Celebrity Living: Kourtney K's Family Friendly Modern Home...

You may giggle at the phrase "most relatable Kardashian" but with her family-first nature, Kourtney is easily the sister with whom I have the most in common. Known for her talents and appreciation for interior design, her business savvy and her tendency to prefer nights at home over causing chaos on the town, this is the famous brunette mogul with whom I can relate.

Her house? Stunning, and a clear departure form the aesthetic her family's homes tend to share. Although she and sister Khloe live around the corner from one another, enjoy a shared foundation of Mediterranean architecture and both utilized the talents of designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, their private residences could not be more different. Khloé's is an exercise in Arabian Nights but Kourtney's demonstrates an appreciation for carefully selected Mid-Century prizes and a decidedly more modern vibe. 

I’m amazed how many styles he can interpret, Khloé’s place is glamorous, which suits her style. Mine is much more restrained and modern, which is perfect for where I am in my life.
— Kourtney Kardashian

In a clear departure from the now expected abundance of pillows and plump upholstered pieces, the oldest Kardashian sister favors noteworthy selections such as a vintage Jules Leleu desk, Pierre Jeanneret chairs, Christian Liaigre sofas and a vintage Oscar Niemeyer chair. The collection-worthy names don't stop there. And we haven't even mentioned her stunning art collection. It's a study in contrasts and truly the first time I've seen Kourtney express her creative point of view with such clarity. The entire home is airy, light and a demonstration of tasteful restraint. 

I like the push-pull effect of the resulting design. The unexpected mix of vast spaces with slim furnishings. Children's areas furnished with with Italian lounge chairs amidst the Melissa & Doug stuffed animals. It parallels the very private nature of the homeowner who lives in the public eye. I love the duplicity of it all. 

CHANNEL COURTNEY'S INVITING MODERN LIVING ROOM

If you missed it, here's her sister's glamorous Moroccan-influenced home around the corner (which I adore) and this stunning pic of the crew together on Khloe's now infamous outdoor swings. Note to self: must get a pair of those!

ENJOY THIS BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO

Color Crush: The Seductive Allure of Nectar...

{pleated silk maxi gown from FreePeople.com}

Nectar. Just the name of this pretty color is tantalizing. Somewhere between sweet pink and tangy nectarine lives a color so fantastic I decide time and time again it's my favorite. And yet, nectar is one of those subtle shades that is difficult to pinpoint. How does it differ from tangerine and persimmon? Is it the same as coral? Rest assured, these are not the same. Nectar is deliciously orange and delightfully pink at the same time. If a tangelo could blush they might turn this pretty hue. If a the perfect shade of pink could merge with the most ripe peach it might become this fantastic color. What abut you? Do you love nectar too?

SHOP THE SHADE

Celebrity Living: Khloé Kardashian's Calabasas Kasbah...

Of all the Kardashian sisters, Khloé must be a dream client for designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. She's decisive, vocal and willing to take chances in life and - evidently - in design. Their latest collaboration has resulted in a decadent, dreamy residence worthy of exactly what it earned: a generous spread in ArchDigest. 

From the quatrefoil fountain to the tented living room, this bachelorette pad is an exotic mix of inviting luxury. Plump pillows, plush textiles, billowing sheers and views for miles are just  a few of the sensational hallmarks of her newly renovated home. Yet clean lines and modern sensibilities abound, meaning those Arabian Nights flourishes never dominate in such a way that one would ever call her house "themed" or forced. It. Is. Gorgeous. 

Formerly Justin Bieber's sprawling six+ bedroom, 9,214 square pad, Khloé and Martyn transformed it into a glamorous abode for newly (almost officially) single Kardashian. Even if you watch the show (and I do) you'll find these interior photos to be marvelously revealing. Who knew she had sexy Moroccan reading nook? Why have we never seen that dreamy tented sitting room? And her closet? I could tell it was huge, but the photo above demonstrates its star-studded status. Suffice it to say I dig her Calabasas digs.

What makes it interesting to see is her breakaway from the strict black and white palette into a larger array of muted neutrals, stylized silhouettes that creates a sexy and inviting vibe throughout the home. Those glossy black floors against the white, white woodwork and cabinetry is so appealing, isn't it? And given her notable tendencies towards obsessive perfection (the infamous cookie jars, for example) it's no surprise to see the home is ripe with clean lines and open spaces. Maximal minimalism at its best. 

