Friday, September 29, 2023

New book out today!

Today is a new book day! I'm thrilled to share my latest release with you. If you'll remember back to July, I did my 'Serene Spa July' series, and many lovely ladies wanted it to be made into a book, so here we are!

The July series only went up to less than 20 days before I ran out of month :) so I carried on writing, and polished everything up and now we have a new mini-book.


If you wish you had the budget to indulge in pricey treatments at a high-end spa for a little time-out… with ‘30 Chic Days at Home Vol. 2’ you can bring the feeling of luxury and relaxation into your home life for free. Feel rejuvenated and peaceful as you build rituals and practices into your everyday life to bring about the ambience and romance of the spa lifestyle.

In this quick-to-read book, you will learn how to:

~ Enjoy your time at home more
~ Create a peaceful and calm haven for yourself and your family
~ Provide a luxuriously healthy environment for the people you love
~ Be creative in how you relax and unwind
~ Increase beauty and order in your home

You will find dozens of suggestions, tips and ideas to live well without spending a lot of extra time or money.

Feel soothed every day. Elevate your happiness. Attract others to you with your laid-back demeanour. Reduce stress and feel calmer. Sleep better!

All these things can be yours when you put into practice all the ideas from this book. Delight in your power to create a life that is exactly as you'd love it to be.


I really hope you enjoy it!

You can download the Kindle version and order the paperback copy too, at my affiliate Amazon link here.
(The paperback says ‘out of stock’ for me, but this will just be a temporary thing since the book is so new. Amazon prints on demand, so please hang tight if you see ‘out of stock’ too!)

And the eBook is in my eStore for an Amazon alternative.

Happy reading, and thank you if you pick up my new book!

xx Fiona

Thursday, September 21, 2023

This month's book sale! And my spring style :)

Greetings from a sunny - and breezy! - Hawke's Bay.

To me, it's normal to live in a tiny country at the bottom of the world. But to many of you, it's quite the novelty.

I have travelled a little bit, and even considered living overseas at certain stages - only for a second though.

For my style - a self-confessed homebody who loves to go on holiday but LOVES to come home afterwards, I'd probably be so homesick anywhere else!

New Zealand is very pretty, and green. I feel fortunate to have grown up here. And, that we speak English. This a big one in this global world we live in now. Especially writing and publishing my books.

So anyway, just saying hi in my outfit of the day. I love my 'uniform' of a pretty boho style blouse, slim jeans and colourful shoes. There are endless combos in my wardrobe :)


It's so nice and warm with our spring weather to sit down on the hill in our paddock when I walk the dogs, just for a few minutes.

A few times I've made my own 'slant board' and lain down, head downhill and feet up. It's good for your spine, and for your head to be below your heart too, according to my old yoga teacher.

I do worry if someone is working in the orchard or driving along the driveway at the bottom of our paddock though, and they saw someone lying in the paddock upside down they might worry I've had a terrible accident...

One day when I had a lie in the sun I opened my eyes and had no dogs, whereas I normally have three. They obviously lost me in the long grass and headed back to the paddock gate where they all were waiting. So cute! But also not very caring :) I think they were more worried about how they were going to get their dinner.

Can you see white Micky dog in the upper left of the picture? He's near the two piles of firewood from a tree that came down in the February cyclone. Unfortunately it fell on a fence and did a lot of damage. Why couldn't it have fallen in the other direction? That would have been far more convenient!

I’ve been enjoying holding my little mini-sales and sharing the love each month lately. So for this month I thought it would be fun to include both of my seasonal books, since some of us are heading into summer and some into winter!

For the next week or so, these two titles are $2.99 on Kindle, and the paperbacks are reduced as well. If you haven’t read them, I warmly invite you to do so now. They are packed with tips and inspiration on how to navigate each season and focus on what you can do to make them even more wonderful, as well as ways in which you can deal with the less comfortable aspects of the season.

And, if you have read them, I’d love it if you’d share my sale with a like-minded friend. Or maybe you have neither and want to buy them while they’re on special. I get it, I’m a thrifty savvy girl too and I love a good sale!

I hope you have fun dreaming and planning of the upcoming season. I am so happy for spring and summer. The weather is warming up nicely and I’m getting to wear my colourful spring tops again, plus I bought a few new ones in the sales at the end of last summer. Yay!

