Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inspiration and balance

My dear and lovely readers, thank you for allowing me to take a blog holiday and being there when I returned. I must say I feel very refreshed. Not only did I not visit my own blog, I did not visit many blogs at all in the time I was ‘in Paris with Sabine’ (catching up with my work).

Something I found out is that I am very suggestible and easily influenced by others opinions. I love reading others blogs, especially those encouraging of the French Chic lifestyle but find myself concerned with thoughts that are not my own. Does anyone have any suggestions on how they can stay on their own path and not be pulled off course by others beautiful writing and images? It even made me question reading books, but only for a minute though. And that thought especially stopped when my copy of Ines’ Parisian Chic arrived in the mail a few weeks ago.

Another thing to consider is the time factor. I have spent a lot more time off the laptop and in my life. And that’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Shouldn’t our inspiration be a springboard for our lives instead of being our lives?

With my quest to have balance, I will be spending less time on the computer and may not catch up with blogs daily. I hope you are not offended, but I may not even have time to comment, even though I will be reading. And in turn, do not feel obligated to comment on anything I post. Only do so if you really want to.

Of course I love receiving comments, it’s fabulous to have feedback, but I never want anyone to feel as if they have to or my feelings will be hurt. Part of being a grown up (and blossoming into a chic-er version of oneself) is deciding what you want to do and what you don’t. And not apologising for it. I hope I have found a way to continue blogging without it consuming vast amounts of time.

I also have another question for you. I would love to hear your suggestions for topics. I have many up my sleeve, but sometimes wonder if I don’t repeat myself. And if I wrote on everything that is in my ideas notebook I certainly would. I don’t think that would be a bad thing, as some blogs I love to read and have done for many years repeat their messages over and over. It creates continuity.

But for myself writing, I feel like I might be boring you. So I am putting it to you, is there anything you would particularly like to hear my thoughts on? You can let me know in the comments section (so much for not asking anyone to leave a comment!) or email me privately – how to be chic (at) gmail (dot) com.


  1. Good thoughts, Fiona.

    As far as topics, I am interested in how you live a French/Euro-inspired life because you are not an American. Do New Zealanders have the same issue with gluttony and consumerism that Americans have? Do you find your lifestyle at odds with your neighbors/friends/relatives? I tend to be harsh on my American culture because, the older I get, the more I see us as rubes rather than driven builders. But I'm a critical person by nature...

    I continue to enjoy your blog and hope you post what YOU want to write about. And we want to hear about lovely Atlas and how he's getting along, too!

  2. Fiona,

    I've always found I most enjoy those blog posts where the writer seems to be really inspired and enthusiastic about their subject. So my vote would be to post about what inspires you, when inspiration strikes.

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed your break and it looks like you've gained perspective. I struggle with the same things you speak of regarding influence and find that you can control what you read, subscribe to, and who you listen to, but in the end, the answer resides in you. Developing a filter to weed out opinions of others is hard. I think having an awareness of how you are influenced is key and you can work from there.

    In the end you can learn to take away what may be useful to you, but leave the rest behind.

    As for topics, I always enjoy your posts, so anything is fine. I would like to hear more about New Zealand as Rebekah suggested and other topics you are truly passionate about.

  4. I love reading your blog but I wholeheartedly support your need for time away. I agree with Deja Pseu and most enjoy blog posts that come right from the heart. Those "ah-ha!" moments that bloggers share. Lately, I have become bored with my own posts. I sometimes feel I am trying too hard to be introspective when all I really want to do is have a conversation. Maybe we need to resurrect that quaint notion of the "chat room" where we can all interact and be inspired together. Thanks for the post.

  5. I have found your blog to be very interesting and have continued to check daily to see if you had returned. Glad you're back!!

    If I think of ideas, I'll share them, but please continue on your path. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Entries about your 4-legged fur baby are always welcome, too!

  6. hi fiona,

    you make several really good points in this post. i really enjoy you take on things. i personally think 'you' are chic. and i agree with you that reading too many blogs actually complicates your life which is something i think we both want less of. also, on the comment issue, i've been so tempted to turn off my comments just to give people a break. i mean wouldn't it be nice to read your fav blog and just move on. does every post need a comment. i don't think so. as far as what you should post on...just what comes from your heart maybe instead of focusing on the french focus more on your beautiful life in new zealand. that would really interest me. but whatever you say you say it so well so i'm here to stay.


  7. I like details--small things that make a difference.

  8. I would love your "take" on the Parisian Chic book, which I loved, but what about if you don't have her height and body? Or her daughters?

