Answers to readers’ most frequently asked questions:
When did you begin blogging?
How do you balance blogging and teaching full-time?
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive from fellow teachers or anyone just starting out in blogging while working full-time is how do I balance it all. During the first two years I worked every day after school and on the weekends to get the blog off the ground, but I quickly realized I needed to set boundaries. So at least one, sometimes two days a week, the computer gets a break, and I enjoy the exploration and relaxation that is needed to balance both careers that I love.
As far as when do I blog – as soon as I come home after work (after I take my dogs for a walk), I set aside enough time to write. By creating a consistent schedule for posting (see below), I can plan my week out in advance. A few organizational tools that have helped me: an editorial wall calendar (to keep my ideas organized – see here), a Moleskine journal with me at all times for ideas that pop into my head no matter where I am or what I’m doing and a true passion for living simply luxuriously. Ultimately, if you love what you are doing, you will find the time. While there is no question I am exhausted at times, I could not imagine not having the opportunity to write, share and explore. For a specific list of 13 Time Management Habits I incorporate into my life that help me immensely, I have created an episode of the podcast to share just this information in specific detail.
What advice can you share with bloggers just getting started?
As a blogger, I continue to learn and discover new and better ways of sharing content readers want to read, but the top three pieces of advice that have helped me along my journey: (1) post consistently (whether it’s weekly or daily), (2) choose a niche that isn’t too narrow, and (3) allow your readers to get to know you, but still keep your personal life private.
How many readers stop by daily/monthly?
TSLL blog is viewed more than 350,000 times a month and has more than 17,000 newsletter subscribers. The Simple Sophisticate podcast has been downloaded more than 3 million times since September 2014. (All numbers reported as of Aug. 2018.)
Who is the artist behind all of the illustrations found on the blog?
Many readers have asked about the illustrations found on The Simply Luxurious Life. And I feel fortunate to have come across Inslee Fariss‘ talents early in my blogging career. Inslee is a fashion illustrator based out of
New York City Raleigh, North Carolina. You can visit her website and shop to peruse her calendars, stationery and request a commissioned original illustration. All illustrations you find here on The Simply Luxurious Life have been commissioned exclusively for the blog. Please do not use without permission.
What is the motivation behind the clothing you choose to spotlight on the blog?
All of the clothing chosen is based on my personal tastes and preferences, adhering to the premise of living simply luxuriously – quality over quantity. While I do include top designer items, I don’t expect readers to purchase the entire outfit. When styling an outfit, it is my goal to reveal how to pull items together, provide inspiration to include anything in your closet that you already have and then find that missing item that will complete the look.
While from time to time, a trend will be included, I do my best to spotlight clothing that is of high quality and that upon purchasing will last for years to come so that the woman who is building her capsule wardrobe can feel comfortable, confident and stylish as she goes about her everyday routine. Some of the clothing spotlighted on the blog is associated with affiliate links. If a post is sponsored by a brand, a disclosure footnote will be included at the end of the post.
How frequently do you blog?
Beginning during the summer of 2020, I began sharing three posts regularly each week (reduced from my five-day posts a week for ten years). Below is a list of what to expect when you stop by:
- Mondays – The Simple Sophisticate podcast (readable version as well) OR a Motivational post to kick-off the new week, full of inspiration, ideas, tips and from time to time interviews with inspiring people who have a similar approach to life.
- The podcast offers two seasons of 6-10 episodes each year (September – December, every other week, twice a month; January – March, every other week, twice a month)
- Wednesdays – a post on one of the following topics:
- 1st Wednesday: Decor, discover insights and inspiration from my own home customization journey with my own house, Le Papillon.
- 2nd Wednesday: Style, discover clothing, brands, styles and designers to know that I love and recommend for timeless, effortless style to continue to cultivate a capsule wardrobe you love wearing. Outfit of the Month will occasionally be shared.
- 3rd Wednesday: TSLL Recipes or French-Inspired or British-Inspired posts
- 4th Wednesday: TSLL Recipes or French-Inspired or British-Inspired posts
- The Last Wednesday of the month: What Made Me Smile This Month, So Far . . .
- Fridays – EVERY Friday, This & That (the latest books, music, films, sales, articles, etc) – view archives here
- The TSLL Monthly Newsletter – delivered on the last Friday of every month (learn more and how to sign up here)
- Annually, on April 1st and September 1st – TSLL’s Spring and Fall, respectively, Shopping Guide is posted to help readers navigate the new trends and collections.
Love the music on the podcast. Where can I buy it?
The music on Monday’s episode and the primary music for the entire podcast, The Simple Sophisticate is titled “Walking in Paris” and the music for The Simply Luxurious Kitchen vodcast is “Dans L’été Paris (Paris during Summer). (click on the song title to be directed to the purchase page.)
So, you’re a humanities teacher? Why are
their there grammatical mistakes from time to time?
Do you accept advertising?
What books and magazines do you read and/or recommend?
Have a look at my frequently updated book recommendation list, Francophile finds, and magazines. And be sure to stop by one of readers’ favorite weekly posts, This & That on Fridays to stay up-to-date on the latest releases in books, films, collections, plays, exhibits and more.
Where and what do you teach?
Since 2002 I have taught secondary Language Arts and social sciences. Currently, I am teaching in Bend, Oregon.
There are so many blog posts in the archives! I want to live a simply luxurious life, where do I begin???
Start here. TSLL blog and brand is full of ideas, inspiration and tips, but there is an immense amount, so I’ve laid out a clear and easy way to begin if you are new to the blog. The Start Here page will help you begin to understand how to live your best life and how to move forward with all that TSLL blog have to offer. For a more comprehensive, carefully organized and linear guide to living simply luxuriously, check out my books which are available in paperback, audio and ebook format wherever books are available (you can also buy signed copies).