Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chic on the inside

Image from Tricia Foley's new book 'Life/Style: Elegant simplicity at home'.  I love everything about this photo, in particular the crumpled napkins, seagrass placemats and gorgeously-hued glassware.

Dodo was not, by any means, a beauty but she was so convinced of her own attractiveness that eventually others began to wonder if they were missing something’.  From ‘Trading Up’ by Candace Bushnell 

I love this quote because it reminds me that really, we decide.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been around someone who is rather captivating. You can see that they are quite normal-looking and not a supermodel, but there’s just something about them.  They seem to sparkle and look like they’re having a great time.  You find yourself envious of their happiness and notice that it makes them really attractive.

What is it that they have?  I believe it’s an inner belief that they are enough, that they are worth taking up space on the earth and that they are valued.  Many of us, and I include myself in this, wait for others to validate us.  We wait for them to notice us before we can feel good about ourselves.  It sounds so nutty written out but it’s apparently quite common!

It’s still something I’m working on, and maybe some of us just have this issue always and we get to manage it the best we can.  I’ve written about it before, I know.  But some things, and especially the things that challenge us the most, take some time to work through.  It’s that old analogy of peeling the layers off the onion.  There’s always a new angle to work through.

Putting it like this it sounds like hard work and why would we want to bother, why not just be as we are.  But human beings aren’t wired like that.  In nature, for instance a tree is either growing or it’s dying.  A tree does not stay the same size naturally.  We are the same.  If we’re stagnating, we’re dying inside – barely existing!

It feels so good to conquer something that has bothered us and I think that’s why the personal development world is huge, and growing all the time.  It’s human nature to want to learn things and better ourselves continuously.

So one way I’m bettering myself today is to believe in myself.

Believe in my worth.

Believe that I’m valuable, exactly as I am.

Believe that I’m enough, just because I’m alive.

Believe that I’m worthy, without changing anything about me.

Believe that I’m lovable.

And so are you.  You are all these things too.

Writing this reminds me of another great quote from Stanley Tucci's character Nigel in 'The Devil Wears Prada' movie (which we watched again the other night) -

'Yes, that's what this whole multi-billion-dollar industry is all about... inner beauty'.  He he, I do love that movie.


Chic new interiors book

Before I go, has anyone seen the new Tricia Foley book ‘Life/Style: Elegant simplicity at home’?  Tricia has written many beautiful décor books, and I particularly love her newest one because it features photos from her own homes over the years.  As well, the text is really inspirational and interesting, including a wonderful foreword by Isabella Rossellini where she relays that the effect of visiting Tricia Foley’s home makes her want to go home and throw everything out and paint what’s left in white.  So cute.  How many of us feel like that when we visit (or view in a magazine) a particularly lovely and minimal home?  I know I do.

The one thing that is quite funny about this book, is that there are a few photos of magazine and book stacks which really stress me out.  I just could not handle them in my home!  It’s the same with an English house and garden magazine I flicked through last week.  One beautiful home had custom made book shelving which went right to the very top of a high-pointed ceiling.  Instead of thinking how nice it looked, all that came to me was a heavy feeling of the weight of all those books and the thought of ‘how would you even read the books right at the top, or dust them?’  I love living light and am becoming more so every year.  If there are books that I don’t think I’ll ever read (or re-read), they are donated.  There’s just no point in having them hang around in my opinion.

I digress though; Tricia’s few stacks in her home office don’t diminish the absolute peace and calm that emanates from every page of this book.  She has such a distinctive point of view and has had it for a long time, even though it has evolved over time.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she was the first to do ‘shades of white’.

Usually with large format picture books you flick through the pages, but this one I actually read cover-to-cover with a bookmark simply because her writing was so engaging and stories so interesting.  Thank you for a beautiful new book Tricia!


  1. I purchased Tricia Foley's new book and I love perusing it. So many beautiful ideas for creating beauty in one's own home.
    Love that Candace Bushnell quote too!

  2. Love this post Fiona. Think of Diana Vreeland. On the surface, she was not traditionally attractive. Yet, people flocked to her. She decided as a young girl that she would never be beautiful but she would be magnetic. Her husband was tremendously handsome and he loved her. She became an expert on beauty and style and even today, fashionistas study her. She DECIDED she was attractive in her own way. Lovely post.

  3. Fiona, Your husband is a trooper to rewatch The Devil Wears Prada (even the first time)!

  4. Leslie, it certainly is a beautiful book for the curated home library.

    Donna, what a GREAT example, wish I'd thought of it! Diana Vreeland exemplifies this post perfectly. And Coco Chanel actually.

    Anonymous, he didn't want me to tell any of you that it's one of his favourite movies :)

  5. Don't worry about the dust ,if you can afford the shelves you've got staff !!!

  6. We went to dinner with some of my husbands friends recently, and even though I was dressed 'casual chic' I felt totally intimidated by how much more chic the 2 wives of my husbands friends looked and acted. It was effortless for them and they seemed to sparkle like the Champagne they were drinking. Maybe it was the fact that I was meeting one of them for the first time (she exudes chic glamour with beautifully styled hair, gorgeous figure and impeccable fashion sense). Maybe it was because I felt tired and frumpy (trying to lose weight), maybe it was because I was sitting at the end of the table and not close enough to really be involved in the conversation...which was all about the old days when my husband used to work with them all, way way before I even knew him...Whatever it was, probably a combination of all those things...but my confidence took a complete nose dive as soon as I entered the restaurant and I turned into a shy little 'mouse', gripping hubby's hand under the table for comfort. Not what I had intended at all! Our companions were all absolutely lovely people, charming and friendly, but I still didn't feel comfortable or confident. I don't have expensive jewelry, or designer clothes, or any ability to style my hair...but I WAS wearing $200 boots, which I splurged out on in an after Christmas clearance sale, and which of course were totally hidden under the table. It's silly, I know, but I was trying to focus on those boots and channel some confidence from them, but it didn't work lol! I need to work on my confidence more...and your post this morning reinforced that, but I find it SO hard. It's a theory Ihave that women with huge boobs (like me) can never look chic in anything lol!

  7. I love the first quote at the beginning of the post so much!

  8. Anonymous 1, too true!

    Anonymous 2, I love your confidence channelling boots, go you :) I'm not small busted either, and I too think that a truly chic woman would be very thin with a flat chest. We need to change this thought though, so that we can feel chic too. A great exercise to do would be to research big busted women who look chic - there are many celebrities with bug busts (natural or not) so you could search images of them. What about Nigella Lawson? Create a Pinterest board of all the chic big-busted ladies you find and go there when you are needing inspiration.

    Stephanie, yay!

  9. The truly chic, in my opinion, also make everyone else around them feel included and welcome. Chic without élan is just hollow to me.

  10. I couldn't agree more, Anonymous :)


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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