12.23.2016

Christmas Chat 2016



Christmas is two days away, and in today’s chatty video, I wrap up many of the loose ends from past videos, and let you know what I’ve been up to during the month of December.

In the video I share with you:

How my Christmas planning went (and what we didn't end up doing!)

Seek out the arts inspiration including my review of the new Amelie musical, what it was like to take my daughters to the Nutcracker ballet for the first time, and Diavolo dance company’s suspenseful modern dance masterpiece, Trajectoire.

A nice gift idea for men (or anyone, for that matter!) My father loved the Nixplay digital photo frame I gave him for his 70th birthday. I’m sorry I didn’t mention this sooner. But it’s worth mentioning now so you can put it on gift lists for the future.

My postnatal hair loss. I've been wanting to do an update on this for a while!

What I'm wearing on Christmas eve

I hope you enjoy this final video of 2016.

It’s been another wonderful year and I thank you so much for coming along with me and being a part of The Daily Connoisseur. To all of you who have left comments, or emailed me through my author website, even though I have not responded to you individually, I have ready every single message and appreciate every one. Thank you!

News

Life with Dee includes The Madame Chic Collection in her holiday gift guide for this year.

Abigail Murrish includes the Madame Chic books among her favorites of 2016

Comment of the Week
Miss L writes:
Thank you for the recipe! I wanted to make a breakfast casserole for my family for Christmas morning and this is just right. :D
I personally (just myself) haven't made anything specific for my family on Christmas morning, but one time a few years ago my grandma did fried ham slices and homemade cinnamon rolls. They were just right and everyone enjoyed them thoroughly! Yum!
Have a very joyful Christmas!!!


Hi Miss L., my grandmother used to make fried ham and cinnamon rolls for Christmas too. What great memories!

Merry Christmas to all and a very happy new year!

I will be taking my annual break from the blog, but I really look forward to seeing you in 2017, and sharing another year of The Daily Connoisseur with you!

In the meantime, please stay in touch with me over social media (links below). See you there!

With love,

Jennifer x

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12.19.2016

Overnight Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole



Today, I'm sharing my overnight slow cooker breakfast casserole with you. I mention this in my Planning for Christmas blogpost. This casserole is very easy to assemble. You put it all together in the evening and let it cook overnight in the slow cooker. When you wake up, the entire house smells so delicious, and you have a hot meal ready to feed a crowd. I like to make this on Christmas eve, Easter eve, or any time I have a house full of guests.






Start by spraying your slow cooker with nonstick oil. Or you can use slow cooker liners, which completely eliminate any cleanup mess. Place the thawed hash brown potatoes at the bottom of the slow cooker. Cook and drain your breakfast sausage and layer it on top of the potatoes. Place the chopped green pepper and cheese on top next. Finally, whisk together all dozen eggs with one cup of milk and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture over everything. Place the lid on your slow cooker, and cook on low for 8 hours. When your casserole is finished cooking, your slow cooker will automatically switch to "warm" mode and keep it warm for a number of hours. I like to serve mine with extra shredded cheese, chopped green onions and hot sauce!


Please watch today's video to see the recipe being made.

Many people have asked which slow cooker I have. I use an All Clad slow cooker that was a wedding gift. Because I received it over ten years ago, my exact variety is no longer available. All Clad does have other slow cookers on the market like this one. If you are on a tight budget, this slow cooker from Hamilton Beach was chosen as Amazon's favorite and is only $14.99. If you try it, let us know how you like it! I would be interested to know.


News
I have been seeking out the arts this month and loving every minute of it! Here I am at the Amelie musical at the Ahmanson Theatre...



I also took my daughters to see the Nutcracker for the first time with Los Angeles Ballet. They loved it! What a memorable experience. Here is the beautiful Royce Hall theatre...



Let me know what art you are supporting in the new year by using the hashtag #seekoutthearts on social media!

Comment of the Week
PLL writes: For the past few years I host a family Christmas brunch. Part of my family live out of town and will be staying with me a couple of nights. To make them feel comfortable and welcome, I will freshen up my guest room in much the same way that you do in your video. And keeping in the spirit of the season, I will add needlepoint Christmas pillows to the bed and in the guest bathroom a scented pine candle and a basket with Christmas hand towels will welcome them.

Dear PLL, Your guest bedroom preparation is so thoughtful. The scents of the season and holiday decorations will surely welcome your guests and make them get into the spirit of Christmas!

Question of the Week
Jennifer,

Thank you for sharing this video. I have purchased all of your books and have enjoyed them all. Thank you for writing them. I'm wondering what inspired you to create a You Tube channel. Did the channel come after or before you published your books.

Zulema


Hi Zulema, Thank you! I started my YouTube channel a few months before I self-published my first book. I was excited to talk about it with readers, so I created my channel. Back then, I never imagined how many readers I would be connecting with! It's been amazing to speak to people all around the world. I love having a YouTube channel and am so glad I started one.

I hope to record a Christmas chat video for you before the end of the week. Please look out for it. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know in the comment section what you make for your family on Christmas morning. Your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog!

See you soon!

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12.12.2016

Getting the Guest Bedroom Ready



My aunt and uncle came to stay the night with us. They are moving out of their house of 37 years and relocating to Southern California! We are so excited to be closer to them. In this week's video, come along with me as I get the guest bedroom ready for them. You'll also get an updated guest bedroom tour. Although we haven't bought anything new, we've changed it all around. I like this arrangement the best.



I hope you will enjoy this week's video. The music in the video is Summer Waltz. Copyright free music from Epidemic Sounds.

