The Simply Luxurious Life®: October 2012  

October 31, 2012

Want & Have Outfit: No. 7

While a lightweight trench works perfectly for spring and early fall, as the temperatures begin to drop, a thicker, warmer coat is ideal. With camel as my color of choice, I discovered J.Crew’s many different styles of winter coats in their most recent catalog and settled on this chic, belted version. With a classic color and single row of buttons, it would easily work well over a dress or a casual pair of jeans and a nice top.

BP’s ‘Runway’ boots were an inexpensive addition to my fall wardrobe last year, and they’ve already worked wonders this season. Available in a handful of colors, you can easily tuck your jeans into them, have a big of a lift, but not too much, with the wedge and wear them with pans or a dress.


~Citizens of Humanity ‘Elson’ straight leg jeans~

~BP Runway boot in cognac~


~J.Crew double-cloth slim trench~

~Reiss ‘Kat’ off white novelty top (navy too!)~

~Argento Vivo Frontal hoop earrings~

~DVF stanhope wool and silk-blend scarf~

Why Not . . . Stop Being Superstitious?

With today being Halloween, I thought this would be a timely post to share with you. Last year around this time, I shared a post outlining the reasons to stop reading your horoscope. And I feel the idea of believing in superstitions and being superstitious is similar in nature regarding why we look to any of these forms of supposed “information”.

Superstitions, much like horoscopes lack sound, scientific evidence, yet still bring comfort to so many.

Why is that?

As humans, we crave knowledge. And what I mean by knowledge in this case is needing to know how or if things will work out, needing to believe we have some control over situations that clearly we have no control over whatsoever. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a horrific disaster, an accident, or any type of incident that doesn’t go according to plan, we want to believe we can do something next time that will stop it from happening again. We want to believe we can do something to prevent anything bad from happening to us.

So when we come to the end of the rope, so to speak, and realize there is nothing else we can do ourselves (determine the outcome of a game as a fan, determine the ability of our opponents in sports if we’re about to step foot on the playing field, protect ourselves from unforeseen disasters, etc.) some of us look to superstitions. Whether you place a lucky coin in your shoe before each tennis match, follow certain handshakes with certain people before sitting down to watch your favorite team play, refuse to see your betrothed before the wedding or simply knock on wood after uttering something unspeakable, in engaging in such actions/behaviors you are trying to ease your mind that indeed you do have control over the situation.

Those who believe and practice superstitious behaviors may say that such rituals work. In fact, I can remember in high school, while on my varsity basketball team, we had at least three or four things we would do as a team prior to stepping on the court – and if we forgot any of them, we would backtrack making sure we indeed did them. Based on how successful our season turned out, some may argue such behavior worked, when it fact, it was really the power of the mind being put at ease so that we could go out on the floor and do what we already knew how to do.

You see, when we feel we don’t have control, many of us often become more anxious. And when we become more anxious, we become tense, we don’t act naturally and we over-think responses that would have typically occurred out of habit (a simple free-throw shot, anticipating a rebound, etc), but instead are thrown off because of unnecessary contemplation and apprehension.

By choosing to practice superstitious activities, we actually are putting the mind at ease, thus reducing our tension, which then allows us to do what we would do naturally without agitation. In other words, superstitions are actually a tool that allows us to pretend we have more control than we actually we do.
So, stop giving the credit for good outcomes to a warrantless cause. Instead, pat yourself on the back and reap the rewards and credit you have rightfully earned.

Images: (1) pinterest


October 30, 2012

House by Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton’s new design book House is an original concept, unlike anything you may expect from the Oscar winning actress or in a decor book in general.

Focusing on the aesthetics of seemingly contemporary simplistic edifices, Keaton shares images captured of homes in Vermont, Seattle, California, New York, Illinois and Italy. Grand, yet sparse in material details, each space is full of vast openness that force the onlooker to appreciate the architecture and elements. Creative designers such as Annabelle Selldorf, Roy McMakin and Tom Kundig lend their talents to Keaton’s large 272 page coffee table book which draws its inspiration from farms and factories turning classic, often decaying, rustic structures into gems of artistic talent. 

~Firefly Grill in Effingham, Illinois~

To the untrained eye, the lesson to be gained by diving into House is to realize that an appreciation of the space, a respect for the space is something to heed when decorating and creating a sanctuary. As one would imagine, more is simply more, and by taking the time to look around, the most significant lesson is to realize that beauty speaks to us most directly and loudly when it is not suffocated by excess. As designer Annabelle Selldorf describes her style - “specific, precise, restrained and plausible”, her inclusion of the word “restrained” is something that resonates with me as it takes discipline, but based on the images shared in Keaton’s House offers the greatest reward.

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A Beauty Giveaway!

Building a capsule wardrobe consists of paring down but at the same time improving the quality and life span of the clothes in your closet. And one of the key pieces of information that each person should know is what their color palette is that would best flatter their skin tone and hair color.

While I’m not expert, I do know what works best for myself and the basics for advising others, but when Yelena from the blog/website Glam Things offered to share her advice and expertise with one lucky reader on how to determine their own color palette, I thought it would blend beautifully into the goal of building a wardrobe and overall look that enhances one’s confidence and beauty.

As a certified color analyst and image consultant, Yelena will gather specific details from the lucky winner (via photos you provide) and in return the winner will receive the following:

  1. Discovering Your Season File~ where I explain WHY I believe that you are that certain Season.

  2. Your Individual Color Palette with 30 of your best colors.

  3. Manual~ Description of your season. From this Manual you will learn:

  • how to wear your colors
  • your best neutrals
  • how to wear black
  • your color combinations
  • make up
  • hair
  • glasses
  • your level of contrast
  • fabrics
  • prints
  • jewelry
  • accessories
  • perfume
  • your best styles
  • what mistakes to avoid
  • personality characteristics
  • looks
  • celebrities

At a value of $59, all of her professional advice is free to the selected winner (winner will be announced Friday November 9th in the newsletter).


1. Sign up for a Free 5 day e-course " Successful Color Combinations Fast!" offered on Glam Things – click here to register.

