The Simple Sophisticate - Intelligent Living Paired With Signature Style

Synopsis

The simple sophisticate is someone who prefers quality over quantity, sensible living over mindless consumption, personal style instead of trendy fashions, has an insatiable curiosity for lifes endless questions and a desire to live a truly fulfilling life rather than being led around by the nose. Inspired by her lifestyle blog The Simply Luxurious Life, Shannon Ables (the original Simple Sophisticate) shares with listeners tips on how to live a refined life on an everyday income. From achieving your goals, preparing a memorable meal, creating a capsule wardrobe, traveling the world (Francophiles tune in as Paris is a favorite destination), and living life to the fullest without breaking the bank, living well is really quite simple.

Episodes

  • 15: 7 Components to Building Your Signature Style (a top episode from Season 1)

    15: 7 Components to Building Your Signature Style (a top episode from Season 1)

    22/06/2020 Duration: 37min

    Building our signature style takes time. As well, it evolves. While some components - the best color tone for our skin, hair and eye color - may remain the same, the fit, the lengths, the necklines, as well as styles we discover and wish to welcome into our wardrobe will change. Over the years, as you can see above, my dress length has gone from just above the knee to midi length being now my favorite go-to. While I do love wearing dresses, you are just as likely to see me in denim jeans and a button-up shirt, or a camisole and blazer with either heels or flats. Having options is wonderful, and cultivating our closets to offer these options takes time. Thankfully, as we learn more about ourselves, the lifestyle we enjoy living (something that changes as well as the chapters of our lives continue to unfold) the decision-making becomes easier. All of this is to say, that while we may be shopping less often as what we have in our wardrobe is made well and lasts for many years, we also know when we

  • 284: 5 Steps for Finding Financial Peace of Mind

    284: 5 Steps for Finding Financial Peace of Mind

    15/06/2020 Duration: 29min

    "Being in touch with [the essence] of ourselves as we make financial decisions is as good as it gets. Money is a store of life energy, and when we can channel that life energy into an expression of what is most dear to our soul, an exciting alignment takes place between our financial and spiritual lives . . . more than just having enough, our essence is deeply loving, contented, and grateful, not from any effort but as its most natural expression . . . In fact, when we are identified with that part of us that already has enough, that has arrived, that feels efficiency rather than scarcity, impulses of love and generosity arise naturally and without effort." —Brent Kessel, author of It's Not About the Money Money can seem to be the fix for everything or the curse, but it need not be either, and can be in our control, largely when we shift how we approach our view and role of money in our life. Today I would like to share with you key insights I discovered after reading Brent Kessel's book It's Not Abo

  • 7 Ideas for Improving Your Approach to Working and thus Your Experience and the Outcome

    7 Ideas for Improving Your Approach to Working and thus Your Experience and the Outcome

    08/06/2020 Duration: 32min

    "To embrace leisure, we don't have to let go of progress. [Our] constant pushing is now impeding our progress. We work best when we allow for flexibility in our habits . . . [w]e can and must stop treating ourselves like machines that can be driven and pumped and amped and hacked. Instead of limiting and constraining our essential natures, we can celebrate our humanness at work and in idleness. We can better understand our own natures and abilities. We can lean in not to our work but to our inherent gifts." —Celeste Headlee Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing , and Underliving For the past 10 weeks I have had the good fortune to go to work with both of my dogs. Why? Because I have been working from home. I am able to take them for a short walk about the neighborhood before I step into my office and remote classroom, then take a break around 10:30 am as we sit on the garden porch, soaking in some sunshine and thinking about what I might want to enjoy for lunch in a few hours time.

