Loving: New Year = Fresh Solutions...

With that toss of the old calendar comes new big ideas, fresh solutions and new approaches. I'm committed to ensuring 2017 is worlds away room last year. Thus I'm incorporating subtle shifts in my daily routine to create new results. Here's what I'm loving:


I'll admit, Bobbi Brown has been there all along but I never stopped long enough at the counter to move beyond her dreamy shimmer bricks & eye shadows to discover her decadent skin care treatments. Well, now I know how much my skin needed them. THIS is the source of skin quenching goodness I am craving this winter. I began with the Soothing Cleansing Milk and Hydrating Face Cream and have quickly begun to branch out into the brand's "extra" line which serves up (you guessed it) EXTRA hydration for winter skin. As you can see, it's a love affair with this antioxidant-rich line, and I have been gushing to girlfriends about this for a few weeks now.

Why the shift? I realized we live in a moment of treatment after treatment for our skin. From exfoliation to retinoids to a variety of AHAs & BHAs. Sometimes, friends, our skin just wants a hug. The Bobbi Brown line seems to be the big bear hug my skin needed. This isn't to say all it does is hydrate. High concentrations of hyaluronic acid, mineral water, algae extract and vitamin E leave your skin plumped, glowing and quenched. You may never go back to your previous products. Consider yourself warned :)

Pair this line with my Clarisonic and the super soft "luxe contour" brush head and my skin is as soft as silk. If you've not seen the new head I'm referring to, it has longer softer bristles for getting smaller areas of face (think: around nose, near eyes) for a truly gentle yet deep clean for hard-to-reach areas. I have been overjoyed by the results in such a short period of time.



You know me. I love my big sunnies! The Texas sun never rests, so oversized shades are a must year round. I'm vibing on these large but lightweight frames from Chloe to add sun-shielding style to my face. Remember, sun may do the damage, but squinting tells the crinkles where to live. Wear the big sunglasses & stop squinting.


Confession, the idea of going wallet-free never occurred to me. A very close friend, however, shared her obsession for cardholders as well as her reasoning. And frankly, it makes quite a bit of sense. Most of my cards have been replaced by apps on my iPhone and what few cards I do carry (license & a credit card or two) can easily be tucked in a nifty holder. I love this one that safely clips to the interior of your bags so it won't ever be lost. Also... it matches my coveted dream wallet and could be tucked inside for easy removal when showing identification or paying for items. Thus, reducing wear & tear on the wallet itself.


You know by now I am obsessed with the Super Elixir. It has replaced my cumbersome juicing habit and saves me considerable time, money and effort. More so, it keeps the healthy of my body in check, my skin radiant and my eyes sparkly. I'm expecting this healthy lifestyle habit to kick up this year as it slowly nudges out my coffee habit (did I just type that???). Long live alkaline living, and the glow-inducing properties of a greener life.

Dreamy Spaces: Soft Modern Living, Bathed in Light...

Dreamy spaces, all the handiwork of New York designer and lifestyle brand creator Tamara Magel. I love her sexy blend of natural materials, sleek silhouettes and textures. Clearly gifted in the art of style, her projects (and products) all possess that rare blend of aspirational-yet-livable chic. Her photos are absolutely beautiful and can I get an amen on that closet photo? Major applause necessary for the happy homeowner and talented designer. 


Everyday Luxuries: Ensuring a Blissful Night of Beauty Sleep...

May I let you in on a little secret? Come closer and let me whisper it to you. I love to sleep. I love it. But I'm extremely active during the day, never napping and rarely even sitting. Those nighttime hours when I do relax and sleep are cherished. The caveat? I simply cannot sleep once the sun it up. I'm biologically wired to be up at or before sunrise. Thus I'm a fan of the consistent early bedtime and am an advocate for soul-soothing nightly rituals to make the precious hours ahead even more rewarding. 

Quality sleep isn't a luxury. It's an essential part of life. Brain function, skin repair, stress relief and cellular renewal all happen during those hours when we're giving our bodies and minds a rest. Knowing this, it pays to ensure your nightly appointment with your pillow is a time of day you look forward to and make preparations to enjoy. 

In addition to my nightly cup of herbal tea, there are a few creature comforts I appreciate in my quest for the most restorative night of rest possible. Here's what I'm in love with at the moment...

I love my nightly skincare routine, but I do have a few more goodies in the mix you may adore. Chiefly, I wear a silk sleep mask every night to shield my eyes from light. I will now never be able to sleep without this small but crucial luxury. Love your hair? A silk pillowcase is something you should invest in. Hope to wake up with skin that is refreshed and reinvigorated? I suggest you add a deeply hydrating serum and an indulgent sleeping cream to the mix. I have two listed below that are giving my summer skin a glowing reboot.

And finally? Headspace. If you've been avoiding meditation or simply haven't found the right method, this is for you. The world's most successful and influential people will all tell you that training your mind is as imperative as keeping your body fit. Try this app and I can almost promise you'll love it. While it is suggested to perform this ritual in the morning, my mind is more receptive to the quiet in the evening. The 10 or 20 minutes of guided meditation are giving me a noticeably calmer demeanor during my waking hours. The free trial is fabulous and I think you'll find you are more centered and (in my case) certainly in a better frame of mind for a restful night of sleep. 

Sweet dreams, loves! 


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. 


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. 


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.  


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...


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. 


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. 


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. 


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! 


Shopping: Brilliant Hacks for Practically Effortless Last-Minute Needs...

