The Simply Luxurious Life®: January 2011  

January 31, 2011

Helena Christensen – Caractère’s Spring 2011 Campaign

Relaxed, casual cool and still radiant, supermodel Helena Christensen models in Italy’s Caractère’s 2011 Spring campaign, photographed by Guy Aroch.  These images evoke what my ideal weekend might entail – relaxation, a reason to dress up and confidence without having to worry about a thing.

All images courtesy of Fashion Gone Rogue

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Little By Little Grand Things Are Achieved

“We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our character; we sow our character, and we reap our destiny.”
-Desiderius Gerhard Erasmus
Maybe it is adding a minimal $20 to your savings account each month to save for a dream vacation to Paris, maybe it is choosing to do your best each day that you are on the job, as you slowly make your way up the ladder in your company, maybe it is taking the weight off, slowly, yet healthily, or maybe it is building relationships that will stand the test of time.

In our modern world, we have been spoiled with the ability to contact each other immediately, view the news as it is happening, observe as seemingly nobodies become famous for irrational acts and paid mind-blowing sums of money instantaneously, as well as track almost everything on-line. But the message that is being drowned out is that in order to maintain quality in our lives, we must put forth the effort every day to make it as we desire it to be.

And while this may at first seem daunting, the beautiful fact is that it is in our small habits, our small actions, that we partake in every day that will create the life we want.

Something I am thankful to have learned from my parents is that the truly grand things in life will require hard work, focus and patience.  Unfortunately, for our youth today, this message isn’t portrayed in our media as frequently.  In fact, quite the opposite is on display.  But when I think about the aspects of our lives that matter most to us – our relationships, our financial security, our peace of mind, and a healthy grasp on the meaning of life and how to live it successfully, I can’t help but realize immediately, that each require time, a genuine investment and all of them require discipline to help them become successful components of our lives.

“Good habits result from resisting temptation.”
-Ancient Proverb

Just as the compound interest on investments doesn’t reach its full and appreciated potential until decades after the initial venture was begun, the same is true for a healthy relationship. While it may begin wonderfully and bring true bliss, if it is handled correctly, if each of the parties involved are respectful and honest with one another, the grand gift is in the relationship’s maturity, the passionate beginning is just the frosting on the cake.

Most importantly, what I want to impress upon you today is to have patience. Give things a chance to grow, mature and show their full potential before you throw your hands up and assume it can’t work, or it isn’t working.  Granted, there are times when ventures need to be aborted immediately upon realizing the wrong decision has been made, but if on the other hand you’ve done your research, you know what you want, and at the core, what you are working for is worth your sweat and tears, hang in there.  With the little steps you take every day, they turn into habits, and those habits build upon one another, creating far beyond a mole hill that you can’t ignore.  So be sure that you are establishing habits that are propelling you in the direction you want to go because you will get there, trust me.

“Habits form character and character is destiny.”
-Joseph Kaines

Happy Monday everyone and here’s to being mindful in our daily lives so that the sweet successes can be achieved.

Image: (1)  Sebastian

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January 28, 2011

The Weekend

I have been waiting for the weekend’s arrival and couldn’t be more thrilled that it is finally here. The end of the first semester just wrapped up, so while I am exhausted from grading and looking at numbers, I am very content. I am also thankful to now have more time to communicate with so many readers who took the time to contact me this week.  The thoughtful compliments were very much appreciated, and I look forward to getting in touch later this weekend. 

Hopefully your weekend is ready to be enjoyed and filled with time for some quiet pause, but also some moments of laughter, fun and good times.  I’m crossing my fingers that I will make my way to the theater this weekend to finally see The King’s Speech, as it has come so highly recommended.

While I’m ready to move into February, there is something very settling and helpful about January I find.  It is in this first month of the year that I don’t feel rushed, I don’t feel bombarded and find true excitement as I look ahead to all that might and could, and hopefully, will be. So while we say goodbye to January on Monday, may we have used it wisely to have created a foundation for the rest of the year that will serve us all very well.

Have a beautiful and idyllic weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

Image: Source

January 27, 2011

Taking Control Of Your Spending: Part 2

{A simply luxurious life, while full of the concept less is more, luxuriates in the decadence of high quality, complementary style and an appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us in decor, fashion, nature and people themselves. One does not need to maintain a balance in the bank that one might associate with a millionaire, however, it would be a mistake for me not to address the fact, that being secure financially – just the knowledge of this fact – brings about a priceless piece of mind that contributes greatly to a well-balanced simply luxurious life.

With that said, my new series every Friday will focus on sharing a bit of financial food for thought that will help you create a sound financial life that makes it possible to make the choices that will help you create the life of your dreams.  Because after all, simply having choices is a luxury – enabling independence, however we might choose to go about our every day lives. }

Last week, we began this mini-series with two financial savvy habits to begin to incorporate into your daily routine. This week, we continue the series with two more habits.

1. Know Your Numbers

It might be surprising to note that many people really don’t know exactly how much their net income is.  While we may know what our contract states is our gross income or hourly wage, upon receiving a paycheck, it is imperative that we know where that money “we never really see” is going.  For example, how much is taken out for health benefits, taxes and other automatic withdrawals we may have chosen to partake in years ago? Remember, knowledge is power, so know your numbers.

2. Spend Less Than You Earn

I think the nicest thing you can say about a woman is that she lives well ,and she lives below her means.”

