Wallis Simpson and The Concept of Jolie Laide

4:44 PM 21 Comments

I finally watched Madonna's film, WE (rented it On Demand) about the life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. I was really excited to see this film as I wanted to know more about how Wallis and the King of England first met. The parts about Wallis were beautifully done and Andrea Riseborough did a marvelous job portraying her, but I found the modern storyline woven into the script very distracting. In short, I didn't learn as much about Wallis Simpson as I would have liked.

Because the film left me with so many unanswered questions about her life I read the biography, That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba. This is a very well written, interesting biography that highlights the major plot points of Wallis' life.

The thing that intrigues me about Wallis is that she was what the French would call jolie laide, which literally translates to ugly pretty. She was not a classically beautiful woman, but made the best of what she had by dressing beautifully and grooming impeccably.

I love the idea of jolie laide because it suggests that we do not need to be cookie cutter beauties to be attractive. Suddenly features like tiny eyes, a jutting chin or a prominent nose could actually be deemed attractive. That these features need not be 'corrected' by plastic surgery in order to be considered beautiful. The motto of jolie laide is 'work with what you've got', and that is very refreshing indeed.

A great article called 'The Unfairest of Them All' that appeared in the New York Times back in 2005 gives a great perspective on jolie laide. To read the article click here.

If you are unable to see my video above where I discuss Wallis Simpson and the concept of jolie laide click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Check out That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor on Amazon.com by clicking here.

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On Bringing up Bébé and the Raising of Two Children

4:44 PM 22 Comments

Hello everyone! I’m happy to say I’m back from maternity leave. Thank you so much for all of your messages while I was away. The baby is doing great. She is such a delight. We really are in love.

I am finding motherhood the second time around a lot different than the first. It seems easier in some respects. This is not because the baby is any different but because I’ve changed a lot. For one thing I’ve started to take my own advice… To be in the moment, to take pleasure out of the simple things and to just enjoy myself, no matter what the circumstance.

Because of my first child I now know that these precious moments when they are babies go by all too quickly so I might as well soak every wonderful moment in- even the sleepless ones.

I'm not saying it's easy and roses all the time... I hosted a playdate last week that was, in two words, pure chaos. But I am still enjoying the process.

I’m also taking some advice from Pamela Druckerman’s book, Bringing Up Bébé, which discusses French parenting techniques. The biggest themes I took away from that book were the ideas of being relaxed, going with the rhythm of the baby, not trying to force anything unnaturally and, the biggest revelation for me, La Pause technique (where you don't jump at every sound the baby makes). So far it all seems to be working really well. Although it didn’t start off that way…

The first days after bringing our newborn home from the hospital were a bit challenging. I remarked to Mr. Connoisseur that I felt like I was living in a video game where every moment I was just trying to get to the next level. But once I started to pay attention to the rhythm of our baby, I managed to form a delicious routine that is malleable enough to change with the needs of our family. I am seriously enjoying motherhood now because I know that suddenly I will blink and my girls will be graduating from college. It can go by that fast.

I've missed you all and am really excited to get back into blogging again. I somehow did a lot of writing and planning while on maternity leave (I told you I never stop working) so I have a lot of great posts planned for you.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know a bit about what I've been up to (anyone else watch the Diamond Jubilee??) but I look forward to updating you on it all in next week's post.

And now I have to go change a diaper… or two.

If you are unable to see the embedded video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur.

Until next time, I would love to hear your parenting tips and wisdoms for raising children…

Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman can be found at Amazon.com or by clicking here.

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Lessons from Madame Chic Book Cover

9:42 AM 17 Comments
Hello Everyone! I'm happy to say I will be returning to the blog next week. I'm really looking forward to catching up with you all... But until then I wanted to share with you the new cover for Lessons from Madame Chic, which will be released on November 6, 2012. The cover art is by Virginia Johnson... I hope you love it as much as I do!

See you soon!

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