12.23.2013

Merry Christmas Message, Presentable Pajamas & More



'Tis the week of Christmas... can you believe it? I've been having so much fun catching up with visiting family members that this blog is a little bit late.

Last night I attended the LA Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker with the girls at London Sole.



It was a brilliant performance, as ever. I especially enjoyed seeing principal dancer, Allyssa Bross, as the Rose during the dance of the flowers. I got to meet Allyssa at the Santa Monica Art Walk several months ago. She charmed the audience with her beautiful dancing.

This week's video message gives you my good tidings for the season and also shows you my houseguest appropriate presentable pajamas: the Victoria's Secret Sleepover pajama. It is very common this time of year to either be a houseguest yourself or to have people staying over in your home, and it's nice to have pajamas that you'd be happy to be seen in!



I will be taking a short break from the blog in the next two weeks. I hope you have a magnificent holiday break as well.

If you'd like to join us for our next book club, don't forget to pick up The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. We will be starting the book club discussion in late February, so there is plenty of time to read it.

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

In case you missed my three holiday hair tutorials filmed at BYUTI salon, you can find them all in my article on Huffington Post Style.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2014!

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

12.15.2013

Holiday Chat 2013 Decorations & Gift Book Guide


I had all of these grand plans to do a number of holiday-themed videos on the Daily Connoisseur this year and then, lo and behold, the holidays crept up quicker than I anticipated! I must have been distracted working on the second book, which I am happy to report, was just turned in to my editor, Trish Todd, at Simon & Schuster. Woo hoo!

So this week's video, Holiday Chat, discusses two topics to make up for lost time. First we talk about high and low budget decorating. I show you my citrus fruit ornaments that I did a tutorial on last year, and introduce you to my favorite decoration, my Kay Burkart Santa Claus... a true work of art!



**Update- Many people have asked where I purchased my Kay Burkart Santa. I purchased him locally from Stephanie Grace Designs in Santa Monica.

The video also gives you my top gift book recommendations. I love receiving books as presents and you are sure to find something for everyone on my list.

Books mentioned in the video are:

♦︎Downton Tabby by Chris Kelly (This book is SO FUNNY. It would make a perfect stocking stuffer.)

♦︎The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman (and illustrated by Lessons from Madame Chic artist, Virginia Johnson.)

♦︎A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel True: 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson (Perfect for anyone who loves the Golden Age of Hollywood.)

♦︎The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (One of the most delightful series of books ever written, in my humble opinion.)

♦︎The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer (This is the next book club selection for the Daily Connoisseur, so I want you to read this too!)

♦︎Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott (C'mon, you know I had to include this in the gift guide.)

♦︎Taste of Home Christmas 465 recipes for a merry holiday (Fabulous holiday recipes... would make a great gift!)

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

Book News

Lessons from Madame Chic makes Martine Holston's 2013 book list as her top French lifestyle book of the year (and she read 5 in the same genre). Thank you Martine! Check out the list here.

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

12.08.2013

Spa Sonic vs. Clarisonic review and Giveaway



You all know how much I love my Clarisonic Mia. I've been using it for years and it's one of those tools that I think is really invaluable for preserving beautiful skin. Many of you have written to me saying you'd love to own a Clarisonic, but it's not in your price range.

I contacted the people from Spa Sonic and they gladly sent a kit to review and kindly offered to give one away to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur! (More on that later.)


But first, what everyone wants to know: how does the Spa Sonic hold up to the Clarisonic?

This week's video gives you my in depth review and allows you to see both skincare brushes up close.

A few notable differences:

✦ The Spa Sonic is battery operated, whereas the Clarisonic requires a charger.
✦ The Spa Sonic brush head physically rotates in a circle, whereas the Clarisonic brush head vibrates.
✦ The Clarisonic is programmed to run for one minute. There is no timer on the Spa Sonic.
✦ The Spa Sonic includes four different attachments including: face brush, body brush, pumice stone and facial sponge.The Clarisonic Mia is only a facial brush.

There are pros and cons to each brush and my bottom line is this:

The Clarisonic is still the Rolls Royce of skincare brushes because of all of the technology behind it, but the Spa Sonic is an excellent runner up and is a great choice for people who cannot afford the Clarisonic. The Spa Sonic normally retails at around $60 (It's often on sale. As I write this it's available for $32 at Target, etc.).

The Spa Sonic is available at Costco, Target, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens. For more information visit www.myspasonic.com

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

Giveaway


Spa Sonic is kindly offering to give away one Spa Sonic skincare brush to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur! This giveaway is open to US residents only (Spa Sonic's guidelines, not mine). Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. I will announce the winner one week from today. Best of luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

12.06.2013

Top Knot Hair Tutorial



Is it me? Or does this hairstyle remind you of Samantha from Bewitched? This modern take on the popular top knot has a very decided vintage feel to it... and I love it! Natasha Sunshine, founder of BYUTI Brentwood, shows us how.