Whether you're pulling together an outfit for a fete with no time to spare or wrapping up gifts for a special someone, we all have moments when heading out to shop simply isn't in the cards. My solution? Year-round I use Nordstrom & Neiman Marcus for solving my "need it now" woes. Here's how it works.


Did you know at Nordstrom you can shop online and pick up in the store closest to you? While browsing the site you can even search for items only in "your" store (with the ability to toggle between locations if you're near several Nordstrom locations. The kicker? Pay online and they'll even WALK IT OUTSIDE to your car. No need to even walk in the doors of this esteemed shop. And lest you think you'll pay more, Nordstrom does an amazing job of offering price matching (done for you automatically) on categories across the board from shampoo to luxury handbags. Honestly, it doesn't get much better than this. Shop from your jammies in bed and swing by for free same-day curbside pickup. All of your problems solved. Another option for gifting? E-Gift Cards, letting the recipient have the fun of shopping when and where they want for exactly the items they covet. And did I mention curbside pickup? Shop in your slippers, drive in your slippers, live life in your slippers. It doesn't get much easier.


Oh, Neimans. You make my shopping life so easy. Whether you're shopping for yourself or searching for special gifts, this legendary retailer offers a few cool "no-fail" options. First, buy online & pick up in store. Much like Nordstrom, your item will be ready shortly with an email sent to you alerting you it's ready for pickup. While you do have to pop into the store, they will typically offer you bottled water & their signature lemon cookies for your inconvenience. Stepping up from that, you can send someone an item via GiftNow, meaning you can select a Stuart Weitzman boot or AG Jean but let the recipient select the exact size and style or color giving them the gift of choice (always appreciated). You look like a total boss giving them exactly what they want, and they enjoy the freedom of choosing the version of the gift that best suits them. Virtual Gift Cards are also a great idea because everyone loves them. The best part? Those gift cards are good at Horchow and Bergdorf Goodman too. Now that's luxe.



My love for net-a-porter is no secret. Free shipping and no tax equal one happy girl. From my favorite nail polish to my beloved Super Elixir, this online luxury destination offers more than meets the eye. My favorite candles can be tossed in the cart alongside a book and my dream wallet and I know that three days from now an elegant black box with grosgrain ribbon will appear at my door, giving me to the posh department store experience without ever leaving my door. Best gift idea ever? Their virtual gift card, giving yourself or a loved one access to whatever their pretty little heart desires. No wrapping necessary whatsoever.


Saint Laurent Oversized Acetate Sunglasses // Gucci GG Marmont Top Handle Bag // Tom Ford Fling It Lip Duo // Light Wonder Skin Perfecting Foundation // Tom Ford Love Lust Cheek Color // The Super Elixir Green Superfood



While you won't find Prada at these spots, you' can make sure you get a gift to your bestie (or tights for your daughter's ballet class) the very day you purchase them. As crazy as it seems, Amazon Prime delivers almost everything same-day or (if you're shopping to late in the day) next-day service. Don't overlook the convenience of having paper towels and household essentials delivered to your doorstep so you never need set foot in a big-box store again. Speaking of which, Target makes it super easy to shop online and enjoy free shipping - or pick up that day for a major time saving opportunity. If you're prone to walking out with unexpected "finds" at your local Target, shopping online then picking up at customer service will curb your bad habits and get you in and out in less than five minutes. Win-win.


Gift Guide: Put a Little Tory Under the Tree (+ Free Shipping)...

Somehow Tory Burch is offering free shipping (on time if you order by 3pm ET today) for a few more cool hours. Here are a few great selections from her marvelous sale. I'm also linking that new fab fragrance I happened upon a few weeks ago. If you're shopping for you or someone else. get going, the free shipping deals are closing in. Happy hunting!

Gift Guide: Five Last Minute Favorites for Kids...

Time isn't quite out for getting the kids great gifts. Neiman Marcus has a great list of goodies they can ship to you on time (for free). I'm sharing my five favorites here. Shop quickly! Free shipping won't last forever. Uee code NMQUICK to make that free rush shipping a reality.

  1.  Juratoys Safari Express Train Set $65
    Boy or girl, everyone loves a train set. This lotus wood version comes complete with safari animals, safari guides, train, tracks, suspension bridge and palm trees. Arrives in a cool suitcase. Let the adventure begin.
  2. Jellycat Huge Brown Teddy Bear $95
    We LOVE the Jellycat animals for their extremely soft fur and squishy goodness. This oversized teddy bear is just what Santa would bring them if he had room on the sleigh.
  3. Reed & Barton Animal Parade Water Globe $55
    This clever little gift turns the classic snow globe on it's head with colorful animals and glittery water instead of classic snowy scenes. I love how this lends an all-year quality to this pretty keepsake.
  4. Reed & Barton Ballerina Jewelry Box $68
    The sweetness! This pretty little ivory box comes with dancing ballerina inside, a variety of compartments for her treasured items and (dare I say it?) a tassel on the outside. This is a thoughtful gift I guarantee she will remember forever.
  5. Melissa & Doug Plush Giraffe $100
    Four feet of fun is what I say. I've wanted this for myself, oops! I mean for my girls since they were babies. Instant fun for any bedroom or playroom. And... there's a lion too so he doesn't get lonely.

Gift Guide: Luxe Last Minute Presents Under $70...

