The Simple Sophisticate - Intelligent Living Paired With Signature Style



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.


  • 379: How (and Why) to Be Your Own Best Friend

    17/04/2024 Duração: 01h14min

    "We are not born with the secret of how to live [well], and too many of us never learn it. There is nothing cold-blooded or mechanical about it, but there are many things we have to learn to do . . . the first thing is to realize we've probably been looking in the wrong place. The source is not outside us; it is within." —Mildred Newman & Bernard Berkowitz, authors of How to Be Your Own Best Friend Befriend yourself and you have a friend for life. This simple saying, often expressed, while true, is often not understood as to how it can be possible. But the most awesome news I want to share with you today is that you have had the answers to so much of the peace, calm, and clarity you have been seeking traveling within you all this time. How to tap into and what exactly are you looking for? That is what we are going to talk about today. Inspired by a book that was written in 1971 Mildred Newman and her husband, both psychologists, Bernard Berkowitz, the title was originally How To be Your Own Best Friend:

  • 378: Choose to Compost Your Past: How the Arrival of the Spring Season is a Metaphor for Life

    03/04/2024 Duração: 47min

    "Composting what was into what will be." Mother Nature and the cycle of seasons provide endless life lessons and nourishing guidance if we are wise enough to heed her teachings. More specifically, spring's arrival, the season as we all know that introduces itself after winter, the latter season of which for many of us can be frigid, keeping us more home-bound and bundled up far more often than we might prefer as well as to cause us to take stock of our home environment most directly and intimately. It was upon hearing the statement above in a recent yoga class that I immediately smiled. Why? Well, there is much truth in this literal description of how compost is created and as to why it applies to our lives, it can figuratively be true as well. However . . . We have to choose, and thus remember, to compost in the first place! Spring gifts us with an abundance of wonderments and opportunities to apply what we have been investing in and working on during winter, or healing or resting in order to feel rejuvenat

  • 377 (Updated!): The Slow Productivity Approach that will Elevate the Quality of Your Entire Life, as taught by Cal Newport

    20/03/2024 Duração: 01h04min

    Author and professor of computer science at Georgetown University Cal Newport's latest book Slow Productivity: The Lost Art of Accomplishment without Burnout details exactly how and where in our daily lives and throughout the year we can apply the Slow Productivity approach and why it works. In today's episode I will be sharing with you 10 takeaways that caught my eye as areas of interest that I thought would interest TSLL readers/podcast listeners, and if what you discover here speaks to you, I encourage you to pick up the book as far more detail and information is shared. Throughout the discussion today, I will be dovetailing the ideas Newport suggests with how it overlaps with living simply luxuriously because as is made clear from the name given to his approach, the concept of quality versus quantity is the key thread that runs through Slow Productivity, something that TSLL Community is all too familiar as we individually cultivate our simply luxurious lives.   Check out the detailed Show Notes - https://

  • 376: Wise Investments: Understand the Difference between a Good Value and a Good Deal

    06/03/2024 Duração: 53min

    The savviness of wise money management encompasses many factors, but one is an approach often overlooked or dismissed: Understanding the difference between a Good Value versus a Good Deal. Here in the states tax season is upon us, and so many of us may have money on the mind even more than we usually do; however, I often find myself at the beginning of the new year assessing my monthly budget, determining where I am gaining value or unnecessarily causing more tasks and draining money. Ultimately, whenever I sit down to assess my money, my goal is to do so less often, knowing I have invested well, so I can go about the living of my life that I love and trust that my decisions will stand a long duration of time offering the performance, purpose or function I purchased it for. In other words, I don't want to be shopping for my capsule wardrobe constantly, restocking and replacing worn out jeans that while a great deal, only lasted one or maybe two seasons. Likewise, I don't want to have to be taking my car to th

  • 375: How to Become a More Skilled Participant in the Living of Our Life

    21/02/2024 Duração: 39min

    The concluding note to readers that author, yoga and meditation instructor Deborah Adele shares in her book Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice includes the wish that they become more skilled participants in the living of their lives. And with the wisdom she shares in her book, she provides them with the tools to do just that. Having shared various insights here on the blog gained from her book, specifically in this post about the simple conscious everyday choice that leads to true fulfillment, and as we conclude the two month-long series of 'new year, new life' as you continued along the way to making the change you set to bring to be as the new year began, I wanted to explore two simple, yet powerfully crucial habits that will make the difference you seek inevitable. A skilled participant. In order to be 'skilled' we must know the skills that would be beneficial to acquire. And in order to embody being a participant in our lives, we must be engaged, we must act, we must take part. While w

