The Simply Luxurious Life®: March 2012  

March 30, 2012

Jenna Lyons Townhouse Reportedly Sold

Jenna Lyon’s expert eye in the world of fashion is something that I continue to be impressed with, and while I have shown images of her former home in Brooklyn, with the announcement of it being sold recently, images are surfacing that I hadn’t seen before.

Having purchased the Brooklyn Park Slope Townhouse with her former husband Vincent Mazeau for $1.3 million in 2004, it is being reported that while they were asking $3.75 million, they sold it for $4 million to a couple named Vincent and Tracy Martin. And where might Jenna now be living, many may be wondering? Well, her new address is listed as being in the Tribeca area.

Have a look at the many images of this townhouse decorated by Jenna Lyons herself (no decorator was commissioned as she proudly  reminds us.)

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The Weekend . . .

With the end of a week of vacation coming to a close, I feel fortunate to have had the time to make my own schedule, sleep as much as I needed and get caught up in areas that felt a bit unattended to. My dogs too seems to have enjoyed the company, although I’m sure they were a bit perplexed as to why I wasn’t walking out the door each morning.

If you have a vacation coming up or are just returning from one, I hope it has done or is able to do exactly what you hope it will. The grandness of life is that it is not a guarantee, so that leaves us all with the responsibility to seize each moment, not letting opportunities pass and spending time doing things we love, as well as spending time with those we hold dear.

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March 29, 2012

Style Inspiration: Parisian Chic

I have been lost in thoughts of Paris this week, and while my trip isn’t until this summer, I am planning my wardrobe; thus this week’s Style Inspiration post is full of Parisian chic ensembles and actual chic style that walked the fashionable streets of Paris this last October. With nautical stripes, white jeans, and every piece well-tailored, oh la la doesn’t begin to do justice to the stylish inspiration the French have caused so many to love.
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March 28, 2012

Why Not . . . Prep for Spring?

Having been out of town this past weekend, when I arrived home, I was greeted with the spectacular sight of a green lawn.  It seemed almost as if overnight my grass had miraculously turned lusciously green and was promptly begging to be manicured. So . . . I was more than eager to pull out my lawn-mower and appease it.

Yes, spring has officially begun, and with the first hum of the mowers buzzing throughout the neighborhood, it also gives us all an opportunity to make this the best spring yet.  Whether it be with regards to our homes, wardrobes, beauty, health or yard and gardens, spring offers the motivation to get busy and make things happen. Below are twelve ways I have found useful in my quest to help prep for spring.
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March 27, 2012

Tuesday’s This & That: No. 1

When I first began The Simply Luxurious Life, one of my weekly regular posts was “Cups of Tea” where I would share favorite fellow blogger posts, shopping finds and other ideas I wanted to share with my readers. Upon revamping my approach to blogging, “Cups of Tea” was eliminated; however, my regular readers have been quite persistent in voicing their desire to bring “Cups of Tea” back. So . . .

Every Tuesday (instead of every Sunday, when it originally appeared), you will find This & That where I will share the many discoveries I find while perusing through books, newspapers, websites and scrolling through my apps on my iPad each week.
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March 26, 2012

13 Instances When Slow & Steady is the Best Approach

“Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steady gains in strength. At first it may be but as a spider's web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel.”
–Tryon Edwards

With a quick-fix for so many maladies in this world – obesity, debt, stress, pain, etc – the practice of going about achieving goals with a mentality of slow and steady consistency can sometimes be forgotten.
While initially, knowing that what you want won’t come with the snap of your fingers with this approach, it can be frustrating. After all, winning the lottery would be a much easier solution to financial security than stashing a couple extra hundred dollars away each month for your savings or retirement fund.

However, the reality is, winning the lottery will only occur to a lucky (or unlucky, depending upon how you view it) few.  The rest of us will have to figure out another, more reliable approach.

The slow and steady plan is something that requires of the doer a clear vision. Therefore, it is imperative that each of us understands what and why we want what we want. Each person will prioritize their lives differently, have different dreams and follow a different path, but once we realize what it is we adamantly want to achieve, it is easier to resign ourselves to the reality that in order to achieve it, we must be willing to be patient, proceed with consistent effort and not lose sight of where we want to end up.

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March 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Sarah Jessica Parker!

