The Simply Luxurious Life®: July 2010  

July 31, 2010

Chelsea’s Day

The first American “royal” wedding since the Kennedys appears to have gone very smoothly for Chelsea Victoria Clinton and her groom Marc Mezvinsky at Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, New York. And the dress, in my opinion, was brilliant.

A strapless Vera Wang gown (who was in attendance) fit Chelsea beautifully with a gorgeous beaded waistline. The piles of ruching at the front of the dress made it appear as though it were a cloud, but what sold the dress more than anything was her endearing child-like smile especially in the last photograph.

Exchanging their nuptials on the estate that was built in 1902-04 for John Jacob Astor IV, one of the most famous early American millionaires (which coincidentally is on the market by the current owners for 12 million if anyone is interested), Astor Courts was a grand and perfect choice for such an occasion. (Click here to see a room by room tour of the estate.)

Shortly after the ceremony, Mr. Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement.

"Today, we watched with great pride and overwhelming emotion as Chelsea and Marc wed in a beautiful ceremony at Astor Courts, surrounded by family and their close friends. We could not have asked for a more perfect day to celebrate the beginning of their life together, and we are so happy to welcome Marc into our family. On behalf of the newlyweds, we want to give special thanks to the people of Rhinebeck for welcoming us and to everyone for their well-wishes on this special day."

Congratulations to the newly-weds. May the road ahead be full of many blessings.


Images: (1) CBS News (2) MSNBC (3-5) Glamazon Diaries

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Giorgio Armani – Fall 2010 Ad Campaign

Rich jewel tones and asymmetrical designs make up Giorgio Armani’s fall and winter 2010/11 ad campaign. Edita Vilkeviciute’s gazelle-like limbs and stunningly gorgeous good looks exquisitely show off the beauty of his designs as they are captured by Mert & Marcus. An emerald green sequin jacket, along with the ruby red dress and so many others immediately grabbed my eye. So luxurious, so magnifique and simply stunning. 


Images: Cartoon Styles

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Short and Sweet

Like so many others, I find myself asking, where did the month go? However, it seems my Saturday will be just as busy as the other preceding 30 days, so I haven’t yet figured out how to slow it down.  Such is life. And being busy doing what you love is one of the greatest gifts, right? 

My day will be spent setting up the house as I am getting ready for my house sitter who is so kind to take care of not only my home, but more importantly my boys (Norman and Oscar) and watering my yard due to my slipping away this next week for a little work mixed with play.  Don’t worry, the computer is traveling with me, so we won’t miss a beat.  I’m also putting the finishing touches on August’s newsletter which will be full of inspiration for your fall wardrobe, some very sage advice from two bloggers I highly respect, as well as a few other goodies to start the month off right. If you haven’t subscribed and you would like to receive it (it will be in your inbox Sunday morning), just enter your first name and email in the upper left-hand column of the blog.  I do hope you enjoy and always appreciate feedback.

Here is a look at what has been going on this past week:

So Excited For: Heels at Lincoln Center

In Pictures: An Idyllic Sunday

Sunday’s Cups of Tea: Peach Pie, Success & a Nap

Style Tips: 10 Essential Wardrobe Items for Travel

Monday’s Inspiration: An Important Ingredient for Success

Prepping for Fall: Natalia Vodianova – Fall Ads 2010

Tuesday’s Rooms of Inspiration: A Staircase of Options

Fashion Fix: Mona Johannesson – Elle Sweden – August 2010

Paying it Forward: A Tremendous Thank you

Wednesday’s Why Not . . .?: Make a Small Tweak?

A Look Back: How Far Have You Come?

A Dream Vacation Home: Wine Country Abode

Thursday Treasures: Honesty, Pups, & Summer Surprises

Magazine Peek: Elle MacPherson – Tatler – August 2010

Friday’s Cravings: Rain, Time, & more Time

Foodie Friday: Fancy, Yet Simple, Comfort Food


Images: (1)   Oh Models (2)  The Casual Gourmet

July 30, 2010

It’s Not That Complicated

When it comes to films, I am drawn to exquisite fashion, fabulous houses and food.  There are not many DVDs in my library, but if one of the three items listed above are involved, my attention is captured.  So it was the case when I went to the theater this past winter to enjoy Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated directed by Nancy Meyers.

