At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life — the title really does say it all. In her latest book, Jennifer L. Scott exemplifies how to revel in the art of everyday living. She’s not writing about grand dinner parties, telling you to do a $20,000 renovation of your kitchen, or pushing you to buy anything. Rather, she advocates mindfulness, appreciation, and grace whist straightening clutter, emptying the dishwasher, and gathering your loved ones for a meal. Her message is one I can get behind wholeheartedly: make your home life a priority.
Scott argues that how you do the things we think of as mundane can set the tone for how you do everything. I must say that my experience leads me to agree — I have the best days when I know things are in their place, I look presentable, I have a nutritious lunch packed and ready to go, and I’ve thought about what we’re having for dinner and know we have the ingredients in the house. I then feel centered and free to wholeheartedly engage in the work of my day, whatever it may entail. Scott outlines how you can accomplish this not by spending all your time slaving in the house, but by setting a few simple routines, having a minimal, put together wardrobe, and a good attitude. Her book is full of inspiration, tips, and tricks. There are recipes for everything from cake, a 10 item wardrobe, to homemade vinegar cleaner.
I’m a Feminist-with-a-capital-F and consider myself more concerned with what’s going on inside of people than outside, but this is very much a subject I am passionate about. I feel that we’ve lost so much as a culture by working too many hours, not breaking bread with those we care about, and treating one’s home — HOME — with all of the loaded connotations that holds — as sacred, as a sanctuary, rather than a pit stop or dumping ground. I am so happy to read a book by someone who feels the same way, and who is exploring this topic with insight and flair.
I also really like the design of this book. It’s just a little bigger than your hand, and is organized so that after you read it, you can easily flip to a section that you need at the moment. For example, I re-read the chapter on throwing a tea today because we’d like to have a tea for our student worker who is graduating in December. Scott offers such delightful ideas for making a gathering that is special and do-able. I look forward to returning to little snippets in this book again and again — just the bit I read today had me feeling calm and smiling! Thank you Jennifer Scott! I am so happy to consider you a bird of a feather :)