The Simply Luxurious Life®: June 2013  

June 28, 2013

The Weekend and A Fashion Lovers’ Yard Sale

In March I mentioned I’d be having a yard sale, my second in two years, and as you might imagine, I am up to my elbows in hangers, price stickers, boxes and I’m not sure what else at the moment. I must admit, I love organizing this mini event, so if you’re in the area on Saturday, take a look in the local paper for the 2nd Annual Fashion Lovers’ Yard Sale.

What will bargain hunters find? Racks of clothing edited from my wardrobe, shoes, accessories, kitchenware edited from my Kitchen Facelift, a brand new CB2 floor lamp and a gray Ikea sofa with chaise lounge (click here to learn more). Other miscellaneous items as well – books, fashion and decor magazines and more. Myself along with my dogs – Norman and Oscar - will be looking forward to meeting you if you’re able to stop by and look for a few treasures.

Speaking of wardrobes, this week’s posts included a revamp of a popular post revolving around shoes. With updated links and new additions, take out your checklist to see which of the 10 Essential Shoes you already have in your closet and which shoes to begin looking for. Also, Jamie Cat Callan just released her latest Ooh La La Francophile book which shares a French Woman’s Secrets to Looking Her Best Every Day – my copy just arrived yesterday and I can’t wait to read it. Those are just a few of the highlights from this past week. Here’s the rest . . .

~Readers’ favorite post of the week – The 10 Essential Shoes Every Woman Should Have . . . updated links, my recommendations as well as frugal and luxury finds

~Why Not . . . Save Money? . . . the hot topic on Facebook this week

~Style Inspiration: A White Summer

~Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 13 . . . shorts for work, play, fun and special occasions

~My Destination for Stripes – Chance . . . quality, classic options and more

~This & That: No. 64 . . . what I’m reading this weekend, sale finds and more

~9 Ways to Trust Your Inner Compass

~And this week’s newsletter – issue #155 – click here to read.

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you too are considering having your own yard sale, click here to view a checklist to ensure a great event. Until Monday, bonjour.


Images: (2) source

June 27, 2013

Style Inspiration: A White Summer

The days are warmer, the sun is closer and whites want out of the closet. Find your proper nude undergarments and wear white with abandon. Whether you choose cotton, linen, silk or cashmere, have fun, accessorize for your signature style and get lost in the leisure of the summer.

Read more »

June 26, 2013

Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 13

Shorts are far more accessible for summer evenings or even work (depending upon your place of employment) now that designers are creating trouser shorts constructed of beautiful textures such as silk, crepe, and linen.

Worn with chic statement slippers or even heels, shorts can be paired with beautiful silk blouses or balanced with a trendy T-shirt. Many beautiful prints and designs are on sale now at Net-a-Porter, Matches and Barneys as they are making room for the upcoming fall fashions. Have fun, be comfortable and enjoy the heat!


~Nanette Lepore Striking shorts~

~L’Agence white Trapeze blouse~

~Avec Moderation python dress slippers~

~Tom Ford Jackie O sunglasses~

~Elaine Turner patent tote~

~J.Crew beaded rose necklace~



~Emma Cook stripe high-waisted shorts~

~Vince black silk blouse~

~Sam Edelman Alvin black slipper~

~J.Crew farmers’ market tote~

~Chloe black square sunglasses~



Why Not . . . Save Money?

Whether it’s saving a few cents per gallon at the gas station or patiently waiting for the seasonal sample sales to take advantage of the drastic mark-downs on your favorite designer wares, saving money always feels good especially when it is something you need.

Two years ago I shared a list of ideas on how to save money and trim your budget (here and here), and I’d like to add a few more ideas to the list.

1. Be a Loyal, Friendly Customer

While HBO has some great television, I haven’t been a subscriber since Sex and the City went off the air in 2004; however, with the second season of Newsroom premiering next month (July 14th), I wanted to have access to the episodes for the few months it’s on the air without paying the full price. Having been a customer in good standing for seven years, I spoke with the sales associate and was able to receive an HBO subscription for half the price for six months. Perfect!

Being friendly, consistent with your monthly payment and appreciative of the business the company provides may not always make a difference, but it potentially could be a good starting point of negotiation in the future.

2. Fall in Love with Cooking

I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t reiterate it enough – learning how to cook and coming to enjoy the process is the easiest way to not only save money, but ensure that you have a delicious, satisfying and healthy meal each night you stay in.

