Musings: On Forging New Pathways...

Knowingly or not, we are largely creatures of habit. In order to change your life, you'll have to make consistent changes to your daily routine. That's right: switch up the tiny behaviors we do each day to make sweeping changes to your life. Change on a micro level is what results in big results on the larger scale. Consider your daily practices, your daily habits and your routine carefully, as you just might be walking yourself down humdrum lane without much thought. 

Need an example? Consider the cup of milk. Just one drop of red food coloring and it's now glass of rosy fluid. To the diabetic, even a tiny piece of chocolate throws the insulin levels off. That brief call home to mom might be the moment of change she needed that day. The quick hug to your neighbor might be the only one they receive that day. 

But what about you? Could you rise 30 minutes early to workout or begin writing that novel? What if you took a different way to your desk each day, deepening relationships with the marketing department rather than isolating yourself with your direct colleagues? What if you started each day with a green power smoothie instead of skipping breakfast? How would that impact your energy and output for the day? 

Do you work from home? Maybe relocating to a co-working space or a cafe would allow you to widen your circle of contacts or opportunities. On a more practical level, perhaps a sales call or introductory note once a day would put your business in front of the right clients.

Think big. Act small. Minor shifts for major impact. 

What's your personal daily challenge? What do you do each day and what do you WISH you were doing each day? Decide how you could alter your daily life right now that would bring you closer to alignment with the life you dream of living.

Is "future perfect" you fit and trim or on the front page of Fortune magazine? How does "present reality" you begin shifting into that new iteration of yourself? The truth is, transformation is what life is all about. You just have to be willing to make small daily changes to get there. 

Do you need to add something in or omit something? Consider the answer carefully. Only you know, but don't be afraid to make shifts - large or small - to yield the result you are committed to achieving. 

I urge you to do something NEW, try something different and move FORWARD on your journey to the life you truly crave. We all have something we know we should do to get us there, to put us on the map to success, to bring us deep personal satisfaction. You might not be ready for massive change, but I assure you that small tweaks in your daily behaviors ARE within your grasp.

It's time to step forward and make moving the ball forward part of your DAILY life. Even if it makes you nervous. Embrace the fear and do it anyway. Be bold. Be awesome. Be powerful. You hold the key to everything you crave right inside you - it's simply time you stopped denying yourself the opportunity to shine. 

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RECENT BEAUTY DISCOVERIES

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Loving: All Black Everything...

Thank God black on black is the go-to look for models off duty and every street style favorite out there. For good reason: this rich shade makes even a simple tee and shorts look chic. Not many colors of the rainbow can achieve such a glamorous look with little or no effort. But black, glorious black, is here to save the day every day. Strip my closet down to just black, white denim and pink and I'd be happy. Prizing black perhaps the most of that limited list. For me it exudes sophistication, luxury and a regal air regardless of the season. 

SHOP THE SHADE



 

If you need further proof of noir's power as a trump card, here it is: no other color can be worn head to toe without seeming like a costume. Black on black head to toe reads tailored, polished and fabulous. I've witnessed its staying power first hand during any clean sweep activities in my closet, my black pieces tend to be firmly in "keepers" section of the edit. This is reassuring proof in the power of this timeless fashion choice. Join me on my quest for all things chic and black. I promise it's surprisingly happy and sunny here. 

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Color Crush: Fresh Squeezed Zesty Orange...

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Never underestimate the power of color to energize and inspire. When I need a lift, a zesty dash or bold orange - be it by embroidered pillow, scented candle or cashmere sweater - has the power to elevate my mood. Not as rich as red, not as sunny as yellow, orange is in a realm of it's own. I find it endlessly cheerful and packed with power. It's no wonder it is a longtime designer favorite in both fashion and interiors. 

