Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Chic September

I’m embarking on another thirty days of chic. My goal is to keep uppermost in my mind the kind of life I want to live. The difference this time though is that I will be focusing on all the small things I do daily that lead me towards my goal, rather than away from it.

‘Petit à petit l'oiseau fait son nid’
‘Little by little the bird builds its nest’
(French proverb)

The kind of words that inspire me and that I like to imagine apply to my life are ones such as: elegant, stylish, chic, refined, quiet, simple, healthy, low-stress and low-maintenance.

September feels like a lovely fresh month to me. It is change of seasons – Spring here, Autumn in the Northern hemisphere. They are important times of the year for making sure we are heading in the right direction, both in fun ways such as how we present our clothed selves to the world, but also in deeper ways such as making sure we are living a life we are happy with and one that we feel aligns with our innermost self.

Each day in September I will document steps I have taken towards a chic, elegant and healthy life. Even just thinking about doing this latest 30 Chic Days has been having a positive effect on decisions I have made on what to do or not do at a given time.

Here are today’s mini-chic accomplishments:

Getting up when the alarm went off. This meant I had time for a leisurely start to my working day. If I turn the alarm off and roll over back to sleep I will be rushing around to leave the house.

Applying body lotion all over after my shower. I do this every day and it feels such a luxe treat. I also imagine chic Paris women doing the same thing before they head out for their day.

Spent time drying and styling my hair properly.

Enjoyed fresh fruit and a milky coffee for breakfast.

Attended a WW meeting, the first in six weeks. I decided to go monthly rather than weekly and it didn’t do me any favours. My weight today was almost identical to six weeks ago, so that’s something at least. I have now diarised to go every week. It doesn’t cost me anything as I am below my official WW goal weight; really, I don’t know why I stopped going as it always inspires me and sets me up for the week. And I still have a little way to go before I reach my actual goal weight – my ‘chic’ weight.

Walked to and from my yoga class at lunchtime. It’s a 20 minute walk each way and I’m glad the rain held out until the afternoon. I really miss the walk component if it’s too, too rainy (it has to be really wet for me not to walk).

Did some research on home decor. It seems my husband and I are in agreement on our preferred home furnishing shades and the style/s we like. We are seeing a house for sale for the second time on the weekend and even though we know it might not pan out, we are both decorating it in our head, on a budget of course. I know I'm putting the cart well before the horse, but it's fun.

And lastly I am heading off to bed early tonight, it will be around 9pm when I hop into bed with a book. This costs nothing, feels like a treat and is so good for you. I read this quote in a chick lit book I finished last month and had to save it – ‘Early to bed, early to rise, gives a girl energy and skinny thighs’ – Bella in Babyville by Jane Green.

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. Lovely Fiona- what a brilliant idea... and a great way to start off the "Fall" season! Not sure if you got my reply comment but regarding the music in my London video- I composed it myself on garage band and also called the song 'A View from London'. Have a great weekend! xo

  2. In the UK we are now coming into our most dramatic season. Autumn is wonderful here. Winter and summer are always disappointing! Spring is unpredicatable.

    September for me is always the month of repair and starting afresh. Like all diligent French women I always, always have a thorough professional facial to repair any sun damage incurred over the summer. I stop using high SPF day creams and return to more nourishing collagen creams and serums. This expense I regard as an absolute necessity.

    I also have a good hair cut to make up for sea and sun damage.

    I also find this is the time of year when I lose a few pounds quite easily. As the days grow chilly I start making large pots of home made soup to take to work in a Thermos flask.

    And my most favourite chic activity (actually this is an Italian habit)... At the end of September I clean and press all my summer clothes and pack them away in tissue paper in trunks for the winter. In turn, out comes my autumn/winter wardrobe and I spend a day trying on old friends and rediscovering outfits I'd forgotten I had! The whole process is reversed in May the following year when the summer clothes return and the winter ones are put to sleep. It really preserves clothes well. Italian women actually take a day off work to do this! How chic is that?!!

  3. Fiona, love this idea of making September a more mindful, chic month. I look forward to your daily reminders.

  4. I love that quote...think it was penned especially for me!

    Best get to bed now.