News
The Madame Chic Collection makes the perfect gift! Order yours in time for the holidays from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Comments of the Week
TheThe Wool Fairy writes:

I do agree, females are much easier to buy for than males! I have two boys (ages 10 and 11) and here's a good book suggestion for boys on the subject of etiquette. My 11 year old son actually read and enjoyed this book, which speaks volumes: 50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know by John Bridges. He told me he found the handshake chapter and how to accept a compliment most helpful (; It's modern and "readable" for a young boy in the pre-teen/teen years. I love the Madame Chic series and was looking for something similar to pass along to my sons. Maybe someday as your little guy grows up you will come up with a Mr. Chic series for young boys..hint. hint. Happy Holidays Jennifer and thanks for another year of providing your readers with inspiration.

Thank you, Wool Fairy, for your reading recommendation. I would love to write an etiquette book for the young Monsieur Chics of the world one day :)

Rain writes:

I never considered scheduling "the little things" that make the season special, into the calendar. Great ideas!


Hi Rain, I love scheduling the little things! It's freeing up my schedule even more this year and I've even had time to play the piano and read my Victoria and English Home magazines. Both of those activities are rare these days for me!.

Question of the Week
On YouTube, Dianne writes:
I love all these suggestions. I am constantly stumped by my men gifts. What to buy adult men that they really will like. Any ideas?

Hi Dianne, My father had his 70th birthday last week and we got him a digital photo frame. He absolutely loves it! I would have added it in my gift guide but the timing was off. I think it makes a great gift for a man. With the Nixplay app, family and friends can easily send pictures that instantly upload to the frame. Very cool!

This week I would love to know... are you having guests stay with you over the holidays? What do you like to do to get their room ready? Let me know and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog!

If you have a question to submit, I might answer it in a question of the week, or I might include it in an upcoming Q&A video.


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12.08.2016

Holiday Gift Guide 2016



It's time for my annual holiday gift guide. I'm really excited about my choices this year! Let's dive right into it.



Carrot Top Paper Shop
Jenny Williams, founder of Carrot Top Paper Shop, is a talented artist with a brilliant idea. She creates portraits of literary heroines. What a wonderful gift to inspire young girls. With so many dubious role models out there today, gifting a young girl with a portrait or quote from Anne of Green Gables can give her something beautiful to look up to. I adore Jenny's work! She is offering a 25% off discount to all readers of The Daily Connoisseur. Simply use the code, MADAMECHIC at checkout. This code is good through December 20th, 2016. Thank you, Jenny!



Lillian Vernon personalized rolling luggage for kids. My daughters really love to prepare for a trip (gosh, I don't know where they get that from!). They get really detailed about how they pack, so I just know they are going to adore these personalized suitcases with their names on them. The above picture shows various styles from their website.



Chatbooks is a new app that I am loving! You can create photo albums from your smartphone. You can either create a custom album (which would make a great gift, especially for family far away), or create a series from your Facebook or Instagram pictures, or from the "Favorites" on your iPhone. Click this link to get your first book for free.
I recently started the "favorites" series where Chatbooks send me an album every time my phone accumulates 60 favorites. I received all 8 volumes of my favorites yesterday and I love them. I suggest getting the hardbound books, they seem more durable than the soft cover (which I have ordered in the past).


Buns, Braids and Twists by Christina Butcher and The New Braiding Handbook by Abby Smith. These books make fun and interesting presents. It's fun to try the hairstyles on yourself and others.


Personalized stationery makes a thoughtful gift. It doesn't have to be the fancy kind, a simple notepad can be very appreciated. I made mine on Zazzle.



My gift guide could not be complete without mentioning The Madame Chic Collection. It truly makes the perfect gift! If you have loved reading the Madame Chic books and know someone who would love them too, this is an affordable and attractive way to buy all three. Buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

I do hope you check out today's video for more on all of these gift ideas.

News
Ballerina, Kathryn Morgan, features The Madame Chic Collection in her annual holiday gift guide video. Thank you, Kathryn!

If you missed my appearance on Nippon TV's THE MOST USEFUL SCHOOL IN THE WORLD, you can see it here.

Comments of the Week
Isabela writes: Hi Jennifer,
I really liked this planning video. I think scheduling minor activities, like baking or going to the movies, would be helpful during summer breaks too, so I wouldn't lose all my leisure time binge watching on Netflix.
Also, My aunt just bought tickets for the nutcracker for us! I'm so happy that I wanted to share it with you. Many great solo dancers from around the globe will perform, including a principal dancer from the Royal Ballet in London, who, like me, is Brazilian.
I Love your books,
Isabela


Thank you, Isabela! Yes, I find that planning for all holidays and breaks in a similar manner to what I showed in Monday's post makes for a fun and meaningful time. Have a wonderful time at the Nutcracker!

Laura W writes:


Jennifer, seeing this list brought back so many memories of when my boys were little. I especially loved the movie night. We had a Friday night movie night too! Just like when I was little, Sunday night seemed to be the T.V. night with homemade popcorn or black cows and watched the Walt Disney Show and the F.B.I. These shows date me but such happy times.

Hi Laura, movie night means so much to my children. They look forward to it every week! There's something about the routine and anticipation of it. I loved hearing about your movie nights when your boys were younger. Thanks for sharing!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Let me know what your favorite gifts are this year. I would also love to hear a memory of your favorite gift as a child. Remember, your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog!


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12.05.2016

Planning for Christmas 2016



In today's video, I show you how I plan for the Christmas season.