Check out this week's video for the tutorial. Apologies for the sound quality! The salon was busy when we shot this. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: http://www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Thank you to Natasha Sunshine and the entire team at BYUTI for collaborating with me on this fabulous hair tutorials!

For more on BYUTI Brentwood, visit them at www.byutiluxe.com

See you on Monday for the Spa Sonic vs. Clarisonic video (and giveaway) xx

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

12.03.2013

The Ten-Second Updo



I know the title is scintillating. A Ten-Second Updo? Well, we take a little more than ten seconds in this video because of the demonstration, but once you practice this easy updo, you'll be able to master it in ten seconds flat. Natasha Sunshine, founder of BYUTI Salon in Brentwood, shows us how.

First, secure your hair into a low side ponytail with a hair elastic. Then secure the bottom of the hair on the ponytail with an elastic, being sure to grasp on to a few strands of hair that are sticking out. Then gently push the bottom elastic until it meets with the top elastic. Wrap the long strand of hair that you have held onto around the updo. Secure with four or five bobby pins. Set with hairspray.

This is a messy, but controlled updo that is easy to do and has very pretty results...


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

There is background noise in these videos. A viewer said she was annoyed by it in the comment section of the last video. We started shooting early in the morning when the salon was empty, and as the day went on, it filled up with customers. Pretend you are watching one of those fabulous backstage fashion show hair tutorials, which always have ambient background noise. Focus on the good, not the "bad". You could watch it on mute and still understand the tutorial. Don't be annoyed, be happy!

:)

Many people are asking where my dress is from. It's the Tory Burch dress featured in this year's fall/ winter ten-item wardrobe.

Many people also ask where the music is from. It is royalty-free music I have purchased from pond5.com. On YouTube you must use royalty free music. It's expensive! But you guys are worth it.

For more on BYUTI Brentwood, visit them at www.byutiluxe.com

Book News

♥︎ The manuscript for my second book is finished! My agent and I turned it into my editor this week. I love this book so much and I can't wait for you to read it. So far it is scheduled to come out around Christmas 2014. I will keep you updated.

♥︎ Lessons from Madame Chic is now going into its 4th printing! Also, Marshalls and TJ Maxx are now carrying our book. Thank you so much for keeping it going. It truly is the little book that could.


See you on Friday for another hair tutorial: a twist on the traditional top knot xx

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

12.01.2013

Voluminous Waves Hair Tutorial



A few weeks ago, as you know, I visited BYUTI Salon in Brentwood, where I go to get my hair done, to shoot hair and makeup tutorials. Last week you saw me with makeup artist, Georgette, and we learned a take on the modern smoky eye. Today you are going to meet my hairstylist and the founder of BYUTI Brentwood, Natasha Sunshine.

Natasha and her entire staff are incredibly talented. Every six weeks when I go to get my haircut I know I'm in for a treat!

Today Natasha is going to show us how to create glamorous and voluminous waves, perfect for the upcoming season.


To create these voluminous waves, Natasha recommends using a curling iron with a small barrel. Create curls in alternating directions as you go around the head, being sure to spray the hair with hairspray before curling. When the hair has cooled off, gently brush out the curls. Voilà!

The hairspray Natasha uses in the video is Pureology Strengthening Control Hairspray.

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

As a celebration to kick off the month of December, I'm going to be posting three videos this week! Look for the other two hair tutorials I shot on Wednesday and Friday of this week.

Thank you Natasha and everyone at BYUTI Brentwood

For more on BYUTI Brentwood, visit them at www.byutiluxe.com

See you Wednesday for a tutorial on a 10 second updo (!) xx

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

11.29.2013

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel True 1907-1940 Giveaway

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you had a marvelous day yesterday. I am thankful for my family, my friends and for you dear readers. I feel as though we are all family. Thank you for showing up and for being a part of our beautiful community.

I am happy to come to you today with a very special giveaway. But first, a backstory...

A few weeks ago, Erica Silverman, my dear friend and literary agent, told me that her sister, Victoria Wilson, was about to publish a book on the life of Barbara Stanwyck. I was so thrilled to hear this because, as you know, I just love the golden age of Hollywood and Barbara Stanwyck is one of the most iconic screen actresses from the era.

Here's what Janet Maslin of the New York Times had to say about Victoria's book:

“860 glittering pages… it ends with a cliffhanger, creating eager anticipation for Ms. Wilson’s concluding volume… ‘A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True, 1907-1940’ is not about the actress alone. It’s bigger and splashier. Stanwyck knew the most notable directors, writers, actors, studio chiefs and Broadway impresarios of her day, and Ms. Wilson is interested in all of them. A remarkable array of still photographs present
supporting characters like Florenz Ziegfeld, Annie Oakley, Clark Gable and Zeppo Marx, all of whom have their places in this account. An even more startling collection of movie ads and posters tells a riveting tale of sexism (about ‘Baby Face’: ‘You’ve never seen anything like this frank,
man-to-man story of a man-to-man girl!’), even as they chronicle Stanwyck’s career… The book describes how she evolved from an emotion-wringing actress into a sullen, bad-girl bombshell into Stella Dallas, arguably the most soapily self-sacrificing mother ever seen on camera… Regarding Ms. Wilson’s follow-up, no studio’s publicity department could offer a better set of coming attractions.”