  5. Fiona, you are just so cool! I'm in! I have always thought of September more as my "new year" than January. This will be a lovely thing to enjoy at the start of my new year. xxBliss

  6. September is a fresh month and a perfect time to invite some chic tips into our daily round.
    I love that you are being mindful and tending to your inner french girl with luxe treats and habits that will fuel your days and fill your soul.

    This is the best September "issue" that I will want to read every day.
    Thank you Fiona!

  7. This is my favorite time of year, the cusp of fall (at least in my part of the world!). The back-to-school vibe always feels more like a fresh start than January 1, and I am so delighted that you're doing another 30 days of chic. Count me on board. One thing I plan to do is a 7-day yoga detox based on your dosha, which is described on the Yoga Journal website.

  8. When you move, put your hand on every item you own and say to yourself...will this item make my happy for the rest of my life. Move nothing that doesn't need to be with you in your new life.

  9. I think September is a phenomenal time of year for goals like these. I love the smell of fall just waiting around the corner.

    For myself, today was a coffee and a croissant sort of late morning (about 11 a.m.). I'm headed later to pick up a vintage vacuum that I had repaired to make it like new (they have such better suction than any newer one I've seen!).

    For myself, this whole fall is a time for chic-ness. Once G is home, we're going through the whole home with the mentality of "Is it either useful or speaks of beauty to us?" If not, things are getting tossed/donated. Every single nook and cranny in the house is getting this treatment, and we're hoping to drastically streamline. I want to be surrounded by things I love, not just things I happen to have.

  10. Looking forward to your series. September does always feel like a new beginning. I try to get up pretty early in the morning, as I hate to have to rush. I am also going to bed a bit earlier too - I love that quote by Jane Green! Have a great day, Fiona! xxoo :)

  11. What I like most about this is that we will be hearing from you on a regular and frequent basis....that makes me very happy!

    I will attempt to share something I did that was chic each day.

    Today, I carefully selected two nail polish colors that I will be wearing this fall and winter. I gave it much thought, considered all of my options and am therefore proud of my non-impulse buy. xo

  12. I joined you in your last 30 chic days and am ready for september!
    new chapter in my life with a new chic series :)
    ~ lenna

  13. Daily Connoisseur, I can't believe you composed that music, it's beautiful! I'm so impressed. The video was fabulous too, with little captions.

    Fenicia, your list is very thorough, and I am seriously considering doing as the Italians do and take a day to swap my wardrobe over. My usual method is to not do anything until the weather is quite hot/cold, then open up the suitcase under the bed and dig out things as I need them while still having drawers full of the opposite season. Not chic at all.

    Thank you for reading and commenting Cherie.

    Linda C, I didn't get to bed at 9pm last night. I need to start my blogging earlier, and take my own advice.

    Bliss, are you a September baby, or is it just the Autumn thing?

    Hostess, I am humbled!

    LuxeBytes, I hope that a seven day yoga detox doesn't involve going without... I'm sure it doesn't. I will go and enlighten myself on the Yoga Journal website. It sounds wonderful.

    Anonymous, thank you for your comment and great advice. I am already decluttering now, and plan to be more ruthless and less sentimental. I will do it when I pack also.

    Kate, preparing for a baby is a perfect time to make sure your house is in order. I'm sure you're nesting like mad at the moment.

    Cathi, thank you! I'm such a fan of Jane Green. Her books are so readable. She is one of the few chick lit authors I keep so I can read over.

    Adrienne, you are lovely to say that and for playing along. I'm sure a Parisienne would do the same with her seasonal nail polish.

    Aspen, yay! Lovely to have you back

  14. Fiona, if by "going without" you mean anything that tastes yummy, then yep, probably!

    From what I've gotten from Yoga Journal so far, it looks like lots of seasonal vegetables, warming spices, seaweed, and ghee. Ayurvedic stuff.

    I'd never do anything crazy, don't worry. But my digestion could probably use a break from ice cream and tamales!

  15. I'm so excited that this means that there will be something to read everyday! I've been enjoying your blog as always. Today was not a very chic day...I had my first grad school final...cringe...

