Thursday, July 2, 2020

Hygge Comfort

My cozy fire - click on the image to see it crackling on Instagram!

In case you need a little Hygge in your life right now. I feel you, Southern Hemisphere chic friends - it’s only 7 deg C (44 F) here at morning tea time. Brrr!

I think I need to make a steaming hot cup of tea - my current favourite is Twinings Lemon Scented black tea with trim milk. This is not an advert! But I should be paid :) It’s a hard one to find. Earl Grey and English Breakfast are a dime a dozen, but they sure do hide the Lemon Scented away.

A friend living in England who stayed the night just before lockdown, saw my stash and couldn’t believe he’d met another person who loved Twinings Lemon Scented as much as he did. So much so that he had boxes of it in his suitcase to take back to England. And it’s made in England. But he can’t find it there at all!

The lengths some people will go to for their favourite drink.

Tell me yours!

xx Fiona

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Magical July
Ritz Paris, Place Vendome

Oh I do love a new start with the first of the month! I have been enjoying doing petite goal lists with regards to my writing for the past three months, and they are working out well.  This month I want to:

- Publish 'The Chic Closet' eBook
- Finish 'Thirty Chic Days Vol. 3' manuscript
- Post daily on my social media accounts and blog  - a photo, post or video

That's it.

A nice simple list to keep me focused.  My June list had a few too many things on it and I didn't get them completed.  Not one thing!  But I got partial things done.  It was annoying not to be able to tick anything off though :)

I also feel buoyed by a new month.  It's exciting to think what you can achieve in the next 31 days!

Something I've found that is good for me is that I try to do things as fast as possible, whether it's prepping dinner, hanging washing out, making the bed or writing a chapter.  It moves me in more ways than just physical.  I do a better job, there is a higher energy, and I don't bog myself down in details, or starting a job within a job :)

Can you relate???

So let's all get our July off to an amazing start.  Please tell me your top three goals!  They could be in one specific area, or general.  I know it might still be June where you are, so just pretend it's July!

xx Fiona


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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Champagne Life

pinterest: @ XprincessnaniX
Image from Pinterest - I love it! :)

Reader Mary Z. left a great comment on my last blog post, and she said:

"I have lots of goals, but they stay goals unless I figure out what daily habits or things I'm going to do to actually achieve them."

I thought a fun topic for today's post would be to explore all the ways that make those action steps achievable and enjoyable.  Because for me, I need fireworks, passion and excitement to get me motivated.  Basically, good feelings.  When I think I should do something towards a goal, even if I really, really want that goal, I immediately don't want to do that thing.  Even though I want the goal!

So over the years I've figured out ways to make my goal-setting and -achieving into a fun game, where it's glamorous, luxurious and a treat. Just like the image on this post.  Because who wouldn't want to press for champagne?  Or chocolate, or flowers, or whatever you like :)

So let's think of a goal and see what would entice us to take action steps and make our dream come true:

To be an author

Say you wanted to write a book, but thought it would be such a slog, and hard too.  Hmm, not very inspiring.  How about breaking it down into small and attractive action steps:
  • Dreaming up all the beautiful topics you love to read about and therefore would love to write about
  • Think about your ideal place to write (or multiple places to write) - in a tiny nook set up at home, in a guest room that is transformed into a writer's sanctuary (and decorate it exactly how you'd love to), perhaps in a trendy cafe with the smell of coffee and chatty background noise around you.  I wouldn't feel right about taking up a table at a busy time, but perhaps there is a time when tables are free and I could buy two coffees, or a coffee and a cold drink over the course of an hour.  Imagine how much you could get done in an hour (quite a bit)!
  • Write your future author lifestyle and note down all the little details it would include.  Then, choose a handful of those things and do them today.
  • Keep your writer's space clean, clear and appealing by tidying up often.

To be slimmer
  • Inspire yourself with a chic outfit hanging in your wardrobe – something you would wear and look amazing in as a slender girl.  Take this idea further and curate a 21-piece collection of slim clothes to visit and inspire yourself with often.
  • Sip tea as an afternoon spa ritual.  Elegant, comforting and relaxing.
  • Sip sparkling water in a champagne flute before dinner. 
  • Find lots of new ways to comfort yourself (for me: a face mask and relaxing time after dinner; an engrossing novel; stretching; a long shower and full-body moisturising; hair and makeup done; listen to relaxing music.)
To become more abundant
  • Use up all the beautiful consumables you already own.
  • Get up to date with your financial paperwork and marvel at the sheer neatness of everything.
  • Keep your hangbag and wallet tidy. (When I get home, I tip out my handbag on the bed and only put back the items that should be there.  Receipts go into a tray on my desk, whatever else needs putting away gets dealt with.)
  • Count your blessings (yes again! I talked about this in my video on being a chic success). When I give gratitude for the things around me, I am more satisfied and less needy/less likely to spend money.
In all of my examples, I wrote down things that would inspire me, and from those points, action steps can be taken.  In the case of writing your first book you could set up a writing nook, list the topics you'd love to write about, and write yourself a description of the future you as a writer (even more ideas for fun action steps will come out of that).

In the slimming example you can go to your wardrobe and visualize yourself in your favourite slim clothes, and change a daily habit such as afternoon tea or pre-dinner drinks to one that the slim you would indulge in.  I would add changing your kitchen to a 'slim kitchen' by using items up and replacing them with products 'the slim you' would cook with.

And to become more abundant, the action steps could be to reorganize your cupboards to reacquaint yourself with what you have (and enjoy using those items up thus not needing to shop for more for a while), empty your bag out each night, and keep up to date with your finances.  Even if it's painful to start with.  Make small plans to save, or pay off debt.  Set up automatic payments - these are so easy to set and they'll do the work for you.

And over the top of everything, no matter the area you have a goal or a dream for, remember to sprinkle the fairy dust.  Ask the Universe to help you.  Feel good about your chosen dream, and if you can't feel good about it yet, feel good about everything around you.  Whatever feels a bit icky, just cover it up with goodness :)  Say if I've eaten too many treat foods during lockdown (ahem) and don't feel good about it, I'll forget about that and focus on eating more fruit, dressing in my nicer clothes, putting makeup on, and going for a walk in the fresh air.

And name your plans something fun, so that you have a pretty hook to hang your plans on.  I like my Champagne Life name.  It says sparkling, luxurious and elegant.  Which inspires all sorts of good thoughts and actions.  Perfect.

All the best to you for your exciting plans and dreams; please share any thoughts and ideas that you have :)

xx Fiona

Thank you for this wonderful review of my newest book 'The Chic Author', Barbara R!

"Fiona's book gives clear and valuable information about finding the time and the motivation to write, deciding on worthwhile topics, and learning some nitty-gritty hints for persevering in the writing. Her section about self-publishing is specific, useful, and invaluable. This is a book I will pick up again and again as I write, revise, edit, and finally publish my contribution to the self-help genre.  Thank you, Fiona, for filling all these roles: cheerleader, repository of information, mentor, and kind encourager. You've given this new author wings."

You can find 'The Chic Author' here on Amazon :)


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