If you are someone who is trying to live their best life, reach their full potential if only you could figure out which one of your many strengths to tap into, all the while love and appreciate simplicity, but a welcoming home and well-stocked kitchen are a must, oh and don’t forget the style quotient: if you are someone who loves to dress well, but could do without the fuss and confusion with the trends, let’s just say it, if you could dress like the French women that appear effortlessly chic, yep, life would be complete, then this blog is for you.
Living simply luxuriously is for you if you are seeking a life of quality over quantity in every arena of your life, and if by chance you are a Francophile, just as I am, you are going to be in for a very special treat, as much of my inspiration comes from my time traveling and studying in France. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be enamored by France to live simply luxuriously. If you simply want to live a life that eliminates what is unnecessary and elevates what is a priority all the while doing it on an everyday income, you’ve found your home. Welcome to The Simply Luxurious Life.
The Simply Luxurious Life came into fruition in 2009 (see the inaugural post here) when I realized the life I enjoy living – a life full of luxuries, but at the same time very simplistic so as not to detract from the beauty — was something I wanted to explore more fully due to the immense contentment it brought into my life. In fact, I needed to explore it more fully because while many people didn’t understand how I could live well on the everyday income I had (public school teacher), I had a curiosity for the world, especially the French culture, that wasn’t entirely being satiated by working in the classroom. And this is an example of our lives speaking to us.
Thankfully I listened, and I decided to share my passions, approaches and ideas as a way to help others find their passion in life by clearing out the clutter (figurative and literal) and bringing in the luxurious necessities that can enliven and inspire each day no matter what one’s income, age, location or relationship status.
But what exactly does a simply luxurious life look like, you may be wondering? Well, the good news is there is not one “way” to live the simply luxurious life. However, there are core principles that when tended to will enable you to reach your full potential and live the life of your dreams. Have a look at this video to see what I’m talking about . .
Where It All Began . . .
I had the good fortune of growing up in a dream of a small country town at the base of what many call the mini-Swiss Alps in Wallowa County, Oregon. And while this beautiful, yet simple way of living certainly played a role in my appreciation for living well without excess, it has innately always been an interest of mine to ask questions and see life as a treasure hunt as I sought to reach my full potential.
Much more of how I came to love and appreciate simplicity are in the introduction and first chapter of my first book Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide. And I will let you know in advance, my life and much of my inspiration has indirectly or directly come from the dogs in my life. My two current companions are often seen on my Instagram feed (search the hashtag #mynorman and #myoscar with @thesimplyluxuriouslife). But the book, which sold 10,000 copies in its first year of publication purely by word-of-mouth and genuine interest from readers of TSLL blog, lays the groundwork in great detail and in a very easy-to-follow manner that will reveal to you how you too can create an amazing simply luxurious life of your very own.
And then I studied abroad in Angers, France . . .
While attending Western Oregon University and then University of Oregon for graduate school, I had the fortunate opportunity to study abroad in Angers, France, which whetted my appetite for all things French and has instilled in me a passion for curating a more refined, stylish, simple, and pleasure-filled way of living that I regularly try to incorporate wherever I may be living. Since my first experience, I have returned a handful of times. You can take a look at my trips here, here, and here. (And for all of my posts inspired by my fascination with the French culture, click here.) I have also continued to humble myself by continually trying to improve my French language skills. Take a look at what I learned so far in my French classes in these two posts: here and here.
My aha moment . . .
Having had the opportunity to live in, teach in and explore metropolitan, suburban and rural environments, I began to realize that it is what an individual brings to each scenario that creates a simply luxurious life.
Now living in beautiful Bend, Oregon, I am constantly seeking ways to enjoy the luxuries in life on an everyday income. A self-described introvert and HSP (highly sensitive person), my simply luxurious life is tailored to my personality and strengths, but what readers will discovered is that living simply luxuriously is about designing a life that will bring forth your best self and help each one of us reach our full potential.
