The Simply Luxurious Life®: May 2013  

May 31, 2013

The Weekend . . .

Simple pleasures . . . a warm croissant, a clean beckoning bed and a room void of distraction and responsibility. After a busy week, I can’t think of a more ideal scenario to wake up to this weekend. How about you? How has your week been? Hopefully productive, just full enough and ample time for restorative night sleeps.

On the blog this week, a first, an idea to try, a reminder and a few other posts you might enjoy . . .

~Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 9 . . . a color shift dress – simple and perfect for summer

~Stripes from London . . . my first attempt at street style

~This & That: No. 60 . . . a perfect trench at a perfect price, inspiring words and more . . .

~Style Inspiration: Summer Stripes

~Why Not . . . Create a Mini Garden?

~The Sales Have Begun! . . . Net-a-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s . . . designer items as drastically reduced prices

~Monday’s Inspiration to help you keep striving . . . The Importance of Asking Questions

And this week’s newsletter – issue #151 – click here to read.

Have a beautiful weekend, and until Monday, bonjour.


Images:   (1) source (2) source

May 30, 2013

Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 9

A colorful print shift dress is a simple option for summer. Pair with neutral sandals, throw a large tote over your shoulder, don a pair of sunglasses, and let the touring, shopping, strolling and enjoyment begin. I couldn’t think of an easier outfit to pull together that guarantees chic, feminine attire and comfort for day or evening.


~Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti printed poplin tunic dress~

~Tory Burch Ginny cut-out slingback sandal~

~Alexander Wang Emile small satchel bag~

~Chloe square frame acetate sunglasses~



~Eliza J shift print dress~

~Steve Madden ‘Marlenee’ sandal~

~Ray Ban aviator~

~Mark & Graham Everyday Leather Tote~

Stripes from London

The one item that is certain to be found in my closet is stripes. Whether for winter or summer, a top or a dress, stripes are my go-to classic choice paired with jeans, skirts and in this case, a simple denim jacket and sandals. So when I was invited to partner with London based clothing designer Reiss, who has clothed one of my style inspirations - the Duchess of Cambridge – as well as other celebrities with their modern, chic, sophisticated style, I gravitated toward their Gem Stripe Blue Shift dress immediately.

Having had the opportunity this last summer to stop into their Barrett Street boutique and do a bit of dreaming, and having purchased other items which I love and wear regularly, it is their clean-cut, classic, yet contemporary designs that I love and can easily integrate into my capsule wardrobe.


{Dress – Reiss (currently on sale), Shoes – Sam Edelman (similar), Tote – Banana Republic, Jacket – Levi’s, Watch – Michael Kors, Sunglasses – Cole Haan consignment find (similar)}



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Style Inspiration: Summer Stripes

My summer wardrobe would not be complete with a few stripes. Whether the classic navy is preferred, black, red or anything in between, stripes are a safe choice to ensure an effortlessly chic look. Aside from stripes, hats, over-sized sunglasses, and fun statement sandals are always items to look for as the June sales begin (Net-a-Porter, Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman have designer finds at drastic reductions). After all, summer has unofficially begun, so lather on some sunscreen and step outside in style.

Read more »

May 29, 2013

Why Not . . . Create A Mini Garden?

Almost as much as I love organizing and building my wardrobe, I love the arrival of spring as it means I get to shop for my yard and garden. And the good news is that it is far less draining on my budget.

Cooking for me is very pleasurable and often therapeutic. And in an effort to try to cook food that is in season for more flavor and better prices, I try to grow what I can in my herb and vegetable garden. And while everything I plant doesn’t always grow as I had hoped, when they do, I can’t help but do a mini happy dance in my kitchen.

Whether you live in a small studio in the city or a sprawling country estate, creating a mini garden that is easy to access while you are in the kitchen creating your culinary works of art is a simple and relatively affordable idea.

During the summer months, I have a small herb box attached to my house just outside the door near my kitchen (images below) which allows me to quickly step outside in my bare feet to pick a few leaves of basil, fresh flat leaf parsley, handful of lettuce or whatever my recipe may call for. I simply love cutting a few leaves of basil and drinking in their fragrance which to me symbolizes summer, good health and scrumptious eating.

