Sunday, September 4, 2011

4th 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 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:

Aired the house out by opening every single window, upstairs and down in the morning, and closing them before it started cooling down to preserve heat mid-afternoon. At the same time I lit my vapouriser and burnt a French essential oil blend by Gault (‘Extrait Aqua 1’) given to me as a gift from my sister.


Made my own spray-and-wipe all purpose cleaner from the following (I refilled a 500ml spray bottle).

Mix together:
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 drops dishwashing liquid
10 drops of tea tree oil
2 cups water

I’ve been through a few bottles and it seems to work just as well as chemical store-bought ones and the fragrance is a lot more natural. I shake it each time I use it just in case it has separated but I don’t know if I need to (the bottle is a dark colour). The only small issue with it is that there is a slight powdery residue, but I just wipe over with a teatowel when it’s dry.

I also want to try this one from Anthea Turner’s book How to be a Perfect Housewife, but first I have to hunt down laundry borax.

Mix together:
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons laundry borax
2 cups water
3 drops each of lavender and tea tree oils


Continued with my healthy eating, and am now enjoying a glass of water rather than a brandy or wine, which I usually have on a Sunday. It's a shame, but I'm much more productive without a drink. Even one makes me not do anything.


Tried a new recipe for twice-baked potatoes which was in today’s Sunday paper. I tweaked the recipe to make it healthy, so the filling was mashed with light cottage cheese, a little butter, grated Edam cheese and salt and pepper. We had them with crumbed and baked chicken pieces and coleslaw. Yum!


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 from Martha Stewart Living


  1. My day yesterday did NOT go as I "went with the flow". I'm trying to find a word for that that sounds "chic" ("flexibility" doesn't have the ring to it). I DID savor several sensations - including a healthy soup, an enjoyable walk with my husband in a nearby neighborhood, and some planning time for our Labor Day family gathering...

    Oh! And I purchased a new nail file. I wanted an extra for beside my recliner. It feels so luxurious not to have to get up and go to my purse every time I need one.

  2. Well, it was will I or won't really doesn't need it today. It's due for it tomorrow, but I think I would feel better doing it today.
    So, I washed my hair a day before it was really due. Wore heels, when I was going to wear flats.
    But, alas, had that extra piece of cheese-cake...Father's Day and all.

  3. i love airing out the house ea day! i try to open windows all year around just to keep things fresh smelling. i love those hydrangeas - they are absolutely stunning.

    today we are taking our grandaughter shopping for school clothes as she starts kindergarten next week. i'm so excited. i will try and wear something chic just for the occasion!


  4. Yesterday my husband and I cleared out the basement in readiness for our planned reno. We discovered a few treasures that we had forgotten about and I washed them and found them a place on our main level so that we could enjoy them each day.

    The rest of the stuff has been organized and stored in tote bins and we sold a few things and the rest we gave away.

    Is it possible that clearing clutter can be chic?

  5. I love these daily updates of progress. It is highly motivating. I'm going to do some cleaning and de-cluttering today.

  6. This is such a good series, it's my first stop of the day. Buoys me up to read your accomplishments, and those of all your readers too. They're terrific. Today I am inventorying my wallet. I used to do this after a friend lost hers. I empty it, write down everything within, including the numbers of cards etc., clean it up, and replace only what's essential. It's just nice to think if it were ever lost or stolen, I could quickly and methodically call each company to cancel based on my list, which I'll keep in a safe place. Don't know if this counts as chic, but it helps me feel well prepared.


  7. I found your comment on wine interesting. I gave up wine when I turned 60 and feel like a different person...lost weight and gained energy!

  8. I bet your house also appreciated your mini-chic accomplishment! fresh air can be refreshing for inanimate objects as well, no?
    and those twice baked potatoes sound good. anything else on the cooking menu, Fiona? yum! (i can be such a foodie)

  9. Rebecca, I think it's chic to go with the flow, not being rigid or inflexible. Buying a new nail file for that purpose would bring me great pleasure too (disproportionate to the amount spent). Fixing little things like that makes such a difference and you're right - they do feel luxe.

    Anonymous, well done with your hair, and I know exactly what you mean. It almost feels frivolous and wasteful. I think two out of three isn't bad.

    Janet, I open the windows each day too, but not often every single one. My husband complains about my fresh air fetish in the middle of winter. How exciting that your granddaughter is starting kindergarten.

    Hostess, clearing clutter is definitely chic. Our inner french girl would only live with that which she loved and used, not any old rubbish that we store indefinitely (note to self).

    Stephanie, thank you! I wondered if anyone was getting bored yet. Cleaning and decluttering are a good form of instant gratification.

    Erina, thank you too. Inventorying your wallet is a fabulous idea. To borrow Colin Cowie's words, this is an uber-chic thing to do, and he probably already does it. I'm going to do mine!

    Anonymous, I'm thinking that way myself, or at least cutting right back for now. I feel like a wowser for not having a wine, but I honestly feel so much better without.

    Aspen, I agree, the house feels different after being opened up. I'll think about the menu, foodie girl!

  10. What a great idea for this month! I've been working on making my life more peaceful, being more feminine, and, well, house hunting is taking a lot of my time :) I love these recipes!

    How to be more chic? I recently totally decluttered my closet and took out everything that wasn't lovely, feminine, flattering, or pretty (I was ruthless!) and my closet is beautiful now, roomy, with colorful clothes that are feminine, beautiful, and flattering. So worth it.

    I can do a lot more though.

  11. Penelope, making your life your peaceful and feminine sounds very appealing. You have inspired me to go through my wardrobe. I think I need to do it often to keep on top of things.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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