Cultivating True Contentment: The art of living a life of quality over quantity.
Mission Statement

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 instead of trendy fashions and a truly fulfilling life instead of being led around by the nose; thereby, creating a life of true contentment.


Welcome to The Simply Luxurious Life (TSLL).

What is the Simply Luxurious Life?

  • If you are seeking a life to savor every single day — the work days, the weekends, the ‘me’ days, the travel days, the Wednesdays, the Mondays, every single day—then this is the blog for you.

  • If you are seeking deep true contentment, a steady calm within that grounds you and deepens your appreciation for the present moment, this is the blog for you.

  • If you are struggling to figure out which one of your many strengths to tap into along the journey to, reach their full potential, then this is the blog for you.

  • If you appreciate the importance of staying apprised of current events and knowing past events in full context, yet understand balance regarding intake of information must be found to suit your temperament and well-being, this is the blog for you.

  • If you find peace with simplicity, yet admit freely a home with an overflowing bookshelf (or two) is not clutter but rather a necessity, then this is the blog for you.

  • If your peace of mind acknowledges the necessity of being a critical thinker, someone who while staying informed, acknowledges the need to rather than choose a side, choose the right question to ask and keep an open mind while listening, then this is the blog for you.

  • If eating well includes enjoying meals that are both healthy and delicious, then this is the blog for you.

  • If growing your own flowers and vegetables remains a dream, and an herb garden too, yet you are determined to figure out how to become a gardener, even if you don’t have much (if any) diggable land, yet you appreciate the seasonality and sustainability of growing what you can where you are, then this is the blog for you.
Ooh and don’t forget the style quotient…
  • If you are someone who loves to dress well, but could do without the fuss and confusion of each season’s trends, let’s just say it, if the effortlessly chic style of the quintessential French woman or man speaks your style language, and if only you could figure out how they do it life would be complete, then this blog is for you.

  • If the concept ‘quiet luxury‘ echoes how you approach living and your wardrobe choices regardless of whether it is on-trend or not (a turn of phrase that arose to popularity in 2023), then living simply luxuriously is a place you will feel right at home (learn more about the concept and how it overlaps with TSLL here).

  • And lastly, if all you crave is to feel at peace when you wake up and go to sleep at night, knowing you have a sanctuary to rejuvenate your being and a life lived with thoughtful, loving intention, then this is the blog for you.
Living simply luxuriously is for you if you are seeking a life of quality over quantity in every arena of your life, and if by chance you are a Francophile or an Anglophile, just as I am, you are going to be in for a very special treat, as much of my inspiration comes from my time traveling and studying in France and Britain. But don’t worry, you don’t have to be enamored by France or Britain to live simply luxuriously. If you simply want to live a life that eliminates what is unnecessary and elevates what is a priority all the while earning an everyday income, you have found your home.
What is the Simply Luxurious Life?
The Simply Luxurious Life came into fruition in 2009 when I realized the life I enjoy living—a life full of simplicity, yet punctuated with everyday luxuries found even in the most routine of days was something I wanted to explore more fully due to the immense contentment it brought into my life. In fact, I needed to explore it more fully intentionally because while many people didn’t understand how I could live well and contentedly on the everyday income as a public school teacher (I retired in 2021 after twenty years), I had a curiosity for the world, especially the French culture followed by my appreciation for the British countryside and their gardening wonderland, that wasn’t entirely being satiated by working in the classroom.
And this is an example of our lives speaking to us.

Thankfully I listened and decided to share my discoveries, passions, and ideas as a way to inspire others so that they too could find their passion as a way to living a life full of true contentment by clearing out the clutter (figurative and literal) and bringing in the luxurious necessities to enliven and inspire each day no matter what their income, age, location or relationships status.

But the question most often asked is What exactly does a simply luxurious life look like? Well, the good news is there is not one ‘way’ to live the simply luxurious life. However, there are core principles that make up the foundation and will, when tended to, enable you to reach your full potential and live the life you may only currently imagine in your dreams. Have a look at the video at the top of the page to see what I’m talking about.

The most misunderstood aspect of living simply luxuriously is understanding the true meaning of the word luxury. By definition, luxury is anything that brings comfort. The comfort need not be tangible, but whether conceptual or sleeping in a bed made with French linen sheets, the key is appreciation so as not to take it for granted. Therefore, the true definition of luxury embodies a life lived intelligently, thoughtfully and sincerely, thereby experiencing fulfilling true contentment every day.

