1.25.2016

My Morning Routine



Today I am sharing my morning routine with you. Everyone has different life circumstances. Some people have children, others don't. Some people commute to work, and some work from home. Everyone has a different schedule. The important thing is to find a routine that works for you. The key word being routine. I believe a regular morning routine is key to starting the day off right. Of course things happen and we don't always adhere to our regular schedule, but having the foundational bones for a regular morning schedule works wonders on your day.


In this week's video, I talk through my morning routine with you, which looks like this:

6:00am Wake up. I like to wake up before the rest of my family to have some quiet time and to get ready.

6:00am to 6:30am Time to wake up in a relaxing way: pray, read, check the news, drink water, take vitamin, cup of tea or coffee (normally coffee but I've switched to tea during the pregnancy).

6:30am to 7:00am I get ready for the day: bathe or shower, get dressed (easy with the ten-item wardrobe), le no makeup look, do hair and tidy up the bathroom/ make my bed.

7:00am to 7:15am Wake up the children. Help them get ready including brushing teeth, making beds, getting dressed, doing hair and putting away pajamas.

7:15am- 8:00am Give the children breakfast, make their lunches, eat my own breakfast, shoes and coat on. Out the door at 8:00am to walk to school.

Here is a key tip:

I always set the table for breakfast the night before and leave out waters for the children. I also set the lunch boxes out and place non-perishable lunch items in their boxes (I finish them off with the fresh items the following morning).


Check out this week's video to hear me discuss my morning routine. 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
Dinner Party Atelier lists Lessons from Madame Chic as one of the 5 most impactful books she's ever read and writes a wonderful blog post on using your best dishes on a daily basis.

My Life in Snippets shares a Madame Chic triple review. I loved reading her takeaways from all three books.

Blue Sky Kitchen is hooked by Madame Chic and has started to clear her clutter.

The Madame Chic books were some of 11 Magnolia Lane's favorite Christmas presents

Enter to win a luxurious set of Christy Linens, luxury towels and a copy of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic on Christy's generous giveaway (for US residents only).

Check out this interesting article in the Seattle Times, High cuisine, low manners: is proper etiquette dead?

Comments of the Week
Sweet Caroline writes:

One of the very first times of practicing hospitality as newlyweds, my husband and I asked a couple (whom we had recently met) for supper at our apartment. The couple arrived about thirty minutes early. For some reason, I didn't have my shoes on yet. I grew up in a family where you never, ever ran around barefooted if guests were present, but there was just no polite way to scamper upstairs to get my shoes on. It was awful! Then, to top it off, the lemon chess pie I made was way too tart. (As in, the pie was not edible!) Doubly awful! I am happy to inform that somehow I overcame that night, and my husband and I have gone on to host a multitude of people in our home--always with my shoes on! ;)

Sweet Caroline, I loved your story, which is so similar to my first disastrous dinner party. I am so happy you were able to recover and now enjoy the art of entertaining!

Dara writes:

This is amazing! I had no idea that other people experienced this same situation. I am 20 years old and graduated high school only a few years ago and that is when it was very difficult to accept people's comments on how I dress. I used to dress down to avoid the comments but I realized how much happier I feel when I look my best. I start to feel my best and do my best when I look on the outside how I feel on the inside!

Dara, I am so pleased that you have moved past worrying about other's comments and have joyfully embraced looking presentable always.

This week I would love to know... what is your morning routine? Do you start the day off feeling prepared or do you constantly feel like you are playing catch-up? What is your favorite part of the morning? Leave your comments below and you could be chosen as the comment of the week!



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1.21.2016

Christy Linens Giveaway 2016



I am so pleased to share another amazing giveaway from Christy Linens. You will recall over a year ago we did a giveaway for beautiful cream bed linens and this time I take you into our guest bedroom to show you the bright and beautiful Julianne linens.





In addition to a copy of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic, Christy Linens are giving away a complete set of linens of your choice: duvet cover, pillow shams, Euro shams and knit throw, as well as a complete set of Supreme Hygro towels to a reader of The Daily Connoisseur. What an amazing prize!


The giveaway will run for one month and is open to US residents only (terms set by Christy linens).

Enter the giveaway on Christy's website HERE.

Check out this week's video to get a look at our guest bedroom and the beautiful linens. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel (and don't forget to subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

I wish you the very best of luck! I appreciate all of my readers so much. I wish you could all win this giveaway. Thank you for being loyal readers. And thank you to Christy Linens to offering this generous prize.

For more on Christy Linens, check out their website www.christylinens.com

See you next week!

Jennifer x

FTC: The linens featured in this video were sent to me to review by Christy Linens. All opinions are my own.