After many years of hectic Christmases, I have found that planning and organizing as much as I can makes for a less stressful season and allows me to accomplish much more.

My process is two-fold. First I make a list of everything I need to do and would like to accomplish, including activities with the children. Then I input it into my calendar, everything from the smallest activities (like making hot cocoa), to the biggest ones (like seeing the Nutcracker ballet).

Scheduling the calendar like this gives us all something to look forward to and provides structure. It also helps me to prioritize family time because spending quality time together can often get pushed down the list amidst all of the business.

I hope that you enjoy this week's video! If you would like to see more planning videos from me in the future, please be sure to let me know.

A few things I mention in the video:

Free holiday printables for children from Activity Village. This is a great resource for fun crafts and activities for your kids this holiday season.

My video and blogpost on how to make your own citrus ornaments. These are inexpensive, natural and so fun to make!

News



Thank you to everyone who tuned in to Nippon TV's The Most Useful School in the World this past Saturday!
If you missed the show, you can watch it here.

The Madame Chic Collection is the perfect gift! Order yours in time for the holidays.



Comment of the Week
Yvanna writes:

Just a big thanks - came across your Ted talk tonight which led to a binge on your YouTube videos - during which my house and closet has been transformed, and my 10 item wardrobe is pretty much figured out. I have a massive pile of clothes to donate tomorrow! Also can't wait to read your book & book recommendations. Thank you, it really is just what I need right now for so many reasons. May God bless and protect you as you continue to inspire people xx

Yvanna, thank you so much for your kind email. I love meeting people who have found me through my TEDx talk. I'm so happy to hear your closet has been transformed! I'm excited for you to go on this journey.

Be sure to check back this Thursday for my annual Daily Connoisseur Gift Guide.



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11.28.2016

Madame Chic Japan Vlog 2016



Hello Daily Connoisseurs,

I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday with your family! I really wanted to do a Thanksgiving post this year, but with my trip to Japan the week prior to Thanksgiving, I was unable to get that done. If you haven't seen my Thanksgiving tablescape blog from last year, you can check it out here.

This week's video shares my recent trip to Japan with you. I traveled with the baby to Tokyo to shoot a television show. Thank you so much to the Japanese readers who have embraced my books so enthusiastically. I am so grateful to you and simply love visiting your country!


Here I am with the director and crew for the on-location shoot.

In this video you will see my makeup artist sessions, my hotel room, what I ate, where I shopped, local culture and sights as well as a few funny episodes involving a complicated washing machine and a Japanese face mask! The most exciting thing about the vlog, however, is that you get to meet my baby boy, who was such a delightful companion on this trip.


My little man. Everyone who met him said he is so "Kawaii"!


We are outside the National Art Center after visiting the Dali exhibit.


Going over my lines in the greenroom before the big shoot!


The Madame Chic books were featured at the front of the airport bookstore!

Regarding the Japanese drugstore items I show in the video, I found some of them on Amazon. If you are interested in them, here are the links:
LuLuLun Japanese moisture face mask

Kate Tokyo brown shade eyes eyeshadow (I have shade BR3, but could not find that on Amazon, so here is the link to BR1, which is quite similar).

Brow Lash Ex eyebrow pencil. (I am not sure if this is the shade I picked up at the drugstore, but it looks similar, and actually better, for my coloring.)

I hope you enjoy this week's video, Japan Vlog 2016.

News
Japanese viewers: The television show I am appearing on is Nippon Television's The Most Useful School in the World, airing Saturday, December 3rd. I do hope you check it out and please let me know how you like it!


Comments of the Week
Anonymous writes:
Bonjour Jennifer,

As for tights, I always put them with my damp hands and with my palm in contact with my tights and not with my legs. It's a bit strange but doing so I avoid ruining them from the very first time.
When buying thin and expensive tights, I often choose the superior size.
And before washing, I put them in a special bag.

Thanks for all your posts.


Hi Anon, those are great tips, thank you! I also wash my stockings in a mesh laundry bag to prevent tears. And many times, my nails, jewelry or heels have caught on the tights causing a snag. I like how you deal with those issues.


Kathleen writes:
Hi Miss Jennifer!

One of the things in which I delight about my own ten item wardrobe is ease of packing! When I was young, my mother always told me, "Packing is simple as long as your clothes are clean." and yet I found myself frequently dithering over what I might like to wear followed by later regret that I had not chosen something else. I've amended her advice to, "Packing is simple provided your clothes have been chosen with care and they are currently clean." The last 5 week long trips I have taken I've simply moved my ten items from my closet, to the smaller of my two suitcases (including the hangers), added underpinnings, a bathing suit, my travel toiletries, and called it an enjoyable 15 minutes. I've found that I am always overpacked but never feel as if I'm lacking in any area.

On the subject of pantyhose, when I was in college my sister and I used to tell each other, "Never wear a skirt without hose!" And we would thoroughly enjoy how fantastic our legs looked. As I've gained responsibility and a desire to skip that step while getting dressed we have modified the statement to, "Your legs will look better in hose." Less totalitarian and more motivational!

My favorite brand of hose is, Leggs: Sheer Energy; Medium Support, Control Top. They are about 4.50 a pair and I can wear one pair of them between 7 and 14 times (sometimes more!) Before they tear or run.

Thank you for the video!

