fashion femme: midsummer blues

Found myself in sunny Cali recently…and apparently, I brought the heatwave with me. While L.A. baked and locals felt like they were melting into puddles, I soaked up the sunshine, having just left behind 100-degree temperatures and a city drenched in humidity. The only thing to do? Throw on a breezy navy blue dress and take to the town.

Stepping out in Downtown L.A. (DTLA), the hi-lo dress, cinched at the sides with textured black stripes, proved the perfect recipe for the blazing sunny day, which I spent gallivanting from art museums to foodie markets. More on my recent visit to The Broad and Eggslut coming up soon! You can catch a sneak peek on my Insta page right now.


Find similar navy dress here and here. Central Perk available at Warner Bros. Studios. Sunglasses from France, available here. Fringe leather earrings from paperdolls boutique. Tribeca bar necklace C/O Collections by Joya.

muse moments

Inspiration has been a beautiful beacon of light to me this year as I continue to write on my novel daily. Here’s hoping passion comes and grips you at least once in your life. The trick, I’ve found, is to grab it right back — and never let it go. For those of you who’ve found it and those still searching, here is a dose of muse-worthy moments to keep you going on your quest for a passion-filled existence:


A dessert so naturally sweet it makes your tooth ache just looking at it. One of the many samplings found at the decadent dessert buffet courtesy of Saint Louis Club.

History that speaks to the soul. Immerse yourself in this gorgeous house of blues at National Blues Museum in St. Louis. And while you’re there, be sure to snap an Instagram-worthy shot of you onstage with Mamie Smith and her Jazz Hounds. Tag @nationalbluesmuseum and see if the museum regrams your image like they did mine!

An off-the-shoulder merlot dress with golden accents (as modeled by my fabulous “twin,” Liz Simone) makes for the perfect number to wear to a vintage couture fashion show.

Aglow in emerald green outside of Four Seasons of Fashion, the St. Louis’ Symphony’s debut vintage couture fashion show. An unconventional runway show, the combination of designer gowns and beautiful music from the Grammy-award winning orchestra easily cultivated creativity. Crystal adornment courtesy of Collections by Joya.

What don’t I adore about a place that encourages you to pop open a bottle of wine and create art? Painting With a Twist afforded me just that opportunity. I celebrated Mother’s Day with my wonderful mom-in-law by painting daisies on a vibrant background. Her version, on the left, more closely resembles the original painting we modeled ours after while mine was an anstract version, for sure. Wishing my mom, who resides on the other side of the state, could’ve been there to celebrate with us!

Share your muse-worthy moments via Instagram and Twitter by tagging @amandasluxelife and #MuseMoments.

fashion femme: layer me pretty

IMG_0363Autumn is by far my favorite season. Between leaves changing into glorious colors, pumpkins and weather that doesn’t make me feel like I’m going to melt right out of my skin, what’s not to adore? Yet fall is a tricky month for figuring one’s wardrobe. Temperatures shift like moods, from freezing in the morning to (dare I say?) warm by afternoon.
How do you plan what to wear that will adapt from one situation to the next? Layers, of course.

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For this look, pair a lightweight long-sleeved top with a heavy-knit short-sleeved cardi a la Forever 21 (find similar here). Dark skinnies match everything effortlessly. (So, get yourself a pair–stat!) The ripped details of this pair matched all too well with the textured top from Victoria’s Secret. Top off with a casual fedora (find similar here) and a pair of show-stopping boots (find similar here). To complete the ensemble, layer a couple of necklaces. Find this fantastic crystal pendant necklace at Joya. This local jewelry designer has a panache for incorporating natural elements with delicate designs. Want another reason to check them out? Proceeds from each purchase goes to charities for women. Plus, the hand-crafted jewelries and accessories are created by artisan communities from around the world. Find out more for yourself by browsing the curated fall collection.

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Thanks to Collections by Joya for sponsoring this post! Stop in soon for a peek at St. Louis Fashion Week and a new hot spot addition.

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muse moments

Happy hump-day, ladies and gents! My favorite season is upon us…even if the weather can’t make up it’s mind to follow suit. It might be warm enough during the day to sport bare legs, but I’ll still be rocking my boots. Bring on the autumn colors, the changing trees, the pumpkin carving, the hot chocolate…and of course, Halloween. As we prepare for the magical holiday and our annual costume party, here’s some muse moments to keep you inspired:

luggageEver since our last European excursion, the husband and I have needed a suitcase upgrade. We seriously put our previous set through its paces. Our next set would need a hard casing to withstand jumping from train to train and racing to catch a jet. Also, a pattern or bold color certainly would prove useful to spot our suitcase on an airport’s conveyor belt. So when I came across this beauty on wheels, it was impossible to resist. Got it home and we discovered it nearly matches my photo taken at the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. This suitcase is setting the bar pretty high, don’t you think?

belt

I’ve been pulling this belt out of my closet a lot recently. I adore the beaded texture and wooden clasp. Plus, it’s a reminder of our adventurous time in Florida last summer, where I discovered this luxe tribal adornment.