Here are a few things you’ll need to know to help you get started:

1. Seek out the sunshine. Most herbs and vegetables need access to full sun at some point during the day. Whether you are placing small pots on your window sill inside your home or putting them outside on your porch, determine how much space you have to work with.

2. Pick out the containers. Perhaps you would like to use a handful of small pots or one large one, or maybe you have a creative planter in mind (a few ideas are below). Have fun picking out the size, color and material, but make sure you choose one that allows the plants’ soil to drain (terra-cotta works wonders, but so do other pots as they already have designated holes in the bottom for just this purpose).

3. Choose your herbs and/or vegetables. Simply knowing that each time I purchase cut basil at the grocery store for at least three dollars for one meal and that I can purchase a basil plant for four dollars that will produce enough basil to last the entire season is motivation for me to grow my own.

Determine which herbs you enjoy with your food, as well as vegetables that you’d like to have on hand throughout the summer, and then seek them out at your local venders. Plants are still available at most farmers’ markets and nurseries, so be sure to have fun perusing for what you’d like.

A glimpse at my herbs and vegetables, as well as a list of what is shown and not shown:

  • sweet basil
  • Italian (Genovese) basil
  • Thai basil
  • dark opal basil (purple)
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • dill
  • lemon thyme
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • chives
  • Italian flat leaf parsley
  • Roma tomatoes (not pictured above as they are in another area of my yard)
  • Heirloom tomatoes (not pictured above as they are in another area of my yard)
  • lettuce

4. Soil and water. If you will be putting them into a bigger pot with other plants, you might have to pick up some potting soil. Just regular potting soil works fine. Then be sure to water it regularly, especially when the temperatures soar. Purchase a fun watering can (I love this one), and indulge your green thumb.

5. Enjoy! Not only will having your own mini garden enhance the flavor of your meals, but the aesthetic of your home becomes even more beautiful and welcoming.


  Images:  (1) source (5-6) Real Simple (7) source (8) source (9) source (10) source (11) source (12) source (13) source

May 28, 2013

The Sales Have Begun!

If you’ve been saving for a couple of sales worth shopping, the wait is finally over. The bi-annual Net-a-Porter sale has begun in the states (Europe & the UK will begin later in June) with items reduced up to 50%. A wonderful time to pick up designer items you have had your eye on, be sure to bookmark favorite items and keep checking in as prices will continue to be reduced up to 75% as the sale continues in the next few weeks.

Also Barney’s Designer Sale has begun as well with items reduced up to 40%. Pick up a designer bag, shoes or a beautiful new dress to add an item of top quality without paying full price.

I’ve picked out a few items from each sale to whet your palette. Enjoy the hunt!



This & That: No. 60

An activity to incorporate more regularly into your routine, stylish summer pjs, an affordable classic trench and much more . . .

~Blog Post

1. 7 Limiting Beliefs of Unhappy People – Dumb Little Man

One of the blogs I follow regularly on Pulse is Dumb Little Man which offers tips for life whether it’s what to do or not to do as is the case in this particular post – 7 Limiting Beliefs of Unhappy People. The point that hit home for me and served as a reminder to not act impulsively depending upon your emotions is tip #5. Have a look at the list here.

~Decor Inspiration

2. In the Hamptons: Less to Mess in The New York Times

Peri Wolfman, a tableware designer for Restoration Hardware, and her husband Charles Gold, a still life photographer, recently decided to downsize and built two smaller homes, one you can tour (click here) and the second to soon be used as a guesthouse for family when they visit in Southampton. Full of simple, yet quite welcoming decor, Wolfman adheres to a neutral palette with everything having a place.


3. Walk + Talk

Lifestyle blogger Sarah Kathleen Peck offers the idea of walking and talking to provoke more creativity and productive thinking. As a lover of walking, I wasn’t exactly a hard sell on this topic, but her insights on why society should incorporate this daily habit into our lives more often is certainly food for thought. Whether you want to join her walk and talk sessions (based in San Francisco), start your own or simply go walking by yourself, have a look at her ideas here.