~Kathleen


Hi Kathleen, thank you for your great comment! I also love the ease of packing with the ten-item wardrobe. In fact, I recommend that people who have a hard time doing a ten-item wardrobe, pack one for a long vacation. They will see the benefits on their trip, like the ease of dressing and the ability to look presentable and stylish. Thank you, also, for sharing your pantyhose recommendation. I have found that Amazon sell the Leggs control top tights you recommend in a 4-pack for just over $16, which is definitely more affordable than most pantyhose I have seen on the market.

I hope you enjoy this week's video! Please let me know what your favorite parts of the vlog were. What do you love about Japan? Let me know in the comment section below, and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.

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11.21.2016

Packing for Japan + Ten-Item Wardrobe Updates



Hello Daily Connoisseurs,

Happy Thanksgiving week to you! I have safely returned from Japan. Thank you for all of your social media messages to me. What a trip! The baby and I had a great time. Today's video shows my packing process before my trip.

I was very happy with how I packed for Japan. With the exception of a black tee shirt, I used everything I brought. My only mistake was packing too many diapers!

On this trip I packed:

4 dresses
1 black trouser (Loft fluid ankle pant)
3 tees (including the lace tee)
2 pairs of pajamas
1 green coat
2 heels (for filming)
2 flats (for days off and travel)
3 pairs of pantyhose
1 pair black tights
undergarments
Baby gear & clothes
toiletries
travel steamer

Packing for this trip was tricky, because not only was I working, which required a specific wardrobe in and of itself, but I also had to fit all of the baby's items in the same suitcase. I made it work however, and am pleased with how it went!

In this week's video, I also share my ten-item wardrobe updates with you. I finally caved and purchased three nursing dresses to replace the dresses in my ten-item wardrobe that I was unable to nurse in. I am so glad I did this. And with traveling and working with a baby, proper nursing clothes were a life-saver!

The new additions to the wardrobe are the black collar dress, long sleeve black dress and navy and red wrap dress, all from Seraphine. These three dresses will literally replace the long sleeve blue Boden dress, sleeveless Loft dress and black ballet dress that I am unable to nurse in, still keeping me in at under ten items.

These are the hosiery items I mention in the video, for those who are interested. They performed really well, with no runs and also withstood the washing machine!

Commando Control Top Pantyhose and Spanx black luxe leg tights

I also brought my mini travel steamer with me, which was handy for smoothing my clothes out for the television shoot.

Comments of the Week

From last week's What's In My Fridge? video...
TaylorCait writes:

Thanks for sharing! We are on an extremely tight grocery budget for the three of us (myself, my husband, and our six year old son), but Costco allows us to eat well and include lots of organics! I shop there once a month, at the beginning of the month, and then every week I stop by an Aldi - some weeks I'm even able to skip that stop. We first eat the produce that goes bad the quickest, and things like apples will last a couple of weeks before going bad. We live 45 minutes away from the nearest decent grocery store so I make my trips into town count!


Hi TaylorCait, Thank you for sharing your shopping routine with us. I agree that a mixture of Costo, plus smaller markets, works really well for families with small children. It's great that you are so organized about your trips into town!


Angi Campbell writes:

At this point in our lives, we definitely love Costco as well! I have access to some great markets and a huge garden, so I go to the grocery store every other week, and just do produce from the garden, freezer, or market in between. However, I have definitely struggled mentally with the whole bulk food concept, so it's very nice to hear your thoughts and opinion!

Hi Angi, there is a season for everything! It's nice to connect with other readers over how we shop for our families. Thank you for sharing with us.

I hope you enjoy this week's video and that all of our American readers have a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday with their families. I am really looking forward to relaxing and eating a big feast after my trip!

See you next week for the Japan vlog!

With love,

Jennifer x


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11.14.2016

What's In My Fridge? Costco 2016 + Meal Plan



Hello Daily Connoisseurs,

I'm off to Japan right now with the baby, so please pray for our safe arrival! Today's post will be short, but I do have a great video for you that shares what is in our fridge and a quick meal plan.

I shot this video back in September, but am just now able to post it. It shows how my grocery shopping has evolved with our growing family.

In the video, you'll see our fridge after a trip to Costco. Shopping at Costco saves us money and enables me to only go shopping once every few weeks, yet still provides fresh food for our family. In between shopping trips, I supplement with fruit and vegetables from our local grocery store. With a new baby in the house, this is the best way for us to grocery shop right now.

I hope you enjoy this week's video!


Comment of the Week

Carrie W. writes:
Great post! I am always looking for ways to incorporate more movement (I avoid the word "exercise") into my life. I've learned a lot by reading Katy Bowman's books and blog on this topic. She's a biomechanist who talks a lot about natural movement and how it's missing from our sedentary lifestyle.

Recently I began biking to the WalMart down the street. I love it! I get a few groceries at a time and get to hang out with my teenage son. It energizes me, and I wear my same stylish clothes. And since it's fall, I don't get sweaty. I don't even own "exercise" clothes because I find them ugly and immodest. I hate the "mom uniform" I see around me - sweatpants or yoga pants that are stretched out and thinning in the wrong places, ponytail, sports bras - so not chic!


Hi Carrie, Thank you for the recommendation for Katy Bowman's books. I see she has a new one coming out called, Movement Matters, which is exactly what I discussed on my video on exercise. I think it's great that you ride bikes with your son. You can't go wrong mixing quality time with exercise!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I would love to know... what's in your fridge? How do you meal plan? Do you shop in bulk for your family? What do you love to buy from Costco? Let me know in the comment section below, and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.

See you in Japan!



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11.11.2016

French Weight Loss Secrets Part 3- Exercise is a Part of Life (Not a Chore)



Our French Weight Loss Secrets mini-series concludes this week as we discuss chapter 3 of Lessons from Madame Chic, Exercise is a Part of Life, Not a Chore.

