Friday, June 17, 2016

30 Chic Days – The Fourth Series: Day 10

Welcome to Day 10 of the 30 Chic Days series.  If you’ve just joined us, you can catch up from Day 1 here.

I’m following a simple format, logging my day.  The goals are:

Awareness of what I’m doing each day
Where I am placing my focus, and
Remembering what I want to achieve.

Here’s what I will be reporting on each day:

What I ate
What I wore
How I moved my body
What I read
My focus for the day

Day 10:

What I ate

Breakfast – Fresh chopped pineapple, apple and mandarin, raw mixed nuts, Greek yoghurt, soy milk latte

Lunch – A gourmet sausage roll with pretty salad (it had petals in it!), Lime Saffron dressing, an avocado, and half a raspberry lamington with tea after.

Dinner – Seasoned coated chicken piece with roast kumara (sweet potato), onion and carrot, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, and gravy.  Two squares of 72% cacao chocolate and decaf coffee.

What I wore

Berry coloured melange merino top with cowl neck, navy-black wash jeans, black suede Clarks ankle boots with a small heel.

How I moved

No formal exercise today.  I was at work all day and then it was dark once I’d finished.

What I read

I enjoyed reading from Anne Barone’s Chic & Slim Encore book today, specifically the You Can Too! chapter where she spoke about her journey from being an overweight child put on amphetamine diet pills by her family doctor at age six (really!) through to learning from French women how and what to eat, all the while knowing deep down that she was not going to be overweight forever; knowing that she would be slim one day.

Anne’s books were my very first introduction to a few things:

  • The thrilling premise of combining being chic and stylish whilst losing weight in a French-focused way

  •  Ordering from overseas on the internet (so funny that it was only 15 years ago when we order things online often now)

  •  Self-published writing that was so much more interesting than anything at the local bookstore (this was before Mireille Guiliano brought the French lifestyle message to the mainstream) and in the old way of self-publishing which involved bankrolling a large amount of your own books and posting them out yourself, housing them in your living room until they all sold.  These days with on-demand self-publishing you don’t have to order up large or do the posting, it’s all done for you; not to mention Kindle digital books which weren’t around when Anne started out.  What a trailblazer!

For all these reasons I have a soft spot in my heart for Anne and her books.  I love having them on my shelves and I doubt I’ll ever part with them.  I love the simplicity of the red, black and white covers and I was reminded tonight of the great recipes in this book.  When I first bought this book, quite often I made Anne’s brown rice version of Tabouli for work lunches, and felt very chic and French as I enjoyed it instead of buying something less healthy (and less chic) from the food hall at the mall across the road from my office.

My focus for the day

After feeling so out of sorts yesterday, when I woke up this morning I said to myself ‘I want to feel peaceful today’, so I thought ‘what can I do to bring a feeling of peace to my day?’  I came up with a few things and they really did help.  I felt peaceful and content all day and my hollow-legs feeling had dissipated, thank goodness!

  • Firstly, I focused on peace as a feeling and could actually feel it settle on me.  I know that sounds airy fairy, but just saying to yourself ‘I want to feel peaceful’ helps to do that.
  • I got myself organised as soon as I arrived at work.  A sense of order helps me feel at peace.
  • I wore cosy clothing and a comforting perfume.
  • I stopped on the way to work and bought myself some yummy, gourmet lunch provisions. 
  • I played French music in the shop – a Buddha Bar/Hotel Costes mix – so good!

All these little things added up and I felt great all day, no weird hunger or anything.  Plus, yesterday I knew that 'tomorrow would be better', because it always is, isn't it?


Are you joining in this 30 Chic Days Series too?  If so, please mention this in the comments so we can click through to your blog, or if you don’t have a blog and would like to participate, you can let us know in the comments how your day went.

See you tomorrow, be chic!


  1. I love the Anne Barone books, and like you, they were my first real foray into the world of French Chic. I still have all of her hard copy books, well worn and and bit tattered, but now mostly dip into them on my kindle.

  2. I really like the red top. I have such a collection of "living French" books. I do enjoy browsing through them.

  3. Hi Fiona,

    That color looks *great* on you.

    Read your latest book yesterday and truly loved it - especially loved the concepts of trying to be less judgemental and seeking a calm temperament. I have the same coloring as you (as well as being the same age, having a "starter marriage" and now being married to the love of my life, no kids and kitties!) and I found it refreshing that you said you're not coloring your hair. I've started getting strands of white in my blonde hair and was on the fence.

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book and your blog!

  4. I'm curious how do you package your lunches? Its so hard to find pretty chic lunch ware. Do you use plastic or real china? I am so enjoying you book!

  5. Kimberly, get a bento box. All different styles.



  6. I have been taking your advice on the piece of dark chocolate for desert now for a while and love it. It really is satisfying to just nibble with a cup of tea! Something I love to do other than always buying some (expensive) dark chocolate bar, I love to buy those dark chocolate melting disks and make my own dark chocolate bark. Melt in the microwave and spread on wax paper and you can sprinkle with nuts, dried fruit, even lemon zest and break into pieces. Put in a can and have a small piece each night with tea/coffee.

