Thursday, October 31, 2013

Another Lesson Sneak Peak

With our system failures, I'm afraid I've been so busy that keeping up with my students as well as blogging on this blog has been a struggle. It is all beginning to come together so I am excited to say that I should be blogging on schedule asap.

Enjoy this sneak peak of a housewife course lesson for a treat today on me ;)

Now that we should have 'making' a good impression down, let's consider what it takes to make a lasting impression for charm.
 
Unfortunately life doesn't consist of only meeting, impressing and parting. We live with people long after our first meeting and our fascinating tendencies can be known to become less fascinating over time. I have so many in this course frustrated with just that problem. They tend to avoid those who 'do' know them always in search of someone who might find them fascinating.
 
The famous after dinner speaker or well known celebrity has an advantage over the rest of us. The only time we see them is in their dazzling display of charm. For the rest of us, first impressions are only steps. Becoming a great hostess involves learning to dazzle not just once, but many times. It takes learning to build friendships that wear well. It takes getting people to like us day after day, feel comfortable with us, feel important and satisfied after being with us.
 
This is a challenge for many. How on earth is this accomplished?
The externals of appearance are the smooth pavement that lead the way to our more durable work. Being liked has nothing to do with intelligence or education. We know many intelligent women who have a knack for saying the worst thing at the worst time. Many times these women have high marks in school but failing scores in popularity. Looking deeply, what caused this person to be so disliked?
It is usually not brains but something our society lacks today..... 'good old fashioned kindness and an active imagination.'
 
Honest opinion is neither necessary or kind. Consider the one who says, "I feel you ought to know.."  This is often the cruelest phrase in the English Language. It often introduces information the recipient should NOT know and will experience pain and sadness as a result 'of' hearing. If you are fond of disclosing such truths, it should be no surprise when recipients decide not be around after a while.
 
How are you with others? Do you expect others to be tough as you strike their hearts with painful words? Do you get so caught up in your agenda that you forget to consider how others feel? Do you put down or look down on the "empty headed" woman who has all of the friends you long for?
Or are you an over timid woman who worries that she lacks social skills or IQ and thus fears social competition?
 
Before you go off feeling inferior intellectually....
 
 
Consider Suzy: She, by intelligence standards was not the brightest gal you could meet. Some may call her quite 'un' intelligent. Yet, she was captain of one team, manager of another, and one of the few winners of 'best all around girl.' There wasn't a boy or girl on campus who didn't like her. She was an addition. Her academics...not really much to speak of.
She had what people liked: she was considerate, loyal, sweet and sympathetic. She had the brains to remember to help mend a roommate's slip. She would dance with the poorest dancer in school and make them feel amazing. She had just the right words for the self-conscious girl and the ability to make her beam with happiness. She is no longer a 'Miss' at all. She is now a wife, mother and known by all for her gracious home, lovely children and tremendous charm. Her talent is applied kindness and it can be easily learned.
 
So often we have our eyes focused on ourselves. We worry if our hair looks right. We wonder if others like 'us.' We worry about finding someone to help us, or let us through or smile at us. In the process are we thinking of doing the same for them? Are we noticing the hair of the girl who is wondering the same? Are we letting others know that yes we do like them? Are we helping others when we see their need? Are we smiling at 'them?' Is our smile sincere?
 
A Time For Thank Yous
There is rarely an hour that passes when someone isn't doing something for you. The grocery boy? The Mailman? The people you may forget to be grateful for- those you work and live with.
 
 
Do you stop to notice the work they do to make you comfortable?
The woman with tired feet helping you through a checkout with a long line and no break?
The call center rep who is working long hard hours answering phones and helping you? The receptionist at the office you frequent? The neighbor you see outside as you pass by? Your waitress or waiter - especially if they are new or struggling? Your husband as he waits on you kindly?
 
 
What is your attitude towards them? Are they simply scenery, something you paid for and needn't be aware of? Your attitude towards those who serve you reflects your attitude towards everyone else. I once dated a man who was quite cold to a waitress. He talked down to her, looked at her with disdain and thought only about what 'he' needed. As charming as he was that night to me, I did see this very side of him not long after. It was who he was 'behind the mask.'
True charm springs form warmth, not etiquette.
"Thank you" is a way to recognize the need we all have for each other and the appreciation for those who are giving to us. Recognize that we all live with the help of God and 'each other.' When you see this, there will be a new note in your thank you. It will not longer be just a phrase. It will begin to be reflected in every single contact.
 