When I lived in Paris I exercised every day, not by going to a gym or doing a workout regime, but by living a vibrant, active life.

Here are four thoughts to consider:

Aim to live a more active life every single day. What can you do to incorporate exercise into your life?

Commit to walking every day. Walk the dog. Go on a walk with your family or friends.

Don't let life's conveniences keep you stagnant. Madame Bohemienne didn't have an elevator in her building and she lived several floors up. Challenge yourself to do things the old-fashioned way as much as you can.

You can still look presentable always while being active. Exercise clothes are not necessary. Remember that wearing activewear all day long is a recent thing.

I hope you'll check out today's video to see the conclusion of the series.

News



I will be traveling to Japan next week with the baby to shoot a television show in Tokyo. I am so excited to visit Japan again! I will definitely vlog my trip as I did last time.

Comment of the Week

Amanda writes:

Bonjour, Jennifer! I have enjoyed reading your blog and your diet tips are wonderful reminders even for us who live in France. I live on the Swiss border and I believe we have the best cheese and chocolate in the world. It's true that no one here deprives themselves and there is no guilt about indulgence. As regards snacking, I meet up with friends several times a week for coffee/tea and no one ever has food with it. When I'm in America it seems like people often have food socially. Here you will not be offered food between meals even if you're at someone's house for hours. Funny, right? Maybe it's a reflection of the people? Americans are friendly and casual with everything food included. French are formal and respectful food included. I love living in France but occasionally our family has an American evening and eats popcorn on the couch while watching a movie. It's ok as long as you're aware of your actions, respect your food and respect yourself. :)

Hello Amanda, I loved hearing about your experience living on the Swiss border. You are so fortunate to live in the land of high quality cheese and chocolate! :) Thank you for sharing your insight with us.


Did you enjoy this series? What are your thoughts? Are there more questions you have? Let me know, and I may address them in a future video.

See you on Monday for a What's In My Fridge? video. Then we are off on our journey to Tokyo!




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11.09.2016

French Weight Loss Secrets Part 2- No Deprivation!



Our mini-series on French weight loss secrets continues today, with my second lesson from Madame Chic: deprive yourself not.

It was a strange paradox: when I lived in Paris we ate such decadent food all the time, yet no one I knew was overweight. How was that possible?

Here are just some of my observations.

I observed that the French:

Did not deprive themselves of decadent food.

Had a healthy attitude toward the food they were eating.

Were eating meals in a very civilized and conscience way.

And the portion sizes are not too large.


I hope you check out today's video to learn more about how not depriving yourself of the food you love can help aide in your weight loss or in maintaining a healthy weight!

Comments of the Week
Emma B writes: What a wonderful video. I had a real lightbulb moment when I first read 'Lessons from Madame Chic'. Reading your book really helped me take control of my eating and in particular, my snacking and 3 years on it's still helping me maintain a healthy approach to food, so thank you.

Hi Emma, I'm so happy that Lessons from Madame Chic encouraged you to take a healthy approach to eating. Wonderful!


Jude T writes: I can't remember where I read it but the French 'pay attention' to the food they eat which is what you are also alluding to, if you eat something, to be aware of it.

Hi Jude, I love that. We are being rude to our food if we don’t pay attention to it!

Today, I would love to know... what are your experiences with food and deprivation? Do you have a healthy attitude toward eating? Are there any changes you'd like to make? Let me know and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week!

See on you Friday for the last post in this mini-series. We will be discussing exercise...



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11.07.2016

French Weight Loss Secrets Part 1- No (Mindless) Snacking



I recently received a request from a reader who wanted me to discuss French weight loss secrets. This week will be dedicated to the subject, with a post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday!

My discussions will be based on Part 1 of Lessons from Madame Chic, which focuses on diet and exercise. I have discussed these concepts before, but felt they need to be revisited, not only on the blog, but personally for myself as I am in the process of losing weight after having my third child.

Today's topic is no (mindless) snacking, or snacking is so not chic!

As a lifelong chronic snacker, I found it very shocking to live in a household that did not snack. This was the case when I moved to Paris to live with Madame Chic and her family.

They did not snack.

Ever.

I know.

Now, I have no idea if all French people are like this. I'm sure the answer is, non. But as I always say when I write about my stay with Famille Chic, I am just sharing my singular experience with a particular French family, and how it changed my life. And Famille Chic did not snack.

For many of us, however, not snacking is not an option. We get hungry. The day is long. Some of us have a medical condition that requires us to eat several times throughout the day. I do have a snack each day, however, I aim to avoid mindless snacking.

What are some examples of mindless snacking? Eating out of a bag of potato chips while leaning over the kitchen sink. Having a carton of ice cream while watching television. Snacking on old Halloween candy the entire time you cook dinner (I have to admit, I did this last week!!).

In this week's video, I urge you to get intentional about what you eat. If you are going to have a snack, prepare it nicely, as you would a meal. Avoid eating out of bags or cartons. Avoid doing other things while you eat. This will allow you to be more conscious when you are eating, and you are less likely to overdo it.

There is much more discussed in this week's video. I do hope you'll check it out!

News



The Madame Chic Collection is now available! It makes the perfect gift for this upcoming holiday season. Above, you can see Simon & Schuster's Instagram post on the collection.


