Creating a beautiful life is my passion. It’s a work in progress, though, so I continually seek out resources which inspire me. I look for people who not only share helpful information but also radiate joy.
Here are several online sources I adore and consider these lovely women my go-to gurus for living beautifully:
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Resources for Creating a Beautiful Life
A little over a year ago I started listening to podcasts (I got hooked on Serial) and now hardly a day goes by that I don’t listen to at least one. I mentioned some of these resources in a post about life-changing podcasts but didn’t elaborate on them. Today I’m going to tell you more about them and why I include them in my “Beautiful Life Toolkit” (hey, that sounds like the topic for another post…hmm…). Not all of the resources I’m going to share today are podcasts but let’s start there.
Tranquility du Jour podcast by Kimberly Wilson
Kimberly Wilson is the founder of Tranquil Space yoga studios, director of Tranquil Space Foundation and author of five books. Her website about page states:
“Tranquility du Jour is a blog and podcast with musings and interviews on a potpourri of my passions—yoga, mindfulness, giving back, animals, travel, writing, creativity, style, and, of course, tranquility.”
Kimberly’s focus is, as you might guess from the podcast title, tranquility. She places a lot of importance on creativity as a means of achieving a tranquil life.
“Creativity ensures there is a spark inside – even if you live or work in what you may perceive to be a non-creative setting. The art of creativity is finding that spark, making that spark, and keeping that spark alive. I think creativity is akin to self-discovery and ongoing happiness. Living in a creative way allows us to color outside the lines, push our edges, wear pink tights, don red lipstick and sparkles, write with a silver pen, and explore new places. By making creativity a priority, stagnation is less likely to occur, growth is inevitable, and, ideally, tranquility will be a part of the process.”
She has been doing podcasts since 2005 so there is a wealth of information and inspiration available on her site. In addition to her books, blog and podcasts, Kimberly also leads retreats (I would LOVE to attend Penning in Paris!), offers CDs and e-courses, and even has her own eco-friendly clothing line.
Here is a small sample of the information available on Kimberly Wilson’s site:
Podcast #310 – Stylish Secrets Learned While Living in Paris (March 31, 2014)
The Simple Sophisticate podcast by Shannon Ables
The name of Shannon Ables’ website is “The Simply Luxurious Life” with the tag line, “refined living on an everyday income”. Many times, lifestyle connoisseurs have much larger budgets than the average person which make a lot of their tips and suggestions beyond the reach of people with a middle class income. That’s not the case with Shannon.
Her mission statement is:
“The simply luxurious life is something that I believe every one of us can attain if indeed we are seeking quality rather than quantity, sensibility rather than frivolity, personal style rather than trendy fashions and a truly fulfilling life instead of being led around by the nose; thereby creating a life of true contentment.”
My favorite part of her blog is the “French-Inspired Living” page which is a collection of all her Francophile themed posts, books, websites, and destinations all in one place. (Update: That section is now only available to members but you can read her French Week posts here: French Inspired Living.) If this sort of thing resonates with you, be sure to check out my own Francophile collection:
I listened to this podcast of hers the other day and loved it. I think you will, too.
Podcast #23 – How to Create a Luxurious Everyday Life (February 2, 2015)
French Kiss Life with Tonya Leigh
I found Tonya Leigh and her truly life-changing resources about a year ago. Down-to-earth, positive, and inspiring, Tonya’s words resonate deeply with me. Whether via her blog, podcast, Periscope, or private Facebook group, virtually everything this woman puts out there makes me want to be the best I can be.
This short blog/podcast of hers really spoke to me this week. It’s all too easy to rush through life and fail to notice all the beauty around us. But if we truly desire to create a beautiful life we must slow down and pay attention to “the beautiful things”.
“You cannot create a beautiful life by ignoring all the beauty that surrounds you.”
“The Beautiful Things” by Tonya Leigh
The Daily Connoisseur by Jennifer L. Scott
I’ve been reading The Daily Connoisseur blog and watching her videos for several years now. I don’t know why it took me so long but I finally just read her book, “Lessons From Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris“.
What a treat! I highly recommend it. In fact, I will probably do an in-depth review soon so keep an eye out for that. Now I want to read her other books:
At Home With Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life
and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic: Lessons in Everyday Elegance
In the meantime I’ll be making sure I’ve seen all of her videos. This is one I watched the other day which really struck a chord with me. The only way I will be able to create the life I desire is to increase my self-discipline. I took a small step this morning by getting up earlier than usual and heading straight for the treadmill. That’s right. Treadmill before tea! Now let’s see if I can do it again tomorrow.
“Life at Home – Self Discipline” by Jennifer L. Scott
Finally, I want to tell you about a blog I’ve been reading for more than a decade. Brocante Home is the lovely work of Alison May, a woman who takes seriously the old adage, “Home is where the heart is.”.
“Home is where the heart is, a place of sanctuary…….your sanctuary. I have created my blog especially for people like you; women who love their home, a home that is inspirational, clean and will create a wonderful place where memories are made.
Join me and I will help you live a life less ordinary with daily guidance, inspirational courses and a membership where like-minded, creative women can talk and discover a more joyful way of life.”
Alison’s vintage-inspired housekeeping and lovely “puttery treats” will make you want to don an apron and devote a pleasant hour or two to making your home a warm and inviting sanctuary. Alison has done a major overhaul of the site and there are lots of exciting new features. This is one you won’t want to miss.
Brocante Home by Alison May
There are other sources of inspiration for the life I want to create and I’ll no doubt share more of them in future blog posts. But at this point in time, these five are at the top of my list and not a day goes by that I don’t glean something from one or more of them. If you, like me, desire to create a beautiful life I highly recommend the works of Kimberly, Shannon, Tonya, Jennifer and Alison. Check them out and then let me know what you think. And if you have other blogs, websites, books, videos or podcasts to recommend, do leave me a comment. I’m always looking for more ways to “create a beautiful life”.
Thank you so much for this inspiring resources 🙂 xx
Deanna Piercy says
You are most welcome. 🙂
Thanks for this list! I’m familiar with several of these podcasts (and know you through Tonya’s Facebook group), but I hadn’t heard of two and will definitely check them out. And I’ve got one for you, though she’s not podcasting (yet): How To Be Chic, by Fiona Ferris. She is a lovely New Zealander with a very down-to-earth approach to living beautifully. She has a book coming out soon too. she has some videos on her site which are hilarious because her cats are constantly photo bombing her.
Deanna Piercy says
Thank you for visiting “Life With Dee”. I used to read Fiona’s blog but I think she stopped posting for awhile and I lost track. I need to check it out again. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂
I follow all these bloggers including Fiona. I listen to their podcasts and have gotten some wonderful tips and ideas from them. I am very comfortable with having less and enjoying life more. My husband and I wanted to travel so at the moment we are living the good life in the Cayman Islands house sitting. It is not about “stuff” but doing things and having fabulous memories.
Deanna Piercy says
So true! We recently returned from a week at the beach and as always, I was reminded of how little we actually “need”. And how much easier it is to clean without so much “stuff”.
Kathryn Hemstead says
I feel pretty good; I know all of these lovely women you mentioned. Thank you for sharing with everyone.
Deanna Piercy says
Aren’t they all wonderful? Glad you’ve discovered them, too.