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The race is on for those last minute ideas that still allow you and the recipient to feel awesome when they open it. For moments like these I've rounded up six no-fail items that are so good you may actually be tempted to snap up one for yourself as well. But, order QUICKLY, friends. Time is definitely marching foward!

    This pint-sized drone features 6 gyro capabilities, 360 degree rotation and LED lights. Ideal for novice or advanced users thanks to its ease of use.
    As gorgeous as it is colorful, Tory Burch's book will have even the most discriminating of recipients smiling from ear to ear. 240 glossy pages of beautiful images, idyllic scenes and inspiring words. This is definitely a one for you, one for me situation.
    I've been drooling over these for months. Now it comes in GOLD. Consider me sold (rhyme not intentional, but totally welcomed). For a blissful night of sleep grab one of these and the hair-sparing, wrinkle-proof pillow case in the same glorious shade of silk.
    Upgrade the classic domino game with this chic wooden case and oversized domino set. Ideal for those cold days stuck inside when Monopoly seems too tedious.
    Let's take a moment to realize this is an Hermes gift for $66. The iconic orange box. Three individually packaged soaps within. This is a no-fail idea for anyone and everyone on your list - including you!

Beauty: Stellar Products I Never Want to Be Without Again...

Finding "the one" is a life changing moment. That initial rush of euphoria evolves over months into true, deep love. Rather than looking elsewhere for options, you dig deep and commit to a long term relationship filled with trust and admiration. That's how I feel about these absolutely fantastic items in my beauty arsenal. Some are longtime loves, others have replaced previous favorites and earned top rank all on their own for their next-level excellence (I'm looking at you, Tom Ford products). From a pretty jar of moisturizer that makes my heart flip and my skin glow (hello, dewy & plump visage) to a lip liner that makes my lips every bit as juicy as Kylie's these are the products making my skin glow.

I'll start with my moisturizer first. Wow, do I love this. It plumps, offers major hydr ation and is beyond great for daytime under makeup. My only wish is that Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream arrived in a larger jar. I love it that much.  You've heard me gush about Charlotte Tilbury "Light Wonder" Youth Boosting Skin Perfecting Foundation many times now. I think "foundation" is a bad label for this. It's far more like a tinted moisturizer (think, Laura Mercier's) and is never ever heavy or opaque.  I'm shade 2 in winter and 3 during the summer.

I fell HARD for Estee Lauder's Summer Goddess palette this summer, and if you can find it I suggest you hoard it. Easier to find and AH-mazing is om Ford "Weekender" Bronzer + Blush + Highligher Palette. Pricey, but like all Tom Ford items the quality is truly a luxurious experience unlike any other. Which brings me to my eye shadow obsession. Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad in "Nude Dip" is a palette you'll want to own forever. The perfect pigmentation, the opulent shimmer without a hint of disco ball glitter, this is a sexy quad worth the splurge.

Now, let's get lippy! The discovery of Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Liner in "Pillowtalk" will forever keep me smiling. I can cheat just enough to give my lips the boost they need. Its creamy consistency means you can color them in and ensure your lip color stays put without risk of dryness. Pillowtalk is the perfect pink nude that is just... pretty. It's so truly pretty I only like adding a balm over top. I try many, and By Terry Baum de Rose Lip Sheer in Rosy Babe is "my lips but better" and packed with enough emollients to turn even the driest pout into a pair of pretty, plump, healthy lips. On days I'm steering more neutral, Toffee Cream is another excellent nude. 

I finish with a flick of Loreal Voluminous liner and the legendary mascara of the same line (sorry Diorshow!) and I'm done. I hope this mix stays the way it is for a while. It's giving me a major good glow and streamlining my morning routine. These products are all stars on their own as standout winners, yet for me it's how they work in concert with one another that makes this mix so stellar. I hope you find you magical mix as well!


Holiday Giveaway: Win a Copy of French Chic Living + An Authentic French Lavender Sachet


Earlier this year I enjoyed Florence de Dampierre's thoughtfully written book Living French Chic. Rather than aspirational (and vague) "live like a French girl" style tidbits, Florence shares practical and specific tips on everything from favorite recipes to what essentials to have in your linen closet. A modern day guide to how to "adult" in the spirit of the French countryside that translates just as well to those of you living in an ultramodern hi-rise. 

For the holidays, renowned publishing house Rizzoli and I have partnered to give away a copy of Florence's wonderful book to one lucky reader. In addition to Living French Chic, the winner will also receive a gift from her new line of French home accents at HSN, a cotton pillow sachet made from dried French lavender flowers.

This isn't one of those books you'll flip through once and tuck away on a shelf (although there's nothing wrong with those cherished books!). This is one of those marvelous gems that becomes a handy reference for many things. From how to choose antiques to mastering the art of brunch, this is a hardbound reference guide I can see myself giving as a gift to friends, aunts, relatives and others for many years. It is timeless, dripping with instantly usable knowledge and - I have to say it - pretty! The photos of furnishings, gardens, table settings and idyllic scenes mixed with storytelling and key info in digestible format is refreshing. Open to any page and you'll benefit from her upbringing and decidedly French point of view. Less is more. Quality matters over quantity. Beauty matters. These are all key takeaways from Living French Chic.

So, are you ready to add a bit of French flair to the end of 2016 and ring in the new year with a fresh start, a guidebook for everyday elegance and the aroma of the French countryside in your home? I believe you are. Fill out the form below by December 21, 2016 at midnight CST to be entered to win!

Recipes: Warm Up With My Favorite Hot Cocoa...

