Friday, November 28, 2014

Recommended reading

Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top, by Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler, ©2013. Common sense etiquette to heighten your standing secularly, as well as socially. Full of funny personal stories, and written for the modern age.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Liv Tyler, Modern Manners, on her grandmother

... a kind of grace and thoughtfulness, a natural elegance mixed with a true passion for learning, a great curiosity, an amazing attention to detail, and tremendous wisdom. I noticed that the way my grandmother treated people had a sort of chain reaction, and in turn, people treated her with the utmost respect and kindness. It was as if her behavior was bringing out the best in them. She would often tell me, "Livvy, always take the high road, because the low road is so crowded."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Role Models, Part One

As far as TV and movies go, there are some great ladies portrayed, who we would do well to imitate. A few are:
Holly Go lightly as played by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's;
Elise as played by Angelina Jolie in The Tourist;
Elizabeth as played by Jennifer Ehle in Pride and Prejudice;
Betty Draper as played by January Jones in Mad Men;
Maggie DuBois as played by Natalie Wood in The Great Race;
Laura as played by Gene Tierney in Laura;
Princess Leia as played by Carrie Fisher in the Star Wars trilogy;
Lemon Breeland as played by Jaimie King in Hart of Dixie;
And finally, Pola, Schatze, and Loco as played by Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, and Betty Grable in How to Marry a Millionaire.
Watch these movies, and learn from the ladies in them.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Edith Head

Well when a woman reaches 40 and over, she should never reveal what she should conceal.

Edith Head

Mae West taught me what a woman can do with a format.

Recommended reading

The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything by Melissa Kirsch. ©2006. Buy this one and keep it in your purse, on your bedside table, wherever it is easiest to reach. Whether you never were taught how to manage your finances or need reminders  on your daily beauty routine, whether you don't know what the proper behaviour is at the workplace or you need help dealing with your family, this book had everything you will ever need to know to become a real, modern lady.

Melissa Kirsch, The Girl's Guide to Absolutely Everything

The simple truth about good manners is this: Etiquette exists, fundamentally, to make those around you feel at ease. You're showing people that you respect them enough to behave with decorum... the best reason for minding your p's and q's is less to save the world from boorishness than to save yourself from embarrassment.

Recommended reading

Freakin' Fabulous by Clinton Kelly. ©2008.
Also, Freakin' Fabulous on a Budget, also Clinton Kelly.
Oh No She Didn't, Clinton Kelly again.
Basically, you need to consider Mr. Kelly the god of ladyship. Because he is.
He can teach you "how to dress, speak, behave, eat, drink, entertain, decorate, and generally be better than everyone else."
If you only read one book (or three,) read this one (or three.)

Clinton Kelly

What you wear tells the world how you expect to be treated.

Clinton Kelly, Freakin' Fabulous

... fabulousness requires mastery- or at least perceived mastery- of topics ranging from style to manners to gastronomy to décor.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Drew Barrymore

It's a shallow, inconsistent, competitive, cruel world. Whenever I get really sad that I'm involved in it, I feel that instead if sitting on the sidelines and complaining, I should go in there and make it better.

Lauren Stover, The Bombshell Manual of Style

The Bombshell is never bored and, therefore, never boring. She never pretends to be anyone other than herself. She is not censored, careful or contrived. She doesn't read the rules or follow the rules, or color her hair to conform to the latest trend. (She) cannot pretend excitement not deeply felt, nor gush over movies and books and art she finds disagreeable. She is not afraid of the truth, though she understands some lies- tiny lies- make life more effervescent... The Bombshell has her own sense of ethics- ethics to which she is always true.

Lauren Stover, The Bombshell Manual of Style

A Bombshell is a woman who has learned to use her vulnerability to her advantage, a woman who allows for her frailty and breakable humanity, but does not let it eclipse her aura of glamour.

My current reading list

Masters and Men by Philip Guedalla, ©1923
The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith, ©1992
Down With Love by Barbra Novak, ©2003
Bella Mafia by Lynda La Plante, ©1991
Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand, ©1982
How to Look Hot in a Minivan by Janice Min, ©2009
The Pocket Book of Quotations,edited by Henry Davidoff, ©1952
A Place of Yes by Bethany Frankel, ©2011
Edith Head: The Fifty Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer by Jay Jorgensen, ©2010
Elizabeth Taylor: A Shining Legacy on Film by Cindy de la Hoz, ©2012.

Recommended reading

Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou. ©2014.
The best of Ms. Angelou. Segregated into subjects, her eternal wisdom expressed in simple, touching quotes on life, love, and spirit.

Benedetta Craveri

The ideal of conversation, which managed to marry lightheartedness with depth, elegance with pleasure, and the search for truth with a tolerant respect for the opinions of others, has never lost it's appeal.

