7.25.2016

Baby Story + Summer Favorites



I hope you are having a lovely and relaxing summer. This past week we have seen scorching heat, not only in California, but what seems like all across America. There are terrible brush fires near Los Angeles and we are seeing the effect with darkened skies and ash all over our streets. I hope that everyone affected by the fires in California are safe and able to return to their homes soon.

Last week I celebrated my birthday. It was a quiet, happy celebration with my family. My husband, the children and I dined at one of my favorite French bistros in Culver City, Meet in Paris. I just love it there!

It's my birthday today and this little man has been the best gift ever. ❤️

A photo posted by Jennifer L. Scott (@dailyconnoisseur) on



I will be taking a few weeks off from the blog, but before I do, in today's video I share the birth story of our son as well as some summer favorites.

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my YouTube channel (and don't forget to subscribe) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

All of the favorites mentioned this summer fall into the entertainment category. Because I am nursing my baby, I have a lot of downtime and am able to read more, as well as catch up on some shows and YouTube channels that I love. Here are the favorites mentioned in this week's video:

Book:




Amy Snow by Tracy Rees. I did a giveaway for this book in June and, after reading it, am back to tell you how much I loved it! It was a page turner that I did not want to end. I highly recommend it.

TV Shows:



Hart to Hart on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has given me such pleasure. It is a TV show from the early 80s starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. I love it, of course, for the mystery, but also for the nostalgia of how people used to dress well on a daily basis. A very high-class show, indeed!



Bringing Up Bates on UP TV. I have fallen in love with the Bates family, a large family living in Tennessee. A while back I read an online review from a reviewer who said she didn't want to like the show, but ended up loving it. It is a heartwarming show that is family-friendly.

Film:



Love & Friendship, directed by Whit Stillman, is an adaptation of Jane Austen's novella, Lady Susan. This movie is sharp, funny and a feast for the eyes. I loved it.

YouTube channels
I adore She's in Her Apron because Kimmy is funny, down-to-earth and endearing. Plus she is a great motivator for housework.

Kathryn Morgan is a former dancer for New York City Ballet and both of her YouTube channels are so fun to watch. If you want to see an elegant, poised and classy YouTuber, you must check out her channel.

If you watch either of these channels, please tell Kimmy and Kathryn that I said, "hello!"

News

I am featured on BBC in an article called, Meet the People with Almost Nothing in Their Closets.

Lessons from Madame Chic is featured on Glommable's article on Books for Unabashed Francophiles.

My TEDx talk on the Ten-Item Wardrobe has been featured in Apartment Therapy's article, Flirting with Minimalism or Downsizing.

Comment of the Week
There were many great comments on my recent Comparing Yourself To Other Women? Q&A. Here are two highlights...

The Wool Fairy writes:
Whenever I find myself feeling a bit down on myself compared to others I repeat this quote by Theodore Roosevelt, "Comparison is the thief of joy." It snaps me out of the funk quite quickly! It's a good one to keep top of mind. Thanks for another great video Jennifer!

Thank you, Wool Fairy. That is a great quote to remember.

Emma Knight Peel writes:
Comparison is the death of joy. I recently saw a quote that said, "Admire another's beauty without questioning your own." I love that! In the past, I've admired the beauty of other women and immediately tried to make myself look more like them. Now, I know what enhances my own beauty and what doesn't work, and I can admire someone else's qualities without trying to adopt them.

Hi Emma, I love the emphasis on admiration, rather than comparison. Thank you for sharing!

I would love to know what your summer favorites are. What are you reading and watching or loving this summer? Let us know in the comment section below.

I will be taking a few weeks off of the blog, as I do every summer. I will see you back, refreshed and renewed in August. See you soon!



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7.11.2016

Comparing Yourself to Other Women? Reader Q&A



The final pre-recorded Q&A is up today. I have really enjoyed publishing this content and staying in touch with you, while still caring for our newborn baby. He is doing great, by the way!

Today's question comes from Georgina, who asks a question about comparing yourself to other women. I hope you check out my video to see my full response. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News
Thank you to the Polish readers for your wonderful reception of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic!