Comment of the Week
Amirah R. writes:

Hello Jennifer, thank you for your teachings. I bought your book Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. I'm almost done reading it. As I've grown and matured in life I have had a strong desire to be more classy and lady like, I didn't even know where to begin so when I ran across your book at the book store I had to purchase it and it is so enlightening. Now this evening I found you on YT after watching a video on dining etiquette. I had to subscribe. A lady even stopped me in the hall at work and to me that I presented myself in a classy manner when I'm walking in the halls and from the way I hold my head up and smile when I'm walking. I was so encouraged...what I have read in your book is actually taking form in my day to day, little by little. Thanks a million ♡

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Amirah! The changes that come with cultivating poise can make everyday life so exciting. I'm very happy for you!

This week I would love to know... do you struggle with snacking? Are you happy with your weight? Do you have a weight loss goal? What's your story? Let us know, and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.


*** As you might have noticed, I am rarely able to respond to each individual comment. This also includes the emails I receive through my author website. I want to reassure you that I read every comment and email, and that I truly do appreciate every one. In this season of my life, baby snuggles are taking priority over everything! Thank you in advance for your understanding.

See you on Wednesday for part two of the series!




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11.03.2016

October Favorites



In this October edition of Daily Connoisseur favorites, I share what I'm watching, what I'm reading, a favorite moisturizer and makeup item. I also give you an update on postnatal hair loss.

I hope you can join me for this fun, chatty favorites video.

Mentioned in the video:



Becca Ombre Rouge palette You saw an in-depth review of this in last week's video, but it resurfaces again here as one of my favorites. I'm having a lot of fun playing with these natural shades, perfect for le no makeup look.



Origins GinZing moisturizer I have been using this moisturizer for over two months, and I love its light, refreshing quality. Its secret ingredient is coffee! Origins boasts that it boosts tired skin (which I definitely need right now!). My favorite thing about this moisturizer is its delightful citrus scent.



Nashville Flipped is a home and garden show that follows house flipper, Troy Dean Shafer, as he restores historic homes. I love his lead designer, Julie Couch's, design aesthetic. You can gain so much interior design inspiration this program. Such a fun show!



The Light Between Oceans
I know I might be the last here to read this book, as it is an international bestseller, but I must mention it here because it is such a well-written page turner. Ever since I finished Amy Snow , I've been having a hard time finding another book to read. The Light Between Oceans has drawn me in. Here is the description from Amazon:

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby.

Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.




Contigo Purity Petal Water Bottle Available at Target, this beautiful glass water bottle is perfect to keep in the car or take on the go. I love that it has no plastic parts and it's beautiful to look at! This would make a great gift too. For more on Contigo, visit gocontigo.com

News


The Madame Chic Collection
box set is now available! This set is so beautifully packaged, it makes a perfect gift. Just in time for the holidays!

Cedar and Bloom shares her cold weather ten-item wardrobe in her recent blogpost.

Letter of the Week
Dear Jennifer,
I have really enjoyed your books and videos. Your advice and call for a return to deportment are quite timely in this day and age. I live in Seattle which is a very casual area, to excess even.
One day when heading in to work, a woman rushed past me with her purse, jacket, flip flops, and ScubyDo pajamas. No, these were not scrubs. I work in the medical field and some staff wear theme scrubs for the patients.
That was the moment for me when I knew it was time to go counter culture and ensure that I dressed decently daily.
The idea that looking presentable and behaving politely as counter culture is also rather shocking. The question of how in just one generation did we go from an aspiration to be our personal best to being our personal worst is really interesting.
I am happy to say my employer has instituted a dress code. I love our dress code because it is very helpful in guiding my wardrobe purchases. Getting dressed for work also helps me transition mentally from home to work, and this hidden benefit may be one of the reasons our grandparents generation was so successful; the effort of getting dressed daily set the tone for their entire day and reinforced the work ethic.
Best of luck to you and thank you again for sharing your experience and skills with society.
Sigrid


Dear Sigrid, I loved receiving your letter. It's funny that the casual nature of your city has made you dress in the opposite direction. Counter culture, indeed!




This week, I would love to know... what are your favorites? What are you reading and watching? What products are you loving right now? Let us know in the comment section below, and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week.

Lastly, thank you to all of you for your wonderful support regarding the release of The Madame Chic Collection.

See you on next week for a fun mini-series on French Weight Loss Secrets!





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FTC: This is not a sponsored post. Opinions are always my own. The Contigo water bottle was sent to me to review. This post may contain affiliate links.



11.01.2016

The Madame Chic Collection Box Set (Now Available)



The wait is finally over. The Madame Chic Collection box set is now available from Simon & Schuster.



The box is designed with this beautiful image inspired by Audrey Hepburn, from the wonderful Virginia Johnson. The box set contains all three Madame Chic books, Lessons from Madame Chic, At Home With Madame Chic and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. If you've always wanted to read the Madame Chic books, but haven't yet, this set is a perfect opportunity to get all three.

With the holiday season coming up, this box set also makes a perfect gift.

The Madame Chic collection is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound & Books-a-Million.



“For women who yearn to channel Audrey Tautou…but don’t have a year to spend apprenticing with one in Paris” (The New York Times), Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic books—Lessons from Madame Chic, At Home with Madame Chic, and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic—now collected in one beautiful package.

As an American student living abroad, Jennifer L. Scott found a Parisian mentor in her host mother, Madame Chic, who instructed her in the fine art of living. Now, Jennifer shares her lessons in her Madame Chic series: Lessons from Madame Chic, At Home with Madame Chic, and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. Based on what she learned from Madame Chic, Jennifer explains how to cultivate old-fashioned sophistication while living an active, modern life, teaching us to take pleasure in everyday routines, to dress presentably, perform household tasks with cheer, and how to conduct oneself both in public and in private.

