Monday, January 27, 2014

A Life of Luxury

Lunch at Italian restaurant Il Lupino in Waikiki.  It was the lovely courtyard area that made me want to eat there!

The word ‘luxury’ is such an enchanting word, and there are many different meanings you can attach to it. I love to daydream about living a luxurious life. Yes, having material luxury goods is part of that daydream, but whether I am willing to pay for them and take care of them is another matter altogether.

On the rare occasion that I purchase a lottery ticket (maybe once or twice a year), it is a fun game for my husband and myself to plan what we are going to do with our winnings. That alone is almost worth the price of the ticket. We decide what we are going to do with the shop, where we will travel to and where we will live. We talk about what our new daily routine might be.

It is at these times that I reinforce to myself that we live a life of luxury already. Yes, we have to go to work, but how I conduct myself when I’m there, and what we do at home I encourage myself to do in a way that I think I would should I win that luxurious lottery lifestyle.

Fresh fruit and vegetables every day. In the morning for breakfast a bowl overflowing with any of these, fresh and sliced – pineapple, strawberries, pear, apple, apricots, orange – topped with a handful of mixed raw nuts.

For lunch a luscious salad of lettuce, both home-grown and store-bought, home-grown fresh herbs torn on top, and any or all of sliced carrots, capsicum, celery, cucumber, tomato, then finished with good protein such as a couple of hard-boiled eggs, shredded roast chicken or tuna at a pinch and always avocado.  Creamy dressings are my treat - I love Paul Newman's caesar dressing  and ranch as well.

In the evening a home-cooked meal, perhaps a roast? With roast vegetables and steamed broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus dressed in extra-virgin olive oil.

And of course glass after glass of fresh, clear, life-giving water throughout the day.

Am I in a fancy health spa or a top-notch country hotel? No! This is what I eat every day at home. I have gradually increased my consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables over time so that now the majority of my diet consists of them.

I am slowly and permanently ironing out poor dietary habits and changing them to new, healthy ones. As an added bonus, being slender and feeling vibrant is on my luxury lifestyle list too.

Spa-like pampering. Soft smooth exfoliated legs and arms, polished brightly coloured toenails, blow-dried silky hair and lightly applied make-up. I don’t have to visit a spa for all these things, I just need to allow plenty of time in the morning to get ready (because I like to move slowly). I also remind myself that all these pampering things don’t take very long, they are virtually free, and the results are worth it (I need that reminder on lazy days sometimes).

Having a leisurely start to the day. To have plenty of time to get ready in the morning, I made the decision years ago that I would rise at 6am every day, whether it was a work day or a day at home. It’s better for your body to get up at the same time every day. It doesn’t have to be 6am, but that’s what time I have to get up to get ready for work, so I do it on my weekends too.

If you get up at different times throughout the week you give yourself a form of jetlag. And I read recently that having greatly varying times of getting up and bedtime is worse for retaining weight, just another reason to set my alarm.

Always having an engrossing book to read, be it fiction or non-fiction. Having a rich inner life is the best way to live a luxurious life on little money, and a book is a great vehicle. I read from my current book or books every day, always with my breakfast, sometimes with my lunch, sometimes before dinner, and definitely in bed when I retire for the evening.

I don’t often buy a book straight away, instead I borrow from the library first and then buy new if I like it enough for my personal library at home. I also browse charity stores and can pick up great books from there. They aren’t usually more than a dollar or two.  Sometimes they are keepers and sometimes I read and re-donate.

Beautiful music as my personal soundtrack. I have many playlists on my iPod that I play at home depending on my mood. There are Buddha Bar/Hotel Costes/Café del Mar ones for when I want to feel cool and connected to the world, Richard Clayderman and Carl Doy for when I want to feel hotel-ish when I am doing my housework, relaxing classical adagios to feel elegant and peaceful, jazz for dinner guests or lazy Sundays and many more. Music is a must in my luxury lifestyle.

Surrounding myself with beauty and order. At home I prefer calming colours. Even something as pedestrian as a washing basket I chose white, so it would blend in in the laundry or when I am putting clothing away. I couldn’t cope with a bright blue one for example.  Picking up and putting away as I move around the house keeps things looking tidy and helps my serenity.

Always having space to put something away at home is luxurious to me, that is why I love decluttering so much. The satisfaction I gain from editing and organizing a space for maximum ease and future pleasure is immense!

How does your life of luxury look?


  1. Fiona this is an absolutely brilliant post! Luxury is indeed the everyday and I share many things on your list with you. I am going to work on the playlists on my ipod more, I tend to listen to too much news radio and good music would be better for the soul.

  2. Rose, I've fallen out of the habit of keeping up with the everyday news and it's true what they say, if something is important enough you will hear about it.

  3. love your list fiona. i was thinking how my life this morning on my walk. i'm sure it would be hell for someone else but to me it is scandalously luxurious. aren't we the lucky ones?!