Have a fab day, and I will too! I've just finished a book, so the editing and proofreading starts now. I can't wait for you to read it. And I have two others half completed as well. Finishing a book always gives me a boost so I will use this turbo-charge to finish my other two also. Yay!
And thanks so much if you get yourself a sale book!
 xx Fiona

PS.You can find both of my sale books at my Amazon affiliate link here.

And the eBooks are on special too in my eStore, for an Amazon alternative.

Happy reading!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

My Dior job memories, and spring is here

Hello chic friends!

This week I thought I'd share a fun little throwback to the year 2000 and my fabulous job at Parfums Christian Dior in the head office for New Zealand. I was 30 here, and the office administrator. It was such a fun and glamorous five years!

We got to see all the new cosmetic samples direct from Paris, with labels handwritten in French, and the buyers from our stockists would come in twice a year to see the 'New Look' makeup collections.

We had a few big perfume launches too. I was there for the Dior Addict fragrance launch and we turned the whole office into a nightclub, blacking out the windows and working like that for a week, with disco lights going all day.

It was fascinating working behind the scenes for a luxury brand!

I remember we used to use whatever perfume was around to clean the glass-top conference table instead of glass spray. As a result our offices always smelt wonderful.

The decor was white and grey, and you can see a peek of the Louis chair in white with grey upholstery through the left side of the glass door.

A dream job and fun times!
And in more recent days...

It's me and my cheese platter :) We went to a neighbour's leaving party on Sunday afternoon - they are going from their home to a retirement village. Even though the stars of the party were the only ones we knew, it was lovely to meet new people. And, the blossom on the trees in their driveway was so pretty to see. Oh hello Spring!
Springs vibes in my home office too 🌼🌼🌼

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week, and, I'll see you next week!
xx Fiona
PS. You can find my book '100 Ways to Enjoy Self-Care for Gentle Wellbeing and a Healthy Body Image' here at my affiliate link on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle. 'Affiliate' means that I may earn a small commission if you purchase through my link, but it doesn't change the price for you. I appreciate it if you choose to use my link!

And if you prefer an Amazon alternative, the eBook is also in my eStore here.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

I got to meet one of my heroes!

I had THE best spontaneous weekend last weekend, AND I got to meet one of my favourite decluttering authors and motivators Peter Walsh. Yes, THE Peter Walsh of Oprah show and Rachael Ray fame! Not to mention all his wonderful books and tv programmes. I have been a fan for a long time and really benefited from his work.

Only about a week before I saw he was doing a talk on decluttering and downsizing in Auckland. Where I live is about a 5-6 hour drive or a one hour flight from Auckland, so I wondered if it was going to be recorded. And also dreamed about how cool it would be to see him live.

And then I thought, Why not go, Fiona? Why not? When am I ever going to have the chance to see him live again, and because the event was sponsored by a retirement community company, it was completely free.

So I went! And met Peter! He was hilarious on stage, with a very dry Aussie humour. I sat in the front row like a complete teacher's pet because I didn't want to miss a thing :) And happily he signed my book afterwards and let me take a photo with him too.

I love that he reiterates 'it's not about the stuff'. First you have to decide the vision you have for the life you want to lead, and also what you want 'from' each room in your home. So, in your bedroom, what are the feelings you want from it: peace, relaxation etc. And then you remove everything that does not promote those feelings.

It was a fabulous event, and he was on for 90 minutes, which went by in a flash!

Thanks so much Peter for a great talk! And to Ryman for paying for it (I even got a free coffee too, and there were a few others my age, which I was a bit worried about! I thought they might not let me in since I'm not retirement age...)

It was so worth the whirlwind 24 hour trip to Auckland!


Sometimes you just gotta do the crazy things in life right? Although it's not very 'rock and roll lifestyle' crazy to drop everything for a... decluttering seminar :) But you know what I mean. It's my version of rock and roll. Maybe yours too!

This little book has proven so popular, and I really appreciate your lovely reviews, emails, and messages.

To me 'That Girl' is someone who's got it all going on. She lives her life with style, gets it just right, and enjoys herself too. She's not pushing herself or creating exhaustion for herself.

No matter the circumstances life has dealt her, she looks as if that's what she wanted all along. She rises to the occasion and always does it 'her way'.

