The Simply Luxurious Life®: May 2010  

May 31, 2010

Luxurious Care Package Giveaway!

In celebration of taking the step of moving my blog to its very own home The Simply Luxurious Life, I would like to thank you, my readers.  Thank you for coming back, for accompanying me on my move.  It is a daily treat to be able to share my ideas of this simply luxurious life I strive to live every day, and the fact that you are with me is an amazing . . . well, I’ll stop getting all mushy and simply say thank you. 

As my way of saying thank you, I have put together a care package that is assured to bring calm, a bit of a respite during your busy life and hopefully some inspiration.  Here is what the package will include:

To Enjoy

. . . the jazzy sounds and sultry voice of up and coming crooner Spencer Day.  You may have heard his billboard chart climbing song Till You Come to Me that, while starting out on smooth jazz stations (where I found him), has crossed over into into other genres as well.  His sound is resonate of his album’s title, Vagabond, truly a mixture of a wide variety of music – blues, jazz, soul and cabaret, “. . . a sound that is traditional and familiar, yet fresh and innovative at the same time, creating a blend too subtle to parse into neatly defined categories . . .”  I think you’ll easily be able to relax while filling the room with his easy sound. (Click on the song link to hear his music.)

To Sip

. . . tea.  While during the day, I’m sipping on TAZO’s Zen green tea, in the evenings while I’m typing away or putting the evening to bed, I brew beecrowbee’s  Lavender Scented Black Tea.  The soothing combination of the lavender blossoms give off an amazing scent and for me, it is the perfect way to wind down after a busy day.  I personally have been buying products from beecrowbee for the past couple of years and am always impressed by the quality and attention to detail, as well as the genuine customer service that is given when you walk in the door. Beecrowbee was founded and created by Will Roundy in 2004 and sells a full line of carefully handmade bath & body products. Click here to read about my experience this past winter while perusing his shop.  The store itself is located in Joseph, Oregon, but all of his products can be found at its website (soaps, candles, bath products, towels, lotions and tea products). 

The winner, can choose from the selection of teas available by clicking here.  Be sure to mention which tea you would like, or I’ll just assume you’d like to try my favorite.  =)

To Read

. . . and while you’re sipping and relaxing, why not be reading something filled with a bit of inspiration and even something that might add a bit of simplicity to your life?

Last Wednesday, I started a series focused entirely on steps to simplify your life.  Last week’s first five tips were inspired with the help of Elaine St. James’ book Simplify Your Life.  Inside you will find 100 ways to bring more simplicity into your whirlwind world – some are extreme and others are very easy to master.  And A quick read that will leave you wanting to apply at least one suggestion to your life.

And for those times when you just want to gaze at something beautiful and dream, I’m including Josephine Ryan’s recently released (September 2009) Essentially French: Homes with Classic French Style.  A fan of French decor, I am always inspired by the impressive antique juxtaposed next to a worn country table and beloved fireplace.  Essentially French takes you inside homes located around the world that incorporate the French aesthetic. 

A brief recap of one lucky winner’s luxurious care package:

*Spencer Day’s Vagabond CD

*beecrowbee tea of your choice (click here to see selection)

*Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James – book

*Essentially French by Josephine Ryan – design inspiration book

To Enter (Open to all my international readers as well!):

1. Simply leave a comment (and email address for contact purposes only) on this post and be sure to indicate your tea of choice. (Click here to see the selection.)

2. For a ANOTHER entry, follow Simply Luxurious on Twitter (click here to follow) and tweet about the giveaway – please include @simplyluxurious so that I’ll know you tweeted! (If you already follow me, you’ll be entered again as long as you tweet about the giveaway!)

3.For ANOTHER entry, become a follower of The Simply Luxurious Life by clicking on “follow”found in the left sidebar (current followers will automatically be entered when they comment).

The winner will be announced next Thursday, June 10th.

8 Summer Fashion Items

Pretty soon (if not already for some of us) we’ll be experiencing sultry summer weather, and we need not let the heat dash our fashion sense.  So what should we be looking for this season?  With the help of Rachel Zoe’s Jet Set Summer Suggestions, Polyvore, Net-a-Porter, Instyle and J.Crew, I came up with a few items for all of us to be on the look out for the next time we decide to go shopping.

