Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How to be Chic in the Winter

New book out now on Amazon

My newest book has just been released on Kindle and in paperback!  It is called 'How to be Chic in the Winter: Living slim, happy and stylish during the cold season'.

I wrote this book for myself initially, because I found I kept doing the same unhelpful things over and over each year to cope with the cold weather - eating sweet and stodgy fattening foods, feeling lazy and unmotivated, being grumpy and generally an unfun person.  I started gathering all my thoughts on living an ideal chic winter at the beginning of our New Zealand winter earlier this year.  I then lived all my principles and ideas throughout our winter and have been finishing the book up in our spring, which is now.

I am happy to say that they work (or else it wouldn't make a very good book would it!) and I almost feel like I have cheated, having experienced a very easy and pleasurable winter and now it is spring already.  Yay for that.

Included are my favourite winter recipes, because that was my biggest hurdle - coming up with meals that felt comforting and hearty, but which were also healthy.  They are all very simple to make, but also very importantly they don't take too long to put together.  I like to keep prep time to a minimum because I would rather go for a walk or read a book than spend too long fussing around in the kitchen.

Below is a description and list of all the chapters and recipes so you can get an idea of what's inside.  You probably already know this, but you can preview the book on Amazon by clicking on the cover image, and read the first few pages there (I think they show you approximately 10% of the book).

I really hope you enjoy 'How to be Chic in the Winter', and would love to hear your thoughts!


'How to be Chic in the Winter: Living slim, happy and stylish during the cold season '

Late summer heading into early autumn/fall is a such beautiful time of the year. You can feel everything growing still and soft; nature is slowing down and people are getting cozy. The most stunning colours can be found outdoors at this time.

Despite the natural beauty, despite your looking forward to the coziness of winter, you find that a few short months later yes, again, things have gone awry. You have ploughed headlong into winter without design or plan; you are wearing the same clothes as last year because you have not put thought into your wardrobe; you have put on weight from indiscriminate eating and you are complaining in your head, or worse, out loud that ‘it’s cold today’. This was me!

Many warm-blooded creatures hibernate when it is cold out and go with their natural instincts by doing so. They do not enter the spring season stressed out; rather, animals waking up from hibernation are coming to sleepily, well rested and ready for the warmer season; so, why don’t we?

We would not go to sleep for months on end, but perhaps we can take a leaf out of their book and make each winter a mental spa time of rejuvenation, beauty and pleasure.

I decided to write this book as a kind of insurance, to remind me of my exciting winter plans. It is easy to be enthusiastic about the winter season when the leaves are turning. Fall fashions are always fun to look forward to, even for a non-fashionista like me – the September issue of Vogue! I can rekindle my love for the colours of plum, navy and camel at this time of year. But a few months later the novelty has already worn off.

This book is also a toolkit of all the ideas that have worked so well in previous winters, as well as new ideas I want to capture. I started this book in autumn, and am now finishing it up in spring. I am so pleased to have tried all my ideas out in a ‘test’ environment!

Read ‘How to be Chic in the Winter’ to discover my strategy for not just surviving, but thriving this winter; on how to have a chic and beautiful winter season and emerge, like a butterfly ready for a gorgeous spring and summer.



Chapter 1. Know that winter is a different season
     Start winter with a goal
     Be ahead of the game
     Look forward to winter

Chapter 2. Create a winter menu plan
     Breakfasts that are warming, filling and healthy
     Lunches for work and home
     Dinners – tweak the winter classics
     Fiona’s favourite winter recipes
        Red Lentil and Tomato soup
        Pumpkin Soup
        Vegetable soup
        Spaghetti Bolognese
        Savoury mince
        Shepherd’s pie
        Roast chicken
        ‘Bangers’ (sausages) and mash
        Parmesan chicken
        Crumbed chicken
        Pasta Bake
        Rice Bake
        Apple and Boysenberry Crumble
        Bliss Balls

Chapter 3. Break up the long winter
     Learn something or have a project to complete
     Keep active
     Be social

Chapter 4. Work on feeling good
     Home as your winter sanctuary
     Dress in clothes that make you feel good
     Be cozy when you are at home
     Take care of your grooming
     Keep well

Chapter 5. Keep your motivation up
     Do things quickly
     If you are a summer person
     Make plans for the next six to twelve months

Chapter 6. Create your ideal chic winter season
     Bonus journal questions
     To finish

About the author


You can order 'How to be Chic in the Winter' here on Amazon.  Thank you for reading down this far!