SHOP THESE FRESH SQUEEZED FAVORITES





Styling tip: Much like citrus juice itself, a little goes a long way. A dash of orange, a hint of tangerine a pop of lemon does the trick. The head to toe (or wall to wall, as the case may be) look was once reserved for those with enough chutzpah to pull it off, but lately committing to color has taken off and become an "every girl" approved look. That said, if pair that orange dress with metallic heels or fun wedges. Save the matching shoes for a different day with a different ensemble.

Less is absolutely more with a powerful color such as this. Orange makes no apologies and bows to no one. Worn well, this powerful color brings a welcome kick of "wow, look at her!" to your look. Be memorable, be fabulous & rock that pop of orange like you mean it. The world is your runway! 

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The Everyday Bombshell: Effortless Envious Locks...

This is the first in a series of posts I feel inspired to write to share some "get fabulous fast" tips & tricks. Face it, none of us have enough "free" time or need to extend our morning routine. In the spirit of sharing, I wanted to share a few beauty & fashion methods and practices I employ to pull it all together with limited time. The Everyday Bombshell series should be viewed a busy girl's guide to looking (and feeling) fabulous when the clock only wants to trip you up. I hope you'll enjoy! 

If you've read my other hair posts you'll know I love long loose messy waves and have found them remarkably easy to create. The look is not perfect, in fact it's a style I love rocking daily even if I have no plans to leave the house. Over time I've developed a few quick methods of achieving that perfectly imperfect look. 

How do I find the time is what most friends ask me. The answer? I don't. I cheat using hot rollers to achieve these rolling locks. They are super easy to use and I can leave them in while I dash about doing other things.

A similar loose curl result can be achieved with a 1" or larger diameter curling iron. The difference, in my opinion, is the curling iron offers more staying power but less volume. The rollers offer considerably more volume at the roots but less precise (read: more loose & wavy) curls.

Given the choice (and much more time) I'd definitely use a large barrel curling iron, but the convenience of the hot rollers beckons me daily. They are just so very easy and allow makeup to be applied and breakfast to be cooked while they do their thing.

That said, I'd love to encourage you to experiment with tools of your choice, and I can't imagine you don't have a curling iron tucked in a bathroom drawer. So pull that baby out and enjoy this video guide. This is one of my favorite video tutorials on how to achieve that perfectly tousled look using a curling iron. You'll feel like a pro in no time! 

Regardless of your tool of choice, these turned tresses will highlight your shiny locks and frame your face beautifully. I'm linking to a few favorite hair styling products that have made bombshell hair significantly easy (and fast) for this busy girl. I hope they do the same for you. 

MAKING WAVES


My other tip? Color. 

There's a great Dolly Parton quote (in fact, the only one I know at all) where she remarks that dumb blonde jokes don't offend her because she knows she's not dumb and she knows she's not blonde. Her self-deprecating humor is surprisingly refreshing and incredibly self aware. In that one simple moment of humor, the iconic blonde frees all of us to admit that we're not, in fact, born with it. 

Beating us all to the punch, hair goddess Lauren Conrad was the original balayage (as the hand-painted highlight technique is known) girl. Visible roots in all their glory finished with sun-kissed tresses that lightened towards the ends. The ultimate California girl look, and hair inspiration to women of all races and ages.  

Dark roots, once the very bane of every salon regular, are now an essential a part of the "look" and a welcome feature of this graduated color look. In a genius twist of fate, the problem is now the solution. 

The common thread amongst all who rock the "fade" is the styling. The dégradé effect looks best with loose, beachy waves - so the tutorial and tips above go hand in hand with my "no extra time" approach to styling. If you've been a slave to the salon for regular touch-ups, perhaps it's time to give this less severe approach to hair color a go and join the ranks of celebrities (and housewives) everywhere for truly effortless and envious locks.

Next time you hit the salon ask your hair stylist what it would take to transform your high-maintenance mane into a beautiful bounty of effortless graduated color goodness. Your busy schedule (and your image in the mirror) will thank you. 

Happy styling, ladies! 