SHOP KHLOÉ'S KASBAH VIBE

Loving: Opulent All Black Street Style...

hbz-street-style-couture-spring-2016-day2-11.jpg

Its' easy to believe the important fashion statements happen behind wrought iron doors on creamy white catwalks during Paris Couture Week. One look at these images by Diego Zuko proves that the real movement is happening outside the shows. Fur booties, lace crop pants, and ultra-luxe details were everywhere - as was my favorite power color: BLACK. 

I'm styling you up in the spirit of those impeccably dressed women seen in Paris this week. But I'm giving it to you two different ways: noir luxe (with luxe pricing) and noir savvy (with smart girl price points). My suggestion? Mix and match to achieve the high-low blend you typically achieve on your own.

What's the secret to the look? A lace top, a mini bag, a statement-making outer layer, killer shoes (naturally), oversized sunnies to up your chic factor and just enough jewelry to offer punctuation where necessary. And as always... live fabulously! 

SHOP THE LOOK: NOIR LUXE 

savvy.png

Model Behaviour: Striking a Glamorous Pose at Paris Couture...

The always impeccable Olivia, Chanel's incredibly grand "more-is-more" creative vision (just admire those next level cat eyes, won't you?), Gigi's perpetually ethereal visage and Kendall's laser-focused "smize" were but a few of the fashionable Instagram moments worth noting this week. And can we just have a moment to applaud the style evolution of Kristina Bazan? She'll killing it in those emerald skinnies and giving us major fashion inspiration with that feathery vest-meets-jacket situation. Consider me impressed and committed to upping my own personal street style game. {more on Harper's Bazaar}

In the Mood For: Jovial Spring Tablescapes...

It's sunny and bright outside this week, hinting that winter is a mere blip on the calendar. A minor inconvenience on the way to brighter days, lighter moods and cheerier outlooks. Knowing this, I'm already in the mood for spring and the colorful palette that it affords. Pink macarons, pastel dinnerware, fresh blooms and a carefree attitude tod=wards entertaining and life itself. I'm already hearing the birds chip. Already seeing the cloudy skies. Already breathing in the roses. What are you in the mood for today? {scene above via}

IN THE MOOD FOR


Dreamy Spaces: Parisian Luxe in the Hollywood Hills...

This was one of those moments when I discovered the home that belongs to the master closet seen above. I've pinned and repinned that closet many times over the years, each time making a private promise to myself to achieve such closet perfection in my life. Yesterday I discovered the rest of the home on Luxe magazines's site.

Designed by Smith Firestone Associates, this incredible Hollywood Hills home captures the elegance and glamour of a refined Paris estate white embracing California's easy, breezy vibe. The living room may lean toward the formal end of the spectrum with its shimmering velvet fabrics and lustrous metallic finishes, but the rest of the home is pure relaxed elegance. It will come as no surprise to you regular readers that I love it! 

And that dreamy closet is the brainchild of none other that the esteemed Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design - another all-star in my book. {All photographs via Luxe & SFA.}

GET THE LOOK: RELAXED LUXE PARISIAN DINING  

 
 
 
 

Get the Look: High Impact Living for a High Impact Life...

Well hello there, new year & new attitude. I don't know about you, but January has been a series of small battles. Never one to back down from a challenge or let it fully overtake me, I feel re-energized and ready to stand up to whatever this new year offers. In keeping with this can-do attitude and fierce outlook on life, I channeled that vibe into a sleek & chic living room design. A serious dose of color and a major shot of glamour, this space radiates confidence and healthy self-esteem... just like you. Remember, every day is a new opportunity to reinvent yourself, to be the person you aim to be, to reach for the goals you burn to achieve. Seize those moment of ambition and purpose and don't let them go. 

 
 

Current Obsession: Spring Shoes with Personality to Spare...

