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Living Entertaining:

A Summer Soirée – Friendship & Togetherness

Photography by Alpha Smoot | Jewelry by John Hardy | Food provided by Whole Foods Market | Flowers by James Daughter | Linens by Upstate. See more on

It’s no secret that I love design and food, but more than anything I love beauty. Your food just tastes better when it’s made with love and served beautifully. From how it’s presented; the finishing drizzle of an herb-infused sauce or zest of lemon – beauty is in the details. When you create it, when you see it, when you experience it…it elevates the ordinary. And of course let’s not forget a beautiful environment – florals and lighting – whether they are manmade or in nature, brighten the soul.

So imagine my surprise when I found this mission statement from John Hardy, “We are devoted to the creation of ultimate beauty…beauty that is powerful, dramatic and inspiring.” That quote more than struck a cord with me. What is beauty? And how do we express it?

There is an undeniable connection between creativity, beauty, and the food that we eat. The way you plate a dish, how you set a table – the palette, choosing the linens, flowers, even your vessels and glassware, all reveal what makes your particular eye swoon. True style comes from the singularity of your creative spirit. Before my guests arrived and after the flurry of getting the food prepared and putting the finishing touches on the table…I took a moment adorn myself for the evening. I was drawn to the nature-focused horn pieces from John Hardy’s dot collection as the dot symbolizes continuity – no beginning and no end – infinite potential and endless possibilities. What better notion to compliment the last summer dinner party on my Dumbo terrace!

As I put the pieces on I thought a lot about community, the team of people I work with to create my vision of beauty. Not long ago I was a solo-swooner and now I find myself collaborating with other talented creative’s which elevates the overall experience and fills me with crazy gratitude. It’s not lost on me that it is the people we fill our lives with who add true depth. The friends who were joining me that night for this final al fresco soirée are some of my oldest and dearest. We have supported and encouraged one another along our way. They are the friends I have cooked with and grown with and the depth of those interactions is 100% woven into the beauty of my life. As we came together that night I took time to appreciate each moment, noticing the small things and soaking it all in – the sun swooning at sunset, the soft breeze, the laughter lilting across the terrace, the first rosé of the season being uncorked ­– and as always with good friends, I learned something, Penelope taught me how to properly filet (and not butcher) the whole fish I had so delicately wrapped with pretty herbs!

I could not help but notice the synergy between the feeling of the night as compared to the values John Hardy is built upon, honoring friendship and togetherness. As they say, “Our jewelry symbolizes life’s richest human experiences and emotions, drawing inspiration from nature and a life well lived.” As a brand they believe in tight-knit community and acting in harmony with the land by sustainably running their workshop in Bali, employing local artisans and giving back to the local environment. This collaboration made me swoon in more ways than one but particularly for the reminder to celebrate beauty, togetherness and nature in abundance!

Snoop the kitchen prep + setting the tablescape on EyeSwoon

Tomato Herbed Quinoa Salad

Eyeswoon Kitchen


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced into a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint
  • red onion halved and thinly sliced

The Prep

  • Bring quinoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Once quinoa has cooled transfer to a bowl; mix in 1/4 cup dressing.
  • Add tomatoes, herbs, and red onion to bowl with quinoa; toss to coat. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining dressing over.
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