Luxury At Home

a little luxury (in my own front yard)

Paris Eiffel Tower view

no, this isn’t my front yard… keep reading 😉

When I learned the topic of this month’s By Invitation Only* post would be “Life’s Luxuries,” my mind immediately traveled back to Paris, and some of our really memorable times there. We’ve stayed in some fabulous rooms with lovely views,

hotel room Parisdined at exquisite restaurants, enjoyed some delightful scenery…


park in 16eme ParisOne of the things I enjoy most about Paris are the verdant parks and trees.

Having lived most of my adult life in Central and Southern California, I’ve really come to appreciate greenery and especially trees, which are not a given here. Large, shade-giving trees are something of a luxury in our “coastal desert” climate. I consider myself very fortunate to live on a street lined with mature, lovely, well-tended and healthy Chinese elm trees.

Chinese elm

including this one in our front yard

These trees are a living luxury that soothe and sustain me, and one that I appreciate on a daily basis.

Chinese elm treeWhat luxuries do you enjoy as part of your daily life?

*By Invitation Only is a monthly post by a group of bloggers scattered across the globe. The second Tuesday of every month we take a subject, and each approach it from our own unique perspective. You can see what the rest of the By Invitation Only bloggers have to share about their own concepts of luxury at the linkup at Splenderosa.

By Invitation Only



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  1. April 14, 2015 / 9:21 am

    You must love England, then. We were amazed at the HUGE trees when we were there. We don’t have that in Eastern Canada, lots of gorgeous stunted pines and fir but not many really, really big trees. I guess our climate is too harsh.

  2. April 14, 2015 / 9:37 am

    The images evoked some wonderful memories. Looking forward to making some more.

  3. April 14, 2015 / 10:08 am

    Your post reminds me how fortunate I am this time of year to live in one of the loveliest parts of the US when it comes to Spring. I’m a New Englander (who doesn’t like the cold!), and I recall all too well the terribly harsh winters that kept me hibernating for months at a time… when I wasn’t shoveling my car out to make a slooooooow commute through ice and snow. These past years, living in the Southeast, Spring is glorious — and it is in full bloom right now — the air sweet, brilliant floral colors, lush greenery everywhere (already needing to mow every week). It’s uplifting to be surrounded by such joyful brushstrokes.

    Quite the “everyday” luxury, indeed.

  4. April 14, 2015 / 10:50 am

    Lovely! It seams to me that some of our life’s luxuries are the good memories, memories when we really felt blessed to be on a special place. You’ve described it well!
    Warmest greetings from the Périgord,

    P.S. I’m still in the middle of writing/creating my post, my contribution for this month. Hope to publish it in a few hours, latest by tomorrow.
    And by the way – I seam to remember that you mentioned in on of your earlier posts this year that you’re planing a travel to France, to Bordeaux?, Yes?
    We only live 1 and half hour north of Bordeaux in the most beautiful region of the Périgord, a region full of history and which has retain its authenticity. Away from the beaten track, not all that touristic….but simply wonderful and still a “secret tip”.
    If you wish any info please let me know. I know the nearly the whole South-West of France, incl. Bordeaux, St.Emilion etc., the Aquitaine.

  5. April 14, 2015 / 11:47 am

    I adore trees also. They are sparse where I live now and I miss the abdunance of them from Vancouver Island. I enjoy the luxury of quiet times, love of family and friends, and the luxury to make my own choices!

  6. April 14, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    Beautiful. Those Chinese elms are among my favorite trees of all.

  7. April 14, 2015 / 12:31 pm

    For over a decade, I lived in Los Olivos (the wine country 45 minutes north of Santa Barbara). I had an oak tree that was estimated to be 150-200 years old in my front yard. It was the main reason I bought the house. That tree brought me happiness every single day. Many family parties were held at tables we placed under the huge branches. Many family photos were taken in front of its huge trunk. I am in Santa Barbara now. There are a lot of pretty trees, but I don’t have anything like my oak here. Now my daily joy has to come from palm trees and ocean waves. Not a bad trade…
    Michelle from

  8. April 14, 2015 / 12:40 pm

    Last spring, I lived beside the Place des Vosges in Paris for 2 months. This spring, I am living amid the the cacti on a rooftop in Oaxaca, Mexico.
    During my “home time” (summer In British Columbia), I enjoy the swimming pool at our apartment complex and travelling in the Pacific Northwest. Life as a retired woman is full of adventure and luxury.

  9. April 14, 2015 / 12:49 pm

    Trees are indeed a gift and a luxury. I like the way you moved from Paris, the more predictable response to the topic, to an appreciation of your elms…

  10. April 14, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    Trees as a luxury – oh I adore this concept – because they truly are things of beauty, of serenity, of shelter, and of course the source of our oxygen so they are more than a luxury – but then perhaps the appreciation of them, which you obviously have, that is the actual luxury.

  11. April 14, 2015 / 4:03 pm

    Some years ago thousands of daffodils were planted along the street I live on giving a glorious yellow and new green to spring in our neighborhood. That and my garden’s awakening are truly a luxury. My Hamamelis (Witchazel) is blooming yellow along with the pinks and whites of my Helleborus, or lenten roses. I walk up my walk or look out my kitchen window to spring.

