# At Home With Madame Chic # habits

New Year Message & Blog Plans for 2017

Happy new year, dear readers! I hope you had a marvelous holiday break. I enjoyed my time off immensely. Baby's first Christmas was so special. We spent new year's eve celebrating with friends, and this past week have been on vacation in the snow in Yosemite.

This week's video is shot from my cozy hotel room at the Tenaya Lodge near Yosemite valley. It was our first time bringing the children to the snow, and they have had so much fun sledding and tobogganing with their cousins! In my video today, I share my annual new year's inspiration with you and outline the plans for the blog in 2017. (My apologies for the audio quality of this video. I did not have my usual equipment with me in Yosemite and as a result, the audio quality has suffered.)

This is going to be another year where we focus on making our home lives a priority. As I write about in At Home With Madame Chic, home life is truly important for everyone, whether you live in a big house, or a dorm room with a roommate. The focus of my home life blogs this year will have an emphasis on habits and routines, which are vital to creating a peaceful and nurturing home environment. Habits and routines become even more important when you have children. I have many thoughts on these topics and am excited to share them with you this year!

Also, regarding beauty and ten-item wardrobe, I have heard your requests. So many of you over the years have requested that I feature budget beauty and wardrobe items. This year I will be investigating and reviewing many drugstore beauty items. I am looking for affordable products that do not compromise quality. The same will be said for my ten-item wardrobe posts later this year. It will be a fun experiment and I hope you join me!

Finally, I am aiming to implement a new video series on my YouTube channel: in addition to Monday's regular video, I plan to start a weekly, or bi-weekly Teatime with Jennifer, where we discuss popular or current events stories. So many times something will happen in the news and I will want to weigh in on it from the Madame Chic/ Daily Connoisseur perspective, and this year I will finally begin!

I continue to read and love your emails and comments. Because I am not able to respond to each one, I will continue to feature the "comment of the week" on the blog. I feature comments from this blog, the YouTube channel and from my social media accounts.

Thank you for joining me for another season of The Daily Connoisseur. I hope you will subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't already. It is free! If you click the "bell" next to the subscribe button, you will be notified every time I upload a video. I encourage you to do this, because the teatime with Jennifer videos will not have their own blogpost. They will be in video form only.

If you have any requests for the new year, please leave them below. See you soon!

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Anonymous said...

I am so excited that you are back after the break! I cannot tell you how many times I have had your voice in my head when I have worked my way through a difficult decision, or when I am talking to my kids (13yrs, 12yrs and 8years) about "looking presentable always" when they are complaining about why they have to "dress up".

These past few years have been very tough for my husband and myself financially. Your ideology has really helped me get through this time with dignity, and our financial situation has been almost invisible to our kids because of your philosophy of always using our best items as well as paring things down and minimizing excess. We all appreciate the little luxuries so much more these days.

i wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2017, and thank you for the impact that you have made in my life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer, It looks like you had a lovely vacation! So much looking forward to your new project. What was the beautiful piano music at the end? I would love to look it up!
A like minded friend in New Jersey

Unknown said...

It is great to have you back! I look forward to your vlogs and they are an enjoyable part of my lunch time at work.

I have a comment concerning budget items. I've been in a time of transition, weight loss, where I have had to replace my wardrobe twice in the past year. We are on a budget and previously this would have really stressed me out and actually would have been a discouragement. but by familiarizing myself with good brands of clothing I am able to go to my local thrift stores and find name brand clothes for usually less than $10 an item. I have Ralph Lauren, Talbots, Eddie Bauer, and other brands that would otherwise be out of my price range.

As far as makeup goes, I was really surprised to find that the E.L.F primers are excellent, considering their lown price. I had been using a store brand from a shop in my local mall. That location closed and I ran out of things and was scrambling to find replacements. I use their face primer, eye makeup primer, and lip primer, as well as their eyebrow defining set. I can get all of that for $15 and it helps my makeup last all day, even in the summer.

Thank you and happy winter!

