Saturday, February 23, 2019

Delighting your feminine soul

Being a feminine woman is one of my favourite topics to think about.  I was born in October under the sign of Libra, and adore all things luxuriously pink, soft, gentle, and feminine which befits a star-sign ruled by Venus, the goddess of love.

In both of my ‘Thirty Chic Days’ books there is a chapter on femininity.  These chapters detail my favourite easy, simple and mostly free ways of bringing more femininity into my everyday life.

One thing that always boosts my feminine soul is to potter (or as some of you say, ‘putter’). I am never happier than when pottering at home – organizing, tidying and prettifying our abode.

I have realized just how happy these tasks make me when I thought a few days ago ‘I feel really happy, I wonder why?’  I mean usually I am happy, but I just felt extra sparkly and light-hearted, and it was because I’d given myself the time and space to organize paperwork, do some decluttering and add the pretty homemaker touches around our home such as sewing new cushion covers, re-arranging d├ęcor items and generally making things look nice.

Conversely, when I consider myself ‘too busy’ for the cherry-on-the-top finishing touches, I don’t feel as good.  It’s as if those pretty touches give me the uplift and make a grey-skied day feel like the sky is a brilliant blue.  Inside my mind it’s a blue sky and it’s only when I look out the window that I see, in fact, the clouds.

Why not make the sun shine on yourself with your own thoughts and actions?  Thoughts in that you think about what makes you feel good, and actions when you actually do those things.

Reading a fun chick lit novel makes me feel happy and I try to always have one on the go. I switch between books on my Kindle and might read a bit of personal development in the evening, some chick lit before bed, and motivational literature with breakfast.  I usually have at least three that I am actively reading at the same time, but the mix always includes a feel-good romantic comedy simply because it makes me happy, and happiness is the key for me.

Sometimes I’ll go for the big names such as Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella or Jane Green, and others I’ll browse through Amazon’s Kindle section and find a new-to-me author where the cover and premise appeals. I love Jane Fallon too - hers are revenge chick lit! I've read all of her books and am just about to order the latest one.

A more grownup version of chick-lit that I enjoyed wholeheartedly recently was a novel by Penny Vincenzi called The Dilemma.  Penny’s books are hugely long, but on a Kindle they aren’t heavy to hold, thank goodness. And despite the length, I never thought, ‘When is this going to end!’ I used to think Penny wrote bonkbusters but they are more sophisticated than that – and there is only a tiny amount of sex :) – the appeal is that it is set in a wealthy London family. I have also read A Perfect Heritage and that was wonderful as well – set in, again, a wealthy London family who owned a prestige cosmetics brand.  I kept thinking of Estee Lauder’s company as I read it.

Sadly Penny died last year, but I am glad there are still plenty of her books for me to read.  And, at 78 when she died, she was part-way through writing her 18th book.  So inspiring!

Pottering and reading are just two of my feminine amplifiers, and I have many more such as home spa time, preparing food, dressing up to go out, and surrounding myself with feminine colours and images.

For me, doing all these things magnifies my strengths, which would go against common sense.  You would think you’d need to be stronger, push and speak out loudly (all very masculine ways of being), but I have found the opposite to be true.

When we enjoy and fully embrace the fact that we are female, that’s when we are in our greatest power.  Of course, you may feel completely differently and that’s as it should be.  Perhaps it is how you are underneath that makes the difference.  I am naturally quite a masculine personality type, so it feels good for me to temper that with a lot of softness, pink and luxury. The good news is that you can cultivate a soothing feminine hug to the soul in your life exactly as it is by identifying what makes you feel like your happiest self and then deciding to do more of those things.

What are your favourite ways to feel softer and more ladylike? Please share in the comments so we can build a library to all contribute to and borrow from. I think that’s a grand idea!


PS. If you haven't already seen my interview with the gorgeous Jennifer L. Scott of Madame Chic fame, take a look! I had such a great time chatting with Jennifer and I think it shows :)

Monday, February 11, 2019

Living slim in a culture that celebrates with food

Today's vlog post was inspired by a reader question. Cathy asked me on Facebook:

“One thing I’d love to hear your thoughts on is living slim in a culture that celebrate food, and celebrates with food. Today is the Super Bowl here in Georgia. People will be gorging themselves. My stomach is already tense thinking about being strong at the party we’re going to tonight.

So the conflict will be both internal and external, a double whammy. It’s like we need to carry within us the little secret joy that our choices are changing our whole lives, as if we need to keep one eye on the big picture, when the other eye is on the Mexican bean dip and stacks of pizza take-out.”

Haha, I love the way you've put that Cathy!

I hope you find my video useful, and please, anyone let me know if you have any follow-up questions.  A reminder if you can't hear well or want to watch my video somewhere you can't have sound on, you can turn on the subtitles (the CC button for 'closed captions').  It doesn't *quite* pick up all my words correctly which is probably because I don't have an American accent, but it's pretty good!

Update: After posting this video I realised I cut the last few minutes off inadvertently - I remember a reminder coming up on my phone and I swiped it away, perhaps pausing my video without realising.  Sorry!

Have a wonderful week and I'll catch you again next Monday with another new video (which will be complete!!) :)


PS. I have TWO exciting announcements today:

Firstly is that my interview with Jennifer L. Scott of the Daily Connoisseur ('Madame Chic') will be live in the next day or so, so look out for that on Jennifer's YouTube channel here:

It was SO lovely chatting with Jennifer.  She is a beautiful person inside and out!

And secondly, I have released my original '30 Chic Days' blog series as a book.  All four series are in one volume and they are a great price too - $2.99 for the Kindle eBook and $9.99 for the paperback.  The Kindle copy is available now, and the paperback will be very soon, hopefully in the next day or two.

I have had requests to put all the series together into an eBook and I thought this was a great idea.  I have polished everything up and also added a chapter at the end with different ideas on how to curate your own '30 Chic Days' experience.  Such fun, and I hope you enjoy having this on your device or in paperback for enticing snippets of inspiration. The print copy is 278 pages long so there is lots or inspiration to be had!

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