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Ohhhh, hot cocoa. Don't you just love it? It's the only time marshmallows actually taste appropriate to me. I love my cocoa dark & rich and most certainly made with whole organic milk. Trust: this is some of the best cocoa you'll ever enjoy this side of the Alps. 

The method? Brace yourself for my under-a-minute recipe. 


Williams-Sonoma Hot Cocoa Mix // Set of 4 White Mugs // Breville Milk Frother (or my trusty Nespresso Aeroccino frother) // Acrylic & Brass Tray // Tatte Bakery Biscotti


Honestly, the real secret here is the high quality cocoa flakes and the milk frother. I personally love my Nespresso Aeroccino but there are other frothers on the market making it just as easy (see the rumored-to-be-awesome Breville above). Fill the frother to the recommended line with milk, turn it on & let it heat the milk. It takes less than a minute and creates a rich, amazing foamy drink you will LOVE. Just as the frother is finishing foing what it does best (the milk will swell and the mixing will appear to slow down), toss in a tablespoon of Williams-Sonoma Hot Cocoa Mix (my tip: choose CLASSIC formula). Let it mix just long enough for the flakes to melt.

The rest is easy.... Simply pour into a pretty mug of your choice. Garnish with a pinch of cocoa flakes for extra rich topping.

Repeat the process for as many mugs as you have guests. Place these rich, chocolatey creations on a tray, pair with biscotti (a personal weakness) & serve with a smile!   

Bonus points: If you are of the Eddie Ross, Danielle Rollins variety and never met a creative task you didn't want to take to a new fabulous level... look no further than these adorable gingerbread house mug toppers. Yes, this festive creation is edible and will be the center of much pinterest-worthy love. These are so, so cute. Be forewarned: these baked creations are sold individually. For a more efficient (read: less pricey) option, consider baking up some gingerbread cookies instead. If you're throwing a holiday fete and want to go the extra mile to make your guests feel festive, don your best reindeer ear headband, put on your sparkly holiday sweater & bust these out on your glamorous mug of hot cocoa. Instant Polaroid moment.  

Boutiquing: Kendra Scott Steps Outside the Jewelry Box...

You may have missed that Kendra Scott quietly launched a collection of elegant products for the home this season. From elegant stone trays to sleek acrylic & brass jewelry stands, the home accents allow the Texas jewelry designer's modern feminine style to find spaces in your home far outside the jewelry box. 

At first glance the collection reminded me of Aerin Lauder's collection, due to the strong use of brass and clean lines. Upon closer examination though I fully appreciate Kendra's collection as featuring artisan pieces in keeping with her established brand styling. Semiprecious stone, stunning filagree metalwork and the "choose your stone" options are hallmarks of the Kendra Scott brand aesthetic. These lovely new pieces have all the hallmarks of Kendra's detailed jewelry designs while still firmly placing her (high heeled) feet into the interior design space. Kudos to her for this stunning premier group of accessories. I can hardly wait to see what she dreams up next. 

We stopped by the Plano location on Sunday afternoon to have a spin around the boutique and see the glistening goodies in person. Here are a few standout pieces I love for dressing up your ears, wrists, vanity, tables or bookshelves. Thanks to Kendra, the choice is now yours. 


    Seriously up-level your close organization with these two remarkable pieces. Can you imagine a dreamier way to display your own jewelry? Note that I'm getting both sizes for myself and encouraging all of my clients to add them to their vanities as well. Available in small & large.
    Brilliant idea on Kendra's part. The gemstone inspired nail colors (think: shimmery druzy & iridescent shimmer) take at-home mani's to glamorous new heights. Choose from dozens of colors.
    Dazzling in person, these statement earrings are just as fierce with denim and leather as they are with a lace top & tulle skirt. You'll reach for them all the time. Your ears deserve these. .  
    Such an elegant way to organize your perfumes and whatnots. I love a glamorous tray and this amethyst one is anything but ordinary. Choose from a variety of stones.
    Perfect for storing anything you choose, I LOVE a good lidded box. This one has ornate geometric filagree sides giving it exotic texture. The quartz point handle at the top is absolute perfection. Choose the stone type of your choice on top and select from a few various metals. I love gold, of course! Available in square & rectangular.
    Hello, lover! I love the slightly edgy vibe of this sculptural cuff. Notice the pave crystal embellishment here & there giving it a rawness that keeps your look fresh and modern. Shop it here.


Glamorous Gifts: The Perfect Presents for Everyone On Your List...


There's always reason to celebrate, and one would never want to arrive empty handed to a fabulous fête. Find the perfect present for every occasion using the ultimate gift guides below.


This recipient might not own everything she adores, but she does possess superior taste. Honor that by selecting carefully chosen gifts that appeal to her glamorous feminine preferences. Pro tip: stick to tried and true colors for this this discriminating girl. Black and white are her go-to colors but you can never go wrong with a bit of gold and a bit of blush pink.

1.  Bagatelle de Gabrielle Parfume via Omorovicza to ensure she smells dreamy // 2.  Jimmy Choo Shoes for her dancing feet // 3.  Dyson's impossibly sleek hair dryer (also here in fuchsia) // 4.  Saint Laurent's timeless matelasse monogram shoulder bag takes her from desk to dinner (also here & here & here)  // 5. Saint Laurent Croc Embossed Wallet serves double duty as chic clutch// 6. Dyptique's Baies candle is positively intoxicating & essential// 7.  Burberry's rose-hued lace trench because beige is boring // 8. Diamond stud earrings are timeless (also here & here) // 9. Slip's silk pillowcase in pink to keep her skin & hair fabulous forever (also here & here) // 10. AERIN x The Super Elixir double-up on glam & powdered greens in this limited edition caddy


Like all men, he's a bit difficult to shop for due to his mysterious qualities. Strive for quality over quantity and select thoughtful items that will prove just as useful as they are attractive.

