start-up Silicon Valley

Betty Draper’s Romantic Weekend Brunch for Two

Maybe your new love interest spontaneously spent the night or you planned a weekend together being lazy in bed with nothing to do. Sometimes the best moments shared are at home, cozy, and with stomachs filled with goodness.

Yummy breakfasts for two can be made with left-over ingredients in the fridge (like crisped up left-over pasta in a frying pan with bacon and eggs) or planning something sweet like cornmeal pancakes with sour cream, fresh fruit, and organic chicken sausages. If you love eggs try Barefoot Contessa’s Country French Omelet.  Fresh squeeze the best fruit available and do French press coffees. Simply divine.

Serve your breakfast and make it fit for a Draper household by using pretty china, linen napkins, and your finest glasses. If serving baked goods and toast, consider a lovely 3 tiered tray like this one here from a recent stay in Hong Kong. Look at the coffee glass as well. Elegant and handsome does the trick.

A fun alternative to breakfast in the morning is at dinner time with your honey. Grab aprons, find a delicious recipe together and heat up the kitchen. Don’t stress about having to make the food perfect. The enjoyment is found in the little details along the way- laughing over too much salt, the wrong amount of flour, spilled scallions on the floor, and burnt butter. Who cares when you are with your lover?  Betty would recommend pouring your loved one a stiff martini with stuffed olives. Upscale grocery stores like Draegers on the Peninsula and Woodlands Market in Marin have an amazing selection of luxury olives- perfect for his and hers martinis.

Perhaps I am inspired from going as Betty Draper to a friends Halloween bash last evening. Don’t you love 50’s fashion? Here I am wearing a Kate Spade dress I purchased a few months ago, a retro apron my little sister gave me one year, a cigarette holder with fake cigarette, and my blue suede heels. I bought a teal crinoline petticoat at a vintage shop in Palo Alto and some over-exagerated pearls. They served incredible basil mint martinis at the party- another great alternative to the classic martini. 

I did a ton of research on hair and make-up. I found Wet-N-Wild actually worked really great for light green eye shadow, 99 cent nail polish, black liquid liner, and hot pink blush. Revlon worked well for a matte hot pink lipstick. I didn’t feel like spending a ton of money on make-up so the cheap alternative actually worked out well thanks to CVS. For hair, I curled  it in old school velcro rollers, backcombed it a ton, went overboard with the spray, and bobby pined it into a French twist. Two hours later, Betty was ready, although there was no Don…only a funny ancient Chinese man hubbie.

Barefoot Contesa Country French Omelet

1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup (1-inch-diced) unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof omelet pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned but not crisp. Take the bacon out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

Place the potatoes in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until very tender and browned, tossing occasionally to brown evenly. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same plate with the bacon.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together with a fork. After the potatoes are removed, pour the fat out of the pan and discard. Add the butter, lower the heat to low, and pour the eggs into the hot pan. Sprinkle the bacon, potatoes, and chives evenly over the top and place the pan in the oven for about 8 minutes, just until the eggs are set. Slide onto a plate, divide in half, and serve hot. 

Bon Appetit! 

My song selection is Frank Sinatra, The Best Has Yet To Come. 

Linx Ladies Visit Neiman Marcus Palo Alto

Time flies considering we are quickly approaching November. We had so much fun doing a wardrobe consultation for our male client at Neiman Marcus, Palo Alto a couple of months ago that we had to pay them another visit.  The demand for ladies wardrobe consultation is high, especially with the holiday season approaching.  

Every woman regardless of age whether she is fresh out of undergrad at Stanford or planning her 50th birthday wants to look fabulous.

What we love is that today’s modern woman doesn’t need to spend a fortune on looking good. She can incorporate a few key pieces into her wardrobe to spruce it up and feel confident in her everyday life. 

Today, we are doing a wardrobe consultation for a woman in her late 40’s. She is an executive by day for a conservative financial firm and typically opts for business suits and closed pumps. Yet don’t let her fool you. She has a little rock ‘n’ roll going on with an edgy hair-cut and  a wardrobe at home with some quality edgy yet sweet pieces.  When she came to us for matchmaking we thought it would be a really nice change of pace to bump up her wardrobe with date appropriate clothing. Think…Confident. Sexy. Colorful. Fearless. Feminine. 

When we mentioned doing a wardrobe consultation with her in our initial meet and greet she was very excited at the opportunity admitting she has very few date clothes. Like so many of our clients, she has been focused on work and her kids, placing dating on the back burner. 

Neiman Marcus, Palo Alto graciously extended themselves and introduced us to one of their premier stylists, Dean Taylor, who radiated enthusiasm and expertise through and through. 