  • 374: What I Have Learned in French Class, So Far - part sept (7)

    07/02/2024 Duração: 01h04min

    Bonjour à tous ! Just last week, I concluded FR 105 with Washington DC's Alliance de Français, a Zoom/online course that met twice a week, two hours each time since just after Thanksgiving. You may remember that Part Six of this series was shared during TSLL's Annual French Week which shared what I had learned through FR 104 and 103, and now it is time to share some progress! Thankfully, there has been progress and while I chose to take Everyday Situational French this fall due to my travel schedule, this once-a-week meeting provided me the opportunity to keep the French language on the tip of my tongue before I could dive back in to the regular course work. Some of what I share will be from the Situational French course, but most of it was learned during FR 105. I am tickled to share that while my French definitely has a looooooong way to go, the ease I am feeling constructing basic sentences with a few different tenses delights me to no end. Last year at this time I was nervous and hesitant to attempt to sa

  • 373: How to Nourish Your Creative Being: Cultivate An Artistic Hearth & Home

    17/01/2024 Duração: 56min

    "Part of art making is living your life in such a way that your work gets done, over and over—and that means, among other things, finding a host of practices that are just plain useful . . . a life lived within productive patterns. The life of a productive artist becomes filled with useful conventions and practical methods. And in truly happy moments those artistic gestures move beyond simple procedure, and acquire an inherent aesthetic all their own. They are your artistic hearth and home." —David Bayles & Ted Orland, authors of Art & Fear In unforced or unexpected moments, ideas, solutions and connections appear at the forefront of our mind providing a sense of relief, exhilaration and celebration we may have never thought possible. Such wondrous moments indeed do seem to the onlooker and to the unaware individual to appear magically, and while there will always be an element involved beyond our control, the good news is we have far more contribution to ensuring such ahas happen and happen more fre

  • 372: Simple Rituals to Enhance the Everyday and the 5 Characteristics of Simply Luxurious Rituals

    03/01/2024 Duração: 58min

    We explore the topic of rituals frequently here on TSLL (explore all of the posts and episodes shared thus far here), and initially it may seem redundant to do so again in today's episode/post, but as I have experienced in my own life, my appreciation for the benefits and happiness deepens and therefore I understand even more fully the power of carefully choosing rituals to tailor to the lifestyle we love living. It is in the tailoring that our daily lives and future outcomes we hope will materialize have the opportunity to enrich our experience and bear the fruit we have envisioned. As the saying goes, when we know better what will nourish us well, we then can do better, and such is the case with carefully chosen and savored rituals. First, let's look at the five characteristics of rituals before we take a look at examples you may want to add or adapt to suit your everyday life.   View the detailed Show Notes for today's episoe (#372) here -

  • 371: Savoring A Quiet Christmas — Simple, Yet Significant

    20/12/2023 Duração: 46min

    Whether or not snow has fallen come December, the warmth and cheer of good tidings appearing about town, the neighbors, in the shops and arriving in the mail by way of the annual Christmas cards sent from friends and family living near and far always wraps me in a figurative hug. This year, similar to last year, I will be spending Christmas at home in Bend, Oregon, and it is exactly where I want to be. And leading up to the festive day has been and will continue to be sprinkled with intentional activities, pastimes and nibbles that create a festive, cozy atmosphere I feel most fortunate to be able to savor. Each of us will go through seasons in our lives, stepping out of old chapters and into new ones when we embrace our courage to welcome what is awaiting to be given to us, and such is the case for me that I am delighting in quiet Christmases. As Nigel Slater eloquently writes in The Christmas Chronicles, in his delicious, image evoking prose, "Christmas is celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike.

  • 370: Savoring the Many Benefits of Being Single at Heart, my talk with author Dr. Bella DePaulo

    06/12/2023 Duração: 01h16min

    "My mission in putting the single at heart on the map is to rewrite what it means to be single. Single life, to those of us who are single at heart, is a joyful place, a place to learn and grow. It is a big-hearted, expansive, meaningful life full of possibilities . . . intimacy, to us, is personal; in that domain as in all others, we follow our hearts rather than the cultural rulebooks. We chart our own life courses, with meaningfulness, psychological richness, and authenticity as our guide." —Dr. Bella DePaulo, author of Single at Heart: The Power, Freedom, and Heart-Filling Joy of Single Life Joining me on the podcast today is a guest who has courageously chosen to share that she thoroughly and unapologetically savors living a single life. The leading expert on single living, Dr. Bella DePaulo dispels the myths that pervade modern-day (and historic) cultures around the world when it comes to being single by looking at the research that is often cherry-picked and misleading as it speaks to in what type of