1. Cire Trudon Josephine Scented Candle to make the mood magical // 2. Dents Cashmere-Lined Leather Gloves to protect strong hands // 3. Jasper Brass Cufflinks for more festive affairs // 4. Tom Ford Portofino Shower Gel because... Tom Ford // 5. Engraveable London Brick wooden catchall for watches, keys & what-nots // 6. Cut-Crystal Cocktail Shaker for getting the party started in style // 7. Brass Rollerball Pen for all things business // 8. Tortoiseshell Rake Comb for seriously polished grooming // 9. Tom Dixon Cube Brushed Desk Caddy for keeping it neat // 10. Tom Ford Noir Extreme Eau de Parfum is not to be missed


Forget the New York Times Best Seller list, these are the hardbacks that are truly in demand. From out of print iconic works to much anticipated new releases, these beautiful coffee table books are what the fashion & design lover in your life truly covets.

1. Christian Dior's retrospective book features over 150 of their stunning haute couture gowns // 2. Swans is another out of print book I dream of owning. A decadent look into the belles of the ball of high-society // 3. Manolo Blahnik's Fleeting Gestures & Obsessions book is a fashion girl's dream & an illustration lover's delight (also here & here) // 4. Major dream book here: Valentino: Mirabilia Romae celebrates their feminine designs with a look at Rome's influence on the house's style (also here & here & here) // 5. A rare copy of John Saladino's Villa pretty much tops my list of must-have book cravings (also here & here)


The wellness-minded person on your list is striving for excellence and balance in all areas of life. Glowing skin, a healthy body, restful sleep and radiant energy are just a few of the hallmarks of harmony between the physical and the spiritual. These unique finds for mind & body will delight the senses & awaken your recipient to the boundless possibilities the present moment has to offer.

1. A scoop a day for glowing skin, sustained natural energy, mental fitness and overall wellness. Super Elixir powdered green superfood supplement makes living the alkaline life a breeze. // 2. Create a relaxing daily ritual with the gentle flavors of Teavana's Serenity Tea featuring calming chamomile, rose hips and orange blossom petals. // 3. This cult classic is legendary for good reason. Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish transforms your dull, dry body revealing glowing, silky skin (also here) // 4. REN Moroccan Rose Oil makes relieves stress & deeply hydrates skin // 5. Byredo Flowerbomb Rollerball: Revive energy anytime, anywhere with scent is inspired by the fragrant flower crowns adorned by the bride and groom at traditional Indian weddings // 6. Did someone say Gold Bodyism Yoga Mat? Yes they did. // 7. Enjoy that post-yoga glow without risking a breakout. CLEANSE wipes by Lauren Napier are infused with aloe & chamomile to hydrate & energize the skin effortlessly // 8. Like pilates for the face, NuSkin's microcurrent device is FDA-approved to tone & tighten facial muscles at home in just 5-minutes // 9. This $20 body brush is so good I've gifted it to friends time & time again. The Mio Skincare body brush is by far the best dry brush I've used // 10. Enhanced cognitive activity and reduced mental stress? Thank you, Moon Dust. I'll have some of that.


Let's face it, we are living in a world obsessed with lip kits, flawless skin and enviably sleek locks. For that person on your list (which may very well be you!) always on the hunt for the dream cream and perfecting her no-makeup makeup look, I've found a few treasures sure to give her that lit-from-within glow.

1. Moon Juice Beauty Dust stimulates collagen production from within to create plump, bouncy effortlessly (also here & here) // 2. Oribe Gold Envy Luminous Face Mask boasts peptides, flower extracts & real gold for a radiant complexion // 3. Givenchy Le Prisme Suerstellar eyeshadow palette is as instagram-worthy as it gets and offers three classic shimmery shades // 4.  Lumee Illuminated Smartphone Case is the not-so-secret secret to perfect selfies & snapchats // 5. Wander Beauty's On-the-Go Lip & Cheek Color + Illuminator is the ideal toss & go beauty companion // 6. Slip Silk Eye Mask gives beauty sleep a whole new meaning. I suggest one for travel & one for home. (black is also a smart option) // 7. Christian Louboutin Satin Lip Color in Delicanodo is kissable pink at its best and the ultra-luxe gold packaging is squeal inducing (also here & here) // 8. Maison Francis Kurkdjian Feminin Pluriel Parfum is a heady mix of iris, rose, violet & Egyptian jasmine guaranteed to make any woman stand out & feel gorgeous (also here) // 9. Cire Trudon Giambattista Valli Positano candle is an aromatic escape to the Amalfi coast & can eventually be a chic way to store makeup brushes // 10. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Treat & Transform Cream is available in a limited edition gold 5 ounce pot of the genius cream (also here & here)


Useful. Beautiful. Tasteful. And sometimes tasty! These are the hallmarks of truly successful hostess gifts. Demonstrate your great style and recognize theirs as well with any of these ten tantalizing options. Never show up to a fête empty-handed again.