3. Buy Generic

While there are certain brands that simply make the best product ensuring their increased price tag has been earned, there are far more that aren’t worth paying for. Simple products in the middle of the grocery store – cooking supplies, cereals, paper products, often have generic twins found at lower prices. Choose generic any time the product you need isn’t dependent upon the label.

4. Take in a Matinee

Attending an evening or late night film has been romanticized to the point that Hollywood is now getting away with charging prices that require you to pay as much for tickets and one snack and a drink as you would for dinner. And besides, watching a film is a static activity demanding silence while sitting next to those you want to be with. Why not watch the film prior to 5 or 6 pm and enjoy a late meal afterward with money to spare for dessert? Or simply be patient and wait six months for it to become available on DVD.

5. Bottle Your Own

While recycling is available for plastic bottles, the demand of bottled water increases our carbon footprint. So why not keep one bottle and continue to refill it using tap water or a pitcher containing a water filter? Not only are you helping Mother Nature out, you’re also saving yourself some money.

6. Follow Simple Car Upkeep

I’ve never been a fan of raving and gawking about cars. So long as they can transport me safely from point A to point B in comfort, then I’m happy.  But I do recognize the need to have one that works well due to where I live and where I want to travel. Therefore, the facts dictate that I take care of the vehicle I have (which is now ten years old).

Three simple regular maintenance tasks you can tend to that will save you gas money and leave more money in your pocketbook is to make sure you have a clean air filter, keep the tires filled with the appropriate amount of air and have your oil changed every three months or approximately 3000 (whichever comes first (source).

Simply being mindful of where your money goes and why you spend it on the things you do is a start to begin tailoring your spending habits so that they reflect the life you want to live. The pennies you save every day do add up, and cutting unnecessary spending feels good as you gain more and more security to live the life of your dreams.

And now, I turn it over to you. What tricks and cost saving habits do you include in your daily routines to cut out unnecessary spending? Share in the comments below or on Facebook.

~Visit the Archives to view a long list of posts focused on the topic of Money.

June 25, 2013

My Destination for Stripes – Chance

Part of my capsule wardrobe in the summer is the classic navy and white stripe long-sleeve top. And it was last year when Julia Leach launched her online clothing company Chance that I fell in love with her concept – focusing on simplicity, quality design, adventure and personal style. After purchasing the classic boat neck stripe top (seen above), I wore it out wearing it incessantly. Consequently I purchased three this year to make sure I always had one on hand.

While stripes are the foundation of her business (found on short-sleeve tees, camis, dresses, etc), she also offers many other summer essentials, but one can never go wrong with stripes. Shop here.

~This year’s acquisition~

Images via Chance and Simply Luxurious Instagram.

Labels: , , ,

This & That: No. 64

French inklings, lovely romantic tunes and simple, chic comfort.

~Blog Post

1. 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Insecure in Your Relationships

Marc and Angel regularly post articles that inspire, remind and motivate, and this past week’s post was no exception.

2. Eating Out in Paris: The Art of Dining Solo

Earlier this year I shared the suggestion to dine alone, so when I came across Carin Olsson’s contributing article for Hip Paris “The Art of Dining Solo”, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement. With ideas and suggestions to assist in creating a comfortable dining experience, she makes the point that Paris is a wonderful place to cut your teeth with regards to the solo dining venture. From the people watching, to the many other diners who revel in the same experience, Paris beckons us to become comfortable with our own thoughts and leisure time.


3. Ooh La La: French Women’s Secrets to Feeling Beautiful Every Day by Jamie Cat Callan

Released on May 28 of this year, the author of Bonjour, Happiness and French Women Don’t Sleep Alone, Jamie Cat Callan has created another Francophile must-read. Having had the opportunity to communicate with the author briefly last year, I couldn’t speak more highly of her passion, enthusiasm and respect for the je ne sais quoi that French women possess. And thankfully she is sharing her discoveries with her readers yet again.

Jamie Cat Callan will be at the following locations for book signings and discussions. If only I were in Paris in September – what a perfect pairing!


4. Madeleine Peyroux – Portland, Oregon – Aladdin Theater

Madeleine Peyroux’s sultry, bluesy jazz vocals are making their way to Oregon this week. With the recent release of her latest album The Blue Room, Madeleine Peyroux will be performing in Portland’s Aladdin Theater on Thursday June 27th at 8pm as well as in Eugene on Friday June 28th at The Shedd Institute at 7:30 pm. Tickets are still available at both venues.


