Monday, September 5, 2011

5th 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:

Finished, actually finished a bottle of fragrance (L'Occitane Green Tea). It only had a few sprays left. Now I can concentrate on my myriad other fragrances. I have fewer bottles than I used to but I like that the numbers are getting down to a manageable level.


Dressed 'tricolore'. I only realised this after the fact - orangey-red fine merino scoop-neck knit top, dark denim bootcut jeans and off-white ballet flat style shoes!


Decided to stop saying things related to me being 'old'. I want to feel youthful and making jokes about being old won't help that. Positive thinking and all. Things like 'I feel so old now that all the 80s styles are back and I wore them the first time' or 'you were born in 1988? That was my last year at school!'.

I also won't mention my age unless absolutely necessary, not that I'm hiding it or pretending to be younger but it's no-one's business but mine. And I really believe that knowing someone's age can colour your thinking of them. Say if someone is much younger than you thought, maybe you don't take them as seriously once you know. Age is only a number.


Stocked up on fresh fruit and vegetables for the week - salad ingredients for lunch and vegetables to steam, roast and stir-fry for dinner (not all cooking styles in the one night though). I send my husband because we use a Chinese market garden shop and it's a little 'rustic' for me.

I get so excited when he comes in the door carrying bags of colourful goodness. Sometimes we run out by Friday and have to have a mini-stockup at the supermarket to get us through the weekend. I love that. One can never have too many fresh fruits and vegetables.


I'm also starting a list based on all your wonderful ideas left in comments. I have on my list so far to do a wallet inventory and explore my ways of including more art/culture/intellect.

All I can come up for the second one is that I like listening to classical music, read local and international newspapers online and on paper (just local) and enjoy reading classic books (in between my diet of chick lit and Martha Stewart Living...).


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!


  1. To expand your interest in art don't forget to visit the newly done Auckland Art Gallery with the paintings donated by Julian Robertson from his collection.
    For your reading may I suggest Nancy Mitford's books The Pursuit of Love and Love in a cold Climate which I know you have on your shelf.

  2. I second the idea of going to an art gallery. How about adding to that attending an art show opening? Many small galleries have them and standing around talking about art while sipping a drink is very chic I think. Another idea is to go to live theater or a comedy show especially on opening night or, if you have it there, the actor "talk back" night where you can discuss the play.

    Loving this month's theme and glad to see you posting so much again.

  3. Youngest daughter gave me her Nars bronzer. Love it! Never used one before. Gives a fresh, natural look.

    Went to the gym again, stayed longer and tried out some new equipment.

    I have also put my name down for 2 "evenings with the writers" at a couple of different places...Big for me.

  4. Well, I had to laugh at the feeling old bit, as I can understand (because I do even here in my late 20's), but also because I still think you look like you're in your early 30's! So no, I wouldn't share your age... keep them guessing!

  5. I need to get "I feel old" out of my vernacular. It's been coming up way too much lately because my joints DO feel old (mild to moderate arthritis plus worn-out cartilage), even after yoga, and we have three new kids at the office, each born after I graduated from high school (meaning they're young enough to be my children). You're right, Fiona: we really need to knock it off with the old talk. Thanks for your admission/suggestion.

    Book-wise, I've been on a Lost Generation (Hemingway, Fitzgerald) kick interspersed with Helena Frith Powell, of all things. I just finished "Love in a Warm Climate," which is chick-lit, and am reading two non-fictions simultaneously: "The Viva Mayr Diet" (which is about nutrition and habits, very good) and "To Hell in High Heels" (which is about aging -- oops, there's that "old" thing again!).

    Using up one of my bottles (of whatever) and tossing it into recycling is one of my simple pleasures in life.

  6. OK for some reason my first comment didn't post, so trying again!

    I completely agree with your comment about age. Too many people write off others once they know one's age before getting to know them. What a loss. Thankfully, my friends are fairly open minded as most of them are older than me (sometimes decades older!)

  7. Your age comment really speaks to me too; I'm going to try to vet myself better. Isn't using up products fun? I first read that sentiment expressed by The Closet Therapist and it was nice to see that someone else feels the same. I always get a kick out of finishing. Fiona, I'm really glad you like the wallet inventory idea! Thanks.

    I hope this doesn't sound flippant, but today I am going to chew my food more slowly and mindfully. I read such a sad story about one of your compatriots who choked to death on a flight back to NZ, while his girlfriend sat next to him powerless. It reminds one to take it slowly.


  8. I like the idea of embracing age with grace and acceptance.
    You look so young in your picture that "old" would not even be on my radar.

    "The Paris Wife" is on my bedside table waiting until I finish the last couple of chapters of The House at Riverton.

  9. Good Morning Fiona :) There is something very nice about waking up to read your mini accomplishments before my day has even started enough to do mine. haha, oh time difference.
    I just went to a local art gallery the other day! art can be nice, huh? but mostly I wanted to say the "age is just a number" idea is so true! Judgements can change when a person's age is revealed. and I know I've been mistaken for a middle school/high school student too many times now. which is fine but maybe I'm not being taken seriously?
    xo Lenna

    ps Thanks for stopping by my blog Fiona!