  9. Hi Fiona,

    I find your blog refreshing and original, please don't second guess yourself! Your topics are interesting and inspiring, and your tone is light and wonderful. As a Canadian, aka the "New Zealanders of the North," I enjoy your take on the French lifestyle and find there is a real cultural reasonance for me. I particularly enjoy your posts on home and work (and Atlas!!!) as finding a chic work-life balance is tough for me!

    (also, I loved the Air NZ Good Grooming Guidelines from your other blog - this is just a guess, apologies if that was not your blog!)

    Please continue to blog about whatever you like - I do like hearing about your observations of customers at the shop! :)

    Merci et a bientot,

  10. Welcome Back Fiona!

    It's a but funny but I thought of you while getting dressed this morning and wondered if somehow I had edited your blog from my blogroll.

    And to my delight you are back.

    I totally understand the tech vacation...we need it from time to time. I have been commenting less lately too.

    I have also edited a few blogs from my blogroll because time on the computer is increasing exponentially!

    Write what you feel passionate about and only when you feel the desire.

    Take care,


  11. Rebekah, thanks so much for your idea, and I know I would enjoy thinking about this. Even though I might not be perfectly chic every hour of the day (my husband laughed when he saw me tipping chocolate buttons into my mouth straight from the bag at Easter) it's definitely something to aspire to and that I love dreaming about.

    Deja Pseu, I agree. Thank you.

    Stephanie, thank you for your ideas. You are very wise, as always. As you say, it's not a matter of locking the doors and staying at home, but of developing your own filter.

    Reflections and a Latte, merci for your thoughts.

    Diane, I think Atlas is more popular on my blog than I am. If I was a less secure person... I know just how Prince Charles must have felt when he married Di!

    Janet, you have such great words as always, thank you.

    Anonymous, love it!

    Kathy, I'll have to have a proper read and get my thoughts down. I've flicked through and admired those long thin legs but that's about it. I haven't gotten past the photos yet!

    Jeanne, yes that was my blog. It was a little confused whether it was a family blog or a French blog so I started afresh. I may re-publish some of the relevant posts here. Thank you so much for your thoughts. I think we have a lot in common with Canada too, all being part of the commonwealth.

    Leslie, it feels so mean to delete blogs but 'it's not them, it's me'. They are writing about what interests them, it just doesn't overlap into my area of interest enough. That's one of the challenges of the internet, keeping your focus.

  12. Fiona, it's good to have you back and I think it will mean something to say I quite missed reading your insights. I really enjoy that your writing is so personal and offers your unique perspective on taking others' advice and suggestions for chic and incorporating them into your day-to-day. Oddly enough, I find your adventures in chic most relatable when following chic principles is a challenge. To know that there is someone half a world away reading the same material, interpreting it in a way that is specific to your region and culture, and hearing about your successes, failures, and insights into what will and won't work for you is terribly interesting. So I'd say maybe don't worry so much about unique content - it's your unique perspective on old thoughts that counts.

  13. KBG, thanks for such a lovely comment. It really means a lot to me.

  14. I LOVE your blog. It is a refreshing spot in my day. Keep up the good work! Melody

  15. Boring? Never!

    I love your posts and reading what you have to share - you never disappoint. I also agree with Kathy - I would really like your insight on "Parisian Chic." Mine is still back-ordered and I can't wait for it to get here!

  16. Melody and Beth, thank you for your kindness. I will have a proper read of Parisian Chic and provide my review.

  17. Fiona, welcome back! Glad you enjoyed your blog holiday. I'm taking a bit of a holiday, not commenting on blogs as much, although continuing to read my favorites. Looking forward to more great posts from you!

  18. Dear Fiona,
    by chance I found your blog - and was interested in the questions you put.
    The problem seems to be a general one: I see a lot of bloggers at this lovely month of April who think of giving up their blog (or did it, I can name at least two - and they were very good writers), or at least to reduce it. Me too (having had two blogs And a blog on my own website). This tiredness seems to happen after a year of blogging. Blogs take time: to find a theme, to write about it, taking the pictures (and in my case: translating the post into English). And you have to read the blogs of the others, comment on them, comment their comments (I just tested to act like the male bloggers, who very often don't comment - and boy: reaction came soon :-)
    So: I decided to blog when I have time (not that much beside a job as a career adviser and an author), comment when I want to - and live. Though writing is living too. I will follow you to see how you decide :-)

  19. Cherie, thank you. It's nice to disappear for a while isn't it?

    Britta, thank you so much for your thoughts. You are very right. Maybe April is a very busy month for a lot of people? I know it is for me at work.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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