5. Converse Slip-Ons

As I look at my travel plans for this summer, I realize my ballet flats may not be suffice for the walking I want to do, so I’ve been searching for a simple, chic alternative. Now I’m not going on significant hikes or long excursions, but even just perusing Paris for the day requires a sturdy sole. So when I discovered that Converse now has available slip-ons, I thought what a great combination of simplicity and simple style. (Black and gray are also available).

6. Tory Burch Lillian striped wool and cotton-blend sweater

The Net-a-Porter sale is winding down, so further reductions have been taken as well as items put back on sale upon being returned. Tory Burch’s Lillian striped wool and cotton-blend sweater has been reduced from $275 to $165 at Net-a-Porter, and paired with shorts or jeans, it would be a wonderful top for summer evenings.

June 24, 2013

10 Essential Shoes Every Woman Should Have

Over two years ago I created the original list of 10 Essential Shoes Every Woman Should Have, and it has continued to be one of the top style posts from the archives here on The Simply Luxurious Life. Knowing this, I wanted to take some time to update the links, do some more shopping for you no matter what your budget and share even more of my successful shoes and lessons since the original post went live. So, here it goes . . .

The right pair of shoes can make all the difference when it comes to completing a look. Candace Bergen has said that no matter what one’s wardrobe costs, if paired with quality shoes, everything looks high quality.  She makes a very sound point. As long as the clothes fit well and hair and make-up is done, the shoes can really take the entire look to the next level.
With all of that in mind, here are my ten essential shoes every woman should have in order to be stylishly pulled together no matter what the occasion. Feel free to share what your essentials are as well. I’m always looking for new ideas.

1. Ballet flats or loafers/slippers (nude, black, bright color or print)

Once I finally realized how versatile ballet flats were for my lifestyle (work, play, errands, weekend, casual, travel), I quickly convinced myself to by a few quality pairs of them.  Here are a few styles from Tory Burch that I live in (Reva and Eddie ballet flats) and a few I dream to wear (Lanvin).  In all honesty, the price is worth it because they will last.  Remember cost per wear.

While still feminine and slim-fitting, the slipper (often called a loafer without the tassels) is also a wonderful flat style to choose as it is available in many styles, colors and textures. I currently have Sam Edelman’s ‘Alvin’ in leopard and love pairing it with dark denim and black jeans as well as black trouser shorts in the summer.

2. Brown hue thong sandal (a few details or embellishments)

Perfect for summer to wear with ankle jeans, a skirt or a dress. One that I have been wearing the last few summers is a pair of Tory Burch’s Miller sandals, and just this past summer I purchased Sam Edelman’s  Sophie Wedge Sandals which contained a touch of coral around the toes that I love.

3. Classic black pump (pointed or round toe)

A black pump is perfect for work with a wrap dress, sheath, suit or trousers. Pointed toes tend to elongate your leg and work ideally with cropped pants, but either will do depending upon your outfit. Nine West offers classic styles at very reasonable prices, but if you’re able to invest in a pair of Christian Louboutins or Manolo Blahniks, you must add them to your wardrobe. One of my favorite pair of black pumps is a pointed toe Manolo pair that I found at a consignment shop. I’ve simply re-heeled them once ($10), and they look and function fabulously, all while containing a touch of history.

4. Nude heels

A treasure to be had.  Whether with jeans, a dress of any color, or an outfit of any color, this is the pump you want to make sure you have in your closet.  Choose a round toe or peep-toe, either way, I have a feeling you will fall in love.  My most recent pair is from Diane von Furstenberg – Anette nude patent leather 4” pointed toe pumps, and what I love most about them is that I can wear them with nearly everything. My dream pair is one from Jimmy Choo.

5. Tall Boot (black & brown/tan)

Boots for fall and winter are a style must as we want to stay warm, but still want to look stylish and pulled together.  Ideally, have a pair of stiletto boots as well as flat bottom ones as well. There are many ways to wear a pair of stiletto boots – with a dress/skirt, tuck a pair of skinny jeans inside (perfect day or evening) or wear with a pair of boot cut jeans (a dream pair by Stuart Weitzman and a more feasible, yet still quite stylish pair from Via Spiga).  And, as mentioned, doesn’t hurt to have a pair or two of flat boots for traveling and for those days when wearing heels just doesn’t suit your mood. But don’t forget the option of a wedge heel either which is easier to wear than a stiletto but still offers a bit of height that helps elongate. I purchased these wedges last year for a great price ($99), and they were exactly what I wanted.