2. Leave a comment on this post including an email address where you can be reached should you be the lucky winner.

3. FOR AN ADDED ENTRY: FOLLOW @Glamthings on Twitter and say "Hello Yelena". (include @simplyluxurious so you’re sure to be entered twice)

4. Enter by Thursday, November 8th at 4pm (PDT).

5. The winner will be announced on Friday, November 9th in The Simply Luxurious Life’s weekly newsletter (subscribe on the home page of TSLL).

Good luck!

Image: pinterest

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This & That: No. 31

Today’s This & That is full of items and books to invest in as you cultivate a divine sanctuary and infinitely chic wardrobe. Oh, and a bit of culture and food as well . . .


~Habitually Chic: Creativity at Work by Heather Clawson

Beginning today, the founder of the well-known and much loved blog Habitually Chic, Heather Clawson will release her first book – Habitually Chic: Creativity at Work. Full of photographs taken by the author herself, Clawson takes her readers inside the minds and homes of other creatively talented minds and worlds to reveal their stories, insights on where they find their inspiration and how they wound earning their success. Some of the people she interviews are – Jenna Lyons, Peter Som, Jonathen Adler, Joel Chen and Miranda Brooks – just to name a few.

On a personal note, it is thrilling to see Heather’s hard work and passion come to fruition via her first book. As a blogger first starting out, she was the first blogger I sought advice from, and I was beyond ecstatic when she responded many times to my endless questions. For that I will always be grateful.  I wish her much success and can’t wait for her book to arrive in my mailbox so that I can enjoy all that she has to share.

~The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus

Another worthwhile decor book is Nate Berkus’ most recent book of decor tricks and inspiration. Released on October 16th, The Things That Matter is Berkus’ most personal narrative as he opens up about his life, what has led him to live and appreciate the life he has created for himself. Inside he explains his philosophy that the things we bring into our homes and our lives indeed to significantly matter. Inviting readers into twelve different homes as well as his new recently remodeled Manhattan duplex, he demonstrates through images exactly how to decorate your sanctuary so that it too can be a true safe haven.

~Art Exhibits

~Mario Testino’s first solo museum exhibit “In Your Face”

Mario Testino’s fashion and editorial photography may be best recognized from the pages he fills in Vogue and Vanity Fair. Also regularly snapping images for Chanel and Burberry, Testino was the go-to photog of choice for Kate Moss’s lavish English country estate wedding two summers ago. Opened to the public inside Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts on October 21 and running through February 3, 2013, “In Your Face” offers a look at some of his most widely known and irreverence as well as exclusive photographs.


~Grilled Turkey and Brie Cranwich

Discovered on the blog Confections of a Foodie Bride, this updated version of one of my favorite leftover recipes after grand holiday dinners is something I believe I may have to try well before Thanksgiving arrives. With warm brie and cranberry-apricot chutney, this recipe is a gourmet version of a simple luxury you must indulge in.


~J.Crew Nora calf hair ballet flats

Ballet flats are a busy, stylish woman’s best friend, and the one staple I am still lacking when it comes to ballet flats is a leopard pair. J.Crew’s Nora calf hair ballet flats are an investment, but a quality investment that will last. Wear with straight leg jeans, your favorite blouse of any color, or as a beautiful accessory whenever an occasion calls for the little black dress, and be confident that you look fabulous.

~IRO Shena Jacket

Reminiscent of the classic Chanel tweed jacket, IRO’s Shena jacket is from IRO which was founded in 2002 by two French brothers who bring together vintage and city style. Fully lined and made of wool and alpaca fabric, the Shena Jacket would be a sophisticated choice to add to your closet to wear with jeans or with a simple pencil or full skirt.

October 29, 2012

Lessons from Madame Chic: The Giveaway!

Last spring, always looking for a bit of French inspiration, I learned about Jennifer L. Scott’s book Lessons From Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris after reading a complimentary review in The New York Times. Thankfully, I quickly ordered the book, because before I knew it, Simon & Schuster had also discovered what a wonderful treasure it was as well and whisked it off the shelves to revamp it for its re-release that is now finally just a few days away – Tuesday November 6th.

Needless to say, Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic is certainly a must-have for Francophiles, but it is also a wonderful resource for anyone who wishes to cultivate a more simply luxurious way of living. Through beautiful narrations, Madame Chic’s lessons are shared in three different parts on the subjects of Diet & Exercise, Style and Beauty, and lastly, How to Live Well.

Based on Scott’s time as a foreign exchange student in Paris as a young woman, she is now a mother of two young daughters, happily married and living in southern California, so she converses with her readers from a relatable platform.  Immediately upon reading it again, I was reminded of another author who shares her insights and tips on living well with inspiration from the French – Mireille Guiliano. Scott’s tips are weaved skillfully into her experiences and time with Madame Chic and her Parisian family, so much so that you feel you are having a conversation with a trusted, yet wiser girlfriend.

And the beauty of discovering her book was that it didn’t have to end once I finished reading it. As the founder of the blog The Daily Connoisseur, readers are able to enjoy a regular dose of inspiration and YouTube video instructions on how to continually integrate the fine art of French living into their every day lives. 

The re-released edition of Lessons from Madame Chic (279 pages) contains the same content I initially raved about in my review in April (click here to view), but is now adequately accessorized with illustrations found throughout the entire book from the talented artist and designer Virginia Johnson (view the back cover’s illustration below – j’adore the long, waving scarf and Breton top).


~The lovely author herself – Jennifer L. Scott, the cover you will find in Australia and New Zealand that is available on November 6th as well! and the back of the cover of the copy being given away to one lucky reader.~

Now if you’re like me, when you see something you know you are going to love, you may not want to wait to see if you win the giveaway. Trust me, you will love this book. My copy has endless margin notes, underlines and asterisks so that I can quickly review my favorite tips and suggestions (read my favorite here).

Even though it isn’t released until November 6th, you can preorder today from Amazon, and what I’ve found is that you will be certain to receive it on that exact release date and sometimes even earlier. (Click here to order for only $14.18 from Amazon.) 

Important Information to Know About the Giveaway:

~1. Enter to win a copy of Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic by leaving a comment on this blog post which must contain an email address to reach you at should you be the lucky winner.