Polish fashion and lifestyle writer, Kasia Tusk, reviews the third Madame Chic book on her excellent blog, Make Life Easier.

Here is some promotional artwork from the Polish publishers that discusses facebook etiquette, texting and staring at your smartphone.


Book News
Congratulations to my friends, Cliff Simon and Loren Stephens, on the publication of their book, Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge. This book shares a behind the scenes look at the Moulin Rouge from a man's perspective.


Little did Cliff Simon know that a single phone call and a one-way ticket to Paris would ultimately change his life forever. Now the acclaimed television and film actor shares his journey from Johannesburg to the Moulin Rouge to Hollywood in his debut memoir, Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge.
From a young age Cliff Simon knew he was headed towards big places. Having grown up as both a skilled gymnast and a competitive swimmer, performance was in his blood. But with the onset of Apartheid and the looming threat of war, he and his Jewish family soon retreated from Johannesburg, South Africa to the London countryside. Before he knew it, he joined the British swim team and was near Olympics-bound with a full-ride offer to a United States university. But something wasn't quite right. Instead, Cliff returned home and enlisted in the South African Air Force. Cliff's habit of impulsive risk-taking would continue but ultimately pave the foundation for an experience most of us would only dream of.
After he was honorably discharged, twenty-seven-year-old Cliff worked a series of odd jobs at a resort near the Indian Ocean until he received a phone call from an old friend inviting him to join him at the iconic Moulin Rouge. Here begins the story of Cliff's meteoric rise at the Moulin from swing dancer to principal in the glamour filled show, Formidable; his offstage encounters with street thugs and diamond smugglers; and the long nights filled with after parties and his pick of gorgeous women. Encounter the magic, the mayhem, and the glory that was and still is the Moulin Rouge.


Congratulations, Cliff and Loren!

Testimony

Diane writes:

Hello Jennifer, It would be a year ago that I watched your Ted lecture on the 10 Item Wardrobe. I was fascinated and loved the idea, so I bought and read your first book, and have been working on incorporating so many elements that you present in my daily life since then! What a joy you are! I love your honesty and transparency in your weekly messages and feel each time like I am catching up with a dear friend! Thank you Jennifer for being a voice of common sense and elegance. I am looking forward to reading your other books and hope that your message of everyday beauty continues to spread!

Dear Diane, Thank you for your lovely testimony! I am happy to hear that the books and blog have impacted your life in such a positive way. I love my readers and feel that you are all dear friends as well. Have a wonderful week.

This week I would love to know your thoughts on comparing yourself to other women. Do you struggle with this? Do you have daughters, friends or family members who struggle with this? Let us know your opinions in the comment section below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week!



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7.06.2016

Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic in Poland



Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic comes out in Poland today from Wydawnictwo Literackie. The book is already available for sale in Bonito Bookstores.

The New York Times bestselling author of Lessons from Madame Chic and At Home with Madame Chic revives the timeless quality of poise and shows how to cultivate it as a daily practice and a life-long endeavor.

Just step out your door today and you will notice that poise is a rarity in our wired, fast-paced, and unmannerly world. As uncivil behaviors like flip-flops at Broadway shows and digital oversharing proliferate, this timely book reminds us of the quiet power of behaving with dignity, kindness, and grace. Jennifer Scott’s Parisian mentor, Madame Chic, embodied poise, and not just with the good posture, stylish attire, and natural manners that made her extraordinarily elegant. She also demonstrated steady assuredness and graceful calm in everything she did—from interacting with her family and receiving guests at home to presenting herself in public. Jennifer L. Scott passes on the lessons she learned as well as some of her own hard-won wisdom, addressing topics such as proper attire at social events, good grooming, communication skills, hospitality and being a good guest, our interactions with neighbors and strangers, role models, self-discipline, and self-image.

This charmingly illustrated, practical, and inspiring book, full of tips, lists, and ideas, is certain to start a new conversation about the timeless art of poise.