White Blouse

Milly’s Ruffle Crossover Top would be the perfect blouse to wear with jean capris, shorts or a skirt.  Multi-functional is always a good purchase for any season as long as its flattering to your figure.

UV Protection

Whether it comes in SPF sunscreen lotion or a wide brim hat like this one from J.Crew, be sure to ensure your beauty in your later years and protect yourself from the glorious sun.


A Bandeau for You!

Okay, a bit cheesy I know, but in all sincerity, a bandeau allows for there to be no tan lines, and if you choose ruffles similar to J.Crew’s Jersey Lomellina® wave ruffle bandeau top, you’re adding a bit of volume if you’re in need of some.  Otherwise, a frill-less bandeau top would work just as well.



Yellow is the perfect color to bring into your summer wardrobe to add a necessary punch whether you find it in a top, a la AllDressedUp’s Ruffled Jersey Tunic, a clutch or a cardigan.




During the summer evenings, grab a beautiful, yet comfortable cardigan such as DKNY’s Cozy silk and cashmere cardigan.  Choose a lighter fabric such as silk or cashmere instead of merino wool, but never doubt the all-seasonal ability of a cardigan.



An evening out, cocktails with a few friends or a date to impress calls for some color, a hint of casual, yet something absolutely flattering such as this dress found in Halston’s Heritage Tiered Pleated Silk-chiffon dress.



Whether you like flats or heels, be sure to include a pair of fabulous sandals that put on display your fresh new pedicure.  I recently found J.Crew’s Perle gladiator platform heels and fell in love.  With jeans or a dress, you would look impressive.


White Dress

Not thee white dress, but a white summer dress that is simple, yet beautiful.  Giorgio Armani’s white dress is a perfect example of nothing over the top, but something that perfectly accentuates a woman’s beauty.

Labels: , ,

Your Fear is Speaking

“Someone once told me not to be afraid of
being afraid, because, she said,
‘Anxiety is a glimpse of your own daring.’
Isn’t that great? It means part of your
agitation is just excitement about what
you’re getting ready to accomplish. 
And whatever you’re afraid of – that is
the very thing you should try to do.”

I would like to begin today’s post by asking a question.  In your wildest dreams, what would your ideal life look like?  Where would you be living, what would you be doing, who would be surrounding you – what would it look like?  

My next question is what is keeping you from pursuing these dreams you just mentioned? 
I’ve recently come to a decision about a dream I have been harboring for a long time in my life, and I had to ask myself that very question, what is keeping me from pursuing my dream?  Honestly? If I’m being completely honest, fear. Fear. Fear of falling on my face.  Fear of it not being a possibility that is tangible even though if I don’t try I will kick myself forever.

So my question to you again is, what is holding you back?  The quote that I chose this week is the ideal statement to remind yourself that if you aren’t fearful, even just a little bit, it isn’t something you’re passionate about.  Now there’s a big difference between fear for your life and fear of failing, please know I am focusing solely on the human need to succeed and being fearful of failing.

So what is it that would make your heart sing, that would allow you to feel you’ve reached your full potential, or that would make you feel you are setting a good example?  Going back to school, changing careers, trying a new hobby, talking to that certain someone, getting in better shape, or maybe doing some traveling?  Whatever it is, you wouldn’t fear accomplishing it if you didn’t truly want it with your whole heart.

So what are you waiting for?  We all only have one life, and I don’t know one person who can change the past, but the future . . . the future is still up in the air.  Create the life you’ve dreamed.  Have patience, because anything worth having takes time, but rest assured you will be successful, just keep striding forward.

Labels: , , , ,

May 30, 2010

Adriana Lima - Vogue Spain – June 2010

Sultry and sensuous. Whether she is walking the catwalk for Victoria’s Secret or gracing the cover of Vogue Spain, Adriana Lima seems to be able to make anything look breathtakingly beautiful.  There were a bevy of amazing photographs taken for her editorial in the June 2010 issue, but I selected just a few that were my favorites.  Take a look.  Click here to view the entire collection.

All images courtesy of Pics and Models.