~2. Due to regulations by the book’s publisher, this giveaway is unfortunately only open to residents of the United States and Canada (however, those of you who live in Australia and New Zealand, look for your own chic cover to be available for purchase on November 6th – see cover above)

~3. Be sure to enter by Monday, November 5th at midnight.

~4. The winner will be announced Tuesday morning November 6th on the blog!

It’s that simple! Good luck!

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A Moment to Capitalize On and Not Fritter Away

“Do you know what happens when someone lets go of your hand? You get it back. It’s a good thing . . . It means you have time . . . not to wash the dishes. To do something with it, to get out there, to take it to the next level . . . you gotta get out there. Do something and don’t look back.”
Grey’s Anatomy created by Shonda Rhimes

Whether you are a recent graduate from college, now free from the many responsibilities that a full college schedule demands, newly single after a relationship has come to an end or have experienced a child not needing your help as much as they once used to, in each of these instances it can be easy to become frightened. In each of these instances your life has changed based on who is no longer in it or the schedule you used to keep is no longer dictated by someone else. And while any change can be difficult, a change that occurs that takes away something you have become accustomed to can be unsettling. However, instead of looking at what you are lacking, I suggest you choose to look at what you are gaining.

One of the most jarring “hand letting go” instances is when the people in our lives move on especially when we don’t want them to or weren’t ready for them to. To all my fellow single readers I would encourage you to use this time of not having to “hold someone’s hand” as an opportunity to dive into yourself, develop your strengths, seek out new experiences and try things you’ve always been curious about. I recently read an article in The New York Times “Seeking Love? Find Strength in Numbers” which chronicled a gaggle of women in their twenties attending a lecture in TriBeCa to help inform them on where and how to meet their future husbands. I bring this article up not to applaud it, but to denounce it. Love can’t be scheduled, someone else’s timing cannot be controlled, but what can be controlled is whether or not we choose to develop who we have the potential to become.

Spending days, months and years after someone has let go trying to find another hand to hold is a waste of precious time that should be used to further your passions, further your dreams and build your confidence. Because there is nothing more attractive than a woman or a man who has become someone they are proud of and filled their resume with experiences that consist of more than just trying to find a mate. And while you are going about your business, chasing your dreams, you’ll be surprised who life has in store for you to have the opportunity to meet.

Now some may state that their passion is to be married and have children. I would frankly respond to such remarks by declaring that you’re not reaching high enough. Now don’t jump to conclusions. I’m not saying don’t dream of having children and being married. What I am saying is that such dreams can be attained ALONG with developing yourself and all the unique talents you possess. The best gift any one of us can give to ourselves, the world and if we choose to – our future spouses and children – is to be a well-rounded, learned and accomplished contributor to the society you wish to be a part of.
So whenever that time may come that you find yourself with a free hand, follow today’s maxim and get out there to capitalize on an amazing opportunity that won’t last forever.
 Images: (1) pinterest 

October 26, 2012

The Weekend . . .

After a handful of busy weekends, the last weekend of my favorite fall month is mine. Mine to plop down into a cozy chair, indulge in the comfort of a crackling fire in my great room and catch up on the pile of magazines and past newspapers that are aching to be paged through. And while I will be taking this weekend off from blogging to help percolate my creative juices, I have not forgotten about my emails received from you addressed to AskShannon. Thank you for your patience, as I will be addressing each of them this weekend. Be sure to check your inboxes.

Now for this week on the blog. On Monday, I shared with you my journey to Detroit a few weekends ago and debuted my simply luxurious design for a dream Buick Encore. If you haven’t done so already, do stop by my pinboard and “like” any of the images or the board itself you most enjoy as the top five bloggers will move ahead in the competition where finally the top design will actually be assembled and debut at the launch of their new compact luxury utility vehicle in March 2013. It was an amazingly fun and whirlwind experience as we were spoiled by their accommodations, and quite fortunate to meet other amazing bloggers

Even more exciting and unexpectedly so was the warm reception of one of the most popular posts-to-date on the blog. Why Not . . . Indulge Your Inner Francophile? quickly rose to the top of the all-time most viewed posts and received wonderful comments and ideas from a wide array of readers. If any part of you enjoys or appreciates the French or Parisian way of life, be sure to stop by and view my 51 tips on how to incorporate a touch of France into your daily routine.

And for a look at all of the posts that were published on the blog this past week, take a look below . . .

~Overwhelmingly, the most popular post of the week . . . Why Not . . . Indulge Your Inner Francophile?

~Style Inspiration: Sequins, Leopard & Cropped Pants

~Monday’s Inspiration . . . Why the Journey Surpasses the Destination

~Destination Detroit: My Buick Encore Experience

~This & That: No. 30 . . . a book for decorating small spaces, a leopard accessory, and a meal to love

~Want & Have Outfit: No. 6 . . . a winter coat at a fabulous price and a dress for work or play

And this week’s newsletter – issue #122 – click here to read.

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to indulge in something that brings you a bit of pleasure (or a lot!). Until Monday, bonjour.

Images: (1) pinterest (2) pinterest

October 25, 2012

Style Inspiration: Sequins, Leopard & Cropped Pants

Fashion can be fabulously fun with a sequin skirt or top here and a pair of wonderfully fun leopard flats, scarf or blouse there. And what fantastic news it is to know that these two wardrobe choices are far from fleeting trends. When worn in balance with the rest of the outfit, to give it that extra pop and balance of mixed textures, sequins and leopard should certainly be something to always to consider adding to your closet.

Cropped pants are especially on-trend this season and are the perfect way to transition into the fall season. Wear with pointed toe pumps, a gorgeous, soft cashmere sweater, and a tailored look will appear chic, feminine and appropriate for nearly all occasions.

Read more »

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October 24, 2012

Want & Have Outfit: No. 6

I realized earlier this week that winter is almost upon us as I noticed snow on the foothills. Knowing this, I can’t help but prod myself to move quickly and begin shopping for a better, more stylishly classic black wool coat. And guess what? I found one! And . . . it is available at an amazing price. The OutNet has drastically reduced four pages of coats and blazers from Reiss, in particular their Isla double collar belted wool-blend coat (available in gray as well) down to $166 from $520.

