I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic: Lessons in Everyday Elegance, the long awaited third book by Jennifer L. Scott. It totally did not disappoint! Written in the same easy-going manner as Jennifer’s first two books, Polish Your Poise expands more fully on the concept of cultivating your poise and how this relates to your daily life.
Even though I’m very familiar with Jennifer’s blog and her first two books Lessons from Madame Chic and At Home with Madame Chic, there were still new takeaways for me. I prefer not to write in my books but I had quite a few Post-it flags sticking out by the time I’d finished. Just a quick tip – when I’ve gone through a book and noted down all the quotes I want to keep, I stick all the Post-it flags to the back of a bookmark, ready for my next book.
One of the first takeaways from Polish Your Poise that I could put into immediate practice was not to lean on things all the time. Jennifer writes that she couldn’t stand somewhere without leaning and I realised I do this too. If I’m chopping vegetables I’m leaning on the kitchen counter. If I’m brushing my teeth I’m leaning on the bathroom vanity. If I’m serving a customer in the shop I’m leaning on the counter or even a wall or doorway…
It was just a lazy habit I’d not been aware of. It’s much better for your strength, your posture and how you look if you’re holding yourself up rather than slouching against something.
I don’t have scientific evidence of this, but a friend of my brother who needs a double hip replacement at the young age of 50 said it could be partially hereditary but he also believed that years of working in hospitality contributed to it and he spoke of standing on one leg a lot, which is exactly what you do when leaning on something, and it puts unnatural pressure on one hip rather than spreading your weight evenly over both.
So between the advice from Polish Your Poise and not wanting to damage my hips, I have stopped leaning on things.
There were also plenty of beautifully worded reminders too in this lovely book, such as this:
“You might not be living your dream life right now, but if you’re serious about cultivating poise, you must change your perspective. Take pride in absolutely everything you do. Cleaning house. Filing those spreadsheets at work. Ironing your clothes. Dealing with that customer who walks through the door just as you’re about to close the shop. Cleaning the pots in your kitchen. Volunteering at your community’s spring fair. Take pride in what you do. Give it your all. Give it your full attention. Madame Chic took pride in everything that she did. She didn’t waste time griping about her lot in life. If she wanted to be doing something other than what she was doing, I would not have known.”
There were also many other sections I made notes on, to do with establishing routines, the helpfulness of having still moments throughout the day, exercises to do for good posture, the proper etiquette of greeting people (kiss or hug?) and a great chapter on ‘charming communication’.
Because I’ve watched Jennifer’s YouTube videos a lot and am very familiar with her voice, often when I was reading Polish Your Poise I could hear Jennifer’s voice reading it to me in my head – it was nice!
If you enjoyed Jennifer’s first two books – Lessons from Madame Chic and At Home with Madame Chic, you are sure to enjoy Polish Your Poise too. And if you are a new reader to Jennifer and her Daily Connoisseur blog I don't think need to read the first two books before this one to enjoy and get the most from it.
Polish Your Poise is to be released this week, on the 27th of October. I’m not surprised that it is a #1 Bestseller already, just from pre-orders. It seems to be on a really good discount right now too. I encourage you to treat yourself to the gift of inspiration and encouragement from Jennifer and Madame Chic.
I hope you enjoy Polish Your Poise as much as I did, and a big thank you to Jennifer for generously sending me an advance copy.