Saturday, October 24, 2015

Inspiration to Be Chic and Positive

There is always something new to learn and discover, and there are always new ways to find inspiration.

After a busy summer, I've spent most of the early fall trying to catch up and get myself sorted out and back to good routines. Although I'm still not quite where I'd like to be in terms of routines, organization, and workload, I've been trying to stay calm and remain optimistic. Of course, this can be challenging even on normal days: stress and anxiety are unfortunately a normal part of life. However, I've made an effort to actively seek positivity and inspiration because, even if I'm struggling in my own routines, it is nice to read or listen to sources that are encouraging and that serve as reminders of what I want to cultivate in my own life. Here are three of my current sources of inspiration, including two brand new (to me), out-of-the-box genres: chic podcasts!

  1. As an avid reader and fan of the How to Be Chic blog by Fiona Ferris, I was delighted to see that the author had released a collection of eBooks over the summer! When my husband saw how excited I was bu this, he kindly ordered the printed, three-book collection for me off Amazon. I've been enjoying reading the different chapters and essays; for example, "Chapter 2: Nurturing Yourself" is comprised of five short essays of different topics like "Quiet Time," "Low Stress Secrets," and "How to Feel Better." These  different sections are just the right amount of reading to help me relax before bed, or to enjoy with my morning cup of coffee.
  2. Browsing through the web and the links of chic-inspired blogs and websites, I came across the French Kiss Life website by life coach Tonya Leigh. I'll admit, I was a little skeptical at first because the website did seem very commercialized; however, Tonya's blog is really packed with well-written, inspirational essays, and best of all, they're totally free to read! Merci! But, I did mention that my newest forms of inspiration were in fact out-of-the-box styles: beyond the French Kiss Life blog are these little sound files. In fact, Tonya Leigh has an entire SoundCloud page filled with chic audio clips, which are also completely free! In these short (usually 5-10 minute) sound files, Tonya reads from her blog posts. What I love about this is that I can play a few sound clips from the blog or website and listen to them as I'm getting ready for work-- usually I can set my hair and do my makeup in the time it takes to listen to one or two of these short files. Hooray for chic multitasking! (Although multitasking itself is usually not so chic, but that's a topic for another day.)
  3. Being a low-tech kind of gal, I was a little surprised and proud of myself for trying out a new format of inspiration beyond reading. Since the SoundCloud files from Tonya Leigh were so easy to access and listen to (no download required), I was able to try them out easily. Because I enjoyed them so much, I decided to branch out and download onto my iPod mini an entire podcast called The Simple Sophisticate from The Simply Luxurious Life website. The entire website is a bit overwhelming for my taste-- I'm not really sure what to read, click, or what I might end up buying after visiting the website, but the podcast did come highly recommended (although from where or by whom, I don't remember). Nevertheless! I listened to the first podcast from The Simple Sophisticate yesterday, and I absolutely loved it. The podcasts are informative and take a bit longer to listen to, about 30-45 minutes. This makes them perfect to listen to on either a long commute (although not in my case), or, to listen to while doing some other simple, mindless chore. For example, I listened to the first episode while doing some household chores yesterday evening. I'm looking forward to listening to the next one this afternoon while I work on creating my own sanctuary. (That sounds so much more chic than, "Cleaning my messy house," non? That's pillar 5 of "The Eight Pillars of Building a Luxurious Life" as discussed in Podcast #1.)
I'm really pleased that I branched out and tried something new (podcasts and sound files!) while searching for chic inspiration. It's never too late to try something new, and new experiences can be wonderful ways to grow and find new inspiration. Reading, listening, and enjoying these new sources of inspiration have really been helping me to start and end my days with a positive and inspired mindset.

My next question is, what chic-inspired podcasts should I listen to next? Recommendations welcome!

The above photo was taken by me of a flower known colloquially as "Cats' Whiskers" while visiting friends at a garden in Washington, D.C. in August 2015. As a lover of both cats and flowers, I of course had to snap a photo!


  1. Andrea, thanks so much for mentioning me in your post and I'm so glad you're enjoying my book. That means the world to me. I love Tonya's podcasts too, and like you I love to play them when I'm pottering around the house tidying up, washing the dishes, doing the laundry and making the bed. Buying myself the tiniest most inexpensive iPod to play them on also got me walking again. An 45-60 minute long walk flies by when you've got something good to listen to.

    Audiobooks are great too - Jennifer L. Scott's three Madame Chic books are available on audiobook and you might even be able to borrow them from the library first.

    Well done on downloading from SoundCloud - I just recorded my first SoundCloud track this week. If you're on my mailing list you would have received it but if not, it's here:

    1. Thank you, Fiona! I am looking forward to listening to your podcast, too! I enjoy your blog and eBooks so much, so I am sure it will be just as inspiring! I've just started Jennifer's latest Madame Chic book-- my husband was so kind as to gift me with it for Christmas. I am thankful to have so much great, chic material to inspire me in the new year!