Perspective: What You Focus On Expands...

Life holds a few simple truths. One is that what you dwell upon, what you focus on, what you think about grows. You'll get MORE of that in your life. This is why you must guard your mind and control that mass between your ears. Your thoughts truly become things.

This is one of the many reasons why I seek out beautiful things, high quality that make me happy. I seek out thought leaders that speak on personal growth and achievement. I seek out others who lift me up and avoid those who strive to pull us down.

What are you focused on this year, friends? Take some time to be strategic with your intentions. Surround yourself with joyful people, uplifting people, happy people. Move towards exactly what you want and make bold moves away from that which no longer serves you. Seek out joy. Seek out growth. Seek out expansion. Seek out beauty. Seek out life enhancing experiences. Seek out simple things that bring a big smile to your soul. What you focus on expands... so focus on GREAT things.

Have a terrific week, everyone!

MY WEEKLY OBSESSIONS

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.

MY CURRENT SIGNATURE SCENTS

Beauty: Silk Pillowcases, the Jen Atkin-Endorsed Luxury You Need Immediately...

It's no secret that lying down is a fresh blowout's sworn enemy. To combat this, many a girl has invested in Egyptian cotton sateen sheets & pillowcases to extend the life of her 'do. What you may not know is that those high thread count cotton sheets also leech hydration from your skin and your hair while you get your beauty sleep. Yes, the slumber you so crave is actually drying out your hair and leaving your pretty skin parched. The fix is easy and wonderful, but does come at a small price.

Silk pillowcases. I've been a fan of Slip for a while and have worn silk eye masks for about a decade now (don't judge, it's the Zsa Zsa Gabor in me) and can tell you they absolutely make a difference. Especially when paired together. Hair glides effortlessly over the surface of the pillowcase and skin unharmed during sleep. Effective immediately, famed celebrity hair guru Jen Atkin is brand ambassador for the brand Slip, maker of luxurious silk pillowcases and eye masks in a range of stunningly subtle colors. This brilliant pairing is genius, as it now thrusts this boutique brand to the forefront of our cultural obsession with silken tresses and age-defying skin care.

If you've not seen Slip mentioned here or in other places, it is a growing Australian line of silk goods created with proprietary fibers. Beauty editors everywhere have fallen for their high quality and soft sorbet-like color range (think blushy pink and creamy vanilla) that fits in with anyone's decor.

Why Atkin? She's the go-to tress tamer du jour for the Kardashians, Jessica Alba and many other Hollywood stars, Her debut hair care line OUAI has won acclaim from customers and critics alike.

According to the hair expert herself...

I try to create solutions to women’s problems,. What I’ve noticed the most is that women want to take care of themselves and are focused on overall health.

Hairstyles are not going to go back to complication. Healthy, long shiny hair is coming back. I’m teaching women to find something in their day to help with their hair health.
— Jen Atkin

Bottom line, if Jen Atkin tells us to stop sleeping on cotton once and for all, it's time to listen and obey. Why lovingly care for skin and hair by day and cause (avoidable and unnecessary) damage by night? Here's what I'm loving form Slip right now...

SHOP MY SLIP & OUAI FAVORITES

Why black, you ask? Simple: you'll never accidentally put it in the laundry with your other linens. Pink for the same reason. I feel the difference in color will prolong the life of your investment as you will see the pillowcase (or mask) as unique and special. They also come in creamy white, caramel and charcoal.

I love the idea of a black mask for optimal light blocking why trying to sleep in and pink for the pillowcase for the reasons stated above. It's pretty, makes its presence known and you'll never accidentally leave it behind at the hotel while on vacation.

Which colors would you choose? Shop Net-a-Porter, Sephora, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom & Anthropologie and say bye bye to creased skin and bed head for good an wake up to your gorgeous, silky haired self.

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

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

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

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

GET THE LOOK: RELAXED LUXE PARISIAN DINING  

 
 
 
 

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

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

CHANNEL THE CALIFORNIA CHATEAU LOOK AT HOME 


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

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

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Dreamy Spaces: A Study in Fabulous French Lavender...