4. Hunter ‘Romilly’ ballerina flat (multiple colors)

As a dog owner needing to take my dogs outside often and someone who enjoys wandering around my yard or lounging outside in the evening, I have been looking for a pair of outdoor slippers that are easy to slip on, simple to keep clean and are presentable in public. So as I was perusing Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale this past weekend, I happened to find a pair of Hunter rubber ballerina flats and tried them on.

First, they fit perfectly, and second, they were marked down 40% (through June 2nd). Needless to say, I picked up a black pair (which is now sold out at Nordstrom, but you can find the color here marked down 33%). However, there are still other colors available. (For even more colors and sizes beyond what is available at Nordstrom, try here.)

5. The Perfect Trench by Humble Chic

In case you are still in need of a trench for summer, Humble Chic’s simple, chic khaki trench is a frugal choice that will work nicely with nearly any outfit you may choose to wear this season.

6. Sleepy Jones PJs by Andy Spade

Andy Spade recently introduced his Sleepy Jones pjs which are made in the USA with soft cotton poplin fabric. Each print top has a matching pair of shorts and would be wonderful travel attire for warm nights when you still want to sit and have coffee in the morning and look decent and presentable.

May 27, 2013

The Importance of Asking Questions

“As long as one keeps searching, the answers come.” –Joan Baez

As the dreamer continues to attempt turning their ideas into reality, if it is a dream worth acquiring, they will most certainly run up against obstacles, dead-ends, refusals and many lessons to learn from.

It is along this journey that some will stop and settle into what has worked as they become tired and weary from the repeated rejections, even though it may not bring them complete satisfaction. There will also be those that will turn cynical, and due to the bumpy road thus far, become convinced that life only has empty shells void of the treasured pearls once so resolutely sought. Yet there will thankfully be those who understand that life does reveal to us what we are truly capable of achieving if we continue to press forward.

The latter group will see no fewer hardships initially, however, as they continue to move forward the lessons they have learned thus far will help them to avoid similar mistakes in the future. And while they will never cease entirely to experience moments of doubt or frustrations, they will have built more confidence in how to effectively tackle new temporary roadblocks when they arise.

Too often it is ignorantly assumed that by simply having a dream, the obstacles will dutifully step aside. The best advice to pair with dream-achieving maxims is the knowledge that David Viscott shares, “To fail is a natural consequence of trying. To succeed takes time and prolonged effort in the face of unfriendly odds. To think it will be any other way, no matter what you do, is to invite yourself to be hurt and to limit your enthusiasm for trying again.”

When we determined dreamers understand this truth, it is much like putting on our armor. No matter how many pitfalls or dead-ends we run up against, believe it or not, we are learning a lesson that is helping us inch that much closer to the dreams we seek.

Consider Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first commercially practical incandescent light bulb. After thousands of attempts, tweaks and experiments, he successfully created a device that changed how we go about living our day-to-day lives. Had he ended his quest of curiosity, someone else would have no doubt been the first, but he never let frustration and so called “failed attempts” bring him to a halt.

“Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”
-Mary Kay Ash

So long as we continue to move forward, asking questions and seeking out the answers, we will discover how to successfully turn our dreams into reality.


~Why Not . . . Work Hard?

~Let Passion Be Your Fuel

~Why Not . . . Be A Successful Woman? (3 part series)


Images: (1) source (2)  source (3) Source  (4) source (5) source

May 25, 2013

Shop the Long Weekend Sales!

A long weekend begs for leisurely moments and losing track of time. So just in case you never want to leave the pier or your favorite lounge chair, I’ve brought a list of links to you wherever you may be along with the promo codes that will save a penny or two on your favorite finds. Have a look and happy shopping!

Anthropologie: Through Monday, enjoy free shipping on all orders $150+ with code LONGWEEKEND (loving this dress for work and summer evening attire)

ASOS: Take 20% off everything with code TAKE20

Diane von Furstenberg: Take 30% off all sale items during the long weekend with promo code WKEND30 (perhaps this black and white sleeveless number for special occasions?)