Worn over a beautiful ecru sheath dress, the entire outfit could easily take you from day to evening, from business lunches to cocktails for girlfriends. And even more exciting news, Michael Kors’ travel tote that I am currently draping over my shoulder and filling with papers, my laptop and more (in the luggage color) is available in black which finishes the day look magnificently. Happy shopping!


~Milly belted sheath dress in ecru~

~Michael Kors Jet Set Medium Travel Tote~

~Lanvin leather wrap belt~

~Reiss Isla double collar belted wool-blend coat~


~DKNY black opaque tights~

~Nine West Femininity Pump~

Why Not . . . Indulge Your Inner Francophile?

I can’t help it, I’m an admitted Francophile. How about yourself? I’m already getting excited about returning next year for another week in Paris and am making my list of things to enjoy, see and do.

Like many of you, even when I’m going about my day here in the states, I try to incorporate ideas that I appreciate and reveled in after reading the many French inspired lifestyle, style and cooking books (a list is at the end of the post). So today, based on my time in France and all that I’ve read, I’d like to share with you a list of 51 ways you too can indulge your inner Francophile no matter where you live, what your budget or whether or not you’ve stepped on the terre firma of France.

And as a bit of a heads up, be sure to stop by to enter the giveaway here on The Simply Luxurious Life where a lucky winner will win their very own copy of Jennifer L. Scott’s much anticipated book Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living In Paris (release date – Tuesday, November 6th).

1. Build a capsule wardrobe for each season (fall & spring).

2. Buy few clothes, but higher quality items

3. Enjoy a croissant with homemade jam on the weekends

4. Cook with the fresh seasonal produce (canned in the winter)

5. Create a signature style that flatters your figure and lifestyle and stick too it.
6. Ignore fashion trends

7. Luxurious lingerie is a necessity – invest in it without guilt.

8. Maintain an air of mystery.

9. Expand your cultural creative awareness. Stay abreast of the arts – new museum exhibits, films, books, lectures, recitals, plays, etc.

10. Create a diet regimen that incorporates quality, flavorful food, but eat in moderation.

11. Choose rose in the afternoon when dining.

12. Buy from local vendors, markets, boutiques.

13. Establish daily/weekly/monthly rituals that bring pleasure into your life.

14. Walk more, drive less.

15. A physical workout shouldn’t be tortuous. Incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine – walk more frequently.

16. Delay gratification. Faster isn’t always better.

17. Only eat food that tastes good. If it doesn’t, stop eating. Don’t feel obligated to continue.

18. Real food, not processed food.

19. Find time to treasure hunt – visit your local flea markets, consignment boutiques and yard sales.

20. Wear more scarves.

21. Purchase quality ballet flats for every occasion.

22. Embrace your femininity.

23. Invest in quality skincare products.

24. Wear less make-up and show off your glowing skin.

25. Regular facials.

26. Wear more dresses. They are comfortable and they still look quite chic.

27. Take time for lunch – long lunch, full meal, glass of wine perhaps – and enjoy yourself.
28. Be sincere. Eliminate the fake niceties.

29. Be well-mannered.

30. Indulge in classic wardrobe choices that are interchangeable. If an item doesn’t pair with at least two other items in your closet (creating two separate outfits), don’t purchase it.

31. Enjoy quality cheese

32. Discover your signature scent.

33. Always look presentable. All the more reason to create a quality (i.e. less items, but more that last and work with many other items) wardrobe and a simple beauty regimen. Knowing you look beautiful will positively affect your mood which always makes for a better day no matter what is in store.

34. Cook your own meals more often, but don’t hesitate to purchase pastries, desserts and breads from your favorite patisserie or boulangerie.

35. Find a hair stylist/colorist you trust, visit regularly (6-8 weeks). Maintain a simple style.

36. Don’t wash your hair every day. Use dry shampoo and invest in a quality blow-out from time to time.

37. Purchase a baguette fresh in the morning. Enjoy the walk to the patisserie as you greet the day.
38. Enjoy smaller proportions. Eat slower, savor what you’re eating and breathe. What does it taste like? Do you enjoy it? If not, stop eating.

39. Drink wine. Rich in antioxidants, simply enjoy it in moderation.

40. Enjoy the finer things – luxurious things – in life. Buy less, so you can purchase quality items and experiences.

41. Indulge in cafe time. Go by yourself, bring a more recent newspaper, a book or the new issue of your favorite magazine, while sipping a cappuccino or tea and lose track of time.

42. Begin every evening with an aperitif. Nothing overly large, strong or excessive, simply a light chance to relax and settle in.

43. Eat in courses. By organizing your meal into courses, you allow yourself to savor what you have in front of you, slow down your eating and encourage your “hunger-meter” to properly communicate so you know when you are actually full.

44. Bring in the blazers! Choose classic colors to begin with and discover more outfits with the clothes you already have.

45. Love the Breton (nautical) top.

46. Black and navy . . .  yes you can (thank you Yves Saint Laurent!)

47. Knee high boots (preferably flats or wedges, but heels are okay as well) for winter and maintaining chic, effortless style.

48. Enjoy a simple, yet filling meal – a small course, a salad and a bit of cheese (oh, and wine too, if you’re so inclined.).

49. Greet your local merchants, clerks and tellers. Become acquainted with them.

50. Keep less food in your refrigerator and shop more often for fresh food.

51. Remain informed, educated, curious and think for yourself. 

Now, please do share any additional French-inspired behavior that you love to indulge in. I know I would love to hear from you, and I have a feeling other readers would as well.

French inspired books that I’ve read, loved and which line an entire shelf in my office (if you have any others I should add, let me know!):

Image:   (1) pinterest 

October 23, 2012

This & That: No. 30

A book full of advice and images on how to turn a small space into a lovely sanctuary, a how-to guide for that much sought after ballerina bun and two classic items that sparkle to add to your closet . . .

~Blog Post

~Hair How-To: The Ballerina Bun

Joey Bailey shares on Roseline’s beautiful blog, This is Glamorous, exactly how to create the ballerina bun so many women are choosing to incorporate into their hair styling routine. Whether it’s the third day of your blow-out or you simply would prefer your hair to be off your neck, her step by step photo guide and list of instructions reveals just how easy such a beautiful bun can be.