Labels: , , ,

Cups of Tea 5/23-5/29

Good morning my lovely readers!  As you are waking up this morning, I hope you are looking at a day filled with nothing but things that bring you joy.  Welcoming in summer is exciting, and I still can’t quite believe June is almost upon us.  However, I am ready to welcome it with open arms.

Find your favorite tea cup or coffee mug, pour your favorite concoction and sit back and relax, I have some fantastic bloggers filled with information to share that I think you are going to enjoy.  In today’s Cups of Tea we have a gorgeous home, a casual, yet fashionable wardrobe that just about anyone can rock, a delectably fantastic recipe, tips on achieving your ideal weight in a healthy, yet stress less manner and one of my favorite words of inspiration.  Enjoy.

1. I Want to Live Here

As soon as I saw this home posted on Ragland Hill Social I immediately shared with Gwen Driscoll, the blog owner, it would be included this week.  I truly want to live here.  Click on the image below or the header above to see why – gorgeous, a touch of French country, and the bathtub -  I think I could soak in it for hours!


2. My Favorite Outfit

We all have certain outfits that we know without question highlight our strong points and disguise our not so perfect parts.  The classic combination of dark denim jeans and a nautical top are two items I love to wear.  The casual, French, yet feminine look is simple, and something I don’t have to question.  When La Dolce Vita posted Raquel Zimmermann for Paris Vogue’s demonstrates of this classic French style, I knew instantly I wanted to include it this week, especially since we are sitting at the threshold of summer, but still experiencing spring’s temperamental mood swings.  Click on the image below or the header above to see the entire collection of photos.

3. Getting Exactly What You Want

Once again, Anastasiya Goers of Balance in Me has written an inspiring, yet very understandable and doable post on creating the life we aspire to live.  This particular post focuses on losing those last few pounds that seem to evade even the most dedicated fitness aficionado.  Her nine tips are common sense, with a few things you may not have tried.  Have a look. 


4. French Tomato Tart

David Lebovitz, famous for his skills with pastries (his most recent book Ready for Dessert was recently released earlier this year), shares on his blog - David Lebovitz – Living the sweet life in Paris – this simple, yet amazing recipe for a French Tomato Tart. With only slices of fresh goat cheese, large ripe tomatoes and fresh herbs for the main ingredients, you are sure to help your diet out and enjoy the bounty of the organic foods around you.  Click on the header above or the image below for the recipe.


5. Wrapping It All Up

For those of you who took in the recently released SATC2 movie this weekend, you will immediately know this is not an image from it.  In fact, it is the last scene of the series finale on HBO.  But with all of the energy circling around the film this week, I thought I’d wrap it up today with a few of my own thoughts having watched the film on Friday.  The quote below is one of my favorites, and I have had it written down ever since February of 2004.  In an effort to encourage us all to choose our own path, these four women do an outstanding job of inspiring anyone who wants to truly listen. The film was exactly what I expected, and without giving anything away, here are few words to convey my thoughts – lovely, comical, honest, cheeky, and not trying to be anything but what it is – gorgeously styled, forward thinking (loved this) and inspiring.

“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”


May 29, 2010

Short and Sweet

Rain, rain and a very long weekend.  All the more time to catch up on a handful of books I have started and none have I finished.  Or maybe I’ll read through some magazines that I’ve been waiting to devour.  The luxury is that I think I’m going to take it as it comes.  This morning I’m off to enjoy the farmer’s market with my mother and enjoy a bit of yard sale hopping.  What are you up to this fine Saturday?

Before I go any further, I want to extend a sincere thank you for finding Simply Luxurious at its new and permanent home – The Simply Luxurious Life, where I hope you’ll discover ways to add a bit of luxury to your life whether it be through fashion ideas, delicious recipes, home decor inspiration or lifestyle tips to incorporate into creating the best life you’ve imagined. 

This is what has been going on this past week at The Simply Luxurious Life:

Get to Know SL: Happiness to Me

Monday’s Inspiration: Make Yourself the Priority

WOW!: Glee’s Matthew Morrison in Vogue

Tuesday’s Rooms of Inspiration: Outdoor Leisure

Fashion Fix: Retro Swimwear & Kate Moss – Vogue Paris

Wednesday’s Why Not?  Bring Simplicity into Your Life

Guest Post:  A Glamorous Love Story

Thursday Treasures:  Discoveries, Smiles & Time

Dream Home:  Beachside Beauty

Friday’s Cravings:  Relax, Restore & Read

A Peek Inside: SATC’s Candace Bushnell’s Home

Images: (1) Sebastian (2) We Heart It

Labels: , ,

May 28, 2010

I’m Craving . . .

