Prefer to listen? Click below.

The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Ever since I was a little girl twirling around in ruffled dresses handmade by my mom, I knew I loved all things exquisite.  Lace, crystal chandeliers, frosting with sparkles and all the other decadent adornments of life creates a feeling of fancy. And, then something happened? I started to put those beautiful details of my own life on the back burner.  I had a child to raise, weight to lose and money to make.

I now know that not making space for the exquisiteness of life only fed my worst fear: a mundane and monotonous existence. I had become THAT girl who was simply surviving – going through the motions with little soul and very little attention to the details of my life.

“I’ll start tomorrow” seems to be the time table of most.  It was certainly mine.  And, that tomorrow?  Well, we know that if we don’t call it for what it is – an excuse – it never comes.

In chasing the BIG things, we forget about the importance of the details of our lives, moments that truly make life exquisite.
(tweet it)

Paying attention to the details is what makes a woman iconic – a rare gem in a cluttered and chaotic society.
(tweet this!)

Life should be lived as a masterpiece, putting thought and effort into making life a sensual affair. 
(Or tweet this!)

Even today, it’s so easy for me to slip into putting the details of my life on the back burner, and I have to remind myself of this beautiful quote by Ernest Hemingway:

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”

So, I want to give you some super easy ways to turn your ordinary day into a truly exquisite masterpiece.

  1. Start Your Morning with Beautiful Thoughts.  Many women wake up dreading their day.  This energy of resistance leaks into their experience, creating more experiences to dread.  Part of living exquisitely is being mindful of the stories you tell. They are creating your life.  The belief comes first.  The experience follows.
  2. Value Your Appearance.  It’s not vain to care about how you show up in your life.  If anything, it shows the world that you care about yourself enough to take the time to look your best.  As I tell my Slim, Chic & Savvy students, make the world your runway.
  3. Write love notes.  Invest in beautiful stationery and make it routine to send at least one a week (I have four en route as I type).  This small act of attention will not only brighten someone’s day but it will also impact yours, because the more love you give, the more that flows to you.


  4. Use wax seals on your letters.  A friend of mine gave me this beautiful wax seal set that I have been using on all my letters.  During medieval times, the seal was used for security reasons.  Today, I use it to make an ordinary letter a bit more exquisite.
  5. Find your signature scent.  In France, a woman is known by the scent she wears.  Before even seeing her physical presence, her family and friends will know she’s there because her perfume tells them so.  One of our favorite excursions in the School of Self-image experience is visiting a parfumerie in Paris that holds one of the rarest perfume collections in the world so that each women can find a scent that represents her soul.  Necessary? No.  Exquisite?  Yes!
  6. Use truffle oil.  Sure, a really good one isn’t cheap.  However, it only takes a couple of drops on your potatoes or eggs to turn an ordinary food into a decadent affair.  My experience has been that it’s totally worth the investment, that is…if you like truffles!
  7. Have afternoon tea.  You don’t have to be the Queen of England to take a small break in your day to prepare and savor high tea.  Not only is it a bit of fancy in your day, numerous studies have proven the health benefits of tea, not to mention the stress release from slowing down from a fast paced life.
  8. Engage daily in far niente.  Considered a lost art and one of life’s greatest pleasures, it’s the sweet idleness of doing nothing.   Puritanical teachings have embedded in our minds that doing nothing is lazy and a petri dish for mischief and hedonism.  However, I see it as a necessity to a sane and exquisite life.  Even if for just 20 minutes a day, step away and engage in sweet nothing.
  9. Use a drop of lavender on your pillow. Used in history to stimulate love and passion, I can’t think of a better way to end your day than engulfed in this beautiful scent.
  10. Celebrate Mondays with Champagne. Mondays tend to be dreaded and ignored.  The rush for the weekend robs a potential beautiful day from the magic it could hold. It’s common in my home to pop open some bubbly to celebrate the beginning of a week.  I mean, who not make every day a celebration instead of rushing to some future moment?
  11. Make Your Bed Each Morning.  Such a simple act that takes all of three minutes and holds an energy of completeness and paying attention to the details of your life that you will carry throughout the day. And, the feeling the a freshly made bed at night is truly heavenly.
  12. Use Your Fine China Every Day.  Why wait until Thanksgiving or anniversaries to use your best?  Every day is deserving of celebration.  Even if it’s Chinese takeout, it becomes a different experience when eaten off a beautiful plate.
  13. Be a Lady Who Dines.  In Slim, Chic & Savvy, we talked in-depth about the concept of dining – slowing down and savoring delicious foods.  When you do, each bite holds an exquisiteness that will never be found in eating mindlessly.
  14. Sleep under Down.  I can’t believe I waited until my 30s to buy a down comforter.   It is an investment, but sleeping underneath feathers is a nightly luxury.
  15. Buy Luxurious Soaps.  Last night, I lathered in a luxurious lavender soap from Provence.  Investing in artisan products creates a more exquisite experience.  Everytime!

16. Read Books You Love.  Instead of devouring books that keep you focused on the belief that there’s something wrong with you, read books that light you up, feed your desires and feel luxurious.

17. Turn it Off.  An exquisite life will never be created through Facebook, checking your email constantly and living inside your computer.  DISCONNECT!  Only then will you discover the beauty of your real life.

18. Fill Your Space with Exquisite Sounds.  I live my life through music.  Filling my environment with beautiful music takes me above the mind chatter and mundane and reminds me that life is a song and we get to choose what we dance to.

I made this Sensual mixtape just for you! 

Now, of course, what’s exquisite for me may sound like hell to you.  As women, it’s up to us to discover what lights us up and turns us on. 

So, please share in the comments below:  what do you find to be exquisite?

With an Exquisite Heart,


Self-Image Makeover

Live Your Life With Style, Flare, and Elegance