As the style icon and famed actress from Sex and the City rings in her 47th birthday today, I thought what better way than to celebrate Sarah Jessica Parker’s birthday than to watch one of her films.

While it won’t be Sex and the City reruns or either of the movies (which I did enjoy regardless of what critics say), it will be one that I have been anxious to view – I Don’t Know How She Does It. (Update – watched it and loved it. A lovely, simple film that is believable and not full of Hollywood hoopla.)

So raise your cosmopolitans, read your New Yorkers and take a fashion risk to reveal your signature style today in homage to SJP. Here are a few of the style lessons she has taught me over the years. I’d be curious to know what you’ve learned from her style. Do tell.

1. A fabulous heel completes the outfit
2. Wear a fedora
3. Top knots are very chic
4. Have fun with accessories
5. Take a risk, simply wear it with confidence
6. Have fun with fashion

Below are more than 50 of my favorite Sarah Jessica Parker fashion moments via Carrie Bradshaw, Vogue and her fabulous style in general. Enjoy.

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March 23, 2012

The Weekend . . .

Like the girl pictured above, I am dreaming. I am dreaming and giddily excited about the upcoming week I have off.  Nothing extravagant is planned, nothing earth-shattering, but pure freedom to make my schedule each day that suits exactly what I need to accomplish is certainly something I am looking forward to.

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March 22, 2012

Style Inspiration

Casual, yet chic. I love to dress up, but I tend to enjoy those casual occasions that allow me to play with the more basic elements that can lend themselves, when handled correctly, to create an outfit that speaks of the individual wearing the clothing but can work well for so many different occasions.

Today’s Style Inspiration is full of denim, blazers, cashmere and easy style ideas. Enjoy and happy shopping! (For more outfit ideas, check out my Pinterest page focused entirely on outfit inspiration – click here to view.)

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March 21, 2012

Why Not . . . Be Creative?

Creative types. You could probably name someone right now who you would describe as creative. Hopefully you are describing yourself, but if not, I’d like to convince you today that anyone can be creative. Yes, even you.

In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “How to be Creative”, Jonah Lehrer explains that creativity isn’t some magical innate quality one is born with, but rather a skill that anyone can learn.

I highly suggest that you take a few minutes and read is article which incorporates recent studies on creativity. After having read it myself, I came up with a list of ways we can all help foster our creativity.

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Mingle with people from other professions, cultures, walks of life. By welcoming new ideas and perspectives into our thought-process we invite more chances for something to spark with what we already know, thus increasing the chance for creativity to ignite.

2. Allow yourself to unwind. Yes, initially it might sound counterproductive, but by allowing yourself to slow down, you allow your ideas to catch fire, to be noticed and give them a chance to be pounced upon.

3. Be dedicated. An artist, those creative types, as they are sometimes labeled, are people who work tirelessly on something without a lot of praise for quite some time. In other words they have a passion for what they are working on that isn’t driven by external praise. In fact, the praise, if they ever receive it, is the topping on top of a creamy, delicious cheesecake.

4. Get in tune with you gut/inner voice. By getting to know yourself, getting to know what your feelings mean, you will become more adept at understanding when you should relax to recharge or push through until you discover an aha moment.

5. Learn more. Become a devourer of the written word. Absorb as much information as possible. Never stop learning. Remain curious, constantly fueling your mind and giving energy and possibility to potential creative moments.

6. Seek “diverse experiences”. Follow Steve Jobs’ advice and constantly be seeking out adventures that are different, new or foreign to you. The information you collect at the time may not make sense, but in the future who knows what could happen.

7. Be willing to be the outsider. Why would anyone WANT to be an outsider, you may ask. Well, as Lehrer points out, when you are an outsider you become more observant and are willing to take more risks because you are either ignorant of the potential pitfalls or have less to lose.

8. Do what you love. It all comes back to following what you love to do, what you could lose time doing.

Always keep in mind, creativity is a choice. It is something that you can choose to be if you are passionate enough about what you want to achieve.

Images: (1) pinterest 

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March 20, 2012

Stylish Stationery for Spring

“To Each Her Own” – 10 folded cards - $35 (click here to purchase)

Inslee Designs just released two brand new cards for spring, and I couldn’t help but think they would be the perfect card to invite a group of girlfriends for a weekend of wine tasting, a gathering of celebration – engagement, new job or house warming.
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Pasta Primavera

When two of my interests collide, I couldn’t be more ecstatic. So last week while I was flipping through the pages of The Week news magazine, I found a recipe that I knew I had to try based off of the 1970s New York restaurateur Sirio Maccioni’s famous concoction originally served at Le Cirque. The classic dish – Pasta Primavera.

