It is time for a book review!!! It has been awhile since I have reviewed a book here on my blog. For those of you who don't know, I adore reading! Whenever I have down-time, you can almost always find me with my nose in a book (if I am not blogging or painting my nails, lol).
Mostly, I like to read "fun fiction": lighthearted chick-lit or even young adult/teen books. I also have a love for the occasional deep read or classic literature. Plus, I am constantly reading baby-related and parenting books. However, I feel like I "study" those (I mean...I read them with a highlighter!). :)
When I was approached by the publisher Simon & Schuster to read and review this new book: Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I learned While Living In Paris, I was immediately on board! Especially when I heard that this book was written by a well-respected fashion/beauty/lifestyle blogger, Jennifer Scott from The Daily Connoisseur.
To find out a bit more about this delightful book, please keep reading!
Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris:
I feel like I read this book just at the right time: New Years! While I am not a huge "New Year's Resolutions" person (even though I did make some this year! Check out my New Year's Beauty Resolutions). I do always look forward into the New Year with a bit of self-improvement in mind. So, it always helps to have some inspiration...and that is just what this book provided!!!
Reading Lessons, with its refreshing and lighthearted perspective gained from a student's life in Paris, gave me exactly the motivation that I needed to "freshen" my outlook. From learning that snacking is NOT chic to gearing up to de-clutter my home. This book really was exactly what I needed to read, and the inspiration required to actually *act* on some self-improvement that I have wanted to do for awhile. Thank you Jennifer! :)
The book immediately drew me in as Jennifer described her life living in Paris. My love for this book and Jennifer's views were cemented when I read that Amelie is her favorite film as it is one of my faves too! This books strikes a nice balance between personal narrative and cute anecdotes and lifestyle goals and tips.
Jennifer is not preaching that the French do it better or that we live lives that need to be changed. Jennifer is sharing inspirations for truly bringing more beauty into your daily life through finding your personal style, quality time with friends and family, a decluttered environment, embracing and enhancing your own personal beauty (one of my personal inspirations for blogging!), and improving your mind through exploring the arts. The tips in this book are designed to help you thrive through your daily life!
Fashion and Beauty:
I am completely on-board with all of Jennifer's fashion and beauty tips as I have long-subscribed to the ideas of enhancing your own personal beauty and developing your own sense of style. No matter what your style (classic, boho, trendy), you can look your best by wearing well made clothes that flatter your figure and coloring with great fit. Buy the best and wear it daily. That is what the French do! Don't hide your best clothes in the back of the closet to reserve for a special occasion. Wear your best ever day! This is the same idea with her beauty tips. Figure out what flatters your completion and the topography of your face...and wear it well! Learn how to apply your makeup expertly and quickly. There is no need to look like you are wearing a ton of makeup. If you apply in a way that enhances your beauty, people will just see "You" and not your makeup.
Jennifer's lifestyle and "how to live well" tips really resonated with me. In particular: Her De-cluttering section and tips. I struggle with this! I tend to lean towards "Pack Rat". I hang on to items for way to long and my home and closet is in need of de-cluttering! Not only do I hang on to too many things, but also I live in a small urban home. I do not have the space for needless clutter! De-cluttering is a HUGE task. So, I often put it off. Well, Jennifer's tips for de-cluttering small areas at a time really helped! Now, every single day, I de-clutter a small area of my home. This tip, over time, has made a huge dent in my goal to have a more organized home.
Like I mentioned, reading this book was well-timed. I had a baby just over a year ago. As a life-long "thin" person, I found myself at a loss when it came to weight-loss strategies. I gained 42 lbs while pregnant. While the initial baby weight came off quickly. That last 20 lbs was harder. I ended up going on a diet and losing 12 more lbs. However, I am still trying to lose those last 8 lbs. I now am a stay-at-home Mommy (and a blogger!) and my lifestyle has changed. I have become a snacker. Well, I learned from Jennifer that the French really do not snack! Snacking? So not chic! Looking at snacking (and those extra calories) in that way has really helped me to cut back a bit on my snacking without "dieting". I believe that over-time, this will help me kick those last 8 lbs without feeling like I am depriving myself.
France has a food-embracing culture. They seem to celebrate their food. They enjoy it. They don't eat it on the run or fill themselves with fast-food or diet foods. Re-training our brains to view food in an inspirational and even artistic way can be life changing. This is not about depriving yourself. Enjoy your food! However, remember that snacking is not chic! Also, an active every day lifestyle will burn calories!
Not only are the beauty, diet, and lifestyle tips in this book helpful, but also the characters are intriguing and the setting (Paris) is inspiring! I left this book with vivid mental images of Madame Chic and her family as well as a new love for Paris and the Parisian frame-of-mind! I have always wanted to travel there. Reading this book has confirmed that desire.
Most of all, I have a new "mental phrase" in my head when deciding upon an outfit, or deciding if I want to eat a snack, or when I am trying to clear out my closet: All I have to do is ask myself "Is it Chic?" That is now my simple and single rule for simplifying, decluttering, and beautifying my life from the inside out!
As ya'll can tell, I completely enjoyed reading this book! This is a book that I loved and will likely come back to whenever I feel like I need a little dose of lifestyle inspiration! Not only do I love the book, but it has inspired me in other ways! As a blogger, I have a love of writing and I have always wanted to write a book. Knowing that Jennifer has made this accomplishment, a blogger with a published book, gives me hope that some day I will achieve this goal, too!
Does this sound like something that you would enjoy reading? Here is a link where you can purchase the book! It is available in hard cover (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indie Bound) and digitally for the Kindle and through iTunes.
As always, thanks for reading!