402 episodes

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 life’s 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, a life of true contentment. Founded on the principle of the art of living a life of quality over quantity, episodes explore topics ranging from creating an everyday life you love living, strengthening mindfulness practices, preparing seasonally delicious meals, building a capsule wardrobe, traveling the world (Francophiles and Anglophiles tune in as Paris as well as the English countryside are favorite destinations), and living life to the fullest without breaking the bank because living well is really quite simple.

*illustration by artist Sarah Löcker exclusively commissioned for the show

The Simple Sophisticate - Intelligent Living Paired with Signature Style Shannon Ables

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 844 Ratings

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 life’s 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, a life of true contentment. Founded on the principle of the art of living a life of quality over quantity, episodes explore topics ranging from creating an everyday life you love living, strengthening mindfulness practices, preparing seasonally delicious meals, building a capsule wardrobe, traveling the world (Francophiles and Anglophiles tune in as Paris as well as the English countryside are favorite destinations), and living life to the fullest without breaking the bank because living well is really quite simple.

*illustration by artist Sarah Löcker exclusively commissioned for the show

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

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

    "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: A Conversation With Two Psychoanalysts. Consisting of only 74 pages, their insights are shared, as this title suggests, in conversation form - questions followed by answers.
    While little known when the couple originally self-published, it was with the help of author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron, who upon reading the book quite liked it so she introduced the authors to her book agent upon which it then became a national bestseller (learn more about how she helped in this article published earlier this year). Picking up my own copy and zooming through it, I found common sense advice, grounded in approachable guidance sharing reminders and nudges of how we can help ourselves out but often are too timid to do so due to a variety of cultural circumstances and pressures.
    As I read, the overlap of choosing to be your best friend and finding and experiencing contentment quickly became apparent, and having just wrapped up producing all of the filmed lessons for TSLL's Contentment Masterclass, as you will discover when you enroll, knowing ourselves and honoring what we find to be true for ourselves resides at the core of a fulfilling life. In the words of the authors, becoming our best friend is sage wisdom to follow. However, what does that look like? Being our own best friend? That's what I want to share with you today and the benefits of doing so.
    Let's get started.
     
    View the Show Notes on the blog: https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/podcast379 

    • 1 hr 14 min
    378: Choose to Compost Your Past: How the Arrival of the Spring Season is a Metaphor for Life

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

    "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 rejuvenated and reenergized. So not only do we need to remember to view winter as an opportunity to tend to what needs our attention, we must also be courageous enough to step forward into what that rest has given us.
    Simply because we plant, water and fertilize a new plant in spring, or pot up a dahlia tuber in spring, doesn't mean the beauty we hope to come will appear in spring. No, it will not. The dahlias take around 100 days to share their first flower, but once they begin flowering, so long as they have been planted in their right conditions and the gardener keeps dead-heading, the blooms keep on coming until the first frost in early fall. This is beautiful reminder to be patient with ourselves and the changes we have begun to put into place, or the steps we have begun to take that will eventually lead us where we want to arrive. Spring is the beginning of the new journey, but we may not arrive where we wish to go until Summer or early Fall, but we will never arrive if we don't choose to compost first.
    In today's episode we will explore eight instances in our life when unwanted moments have happened and how to compost them into something we do want. I welcome you to join us and tune in.
     
    Have a look at the Show Notes for the episode, #378 here - https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/podcast378 

    • 47 min
    377: The Slow Productivity Approach that will Elevate the Quality of Your Entire Life, as taught by Cal Newport

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

    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://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/podcast377 

    • 1 hr 4 min
    376: Wise Investments: Understand the Difference between a Good Value and a Good Deal

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

    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 the repair shop frequently, or gassing up frequently or even replacing the car itself as frequently (more on what I am hinting at below in our discussion).
    When we invest well, and apply the wisdom of purchase great value rather than falling victim to a good deal, we deepen the quality of our overall lives because however we enjoy living them, we can do so without surprise expenditures frequently arising.
    Today, I would like to explore a handful of areas of our lives in which investing in Good Value vs. a Good Deal occurs, and to offer explanation as to why paying the large price tag upfront will save more money in the long run, as well as instances when a large price tag upfront is just welcoming more stress throughout the duration of your ownership. Let's get started.
    View the Show Notes for the episode here — https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/podcast376

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

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

    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 we have covered multiple skills throughout this podcast, here on the blog and in TSLL's books (and will compile and detail them all in a linear approach to cultivating contentment in TSLL's upcoming Contentment Master Class video course), the two skills, I want to talk about today are simple to adopt and when we do, the quality of our life and everydays is amplified for the better:
    Choose to live instead of wait. In other words, Living vs. Waiting - choose the former. Choose to savor rather than to rush. In other words, Savoring vs. Rushing - again, choose the former. Let's dive into each of these in more detail . . . 
    Check out the Show Notes for this epsiode on TSLL blog - https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/podcast375

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

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

    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 say anything slightly different than what I said the week before when the professor would greet us, but now I at least can speak without hesitation and share what I did over the weekend.
    With that said, with growth comes growing pains, and I had a few moments throughout the past 10 weeks of frustration when it just wasn't making sense; however, I have a new-to-me professor, she being French and also a long-time educator, I was and am so grateful for her expertise and professionalism. She pushed, but then lightened up and stuck with us when she could tell we were struggling. In those moments, she encouraged us to keep trying and then doubled down on reviewing that particular difficult piece of the language to ensure the concept was acquired. As a fellow educator, what I observed was a keen awareness demonstrating her skill of both the language and how to teach it based on where the learner was and not holding true to the lesson plan if the class wasn't ready to move forward. I am eager to step back into her class when courses resume later this month. I have made it to FR 201! (We now are enjoying a two week vacances.)
    Tune in to discover 13 things I have learned so far in French class. 
    View the Show Notes — https://thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/podcast374 

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
844 Ratings

844 Ratings

Shalma M. ,

A very lovely concept

This is a lovely show and concept. I do have a suggestion to the host. As a fellow nasal girlie, blowing your nose does wonders for the voice. Some episodes are far more impacted than others, and I have a lot of empathy that it’s something difficult to regulate. Slowing down talking also does wonders for the host’s general cadence.
Overall, it is wonderful to hear someone take pleasure in life’s beauty and joys! Thank you for the beautiful podcast, and I hope it’s OK to give these (unrequested) tips.

Dianedc2016 ,

Alexandra Stoddard

Shannon,
This was a wonderful podcast! I loved every moment …. Thank you!

ffstl ,

Great in concept, terrible in execution.

Clearly states that her definition of simple does not mean slow, but repeats the same information so many times you would think she views her listeners as being incompetent. I can find my own way of being sophisticated without wasting endless hours listening to this.

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