The Simply Luxurious Life®: December 2012  

December 31, 2012

Turning Goals into Reality

“The compass points you true north but does not warn you of obstacles and swamps along the way.”
Abraham Lincoln played by Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln 2012

2013 is less than one day away, and with it many of you are resolving to accomplish one or more goals while some may have chosen to forfeit the tradition entirely. In my experience, simply following a tradition because everyone else is doing it is not a reason to do anything, but when the tradition is aimed at helping to improve the quality of one’s life, why not make the most of such an opportunity?

While at first glance, the key to successfully attaining the goals written out during this time of year (aka resolutions) may appear to be to ascertain a route that doesn’t involve becoming frustrated and disheartened which often causes one to throw one’s hands up in the air in defeat, I would argue that the most important key is something entirely different.

During the past weekend, I was able to finally view Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, starring Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln (as many already know as you may follow me on twitter and instagram).  Focused primarily  on the few weeks in January 1865,  Lincoln is resolutely determined to pass the 13th amendment to abolish slavery before the Civil War comes to an end as the opportunity was believed would be lost to garner enough votes in Congress.

Midway through the film, Lincoln has a private conversation with representative Thaddeus Stevens who also ardently wishes for abolition of slavery to occur as well as equality for all (which eventually does occur in the subsequent 14th and 15th amendment, and Civil Rights Act, but was too far reaching in 1865 in order to acquire the necessary votes). In helping to explain to Stevens why flexibility and strategic planning were important when trying to attain goals, Lincoln delivers the above quote.
Whether Lincoln actually said these words or Tony Kushner expertly wrote them, we may never know, but the explanation contains valuable, timeless wisdom.

As resolutions are written down for the coming year, you must believe in your heart, gut, soul and mind that you will achieve them. You will need this obstinate strength to adhere to the journey you have set yourself upon because there will be obstacles. There will be swamps.

But it is in knowing this beforehand that will ensure your success. While many life coaches suggest writing down obstacles that may occur at the same time you are writing your goals and then precede to write down how you will deal with such obstacles, I hesitate to instruct you to do this. Why? While, yes, you can predict some of the obstacles, I can guarantee you there will be obstacles you couldn’t even fathom. And when those unexpected moments happened after all the predicting you did beforehand, you may become so deterred that your all of your preparation was for naught (it wasn’t, but it may feel that way).

What I would suggest:
  1. reading a post I wrote earlier this month about how I go about preparing for a wonderful new year
  2. if it would ease your mind, write the first few obstacles you feel you may encounter and have a strategy for dealing with them. For example, spending less time with people who might not be supportive of the changes you wish to make. But don’t be fooled into thinking that there won’t be other obstacles. You must simply expect them.
  3. accept that while you may set a deadline, even after diligent planning, the date may shift (farther away or sooner than expected)
  4. be willing to celebrate and focus on the many small steps along the way that are necessary and will eventually lead you where you want to go.
  5. be patient
  6. never give up
While you may be ready to make your dreams a reality now, the timing may not be perfect for the other actors in your play; however, it doesn’t mean that they’ll never be ready. Be willing to make the progress you can when whatever opportunities come your way. Because after all, anything worth achieving or attaining will take time and immense amount of effort. Call them resolutions, call them goals, call them whatever you want, but I highly recommend that you continue to improve the quality of your life, no matter how wonderful it already is. To be alive is to have an opportunity to get it right, to live up to your full potential. And if you’re alive, you have more potential to discover.

You must know I’m in the middle of my journey as well, and I refuse to give up. Are you with me?


Image: pinterest

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December 28, 2012

The Last Weekend of 2012 . . .

In many ways 2012 passed by at breakneck speeds and in other ways it took its leisurely sweet time. In both instances, the pace was perfect as it demonstrated that life was full of amazement and plans as well as time to savor and appreciate all that was taking place.

I know each of you will remember 2012 for uniquely individual reasons, and for me it was a year of fresh starts, opportunity, multiple lessons and dreams making progress toward becoming reality. I hope you as well can see many positives as you reflect on the past twelve months.