John Stuart Mill

That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of our time.

Coco Chanel

A woman can be beautiful at twenty, charming at forty, and irresistible all her life.

Coco Chanel

(Perfume is) an unseen, unforgettable, ultimate fashion accessory. It heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.

Marilyn Monroe

I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it.

Jennie Jerome

Treat your friends as you do your best pictures, and place them in their best light.

Lord d'Abernon, describing Lady Randolph Churchill be of another texture to those around her, radiant, translucent, intense... more of the panther than the woman in her look, but with a cultivation unknown to the jungle... her delight in life, the genuine wish that she would share her joyous faith in it, made her the center of a devoted circle.

Buddy DeSylva

If it's naughty to rouge your lips, shake your shoulders, and shake your hips, then the answer is, "I wanna be bad!"

Madame du Deffand

Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.

Louis Nizer

A beautiful lady is an accident of nature. A beautiful old lady is a work of art.

Noel Coward

Wit ought to be a glorious treat, like caviar; never spread it about like marmalade.

William Sharp

In the beginning, said a Persian poet,- Allah took a rose, a lily, a dove, a serpent, a little honey, a Dead Sea apple, and a handful of clay. When he looked at the amalgam- it was a woman.

Thomas Otway, Venice Preserved, I, 1

O woman! lovely woman! Nature made thee
To temper man: we had been brutes without you.

Abraham Lincoln

The woman was not taken
From Adam's head, we know,
To show she must not rule him
'Tis evidently so.
The woman she was taken
From under Adam's arm,
So she must be protected
From injuries and harm.

Robert Burns

Auld Nature swears, the lovely dears
Her noblest work she classes, O:
Her Prentice han' she tried on man,
An' then she made the lasses, O.

Ambrose Bierce

Here's to woman! Would that we could fall into her arms without falling into her hands.

Just a thought

One must remember that a lady isn't perfect. If you find yourself using "but I'm not perfect" to excuse your perceived lack of worth, just remember: the Venus di Milo isn't perfect-- but her statue is considered to be one of the most beautiful in history.

Maya Angelou

Dignity doesn't just mean always being stiff and composed. It means believing in oneself, that one is worthy of the best. Dignity means that what I have to say is important, and I will say it when it's important for me to say it. Dignity really means that I deserve the best treatment I can receive. And that I have the responsibility to give the best treatment I can to other people.

Maya Angelou

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget what you made them feel.

Recommended reading

GirlWise, by Julia DeVillers, ©2002.
This one is for all you tweens, teens, and young ladies! GirlWise helps you learn "how to be confident, capable, cool, and in control," so that you can be the best girl you can be!

Julia DeVillers, GirlWise

Answer the following questions... if there were no judgement from anyone else, no one to laugh at you...
What would you be?
What would you do?
How would you dress?
Then, bit by bit, start moving toward the real you.

Recommended reading

Simply Irresistible, by Ellen T. White. © 2007.
A series of short biographies of Sirens of the past, and how you can be one yourself. A great book if you are looking to improve your love life, or just improve people's perceptions of you.

Alex Kuczynski

(A lady) is the woman who pauses and reflects. Haste does not make a lady. Low blood pressure makes a lady. A woman who sees the yellow light, then runs across Park Avenue to make it is not, to me, a lady. What is she scampering after?

Paula Zahn

(A lady is) someone who shows grace under pressure, can assert herself without being perceived as harsh, who gets the job done without sacrificing femininity.

Noelle Cleary and Dini Von Meuffling, The Art and Power of Being a Lady

Being a lady is an "art" and not a birthright. It's something that has to be earned. It's about paying attention and aspiring to do the right thing even when others don't. That's what sets a lady apart from the crowd. It's what garners her respect and admiration and inspires all of us to keep trying. That is the power of being a lady.

Anna Quindlen

All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.

Just a thought

For great, easy-to-understand, and well-reviewed recipes, try
It gets me through my most extreme food crises.

The Perfect Mojito

2 oz rum (not spiced)
3 slices limes
4 oz lemon-lime soda (like 7UP or Sprite)
6 mint leaves
3 ice cubes, small

Put leaves and lime slices in the bottom of a glass. Pulverise. Add ice, and pour in soda. Top with rum. Serve!

Makes one.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Marc Jacobs

I always find beauty in things that are odd and imperfect.

Ivana Trump

Gorgeous hair is the best revenge.

Audrey Hepburn

I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick.

Dita von Teese

Heels and red lipstick will put the fear of god into people.

Harry Winston

People will stare. Make it worth their while.

Linda Stasi

The most important contribution any lady can make to society is to love and care and nurture her own children to become the best humans they can be.