Furbish: Memorial Day Sale, 15% off everything on the site till 5/27 using code LONGWEEKEND

Gap: Through Tuesday, receive 20% off your purchase with code GAPGIFT

Gorjana: Through Monday, save an extra 40% off sale items when you use code SUMMERTIME at checkout

Hunter sale: Enjoy significant reductions on the original hunter boot as well as other items.

J.Crew: Up to $75 off your purchase using code SHOPNOW

Joie: Shoe sale! (have a look at these leopard smoking slippers – a wonderful staple to have on hand)

Madewell: Through Monday, take 20% off Tees, Tanks & Shorts with code SUMMERNOW

Nordstrom: HALF YEARLY SALE for women + kids through June 2nd. Shop select items for fall and save up to 40% (picked up a few of these at a great price)

Paige Denim: Through next Friday, receive 15% off any purchase with code RS15 at checkout.

Rag and Bone: Women’s early access sale

Rebecca Minkoff: Through Monday, shop exclusive styles at up to 60% off

Shopbop: New markdowns for Memorial Day (a couple of finds - Rachel Zoe’s Gladys flat sandals or Tibi’s Alexa easy shirt)

West Elm: Extra 15% off sale items now till 5/27 using code MEMDAY15

Images: (1) source (2) source

May 24, 2013

The Weekend . . .

With a rainy work week behind us and a long weekend ahead here in the states, I’m looking forward to jaunting to Portland for a bit of shopping and leisure where there will no doubt be more rain for me to enjoy.

This week on the blog, a bit of commencement address inspiration, summer fashion finds to consider and a look back on my past weekend enjoying the pleasures of spending it at home . . .

~Splurge & Save: No. 8 . . . a classic summer outfit

~Style Inspiration: Chic, Black & White

~Why Not . . . Live a Long, Healthy Life? Part Trois

~This & That: No. 59 . . . a steal of a bargain for a stripe maxi dress and my new sought after herb for the garden

~A Weekend of Work & Play

~20 Ways to be Prepared for Opportunity

And this week’s newsletter – issue #150 – click here to read.

Whether you are looking ahead to three days of freedom or a regular break from the work demands, have a wonderful last weekend of May. Until Monday, bonjour.

Images: (1) source (2) source

May 23, 2013

Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 8

Summer holidays are nearly upon us and I am itching to wear the seasonal attire – nautical stripes, white cropped pants, maxi dresses and more. Last weekend a new purchase of Levi’s denim jacket (included in today’s SAVE outfit) arrived, and I couldn’t have been happier with the purchase. For less than $50, the dark denim jacket includes cotton-stretch fabric with long sleeves and a slightly feminine cut (no boxy denim to be wary of).

Another versatile item that I recently added to my wardrobe and look forward to wearing this summer and then into the fall is Tibi’s black and white silk blouse (included in the SPLURGE outfit above). On sale, this classic print works perfectly with white, black or dark denim and for the work week, a classic black pencil skirt or any color you prefer is simple and sophisticated.

And don’t forget to stop by Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale which began yesterday and runs through June 2nd with savings up to 40%. Click here to begin perusing your favorite items.


~7 for Mankind skinny jean white~

~Salvatore Ferragamo Varina patent ballet flats (nude)~

~Rag & Bone ‘The Jean Jacket’~

~Tibi ‘Claire’ stripe silk top~

~Michael Kors ‘Gia’ leather tote~

~Michael Kors bracelet watch~


~Two by Vince Camuto straight leg jean white~

~Levi’s bold stitch denim jacket~

~Sam Edelman ‘Betty’ ballet flat~

~AIR by Alice + Olivia sleeveless boxy tee~

~American Apparel oversized leather clutch~

~Fossil ‘Emma’ crystal bracelet watch~


Style Inspiration: Chic, Black & White

From the little black dress to the simple black sandals that reveal your recent pedicure, no matter what the season, black is always a wonderful choice. And a signature approach to wearing black is to seek out vintage or consignment treasures. Upon finding the classic color in a unique and original design, you are certain to stand-out and not be replicated. White too, whether you choose winter or classic hue, can be incorporated year round, so always be on the lookout for a creative item to add to your closet.

