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Friday, May 1, 2015

Bringing Quality and Passion to Daily Life ~ A French Girl Friday Post

Quality in life is important,
but it does not have to cost a
pretty penny....but it can be pretty xx 


I am nearly at the end of Lessons from Madame Chic written by Jennifer L. Scott, and I am down to that last two chapters, it has been a delightful journey through the pages. There have been lessons learned, there has been some further channeling of my inner French girl, and some realizations that I also really like some of my American ideals and habits, that many won't change... I will never be French, but I shall always have that need and desire to channel my inner French girl. So how does the author suggest this week to do just that? It is simple, to bring and value quality above all, and to live a passionate life.  





She begins the chapter with this.... " Living with Famille Chic defined for me a quality life. I also learned about things like clothing, furniture, and food, as well as quality of thoughts, of feelings of intellect. So many things about the French lifestyle emphasize quality." Jennifer has her own blog that is titled The Daily Connoisseur , it is where she explores the topics she wrote about in the book, she says " A daily connoisseur is someone that seeks quality in every moment of every day..." I think that in many ways I have always channeled my inner French girl by being a daily connoisseur myself, but in my own way and with a slight tweak. I do of course value quality, but I also value a bargain, and making the best with what I have and what I can afford, it might not meet French standards or even a few American standards according to some people I know, but quality of things is not my most important motivator, finding beauty, joy, happiness and peace in my daily life... that is what I am a daily connoisseur of. There is nothing wrong however with going for quality, perhaps quality of the time you spend with family, even on yourself , something the author suggests as well. Other quality things that she says will help one to be a bit more like the French is quality food...she suggests becoming a connoisseur of fine food.



Quality food, fine food does not have to be expensive, she suggests the farmers market for fruits and vegetables, as an example. I love a good farmers market, but I have been known to spend far more than I can afford when I do shop at them, so I have to watch myself or it is expensive. I also am a big lover of buying gourmet type food, but affordable gourmet... How? you might ask, well there are so many wonderful offerings in supermarkets ..my favorite one to shop at is Trader Joes, a wonderful little market chain that is slowly growing here in the states. I often find gourmet offerings and other quality groceries at "TJ's" . My husband and myself will go to the The Dollar Tree and Wal Mart for basic staples, but we buy some of our main meal and snack items at TJ's.... I can have a Macaron directly from France, or pasta from Italy and at a cost we can afford. We search for sales at our other local markets, we have one that always has a great meat sale, and good quality at a great price. So it can be done on a budget with a little work. Of course sometimes I also will cook up something wonderful at home from my French cookbook, and try to use the best of ingredients. Of course she says that"once you eliminate any desire for inferior food....... it does take awhile , but soon you won't crave the processed, packaged, low quality foods....." I am not so sure about that ....not sure my husband will ever give up his gold fish crackers! 

  

The next suggestion is quality clothing. I have friends from all walks of life and of all taste levels. Some love nothing but labels. Some can only afford clothing at Wal Mart. I have said over and over, I am a bargain hunter. I admire designer clothing, fancy high end stores windows do give me pause, and I do not believe in buying junk clothing, but that being said I am not above buying a 3.00 tank top for walking in and a pair of jean shorts at my local Wally World. I have never bought designer, just can not get past the price tag. I know, I know, all, or most other clothing is disposable. The problem is I am fickle. I like new things, I like to shop and I like to change my look from time to time ( you know that about me if you have been reading this blog for any length of time or been on my FB page)...if I bought designer, high end, high quality, meant to last a life time clothing I would end up loosing one of my favorite hobbies. My favorite place to shop lately is a local thrift store that benefits the American Cancer Society, the nifty thing about this place is I do find quality pieces, good names from high end chain stores and at a really low price... I am picky, has to look like new, but lucky me the people that run this shop have the same goals. Of course Jennifer is a big proponent of the 10 piece wardrobe, so quality over quantity really works... and I understand it, and I respect as well as admire the thought process and know people who follow it, but that more than likely just never be me.   





Quality experiences. This is something I can get behind. When my husband and myself lost everything, were living on barely any money, sometimes none at all past paying rent and utilities and the bare minimum of food, we still sought out to have quality experiences in our daily life. You can make the most of even taking a simple stroll either with the one you love or by yourself. Just as I chatted about in the last installment, you can have a quality experience doing the most routine of things.... perhaps when doing dishes, light a nice candle near by, put on some music and get lost in the act... yes I know most people have dishwashers, but sometimes washing a few things by hand can be quite relaxing and rewarding and if you share the task you can certainly have a quality experience. 
I like what Jennifer has to say about the subject in this chapter, " go on a negativity diet. " , that can be from people in your life or experiences. It does not mean not being there for the ones you care about, just not to get sucked into unnecessary drama. With any experience she suggests learning from it and seeing what good you can take from it. With the life I have lead and as I mentioned recently I am not a natural optimist, taking that advice to heart is something that gets me through most every day, I love what she says at the end of this portion of suggestions " Look at the fun and joy in any situation and always come from a place of love. Doing so will ensure that every experience you have, whether good or bad, is a quality experience." Wise words indeed. 



Everything, each word, each chapter has lead to Jennifer's last chapter and the message it holds.." Live a Passionate Life". When I was chatting with one of my followers about what she would love to see in a Ruby's Musings by Request post in the future, she asked me how to make each day a celebration of life. She went further to tell me that even when she serves lemonade to her grandchildren she wanted it to be special, again, a celebration. That really spoke to me. Even with all the FGF posts, writing about such things, and what I post to my FB page daily, I often forget to do just that. Yes, I admit I am horrible at practicing what I "preach" , at least consistently. I want to, I have the desire to, and it is not that I forget to, it is often I am too busy, too lazy or truthfully just too exhausted to care. " Every detail of life can become exceptional if you allow it to be so. You hold the key. When filled with laughter, friendship, art, intellectual endeavors, and a certain joy, life can be extraordinary..." The French know this, and live it, life is short and is meant to be enjoyed to be "celebrated" as my follower said, and perhaps it is this state of mind and way of living each and every day that makes me continue to channel my inner French girl time and time again. 

Maybe one day ...I will *wink wink*


Well my dearhearts, this concludes the journey through Lessons from Madame Chic written by Jennifer L Scott. I hope that you will purchase this lovely book, and check out Jennifer's blog The Daily Connoisseur. where you can find out all about Jennifer as well as her books and vlogs... and how to follow her on all social platforms if you desire to do so. I hope you have enjoyed my own personal journey through the pages of the book. 

I have yet to pick out another book to journey through, but have a few in mind. I will be taking a little break however from FGF posts as I recover from having breast surgery on May 8th ( next week!!) but will be doing another installment of Ruby's Musings by Request .... next Tuesday.  Until then of course you can always find other past installments of FGF not just from Lessons, but also from several other authors books that I have journeyed through...all of the older posts can be found under the label French Girl Friday here on the side bar of the the blog. Of course you can always find me on FB, when I am not in my garden that is! 



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