At the top of my cravings list today is a seamless move to my new address –  Beginning tomorrow (May 29th), you’ll be able to find everything you’ve come to enjoy here at the new location.  I am thrilled to be making this move and do so hope you will join me tomorrow!

Other cravings I’m having right now are . . .

. . . more time to write . . .

. . . a fabulous cut, color and blow out . . .

. . . a few laughs and friendly conversations . . .

. . . and hours upon hours to read.

What are you craving as you head into the Memorial Day weekend?  I would love to hear!  Enjoy yourself in wherever your days may take you and soak in the last few days of May.  Can you believe it’s almost already passed us by? Time really does fly.


Images: (1) Times Are Hard for Dreamers (2) Source (4) Source

Labels: ,

Candace Bushnell at Home

In homage to the creator of the frenzy that has overtaken so many of us this week, I’ve pulled together photos of author Candace Bushnell’s home in Manhattan. Located in Greenwich Village, Bushnell and her husband Charles Askegard purchased this 1920’s apartment which was originally built for well-to-do bachelors that were making their fortunes on Wall Street.  With the help of designer Susan Forristal, this apartment, which at its heart had good bones, underwent a complete renovation. 

A very eclectic style with appreciation of the space, her appreciation for unique furniture and tasteful, yet original combinations of accessories displays her creative eye.  The more I look at each room, the more I find I quite like it.  Have a look, I’m curious to know what you think. And if you’d like to read more of the article written by Ms. Bushnell herself for Elle Decor, click here.

But before you begin your tour, learn a bit about her country home in the Litchfield Hills in Connecticut.  A six room, 1 1/2 bath Colonial home in the country where she savors the quiet solitude and her friendly neighbors.  Read more about her country home here.

Labels: ,

May 27, 2010

Thursday Treasures

Thankfully it is Thursday, and with it a few things I’m very appreciative to have either discovered, received or am thrilled to be welcoming into my life . . .

. . . the perfect beach combing jacket from Luii, feminine and functional . . .

. . .  extremely thoughtful (Gwen), helpful (Cari and Emily) and inspiring comments from my readers . . .

. . . kind and generous neighbors on a pleasantly quiet street . . .

. . . discounts on some of my favorite coveted DVDs . . .

. . . and the beginning of my four day weekend.

I would love to hear a few of your Thursday Treasures, care to share?


Images: (1) We Heart It (2)  Depois dos Quinze (3) Source  (4) She Knows – The Women (5) Tumblr


Beautiful Beachside Abode

Lately, I have had an inkling to plan a trip to the Oregon coast.  Each time I have gone, I have come back refreshed, filled with a bit more appreciation and, if this is possible, even more love from my dogs for letting them roam the sandy coastlines.

So while I plan and daydream about a hopefully-someday-venture to see the Pacific again, have a look at this beautiful Atlantic Coast home located in Southampton, New York.  Designer Kim Coleman’s touches of French whimsy, cool aesthetics, and use of high ceilings are most definitely calling my name.

The two space above – a sitting area by the pool and a powder room with a tremendously large clamshell sink and Mother of Pearl tiles by Maya Romanoff are two of my favorite rooms in this house.  I have one more below, any guesses as to which one it is?  Hint – reading, relaxing and sipping are involved.  (Oops, I think I just gave it away.)

Imagine  grabbing your summer beach read, a cool glass of sangria and the sounds of the waves and wind to create the perfect afternoon in this screened porch.

Imagine the moonlight reflecting off of this dining room table.  Now that would be encouragement to plan a candlelight dinner, no?

An original way to involve a mirror in the foyer.  Did you notice the reflection?

The good news is there is a guest house that is located near the dunes.  Being a guest at this home would be something special, wouldn’t it?  Below is a look inside.


To see even more images from this beautiful beach house found in House Beautiful click here.

Labels: , , ,