Today, I have a special video for my Polish readers. Thank you for making the Madame Chic books a bestseller in your beautiful country!

Polish readers, I would love to hear from you. Send me pictures of your books using the hashtag #MADAMECHIC

Thank you, and happy reading!

Jennifer x



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7.04.2016

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with Vegetables



To all of my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day!

We are taking a break from the Q&As (you can see the last one in the pre-recorded series next week) for an easy slow cooker recipe that your family will love: roast chicken with vegetables.

The chicken comes out tasting like a rotisserie chicken, succulent and juicy with a crispy outer edge (thanks to my special trick!). I love using the crockpot because it just takes a little preparation in the morning and voilĂ , you have a home-cooked meal waiting for you in the evening. This recipe uses a homemade rub for the chicken, but you can use any rub you like. Lemon pepper would also be nice, as would plain salt and pepper.



Slow Cooker Roast Chicken with Vegetables

1 whole cut up chicken (with skin)
3 to 4 cups of chopped vegetables (I use carrot, celery, potato, onion and garlic)

Rub (or use whatever rub you like)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

Directions: Chop vegetables and place them in the slow cooker. Take the cut up chicken and rub generously with the rub. (Make sure the rub is fully mixed together before placing on the chicken.) Place chicken on top of the vegetables. Cover. Cook on low 8 hours or high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

When you are ready to eat, take the chicken out and place under a broiler, checking every two minutes (6 minutes worked for me). This will make the skin crispy.

Serve with vegetables and jus from the crockpot. Sprinkle with pepper and garnish with parsley, if desired. Enjoy!


Check out today's video to see the recipe being made. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News
A Return to Simplicity shares how the ten-item wardrobe has changed her life.

Comments of the Week
Lillian writes:

Hi Jennifer! I think having a running list on the back of my mind of specific things I've been looking for has been most helpful. This spring for instance, I realized I was going to need a new swimsuit for the summer season. Instead of going to the store and buying the first thing that fit, I looked around and I did some research about which brands would be the highest quality I could budget for. I saved some money and in the meantime I put up with wearing the old suit. Then the brand I was most interested in had a sale. I was able to order a beautiful swimsuit in exactly the color I wanted for just under the price I had budgeted for. I'm really happy with it, and even more so because I had put the thought and planning into the purchase. Nothing is more rewarding than planning, budgeting and then shopping for an item. For one, it protects you from the "buyer's remorse" associated with impulse buys. In addition, purchasing things one at a time can make those purchases even more special and pleasurable than getting lots of new things all at once. When you plan, you avoid the potential for associating the things you own with negative emotions like guilt or financial stress.

Dear Lillian, you present a wonderful example of the correct way to shop for the ten-item wardrobe. In your case, with the swimsuit, you are talking about shopping for the "extras". After adopting this more mindful way of shopping, you will do this with everything you buy. No more impulse purchases! No more being swayed by marketing and sales! It truly is wonderful.

Sue writes:
Jennifer, I met you through my library audio book app.

The 10 item wardrobe concept is a God-send to me. I'm nearing 60 years old and am petite. Finding clothes is difficult when you're a 00P or 0P. Initially I felt great relief that I didn't have to find a closet-full of clothes--only a few items.

I've been amazed at the combinations I have. It's stretched me to look harder for the possibilities in front of me and I'm pleased.

Thank you!


Dear Sue, I'm so happy to hear that the ten-item wardrobe has been beneficial for you. Thank you for sharing your testimony!

Margery writes:

Here's something that helps me look and feel chic most days even if I'm just staying home with my kids. I put my hair in an easy and elegant updo (It's soooo hot in Atlanta now!), polish my toenails, and put on earrings and a necklace. I might only be wearing shorts and a plain t-shirt, but the little extras make you look and feel more polished. I do the simple makeup routine daily with makeup from Target. You don't have to spend huge amounts of $$$$ to be chic.

Dear Margery, It truly is the little details sometimes that bring us the most pleasure. I'm sure your family notice the effort you put into presenting yourself everyday. Thank you for sharing your tips!


