10 Things I Can’t Live Without: Life in a Venti Cup

I had the pleasure of meeting Franki Durbin of Life in a Venti Cup at the High Point Market back in October. She is a total ball of energy wrapped up in a tiny, pretty package. Franki is a devoted wife, mother, and businesswoman who probably knows more about technology than most people I know. She always looks fabulous, is as friendly as they come, and while she loves the good things in life, she makes it a point to emphasize that hard work, goals, expectations, and determination are of the utmost importance when it comes to getting what you want out of life. Having spent a weekend with her, I can attest to the fact that every item on her “10 Things” list really does play an integral role in her life. I think you’ll be inspired in more ways than one.

1. Evian.

wallpaper8_1280[1] I drink water like it's going out of style. If you've ever been with me, you can attest to my ever-present one liter bottle of Evian. I'm convinced it holds the key to great skin, good health and vibrant energy. My skin is radically different when I'm super-hydrated: poreless smooth and close to perfect. I'm convinced it's the world's greatest beauty secret! And for those who say you couldn't tell the difference between bottled water and tap: I firmly disagree. I'm willing to take a blindfold test to prove my allegiance to this bottle wonder product!


2. Technology.

photos-hardware-01-20090608[1]Steve Jobs: Thank you! It's hard to overstate the impact of my Mac laptops and the vast web. As a designer, my career has depended upon them. As a creative person on the go, portable devices like the iPhone and my Powerbooks have transformed the way I live my life. I can be in Manhattan, Monaco or Michigan and get work done, chat with friends, soak in any information I choose and stay on top of everything. Throw a busy family life into the mix and I can definitively state that the iPhone has raised our expectations in terms of how technology plays an intimate role in our lives. I cannot imagine my life without these things!


3. Fashion.

6a00e3933abee0883400e554db575a8833-800wi[1] Fashion! How can I express how much fashion rules my life. It allows me to express my inner me, my mood, my goals, my aspirations, my outlook - my very essence. While some may just dress for the day ahead, I dress for the life I envision. Diane von Furstenberg often says that a woman's clothing should be "good friends." She feels that when you wake up in the morning and open your closet, you be greeted by a group of your closest friends. I love that concept - and she's right! Too many women wear ill-fitting garments that do nothing to elevate their mood their confidence or their station in life. The best outfit is one that you feel great in and can forget about - so that you are completely focused on LIFE that day. You shouldn't ever be found tugging, pulling or fighting a garment. It should be an ally in your busy life, not an adversary.

For me, getting dressed is an exercise in fun. I love the shoes, the bags, the art of styling an outfit. I love it all. And it's not about how much an item costs or having certain brands (although many luxury brands have earned their reputation and placement due to delivering excellence). For me it comes down to fit, flattery and quality. There's no joy in a Dior dress you found on a clearance rack if it doesn't flatter you. You won't wear it. If you do, yo won't enjoy it. Fashion is there FOR you, not to work against you.

Know what looks good on you and don't be afraid to demand the best you can afford. I'm all for quality over quantity. I'll take a closet full of BFFs any day over a room full of adversaries!


4. Exercise.

at694530-00av4v09[1] I can barely remember a time when I wasn't working out. It was the summer before high school when I really began to commit to a fitness lifestyle, and I've been hooked ever since. Whether it's running outside, doing power yoga or lifting weights, fitness has always played a key role in my life. My father once told me that there's no greater luxury than being in shape. You feel better, you look better, you ARE better. The only riddle in my life I have yet to unravel is whether I'm energetic because I exercise or if I exercise because I'm energetic. Ha! Regardless, great health is a must in my life. It allows me to feel amazing and enables my body to keep up with my busy mind. After all, there's an entire world out there to see and I need stamina to live out my many dreams!


5. Travel.

V-KATIKIES-1[2] Travel is one of my great lifelong passions. It makes the above four "essentials" even more important, as it's nice to look good, feel great and stay connected when you're on the go. Whether it's a weekend in Del Mar or a two week stay in Italy, nothing replaces the benefits of a journey someplace new. My advice for anyone stuck in a rut? If you want to change your life, change your location. New people, new places, new experiences... it shakes your world up and forces you to adapt! My list of "must see before I die" locations seems to expand each year. Thank goodness for the amazing technology at our fingertips that allows me to document my adventures!


6. Magazines!

ed0108_lhuillier_04[2] By now you can see how these things all tie together. Magazines fuel my insatiable desire for seeing pretty things, adventures to pursue, fresh technology and a seemingly endless stream of new masters of design. In my opinions, the classic magazine form is perfect. It is lightweight, perfectly sized, and completely portable. They are easy to read on a plane, a treadmill, a poolside chaise or curled up at home. Glossy photos, scented pages and oodles of new information to digest.

Whether it's peeking into a celebrity's home or learning about the latest gadget on the market, I can't get enough of these perfectly proportioned objects. Magazines are an example of perfect design and ideally delivered information. I truly, truly adore their format. A few that I regularly read: Elle Decor, Town & Country, InStyle and Fast Company. But I like to mix it up occasionally with a few good fitness magazines! Magazines are a guilty pleasure I'll not soon give up!


7. Laughter.

laughing-young-friends-from-above-thumb5614357[1] Who doesn't love a good laugh? In my opinion, laughter every day is one of our missions in life. We're here to experience life and enjoy it. If you're not laughing and smiling on a regular basis with family and friends, you may want to look at adding some of the above things to your own activities. It will improve your relationships, your focus, your health and your life. Besides... you look ten times more attractive when you're smiling and enjoying yourself. Who couldn't benefit from that? :)


8. Sunshine.

casino-gardens-as-seen[1] Ahhh, sunshine! There are few problems in my life that can't be solved or at least temporarily forgotten with a healthy dose of sunshine. There are few pleasures that rival dining al fresco beneath swaying palms with a warm breeze blowing on your legs. LOVE it! I'm a warm weather girl and like to keep my pedicured toes out in the open as many months of the year as possible. ha! Winter boots are fabulous, but nothing beats the ease of a fabulous summer dress and a sexy pair of sandals. For me, sunshine and warmer climates offer daily luxuries that no amount of money can replace.


9. Family and Friends.

giada-de-laurentiis-husband-md[1] If you're really paying attention, you've no doubt recognized that I'm numbering these in reverse. Family and friends are WAY at the top of my "must have" list. I am comforted the moment my husband comes home from the office. It's as though my other half has returned. And my adorable little toddler daughter? We're almost inseparable. Add in my BFF's and the rest of my family and I feel so blessed and grateful for my life. You can have many riches and "things" in this world, but I assure you that having loved ones to experience this amazing life with is true luxury!


10. Faith

71890lg[1] This may be taboo to mention, but my faith is at the center of my life. Being a Christian centers me and makes my life complete. It helps me enjoy my travel, the sunshine, the magazines, the laptops, the awesome family and friends I enjoy - and makes every adventure a thing of wonder. It's really and truly at the center of who I am as a person.

So yes, like pretty much every girl who has participated in Paloma's awesome series, I love personalized notecards (essential!), bubble baths (almost daily), cooking (go Giada!) perfume (LOVE me some perfume!) and fresh flowers (I prefer stargazer lilies to roses)... but those are the icing on the cake that is my life. I hope you've enjoyed my list!!!

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