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer,
I absolutely LOVE this idea about Teatime with Jennifer, I think it's brilliant!
Is there a way you can implement Etiquette to the teatime video? Maybe the correct way to spoon you soup, or teaching children manners/ calmly dealing with bad behavior (tantrums) in public ....
Thank you for all of your beautiful work,

Lacey R said...

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to your content for the coming year, I hope to see more recipe videos too! I have had success with some of your recipes. :)

A less expensive makeup brand I have recently tried (and been pleasantly surprised by) is NYX makeup -- particularly the butter lip glosses, eyebrow powder and some eyeshadows. I plan to try some other NYX products this year. ELF makeup was hit or miss for me, I hated the BB cream (it made my skin crawl, ugh!) but I liked the one lipstick crayon I tried.

For nail polish, I tried two of the Frida Kahlo colors by Republic Nail (I've only seen them at select CVS stores), and I was surprised by how long the nail polish lasted while I was on a beach vacation! The nail polish lasted a few weeks and I only had to touch up the nail polish once.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jennifer,

I am so excited about your plans for this year focusing on life at home, as your second book is the one I really love the most. After coming to Canada, from Germany, I let slip so much of the etiquette and way of living, which I had learned from my English mother. My husband and I wanted to "fit in" with our new life in North America. However, through your books, I have been reminded how important it is, to have beautiful, not just quick meals, to seek out the arts and to reserve my yoga pants for exercising.
A completely new concept for me was the 10 item wardrobe, which I enthusiastically tried to implement straight away. My closet was full,of ski gear, hiking clothes, yoga pants, cowboy boots and hats...and 7 cocktail dresses! I realized that the only normal clothes I had for Winter were a pair of jeans, and 3 cashmere sweaters!
I committed to not wearing exercise clothes and bought my 10 items. So far so good, but then it all went wrong, with the extras. I was missing shoes to go with certain dresses, or I need yet another cardigan because the ones I have are the wrong colour or shape for my outfits, my Winter coat won't fit over chunky sweaters. In short, please could you do a video about how to curate the right extras and shoes, bags, etc? Do you have a colour scheme and silhouette in mind before you start?
Also, I would really love it, if you could do a video on creating a capsule evening wardrobe. I do still have all those cocktail dresses, but I find they are often too dressy for the concerts and theatre productions which I attend.
I wish you and your family a wonderful 2017 and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continuous inspiration.

Lacey R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Dear Jennifer,

I like your videos very much! I'm a student from Poland, and i'm getting married in few months time. All your videos and books are so helpful for me! Thanks to them i can much better prepare for a role of wife. I hope my future house will be a refuge for my family :-)
Thank you for all you do here in The Daily Connoisseur!

Payton said...

Dear Jennifer,

What a wonderful video to start off the new year. My mother and I watch your videos weekly and always enjoy the topics you discuss. We are both excited for your new segment-- Teatime with Jennifer! Over this past year since we started watching your videos we have implemented several of the concepts you discuss into our lives. We now are more discerning in our shopping for clothes and have been "seeking out the arts" by attending ballets, symphonies, and museums (we are lucky to live outside of D.C. which allows us access to the arts).

We do have a few requests for this up and coming year: first, we would love to see a video on a capsule handbag wardrobe. We both have a love of bags but often feel that we are missing the right bags for certain occasions and were wondering if you had suggestions for basic bags to have that work for a myriad of events. Second, would you be able to do a video on how to look presentable always when in college? I am in my junior year and tend to like to dress more formally than my peers according to your suggestions but then feel as if I don't fit in with the college scene. Any suggestions for blending looking presentable with a more casual feel? Thank you again!

Payton and Tami

Unknown said...

Fun! Sounds like a fun year! We will be having another little one sometime in March, so I know that the home life will be important to me this year too! :)

Looking forward to all that you mentioned in the video. You look gorgeous in that sweater. So glad you got the kids into the adventures of winter.

Amy said...

Hi Jennifer,

Happy New Year! I'm so happy to hear about "Tea time with Jennifer". I look forward to your videos every week, so to hear you will be having an second video most weeks makes me very happy.

