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the elegant lifestyle

the elegant lifestyle

Elegance in Art

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Watercolour + real petals = absolutely perfection.

As soon as I had laid eyes on these gorgeous pieces by Limzy Zhi Wei – I was stunned! 

Limzy is an Malaysian artist, based in Singapore finds her inspiration  from what surrounds her in everyday life to create these beautiful designs.

Scroll below to see more of her beautiful creations!

Limzy is also known for her #instaartmovement

Want to see more of Limzy’s work?

lovelimzy.blogspot
instagram/lovelimzy
facebook/lovelimzy

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the elegant lifestyle

Full Feminine Skirts

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There is something incredibly feminine and graceful about a full skirt.  When I brought my first recently, I (almost) drifted back to my girlhood years when I used to delightfully spin around and watch the pleats flair outwards.  I am so excited to see that full-skirts are right on trend at the moment and are popping up in stores all across town in a plethora of gorgeous summery shades and patterns.  Not only is this silhouette perfect for summer but a great trend to carry through winter with a knit top and a pair of heels.

Below is a collection of gorgeous styles and colours to get you inspired!

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the elegant lifestyle

10 Ways to Love

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listen
without interrupting

speak
without accusing

give
without sparing

praywithout ceasing

answer
without arguing

share
without pretending

enjoy
without complaint

trust
without wavering

forgive
without punishing

promise
without forgetting

the elegant lifestyle

Oscar de Renta Spring 2014 Collection

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Sleek and sophisticated, Oscar de Renta’s Spring 2014 collection begins with checkered, black and white, ladylike separates.  But just like springtime, things blossom into crisp whites with intricate patterns.  Blushing shades of colour create a colourful ending with mint, pink and pretty springtime patterns.

This collection reminds us of a garden: letting go of the wintery blues and springing forth into a brand new season with bursts of sunshine and an abundance of colourful flowers and foliage.

What do you love about this collection?

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Loved this collection?  Why not see our previous collections?

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the elegant lifestyle

The Art of Marriage

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When I recently stumbled across a letter Paul Newman wrote to his bride on their wedding day, I was inspired.    With a marriage spanning 50-years, there is no doubt that Mr Newman knew the ingredients to a long, happy and successful marriage.  Not only does this letter contain wisdom for a romantic relationship but I found the values also applicable to the interactions we have our friends and family.

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.

A good marriage must be created.

In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.

It is standing together facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

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It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel.

It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding rooms for things of the spirit.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

Related Reads:

The Art of Poise

The Art of Inner Beauty

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the elegant lifestyle

Why I’m Still Proud to Promote Grace & Poise

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As I scrolled through the evening news on my local news website, a particular headline caught my attention.  My interest usually falls short of the modern celebrity and their antics but this time I decided to flick across and see what all the comotion was about.

What I saw was nothing short of distasteful and repulsive.  If you’ve read the news today, no doubt you’ve already seen the images of Miley Cyrus’s performace at the MTV Awards.  If it made your jaw drop, take comfort in the fact that Rihanna, Will Smith (and his family), Nick Cannon and a handful of other celebrities were also among the shocked and stunned audience who rather vehemently exposed their thoughts via Twitter.  I don’t feel any need to discuss what  viewers witnessed but I am reminded that Miley herself is only one year younger than I am – just twenty years old!  Yet she is an example of a young woman who exemplifies everything opposite to what we promote here at Grace & Poise.

It is with this example in mind that, if I could, for a moment take you back to the year 2007: I was 16 years old.  It was in the early months of January 2007 that my curiosity for an elegant life began to blossom.  I remember quite vividly a conversation I had with my mother one summer’s afternoon, sharing with her my longing for mentor who I could look up to that held the qualities of a elegant and graceful woman.  Although such women were far-and-few between at that stage in my life I began to take a great interest in the style, elegance and poise of Mary, the Crown Princess of Denmark.

If you have been following Grace & Poise for a few years you’ll have noticed that Princess Mary is featured quite frequently on this blog during those early years.  Although, I’m yet to have the privilege of meeting her in person, I learned so much from her via newspaper interviews: her style, her elegance in difficult situations, her calm yet optimistic view on life.  These values taught me so much and were encouraged by my mother who was delighted to watch me grow into a woman who desired these qualities.

It was with great interest that I searched the internet for websites that encouraged women to cultivate such qualities.  My search proved unfruitful.  I found it difficult to find any real, practical inspiration on such topics.  I wondered… “surely I can’t be the only girl to desire such qualities in her life?”  Perhaps there were other young girls and women around the world who pursed such a lifestyle?  And that is when Grace & Poise was born… Out of young, humble roots came a little blog about a girl on a pursuit of a more poised, elegant and feminine life.

But this interest in an elegant life, was rather unique in the fact that few of my friends grasped my vision.  When I shared with a handful of them my dreams of one day possessing this ladylike elegance and femininity I was presented with harsh responses.  Some criticized me for the pictures I used, others mocked me for trying to be ladylike and yet others teased me with jealous remarks.

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Yet here we are: 6 years on and still going strong. Those that previously mocked, criticized and teased me have now confessed their admiration of the fruits this blog has produced.  Sometimes, I look back and see how far I’ve grown but other times I feel like I’ve only just begun.

