Saturday, February 1, 2020

Chic cat style, Ralph Lauren home and a 1980s throwback

Jessica and Nina loving life 😻

I think we could all learn how to live well from cats, don’t you? They please themselves but never worry that they’re being selfish. They know how to relax. They exude insouciance to rival any Parisian girl. And they rock chic colour combos such as black and white, cream and beige, grey and tan - classic neutrals basically.

Oh yes, if anyone could write the book on living a first-class life, cats could. I would buy it! Luckily most of us have our very own mentors to observe at home.

Are the cats stylish and pampered at your place too? 😻


Our hallway at home

I have always loved wide-striped wallpaper in fancy homes and five-star hotels. It just looks so luxe to me. Plus it goes with our 'Ralph Lauren on a budget' home style.

We took the punt and it worked out perfectly for us.

Would you be brave enough to wallpaper your hall like we have??? What is something you’ve done with home decor that you knew was right for you but others might have wondered about? 🙃


1988!

Throwback to my friend Cheri and I, with Ned the donkey in the background. I’ve always loved stripes and classic clothing! It's late 1988 my mum thinks.

xx Fiona

PS. For those of you in the thick of winter, I do hope you have read all my tips in How to be Chic in the Winter: Living slim, stylish and happy in the cold season.  You can find a free sample to download from Amazon here. Or use the 'Look Inside' function at the same link to read straight away on your screen.

https://amzn.to/3b0jT3F


As for us, it's high summer here in New Zealand and we're having a glorious heatwave - mid-thirties C most days (which is mid-nineties in F).  I love all the seasons!

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You can find me here too:

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Starting the year, quiet yoga, loving rain, finding love...

Chloe relaxing in comfort :)

Happy January chic friends!

‘It’s never too late to start your day...’ I can’t find who first said this and I don’t even know if I have it right, but I do know that it’s a great comfort when I get myself all wound up into knots. I have a tendency to overthink things and my busy mind says Stop! Too much!

Over the holiday break I have been working on slowing my mind down. Also thinking how I want to shape this year. Definitely writing and sharing my current inspiration but taking time out to ensure I’m heading in the right direction.

It’s exciting that we are in a new decade and I love the thing I’ve been seeing around the place, that this year is 2020 for 2020 vision. So perfect. We are all perfecting our vision of what we want to be.

Does it feel like that for you too?


Each week a garden-fresh arrangement at yoga

I went to my favourite yoga class this week. It’s called yin yoga officially but I refer to it as quiet yoga. The room is dimmed, relaxing spa music is playing and it’s a soothing one-hour-fifteen of long stretches.

There was a cool light misty rain and it just felt so cosy and comforting to be heading to a quiet yoga class. I said as such to the teacher and she said, ‘You’re a pluviophile too!’ Apparently a pluviophile is ‘a lover of rain, someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days’. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Pictured is the floral arrangement in the changing room that changes each week depending on what’s in the garden. Beautiful.

So, are YOU a pluviophile too?



Three - soon to be four - languages for 'Thirty Chic Days'

This is Thirty Chic Days in English (original cover 💖), Lithuanian and Russian - take your pick! Plus, Vietnamese coming soon 🤩

If you have read Thirty Chic Days, or any other of my books, I would love it if you could leave a review on Amazon.

Not only does it help me know what you would like me to write about, but it helps other readers find my books thanks to Amazon’s algorithm thingie.

Plus, I love reading all your reviews!  You can download and review my books here.


Paul and me

This is the love of my life. I met Paul when I was 32, and he has made my life better for the past 17 years. There’s no special occasion for this post, it’s not our wedding anniversary for another couple of months. I just believe in being in the moment rather than waiting for a specific day to show love and appreciation. Every day is the special occasion!

I am so grateful I bumped into someone so perfect for me one night down at the pub (right down to the same birthday). If I wrote our story into a book you wouldn’t believe me.

Hmmm, now that’s an idea. I always thought I’d write a novel and here I am writing non-fiction. But maybe one day?

Tell me your love story, please! I adore hearing romantic tales. And who knows, you might just give me ideas for my first fiction book :)


xx Fiona

PS. Thirty More Chic Days is my most recent book and, I think, my best book to date.  I've been giving myself fresh ideas for the new year by re-reading chapters. If you already have this book, I invite you to pick a chapter and see what feels crisp and new for you to bring into your life, and if you haven't, why not download the free sample to read the first three chapters. Perfect with a cup of tea.

You can read Thirty More Chic Days here.



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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Super Special 50% Off!



You may have seen my first ever Black Friday sale, where all my books are only $2.99 for a limited time (if you didn't, you can see them here).

I was then asked: 'Are you going to do a special offer for your writer's eCourse too?  After consulting with my current students to make sure they would be okay with it, I decided to do my first ever Cyber Monday 'Create Your Dream Life as a Successful Author' home study eCourse sale.