This week, I would love to know what quick and easy crowd-pleasers you like to cook for your family. Do you have any recipe requests you'd like to see from me? Let me know in the comment section. See you all next week for the last installment of the Q&As.

See you on Thursday with a special message for my Polish readers for the publication of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic!

The music in this week's video is: String Quartet No. 8 in F Major K 168 Allegro from Epidemic Sound


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6.27.2016

Ten-Item Wardrobe Help! Reader Q&A



Hello readers,

Life with baby is really blissful and I am enjoying my time off. Thank you for all of your messages!

The pre-recorded reader Q&A's continue this week as I address a commonly asked question about the ten-item wardrobe.

Valerie C writes:

Hi Jennifer,
This is my first year truly implementing the principles you teach in your books which I love. I am curious to know if you or any other daily connoisseur fans ever found it almost overwhelming at times. I have found there is a lot to purchase to look presentable always. From my ideal 10 item wardrobe, pajamas, shoes, and make up. How did you do it? one purchase at a time? Do you have any tips or strategies on pulling it all together? Even mentally, some days I feel great while others I feel I am not chic after all. Thanks for all the hard work I'm learning so much from you and other sharers.


Valerie, thank you for your question! Many people feel overwhelmed when the decide to truly start the ten-item wardrobe. Sometimes during this process they come to a realization about their true style and decide to start going in that direction. Other times they commit to wearing presentable pajamas and realize they only have one or two pairs. There are many more possibilities but through all this the urge to go shopping and buy everything you "need" can be intense.

In this week's video, I urge you to take it slow and enjoy the journey. I do not advocate going on a shopping spree to fill all of the holes in your wardrobe. I do recommend keeping a running list of everything you'd like to purchase, but only make a purchase when you can: a.) afford to do so (never put something on a credit card you can't pay off or go into debt over an item) and b.) have found just the right item to match your need (remember, we aren't just buying something because it's on sale anymore).

There are so many more ideas in this video, I do hope you watch. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News

Blogger Lizzbert shares her summer ten-item wardrobe here.

Happy Meets Home shares the top ten lessons she learned from the ten-item wardrobe.

Comments of the week

Pam writes:

This was a really great comment to discuss today. While my husband doesn't follow a Madame Chic lifestyle intentionally, I have an illustration regarding my husband about how just doing your own thing can influence others. My husband works as a supervisor in a factory. When he first starting working there he noticed that everyone, including the other supervisors, all wore their 'trashy' clothes because, well they work in a messy factory. My husband broke the mold and always came into work wearing dress pants and a button-down shirt. Other supervisors wanted to know why he dressed up. His reply was that as someone in a position of authority he needed to distinguish himself from his employees. The others soon realized that the simple act of dressing the part garnered much respect from my husbands employees towards him. They came back to him wanting to know how he could afford to dress so nice in a factory where it is commonplace for clothing to get marred. He told them that we buy all of his work clothes at Goodwill in a wealthy town nearby and spent MUCH less than they probably did on their work clothes. Soon after, other supervisors began showing up in dress pants and button-down shirts boasting that they had made a trip to Goodwill. We spend less money on a much higher quality of clothing for him to wear in the factory than we could afford if we shopped at regular stores. It doesn't always cost a lot of money to make an impact, and as you say, you may just inspire others to follow suit as we saw in my husband's factory.

Dear Pam, this could be my favorite comment ever! I love this story about your husband. I love that he did not care that his co-workers never dressed up. I love that it wasn't required of him. I love that he did it anyway in a way that fit in his budget and I love that he inspired others to do the same. You are married to one great guy! Thank you for sharing this story.