Leave it to Nathan Turner to convince me that lavender is completely and truly chic. Purples of all varieties are often done in a way that is too overdone. Yet at the hand of a master, even rich velvet banquette cushions done in this royal color with bold chocolate piping look completely inviting and tasteful.

For these clients, the space is the wife's study in what is an already stunning Bel Air home. Every room featured in the story is exceptional, but this one particular room demonstrates a decidedly more feminine and less restrained result.

Those walls, the Lucite and brass desk (good Lord, I need that) the incredible chandelier. There's a romance here, but there's a very high level of sophistication on display and not a hint of  "little girl sweet" that one might think of when the color lavender comes to mind. Nor is it garish and overthought. It's simply fabulous. 

I'm so inspired by the images it is making me seriously consider painting a room in this exact color. As I consider that, I rounded up what it would take to somewhat achieve the very glam Hollywood Regency look seen above. 

SERVE UP FABULOSITY IN FRENCH LAVENDER

John-Richard Diaphanous Chandelier // Serena & Lily "Wisteria" Paint // Jonathan Adler Lucite + Acrylic Console // Purple Floral Silk Pillow // Lavender Linen Pillow // Linen Side Chair

Loving the ideas above but wanting less commitment and less investment? Here are a few easy pieces to help you ad a touch of the glamorous look to your life. Pretty accessories & accents you're sure to love. 

MORE LAVENDER & REGENCY LOVE


But this all prompts me to pause and ask you - what have you seen lately that truly caused you pause and deep soul-stirring inspiration? I'd love to hear all about it. 

Get the Look: The Glamorous Feminine Vanity & Desk...

shop the look: the glamorous feminine vanity & desk...

The inspiring image of the Barbara Barry desk and Z-chair above isn't new, but it bears repeating if recreating this vision of a private paradise can be replicated. With a few key pieces (namely that iconic desk and chair) you can perch yourself upon the mod molded lucite and gaze out the window or at your own lovely visage and daydream. Or (as in most of our cases) work at your laptop. I dare say that whether you work, apply blush or pen thank you notes at this feminine station the task will be far more pleasant.

I've given you a range of options for recreating this amazing look at home. For me, it's a look that is timeless and will always make you smile. We all deserve to carve out room in our homes to make a small little "nest" for ourselves. This could be in an office, a nook in a hallway, a master closet, a spare bedroom or even as a behind a floating sofa solution. Regardless, carve out a space for YOU and relish in it. You deserve it. 

Now... go be girly, glam and gorgeous. It is your birthright. 

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Shop the Look: Effortlessly Feminine Interiors...

One link on pinterest led to another and another and ultimately I chased the rabbit down the hole to Bijou & Boheme's home tour on Style Me Pretty. I've loved Christine Dovey's look since I very first set eyes on her site, but seeing her home in detail was a delicious treat. This home has been featured here and there on other sites, but any kitchen with an Empire style crystal chandelier over the island and gold fixtures at the sink deserves to be showered with an excess of public praise. 

Christine's family-friendly home is dripping with style and radiates feminine chic in the most relaxed fashion. Soft textures, golden accents and undeniably romantic elements are presented in a very approachable manner. Fortunately, you too can take a bit of Bijou home via a few well selected accents. Here are my favorite selections for achieving her livable chic vibe:  

Closet Crush: A Fashion Lover's Over-the-Top Opulent Dressing Room...

A space worthy of Georgina Chapman if there ever was one! This spacious dressing room is that of an unnamed (but presumably not unknown) California resident with spectacular taste and an equally spectacular budget. Designer Philip Nimmo leveraged his skills to deliver old Hollywood glamour in this beautiful custom project. Gilded French furniture, a mesmerizing ’60s-vintage Murano chandelier and that elegant hand-painted de Gournay wallpaper make the serene walk-in a sight to behold. Can I just say I'm in closet love? 

GET THE HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR LOOK

Giveaway: Join the Super Elixir Challenge...

** THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED! THE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER GRACE M. **

How about a giveaway, loves? One of my commitments to self is to be more alkaline. What does this mean? More greens, more truly natural and organic food, more water, more fresh vegetable, more whole foods, more plant-based living. This means establishing a baseline of nutrition by staring my day with a dose of The Super Elixir. I've used it fairly consistently for about two years but have really stepped up my loyalty to it now. Prior to this marvelous find I juiced. Juicing was exhilarating at first (that glow!) but seemed wasteful (and messy) and nutritionally incomplete. I scoured the web to find a powdered blend of superfoods and... lo and behold the miracle of powdered greens existed.

I've tried several brands and sources for this nutritional fix and I can say without question this is my favorite. Elle Macpherson's Super Elixir offers a very diverse array of star ingredients and delivers a powerful antioxidant punch in a simple spoonful of green powder. I mix it with a very small shot of filtered water to start my day in lieu of coffee. It's efficient, incredibly tasty and WORKS. My skin is radiant, I feel great. My blood sugar is completely stabilized and my body's overall health thanks me daily.

It's difficult to explain 'feeling great" unless you get on a program or develop a routine that does this for you. In my life, a daily vinyasa yoga practice, a serving (or two) of Super Elixir, whole food eating and healthy living are working wonders for me. Yet when I skipped this simple green powdered step for a month or two my energy suffered, I looked lackluster and something was just "off" about my overall health. My hair even felt different. I'm not saying this is a magic bullet. Obviously I live a clean lifestyle too, but I can tell you the absence of this was felt. Now that I'm back on it, I'm truly back with a fierce loyalty. Thus... my desire to help you achieve the same feeling of wellness.

I'd love to invite you to enter my giveaway below. I'll send you a 30 day supply of what I feel is a marvelous treat for your health. Yes. It's just that good. Simply pop your name & email into the short pink form below. Enter before midnight Sunday night (giveaway entry period ends at February 5, 2017 11:59 PM CST).

Then... try it. If you love it, you may want to enter the Super Elixir Challenge on Instagram and you could win a YEAR'S WORTH of this marvelous green powerhouse of wellness. Good luck & great health!

** THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED! THE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED. CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER GRACE M. **

SHOP THE POST

{image credits: yours truly, Franki Durbin via Instagram}

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:

BABY SOFT, SUPPLE SKIN

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.

 

BIG SMILES + BIGGER SUNGLASSES

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.

TRAVELING LIGHTER

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.

ALKALINE LIVING, ALL DAY EVERY DAY

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. 

CHANNEL THE SOFT MODERN VIBE




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! 
xoxo

ENSURING A BLISSFUL NIGHT OF BEAUTY SLEEP 

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

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

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

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

STEP ONE: GO FOR THE GREENS

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

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

STEP TWO: CHANGE MY LOCATION

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

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

STEP THREE: TURN YOUR BATH INTO A SPA

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

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

STEP FOUR: EAT, SLEEP, DRINK THE SPA LIFE

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

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

STEP FIVE: REACH OUT, FURTHER

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

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

STEP SIX: CONSUME A LOW-INFORMATION DIET

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

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

THE BOTTOM LINE

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

AT-HOME RESTORATIVE SPA TREATMENTS


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.


NORDSTROM INDULGES US WITH CURB-SIDE PICKUP

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.


QUICK & EASY SHOPPING AT NEIMAN MARCUS

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.

SHOP ONLINE & PICKUP THESE AT NEIMAN MARCUS


ENJOY PAMPERING VIA NET-A-PORTER

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.

GOODIES NET-A-PORTER SERVES UP WITH PANACHE

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

 

TARGET & AMAZON MUSTN'T BE IGNORED

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.

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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!

  1. SKEYE THROW-TO-FLY NANO DRONE $49
    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.
  2. TORY BURCH "IN COLOR" BOOK $34
    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.
  3. SLIP SILK EYE MASK $45
    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.
  4. WOLFRUM DOMINO SET $68
    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.
  5. HERMES GARDEN SOAP TRIO $66
    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!

MY STELLAR LINEUP OF WONDERFUL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

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

*** THIS LOVELY GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED! CONGRATULATIONS TO WINNER TAMMIE BURTON! ***

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!