Read more »

May 22, 2013

Why Not . . . Live a Long, Healthy Life? Part Trois

As we strive to be as healthy as we can be, there may be some necessary tasks that we tend to that we don’t necessarily look forward to partaking in (doctor exams, cleaning the home, etc), but I would argue that such tasks are few compared to the quite enjoyable ones I would like to share today.

Once we find peace with the path we’ve chosen to live, the tranquility we welcome into our lives is priceless. And as we live to enjoy each and every day no matter how simple or routine it may seem, by incorporating the last five tips into our approach, our purpose driven lives become more joyful and fulfilling than we might have ever imagined.

11. Manage Stress Effectively

In order to live a life of continual growth, we must always choose to challenge ourselves. And it is in choosing to challenge ourselves that we welcome the opportunity for growth. However, along with the growth comes frustration, thus stress. Since we already know that stress will occur occasionally, we must have a plan to deal with it constructively so that it doesn’t become debilitating.

For example, schedule regular “me time” in which you respect your need to be alone or do as you please – even if it is for thirty minutes. Schedule a monthly or seasonal spa treatment such as a facial, massage or pedicure. When you carve out time to be pampered, you demand of yourself to slow down and not jump to the next responsibility on your list. In these moments allow yourself to breath, turn your mind off and let go of your worries for the moment.

12. Show Gratitude

Take the time each day to write in your journal about what went well. Remaining conscious of all that is going as expected even on days when it seems nothings is progressing as it should, sheds a bit of perspective on what should and shouldn’t be made into such a big deal.

13. Befriend Multiple Generations

I have always been curious to learn from those who are older than me. Whether it is to learn from their mistakes or to soak up their knowledge, generations that came before us can offer a wealth of information and provide us with even more reason to be appreciative. The same too can be said for the generations that have followed us. My students’ insights and observations regularly enlighten me on new ideas as well as help me appreciate how far I have come.

14. Be a life long learner

Continue to read, explore and learn new skills. It will keep your mind agile and help stave off dementia. While it can be tempting to continue in the same safe routine, our mind’s muscles will slowly atrophy if this path is chosen, and to waste something that is so utterly amazing in all that it can do would be shame. As much as we should keep our bodies agile, we should too keep our minds just as nimble.

15. Get to know and trust yourself

Getting to know ourselves is a continual process because we too are continually growing and improving if we proceed through life correctly. And it is when we become in tune with what makes us smile spontaneously, feel absolutely comfortable and secure, as well as feel confident and self-assured that we can respect ourselves enough to say no to what doesn’t mesh with our values, put down boundaries to ensure those who don’t respect us can choose another victim and ultimately open ourselves up to take a chance on genuine connections with others worthy of our trust.

Since life is wonderfully unpredictable, why not put the odds in our favor so that the time we do have is most enjoyable and very memorable for ourselves and those we’ve chosen to spend our time with. Cheers to an amazing simply luxurious life!

~To view the previous two parts in the series, click here for part two, click here for part one.


~Making Connections

~11 Things You Must Do To Create the Life of Your Dreams

~To Think For Yourself


Image: (1) source

May 21, 2013

This & That: No. 59

A few summer fashion finds, my new favorite herb, a beautiful detail at a wonderful price and a bit of inspiration from a name you might recognize . . .

~Blog Post to Read

1. Food Sampling Etiquette from Classy & Fabulous

Karla M. Davis, the founder of the lifestyle blog Classy & Fabulous continues to be a woman with an abundance of ideas on how to be the classy and fabulous woman so many of us aspire to be. With the many wine and food pairing that tempt my palette, I thought I’d take a look at her tips on food sampling etiquette, and after reading, all the while nodding my head in agreement, I wanted to share. 


2. Diamond Spider Brooch from Humble Chic

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright has famously used her choice of brooches to express her ideas regarding foreign policy. In fact, in her book Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat's Jewel Box, she documents many of her fashion choices dependent upon who she would be meeting with.
Needless to say, what we choose to wear can be very telling. So when I happened upon this diamond spider brooch (only $38!), I thought what a unique and quite intriguing item to wear. Either to secure a scarf, gather a draped neckline or place on a blouse or jacket, the finishing touches are in the details.