  7. Sarah, it's so cool that we can carry our entire French Chic library around in our handbag! I still prefer to read a real book, but love the instant access of a Kindle if I'm waiting somewhere.

    Madame, thank you. Those books are like old friends to me :) I think that's something only an introvert would say...

    Amy, thank you very much! We have so many similarities. I may well colour may hair in the future, I'm not saying I never will again, but at this stage I'm more focusing on making my hair look the best it can by blow-drying and styling. When I get up and look in the mirror and think 'I'm going to make a colour appointment today' I know that once I've had a shower and washed/blow-dried my hair it will look so much better, and even colour can't change that. Plus I love how healthy my hair is without colour. It's an exercise in patience, for sure! Making sure I style my hair and putting effort into my makeup helps me not slip into crazy cat lady territory.

    Kimberly, great question! At work we keep nice dishes, plus we have a small fridge there. I use Tupperware, Glad Ware and a NZ brand Sistema which is similar, a lot, to store portions and salads when I've pre-made them. I never use plastic plates but I have been known to eat from the plastic container once in a while (not often).

    If it's a salad/cold ingredients, I tip them into a big salad bowl; if it's something hot to heat up, like leftover curry, I microwave it (we have a microwave at work too) in a glass jug, using the dish I'll be eating from as a lid. That way it doesn't splatter everywhere plus I get to have a heated plate to eat from. Win/win.

    Marsi's bento box is a great idea. If I didn't have the kitchen facilities I had now I'd make my lunch the night before and take into work in my Tupperware/other containers. Some are nice enough that they look like a dish to eat from with a snap on lid.

    You know how Subway have those wide, shallow plastic bowls with lids for their salads? I'm sure you could buy a 'proper' (non-disposable) version and that would be fun to make a salad in, then nice to eat from at work (you'd just need a fork, plus keep the dressing at work or take a little bit in a tiny container that you could tuck in with the salad until you eat it.

    Carla, yay for the dark chocolate. It feels chic plus I don't want to eat the whole bar at once like I do with milk and white chocolate (due to the high sugar content(.

    I absolutely love the sound of your chocolate bark, so chic! Lemon zest, what an inspired idea, yum.

  8. I cherish my Anne Barone books. I still visit her website often. Thanks for mentioning it because I'm going to revisit one of them this weekend. Have a beautiful weekend!

  9. Chic & Slim Encore was my 1st french chic book & I love it too. And I love the way that you decided to be peaceful & just did it. Looking tres chic again, very inspiring

  10. Fiona, I am delighted that Jennifer L. Scott (the daily connoisseur) mentioned your new book on her blog. I am so enjoying reading it - as well as your wonderful blog. As a newcomer, I have the delicious anticipation of going back and reading your previous posts and those other books you've written. Happiness! I just want to mention that I think your notion of the French aunt is truly inspired. It seems that even at my age (I'm retired), I'm eager to please her!

    Like you and many of your readers, I also started my French lifestyle appreciation thanks to Anne Barone's books and blog. I'm happy to see that so many others share my appreciation for her early efforts.

    And I also share your appreciation for Veronique Vienne. I still have an article she wrote many years ago (along with all her books) in which she wrote about her tiny wardrobe when she first came to the US. That article is carefully tucked inside one of her books and I reread it from time to time.

    Thank you for being such a positive inspiration!

    Best, Gail

  11. Wishing you a lovely weekend too, Stephanie :)

    Thank you, Ratnamurti! Cool that Chic and Slim Encore was your first French Chic book :)

    Hi Gail, thanks so much for your lovely comment, and welcome! That Veronique Vienne article sounds delicious, I love saving things like this too.

  12. I have a lovely salad bowl container by Fuel that has an ice pack in the lid, as well as a dressing container, and even though it IS plastic, it looks more like a real bowl than some of my other plastic containers. They also do a lovely bento box, which is perfect when I am carting leftovers for lunch.

  13. These look fabulous, Sarah, thanks for posting the link!

  14. I keep a nice ceramic plate, bowl and tea mug along with knife, fork,spoon and stainless steel thingamijig which holds leaf tea (so I don't rely on teabags), cracked pepper, etc in my tiny office drawer and shelf so I don't need to rely on the dreadful communal kitchen tearoom supplies in the office.

  15. Lara, such a great idea. I wouldn't have thought to keep them at my desk. Communal kitchens are rather depressing, I agree!

  16. That color is delicious on you!

    I think my first introduction to chic living was Anne Barone's website. Sadly, she has taken most of the good stuff off her website, but if you go into Internet Archive and run her site, you can find it with a bit of searching.

  17. Aurora, thank you :)

    I had a look at the internet archive but can only see the home page of her website. Is there a different way you can see pages? I saved quite a bit of Anne's good stuff but then with changing computers I wonder if I've lost some of it over the years, because I don't seem to have as much as I used to.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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