Category Archives: my beat

the hostess’ ultimate party resource

Swanson_HostessClosetPost_Header

A prop closet dedicated to party-giving is all sorts of magic. When surveying shelves of lovingly organized accoutrement, one’s imagination is free to jump from weekend brunch/ afternoon tea/ dinner party/ mid-summer night’s feast– in a split second. For the Madame of ceremonies, the prop closet can spellbind/haunt/be a source of pride, envy + admiration…more than a shoe closet filled to the gills with Louboutins. On a practical + equally important note, having party gear arranged in orderly fashion means you’re set to have guests over at  a moment’s notice. Think about the laughter/ bonds/ indelible memories/naughty behavior unfolding at su casa.

Swanson_HostessClosetPost

Share via email
Posted in entertaining, my beat | 3 Comments

the world of figue

For me, it was love at first sight when I saw the naughtily embellished FIGUE army jackets…. So much so, that upon my last visit to NYC, I called upon the FIGUE showroom and begged to see more; more jackets, more everything. And discovered an entire world that appeared as though it were from the Talitha Getty archives. Gorgeous and electric caftans and tunics; outrageous re-purposed army jackets; poetic ponchos; shearling vests and bohemian satchels…. My eyes could not take in all that lay before me.

FIGUE was conceived and is designed by Stephanie von Watzdorf– who was the former designer for Tory Burch– Stephanie brings to every single piece of clothing a magic and flair that is one-of-a-kind and heirloom worthy. It is a certain type of girl who LOVES this particular look/ style/ aesthetic– but IF you are this girl– be sure to check out FIGUE.COM.

Share via email
Posted in my beat | 2 Comments

late night itch!

Share via email
Posted in my beat | 2 Comments

i am loving michael chiarello’s coqueta

I am having a full-blown love affair with Michael Chiarello’s Coqueta in SF, right on the Embarcadero– with the lit-up Bay Bridge as its’ back drop. The space/ the views/the menu are equally dazzling + impressive + wildly memorable.

I have ALWAYS been a Chiarello fan since Tra Vigne– and love his inventive culinary flair and incredible showmanship… Let’s be honest, he has been the P.T Barnum of Napa Valley lately with his restaurant/ mega fan base/ cooking shows/ cookbooks/ storefront/ wine brand– and yet Coqueta comes at a really good time for San Francisco + for himself.  Coqueta presents Michael as a seasoned, audacious chef with serious CHOPs and a deep desire/ ability to delight his guests.

Key point of note: deep desire + ability rarely go hand in hand.

Coqueta is a MUST.

Share via email
Posted in my beat | Leave a comment

veronica beard super-bling army jacket

With passion, I collect army jackets– as they are the perfect storm for my persnickety sensibility– a combination of absorbent, light- weight cotton in my favorite color– army green. I have over a dozen in my closet– sourced from every high and low resource: from Army/ Navy Surplus to Celine to Zara to Figue to Paul + Joe to Banana Republic to Calypso to Veronica Beard.

So devoted am I that when my sister Veronica Beard launched her eponymous clothing line with her sister-in-law with the same name, they introduced a collection of blazers with Dickie inserts— they named the hunter green blazer with an old- school cream fisherman sweater Dickie, THE ALEXIS.

Every season they produce an army green something: jacket, blazer, parka, raincoat. Always something interesting and intriguing.

But it always goes back to the army jacket for me– lately I have been collecting army jackets with lots of embellishment. Sort of like my manicure upgrades- I am looking for more OOOOMPH!!! This season Figue and Zara delighted me with their MORE IS MORE embellishments/ patches/ rhinestones.

So when I spied Veronica (Miele) Beard, Veronica (Swanson) Beard’s business partner at Veronica Beard sporting her own super-super blinged out version of their SPRING 2013 army jacket, I begged her to make another for me… And here it is!

Thank you, ladies! I love it!!!

