Tuesday, July 17, 2018

How I infuse elegance into my casual lifestyle

Do you love the concept of an elegant life, but sometimes feel like a fraud because you prefer to dress casually and live a laid-back lifestyle?  Me too!  I'd almost go so far as to say that I go beyond laid-back to lazy... but I'll reframe that as 'efficient' to speak positively :)

In today's podcast I talk about how I bring elegance into my casual lifestyle and also how I reconcile my lofty and elegant daydreams with everyday reality.  It was a fun topic to talk about.

I haven't done an audio track for ages and I really enjoyed it.  Please let me know what you think, and I'd also keen to know if you prefer to read posts, watch videos or listen to audios.  I'll probably mix up all three on my posts, but I'm just nosy to hear your preference.

You can listen to the podcast right here on the post, or download it to your device with the little downwards arrow on the image above.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and can I just say it was nice talking to you!


PS.  I was interviewed recently by the lovely Michelle Marie McGrath for her podcast 'Unclassified Women', which is all about women who don't have children whether through circumstance or choice.  I talk about my own situation and why I don't have children, plus a bit about my career as a write-from-home author with tips on how you can start too.

You can listen on YouTube and iTunes through Michelle's link here.  I had such a lovely time chatting with Michelle, so I really hope you enjoy this interview!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Our Living Room Decor Part 2

We are painted!  Our living/dining area has now been transformed with a boutique hotel style vibe, with dark, matte paint and an off-white ceiling.  It hurt to paint over the beautiful wooden beams, but I love the look so I had to close my eyes and say to the painter 'just do it!'  And the results are exactly what I'd hoped for.

Our light-coloured sofas pop against the dark walls much better, and the rustic antique chandeliers are highlighted beautifully against the light ceiling too, without all those wooden beams to distract the eye.

I stole the round coffee table temporarily for our other smaller sitting room off the kitchen, so there is a wooden trunk for a coffee table at the moment.  We've been living in our sitting room with the painting going on, plus the woodburner is a definite drawcard when the temperature is at freezing point outside.

Of course my shadows had to be in the picture too :)

Our metal cabinet goes well against the dark walls, and I'm having fun staging the top.  Next up is artwork - the interior designer we ordered our second pair of sofas and wing chairs through is going to come and help me tweak the furniture arrangements if necessary and put together our artwall from all the vintage paintings, oils and gilt-framed mirrors I've been collecting.  Exciting!

And our curtains will be here soon as well - off-white linen on dark rails.  Just what Ralph would choose :)  They can't come soon enough with the cold weather; perhaps I should have thought of them before winter set in...  oh well, stoke the fire up and stay cozy in our snug little sitting room.

I'd love to paint at least one of the wooden trunks in this room - what colour would I choose though?  Dark might be too dark but I don't really think very light is the look I'm after either.  All suggestions welcomed!

I hope your week is progressing fabulously where you are.  I am into the editing and organizing stage of 'Thirty More Chic Days'.  I just want it to be magically finished in my sleep overnight so I can show it to you...  Since that hasn't happened yet, I will crack on with it today :)

Also, can I be a proud mother hen for a moment please?  Three of my writing students have published books since taking my course:

Nicola Newman with her highly motivating 'Grow Abundant Herbs & Greens in Pots':


Jane Beckenham sharing her experience in 'The Art of Making a Home You Love':


And Dotti Davis with her mystery 'The Moose, The Murder, and The Single Malt':


Congratulations ladies!  I'm so proud of you self-publishing your books.  I know myself that it takes a lot of guts, mental hurdles to overcome and work at the keyboard to get to this stage.


If you have ever dreamed of writing a book but wouldn't even know where to start, please sign up for my free writers encouragement emails.  In these I send out my favourite writing tips and free resources, plus an audio workshop on overcoming common blocks that are stopping you from becoming an author.

Join here for your free writer's encouragement:  http://eepurl.com/c0kN39

I have had so many ladies email me to say that the audio workshop really helped them change their thoughts around certain beliefs that have been holding them back.  I'm so happy to spread the joy with these emails; I hope you find them inspiring as well.