Be sincere. False gratitude hurts even more than no gratitude.  The important thing is your awareness of those who have helped you, in however small a measure. Put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be treated? What would your struggles be? What would YOU be like to work with?
Do you use your thank yous to draw attention to yourself or do you pay attention to them? Learn to be truly grateful. Learn to look at them.
 
Be grateful to others and they will be more grateful to you. We are not alone. We are all going through our own struggles The best thing on earth would be us helping each other to get through.
 
Start to notice not only your own perspective but those around you. As you're feeling self conscious, notice the others that are as well. Seek to make others more comfortable. Seek to put others at ease.
I wish you love, health and many blessings.
Have a lovely day.
Much love always,
Veronique
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Truly Living An Antique Lifestyle

In the process of moving, my family has found itself in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no internet. Even worse, we had no phone for a time after a power surge destroyed both of our phones. There was an eeriness to the quiet.
 
We were surrounded by nothing BUT nature. For a few days we hadn't even power. I happened on one of those days to pick up a copy of Anne of Green Gables to silently read and there I was. Back in that time.
 Listening to the book describe lighting lanterns and candles for light, milking the cow for milk, and the amazing baked foods and jams. While I ached for my time online. I have grown so attached to this blog. It was a lovely moment for me to truly experience what being a housewife was known for in the past. Cozy homemade blankets, candlelit rooms warmed by a fireplace, the smell of fresh baked pies and breads, laundering by hand, games, nature and reading for entertainment. Sometimes we get caught up in our conveniences. The first day we had power again was amazing. It felt surreal...but do you know that after a few days I missed the way life was without it? I had once again begun to take for granted modern conveniences. When you 'have' to do everything by hand, it's almost as if you take the time to do it better. The women were extremely glamorous and it wasn't as convenient to be so. The meals topped any meal you would get now.
 
My fiance happened upon some 1950s magazines.... a real treasure for those of you truly interested in going back in time.
 
 
The amazing thing is that even in those magazines, they talked of cakes like their grandmas used to make. The food from the past was better. There is truly no delight that even compares to the food when you learn to make it from scratch. Find old cookbooks...the older, the better. Delve into the recipes and study their compositions. The food will amaze you. There was an enchantment to women of old. Aromas came from kitchens that were decorated in the lovliest of fashions. Old dressing tables, old makeup stands....all... enchanting.
Women no longer take the time to look as feminine. Women no longer take the time to spend hours creating the most amazing meal. Women have stopped beaming with pride at their skills in the home. You should. The skills are fascinating to acquire. They will make you truly unique. And there is NOTHING more lovely than a woman who desires to be feminine. I challenge those of you who are not in my course... or even those who are(though I know I work you very hard already) look up an old, old recipe. Study it. Put yourself back in time. Turn off the tv. Light some candles.
 Study your dish. Prepare the lovliest table you can imagine. Bake fresh rolls. Then, sit in front of a mirror and doll yourself up with the lovliest of decorations. Rediscover your femininity. You are lovely. Your home is in your hands. It can be an amazing refuge. Your embrace can be angelic. Your presence delicate and soothing. It is your gift. Relish it.
 
 
 
 Glazed Pancakes
The following recipe was transcribed ver batim from The Times-Democrat New Orleans, Louisiana September 1, 19112
To make fine nice pancakes, take one egg, two tablespoonfuls of flour, four drops of vanilla extract, and three tablespoonfuls of milk. Mix the egg, flour and flavoring together, until the whole presents a smooth appearance, then add the milk by degrees. Heat the frying pan quite hot and brush over with warm fat. Pour about one and a half to two tablespoonfuls of the batter into the pan and turn it about until the batter spreads over the bottom of the pan like a thin wafer. Fry over a brisk fire, on both sides, until the pancake is a golden brown color. The pancakes can be made in rapid succession when the pan is hot. As each pancake is done, turn it into a hot baking tin and dredge it over with sugar. Roll it up like a scroll, and keep it on the tin at the mouth of the oven. When enough are prepared, dust them all over the outside with confectioner's sugar, and glaze in the oven. Dish them up on a paper on a hot dish.
 
