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TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE + GIGGLE & MINGLE 2010!

It’s beginning to look a lot like…. TOYS FOR TOTS time!

As most of you already know, TFT is one of the Swann Squad’s favorite charities and your support does not go unnoticed! Last year we collected over 10 bins of toys, along with nearly TWO THOUSAND dollars of monetary donations for the cause. We feel so fortunate to be able to contribute in any way we can to the cause and we hope that every year we can raise more money, collect more toys, and help bring a little sumetin’ sumetin’ to the many children & families who rely on the program. We’ve already started the collections off fabulously by collaborating with Rev. Chris Tuttle, we collected three bins of toys at his recent event Mai Tai’s & Munchies.

Here are the details for our 2010 Season Efforts:

We will be collecting toys through December 20th at our recently opened Boutique at NTC Liberty Station. Please feel free to ship, mail, messenger, or drop-off your Toy or Check Donation (made out to TFT) anytime during the week at: 2690 Historic Decatur Rd. #209 San Diego, CA 92106- we’d love to see ya!

OR better yet.. JOIN US for Giggle & Mingle 2010!! Click here for the Facebook Event Page.

Click here for the Giggle & Mingle 2009 blog and here to see the album on our FB fan page.

A little feature we added to G & M 2010 is that along with some of San Diego’s favorite Wedding Coordinators, Swann Soirées will be holding a “Garage Sale” of DIY wedding items at during the party. All year long we’ve worked very closely with Brides who have gifted us “Wedding Left-overs” from their wedding: vases, centerpieces, linens, candles, baskets, candy jars, etc. etc. and we want to pass all the goodies on to you! But we won’t be “selling” the items, we will actually be TRADING them for TOYS! That’s right… see something you want? It’s yours… just leave a toy in it’s place, bartering with Toys! Fun!

Wohoo!! So what do you need to do to help us out? Send us a toy(s), come to Giggle & Mingle, We are asking that all Toys be of at least $10 value.  There will be a photo booth, music, door prizes, and delish food & drink specials all evening! The event is open to everyone… brides, grooms, fellow pros, your mom, her neighbor, the guy down the street… everyone and anyone that believes in the cause.

So what do you say? Will we see you there??

xxo!

Brenda

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Inspire Me Monday: A Trip Back Home

Last week, I was fortunately able to take a trip back to my amazing hometown… San Francisco! My family lives in the Mission District, just walking distance from awesome vintage stores and to-die-for restaurants. One of my favorite things about home? The food!  San Francisco is so culturally diverse… unlike anything I have ever experienced anywhere… aaaand all available at your beck and call too! Mexican, Japanese, Cuban, French, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, American and the list goes on…

(Picture of Oakland Bay Bridge below)

First thing on my agenda was food of course! I found a very small & unassuming restaurant where I ordered fresh ice tea and a goat cheese, roasted-veggie sandwich, with seasoned crispy potatoes and caramelized onions. It was delectably delicious! We all know a meal isn’t complete without dessert, so I headed off to my favorite ice cream shop that specializes in unique flavors where I ordered my favorite flavor…salted caramel! Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!

After my tummy was full with yumminess, I went to the most amazing antique store I’ve been to yet, called “Big Daddy Antiques”. Set in an old warehouse this store was filled with old barn tables, rustic birdcages, large pots filled with succulents, farmhouse candles, and knickknacks galore. There was even a cool vintage bicycle hung high up with succulents adorning it. A stunning high beamed ceiling housed these array of engaging visual displays.  It was high style Ralph Lauren meets shabby chic barn. It truly took my breath away and reminded me of what I love…Weddings of course!

