Madame Chic - A Triple Book Review

Jennifer L. Scott is the author of the three books staring Madame Chic below:

  1. Lessons From Madame Chic — 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris
  2. At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life
  3. Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic

All three of these books are cute and quick reads – and have a lot to offer. In fact, I read Lessons from Madame Chic on the Plane to Europe! And then again this past December! Shortly after that, I decided to pick up Polish Your Poise. Finally, I picked up At Home with Madame Chic and…

Today, I’d like to share what Scott (and Madame Chic) have taught me through a triple recap of these books!

Lessons from Madame Chic

Eating should command your full attention. After all, you are bringing things into your body. The act should be civilized and respectful.

My other half and I are *trying* to eat at the dinner table every night – instead of in front of the TV. I’ve noticed that eating at the dinner table has helped with this – I pay more attention to the food on my plate and how I’m feeling, rather than the show playing in front of me.

To live well – to live within your means and to avoid the seduction of the material world. This is what I call prospering.

Things are nothing. It’s moments, it’s knowledge, it’s people, it’s experience.

Happiness is not having what you want but wanting what you have.

A positive attitude can go a long way in terms of happiness. Of course, nothing is ever perfect – but if we have a positive attitude, most things can certainly come close.

Extracting pleasure from simple things can be the key to a happy life. If you slow down and take pleasure in simple things, you are more likely to lead a contented and well-balanced existence and less likely to incur unhealthy habits like overspending, hoarding, and overeating.. You are also more likely to be present in the moment and pleasant with your family.

Slowing down and being more present is one of my goals for my 2016 Adventure to Bliss! This can be, however, challenging when you’re used to a rat race mindset 😉

Eckhart Tolle, the new age philosopher, says “What you do is secondary. How you do it is primary.”

YES.

When someone compliments you, just say thank you. Take the compliment and smile.

I love this. I constantly hear myself and others try to deny the compliments given… what’s the good in that? Do you think it’s making you sound humble? Just accept the compliment with a thank you and move forward. Or (if you genuinely mean it) return the compliment 🙂 Compliments make people feel good!

 

At Home with Madame Chic

 

Having inner peace should always be our goal. Then we can get through our day no matter what happens around up. Once we have it, small things, such as a careless comment from a coworker or a flat tire, will not completely ruin our day. Inner peace will keep us present and put things into perspective.

I’ve found that a few minutes of calm breathing, meditation or simple silence does the trick. On days when I avoid checking my phone for the first thirty minutes when I wake up, I actually feel more revitalized from sleep and much more functional. Inner peace is incredibly important.

To start you need two things: curiosity and enthusiasm. And then you need to become a connoisseur of your own life.

With a smile on your face and a desire to see what’s out there, you can do anything 🙂

Having passion and appreciation for the ordinary. Getting a kick out of everything you do. It is looking at everyday life like a sporting challenge and doing whatever it takes to make it work for you.

Even mundane tasks are important to smile about! I’ll be ironing away and just the act of smiling or humming to myself makes a world of difference. I appreciate the fact that I have an iron, that I’m ironing clothes my other half and I wear for work – it makes me thankful. And gratitude certainly bodes happiness.

So on the regular days, and the extraordinary days, take inspiration from the French and look at homemaking as a pleasurable pursuit. This attitude can turn you from a clueless homemaker to a domestic goddess in no time.

YES! 🙂 On days where I have to clean, I picture having Mary Poppins by my side dancing around singing “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…” 😉

We must hold on to these dreams, but in the meantime we must not wish away the life we currently have.

Goals and dreams are vital to our existence. But happiness and success is not only obtained at the completion of a goal or dream – it’s a part of the journey 🙂

 

Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic

There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind. The moment you change your mind and decide you’d like to pay more attention to your appearance, you ignite that power.

Act the way you want to feel! 🙂 I’ve said it before – the mind is a VERY powerful thing. If you’re having a bad day, just say to yourself, “Hey you, feel happy” and then combine that with the actual act of smiling and voila! There you have it. (*Caveat: yes, yes, I know there are bad days that are actually bad… but sometimes we just get into a funk and need to step back and smile).

Being poised is being aware of oneself and one’s surroundings and being flexible and adaptable.

Flexibility is one of my goals for 2016. I find myself so often being focused on a rigid plan – and once the plan is set, you can forget about changing it 😛 This isn’t life. I can’t count the number of times my plans have changed. Planning is nice… but you have to be able to deter from the plan and be content with that determent.

How you behave and live when you are alone is the indicator of how you live your entire life.

YES. This statement could not be more true. We can’t hide our true selves from the world, no matter how hard we try. And honestly, trying to hide ourselves is exhausting. So, if we factor this in, are honest with ourselves and everyone around us – and work to act in a way we are okay with all the time instead of just when we are in the company of others – life will be much more satisfying. Because you can always look back and say, hey, that’s me just being me.

Beauty emerges from the self-confidence you emit and the newfound joy you take in celebrating your unique beauty.

This is a big one. Self-confidence is absolutely key. Feeling down? Or worthless? Or like you’re inept or not pretty or too big or too small? Well, just stop. Think of all the awesomeness you bring to the table. Think of the last person you made smile. Now, go get out there and do something wonderful for someone – whether it be a compliment or some other treat. Felt good, didn’t it? Doing things for others and consciously considering and reflecting on what makes you an individual and special is  vital. Go, right now, and do it! 🙂

 

 

Your Turn

Your Turn is a place for me to ask you questions! Be sure to answer them in the comments below! 🙂

  • Does eating command your full attention? If not, why? If so, what do you do to make this so?
  • How do you boost your self confidence when it’s down?
  • There’s a lot of quotes here, what is your favorite one? Why?

 

  • interesting reads! Not a big fan of “etiquette” type books. My mom forced me to do etiquette school when I was younger so these kinds of reads make my head hurt lol

    stop by and chat 🙂 http://storybookapothecary.com

    • haha, that’s rough… but hey, at least you can say “been there, done that!” 🙂

      • lol true. I just remember the lady being a complete neurotic person. She refused to give me ice water in the middle of summer because it would “close up my throat” or something. dreaded going to it on the weekend lol

  • Honestly my self confidence rarely comes down. I always tell myself that I am enough. I am a pretty positive person. As you said a positive attitude can go a long way.

    http://www.writingmotherfashionista.com

  • Dana Brillante-Peller

    My favorite quote is the last one actually: Beauty emerges from the self-confidence you emit and the newfound joy you take in celebrating your unique beauty.

  • So many great quotes! I’ve been trying really hard to graciously accept compliments when they are given… isn’t it funny that that is so hard for us?? Also was intrigued by your idea of ignoring your phone for the first 30 minutes of your day… sounds hard!! Which probably means I should try it. 😛

    • Uhm yes, my phone is literally the first thing I look at every morning… and I instantly regret it because the screen is paralyzing-ly bright 😉

  • I’ve wanted to eat at the table ever since our daughter was born, but my husband wants the tv. Glad it’s working out for you! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frivolity and hope you join us again this week!

    • Thank you, Lisa! And my other half definitely enjoyed his sitting by the tv, and it took a while for him to warm up to the idea – but now that we are eating dinner away from the technical world, it’s wonderful 🙂