Lacy writes:

I am a private piano teacher, and I work from a studio in my home. I have fond memories of my own childhood teacher wearing her silk blouses, dresses, and kitten heels. She was well into her 70's when I began studying with her, and many of her clothes were older than I was! Yet, she always looked so elegant and credible--even though she was tiny, elderly, and a bit round--because her clothing choices stated clearly how seriously she took her profession. When I started to rebuild my studio after years off with children, I made a decision to emulate her. My "uniform" is typically a sheath dress and low heels (elegant, and EASY). New students and parents usually comment for weeks on how nicely I'm dressed before they seem to get used to seeing me like that. I smile, thank them, and tell them their lessons are very important to me. I do think it has helped them take lessons more seriously. I also suspect it cuts down on some of the more troublesome aspects of running a tiny business from your home in terms of helping clients understand that this is a REAL business, and therefore they must pay and do so on time. And it makes my life easier--a limited number of choices that always look great! Thank you for your thoughtful approach--your work certainly influenced my thinking just as I was beginning the arduous process of rebuilding my career. Congratulations and best wishes to you! ~Lacy

Dear Lacy, I love your story too. It's clear your own piano teacher influenced you in a way that has stayed with you into adulthood. This is exactly what I mean in Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic when I say that we all have viewers. You never know who you will inspire.

This week I would love to know... how is your ten-item wardrobe coming along? Have you struggled with the urge to go on a shopping spree after adopting the look presentable always philosophy? Do you have any struggles or tips you'd like to share with us? Let me know in the comment section and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week.


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6.20.2016

Family Not On Board with Madame Chic? Reader Q&A



Thank you for all of your wonderful comments. Life with baby Connoisseur is just wonderful. He is such a joy!

As promised, here are the Q&A videos I shot before having the baby. Today's video answers a reader's question about how to deal with family members who live contrary to the Madame Chic lifestyle. I receive this question so often, I am really happy to address it today.

When we decide to embark on the lifestyle of living a beautiful, elegant and poised life, we sometimes expect everyone else in our life to follow suit! But the reality, more often than not, is that others who are close to us don't even have these issues on their radar. So how to cope?

Check out this week's video to hear my response. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Question of the week

Sara writes:

Hi Jennifer! My name is Sara and I am a big fan of your videos and books and I was hoping to ask you a question on the topic of quality friendships. I love the suggestions you have on how to make quality, like-minded friends. Although those are important friendships, I wonder what I can do about my oldest friendships. The more I have practiced poise the more I realize that some of my best friends are not poised at all. I know that being an example to them is great, but do you have any other suggestions on how to inspire others to lead a poised life? I do not want to make them feel as though I am trying to change them, but I am excited to share the wonderful side-effects that come from looking presentable always and maintaining an air of mystery! Thank you!

Hi Sara, this is such a great question, and I feel it relates nicely to this week's topic as well. It is very important to realize that we cannot change other people, only ourselves. I have mentioned before (as well as in this week's video) that if we maintain our poise and integrity, we may inspire others to do the same. If these are some of your oldest and dearest friends, it is perfectly fine to share the exciting changes in your life with them. You could lend them one of your Madame Chic books, or tell them about how the ten-item wardrobe has changed your life. Or you could email them a blogpost or video from The Daily Connoisseur that inspires you. They might find it interesting and they might not, but either way, you tried! Just remember there is a reason why you became friends with them so many years ago. Remember those reasons if you ever feel frustrated with their behavior. Not everyone has the same lifestyle goals and that is OK!

Comment of the week

Starr writes:

Congratulations on the arrival of your sweet baby. You are a hero! Welcome to the world, baby boy.

During the time I lived in England I haunted the charity shops, gathering a beautifully mismatched collection of Staffordshire transferware. The truly old pieces (some of them over a century) a significantly smaller than the more contemporary pieces. But, sticking with traditional patterns (ie. Willow ware, English Scene), the newer pieces still feel puny compared to a set of "standard" white plates I picked up during a subsequent U.S. relocation. Those white plates almost are never used -- except as serving platters.

Incidentally, when I first returned to the U.S., my sister came to visit. The shipping container had just arrived from England and my sister was so interested in my plate collection. After a happy 30 minutes of looking at the different patterns, my sister (who is universally recognized as the most elegant amongst my siblings) turned to me and said, "Now you need to go to [big box store] and buy some plastic plates." When I asked *why* I would do that, she explained that I needed to save my plates for "special occasions. You can't easily replace these as they break. You aren't in England anymore." I simply told that I use the best I have and if they break, it would be fine...and it is.