Because weddings are always on the brain around these parts, I began to think; “How would I incorporate these organic, one-of-a-kind pieces into a wedding?” I began to envision a lush field turned into an altar, a bride struttin’ her stuff down the aisle in a short dress while carrying a bouquet of succulents, a beautiful old barn transformed into a reception hall glowing with sunlight and a fresh iced-tea welcome for the guests.  During our Swann Squad meetings, we often discuss the importance of encouraging all of our clients to seek inspiration for their wedding in the things they enjoy everyday.  A wedding is a day not only to rejoice the love they both share for one another, but also allow guests to experience the celebration more intimately by having guests enjoy what the couple loves to do, see, and eat.

For this light, fancy-free, afternoon affair, I’d serve what I had for lunch earlier in the day, that yummilicious goat cheese, roasted veggie sandwich accompanied by roasted potatoes, and of course… salted caramel ice cream for dessert! What better way to personalize your wedding than to use your daily life as inspiration!

Oh how I love visiting home…

xxo!

Intern Jess

Inspire Me Monday: Polka Dots & Ruffles

Living only four blocks away from Balboa Park, I think I’ve explored every inch of it…and EVERY inch of it offers endless inspiration. During one of my night walks, I found myself staring off into the Sculpture Garden, located in the San Diego Museum of Art. The unrestrained and expressive sculptures reminded me of my childhood and of my attempts at art: crayon doodles that could have been used as inkblot tests, Lego structures that never could stay upright, and Play-Doh moldings that made my parents’ heads tilt in confusion – they didn’t know whether to praise my work or question it.

Peering in through the gates, I was convinced that one day, I’d have a bride and groom who wold want a youthful, playful reception. At this fun and interesting outdoor venue where polka dots, ruffles and colorful candles would adorn the tables, cotton candy would be waiting for you at your seat, an ice cream truck stationed outside would be stocked with ice creams and candies from yesteryear, and midnight snacks of In-N-Out burgers and fries would assure everyone goes home with happy full bellies. I think the kid in everyone would surely come out to play!

xxo,

Sherry Tarrant

Sources:

Green & white polka dot fabric for napkins | Chloe ruffle linen from Wildflower Linens for tabletop overlay | Paula Rae Florae bouquet wrap | In-n-Out burger image | Wedding Cake | Ruffle Ring for bridesmaids | Vintage tote box for gift cards | Bouquet | Bridesmaid Dress | Boutonniere | Escort Cards | Colorful Candles for centerpiece | Fun encrypted Save-the-Date cards | J. Crew Wedding Dress

Thursday Details: DIY Fortune Cookie Favors

Looking for an edible wedding favor but don’t want to do the standard truffle-in-a-box or tin-o-mints, how about fortune cookies???

While it may seem that you’ll need to have a certain “theme” in order to use the fortune cookies, that’s actually not the case because you can customize them to be in your wedding colors and even have custom fortunes inside. We found a website that even allows you to order the cookies in a specific color!

But because it is DIY THURSDAY, we will assume you want to bake them yourself (ok ok, or order them plain if you don’t want to bake) then stock up on sprinkles, icing, and other confectionary delights and viola! Decorate an afternoon away! Wrap up the pretty cookies in cello with ribbon, add a little tag, and your guests will enjoy a unique treat on your wedding day.

This is how to make it happen as per DIY Central:

(Makes 6 cookies..You will need to multiply the recipe depending on how many cookies you will need.)

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter, cooled
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 1/2″ x 1/2″ fortune strips (Already printed, cut and ready to go!)
  • Optional: Food Coloring
  • Optional: Chocolate and sprinkles/nuts/colored sugar (SugarCraft has a huge variety of colored sprinkles!)