  • 369: How to Make Your Everyday Taste Better (11 Ideas)

    15/11/2023 Duração: 50min

    Satiation. To completely satisfy your appetite, whether it be literally, therefore with food and drink or figuratively as we seek to fulfill our needs in all immeasurable areas of life. To equate contentment with satiation is somewhat accurate except that satiation requires us to engage with something outside of ourselves, to choose well, to know much about what and why we are pursuing it, and thus to know ourselves and physiology well. Granted, the 'knowing ourselves' is a shared cross-over between contentment and satiation if we are to attain either which is why when I began to ponder today's focus of making our everydays taste better, I naturally began thinking about the literal sense of 'taste' as it appeals to our palate, but then began to expand the breadth of 'tasting better' as it pertains to how we move through our days - the decisions we make, the structure, the rituals and routines. And with holiday feasting just around the corner as well as a new year that often brings with it a reassessment of ho

  • 368: What is a Simple Sophisticate? The 14 Characteristics

    01/11/2023 Duração: 50min

    A quiet confidence, an ease of being. A deep joy of living each day. To consciously find ourselves in any of the three states of being above, it will have taken much intentionality, effort, patience and compassion. As well as strength, courage, kindness and trust. And these are all actions given to ourselves, let alone to the people and environments we engage with along the way to reach each or all of the aforementioned states. However, as Steve Jobs succinctly shares above, once you arrive at the simplicity, you have gone through much complex exploration, and it is because you have gone through that exploration that you know, absent of ignorance, that indeed what that true simplicity is and how to attain it. It is then at that point you really set yourself free and yes, his metaphor is apt - you will be able to do things you may have never thought possible, experience things you once thought only resided in your dreams. When The Simple Sophisticate podcast premiered back in September 2014, in the first episo

  • 367: How to Create Décor that Welcomes & Comforts: How to Embrace the Ethos of Slow Decorating

    18/10/2023 Duração: 01h03min

    "The fastest way to a good life, is to slow down." —World Institute of Slowness in Norway Walking into a beautifully decorated home, an abode that welcomes you, gives you a hug and invites you to stay without saying a word takes time to curate. And even those homes that someone else has curated and we feel this way when we walk across the threshold into their home, it is their home, and not our own, filled with choices, items and details that they will appreciate more deeply than we ever could, even if we can understand why they appreciate it. All of which is to say, curating a home for ourselves that gives us a hug each time we return home will take time, and so it is in our practice of patience and trust that the house will reveal what we need in time so long as we live consciously and feel our way honesty through living well in our homes, that we gradually begin to see and then feel how wonderfully loving and comforting a slowly decorated home can be to elevate our days and thus our lives. Now, if you whe

  • 366: My First-Hand Travel Tips for Flying Internationally to and Arriving in Britain with Ease and Comfort

    04/10/2023 Duração: 01h35s

    Britain is calling, and if it is calling you as well to hop on an international flight and cross the Atlantic or the English Channel, or whichever body of water you will have to cross to arrive on British soil, this is an episode I think you will find helpful to ensuring you have a wonderful trip to your destination. So that I don’t repeat myself, I wrote and shared a detailed 17-point list on how to prepare for international travel in episode #183. This list is for traveling anywhere internationally, not just Britain, but it is definitely a list I always refer to before I head out the door at Le Papillon to France or Britain. Today what I would like to share with you are more specific tips and insights for traveling to Britain specifically so that you can enjoy the journey to your accommodations as much as the trip itself once you arrive.  Assuming you have your passport all squared away as well as your Global Entry pass should you wish to utilize this swift admissions through security, let’s talk about ever

  • 365: How to Have Good Taste when it Comes to Décor, inspired by interior designer Heidi Caillier's Memories of Home

    20/09/2023 Duração: 58min

    "Our world is dominated by algorithms — by data collection that steers us toward a limited set of products and designers who have paid for the privilege of coming up first in our search. The result is that our taste has gotten . . . only more homogeneous, more limited." —Rachel Tashjian, style contributor to The Washington Post, in her article Whatever Happened to Having Taste? The primary reason I wanted to begin with this quote is because the reality is all too real: good taste is often hard to find, and much of it has to do with remaining inside the box. Often this 'box' is the one we see frequently on Instagram, Pinterest or TikTok. Enter interior designer Heidi Caillier, someone who didn't and doesn't play by the rules of social media, who didn't follow the trends, and trusted her own voice and eye. To walk into a home curated by someone with exquisite taste, time seems to vanish, and the primary emotions one feels are comfort, awe and appreciation even if we don't know at all how they did it. Somehow,

