Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Thank YOU!


Dear chic friends,
 
I'm popping in to say how grateful I am to all my lovely readers, including you!  To celebrate, there is a limited-time special on all my books -

Kindle books are priced at $3.99 or less (usually up to $9.99).
 
And my paperbacks are reduced too - the price varies according to the book but they all have very good discounts - up to $6.00 off each.

If you are missing any of my titles I hope you take this chance to stock up on your reading for the holiday season.  I only have a sale once a year around Black Friday time, and last year only Kindle books were in the sale.

The special prices are available for one week only, and you can see all my books and super-special pricing on my Amazon affiliate link here.  Also, if you know anyone who would enjoy my books, please let them know about the sale too!

I am busy writing away in my little home office, and hope to have my next book out before Christmas - wish me luck!  My four assistants are supposed to be proof-reading and editing to help with things, although by the looks of it most of them are sleeping on the job, toys strewn around :)  That's what happens when it's only cats and dogs on your payroll - at the very least they could earn their food and treats!


Wishing you a beautiful week, and happy Thanksgiving to my readers in the United States!

xx Fiona


Thursday, November 12, 2020

New book out - 'The Peaceful Life'

 
 
Hello chic friends!  I hope you are well.  I have been working hard since I last posted, writing my newest book, 'The Peaceful Life', and I am happy to let you know it is now available on Amazon.
 
'The Peaceful Life' is written in three sections: the serene self, harmonious at home, and your feminine soul, and is a petite read designed to soothe, comfort, and inspire.  This year continues to be crazy - we had huge flooding from sustained rainfall in my area on Monday this week.  Our house was okay but many weren't, including my brother's (he's good now though).
 
And I know there is still a lot going on in other parts of the world.  It is important when things seem out-of-control around you that you keep what's going on inside your head, as well as your environment, on a calm, even keel, and this book was written to help with that.

Cultivating a sense of peace is my favourite thing to do; it just makes everything better.  You can think better, make wiser decisions, and even enjoy yourself more.  And that's what 'The Peaceful Life' is all about.

You can order it on Kindle or in paperback from Amazon here, or your local Amazon.
 
So what have you been up to in the last month-and-a-half?  I had a full October - it was my 50th birthday - and I claimed the whole month for celebrations!  (I am not a shrinking violet when it comes to my birthday).  My husband Paul and I went away on a weekend mini-break a few hours drive away at the beginning of October, then I had ladies lunch on my actual birthday, then we had a beautiful dinner at home for thirty people at the end of the month.  Our living room was transformed into a restaurant and we even had caterers.  So fancy!
 
I really wanted to get my new book out by the end of October, but I just couldn't be in two different places at once, as much as I wanted to be.  Writing is my happy place, so I was always sneaking off to do a few paragraphs - not during the dinner though, I restrained myself then.
 
And now that November is here - as much as I enjoyed October - it is SO nice to be less busy and in slower moving waters.  Delightful in fact.  And of course I have already started on my next book, I just can't help myself :)  I heard it called 'chain-smoking', when you let the high of finishing one book light you up onto the next.  How fun is that?  I love chain-smoking!

I really hope you love 'The Peaceful Life', please do let me know.  And thank you if you have personally emailed me, I have read them all and am getting through my replies :)

Lots of love,
Fiona x




Thursday, October 1, 2020

'The Chic Closet' now available on Kindle - YAY!


 
Thank you so much for your patience, chic friends, while Amazon worked hard to fix their Kindle issue, and I'm so happy to share that my newest book 'The Chic Closet' is now available on Kindle (as well as in paperback).
 
It is priced at $3.99 Kindle and $9.99 paperback, and you can download it here on Amazon:


I have also uploaded the digital copy to my eStore which is hosted by a company called 'Payhip'.  If you live in a country where Amazon is not easily accessible, you can download both the Kindle-friendly '.mobi' version and a PDF version for the same $3.99 price (you receive both versions with the one order, you don't have to pay separately for each version).


I have already received lovely messages from ladies who purchased the Payhip version, which is so encouraging.  Because even though I put my very best into each book and make sure I am 110% happy with it before I release it, it's always nice to hear!

I love getting reviews on Amazon too, it totally makes my day, so please do leave one for me if you have a minute.