Gooseberry Pudding
The following recipe was transcribed ver batim from Peterson's Magazine Philadelphia, Pennsylvania April, 1859
Scald half a pint of green gooseberries in water till they are soft, then put them into a sieve to drain. When cold, work them through a hair sieve with the back of a clean wooden spoon; add to them half a pound of sugar, and the same of butter, with four ounces of Naples biscuits; beat six eggs very well, then mix all together, and beat them a quarter of an hour. pour it into an earthen dish, without paste; half an hour will bake it. Peterson's Magazine
 
French Toast
The following recipe was transcribed ver batim from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania December, 1867 Beat four eggs very light, and stir with them a pint of milk; slice some baker's bread, dip the pieces into the egg, then lay them in a pan of hot lard, and fry brown; sprinkle a little powdered-sugar and cinnamon on each piece, and serve hot. If nicely prepared, this is an excellent dish for breakfast or tea.
 
You haven't lost me. I will be back with many many posts to come. Much love to my students and loyal readers. Veronique.

Monday, October 7, 2013

An Emotional Check For Those Living with Hoarders

One thing I have told very few people is that I am in love with a hoarder.
I can't even begin to explain how hard it is. When he brings things home, it is adorable how much meaning he places on everything. The things he 'hoards' are gifts from the heart. He brings me slippers that are fuzzy for my feet when he knows I've been having sore feet at night. He'll bring me christmas wrapping paper rolls that fill a room when I mention that I need one. He brought me so many adorable 1950s dish sets and serving dishes that I cried at how precious it was.
But then came the mess. Where to put everything. Even worse, when I try to throw something away, it breaks his heart and I feel like I struck a dagger through his gift.

Dealing with this used to tear me to pieces so here is a little tip I have discovered for those of you in the same shape.
 
1. Do not get angry at them. They truly are trying to give you treasures out of love. To yell at them breaks their soul. It is not a vindictive act on their part. My biggest regrets are the days I shouted at him. Those days he had hidden gifts excited to show me what he found and I found them and let loose. If only I could take back the damage to his heart that I did on such days. Learning charm, which is in our course, is one of the hardest things we have to learn. Learning to care about his feelings is a continual battle. The more I got upset with him. The harder he tried to please...ie... more hoarding. It was his language. And it 'was' what I fell in love with about him. He always wanted to bring me gifts and surprise me. It was his love language pure and simple.
 
 
2. Keep some things out of each load they bring home. Make a huge fuss about how much you love them. Use them. Show affection as a thank you. Let them know that the fact that it came from them is what made it special to you.
 
 
3. Decide when he's not around what you will keep. Then sneak it out little by little. I used to sneak out a lot at a time and he would get angry that I cleaned and panic. When I sneak out only a little, he doesn't notice. Before you do this, find out what he loves 'most' first. It can end up badly when you get rid of the few things he does remember in his load.
Keep the things he loves most and you love most... sneak the rest away discretely.
 
4. Help him to learn other ways of giving or acquiring that are less mess making. Let him know you love it when someone buys you flowers... or chocolates... or perishibles.. They may light up your home for a time and be much less clutter in the end.
 
5. If you lose your temper, apologize. It is an illness... not a cruelty. Patience with him will be best in the end. Hoarders suffer emotionally more than you would imagine due to their attachment and sentiment to things. It is secretly a desire for closeness. The 'things' my love collects are things that symbolize family and home. I work my best to provide a home that satisfies all of his needs in such respects. I truly believe that the more I make a home, the less he seeks to 'aquire' it.
 
If you have any questions or need any help. Perhaps you are the hoarder, contact me. I can help you.
Much love always,
Veronique.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

When Chaos Knocks and the Mock-Move Room Cleanup

We have been in the process of moving. In the process there has been much chaos and tension. Last minute scares have defined the week as have unexpected let downs.
Sleep has been interrupted and short and we are all worn out to say the least in a home that is now full of boxes.

The home itself is lovely. Everything is exactly what we wanted yet there is always a bit of melancholy in spite. The person who was going to purchase our old place backed out at the last minute causing much stress on our end. At the same time, our phones and electronics experienced a storm during a power surge and all must be replaced.
Stress.