What better way to welcome spring than to make a comforting pasta dish full of vegetables and enormous flavor?

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Shopbop and Elizabeth and James Giveaway

With a new fashion season just beginning, I thought this would be a perfect time to give away a gift certificate for a bit of shopping. Shopbop has partnered up with The Simply Luxurious Life to give away a $100 gift certificate to one lucky reader to purchase any time found on their shopping website.
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March 19, 2012

10 Simple Ways to Live Healthier

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

As spring officially arrives this week, I am beginning to look ever more forward to the opening of our local farmer’s markets with fresh produce, outdoor walking without my jacket and catching up with neighbors and members of the community that seems to be much more frequent when the weather warms.
In dreaming of this annual beginning, I am again reminded of the power of eating and living healthy, and how by making simple habitual healthy choices our daily lives can be greatly improved.  From the energy it provides, the state of mind we are in, to the confidence we feel, how we treat our bodies directly affects our minds, our well-being and thus are ability to do (or not do) certain things.
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March 16, 2012

Jennifer Lopez – Vogue US April 2012

Jennifer Lopez is the chosen covergirl for Vogue’s annual April 2012 Shape Issue as captured by photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

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The Weekend & Blog Facelift!

A weekend full of rest and leisure. A weekend full of time to peruse endless magazines, read ever further into books that are aching to be finished and rest my eyes that have looked at the computer screen far too much this past week.

However, I will not begrudge the time in front of the computer as it brings what you see today – a minor facelift for The Simply Luxurious Life.  With the help of web designer Shari Miller from Little Blue Deer and the talented illustrating abilities of Inslee, a few minor changes have been made to help with quicker and more efficient navigation, as well as a more accurate depiction of the author behind the blog.

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March 15, 2012

Style Inspiration

With splashes of color and white popping up a bit more frequently, I do believe it is safe to say spring is unofficially here. Especially the few days here and there that have reached into the 60s and 70s, I can’t help but get excited for sandals, shorts and linen. Between finding an excuse to go spring wardrobe shopping and picking up a few daffodils on my way home from my favorite boutiques, this time of year simply makes me happy.

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March 14, 2012

Why Not . . . Learn a New Language?

Wanting to learn a new language and actually doing it can sometimes seem miles apart; however, I am confident that even if you want to learn that dream language you have thought about for years on end, and you have thirty minutes a day to spare, you are more than capable of making it into reality. Let me explain. 

Just as taking weight off permanently requires consistent effort made in short increments, so too does learning a new language. With an upcoming trip to Paris planned, I’ve been wanting to freshen up my French language skills, but with my busy schedule, I wasn’t sure this was a possibility.  I don’t have access to college French classes, I don’t have any friends who speak French and well, I don’t have much free time. Needless to say, the trip was the perfect motivator, and I now am working with Rosetta Stone thirty minutes a night. In the quiet of my own office, and short lessons to follow, I can quickly begin where I left off and not waste time setting up. It’s a wonderful program and one that can become a travel companion as well.

Maybe French isn’t the language you have had an inkling for. What about Chinese, German or Italian? As adults who are no longer in school or students who have already declared their major and learning a new language is not a requirement, it may seem unnecessary or frivolous to take the time to learn a new language.  However, consider the below benefits of choosing to add a new language to your talents:

1. Improve your primary language.
While you are learning how a new language functions, learning the grammatical do’s and don’t, and which pronouns and verb conjugations to use, you are comparing it to the language you already know in order to understand how to retain the new knowledge and better comprehend all of the new information that is being presented to you. It is almost impossible not to walk away with a better understanding of how to communicate properly in your primary language.

2. Heighten travel experiences. 
For my purposes, having had traveled to France many years ago with very little understanding of the language, I wanted to improve my experience on my second trip. I wanted to be more respectful to the culture I was visiting and not have to pull out a book of translations or bother people walking by. I want to be able to drink Paris in with myself as the tour guide.