~The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces

Just released at the end of August 2012, Kyle Schuneman and Heather Summerville’s first design book is receiving impressive reviews. As the founder of Live Well LA and the art director of Giada at Home, Schuneman’s creative and experienced eye walks through a handful of living spaces (a loft, studio, shared apartment,etc) to reveal how anyone can create their very own sanctuary on any budget. With Summerville’s expertise (a writer for InStyle, Real Simple and Travel & Leisure), the pair teams up for a book ideal for anyone living in a small space who is determined to make it exactly what they need and desire.

~Little Black Book of Paris: 2012 Edition

Wouldn’t you love to have all the necessary information about Paris right at your fingertips without needing a wireless connection or printing a thousand pieces of paper off before you leave? The Little Black Book of Paris is exactly what you need to bring on your next vacation to the City of Light. Full of maps to help you locate hotels, restaurants, museums, shops, as well as the need-to-have metro map, it also contains “Top Picks” attractions and contains the most updated information. Similar to carrying a Moleskine notebook, you’ll have room to write your own ideas, thoughts and key French phrases as well. Or, if you know someone who is saving up to travel to Paris, why not place it in their stocking this upcoming holiday season?


~Lemon-Ricotta Pasta with Peas with Seared Scallops

While ideal for spring and summer, but able to be enjoyed whenever you find fresh seafood, the Crumb blog’s recipe for Lemon-Ricotta pasta with fresh peas and seared scallops is certainly a recipe to keep on hand. A one dish meal paired with a crisp glass of pinot gris or viognier, you are sure to impress your guests.


~Alice + Olivia glittered stretch-jersey dress

Another dress for the upcoming holiday season that is sure to flatter, impress and take you from one occasion to the next. Alice + Olivia’s glittered stretch-jersey dress is drastically reduced and available in all sizes. Wear with black opaque tights or a tuxedo jacket for a chic evening look.

~DVF shimmer gloss leopard print scarf

With a slight metallic thread woven throughout, Diane von Furstenberg’s silk-blend leopard scarf is a new twist on a classic accessory that can be worn during the day or evening. While I don’t have this particular scarf, I do have another design by DVF, and it has a wonderfully soft texture that can be worn with dresses or layered with a jacket.

October 22, 2012

Destination Detroit: My Buick Encore Experience

Last weekend, I was invited to participate in the first stage of the launch of Buick’s new and first luxury crossover of its size vehicle, the Encore, in Detroit, Michigan, that is set to officially be available in March 2013.

As a current owner of a rival CUV, the details I hone in on when it comes to choosing a car to drive are how easy will it be on my budget, is it all-weather capable, does it have enough leg room (I’m 5’11”), if I need to haul large items, can it do it, and certainly not least, how comfortable would it be to ride in for long periods of time. I was thrilled to have an experience to learn about a vehicle that surpassed my expectations and also have the chance to meet with other talented bloggers that are highly respected in a wide array of arenas (food, decor, fashion, beauty, illustration/art, lifestyle).

~The GM World Headquarters Renaissance Center along the International Riverfront was where we were accommodated, and we were treated to dinner at the oldest jazz club in the country – Cliff Bells (I devoured their Bronzed Dayboat Scallops) with live jazz filling the room – I was in my element indeed. During the presentation held at the design center Erin Crossley walked us through their design process and many color options, and Craig Bierley, the director Buick’s advertising and promotions introduced us all to their design mission and overall new Buick concept.~

Why were we all invited, you might be asking.

What each of the nine bloggers that were invited were asked to do was to design their very own Buick Encore, beginning with the exterior and interior choices, as well as where they would travel in it, and how they would enjoy their travels while driving.

I must confess. I fell in love with this car, as I’ve had my current CUV for 10 years.  So on my designated pinterest board “Pinboard to Dashboard”, I imagined exactly how this affordable luxury vehicle would fit into a simply luxurious lifestyle (in other words, my lifestyle). As you might imagine, it involves stops at wineries for tasting, room for shopping bags and luggage, consideration for my two dogs and some inspiration from Coco Chanel herself.

Below is just a sampling of my inspiration board (view the entire pinboard here).

What I would ask of you today is to stop by my pinboard (click here to view) and “like” it if you are so inclined (on pinterest or facebook) as the top design concept will actually be created and revealed when the car is launched. (I promise you, the winner does not get the car. This is simply an opportunity to dream – which I love!)

When I first hear the name Buick, I’m nostalgically drawn to memories of my grandparents’ blue Buick sedan. Secure, stable and reliable. While always dependable, Buick has now decided to focus more on a youthful population and has begun to create vehicles that fulfill a new definition of luxury. This is the part that I couldn’t agree more with.

The new definition of luxury:
  • a life of significance over a life of status
  • simplifying the focus to quality over quantity
  • responsible
  • a personal sanctuary
  • rational
  • community minded
  • motivated
  • creative
  • active
  • spontaneous (aka versatile)

~Yep, that’s me, pretending I’m driving the Buick Encore (upper left), checking out the space in the back with Lloyd Biermann, the manager of Buick’s crossover marketing team (upper right), listening to Erin Crossley, the head designer of the color and trim team, introduce the vehicle (lower left), and getting my chance to sit in the driver’s seat (lower right) as we had the opportunity to investigate the two models at the Buick design center.~

Details of the Buick Encore that caught my eye:
  • 33 mpg hwy, 23 mpg city – 26 mpg combined
  • all wheel drive
  • rear seats and passenger seat fold down for more room
  • BOSE premium audio throughout vehicle
  • heated leather seats and steering wheel
  • voice command
  • USB adapter in front and back seats for phone and other technology devices
  • lane departure warning and forward collision alert (by radar)
  • 12 exterior color choices
  • saffron stitching on the saddle-brown leather interior option
  • Extra glove box for sunglasses, iPod, maps, etc
  • Push to start capabilities during those cold winter months
  • Rearview camera system
  • Voice Activated Intellink (SIriusWM, Pandora, Smartphone)
  • an affordable price tag for such a sophisticated vehicle - $24,950 (starting price)

~Ample space for a compact vehicle, sporty, yet full of luxury, and three interior color options as well as leather seat options. Technologically equipped for safety. ~

The fellow bloggers invited to Buick’s Encore event – Jessica Sturdy, Katie Rodgers, Aly Walansky (kneeling), myself, Julie Deily, Michael Wurm and Julie Thigpen. Click on their name to be directed to their respective blogs.