Share via email
Posted in my beat | 1 Comment

the party’s over… goodbye to tommy toy’s

Last night I had my very last crabmeat wonton, minced chicken lettuce cups, dumplings and mango mousse at Tommy Toy’s– the very same menu that was served at my baby shower; delivered to my hospital bed upon the birth of both my children, served at countless Christmas + birthday luncheons.

There was nothing quite like a Tommy Toy’s CARB-O-CIDE… It was such a delicious blowout loaded with trans-fats + MSG, and days of unwanted bloat. But there was something so wildly infectious about Tommy Toy’s that went way beyond the food. Tommy Toy’s was a throw back to an elegant era where waiters wore bow ties– and in this case gold lame ties, with honor; while theatrically wielding silver dome plate covers. It was such a mesmerizing experience– and we’ve yet to discuss the exotic cocktail menu that was in full swing during lunch.

Yes, it is true that Tommy Toys had grown long in the tooth, but that was exactly what I loved about it.

I hated for the night to end– as a world of sweet memories had come to an end, as do all good things.

Share via email
Posted in my beat, naughty food | 3 Comments

my latest obsession

Never, in a million years, would I have imagined myself the kind of mother who would take her four-year old daughter to the nail salon. Noooooooo way. But as with so many unsuspecting things that come with age/ maturing/ life– I LIVE to go with Delphina to the nail salon. Honestly, I can’t get enough of it, and apparently neither can she— as evident when we were working on her school project called the ALL ABOUT ME poster board… I almost fell off my chair when the question asked– WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP— my genius daughter responded: ” a nail salon painter.”

I have been going to the same Vietnamese nail salon for almost two decades– I am infamously persnickety about water temperature + nail shape + technician.  But recently I have had a hankering for more… Something much more. More look/ charm/ mojo. And it just so happened that my friend Ali (same Ali from last week’s New Orleans post) did too– and emailed me about a super-talented nail artiste, named Mia in the Mission, at SPARKLE NAILS.

Over the course of the past 6 weeks, Ali and I have burned the midnight oil enslaving ourselves to Mia’s most delicate hands– as she has covered our nails in leopard, hearts, glitters, stripes, baby names, rhinestones, starbursts, gold gilt, and iridescence.  It has become an out-of-control addiction that I highly recommend.

Share via email
Posted in my beat, ridiculousness | 5 Comments

favorite working dinner

Share via email
Posted in my beat | 4 Comments

good afternoon from the napa valley

Share via email
Posted in my beat | Leave a comment

happy birthday to my sweet mama!

Share via email
Posted in my beat | 2 Comments

alexis traina + ali pincus go to NOLA on one kings lane

 

Share via email
Posted in entertaining, my beat | 5 Comments

the magnificent bay lights reveal…

Share via email
Posted in my beat | 2 Comments

the exquisite toto/ panther/ mom

Share via email
Posted in my beat | 2 Comments

good morning from the napa valley

Share via email
Posted in my beat | Leave a comment

it’s that time of year…

I don’t know about you, but I take Girls Scout season very seriously…

As a young girl, I was introduced to the ways of entrepreneurial pursuits while being a Girl Scout In Southwest Florida. I quickly learned how to work a calculator and sell door-to-door: Business experience that would prove invaluable. As a result, cookie season has always held a very soft spot in my heart.

Over time, GS cookies have become a favorite annual anticipation, much in the same way as King Cakes at Mardi Gras, Rose wine during summer, or Eggnog at Xmas… There is something about the ritual and ceremony of Girl Scout Cookies that make them delightfully infectious and extra-special. For 6 weeks, these cookies are the most fantastic hostess, thank you, birthday, I-am-sorry, get-better-soon gift ever.

During the cookie season, I am laser focused about my cookie preferences and stockpile for the year. My personal favorites are: 1. Thin Mint 2. Do-Si-Dos. The Thin Mints are utter perfection, and best served frozen/ straight from the freezer, with a glass of red wine— late at night. The combination oozes sensation/ texture and the right amount of sweetness.

You should try it.

Share via email
Posted in my beat, naughty food, ridiculousness | Leave a comment