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The bright pinks commonly associated with spring are going to prove fierce with your winter wardrobe. I’m looking forward to pairing this rich color, Shopping in Paris by Pink Holiday, with a monochromatic look. Find it here.

LN show house

Got my fill of decadent design at the LN Show House, where 12 rooms of a local mansion were completely transformed by local designers. Some of my favorite spaces included the mod pool house, decked out in eye-catching art like this full-wall distorted portrait in black-and-white; as well as the library with a thick wool rug that felt like walking on a cloud, and a statement green ceiling that made the room feel like an inverse of the outdoors.

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Tell me what’s got you dreaming as of late, & be sure to visit back soon for my latest hot spot addition.

fashion femme: starlet style

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Allow me to introduce the lovely Liz. Everyone knows her as my “twin” because we’ve so often been confused for each other by strangers. We passed for sisters more convincingly when our hair was the same color, but we do share an odd resemblance for having no shared genes. And as we also share an adoration for classic films, it seemed only a matter of time before we replicated our favorite starlets’ styles. So, the twin and I piled up our hair, threw on some lipstick and headed to Chandler Hill Winery, all dolled up like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

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Marilyn’s doppelganger and I share a passion for writing. So, we whipped out our notebooks to jot a few notes, over wine and apple slices with brie.

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These pictures (cleverly, I might add) don’t show the bustling crowds at a winery on a beautiful weekend. Every now and again, we’d catch some onlookers, or even the occasional photo bomber. It seems even a male model came out of the woodwork and decided to join us for a bit.

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And of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without a little beauty advice from the screen queens themselves…

“Give a girl the right shoes, and she’ll conquer the world.” Marilyn Monroe.

“Happy girls are the prettiest.” Audrey Hepburn.

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Till next time…

muse moments

I’m starting a new habit this spring: walking to & from the library to get in some serious writing time each weekend. So here I sit, in the library with my laptop as my companion, feeling motivated & accomplished. Now that the weather is warmer, have you adapted any new routines? This week’s muse moments are inspired by the renewal that comes with this time of year. Hope it inspires you as it does me!

Soak up the atmosphere of a beautiful library, like the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. A library serves as a sanctuary for me–a place where I can collect my thoughts & immerse myself in a story, whether I’m writing it or simply reading it.

I came across this quote in The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. The nonfiction book about an architect & a serial killer takes place in Chicago during a time of tumultuous growth. (I pick up books on my to-read list just as I am about to travel to the places that serve as their settings.) The architect’s famous line serves well for any dream turned plan.

Feminism has been a hot topic in our house as of late. I’m a proud feminist who has spoken for women’s rights & launched campaigns with others to raise awareness for various issues of importance to me. Recent campaigns now focus on redefining (or shall we say “clarifying?”) the term “feminist.” That being said, what does feminism mean to you?

The gold bar jewelry is fast becoming a trend, but a simplistic necklace like this can also serve as a reminder with a mantra of your choosing. Whether it be “wanderlust” to remind you of your deep desire to travel, or “think green” to motivate an eco-conscious lifestyle, find the saying that encourages you to go after what you want from life.

& finally, a little piece of advice a la Holly Golightly, Audrey Hepburn’s mesmerizing character from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

For whatever inspires you, set your mind to the task at hand until you’ve accomplished it.  Remember, the key is to do. Start at your own pace, but keep going. Soon, it will become a habit. Then, it will be easier to go faster & further. Once you accomplish your goals, you can set out to make new ones.

Till next time, ladies & gents…

muse moments

I’m finishing off a beautiful weekend here. After quality time with family & fun-filled evenings with friends, I am ready to tackle the week with enthusiasm! Here is some inspiration around the web to help you launch your week:

At first glance, this scenic view looks like the elven paradise from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  This national park in China certainly seems to be a dreamscape.  It’s real enough though.  Shall we go see it for ourselves?

These small gold studded earbuds are ideal travel mates that can fit in your pocket.  As you travel along, you can play your own wanderlust-inspired playlist or listen to travel guides & design your own unique tour.

I live in leggings in the winter, particularly fleece-lined & textured ones.  These comic strip leggings ought to be added to the closet.  What do you think?

Create a visual aid to help you master your work week. This daily interactive reminder will help keep you on track.

Embracing who you are, faults & all, can only strengthen your character.