Thoughts on a Luxurious Life

My mother always used to say that I am a ‘rich girl with a poor girls wallet’. I’ve always had taste for the finer things in life, the quality items with matching price tag over the less than refined pieces with a more obtainable price tag. I had this special talent of looking at a catalog and picking out what I loved the most from any 2-page spread only to find the price listed as the most expensive item available. Without a doubt, I knew quality just by looking.

For the longest time, I’ve struggled with the physical image I’ve presented to the world. I have this vision in mind and yet struggle to curate that image in the every day. I don’t want to look frumpy, my children to look un-kept or cared for. There is a level of physical appearance that I feel is respectable. I was once asked why this was so important to me and I think my answer surprised the one asking. My answer was, to me, simple. I felt it my social duty to present a certain level of personal care; to make sure I was not an eyesore in someone else’s world.

A part of The Simply Luxurious Life is creating a signature style. Not just a fashion statement but in the perfume worn, the mannerisms and lifestyle choices. After having children, I definitely lost myself in the mess of daily life. My youngest is 4 years old and I feel as though I never really found myself again. As for fashion, I know I like classic staples- cardigans and khaki’s, a strand of peals and ballet flats. I swoon for cable knit sweaters and boat neck tops; bootcut jeans and A-line skirts. I’m yet to find a brand that works well with my silhouette and so I digress. This year, I will attack my self loathing  attitude and embrace making a change. I’m  not going to allow this to continue. How can I?! If I can’t live the life I want to live- which includes dressing the way I feel most comfortable- than I must do something to change.  I hope that by this time next year, I will be able to say that I’ve made a significant change and am able to embrace my signature style. I’ve written about it in the past and now it’s time to actually do something about it.

To help get me one step closer to my luxurious life, I’ve joined a group of men and women in an exercise challenge. Starting January 16th, I’ll be challenging myself to exercise for 30 minutes every day while eating a clean diet that is catered to my caloric needs to help lose weight. I’ve participated in this type of group within the last 12 months but was struggling to see the results I was hoping for. The timing wasn’t right and my body was trying to tell me that. I have to first address some health concerns- get that moderately unnerving test done so I have the answers and can move on from there, and work with my body and not against it. Family life and personal life has offered more stress than I could really actually deal with and it certainly caught up with me. I’m eager to embrace a slower more purposeful life as we enter the new year.

A simple goal I have is to purchase my first pair of Tieks. They are raved as the most comfortable ballet flats you’ll ever own. They are classic yet on par for the current trends. They are quality and that is what I am aiming for from here on out.

tieks

As I welcome 2016, I look forward to embracing the life I’ve long for for so many years. I long to Be Still, to be present in the here and now (no more running from here to there and back again), a slower approach to the day that allows for quiet time, exercise time, time to enjoy the things I enjoy, finding my comfort in my home and my body.

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Finding the Luxurious Me

Finding the Luxurious Me

Just a few months ago, I was browsing instagram and came across Shannon Ables book, Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life. A modern woman’s guide, this book couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. As I am just getting started with this book, I’m realizing luxury is not defined by society and culture but by oneself. For me, enjoying a facial treatment, a fresh (at home) manicure/pedicure and a favorite chick-flick on a Sunday night is just what I need to feel pampered, refreshed and ready to start the new week. I find a bubble bath while surrounded by candles, soft music and my current book, a full-on pampering session.  It isn’t all name brands and being at the ‘IT’ place on a Friday night to show face but living a life that is most fulfilling for me.

TSLL

At the very beginning of the book, the reader is challenged to define what a luxurious life would look like. Taking a few moments to mentally answer questions like: What Personal Rituals Do You Most Value & Enjoy? (see above) What Are Your Most Valued Relationships? (see previous post) What Types Of Exercise Do You Enjoy? (this will be a future post topic, if not blog series) The list goes on. So, instead of making a mental note of all my answers, I grabbed a journal and began jotting my notes down. I found that if I really gave myself time to think about the answers, I really don’t know how to answer most of them. It has been so long since I’ve invested any amount of time in ‘personal rituals’ that I don’t know what would even be categorized as one.

How do I find my personal rituals? My knee-jerk reaction is that I don’t have time for stuff like that. But, let’s be honest, we all have the time if we want to. If something is important enough to us, we’ll be sure to make the time and secure space in our planners for those most important items. I need to have a change of heart and of mind as I struggle to realize that I CAN and SHOULD take time for myself. One suggestion in the book was weekly coffee with a friend. As a mom, I struggle to see my weekly get-together with a friend as ‘me time’. Together, we have 7 kids and any given week, at least 5 of them are underfoot while we try to talk, connect, encourage each other and share our hearts together. I barely even recognize this time as a personal ritual. Wouldn’t a PERSONAL ritual be something like, instead of doing my own nails, setting aside the time and resources to go to the salon?

I was thinking about some pictures of me; pictures where I felt luxurious and alive. This particular picture, from 2013 was from my cousin’s wedding. He was married at the chapel on the Naval Academy and had a beautiful sunset cruise boat ride and one of the most enjoyable receptions I’ve ever attended.  Between the ceremony and the reception, my husband I and sneaked away to have some fun with the camera. Even two years later, I would love to relive this weekend, living a luxurious life, dressing in lovely clothes and having a wonderful time. So, for now, while I search for my luxurious me, I’ll hold to the knowledge that there is a space inside me that IS luxurious… I just need to find a way to tap back into that part of me and then hold on tight…

luxuriously me