I can't even tell you the last time I picked up a book was... Wait no I can, it was the One Direction autobiography. #NoShame! Anyways, I use to read tooons in middle school. I actually won the award for the most pages read in my grade. I think I read like over 10,000 or some ridiculous number like that. Yeah I was a bit of a book worm. I always had books checked out from the library. In high school I still read but less so. I was far too busy with keeping up with my grades, extracurricular activities and social calender to sit down and read a book. Then when I graduated there was far better things to do than read. Now I still read. I love reading blogs, magazines and Internet articles and the occasional book. Lots of bloggers I follow read and have inspired me to read more this year. Today I'm sharing with you my thoughts on one of the chicest books I've read in a loooong time.
This book may or may not be my new lifestyle Bible. If you haven't read it you need to. Run to your nearest bookstore, computer to go to Amazon or the online library's website to get this book. It will change your life. I picture my life just like Famille Chic, the sophisticated, well decorated home, the well groomed family, the formal dinner affairs, the whole wearing an apron and lipstick while cleaning the house. They are pretty much living the life I want in a few years. Gah, they're perfect, this book is perfect, you need it STAT. Okay enough of me rambling and onto what I learned from Madame Chic.
|Note this is a pretty text heavy post but there's beautifully drawn pictures to make it a little better! :) |
No. 1: Don't deprive yourself of the luxuries of food. Famille Chic had a three course meal every night of the week! A starter followed by the main entree, then dessert and or a cheese platter. They ate decadently but healthily too! It's okay to eat butter and cheese and bread and sweets, but all in moderation.
No. 2: Create an active challenge for yourself every day. This can be up to your interpretation. Maybe it's taking the stairs to work than the elevator, taking an evening walk to watch the sun set, or even doing a light workout in the mornings. Whatever movement it may be just make sure you get up and move!
No. 3: Have a 10 or 25 item wardrobe. How many of us have clothes upon clothes that we don't even wear? *raises her hand* I am guilty of this super badly. Clean out your closet and limit yourself to a 10 item wardrobe if you're feeling ambitious. If not try a 25 item wardrobe. Try it out for a month and see how you fair. Who knows you might surprise yourself.
Madame Chic had a defined style, very classic Frenchwoman. What is your style? Are you ladylike chic like Princess Kate? Or maybe edgy luxe? Define your style and find pieces that fit it. I would label mine as East Coast style with a West Coast flare. I primarily dress on the preppier/classier/conservative side but I do like to dress more edgy and laid back like they do on the West Coast.
No. 5: Le- no makeup. Madame Chic, like other Frenchwomen, wore little to no makeup. They had a flawless complexion that didn't need to be weighed down by heaps of makeup. When they did wear makeup it would be mascara, lipstick, a light foundation and blush. That's it. In this case less is always more. Show off your natural beauty, don't hid it with products! I actually have a post coming inspired by the le- no makeup look!
No. 6: Look presentable always. I follow this rule like it's going out of style. Always look presentable whenever you go out. It's the times that you don't that you run into someone you know like an ex-boyfriend, co-worker, etc. Even if you're going to the grocery store real quick put something on that's not made of sweatpant material and isn't lined with fur |read: sweatpants, hoodie and Uggs|. "Dress like you're going to meet your worst enemy.
No. 7: Traveling in style. Remember the days where people got dressed up to travel? Yeah me either. There are plenty of comfortable and chic fashion options out there. Instead of sweats and a hoodie throw on a pair of leggings and an oversized sweater. Or if you're feeling really daring a dress or skirt. Just because you're on a plane doesn't give you the excuse to look like a hot mess.
This applies to a wide array of areas; dishware, clothing, your home, manners, etc. Even if you're at home that doesn't mean you can't use nice things. Have those crystal dishes or beautiful China from your wedding? Use them! Famille Chic used their best for every meal. Decorate your home with quality furniture and decor. Using nice things will make everything feel more polished and a bit fancier.
No. 9: Live life as a formal affair. We live in an all too "lax" culture where anything goes. Meal times are sporadic, the TV is always on in the background, people are on their phones, the list goes on. "Living formally is about honoring traditions." This goes hand in hand with always use your best things. This doesn't mean a black tie dress code and 5 course dinner but have set meal times, use proper etiquette, dress appropriately.
This can also apply to your home decor, wardrobe, mealtimes, manners, etc.