  1. This looks like a very useful book. It's kind of crazy but in the summer, it's sometimes so hot we don't move about much (though the heat also suppresses appetite and there are so many healthy fruit and vegetable choices available fresh). And in winter, we don't go out because it's too wet/messy, too cold, too dark. It's getting out that keeps us in shape.
    I look forward to trying out your recipes!

    1. I know, even though we look forward to warm weather, it's not without its own challenges. Summer might need a book of its own too!

  2. Yes, Taste of France, you're right that excessive heat in the summer can lead to the doldrums as well. At least it does for me!
    Fiona, this sounds like a fantastic book, and I will look forward to the print copy. What a great idea to write about eating well, taking care of yourself, having goals and projects, and taking all the enjoyment possible from winter! Thank you!

  3. I find that winter is useful for things such as: selling unwanted items on eBay, decluttering, deep cleaning, playing board games, drinking more yummy hot beverages... I've made it a goal this winter that, no matter the weather, I will bundle up and go outside every day. It does wonders for my mood!

  4. How lovely and congratulations, Fiona! You are becoming an accomplished and prolific writer. What a great idea for a book, especially apropos for those of us living in harsh winter climates, such as here in Central New York. I met my neighbor in the market Sunday and kiddingly said, "Well, see you next spring," referring to our winter hibernation. We often don't see our neighbors out and about for weeks on end.

    But I am preparing and one way I am doing this is by loading up my Kindle with books to pass the most difficult days. Your books, of course, are included. Will start Chic Winter right away for ideas on how to experience the season with more aplomb and enthusiasm. Cheers!

    1. Thank you so much, Kristien, and I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Love this Fiona- and I am looking forward to reading your book. I used to hate winter and was also someone who would complain out loud that it was "too cold!!" Like you, I found ways to turn it around. So many wonderful things to look forward to: a roaring fire, hot drinks, flannel sheet, fluffy bathrobes, a beautiful snow fall, cozy sweaters, hunkering down with an engrossing book, dinner parties with friends. I recently welcomed a puppy into my home and I cannot wait to bundle up and take the pup for long walks- so refreshing to get moving on a cold winter day.

    1. So true, Danielle, dogs are a great way to make sure you take a walk every day. When it gets too warm to light our woodfire it makes me a bit sad, we have to wait until next year again :)

  6. Hi Fiona! I love the idea of making goals for the winter season! It's such a great idea to do that four times a year for each season! Love it way better than New Year's goals. It just seems more do-able plus it's not so generic. I'm already making my mental list for winter. Thanks!

  7. New Zealand winter always seems, to me, to just suddenly arrive. Accompanied, for me....by panic!!! Because it be be so cold & so rainy & so windy, & I am always unprepared! But I love it too.

    1. So true! It's like a complete surprise, even though it happens every year :)

  8. Many congratulations, Fiona, on another book. I shall have to wait until you have published the print version as I don't have (nor actually want) an e-reader. I love the feel of a book in my hands, so sadly I won't be able to read this yet. But it's something I hope will be available as a book in due course.
    I'm actually enjoying Autumn this year - the colours in our part of South Devon are lovely right now and we've been out today for yet another stroll along the beach. Well, not quite ON the beach, but the promenade by the beach. We didn't expect to do this, so had the 'wrong' shoes on for the beach and although it was mild, it wasn't quite mild enough to remove our shoes and wriggle our toes in the sand!
    The best part of your list of contents above are the parts about being cosy in winter - yes, to that! Oh, and the recipes, of course. The only soup I don't much care for is actually any form of squash (say, pumpkin, or butternut squash) soup. I prefer tomato & courgette or gorgeous pestou soup or minestrone. Must make some soon!
    Margaret P

    1. Hi Margaret, many thanks :) The paperback is now available! Your part of the world is absolutely gorgeous, and autumn just adds another layer of beauty on top with all the changing colours.

      Your soup recipes are out of this world - maybe a recipe book from Margaret P is needed?

  9. Congratulations on your book Fiona! Sounds like some wonderful info, and perfect for us in the northern hemisphere about to enter the winter season.

  10. I like the concept of having a "mental spa day." That takes the spa feeling with you wherever you go. Good luck with the book.

  11. Hi Fiona,
    Just got your book and am loving it! We live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a beautiful area called the Keweenaw Peninsula...we get 300 inches of snow per year and we love it! There's a large Finnish population here so practically every house (including ours) has a Finnish sauna. The town has a winter festival, a sled dog race and lots of outdoor activities. We love to snowshoe and we have parks that are lit at night for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at night. We can showshoe and then come home and hop in the sauna! Our first big snowfall is coming in a couple of days and I can't wait!!

    1. Hi Amy, thank you for your comment and I think it's wonderful that you are so positive about winter and take advantage of all the pluses. You are an inspiration!

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Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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