3. Lemon Verbena herb

I have been devouring the many farmers’ markets in my area and adding new and curious herbs to my herb garden. Last weekend while watching P. Allen Smith’s PBS show, he showed viewers how to make a simple lemon verbena infused honey. To be used in tea, drizzled over cheese or warm scones, I am all the more enticed to grow this fragrant herb.


4. Giambattista Valli leopard ankle pant

Leopard is a classic option, and Giambattista Valli’s silk/wool blend ankle pants are reduced 80% at Barney’s Warehouse. A beautiful pant for the evening when a dress just isn’t calling your name, pair with black heels, a simple black blouse and you will certainly impress.

5. Jane Stripe maxi dress

I can’t help but enjoy the fashion pleasures of summer as maxi dresses are perfect for both comfort and style. This affordable nautical maxi paired with a classic denim jacket, sandals, sunnies and a straw tote is simple and a wonderful choice for travel or strolling.

6. Nanette Lepore striking black and white shorts

No longer are denim and khaki the only options for shorts. From prints to stripes, shorts can make just as much of a fashion statement as an expertly chosen pair of shoes. Nanette Lepore’s black and white striped shorts would be fun to pair with a blouse in a solid color - perhaps with this silk blouse or this short sleeve option?

~Commencement Address to Watch

~Kerry Washington at George Washington University

As the graduation season rolls around each year, I become a commencement address junkie. Always looking for inspiration, I have found that there are always a select few that become worthy of being repeated year after year. Speaking this past weekend at her alma mater George Washington University, actress Kerry Washington’s commencement address is one that may just jump into this category.

May 20, 2013

A Weekend of Work & Play

I must admit, I revel in weekends where my schedule is my own and I can putz around my home.

This past weekend was just such an opportunity, and it found me doing a bit of playing, working and eating. Have a look . . .

With time to seek out the perfect plants for the pots on my porch, I stopped by My Grandmother’s Garden just outside of Walla Walla and discovered a treasure trove of flowers and plants. Of course, my boys had to say hello to the resident black lab. It was a friendly hello, and then we were off to the our next destination (more on the project involving paint below).

After hitting the local farmers’ market, I had to stop into my favorite patisserie – Colville St. Patisserie to pick up a hot chocolate to go. Their decadent desserts certainly caught my attention.

With chardonnay from Waterbrook, sautéed Mushroom Bruschetta was the simple appetizer I chose to finish the pairing (see recipe below)~

And for dinner, with fresh from the market asparagus, primavera risotto sounded like an irresistible choice. Click here for the recipe.

Whoever said you have to make the entire meal from scratch? The simply luxurious approach is to leave the baking up to the experts, and this Lemon Curd Coconut tart from the Walla Walla Bread Company was the perfect ending to a wonderful evening of dining.

And the project for the weekend was to paint my previously green wooden Adirondack chairs white. Upon attempting to begin the project on Saturday, I was thwarted by a brief rain smattering and blustery wind, but with Sunday’s ideal temperate weather, the job was finally completed.

With a small yard for the dogs to chase their ball, I love sitting in these chairs during the summer evenings and letting Oscar (above) and Norman play while simply relaxing . . . sometimes with a book, sometimes with a glass of wine and sometimes catching up with a good friend.

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing and productive weekend. I would love to hear how your weekend went. What simply luxurious activities do you delight in when you have the weekend to do as you please?



Sautéed Mushroom Bruschetta


  • 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms of choice
  • julienned fresh basil
  • fresh baguette
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to broil. Slice the baguette on the bias in 3/4 inch slices. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle each slice with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).
  2. While waiting for the oven to preheat, using a saute pan, melt a 1/4 cup of butter and place the sliced mushrooms in the pan on medium heat. Saute mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes. Upon removing the pan from the heat, sprinkle basil on the mushrooms and toss.
  3. Place bread in the oven for 2-4 minutes – watch closely as you are just wanting to lightly toast the bread.
  4. Using a spoon or spatula, place 2-4 mushrooms on each slice of break. Sprinkle with parmesan if you’d like and enjoy!

