So What is An Elegant Lifestyle?

You're probably thinking, "Catie, you don't live in a castle or have a driver who hauls your tush around in a Rolls Royce. So where do you get off telling your readers how to live an elegant lifestyle?"

I would say, "You're correct. I don't live in a castle. I live in a modest retirement village with no frills. I indeed have no driver, let alone a Rolls. I drive myself around in an old Chevy Blazer, and in the summer when I fe
el like charging her battery, I will roll out my 30-some-year-old BMW and open up the sunroof since a new 2020 BMW Z4 convertible isn't in the budget.

My argument is that elegance isn't about wealth and prominence. It's about elevating your thoughts and choices. An example would be: you're out running errands, and want a snack for later in the afternoon. You're close to a market, but you left your charge/debit cards in your other purse and you only have one five-dollar bill, a one-dollar bill, and a bunch of loose coins.

You turn that "snack" thinking into Tea Time or the "Violet Hour" (another name for an early evening cocktail hour because of the setting sun, and the sky turning purple).  Instead of buying a bag of chips and a "Slim Jim" with your cash, check out the cheese section or ask the deli staff to recommend and slice you an affordable imported or domestic artisanal cheese for around $4-5. Head to the produce section and buy a piece of fruit like an Asian pear or the newest apple variety. Have any extra money left over? See what the bakery bulk section has available such as a croissant or a demi-baguette. 

Now that you're home, check your pantry. What else do you have to add to your plate? Nuts?  Dried fruit? Olives? Add a serving to your plate.  Honey? Drizzle just a touch over the fresh fruit or even over the cheese.  In the future remember to keep these items in your pantry for a last-minute "Violet Hour."


And one more thing - serve your plate of cheese and fruit on one of your nicer plates. If possible use a cloth cocktail or tea napkin. Cloth napkins do not have to be costly and can be found at second-hand shops, and often made of linen. At the very least get yourself in the habit of keeping a stash of pretty imported paper napkins. These can be found at craft stores, museum stores, and import shops like World Market or Pier One. 

We're not done. Turn off the phone, television, and computer. Now turn on some soft background music, pour a glass of wine, or prepare a cup of tea. Sit down. Relax. Sip and savor and enjoy a moment of elegance.  

Stay tuned for more on "elegance." It's a state of mind.

“This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affections glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn.” 

- The Hour by Bernard DeVoto


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