I love technology, I really do. But I also think many of the arts of conversation and letter writing have been lost. Let's bring this back! Instead of sending a text or email to a friend write them a little note. It will brighten their day when they see that you took the time to write and send something thoughtful. Who doesn't love getting fun mail?
No. 11: Clutter is so not chic. How many of us have clutter? Closets packed top to bottom, drawers stuffed to the brim, papers, magazines, bills, purse, keys, etc., on the kitchen table? I think we're all guilty of this. De-clutter your house; throw out the trash, donate any useable items and organize the rest. Invest in organizational pieces to help manage everyday clutter like your keys, purse, phones, etc.
No. 12: Seek out the Arts. Like letter writing and conversation, going to museums, the ballet, opera and other fine arts have been lost. If you live in a large city take advantage of the cultural activities like the symphony, ballet, theater, opera, art galleries, museums, etc. Join a book club. Put on a play in your living room. Make a night of it and invite your friends! Every city has something to do. Go out and explore it!
No. 13: Cultivate an air of mystery. In today's day and age there is no mystery to a person. Everything about them can be found in a single click on the computer. Whatever happened to meeting an enchanting stranger and knowing nothing about him. What did he do? Was he a spy? A wealthy business man? A prince? Leave some mystery about yourself up to the imagination, both in personality and in fashion.
This also goes for relationships as well. Whenever you first go out with someone you don't flaunt your dirty laundry to them. So why should you when you are together? Your sigificant other doesn't need to know about your shaving/waxing, plucking, tweezing, etc. There are some things that your other should know but knowing that beans gives you gas is not.
I absolutely love the idea of entertaining and dinner parties. I can not wait till I get my own place to host such affairs. It's another lost art. I hope to bring it back! Madame Chic always hosted a variety of social gatherings at her home. She was confident in her planning, cooking, entertaining, music choice, decor and her outfit. Even if something went wrong she wouldn't let anyone know. Confidence is easier said than done but try to remain calm, cool and collected. Your guests want you to succeed and nothing is worse than being at a gathering where the hostess is a hot mess.
No. 15: Make a list and stick with it. I'm definitely guilty of this. I'll run to the store for body wash and come back with a new sweater, lipstick, bath towels, dinnerware, candles and a new necklace but not what I actually went in there for. Target seems to be the prime culprit of this and it happens not just to me but other women. Make a list of what you need/ need to get done and focus on those things only. It may be hard but you'll be much more productive and your wallet will thank you.
No. 16: The daily chores. We all have those things that we do daily that just make us groan at the thought of having to do them again. Their our thorn in our sides. Instead of thinking about them negatively find a positive to them. Maybe folding laundry is just your kryptonite. Start the laundry in the evening. In the morning, before everyone is up fold it and put what you can away. Relish the experience of being by yourself, not having to tend to your kids, husband, pets, etc. Sure you're folding towels and pants but maybe the sun is streaming through the windows and you're sipping on your morning coffee. It's the simple things in life.
No. 17: Value quality above all. Quality items can be said for anything, food, clothing, decor, even time. Purchase things of high quality that will last you. Instead of buying multiple pairs of cheap jeans invest in a nice quality pair that fit you and accentuate your body. Spend quality time with your spouse, children, family and friends. Give all your attention and savor the memories. Don't be on your phone the whole time. Be in the present. Remember, it's quality not quantity.
We are only given one life and our goal should be to live it passionately, richly and so fully that if anyone were to hear about it they would not believe you. "Every detail of life can become exceptional if you allow it to be so. You hold the key.... Allow yourself to be moved on a daily basis. Every day when you step out of bed, you have the choice either to go through the motions and merely exist or to go about with passion, to always be present in your own life, to take something from every situation- whether good or bad." I absolutely love this quote. How true is it. What we make of our day and our life is completely up to us. "You choose happiness."
|All images from Pinterest|
That is what I learned from Madame Chic. This book is chalk full of things that need to be brought back to society. Dressing nice, using manners, hosting dinner parties, enjoying the fine arts. Things that have been lost due to technology and the society we live in. If you're looking for a fun read I highly encourage reading this one!
What have you been reading lately? Leave me a comment sharing what books you've been reading or what books I need to read! I could always expand my library! :)
"reading books is the most glorious pastime human kind has yet devised"
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