  • 282: Author of Paris On Air and Podcaster, Oliver Gee

    282: Author of Paris On Air and Podcaster, Oliver Gee

    01/06/2020 Duration: 48min

    Today on the podcast, fellow podcaster Oliver Gee of The Earful Tower joins me to talk about his newly released memoir Paris On Air (shop here on Bookshop.org) as well as living in Paris during France's 59 days of confinement. I had the opportunity to speak with him the day after the lockdown regulations were loosened, and he shared what his and his wife Lina's experience had been and what the first thing they did was on May 11th. The primary focus of our discussion is his new book. Tune in to our conversation to discover the behind-the-scenes of how his acclaimed podcast (recently recommended in The New York Times for the top 13 podcasts to listen to for traveling abroad while staying at home) came about, evolved and, in a short amount of time, became his full-time and one and only job in the City of Light. As well, if you enjoy listening to your books, Oliver explains how his book is a unique Audio Experience that welcomes the people he writes about in his book into the studio to share their voice fo

  • 10 Ways to Set Your Home Like a Luxury Travel Accommodation

    10 Ways to Set Your Home Like a Luxury Travel Accommodation

    25/05/2020 Duration: 36min

    Today's episode is a favorite from Season 1 of The Simple Sophisticate. Episode #45 was the sixth top episode of the first season and continues to be a favorite with listeners as it shares 10 Ways to Set Up Your Home Like A Luxury Travel Accommodation. In the times we find ourselves, I thought this might be just the episode to return to as we are still spending more time at home that we had anticipated especially as summer nears. Cultivating a sanctuary that beckons us to linger and we long to return to and spend ample time in has much to do with the details. And the details, the luxurious details, need not be all that difficult to acquire and welcome into our home. I do hope you enjoy today's episode, and look for a new episode next Monday and for the month of June. Click here for the detailed Show Notes of the original episode and listen to the audio version above. ~The above image is Chateau de la Barre located in the Loire Valley where I had the opportunity to stay three nights in the summer

  • 281: 18 Ways to Welcome English Country Decor Ideas into Your Home

    281: 18 Ways to Welcome English Country Decor Ideas into Your Home

    18/05/2020 Duration: 38min

    British country homes evoke an image of comfort, cosyness and warmth. Partly, yes, because such warmth is mandatory living in a rainy environment, but also because they look and feel like such a welcome inside hug which is given immediately when the quintessential details are tended to. Granted the above image is not an actual cottage as it was the set designed for Nancy Meyers' film The Holiday, filmed in part in Surrey. However, I chose the above image because when we design our homes to evoke the English country charm, Meyers achieved so much of it spot-on right. From the tufted ottoman, to the ottoman itself as the coffee table of choice, mixed prints, oodles of books and exposed beams, these details, as you will see in the list below resounding remind onlookers of English country style, and in this case a cottage. In my own home I have been perusing frequently through The English Home magazines I have saved over the years, saving images that speak to me, images that offer a similar size or design

  • 232: 28 Life  Style Tips from a Parisian Woman (top episode of Season 5)

    232: 28 Life & Style Tips from a Parisian Woman (top episode of Season 5)

    11/05/2020 Duration: 36min

    Today's episode of the podcast is the top downloaded and viewed episode from Season 5 of The Simple Sophisticate podcast, and it's one I think you will enjoy whether you are hearing/reading it for the first time or the second or third time. Full of oodles of life and style tips from Parisian women inspired by a book read in 2018, it also melds my experiences and observances from my travels and conversations and engagements with women in France. Have a look at the detailed Show Notes from the original airing of the episode in November 2018. EPISODE #232 Show Notes As shared in today's episode, TSLL's 2nd Annual British Week will begin in six short days - Sunday May 17th. I cannot wait to share with you what I have come up with for the postings (two each day) and the giveaways (four in total). During the intro of today's episode of the podcast, I shared how the giveaways will work. Two giveaways will be open to EVERYBODY and Two giveaways will be exclusive: One to Ad-Free Subscribers and One to

  • 148: The Hygge Phenomenon  Living Simply Luxuriously (the 5th most-downloaded episode of all-time)

    148: The Hygge Phenomenon & Living Simply Luxuriously (the 5th most-downloaded episode of all-time)

    20/04/2020 Duration: 27min

    Today's episode is a favorite of listeners from the third season of the show. As we all spending more time inside, I thought listeners may enjoy some inspiration for making their time in our slower schedule more enjoyable and comforting. Click here for the full transcript and detailed show notes. SUBSCRIBE to the Podcast on your favorite podcast listening platform: ~Subscribe to The Simple Sophisticate: iTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube | Spotify Look for a new episode of The Simple Sophisticate to return on Monday May 18th. View the full Season 6 Schedule below.

