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Purposefully Poisey: a book review

For part of my growing up, my mom worked as a high school English teacher. I never felt as though the school year was unbearably chaotic; I had homework, my mom graded papers, she still made dinner most nights, and it usually fell to me to make a salad (would you believe that I still don't make a particularly good salad? Something to work on...). But come summer time, our lives took on a very different flavor. That first week of summer vacation we would both veg out on the couch, reading a fun book. Looking back I realize my mom was reading a Life Improvement book, something titled Gracious Living or Delightfulness Everyday, or How to Cultivate Lovliness In Your Home - something graciously lovely like that. And that second week of summer would mark the change: fresh flowers would appear on the table, jam would arrive at breakfast in cute little ceramic pots, mouthwash was now in crystal decanters. My mom could keep this lovliness going all summer long and usually the first couple of weeks of school as well.

So, now I'm working as a teacher. And guess what I'm reading? Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic: Lessons in Everyday Elegance by Jennifer Scott. Yes, it's a little early, but I like to get a jump on my New Year's Resolutions. I read her first book a couple of years ago, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris. Why, yes, Astute Gentle Readers, it was a gift from my mother, who continues to read these books and, now retired, lives graciously full time.

I'm about half way through the book, and so far, I am much more conscientous of my posture. Did reading that just make you sit up a little straighter and taller? I know, right! The new ways to tie a scarf really work. I've also started wearing an apron while I cook, and my clothes thank me for this extra little step. Jennifer Scott's writing has an easy, educational tone; it's a little self deprecating and not condescending. I'm sure we would have an ab fab lunch together in our non-exercise clothes and cell phones tucked out of sight.

I'm fairly certain that Jennifer (can I call her Jennifer? We could totally be friends. I really like her) started the whole 10-piece wardrobe movement. This idea fascinates me utterly, even as I don't participate. I love going to her blog and seeing what 10 items she's picked out for the new season. Honesly, I think I pick out about 10 new items per season, too, only I don't get rid of the old ones. See, if we were friends, I could ask her about this...

This book is super appealing for me as I enjoy little improvement projects, and I'm comfortable with being the project.

Jennifer has a lovely blog (well, of course it's lovely) called the Daily Connoisseur, lots of videos and great recommendations.

I'm so getting my poisey on this year.

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