Now come dream with me and have a look at the simply luxurious Buick Encore I would design. Click here to view (and “like” if you so choose).

~Full disclosure, we were spoiled (from accommodations at World GM Headquarters Marriott Hotel, to meals, as well as all travel expenses). ~

IMAGES: all images of Buick Encore and at the design center were courtesy of Buick

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Why the Journey Surpasses the Destination

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
― Nelson Mandela

It happened by chance recently that I had a meeting with a friend who I have known for some time but hadn’t touched bases with in quite some time. While cordial, genuine and kind, there was something that was no longer there. While our lives had both taken separate paths, our respect for each other’s choices was quietly apparent; however, for some reason I found myself more reserved, more at peace, less in need of disclosing my entire life history to catch each other up.

After taking some time to understand why this particular encounter was not as I had expected, I came to realize that I had grown. Now, I can’t speak for my friend (they may have been feeling similarly), but I know now that I was no longer the person I was when we first established a friendship, and who I continued to allow myself to be whenever in their company. And for the first time, I was content being the person I have been gradually evolving into and didn’t fear judgment or a need to regress into the comfortable assumption of who I used to be.

Whether it’s a moment of discovery while seeing an old friend or returning to a familiar town, haunt or event that you once used to frequent, life presents moments that reveal how far we’ve come in the progression of achieving the life we desire. After all, small changes don’t seem to be noticed, but when they continue to increase, building upon one another, you eventually realize that you’ve progressed a great deal. Maybe even more than you, up until that point, realized.

So while the destination may have been what spurred you forward initially, when you arrive at your destination, take a moment to realize that the person who began the journey is not the same person who finished it. The journey, if you allow it to, will change you. The lessons you learn along the way will show you what you are truly capable of, and it is these very lessons that allow us to shed what we thought we might be forever stuck inside and become who we’ve always wanted to become (or didn’t know we could be).

This is precisely why the journey is so much more satisfying than the actual destination. The misunderstanding often derived from the adage “The journey is the reward,” is that the destination isn’t rewarding. Quite the contrary. In fact, the destination creates an exhilaration that is astounding and momentous, but the extra bonus is that the journey is even more amazing. So in essence, you are able to enjoy a twofer. Now if that isn’t reason enough to prompt you to begin striving for your goal, I don’t know what will do the trick.

Have a beautiful and productive Monday everyone.
Image: (1)

October 19, 2012

The Weekend . . .

With the weekend’s arrival, I am looking forward to something that is long overdue. Meeting up with a close friend to catch up on each others’ lives is something that always has me losing track of time and this particular catch-up session is one that I have long been looking forward to.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter this past weekend and early part of the past work week, you may have seen photos taken during my quick jaunt to Detroit to preview a new car that has yet be released (scheduled date is early 2013). Be sure to stop by next week when I will share photos and details of the entire trip and why exactly I was there. Can’t wait to reveal as the experience surpassed my expectations.

So how does the end of this particular week find you? Hopefully with a knowing grin of successes accomplished during the past work week as well as the excited thoughts of what the weekend may have in store. Just in case this past week has kept you on your toes, here is a look back on the past week’s post on the blog:

~Foodies delight . . . Fall Apple Tartlet with Something Extra

~Style Inspiration: Textures . . . wool, angora, leather, silk and more.

~Monday’s Inspirational post . . . The Benefits of Being Flexible with Life

~Want & Have Outfit: No. 5 . . . quality cashmere sweaters (sale prices)

~Why Not . . . Have That Difficult Conversation?

~This & That: No. 29 . . . articles to read, art to see and luxurious pajamas to lounge in.

And this week’s newsletter – issue #121 – click here to read.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and enjoy a taste of simply luxurious living. Have a beautiful weekend, and until Monday, bonjour!

Image: pinterest

October 18, 2012

Style Inspiration: Textures

Fall and the cooler months welcome the mixing and layering of soft and luxurious textures. From cashmere, silk, suede, wool, leather, chiffon and satin, finding the beautiful balance is what makes the fall/winter season so much fun to wear. Have a look at the many ways a variety textures can be styled.

Read more »


October 17, 2012

Why Not . . . Have That Difficult Conversation?

Over the past year, one of the common requests I have received is to share strategies on how to effectively and compassionately have a difficult conversation with a friend, partner, colleague, boss or family member.

Such conversations are not easy and understandably something that inspires dread and often avoidance all together. But when we avoid speaking up for ourselves, we rob ourselves of the potential to build strong, quality relationships either with the people we are currently involved with or the chance to break free and move on to find people who we can build strong, healthy relationships with.

So whether you have a friend who you care about but is incessantly draining your time by complaining about her life without choosing to do something to change it for the better, are involved with someone in a romantic relationship who continues to make you feel unimportant, are desiring to set firmer boundaries with your family so they will respect your space and time, or work with a colleague who doesn’t allow you to contribute to group work or respect your ideas, I’ve created a seven step checklist that will help you clarify exactly what it is you want to change, how to have a conversation that has the highest potential for positive results and how to move forward successfully. Have a look.

1. Beforehand, determine why you want to have the conversation. What do you hope to gain or accomplish? Before the conversation begins, take some time to determine if indeed a conversation is necessary. Often we enter into arguments with people or about topics that don’t play a significant role in our lives and proceed to waste energy that wasn’t necessary to expend. However, if the issue at hand involves someone who you will in the future have to continue to work with, someone who you are building a life with, or someone who is a dear friend that you don’t want to lose, then it is imperative that you are clear about what you wish to gain by having a conversation with them. In other words, don’t enter into a conversation simply to prove that you were right and they were wrong. Instead, enter into a conversation to stand up for yourself, so that you can continue to remain involved with the person at a level that is respectful and allows both parties to maintain their dignity and sense of self.

