The Simply Luxurious Life®: October 2011  

October 31, 2011

Choose To Learn The Lesson

“A lesson will keep repeating itself until it is learned. Life first will send the lesson to you in the size of a pebble; if you ignore the pebble, then life will send you a brick; if you ignore the brick, life will send you a brick wall; if you ignore the brick wall, life will send you a demolition truck.”


It has been nearly 13 years since Oprah shared this lesson with her viewers, and still I know there are lessons that are waiting to see if I truly have learned what they have been desperately, yet patiently, trying to teach me.

There are many lenses with which to look through as we observe life while we are living it.  We can look at struggles, challenges and times when things aren’t going as planned as deterrents that stop us in our tracks, or we can choose to see opportunity for personal growth.  Choosing the latter path isn’t always easy because when we make it, it isn’t necessarily observable by those around us. However, if we choose to live life to discover contentment within ourselves and not to gain outside approval, then surprisingly our lives become richer. Richer in the sense that we aren’t wasting time looking for cheerleaders for doing something correctly that one might expect from a mature adult, and therefore, we can focus on higher level and more enjoyable ventures.

If you’ve been reading The Simply Luxurious Life for awhile, you may remember when I mentioned the above quote in 2010. There are a handful of quotes that stick in my mind at all times, and this is one of them. Keeping this piece of advice in mind should act as a reminder to learn the lesson the first time so you are able to move on and remove the possibility of being stuck in a cycle.

The one thing I have learned is that based on how the quote is read, we assume that the lesson itself, if repeated, will continually come in a more observable and imposing state, but that is not necessarily true.  Often times, what is intensified is what you have to lose if you ignorantly choose to not learn the lesson. Choosing to not absorb the lesson could me the loss of a more prominent position at your place of work or the faltering a relationship that has more potential than you’ve ever seen before.  Whatever the case, choose wisely and learn the lesson the first time or at least the next time it presents itself so that the greener pastures in life can materialize and share with us all what they have to offer.

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Images: (1) Heartbeatoz (2) Heartbeatoz (3) Sebastian

October 28, 2011

The Weekend . . .

Soft, feminine and ready to let down my hair down is how I can best describe my state of mind as the week comes to a close. How are you feeling as the weekend arrives?

This past week on The Simply Luxurious Life introduced some lovely retro fashion, a glimpse at the holiday season and inspiration for taking control of life and making into something that is uniquely our own.

*Why Not . . . Ignore Horoscopes?

*Gisele Bundchen – Vogue UK – December 2011

*First, Seek Self-Approval

*A Luxurious Hostess Gift

*Signature Style Inspiration

*Banana Republic – Spring 2012

*The Simply Luxurious Life weekly newsletter – issue #72

If you are celebrating the Halloween, do enjoy, and if you are simply going to luxuriate in all that the weekend brings, I tip my hat to you.  The weekend is ours to design, ours to mold into exactly what we need.  With that said, allow yourself to give in to all that is can become.  Until Monday, bonjour.

Image: Style Page

October 27, 2011

Style Inspiration

I just love the quote below. And while this may have been a trend at one time, the same can be true for creating your own signature style.  There is only going to be one formula that works for each of us and that is the one that flatters our unique bodies and empowers us to be our best selves.  While the woman wearing the clothes is the glue that makes the wardrobe a masterpiece, knowing what works best comes from experimenting, patience and the willing us to just soak up ideas.  So, with that said . . . here are some more ideas. Enjoy!

Images: (1) Lanvin Love  (2) Stockholm Streetstyle  (3) Liam Saw This  (4) Vanessa Jackman  (5) Zara (6)  Zara  (7) Chictopia  (8) Style Essentials  (9) Style Essentials (10) Musings in Femininity  (11) portillion  (12) Heartbeatoz  (13) Vogue Loves Me (14)  Maybelline  (15) Sart(re)orial  (16) Sart(re)orial  (17) Vogue and Coffee  (18) Raspberry and Red  (19) Citizen Couture  (20) fashionstarvation (21) Everything is Everything  (22) Easy Fashion Paris  (23) Hanneli

October 26, 2011

Why Not . . . Ignore Horoscopes?

In a world with more questions and uncertainties than answers, as a child and young adult, I became quite intrigued by my horoscope.  Never intrigued enough to go to fortune teller or an astrologist, but curious enough to always look at my sign in the newspaper or magazines whenever a tough situation arose in my life. Sadly I admit, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the upcoming month’s issue to see what my horoscope would reveal. Looking back, I realize how silly and childish I was behaving, but at the time I thought what could it hurt?  Why not?  After all, if it boosted my confidence . . . wait right there.  And that’s when I knew I had to stop reading my horoscope. 

If my confidence was based on a publication who didn’t even know my name, let alone when my birthday was, why was I giving it influence over my life?  My one and only life?  Similar to self-acceptance, self-confidence comes from within – not from what others project onto us. And this is when I began to take my power back.  (Okay, a little melodramatic, but for such a silly topic, far too many people take it much too seriously and for much too long I was one of those people.) 

First of all, our minds are powerful machines.  Too often we don’t give the mind credit for all that it is capable of doing for us and let it rest idly while we rely on inaccurate means to make decisions for us.  Viewing horoscopes and anything to do with astrology most definitely is an inaccurate means.

Making sound decisions throughout our lives requires experience, analysis and thus, critical thinking.  To read horoscopes is to cast aside each of these.  We are not thinking critically when we allow the words found in our horoscope to infiltrate our subconscious and provoke things to happen that may have otherwise been ignored.