6. Espadrilles


Another shoe that is fun for summer, adds height without the wobble and is capable of being paired with capris, shorts or a dress is the espadrille.  Tory Burch has a pair and Michael Kors’ classic espadrille wedge that would work very well with just about any wardrobe choice. Flat espadrilles are also an option for summer casual chic attire.

7. Kitten Heels

The height these shoes provide is perfect for those days when you know and want to look feminine, yet have tired feet from wearing sky-high heels all week.  A brand that I’ve tried on and been impressed with while shopping at Nordstrom was Ivanka Trump’s.  A very well-priced line of kitten heels in classic colors and leopard print as well ($119-$150). A dream pair would be Valentino’s rockstud patent leather sandal modeled in the above image (click here to shop).  

8. Evening Heels (sandals or peep-toe, fun)

Going out is the opportunity to be exactly who you are without any rules, so let your shoes begin the fun.  Choose a designer classic black sandal or a more conversational sandal or pump .

9. Wellies and/or Uggs (an all-weather boot)

I tend to live in my Hunter wellies during the spring as I’m out in the garden or visiting local nurseries picking out my annual plants for the yard.  And the choices that are available make it all the more fun.  Currently, I love my yellow boots, and am now saving for a navy pair.

10. Booties, Ankle Boots or Shoe/Boots


The shoe that I have fallen in love with recently has been the bootie. In black or nude (and so many other options – try leopard), this is a fun alternative for the fall and winter when you want to cover more of your foot, but have the feel of a fabulous heel. Sticking to a budget? Choose Sam Edelman’s or Calvin Klein’s. The sky’s the limit? Have a look at Lanvin’s

Now that we know what shoes we will need, below are a few other style posts you might be interested in:

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

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

Images: (1) Jenna Lyons’ shoes (2) pinterest (3) pinterest (4) pinterest (5) pinterest (6) pinterest (8) source(10) source  (11) source (13) Atlantic Pacific

9 Ways to Trust Your Inner Compass

“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A knotted stomach. A racing pulse. A situation that isn’t entirely in your control.

Whether stepping into your potential future boss’ door to be interviewed, pitching your idea to a crowd of onlookers or gazing into your future trying to predict which way to go, any similar scenario can understandably provoke even the most confident of us to internally shake just a bit. But what makes the difference between knocking it out of the park and simply getting through any of these scenarios is trusting that we have at that moment everything we need. Whether we possess the ability, the brains, the creativity, the gumption or tenacity to swing big, resides in trusting ourselves.

To merely exist is to waste the opportunity to truly live. We can timidly get by, tip toeing ensuring we avoid make glaring mistakes, but wouldn’t that be the most significant mistake of all?

There will continually be moments of uncertainty. For if we are continuing to grow, evolve, learn and discover, we are experience new sites, new venues, new people, and new experiences which expectedly bring unknowns.

The only way to navigate is to trust ourselves. Trust what you know about the person who is on the journey (that would be you!) and then you will know how to proceed.

So how does one do it? How do any of us become better in sync with our inner compass?

1. Get to Know Yourself

While getting to know yourself is a never ending process, it must commence with the conscious decision to pay attention to the knowledge being presented each and every time we feel something, gravitate toward something or become cautious or uncomfortable with something. If we don’t heed or investigate these inclinations, we are denying ourselves an opportunity to live more fully and contentedly. Similar to sitting in class, but daydreaming during the entire lecture, we may be present, but we aren’t involved and taking advantage of what we can learn.

2. Look for Consistencies

Along the path of getting to know yourself, take time to notice in what situations you are most at ease. In what situations are you most inspired? At first comparison you may not see similarities, but look again and ask yourself what specifically made you feel anxious/inspired/curious/calm? Was it a certain time of day, certain people, lack of or proper amount of respect, particular architecture, motivating, draining, inviting, exclusive, etc. Keep track of your observations, as they are a map helping to direct you down the right path.