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

New video: My life as a work-from-home writer

I had a reader request to talk about my journey to becoming a full-time writer from home and also what my life looks like now, so I thought, why not!  I hope you enjoy this video, and do watch out for a Chloe-bomb from our little rescue-griffon.  It wasn't planned, the pet-bombs never are but do seem to feature in my past videos like with the cats.  I guess it's just my thing :)

If you have any questions about my video I'd be happy to answer them, and if you have any future video requests please let me know.  I really enjoyed doing this one so if you like perhaps I can do more.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

PS.  I was interviewed recently by the lovely Michelle Marie McGrath for her podcast 'Unclassified Women', which is all about women who don't have children whether through circumstance or choice.  I talk about my own situation and why I don't have children, plus a bit about my career as a write-from-home author with tips on how you can start too.

You can listen on YouTube and iTunes through Michelle's link here.  I had such a lovely time chatting with Michelle, so I really hope you enjoy this interview!


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My favourite meal!

Ever since my mum gave us a NutriBullet smoothie blender for Christmas I've fallen more in love with it every day.  I actually thought they were stupid at first and wondered to myself why you would put everything into a NutriBullet (or the other fancier versions such as Vitamix) when you could just eat it from a bowl for breakfast.

Well, I've never been so happy to be proven wrong.  I would have smoothies for every meal if I could because they are delicious and I am jumping with good energy afterwards.  I know that good nutrition is meant to make you feel better, but I only notice the difference when I have less energy after unhealthy food except when it comes to my smoothies.  I feel zingy and energetic for many hours after one.

They're fun to make too, and easy.  I wanted to share with you what I put into mine because when I first received my NutriBullet I didn't know what to put in it and would ask everyone 'Do you have a NutriBullet?  What do you put in it?'

I'm sorry to sound like an infomercial but I really am a fan!  I suppose if I put an affiliate like to one here: https://amzn.to/2lxOFIC I would be an infomercial...  I truly do think that getting a smoothie maker (not a blender though, they don't do the same job) is the easiest way to get more goodness into your body as well as making it easier to be slim and healthy.

All those strange little packets of seeds and vegetable powders you see at the supermarket start to make sense.  Well, I buy seeds but I don't do the vegetable powders.  I'm sure there is a lot of money-making going on selling those packets which are pricier than gold per ounce!  First I'll share what is in my smoothie-maker store cupboard and then I'll let you know what I put in mine.

Fiona's Smoothie Store Cupboard

Frozen mixed berries
Frozen mixed berries with frozen spinach mixed in
Ice cubes

Fresh mixed spinach and kale
Full fat greek style yoghurt

Fruit bowl:
Persimmons, feijoas and other seasonal fruit

Raw almonds, brazils and hazel nuts
Peanut butter
Coconut oil
Raw cacao powder
Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and chia seeds and linseed
Protein powder
Roasted peanut butter powder

My fresh smoothie ingredients vary from week to week depending what's in season on our fruit trees or what is on special at the supermarket, but here's the smoothie I made today - pictured on the kitchen windowsill with our terrible view :)

A handful of spinach and kale leaves
Half a cup of frozen berries
Half of a persimmon, peeled
2 brazil nuts
10 almonds
3 hazel nuts
A couple of big spoonfuls of yoghurt
A giant dob of peanut butter (maybe a tablespoon's worth)
A couple of teaspoons of coconut oil
A decent sprinkle of cinnamon
A couple of teaspoons of mixed seeds
One scoop of chocolate protein powder

Fill the cup with water after you've assembled this, and then, the most important part - FOUR ICE CUBES.  When I have forgotten the ice cubes my smoothie is not nearly so nice.  Even in the winter it's nicer to have a chilled smoothie than a warm one!

I had my smoothie three hours ago and I'm still full.  I won't even think about eating again for ages.  Partially this comes down to the volume of drink, but also I believe the quality of the ingredients.  There is so much goodness in there that your body is happily taking it all in and it's not looking for anything else.

If you have a NutriBullet or other type of smoothie maker, please share your favourite recipe, tips and ingredients.  I'm keen for new and exciting ideas to add to my repertoire!

Have a great week :)

PS.  You can follow me on Instagram for even more Fifi between blog posts.  Surely you can't have too much of a good thing can you?  You don't have to be joined up to Instagram either, you can just click on this link anytime:  https://www.instagram.com/fionaferrisnz/

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