I am thrilled to offer you the chance to enroll in my popular course for $249, which is almost half the normal cost of $497.  I know there are many of you who would love to take the course, but perhaps price is a limiting factor.  Or maybe this half-price special offer will give you the kick in the pants that you need to make a start on your writing career.  I know I'm always seriously motivated by a sale!

Coming into 2020 is the perfect time to make your dream a reality.  Classes start every Monday and run for six weeks, so you can choose to jump in now and get a head start on your new year's dreams and goals, or you can choose to start in the new year.  You can repeat the course too, whenever you want a refresher. I promise that you will have fun as well as being educated and motivated.

As well as paying only half-price, there is an exclusive bonus too.

All enrolled students (current and new) will receive a free eBook of my latest release (soon! The final edits are being done right now).  And, it's aligned perfectly with this course because it's all about writing your book.  A 'how to write a book' book I've been calling it.  As soon as it's out, my students will be the first to receive a copy to download to their Kindle or eReader.

The half-price + bonus offer is for a strictly limited time and I do hope you join us (click here), because I would be thrilled to help you create YOUR life as a successful author. Are you in?  Email me at fiona@howtobechic.com if you have any questions, otherwise I look forward to welcoming you into class soon!

xx Fiona

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The Show-Home Life: Steps 3 and 4!




Hello chic friends!

Today I want to share more of what I’ve been working on for my ‘Show Home Life Project’.  Remember in this post here, I talked about wanting to have a lovely tidy and neat home where everything is perfect, just like in a show home or even a hotel (five star please!)  The phrase ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ has always appealed to me.  It just sounds so soothing, doesn’t it?  Every time I hear it I am reminded of my goal.

To recap the first few steps for this project, they are:

Step one: deciding what your project is.  For me, it’s making my home – and life – into that of a perfect show home.  Not really, and I’m not obsessive about it, but just for fun. I am inspired not to be slovenly with this project :)

Step two: working out what is getting in the way between you and your desired vision.  In that same post I detailed the areas which were most bothersome – my office, my closet, my sewing room and a few cupboards about the place.

Then I moved onto step three: taking action!  Because I had already been ruminating over what I wanted to improve in these areas I was ready to go all in and start making big changes.  My sewing room was the biggest because it had become the room where things went ‘just for now’ as well as temporarily storing some items for family members.

One day a few weeks ago I had the whole afternoon free, or rather I ignored everything on my to-do list and focused entirely on my sewing room.  Every single thing came out, into the garage, leaving only a few large pieces of furniture – a desk, bookshelf and small dining table which I use for a cutting table.  Then I vacuumed lots.  Then I moved the desk and table around to suit the room better.  Then I put back the items I wanted to keep and boxed the rest up for donation.

(Before pictures! So sorry for the assault on your eyes!)




Even Jessica cat was hiding behind my sewing machine from the chaos.



It was a marathon effort and I slept like a rock that night.  I even had to get my husband Paul to bring takeaway Indian home for dinner because I was so exhausted.  But it was a good exhaustion.  I felt exhilarated and my sewing room looked – and felt – wonderful.  I have been using it more and even shouted myself a new iron, because ours was rather elderly and even a bit dangerous.  It had been dropped years ago and glued back together.  The on/off light on the handle had pushed in and was showing wires!  I found out that irons aren’t even *that* expensive either, so I do wonder why I waited so long (and risked possible electrocution).

I want to put some more pictures up in my sewing room too.  Now that all the clutter is gone it will be nice to bring in some beauty.  I need to buy a few packets of those gold picture hooks for this so they will go on my shopping list.  I have enough art prints and old paintings to supply a few for this room.

(The After pictures.  So soothing.)


(Our old dining table which is now my cutting table and I am making some new cloth coasters from lovely fabrics out of a sample book).




And that’s step four – adding a few final touches to make your home an inspiring and encouraging place to be in.  You can see here in my office below a little picture wall I put up.  One print is from my trip to London which I had framed, and the rest are from charity stores and auction box lots – all inexpensive, but with a similar theme in terms of colour, framing, and topics – London, Paris, floral, feminine.


I hope you found my before and after photos inspiring.  I LOVE seeing others results, even if it's a bit embarrassing to put up the before photos - I do it all in service to you :)

xx Fiona

PS. I know it's Thanksgiving in the US, and even though we don't celebrate it officially in New Zealand, I want to say that I am super grateful for you, my readers for being here.

To celebrate, and for Black Friday (black is very chic, is it not?), I am offering something I have never done before.  All of my Kindle books (many of which are usually $9.99) will be priced at $2.99 for a strictly limited time.

Take this opportunity to fill your Kindle library with chic inspiration heading into the holiday season and to start your new decade with a renewed spirit.

You can find all of my books here:


Happy Chic Friday everyone!
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