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1.18.2016

Freezer Lasagna Recipe (Makes 4 1/2)



Being chic is being prepared, which is why I like to meal plan our weekly dinners and also why I often do freezer cooking: where I will spend one afternoon making a large batch, home cooked meal to freeze for a later date. I love to make freezer lasagnas because they keep so well and feed a crowd beautifully. If you ever have unexpected dinner guests, a lasagna is a crowd-pleaser, and paired with a salad and some bread rolls, can make your dinner quite elegant (but so easy to prepare!).

In this week's video, come cooking with me as I make four and a half lasagnas: 3 1/2 meat and one vegetarian. Whenever I cook, I never have a set recipe, I just know I need a good, tasty sauce and that all the components need to be there. But I did capture this recipe for you, if you want to follow the steps to do this yourself.

Check out this week's video to see the full cooking tutorial. 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

Freezer Lasagna Recipe (makes 4 1/2 lasagnas)

You will need:

Aluminum foil baking pans (This recipe uses 4 large pans and one mini pan)

Sauce:

Olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 whole chopped onions
5 cloves garlic
6 lbs ground beef (or you could use ground turkey)
2 packets Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage, but you can use any kind you like)
6 lbs (106oz) spaghetti sauce (I purchased this at Costco)
2 16oz cans stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce
Italian dried herbs (I used oregano, fennel seeds and Italian seasoning) to taste
Fresh basil
salt and pepper

Cheese mixture:

45oz (roughly) Ricotta cheese
35oz Mozzarella cheese
12 oz Parmesan cheese (plus 8oz more for sprinkling on top of the lasagnas)
2 eggs
salt and pepper

Lasagna noodles (2 packets at 1lb each)

cooking oil spray to coat pans

An extra jar of marinara sauce in case you have extra ingredients and want to make a vegetarian lasagna

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil until warm, then add in chopped onion and garlic. Cook until softened, five to ten minutes. Add the ground beef and chopped sausage. Cook until the meat is browned.

Drain the juices from the meat.

Return meat to pan and add spaghetti sauce and stewed tomatoes, herbs, chopped fresh basil and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower temperature to simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the cheese mixture. In a large bowl add the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, 12oz of parmesan cheese and two eggs, lightly beaten. Add salt and pepper. With clean hands, mix the cheese mixture together. (You could use a spoon, but I find this is the most effective way. And it's fun!) Set aside.

While all this is going on, boil a large pot of water and cook both boxes of lasagna noodles, following the package instructions. Once the noodles have cooked, drain the water and keep them stored on parchment paper, sprayed lightly with cooking oil so they don't stick together.

Once all of your components are finished, you are ready to assemble your lasagnas. Lightly spray your aluminum baking pans with cooking spray. Place a ladle of sauce in the bottom of 3 pans, then lay down the noodles in a row. Now layer more sauce, a layer of the cheese mixture, noodles, sauce and parmesan cheese on top. Depending on how deep your pans are, you can create more layers. Mine were not so deep so I only put one layer of the cheese mixture in, which turned out just delicious.

I ran out of meat sauce but had more cheese and lasagna left, so I made a vegetarian lasagna using an extra jar of marinara sauce I had on hand, to replace the meat sauce.

Once your lasagnas are assembled, let them cool (no need to pre-bake them, but you must let them cool because the sauce and noodles will still be warm) and then spray the bottom of a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray (this is important so that your foil does not stick to the cheese) and label the top of the foil with what type of lasagna it is, the date assembled, and the cooking instructions.

After the lasagna is frozen, you will take it out of the freezer the night before and place it in your refrigerator to thaw. Then the next day, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Cook the lasagna for 60 to 90 minutes (depending on how much it thawed out). I find that one hour, twenty minutes is perfect. Keep the lasagna covered with foil for the first half of cooking time so the cheese does not burn, then remove the foil for the second half. Test to make sure it is warm in the center and enjoy!


We had another impromptu dinner party the other night and I brought out a freezer lasagna the night before in preparation. It was delicious and such a hit! I love this recipe and hope you will embrace freezer cooking to make your life easier.

**Update: Yesterday we had another lasagna for Sunday lunch and it was so tasty. My husband said it tasted just as it did the day I made them. This recipe was a hit!


News
The Ordinary Homemaker gives 5 reasons to ditch the mom grunge and loves the Lessons from Madame Chic philosophy of looking presentable always.

Cedar and Bloom creates her own ten-item wardrobe for new mothers.

Joelle Charming mentions Lessons from Madame Chic when making her mealtimes more formal.

Visual News shares my TEDx talk and asks, Could You Live With a Ten-Item Wardrobe?

Quintessential Style blog says, "Polish Your Poise does what a good book is intended to do—provokes thought, enlightens, guides, and inspires", in her article, How is Your Poise?