While I have officially been away from my computer this week, unofficially, I have been tinkering (I couldn’t help myself). For many of you, you have been inquiring about where you might find past Wednesday’s Why Not . . .?, Monday’s Motivational and Style/Fashion posts now that I have tweaked my toolbar, and the good news is that you can find them organized by year on my Pinterest page. Feel free to peruse at your leisure simply by clicking on the image of the post you wish to read as it will then direct you back to that particular post on the blog.

While there weren’t new posts this week, there was the annual round-up of top posts from the past year. Have a look:

~Top Motivational Posts in 2012

~Top Why Not . . .? posts in 2012

~Top Style Posts of 2012

~Top Books Shared in 2012

~After Christmas Sales! . . . promo codes, dates and where to find the discounts

~Happy Holidays from TSLL!

Whether this last weekend of 2012 finds you on vacation or simply enjoying a weekend after a few days of work, I hope you find time to reflect, relax and enjoy all that you accomplished and gear up for an amazing 2013, because I am quite confident, it will be simply amazing. Until Monday, bonjour.

Images: (1) cobblestay (2) pinterest (3) pinterest

December 27, 2012

After Christmas Sales!

The time has arrived when you can shop for yourself, stock up on wardrobe essentials at a fraction of the price and purchase those additions to your kitchen or bedroom you may have been needing. Here are a few codes and sales you might want to check out . . .

BLOOMINGDALES - Through January 1st, save up to 75% off on women's, men's, shoes, handbags, fine jewelry, kids, and accessories.

EDDIE BAUER – 50% off the entire store

HARRODS – Enjoy up to 50% off all accessories (handbags, jewelry, scarves, watches, belts & technology accessories)

KATE SPADE - Enjoy an extra 25% off all sale items in-store & online. Use promo code: 25SALE at checkout.

MACYS – Enjoy up to 15% off through December 29th

NET-A-PORTER (International) – End of the season sale has begun with 50% off top designer items.

NICOLE MILLER - Semi-Annual Sale is saving you up to 70% off, so shop the sale before January 14th for these amazing deals on the dresses and more that you love!

NORDSTROM – Men’s Half Yearly Sale and up to 50% off women’s clothing and more – Save an addition 25% off thousands of items

REISS – End of season sale with 50% off through mid-January

RESTORATION HARDWARE – Save up to 20% off of full-priced items and 60% on clearance items with promo code SAVINGS through January 10th

SUR LA TABLE – up to 50% off cookware, 60% off whiteware, 40% off bakeware and more

THE BODY SHOP - 50% off sitewide with promo code SALE50

TORY BURCH - Take an extra 25% off sale items online & in-store now through January 2nd. Use online code: JUSTFORME at checkout

Images: (1) pinterest

Top Style Posts of 2012

Striving to be stylish will always be a hobby of mine, but what I’ve realized is that how we present ourselves to the world can open doors so long as we dress ourselves accordingly and present ourselves with confidence and poise. Part of exuding confidence is knowing that you look your best, and so today I’d like to share with you a handful of style posts from 2012 that were well received by you, the readers.

A conglomeration of Thursday’s Style Inspiration posts as well as Why Not . . . ? posts that delved into style and wardrobe, you will find a list of inspiration as you begin 2013.

~Just in case you would like to access these posts in the future on your own time, simply visit my “Style InspirationPinterest board as well as my “Style Ideas/TipsPinterest board where I keep each Thursday’s Style Inspiration post as well as any post pertaining to fashion and style.~


~Style Inspiration: Parisian Chic~


~10 Essential Shoes Every Woman Should Have~


~Why Not . . . Create Your Own Style Commandments?~


~Style Inspiration: Leopard, Chanel & Fall Attire~


~Why Not . . . Buy Yourself Luxurious Lingerie?~


~Style Inspiration: Casual, Chic Comfort~


~Why Not . . . Wear a Scarf?~


~Style Inspiration: Flats, Scarves & Classic Chic~


~Why Not . . . Build a Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget?~

December 26, 2012

Top Why Not . . . ? Posts in 2012

Life offers us the choice every day to live in fear or to live courageously. With each week I have selected Wednesday to share ideas on how to live a life that chooses the latter approach to living as a way to share new ideas to help cultivate a life that is fully realizing your full potential.

