Friday, November 6, 2015

Inspiration ideas – Make it stylish

Huge thanks to lovely blog reader Karabella for sending me this divine lavender sachet bought in Versailles

One of the best ways to make me want to do something is to make it stylish.  I can’t intimidate myself into eating better, improving my grooming regime routine or exercising more.

But I can make myself want to eat better by decluttering my kitchen cupboards until there are only my favourite dishes and glasses in it - stylishly organised of course - and most used pots, gadgets and utensils.  To further help I can have a clean-out of ingredients and only keeping in my pantry and fridge what I could imagine would be in a tiny chic French kitchen.  I also imagine if someone came around, say Ines de la Fressange, what she would say about the type of food I had.

I would feel less embarrassed to show her my fridge full of fruit and vegetables, free-range eggs, and nice cheeses than if I had super-size bottles of Diet Coke and stacks of chocolate.  In the same vein, I would happily have Ines browse my pantry of tall jars of staples such as wholemeal pasta, basmati rice, cans of tomatoes and tuna, olive oil and herbs and spices.  I would not be happy if she saw family bags of sweets/candy and potato chips.

Coming home from work with a bounty of fresh product to inspire, makes me less likely to call and order takeaway food to pick up.  Since I consciously began adding more vegetables, both raw and cooked into my daily diet, I now really miss them if we eat out or get takeaways.  And from eating one piece of fruit per week (if that), I now enjoy fresh fruit every day and also miss if it I don’t have it. 

I can make myself want to improve my grooming regime by keeping our bathroom tidy and clean, hotel-like almost, with fluffy towels and nice toiletries.  Body products sometimes have garishly coloured bottles, so I decant into plain pump or flip-top containers a la Martha Stewart (we already had a label-maker at work so I printed off a few, oh how Martha would be proud). 

I imagine I am a well-groomed French woman which would encourage me to create and uphold a self-care regime such as:

- Shave my legs every second day (that gets stretched out in the winter, but never less than once a week).
- Wash my hair every second maybe third day.
- Use facial scrub in the shower 1-2 times per week.
- Body lotion every single morning – legs, arms, bum and tummy.
SPF 15 body lotion on my décolletage and neck every morning, body butter every night.
- Blow-dry and style nicely my hair each time I wash it.

For exercise, if it’s in a gym (so not me) or is something structured, bossy and unpleasant (I never finished that outdoor fitness bootcamp course), please don’t invite me along.  I get far more pleasure and enjoyment out of going for a city, country or neighbourhood walk listening to my current inspiration. 

I wear nice walking clothes and sunglasses (summer) or a scarf (winter) and stride along tall and lean, feeling my waist whittle as I go; I feel so strong and healthy and yes, chic!

Do you too need enticing into living well?  Does ‘making it stylish’ as inspiration work for you?  Please share any tips you use too, merci!


  1. Sounds like you are enjoying a healthy, elegant attitude to life, Fiona! Thank you for your post.

  2. Your posts always inspire me :) thank you

  3. Thank you, I really need a kick start to some healthier snacking

  4. merci beaucoup, Fiona!
    I came across your blog few days ago while searching on how to be stylish while working at home and liked what i read :)
    I never resided in France, but i live now in Montreal, Quebec, which has a lot of French inspirations and i am soooo happy about it!
    On the subject of your post i might add something like having this very special, prettiest own cup for morning tea of coffee - with a small plate, of course: incredible feeling to start the day! Also, by working at home, i like to light up couple of candles around, especially on rainy gloomy days. And to have a small orchid on work table helps, too: not only just for moods, but also no one can clutter a space around orchid, right?

  5. Dear Fiona,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you (like usual). I've found that not even owning anything that would cause me to feel frumpy or not elegant helps tremendously (it saves a lot of money too).

    One doesn't have to think about looking or feeling good if those things that would bring us down aren't readily available.

  6. I like to use beautiful things and I enjoy looking at them as much as I do using them....I am a very visual person and my mood is affected negatively by clutter and chaos. I agree with you on all these points and I opt for walks over the gym.
    Your top in the first image has really interesting details and I think the colour is flattering with your hair colour!

  7. What an inspiring post, Fiona! Thank you for the reminder (which I find I need more often than I wish I did!) that even the little things can make a difference. I don't have to move to Paris to live my life with some Parisienne Style & Chic (or even to Quebec City, which is a lot closer!). I caught myself the other day grabbing a block of Brand Name cheese because it was handy & on sale when some (smaller) wedges of a really good imported Brie were right there. I paused, habit making me think the less expensive Brand Name would be perfectly OK. Then I put it down & bought the Brie instead. The mere fact I'd bought it at all made eating it even more enjoyable -- I didn't just *eat* it, I savoured it. I need to remember to do this more often, and to expand it to all areas of my life.

  8. I totally agree with you Fiona. I think beauty and quality is such an important aspect of life. It may seem superficial, but you feel so much more inspired to live your best life. I watched an interview with Aerin Lauder and one thing she said that stuck out to me is that beauty is happiness, and even the smallest things in your life you can make beautiful. And when you're surrounded by beauty, you make better choices.

  9. I love this. Beauty and style truly elevate the everyday. From my Illy brand espresso to my travel souvenir espresso cups, I try to use my best and beloved as often as possible. Making such conscious choices allow a life lived well.

  10. Good god yes!! I just realized I can't be man handled into making changes either. I need to feel pretty making changing!!
    Loved this blog!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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