- Amy

Ice & Indigo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucia P. said...

Hi Jennifer:

I am really looking forward to your drugstore beauty reviews and to Tea Time With Jennifer. Awhile ago you shared that you watched some cleaning bloggers for inspiration and I followed How Jen Does it and She's In Her Apron based on your suggestion. If you haven't already, would you also consider a video on some of your favorite cleaning and organizing products? Or even the brand of sheets, towels, etc... that you are loving? In addition to your channel/site, I am really loving cleaning blogs.

Your menu and recipe videos are always helpful and fun too!

Happy New Year! Here's to a great 2017!

Lucia P.

Betsy Maddox said...

I am so excited about everything you have planned for 2017! Lots to look forward to. :). What is that beautiful piano music you have playing at the end of your video? I love it!

Kristen Manoukian said...

Happy New Year to you and your family, Jennifer!

I really missed you during your brief vacation, and was elated to get the notification about your video today! I'm so excited about your new book, and your plans to focus on home life, planning, habits, and routines. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us!

All the best,
Kristen Manoukian

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,

So glad you are back to blogging and hope you had a great time off. I often shop our resale/Goodwill shops and what I can't find there I look for on thredup.com. It as an online consignment shop. I have found some really good steals, ie. cashmere sweaters, big name designer shoes etc. and all for a fraction of the cost. They even take returns within a given time Just thought I'd mention it, in case it may benefit others.

I will be checking back often to watch the videos.


Unknown said...

I'm happy to see you back online and am glad you had a nice winter break. I'm especially excited about your new book! Is it the murder mystery you were writing some years back? Either way, I'm sure it will be great.

I like the affordable items idea, as long as it doesn't mean you end up with a cluttered wardrobe and end up spending more to keep replacing items. As for affordable but good quality clothing, I remember MNG / MANGO having very good quality items. The one in Melbourne, Australia, has closed down but I went to the one in Turkey a few years back and they had a floor which sold fantastic quality items. I had bought jeans from there that I wore heavily for years and still looked good. If in Australia, David Lawrence, Veronika Maine, Country Road all sell good quality clothing. They're not as affordable as Target Aus (which sometimes has good quality) but it's more affordable than some of the brand names you have mentioned in past videos.

To be honest, I look for modest clothing (i.e. not low-cut or isn't short) but its difficult to find unless I shops from more high-end stores, which I can't afford. All the dresses I see (and I have been on the hunt for years) are fairly short, or have a splits which show too much leg, or are very low-cut. I'm also weary about shopping online as I would have to pay for returns, for most companies.

Anyway, just sharing my experience / frustrations with finding good quality and affordable clothing.

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Great to have you back!

I have to echo what Lacey said about NYX makeup. It is THE BOMB! Their BB cream is a much better foundation than the Armani one I was using previously (the BB cream doesn't migrate into fine lines, lasts all day, doesn't break me out, and looks flawless!). Their eye shadows have a whole wonderful range of matte nude colors for the no makeup look, and are comparable to the quality of MAC. I am also buying their matte lipsticks now instead of my old stand-by, Nars. AND! Their HD powder is the very same ingredient as MakeUp Forever's HD powder: 100% silica powder. But for a third of the price. Their micro-point eyebrow pencil is wonderful! A wide range of shades -- they even have ash brown! (Most browns in most lines tend toward the red-gold end of the brown spectrum.) It doesn't smudge, lasts all day, and is able to draw fine lines. I didn't care for their mascara that I tried (it clumped, and dried too quickly to be un-clumped with a brush), nor did I like their concealer as much as the much more expensive Clรฉ de Peu. The only drawback to this line is that it is only sold at Ulta, Target, and CVS (at least in my area), so I usually have to buy it online.

Debbie said...

I'd love to know what to look for in terms of quality of finishing and materials in clothing. You've talked about that a few times, but I'd love to know more. I agree that you don't have to spend a lot to get nice clothing, but I'm not the best at analyzing that and would definitely like to learn more. Thanks!

flourgirl said...