  • 4 Simple Ways to Spring Forward

    4 Simple Ways to Spring Forward

    06/04/2020 Duration: 34min

    Today's episode is a favorite from the archives to help you jump well into the new spring season. Be sure to check out the original detailed Show Notes here for episode #29 from Season 1 of The Simple Sophisticate. The next episode will be a new episode of the podcast, and it will air on Monday May 18th as we kick off TSLL's 2nd Annual British Week. In the meantime, each Monday in which there is no new episode of the podcast, there will be a new Monday Motivational post. Click here to read today's new Monday Motivational Post - 20 Ideas for Making Working and Staying at Home a Pleasure Check out the schedule for Season 6 below. The date of each new episode and when it will air is circled in red. ~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #29 ~Subscribe to The Simple Sophisticate: iTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | YouTube | Spotify

  • 280: The Importance of Daily and Weekly Rituals  Routines You Love (12 Ideas to Incorporate Now)

    280: The Importance of Daily and Weekly Rituals & Routines You Love (12 Ideas to Incorporate Now)

    16/03/2020 Duration: 34min

    "You would think weightlessness is a good thing, but it's not. Because people weren't meant to float. Without gravity, we lose blood volume, bone density, muscle. Without it, we're untethered. So when you feel yourself being pulled toward something, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It may keep you centered. It may keep you safe." —Grey's Anatomy, season 16, episode #17, Shonda Rhimes Thoughts, thoughts, all sorts of thoughts. With an abundance of time on our hands as we stay home, if we have not exercised our brains in this way, it may feel uncomfortable, and in these times we find ourselves collectively, understandably unsettling. The above quote caught my attention this past week as it feels our attentions are being being pulled toward the necessities of life, what we sincerely need to simply live. Don't get me wrong, the past eleven years, economically, have been much needed and appreciated, and while each of our journey's is unique, perhaps we've forgotten what we truly need, what others truly ne

  • 279: 15 Life Lessons Learned during my First Year into my 40s

    279: 15 Life Lessons Learned during my First Year into my 40s

    09/03/2020 Duration: 40min

    True contentedness is unremarkable to the outside world, or passerby. Typing away in my cozy chair in the living room in my line of sight Norman eats his breakfast and Oscar acknowledging he will not be able to sneak a bite, takes a long cool drink of water. The croissant for my Sunday morning ritual is proofing in the oven and Sunday Baroque's weekly program fills my home. Even having lost an hour of the day, I have decided to wake up with the sunset and use the dawn-filled hour to work early before we are able to go for our morning stroll in the woods. All is well, and so much surrounds me for which to be grateful. I began the morning reading Maria Shriver's weekly email newsletter, and in particular this morning's letter resonated with me, and most likely would you as well as a reader of TSLL. I've included an excerpt below as she describes a moment in which she felt, albeit unexpectedly, truly and sincerely content. "Over the last few years, I’ve settled into myself. I’ve focused more on my b

  • 278: 14 Ways to Create a Happy Home

    278: 14 Ways to Create a Happy Home

    02/03/2020 Duration: 43min

    At the core of a happy home is a home that works for those individuals the four walls surround and keep sheltered and safe. Once the essentials are in place - a roof over our heads, walls to keep us warm/cool, then it is the inhabitants' responsibility to cultivate a sanctuary in which each person feels they belong and loved for being their true selves or having the space to understand who they are as they grow and evolve. Whether you share your home or not, both require clarity and willingness to be honest about the needs to live your best life and if you live with others to enable them to do the same without short-changing yourself or compromising too much. If these steps sound familiar, you are right. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs builds on top of each of the necessities shared above. First we must have our phyiological needs met, then a feeling of safety before we can find belonging and feel and recognize love. Following the third step, once we have a home to feel free to just be, our stress levels dr