1. If your host is not yet amused by the lavish life of Karl Lagerfeld's cat Choupette, she will be once you gift her this book celebrating this high-flying pampered pet  2. Waterford is always welcome. This classic "Lismore" dish will be appreciated forever // 3. Normally a fragrance-filled gift is too specific to be appreciated, but Nest's Grapefruit Candle is universally adored and marvelously packaged. (also here & here) // 4. This trio of luxurious pineapple guest soaps arrive in their own tidy gift box. Simply adorn with a bow and you're all set to dazzle. // 5. It's hard to resist the allure of this gold-plated corkscrew. Up the ante by pairing i with a choice bottle of their favorite holiday beverage. // 6. This classic glass art orb is strikingly simple. Your host will know just the spot for it as soon as you present this ever-chic gift.// 7. Two dozen Parisian Macarons showcase your savoir faire and are sure to please the hostess with the mostess (also here) // 8. This elegantly wrapped Tocca handsoap arrives in an equally fabulous gold-rimmed fluted shell dish. A small gift that easily finds a home on their vanity immediately. (that is, if you find it in your heart to hand it over to them at all.) // 9. Appeal to their sweet tooth with a box of Gourmet Toffee. Just don't be surprised if they keep this one to themselves. (also see these here & here) // 10. A brass croc-embossed frame is a stunning gift, especially if you can plan ahead and place a meaningful photograph inside ahead of time.


Gift Guide: My Personal Holiday Wish List...


My husband finds the practice appalling, but for as long as I can remember I've given myself dreamy Christmas gifts. It's so practical and self-explanatory in my opinion. Why place the pressure on others to give you exactly what you want when... well, when you yourself know exactly what you want! When you play the role of gift-giver to yourself, you eliminate the typical hiccups of the tradition. There's no need to exchange for a different size, no undue stress about color choice, no unsure purchases. Thus, I feel no shame in sharing this annual ritual with you and perhaps encouraging you to begin (or continue) your own similar custom.

If you've seen my gift guides you will have seen many items I adore. Below I'm sharing my top five "wants" which perhaps will become your coveted acquisitions as well. Happy wish list making, everyone!





                                    Also available here & here

                                    Also available here & here


The best part? Four out of five of the items (that would be everything except the Lumee) are via Net-a-Porter which ships for free via UPS and (and here's the lovely part) each item arrives wrapped in a elegant black box with black and white grosgrain ribbon and a gift card. Free of charge. If you're going to treat yourself, really treat yourself, right?


Feeling Bookish: Kelly Hoppen Authors the Definitive Interior Design Companion...

Interior design books written by top talents within the field are interesting. Some are authored with educating and sharing among fellow designers in mind, others are intended to be consumed by fans, amateurs and enthusiasts as inspirational tools. The best of the bunch are squarely targeted at both audiences, serving up crisp, clear, perfectly illuminated photographs of award-winning interiors and (here's the key) digestible content that teaches anyone (pro or not) how to even begin to achieve such a marvelous result.

Kelly Hoppen is among the class of designer that unites all of us as lifelong learners in the quest for better design skills. Her advice and expertise is delivered in a way that places her along side us in the universal challenge of "what exactly do I do with this space" and "how can I work around the quirks of my floor plan?" And I love her for it. There's no haughty schooling happening here. This top design talent is at the drafting table with us solving design dilemmas and working through decorating challenges.

And let's talk about her work... it is absolutely exquisite. Commercial, residential, retail or yacht - you name it, she serves up absolutely flawless designs for her worldwide clientele. Working from a largely neutral base, the interiors are at once lush, full, inviting and somehow quiet, soothing and understated. It's a line we all attempt straddle, but this London designer has nailed the sumptuous vibe. It is a keen reminder that all of us have much to learn. Her monochromatic spaces are stunningly sexy and dramatic but completely calming. Ivory cocoons begging to envelope you. When someone with this much talent offers a how-to guide, you pay attention. Especially when you have been invited behind the veil of "professional design" to be taught key foundational guidelines for basing all future design decisions. That's the essence of The Art of Interior Design.

The iconic ‘Kelly Hoppen look’ combines clean, precise lines of the East with opulent textures from the West, harmoniously layered on top of neutral tones producing elegant, dramatic & immaculate interior that is world renowned. Asserting your personality on to this, Kelly guarantees interior that is impeccably tasteful & bespoke every time.

This isn't Kelly Hoppen's first rodeo (peruse her portfolio for proof), nor is it her first book. Fans know she's penned quite a few books on the subject of interior design, but this particular volume is a master class that offers an opportunity to raise your level of knowledge of design principles to the level of a much more seasoned expert. It doesn't hurt that the projects she has chosen to share in the pages (328 pages, to be exact) are downright gorgeous. Spanning the globe, brace yourselves to now have your design standards raised considerably. This, dear readers, is what top talent can create. And perhaps now we can as well.

Designers: prepare to be inspired to design even more remarkable spaces for clients. More well-appointed interiors. More detailed vignette. More thoughtful spaces. Design fans? This beautiful book will not disappoint in style, substance or Instagram appeal. Home design enthusiasts & those in the throes of a top-to-bottom renovation? You've found your project companion to guide you through what can often be an intimidating process of difficult selections. 

Kelly, you've wowed us again. Congratulations on another "must have" book for all of us.


Beauty: Vegetarian, Cruelty-Free Makeup Goes Ultra Luxe...

