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Q & A with Tastemaker – Celebrity Stylist Tara Swennen

27 Jul

Tara Swennen

Meet our Tastemaker Tara Swennen!

Tara is a well-known celebrity stylist who is sought after in Hollywood for creating memorable looks. She has an impressive celebrity roster including Kristen Stewart, Julie Bowen, Connie Britton and Kaley Cuoco. She is always jetting around getting inspiration at the latest fashion shows including Chanel, Valentino and Marc Jacobs. Learn her celebrity stylist secret and enjoy getting to know a little more about Tara! And, get inspired by Tara’s gift recommendations from The Stationery Studio!

Instagram - Tara Swennen

Photos courtesy of Tara Swennen’s Instagram


What is your favorite thing about being a stylist?


I love the freedom and creativity involved! The collaboration with your clients has a wonderful energy to it!


What is the one piece we all need this Fall?


A great duster!


What is a stylist secret we could all use?


Double stick tape and Preheels!


Who is your favorite designer?


I don’t have one favorite but I’ve been doing a lot of fun stuff with Chanel recently.


What do you enjoy doing in your down time?


Traveling and spending time with my family!

Q&A with Tastemaker Will Kahn of Town & Country Magazine

23 Jun

Meet Tastemaker Will Kahn of Town & Country Magazine

We were thrilled with the great feedback we got when we did a Q&A with our Tastemaker Meaghan Murphy, so we decided to keep it going!  This week our featured Tastemaker is Will Kahn, the fashion market and accessories director at Town & Country magazine.  We love his eye for style and adore his personalized picks!  Enjoy getting to know Will.

Photos courtesy of Will Kahn’s Instagram


What is your favorite thing about working at Town & Country?


It’s a front row seat to the best of jewels, fashion, interiors and is constantly different every day.


Where is your favorite place to travel and why?


I haven’t been yet but I am dying to go to Rosewood Mayakoba, I travel a lot for work so when I have my own time I need to relax and it looks like relaxation heaven – private plunge pools and guacamole and margaritas sound like the perfect vacation to me.


What is the ONE thing in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?


A Thom Browne Navy Blazer- it fits perfectly and adds polish to anything I happen to be wearing.


What’s an emerging fashion trend you’re seeing right now?


In jewelry hoops are hot right now especially jeweled hoops. Velvet accessories are big for Fall.


Just for fun … who is your celebrity crush?


Ryan Gosling


Emoji Cookies for Valentine’s Day

24 Jan


I am lucky to have daughters who love to bake.  We try and reserve Sunday afternoons for baking and love trying new things.  This last Sunday we decided to make emoji cookies to share with friends.  Seeing that emojis are still so popular, these cookies were a huge hit!  I even brought some to work to share with coworkers and everyone commented on how cute they were.

If you’re looking for something sweet to gift this Valentine’s Day, these emoji cookies would be the perfect thing!  If you really, really love emojis, you need to check out our personalized emoji gifts that make great Valentine’s Day gifts, too.

Here’s the recipe I used from

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, or granulated sugar, processed in blender or food processor for 30 seconds
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. Almond extract or emulsion, optional
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour.

Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed (see Dough Preparation and Baking tutorial for more information on creaming times). Add yolk, beat well. Add whole egg, vanilla and optional almond extract and beat until well-incorporated. Add flour; beat at low speed just until flour is mixed in; do not overmix. Divide dough in halves or thirds and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment or silicone-lined pans. Bake in preheated oven until cookies appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes (very large cookies may take up to 12 or 13 minutes). Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.

For the frosting/glaze, I used this recipe, also from

  • 2 lb powdered sugar
  • ½ C plus 2 T milk (10 T)
  • ½ C plus 2 T corn syrup (10 T)
  • 1 T. flavoring, any combination (I like 2 tsp. clear vanilla, ½ tsp. Almond Emulsion, and ½ tsp. clear butter flavoring, but you can get creative and try different things.)

Mix together till smooth. Divide up and color as desired.

You can use this icing just the way it is for both outlining and filling in. If you’re looking for more detail, you can thicken up your outline color with a bit more powdered sugar if desired. The formula is not set in stone, feel free to experiment with different ratios of liquid to sugar to get the consistency you like the best.

Hope you have fun making your own creative treats!