Monday, February 11, 2019

Living slim in a culture that celebrates with food

Today's vlog post was inspired by a reader question. Cathy asked me on Facebook:

“One thing I’d love to hear your thoughts on is living slim in a culture that celebrate food, and celebrates with food. Today is the Super Bowl here in Georgia. People will be gorging themselves. My stomach is already tense thinking about being strong at the party we’re going to tonight.

So the conflict will be both internal and external, a double whammy. It’s like we need to carry within us the little secret joy that our choices are changing our whole lives, as if we need to keep one eye on the big picture, when the other eye is on the Mexican bean dip and stacks of pizza take-out.”

Haha, I love the way you've put that Cathy!

I hope you find my video useful, and please, anyone let me know if you have any follow-up questions.  A reminder if you can't hear well or want to watch my video somewhere you can't have sound on, you can turn on the subtitles (the CC button for 'closed captions').  It doesn't *quite* pick up all my words correctly which is probably because I don't have an American accent, but it's pretty good!

Update: After posting this video I realised I cut the last few minutes off inadvertently - I remember a reminder coming up on my phone and I swiped it away, perhaps pausing my video without realising.  Sorry!

Have a wonderful week and I'll catch you again next Monday with another new video (which will be complete!!) :)


PS. I have TWO exciting announcements today:

Firstly is that my interview with Jennifer L. Scott of the Daily Connoisseur ('Madame Chic') will be live in the next day or so, so look out for that on Jennifer's YouTube channel here:

It was SO lovely chatting with Jennifer.  She is a beautiful person inside and out!

And secondly, I have released my original '30 Chic Days' blog series as a book.  All four series are in one volume and they are a great price too - $2.99 for the Kindle eBook and $9.99 for the paperback.  The Kindle copy is available now, and the paperback will be very soon, hopefully in the next day or two.

I have had requests to put all the series together into an eBook and I thought this was a great idea.  I have polished everything up and also added a chapter at the end with different ideas on how to curate your own '30 Chic Days' experience.  Such fun, and I hope you enjoy having this on your device or in paperback for enticing snippets of inspiration. The print copy is 278 pages long so there is lots or inspiration to be had!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Living a luxurious resort-style life on a budget

Hello chic friends!

I have been working on lots of things behind the scenes at the moment.  You know how sometimes you just like to hunker down and get things done?  It’s so satisfying!

I’ve been sorting out my dad’s estate, getting on top of filing and paperwork, putting together my tax info for the accountant AND writing lots for my next book.  I am getting so many ideas and it’s exciting!

I also have an interview coming up with the wonderful and fabulous Jennifer L. Scott of Daily Connoisseur and Madame Chic fame.  I know!  How cool is that?  We recorded the interview last week, and it will be on her YouTube channel in February.  You can be sure that I will let you know when it’s on :)

I have recorded a video for you; I’ve been ‘feeling’ video lately and have also sorted out the sound issue – yay!  That was the only thing stopping me from doing videos because what’s the point if they can’t be heard well?  There are few things more annoying… (well, okay, there are lots, but quiet videos are quite bothersome!)

‘Thirty Slim Days’ is in the process of being re-released with its new cover.  As with my other new covers, I am in love with it.  I know they say not to judge a book by its cover, but a great cover can make you love something more – I’ve found that with old favourites of mine, both fiction and non-fiction.

I hope you enjoy the video, let me know what you think.  And a cool feature that I found while uploading it is that you can turn captions on if you have trouble hearing or are in a place that you don’t want the sound on.  Yay for YouTube!

I wish you a wonderful week and I’ll see you soon!

xx Fiona
{Everyday luxury}

It’s summer here in Hawke’s Bay and it’s been *very warm*.  I’ve never lived in a place with air conditioning, but just recently I have been thinking it might not be a bad thing!

We have a quote for a few key rooms to be fitted with heating/cooling units, such as my office and our bedroom (plus a few others which are on my ‘wish list’) and I know it won’t be inexpensive.

I don’t know if it’s me trying to justify the cost to myself, but I thought ‘if we went on a really fancy cruise or a big overseas holiday, it would cost about the same’.  That’s when I felt better about what the quote might be and actually going ahead with it.

Yes, I absolute would love to go on a cruise one day because I think it would be amazing and I can feel like I’m on The Love Boat :) but I could also have a cool and refreshing office to write in every-single-day.  That excites me way more than a vacation – having a luxurious life every day!

I think I used to take air conditioning for granted at the different office jobs I worked at, plus our store had air conditioning too.  It’s much easier to feel productive (and chic!) when there is not a trickle of sweat running down your back inside your clothes.

It may be my hormones of a certain age that are making me seek coolness too, I know that.

This spending decision is in alignment with my desire to live a vacation/resort style lifestyle at home.  Making my life as luxurious as if I was in a boutique hotel.  And many choices don’t cost extra either.

A choice that comes to mind for me is making a plate for nibbles of a piece of delicious cheese (I am loving Castello Danish at the moment), paired with gourmet biscuits (current favourite: grainy) and a washed apple cut in half and cored, then super-finely sliced and fanned a little on the plate.

Having this on the table in the late afternoon when I relax before dinner feels like a little bit of luxury, more than junkier snack options do.  If I was at a fancy resort somewhere, that’s what I would have with a glass of wine, not potato chips and other junky snacks etc!

Same with choosing an elegant colour in a tee-shirt instead of a fun/trashy colour in the same range – I am sometimes tempted by fun and trashy :)

Basically with every decision I make it’s:

‘Is this luxurious enough for my new lifestyle?’
‘Am I moving towards or away from what I desire my life to be like?’

It’s fun way to think about things, even if I do sometimes feel it’s a little bit decadent. I remind myself ‘you don’t have to be sensible all the time Fiona’ and it’s also a fun challenge for me to work out how to live my ideal life of luxury at no extra cost.

If you think about making your life more luxurious, what comes to mind?  Then ask yourself, ‘How can I make that happen in my current life?’  And, I'd love you to share your thoughts in the comments :)


 'Thirty Slim Days' is the latest of my books to receive a beautiful new cover.  I hope you love it as much as I do!  I re-read it - out loud! - to myself taking the opportunity to sift out any errors that slipped through (I found a few!) and it really did re-set my mindset after the holiday season.  Because I admit, I did let a little loose.  Not as much as other years but I did all the same.

It was nice to feel soothed and inspired and ready to be my chic and slim self heading into 2019.  If you haven't read 'Thirty Slim Days' yet I invite you to read the sample on Amazon to see if you resonate with what I write.  And if you already have it in your library, join with me as I revisit the techniques in my chic toolkit to having a peaceful relationship with food and eating.

Some of us find it easy to fall back into old habits because they're comfortable, but it doesn't mean we should give up.  Re-inspire yourself with a new idea and you'll be feeling good before you know it!

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