TRUE CONTENTMENT allows us to live peacefully in our everydays no matter what the day’s events, our emotions (negative or positive) or world news. Cultivating contentment provides stability of the mind as we engage with love, openness, presence, and kindness to others and ourselves.

What is the difference between
Happiness & Contentment?


• a wonderful emotion of elation, and natural chemicals in the brain are released – dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin
• it is an evanescent/transient emotion
• it depends on external factors beyond your control to occur (“hap” is the Old English root meaning Luck or Chance)
Why does understanding the difference matter?

• when you invest in cultivating contentment within yourself (which is entirely within your control), you can navigate every day well no matter what the external events may be.

• when moments of happiness occur, you can savor them deeply without clinging which creates stronger relationships of trust as you can convey a secure self to those you care about and love spending time with.

• when you have cultivated a life of contentment, you begin living in the present moment fully which indirectly opens your life up to the potential for more happiness
a Life of

• elevates the quality of your everydays

• strengthens your ability to navigate well life’s difficult moments

• deepens your appreciation for the simple quotidian moments

• builds and improves healthy, respectful relationships with others and yourself

• enables you to experience more and deeply satisfying happy moments

• motivates you to engage fully and sincerely with life without delay but without expectation
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Where It All Began

I had the good fortune of growing up in a dream of a small country town at the base of what many call the mini-Swiss Alps in Wallowa County, Oregon. And while this beautiful, community-focused approach to living played an integral and positive role in my appreciation for living well without excess, for as long as I can remember, I have been asking questions and seeing life as a treasure hunt as I sought to reach my full potential.

Much more of how I came to love and appreciate simplicity paired with everyday luxuries is shared in the introduction and first chapter of my first book Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide. And I will let you know in advance, my life and much of my inspiration has indirectly or directly come from the dogs in my life. My two boys and one lady, Oscar, Norman and Nelle, respectively – a black English Cocker Spaniel, a Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a ruby Cavalier, are seen in the photos on this page. Oscar lived a long 16+ year life, and I feel fortunate to have had him as my companion his entire life. Oscar remains in my heart, and both Norman and I miss him terribly; however, my heart is bigger and more capable of loving well because of the pivotal and powerful role he had in my life journey to contentment. My first book, previously mentioned, which sold 10,000 copies in its first year of publication purely by word-of-mouth and genuine interest from readers of TSLL blog, lays the groundwork in great detail and in an easy-to-follow manner revealing how you too can create a fulfilling simply luxurious life of your very own.

As you begin living simply luxuriously, TSLL’s third book The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment offers inspiration for each day of the year while including never-before-shared intimate peeks into my life and my road to living each day with true contentment.

Studying Abroad In Angers, France

While attending Western Oregon University and then University of Oregon for graduate school, I had the fortunate opportunity to study abroad in Angers, France, which whetted my appetite for all things French and has instilled in me a passion for curating a more refined, stylish, simple, and pleasure-filled way of living that I regularly try to incorporate wherever I may be living. Since my first experience, I have returned a handful of times. You can take a look at my trips here, here, here, and here. (And for all of my posts inspired by my fascination with the French culture, click here.) I have also continued to humble myself by continually trying to improve my French language skills. Take a look at what I learned so far in my French classes in these three posts: here, here and here.

A Discovery Found While Driving On The Left Side Of The Road

As is often the case with travel, so long as we remain open to what the universe would like to reveal to us, we discover awesome insights about ourselves and instructions about the direction of our life moving forward. It was a spontaneous trip to Devon, England, during the week of Thanksgiving 2017, staying in a hilltop cottage with a beckoning soaking tub overlooking the Bristol Channel where I recognized my unconsciously long-led affinity for the British countryside and culture. From the oft-common rainy days that I deeply savor, the predilection to enjoy a cup of tea (aka a Cuppa) for comfort and conversation, and the opportunity to stroll on the terra firma of the country I had studied so much about in undergrad as I attained my literature and history major and minor, I found a sanctuary unexpected (and I must not neglect to mention the deep affection for dogs in Britain spoke to me quite immediately as well). In fact, I was so inspired that I taped the pilot episode of my vodcast The Simply Luxurious Kitchen while staying in my vacation rental.

My AHA Moment

Having had the opportunity to live in, teach in and explore metropolitan, suburban and rural environments, I began to realize it is what an individual brings to each scenario that provides the potential to experience living a simply luxurious life.

Currently, settled and living in my home Le Papillon in Bend, Oregon, I regularly seek ways to enjoy everyday luxuries on an everyday income. A self-described introvert and HSP (highly sensitive person), I have tailored my simply luxurious life to my temperament and strengths, but what readers will discover is that living simply luxuriously is about designing a life that will bring forth your best self and help each one of us reach our full potential.