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Perspective: Outlook is Everything...

Life is all about your perspective. Are you tending to your flowers or the weeds in your garden? Are you focusing on the brilliant wonders in your life or the nuisances and lack? It's important, because your mindset determines your outlook... your outlook determines your experience and your daily experiences tally up to be the very summary of your life. 

There are flowers all around you. Your friends, your family, your internet connection, your incredible mind, your very breath. Celebrate those incredible assets in your life and choose to focus on them. Stop feeding the weeds and they'll surprise you by slowly dying off... and all you'll be left with is a colorful, life-affirming garden of flowers. 

FLOWER-INSPIRED FAVORITES




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Foundations: Building a Killer Collection of Chic Jackets & Blazers...

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You'll often find me flipping much of my wardrobe on ebay, poshmark & others. But several categories of my closet are strictly off limits: shoes, handbags & jackets. Those items are cherished, carefully selected and fit me like a perfect white tee (which is an entirely different post you should look for in the coming weeks).  

So... how do YOU build a small collection of jackets & blazers you adore? A few rules of thumb apply. 

  1. INVEST IN THE BEST
    Dolce & Gabbana may very well not be in the budget. But I bet you can snag a great deal on a solidly made jacket on sale at J. Crew or at Nordstrom Rack. The point here is to find a great deal of a very well constructed classic piece. Spare your cash & skip the poorly made pieces. Take time to inspect seams, interior construction and lining. All of these elements matter. 
     
  2. KNOW THY SELF
    Know your style AND get to know what different brands offer. Theory is a brand well known for killer basics, but perhaps you're on the petite side (like myself). In this case, familiarize yourself with brands that cater to your body type. I've found incredible pieces that fit me fabulously at J. Crew, WHBM and Ann Taylor. All of whom offer great buys for those of us with smaller frames. 
     
  3. FIT IS EVERYTHING
    Here's the harsh truth: fit is everything when it comes to jackets & blazers. Sleeves can be tailored, waists can be nipped in, but shoulders must fit from the moment you discover a piece. Be sure your natural shoulder width works with the cut of the acket. And don't forget to inspect the view from the back. Beware of puckering or drooping when viewed in the three-way mirror. It never lies.
     
  4. CONSIDER A LITTLE NIP & TUCK
    While shoulders should fit from the get go (refer to Rule #3), you may want to have the sides or sleeves of a jacket taken in to get the perfect fit. But beware: carefully consider the jacket needing significant tailoring. I've often found that the cost to do so could have been avoided if I'd simply coughed up the cash to invest in a better brand (see Rule #1 above)
     
  5. SHAKE IT OFF
    Cherish those moments alone in the fitting room or changing area. Take a few moments to raise your arms or shimmy to the beat to see how a jacket moves with your body. It might seem "tailored" for a second and feel like a straightjacket when you raise your arms. Conversely, "roomy" one moment may feel boxy and shapeless when you go to wear it to lunch the next day. Evaluate how you look and feel in motion in clothing before buying.  

The above are shopping tips, now let's get to the business of building that killer collection of jackets. Here's what I love owning: 

NOT-SO-BASIC BLACK

Don't underestimate the power of a fabulous black jacket. Paired with jeans & heels or a dress and pearls, these pieces are key to any woman's closet.  It doesn't matter if you're a self-employed artists or a corner office queen bee, you'll need at least one of this wardrobe essential. I love having one summer weight and one light wool blazer for cooler months. 

TERRIFIC IN TWEED

My favorite jackets are my chunky tweed pieces. Some are cropped with embellished crew necks, some are East Coast prep, others are in-between. Their real charm comes from their versatility. Again the "jeans & heels" vs "dress & pearls" question comes to mind. This category of jacket pairs well with both and makes for a smart fashion acquisition. Think of this as your Coco Chanel moment. I like to let freedom rule here. Over time add a wide variety of styles to the mix. I find these useful in every season, and once you begin adding them you'll feel the same way.  