Images: (1) source, all other images from Simply Luxurious’ Instagram


20 Ways to be Prepared for Opportunity

“Opportunity favors the prepared.” – Madeline Levine in The New York Times

Life has a keen sense of humor, and it is all the more enjoyable when we are laughing with it. What I mean to say is that we have a choice every single day regarding how we will approach the 24 hours we are given. We can either choose to trek through life as though it is a burden full of drudgery and monotony or we can realize that life is as grand as we believe it to be.

We are the makers of the destiny we seek. As a young adult it is easier to be full of hope and ambition as the world seems full of possibilities, but as we get older, some may have us believe that we need to settle and resign ourselves to the reality that life is what the world tells us it “should” be.

Perhaps they mention one is too old . . . simply look to Betty White as proof they have no clue what one is capable of in their golden years. Or perhaps they say one’s schooling is lacking . . . simply look to Mark Twain who had no more than a 5th grade education to disprove this washed up theory. If whatever they are saying doesn’t ring true for you, then stop listening and follow your internal direction.  Such cynicism has never accomplished anything, so dismiss the Scrooges of the world and continue to look for the many opportunities that are wishing and waiting to be discovered. Because trust me, they are out there, no matter what your age.

Today’s quote is simple, but painstakingly true. Opportunities do not just plop out of thin air when we aren’t looking. The good news for those of us who are willing to work hard and consistently is that we must be prepared for the opportunity when we see it so that we can pounce.

While the opportunities we continue to gather up may seem small, it is often these small opportunities capitalized upon again and again that lead to the grand break we are looking for. Very rarely does a record breaking diamond become unearthed on the first try, but rather after many other small treasures have been discovered along the way.

Here are a few things that you can do right now and continue to do each day to aid in your preparation to be able to seize on the opportunities you wish to find.

1. Mind your money manners, but know when to take risks. When you have control of your finances, you can take risks knowing that you have the savings or income to weather the storm should your risk fail.

2. For your health’s sake, eat well. An added benefit is that you’ll look great too. Who knows when the opportunities will be ready for you to find them. It could be when you’re twenty or it could be when you’re nearing middle age and beyond. Remain healthy so that no matter when it arrives, you can enjoy it to the fullest.

3. Make the right type of mistakes – made while being courageous and ambitious, rather than defensive, lazy or ignorant. Mistakes will happen to us all, but make them while striving forward toward something new or challenging, rather than sitting around doing nothing afraid of everything.

4. Look for opportunities, seek them out. Open your eyes. Say yes. Do something new. Ask why. Never stop learning.

5. Be kind and helpful. Helping others out when you can simply because you can and not to gain anything in return creates an environment of support and positive rapport. By creating an environment that is welcoming and uplifting, more of that energy is created. Pay forward what you wish to see more of, even if you don’t see a lot of it at the present moment.

6. Strengthen your self-discipline muscle. Stop spending frivolously. Put down that second helping. Stop engaging with people who are not good for you or your self-esteem.

7. Pay yourself first.  Start saving for retirement and a rainy day today. Create a monthly EFT and forget about it.

8. Wake up early. Don’t waste a minute. The early bird really does get the worm.

9. Continually strive for excellence, not perfection. Never stop learning about the world you live in. Continually try to better understand yourself, your emotions, your job, your passions, your strengths, etc. The answers will come if you keep searching.

10. Simplify and focus. You can’t do everything, but you what you choose to focus on can be done well if you let go of those things that aren’t at the top of your priority list.

11. Keep a clean home. Limit your stress, free your mind, create room for opportunities to be found.

12. Master your mind. Freedom lies in choosing your thoughts and not being a slave to anything that crosses your mind’s path.

13. Meditate.  A simple practice that builds mind control, lowers stress and builds appreciation.

14. Create specific goals. If you don’t know where you’re going or what you want, your life will never change and you’ll never know what to look for regarding opportunities.

