Sunday, August 9, 2020

Elegant home decor style

Another day, another dog walk in the sun ☀️ After a cafe coffee of course.

This beautiful door is part of the old Rothmans cigarette factory near where we live, which has now closed down and been reinvented as a winery. Well those two things do go well together ๐Ÿ˜

More pictures of my mum’s lovely home decor style. I posted her living room about a month ago and it has more likes than any of my own home decor photos ๐Ÿคฃ None taken!


Wishing you a wonderful day, hope you are keeping safe!

xx Fiona



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Thursday, August 6, 2020

A bit of this, a bit of that

Lately we've been taking advantage of the brilliant and crispy blue-skied winter’s days to take the Claphnes for a walk - here we are along Napier’s Marine Parade. Daphne is between my legs but only Chloe’s shadow can be seen ๐Ÿ™ƒ


And I ordered some treats which both arrived on the same day ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ - my two favourite Chanel picture books. I like to check these kind of books out of the library first and then buy them if they will do my limited shelving space justice ๐Ÿค—

The titles are:

‘Intimate Chanel’ by Isabelle Fiemeyer (here on Amazon)


‘Coco Chanel: Three Weeks/1962’ by Douglas Kirkland (here on Amazon)

Please tell me your favourite glossy glamorous coffee table book - I'm always after new suggestions to check out.

Globally, I know things are still very scary for a lot of people.  We are good, for now, here in New Zealand.  I want you to know that I am thinking of each of you, and wish you health, peace and happiness.

Focusing on the good in our world, and life, is one way that I calm my mind.

I read books that make me happy, such as The Power by Rhonda Byrne, and always have a good novel on the go (currently, Rosie Meadows Regrets, by Catherine Alliott which I am 4/5 finished and have enjoyed a lot so far.)

I try to relax myself with positive thoughts, counting my blessings, sending love-clouds out to people who need them and remember all the good things we have around us.

I eat mostly healthy foods with lots of vegetables, and eat (or drink) fun things as well.  Life is too short to deny ourselves the little pleasures.

Make things whether it's in the kitchen, with my sewing machine, knitting needles etc.  I have a short attention span and small pockets of time, so my creations are easy and small too :)  That way I have a chance at completing them.

And finally I try to rest - with early(ish) nights, or a sleep-in on the weekend, going for a relaxing dog romp (they romp, I don't), sitting down after lunch with a cup of tea, and conning my husband into a footrub after dinner.

Rest is the thing I resist the most, even though it's free to do, and doesn't take any extra time, just intention.  After all, if I can sit there watching a television program, I can read a book or go to sleep earlier.  I think it's just inertia sometimes :)  It's more effort to get up and go to bed than just lie there on the sofa!

How do you like to soothe your mind?  Please share.

xx Fiona


Sunday, July 26, 2020

My secret success tip :)

I had a big box of my paperbacks arrive this week, and it was like Christmas opening them!  It was lovely to see all my new covers together, and my new book 'The Chic Author' too.  I have already posted three books off to readers in Australia, who can't order from their Amazon.  If you are in New Zealand or Australia and would like me to post you a copy rather than have it sent from the US, just email me with the titles you are interested in at:, for availablity and pricing.

The chapter I have had the most feedback on in 'The Chic Author' is 'Chapter 10: Write fast', and I'm not surprised.  Doing anything quickly is my secret success tip it seems.

Whether it's reorganising the pantry, writing a chapter or doing a task I've been putting off, doing it with speed brings me the best results.  Instead of doing a substandard job, the opposite is true, plus I bypass my analytical mind and don't overthink things.

Doing something fast gets me motivated and moving!  I can't moan to myself 'it'll take ages, I don't have time', because if I give myself, say, thirty minutes to something (and even set the timer), I get it done in that time.  It's quite magical.

This is a winter’s day view from my office this week as I finish up editing my newest book ‘The Chic Closet’.

When we first moved into our home three years ago (I know! Time flies!) I set up my office on the other side of the house. The side with the swoon worthy views over apple orchards and vineyards. But I ended up moving to the driveway-side and love it. It’s weird, but because I can see the road I feel part of the world which is nice.

This is our very first daffodil, and a fully loaded lemon tree :)  We also have oranges, tangelos and mandarins.  I love the coziness of winter and nature’s bounty too.