  • 277: Winter in Paris — The 15 Essentials for Timeless Seasonal Style

    277: Winter in Paris — The 15 Essentials for Timeless Seasonal Style

    17/02/2020 Duration: 28min

    Last fall two episodes were shared delineating ideas for a timeless capsule wardrobe for traveling about in Paris as well as in London and the English countryside. As promised, the series continues into winter, and while we are nearing the end of winter, with the Paris fall/winter collections about ready to take the runway sharing their 2020 trends and inspirations, I thought this would be the perfect time to share how Parisians dress in the chillest months of the year. Of course the uber style stars who will share their street style at the end of February as they make their way to and from the shows, and while I highly recommend taking a look at what they are wearing as even though they may be out of reach budget-wise and offer strong signature style that is hard or less likely to be imulated and simply admired, the color combinations, layers, and fabric choices are worth noting most certainly. Today, let's return to Paris and take a look at the necessities for a timeless winter wardrobe whether

  • 276: The Art of Mise en Place

    276: The Art of Mise en Place

    10/02/2020 Duration: 39min

    Mise en place in translation means is "set in place", often translated to "everything in its place". Perhaps part of the reason cooking and baking can feel rewarding as well as relaxing is that there is a science to, and the unofficial science is something even the most novice cook in the kitchen can quickly learn - mise en place. But what exactly is it and what is the art of a truly effective mise en place? That is what today's post/episode is all about. When I attended both Patricia Wells and Susan Hermann Loomis' cooking classes in France, mise en place was de rigeur. Each day upon arrival into their respective kitchens and to our assigned cooking stations, the food was already either prepared and arranged in the necessary bowls, or at the very least the ingredients were waiting to be prepared along with the necessary bowls. As well, the recipe was clearly typed and propped up and ready to go to ensure ease of preparation. ~fresh ingredients from the market for a Niçoise Salad made in Susan Herm

  • 275: 34 Ways to Attain Emotional Freedom and Cultivate More Joy of Living

    275: 34 Ways to Attain Emotional Freedom and Cultivate More Joy of Living

    03/02/2020 Duration: 48min

    "Emotional freedom is a homecoming to your own heart and fullest power. It salutes authenticity, not conforming to someone else's notion of what to feel or how to be." —Dr. Judith Orloff, author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Freedom: Liberate yourself from negative emotions and transform your life (2009) The middle of the night, before you can fall asleep or early morning thoughts that swirl and fuel agitation, worry and fear preventing you from falling asleep. The feeling of being lonely and falling prey to the purport by society that the simple solution is to find someone to be romantically involved with. Ratcheted chronic anxiety that cements you from pursuing something new or chasing your dreams or simply enjoying your everyday life. An assumed negative default in perspective when it comes to the world, the future, especially your future and what is actually possible no matter what your age. In sharing each of these scenarios, maybe you most strongly identified with one, or ma

  • 274: Quality Friendships = Quality Life

    274: Quality Friendships = Quality Life

    20/01/2020 Duration: 29min

    "By comparison with relationships forged in blood and love, science has historically given friendship short shrift . . . biologists ignored friendships because unlike romantic or mating relationships they were thought not to affect reproductive success . . . most of us are as guilty as scientists of failing to take friendship as seriously as it deserves. We pay lip service to it but prioritize family and romance, ditching our friends when we fall in love, or letting time with them be the first thing to go when we get busy . . . eacg of us is contrainted by time. But we may want to rethink how we apportion the time we have . . . It turns out that friendship does have survival value in the most literal sense—more socially integrated people live longer than those who are less well connected." —Lydia Denworth, author of Friendship: The Evolution, Biology and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond Perhaps due to the media I consumed in the 80s and 90s, there was an unconscious understanding that roma