3. Challenge and strengthen your mind.
"We have strong evidence today that studying a foreign language has a ripple effect, helping to improve student performance in other subjects." - Richard Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education under Bill Clinton

Think of learning a new language as the primer that warms your mind up so that it is more pliable in any other subject matter that interests you. By using different parts of your brain to process problems and switch from one language to the next you are exercising muscles that may not have been used as frequently before. So upon their increase of muscle power, other studies have the potential to improve as well.
4. Expand your perspective
By choosing to open our minds up, we also expose ourselves to other cultures and different ways of living and thinking. Having an open mind helps in getting along with others, understanding where the other person is coming from and working together with others who come from different cultures.  Now you may not change your beliefs, but when you are better able to understand why someone might believe what they do, you are better able to communicate with them and find common ground.

5. Increase employment opportunities
We are now all operating in a global economy. What occurred in Japan in 2011 not only adversely affected Japan, it also affected every other country it did business with. By improving your language skills you are opening doors, expanding options and getting a leg up on the competition. The better you are able to communicate with more people, the more likely you will be given an opportunity to work with a wider array of people.

6. Build confidence in yourself
Initially learning a new language can seem impossible. What do all those weird figures mean? Why do half  of the letters in French never get pronounced? This is a very typical and understandable fear; and yet it is due to how difficult it seems that upon finally acquiring the language you realize how capable you are whenever you set your mind to do something.

Images: (1) pinterest

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March 13, 2012

Retirement Savings – What Should the Goal Be?

One of the financial blogs I visit frequently is The Simple Dollar, and I recently came across a post that contained a formula regarding how much each of us should save for retirement.

Presently, with each month’s budget we all should save 15-20 percent (15% for retirement and 5% for a cushion account for emergencies and dreams); however, how can we be sure that this will be enough for the time when we choose to retire?

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Apricot Butter & Warm Croissants

Buttery croissants from Williams-Sonoma are one of the simple luxuries I enjoy on Sunday mornings with the paper and a cup of hot lavender tea from Beecrowbee. However, just this past weekend, my weekend ritual became even more scrumptious.

May I introduce apricot butter.

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March 12, 2012

17 Ways to Simplify the Daily & Weekly Routines

“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”
– Albert Einstein

Welcome to Monday. A day that can either be loathed or loved depending upon what your week looks like or what job you are heading out the door to. The funny thing about Monday is that in my experience, it’s a day that comes with a routine. A day that begins the weekly routine which in a way has a way of being comforting if we’ve designed the life we desire.

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March 10, 2012

Roots of Style Book Review

“Style is your most sincere form of expression.” – Isabel Toledo

As a way to share her views on life, love and fashion design, the woman labeled as the “designer’s designer”, Isabel Toledo shares in her recently released memoir Roots of Style (March 6, 2012) her artistic inspirations, the personal experiences that have shaped her work, her personal philosophies on design and life and how she has skillfully managed to blend art and commerce.

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March 9, 2012

The Weekend . . .

Springing ahead is such a lovely phrase, yet the losing an hour of sleep is not something I look forward to; however, if it gains a bit more sunlight, I will most certainly take it.  With the fashion weeks wrapping up with the finale in Paris a few days ago, I am getting excited about sprucing up my spring wardrobe, perusing a bit online and organized my budget to make everything work. While I may be wearing sweaters similar to the image above, I ache to break out my lighter spring wear (thus loving the combination with the shorts/skirt).

If your schedule is beginning to pick up speed or never seems to slow down, here is a look back on the past week here on The Simply Luxurious Life. Oh, and the first recipe of the year has debuted (and my goal is to become more consistent sharing any goodness I have luck with in my kitchen.)

*Why Not . . . Unplug?

*Style Inspiration – eclectic spring ideas

*JENESEQUA – March 2012 Issue – Prepping for Spring

*Looking for Reader Input

*Risotto with Leeks and Sugar Snap Peas – from my new favorite cookbook

*13 Ways to Live a Dynamic Life

Have a look at this week’s newsletter – issue #91 – click here to read.

Have a lovely weekend and until Monday, bonjour.

Image: pinterest

March 8, 2012

JENESEQUA – March 2012 Issue

The March 2012 issue of JENESEQUA style magazine is now available to view on your iPad! Full or even more content, tips, inspiration and ideas than another other issue in the past, you’ll find 30+ articles that will prep your wardrobe, home, beauty and life for spring.