  10. I love that you are doing this 30 days of chic again. You always give such good ideas and things to think about.

    As for age, I've been thinking the same thing. I've developed a bad habit of making little jokes about age every time I have trouble with my knees, and it's a habit I really need to break. I don't need to be bringing attention to my age or to my knees!

  11. OK Mum, I will read the Mitfords. I'm sorry it's taken so long. But you know how the longer someone nags you to do something, the more you resist? I will try and be less stubborn!

    Juhli, I have a bit of an aversion to anything over-the-top theatrical and 'Dahhhling, mwah, mwah'. A live play I attended once has ruined me I fear, it was so raw and I felt appalled and embarrassed the whole way through. I am good with art and comedy though. Thank you for your compliment.

    Anonymous, thanks for your contribution and well done to you. We don't need to do anything big to step out of our comfort zone. Little steps work too and they are much less scary.

    Kate, do you think being married makes people naturally think someone's older? It is quite a 'mature' thing to do. By today's standards you are a young mother-to-be too!

    LuxeBytes, I LOVE finishing up a bottle and worry that there is something odd about me. I also have to talk myself out of saving it to re-use.

    LR, I've often had friends not the same age as me either. I don't think my life stages have been like others my age. In my 20s I was married and many of my friends weren't. Then when I was single in my early thirties, living in the city and going out, they were getting married. Now I'm married again but no kids and they all have kids. It doesn't bother me though, my path is my path.

    Erina, I hadn't heard that story, it's awful. Perhaps I can scare my husband into eating slower.

    Hostess, your books sound wonderful!

    Aspen/Lenna, good morning! You may be right with your age thoughts, we all make snap judgements about a person when we first see them. We're working out everything about them to see if we'll like them. Still, looking young is a better problem than looking old do you think? Or is that like a heavy person saying to a thin person who is always trying to put on weight 'you don't have a problem'.

    Jacqui, thank you, and thanks to all the chic readers around the world for their contributions. I think we need to nip old in the bud and be youthful and vibrant in our mind.

    I don't know if I've already quoted this before but Deepak Chopra said 'A shift in consciousness results in a shift in bilogy'.

    We are our own self-fulfilling prophecies!

  12. I completely relate to your comment about referring to your age. I've caught myself doing that a lot lately, and I do think it changes people's perceptions of you if you categorize yourself. I'm resolving to maintain my air of mystery and never let on how old I am.

    As for your resolve to get more arts and culture into your life, I sympathize with a bad theatre experience; it can be so off putting. you might want to reintroduce theatre into your life via half-price or pay-what-you-can tickets, which most theatres will offer at least once during the run of every show. Also, museums generally offer free nights once a month so you can expose yourself to a broad range of artists and mediums with little or no investment. That way, if you hate it, you've lost nothing, and who knows, you may find something you love.

    I don't know much about what's available on television there in NZ, but here my cable provider offers quite a few classic, foreign, independent, and documentary films on demand; if that's not available, you could consider Netflix or one of the online movie download sites to access more intellectual films. I would recommend the documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop", which is a funny, thoughtful, unexpected exploration of street art counter-culture.

    Finally, I've been reading my way through this list:

    I've found quite a few gems and it has expanded me out of my contemporary fiction rut. I hope you find the arts as inspirational as I do - it's such a great source for chic ideas!

    My chic day involved putting on nicer clothes and heels to go shopping today, buying a new book that will challenge me ("A Suitable Boy" from the above list!), and cleaning up my messy house in preparation for a new work week.

    I love this series, it's forcing me to do something chic everyday so I can play along!

  13. "Chic" today was preparing for a small family gathering, carrying off the meal,then sitting under an afghan with a cup of coffee in 60 degree weather watching family members play croquet & corn hole.

  14. I think it is a good idea to stop referring to oneself as being old. On the other hand I've always felt that in this day, age IS just a number. I think it is very 'aging' to be coy about one's number. I'm certain that you know people who are the same age and just as different as they can be. I find that getting older is a challenge - it is for everyone and it always will be. I try to think of it as an adventure, after all if we were not all on this adventure it would only be because we were dead.

    In my mind, you pursuit of chic is in fact an effort to celebrate being alive and to live a better life. As I understand it, the French culture, so admired by many, actually values the experience and interest that an older woman has. As such (and because it's better than being dead) I think it's best to just not worry about the age thing and get on with it!

    I am in process of re-evaluating the use of our upstairs rooms, the furniture there and what else we need/don't need. I'm also in process of organising some outside repair work to the house. It doesn't sound very chic, but I do think that taking care of one's property has a place in a well ordered life - a falling down wreck of a house is definitely not chic, not in a cold wet place like England!

  15. Rebecca, your day sounds lovely.

    Shelley, I know what you're saying and I agree, I would never try and hide my age, but I don't want to trumpet it either. I'm sure people know the general age I am, but unnecessarily spelling (or numbering) it out isn't needed.

    I will never complain about getting older because many people don't have the chance to grow old. And I love that the French revere their women of a certain age. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate the time you have taken.

    Maintenance of 'whatever' (home, body, clothing, relationships) is tres chic in my book. It's taking care of your things rather than buying new ones. Aren't Europeans famous this?

    I love the sound of 'a well ordered life'. That is my goal and my dream!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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