A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True 1907 - 1940 is published by Simon & Schuster (behold the synergy!) and they were kind enough to send me a copy of this glorious volume and offered to do a giveaway to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur.

But before we get to the giveaway, check out these beautiful images S&S sent me of Ms. Stanwyck:






And here is a video of Victoria Wilson discussing the book:



This book would make the perfect holiday present for anyone who loves those classic old Hollywood movies...

Simon & Schuster are giving away one copy of A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True 1907-1940 to a lucky reader of the Daily Connoisseur. Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway is open to US residents only (the guidelines of this giveaway are set by the publisher, not by me). The winner will be announced on the widget one week from today. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more on Victoria Wilson, visit her at: http://www.victoriawilsonbooks.com/

See you next week for three very fun hair tutorials. Have a great weekend. xx

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

11.24.2013

Modern Smoky Eye Tutorial



Last week I visited BYUTI salon in Brentwood, California and shot some hair and makeup tutorials that are perfect for the holiday season. This week kicks off those videos with BYUTI makeup artist, Georgette, and a modern smoky eye tutorial.

Georgette teaches us three essential tips to creating a dramatic, but modern smoky eye:

♥︎ Intensify the color in the crease of the eye
♥︎ Define the color in the outer "v" of the eye (think sideways v)
♥︎ Create a contrast of color with a lighter shade on the direct lid of the eye


Another new technique she used for this look is to only apply eyeliner to the waterline of the bottom lid. Because the crease is darkened, the eyeliner on the lower lid allows the eye to look bright, open and uplifted.

Georgette recommends finishing off this look with a bronzer and a neutral lip, to keep the focus on the eyes.

Thank you Georgette and BYUTI Salon! 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

For more on BYUTI salon visit: www.byutiluxe.com

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week. Come back to the blog on Friday for a very special giveaway of A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel-True by Victoria Wilson (including some amazing pictures and a great YouTube video of the author).

See you then!

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

11.17.2013

Skincare Updates



This week we are talking about skincare updates. My skin has been "acting out" recently due to stress. Whenever this happens, I push the pause button and know that my body is trying to tell me to relax! Can you relate?

This video shares some tips I recently gleaned from my esthetician, Juliana, at Petite Spa. She recommended I use an oil for my skin. To which I replied, "An oil? Are you serious?"

She was, in fact, serious and I'm so glad I listened to her! I show you my calendula oil by Eminence in the video, but you can also use a coconut oil, sweet almond oil or even an olive oil (I hear this is one of Sofia Loren's beauty secrets), all of which can be purchased at your local grocery or health food store.

Many people have also asked me if I remove my makeup before using the Clarisonic. My answer is, I do now! I share how I remove my makeup in the video and show you what I am currently using for eye and face makeup removal.

Finally, many of you have written to me telling me you'd love to try the Clarisonic, but it is not in your budget. I am trying out the Spa Sonic, which retails at around 1/3 of the price of the Clarisonic. I'll do a more comprehensive review of the spa sonic, as well as a giveaway, in a few weeks.

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

I urge you to become a connoisseur of your own skin... learn to read it and more important, to listen to it. Listen to your skin when it is trying to tell you something. Never give up your curiosity about how to best care for it and don't make assumptions (like me, assuming that oil is detrimental to the skin!) about new ideas. The most expensive products don't always equal what's best for you. Look at the beautiful Sofia Loren... olive oil sure worked for her :)

This week I would love to know... what are your skincare updates?

See you soon! xx

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

11.10.2013

Budget Wardrobe Qs & Looking Presentable Always



How do I not get distracted by a bargain?

Should I have a budget in mind when I choose my ten-item wardrobe?

How do you look presentable when you are in the nursing phase of motherhood?


I answer all of these questions in this week's video and share insights from a male admirer of Lessons from Madame Chic.

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

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on any or all of the subjects discussed in this week's video.

What are your answers to these questions?

We took the girls to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles this weekend. Looking at real dinosaur fossils never ceases to amaze me. Check out these two guys:


Lastly...

Expressing deep gratitude to our veterans today. Happy Veterans Day. Thank you for all you have done for us ♥︎

See you next week! xx

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

11.03.2013

Weekly Chat: GRAVITY, New Book, Halloween & More


Can you believe it is November already? I've been visiting my family the past few days and have noticed that the Christmas decorations in the stores are already out. Retailers seem to put them out earlier and earlier every year. I went to pick up a mocha for my dad at Starbucks yesterday and they already have their gingerbread and peppermint lattes on offer. Do you ever wish you could just slow things down and stop the marketing madness? I know that resisting change can be futile but I would like to take the month of November to still revel in fall and prepare for another favorite holiday of mine, Thanksgiving. Ah well, these are just observations.