While many of you may already be well aware that horoscopes are a waste of time, there are still many more who, admittedly or not, put weight and money toward some belief in what horoscopes have to share about the upcoming events in their lives.  The business generated in the selling of books, inclusion of horoscopes in magazines and many other avenues is astronomical (pun intended), so there is a reason they want us all to believe in astrology – it’s making them money.

Here are just a few reasons why you may want to consider skipping the horoscope section in your newspaper today:

Generalizations Are Empty

Any research paper or critical analysis paper that is to be considered credible must share specific examples.  Any witness giving testimony against a suspect must give specific evidence in order to convince a jury that a crime has taken place. Generalizations are similar to stereotypes, there are misconceptions based on far too little experience and exposure. And as we know, horoscopes have to appeal to a mass audience, so they have no choice but to generalize otherwise they are too easy to dismiss.



The Subconscious Pays Attention

While some may feel they can still read their horoscope and not be swayed, here is something to consider. What we believe affects how we behave in every aspect of our lives.  And by being curious about our horoscopes, there alone is the hope that we are looking for something to either lift our spirits or give us hope.  One way or the other, whether we are disappointed with what we read or elated by what we discovered, this information sits in the back of our minds and we tend to subconsciously fixate on it. Why not give your mind something invigorating and worthwhile to chew on?  Remember those goals you have been working toward?  Envision yourself achieving them and never erase it from your mind until you’ve achieved it and then you’ll realize the power of the mind is most definitely amazing. Respect your subconscious and it will treat you very well, unwisely dismiss it and you might regret it.


The Forer Effect

With the mention of generalization, a study was done in 1948 by Psychologist Bertram R. Forer which found that “people tend to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to themselves without realizing that the same description could be applied to just about anyone.”

Here is how the study worked:

“Forer gave a personality test to his students, ignored their answers, and gave each student the above evaluation. He asked them to evaluate the evaluation from 0 to 5, with "5" meaning the recipient felt the evaluation was an "excellent" assessment and "4" meaning the assessment was "good." The class average evaluation was 4.26. That was in 1948. The test has been repeated hundreds of time with psychology students and the average is still around 4.2 out of 5, or 84% accurate.

In short, Forer convinced people he could successfully read their character. His accuracy amazed his subjects, though his personality analysis was taken from a newsstand astrology column and was presented to people without regard to their sun sign.”

Click here to learn more about the Forer Effect.

The Unknown is Frightening

Answers provide peace and give us each a sense of control.  It is human to be fearful when we don’t know how things will work out, whether or not a risk on a new job or a new relationship will be worth it, or when our bank account will suddenly blossom, and the temptation of reading a horoscope that could possibly give us a heads up on what will happen can be, for the short term, comforting.  However, the reality is, the business of horoscopes and astrology is based on knowing their consumers and in this case, understanding human nature. 

Life can be uncertain and scary, but it can also be amazing and exhilarating.  And knowing that your life will not resemble anyone else’s should be inspiration enough to know that there is not one horoscope that can predict the awesomeness that your life has in store for you. After all, you hold the reins, so nudge your life into a gallop and go about making the life you want to create a reality.

To read another study on the failings of astrology, click here.

Images: (1) Style Essentials (2) We Heart It (3) Heartbeatoz (4) Style Essentials

October 25, 2011

Banana Republic – Spring 2012

After great success with their Mad Men capsule collection released this past August, Banana Republic’s spring 2012 collection is sticking to what worked.  With retro silhouettes, just-below-the-knee fitted pencil skirts and dresses, along with block-heel pumps and skinny belts, this collections is feminine, full of occasion bright florals and sure to garner the lovers of ABC’s new hit drama PanAm’s attention as well.

Images via Fashionologie

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Gisele Bundchen – Vogue UK – December 2011

Yes, that is correct – December!  Already December’s covers are being revealed; however, this Vogue UK cover is quite lovely, don’t you agree?  Photographed by Mario Testino, Gisele looks bright and festive.  I must admit, I’m beginning to get the bug.

Image: Coco’s Tea Party

A Luxurious Hostess Gift

With the holidays quickly approaching, it is always a good idea to have a handful of hostess gifts on hand. While there are many options, bringing a gift that reveals a beautiful, luxurious scent is always a good idea whether it be lotion or a scented candles.  Due to the premise of luxurious here on The Simply Luxurious Life, I was contacted to review James de Givenchy’s addition to his Taffin line – scented candles.

Without a promise to post, I accepted a sample of Fleur d’Oranger.  The quality packaging initially caught my attention with its sturdy box of linen-like texture, but it was the candle and the scent that wafted throughout my office that I was completely blown away by. With a substantive, yet subtle fresh scent, it permeated ever so softly throughout the nearby rooms. I highly recommend these candles for special invitations you receive to attend parties throughout the upcoming months. Your hostess will certainly appreciate it.


Having gained the stellar reputation as one of the top jewelers in the 21st century, James de Givenchy, who created boundary-breaking designs for Sotheby’s Diamonds during his tenure as Creative Director of Sotheby’s Diamonds by James de Givenchy collection, is turning his attention to Taffin.

Since founding Taffin in 1996, Givenchy has drawn a coterie of private clients who covet
the extraordinary one-of-a-kind pieces he creates to showcase precious diamonds and rare colored gems in settings of unexpected materials like recycled gunmetal, steel, rubber, Bakelite, and rare woods.

As an extension to the brand, Givenchy is creating a new line of scented candles. The candles, previously given as special gifts to private clients, will be sold exclusively at Barneys New York starting this fall, retailing for $65.00 each.

The capsule collection includes Fleur d’Oranger, a spicy combination of lily of the
valley and orange flowers; Bois de Lilas, a mix of lilac and rose, with a hint of honey;
and Sapin, a bracing blend of evergreen, and white jasmine with oriental notes.