I may play it classic in many areas, but when it comes to open-toe shoe season I have a fondness for fun and a leaning towards towering statement platforms. What can I say? This five foot mama needs all the lift she can get to make her legs look long & lean. These beauties above? Footwear heaven embodied if you ask me. Playfully printed cork, darling gold studs and a colorful espadrille base. It's sunny yellow and pretty pink perfection. Hello, happy feet! Spy these at Neiman Marcus before perpetual pedicure season arrives...

CRUSH-WORTHY ESPADRILLES


Dreamy Spaces: A Relaxed French Château in Sunny Southern California...

My real estate dream come true! A stunning French château that requires little more than a move to sunny California to occupy. It's the best of France (think: creamy limestone and marvelous architectural details) and the best of West Coast style (relaxed linen seating, a subdued color palette and blurred lines between indoors and out) that makes this a dream home for me. I love everything about it from the intimate gardens to the grand facade. Positively dreamy! It's spying new construction like this that inspires me and encourages me to keep my eyes on the prize. Anything is possible. {photographs above by MATTHEW MILLMAN for Veranda}

CHANNEL THE CALIFORNIA CHATEAU LOOK AT HOME 


French Linen Bergere // Vintage Gilt Sconces // Potted Lavender // Linen Bench Seat Sofa // Footed Silver Bowl // Potted Orchid // Wing Sculpture // Seagrass Rug // White Textured Dinnerware // Nested Woven Baskets // Oval Back Linen Chair // Textured Velvet Pillow // Lion Head Wall Fountain // Brass Chandelier // Whitewashed Hanging Lantern // Round Marble Lidded Box // Gilt Mirror

The key to marrying the styles is to let the architecture and structure of the home shine with elegance, but keep the upholstery and the decor relaxed, unfussy and livable. Add decadent glamour on the walls via gilt mirrors, elegant sconces and stunning boiserie. Allow the textiles to bring in an organic vibe. Choose linen, seagrass and woven baskets to infuse the space with the natural and inviting spirit of Southern California living. Dare to add a bit of this vibe to your home with inspiration from the pieces above. And most of all, keep it light, bright and airy because a dank, dark château isn't on anyone's wish list! 

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Interview: Exploring the Chic Creations of Savannah Hayes...

While blogging affords many hidden benefits, there are two in particular that work together to fuel my creative hunger: discovering independent talent and having the opportunity to interview these lively entrepreneurs. One such recent discovery is Pittsburg-based designer Savannah Hayes whose introductory collection looks as polished as that of any long-running brand. Having worked with a handful of big name designers and brands prior to her entrepreneurial debut, it comes as no surprise that her designs have star power written all over them. Her graphic textiles, conversation-starting marble and striking iPhone cases dazzle my eyes and spark questions I simply had to ask of Savannah. Below I captured them to share with you. I hope this sparks a fury of creativity for you as the new year kicks off! 

ENJOY THE INTERVIEW

Savannah, your work is modern, chic and yet entirely practical. What was the first Savannah Hayes product you created? Tell us more about the idea behind that piece…

My first finished piece was the Milas throw blanket. It started as a small scale drawing in my sketchbook: the result of an afternoon alone spent with paper, ruler, and graphite. The blankets are 50" x 60" and I scaled the design to fit that size. I love how dramatic it is opened up to show the full design and how subtle it is when folded.

Travel is a key influence for most, if not all, creatives. You’ve lived in many great cities but can you point to a specific vacation destination or journey that offered a heavy influence for your design aesthetic?

In my early 20s, I found myself in Rome several times in a matter of a few years. With my camera and my sketchbook, I devoured the city. I tried to capture the ancient architecture, the aged patinas, the abundant textures , the rich colors. Several of the designs in my inaugural collection were influenced by specific shapes and angles that I recorded on those trips.

Kelly Wearstler, Kravet & the esteemed Martha herself. What lessons from those past professional engagements guide you in your entrepreneurial pursuits today?

With Kelly, I saw firsthand how owning your own business can so positively affect a work/life balance. At Kravet, I learned how to style a collection. From color and texture to scale and pattern, it's a matter of balance. From Martha, I learned how big big can be!

Are there any great books you can recommend that delivered an “ah-ha” moment for you as a creative and/or a business owner?

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon is a must read. I find myself rereading it in the bath! It's such a wonderful trove of encouragement and advice to help creatives stay at their most productive.