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Style Inspiration

An eclectic mix of everything in this week’s Style Inspiration, from peep toes, to hot pink, leopard, black and white and classic trenches. Spring is beginning to show signs of arriving, so schedule a pedicure and a day of boutique perusal, because looking fabulous is certain to make any day that much better.

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March 7, 2012

Why Not . . . Unplug?

As a blogger, it may sound odd that I am offering up the idea of unplugging from technology, but even someone like me who is constantly looking at a computer screen, checking my smart phone for email and reading newspaper articles on my iPad knows that I function best when I put it down every once in awhile.

The benefits of our hyper-connected society are numerous, and I certainly am not complaining as it allows us all the option of working from home or wherever we prefer to be, remain in contact no matter where our lives may take us and have access to endless amounts of information with the simple touch of a button. However, I would like to suggest to you today to find time weekly or at least monthly to unplug. Carve out time to distance yourself from technology and remind yourself that somehow we did survive not too long ago with landline phones and snail mail to communicate.

While I have a feeling some of you are already on board with this suggestion, more of you may agree, but believe it isn’t possible. Let me share with you the benefits, some obvious and some not so obvious, that I’d like you to consider before you dismiss the idea altogether.

1. An opportunity to recharge. We are not machines, therefore, we cannot function like machines. Our minds, our eyes, our bodies need to take a break.  Just as our bodies need sleep every night to rejuvenate, so too do our minds.

2. High quality work vs. mediocre output. Upon turning off your many devices and leaving them out of your reach, your creativity will start to flow, you will give yourself an opportunity to be in different situations where technology would be a hindrance or unhelpful and ideas will start to percolate, fabulous discussions will begin to occur and you will more likely than not be filled with fantastic ideas to take back to you work.  By limiting how long you are connected, you force yourself to be productive and not waste time, and in your down time away from technology, you are free to let your mind wander.

3. Reduction in anxiety. If you are clear to those you work with and for that you will not be available 24-hours a day and you stick to your guns, you will be amazed how eventually they will learn to only contact you if they want an immediate response during your desired hours. As long as you communicate clearly and follow through, you will eliminate the anxiety you may feel when you choose to power off, knowing that they know you will return at a specific time.

4. Peace and quiet. The balance that I so often speak about is hard to attain when your devices are constantly “dinging”, “singing”, or “ringing”. Perhaps the better solution is to turn off your alerts and only check your email and calendars once or twice a day, but regardless, get away from the sound and the device all together and let your mind relax in a tranquil environment.

5. Strengthen your focus. While convenient, our high-tech world has shortened our attention span which ultimately reduces opportunities for quality experiences.  If we don’t allow our minds time to think analytically and digest all that we are observing one experience at at time, we are robbing ourselves of the ability to reach our full potential.

6. Strengthen relationships. I mentioned last week in the newsletter that for my birthday we rendezvoused out of town to a resort in the country leaving behind our laptops and knowingly staying in a room without television.  It was fabulous! Time was forgotten about and long bouts of reading and conversing occurred. Needless to say, we focused on what was important and chose to control the technology that we appreciate instead of letting it control us.

Now initially, you may have tech-withdrawals. This is normal and to be expected, but what I believe you will find is that the more you unplug and the longer the time is that you remain unplugged you will actually come to covet your time, space and privacy.  In fact, an errant cell phone ring may feel very annoying. This is good.  This is very good.

Choose to use technology to maintain relationships, not build them, and instead choose to build relationship with face to face communication or experiences shared together. Understand that virtual isn’t reality, but it can aid the reality that you wish to create. Once you learn what technology can do for you, make sure that it doesn’t have control over you. The key is to be its master and not the other way around.

Images: (1) Source (2) Pinterest (3) Source (4) pinterest

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March 6, 2012

Looking for Reader Input

For over two years, The Simply Luxurious Life blog has striven to provide content for you, my readers, that is empowering, inspiring, full of ideas and most of all simple to acquire and enjoy.

In order to continue offering you a positive experience each time you stop by The Simply Luxurious Life, I will be revamping and re-organizing the website (keeping the logo and the simply luxurious lady of course).

