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?


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.

shopping in paris shade

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.

muse moments

Summer is finally in full swing, here in the Midwest… Despite weeks & weeks of rain, the sunshine is out in full force & the dog days of summer are finally happening. We’ve been enjoying the hot days with pool parties & city events. Here’s some of the highlights from our summer adventures:

lemon wedge jello shots

Our friends recently held a housewarming, & this little addition to the shindig was a wild success! Our lovely hostess made these wickedly delicious lemon jello shots.

geek chic workout tank

I’ve been getting into good habits as of late, from walking to the local grocery store, & grabbing lunch for the week, to doing 50 burpees five out of the seven days. This geek chic tank top has been one of my go-to items for workout gear.

Jaws cupcake

Saint Louis Art Museum hosts movie nights one month each summer on its gorgeous front yard. Jaws was this week’s feature. The classic thriller by Steven Spielberg is as entertaining as ever. Food trucks line the hill before showtime, offering tempting cuisine, including this completely edible themed cupcake.

braided ponytail

I’m updating a classic hairstyle with a braided ponytail. I love the versatility of long hair, but when the heat is in the hundreds, an updo is the only way to go!

classic movie night

My darling friend, Liz, & I enjoyed a day of classic movies, starring Marilyn Monroe. The twinning hashtag refers to the fact that Liz (of no relation to me) just so happens to look exactly like moi. As we happen to share a few things in common, including our looks, we happily refer to each other as twins. We poured some pink champagne, nibbled on French Dip Croissants, & popped in great films like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot. Feel free to share some of your summer adventures with me in the comments below. & remember, only 4 days left to enter in my giveaway contest for a free dance lesson!

fashion femme: testing beauty trends, the facial peel & the blowout hairstyle

I recently tried out a few beauty trends, the blowout & the facial peel, to find out firsthand the cons & pros of high-end salon specialties. I got the opportunity at American Image Salon & Spa’s Peel Night with a Glo Therapeutic Facial Peel & Bio Ionic styling tools.

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Chemical exfoliation sounds pretty intimidating, but the experience is surprisingly relaxing & provides better insight into your personal skin care routine. Stephanie walked me through the process, offering a peel personalized to my skin from beginning to end. Peels stimulate your skin cells to act young, & add radiance to your face. We ultimately determined that the “lunch-time peel” suited my virgin skin best. The process involves a microderm scrub to slough off dead skin cells & invigorate the remaining fresh layer. She recommends getting this kind of facial rejuvenation every 4 to 6 weeks. Evidently, the better your skin care regiment, the more intensely you feel the chemicals. So kudos to me for taking excellent care of my skin, because I could feel the burn from the chemicals doing their work! The heat seemed intense, but thankfully was short-lived. Stephanie then applied a moisturizing cream, leaving my face feeling refreshed & soft to the touch. Expect some peeling in the next few days, much like a slight sunburn. Ultimately, I determined that the peel may not be for me; but if you want to learn the best way to care for your skin, you’ll find no better guide than Stephanie.

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Next up, I got a session designed to teach me how to use Bio Ionic tools to achieve the look I wanted. Amanda (great name, don’t you think?) suggested smooth curls for my long locks. She then introduced me to the StyleWinder, a pretty sweet styling wand with rotating end that creates the ultimate curl. My hair doesn’t like to hold styles for any real length of time, but the next-day results (as seen below) left me with subtle waves for a tousled bedhead beauty look. Read this ‘muse moments’ post to see a perfect updo for this textured hairstyle.

Your best bet for pampering from the American Image Salon & Spa is to stop in on special event nights for luxe treatments at a serious discount.

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Price: $65 for chemical exfoliation treatment, $15 for finished style (with chemical service)

*This post was sponsored by American Image Salon & Spa. Opinions are my own.

muse moments

This month has been filled with one excitement after another…from a promising career move to numerous wedding invites from our dear friends (even as far away as Sweden)!  I’ve never felt more in my element than I do now, and I hope I can keep riding this enthusiasm and fill my blog with delicious reads for you all to enjoy!  This session of muse moments highlights things that keep my inspired thoughts burning bright: 031515 1

Sparkling silver nails with white accent.