Let’s talk about your stunning products! Geometrics have a solid presence in the current collection. What can you share about your love of these modern shapes and designs?

I've been attracted to angles and edges for as long as I can remember. I always draw with a straight-edge and when I'm photographing, it's the linear elements in the environment that I'm most attracted to. I think bold, geometric prints pair well with the organic shapes of furniture and the softer design elements we so often have in our homes.

The Odessa Throw and the Aquino phone case make me weak in the knees. What are your current favorites from your line? 

That's so nice to hear! Hmm, tough question... Well, if my home is any indication, I've currently got an Izmir throw blanket on my sofa and a pair of the 24" Antwerp pillows on my bed. And the Ravenna case on my iPhone!

Without revealing too much… what’s next on your vision board or personal success plan?

Leather! Given the success of the phone cases, I'd love to expand our brand into other personal accessories.

Morning beverage? What’s inside your cup lately?

I'm a classic latte kind of girl. I also love Kusmi tea and a simple kale/pineapple juice I make with our amazing Nutribullet.


 I loved hearing the different yet key lessons learned from Kelly, Martha and Kravet. Huge names in the lifestyle brand category. It's no wonder Savannah's collection of accessories are so gorgeous. For more on Savannah, visit her site and prepare to find yourself quickly developing a list of must-haves from her stunning collection of goods. 

I hope you enjoyed the first interview of the year.Expect many more as we explore the inner workings of creative minds, edgy entrepreneurs and brand builders. 

{images courtesy of Janelle Bendycki for SavannahHayes.com}

Feeling Bookish: The Busy Girl's Secret to Lifelong Learning...

Ahhh, books. I used to read self-development books with a voracious appetite. These days I am too busy reading stories to my own little ones and devouring design books to dig into hardcover volumes that promise to shake my core and realign my life. What did I read once upon a time? beginning in junior high, every biography by a successful mogul I could get my hands on. Richard Branson, Lee Iacocca and others. As I grew into a woman I turned to a wide variety of health, beauty & wellness books for knowledge. And then there was the steady diet of strategy and self-actualization books I couldn't get enough of reading. Each blessed book got me one step closer to the idealized version of myself.

Well, that was single, child-free me. Married with little ones me is a bit book starved and the lack of informational nutrients flowing into my brain is beginning to wear on me. I crave knowledge. I thirst for books leading me to deeper fulfillment, greater enlightenment and a renewed sense of drive. And yet, the library books and Amazon delivered books go unread. It's time to put an end to this. 

As the months tick by I find my "wish list" of personal growth books getting longer. Reading in bed is not an option, as I read my girls to sleep and them promptly pass out myself. My solution? Audible. It began with a commitment to master Italian and develop conversational foreign language skills. Delighted by the prospect of knowledge-on-demand I downloaded the classic "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. A big fan of efficiency, my on-the-go approach to book consumption quickly became an obsession. 

Don't get me wrong, those of you with the time to curl up with a book should absolutely do so. I find that my nose is buried in interior magazines, style books and other design-related reading material a majority of the time. The idea of lying in bed listening to...well, anything, is a dreamy concept. The added advantage of taking in new information passively as I drive to Whole Foods or run errands in almost a guilty pleasure.  Some of these are books I have in hardcover form on my nightstand or elsewhere in my library, yet just can't find the dedicated time slot for reading these days. And fiction? I will likely need to wait until I swaying under a palm tree in near the equator before I indulge myself in such pleasurable reads. (confession: for those I'll get paperbacks which make window-seat reading a breeze while aboard those Virgin Air flights and can be easily gifted or donated upon completion. :) 

But for me, these non-fiction reads are ideally suited for listening to at night or in the car. Luckily my two mini-me's seem more than happy to practice "buongiorno" intermittently and learn how to think and grow rich from the comfort of the back seat. For that I am incredibly grateful. 

Want to see what titles I have on my early 2016 audio "reading" list? A few older classics, a few new-ish best-sellers and a few mind-expanding volumes. Here goes...

CURRENTLY ON MY DIGITAL BOOKSHELF



Are you a bookworm or a lifelong learner? If so, do you Kindle or use another digital format? I'd love to hear how you take in new information and what is on your "must read this year" list. Please feel invited share!

