Wednesday, September 28, 2011

28th Day in a Chic September

For the month of September I plan to document daily steps I have taken towards a chic, elegant and healthy life. My goal is to keep uppermost in my mind the kind of life I want to live. I will be focusing on all the small things I do each day that lead me towards my goal, rather than away from it.

Here are today’s mini-chic accomplishments:

Am part-way through reading Mrs Miniver. The book was published in 1939, but started out as a series of newspaper columns in The Times from 1937 on. The library copy I am reading has date-stamps in the back from 1957!

Mrs Miniver gives her account of everyday life in London, just before the war started. It is very readable and enjoyable, written very simply about domestic details.


Awoke in an altogether more positive and motivated frame of mind today. It’s amazing the restorative powers of sleep. Yesterday I felt physically very tired and the thought of all the things I have to do at work along with packing up and moving house, well, I was feeling a little sorry for myself.

Plus, I had a hair appointment this afternoon. And if your hair’s on its last legs like mine was yesterday, that’s enough to get anyone down! Now I am revived, trimmed, highlighted, blow-waved.

Today is another day, and I am ready to give it a good go.


Watered my orchids with weak coffee a la Janet at The Gardeners Cottage. Apparently they love it. I left a little bit of coffee in my espresso maker this morning and filled it up with water. It was like a very chic watering can. If only doing this would also make my house look like Janet’s. A girl can dream.


Cooked dinner when I really wasn’t in the mood. I did though, something else from the pantry was used up so we don’t have to move it, and it was cheaper and better for me than a bought dinner.

I made chicken breasts pan-fried in sesame oil and finished off with soy sauce and thai sweet chilli, basmati coconut rice with mushrooms and yellow capsicum, and steamed broccoli, green beans and cauliflower.

Since I’d had the whole day off work and been to the hairdressers, it was the least I could do for my husband. He’s a very appreciative eater and the plate was almost licked clean.

The item used up was a mini can of coconut milk and it was my Mum’s idea to make coconut rice. It was delicious, and a bit of a treat considering how rich coconut milk is.


Did all my housework today in record time, even though I wasn’t rushing things. I treated it like it was my job and ticked off the list. So I wouldn’t be distracted I even unplugged the laptop and put it away. A silly thing I know but it made all the difference.

A clean and tidy house makes me feel more in control of things too.


If you feel like you want to make September a chic month for you as well, please join me. You are welcome to share your mini-chic accomplishments for the day (or the previous day if you read in the morning) in the comments section. It would be lovely to have you along for the ride!

Image by Wolf Suschitzky: Charing Cross Road #4, London, 1937


  1. Oh re house cleaning, me too, I can't do anything until I've finished my housework in the mornings, if my home isn't spotless I feel out of sorts all day, it's the domestic equivalent of going to the gym.

    Just going to catch up on your September quest!

  2. Sleep and pampering at the hairdresser sounds about as chic as a girl can ask for. Coconut rice is much more exciting than plain rice...I think I'll try that recipe.

    I agree about Janet's cottage...I could easily move in.
    You know what they say about the grass being greener!

    I do empathize with your thought about packing and moving...I wonder how that might be managed if you put a chic twist on it?

  3. I LOVE cleaning. In fact I had to let me "assistant" go as she had nothing to do when she came round.
    Your supper sounds wonderful. I was salivating just reading.
    It's also amazing what a trip to the hairdressers can do. It's like a therapy session (just much cheaper) ;-)

  4. It's so interesting how things that would, on the surface, seem like chores (read a book, got a hair cut, cleaned up, made dinner), when done mindfully and with positive intention become chic. Fiona, your chic perspective is inspirational - it makes me feel like sweating over a hot stove canning tomatoes yesterday was pure elegance! You wouldn't consider a chic October, would you, so we can continue to follow along?

  5. Bourbon & Pearls, I agree, who needs the gym when you've got housework. There's cardio, stretching, weight-bearing exercise, the lot.

    Leslie, I love you! Putting a chic twist on my packing is a fantastic idea. You've got me thinking. The coconut rice I cooked as I would plain rice, but replaced about 1/3 of the water with coconut milk. When it was half cooked I added freshly chopped mushrooms and capsicum.

    Vanessa, how funny about your assistant!

    KBG, making supplies for winter from your fresh tomatoes just reeks of Provence my dear!

  6. HI Fiona, I'm new to your blog and finding it very interesting. I haven't read Mrs Minever yet (I will now), if you enjoy that style of book have a look at :
    They publish "rediscovered inter-war novels, twentieth century fiction and non-fiction by neglected women writers." I came across them via a fellow Aussie blogger and I really enjoy them.

  7. I'll be adding Mrs. Miniver to my book reading list, sounds very interesting. Hopefully I can find it at my library.

    I am going to try Janet's orchids tip - I had never heard of using weak coffee, but I have heard of people watering house plants with leftover weak tea (my Mom and Grandma both do)


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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