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



  1. Fiona, I love that quote from Diana Vreeland ("The only real elegance is in your mind...."). You're right that true chicness (if that's a word) doesn't come from constantly worrying about your clothes or hair or shoes or makeup. In fact, I think it's not chic at all to make those the focus of your thoughts and your day. The chic woman looks put-together and as if she takes good care of herself no matter how expensive (or not) her attire is. The chic woman has more important things to spend her time, energy, and money on, such as being kind, being creative, using her brain and talents to make the world a better place.
    I've appreciated your blog over the years, and hope you will be sharing your thoughts with us for many more.

  2. Fiona, a quote from Coco Chanel you may like ....

    "My life didn't please me, so I created my life"

  3. Hi Fiona. I’m so happy your vision for your blog became a reality. Thank you for the inspiration you provide.

  4. Awesome quote: "It’s not the mountain in front of you that gets you down, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe". Thank you for sharing it!

  5. This is wonderful, Fiona. I was a big fan of Alexandra Stoddard back in the day and she would tell us that when the little things are right, a bar of soap we love, the perfect pen to write with, pretty or elegant sheets and pajamas that welcome us to bed, we will be equipped to deal with the larger issues. I love that you're saying this too. Our chic is in our minds and our chic routines sustain us. I have become much more chic and happy since I discovered your blog! Happy New Year. X0

  6. Dear Fiona, This is why I love your blog and have continued reading it for so many years now. It is exactly the fact that you do not do things like clothing "hauls" or any kind of hauls even remotely. That mindset is the polar opposite of chic living, as well as the instagram lifestyle that so many people unfortunately gauge and compare their lives to.

    Also, I think it was Ines de la Fressange who said something along the lines of after getting dressed she doesn't think about it for the rest of the day. That thought parallels what you say here on your blog.

    Thank you for your blog!


  7. Thanks for the post, Fiona. What you have written is what I continue to strive for. It really points to being grateful for what you have, who you are, and the opportunities in life.

  8. Great post....creating the life you want is not always easy, but so worth it !

  9. This was an excellent read. It reminds me that in this move and adventure we're on, I have an opportunity to create the home and style I want. As I unpack I can de-clutter. I've lived in hotels for a month and a half, am now in a temporary rent home, and have easily lived with less - it changed my thought process. This post helped how I look at things now.

  10. This post came at a perfect time for me, thank you Fiona for sharing. You have such a special way at looking at things, very inspiring. I always look forward to your posts and books as well.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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