Frenchie Friday: I’ve Discovered the Secret to Everything


“Find magic in the little things, and the big things you always expected will start to show up.”
― Isa Zapata

This morning, while watering my little garden, I realized how completely unnecessary it was.  I don’t need tulips.  I don’t need to grow my own lettuce.  I don’t need beautiful pots and organic soil.

Sure, I could be working on creating my next program, doing the laundry or paying bills.  In fact, the mind is always telling me that these are the things I should be doing.

But . . .

The things that truly make life worth living … are completely non-essential. (Tweet my discovery!)

They are the little things, simple pleasures and artful details of life.

Think about it.

Decadent meals … a glass of Sauterne … the sound of a violin … conversations that unfold into the wee hours of the night … a passionate embrace … perfectly frothed cappuccinos … love, sex & those moonlit moments that you keep in your secret garden … none of these things are essential. We can survive without them.

But without these non-essentials, what do we have left? A life stripped of art, elegance and delicious memories.  A bare template of existence  — without any color, style or pleasure. 

Just spreadsheets and checked-off to dos.

Quelle tragédie!

The French woman understands the value of non-essentials:  a beautifully tied scarf, her signature perfume, a perfectly paired Champagne with oysters, conversations discussing Voltaire, a passionate kiss, a Sunday picnic.

Her pleasure in the non-essentials is an essential piece of her je ne sais quoi.  And, she’s no different from us:  she has her career, family, friends and other responsibilities.  She just chooses to approach her life with flair and panache. 

I understand how easy it is to get caught up in the humdrum of making a living that we forget to create a life.  I’ve been there: always feeling behind, thinking that you’ll one day have the time, postponing all the things that would bring you the most joy.

What’s the solution?  Step out of the illusion.  There is no there, and that “one day” never comes.  You’re always in this day, this moment and there’s no better way to enjoy your life than to make the non-essentials an essential part of your life.

“The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one’s home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.”
― Barbara Pym

I promise you that your world will not collapse.  In fact, the more you explore your pleasures and all the marvelous non-essentials of the world, you’re going to light up like the Eiffel Tower at the strike of the evening hour. 

And, a lit up woman has an attraction appeal that calls her desires to her with ease and elegance (I’m talking about money, weight loss, men, opportunities and all that other jazz.)

The truth is that making 7 figures a year or climbing the corporate ladder does not guarantee happiness, but sipping Tattinger under the moonlight?  Well, I’m sure your 90-year old self would toast to that!

This weekend (and forever more), I challenge you to take the time to indulge and appreciate the non-essentials of life.  It is the secret to living an artful and elegant life.

Are you up for the luxurious challenge?  If so, share in the comments below one non-essential you’re going to enjoy today.

If you need a little inspiration, here are a few of the non-essentials I’ll be indulging in:

:: sip my morning coffee and watch the sunrise

:: Edith Piaf playing in the background

:: dress up in my favorite spring dress and favorite pink lipstick

:: peruse my favorite cookbook for some dinner inspiration

:: savor a decadent truffle with a glass of Bordeaux

:: watch Le-Weekend

:: and, a little sexy rendezvous;).

To a Completely Non-Essential Day,



Photo Credit: Drinks at the Hôtel de Paris in Monte Carlo via my iPhone.  Was it necessary?  No. Worth it? Absolutely!

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14 Responses to Frenchie Friday: I’ve Discovered the Secret to Everything

  1. To Tonya, My sweet sister in style…. you have the most lovely way with words! It’s almost impossible to resist the pleasures you find in the simple joys of living a life brimming with passion.

  2. Today, when I get home from work, I will be having “Afternoon Tea”, my new after-work ritual. It consists of a fresh cup of dark coffee in a beautiful cup, a little sweet on the side and 15 to 30 minutes of solitude. Since the weather is so nice, I will be enjoying my ritual on the swing on the front porch of my pretty white farmhouse while planning some new flower beds.

  3. Another fabulous and inspiring post, Tonya! This morning, I savored a lovely cup of chai tea. Just now, I took a pause from my work to read your post. And this afternoon, I will be taking my pup on a nice afternoon stroll before I wrap up the day and join friends for wine, tasty nibbles and conversation. Amidst all the work that sits waiting for me and my long list of to-do’s, allowing these moments of time to experience the ‘non-essentials’ is absolutely essential to my enjoyment of the day. I find that it also creates the open space for ideas and creativity to flow. Thank you once again, for adding a slice of joy and sunshine to my day! xo

  4. It’s a lovely post.
    Thanks Tonya you are a very lively and charming woman !
    ( what is ” the week-end “? Is it a movie ? I’d like to watch it!)
    Have a nice week-end

  5. Thank you as usual. This was just the reminder I needed. My non-essentials for the weekend are: A nice long walk with my husband. Cooking a meal at a slow luxurious pace, not rushing it. Buying flowers for my home. Ciao!

  6. I’ll be sipping a kir this evening on my back deck while I listen to the breeze rustle through the trees.

  7. Lovely post. I read it while indulging in my first nonessential of the day: a rich and creamy latte and freshly baked almond croissant!

    My inquiring mind would love to know – what is your favorite cookbook? I’m always on the lookout for cooking inspiration.

    I so enjoy Frenchie Fridays.

  8. Yesterday I purchased some of the most fragrant, botanical candles made locally. While they burned it was time to hang the New Orleans style 4 ft by 5 ft mirror John Simmons mirror I found serendipitously for a steal, like a $4000 value, for ummm $50. Treasure hunts!

    The candles were lit for breakfast again today. I rose with purpose in organization and décor. After coffee and oatmeal with all the natural fixings, the bedroom chamber was transformed into the sexiest spot in the house. A box of items in the donation box left room for new, positive energy to be manifested. As I type, my Dead Sea Mud masque is ready to be rinsed away for new freshness and a night of surprise.

    Frenchie Fridays are beautiful promptings to create bliss. They should be at the top of every woman’s list every day. Muah! <3

  9. Thank you so much for this. It’s so easy to let these small, but powerful essentials go in the frantic pace that others like to inflict on us, whether it be work, school, home or family.

    I do wonder if you had an alternate page for the playlist? I’ve always loved classical, jazz and blues, but I’m always looking for other inspirations and the link above doesn’t work.

    Thank you again for all your hard work!

  10. You are my inspiration. My non essential that Im going to cherish today is the beautiful national park right beside my house where I get to run on gorgeous trails. Thank you for making me realise how lucky I am.

  11. […] Rituals add meaning to our lives. If your life feels out of control, I challenge you to do what a Parisian does, even though it most likely will trigger your mind’s greatest fear — running out of time: make space for a daily ritual. It offers a time-out in a hectic day, gives us space to reflect upon and celebrate our lives and provides moments to just be. Whether it’s morning journaling or afternoon tea, as little as fifteen minutes a day can add beauty and depth to your life. […]

  12. Doing this has completely changed my life – I see beauty everywhere ! You have truly transformed my life Tonya!

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