Saturday, June 25, 2016

{Femininity} 30 Chic Days – The Fourth Series: Day 18

June has been an extremely busy month for me with running our business, releasing my new book and now my daily posting.  I’ve also been doing my own year-end taxes for my fledgling company which I set up last year when I started self-publishing.

There is no surer way to extinguish your feminine being-ness than by trying to work out what number goes into what box when you're filling out online tax forms, even with the help of the Inland Revenue telephone helpline.  I went to write a blog post after I’d finished that phone call and the creative thoughts were completely stifled!

That’s when I truly realised the importance – and difference – of being in your masculine versus being in your feminine.  Of course if we didn’t spend any time in our masculine we’d get nothing done - we'd be floating around the house in a peignoir nibbling from a box of bon bons and admiring the pretty tweeting birds in the trees.

Conversely, if we never spent any time in our feminine, we’d be all go-go-go, masculine activity, to-do lists, charging everywhere and bossing others around which can be exhausting plus goes against our feminine nature.

It is important to have both; I find though that I am more often in my masculine so don’t need to cultivate that as much (although I could use more motivation at times…).  What I decided I really need to do is to remember all the feminine rituals that anchor me back into my femininity, balancing out all the masculine energy.

And you can't rush into a feminine ritual after being busy and focused either.  I find you need to finish what you need to and then slowly decompress into your feminine side. Here's a few ideas I brainstormed:

Fiona’s Feminine Rituals

  • Tidying away whatever I’ve been working on
  • Emptying out my head with a to-do list for the next day listing whatever I still have to do, so I can then forget about it for the rest of the day
  • Spending time with a good novel
  • Moisturising my hands
  • Filing my nails
  • Putting on a face mask
  • Journaling a happy list of wonderful things about my life
  • Washing and blow-drying my hair
  • Putting on a little bit of makeup
  • Making a hot tea
  • Drinking plenty of water to feel hydrated
  • Eating fresh foods to feel good
  • Letting myself feel relaxed, dropping my shoulders, closing my eyes and feeling a sense of peace wash over me
  • Touching up my hair and makeup during the day
  • Playing soft music – classical, relaxing spa music
  • Switching off the computer at a certain time, say 4pm and starting dinner prep then relaxing while it cooks
  • Going for a neighbourhood walk
  • Caring for my feet – even just rubbing in a rich cream and putting fluffy socks on
  • Watching something soothing and gentle (such as Gilmore Girls or Cedar Cove) whilst knitting
  • Reading Victoria magazine
  • Going to bed really early with fresh sheets
  • Lighting a candle
  • Light pottering to make a room look and feel nicer – nothing too strenuous, just enough to brighten up the room and make it feel more calm
  • Baking for fun, and to enjoy the results
  • Or, buying something small and exquisite such as a macaron or madeleine
  • Finding a few flowers or pieces of fern in the garden to put in a bud vase in the bathroom
  • Spritzing on perfume
My favourites are a tidied home, soft music and feeling relaxed with a book.  Bliss!

What are your favourite feminine rituals to ease yourself back into being when you’ve been all action do-do-doing?  I’d love to hear your favourites, and any new suggestions.

See you tomorrow, and in the meantime, be chic (and feminine)!


  1. Bonjour Fiona

    Simply loving this series you are posting. Thank you for all the reminders to cultivate our femininity, elegance and graciousness in our unique ways, simply and persistently.



  2. Just like Lorraine has posted, I am loving this series of postings, Fiona. Yes, femininity is an important part of chic-ness. But one must take care that femininity doesn't develop into what I call ditsy-ness. An example would be our recently decorated bedroom. We hadn't decorated for many years, I'm almost too ashamed to say exactly how many, but it was closer to 30 than 20! But the room had been beautifully decorated all those years ago (it had not dated because we don't decorate in the 'latest' styles) but it just needed a total overhaul. Off came the old wallpaper and once the walls have been prepared, on went Farrow & Ball's estate emulsion in a pretty pale grey-green, new floral curtains (a rose pattern) were made, a soft honey-coloured carpet ordered and P J Redoute prints of roses were professionally framed to hang on the bedhead wall. There were other details, such as repainting some 'mahogany' furniture and the frame of a charity shop mirror, a new chandelier-style light and pretty cushions for the bed (and a new rose pillow mist for spritzing before bedtime.)
    Now, all this turned what was a rather austere-but-smart room in a much more feminine room, filled with soft colours, flowers, and light. What would then turn it from being simply feminine (which I think a bedroom should be, unless used only by a man and not by a couple) would be then to add little fluffy, furry toys, such as teddy bears, or dolls, or bunting, or to load the dressing table with too much make-up (I think makeup should be kept away from the bedroom and kept in the bathroom) or fairy lights. I have a particular aversion to fairy lights used anywhere except on a Christmas tree at (obviously) Christmas, so apologies to those who like them dangling everywhere all year round. So, Fiona, yes, let's keep up our feminine side, but while taking great care not to delve too deeply into the ditsy.
    Margaret P

  3. Hi Fiona,

    This is so funny - I have a list already made up that I refer to on this very topic! I call it my "healing" document and plan on adding some of your ideas to my list. I found it amusing that "Gilmore Girls" made both of our lists:

    Reread Alexandra Stoddard

    Stay in present moment

    Pay attention to breath: Dr. Weil 4-7-8 breath

    Do best moment to moment: mantra - “I handle every situation with grace.”