    Although it was a hectic week...I did make time to go for a run outside yesterday (I've been really bad about exercise since starting school...but I've noticed an improvement in my mood and energy level when I make time for it...even lacing up my sneakers in anticipation puts a smile on my face)...and I've been good about lotion after reading your've converted me! I finished a bunch of errands after my exam today and cleaned/organized my room (which thankfully wasn't too hard since I also did it after my previous exam. Just a couple more errands before being able to relax with a much-deserved night out with my roommate. ;)

  16. Hi Fiona,

    I have to admit that I am with Fenicia in that I also wait and get my hair cut in September and swap out my wardrobe for the fall clothes. Here in Canada we have the Labour Day long weekend coming up and I have actually scheduled four days off to take care of myself. I am an interior designer so this is not as easy as one might think.
    I am so looking forward to getting out my suitcase with all my fall clothes, trying everything on and washing all my sweaters. I am a cashmere junkie and the smell of my clean sweaters makes me inordinately happy.
    Adrienne I am with you in loving a new fall nail polish. I have always loved OPI Romeo and Joliette, Dark brown and looks great on short nails.

  17. I thought I'd left a comment earlier...but maybe not. I really liked the single words you listed that inspire you.

    I'm "in"! I'll be checking in each day with you for inspiration. Today's "chic" for me included a return to my hand-written journal. There I will begin each entry by selecting a word for the day and see where it takes me.

    Today, my word was "mindfulness".

  18. hello fiona,

    i feel soothed just reading your plan for september. here in southern california it is still summer for sure. today was in the mid 90's. i'm looking forward to your series as i need to be more chic. i did nothing chic today. unless you count cleaning out the pantry that was overrun by ants. in that case, i was quite chic.


  19. I'm very excited about your month! It will be joy to read.

    A chic thing of the day: dark denim with a tank and heels. And red lipstick. Perfect.

    Crossing fingers for your house!

  20. This weekend I am decluttering and doing a closet purge, as well as doing some prep work like cleaning my makeup brushes, reinforcing buttons on a few clothing items, etc. Things have been sitting for awhile and need to be done!

  21. Yay, another 30 chic days! Your series earlier this year is what got me hooked on your blog, and I am so excited to read your ideas and play along. It's funny that you announced this new series today, as I had just resolved to put my own 30 day plan into place.

    Today's chic: buying only what I need. Especially at this time of year, when all the fall fashion magazines are out and the racks are filled with yummy new clothes and accessories, it's tough to keep spending in check. Today I'm inventorying my closet to see what I have, what needs to be replaced, and where there is room for a little bit of "fashiony" fun. A well thought out fall wardrobe plan = tres chic.

  22. We are having a dinner party tomorrow night for two other couples. I like layering a white or cream lace table cloth on top of a white linen table cloth. Inspired by some blog or other I saw, I will be finding candles and small flower vases. The menu will include smoked salmon, roast lamb, and loads of vegetables from the garden.

    It's fun to decorate a house in your mind, but I can still remember after 30 years the disappointment of not buying a house that I loved. I'd moved in emotionally, arranged my furniture there and imagined the curtains I would sew. Be careful not to invest too much of yourself before it's yours! I shall cross my fingers and toes for you!

    I'll look forward to your September posts for the inspiration you always provide.

  23. LuxeBytes, actually I meant going without yoga. That wouldn't do at all!

    Ani, you always sound so organised. Good for you. I wish running wasn't so hard on the body because it does feel amazing. Like you're flying.

    Rebecca, great idea for your journal!

    Janet, you are the epitome of chic to me because a sense of humour is such a big part. Funny how ants can go from 0 to 1,000 overnight. Where do they come from?

    Aesthetic Alterations, your outfit sounds perfection.

    LR, all those little things are very satisfying when done. When I've finished I always wonder why it has taken me so long, but then I leave it too long next time as well.

    KBG, lovely to hear from you again. Well done on resisting the new seasons goods just at the moment. I have to say though, my heart always sinks when a customer I've spent ages with starts to say 'I'll just have to go home and check what I have in my wardrobe and see what I need'. OK, I say, with a smile on my face. I know because I probably do it too.

    Shelley, your dinner and table sound wonderful. I know, I'm not thinking about the house too much, and my mind's image of the decor is transportable to different houses. Until we've bought something I'll try and keep it that way.

  24. I love this chic September idea and will be following along....though a few days late. Just a note: early to bed (sleep) is my #1 diet trick. It works like a charm when it comes to having the energy and focus to eat well, exercise and avoid stress! Great post. Mama P

  25. Mama P, I will try and be earlier to bed as well. It seems my posts are keeping me up. How ironic and I shall have to fix that by starting them earlier!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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