I didn't have an official video scheduled for today because this past week was so busy, but I still wanted to connect with you, so I filmed an informal chat about my week. You can watch the video, or read the thread below, or both! 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

Did you have a fun Halloween? I dressed up as a sorceress. The girls loved it.

I also went to Palm Springs this past weekend to visit my grandmother, who turned 91 on Friday. She was cheerful and goodnatured as ever. My grandma has always subscribed to the "look presentable always" philosophy and even at 91 was rocking the most gorgeous red manicure. I feel so fortunate to still be able to see her. She kept telling me how lucky we all are to have such a beautiful family.

So it has been a week of spending time with family and working on the book. I've spent every creative minute of my week working on the new book. I'm so excited for you to read it. Simon & Schuster's aim is to have it published by the next holiday season in 2014, so we don't have too long to wait.

My husband and I saw Gravity in 3D this weekend. What an incredibly moving and powerful film. I know I'll be rooting for Sandra Bullock for best actress this year at the Oscars. The movie is directed by Mexican film director, Alfonso Cuarón, who also directed one of my favorite films, Y Tu Mamá También. Gravity is masterful and unlike any other film I have ever seen. If you have a chance to catch it in the theater I highly recommend doing this. If you've seen Gravity and leave a comment on the blog about the film, be sure to write SPOILER before your comment so we don't giveaway any details of the film. :)

Thank you for all of your comments, sharing your signature scent journey! I love to hear what perfumes other people wear. I read about many that I now want to try myself!

News
The Modern Tokyo Times names Lessons from Madame Chic as one of the Top 10 Books on Beauty, Fashion and Grooming

Rayli Magazine in China has featured me and my ten-item wardrobe in their most recent issue. What an honor to be included in such a prestigious fashion magazine. Here is just a partial shot of the article. Thank you Rayli!


I will most likely have an "official" video for you next week. I have wonderful plans and, as always, am inspired by you!

See you soon...

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

10.28.2013

Signature Scent Update and Forever Chic Giveaway


Have you ever changed your signature scent? Or have you been content with the same fragrance for years? Are you still on the search for your signature scent? This week's video gives you an update on my own perfume journey and announces my new signature scent (hint: there's a twist to this story).

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

Forever Chic Giveaway
My dear blogging friend, Tish Jett, from A Femme d'un Certain Age has just published her book, Forever Chic. Tish was kind enough to share Lessons from Madame Chic with her readers when it came out, and now I am so happy to be able to mention her book to you. Aimed for women over 40 (and all who are interested in aging gracefully), this book is sure to delight Francophiles everywhere. Tish's book dishes out many French secrets and shares her own chic journey as a woman of a certain age.

Tish and Rizzoli are kind enough to offer to give away one copy of Forever Chic to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur. This giveaway is open worldwide so all of you can enter. Please enter via the rafflecopter widget below. The winner will be announced on the widget one week from today.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more on Tish, visit her blog here and check out her book here. Bonne Chance!

Thank you

All of my writing energy has been going into this new book, so the writing on the blog has been a bit "light" of late. I wanted to extend a thank you to my readers for being so understanding. I have two little girls to look after as well and they are my first priority so I must find the right balance. I don't want to compromise on the blog's quality and aim to provide you with a thought-provoking or interesting video each week. Thank you for bearing with me and being so supportive. See you next week! xx

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

10.13.2013

New Makeup Loves from CHANEL, Bobbi Brown & Hourglass




I've been playing around with makeup recently and wanted to share some new finds I absolutely love. So here we go!

CHANEL Perfection Lumière Foundation
I normally either wear tinted moisturizer or mineral foundation and was looking for something heavier for when I need more coverage. I've always loved CHANEL makeup and this foundation is no exception.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Caviar Ink
and
Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush
I love this eyeliner and eyeliner brush! My friend, Bex, first used it on me for the Rayli photo shoot I did recently and I fell in love with it. I never thought I could apply a gel liner but, it turns out I can. I'm having fun experimenting with the different variations on le no makeup look "defined eye" (my favorite!) I can achieve with this liner. I highly recommend it.

CHANEL Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen
This is really great for when you want to add light under your eyes for dark circles. It also works for any other areas you'd like to add a touch of light (like the sides of the nose or tops of cheek bones). It works simultaneously as a highlighter and a concealer. While shooting this video, the high-voltage lighting I'm using is making it stand out really prominently. I promise it does not look like this in natural light, or even with the flash of a camera. I now know to blend it a little better when shooting my videos! But honestly, I had the worst dark circles the day I shot this video and the highlight pen covered them up nicely. A lot of the online reviews complain that this product wears out too quickly for the price, but I've used mine regularly for three months now and it isn't finished yet...