Leading up to the consultation we worked behind the scenes with Dean to provide him with our clients’ measurements as well as her sense of style, comfort zone and general lifestyle. We agreed to nothing baggy and instead to focus on clothes that will instantly attract and importantly make our client feel totally gorgeous.  In some cases elegant knee-length sheath dresses, trousers, pointy-toe heels, and playful details.  Admittedly, we directed most of our energy on this session with lovely dresses. 

Upon arrival at Neiman’s,  Dean had put together an exquisite wardrobe filled with a wide range of different looks (rich jewel toned colors, lots of great figure flattering items, tasteful dresses for evening, pretty classic pumps, and playful colorful accessories from their new department CUSP.)

The way that Dean hand-picked the styles is to be able to have each piece seamlessly work together. In other words, a perfect marriage between day into evening clothing. Dean was spectacular to work with and totally “on it” from beginning to end, very responsive and professional.


We had so much fun sipping cappuccinos in a private consultation dressing room and watching our client transform before our eyes. Our client has a rockin’ body- a tiny little waist, no hips, long slender legs…that she was the perfect model.

She isn’t the type to necessarily opt for figure flattering clothes but we discovered Helmut Lang was the designer of choice for many her top picks. Two in particular worked amazing on her (one sleeveless  ‘folded wool knit’ dress in red and one long sleeve print Helmut Lang asymmetrical dress which fit her body like a glove.) Accented with gorgeous mary jane Manolos..she looked like a million bucks. Here’s another Helmut Lang we love- ideal for after hours. Remember men go crazy over a woman in red! Juxtapose this look below with an edgy leather clutch and metallic heels. You will have him calling mama from the bathroom that he’s met ‘the one.’

Elie Tahari also provided to be a winner for our client on many levels. We’d place Tahari in the safe category- demure, ladylike, sweet, and slightly more conservative. Here is a Tahari we love….pair this with yellow satin heels for a seriously romantic, feminine look. 
What we love from CUSP by Neiman Marcus- great for any Linx lady’s wardrobe……

Triple Drop Thread Earrings – $68.00

Agate Pendant Necklace – $30.00  Amy’s top pic!  (“This is ideal for a first date. Use it as an ice breaker in conversation, play with it, flirt, and allow his eyes to gaze in the ‘right’ direction. How can you beat $30.00?”) 

Got the goods and are fearless fashionista?  We love….
Robert Rodriguez Sequined Sleeveless Dress $295.00
Amy suggests pairing with a gorgeous velvet blazer  such as the Alice + Olivia ‘Elyse velvet blazer’ or Elie Tahari ‘Bethany velvet blazer’ (below) with closed toe pointy pumps or round toe pumps. 
“This velvet blazer is so rich in color, jewel-like. Blend with everything from your fav jeans or jazzed up with your date dress. Be bold and mix with all colors- reds, blues, etc. Don’t limit yourself just because it already has color in it. And don’t be scared to pair it with a different blue hue. Keep re-energizing your fashion by mixing  and playing with the unexpected.”   
After reading this, our hopes are you have a date in with yourself and your current wardrobe. Sometimes there is nothing better than a night in. Forget all the silly boys emailing you pointless things on Match. Shut down the computer and silence the phone. Light some candles. Pour a glass of great champers, turn up some Miguel, and play with some looks.
Maybe you have a velvet blazer from years ago that you never wear or perhaps you have a lady-like dress that you haven’t found the right occasion for. Call your best girl up for a night in with fashion. This is your time to mix, match, play, and have fun.
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If you like this song by Miguel, we recommend  checking out Maxwell. In the music business, very few songs are actually original.

October 5 2012 Ask Amy

QAmy, I am in a relationship right now where I love going out all the time to various galas, dinners, and events in San Francisco yet my boyfriend seems to get more and more introverted by the day and it’s like pulling teeth out to get him to attend these fabulous parties with me. I am so frustrated. All he wants to do is the occasional dinner with one another out and stay home the rest as he is so exhausted all the time for working banking hours. I really like him though.  

A: When boyfriends or husbands flair up, this is why you should have girlfriends. Any woman needs her pack of female friends to call upon to go to these functions with her. It sounds like you are very social and love being out and about. That is not for everyone so I do understand your boyfriends hesitation.

What I suggest is to do a shared social calendar with your beau- Google has an easy one you both could access easily. On the calendar put all your events and indicate if you are attending the movie opening with friend Sara, the restaurant year anniversary with Chloe, and so forth. Then block out five nights a month for just the two of you. Four are going to be dinners just with you two either in-home or out- aka date night and only ONCE a month will be an event with your beau.

Once you get these on the calendar, tell him about it and explain that you love your time with him very much and understand he might not be up for your parties and that is fine. Would he be ok with doing date night once a week with you and simply going to a party once a month, the rest you will do with your girlfriends?! I think you will have a happy boyfriend and have just figured out the perfect solution to your differences. Good luck!