Sometimes life just happens. The only true way to handle chaos is to be ready for anything.
Know that struggles 'will' happen and be ready to problem solve and brainstorm until you are able to work out a solution. The key to chaos is not to let it knock you down. Find a way to make things work.... try different options. When one option fails, try another... just DON'T GIVE UP.
In the end, the stress will be forgotten but the things you gave up will not.
Trials test our endurance. They test our resolve. They test our determination but that is all they are unless you give up. Just tests. 

Learn to be so committed to your goals that you won't give up. Keep moving forward and take the trials as they come.

Now for the Mock-Move cleanup.

Many of you have struggle cleaning and may not realize that it's due to clutter.
Sometimes we don't realize how much clutter is affecting us until it's gone.

When I went to clear out my home I just emptied it as fast as I could and then did the deep cleaning.
I re-discovered how lovely the home was underneath the clutter....and I'm a even a neat freak that keeps it all in line. Even so, it perhaps had a little more than I needed. Keeping up with clutter is so important so the Mock-Room Cleanup is my new suggestion for clutter.
 
Once a quarter or so for each room, empty it as if you were moving. Choose a day when you won't be busy so that you have the time. Move everything out of that room...except the big furnishings. Then when it's clear, clean it and notice how lovely it is. You may be amazed at how much better it looks. Clean it, make it shine, touch up decor, wash curtains etc..   Then, seeing the cleaned out result, you will have more motivation NOT to move some items back. As you gradually put items back one by one, throw the items you really don't need into a box/bag for charity. You may even touch up paint, reconsider color schemes etc... doing this each quarter or twice a year should keep your home looking great.
Great idea for those of you with more clutter than you can stand. Just cleaning the room out and cleaning it will be therapudic. ;)

More posts to come.
Much Love Always,
Veronique

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Sneak Peak at A Housewife Course Lesson

I have been traveling much this week and thus have had so little time to write new posts. I am going to give you all a treat.... a sneak peak at a lesson in our housewife course that I am sending to one of our students today.

To sign up for the course, just click to the right and begin today. All of the amazing elegant mannerisms that the women in the 50s had... that made them so feminine, enchanting and awe-inspiring are learned traits. Traits you can learn with practice... just as they had to do.

Begin your own course today. My students get lessons Monday-Friday and lessons that they can choose to complete for a life change they will never forget.

Begin today.