She walks with an insouciant stride and plays it cool. She marches to the beat of her own drum and makes everyone want what she has rather than the other way around.
In sharing one of the tips from this book with you it was hard to choose, because I like them all, but I decided on number 33:

"Make betterment your hobby.

Instead of having a to-do list or habit tracker where your self-improvement efforts become just another thing you need to tick off before the end of the day, incorporate your desired goals into your normal routine. That way, you do things automatically and enjoyably, and they become a hobby not a chore.

What this looks like for me is that I start each day lighting a scented candle or filling up my essential oil diffuser, putting on soft background music, and switching on lamps.

I also play audiobooks or podcasts while I do household tasks such as laundry or cleaning up the kitchen. I wear my nicer clothes and put on makeup even for a day at home. I declutter and tidy most days to keep my home looking nice. And I consider my writing time relaxing time. It’s my ‘work’ but I also can’t wait to get back to it.

Find the spots in your day that feel like a bit of a slog and breathe new life into them."

I hope you find something in this excerpt to work with today. I already have my music playing and a candle going. And I've downloaded a few audiobooks to my phone to play while I'm doing my chores or driving.
And finally, happy southern hemisphere spring from our paddock :)

Work started on our replacement fencing this week, which was damaged in the floods six months ago.

The doggies took full advantage of being free-range by doing their paddock walk on the neighbours driveway (there is normally a fence between the drive and the paddock.


Yesterday was one of the first properly warm days we’ve had in a long, long time (including last summer) and it feels so good!

Roll on spring and summer weather. I’m here for it! 
Have a fab week,
xx Fiona

(PS. the Amazon link to my book is affiliate, which means I may earn a small commission but the price does not change for you. Thank you if you choose to use my link!)

Thursday, August 31, 2023

OTT fashion and my new herb garden

Hello chic friends!
I have been up bright and early at my desk on these wintry mornings, ready to type some magic into my books :)

This is a photo from Saturday night when we met friends at a gorgeous local wine bar. I'm wearing my new gold Ralph Lauren jeans from Macys... such fun! And my Coach bag is new from our trip as well.

We had a lovely evening, and it wasn't a late one, home by 9.30pm lol.

Sunday was lovely too. We 'acted as if' we were still on holiday so went out for a stroll around town, and then had lunch out. It was a lovely morning, and we headed home just as the rain set in. At least my new raised herb garden got watered :)

As many of you predicted, the kitchen herbs did not thrive, so I now have an outdoor herb bed which is much better, and it's just outside the kitchen door too.

So apart from writing, I've done my groceries this week, plus picked my sister up from the airport. I have Bath & Body Works goodies for her teen daughters which I am just as excited about. I know I'm far too old to shop there but I love that store!

I got to stock up on candles on our trip. My favourite BBW candle that I've tried is Paris Cafe, and I also love Smoked Vanilla. Neither of those are available at the moment so I 'made do' with other lovely scents. Strawberry Pound Cake and Bourbon Maple are two of the ones I bought and they are YUM.

My lovely new herb garden!

We lost our other herb garden when we tiled the patio and it got dug out...

Then I tried herbs in the kitchen window. Fail.

So third time lucky with this beautiful raised bed. It's right outside our kitchen door too.

I've already used tiny bits of parsley and chives but I'm hoping they will really take off and be so verdant and abundant coming into the spring here.

I also planted some spring onions that are so slender they look like chives lol.

Using fresh herbs in meals is one of my favourite ways to live a luxurious life on a budget, just like the book says! (tip 31)

'100 Ways to Live a Luxurious Life on a Budget' here at my Amazon affiliate link.

Or the eBook in my eStore for an Amazon alternative.

And finally this week...

Sometimes things happen when you are about to hop into bed with your Kindle.

How??? is all I can say.

Thanks Micky dog!


Wishing you a beautiful day, and please let me know if you are a Bath & Body Works fan, and what your favourite scents are.
xx Fiona

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Paris Dreaming

Paul and I went to the best concert on Saturday night - an Edith Piaf tribute with jazz band and dancers too. Singer Mandy Meadows is local, but I first saw her in a YouTube video filmed at a jazz club in Soho, London.

She did Edith's songs proud, and it was a real show, with a history lesson woven in as well. It was also nice to see almost a full house.

What a lovely night out!