The Why Not . . . ? posts continue to be a favorite of readers, so I have gathered up a handful of the top posts from 2012 today. If you are wanting to see all of the Why Not . . . ? posts from the past year, simply have a look at my Pinterest board titled Why Not . . . ? 2012 where you are able to view them any time you need ideas, inspiration or anything in between.

~Why Not . . . Wear a Pencil Skirt?~


~Why Not . . . Enjoy Being a Introvert?~

~Why Not . . . Become Financially Independent?~

~Why Not . . . Revel in Being a Woman?~


~Why Not . . . Shop Consignment?~


~Why Not . . . Indulge Your Inner Francophile?~


~Why Not . . . Travel Internationally? (3 part series)~

~Why Not . . . Accessorize Your Work Week?~

~Why Not . . . Refuse to Underdress?~

December 25, 2012

Top Books Shared in 2012

One of my favorite activities to indulge in during the last week of each year is to dive into books that I haven’t read and lose all track of time. Over the course of 2012, there have been many books that have been reviewed, recommended and suggested here on The Simply Luxurious Life.

Today, I have gathered a list of titles that were well received by readers, hit the top of the best-seller lists during 2012 or were books I adored and would certainly read again. Organized by genre, have a look. Click on the title to view the post in which I either reviewed or recommended it or simply click on the image of the book cover to be directed to Amazon for further information.

As for me, what titles will I be reading this week? Peter Mayle’s wine mystery will be my top choice for simply relaxing, Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals is one I want and need to read out of curiosity, and after paging through Ina Garten’s recent cookbook at one of my favorite cooking supply stores, I can’t wait to pick it up and devour it in search of my next favorite recipe. Happy reading!


~Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz

~Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain


~Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof Recipes by Ina Garten 


~Paleoista: Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat by Nell Stephenson


~The Darlings by Cristina Alger

~The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

~Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

~The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle



~The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus

~Be Your Own Decorator: Taking Inspiration and Cues from Today’s Top Designers by Susan Salk

For the Love of Anything French

~Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott

~Paris Versus New York: A Tally of Two Cities – deluxe edition, includes 35 new illustrations (November 2012) by Vahram Muratyan

December 24, 2012

Top Motivational Posts in 2012

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.

Life is bliss, taste it.

Life is a dream, realize it.

Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it.

Life is a game, play it.

Life is a promise, fulfill it.

Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it.

Life is a struggle, accept it.

Life is a tragedy, confront it.

Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is luck, make it.

Life is too precious, do not destroy it.

Life is life, fight for it.”

-Mother Teresa

2012 has brought with it amazing adventures, wonderful memories, mighty challenges, bountiful lessons and countless opportunities to become our best selves. My hope is that you can look back over the past twelve months and be thankful for the beautiful moments and appreciative of the frustrating ones as they help guide you forward. So long as you are always moving forward, you are indeed headed in the right direction.

As my week of vacation begins, I have rounded up the top viewed and commented on motivational posts of this past year that typically go live every Monday morning. While many of you may be busy finishing up shopping for holidays gatherings and feasts or traveling to your destination, in those moments you find a bit of quiet and calm, you might enjoy a bit of inspiration. Whether it’s in the area of love, life, travel, strength, simplifying or self-acceptance, I have a feeling you will find a post that is exactly what you are looking for.

A brand new motivational post will go live Monday, December 31, just in time to get ready to begin 2013 in grand and auspicious fashion.

~And if you are curious where you can find all of The Simply Luxurious Life’s motivational posts for 2012 – click here to view my Pinterest board where all are catalogued and easy to find for inspiration whenever you may need it.~

~33 Lessons Learned~


~17 Ways to Simplify Daily & Weekly Routines~


~Perfectionist vs. High Achiever: The Difference~


~34 Lessons Learned in London & Paris~

~How to Turn Jealousy Into a Positive~


~Why It’s Okay to be Boring~


~The Value of Small Steps~


~24 Lessons Learned from Sex and the City~


~Stop Being Busy and Start Being Productive~


~Savor Everyday Routines~


~The Art of Subtleties~


~Accepting Unexpected Change~

~How to Let Go of What Other People Think~