While I've long been a fan of their legendary body butters (bye bye, dry winter skin), The Body Shop has now stepped up to the makeup plate to delight those of us seeking toxin-free, cruelty-free options. Their collection of color products for eyes and lips just arrived and I had to give it a try. I must to admit... the quality impressed me.


Ladies, you know packaging matters. It's often where well-meaning brands fail. These eye shadow quads (I tried two) are housed in glossy black clam shell cases with interior mirrors. Sleek closures. Nice weight and scale to them. The shadow pans are very generous. The twist-up eye color stick tips are rounded like Laura Mercier's caviar sticks and the packaging is somewhat similar. The matte lip color is in a more modest black matte tube with silver interior sleeve. The packaging isn't going to be an Instagram star a la YSL or Dior's gilded lippies, but the ultra-smooth twist-up mechanism and elegantly shaped product tip definitely impress. 


So let's talk about the color products themselves.  The day my products arrived it was dreary and blah, so naturally I i was attracted to the the hot pink lip color. Hello, mood boost in a tube! As soon as I began to swipe it on I realized I hadn't exfoliated my lips. Much to my surprise it didn't matter. Even with the matte finish, the product is infused with Brazil nut oil and beeswax for a supple, full-lip finish. Very pretty and already tossed in my on-the-go makeup bag.

Next, the shadows. The plum palette is truly spectacular and was really drawn to those shades with my current winter skin tone. It is very difficult to find a matte ivory shadow (a makeup drawer basic, in my opinion) and this palette has a superb version. The three additional shadows are an array of shimmering plums that veer towards super-neutrals. Super sultry shades. The shadows were shimmery without being glittery and the texture was velvety smooth. Pigmentation was exactly as I hoped and I loved that texture was smooth during application. Did I mention the pans are very generously sized? I think these quads will last me quite a while and are easily used day to night. Will be dabbling in the brown quad (which houses warmer clay tones) next.

The eye gold shadow stick? I found it ideal for adding a pop of sparkle to the center of the top lid. Smooth, shimmery but not glittery. On dash & go days this would be a pretty color to use as an all-over lid color with a swipe of mascara & gloss. Very versatile. (Note: I have got to get my hands on the purple & bronze versions. I love the idea of mess-free shadow application that leaves lids looking glam!)


Going in with no expectations, I was impressed by both the texture and feel of the makeup and the packaging. Compared to my normal color lines (Chanel, YSL, Tom Ford) these still read as elegant options. Sophisticated colors. Luxurious packaging (not quite as opulent as my normal quads and lip color packaging, but definitely in luxe territory). Vegetarian ingredients. If you're looking for a cruelty-free option for your makeup arsenal, this well-priced collection should absolutely be high on your list. See the full holiday collection


Current Obsession: A Scintillating Scent as Signature Fragrance...

It will come as no surprise to hear I am incredibly selective. Give me an opportunity to invest in a nice handbag and I'll ask to line five identical bags up to choose the one I deem to be perfect. Yes, I'm that person. So taking a risk and purchasing a new fragrance online is basically my version of gambling. Not one with a trained nose, how could I know what notes of "Pink Pepper, Pink Grapefruit, Sicilian Lemon, Sparkling Pear, Raspberry, Lychee and Vetiver" create? I honestly had no idea, but it sounded lively and yummy. But one look at the faceted bottle and a quick read of the "awww!" inducing love story and I was hooked. Gift card redeemed. Bottle ordered. I was in. All in.

Today, this impossibly pretty jewel-shaped bottle arrived. To tell you it smells divine is to say the ocean is wet. This, to me, is wild happiness embodied in a perfume. It is light, cheerful, sexy and sophisticated. Yet somehow completely luxe and instantly wearable. Plus, look at that bottle!!! This was a "gamble" that absolutely paid off.

To give you a sense of my fragrance preferences, I prefer them bright rather than sultry. I am repelled by powdery finishes. Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming comes to mind as a favorite. Omorovicza Bagatelle de Gabrielle is another absolute winner. Love, Relentlessly falls into the "wow, what are you wearing?" category of fragrances that will garner genuine compliments from friends and strangers alike.

My father wrote this note to my mother, which he ran in the newspaper and signed “Love, Relentless.” My parents were the most romantic couple I have ever known. This fragrance is inspired by their love story.
— Tory Burch

I cannot wait to wear this lovely acquisition every single day for the foreseeable future. Sheets shall also be spritzed with it (confession: already happened!). I love it that much. Perhaps a body cream of the same intoxicating scent will be available soon. (Tory, if you're reading this, that's an urgent request) Divine indeed.


Beauty: Secrets to Healthy, Shiny, Bombshell Hair...

{image credits via & via}

A few months ago I had my doubts. My color-treated hair (thanks to a pernicious highlighting habit) had my hair dry, brittle and angry. There were moments I wondered if my gorgeous mane would ever return. As a long-hair devotee, these golden locks are as much a part of my identity as my smile. So rather than throw in the towel (more on that topic later) I opted to do more research and work to repair the damage.

First things first. Dehydration of all varieties takes a toll on the body. Texas is known for its dry climate, and my hot yoga sessions likely contribute to the excess torture on the hair. So upping my water intake was the first and most obvious step in the repair process.

Then the research began. What products, habits, hacks and changes would I make to bring these dull strands back to life. Was it even possible? A candid conversation with my stylist resulted in him reassuring me he'd seen far worse. That said, the switch to sulfate-free products was crucial. Stop stripping the hair with harsh detergents. Next? A reconstructing conditioner would rebuild broken chemical bonds in the hair. Somewhat reversing the damage we do each time i frame my face with blonde. And a thermal protection product is a must before drying, curling or otherwise "doing" your hair. Even air-dry experts benefit from a smoothing product to coat strands and smooth the follicle. 