Buon Weekend: Looking Ahead to the New Year...

{via Pinterest  // cited as Model Gloria Nyaega. Photography - Adham Abou-Shehada. Mua - State of Face. Hair Stylist - Cassi Young-Paxton SC | SC on Facebook}

{via Pinterest  // cited as Model Gloria Nyaega. Photography - Adham Abou-Shehada. Mua - State of Face. Hair Stylist - Cassi Young-Paxton SC | SC on Facebook}

Happy New Year, beautiful friends. We did it! A new year, a fresh start, a wide open future that each of us has the ability to design. Yes, design. Life isn't happening to you. You are drawing experiences and things into your life. Whether consciously or not, you are designing y our present (and future) experience. Knowing this, perhaps it is time you were a bit more intentional designing this lovely, but brief, life of yours. 

Whether or not you make resolutions, you certainly should be making goals. And what better time to do so than the first day of a brand new year? Today find a still moment - just a moment - to come up with a specific goal for the year. Make it very specific. Spell out something in as much detail as possible. Is one goal too few? Awesome. Then make a brief list of actionable, achievable (or wildly outrageous, if you're like me) goals. Write them down. These should inspire thrill in you. These should start a soul fire deep within your heart. These should be the type of list that a non-believer might scoff at if they see it. But you aren't like them. You're not a hollow shell drifting through your existence. You're different. You are amazing. You are powerful.  

Then these big goals down in a journal or on whatever you have on hand today. Write them down and make them a part of your new year. 

My message to you this year? You are powerful beyond your own comprehension. You are dazzling, powerful and bold. YOU CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING you apply focus to, so be certain you focus only on great things. After all, you are a life designer with a fabulous plan. 

WRITE IT DOWN. MAKE IT HAPPEN.


Musings: On Rediscovering Your Flow...

Do you ever have those "off" weeks? Or months? As a self professed "flow" lover, I realized in December I was off my game and feeling (for the first time in a very long while) like I was adrift and without my internal compass. Following my own advice (thank you, archives!), I decided to sort this out the fastest way I know how. Movement. 

In my experience the most effective and efficient way to get out of your head and back into your life-groove is through a steady diet of heart-pumping, balance-challenging, boundary-pushing workouts. And no matter how much I might enjoy a practice at home, it is always through a brilliantly taught class that I'm able to get to that head-clearing space. An amazing instructor that plays killer music and peppers the workout with inspiring words of wisdom is always a welcome discovery. 

Back at the yoga studio, deeply invested in 60 and 75 minute hot yoga sessions I am finally able to clear my head, realign my priorities and identify areas of my life that needed work. Honestly, nothing works for my body, soul and spirit like vinyasa yoga. The dim room, challenging workout and self-discovery of the workout is the ideal antidote to the tension formed by my very tightly wound type-A personality.

Not one to pause during my day for meditation, I find that vinyasa flow is ideally suited to a sort of moving meditation. My mind is quieted. My anxieties are soothed. Anything causing me stress is individually examined over the course of the class and I'm able to pair creative solutions with life's little problems. No matter how crowded the room, there are blissful oassages of time where it's just you, God and your inner most self. Pure bliss. 

All of this occurs while I'm simultaneously getting the most intense workout. I finish class renewed, restored, and a much more chill, centered version of myself.  My I can only hope that each of you have a form of exercise that allows you to enjoy moving meditation and mindfulness. If not, lace up and take a hike in nature. I swear this works wonders on a girl! 

FASHIONABLE FLOW-FINDING FAVORITES

No matter how shy you are, after about 10 minutes of intense movement and 90 degree plus temps you're ready to strip down to your skivvies. My solution? Layers. Thin cropped leggings and a fabulous bra top to keep "the girls" secured for the journey ahead. 

DOES A BODY GOOD

A great mat is key. And I find that the more intense the class, the more I value a well-designed mat. I'll be upgrading to this textured beauty with a carry strap soon. My mind isn't all that needs enlightenment, those pesky shadows under my eyes in the morning are open to a bit of illumination as well! To keep my face looking fresh I'm not too proud to tell you I dab a bit of this magical concealer & hydrating lip balm before heading to the studio. 