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A constellation cup from my childhood friend.

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A dino desk companion complete with memo pad.

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Retro chic Mary Janes from Steve Madden that make me think of pin-up style.

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 A cup of joe this non-coffee drinker can get behind: the tuxedo.  Basically hot chocolate (white and milk chocolate, to be exact) infused with espresso.

muse moments

Hello, ladies & gents!  We’re wrapping up another week and counting down to the holiday.  My week started off wonderfully after my friend & her beau came for a visit over the past weekend.  We got the chance to act like tourists in our town as we went around seeing the sites with them.  After strolling through our historic downtown area, which is all dolled up for Christmas, I am absolutely in a festive mood.  Here are other things inspiring me at the moment:

What’s on your Christmas wish list?  For me, it is always an extravagant trip.  I wouldn’t mind visiting New York City again…except this time, let’s stop by during the holidays to really see the city all aglow.  We could watch the Rockettes and take a horse-drawn carriage through a snowy Central Park.

This red dress complete with a teacup skirt will make quite the impression at a holiday party.  Santa’s suit doesn’t have anything on this velvet.

Top off that holiday party look with a sleek & elegant hairstyle.  This simple chignon is polished with a braid.

Capture the warmth of Christmas lights with this trick for a bokeh effect on your camera.

Want to keep the lights shining all year-round?  Create your own unique marquee lights with this how-to guide & display a cool message on your walls.

See you next week with some more travel guides and holiday inspirations!

muse moments

I’ve spent this past weekend traveling, so my apologies for the delayed posts. However, that means this week you’ll get a double dose of LIVE THE LUXE LIFE! Here’s hoping your week has started off as beautifully as mine, but if not, here is a dose of inspiration to set you back on track:

I just snagged two pairs of heels & some sleek cognac-colored boots, so I’m feeling the love for these beautiful Romeo & Juliet pumps.

I want my life to be an adventure & this statement reflects the passion it takes to lead an extraordinary life.

Have any of you had the pleasure of enjoying the original macaron created by Laduree in Paris? I have been that fortunate & there are days I dream of that cake-like cookie with the rich ganache middle. Let me know if you find a comparable macaron in the States & I’ll be sure to give it a chance!

The tuck & twist hair do is incredibly simple to pull off as long as you have enough bobby pins. Here’s my pin win:


This backless number with the ornate sequin detail is to be worn on special occasions. It reminds me of a beautiful pink & gold gown with beading currently hanging in my closest that is beckoning to be worn. Looks like it might be one to wear on New Year’s Eve!

Check back later this week for my travel update. Until then, stay inspired!

muse moments

Welcome back, sunshine!  After a rain-drenched week, we can finally step outside & soak up the warmth.  I have plans to celebrate my good girlfriend’s birthday this weekend.  Hope your weekend looks as beautiful as mine does!  Here’s some inspirations to get you started off on the right foot:

Here’s another great way to soak up the warmth…with a long dip in the tub.  Wouldn’t it be oh so easy to relax with a good book & a glass of wine perched on this lovely little bath rack?  Sign me up.

There’s just something about stilettos. I can’t get enough of ’em. Haven’t really had a reason to where them as of late, but I’m sure I’ll come up with a couple of excuses this weekend. Not sure I could handle such an exquisite pair as the ones above, but I can certainly appreciate their beauty!

Look vibrant in this business-appropriate midi skirt.  In addition, the bright lights pattern serves as a great transition piece from work to evening attire.

This candy corn cocktail looks as yummy as it is sure to taste.  Ideal to serve at a certain upcoming festive event.

Cat eyes add a sultry vibe to your look & this hairdo brings in that rocker glam.

Enjoy your weekend, ladies & gents!  Come see me on Monday for some more details on our tour of the Cinque Terre in Italy.  Ciao for now!