What I am asking from my readers is input.  What works well on the homepage, what would you like to see tweaked, eliminated or added.  If you don’t want to leave a comment, but would like to share your thoughts, please email me (

Ultimately, my goal is to create a user-friendly website that quickly allows you to read the posts you want without the fuss, but still includes a beautiful aesthetic that is what its namesake promises – simply luxurious.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you again for choosing to stop by and visit The Simply Luxurious Life.  This opportunity wouldn’t be possible without you.


Image: (1) Source

Risotto with Leeks and Sugar Snap Peas

A couple of weekends ago a good friend of mine had us over for dinner, and while I was in the kitchen with her sipping a glass of wine while she put the finishing touches on our meal (one of my favorite pastimes as such wonderful conversations always seem to materialize), she shared with me a cookbook that I was eager to have on hand in my own kitchen.

Weeknight Fresh and Fast (Williams-Sonoma) is full of crisp, beautiful images of each of the meals from a company name that is known for pleasuring our taste buds and organized by seasons as to help the reader shop for ingredients that are fresh, yet create delicious and healthy meals. From the general concept right down to the details of how it is organized, I was very impressed and wanted to share my find with you.

Knowing that any meal I’ve ever shared at my friend Nancy’s home has always been full of flavor, yet balanced and healthy, I was not surprised to discover the very first recipe I tried out of this cookbook that she suggested was wonderful.

Below is my version of Risotto with Leeks and Sugar Snaps


  • 5 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. sugar snap peas, strings removed (buy pre-packaged and you don’t have to worry about removing the strings)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 oz. pancetta, minced
  • 2 leeks, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (used what you would want to drink)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • OPTIONAL - 1 Tbs. minced fresh tarragon (I preferred mine without, but if you prefer the anise (licorice) flavor, you will appreciate the depth it adds to the dish.)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Coarse kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese


1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and cook until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sugar snap peas to a bowl and set aside. Reduce the heat to low.

2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the pancetta and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until opaque, about 1 minute. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Add about 3/4 cup of the hot broth; adjust the heat so the liquid bubbles and is absorbed slowly. Cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the liquid about 3/4 cup at a time and stirring frequently, until the rice is just tender but slightly firm in the center and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the sugar snap peas, cheese, tarragon and a generous amount of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

{IDEA from WILLIAMS-SOMONA website} Quick tips: Turn any leftovers into risotto cakes: For 3 to 4 cups of risotto, mix in 1 egg yolk and 1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs). Using wet hands, form the mixture into 2-inch balls, then flatten into rounds 3/4 inch thick. Dip the cakes into beaten egg and coat with more panko, then brown in olive oil, about 4 minutes per side.

{My version}

{Williams-Sonoma’s version}

March 5, 2012

13 Ways to Live a Dynamic Life

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
–Jim Rohn

The protagonist of any well-written novel is a character that undergoes a significant change by the end of the story, and if written well, it is a character the readers become attached to because they may see the same possibility for change in their own lives.

With that said, you are the protagonist of your life. You are the main character who is on the journey of creating a life that will dazzle you when you look back and reminisce on all that you have done. The key is to be dynamic – ever changing - because if you are indeed the protagonist of your life, you are forever evolving, growing, learning and having many “aha moments” along the way that reveal to you impressive capabilities you may not have known you had.

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” –Muhammad Ali

So how does one go about living a dynamic life? Well, initially it’s simple – be willing to be a bit uncomfortable and to step outside of your box once and awhile.  Instead of living to acquire things (cars, bigger homes, a more beautiful spouse, more shoes, etc), live to experience moments and drink in all they have to offer – lessons, joys and everything in between.

But to be more specific, below are thirteen ways to forever live a dynamic life:

1. Enjoy the journey, not the end product.

2. Set goals to motivate you and learn new things about yourself. After all, you, like your life, are a dynamic entity, ever changing and evolving.

3. Seek out challenges that inspire and motivate you. Remember it is the journey that should exhilarate you and not only the destination.

4. Stick with your hobbies. Watch them evolve.  See what they can become.

5. Facing your fears. By conquering what you are uncertain about, you build confidence which then give you the boost you need to try new things.

6. Remain curious. Learn, ask, seek answers. Feed your mind.

7. Honor commitments. It is only when you follow through with the relationships that you’ve vowed to remain in and work through the obstacles that you begin to see what’s on the other side.  This is when the change you seek begins to occur. This is when you begin to gradually see a good relationship escalate to an amazing relationship. If you keep bailing when it becomes difficult at work or with partners who don’t see things exactly as you do, you continue to repeat the same cycle, remaining stagnant, even though on the surface it feels like a change has occurred.