POST-CLASS RESTORATION

Immediately after class I take Super Elixir powdered greens with filtered water. My body is eager for the flow of nutrients and alkalizing elements in this (my absolute favorite!) green drink. While at the gym I like to take a quick shower to refresh my body before heading home.  Since I'm not inclined to pack a large back filled with my facial cleanser & specialty hair products, I have a few on-the-go goodies to handle those needs. These facial wipes do a great job of removing grime while leaving my skin hydrated. My hair benefits from a quick burst of air from the hair dryer and this lovely hair perfume.

FACE THE DAY

A former sun-lover, I now cling to my precious bottle of Clarins SPF as if it were liquid gold. This invisible shield beneath my moisturizer of choice keeps my skin dewy and protected. A quick swipe of Charlotte Tilbury's lip/cheek tint serves to enhance that natural post-yoga glow with a subtle yet necessary rosy glow. Now I'm rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to take on the day. 


Back to the topic of flow. I'm not quite there yet. I'm pruning the rose bushes of my mind one by one and discovering a few blooms that need to be nipped and others that need careful nurturing. It's a process, right? The formula for repair for me is quite simple. Work the outside to change the inside. Push through challenging (and endorphin-raising) workouts. Get out in the sun early and often. Develop healthy and positive routines that serve you. Be consistent. Be good to yourself. REALLY good to yourself, because no one will ever care for your whole person with quite the same intensity as you. 

The new year is about to begin. What better time to draw a line in the proverbial sand and dedicate time each day for bettering yourself, caring for your mind & body and giving your mind a window to be still, quiet and reflective. 

Happy New Year to you all. Much more positive messages to come in 2016! 

Wanderlusting: Puerto Rican Cravings on a Cold December Day...

It was bound to happen. Cold weather was going to descend upon Texas sooner or later. Cloudy days, frigid temps and long dark nights are taking their toll on my otherwise cheery mood. The solution? Plotting and planning an exotic getaway. Today's online exploration takes me to not-so-far-flung Puerto Rico. Swaying palms, sandy beaches, fresh cuisine and no passport necessary. It's hitting all the high notes for me and I'm already imagining myself enjoying surfside yoga by morning and long dips in the pool by moonlight.

Wile my husband shows no signs of cabin fever or wanderlust, I suffer greatly from both. Constantly. Thus the need for today's virtual vacation to the sandy beaches of this island paradise. The Ritz-Carlton is a safe bet when venturing to new destinations, and this one in San Juan looks like a seaside paradise as I write this on a chilly Dallas morning. Ready to pack a virtual bag with me? Let's go... 

WHAT'S IN MY VIRTUAL CARRY-ON



{images via KiwiCollection & JetSetter}

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Tot Fashion: Dreaming & Dancing in Tutu du Monde...

{images via Tutu du Monde}

One thing I've grown to love is watching my daughters dress themselves in ridiculously pretty dresses. These are not playground dresses, mind you, but spectacular sequined and tulle creations designed with dress-up in mind. Through trial and error we've grown to love a few specific brands for their successful combination durability, comfort and gorgeousness. Dolly is one brand we absolutely love, another is Tutu du Monde (shown above). 

What is interesting is to see how children are genuinely different from birth. My oldest is just as likely to have her hands in the dirt as she is to be decked out in leopard dresses and sparkly shoes. But my youngest? A girly diva from birth. This little one has been puttin on costume jewelry since she could crawl and never met a fancy dress she didn't want to wear all day long. 

While you may be used to the style of costumes found at Target & the Disney store, let me share with you the difference with these two brands. There are no scratchy seams, no itchy tulle and no rough fabrics touching the body. Both of my children are extremely sensitive to discomfort from seams and other seemingly invisible itch-inducers found in most dresses. The care and craftsmanship of the Tutu & Dolly dresses are beyond words. Luxurious layers of tulle, hand-sewn embellishments and exceptional materials are what you will find. 

Let's talk durability. Time and time again we've fallen for those "good deals" via the discount costume dress sites online. They never fail to disappoint in terms of feel (cheap) and value. A single wear results in torn hems, ripped seams and a general feeling of disappointment. 