Since a range of options abound here, I'll tell you some of the hallmarks I look for: raw or frayed edges for modern edge. I strictly choose cropped or belted & flared styles. These are the most flattering. That said, I have only one belted, as the cropped variety is so much cooler and flatters my frame the best. Bracelet sleeves (those falling between elbow & wrist length) are a girl's dream come true as it keeps you from looking like you're going or coming from a board meeting. And color. I love color here. Think pink, minty green, icy white or (since it is tweed) a melange of colors all woven together. Bonus points if a jacket has metallic threads woven throughout. Those are the best.

My go-to brands for these is Milly , Rebecca Taylor or Nanette Lepore. All three of these offer incredible construction and a surprisingly tailored fit. While stepping more into the investment category, these are impeccably made and require zero alterations to fit your body flawlessly. At least that's been my experience. But J. Crew, Ann Taylor & WHBM cannot be underestimated. I have at least one amazing tweed jacket or blazer from each of these brands that I wouldn't trade for anything. Fit & quality are supreme! 


 

DECKED OUT IN DENIM

Like Yolanda Foster, white denim reigns supreme in my world. But then again I live in the warm south. The key for me with a denim jacket is details. I love mine cropped and not too distressed. Also (despite what might be trendy) I'm not a fan of denim on denim UNLESS it's white paired with blue. But: fashion is fun so set your own rules. Regardless, these pretty pieces pair as well with sundresses as they do with more dressy options. Consider adding one white and one darker rinse version to your wardrobe and watch the myriad options present themselves. Caution: shy away from faded denim & any vests. Not chic. Not timeless. Not investment pieces. 

THE NOVELTY PIECE

Another favorite category: anything goes. I love having a heavily embellished jacket to toss on over a simple tank & jeans for a "where is she going?" effect. Or how about a Barbie pink blazer? Why not, right? The novelty blazer will quickly become an "outfit making" addition to your wardrobe. Word to the wise: add these in slowly and only when you really fall in love with a jacket. That said, there are no rules. Boleros, ostrich feather cropped pieces and other wildcards all are welcome. 


Keep in mind, these are not outerwear pieces. These are lighter blazers & jackets intended to be part of your ensemble. By building a stable of killer jackets in your closet you'll find it gets easier and easier to pull together a great look with minimal fuss. My collection of blazers & jackets have proven invaluable for years and still stand the test of time. Experiment with brands and fit to determine what really works for your body type and your personal style. Decide what you love and make plans to acquire your staples first and your wildcards later on. Build this collection slowly and with a discriminating eye, investing only in pieces that truly make you happy. 

One of the best tips I ever received about buying jackets was from a salesgirl who wasn't afraid to push the boundaries. She demonstrated the cool "it girl" appeal of what looked like "little old lady" jackets on the rack. It's that effortless mix of a nonchalant fringed tweed jacket with sky high heels & skinny denim that looks so great together. It's youthful and fresh and fun. My perspective on tweeds and less typical jackets was forever changed and my eyes opened to the stylish possibilities. Since then I've been a self-proclaimed connoisseur of jackets and my closet thanks me daily. 

Now... happy hunting to you all! Don't be afraid to experiment! 

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Get the Look: The Bold Blue Velvet Sofa...

While most homes are a sea of beige and cream and white, we hold no fear when it comes to choosing a bold blue sofa. I myself have an admirably fierce aqua sectional that makes no apologies for its fabulousness. 

So... how do you pull it off? Assess enough photos on ArchDigest & Pinterest and you'll begin to detect an undercurrent of themes. I'll share what I've learned: 

  • ALL BUTTONED UP
    The best of the bunch are tufted either on the back or on the seat - occasionally both, when Chesterfields are involved. Not only does this highlight the inherent qualities of velvet, it makes the sofas that much more inviting to sit on. 
     