Let’s get baking!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet thoroughly.
  2. Whip the egg whites on low speed until light and foamy. Blend in the sugar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
  3. Pour in the melted butter, flour, salt, and extracts; mix until well combined. If you want to color your cookies add a drop of food coloring to the batter and mix well!
  4. Drop a tablespoon of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter evenly into very thin 3-inch rounds. Alternatively, use the lid of a jar with a 3-inch circle punched out as a template, pour the batter in the ring, and remove. Because you must work quickly to shape these cookies, bake just 3 at a time.
  5. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the edges are a light golden color.
  6. Optional Step – Once cooled you may decide you want to dip your yummy cookies in chocolate and then either roll the dipped cookies in fun sprinkles, crushed nuts or colored sugar. If this is the case melt your chocolate in a double boiler or microwave following the package instructions. Then just dip, roll and place on a piece of wax paper to cool! Sooo delicious! Plus, you can further customize the cookie favors to your wedding theme by dipping them in colored chocolate to match or rolling the dipped cookies in sprinkles or sugar to coordinate with your wedding.

This what the final product {could} look like:

Tags you could make for the cello bags


Enjoy making this fun & unique wedding favor! Maybe we’ll get started on making some too… send them off to Brenda’s adopted sailors on her husband’s ship…

xxo!

Intern Ania

Photo Credits/Sources Cookies: Left, Middle, Right & Tags.

Inspire Me Monday: Charmed by Daisies

Downtown San Diego on a Friday night: The streets alive and busy, people out for dinner, getting ready for a fun night out. Among them were the two of us, my fiance Justin & I, hand in hand,  enjoying the nice evening. We walked past a flower stand in Horton Plaza where my eyes were caught by some cheerful and charming Gerbera Daisies in yellows and oranges. They inspired me to create this small Gerbera Daisies inspiration board. Hope they bring a little cheer and charm to you!
xxo!

Ania

Links for photos, from top left corner going clockwise

Soaring with Swann Soirées: Fall Updates!

Whoooaa!  Where has the time gone?

Happy November! I am so Happy to share loads of updates with you all.

First, the most exciting of all the news: Swann Soirées has officially moved into our own Boutique Studio! WOOT!! I (or rather we, the Swann Squad) are sooo thrilled! Where is this studio you might ask? Well it is twelve feet away from our previous shared space. I just couldn’t stand the thought of leaving what has become my home turf when I was looking to expand into a place that could accommodate has become my fabulous team (aka: The Swann Squad)… and when a fantastic opportunity presents itself to you, you just have to jump in!! Ready or Not… GO! It’s a good thing I thrive on the fly!

But in all seriousness, having spent the last sixteen months in the Barracks 19 Building of NTC Liberty Station, our clients and colleagues have grown to love the area right along with us.  Having built relationships with all of the neighbors and surrounding businesses to nearly a family level,  the decision to move into the available space was of no contest, not to mention the ease of the move was a huge benefit. The last week has been a whirlwind as we addressed business as usual AND started remodel of the new suite. Good thing that the build-out of the previously shared space was done in 72 hours in the midst of my peak season last year… gave me good practice for this move!

For the second set of exciting updates: The Swann Squad! My spectacular team began to grow at the start of this year when Megan Mills joined Swann Soirées as lead Planner & Coordinator, taking over for Kristy Eagle who still has the occasional cameo in our soirées.  Shortly thereafter, Sherry Tarrant, Designer & Coordinator came onboard, followed by our fabulous interns, bride-to-be Ania & Foodie Fashionista, Jess.  Nothing makes a girl feel better than equally motivated & hard working associates. Seriously, our team is soaring & we’ve got some serious goals to achive. I couldn’t be happier.

On to more fun… TOYS for TOTS!!! While we are shamefully a month behind in our fundraising efforts, we will be collecting toys & monetary donations starting NOW…and YES, there will be a Giggle & Mingle 2010, mark your calendar for Friday, December 3rd. Our dear friends over at the PL Sports Grill & Pub have once again donated the venue for the party…woot!!! If you would like to donate a prize for the party please email us here. If you’d like to donate a toy or mullah (make checks payable to Toys for Tots), you can stop by the new digs or ship it to us (did I mention we have a new Boutique Studio?? Haha… yes we are excited!) The new address is: Swann Soirées 2690 Historic Decatur Rd. Suite 209, San Diego, CA 92106.

