Wed, 19 April 2023
355: Talking Paris, Flowers and Elevating the Everyday with Sandra Sigman about her new book French Blooms
It all began with 18 months in Paris as a young woman more than 30 years ago.
Inspired by her time volunteering during the day at a Parisian floral boutique while she figure skated in the evenings, Sandra Sigman's life journey and approach to floral arrangements was forever changed, and thus began the unfolding of a dream.
In today's episode, author of the best-selling book in Floral Arrangements, Sandra Sigman joins me to talk about French Blooms: Floral arrangements inspired by Paris and beyond and goes behind the scenes telling more of the life journey, the highs and the lows that have left her grateful and celebratory for where she is today.
Sigman's floral boutique Les Fleurs in Andover, Massachusetts, continues to offer seasonal floral arrangements that draw direct inspiration from what she learned in Paris so many years ago. Whilst continuing to take regular trips to France to visit brocantes and antique fairs, Sigman's love for the country is abundant.
In our conversation Sandra will also talk about the French's sacred ritual of welcoming flowers into the home on an regular basis, just because, as well as go behind the scenes to the genesis of the book and how her friendship with Sharon Santoni, the founder of My French Country Home who makes her home in Normandy, France, played a role in many of the images found in the book (the image just below was captured on Sharon's property with her guest cottage setting the scene in the background; and her pup Ghetto is also captured in a few photographs as well). Also, the cover! Discover the cover story that took her to Paris to capture and why she felt it was important for this particular image to be the one we now see today.
And Sandra also shares how her mother holds a powerful role in the business venture both daughter and mother began together to open Les Fleurs so many years ago and how her spirit continues on in the work Sandra does.
I do hope you will tune in to listen to our conversation, and rest assured, a Petit Plaisir will be shared as Sandra extends ideas for setting herself up for a beautiful day.
Links from the conversation:
~Listen to more French-inspired episodes of The Simple Sophisticate podcast here.
~Learn more about the show, The Simple Sophisticate podcast and download all of the episodes here.
Tue, 4 April 2023
354: How to Find Your Financial Freedom: The Importance of Understanding, Writing and LIVING Your Love Story with Money
"To have a good relationship with money, you must know who you are and what your purpose is in this world." —Kate Northrup, Money: A Love Story
Find your purpose, exercise your courage and you are on your way to financial freedom. Simple AND true. Not easy, but definitely doable.
For many of us, we were taught (or it was modeled) that money and how to approach money successfully is to solely look at it logically, requiring tangible proofs in order to know we are successful - the amount of money in our checking account, a lack of debt, the amount we have saved in our chosen mode of savings, the value of our quantifiable assets - our home, our business, etc., etc.. Don't worry, I am not going to say, being without any money in the bank is okay as long as you have [insert whatever non-monetary example you have heard], because it's not true. We do need money to live and live well; however, to only look at the numbers is to dismiss the powerful engine of creating the financial freedom you seek. Our lives are not Money Ball. While a wonderful film and a very successful approach to winning in the game of baseball, when we only look at the numbers, we lose the core of what living well, a life of true wealth, is all about, to lose ourselves in the sole pursuit for more money or having a certain amount of money in the bank before we [insert your big dream here] is to live without trust in the universe, to live without trust in ourselves. Again, do not worry, I am not going to say, ignore money and pursue whatever fleeting fancy your heart desires and the money will follow, but sort of, I am, it just doesn't happen overnight, or within the window you would like it to.
When I picked up Kate Northrup's first book Money: A Love Story, Untangle your financial woes and create the life you really want, it was the book I was looking for for some time but I wasn't able to find it because likely, the most important lessons wouldn't have landed with such great effect. The truth about what financial freedom is while yes, having to do with the monetary concept of literally earning more than you spend, it also involves the fuel for making money and that is not logical or literal monetarily, it comes from finding and living a life of true contentment. And as we have talked about for years here on TSLL blog and podcast, stepping onto the path toward cultivating contentment begins with being courageous enough to get to know yourself, to dig in and learn the helpful skills that all of us can learn if we choose, and then with what we discover, being brave about the next step that may be entirely different, or even slightly different than the path we were originally on.
"As with any relationship, the key to dealing with your financial woes lies within." —Kate Northrup, Money: A Love Story
The path to financial freedom, something that upon reading Kate Northrup's book Money: A Love Story, I discovered that what she shares overlaps in multiple ways with how to live simply luxuriously.
First, what is financial freedom?
As Kate Northrup defines it, "To wake up every morning and do whatever calls to you, whatever the heck you feel like doing, is connected to your ability to feel free from financial strain and to be open to what your heart is telling you."
The moment I read this definition, I had specifics in my mind of what this looks like for me, so what I am going to ask you to do right now is to write in your journal, on your phone in the Notes section or anywhere where you will be able to check in and remind yourself when doubt seeking financial freedom is possible for you, what it is you want to be able to do without financial restrains holding you back? What do you want to be able to do that your heart is aching to do, but you aren't able to financial make it so? What would your daily life look like, what would a typical calendar year look like, so vacations, work projects, home life, etc.?
PAUSE - seriously, write this out somewhere. See your future life on paper. It can happen. It CAN be your life. It all begins with the story we accept as possible. And I want you to know, and tell yourself that it is so, that you can live the life that continues to speak to you.
Let's dive in to writing a Love Story with Money that brings you to a life of Financial Freedom.