Modern Day Icon: Alexandra Franzen

This column is dedicated to featuring modern day iconic women – those women who are living life by their own rules, inspiring others with their presence and passion, owning their own personal style and, of course, French Kissing Life!


I’ve cleared my inbox of almost everything, except for today’s modern-day icon, Alexandra Franzen.

If I French Kiss Life, this lovely lady French Kisses Words.  Sensuality, brevity and magnetism ooze from her words, a rare feat these days. Whether you’re indecisive or want to figure out how to introduce yourself to your hero, Alexandra’s your communication muse.

As a modern day icon, her communication philosophy is simple:  “Whenever you open your mouth — or place your fingers on the keyboard — you have an opportunity to add to the love in the world, or subtract from it.”  And, she’s on a mission to inspire people to change the world through words.

I feel lucky to have had the chance to interview Alexandra, and today, we’re going to dig into her mind and find out what makes her tick on all things mind, style, body and writing.


What’s your superpower?


I’m freakishly good at taking rambling, bumbling ideas and making them crisp + precise. It’s practically a compulsion, at this point. A helpful one … I hope!

Favorite question to ask to get the conversation going?

What was the BEST part of your day?

What book would you give your 13 year old self?

A collection of poetry by Rumi, with a handwritten note from my future self.

The note would say:

“You don’t know it yet, but you’re an artist and a poet, too. Congratulations.”

What are you currently reading?

Re-reading: Love Poems by Pablo Neruda.

Skimming: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Savoring: The latest issue of Real Simple magazine.


What’s a part of your body that you celebrate?

My shoulders. I usually have one (or both) exposed.

What is your daily beauty routine?

I don’t have a rigid routine, but I’ve recently discovered the glory of the curling wand (like a curling iron for your hair, only better!)

I’m also newly infatuated with faux eyelashes, and I recently taught myself how to do a perrrrfect “cat eye” with black liner. Very bombshell-tastic!

Your can’t-live-without beauty product?

Sheer, shimmery lip balm. Gloss is too sticky.


Heels or flats?

Flats! (Unless someone is driving me around town!)

What is your signature style element?

Big, fabulous hair. Usually deep red. Always coiffed.

Favorite store?

Helmut Lang is my totem animal.

A fashion rule you love to break:

Neon is always in vogue, as far as I’m concerned…and white after Labor Day? Absolutely.


You can have any meal on earth.  What shall it be?

A warm hunk of bread, a wheel of Brie, fresh grapes, dates and apricots and a smattering of grainy mustard. Followed by a shot of espresso and a sea-salt caramel. Or three.

Champagne, Beer or a Green Juice?

Champagne with a dash of elderflower liquer.

Sweet or salty?



What is the most luxurious moment of your day?

The first few hours of the morning — which I usually spend working from my “besk” (bed + desk).

Life would be nothing without:


Success is:

Leaving the planet in noticeably better condition than you found it.

When you think of money, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?


Your top 3 tips for dealing with overwhelm?

Simplify, simplify, simplify.


Here’s a round-trip plane ticket, gratis! Where are you going?

Scotland — to bathe in sacred waterfalls, explore ancient ruins + learn a few sea shanties.

Always in your carry-on luggage: 

My laptop, my iPod, hand sanitizer, lip balm, a water bottle, a pack of Orbit gum, a roasted vegetable wrap that I grabbed in the airport terminal (usually soggy + mediocre — one of these days I’ll remember to pack a proper lunch!).

Plain, train, boat, motorcycle, or car?

Train. Pure romance!


How do you want your home to feel?

Luxurious, well-appointed, simple, clean + sexy.

What’s on your bedside table?

A stack of books, my diary, a pen, a Voluspa candle and a tall glass of water.


What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired to put pencil to paper?

When I’m uninspired, I don’t write. I do something else. Once I stop ‘trying’ so hard, inspiration inevitably returns.

Your writing hero?

Oscar Wilde — forever!

Finally . . . please tell us what you’re most passionate about right now!

Right now, I’m tremendously passionate about …

Eye contact. Flirting. Over-the-top gratitude. Hand-written letters.

Saying thank you.

Even when you don’t “need” to.

Just because you want to.


ALEXANDRA FRANZEN wants to live in a world where emails are short, love letters are brave and every “thank you” note is scribbled by hand.

As a positivity-charged blogger + writing instructor, she’s been spotlighted on The Daily Love, The Daily Muse, MindBodyGreen, Fast Company, Forbes and The Huffington Post.

Her first book — 50 Ways To Say You’re Awesome — is available now, wherever fine + fabulous books are sold.

Her virtual homebase?


I loved Alexandra’s book, 50 Ways to Say You’re Awesome, so much that I bought 3 copies.

