At Home with Madame Chic Book Review

I am so excited to share my review for At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott. This is actually the first book I read when I was beginning to become enamored with minimalism. After watching her TedX I fell completely in love with the 10 item wardrobe and knew I need to know more. I believe I decided to finally get the book after I had devoured all of her YouTube content; which you can find here. She has literally thought of everything when it comes to how to live in and love your home. And I mean everything! From sample menu’s according to various events (such as brunches and everyday meals) to having a playlist for just about every mood and every part of your day! She also includes tons of amazingly useful tips to help move forward as you go. This is DEFINITELY a heavily book marked and dog eared book in my home; which makes me so grateful I decided to buy this book. Usually I like to go through a process of attempting to first borrow the book from the library. And THEN if I love it I will buy the book (used if I can from Betterworld books). And this one is definitely a keeper.

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Okay, so I want to first say that this book was hard to get through because there were so many times I wanted to just get up and practice what I just read! Often times while reading this would I would stop reading to, say, rearrange the bathroom or clean my kitchen while practicing doing it with joy and with good music! I would highly recommend reading this book in this way. I think that is the best way to do anything for that matter- while you are motivated to do it! Because of that this book took me longer than anticipated to read and brought me to the very end of February to write a review.

Being chic has nothing to do with money. Not all chic people are rich, and not all rich people are chic.
— Jennifer L. Scott

And speaking of which, reading this book was partially why I decided to hang my very first piece of artwork in my bathroom. I got to page 53 and decided that making my bathroom a nice and functional place for both my children and my guests was really the only way to go. And since this room was so small I thought it was a great place to start to help motivate me to approach my home much in the same way; which is a place to richly love and enjoy on a daily basis. I didn’t take a before picture in the bathroom but there were two curtains on the shower rod, because I couldn’t decide which one to take down and which one to keep, there was no art on the ways or mat on the floor, and the towels and kids items in the closet were looking a bit disheveled and disorganized. Here a little bit of the after.

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“The more you love your home the more you will want to take care of it. Then magical changes can occur.”
— Jennifer L. Scott

But I am getting a bit ahead of myself because there is, overall, a certain flow to this book. The beginning certainly cannot be overlooked because it really does set the tone for the entire book! It starts from a place of gratitude. And when we realize just how much we have, and how much we have to be thankful for, it definitely changes our perspective, and eventually our actions! And while it’s okay to seek change and want something more or different being grateful for what we have helps us to love what we have. And what I want to pour into my home is feelings of love and gratefulness; instead of ungratefulness and bitterness.

“If you have fallen out of love with your space, it is time to start appreciating it again. Try to look at it from someone else’s perspective. While you might not appreciate your current situation, there are plenty of people less fortunate than you who would. It’s time to think about all of the things that make you grateful for where you live. It’s time to change you mindset.”
— Jennifer L. Scott
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This can be accomplished by delighting in everyday routine. Even sorting the mail! I love that. But I have to ask- did that make you cringe a bit? I think I did too at first because doing mundane things around the house can get me into a cranky mood. But these things will always remain the same and will never change. What will actually change is my attitude towards them.

But below are some big takeaways from reading this wonderful book.

1.     Constant rushing is the enemy of enjoyment (another post on this soon!). I cannot tell you how many times I have ruined a morning due to rushing. At first it starts out as anxiousness. And then frustration. And then overwhelm. All of this can truly be avoided if we planned ahead and maybe got up a bit early or planned ahead the night before. I can’t stand yelling at my kids, rushing them, putting my frustration and anxiety on them which results in meltdowns before we even get out the door. My goal is to change this process for a more calm and peaceful morning in which I can enjoy my children and enjoy myself as well! And maybe my kids will remember a calm and loving mother instead of an anxious and aggravated one!

2.     The goal of simplifying your life is to bring more peace and calm in it. As mentioned above doing things such as planning ahead the night before or getting up a bit early in the morning to accomplish everything needs to be accomplished is a great way to bring more peace and calm into the morning. That is my personal goal. And while there will be times to rush, it really is unavoidable at times, I’m not filling the majority of my time feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Instead, I am filling my time with goals of peace and calm (the journey) and not just get us from point A to point B (the destination. ‘

3.     A little preparation goes a long way. It seems like the common theme here in the theme of planning ahead in some way. Something I have done in the past is prep my week on Sunday nights. When I don’t do this my whole week is mess. I will definitely be getting into the habit of this again. Also Jennifer gives plenty of other tips to plan a little in a various ways throughout the book! This is a way to take away some worry and stress in your life!

4.     Just try it! The value of this thoughtful living cannot be truly understood unless you try it. But maybe you already have? Maybe you have gone some where, such as a restaurant or a hotel, and realize how well it runs, how beautiful it is, or how well maintained it has been. Or maybe there are parts of your own life you already find peace in your life because do it in such a thoughtful way that brings more joy into it.

5.     Create beauty in your home your own way. A common theme in her book was that even though the beautiful and lovely madame chic did things a certain way we can still do things in our own “American” way. The principle is still the same; anything in life can be done well and can be done with enjoyment. And this translates to a enjoyed life lived well and being a bit more like Madame Chic. And not because she is this perfect mythical creature, but because of the values she embodies and possesses; which is living a life well.

Tip: If you read a book around greenery, a comfy blanket, and a candle it brings the experience up a notch ( ;

Tip: If you read a book around greenery, a comfy blanket, and a candle it brings the experience up a notch ( ;

As promised I am also sharing the next book that I will be reading and reviewing for the month of March for 2019!

(Drum roll please!)

This months book will be: Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

It’s pretty sad but I have owned this book now for three years and still haven’t read it. And since the Marie Kondo method is all the rage right now, which I couldn’t be happier about, I decided it’s time to dust off that book and get to work! And yes I do mean work. There isn’t really getting out of putting the words in a minilism type book without getting up and getting into action!

I can’t wait to share with you guys the review for the next book!

Love,

The Semi-Minimalist