(While I received an ARC of this book, I am not being compensated in any way for my review. All opinions are my own, based on the fact that I am simply a big fan of Jennifer L. Scott’s work. I have included an Amazon affiliate link if you do choose to buy her book through Amazon, because, why not? Enjoy!)
I am writing this now while listening to my favorite composer (George Frideric Handel) after making, and eating, one of my favorite breakfasts (scrambled eggs with tomatoes, parsley and cream with a side of sourdough bread). I will confess I am not dressed for the day, but, baby steps (remember?).
If you are familiar with Jennifer L. Scott, her blog, and first book, Lessons From Madame Chic, then you know that my morning routine is inspired by her. While I will admit I have always been drawn to the arts, and enjoying the small pleasures of life, I do not always allow myself such enjoyment. Reading the Madame Chic books has been a wonderful reminder to me to enjoy what I love.
I think there is something about our rushed culture that causes tension between the art of every day living, and surviving. We may feel we are wasting precious time if we sit down with a cup of tea and listen to beautiful music for part of an afternoon. But I know that when I make time to make every moment enjoyable, to be grateful for every moment of life, I am more content.
The lessons in Ms. Scott’s books fit so well with the theme of this blog: we are far too easily pleased. We are far too pleased with the mediocre, when so much more is available to us. It takes discipline, and much practice, but we can overcome mediocrity in all areas of our lives. What do you think?
In her second book, At Home With Madame Chic, which comes out today (Buy it here!), Ms. Scott fine-tunes one very important trait of being chic: perspective. The book is divided into two sections. Part I focuses on getting your home in order (decluttering, adding small touches, etc.) so that you can focus on Part II: enjoying the pleasures of daily life. But unlike a typical how-to-get-your-life-in-order self help book, At Home is interwoven with a specific philosophy. And as I have said before, I love the philosophy!
Here is what I took from this book: Our lives are busy, and we don’t pause as often as we should to enjoy small moments: sharing a meal with a friend, opening our homes, even getting ready for the day. So much of our lives are made up of small chores and responsibilities that are not typically thought of as fun or enjoyable. But they are a daily occurrence, and there is no way of avoiding them. Therefore, if we can learn to derive pleasure from even the smallest, most mundane parts of life, then how much more will we enjoy life? Life in the 21st century feels hectic because I think our natural mentality is that we have to work hard before we can play hard. But what if we learned to enjoy all of our work? There is no need to deprive ourselves.
Jennifer takes you by the hand and shows you how keeping a home always ready for guests is not a daunting task, but a pleasurable one. You don’t have to play mind games with yourself to somehow fake the idea that folding laundry is great fun; but what if you loved a happy home more than you hated laundry? It is your perspective that affects every moment of every day, not whatever events are filling your every day.
So how does one go from simply going through the motions of daily life, to cherishing every minute? Well, I won’t give it all away. But I will say that Scott’s tips are probably ones you knew deep down inside, but have grown in the habit of casting aside in the name of…well, I don’t really know. But I do know that once you read this book, you will be motivated and inspired to begin to capture the je ne sais quoi of the French women who seem to flow through life with ease. In essence, this book will give you practical tips to cultivate a chic attitude that translates seamlessly into daily living.
Will you read this book? If you haven’t guessed by now, I highly recommend it for all women in all stages of life whether single, married, young, old, working in the corporate world, or at home.
P.S. Here are a few lessons I learned from Jennifer Scott’s first book, Lessons From Madame Chic
And don’t forget to check out Jennifer Scott’s blog, The Daily Connoisseur!