I hope your weekend is going well and that you are safe and happy wherever you might live.

xx Fiona


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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Q&A video coming up!

Hello and happy weekend to you! I am so keen to do a Q&A video; I’ve wanted to do one for ages because I love listening in to others videos :)

Please put any questions you are curious about in the comments, or you can email me

I really hope I get lots of questions! Imagine getting none. The shame of it!!

Wishing you a beautiful rest of the weekend. It’s almost Saturday night here, the fire is just lit, I have a bottle of bubbles in the fridge and my husband will be home from work soon.  Is there anything better than a cozy night at home?

Before I go, this is my sweet girl Jessica in her new favourite donut bed.  She loves it! To be fair, if I had one in my size I’d love it too.

We adopted Jessica almost nine years ago and she was 1.5 then. So that makes her 10 or 11?

Apart from her donut, she loves scaring the dogs, lying by the fire, lap-time and her red dot lazer toy from Kmart :)

And this week has been beautiful crisp winter weather, just perfect for a dog walk.

We’ve had such a lot of rain lately, that even I, pluviophile extraordinaire, am happy to see the blue sky.  Hawke’s Bay covers herself in glory on days like this.

How is the weather at your place? Tell me everything ๐Ÿ˜Š I know it’s very hot for some of you, being the middle of summer and all.

And don't forget your question for the Q&A video!

xx Fiona

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Olive oil love

Natural oils, such as olive oil, are one of my favourite beauty products for both inside and outside the body.  There are lists all over the internet of the million and one uses for olive oil, but here are my four best ways:

- In my smoothies.  I discovered a product called Beauty Oil by Bestow, a few years ago, and started putting it in my smoothies each morning.  It is a luxurious product, however the price is luxurious too, so I decided to go for a more budget-friendly alternative - cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.  I use some each day - about one tablespoon at a guess - in my smoothie, and not only does the fat keep me fuller for longer, but I know it's contributing to my physical wellbeing and plumping up my skin.

- On our vegetables.   With most meals we will have steamed vegetables - any or all of broccoli, carrots, beans, leeks, and cauliflower.  I prefer them on the slightly crunchy side, perhaps al dente?  And then tossed in olive oil.  I pour a little in the cooking pot and tip it upside down with the lid on.  The coating of olive oil makes a lovely flavour, and something for salt and pepper to stick to :)

- As a cleanser.  I love to massage a small amount of oil, 2-3 pumps if I have it in a pump bottle, onto my skin.  It melts off my makeup and I get to have a soothing massage all at the same time.  I don't rub it into my eyes though - before I do this I remove my eye makeup with a cotton pad and micellar water.  I then rise off the oil using a face flannel and hot water in the basin.  I wring the flannel out as much as I can and it feels wonderful to cleanse my face with a steaming hot flannel.  I rinse three times in total then put whatever moisturiser I have, on, while  my skin is still warm, damp and glowing.  I sometimes use serum, sometimes not.  I always use an eye cream.  Nothing is any particular brand.  I like to try inexpensive and/or natural brands from the supermarket.

- As a moisture booster.  Every so often I like to amp up my body lotion by tipping some olive oil into it, and shake well so it all combines.  It makes the body lotion feel so thick and lush, and it's wonderful in the winter.  I love using it for moisturising my feet too, which I do every night before I go to bed, all year round.  I either have hotel slippers by my bed, or a washable cotton bath mat, so that I don't get my richly moisturised feet on the carpet.  I don't mind a little bit on the sheets, as they get a warm or hot wash each week.

When I think of olive oil, I always remember reading about the Italian ladies, who eat, drink and just about bathe in it.  They put it on their skin, their hair, and retain their youth as a result.

Are you a fan too?  As much as I am?  Tell me your best tip :)

xx Fiona

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Scenting the air with beauty

My sister thought this was a stock image of an incense store. Nope, just my stash ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š What can I say, we just like incense around here ☺️

Satya is my favourite brand and I was so excited to see new flavours earlier this year that I bought one of everything!

I used to burn incense in my room as a teenager in the 1980s and my dad would always be telling me to put it out because he hated it ๐Ÿ˜† So of course I’d just burn it when he wasn’t home ✨ Yes, I was a delight to live with ๐Ÿ˜‡

Are you a fan? I know it’s probably as hazardous to your health as smoking, but I limit myself to one, maybe two sticks a day ๐Ÿ˜

xx Fiona


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