Judith Christ

I can think of few actresses who served, as (Katherine) Hepburn has, as a 'role model' for so many of us. Part tomboy, part romantic, part poet, her beauty so ingrained that it has always gone against the fashion, her spirit so valiant that it has always implied defiance of convention...

Recommended Reading

Karen Karbo's "How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great." ©2007.

Recommended Reading

Noelle Clearly and Doni Von Mueffling's "The Art and Power of Being a Lady."p. 2001.
This book is a great empowerment, and defines true Ladyship in the 21st century.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Bette Midler, on her New York Restoration Project

I did something because I could not stand idly by. It's the best thing I ever did for my soul, because it kept me from thinking about myself.

Noelle Cleary and Dini Von Mueffling, The Art and Power of Being a Lady

Culturally, we are over focused on fame, fortune, and conspicuous consumption, and increasingly cynical about our own capacity to make a difference. In spite of this, a lady remains socially aware and active. She knows that to do less is a self-fulfilling prophecy, that apathy toward her community invites its apathy toward her... a lady pays attention to the world around her, in consideration for others and how her actions affect them.

Anna Quindlen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life

Realize that life is glorious and you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take the money you would have spent on beers in a bar and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Tutor a seventh grader.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Role Model

Gloria Steinem. 'Nuff said

Brooke Astor

My advice is, if you cannot add to the evening, you should stay at home...

Just a thought

Believe in yourself so completely that everyone else believes in you, too.

Mickey Friedman

Never give a party if you will be the most interesting person there.


How beautiful it is to be silent when someone expects you to become enraged.

Just a thought

Imagine the woman you could be.
Then be her.

Just a thought

A woman makes her man jealous of others.
A lady makes others jealous of her man.


Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.


How do you find a gentleman?
Start by being a lady.

Just a thought

When you gossip about others to your friends, then your friends, in turn, wonder whether you gossip about them when they aren't around.
Talking about someone behind their backs shows what kind of person you are.
Remember, ask yourself: is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

Just a thought

It is not necessary for a lady to like everyone she meets, but it is necessary that those she does not like never know it.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lauren Stover, The Bombshell Manual of Style

She knows that to be an attractive woman is one thing, to be beautiful is another, and that to be a Bombshell it takes brains... a Bombshell is at least mildly conversant in matters physiological, poetic and philosophical.

Lauren Stover, The Bombshell Manual of Style

To a Bombshell, a girl wearing unglamorous shoes in public is saying, "I hate myself, this part of my life doesn't count. I resent the shoes I am supposed to wear at work and besides, they're not comfortable and I am not interested in men." For a Bombshell, nothing is unimportant, nothing is impossible. She lives in anticipation of opportunity.

Gina Lollobrigida

I'm sexy fully dressed.

Lauren Stover, The Bombshell Manual of Style

What's in (a Ladies') Evening Clutch:
Lipstick, compact, handkerchief, keys, and enough change for a phone call.

Kim Novak

We should be dangerous characters. Just think of Garbo and Dietrich and Harlow they were really dangerous. When they gave a man the come-hither look, the poor guy didn't know whether he was going to be kissed or killed.

Jayne Mansfield

When asked if she objected to being called a blonde Bombshell: "I feel like a woman, and a 'Bombshell,' as you call it, is a woman in crescendo."

Dolores Del Rio

So long as a woman has twinkles in her eyes, no man notices whether she has wrinkles under them.

Isaac Newton

Tact is making a point without making an enemy


Being powerful is like being a Lady. If you have to tell people you are you aren't.

Elizabeth Taylor

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.

Just a thought

Modern advances make communication with one another nearly always possible.
It does not, however, make it always appropriate.

George Washington, Rules of Civility

Sleep not when others speak, sit not when others stand, speak not when you should hold your peace, walk not when others stop.

Role Model

Candice Bergen. Learn about her, and then emulate. A real lady.

Noelle Cleary and Dini von Mueffling, The Art and Power of Being a Lady

A lady... holds herself to a higher standard because she respects herself, and she knows in the fast pace of modern life there's no substitute for life's simple values.

Word of the day

Savoir-faire. Knowing just what to do in any situation. Tact.

Candice Bergen

I think you can't help but fall short of your goals sometimes. But even falling short indicates a certain amount of awareness of how one ought to behave. And that, in and of itself, is the essence of what being a lady is all about.

Noelle Cleary and Dini von Mueffling, The Art and Power of Being a Lady

A lady is not daunted. She's not perfect and she knows it.


Being a female is a matter of birth.
Being a woman is a matter of age.
But being a lady is a matter of choice.


There are two rules to success:
1.) Never tell everything you know.


It's a man's job to respect a woman, but it's a woman's job to give him something to respect.

Paula Zahn

I think ladies expect people to treat them with respect and in turn that's exactly what those people get back. In order to be considered a lady, I think you have to treat people with grace, sensitivity, and dignity.