  • 273: 12 Key Factors to Life-Long Physical and Mental Good Health

    273: 12 Key Factors to Life-Long Physical and Mental Good Health

    13/01/2020 Duration: 38min

    "Vitality means moving through life with energy and vigor, making deliberate choices and putting to good use the time and energy that we have been granted." —Twyla Tharp, author of Keep Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life Knowing how to care for our body which we must not forget includes the mind is a lifelong course of learning. Beginning with the basics of how food is fuel and energy expends said fuel to understanding which fuel is best and how our body repairs itself and ultimately what the body and mind truly are capable of regardless of our age, understanding and then apply this knowledge will have a powerfully positive effect on the overall longevity as well as quality of our life. Highly decorated and revered American dance choreographer, Twyla Tharp released a new book this past fall, and as I appreciated her insights in her previously published book The Creative Habit, I was especially curious to read her new book Keep Moving as she herself is in her mid-seventies and more fit than mos

  • 272: 8 Ways Tiny Habits Will Welcome the Grand Changes You Seek

    272: 8 Ways Tiny Habits Will Welcome the Grand Changes You Seek

    06/01/2020 Duration: 39min

    The new year rolls around and there is much talk about resolutions and cultivation of a life we wish to live. It is old news to share that many resolutions are unfulfilled; however, BJ Fogg argues that perhaps we have had a faulty instruction manual to be successful in our pursue of lasting change. Released just this past Tuesday, December 31st, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything asserts in fact that it is the small, seemingly easy changes of habit we make in our lives that will lead to grand transformation of ourselves and therefore our overall lives, even our relationships and especially our health and overall contentment. After devouring the book in two days during my getaway to the coast, I wanted to share with you eight takeaways that will introduce you to this shift in approach. I have already begun to implement two new tiny habits into my daily routine and look to add a third when my teaching schedule resumes this week. The good news, if you have already written your 2020 r

  • Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2019

    Top 10 Podcast Episodes of 2019

    23/12/2019 Duration: 13min

    Season 6 of The Simple Sophisticate is well underway as 2019 wraps up and we head into 2020. As I reflect back to September 2014 when the show premiered, I could not have fathomed the engagement it would inspire, the topics and books we would cover and explore nor the people who would wish to be on the show. This year, Apple changed its categories for podcasts, and in so doing prompted me to reconsider how to label the show for new and potential listeners, which turned out to be a boon for the show and new listeners discovering it. With the help of you, the listeners the podcast and readers of TSLL, the selections that were decided upon (#1— Education: Self-Improvement; #2 — Society & Culture; #3 — Leisure: Home & Garden) in no small part contributed to the podcast reaching #33 in the United States' ALL-Time Self-Improvement podcasts. And, as the podcast has a strong Francophile following, when episode #269 - 32 Ways to Be Parisian Chic went live earlier this month, the podcast soared to #5 fo

  • 271: 12 Simple Winter Holiday Decor Ideas

    271: 12 Simple Winter Holiday Decor Ideas

    16/12/2019 Duration: 32min

    When it comes to the winter holiday season, cozying in asks of us to be inside our homes far more than we would be during the warmer months which is why our homes need to become a sanctuary inside which we love spending time. Over the years my approach to how I decorate for Christmas, the New Year and the wintery weather has evolved, and this year I am excited to share with you 12 ways I have simplify, and at the same time curated decor that surrounds me and those who spend time in my home with warmth, comfort and an abundance of joy. 1.Save money and help the forest and go hunting for your holiday tree in the National or State Forest lands (check your permit for rules regarding where and what type of tree you can cut down). Here in the Pacific Northwest, keeping the forest healthy can be a community effort, and cutting your tree during the holiday season (for only $5/permit) is a simple way to do so. Learn more here. ~Check out my trip to the woods near Mt. Bachelor to find my holiday tree this y

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