The Madame Chic series encourages and inspires you to live simply and passionately, no matter your age, background, or location. Like Madame Chic, everyone deserves a little Parisian je ne sais quoi.


I hope you'll check out today's video to see this beautiful set.

Thank you so much to all of you who have championed the Madame Chic books. I am so grateful for your support!


See you on Thursday for an October Favorites blog post...



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10.24.2016

BECCA Ombre Rouge Palette Review + Fall Makeup



I've had many fall makeup requests over the past few weeks, so today I'm showing you the eye shadow palette I have been using for the fall season, the BECCA Ombre Rouge eyeshadow palette.

I have been wearing the same eyeshadow combinations for a while now, and felt like trying something new, so I picked up this palette. I wasn't sure I would like it because of the tinges of red (hence the 'rouge') in the shades, but I was pleasantly surprised! These are very natural looking shades that would be universally flattering. I like them because they bring out my eye color and are still quite subtle.



In this week's video, I apply the eyeshadow and show you swatches. I also give a quick tutorial on how to apply eyeshadow on a hooded eye. Whether you have this palette, or not, I hope I provide inspiration to use whatever fall makeup you do have to change your le no makeup look with the season.


Also featured in the video are the usual suspects, YSL Faux Cils burgundy mascara, Urban Decay primer potion, Laura Mercier Eye Art Artist's Palette and CHANEL Rouge Coco lipstick in Mademoiselle. On my nails is OPI Barefoot in Barcelona.

I hope you enjoy this week's video!

News
The Slovak translation of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic is now available from Ikar.



The Madame Chic Collection box set comes out next week! Pre-order now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Comment of the Week
From last week's Facebook Etiquette discussion,
On YouTube, Kristen C. writes:

This is a great video. My general rule of thumb is: if you wouldn't want to see it on a billboard while driving down the freeway, don't post it online. This may sound a bit extreme, but you never know what can happen after you've shared something. No matter how good you think your privacy settings are, the things you post can be discovered, even after you've deleted them. Another thing to think about (that most people don't consider) is how your social media accounts could be used against you in a lawsuit. I am a paralegal, and I have seen so many cases where Facebook pages, and even text messages, are used to great advantage (or disadvantage, depending on your perspective). As we were told in paralegal school, always behave as though the judge were looking over your shoulder. In other words, be courteous and gracious, particularly in times of disagreement. If someone has wronged you, give that person every chance to make things right.


Hi Kristen, Your advice really reinforces that what we post on Facebook is important. Thank you for sharing your experience as a paralegal with us!

This week, I would love to know... what is your favorite fall makeup right now? Do you have hooded eyelids like me? What are your tricks for applying makeup?



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FTC: This is not a sponsored post. Opinions are always my own. This post may contain affiliate links.

10.17.2016

Facebook Etiquette



In today's etiquette chat video, we are discussing Facebook etiquette. Social media is the new frontier as far as etiquette is concerned. How are we to know what to do, and what not to do, on our various social platforms? Facebook is arguably the most popular social media platform and, let's be honest, we all have Facebook horror stories: postings, behaviors and pictures that we have seen from friends and/ or family members that have created etiquette conundrums.

In today's video I highlight many major etiquette do's and don'ts for Facebook. Of course we don't cover all topics. (I didn't even get into politics!) But this can turn into a small series, if there is more you'd like me to address.

Avoid oversharing

Please reference Lessons from Madame Chic's chapter on cultivating an air of mystery for this one. We all know people who overshare on Facebook. Maybe we do it ourselves! We let everyone know what we are doing at all times: what we are eating, where we are going, what we are thinking. The right amount of sharing on Facebook will be different for everyone, but it's a good idea to question whether you share too much or not.

Consider your professional life

Facebook is mainly a place to express yourself to friends and family, but always consider your professional life before you post. You do not want to vent about work on Facebook because it could get back to your boss! In the same vein, you shouldn't post compromising pictures that could put off a potential employer. Always think about your professional presence as well as your personal presence when posting on Facebook.

Don't steal someone's thunder

If you attend a wedding (or another special event) always check with the bride and groom before posting pictures to Facebook. They most likely will want to be in control of what pictures are released and when. Never steal someone else's thunder on Facebook.

Photo tagging

We have all been tagged in a picture that is less than flattering and it can be downright annoying! If you have any doubts, always ask before tagging a friend in a picture. You may look hot, but they may not. :)

Facebook and children (consider your child's feelings)

This is the biggest one for me. We must always consider our child's best interests before posting pictures of them on Facebook. In most cases, they are too young to understand the implications of an online presence. If we do post pictures of our children, we must make sure that they are not embarrassing (the children are fully clothed, etc.). The rule of thumb is, if you wouldn't want a picture of yourself doing a certain thing (i.e. sitting on the potty), don't post a picture of your child doing that thing.

Check out this week's video for much more expansion on all of these topics.


News




The Madame Chic Collection is on sale November 1st! There are limited quantities of this special edition set. Be sure to preorder yours today on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It makes a perfect present!

Letter of the Week
Dear Jennifer:

I would like to keep this message short even though I would like to say so many things!

When one of my favorite bloggers (Kathryn Morgan) first recommended you, I just knew I had to read your books and watch your YouTube channel. But I truly believed it would be solemnly about how to be chic, poised, and elegant. I never imagined it would change my life!
For the longest time I thought I was being pretentious (lol) for trying to be a certain way most people today are not. However, I would try. But not like I needed to and wanted to. Until I read your books! And like I mentioned before, it wasn't only that, but you taught me so much more! You opened my eyes to enjoying life immensely in a very simple form.