2. Step away from your emotions and observe them objectively. Be clear about how you feel, be honest and respect your feelings. Then determine why you are feeling the way you are feeling. What are you fearful of? What needs aren’t being met? What event provoked you to feel the way you do? Why did it bother you the way it did? And please always keep in mind that even if someone else would have responded differently, you still have a right to your feelings. When you get an opportunity to explain to your friend/partner/boss/etc why you felt that way, hopefully they will have a better opportunity to understand you and reassure you that their intent was not to make you feel that way. However, if they know the information you’ve shared and then continue to behave in a similar manner, be mindful and seriously consider moving on.

3. Enter the conversation with a positive attitude – knowing it may be difficult, but desiring for it to work out. Don’t begin the conversation on the defensive. Approach any difficult conversation with the desire to hear their side (and truly listen), as well as have the opportunity to calmly share your side as well. If both parties are willing to listen (they may not agree, but simply listen), there is a chance for a positive outcome.

4. Once the conversation begins, gather as much information as possible from what the other person is saying as well as how they behave – their mannerisms. Let’s just be honest, actions matter just as much as words, so while the person you’re having the conversation with may say exactly what you want to hear, observe their actions during and after the conversation as well. Such observations will help you understand if they were sincere is trying to improve your relationship. However, while they are sharing their side of the situation, let them speak. Listen and don’t be preparing in your mind what you are going to say. Treat them the way you wish they will treat you when you are able to share your side.

5. Listen fully (you will get your turn to speak) and then repeat back to them what you’ve heard them say, to be sure you’ve heard it correctly. By doing this, you are demonstrating to them that they have been heard which, if both parties’ goal is to grow, improve and strengthen the relationship, will build trust and reduce defensiveness (however, it may not eliminate it entirely, and that is to be expected). By paraphrasing back to them what you heard them say, you are also helping yourself to understand more clearly the reasons behind their behavior. It doesn’t necessarily mean that what they did was okay but helps provide understanding and offer an opportunity to potentially move forward.

6. State your side and advocate for how you feel and your position. Remember to respect how you felt prior to the conversation and do not be charmed into letting those feelings become irrelevant. They are real, you felt them. By sharing the reasons that prompted you to feel the way you did, you are standing up for yourself and allowing the other person to understand your side. Be honest, but not vengeful. “I felt disrespected when you made a decision to  ______________ without checking to see if I was available,” for example. Click here to learn three specific ways to have an effective and respectful conversation.

7. Begin to problem solve and move forward. Once both parties have shared their side, and as long as both parties have the goal of improving the relationship and are committed to making it work, when you put your two heads and ideas together, you will now be able to address how to improve your relationship. Knowing why someone behaved the way they did or felt the way they did can be very vulnerable and exposing for the person sharing, but if you are both invested in the relationship, the risk will be worth it as it will allow the bond between the two of you to strengthen.

The most important component in reaching a positive outcome while having a difficult conversation is having two parties (persons) who both want to improve the relationship. As long as both parties feel that the relationship is valuable and are willing to listen, adjust and still feel they are able to be respected and valued, then there is hope. Even if the goal is to bring the relationship to an end in a respectful manner, if both parties have this goal in mind, the outcome will bring healthy closure so that both parties can move on.

~A book to check out How to Have That Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
Images: (1) pinterest 

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October 16, 2012

Want & Have Outfit: No. 5


This week’s Want & Have Outfit is a fall ensemble that could be worn to your favorite restaurant for dinner and drinks or traveling on the weekends. I love Diane von Furstenberg’s black Jill belt and would cinch it around my waist to create a very structured look. One of my new favorite investment pieces that was recently added to my closet from J.Crew was their cashmere boyfriend sweater. And the good news is, all of their cashmere sweaters in color block designs and solids are marked down 25%. Also, what I am always searching for are new oversized or foldover clutches and with CLARE VIVIER’s many styles available at Shopbop, it is a great spot to view all of their designs and colors. Have a look and happy shopping!


~J.Crew Cashmere Boyfriend Sweater in Color Block (now on sale! Marked down 25%, available in solids as well – no promo code needed)~

~Citizens of Humanity Elson black straight leg jeans (black) ~


~Boutique 9 Zanny Knee High Boots (black or brown)~

~Diane von Furstenberg Jill leather belt (black or brown)~

~Clare Vivier foldover clutch in green snake (other colors available)~

~Juliet & Company Vintage du Jour earrings~


A Fall Apple Tartlet With Something Extra

As the local farmers’ markets come to a close for the season, apples are one of the fresh fruits that are readily available to take home and mold into a wonderful fall dessert.  One of my favorite desserts is what I pulled together a few weekends ago from a few of my tried and true pie recipes and simple things I can’t get enough of – apple tartlets topped with decadent dolce de leche ice cream. Here’s the recipe.



  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup very cold water

(The main secret to flakey pie crust is temperature. Chill! Chill! Chill! Feel free to chill all the dry ingredients as well as the butter.)


1. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and chill it in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes.  Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Use a pastry cutter, a food processor, 2 table knives or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour until it is broken up into pea-sized pieces.

3. Trickle in the (ice) water and stir with a fork or your fingers until it comes together into a shaggy dough.  Collect it into 2 equal sized balls and pat each one into a disk.  Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to roll.



  • 6-7 apples, peeled, cored and cut into approximate 1-inch square pieces (Granny Smith or Golden Delicious)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, cornstarch or quick-cooking tapioca
  • zest of one orange
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Crumble Topping:

  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 3 Tbs butter – melted


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Roll out and fit the bottom into four mini tart pans or one tart pan leaving one each of an edge that you will fold on top to create a rustic finish. Chill the crusts while you prepare the filling.

2. Mix the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, orange zest and flour in a large mixing bowl until the apple slices are well coated.  Taste and adjust sugar and spices, if necessary.  Add orange and lemon juice.

3. Mound the filling into the prepared pie crust and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of crumble topping on each. Fold the edges of the crust around the edge of each tart. Put the tarts on the baking sheet to protect the oven floor from drips and line the baking sheet with parchment paper to ensure easy cleaning.

4. Bake the tarts for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking until the crust is deeply golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes more.

And the finishing touch . . . not just any ice cream but Häagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche which includes the taste of decadent caramel pairing beautifully with this comfort fall dessert. Oh, my goodness . . . delicious.