Lastly, our monthly BRIDAL NOSH has been a huge hit this year! Stoked! Due to the holidays coming up, we will not be holding a Nosh for November & December, not to fret though, we will return in January 2011!

Whoooa nelly told ya there was a lot… Thank you so much to all of our families, clients, friends, and colleagues for all of your continued love & support. You are the fuel to our motivation.

xxo!

Brenda

Tuesday Shoesday! Seeing Suede…

You know what’s HOT this fall??  Brightly colored suede heels! How can you not incorporate these beauties into a fall wedding?

Brightly colored heels, especially ones with large platforms may look intimidating to wear, but what bride doesn’t love the idea of adding sultry suede as the finishing touch to a gorgeous gown? The multitude of colors available range from cobalt blue, hot pink, purple to military green, brown and more… perfect accessories for every fall wedding. Practice makes perfect, so wear them (a lot) before the wedding to make sure they are broken-in and comfortable come the big day.

Don’t let the fun just be on your feet either… every bridesmaid dress needs a little bit of flirt too!

Check out these delicious heels (we couldn’t pick just one!) by Fendi, Steve Madden, Dolce Vita, and  Christian Louboutin.

xxo!

Intern Jess

Inspire Me Monday: Think Pink!

October is not only known for the ghosts, goblins, and trick or treaters that come out for Halloween, it has also become a nationally recognized month for the 2.5 million survivors of breast cancer. Today’s “Inspire Me Monday” is dedicated to the tenacious resolve of all those who have  courageously fought this disease in one way or another, and supported the seemingly endless battle that has become the second leading cause of cancer death for women. To all of you we say; Thank you for being an inspiration of strength, beauty, and hope.

Sage, Purple & Lace | Liberty Station Point Loma, Real Wedding

Nothing beats getting to work on my home turf! This past April I was part of Rachel + Rick’s uber fun wedding day which took place at Liberty Station. The ceremony was held in the NTC Chapel followed by a casual cocktail reception in the Luce Court.

There were two things that made this wedding memorable (well actually a lot of things) but two that were particularly enjoyable for me. One, was the over grown seagulls which aggressively stole the sand-filled paper luminaries surrounding the parameter of the area, I am sure they were hoping for a burger and fries instead of votive candles. It is too bad I do not have photos to share of the hilarious scene they caused.

The other was how timelessly beautiful Rachel was… her dress was so delicate, romantic, and feminine. Her hair was sweetly tied into a side bun, make-up; dewey and soft – she was brilliantly stunning, and glowed even brighter when at Rick’s side. The way he looked at her was beyond adorable… so giddy yet in awe of his bride. Oh how the secret romantic in me ate it up! Enjoy these shots compliments of Aaron & Samantha at AS Photography.

xxo!

Brenda

This is my favorite photo of the day- it is the epitome of what a Wedding Day should be.

Tuesday Shoesday!

An amazing pair of shoes can definitely make your heart melt…mine begins to liquefy at the sight of these Christian Louboutin’s called Canonita.

Made of delicate crepe satin and chiffon sitting right below the ankle creating a trendy “booty” look they are just perfect for a California fall wardrobe. As hip as this heel appears, its ruffles keep this shoe classy and wedding appropriate. Perfect for pairing up with a bridesmaid dress or adding a bit of an edgy-glam to the right wedding dress. This shoe comes in this gorgeous midnight black or an innocent crème, but spending $995.00 on wedding shoes might not be in every gal’s budget. If only…

While shopping at Nordstrom’s I did a double take on a pair of heels that I thought were these same ones, as I reached over to touch the sultry ruffles, I realized that they were actually a pair of Chinese Laundry sexiness at only $89.00! Same look, within my budget, and in three fabulous colors to choose from! Don’t you love them!?  How do you like the booty-style heels kicking fall into fashion?

xxo!

Intern Jess

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