You can see the London show below on YouTube. If you are a French music fan it's fab! And if you get a chance to see it live it's even better.

Thank you Mandy for an amazing evening.

I bought myself a treat at the Honolulu airport Starbucks, a special Waikiki mug for my morning tea. The inside is the cheeriest orange you could imagine. It makes me happy just looking at it 🧡🧡🧡


It's lightening up in the morning now that we are getting closer to the end of winter. And even though I am a person who really appreciates rain and cozy weather, I am quite ready for spring and summer! Perhaps because we missed summer last year...

I know those of you in the northern hemisphere will be looking forward to cooler weather, and gosh, poor California and northwards with tropical storm Hilary. My thoughts are with you.

The weather world seems to be a crazy place at the moment, no?

And in other news, I am busy writing my next book. I took a little break to recharge but am now about half-way through this latest book, with a couple more started. So hopefully I will have a few out in quick succession. Who can tell. Certainly not me!

I wish you a brilliant rest of the week. And please let me know if you have any fun weekend plans.

My fun plans are staying at home and writing, and I'm also doing a little bit of sewing.

I am shortening my wide-leg linen pants (two pairs) to be on the ankle bone rather than really long. That way I can wear them with heels or flats, and not just heels. Plus I think they can be casual or dressy too, being slightly shorter.

And, there are just a few more days left for my book sale.

The Kindle copy of 'Thirty Chic Days Vol. 3: Nurturing a happy relationship, staying youthful, being your best self, and having a ton of fun at the same time' has 70% off, and the print copy is much reduced as well.

Both paperback and Kindle versions are here at my Amazon affiliate link.

And if you prefer an Amazon alternative, you can order the eBook here from my eStore.

Happy reading!

xx Fiona

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Thirty Chic Days Vol. 3 on sale now


Hello chic friends,
Hey, if you haven't read the third book in my popular 'Thirty Chic Days' series, now is the time :)

Oh why, you ask?

Because the Kindle copy is on sale for a limited time at 70% off, and the print copy is reduced also. Yeah!

'Thirty Chic Days Vol. 3: Nurturing a happy relationship, staying youthful, being your best self, and having a ton of fun at the same time' contains:

• Practical ideas to bring more calm into your day
• Inspiration to simplify how you live your life
• Easy ways to embrace a more feminine and stylish way of being
• How to become younger as you get older
• How to become ‘the lady of the house’
• Why finding peace in the ordinary will soothe you like nothing else
• Ideas that cost little to nothing, and can be put into place quickly and with minimal effort
• How to set goals the feminine way
• How to be a practical dreamer
• Why you should always be the girlfriend, even if you are already married
• How to create your own inspiration
• How to turn your flaw into your strength
• How to create a five-star spa feeling in your everyday life

In Thirty Chic Days Vol. 3 you will find out how to elevate your mindset to be at your most positive and inspired, and enjoy yourself more than you thought possible. Even while doing the same daily tasks you are already doing.

Bring the fun back into your life!

You can find both versions here at my Amazon affiliate link.

And if you prefer an Amazon alternative, you can order the eBook here from my eStore.

Happy reading :)

I'd also like to take a moment to thank you so much for all the kind and thoughtful messages, emails, and comments I received after my last message about Hawaii.

Hawaii holds a special place in my heart as it was where Paul and I had our honeymoon. It was a belated honeymoon in 2013 more than five years after our 2008 wedding, because at the time we got married, we had no extra time and no extra money.

We'd just taken over our retail shoe store and bought our partners out, and we were saving for our first home too. We only had two days off from the store (the staff were 'Paul and I') and then straight back to work.

So when we got to go on our first overseas trip/'honeymoon' together it was like a whole new world had opened up to us. It was magical!

I took this photo at sunrise on our last day in Hawaii a week ago. Hurricane Dora had just started whipping up the winds and Maui was still okay.

Back at home in New Zealand it's hard to see the devastation on the news, and difficult to comprehend the lack of warning signals for people before it happened.

But I know systems can fail because our community was exactly the same when entire homes were engulfed in flood waters - past the roof - in the dead of night with Cyclone Gabrielle earlier this year, with no warning.

My heart is with Maui and the people of Hawaii. I can't stop thinking about this beautiful area of our world.

Love to everyone,
xx Fiona

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