  4. Reading your post is luxurious! It's such a calm place to come to refresh my mind.

  5. Fiona, after watching Downton Abbey I've decided that I must have a maid! To be brought breakfast in bed, have my bed made up after I enter the bath that's been drawn, slip into my clothes that have been laid out sounds heavenly. Not to mention the vacumming and dusting. A repast to be prepared on the veranda for me every afternoon too. A maid is what I want...definitely!

  6. Donna, I agree with you, a maid would be a delightful addition to one's life.

  7. What a wonderfully happy picture! Fiona, you have the most glowing, lovely, translucent skin. Would you consider doing a post on your skincare and makeup application? I want to learn how to look like that!

  8. Whenever I see wealthy ladies in First Class on the aeroplane (I'm a flight attendant)...there is one thing they nearly ALWAYS have in common, and that's being groomed and having beautiful skin and hair - almost like they're glowing. No doubt the consequence of having no financial worries, ample time to groom and access to expensive skin treatments!! Anyway, I just wished to say that you have exactly the same 'glow'. There's clearly proof in the pudding for taking pleasure in life's every day little luxuries. Thanks for a great post!

  9. You write so beautifully. Like the previous commenter, I would love to read a post on skincare and makeup. You have a lovely complexion.

  10. Dear Fiona, Your posts always resonate with me. Simple pleasures are wonderful, aren't they? And important to recognize too.

    Currently, I have a roast in the slow cooker for dinner later, have showered, and am now eating leftovers from dinner last night (for breakfast!), sipping tea and enjoying your blog. Next I will be heading to the library - I can't tell you how luxurious these simple daily life moments are for me. We are carefully watching our budget at the moment because we have some high cost expenses coming up: a tooth implant for me (scary both monetarily and physically speaking), husbands $400. car repair, and so on… but, I know we are truly fortunate and I am thankful.

  11. Anon x 2, I wrote two posts on skincare, you can click on the Beauty tab to read (Chic in Japan comes up first and then just under that). Not much has changed since then. I don't have expensive beauty treatments and haven't had a facial for years sadly. I use inexpensive skincare - currently Natio and Olay Pro-X and Olay Total Effects.

  12. Very well said (or written), Fiona! Me and my husband also play around with ideas of what we'd do if we won a silly amount of Money, but of course it's what we do in our every day life that counts.

    For many years now I've said that the ultimate luxury to me is a couple of days where I don't have to do anything, no chores, no work, no housework....just turn off the phone, relax and do whatever I feel like.

    Luxury to me isn't mainly about objects, although of course I love beautiful things. It's more about the small things that lighten up my day - some fresh flowers, a glass of wine on a work night, a day off...

  13. Another wonderfully inspiring post : thank you so much Fiona x

  14. Forgot I also use something natural as a serum under my moisturiser - like rosehip oil, argan oil or vegetable glycerin. I don't use actual serums anymore because they all seem to be alcohol-based, thin and expensive.

  15. Love your post, Fiona. I was hoping you would write more about a comment you had made over the holidays about giving up alcohol. You had said that that was for another post. This is something I'm really excited about the prospect of doing but it seems every time I'm offered a beverage I say yes.

  16. Hi Anon, alcohol-free post coming up soon!

  17. Fiona, I feel chic reading your list of everyday luxury because this is how I live, too. Having access to fresh vegetables, fruits, quality proteins and healthy fats IS a luxury; most people in the world do not have such riches. And I've given up my monthly facials to repurpose the money into products and a routine I do at home now. My skin has never looked better.

    Since we work from home, my husband and I wake up at the same time each morning, put on the kettle, and start our day with a cup of Earl Grey we drink in bed while reading the paper, news magazines, or the iPad. This is luxury! The pillows are propped, music is playing, and we discuss the news items we read and engage in a little debate. It's a gentle, smart way to start the morning, and it's intellectual bonding with my sweetie.

  18. Love this post. We can live a life of luxury even without winning the lotto. So many of your chic habits have become mine too. I have to tell you one of your older posts about buckets of popcorn at the movie theatre being like cow feed !!! has helped me turn it down. It really helps to think of things in terms of being chic or not. Instead of feeling deprived, we can feel, well, chic!

  19. Fiona I can't tell you how much I love this post. I have read it multiple times over 3 days now.

    I have always been fascinated with luxury that isn't tied to a humongous bank account. What you have described here is definitely something that I want to incorporate into my life.

    I am currently working and studying for my PhD full time and I find that I wake up at a different time everyday and go to bed whenever i'm done with my mountain load of work. I always feel much better on the days I wake up early and actually make an effort with my appearance and time getting ready.

    I'm going to have to come back to this post one more time and take some notes. And hopefully slowly start implementing luxury into my life starting today. I definitely want to start living a simply luxurious life now that I am young so that I can pass that to my future family :)

    xo Stephanie

  20. A lovely post! It really is amazing how much better I feel when I take time to do things that enrich my body and mind, like listen to good music, read a good book before bed, or take the time to paint my toenails just because. I’ve really enjoyed your blog in the past, and I’m so glad that it’s back! I have a lot of catching up to do. And, I’m so jealous you got to meet Mireille Guiliano! Two such lovely, stylish, chic women together. :)


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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