For that and so much more I want to say, I thank you so, SO very much!!! You have no idea the impact you're having (even if it's just one person, right? Which of course it isn't...)!

I very much look forward to hearing and seeing more from you in the future!

Sincerely,

Tanya S.


Dear Tanya, Thank you for your encouraging letter and welcome to The Daily Connoisseur! I appreciate your support so much. I'm very happy to hear that you were so inspired by the Madame Chic books, as well. Please give my best to Kathryn! Best wishes, Jennifer



There is so much to discuss regarding today's video. I would love to hear from you this week! What are your Facebook horror stories? What topics do you think should be added to the list? Did you read anything here that struck a nerve? Let's get the conversation going. Leave me a comment below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog. Talk to me on social media using the hashtags #MADAMECHIC #FacebookEtiquette

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10.14.2016

Overnight Oats 3 Ways



Our week of recipes concludes on The Daily Connoisseur, with one of my favorite new breakfasts: overnight oats. Overnight oats consists of oatmeal, paired with a variety of mixings and toppings. It sits in your refrigerator overnight. Come morning, you have a delicious breakfast!

Overnight oats are to be eaten cold, you do not need to warm them up. They taste like a decadent pudding. I made the sour cherry kind for my mother this week and she loved them! I hope you enjoy them too.



I find that having a consistent base for overnight oats is helpful when coming up with new combinations.

Overnight Oats (base recipe)
serves 1

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 Tbs chia seeds (I use Nutiva Organic Chia Seed)
1/4 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt (optional)
Sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc.)

Mix all ingredients in a mason jar, bowl or drinking glass. Sweeten, if desired.


Now that you have this base recipe, you can add any toppings you like.

In today's video, I share three flavor ideas with you: chocolate almond, sour cherry and blueberries & cream. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar, or visit my YouTube channel.

Chocolate Almond Overnight Oats
Start with the base recipe (I sweeten this one with a tsp of honey). To that, add 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Rapunzel Pure Organic Cocoa Powder) and 1 heaping spoonful of almond butter. Top with chocolate chips and chopped almond, if desired.


Sour Cherry Overnight Oats

Start with the base recipe (I sweeten this one with Truvia or Sweet Leaf). Top with whole cherries (I use frozen ones). Garnish with a small dollop of sour cream (Crème fraîche works well here too, if you can find it!).


Blueberries & Cream Overnight Oats
Start with your base recipe (I sweeten this one with 1 tsp maple syrup). Add a small handful of blueberries. Add a touch of whole cream, if desired. Enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed this week of cooking, and feel inspired to try some new recipes! Let me know how your overnight oats turn out in the comment section below, or by using the hashtag #MADAMECHIC


Talbots

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10.12.2016

Shepherd's Pie Freezer Meals (Makes 3)



Our week of cooking continues on The Daily Connoisseur, with today's Shepherd's Pie recipe. Shepherd's pie (or to be technical, cottage pie, since this recipe uses ground beef) is great for feeding a large crowd of people. This recipe makes three extra large pies. I love to have these on hand in the freezer to bring out when unexpected guests arrive. Shepherd's pie is lovely served piping hot with a side salad and dinner rolls. It's a hearty dish that is welcome comfort food during the fall and winter seasons!

This meal is adapted from my Great British Cooking cookbook.

Shepherd's Pie (Cottage Pie)

(Makes 3 large pies or 6 small pies)

extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 lbs ground beef
4 6oz cans tomato paste
3 Tbs bouillon (chicken, beef or vegetable)
3 Tbs flour
3 cups broth
1 cup water
4-6 cups frozen mixed vegetables
6 cups mashed potatoes

Cook the chopped onion with a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat in a large pot until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Place the ground beef into pot and cook until brown. Drain the fat from the cooked meat and return the meat to the pan. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the bouillon and flour and stir until incorporated. (You may omit the flour if you prefer... it just thickens up the mixture more.) Add 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, but do not allow the mixture to get too dry.

Divide the meat mixture in the bottom of three disposable aluminum foil baking pans (or 6 small pans for smaller portions). On top of that, place a layer of mixed frozen vegetables (or you could use frozen corn, or any combination of chopped fresh vegetable). Finally spread a layer of mashed potato on top. I like to make my mashed potato the day before so there is not too much work to do the day of assembly.



To freeze: Cover your pans with aluminum foil and label them with the date and cooking instructions.

To bake: Thaw in the refrigerator the night before. Then bake at 350°F for one hour, or until the pie is fully heated through.

To bake from frozen: Place frozen pie in the oven at 350°F for 1 hour 30 minutes. Add additional time, if needed, to cook thoroughly.

You may sprinkle parmesan cheese on top if you wish. It's nice to place the pie under the broiler for one minute before serving, to make it golden brown.


Check out today's video in order to see the recipe being made. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar, or visit my YouTube channel.

Comment of the week
Lucia writes:

I am having some friends over to do "Investment Cooking" i.e.: making things for the freezer. I think we've found out menu! As always, thanks for sharing. I just love your posts.

Lucia


Hi Lucia, what a wonderful idea! Getting together with your friends to do an afternoon of cooking would make the process so much more fun. Enjoy!


I hope you enjoy today's recipe. Come back on Friday for my overnight oats recipe. See you then!


Market Leading Prices on Essential Oils and Natural Ingredients.

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