  • CALL OF THE WILD
    An element of the exotic seems to always appear nearby, either in the form of leopard, zebra or a tribal rug. It adds a much needed "we don't take ourselves too seriously here" vibe to the room. 
     
  • MAX IT OUT
    You've chosen a bold blue velvet sofa. There's no hiding it. So roll with it, baby! Add accents and accessories and art to carry the eyes throughout the room. It enriches the look and reinforces your masterful style. Trust me on this one. 
     
  • AU NATURALE
    In stark contrast to the richness of the saturated (and shiny) velvet, the most successful spaces soften the blow with the roughness of wood. Be it bleached floors, a Mid-Century accent piece or a wicker chair, something nearby is usually rocking a natural finish. 
     
  • GO FOR THE GOLD
    Other metals may make an appearance, but it's clear that gold is the finish of choice for pairing with brilliant blue. From nail heads to frames, the warmth of brass and gold are a classic and timeless choice paired with saturated blue.  
     
  • SHOW ME SOME LEG
    Skirts be gone. These velvet sofas all show a little (or a lot) of leg. Turned or tapered, chrome or mahogany, these blue beauties all eschew the idea of skirts 

So...  how do you get the look in your home? Make the simple yet bold choice to commit to the saturated hue, then rock it like it's nobody's business. Are you a deep teal fan or is true navy more your game? Make that simple choice and the rest of the room will simply come together. Here are a few of my favorite pieces to pull this look off with aplomb. 

SHOP THE DEEP BLUE LOOK




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Musings: On Daring to Ask..

If you're waiting for life to give you permission, brace yourself... that moment it isn't coming. Go out and grab what you want from this brief time you have. Dare to be bold. Dare to take massive action. Dare to take small steps. Dare to fail so that you can perhaps succeed. The only one who can give you permission is you - so why would you stand in your own way? That's right... you wouldn't. :) 

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Beauty: A Few New Raves & Faves...

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While I'm a die-hard fan of all things in my fragrance & beauty arsenal, I'm always down for discovering new noteworthy additions or improvements.

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As you may know, NEST is one of my true personal home fragrance lines. Laura Slatkin has squarely earned her floor space at Neimans and on my counters. Two weeks ago while picking up a few of my usual candles I was introduced to their new sensational scent Sicilian Tangerine. Hellooooo, olfactory senses! This intoxicating fruity scent lit my eyes up with excitement and in a split second transported me to its namesake Mediterranean island. Wow, talk about a dreary winter day wakeup. This new introduction is a welcome rush of bright tangerine with sexy mango & sultry bergamot knocked my socks off. It has since become a household superstar, finding space in both my closet (where a diffuser works winders) and my kitchen (where candles reign supreme). 

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Next in my "why didn't I discover this earlier" category is Guerlain's Lingerie foundation. Let it be known, I'm not a foundation fan. For many years I've used Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer. But lately I feel it sits on top of my skin rather than settling in and seeming invisible. Ick. Has my skin changed? Have I introduced a new moisturizer serum routine? Yes to both, and it's also the dry season of winter. So perhaps it is time to move on or put this item on hold for half a beat.

After receiving a generous sample of Guerlain's product a few weeks ago I decided to take the leap and give this featherlight coverup a chance. It easily lives up to the name, as it goes on as smooth as silk and feels weightless and invisible. (Note: In Laura I wear "Nude" in MAC I've worn "NC30" and in Guerlain I seem to be exactly Beige Clair, a light shade with yellow undertones).

Make no mistake, this is definitely a foundation. I was amazed at the coverage and how it evened out my skin tone with barely a drop. I'm not keen on the resulting matte finish (I have a personal preference for dewy finishes), but the overall effect was pretty much nailing the "no makeup makeup" look. In addition, my eye makeup stayed in place all day. Even my liner. High points for that. 

