Thank you, ladies, for all of your emails and kind comments encouraging my journey toward becoming a woman of elegance. Today, is Step 2 in our journey Cultivating Everyday Elegance with the importance of being kind and full of grace. Last week we officially started with learning to pause, ponder and then proceed when making decisions. The idea is that a woman of elegance is purposeful in all she does and not rushing from one decision to the next. Overall, we are learning poise.
“Poise is something to practice on a daily basis. Poise as a way of life is an artform. Just as an artist strives to perfect her art throughout her life, we will work on our poise.”
– Jennifer L. Scott in Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic.
I believe kindness, grace and friendliness are natural by products of poise and elegance. When we slow down, exude confidence, experience more joy, and move forward with purpose, it is very natural to take time for others and reach out to those around us. A couple of readers mentioned women they thought to be elegant, because of their exquisite style and how they carried themselves. But, then they said they were not kind at heart. I am here to make the assertion that true elegance comes from the inside, as well as seen on the outside. I do not believe you can call yourself elegant without a kind heart.
How is it practiced? Everyday elegance is seen through smiles; speaking to others around you no matter where you are; reaching out to help when needed; taking time to send a meal to someone in the neighborhood just out of the hospital; writing a handwritten note of encouragement; sending a card for no occasion other than to say thinking of you; encouraging people you know and don’t know. Remember my personal definition of grace?
Grace – unearned, empathetic acceptance; loving to all
This means that a woman of elegance practices forgiveness, empathy and understanding on a daily basis. Perhaps there is someone who needs your forgiveness today in order to move forward or one person you need to reach out to because you just cannot get them out of your mind. In her book, Living Forever Chic, Tish Jett has a checklist for dealing with unpleasant people or circumstances. Number 4 on the list reads:
“Speak clearly, explain respectfully, and listen. It’s not always necessary to be right. Sometimes being gracious is far more effective.”
Oh, how I wish I had learned these lessons earlier in life…thank goodness there is still time to practice social graces. As I have experienced a surge in confidence and joy since my reinvention at age 50, kindness has become a huge part of who I am. Now, that I am purposefully slowing down, I hope to cultivate this even more into in my life each day.
I agree with Tish when she writes, “Elegance is not self -importance, snobbery, vulgarity, or arrogance.”
IMPROVING HOSPITALITY DETAILS
In my very busy life the last few years, I have become lazy with hospitality (not all of the time, but too much of the time). My new life plan includes refining hospitality and doing everything with proper details to bless others. When we were invited by three other families to attend a “fun-time” at the lake last weekend, my old thoughts would have been to just pick-something-up to take. But, I paused, pondered, and proceeded with a plan to take dishes to our big Saturday meal that would please the crowd and honor the occasion. The occasion was a summertime fellowship with friends getting back together after being quarantined for months. So, I wanted something that said summer! What popped into my mind first was a lemon pound cake. My old recipe was made with lemon extract, but I wanted this cake to be fresher than that. After some online research, I selected the Lemon Pound Cake on Sally’s Baking Addiction, and so glad that I did…this cake is fabulous and not a crumb remained on the plate. The fresh lemon juice and zest added to the icing and cake make it refreshingly good!
I also took my own recipe for Spinach/Strawberry Salad. You just load up a salad bowl with fresh spinach, cut strawberries, chopped (roasted) walnuts, and feta cheese. Toss with a Fat Free Poppyseed Dressing. Where ever I take it, this salad is always a crowd pleaser. My friend Karen is another Texas woman of elegance and when we arrived to visit her lakehouse, she had this spread of snacks ready for us. We have three dear friends who own lake houses near to one another on the same lake…so it was fun to visit each one and have some time laughing and going out in a boat.
ABOUT THE OUTFIT
Yes, this Karen Kane tunic (which is actually a dress) came home with me from Dillard’s and it was on sale! I knew I would wear it often over the summer. Though this is a print, I am toning it down and sticking more with my own personal style colors within prints. I wore it to the lake with capri leggings and Chico’s jewelry…but changed into something much more casual to go out on the lake! I am also wearing The Chill Sandal by BZEES. Perfect for any adventure because they are comfy and washable.
While at the lake, we were visited by this swan. They are elegant in their movements through the water…though this one is a bit persnickety with his demeanor when wanting food. However, I observed how slow and purposeful the swan is when swimming. This one was not rattled at all by humans. Good lessons on elegance.
Of course, I have a Fabulous Finds slideshow for you today…
KEEP SMILING, EVERYONE….HAPPY WEEKEND!
JUST A NOTE:
There are several ways that I generate income through this blog in order to cover business expenses and give myself much needed income. Purchases through the slideshow links is one way, ads on the page is one way and a new way is through ordering or re-ordering the GOLI Apple Cider Vinegar gummies through me with my GOLI LINK HERE. Again, if you are not familiar with the benefits of apple cider vinegar, you should speak with your personal physician. My husband and I are sold on the benefits and I am proud to represent this product. I am going to leave this at the bottom of my posts so that when you, friends or family would like to order you can use my link. Thanks for the support. This is a great product; as well as, the ones below!
Mr. B and I love our meals from Sun Basket!
My Complexion Loves Chamonix:
By Pamela Lutrell