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
This is one of those fun products to experiment with. I love Hourglass (their tinted moisturizer is awesome) and these ambient lighting powders give your face the effect of being seen through various shades of light.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Vintage
A lovely "no makeup look" shade, perfect for that natural, rosy lip.


For a closer look at the makeup, check out this week's video, New Makeup Loves. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

This week I would love to know... what are your new makeup loves?

My Talk at Harvey Mudd College


I'd like to say thank you to the students of Harvey Mudd's Entrepreneurial Network for being such a great audience last week. The talk focused on my experience as an artistic entrepreneur. I hope I inspired some young entrepreneurs to get passionate, take control of their careers and to let their darkest moments raise them up. Thank you, again, to Harvey Mudd for hosting such a fantastic event! I will share my insights (and hopefully an edited video of the talk) on a future episode of the Daily Connoisseur.


News

Hear my thoughts on yoga pants, marriage and the fabulous Madame Chic in this interview for Feather Factor.

Lessons from Madame Chic is not just for women. Check out this awesome review from M. Lane's Epic blog on why men should read it too. High praise from a true gentleman.

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

10.10.2013

Magical Fashionista Book Giveaway

Metaphysical author, Tess Whitehurst, recently contacted me to let me know how much she enjoyed Lessons from Madame Chic. I was tickled to hear from her because I've really enjoyed her insights on feng shui in her books, Magical Housekeeping and The Good Energy Book. Tess recently came out with Magical Fashionista: Dress for the Life You Want and she was kind enough to offer to give away one signed book to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur.

Drawing on astrology, feng shui and psychology, this mystical guide shows how fashion with intention can be a powerful and life-affirming practice. Now I must mention that this is not a traditional style guide in any sense of the word. It discusses moon signs, horoscopes, rituals, fashion spells, crystals and mystical concepts of that nature and relates them all to fashion (which is why I thought this would be a perfect giveaway for the month of October!).

So while some of the concepts in this book aren't for everyone, if you are interested in metaphysics, you'll certainly gleam joy and insight from it. I also find that this book is substantial enough that you can easily absorb what interests you (I'm a cancer and really enjoyed reading about how fashion relates to my water sign) and leave what doesn't pertain to your lifestyle or beliefs.

Here is what Publishers Weekly had to say about Magical Fashionista:

"In this satisfying and unusual style guide...Whitehurst examines the metaphysics of fashion and its potential as a personal art project...Though Whitehurst instructs readers to "stand like a celebrity" and "walk like a supermodel," it's obvious that readers are meant to think of themselves on the same playing field, not as inferior beings...sure to be welcomed by the open-minded fashion lover."

This giveaway is open to US residents only. Please enter via rafflecopter below. I will announce the winner on the rafflecopter widget one week from today. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For more on Tess Whitehurst, visit her on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

9.19.2013

My First Novel Tales of Woe and Glory Book Giveaway


I recently had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of My First Novel: Tales of Woe and Glory, an inspiring and hilarious compilation of essays from some of today's leading authors on how they got their first book published.

My writing mentor, Alan Watt, edited the book and includes his own fascinating story of how he came to write his first book, the internationally acclaimed, Diamond Dogs.

This book is something every writer should read (it would make the perfect gift too!). But even if you aren't a writer, it is fascinating to come to know the writing and publishing process from so many different perspectives. Also the stories in this book will inspire and motivate you to follow that creative spark that resides in all of us. Here is part of the description from Amazon:

Have you ever wondered how your favorite authors got their start? How did they make the leap from closet scribe to published author? In My First Novel: Tales of Woe and Glory, twenty-five authors recount the variety of hurdles, both internal and external that they had to overcome on their journey. Alan Watt, editor of My First Novel and founder of L.A. Writers’ Lab’s 90-Day Novel Workshops, states, “The goal of this book was to demystify the creative experience, to level the playing field, to say to the writer who was struggling with his novel late at the night in the garage of his parent’s house in Walla Walla, that you are no different than any of these other writers, and to keep going, and yes, at times it really is that difficult and scary, but that you are not alone, and you are up to the challenge, and here are twenty-five separate road maps to the same destination.”

Writers Tribe Books is generously offering to give away one book to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur! Please enter via the Rafflecoptor widget below. All entries must go through rafflecoptor to be fair. The winner will be announced on this widget one week from today. This giveaway is open to United States residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Best of luck! And see you Monday when we discuss the second agreement in our book club: don't take anything personally. See you then!

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

9.10.2013

My New Book Deal with Simon & Schuster




Today I come to you with great news...

Last week, I received a new book deal with Simon & Schuster for my next project!

Over the last few months I have been working on a very exciting book idea. I wrote the proposal, and together with my agent, Erica Silverman, we presented it to Trish Todd at Simon & Schuster. Trish absolutely loved the idea and we are now officially going forward with it. I love working with Simon & Schuster and could not be happier to be with the same team again who produced Lessons from Madame Chic. The deal was announced in Publishers Marketplace this morning.