This particular quote is pinned to my idea wall in my office, and I find myself looking at it whenever I feel I should make a purchase that I know I may not be able to afford.  It tends to immediately put into perspective what matters when it comes to financial security and success. After all, just a few decades ago women weren’t expected to know how to handle their finances without help.  The truth is, being financially savvy is empowering and truly sets you free to be and live the life you have dreamed for yourself.  So do the math, keep it simple and spend less that you earn. I know we can do it.

Image: Source


Style Inspiration

What I am loving more and more about fashion is all of the ways in which we can dress up (dresses, heels, skirts, etc) and still be out and about during the day immersed in our 9-5 jobs. Here are a handful of images that exude this meshing of day casual with evening possibilities.

Images: (1) Musings In Femininity (2) Musings In Femininity (3) Musings In Femininity (4) Dwell and Design (5) Musings In Femininity (6) Musings In Femininity (7) Source (8) Musings In Femininity (9) Musings In Femininity

Rules of Style – Cindy Crawford

For me, Cindy Crawford was the first supermodel that I remember laying eyes upon and, in that sense she was my first introduction to a lady in the media whose style I looked up to. Yes, I have her first workout VHS tape with Seal’s music included in the soundtrack, but her simple beauty and classic wardrobe are something I try to learn from.  I’ve never seen her in something outrageous (okay, the red Versace dress at the Oscars in 1991, but she looked amazing, truly) and upon further investigation, it’s clear she knows how to dress for her body and let her own beauty shine. And by George, she can cook too, as she shared her recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb pie  on Oprah.

Here’s a look at a few of her tricks we can all incorporate into our lives to look radiant, healthy and happy.

Take Care Of Your Skin

One of the most tried and true daily habit to help improve your style is to take care of your skin. Making sure to apply SPF moisturizer in the morning and throughout the day if you are outside, as well as daily cleansing followed by night and eye cream in the evening can allow your true beauty to shine and cause you to look younger as you gain wisdom with your years. While I’ve never tried any of Cindy Crawford’s beauty line Meaningful Beauty (I have religiously used Oil of Olay since I was a teenager), the biggest message is to be consistent and protect what you were born with.

Add A Belt & A Handsome Accessory

I find Cindy Crawford continually demonstrating how a simple dress whether it be for evening or day can be given that extra pop by simply adding a belt. The funny thing about belts is that when you see them shopping, you really need to be able to visualize them with an outfit you have in mind because the power they instantly add is amazing and tends to always grab compliments. Now the handsome accessory, well anyone on with a stylish confident woman would be a lucky man, don’t you think?

A Black Jacket

A black leather jacket tends to be Cindy Crawford’s wardrobe essential item and has said just as much in many interviews. Paired with jeans and a simple top underneath – everything looks California casual.

Jeans, A Tan, Sunnies & A Camisole

When you have legs like these, why not make jeans your go-to choice? Cindy makes white, gray, black and the basic blue jean look amazing, and with the variety of styles and fits available now, so can we.


A wonderful essential uniform idea for running errands, dropping your children off for school or perusing around town on the weekends is to add a jacket or cardigan over a beautiful camisole.  Paired with jeans, a stylish tote and comfortable flats, you are ready to run into anyone unexpectedly.

A Simple, Stylish, Comfortable Travel Wardrobe

Layers, jeans and boots – comfort, style and ease. Perfect for traveling and being confident that you will look departing and landing.

Black Dress, A Beautiful Blow-Out, Understated Jewelry & Flattering Make-Up

Looking beautiful has quite a bit to do with confidence and knowing what looks best on your body type. Granted Cindy Crawford was blessed beyond blessed, but she doesn’t detract from what her natural beauty is.  Her hair is styled in such a way that flatters her face, her make-up accentuates her strong features (eyes and cheekbones) and then she allows herself to shine while the clothes are merely in the background providing a classic and stylish foundation.

As you can see, it all comes down to understanding who you are and knowing your strengths and then capitalizing on them.

For more Rules of Style for women who are tall:

*Cameron Diaz

*Gisele Bundchen

*Molly Sims

*Inès de la Fressange

And for those a bit shorter in stature, but not lacking in beauty:

*Tory Burch

*Kelly Ripa

*Sarah Jessica Parker

{For all of you seeking even more style in your wardrobe choices, I have the pleasure of introducing you to an up and coming stylist from New York City. I am excited to announce that during the first week of February Tiffani Rogers of Living Chic will be visiting The Simply Luxurious Life blog and answering any and all questions you may have about fashion, style, what to wear when, what clothes flatter your figure and ideas on how to incorporate the latest spring fashions into your wardrobe.

How it will work: email me ( or leave a comment with a question you have here on the blog prior to the 1st of February. Tiffani will be answering each of your questions in depth, and we will reveal them here on Thursday, February 3rd. I look forward to hearing what you’re curious about and have confidence that you will find Tiffani to be a wonderful and valuable resource.}

Images: (1) Life (2) Source (3) Source (4) Source (5) Source (6) Source (7) Source (8) Life (9) Denim Blog (10) Source (11) Source (12) Source (13) Source (14)Source (15)   Source (16) Source (17) Source

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January 26, 2011

Elie Saab – Spring Haute Couture 2011

Elie Saab never seems to disappoint, and his Spring 2011 Haute Couture collection exceeded my expectations.  Without question one or more of his gowns will be making a red carpet appearance at the Oscars on February 27th. With soft blush tones, pops of red, subtle green and statement making black gowns, I am almost speechless. Gorgeous! Have a look, and I’d love to hear what your favorite is. The first (above) and last are my top two, but it’s a very tough decision.

To see other luxurious hand picked collections from Elie Saab:

*Fall Couture 2010

*Spring 2011 RTW

All images courtesy of

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