I always prefer a dewy face, but lately my finished look is just too shiny and my eye makeup wanders (not good), hence the need for a fresher look. And when I tell you Guerlain's Lingerie Foundation is absolutely invisible, it is. Think: your skin... perfected via a weightless and completely undetectable product. It's amazing. No joke. 

Bottom line: I've not sworn off my coveted Tinted Moisturizer. I adore it and I do plan to always have a tube on hand. In fact, I might try dabbling in a mix of the two for the optimal result. For the moment I am reveling in the discovery of Guerlain's feather light product.

Next: my SPF. Oh... this is a tricky one. Like the Laura Mercier product, I've purchased the same UV facial protection product for many years and can't find a single fault with it. Nothing. It is absolutely magical. No stinging eyes, no running, no caked feeling. Clarins UV Plus is absolute perfection.

Why, you ask, would I rock the boat? Kate Somerville offers a version with reviews so good I can't ignore them. Her Daily Broad Spectrum 50+ Waterlight Deflector boasts spectacular reviews and offers more SPF value in addition to a host of other anti-aging benefits. Since my Clarins was running out it seemed a good time to give it a go. So far, so good. I'll keep you posted on whether this is a beauty bag mainstay or one-time fling. But make no mistake: the Clarins UV Plus is absolutely amazing and I would welcome a lifetime supply of the miraculous liquid. 

Bonus discovery: this Bobbi Brown eye shadow palette of smokey nudes is THE BOMB and is exactly what you've been wanting. It is a mix of shimmering nudes, matte ivories, deep browns and rich neutrals. Bobbi's shadows have always been my favorite for good reason: they stay in place! This double-decker compact is limited edition so get it while you can. I found mine at Neiman Marcus.  

So... Those are my new adventures in beauty & fragrance. Would love to hear your new discoveries or all-time favorites! For you savvy shoppers out there: Saks & Neimans are both having their beauty events at the moment. In addition to individual brand bonuses, each store offers a free tote filled with deluxe samples with any beauty or fragrance purchase of $125 or more. Expect to snap up some generous gifts with purchase at either event. 

PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD

Spectacular Properties: The $18.9MM Santa Monica Spread...

Fancy yourself a new pad? I stumbled across this 6 bedroom "cottage" yesterday and drew a deep breath when I saw that top photo overlooking the pool. That's what California living is all about. That endless, jaw dropping view. 

The bones of the house make me think of a Kelly Wearstler project from the AD archives. While it's not the same house, this pimped out English Tudor has seen its share of celebrity designers leave their mark. Elaine Culotti, Ralph Pucci, David Bromstad, Susan Cohen, Sami Hayek and Kyle Schuneman all played a role over the years on this 11,000 square foot spread on the best street in Santa Monica overlooking Riviera Country Club.

Is it my taste? No. But isn't it fun to look at these fully outfitted houses with strong design choices and wonder about the owners or the experience of living there? Of course it is. We all love stalking "out there" real estate. This house holds more than a few signature details - no question. 

In addition to a fully tricked out recording studio, 6 bedrooms, 8 baths and an unexpectedly contemporary kitchen, the home comes with a rich history. According to the listing, "In its last incarnation, you might have found Grayson performing a duet with Mario Lanza while Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra cozied up by the fireplace and Howard Hughes slept in a guest room." All that's missing from that epic gathering is Marilyn Monroe. Let's suffice it to say you won't be moving in without going unnoticed by your well-meaning (and well-connected) neighbors. 

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Personal Style: My Pitch Perfect Spring Look...

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Ladies & gentlemen... it is on. This is so going to be my jam this spring. Pretty culottes, a quilted bag and these seriously amazing platform wedges. I need look no further for fashion inspiration for those months ahead that promise sunny days, flower-filled moments and butterflies fluttering about. 

Perhaps I'm just bored of my skinny jeans & boots this winter, but the idea of cushy cork-bottom shoes & flowy pants seems freeing and fabulous to me. Fashion freedom, baby! 