Looking forward to your channel in the upcoming year. Thank you for sharing such beautiful footage of your vacation. And I love, love the music you used. Is it possible to get the name of the music?

Evaline said...

Happy New Year, Jennifer! I look foward to all of the things you have planned. Would caring for footwear fit in anywhere? I've noticed a trend that men and women often don't care for their shoes. Polishing shoes and boots seems to be "uncool." But caring for footwear prolongs the life of the shoes and looks much better. Would you consider some wardrobe and grooming tips for men? So many men don't have their pants hemmed to their leg length...maybe that is also uncool. But it looks sloppy...not chic! General wardrobe essentials that are flattering yet comfortable for men. No stretched out, sloppy T-shirts or cargo pants and cheap baseball caps. Why should we women have all the fun being chic?!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Jennifer & community! I would love to see more on the ethics behind purchasing items. Sustainability is tres chic and i would love to see more video time on various ways we can improve the sustainability of our chic lifestyles. The minimal number of clothes and buying long-lasting quality over quantity is obviously a huge benefit to our social and environmental global impact. I love it when you include sustainable principles like the bamboo dress, vegan versions in your meal plans, the home-made cleaning spray (which i LOVE, by the way), etc. A series on home-made, organic cleaning supplies, home-made organic skincare products. How our lifestyle and our purchases impact our global society and environment is an important issue, and I would love to hear more on it through the Madame Chic lens. Thank you for all that you do Jennifer! I love this community. :)

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thank you for all of your comments and requests! Happy new year, Everyone! For those who are asking about the music: it is called Nordic Morning 2. I use copyright -free music from Epidemic Sounds to keep in compliance with YouTube standards. As always, thank you for commenting.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! God bless you, your family and your work. I just want to say thank you for your work on all the media fronts. I'm a 53 y.o. homeschool mom striving to represent the finer feminine genius to my sons and husband and am grateful for a younger sister like yourself to keep that Passion alive. Keep us Madame's in your thoughts too! ;)
Love from Minnesota!

Quayette said...

Happy New Year, Jennifer!
I have just discovered your blog and your channel a few weeks ago. And I love your philosophy on life. I'm planning to buy your book "Lessons from Madame Chic" from Amazon. But since I live in Mexico...I need to hurry because every day the dollar is getting pricier.๐Ÿ˜

This year I would love to hear more about homemaking and routines... But in particular, I would like to know if you own a planner, and how do you use it. (I love planners.๐Ÿ˜Š ) How do you plan for meals, how does a normal week goes for your family, how do you balance your schedule with the pleasure of enjoying life, do you track your habits, etc.

I have 4 kids (11, 9, 8 & 7) and since they are growing so fast... my "routines" and plans change constantly... sometimes it feels like a complete chaos because what worked last week won't work this one.๐Ÿ˜‚ I know you know what I mean.๐Ÿ˜Š

Thanks for taking the time to read my message๐Ÿ’•

Maureen said...

Happy 2017, Jennifer! Your blog and channel plans for the new year sound wonderful--I'm so looking forward to another year of inspiring posts and videos on so many topics that I enjoy. Thank you for continuing to share your insights and perspectives. I so look forward to digging into new content whenever you post! Wishing you and your family a beautiful year.

Vicki Zimmerman said...

Jennifer, may I just say your face glows and your skin is radiant; I don't know how you do it, but your skin looks amazing. Also, I loved the last few minutes of your video, because nature is so restorative to me (and we certainly need it in today's news cycles, which can be quite stressful) and pairing it with your lovely music (I listen to as much classical when I can, here at home), was a treat. I know you're responding to requests for budget-friendly choices, however, I'm still hopeful that you'll share details about the AG jeans you bought and love. Happy 2017! ^^

Cara at Clutching My Pearls said...

I think even more controversial that the yoga pants issue is tattoos. Ones that can't be hidden. One on necks, fingers, writs, forearms. The silliest thing is getting ones as adults. They looked washed out an unrecognizable in 5 years this would be very controversial. I might try an essay on it myself. I could do the old glamour "Do and Don't "