any different. A new desire emerged, the desire to improve the matchmaking experience.
What have been some challenges and how have you overcome them?
One of my initial obstacles was that some viewed matchmaking as a thing of the past. With social media and the dating networks that exist in today’s world, I found that traditional matchmaking could be seen as dated and old. So I continued to talk to professional men and women to determine what they wanted and needed that the industry lacked. My mock dating approach along with the continuous feedback throughout the process allows me to have genuine relationships with all of my clients. My state of the art concierge service was also a welcomed addition.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I love what I do more than anything. I love making a difference in the lives of others. Connecting two people that belong together has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I could not be happier. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing.
How does the process work?
Most matchmaking services are very simple, they conduct a consultation and evaluation of their client then search their database for a potential partner to match. They exchange numbers the day of the date and then leave the rest up to chance. My company offers a different type of matchmaking service/experience. Cowan Introductions differentiates itself from competitors by offering a concierge experience for our clients. Before my clients meet their dates I set up a coaching session with them to see if they are really ready for and open to a relationship. This is separate from their initial consultation.
Next, I will have a mock date with them to test their dating skills. If they’re in need of a makeover, a stylist will be provided to help adjust their image. The third step is to set them up with a compatible match. Fourth, I will plan their date and set it up for them. After their date, I will have a conversation with my client and his date to figure out the next steps.
What’s your biggest success story so far?
For me, any client that makes a connection that leads into a long lasting committed relationship is a major success for me.
How does the screening process work?
Any male client chosen for the company goes through an extensive background check before we set them up on a date!
Do women pay for your services or just men?
Women do not pay for the service only our male clients.
What can women expect from your dating seminars?
They will have a better understanding of the matchmaking process and how to navigate the New York dating scene.
Do you believe in the traditional dating model where the man always pays for the date?
A few months ago, my little sister moved to Baltimore. So now, whenever I visit my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, my Mom and I always take a trip down to Baltimore to see my sister and walk around the Inner Harbor. Though I’d been to the Baltimore Aquarium many times, I’d never really experienced the beauty of the Inner Harbor seaport until now. I’ve grown to love walking along the water discovering new restaurants and watching the boats go by. Since I was probably fourteen the last time I went to the aquarium, a trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore is long overdue.
They say every cloud has a silver lining and on this day, that couldn’t have been more true. Not only did the clouds provide unique lighting for my mini fashion shoot, they also kept the weather cool and comfortable making it the perfect day to be out on the harbor.
Like every other classy New Yorker, I’m always searching uptown and downtown for the perfect NYC brunch. So when my friend Tracy asked if I wanted to join her for a birthday brunch at Hotel Chantelle, I couldn’t resist. After brunching, I must say that the Hotel Chantelle’s roofdeck is now one of my favorite places for a weekend summer brunch. While it has a sophisticated French feel and serves French-inspired cuisine, it’s still incredibly laid back. They even have $0.92 cocktails!