Much love,
Veronique ;)
You can be the best chef, housekeeper, designer and dresser but if your mannerisms are off, you will miss the one trait that made the housewives of the 50s truly stand out... their mannerisms. I have seen so many today wear the attire but few can pull of the charm. While seduction is a trait many women learn, few have learned elegance and grace. Such traits are far more attractive than any degree of seduction could ever hope to be.
 It is a matter of memory and practice. Soon you will be charming and elegant without much thought.
Public Transport
Busses, Trolleys, trains, boats and planes are common carriers. Most bad manners in such are result of the perception that a woman who pays her fare should have the same comforts she would in a Rolls driven by her own chauffeur. She wants the best life has to offer. The best seat, the best people around her, and privacy. She often is heard complaining about those around her -- her remarks bordering on prejudice. If a tired farmer sits in a seat she was looking at, she throws up her head with self righteousness. If anyone nudges her in the rocky ride, there is a cold stare and cruel comment. She may assume that the other passengers are deaf and carry on conversation about her personal life far too loudly. Her tone may imply that she finds herself special but bad manners are obvious to all. She obviously finds everyone beneath her and is disliked as a result. Man or woman, rich or poor, you have the same rights on a public transport as any other passenger. For crowds to be bearable at all, kindness and tolerance are required.
We all must travel. Our facial expressions and mannerisms will affect the ride for both us and those around us. Being rude, allowing others to upset you, and being resentful will land you a bad reputation and a harsh response. Be gracious, accepting of others and kind and it will be returned to you. A true lady leaves a pleasant memory not a harsh one.
We are briefly covering charm and will continue to do so... however, no one book can cover all aspects of human relations. We will cover those that are most common and it will take common sense to exercise the same courtesies in other areas. Some great books to have on hand are the Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette as well as Emily Posts Etiquette. They are literally your etiquette encyclopedia. When in doubt, look it up. Manners affect others drastically. If you stop to think of those you dislike and those you like... it is largely a result of etiquette and charm. Learning to master these skills will make you far more charming and far more liked.
How are you in telephone manners? Have you interrupted without warning? Are you curt? Most dislike talking for long on the phone however, we'd all be lost without this useful instrument. Always assume the other person may be busy and cut your conversation accordingly.
Are you pleasant on paper? When you write, write the sort of letter you would enjoy receiving. It may be hard after an unpleasant occasion to send a thank you letter but a kind woman always does. Gratefulness 'can' be learned and even the most unpleasant situation can be appreciated if you consider the stress of the hostess and the time and effort taken to put the event together. In such situations, reply briefly but promptly.
Do your friends avoid shopping with you? Think about two things...1) clarify what you want before heading out. 2) Think about the saleswoman. She stands on her feet all day for a salary that is very small. Her salary depends on 'completed' sales. She receives no credit if merchandise is returned. She must bear with all types of customers....all of whom are always right. If you can't decide on what you want before you shop, let her know you are just looking. If she has the time, she will be grateful and help you even more. Never belittle the merchandise. If it isn't what you want, don't buy but never take it out on the saleswoman. She didn't select it either.
All in all, human relations can be summed with this simple rule. Try to get inside the skin of others. Think about how 'they' feel, how they react, and treat them as you'd like to be treated in their shoes. It is common to be cold and insensitive to both those you see as beneath you and those you are intimated by. ALL of them have feelings. Start to treat them as such. It will reward you tenfold in the end.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a sure rule for charm.
Profanity on a lady's lips used to be a sign that she was no lady and definitely not virtuous.
Often mannerisms of a culture match their attire. Think back to the 1990's when women wore dark clothing, were agressive, spiked, wild and anything but feminine. We were masculine and aggressive and our speech and manner reflected this as well as our attire. Thankfully attire is becoming more feminine and it is no longer attractive to be quite so harsh. Our goal is not to compete with men or be mannly, rather it is to find a way to work "with" them. Some women still hold a chip on their shoulders and it shows in how they walk... with the angry expression, masculine gait, and harsh expressions. The most successful of women learns to conduct her business while remaining female. She may be in architecture because she knows what 'women' like in their homes. She may publish books 'women' like to read. She may be great at advertising because she knows what it takes to make 'women' buy things. Hardness and imitation of men are not fashionable. The feminine sex is fascinating and we are a necessary component to society. There is no need nor appeal to rejecting it. Delight in your feminine gifts. Shine. They are truly dazzling. In many ways, women do create the comfort, peace and beauty in this planet we call home.
Common sense and consideration for others will answer most questions on charm.
It isn't wise to ask company over at an hour when neighbors may be sleeping.
It isn't wise to ask over a person if you have no room in your home to entertain them.
In most situations, with thought, you can answer your own questions. How will you come across? Will you offend? Are you considering their comfort or only your own. Will you make an impression that will soften or improve their day?
Another important note. Men still and always will prefer to do the seeking. Also avoid coyness. It is artificial and silly. Dignity and a small amount of reserve along with graciousness will make women more than attractive to men.
A note on those who live with men outside of marriage.
Such situations offer no security or permanence. They put a woman automatically on the defensive. She is always threatened with possible desertion, she is always desperately attempting to keep her man by striving to be pretty enough, young enough, fascinating enough. She doesn't have the support of public dissaproval if he were to leave her because there is 'no' marriage for the public to stand behind. If a husband flirts with another woman, a 'wife' can object. The world would be on her side. The un married woman is just an option - one easily replaced and society often encourages him to consider other fish in the sea if unsettled. The wife can discuss relationship struggles with others. The unmarried woman is still not supported by society. She is often frowned on by the public. They may condemn her for being in such a relationship.
Worst of all. A man will likely never marry and if he does, never respect a woman that doesn't wait until marriage to be with him.
There is an enchantment to the initial love a man feels for a woman... If he is truly in love, he will want your hand. You won't just be a one night stand or a 5 year live in. You will be his everything.
The one he gives his life to be with.
Too many woman move in with a man to find him lose interest soon after. He was never truly commited to begin...if he wasn't ready to marry you then, time won't make him more interested it will usually make him less.
A true lady insists on the serenity, sureness and security/protection that our great-grandmothers were smart enough to demand.
 
Charm is a learned behavior but it does require much practice. With time, elegance is a trait every lady could and should desire to learn.
 
Much love always,
Veronique