3. Ask Why?

Upon discovering the consistencies (the positive and the negative), do a bit of analysis and ask the question “why?”. Why did you feel secure even if others did not? Did it have to do with your knowledge or experience? Why did you feel intimidated? Why did you feel a sense of tranquility?

Discovering the answers to these questions will help you get to know yourself which leads to trusting yourself when it comes to making decisions even when the future you are walking toward is uncertain.

If you can trust that you can handle or feel comfortable in certain situations or visa versa, wouldn’t feel comfortable or be your best self in certain situations, then you are in tune with your inner compass.

4. Reflect on Successes

If even after asking “why?”, you may still have uncertainties. If so, reflect upon previous successes. When was the last time you exceeded what you though you were initially capable of? When was last time you took a risk against others’ caution and demonstrated the risk was worth it?  Reflect on such moments to build your confidence and serve as a reminder that you indeed already do have an inner compass that is speaking to you, if only you would listen to it.

5. Assess Mistakes

Now, not everything you reflect on is going to be a roaring success. Mistakes happen. But when they do, the key is to take the time to assess why it didn’t work and move forward with the knowledge.

6. Take a Time Out

In order to become in tune with your inner compass, you must become still every once and awhile. You must quiet yourself, converse with yourself and give yourself time to work through #2-5. If you keep moving blindly from one mistake to the next, you aren’t taking advantage of the knowledge that is available to be absorbed and almost guaranteeing that you will make similar mistakes again. 

7. Never Stop Learning

The best and most assured way to gain more self-confidence and bolster your inner compass is to continually become better acquainted with the world we all live in. When you come to understand how the world functions, how it functioned in the past and how people have previously lived, currently live and potentially can live, you put the odds in your favor that the decisions and direction you take are based on knowledge, not simply belief. And that is the difference between standing on quicksand and cement. 

8. Find Your Faith

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

But even with all of the knowledge you can gather, there will still be unknowns. After all, each of us is a unique individual with unique circumstances involved with others in the same construct, so in order to move forward, trusting your inner compass, you must fill the unknowns (the gaps, as I like to call them) with your faith. I’m not necessarily talking about religious faith (although it might be for some), but a universal faith that requires you to stride forward with confidence.

9. Take Action

Lastly, with as much knowledge and insights as you can possess at that given moment, strike out in such a fashion that is not timid, but rather assured that you are endeavoring in the direction that is best for you. You have done your homework, you have listened to your previous experiences, you have absorbed all that they have to teach you and you know what life you want to live. Now go forward with a resolute determination that while others may not understand, the most important ingredient is that you do. 

”Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”
Oprah Winfrey

So long as you stride forward, you can only fall forward. It is when you are timid and leaning back with uncertainty that the winds can easily push you back. So trust yourself, because even if you do trip, the experience you gain will be invaluable and you will have still gained ground despite the awkward misstep.


~Why Not . . . Get to Know Yourself?

~Why Not . . . Revel in Solitude?

~Trusting Your Instincts

Images: (1) source (2) source

June 21, 2013

The Archives and Summer Have Returned!

Yesterday I felt like the woman in the top image as the last day of school wrapped up, but I must say, simply knowing that summer has begun (the longest day of the year is today!) is leaving me feeling similar to the woman in the second image. And as a way to celebrate the beginning of the season, having booked the appointment more than a month ago, I’m heading to my favorite spa today to enjoy a bit of pampering. And I won’t lie – I can’t wait.

But enough about summer for a moment, as something else has also returned to The Simply Luxurious Life that I think you might be happy to hear. Due to readers’ requests and much interest, I finally took the hint (thank you for your patience) and made what I hope is a decision you will thoroughly enjoy. The archives have finally returned.  Removing them last year was not an easy decision (my full explanation for doing so is explained in this week’s newsletter – click here to read), but I’m thrilled to share them with you again.

Organized into 14 separate topics (creating your very own simply luxurious life, relationships, decor, recipes, travel, decor, Francophile topics, style and more), the archives include posts dating back to 2009 when the blog was in its infancy and will continue to be updated weekly. Have a look here and discover what The Simply Luxurious Life has been up to these past three and a half years.

And now for a look back on the past week’s post on the blog:

~Style Inspiration: Summer Chic

~10 Truths of Successful People

~This & That: No. 63 . . . summer reading options (a book, a magazine & a blog) and a summer sale not to miss

~Why Not . . . Welcome the Summer Season?

~Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 12 . . . boyfriend jeans, chic tops and more

And this week’s newsletter – issue #154 – click here to read.

Have a wonderful weekend, thank you for your continued interest in the blog and enjoy creating your own unique simply luxurious life. Until Monday, bonjour.


Images: (1) source  (2) source (3) TSLL Archival image illustrated by Inslee Designs

June 20, 2013

Splurge & Save Outfit: No. 12


Summer casual paired with simple, fun accessories and a little height creates one of my favorite combinations for evening outings to just about any event that isn’t formal. Just because you prefer T-shirts does not mean you have to lose style.

Matches’ summer sale is underway and is where I discovered Jonathan Saunders’ silk teardrop top as it can easily be paired with jeans or a skirt for work. Also, both pairs of boyfriend jeans are on sale, and so too are each pair of sandals. Lastly, the over-the-shoulder-tote enables you to keep both hands free for conversation, sipping or whatever the occasion calls for.


~Alexander Wang Antonia sandals~

~J. Brand mid-rise Aiden boyfriend jeans~

~Janathan Saunders Jenna teardrop silk T-shirt~

~Joom Lim titanium cuff~

~Mulberry Bryn triple clasp bag~



~GAP 1969 boyfriend jeans (enter promo code GAPGIFT on Jun 20th to save 25%)~

~Sam Edelman Allie sandal~

~Jonathan Saunders jersey print T-shirt~

~J.Crew Edie purse in neon orange~

~Banana Republic tile stretch bracelet~


Style Inspiration: Summer Chic

Yep, summer would be here (officially tomorrow), but according to my calendar, summer has arrived. Now the wardrobe can be tinkered and played with a bit as fun trends are easier to welcome into the wardrobe during this playful season. From prints, shorts, floppy hats to creative sunglasses, it seems you can get away with a little bit more, so why not try that peplum top top or those polka dots you’ve been eyeing? After all, when you discover what works perfectly with your signature style, it will be well worth the risk.




Images: (1) source (2) source (3) Oscar de la Renta pre-Fall (4) source (5) source(6) source(7) source(8) source (9) source (10) source (11) source

June 19, 2013

Why Not . . . Welcome the Summer Season?

Summer officially arrives on the calendar this Friday and with school wrapping up for the summer this week for myself and many students and fellow teachers, I can’t help but celebrate the beginning of the season that welcomes flexibility, leisure, more spontaneity and excessive sunshine. Much like the checklist I shared in September to begin the school/work season after long summer vacations, I think it’s just as important to have a checklist for beginning our summer season.

Let’s have a look at how to welcome the summer season in such a way that sets the tone for what we wish to occur as well as celebrate the productivity and success of the last nine months.

1. Celebrate

Even if you’re not a graduate at any level (high school, college, etc) the end of spring and beginning of summer deserves to be celebrated. Many of you are about to (or have already) embark on vacations you’ve long anticipated, school or work may be slowing down or wrapping up, and there is a self-recognition that when it occurs helps us to do even better when the new task, new season, new year begins. Why? Because we know that there is an end, because we know that we are allowed to pat ourselves on the back. Because we know that even if no one else knows we gave it our best, so long as we did, we need to celebrate. Perhaps you prefer to get together with friends or maybe you’re like me, schedule a spa treatment to be pampered. Whatever you choose, allow yourself to indulge, you deserve it.

2. Take Advantage of the Farmers’ Markets Seasonal Produce

Just thinking about the bountiful fresh food choices available during summer gets my palette excited. From heirloom tomatoes, garden grown lettuce for salads and endless herbs to add amazing flavor, the appetite is never left bored.

3. Buy Sunscreen

Whether you can’t get enough of the sun or you seek out the shade religiously, make sure to have sunscreen on hand. L’Oreal’s Sublime Sun Face (SPF 50) is my go-to choice worn under my makeup when I have any inkling I’ll catch the sun’s rays. And if you’d like a golden glow for a special occasion, but want to protect your skin without the streaks from tanning lotion, treat yourself to an airbrush tan. Guilt-free tanning.

4. Enjoy the Early Sunrise

Whether you like walking in the morning to greet the day or simply sitting in an east facing room, or better yet, outside on your deck, porch or balcony, take advantage of the long days of summer by waking up a little bit earlier when its cooler and calm in the neighborhood.