  • 364: Energy Management for Quality Everydays: 6 Daily Habits to Include

    06/09/2023 Duração: 39min

    Prevention versus correction. For a few decades now, or perhaps more than a few, stress management has been the term of phrase often used as we find a culture, and more specifically, ourselves nearing or reaching burn-out whether in our jobs or life in general, and while bringing healing and remedy to something in our lives that needs our attention for improvement is certainly valuable and a necessary skill to learn should we find ourselves in this state of fatigue and chronic stress, preventing such a state from ever being reached is a far more beneficial approach, and gives us much more enjoyment and yep, contentment for a far longer time throughout our life journey. Similarly to stress management is time management, a term of phrase again that is used often but actually brings our attention to the wrong place. Living simply luxuriously is a drilling down and investing in quality over quantity, and this includes how we go about our days. Time management shares directives on how to squeeze more into the day,

  • 363: Elizabeth Bougerol talks about The Hot Sardines' new jazz album C'est La Vie

    16/08/2023 Duração: 01h06min

    When I knew I would be sitting down to chat and catch up with the lead vocalist of the jazz band The Hot Sardines, Elizabeth Bougerol, I knew our conversation would be enjoyable, inspiring and much like taking a drink of refreshing water that leaves you energized, hopeful and inspired. And indeed that was the case.

  • 362: The Fundamental Ingredient in a Well-Lived (and long) Life: Honor What Makes Your Heart Sing, 13 life lessons from Dr. Gladys McGarey

    02/08/2023 Duração: 01h06min

    "I still have yet to discover a secret ingredient that has been proven to ensure a long and healthy life—well, not one you can put into a blender, anyway. But I can help you discover the secrets of true health and happiness . . . they're based on a simple shift in perspective."—Gladys McGarey, MD, author of The Well-Lived Life: A 102-year-old doctor's six secrets to health and happiness at every age Born in 1921, Dr. Gladys McGarey's life journey began living and experiencing the life truths she later learned contributed to her living her long healthy and happy life. A doctor in holistic medicine for over 80 years, Dr. McGarey's life story in childhood and young adulthood reads like a history book now taught in classrooms. In 1930 as a young child, while on a train from Delhi to Bombay (now Mumbai) with her family who was returning to the states after having lived in India for some years, she witnessed Gandhi's historic salt march. As she worked her way through school and became a doctor, she battled

  • 361: 33 Decorating & Construction Lessons I Learned Customizing Le Papillon (a 3-year journey)

    19/07/2023 Duração: 01h39min

    The journey of customizing Le Papillon, my house and home in Bend, Oregon, since September 2019 has provided much opportunity for learning both about the actual and practical purpose of home remodeling and decorating but also for self-growth. Over the past nearly four years, an abundance of experiences, discoveries, lessons and ‘wow’ moments have been collected which is why I wanted to share today's detailed and lengthy (90 minutes) episode with listeners of The Simple Sophisticate podcast. As I share at the beginning of today's episode, while it has been a dream of mine to customize my own home, I never actually planned to spend the past four years doing so, but the timing and opportunity presented itself to continue moving forward once my first "must-do" project (the kitchen) was completed, and now with the installation of the front porch screen door you see a glimpse of above, the journey is complete, and I am eager to share with you 33 lessons I have learned throughout the experience, so that you ca

  • 360: How to Find Love: Be Love Instead of Look for Love, as taught by Jay Shetty

    21/06/2023 Duração: 01h22min

    "We think love has to be obtained, earned, achieved, and received. We look for it in the form of attention and compliments, and people acknowledging us. But actually the greatest way to experience love is to give it." —Jay Shetty, author of 8 Rules of Love: How to Find it, Keep it, and Let it Go A simple formula to love is to be it and it appears. However, this seems either too simple for some of us or to not produce the 'type of love' we had in mind. Such thinking, to have a narrow definition of what love has to be in our lives to be fulfilled, or to refuse to let go and just be instead of chasing, demanding, swiping or requiring, is to get in our own way when it comes to living a life, every single day, full of love. Because guess what? Such a life is possible, and it is part of what living simply luxuriously is all about. In fact, it is at the core, because as I will share today, it all comes down to finding peace with ourselves, embracing our true selves and engaging fully with the world without

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