    Buy flowers, plants

    Take nap if exhausted

    Look your best: hair, makeup, nails, perfume

    spend afternoon at movie, buy popcorn and diet coke

    buy new Chanel lipstick

    uninterrupted time reading


    Go to beach

    Spend time in garden

    Write in journal

    Standards channel on pandora radio

    Use Bach Flower remedies

    Lots of salads

    Get massage

    chamomile tea before bed

    Supplements: Kava (“Stress ‘b’ gone”), passionflower, fish oil, Natural Calm

    Quiet time - avoid radio, TV

    Diffuse essential oils-esp lavender

    Go to Farmer’s Market

    Go to Yankee Candle, buy new candle


    hair cut, styling

    Take bubble bath - watch Gilmore Girls

    Bake brownies

  4. Just a PS ... I love both of your lists, Fiona and Amy, and there are things on them I've never had, would you believe, even at my great age! I've never had a pedicure although I have visited a podiatrist and I don't like burning scented candles, I've always considered them a fire hazzard so if I want a room to smell nice, I simply spritz with my lavender or rose pillow mist.

    But younger women, I know, think nothing of having a manicure/pedicure and buying candles but if I did that, I could kiss goodbye to the best part of£100 and as we're on a fixed income, being pensioners, that would be so very wasteful, lovely though they might be.

    Also, regarding massage, I'm not keen on strangers, even if they are qualified and professional, massaging my body. I once accepted the offer (on the National Health Service) of an aromatherapy massage when I was having treatment for breast cancer, and I did not like it one bit - the woman massaged my tummy and I found that very invasive. But some people obviously love being massaged by total strangers, I'm just not one of them. Maybe that is an age thing, I really couldn't say.

    I would add that although I am a pensioner, I don't think of myself as a pensioner, that's fatal! No, I'm me, I'm not defined by by age.

    Unfortunately I don't seem to be able to buy DVDs of Cedar Cove or Gilmore Girls for viewing in our region. Shame.

    However, I agree about rereading Alexandra Stoddard - I have two of her books and while they're just a little dated now, being written in the 1980s I think, a lot of what she says is still appropriate, and I love the line drawings in them, too. To the list of books you might like to add Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Domesticity.

    One of my relaxing things to do is to watch some of my favourite films:

    84 Charing Cross Road,
    The Holiday,
    As Good as it Gets (well, most films starring Diane Keaton)
    The Enchanted April.

    Margaret P

  5. I learned something important like this when i visited a Canadian friend. She is super busy, baking her own bread , doing major cleaning and gardening, managing a home and entertaining house guests. I followed her around helping as much as possible. In the evening after we did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen, she said " Let' put our robes on and meet in the living room" I complied and we sat down to visit. Then she said" Once I have my robe on, I do no other housework and just relax for the rest of the evening" I thought "what a great idea!" Now at home when I am getting tired of doing "just one more thing' I tell myself it is robe time and get a glass of wine and relax!

  6. As in the previous comments I have most of those things on my list and I especially love this blog to bring me back.

  7. Lorraine, you're so welcome!

    Margaret, I think it's nice that we all have our own version of what feminine means. I'd never have stuffed toys on my bed but I know of one lady who has one or two and loves them. Each to their own. My preferred home style is not so frilly, but I do love fairy lights, and when we move to the country I plan to get some white outdoor garlands to hang in a tree :) I only have a Christmas tree at Christmas though you'll be relieved to hear ;)

    Ooh, Amy, I love your list so much! Thank you for sharing it. I have Alexandra Stoddard books too, and some torn out magazine articles from decades ago. Even if the pictures date, most of the words don't. What a delicious list, I'm copying and adding it to mine, thank you :)

    Margaret, thanks for sharing your movies, I love the first three and plan to find the fourth. I loved the book 84 Charing Cross Road so much that I visited the address when I was in London. Alas, time had moved on and it was a Pizza Hut! (no I didn't eat there).

    I very rarely will have a manicure or pedicure as they are expensive here too, but it's nice to do my own every so often, and in between times I file my nails and put on lotion. I LOVE massages, but I agree, massage on the stomach is very personal. Most masseuses I've been to don't touch the stomach at all.

    Age is only a number, I agree. Our body is a vehicle for getting us around, the soul inside is ageless.

    Doona, your Canadian friend sounds very wise. It feels so good to switch off - when you have a time of the day where you think 'I'm finished'.

    Petal, thank you :)

  8. PPS The film, The Enchanted April, is a delight from beginning to end. It's based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth von Arnim. I do hope there is a version suitable for your region.
    I think white fairy lights would look lovely out of doors in tree at any time of the year, especially on a summer night. What I would not want are fairy lights draped around the headboard of the bed and little fluffy toys on the bed, as in a child's room (OK if you a woman lives on her own, it's her choice, but if she has a male partner ... perhaps not.)
    Margaret P

  9. My favorite feminine rituals are taking bubble baths, arranging flowers and wearing perfume. All three make me instantly happy.

  10. Margaret, thank you, I will look for both versions.

    Stephanie, nice :)


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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