15. Be authentic. Do not apologize for being yourself. Ignore the laughter, walk away and walk toward those and a world that is appreciative of the gifts you have to offer.

16. Be productive, create something of value. No matter what you choose to do with your day, so long as it is in alignment with your goals, being productive will inch you one step closer to the opportunities you seek.

17. Stop blaming or complaining.  Energy and time and most importantly the ability to see the opportunity is tossed aside immediately when we blame others or complain about something we don’t like or understand.

18. Stop being a follower. There’s already enough sheep in this world. Become conscious of which direction you are going and why. What type of life are you trying to lead? Are your actions and decisions today in line with the life you just described?

19. Choose to initiate rather than react. By choosing to initiate, you are taking the reins and directing life. You may not know how today’s particular scene will play out, but at least you are choosing to lead rather than to follow or be a spectator.

20. Make your own rules. If the rules aren’t working for you and the opportunities are not revealing themselves, do something different. And keep your eyes open.

“Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along.” –Hugh Allen

Today, make the decision to look at the world as a ginormous present just waiting to be opened, realized and capitalized upon. Such an attitude will take conscious effort and the mastering of your mind, but the experiences and memories that will follow will be more than worth the energy you will have expended.  Have a wonderful Monday everyone.


~Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World

~Create Your Own Unique Destiny

~Turning Goals into Reality

Image: (1) source

May 17, 2013

The Weekend . . .

I am currently waiting patiently for the peonies to bloom here in the Pacific Northwest. Oh, how I love the beauty of these evanescent blooms – the blushing femininity and endless layers of delicate pedals – Mother Nature is truly a gifted artist.

The middle of May has come and gone, and I can almost see the long Memorial day weekend. With students seeing summer on the horizon, and teachers too, it is this time of year that is electric and inspiring. With new opportunities, a new phase of life being bravely stepped into, spring offers so much potential.

This past week on the blog I ventured into the new social media app of Vine, shared a wonderful pleasure read I am excited for my Francophile readers to enjoy, and shared a bit of life and fashion inspiration as well. Have a look . . .

~the top post of the week . . . How to Make Your Own History

~a wonderful weekend read . . . J ’Adore Paris – Book Review

~a style inspiration extra . . . Kerry Washington - Style Inspiration

~Simply Luxurious is on Vine! . . . what is it and see my inaugural video

~Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 7 . . . peplum tops, leather jackets and simple cap top shoes

~Oscar de la Renta & The Outnet . . . discover fabulous fashion at a more affordable price

~Style Inspiration: Denim & White

~Why Not . . . Live a Long, Healthy Life? Part Deux

~This & That: No. 57 . . . my new favorite sunnies, two books for travel and finances and more

And this week’s newsletter – issue #149 – click here to read.

I want to thank you yet again for taking the time to stop by The Simply Luxurious Life. Your time in making the effort to choose to visit does not go unnoticed, and I want you to know I am very appreciative and humbled. Have a wonderful weekend indulging in a few favorite simple luxuries of your own. Until Monday, bonjour.

Images: (1) source (2) source

May 16, 2013

Oscar de la Renta & The Outnet

Oscar de la Renta has arrived at The Outnet, and while the designs may be from last year (Spring 2012), they are nonetheless chic, classic and much more affordable (items reduced 60-70%). While the only item I will be shipping to my closet will be a silk-twill scarf, I highly recommend perusing all 137 items (click here). After all, you never know when Oscar may be able to make his home in your closet. It may be sooner than you think.

Here are a few of items that caught my eye:

1. Feathered silk-chiffon gown~

2. Knitted silk skirt~

3. Draped wool-blend dress (fuchsia)~

4. Pointelle-detailed cashmere-blend scarf (pink)~

5. Wool blend skirt (pink)~

6. cotton-twill silk-blend brocade dress (yellow)~

7. Palm-print silk dress~

8. Gardenita suede pumps~

9. Geometric print silk-faille dress~

10. Printed halter-neck swimsuit~

11. Printed silk-twill scarf~

12. Metallic raffia-effect sandals~

Images: 2 & 3 from