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Links a la Mode: The IFB Weekly Round Up: October 11th

When visions of Paris dance around in my head, I can’t help but get excited, so when Taylor Davies, editor of Independent Fashion Bloggers’s October 11th LINKS À LA MODE: THE IFB WEEKLY ROUND UP included The Simply Luxurious Life’s Style Inspiration post which focused on the fantastic fashions found in Paris during the recent fashion week, I was thrilled to be included. Have a look at many other wonderful posts all focused on Paris . . .


We’ll Always Have Paris…

…At least when it comes to Fashion Week. Many of this week’s posts were inspired by both the collections and the street stye scene during the SS13 shows in Paris. It’s also no surprise that with Autumn finally taking a (nice, crispy grip) on just about everyone’s mind, there were many posts on your favorite cool weather trends (leather, anyone?). To round things out, we had some truly thought-provoking and inspiring posts on Dolce & Gabbana’s earring controversy, Solange’s latest video, and menswear versus womenswear. As always, thank you so much to everyone who submitted their posts this week!


This & That: No. 29


A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a much talked about piece of art, pajamas to purchase for absolute luxury and comfort, a new illustrator I think you’ll adore and why women should never take their ability to read for granted . . .


~Scream by Edvard Munch at MoMa in NYC

The most expensive painting to sell at auction to date ($119 million), Edvard Munch’s 1895 painting Scream will be on display for the public at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art beginning on October 24th and running through April 2013. Situated on the 5th floor, if you happen to be visiting the Big Apple or are lucky enough to live there, be sure to take a trip to see what an anonymous art collector found to be worth such a lofty price (while the buyer’s name has not been revealed, it has been speculated to have been purchased by New York financier Leon Black who, coincidentally, is on the board of the very museum in which it will be on display.)

~Article to Read

~”Turning the Page: How Women Became Readers” by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker

Since women’s issues tend to be at the forefront of the political discussion as of late regarding health and abortion, I found “Turning the Page: How Women Became Readers” to be incredibly eye-opening. Second to only contraception, Acocella points out that literacy regarding the history of women was a matter of great importance.  Reviewing Belinda Jack’s book The Woman Reader, Acocella shares a glimpse of the struggle and finally the victory that women claimed in fighting for their right to be able to learn how to read and then read whatever they pleased. Because as we know, knowledge is power. 

~Blog to Visit

~Paper Fashion

I had the fortunate opportunity to meet the talented illustrator, Katie Rodgers this past weekend, who is the creator and talent behind Paper Fashion blog and business. Located in Boston, Katie is an inspiration to any one with a creative talented who wants to make a living doing what they love. Genuinely modest, but certainly talented in such a way that makes me wish I could draw more than a stick person, Katie’s illustrations are founded in fashion, style, and femininity. I remember seeing this particular illustration and knowing immediately I wanted to learn more about the artist. Be sure to visit her blog, Paper Fashion, for regular updates and art work, and shop her illustrations and upcoming 2013 calendar here.


The team of Unclutterer aims to help its readers organize both their home and office. With tips for those who need organization to create more productive lives, as well as lovers of organization who want to become even more efficient, Unclutterer offers practical tips and suggestions that will keep your life in line and your goals in clear sight.

~Blog Post to Read

~”Answering the Inevitable: So, Are You Totally Fluent in French Now?” HiP Paris Blog

I don’t know about you, but it feels upon choosing to learn a new language as an adult, that I will never be completely fluent. So when I came across Tory Hoen‘s blog post “Answering the Inevitable: So, Are You Totally Fluent in French Now?”, I took a big sigh of relief. If you too are learning a second, third or fourth language, her post will put your mind at ease and bring perspective to how fluent you most likely already are, but aren’t giving yourself credit for. As an English teacher who is regularly learning more vocabulary to add to my mind’s library of words, the definition of “fluent” in another language becomes more and more distant based on my understanding of my own first language. But the reality is, as long as you are able to communicate, navigate and feel secure enough to enjoy yourself, you’re more fluent than you realize.


~Eberjey Gisele stretch-jersey pajama set

You may remember the recent giveaway here on the blog sponsored by Eberjey and the Gisele robe that was luxurious prize. Well, Eberjey is now available at Net-a-Porter! If you are in the market for comfortable, yet chic pajamas for the cooler winter months that are about upon us or wish to travel with suitable sleep attire, have a look at their Gisele pajama set now available for purchase.

October 15, 2012

The Benefits of Being Flexible With Life

If you are a planner, someone who knows what she wants, loves her “to-do” list and feels a small rush of adrenaline when even small tasks are completed as expected, it is quite frustrating when life diverts your plans and sends you on a detour. And when it feels as though it is happening again and again, it may cause you to reassess your intended direction.

Even though your determination is being tested during such uncertain times, I would urge you to not lose sight of your intended goal. Instead what I would advise is to be flexible in the many small steps that will eventually lead to where you want to go.

Why? The beautiful gift of life is essentially a paradox. Plan, plan, plan, only to be thrilled with an outcome we hadn’t planned on.  Such an idea sounds irrational initially, but think about. By setting a goal, you have a focus. Much like a slinky, even if you get pulled off course (or so you think), by always remaining focused on your goal, you will be pulled back when the time is right. In fact, you may be pulled back toward something even better than you could have planned.

Similar to an unexpected thunder storm on a day you had planned a picnic outside, amazing moments can be created and enjoyed that you hadn’t even expected or could have ever planned. When you are pulled off course, you experience people, interactions, events, and once-in-a-lifetime moments that you would have never imagined at the beginning of your journey. But you see, these unforeseen moments are opportunities to learn lessons that will behoove you down the road to ensure you are able to attain your dream. Sometimes, often times, we don’t know what we need when we set a goal before ourselves.  Thankfully, however, we have the naiveté to not know the obstacles and only the excitement and thrill of imagining what could be when we finally arrive at our destination.

Most importantly, know what you want – set a goal. Dream big! Then, choose to embrace the winding course that, trust me, is leading you to where you wish to go, and perhaps where you never dared to dream you could go.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone, and have faith in life, and most importantly in yourself, that you are heading in the right direction, as long as you continue to move forward.

Images: (1) pinterest