And about those tools... if I was still rocking a basic hair dryer I was missing out on an opportunity to achieve hair nirvana and causing deep damage each time I blow dried. And styling tools? Skip them all together unless you're willing to upgrade to the newest ceramic and tourmaline versions.

fast forward to today, this hair-lightening, heat styling enthusiast can assure you: Shiny, bouncy Victoria's Secret model tresses are not beyond your reach. With a few key shifts in your get-ready routine and a few hardware upgrades, a glossy many can once again be yours.

    Stop using anything with sulfate. Even your corner drugstore has a bevy of great options (I'm looking at you, L'oreal!) to hydrate, smooth and soften your hair. If budget allows, Kerastase Bain Therapiste is legendary for its uncanny ability to revive and rescue too-far-gone locks.
    After showering, a pump of Wella Luxe Oil Reconstructive Elixir on damp hair is a keratin treatment that restores the shine you've been craving while rebuilding lost protein structure. Before drying, use Tresseme's Keratin Smooth Heat Protection spray to keep unwanted damage at bay. (Note: this is magical, extremely affordable & widely available.)
    The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is all the rage right now, but I really love the ion producing dryers. The T3 professional dryer is better for your hair than air drying. Let me repeat, better for your hair than air drying. Yes. So if you dry your hair ever and live on planet earth (all of us should be raising our hands) this is a technology we need to adopt. It is clinically proven (yes, there were studies) to improve shine, volume, manageability and style retention all while reducing frizz, dryness and static. So get on that, sister.  
    You'll be hard pressed to beat the runway-worthy bounce and volume of hot rollers. If you plan to roll (and I'm a HUGE fan of this effortless hair styling method), you mustn't resort to cheap curlers. Opt for high quality, larger rollers that pamper your hair. I love the T3 Voluminous Hot Rollers  (via Nordstrom also) for the busy-girl's guide to bombshell hair. More of a beachy waves fan? T3 (again) is the one you want. This version does the spinning for you, requiring absolutely no pro skills at all. More on my "everyday bombshell" styling methods here.
    Regular readers know where I'm going with this... you need a silk pillowcase. Why go to all of this effort and expense only to undo months of effort while you sleep? A silk pillowcase allows your hair to glide over your pillow without pulling, bending, breaking or roughing up the texture. Say bye-bye to bedhead (and wrinkles) with this small but wise investment.
    Why the sudden damage to my hair? Three factors. Well, four, actually. Texas heat, hot yoga and daughter #2 all contributed to the overall dryness of my head full of hair. But as a result of the addition of my littlest one I "cheated" on my longtime hair stylist for about a year and had a girl coming to my home for cuts and color. It was fast, easy and (curiously) less expensive than the salon. Did I mention she offered to do this at my home? I was hooked on the idea of convenience with a newborn in my house.

    As a decade-long Aveda color user, the switch to traditional harsh bleaching techniques took its toll. Quickly. My long hair became brittle, broken and damaged. I was saving time and money while ruining my mane. Turns out those plant-based coloring techniques Aveda built its reputation on are more crucial to hair health than I imagined.

    My point? Stay loyal to what (and who) works in your life. If you are in a committed relationship with a stylist and a brand and it works for you, stay the course.

In many ways, this hair care failure is what led me to a more long-term view of hair health and necessary upgrades. The simple shift in shampoo & conditioner resulting in a major change in smoothness and scalp health. The tools? Painful investments, but realistically they were purchases I'd been putting off for many years. The new me has a new appreciation for heat styling, weekly masks and (yes) essentials like silk pillowcases.

My message? Bouncy, glossy, Victoria's Secret fashion show hair can be yours - even without a Ken Paves or Jen Atkin to tame your mane (although that helps). With the right care and a few cool tools you too can have the tousled curls of your dreams and enough shine to stop passers by in their tracks. You can do it. I believe in you!

Shopping: This the Season of Savings...

I love a good discount, don't you? See what sales I'm continuing to monitor this season for the best best brands at gr very best price. Starting at the top, here are the sites boasting great savings...

NEIMAN MARCUS: Up to 70% off + free shipping 

SAKS: Up to 40% off designer sale

BERGDORF GOODMAN: 40% off men's & women's fashion + save up to $200 during their BEAUTY EVENT 

HORCHOW: 25% off

WILLIAMS-SONOMA: Buy more, save more - up to 25% off ALL WSHOME orders

BARNEYS: 40% off select designer items


JCREW: 30% off many festive items + 30% off sale

KENDRA SCOTT: 20% off every single thing



LULU & GEORGIA: 15%-25% off ORDER (buy more, save more)

SERENA & LILY: 25% off absolutely everything

Overwhelmed? Read my tips on shopping like a boss. Not sure what to look for? I've developed a gift guide for everyone on your list.


Shopping: Deep Designer Discounts at Neiman Marcus...

As you likely know, I sale stalk. When Neiman Marcus marks down their designer duds, bags & shoes, it makes sense to pay attention. Right now the luxe finds you want are included, so jump on that while you can.


Di you know, you can also shop my Instagram feed? Tap the pix below for details and be sure to follow me on Instagram and be sure to say hello. I'd love to follow you as well!