Comment of the Week
Regarding the video, Dressing Up Daily: Dealing With Attention, Megan writes:

Good afternoon Jennifer, I am a new subscriber and loved this video. It is wonderful to hear similar thoughts to what I have been having. For example, I work in a doctor's office where I wear scrubs on a daily basis with nursing clogs. Most people consider scrubs to be professional wear pajamas because they are so comfortable. Any time that I am able to straighten my hair before work, put on a French tip manicure, or try new lipstick I get the most outrageous remarks since I have only recently started caring about my appearance. A few weeks ago I stopped wearing make up again because I was tired of people inferring that without it I look ugly and tired, but today I wore it again because it boosts my self-esteem. Needless to say, I had the comments again today and your video has encouraged me. Thank you. Best, Megan

Hi Megan, Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry that some of your co-workers make thoughtless comments. What is so crucial here is that your response can not be based on what you think others are thinking. Because you recently started to put more effort into your appearance, you might be feeling self-conscious already, and thus more sensitive to compliments or comments on your new look. Whether people applaud you, or scoff at you, just do what makes you feel best. If you enjoy wearing light makeup to work and it puts a pep in your step, you should do it! The comments will eventually fade away when people realize that this is the new you. Reside comfortably in your own skin and your contentedness will be very mysterious to your co-workers. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.


Question of the Week

SF writes: (regarding last week's Casual Elegant Dinner Party Table post):

Wonderful video! Thanks! I have a question about how to serve the food when the table is small like this. Should the hostess put all the serving bowls/platters on the table and then the guests pass them? If so, is it improper to set the bowl/platter down between guests? Or should she bring one thing to the table at a time and be ready to take it back to the kitchen after it's gone around? Your table is beautiful and simple, but there isn't a lot of space to set down food items. What do you do? Thanks for all your videos and blog posts which help us live using and doing our best. And congratulations on #3!!!!!


Thank you for your question SF. For this particular dinner party, and for most parties where we have more than four people at the table, I lay out the food on a side table (in our case, it is the island in our kitchen) and have the guests serve themselves buffet-style. If there are courses, I will serve the first course at the table so we all sit down and after that, collect the salad plate (or soup bowl) and then the guests serve themselves from the buffet table. Madame Chic had a small table as well and she would roll the food out on the food cart. She would then pass each dish around one at a time for us to serve ourselves. If there were only four of us, and if there was room, we would keep the dishes on the table. For larger dinner parties, the food would return to the cart. I hope that helps! And thank you for your congratulations on baby #3!



Thank you for your questions, letters and comments. I want to once again thank everyone who has written to me via my author website. I want to respond to each and every email, but due to the volume of messages I receive, I am unable to. Please know that I read and appreciate every single one.


This week I would love to know... do you ever do freezer cooking? Are you going to try the lasagna recipe? If you do, let me know how it turns out.

See you on Thursday for a very exciting giveaway for Christy Linens!

Jennifer x



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1.14.2016

Casual Elegant Dinner Party Table (New Year's Eve)



We held a simple dinner party on New Year's Eve and I shot a video to share our table with you. This one is much less formal than our Thanksgiving table and that was by design. I wanted a fresh and casual (yet elegant) look to the table. There is no tablecloth or runner this time, only the rattan place mats. For napkins, I use blue and white French provincial linen. Our plates are the large cream plates from Pottery Barn that we have had for ages. For flowers, I clipped some of the beautiful pink camellia blooms from our backyard tree.



For Christmas, my husband gave me a beautiful silverware set from Williams Sonoma. The handles are heavy with an antique look and the prongs are quite modern-looking. I love them!



Because I set the table the day before, some of the camellia flowers had fallen, so I placed those fallen blooms in little dishes on the side of the vase.

Happy New Year from The Daily Connoisseur family! Here's our dinner party table for tonight ❤️

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



I hope you enjoy watching this week's video, which is a quick glimpse at our table. I hope this inspires you to throw a dinner party this year. Don't let entertaining intimidate you! I always set my table the day before so I don't need to worry about it the day of.

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

News
Classy Yet Trendy blog lists Lessons from Madame Chic among her Essential #Girlboss Fashion & Style Books


Comment of the Week
I knew that I would receive many congratulations for our baby news, but was overwhelmed in such a positive way with the large outpouring of comments and well-wishes. Thank you so much! You are all the comment of the week for me. I love my readers and feel so grateful for your love, support and interest. Thank you!

Letter of the Week
Gail R. writes:

Jennifer, thank you for sending out the message that while we should do the best we can in any endeavor and try to improve as we go along, we do not have to live in limbo until we achieve perfection. From your charming Thanksgiving table to your lovely musical performances, you demonstrate that we can delight others even without the air-brushed, edited and unrealistic depictions that are common in popular media today. So many of us struggle with the burden of feeling 'not good enough'; I am sure you have helped many of your readers and followers to overcome this.