My girls dress up so much (it's a daily occurrence) that I don't mind focusing on the higher quality items and owning fewer of them. Since J. Crew sells a handful of this brand I can always keep my eyes open for a sale and pounce when our size/color/selection combo is available. 

If you're looking for dresses that evoke the feelings of magical fairytale moments with the sun hitting her hair, a sparkly tiara on her head and a huge smile on her face... this is your brand. 

TUTU DU MONDE FAVORITES


Personal Style: Soul Mates, A Footwear Match Made in Heaven...

High heels are marvelous and essential for a glamour girl's wardrobe. But I won't hesitate to tell you I adore a high wedge platform sandal any time the look is seasonally appropriate. These Jimmy Choo beauties above are already shaping up to be my must-own spring footwear of choice. Strappy, metallic platform with a cork wedge? Sign me up today, they are hitting all the right notes for me and promise to match everything I own. Between these and the Gucci introductions, Spring 2016 is shaping up to be a very fashionable season indeed.  

HEAVENLY HIGH-HEEL WEDGES I ADORE


For Everyone: Just-in-Time Glamorous Gifts (+ Free Overnight Shipping!)...

If you're not savoring the sweet satisfaction of being DONE shopping, worry ye not. Sit back, submit your order and relax in the knowledge that these great gifts will arrive tomorrow via free overnight shipping. High five, sisters & brothers. The last few items on your list are about to get checked off. Boom. Boom. Done. (Tip: use code NMQUICK for the rush delivery upgrade!)

SHOP JUST-IN-TIME JOLLY

1. Thick Enamel Bracelet // 2.  Sophia Cashmere & Fox Fur Tech Gloves // 3. David Yurman Pearl & Diamond Earrings // 4. Jo Malone Luxury Candle // 5. Stelle Audio Portable Speaker // 6. Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Trio // 7. Jonathan Adler Lacquered Box Game Sets // 8. Maison Francis Aqua Vitae Parfum //  9. Kendra Scott Agate Earrings // 10. NEST Diffuser // 11. Lambskin Leather Fringe Gloves // 12. Michael Kors Cheetah Print Slip-Ons // 13. Smythson Fairy Tales Notebook

Beauty: Loving Donna, Valentino's Spectacular New Fragrance....

When a new fragrance inspires such a fury, it must be good. Very good. From the rose & bergamot scented contents to the edgy yet glamorous rockstud exterior of the bottle itself, this is one bottle we'll all want on our Vanity this winter. Valentino Donna, as it is named, also offers a coordinating lotion to really bring out that subtle notes of Iris, pallida, suede & vanilla. I love its complexity and utter femininity. And that bottle? Stunning and memorable. 

{illustration is the work of Kim Thompson Illustration // Commissioned for Valentino Couture Fragrance Release.

VALENTINO LOVELIES TO ENJOY


Musings: On Refreshing Your Mindset by Refreshing Your Rituals...

Profound, deep personal change can be difficult to attempt. We are often mired in habits and thinking patterns that can be difficult to slough off. Many years ago I discovered a shortcut that continues to serve me well. TO change the inside, we must first make changes on the outside. Create new patterns in your daily routines. Establish new habits thus forcing the old ones out by sheer lack of time.  Rather than a mindset of limiting what you do and stripping off the old, I like to create new rituals and give myself a mental "spa week" to establish new daily routines. The result? Those old worn out ways are a thing of the past that have been scrubbed out by better ways of living. 

Need specifics? Of course you do. Let me share what I've been doing this for the past ten days... 

Feeling as though I'd gone stale in a few areas I decided to look at my days differently. Rather than feel wighted down by my responsibilities and schedule, I saw it through fresh eyes. I began by noticing what wasn't working. My mornings. Many a great leader and successful person will agree "win the morning, win the day." So if my mornings needed a fresh approach I was going to make that happen. 

STEP ONE: GO FOR THE GREENS

I kid you not, Super Elixir has changed my life and so has going grain-free. By stirring some of this powdered miracle into filtered water and starting my day with a glass of alkalizing goodness, my energy levels have soared. I do still enjoy a morning coffee, but this simple change is giving me far more energy, replenishing my nutrients and giving me that healthy glow. 