I will not share too much about the new book right now except to say that it will inspire you to live your best life every single day and revolutionize the way you think about your routines at home (mysterious, I know!). I will keep you posted with everything and you will be the first to know all of the details. Thank you for your support. I truly love my readers. You inspire my writing every step of the way!

To see my video announcement, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Ten-Item Wardrobe

Thank you for all of your amazing feedback on this week's ten-item wardrobe video. The video is currently being featured on the Huffington Post, along with a new motivational article on the subject. Check it out here.

Once again, thank you for your support and... see you soon! x

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

9.08.2013

My Ten-Item Wardrobe Fall/Winter 2013



It’s finally here! My ten-item wardrobe video for fall/ winter 2013. This one is shot fashion show style, so you can see all of the outfits on and how they work with each other.

After basically having two children in a row, the past few years have been a time of upheaval for my wardrobe. But now that my littlest is just over one year and things are starting to get back to normal, I am having fun donating the old clothes from the past seasons and bringing out a few old favorites that I can fit into again.

A few things to keep in mind when watching the video:

♠ Everything in this video was purchased by me (except for the emerald Chan Luu scarf, which was a present from my mother-in-law). I have no affiliation with any of the brands listed, except, of course, for London Sole, which is our family business. I am not paid to promote any of the brands in the video. These are honestly my everyday clothes.

♠ Some items are new, but a majority of the garments are old. Some, like the black jersey dress from Velvet, A.P.C. trench coat, J Crew wool coat and black velvet blazer, BCBG clutch, etc. I’ve had for over four years.

♠ This video is not about the brands mentioned. It is to give you an example of what one woman’s ten-item wardrobe + extras can look like. Every one lives in a different climate, has a different budget and different style. You must tailor the ten-item wardrobe to work for your life situation. Have fun with it! I mention the brands purely for information.

♠ You do not need to stick to ten core items. This video shows you the clothes I will wear from fall through winter, so you see I have two transitional pieces (the linen dress and skirt from A.P.C.), which brings my core item count to 12. I will most likely wear these throughout the fall, which tends to be warm in California. Once it starts cooling down, I will retire the transitional pieces and start wearing my sweaters. But, of course, I am flexible. If we have an unusually cold day in September, I can easily pull out my sweaters.

♠ The point of having a ten-item wardrobe is to cut the clutter in your closet. You will clear your head of all of the sartorial confusion you are used to when getting ready in the morning. You can easily pull out something to wear and know that you will look presentable and that you are wearing something that does not compromise your true style. It is liberating!

♠ The music in the video is a piece called Heavy Rain. It is copyright-free music, purchased by me for use in my videos from pond5.

Here is a list of clothing items shown in the video:

APC linen dress (transitional item)
APC linen skirt (transitional item)

Equipment silk blouse in blush
Patterned blouse by Trouve
Blackberry silk blouse by American Vintage
Dark wash skinny jean by Paige
Black skinny jean by Paige
DVF plum snake wrap dress
Tory Burch long sleeve emerald dress
J Crew lavender cashmere sweater
Navy cashmere v-neck sweater Marks & Spencer

Extras:

Tee shirts:
Tee shirts are getting fancy these days. My favorite are still the nautical stripe tees that I always have. But you will see lace tees, sparkly tees and of course, the basic white tee that is so indispensible. Brands shown in the video are: J Crew, Anthropologie, A.P.C., Michael Stars, James Perse.

Cardigans:
J Crew cashmere cardigan in heather acorn
J Crew “tweed” blazer cardigan- this one is perfect for looking presentable for school drop offs, etc.

Blazers:
Anthropologie casual black blazer- great for travel!
J Crew velvet blazer (I have had this for ages. It is one of my favorite pieces)

Outerwear:
Lightweight jacket by J Crew
A.P.C. trench coat
J Crew black wool trench

Cocktail dresses:
This video shows just three cocktail dresses I’ve been wearing lately. Perfect for fall.
Rebecca Taylor purple silk dress (I wore this for my birthday and a trip to the theatre this summer)
Anthropologie wine lace dress (I wore this to my first book signing)
DVF lace black wrap cocktail dress (fabulous for holiday parties)

Accessories:
London Sole ballet flats and flat boots
Jimmy Choo heels (Both heels shown here are fantastic staples. They are high quality classics that have lasted me years)
Chan Luu emerald scarf (I have more scarves than this. This happens to be the one I showcase in the video)
Sunglasses by Oliver Peoples (my favorite sunglass brand)
Navy handbag by Jewell (Faux leather and very affordable, yet high-end looking. My friend, Lisa, is a representative and I bought one from her at a boutique event. Jewell give 10% of purchases to Dress for Success, which is also great).
LV Totally MM (a great luxury for everyday and last years' birthday present from Mr. Connoisseur)
BCBG envelope clutch (I might have had this for 7 years. I’m not kidding)

Here are links to the websites for the brands shown in the video: A.P.C., Equipment, Rebecca Taylor, Velvet, J Crew, James Perse, Michael Stars, Anthropologie, DVF, Tory Burch, Paige, London Sole, Jimmy Choo, Oliver Peoples,Jewell

For more on the ten-item wardrobe, check out my book, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.