Hi Starr, thank you for your comment. I loved the story about your elegant sister. I'm glad you explained that you like to use your best everyday. I bet she got a kick out of that!

This week I would love to know, have you dealt with similar frustrations? Are you struggling with how to deal with a co-worker, family member or friend who is not on board with the Madame Chic/ Daily Connoisseur lifestyle? Let me know in the comment section below, and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog.

See you next time as we discuss your ten-item wardrobe questions...



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6.13.2016

Antique Dishes vs. New Dishes (Portion Size)

Before we begin today, I'd like to express my heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by the horrible terrorist attack this past weekend. We are holding the victims and their families in our prayers.



Thank you for all of your wonderful notes and well-wishes for our family! Baby connoisseur is such a joy. We are all really enjoying spending time with him and just delighting in his presence.

Before I delivered my baby, I was able to shoot 5 videos for you that I have scheduled to go up in the next few weeks. I wanted to stay in touch with you on the blog, yet give myself a break to spend time with the baby without working. Today's video shows you some observations about antique dishes vs. modern dishes. In the weeks to come, I have three reader Q&As, as well as a fun and easy chicken dinner recipe.

Let's get started with today's post...

We recently picked up a set of 1960s antique dishes from a local estate sale. The set has a French blue and white scroll design with a gold edge. It is an ironstone set called Capri Crown Essex, made in Staffordshire, England. In today's video, I compare the antique set with our modern Pottery Barn dishes. As you will see, the modern dishes are much larger. I have compared antique dishes before in a previous post. It's fun to do this because you really do see how trends change. As time goes on, we tend to eat more and our modern dish sizes really reflect this.



If you have a set of antique dishes, I encourage you to use them on a regular basis. Not only is it fun to eat off of unique and beautiful plates, but we can all benefit from the smaller portion sizes as well. If you do not own antique dishes or china, keep an eye out for local estate sales or visit consignment or thrift shops. You can find wonderful bargains at mere fractions of the price of modern china, which can be so pricey. Don't worry if you cannot find a complete set, it can be fun to collect and mix and match.

Check out today's video to see the difference between the new and old plates. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

News

Thank you to LandOMoms for recommending Lessons from Madame Chic in their article on eating well.



Comments of the Week
Lo C writes:

I'm a public school band director and we have two major concerts every school year. While our number one priority is to have families support their children (there is nothing more devastating than watching an elementary school student look for their parent only to have them not there), I have noticed a couple families attending our events without dressing up. Of course we understand as teachers when parents are running from one event to another. The children do seem to notice a difference in the presentation of adults. I, personally, love seeing parents dress up and make the event even more special to the kiddos! It's all about those babies!!


Hi Lo C, I took part in band from 5th to 12th grade and I remember each band concert feeling like such a major event. Back then, all of the parents took pride in their appearance and I think it helped make the events more special. What a fun job you have!

Me writes:

Congratulations for the birth of your son!

I grew up in Italy and brought up with the habit that you always give the best of yourself, it doesn't matter the circumstances. There's no grand, medium or small occasion in which you shouldn't show respect for the others and keep up your own dignity by dressing appropriate. "Comb your hair, wash your hands, polish your shoes" was what we still remember our grand-father's motto, "because you never know".

Dressing with decor at the children's function aligns with that idea, maybe very Italian, of pull yourself together without trying hard, without having to impress anyone. It's where good manners meet style and elegance. It doesn't take much and makes everyone in a good mood.


Hi Me, thank you for sharing the Italian perspective on the subject of dressing well. I love hearing from different cultures around the world. When I visited Italy, I had so much fun people-watching. I found the presentation of dress in Italy to be lovely.

This week I would love to know... do you use your good dishes on a regular basis? Have you noticed any differences in plate size from one era of dishes to the next? Let me know in the comment section below and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week.

Please share photos of your dishes on social media using the hashtag #MADAMECHIC

See you soon!

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