What are you sipping first thing in the morning? Have you considered the benefits of hot lemon water or powdered greens? Perhaps just sip a bottle of water upon waking. Hydrate. Switch up that behavioral routine of what you physically consume upon waking to see new internal changes. 

STEP TWO: CHANGE MY LOCATION

For quite some time I was continuing my yoga practice at home. honestly, it was getting extremely stale. Those three-legged dogs were dragging. Switching up my pattern and going to hot yoga at the studio every day has not only changed my body in a very short time (yay!) it has drastically reduced my stress levels. Amazing what can change when you set your mind free for 75 minutes a day outside of your normal location. I needed this in a major way.

Again, by changing the outside, you can change the inside. What could you do in a new location that would help you? Could you move to the coffee shop for your freelance? Could you jog someplace new? Can you walk your dog at a different park? Could you drive to work via a new route? See new things. Feel new feelings. Think new thoughts. Change your surroundings to change what's happening inside.  

STEP THREE: TURN YOUR BATH INTO A SPA

So not kidding on this one. Why not treat every day like a visit to a day spa? Mud mask before your day begins? I'm wearing one right now while I type. Tired feet? Apply a treatment before bed and bundle up in cozy socks. Wake up to renewed soles and a renewed soul. Face lacking that Gigi Hadid glow? An AHA is just what you need. Sleepwear is my latest secret weapon against lackluster skin. 

Fact: you have a nightly and morning beauty ritual. Why not boost it up for one week and reap the benefits of upgraded ingredients and treatments? Those that work while you sleep are especially rewarding as you'll awaken to a more marvelous appearance. On that note...

STEP FOUR: EAT, SLEEP, DRINK THE SPA LIFE

Sleeping beauty was on to something. SLEEP is the number one cure for many things. For a change in how I feel I like to drink generous amounts of filtered water all day, eat more fresh food and go to bed a bit earlier each night. By pretending I'm at a spa for a week I am naturally drawn to lighter fare (kale salads with grilled chicken & vinaigrette), inclined to drink more lemon water and more likely to enjoy blissful sleep.

Change what you do, you'll alter how you'll feel. Lighten up on grains, indulge in fresh fruits and greens. Drink in clean, fresh water and tea. The best part? You'll wake up more gorgeous every day which will motivate you to keep the pattern going. 

STEP FIVE: REACH OUT, FURTHER

Keeping in touch my my closest friends is a high priority. But this week I've been making that circle of communication larger by texting & reaching out to a wider circle of friends and family. If your social circle is a bit status quo or dwindling because of a too busy schedule, hit send on a few more texts this week. Stir up conversation and pick up where friendships left off.

Use the holidays as an excuse if you must, but cast that net wider than normal. The rewards of this are new conversations, restored connections, and a more lively daily experience. Expect to see friendships renewed, bonds strengthened and personal thought patterns changed. By changing your social pattern you change your life. 

STEP SIX: CONSUME A LOW-INFORMATION DIET

Tired of the negativity of new and your facebook feed? I cannot underestimate the power of the low-information diet. I was spending too much time flipping through meaningless articles at night, wasting precious time learning... nothing of value. Podcasts & audio books, however, are great ways to learn on-the-go. What do I listen to? Tim Ferriss is my favorite for deep diving interviews with unusual and thought provoking people. For longer format listening I'm turing to classics like Think and Grow Rich and my Behind the Wheel Italian lessons again. But if you need a full break from voices, consider changing the music you listen to for a week. Try a Hôtel Costes style channel on Spotify or Pandora. It will soothe you. 

Those trips to yoga become language lessons and during the day I'm taking in new, profound information. Use N.E.T. time (No. Extra. Time.) to change your life. Listen to books or podcasts during your commute, or shower, or while you get ready to expand your knowledge and get your brain reactivated. Or... take a break form all current events, all news and all weighty information for a week. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Change within can be discovered by changing what we do. ADD IN amazing habits and you'll find those old layers of skin and bad behaviors disappear. It's all about moving TOWARDS what you want and forging new paths. By altering what you do each day you'll capture more value from your allotted 24 hours. Your days will feel longer, your nights more restoring, your daily experience more rich. Try this "life exfoliation" for a week and see how you feel. I promise you will thank me for the nudge! 

AT-HOME RESTORATIVE SPA TREATMENTS