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

I love to hear from you. Please let me know what you think. Are you trying the ten-item wardrobe? How is it working for you?


Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

9.01.2013

Madame Chic Fan Video & Book Signing Pictures



Madame Chic Around the World

Thank you for sending in your pictures of Lessons from Madame Chic. I have so enjoyed looking at them! As a thank you to you, I've created this little Madame Chic fan video, with a compilation of all of your pictures. It's less than two minutes long, I hope you'll check it out. We get to see nightstands, bookshelves and cups of tea all the way from California to Australia to Lithuania and many places in between! The music in the video is a music box version of Schubert's Ave Maria*. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my youtube channel: www.dailyconnoisseur.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

And, once again, merci to you. Our little book has been embraced on a global level and I couldn't have done it without you.

Book Signing


Last Thursday was my book signing at Anthropologie Santa Monica. This signing saw an even larger turn out than the last! I love chatting with readers and hearing their stories. Here are some more photos from the event:

My dress is a simple navy shift dress by Maeve for Anthropologie. This is a great staple to have in the extras of your wardrobe. It's conservative, yet perfect for so many different occasions. I still have a broken toe, but thankfully I have my chic London Sole ballet flats to stay stylish :)

Here I am with the amazing staff at Anthropologie Santa Monica, who put on another first-class event:

Here's a closeup of my hair, which was done by Alicia at Sechoir + in Santa Monica. We were going for a modern, romantic, Parisian chignon. Molly, did my no makeup look. Thank you ladies!

The yummy refreshments, complete with French macarons from Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica.

It was another great day. Thanks to everyone who took the time to come out and visit!


*Schubert's Ave Maria is copyright-free music, which was purchased by me for use in my videos from pond5.

See you next week for our fall ten-item wardrobe video! x

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

8.26.2013

Tailored Skirt Before and After



We come in all different shapes and sizes and yet only have a handful of clothing sizes to pick from: XS, S, M, L, XL. This is why it is so important to find a good tailor to custom fit your clothes.

The clothes I tailor the most are jeans. I tend to hem them for the shoes I plan on wearing them with. Most of my skinny jeans that I wear in the daytime are tailored for flats. I have one pair of “going out jeans” that I have tailored for heels.

But I don’t just have my jeans tailored. I’ve tailored everything from blazers to dresses to nightgowns (yes, I even have my nightgowns tailored!). This week’s video shows you a tailored skirt of mine, before and after. It’s a transitional piece for my fall ten-item wardrobe (which you will see in a few weeks!). The skirt, by A.P.C., is slightly too long and looks a bit frumpy on. After tailoring it to the knee, it fits my physique so much better and is now a perfect match for my frame.


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

Madame Chic Around the World

Lessons from Madame Chic came out in Lithuania this past week. I'm so excited that our little book is now reaching all the way from California to the Baltic sea! One reader sent me a picture of her book... which got me thinking...

Please send me a picture of your copy of Lessons from Madame Chic, wherever you are in the world. I am compiling all of these great fan pics and will put them together in a YouTube video as a thank you to you. If you'd like your picture included in the video, please tweet me or post on my facebook page using the hashtag #MadameChic. eBooks count too! The more creative the picture, the better. Here are some examples:

Book Signings

Southern California readers, this Thursday, August 29th, I will be doing a book signing at Anthropologie Third Street Promenade. Refreshments will be served and RSVP is required:

Anthropologie Santa Monica
1402 Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA
Thursday, August 29th 1-3pm

RSVP Here



Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

8.18.2013

Great Books I Read This Summer & Queen's Gambit Giveaway


I've read some great books over the last few months and wanted to share them with you in this week's video, which discusses everything from historical fiction to Victorian home life to unputdownable thrillers. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Books mentioned in the video:

Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle
The Butler Speaks by Charles MacPherson
Through the French Door by Carolyn Westbrook
Inside the Victorian Home by Judith Flanders
Daughter of Empire by Lady Pamela Hicks
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Queen’s Gambit Giveaway


Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived. Queen’s Gambit tells the story of Katherine Parr, the wife who survived the treacherous Tudor court of King Henry VIII. We all know the story of Henry VIII and his more famous wives, like Anne Boleyn, but few of us know details about Katherine Parr's life. This wonderful work of historical fiction takes us right there and fills in the blanks deliciously. If you love historical fiction, especially about the Tudor time period, you will love this book.

Simon & Schuster sent me an advance copy of Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle to read and were also kind enough to offer to give away one copy of this excellent book to a reader of the Daily Connoisseur!

Enter to win your own copy of Queen's Gambit, via rafflecopter. The giveaway is open to US residents only. I will announce the winner directly on this rafflecopter widget one week from today. Best of luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



To learn more about Elizabeth Fremantle, visit her website here.