Hi Gail, as I mentioned in my New Year message, I will never promote a "pinterest-perfect" message because that is not realistic and it's not everyday life. Also, it's not important to have everything be perfect. What is important is that you do what you do passionately and with love. So if the napkins don't match and there are some missed notes on the piano, that's OK, it's the spirit behind these endeavors. Thank you for picking up on this and for your articulate email.

Artistic Recommendation

Nancy L. writes:

Dear Jennifer,

Knowing of your fondness for Angela Lansbury, I wanted to ask if you've ever seen the made for television movie she starred in based on the novel, Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris? I saw it way back in 1992 when it was made, and fell in love with it.

Recently I was delighted to find the novel by Paul Gallico and am enjoying it so very much; but between the mental association with Angela Lansbury and the Paris connection, I think of you every time I open the book. Finally, just had to write and mention it.

Wishing you a very happy New Year!

Yours Truly,
Nancy L.


Hi Nancy, I have not heard of this movie or book before, but knowing how much I adore Angela Lansbury and how much I adore Paris, it seems right up my alley! Thank you for the recommendation.

Have a wonderful weekend, Daily Connoisseurs. As always, I love to read your comments so leave your thoughts below. See you on Monday for my freezer lasagna video.

Jennifer x


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1.11.2016

Happy New Year and HAPPY NEWS



Hello dear Daily Connoisseurs and happy new year! I am feeling refreshed and invigorated after my blogging break and ready to embrace 2016 and all that it has to offer.

I left you with a bit of a cliffhanger in my last video to let you know that I would have a big announcement for you this year. The news is too exciting to keep to myself any longer so here we go:

WE ARE HAVING ANOTHER BABY! :)

This will be our third child and I am due at the end of June. This is such happy news for our family. We are really thrilled to be welcoming another child. Our daughters are very excited and always want to prepare for the baby coming. Thank you in advance for your well-wishes and I look forward to sharing more with you as time goes on.

This week I have a short video for you sharing the happy news. 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

I have many exciting videos and topics to share with you in 2016. I know I was supposed to be on a break during the Christmas holiday, but I did shoot two videos, which you will see in the coming weeks- one showing my new year's eve table setting (a special bonus video this Thursday) and one sharing my large batch cooking video for freezer lasagnas.

Please leave any requests you have for the new season of The Daily Connoisseur below in the comment section. I always love to hear what interests you.

News
Carrie Willard chooses Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic as one of her favorite books for 2015.

Raeful lists Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic as #2 on her top reads of 2015

Kaitlin Olson, editorial assistant at Simon & Schuster and someone I work closely with on the Madame Chic books, has written a wonderful tribute to her grandmother, which is featured in the New York Times this week. Congratulations Kaitlin!

Letter of the Week
This week's letter comes from Karen, who writes:

Dear Ms. Scott,

What can I say? At last- a set of books that fully outline and codify some of my deepest and longest held life concepts, written out and explained so much better than any other I've ever been exposed to in my life. I've always had as one of my deepest desires and as one of my basic core beliefs, the desire and necessity to "live beautifully". Although I've always had some kind of notion as to what this means, those notions have always proved to be much too vague for me to be able to put them into actual practice. I can't tell you the life-changing information, as well as pleasure, l've gained from from reading your books. My entire concept of living beautifully- there it all is! Outlined and expanded on paper, and with specific details as to how to put everything into practice. This is a "big thing" for me, as heretofore the means for implementing my lofty objectives has always eluded me. I now have a set of many concrete steps I can take, and the reasonings behind those steps .......all wrapped in encouraging words and messages designed for each.
Most of my life I have wanted to make a positive contribution, to leave "a life legacy".....with my lacking in specific strong skills and talents, however, I could never envision in what manner I could ever hope to achieve this type of objective. However, after reading about the importance of poise in our world and the positive impact to our world and to others provided by regular exposure, I now have a sense of hope, as well as a sense of a mission in life- especially living in a culture bleak with vulgarity and coarseness.
I am not one to write authors...but the need to let you know the impact your writings have made on me was placed on my heart......especially as that impact is fairly significant. I CAN' T wait to continue cultivating poise on an ongoing basis- it is providing me with both a great measure of pleasure, and more meaning to my life as a whole. Ha! Maybe one of these days I'll pick up blogging, if only to document the changes I make as I implement your suggestions, as well as the impact of any of those changes, as time progresses!

Thank you so much!

Warmly,

Karen


Karen, thank you for sharing your testimonial with us. I love to hear how the Madame Chic books have impacted peoples' lives. I hope you continue to enjoy the process and take great pleasure out of living a beautiful life.

Remember to leave your requests for 2016 (or questions for upcoming reader questions answered videos) in the comment section below.

See you Thursday for a special bonus video!

Best Wishes,

Jennifer x


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