Friday, January 18, 2019

Creating a chic life

I 'found' the following when I was going through my blog for a project today, and I had to share it again because it describes exactly how I feel, still!

I hope you enjoy it :)


Back in 2010 when I started my blog, I wanted a place that I’d love to go to. I imagined what kind of articles I’d love to read and how they would make me feel. I wanted to feel inspired to create beauty and elegance in my life at the same time as still being me. I am a very practical person who values simplicity and thrift. I don’t like to be wasteful and I consider myself a good steward of my resources.

So my chic and elegant blog looked different to other chic and elegant blogs. Mine wasn’t about shopping and dressing up, although I do love nice things. I sometimes think to myself ‘hmmm, for a blog called ‘How to be Chic’, I don’t often write about clothing and appearances’ which is what ‘chic’ is most often thought of. I think I tend to be drawn to 'chicness of the mind'. Diana Vreeland said ‘the only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it’, and I think it’s so true.

I could dress in all the chic accoutrements such as a little black dress and pearls, channelling Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but if I slouched and was sloppy I would not be like Audrey at all. Audrey was chic in the most casual of clothes and I think this is true of any of our chic iconic ladies throughout history. Through their elegant demeanour, way of being and the way they are in the world, they bring chic to whatever they are wearing, as well as their surroundings.

I still love to remember the way I felt when I started this blog and of the way I wanted to be in the world, because even though it was almost nine years ago and lots of things have changed, there are other things that have not changed at all. If anything, I’ve become more of who I am – valuing simplicity, peace of mind, quietude and creativity.

When I write I want to bring these feelings to others around me too, to those who crave slowing down, feeling serene and wanting to enjoy their everyday. Rather than wish for our lives to be completely different when things get hectic and we feel ground down, I prefer to identify and weed out those things that are adding to the noise so that I can enjoy the rest, thus creating a calm and joyous way of living.

It takes time and patience, and over the years I’ve worked on different pockets of my life, helping them to flow with more ease so I can feel more peaceful. It’s not always easy and sometimes you have to feel selfish and put yourself first. But the times I’ve done this I’ve realised the only selfishness registering was in my head. It’s mind-blowing to look back at something that I had to psych myself into doing and then once I’d done something about it… nothing happened, except that life felt better. Something that comes to mind is bringing up doing something different at Christmas or for your annual vacation when you’ve traditionally done 'X'.

I now have a list where I add items that are slightly bothersome in my life. Mostly they are little, and over time I can tick them off. It might be as simple as clearing a perpetually cluttery corner or dropping off a stack of magazines to the hospital waiting room. Making a hair or dentist appointment is something I often let lag and it stays on my to-do list for too long. It’s just a phone call!

‘It’s not the mountain in front of you that gets you down, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe’ is a quote I often remember. Fix up the little things that are prickling at the edge of your serenity and life will be smoother.

So, what’s on your list?

xx Fiona


Thursday, January 3, 2019

How to have the 'perfect' start to your year

Happy new year, chic friends,

I want to share with you my personal focus for 2019.  I am excited to be embarking on another new year and I decided on a more fun way to approach new year’s resolutions.  If I have ever written out any resolutions for myself they come across very bossy when I read them back, and as soon as I can I take pleasure in breaking them just to be able to be a free person :)

So, I asked myself instead:

“If my life was perfect in every way, what would it look like?”

I jotted down notes and the theme that was coming up was that I would finish off loose ends, be well-organised, tidy and decluttered.  My home is not *that* cluttery, but there are some areas which always seem to be messy.  And those areas can hold items that I don’t even care whether I still have them in my possession or not, so this year it’s a delicious project for me to work through my ‘perfect life’ list and make it come true.

There are small, specific items such as moving plugs in our bedroom because they are behind our bed and I have to use an extension cord to be able to plug in my bedside lamp and phone charger.  It’s useful  Seeing a cord and 4-plug power box every time I am getting into or out of bed breaks the clean lines of a room that I want to be a peaceful sanctuary! Plus that light switch above the bed.  It’s useful(ish) but not that attractive, plus we have ordered a headboard so the switch needs to go.

I know it’s not a big thing, and it’s certainly a first world problem to have, but if I’d just get an electrician in it would create a more serene vista to start and end the day with.

Another item on my list is that I want to stretch daily, so I have researched a few simple stretches to remind me of good stretches to do and also get me into the habit of stretching at least once a day.  (Like these stretches here.)

I have some sewing projects such as Ralph Lauren inspired pillows for my sofas, so this went on my list too.  I imagined if I waved a magic wand and transformed everything in my life to be exactly how I want it to be.  I have a vision in my mind and it is very compelling!

Going at the new year from this angle means I am not trying to push myself to better myself (which sounds hard and boring), but instead creating a beautiful picture in my mind which gets the same results but in a more enjoyable way.

Are you a happy new year’s resolution person?  Or like me do you work better than a softer method?  I’d love you to share one thing that is in your perfect life too.

Happy new year to you!

xx Fiona


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