8. Believe anything is possible. It sounds ignorant and maybe a bit cheesy to believe such a fairy tale statement, but when you let go of cynicism and cling to hope and optimism, the world becomes brighter, and more doors and possibilities become available, offering ways for your life to continue to grow and evolve.

9. Begin tackling your bucket list now. Stop putting off what you want to do until later. Begin to check off your dream list of “to-dos” today. Dreamed of publishing a novel? Start writing, researching and looking for a lit agent. Want to become a formally trained chef? Enroll in classes. Want to become a homeowner? Stop spending money, and start saving. In other words, stop putting off what you know in your heart you’ve always wanted. Simply throwing yourself into the process and sticking to it (#7) will bring about amazing changes.

10. Be physical. Remain active so that you can physically do whatever you want to do no matter what your age.

11. Build a support system that has the same values. If you are a long distance runner, seek out others who have the same passion and can understand why you need to run every day.  If you are someone who constantly has a thirst for knowledge, seek out others who are open minded and willing to learn new things.  You see we can create our own culture that supports the life that we desire to live. It takes conscious decision-making and gumption at times to reach out to others, but it is possible.

12. Have high expectations. While perfection will never be possible, excellence is always attainable, so if something doesn’t sit well with you or look the way you know it has the potential to, keep fine-tuning. The change will come when others see the vision they couldn’t grasp until you brought it into fruition through your unwavering belief in what was possible.

13. Be appreciative. When others offer their time without being asked or go out of their way to help you simply because, extend a sincere thank you. Taking anything for granted and not being conscious of all the contributors of the life you love, is like not watering a plant. In order to grow, in order to leave a lasting legacy, we need to say thank you to those who have helped us. Who knows what light you will bring to their lives, but at least they know their actions didn’t go unnoticed.

March 2, 2012

The Weekend . . .

A weekend for staying at home. A weekend for sleeping in, reading the magazines and books that are begging to be given a bit of attention. A weekend for dreaming about my spring wardrobe, and a weekend for enjoying the simple rituals that these precious two days off bring.

Whether it be dinner with new friends, sprucing up the yard as the anticipation for spring to arrive heightens or picking up the house, there is something about staying at home on the weekend that has a sweet simplicity to it. However you choose to spend your weekend, I hope it re-energizing you.  I hope it leaves you feeling better than the work week did, and I hope you are able to revel in a few very sweet pleasures.

Here is a look back on the past week on The Simply Luxurious Life:

*The most popular post of the week – 33 Lessons Learned (by the way, for all of you who stopped by earlier in the week, thank you for all the lovely and beautiful comments)

*Style Inspiration – the work day wardrobe has never been so creatively unique

*The foundation for all dreams, security and true independence – Why Not . . . Become Financially Independent?

*Monday’s Inspiration – Set the World on Fire – Become the Person You Desire to Be

*2012 Oscar’s Red Carpet – Best Dressed

*The first impression is certainly lasting – Ideas for a Welcoming Foyer

And the weekly newsletter – issue #90 – click here to read.

Have a wonderful weekend and until Monday, bonjour.

Images: (1) robotcosmonaut (2) Heartbeatoz

March 1, 2012

Ideas for a Welcoming Foyer

The first impression of the home is the foyer, and so for my February Idea Book for Houzz, I thought I’d shop for items that would be welcoming for guests, yet keep the space functional for the owners. From unique, yet personal prints of favorite destinations throughout the United States, urns and a bay wreath to set the scene just before the front door opens, click here to shop the twenty items I feel would add warmth and simplicity to any home.

Style Inspiration

Dressing for the work day is becoming more and more creative and unique to a woman’s signature style. While in certain careers there are very strict guidelines, in others, it really is up to the woman. Whether it was on the streets of Milan during fashion week or elsewhere on the streets of the world, the women in today’s Style Inspiration know how to pull together an outfit.


       Images: (1)   (2) (3) girlswithstyle: (4) olivemylove:   (5) styletrove:  (6) bouldaslove (7) chiaraddicted (8) fashionologie (9) fashionologie(10) fashionologie   (11) elle(12) Sart(re)orial (13)  Sart(re)orial (14) Vogue  (15) Vogue