Tory Burch Fleming Quilted Flap // Jimmy Choo Patara Cork Wedge // Tibi Simone Pleated Culottes // Tibi Simone Silk Top // Layered Pendant Necklace // Bobbi Brown Brightening Brick Pink // 

My only hiccup? I'm not one to throw down upwards of $425 on a pair of pink pleated pants. So I'm on the hunt for a suitable replacement. Accessories, jackets & dresses are my investment pieces, but fun pants & blouses are not items I sink heavy cash into. But those platforms & the bag are on my radar and most certainly happening. 

I did find a few pair in a range of price points, but still no pleated pink. Trust me when I tell you that black and white ones will surely be my staples. 

PEEP THESE CUTE CULOTTES

What about you? What will your spring 2015 look be? Will you be joining me in my quest for culottes or sticking to your skinnies? 

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Perspective: Believe It to See It...

Call it chutzpah, call it blind ambition, but willing things to happen with unstoppable faith has incredible power. Kick of this Tuesday without fear, without hesitation and without any doubt. What you seek is already in your power. It's all about realizing it. 

PRETTY LITTLE "DAY MAKERS"

Musings: On Making the Days Count...

Can I tell you a secret? A "great life" isn't the result of a whirlwind voyage around the world or a crazy big windfall in your future. Those are going to lovely, yes, but they are not what matters most in this moment. 

Ready for me to drop some wisdom on you? Your dream life is closer than you imagine. It's around you right now. Your "reality" is composed of minuscule details that make up each day. That's right. Small, tiny moments that you may be overlooking each waking moment of each day are what will stack up to become the sum total of your life. Knowing this, it's time to "wake up" from your life coma and embrace each and every breath. 

That trip into the grocery store holds the potential to be an opportunity for a serendipitous introduction. Your morning commute could reveal to you the most spectacular sunrise you've ever witnessed. A text to a long-distance friend could very well be the pick me up she (or you) needed at the moment. 

It's time to embrace the now to ensure yourself a more miraculous tomorrow. Watch the sunrise. Be more mindful when someone tells you they love you. Open your eyes to the marvelous things already in your life. When we appreciate - and I mean fully appreciate and acknowledge - the bountiful goodness in our lives it will seem almost comical how much more of it flows in. 

Don't live waiting for this or that or the other to occur. Seize the beauty and miracles in your life right now. Enjoy it, Marvel at it and love every bit of it. You just might discover you are indeed living your dream life.

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Trendspotting: Everything's Coming Up Roses...

The more you dig into wellness, the more you'll notice certain ingredients emerging as superstars. Rose oil is such a star in the beauty arena, and it isn't going unnoticed in mainstream products. Laura Mercier recently launched a line of skincare items infused with the flower's coveted ingredient, and they are certainly not the first. It bears mentioning, because a big brand such as that anchoring a new line showcasing a singular key ingredient is an indication that we're about to see a wave of rose-enhanced beauty goods. 

I've been reading about the beautifying powers of a rose-infused mist to the face before bedtime (reportedly Mirada Kerr's KORA line holds the mist supermodels covet most). It sounds decadent and (if beauty the Giseles and Miradas are to be believed) wildly effective for nourishing, plumping and restoring lost moisture. Sign me up. I'm convinced!

Beyond the vanity counter you'll see we're in the midst of a full on rose-filled celebration of sorts. Rose gold, pale pink leather, rosé wine and all things rosebud are popping up on everything from bikinis to moisturizers. Personally I can't wait to add a bit more of this fleur to my life, and these pretty pieces make it so much more tempting to do so. I've rounded up a dozen or so of my favorite rosy goods for your enjoyment. Guaranteed to be wilt (and thorn) free. Happy Valentine's Day to you all! 

xoxo
Franki

A SHOPPABLE BOUQUET OF BLOOMING ROSES





Perspective: Small Steps Forward = Major Results...