And, I’m gifting a copy to 3 of you!  All you must do is:

1.  Choose someone that you think is AWESOME.

2.  Tell them why they are so AWESOME in the comments section.

3.  Send them the link to the blog post so they can read your declaration of their awesomeness.

4.  If they respond to your comment, you will be eligible for the giveaway!

5.  Three readers will be chosen by the end of the week!

By the way, YOU, yes, YOU are AWESOME!!!Tonya_50 Ways to Say You're Awesome

Love, Kisses & Awesomeness,



(P.S. I’m still coming down from my Paris Celebration high with the French Kiss the World Society.  I’ll post about the experience very soon.  Still processing it all! Good stuff.  Really, really good stuff!)

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16 Responses to Modern Day Icon: Alexandra Franzen

  1. My sister, Dianna Stevens Woolley, is totally awesome!! (No surprise there, right Tonya?) I’ve admired her my whole life, cuz that’s what little sisters are supposed to do. In recent years, however, she has really rocked the world and my notion of what it means to grow older with zest and vitality. This woman is following her dreams when others would be saying it’s too late or too hard or too whatever… Her most recent accomplishment? Winning a gold medal in her age group for running a 1/2 marathon. (Three years ago, she didn’t even run!) She is tenacious, sets her mind on a goal, and follows through… even when I know she has those lizard-brain voices suggesting she’s too old, not good enough, blah blah blah.
    She is setting fire to the art world with her encaustic work… oh yeah, she put her art on hold for a few decades… now it’s resurrected. She deserves the highest pedestal they make, because I’m putting her up there AND the best thing is that she encourages me to climb right on up there with her!! That’s what really makes her amazing in my mind! Love her bunches and I want the world to know!!!
    Thanks, T… you’re pretty darned awesome yourself!! xoxo

  2. I think my husband, Khaled, is AWESOME.

    As I looked up the actual definition of the word, some of the synonyms I found for awesome are: breathtaking, awe-inspiring, magnificent, wonderful, amazing, stunning, staggering, impressive…

    Khaled is all that to me…and more. The way he loves, his determination, kindness, unending patience, dedication, and humbleness keep me in awe at all times. He is the quiet in my (many) storms and he makes me aspire to being the best version of me at all times. I’ve never met such a quiet man that can have such a resounding effect on other lives- especially mine.

    Thanks Tonya and Alexandra! This post was so inspiring and gave me an opportunity to leave my declaration of Khaled’s awesomeness for all the (online) world to see! 😉


    • Baby, your comment has brought so much light to my day and world! Thank you my soul-mate 🙂 The truth is that I’m just a happy man who’s truly inspired by your soul and blessed to have you on my side going through this adventures journey! Your genuine heart makes me the happiest man on earth! When I count my blessings, I count you twice 🙂 Love you with all my heart.

  3. Tonya and Kayce,
    you two are a dynamo pair to play with and I feel great joy in your enthusiasm for life, love and whatever comes your way. Alexandra sounds like another woman I would love to know better too:)


  4. Dr. Renee Stauffacher is awesome. She resolved to live authentically over this last year – and she has done it. I am in awe of the changes she has made to her life (for the better) and her determination to transform.

    As someone who supports her business in small ways – I am inspired by her willingness to try new things, take risks and put herself out there. She is accessible and open to whatever comes her way.

  5. My friend, Life Coach Jam podcast partner and accountability partner, Maggie Reyes, is an amazing fount of positivity. She has a mission to support modern marriage (Facebook/ModernMarried) and is an exuberant example of following your passion and feeling your way along by following what feels good. She attracts so many opportunities, finds the joyous perspective, and I always enjoy hearing her thoughts on anything. She always surprises and delights me when we jam on our podcast. She is an alchemist because she has turned the “lead” of her past into the “gold” of her now. She is good peeps!

  6. Well, what a delightful surprise! Thank you CJ! Thank you Alexandra! Thank you Tonya! (yes I have my own copy of the book and LOVE IT!) So it would be UBER COOL for CJ to get a copy too!

    I have to say CJ taught me the word Brillzy and I use it on her constantly. Because she is. She is SO WISE. And I get to learn from her ALL THE TIME. Ultimate levels of coolness.

    I also love a woman who can use the word exuberant in a sentence.


  7. Anna Kunnecke you are so awesome. I love you for your honesty. I love you because you celebrate me and let me be as awesome as I can be. I love you because you know how to have a good time. I love you because you laugh at my jokes and you laugh at your own jokes. I love you because you inspire me. I love you because you keep writing even when it’s hard because you know you have a story to tell.

  8. Amy Pearson you are so awesome. Not just because you say I am, either. I love you because you wear hammer pants and film yourself dancing better than anyone I know. I love you because you make the best homemade Friday night pizza I’ve ever had. I love you because you are so real, honest, funny, and truthful. I love you because even when shit goes down you never lose your sense of humor. And I love you because you let me be as big and awesome as I want to, and then you make me get a little bit bigger.

  9. Mindy Goldstein is awesome. She is one extraordinary woman! She loves and gives generously. She is beautiful, sensitive, funny. When I am with her, I feel adored, and like I am someone special. And her smile lights up my day.

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