Having initially (and mistakenly) assumed that I had to live in France or live in a particular locale to live simply luxuriously, I have since come to realize that true luxury surrounds us in our everydays if only we know where to look and how to remain present, regardless of where we might be living as long as we are willing to be selective and realize that more is simply more, not something that will increase the quality of life. Each of us will design a life of true contentment unique to our talents, tastes, values and curiosities, and it is with this careful, curious attention that the art of living well reveals itself to each of us.

How To Get Started


Tune in to the first episode of my weekly podcast The Simple Sophisticate. I discuss the 8 Pillars of Living a Simply Luxurious Life, define them and give examples.

Then check out the Archives to explore which topics are most of interest to you. Four posts readers especially have enjoyed reading on the topic of living the simply luxurious life are How to Become the Woman You’ve Always Wanted to Be, Why Not . . . Create Your Own Style Commandments, Why Not . . . Discover Your Purpose? and 11 Simple Ways to Create a Simply Luxurious Life.


Subscribe to the free weekly newsletter to stay caught up on each week’s post and podcast episode. If you would prefer to receive fewer emails, select the free monthly newsletter that is delivered to your inbox on the last morning of each month (Pacific time), to receive the latest blog posts and podcast episodes from the entire month. As well, newsletter subscribers receive an extra dose of inspiration and alerts to discounts, sales, and news regarding TSLL brand. For example, subscribers were the first to know about an upcoming, limited time discount on TSLL book during a special anniversary, a discount on shipping costs when TSLL Notepads were first launched and a sneak peak of TSLL Planner Templates prior to their release on New Year’s Day.


Read TSLL’s first book Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide which lays the foundation of living a life of quality over quantity, and then be sure to check out TSLL’s second book Living The Simply Luxurious Life: Making Your Everydays Extraordinary & Discovering Your Best Self which will enable you to cultivate a unique simply luxurious life by taking you along the deeper journey to discovering your best self as you begin to trust your intuition and listen to your curiosity.

Then, as you look for daily inspiration to welcome true contentment into your life, read TSLL’s third book The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment.


Once you have taken some time to explore TSLL blog, learn more about becoming a Member of TSLL Community to enjoy more than the 5-post limit/per month for non-members. TSLL has become a community of international readers of all ages and genders who are consciously curating their own unique simply luxurious life tailored to their talents, passions and value of living a life of quality over quantity in every arena of their lives. Becoming a TOP Tier Member enables you to enjoy unlimited ad-free content whenever you visit TSLL blog as well as have access to exclusive content such as tours of Shannon’s Home, access to the monthly A Cuppa Moments w/Shannon video chat (the first of each month), Shannon’s Journey posts (Saturday Ponderings and What Made Me Smile This Month) as well as the ability to enter all Giveaways (which are offered during TSLL’s annual British and French weeks – in May and August respectively). Learn more about each tier, payment options, discounts and Member benefits here.


What is Living
Simply Luxuriously?

Read this post as I share 17 specific concepts of what your life will embody and the specific feelings you will experience. As well, discover why living simply luxuriously requires us each to live consciously every day, and when we do, the journey is quite sweet. Absolutely as sweet, satiating and decadent as Julia Child’s Reine de Saba cake. (Yes, it really is that good, and it’s Julia’s magic that makes it so, but you can make it to enjoy tonight. Trust me, it is worth it and 99% fool-proof.)

Living simply luxurious involves every arena of our lives: food, relationships, travel, style, beauty, health, , entertaining, finances, decor. Embracing our true selves is mandatory in order to live deeply, sincerely and find peace in our everydays and entire life journey. Explore the Archives to discover a multitude of posts in the area of your interest. Simply use the drop-down menu to the right to view each category.

The Beauty is in the Details

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photo captured by Noru Photography

Have A Question?

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit. Come back by again.

Shannon Ables

Founder & Editor of
The Simply Luxurious Life

Contact Me


Disclosure Statement

The Simply Luxurious Life destination (blog, podcast, and vodcast) and social media networks (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter & Facebook) contain paid advertising and some contextual affiliate links. An affiliate link means that a commission is received on sales of the product(s) that are linked in a post. The content of these posts or pins are all items, clothing, destinations and experiences genuinely liked by TSLL brand and its creator. TSLL partners with affiliates that fit the simply luxurious aesthetic and brand. Any posts that are sponsored are noted as such in the post.