I recently read a statement that caused an ah-ha moment for in my life. To paraphrase (because I can no longer find the original text) it dropped this wisdom: 

To make any life-altering changes to your life, you must select one personal daily habit and do it differently. 

Boom. Simple truth. Profound impact. What might this mean for you? Does it mean getting up and working out right away every day? Does it mean changing what you do (or eat) for lunch? Does it mean making calls to family and friends each afternoon instead of surfing the web? Does it mean eating breakfast outside on the patio and watching the sunrise in lieu of grabbing a protein bar and dashing out the door? 

Most of mine will involve healthy habits or time efficiency, as these are personal priorities. Perhaps yours are financial changes. What if you skipped the $8 a day coffee shop habit and saved the cash. What if you dropped your usual lunch habit and applied that income instead toward a vacation fund? 

Think of these more as tiny pivot points that lead to big differences in our life experience. Minimal tweaks that produce dramatic emotional shifts. 

Can you think of a few small steps (or even just one) you could make in your life on a consistent daily basis that would cause a ripple effect in your life? Does it mean putting down the coffee cup and sipping matcha? Or starting your day with prayer & meditation? Or setting specific personal boundaries on when you lose hours staring at your iPhone? Maybe you could begin each day with a look at your goal sheet or inspiration board and let the messages wash over you. How might that small daily practice overflow into other areas of your life? 

What lifestyle habit could you alter that might feel like a tiny change yielding massive results? 

THE CRUSH LIST

Loving: All Things Pink + Gold...

Pink & gold. Isn't it just the dreamiest combo? I love it on its own. I also crave it in combination with fiery orange or crisp black. You can't go wrong with either direction, but the purest combo of them all still stands out as pink & gold.

Have a happy Friday, everyone. And remember: no one else can write your life's script. Author your own destiny and don't be afraid to scratch out the next chapter you had planned and write in something quite a bit more interesting. After all, this experience is too short to live a dull, ordinary, predictable version of it. Go forth & be bold. Surprise yourself with your abilities and courage. I know you can. 

PRETTY PICKS IN PINK + GOLD



Destinations: Modern Classics, The Venetian Way...

I've recently written of Venice so if you've never been (or merely lack the passion for all things Venetian) I apologize. It's just that I love the city so much. It's been in the news of late thanks to the latest round of Acqua Alta (that's "flooding" for the rest of us). Carnival revelers walk on elevated sidewalks or merely trudge through the water-filled piazzas. It is heartbreaking and breathtaking simultaneously to see this city once again under unusually high waters. 

While I'm not a fan of Carnival or masquerade balls in general (I blame Tom Cruise for that), I do love the idea of a city steeped in tradition.  I find the the event a bit too "dark" for my taste, but... the art student in me loves the fanciful costumes and the idea of the masses so committed to the spectacle of charade. Millions flock to Venice despite rising waters to partake in this annual event. Tradition is a beautiful thing, and though modern day Carnival is surely the furthest thing from its historic origins, I love to see that the art form live on today. 

Also excelling at old meets new: the Aman Canal Grande Venice. Regal and dripping in old world luxury, this historic hotel is anything but outdated. Modern amenities abound in each suite. No detail has been overlooked. But looking around, lassic Venetian details abound - including a glorious salon boasting floor to ceiling original frescoes. This luxe property is not to be missed (and frankly, you can't miss it when you're on the Grand Canal). 

I particularly love the juxtaposition of sleek marble slab en suite baths with sweeping views of the paint-chipped colorful villas across the canal. Modern furnishings meet aging Venice. It's beautiful. Or dine in the elaborate dining room with classic age-tinged brocade wallpaper and minimal Mid-Century influenced furniture. Contrast is a rich and interesting thing. The entire 24-suite property is a study in melding timeless classics and modern advancements. 

Enjoy a vacation of the mind by gasping at the gallery of images. And promise yourself that one day you'll make your way to Venice. It truly is unlike any other city. 

CURRENTLY CRUSHING ON...