The Art of Being a Lady: 10 Ways to Find Beauty in Everyday Life

Nothing says, “Bring it on, Monday!” like a mug of coffee the size of my head. Am I right?

Of course I’m right!

Judging by the line at Starbucks this morning, I am clearly not the only one in need of a pick-me-up on this fine autumn day. Imagine if Monday mornings were, indeed, a special occasion! Oh, how we’d spend weeks daydreaming about it, days picking out the perfect outfit and hours primping in the mirror!

While I may or may not, but probably do, have a cure for Monday blues, I can most definitely tell you a thing or two about finding beauty in everyday life. Y’all ready for this? {Cue music…}

You see, every woman is born with an innate instinct to unveil and cultivate beauty  be it in her wardrobe, in her home, in her manners  wherever. So it’s only natural for us ladies to want to take something seemingly ordinary and, well, make it extraordinary. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once so eloquently put it, “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” {Clearly, some women are more in-tune with this instinct than others.}

So, how does that tie in with luxury? By definition, luxury is the indulgence in the comforts and pleasures of something that is desirable yet not essential. Could I be saying that Monday mornings are a luxury? Perhaps… {Although at this point you may be questioning my sanity, just hang in there.} Is it truly possible to indulge in Monday mornings? Why, yes! Yes, it is! How, you ask? By taking a page from the French, who have an innate ability to enjoy the pleasures of daily routines of life. {If their mealtime length are any indication, they know a thing or two about the art of savoring.}

Picture this: You rise early, brew yourself a cup of gourmet coffee and allow the delicious aroma to wake up your senses. Pull back the curtains, throw open a window and feel the crisp morning air. Still in your luxurious silk robe, turn on ’60s bossa nova-style music like Nouvelle Vague {to really get you in that Parisian mood} as you start your morning routine, which includes whipping up a delicious breakfast of quiche muffins, taking the time to savor every sip of coffee as you read your favorite novel {or a devotion, or whatever it is you like to read when you’re not reading things you have to read i.e. email}. Doesn’t that sound infinitely better than your typical morning routine?

The idea is to savor every moment of real life {as opposed to ideal life}  to turn seemingly mundane, everyday occurrences and routines into little celebrations of life. After all, in the words of Hallmark, “Life is a special occasion.”

The following are just 10 of my favorite little extravagancies:

  1. A good read: There’s nothing quite as rewarding as reveling in the pure luxury of a good book. Or a magazine. Or a blog {Hint, hint}.
  2. Leather journal: Buy yourself a fancy leather journal and carve out a few minutes each day to let your imagination wander.
  3. Nail polish: I don’t always paint my nails, but when I do, I feel like a new person.
  4. Candles: Add a degree of mysterious sensuality to everything  from taking a bath to dinnertime on an otherwise boring weeknight.
  5. Gourmet coffee: Take the time to enjoy your morning cup, and transform a rushed daily ritual into a relaxed moment of reflection.
  6. Spa day: Not everyone can allow themselves regular spa days, but if only you knew how easy it is to turn your bathroom into a luxurious spa, you’d never have to book another appointment! Stay tuned for a tutorial!
  7. Fresh flowers: In addition to brightening a room, flowers can improve your mood. Pick up a bouquet of freshly cut peonies next time you’re at the grocery store.
  8. Breakfast in bed: Just how glamorous is this breakfast tray? The entire BIB concept is typically associated with hotels, which is usually a telltale sign that you’re on vacation, which is the epitome of luxury. But if you need a reason to have breakfast in bed, then you’ve got bigger problems, my friend!
  9. Don a floor-length flowy dress: Lounge around the house in this little silk number to feel oh-so-glamorous.
  10. Rise early: I promise, you’ll feel a great sense of achievement from experiencing so much before most rational people even wake up!
Dress, ASOS // Shoes, Bakers (similar) // Earrings, Dillards (similar) // Clutch, DailyLook (similar) // Belt, Prada (similar) // Watch, DKNY (similar) // Bracelets, Charming Charlie (similar here, here and here)

Photography by Paul M. Howard

What are your ideas for indulging in everyday life and embracing luxury in the ordinary?



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  1. Pingback: Paris State of Mind » Simple Pleasures

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