Since then I have purchased it and watched it a few more times. Each time I am curious about the tasty delight she seems to quickly whip up in the kitchen for Steve Martin’s character in the scene shown in the above photo.  After reminding myself that it was only a Google search away, I discovered a delicious recipe for Croque Monsieur.

Don’t be fooled if someone states that it is similar to a Monte Cristo sandwich.  It is more than just a touch better.  It may take a bit more time, but it is still quite simple to make.

Complement it with a glass of chardonnay, pinot gris, or viognier and toss a salad of mixed greens or arugula with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, topped with freshly grated parmesan and pine nuts,  and you will have an impressive, yet simple meal.

Key Things to Keep in Mind:

*Waiting for the sauce to thicken (stirring constantly) will take about 10-12 minutes – have patience.  It’s worth it.  Delicious!

*You’ll notice in my photo that I didn’t take the crusts off.  However, it was still scrumptious.  Either way is up to you.  I will be taking my crusts off next time just to see the difference.

Croque Monsieur (courtesy of Barefoot Contessa)


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

3. To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

4. Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Bon appétit!

Images: (1) The Katy Capsule (2) Simply Luxurious

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I’m Craving . . .

. . . an enjoyable summer read (suggested by Haute Design & Sassy Steel Magnolia) . . .

. . . can never have too many nude sandals . . .

. . . a much anticipated getaway . . .

. . .  time catching up friends . . .

. . . and more rain to cool things down.

I hope this past week has treated you well, and you now are able to embark on two days of time spent doing exactly what you’d like. Care to share? I’d love to hear and enjoy yourselves in doing whatever it may be.

Images: (2) Jimmy Choo private patent-leather sandals (3) Source (4) Oh Models (5) LundLund photographer Bersa for Vagabond

July 29, 2010

Elle MacPherson – Tatler UK – August 2010

The perfect way to ring in the last month of summer is Elle MacPherson in bright colored bathing suits, sarongs and cover-ups.  She continues to dazzle with her sun-kissed hair and girl-next-door good looks, as  photographer Ruven Afanador easily captures.

All images courtesy of Oh Models

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A Sleepy Cottage in Wine Country

To have a weekend house alone would be a treat, but a weekend house in Napa Valley?  I’d think I was in heaven with all of the wineries to visit and the vast expanses of open fields and endless grapevines. Designer Ken Fulk shares in House Beautiful his weekend compound that not only is impressively beautiful in many respects but also appears very relaxing and casual. With the fresh white paint, exposed beams, and the use of vintage and flea market finds, you wouldn’t expect a 45-foot swimming pool in the back along with a gorgeous indoor/outdoor shower.

And one of the best parts about Fulk is that he is an animal lover. In fact, in his pool an underwater bench runs the entire length to allow the dogs an easier entrance and exit.  I love him already. Have a look.  I’d love to know what you think. (To read the entire article and learn more about his inspirations, click here.)

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Thursday Treasures

The end of the month is fast approaching, but it is certainly leaving me with a smile.  Here are a few things that I am thankful for this week . . .

. . . my readers’ honesty and forthrightness (truly, thank you) . . .

. . . summer rain showers . . .

. . . the ability to make myself take a much needed rest . . .

. . . happy sleepy dogs . . .

. . . and the excitement of upcoming plans.

What has brought a smile to your face and moments of satisfaction to your life this week?  I always enjoy hearing from you.  (I love this quote for bringing to our attention, that there is so much to fill our lives with happiness even if it isn’t of our own doing.)

Images: (1) Love and Light (2) Onexposure  (3) Brabourne Farms (4) Source (5) Piper Pearl Page