  12. April 14, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    I am fortunate to live on a very pretty street in Los Angeles where we have many mature trees in addition to palm trees. We also have a center grass divider with beautiful white rose beds. And, from our seventh floor balcony, I am constantly amazed at the number of trees we can see throughout the city.I would like to share to following poem by Sergeant Joyce Kilmer – 165th Infantry
    (69th New York). Born, December 6, 1886; killed in action near Ourcy, July 30, 1918).

    I think that I shall never see
    A poem lovely as a tree.
    A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
    Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
    A tree that looks at God all day,
    And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
    A tree that may in Summer wear
    A nest of robins in her hair;
    Upon whose bosom snow has laid;
    Who intimately lives with rain.
    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But only God can make a tree.

    If interested, another beautiful poem on trees is THE HEART OF THE TREE by Henry Cuyler Bunner

  13. Maryann
    April 14, 2015 / 5:14 pm

    Luxury for me is freedom from the daily grind of work to travel and pursue my own interests. My next dose of freedom is in November when I travel to France and the UK.

  14. Mary Hanson
    April 14, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Living in Santa Barbara is luxury. The scenery is lovely and the vibe low key. Our world is full of amazing beauty, both natural and man-made. I love to travel and see new sights but it is also a treat to come back home to our little piece of heaven.

  15. April 14, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    I always say, a palm tree is not a tree!! As someone who was born on the east coast ~ I wholeheartedly miss .. trees.


  16. stylecrone
    April 14, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    Your photos of Paris brought back memories of my trip this past October. Nothing could be more luxurious than the sights seen in the City of Lights. However, the trees in your back yard are equally magnificent.

  17. iolacontessa
    April 14, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    TREES………we can NEVER have enough of those lovely’s!Where in Central California did you live?That just caught my eye………………….
    PARIS…………OH PARIS…………….can one ever see enough of HER?I doubt it. When we do get there it TOTALLY feels like a LUXURY no matter where one stays!

  18. happinessatmidlife
    April 14, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    I agree that mature trees are hard to come by in SoCal, I live in a very new development (less than 5 years old), large tress are a rare sighting. We do have a ton of parks which is perfect for my son. Great post!


    Hope to see you Thursday for TBT Fashion link up.

  19. April 15, 2015 / 3:53 am

    You have stayed in some lovely places!
    Trees get overlooked here, the country is full of them.Not to say that we don’t appreciate them, although with 26 in our garden, they are a bit of a nightmare when it’s the Autumn! xxx

  20. April 15, 2015 / 6:35 am

    Your front-yard tree is gorgeous! Whenever I travel home to Michigan after staying with family in Denver I feel I’m entering a tropical rain forest! It’s so green here compared to the Denver area, and I love all our trees. I have a backyard full of them, and they provide shelter and peace and lots of feathered friends every day.

  21. April 16, 2015 / 7:26 am

    What a luxury to be able travel back to Paris through your post! We were just there two weeks ago and I didn’t quite get enough. I think loving where you live and what you do are the most important luxuries to me!

    Thanks for your beautiful take on our topic! XO

  22. Heather in Arles
    April 17, 2015 / 3:43 am

    Oh look! I am late in visiting but of course it made me smile so widely to see that we were both on the exact same page as far as luxury is concerned. How I do love those big old trees. They give me perspective!

  23. Penelope Bianchi
    April 17, 2015 / 12:49 pm

    Trees are an enormous luxury! I have to tell his story when it comes to trees! Oprah bought the property next door to me on two sides a year or two after we built our house and moved in! (14 years ago or something) She bought the half-finished property next door! The people who had lived there for 65 years were friends of my Mother’s!

    Here is the tree part! Oprah told he Grandmother when she was about six and living with her (with chickens….lots of them);

    “someday I am going to live in a house with a tree (A TREE)!!!!!!! in the front yard!”

    When she came to see the house next door; it is the largest stand of California Redwood trees on private property in the United States!!! and that is the truth! All in the front yard!

    Brava! To Oprah; “a tree in the front yard” is her idea of “luxury’ when she was six! She had them counted! Thousands!

    She has stayed true to her “idea of luxury’ which involved “trees”! Trees are indeed; an enormous luxury!!!

    (don’t even ask me how lucky that is….i won some contest….”who would you want for your next-door-neighbor)? ” A national contest. The local (Santa Barbara Paper did an article) on me! I did “nothing to deserve it! I just won the next door neighbor jackpot!”

    If anyone who has given so much to so many in this world; deserves peace….it is she…..and she gets it next door!

    She is an angel walking on this earth….

    And she is a real person who wants to help “real people” in every way she can!!!

  24. April 19, 2015 / 7:14 pm

    Time is probably the biggest luxury. Time to plan and fill my days as I desire.

    These photos were beautiful. Old parks with massive trees are especially lovely.

    You have stayed in some amazing suites in Paris! I can only imagine how much that must have cost! So much space! Normally we are crammed into a tiny room barely able to walk with our suitcases on the floor.

    We did stay in a castle in Bordeaux where our room was like an apartment, but nothing ever that spacious in Paris.


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