The term ‘grace and poise‘ no longer resembles simply the way I walk or how I eat at the dinner table but it has extended into a lifestyle of graceful composure and elegant living.   Yet, I don’t think I’ll ever reach a destination where I feel like I can resemble ‘elegance’ or have fully attained ‘poise’ but I believe through the challenges that life gives – I’ll continue my journey…

It is because of this very personal experience that I turn to these pages and share with you.  That despite the sex-obsessed, raunchy world we live in, as Miley Cyrus so aptly displayed tonight –  I’m still proud to promote grace & poise.

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xx

the elegant lifestyle

30 Simple Ways to Have More Romance In Your Life

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For some, its a gift that comes rather naturally but for others romance is a act by which we continually need to be conscious and thoughtful of.   Gifts, hugs, a note to say ‘I love you’ are small acts of kindness that are just the beginning of true romance.

In the course of life we sometimes forget those who are nearest and dearest to us. Perhaps the ‘honeymoon’ phase is over within a relationship and daily activities takeover an idealized life.  Its true, romance takes time, it takes risk and it takes a daring heart.  Encourage yourself to leap off the cliff and take on the challenge.  Being truly romantic involves opening yourself up and revealing your feelings to someone else.  Its a risk but if taken seriously, its a risk worth taking.

While romance is often associated with a partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, I believe that romance, the act of giving and sharing love should not be kept for when ‘in a relationship‘ only. What better practice than to shower your parents, sister, brother or friends with love and adoration is little ways?

Thoughts to remember when considering romance:

  • How is more important than why.
  • ‘Good chemistry’ has nothing to do with compatibility.
  • The process of romance must be respected. There’s not shortcuts! If some form of romance is not on your to-do list, you may want to reevaluate your priorities.
  • ‘Communication’ is 10 percent of an A+ relationship. Creating a loving, long-term relationship is the most difficult, time-consuming, and complicated challenge you will face in your entire life. Also the most rewarding!

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Add a little romance to your life:

1. Say ‘I love you’ at least once a day.

2. No need for fancy dinners to pull out the candles. Why not share takeout by candlelight?

3. Write a little note – pop it in the book he/she is reading.

4. Write a letter sharing how grateful you are to have him/her in your life. Send via snail mail for a simple surprise.

5. Finding yourself always forgetful of anniversaries or special dates such as Mother’s day? Place a standing order with your local florist and provide the dates for flowers to be sent out. Have the florist charge your card and bill you automatically. This technique is for the forever-forgetful and terminally organised!

6. Always stay in touch with the special, memorable, unique ways that the two of you have had fun together. What is your fondest memory with him/her? Why not, do it again!

7. Learn his/her ‘blind spots’ and encourage him/her in those areas.

8. Learn hi/her ‘soft spots’ and indulge in them.

9. Understand the difference between a gift and a present. A present is something that you’re giving the receiver because its something you want him/her to have. In contrast, a gift is something that you’re sure the receiver wants. What has he/she wanted for a really long time but held back from buying? Now is your opportunity!

10. Learn his/her all-time fravourite meal and learn how to create it!  Get help from friends, family or neighbours – whatever it takes!

11. Hold a ‘romance idea brainstorming session’.  Create a list of ideas and activities for the next month or so.

12. Do you take your partner/friend for granted?  It’s time to stop!  Take time to show that you appreciate their strengths and how their life has impacted yours in a positive way.

13. When was the last time the two of you simply went for a walk together?  Not only is this a great opportunity to spend some one-on-one time together but it also has added health benefits!

14. Compliment him/her in front of friends and family.

15. Open doors for her with an extra little flourish.

16. Surprise him/her by giving him/her a gift on your birthday!

17. Do you know your partner well?  Memorize their fravourite colour, flower, author, Bible passage, song, meal, ice-cream flavour, restaurant, artist, style of artwork, role model.

18. Why not… cook a meal together?

19. Sit down at the beginning of each month and discuss romantic plans that will fit into other scheduled appointments and commitments.

20. Remember: occasional romance is nice but its limited.  Romance that spans over time is what its really all about.  Why?  Simply because consistency of romantic efforts reflect your commitment to your partner.  It shows that he or she is top priority in your life.

21. Why not…shake up your routine.  Changing your routine often leads to new ideas and a fresh perspective.

22. Think different: Always late? Be on-time!

23. Complete that chore or favor that your partner has wanted you to do for a long time.

24. Wear your favourite perfume to bed – even if you sleep alone!  Or tuck dried lavender inside of pillow cases before using them for a fragrant surprise.

25. Understand that the disagreements are an integral part of the plot.  Respect the other individual’s wishes/desires/believes.  Never be too proud to not listen to the other side of the story.

26. Light candles when you arrive home, rather than turning on all the lights in the house.

27. Listen to relaxing music rather than turning on the television.

28. Keep fresh flowers by your nightstand.

29. Switch off the electronic equipment such as iPads/laptops/computers and enjoy a relaxing evening with a book.

30. Take a cooking class together.  Learn how to perfect your fravourite dish.

Related articles:

In Celebration of Valentine’s Day

Words of Wisdom No. 12 on the subject of love

Love Inspiration

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the elegant lifestyle

Oscar de Renta Resort 2014 Collection

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Sometimes less is more, as evidenced in Oscar de Renta’s 2014 Resort collection.  The mood for this collection was particularly bright and cheery, with pops of colour and pretty floral patterns embellishing simple silhouettes.

This collection combined both traditional and modern patterns cut in crisp, tailored style suits with draped ’50’s style dresses. The fabrics were captivating in gorgeous shades of cobalt blue through to sweet tones of pink.  Floral dresses, peplum tops and other ladylike characteristics were strong features within the collection.

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To see more stylish inspirations take a peek at my Pinterest.
Related Articles:

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