Book Signings

Southern California readers, I hope to see you at my next book signing for Lessons from Madame Chic.
Refreshments will be served and RSVP is required:

Anthropologie Santa Monica
1402 Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA
Thursday, August 29th 1-3pm

RSVP Here

News

I am featured on the Liberation Artist this week in a great interview with the lovely Laura Saba.

See you next week! x

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

8.16.2013

My Summer in Pictures

Hello! I hope you're having a wonderful summer. I am officially back to the blog on Monday with a post and video on great books I read this summer (along with a giveaway for the exciting new book, Queen's Gambit!) but before jumping back in, I wanted to show you my summer in pictures.

It's been an interesting summer...

I turned another year older...


I got to meet principal ballerina Allyssa Bross of the Los Angeles Ballet* ...


I baked a blueberry cake**


I broke my toe***


I attended the theatre on crutches. (Nothing could keep me from the arts!)****


I did my very first book signing at Anthropologie in Rancho Cucamonga and got to meet so many lovely readers (some who drove all the way from Barstow and San Diego!)*****



Here I am with the amazing and welcoming staff at Anthropologie Victoria Gardens, who hosted a first-class book signing from start to finish.


So, all in all, the summer has been fabulous. Broken toe and all :)

I'm looking forward to seeing you on Monday as I share my favorite books of the summer with you.

See you then! x


*Allyssa and I are at London Sole for Art Walk.

**Yes, I will share the recipe with you soon.

***Boo!

****A very worthy cause, Dizzy Feet Foundation's celebration of dance provides dance education to underprivileged youths.

*****The next book signing is August 29th at Anthropologie Santa Monica from 1pm - 3pm, RSVP HERE! And in this picture I am wearing Anthropologie. A lovely wine lace dress to add to my cocktail dress 'extras'.



Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

7.08.2013

Summer Updates



Bonjour Everyone,

I hope you are all having a delightful summer. I'll be taking some time off from the blog. Taking care of a toddler and a baby is fun and rewarding but it's also exhausting and I need a break to refresh my little grey cells (as Poirot would say :) ).

Summer Ten-Item Wardrobe

Many of you have asked about my summer ten-item wardrobe. I've only purchased one dress to update my wardrobe (the full story is explained in my video). But this dress, from Anthropologie, is the dress of the summer for me. I love it! And it's machine washable too. Who could ask for more?

The Four Agreements

When I return in the fall, I'd like to do a book club discussion of Don Miguel Ruiz's The Four Agreements. Have you read this marvelous book? Many of you probably already have as it's been a bestseller for a number of years. If you'd like to join the discussion, read the book for the first time or re-read it over the next few weeks. In the fall I will take one week per agreement and we can hopefully have some life changing discussions.

Book Signings

I have two book signings coming up in August:

Saturday, August 10th 11am at Anthropologie Rancho Cucamonga
7812 Victoria Gardens Ln
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
RSVP HERE

Thursday, August 29th from 1pm to 3pm at Anthropologie Santa Monica
1402 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
RSVP (coming soon)

I hope to see you there!

Check out my summer dress and more in this week's video. 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

Even though I won't be blogging for a few weeks I still look forward to connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a wonderful summer...

See you soon! x


Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

7.05.2013

Madame Chic in Poland & Anthropologie Book Signings

Happy Independence Day American readers!

I always get a bit emotional on the 4th of July, especially when watching the fireworks in the evening. They are just such a perfect and joyous expression of our love for this country... I hope you had a wonderful celebration yesterday, and that it continues on throughout the weekend!

Madame Chic in Poland

Lessons from Madame Chic was released in Poland yesterday by acclaimed Polish publishing house, Wydawnictwo Literackie.


To promote the book, this beautiful series of watercolors have been released by artist, Tomek Minkiewicz.


Also, check out Make Life Easier, Poland's most popular fashion blog, who has featured our book this week, along with a series of fabulous pictures with Kasia Tusk. (Thank you to our facebook friend, Prozak, for sharing this article.)

I look forward to connecting with my chic Polish readers! x

Anthropologie Book Signings

I will be doing two book signings in August at Anthropologie stores in Southern California:

Saturday, August 10th at 11am Anthropologie Rancho Cucamonga (where I grew up!)
7812 Victoria Gardens Ln
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
RSVP HERE

Thursday, August 29th from 1pm to 3pm at Anthropologie Santa Monica
1402 3rd Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
RSVP (coming soon)

I hope to see you there!

Don't forget to enter the Belvada giveaway. The winner will be announced on the rafflecopter widget as well as contacted directly.

Have a wonderful weekend x

Visit my Author Website

Like my Facebook Page

Follow me on Twitter

Sign up for my Seasonal Author Newsletter

 
BLOG DESIGN © 2012 SMITTEN BLOG DESIGNS/ CONTENT © 2012 DAILY CONNOISSEUR