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.

this one’s for the lovers

Some of you may know this about me already, but for those who don’t, I got my start as a professional writer with a dating column. I gave the column up once I became a staff writer at a local magazine. Every now and again though, my previous work comes up (and usually prompts the question, “Can you offer me some dating advice?”). So, it seems only fitting to take a look back at some of my most memorable advice for the truly committed, the just getting started and even those who are playing it solo this Valentine’s Day.

5 Signs You’ve Met a Real Life Prince Charming

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The 4 Worst Ways to Say “I Love You”

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Superheroes and Dating Disasters

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Why Being Single Can Be for the Best

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How to Move From Friends to Lovers

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The Long-distance Relationship: How to Make Your Love Last

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The DOs and DON’Ts of Having a Friendship with Benefits

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Bad Boy Blues

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Share your plans or hit me up for dating tips in the comments section below.

Enjoy your holiday, lovers!

XO,

Amanda

Photos of Amanda Dahl C/O of Essence Photography by Martha

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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hot spots: Majestic Dance Studio in St. Louis + GIVEAWAY

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Hips sashaying…temperatures rising…laughter falling from your lips…
I get swept away in the moment when dancing. The pure elation I feel when I’ve found my rhythm isn’t something everybody understands. But you can.

Dancing may intimidate you, make you feel insecure. But think of the satisfaction that could be yours, if you give yourself the chance to learn. Majestic Dance Studio invites couples to come experience the thrill of dancing without the fear of failing. Let yourself feel the pulsating beat, & find your own rhythm in a dance group class.
Find the GIVEAWAY details at the end of this post.

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Photos courtesy of Adriana Almeida.

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Shimmy your way down to Majestic Studios for a new way to spend a night on the town, whether it be a nontraditional date night or a chance to try something new with friends.

Partners line up across from each other, & owner Alex Borodko takes you step by step, simplifying the sensational moves of the salsa & bachata. When you finally pair again with your partner, the movements combine easily to create a beautiful number sure to impress.

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Immediate photos above courtesy of Adriana Almeida.

Even if you don’t have a partner, the professionals are on hand to step in. Each offers a quick tip to improve your rhythm, from slowing down a spin & where to hold your arms to perfecting the hip swing. The rigorous workout is broken up with performances by the talented teachers. Josef Scherer & Loraine Ebel swept across the dance floor with an elegant ballroom dance. Alex paired with Angie Brooks in a lively International Latin to entertain us. We sat back, nibbled on a few snacks, & poured glass after glass of wine, enjoying the entertainment. The evening went by all too quickly, but the workout was refreshing–& I found that pure intoxication a night of dancing can give.

Keep on reading for the GIVEAWAY details…

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Thanks to Majestic Dance Studio for inviting me and a few of my fellow bloggers to experience a group dance class for ourselves. The experience was one-of-a-kind, & now I can offer it to one of you!
Winner has been announced. Thanks for participating!

Majestic Dance Studio GIVEAWAY

Congratulations to the lucky winner!

Photo below courtesy of Adriana Almeida.

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*Thank you to Majestic Dance Studio for sponsoring this post.

muse moments

As the heat of summer finally begins to roll in, the outdoor festivities are in full swing. From food trucks in the city parks to the Renaissance Faire & outdoor theatre, the city comes alive with vibrant activity this time of year. All this & more is keeping my calendar filled to the brim, but I love every minute of it. Hope the longer days are as joy-filled for you as they have been for me! Here’s some #MuseMoments of late that have put a smile on my face:

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An oversized ring wrapped in gold & topped with a pale pink rose.

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I was thrilled to hear Jimmy Fallon’s announcement on the The Tonight Show when he introduced Ben & Jerry’s newest creation, The Tonight Dough. Combining chocolate cookie swirls, & chocolate chip & peanut butter cookie dough, it was as tasty as I’d hoped it be.

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I fell in love with this enormous disco ball at a nearby nightclub.
Equal to the size of three of me, I sadly could not take it home.

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This wine drinker loves her some sangria, especially come summertime.
This light, zesty white wine concoction cools you off on a humid evening.

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Saint Louis Art Museum hosts a delightful shindig the last Friday of every month, known as SLAM Underground. The extended happy hour gives you an up-close experience with one of the exhibits, & celebrates the art with a DJ on hand & activities, like this distinctive photo booth.

hot spots: Kingside Diner in the CWE

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The neighborhood of Central West End welcomes a new late-night diner for the urbanite socialite. I got the chance to sample some of its cuisine
& sinfully sweet drinks at the grand opening of Kingside Diner.

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True to diner protocol, Kingside delivers staple items, such as burgers & breakfast items. How does the restaurant set itself apart from others of its’ caliber? By introducing a swanky setting to an old-time recipe for success. You gotta admit, breakfast served all day will certainly please the late-night revelers who enjoy the CWE’s bar scene. Kingside Diner cooks up flatbreads, sandwiches & wraps with flavorful ingredients. My friend & I nibbled on bites of Romesco, goat cheese, spinach & onion, as well as bagels & lox, & even enjoyed silver dollar pancakes. Between that, & the oh so heavenly Bailey’s chocolate milkshakes, we certainly supped like royalty that evening. Check out the menu for yourself at Kingside Diner.

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*This post sponsored by Kingside Diner. Opinions are my own.

newsworthy notes: make me this year’s St. Louis Summer Ambassador

I grew up in Kansas City, but I fell in love with a boy from St. Louis–& then I fell in love with the city.  I’ve thrown my hat in the ring for the coveted title of ‘St. Louis Summer Ambassador’ awarded by Explore St. Louis, ALIVE magazine, KSDK, & the Midwest Influencer Network.  Make me the next St. Louis city ambassador, & you can expect to get the inside scoop on how to be a tourist in your own town or trip guides to plan your getaway to the Gateway City.  Simply share this video on every social media outlet like it’s going out of style, & you just might see me making the rounds this summer as the next city ambassador!

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If I win the Official Explore St. Louis Summer Ambassador Search, I will share how to spend a perfect day in the Lou, from talking an afternoon walk along the pretty pathways of the Missouri Botanical Gardens to a show at the ever-elegant Fabulous Fox Theater.  I’m a last-minute contender, so it’s too late to vote for me via KSDK.com, but the more you share my video, the better my chances will be at becoming your St. Louis ambassador.  The Top 5 contenders will be announced tomorrow.  & to learn if I make the cut & earn the title, come to the ‘Be a Tourist in Your Own Town’ event:

‘See for yourself why St. Louis is such a great place to visit during the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission’s annual Be a Tourist In Your Own Town event.  The region’s most popular attractions will exhibit with free refreshments, music, prizes and fun for everyone.  This event will take place from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in Ballpark Village.”

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Thanks for your support, ladies & gents!