Having initially (and mistakenly) assumed that I had to live in France or live in a particular locale to live simply luxuriously, I have since come to realize that luxury is always in our proximity if only we know where to look, regardless of where we might be living as long as we are willing to be selective and realize that more is simply more, not something that will increase the quality of life. Whether it be found in wine, food, fashion, travel, home decor, gardening, or entertainment, contentment, pleasure and a stylishly fulfilling life can be cultivated with careful attention. Here’s to the good life!
How to get started living simply luxuriously . . .
- Tune in to the first episode of my weekly podcast The Simple Sophisticate. I discuss the 8 Pillars of Living a Simply Luxurious Life, define them and give examples. Then check out the archives of the posts focused specifically on How to Live the Simply Luxurious Life (there are a lot, organized alphabetically, but here are four to get you started: How to Become the Woman You’ve Always Wanted to Be, Why Not . . . Create Your Own Style Commandments, Why Not . . . Discover Your Purpose? and 11 Simple Ways to Create a Simply Luxurious Life).
- Subscribe to the weekly newsletter that is delivered to your inbox each Friday morning (Pacific time), to receive the latest blog posts and podcast episodes from the week. As well, newsletter subscribers receive an extra dose of inspiration and alerts to discounts, sales, and news regarding TSLL brand. For example, subscribers were the first to know about an upcoming, limited time discount on TSLL book during a special anniversary, a discount on shipping costs when TSLL Notepads were first launched and a sneak peak of TSLL Planner Templates prior to their release on New Year’s Day.
- Upload the free app – The Simple Luxurious Life – available on iTunes and Google Play. Each time a new post goes live, you can read and comment directly in the app.
The beauty is in the details . . .
Living simply luxurious involves every arena of our lives which includes: food, travel, style, beauty, health, relationships, entertaining, finances, decor and embracing our femininity in such a way that feels comfortable to each of us. Below are a few samples of posts from each of these categories:
- Food/Recipes: 34 Must-Have Items in your Home Épicerie, Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta, Spinach & Gruyere Quiche, Buttery, Steel-Cut Oats, Garlic & Shrimp Scampi, Dark Chocolate Mousse
- Style: 7 Components to Building a Signature Style, How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe on a Budget, Why Not . . . Organize Your Closet?, The Francophile’s Style Guide: The 14 Essentials
- Relationships: 7 Components of Strong, Healthy Relationships, The Difference Between Pleasure and Joy, Why Not . . . Live Alone for a While?
- Entertaining: 19 Ways to Master the Art of Conversation, Why Not . . . Host a Dinner Party Al Fresco?, Why Not . . . Create a Cheese Platter?
- Decor: 22 Tips for Create a Grown-Up’s Living Space, Why Not . . . Live in a Smaller Home?, Why Not . . . Become You’re Own Decorator?
- Femininity: Why Not . . . Be a Strong Woman?, Why Not . . . Revel in Being a Woman?, Why Not . . . Be a Feminist?
- Francophiles: 10 Ways to Unearth Your Inner Francophile, The French Way: How to Create a Luxurious Everyday Life, 8 Gifts of Mastering the French Mystique
What should a simply luxurious life look and feel like once I’ve attained it?
Read this post as I share 17 specific concepts of what your life will embody and the specific feelings you will experience and why.
Living simply luxuriously requires us each to live consciously every day, and when we do, the journey is q
uite sweet. Absolutely as sweet, satiating and decadent as Julia Child’s Reine de Saba cake. (Yes, it real
ly is that good, and it’s Julia’s magic that makes it so, but you can make it to enjoy tonight. Trust me, it is worth it and 99% fool-proof.)
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P.S. Many of you have asked if the dog in the header illustration is real. And the answer can be found in the photo to the right. Norman is one of my two dogs that help create the simply luxurious life I feel so fortunate to live
Photo credits: Tara Jones of Flare Productions