5. Mix it Up on the Grill

So many different types of food are capable of being grilled, bringing out scrumptious flavors and keeping the kitchen cool. Enjoy trying new recipes that regularly appear in local newspapers and the summer issues of magazines.

6. Shop for Summer Wardrobe Essentials

My list includes:

~My obsession with stripes is something I have given up trying to hide . . . (click here to view the dress in the second image)

7. Buy a Scoop of Gelato or Your Favorite Ice Cream

Last weekend my mother and I stopped with my niece and nephew into Walla Walla’s Colville St. Patisserie and had our first gelato of the season. With temperatures in the high 80s/low 90s, the chocolate was exactly what I was craving. I don’t know, there’s just something guilt-free about enjoying this delightful cool treat when the weather is so warm. Don’t you agree?

8. Create a Short Goal List

I know this initially sounds sacrilegious, as summer is for letting go of responsibilities, but the beauty of summer is that you can complete them at your own pace – intensely, leisurely, etc. Ever the planner, I prefer to have at least two or three tasks I’d like to complete around the house, for the blog and for personal/professional growth before summer’s end. And just because it’s on a to-do list, doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable or rewarding? After all, doesn’t making the most of one’s vacation sound like a good mandatory demand?

Now it’s your turn! How do you best enjoy welcoming summer? Feel free to share below in the comments section or on Facebook.

June 18, 2013

This & That: No. 63

Pleasure and thought-provoking reading, a new magazine full of substance, new stationery from one of my my favorite illustrators and more . . .

~Article to Read

1. Only Children - Lonely & Selfish? by Lauren Sandler via the New York Times

While the decision of whether or not to have children is already understandably quite ponderous, if one indeed decides to have children, is having only one a choice to be considered? Author Lauren Sandler, an only child herself, digs through the research to defend the many benefits for the child should they be the one and only.

Her article doesn’t focus on discrediting having multiple children, but rather challenging the stereotype she has perceived as a child and now as a parent of one child herself. Logically, emotionally and ethically she takes a look at only children’s successes and struggles and shares in her book One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child and the Joy of Being One, which was released on June 11th, extensive research and her findings.


2. The Art of Manliness

Brett McKay has founded a website for men that is widely known as the largest independent men’s lifestyle website. The Art of Manliness focuses on a wide array of topics – style, literature, relationships, farming, money, sports and health, and even though I’m not the intended audience, I found myself scrolling repeatedly through the first few posts I came across. For example, 100 Must Read Books: The Man’s Essential Library and Stop Hanging Out with Women and Start Dating Them were two articles worth taking a look at.


3. Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

Earlier this month, the sequel of the best selling novel The Devil Wears Prada was released - Revenge Wears Prada, and I can't think of a better summer indulgence than in a fictitious story that involves fashion and even more fashion. Andy Sachs returns ten years later having paired up with Emily, her former colleague, to run a high-end bridal magazine. Seemingly blissful in her career and in her personal life (Andy's involved with a new leading man), the drama begins.


4. Verily

“A magazine that [speaks] to [women’s] hearts as women and celebrates who they are, not just what they’re told they should be.” The refreshing tone, direction and substance of Kara Eschbach’s premiere issue of Verily met and quickly exceeded my expectations.

When my issue arrived, I found myself spending as much time reading through each page as I would a much anticipated Vogue or Atlantic issue. Full of thoughtful articles in the arenas of Culture, Lifestyle, Relationships, as well as a stand-out feature article on real world events and conflicts, if you’re looking for something different with more thought and less fluff, subscribe here.


5. Reiss

The London apparel company is having their semi-annual sale. With items marked down up to 50%, now is a great time to see if those items you’ve had your eye on are included. Last month’s Street Style post Stripe Dress (see below) has been reduced further, and after looking through the website, I found this emerald dress, this champagne sweater, and this handbag that I wouldn’t mind adding to my wardrobe.


6. R.Nichols New Note Cards

Having beautiful, signature stationery on hand is a simple, yet elegant detail that quickly allows you to send a note to a friend should any occasion arise - thinking of you, thought you would like this recipe, etc. And when R. Nichols recently released his new designs, two captured my attention immediately - the Patisserie note cards and the Hammock note cards ($17/8 cards). Have a look at all of the additions to his online shop. After all, who knows when you will need to say hello or thank you to a friend just because.