I hope you enjoy reading 'The Chic Closet' and in the meantime I will continue with my writing - I have already started my next book :)

xx Fiona
 
PS.  #1 New Release in Style & Clothing!!!  Thank you everyone!
 

 




Tuesday, September 29, 2020

New book out! 'The Chic Closet'


 

Hi chic friends!

I’m so happy to let you know my newest book is out!  Please meet ‘The Chic Closet: Inspired ideas to develop your personal style, fall in love with your wardrobe, and bring back the joy of dressing yourself’.

Normally when I release a book, the Kindle version is available straight away, and the paperback copy takes a little longer to go through the Amazon approval system.

However, at the moment Amazon is having a site-wide issue with many Kindle books being ‘stuck’ temporarily in the pre-publishing stage.

I have been waiting until they fixed it before I let you know about ‘The Chic Closet’, but I don’t know how long it will be.  Hopefully it will be sorted soon!

So in the meantime, please feel free to browse the free sample, and order the print copy if you are a paper kind of gal.

I had such fun writing this book and it really reignited my love for my own closet, without me even needing to go shopping.

Take a browse and see if ‘The Chic Closet’ is your thing :)  Keep your eyes peeled for the Kindle copy, and I’ll let you know as soon as I hear too!

You can find my new book here on Amazon.

Wishing you a wonderful day, and thank you so much for all the lovely emails I’ve received about my extended break.  I have the nicest and most caring readers and I am so grateful for that.

Everything truly is just fine, it’s just that as an introvert it’s a lot for me to be online.  I’m happiest when I am tucked away writing my books :)

I hope you are taking the time to recharge your batteries too if you feel the need.  Honour yourself.

Talk to you soon!

xx Fiona

Go here to view 'The Chic Closet' on Amazon!


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

An extended break


Hello chic friends!

I am just popping in to let you know that I will be taking an extended break from posting.  There is nothing wrong, and my life is great, it’s just something I have been thinking of doing for a while.

I am still around and writing my books – the next one will be out soon!  I have been tucked away working on it :)

As you might already know, it is called ‘The Chic Closet: Inspired ideas to develop your personal style, fall in love with your wardrobe, and bring back the joy of dressing yourself’.  The book is written, and I am doing the final edits and read-throughs now.  I am hoping to have it available in the next few days.

I still plan to write and release new titles regularly – hopefully more often than I have been, and my writer’s course will continue to be available as a home study program (you can read about it here).

When I release a book I will definitely let you know so please stick around.  You can also follow me on Amazon by clicking the yellow ‘Follow’ button underneath my profile picture here.

You can also email me (fiona @ howtobechic . com) if you have any questions, or just want to say hi!

All the best to you and I will see you soon with my new book!

xx Fiona

 



Sunday, August 30, 2020

Room service :)

When senior cats are mollycoddled 🥰 Jessica is 10+ now, so if that doesn’t warrant a breakfast tray and room service, I don’t know what does.

She has her donut bed in our bedroom with the heating going.

She also prefers her water in a glass 😝💦

(Edited to add: when the dogs moved in she refused to drink from the same bowl as them, and would sit on the kitchen counter waiting for ‘her’ glass to be freshly filled 😑)

Are your pets spoiled too?

 



 

Best pumpkin soup recipe


I made pumpkin soup for lunch this week and it was delish 😋

Too much sour cream though do you think? 🤔

Who am I kidding, there’s no such thing 😁

~~

This is how I made my soup:

:: Fiona’s Pumpkin Soup recipe ::

Roughly chop:

1 onion
1 peeled carrot
1-2 sticks of celery

Throw chopped vegetables into a big soup pot with a Massels chicken stock cube and a big bloop of oil (about 3 tablespoons). I have both extra virgin olive oil and cold-pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil in my kitchen (‘The Good Oil’ brand here in New Zealand) and use them interchangeably. I use Massels stock cubes because they gluten-free and have a nice taste.

I made my soup on top of our woodburner, but if I did it on the stove I’d have the heat on low-mid. Stir everything around so that the stock cube melts and let it all sweat rather than fry.

Add big chunks of pumpkin and stir everything together. At this stage I’d usually add water and simmer the vegetables, but it was bubbling so nicely in the oil that I left it as is. After a bit, maybe twenty minutes, the pumpkin was soft and only then did I add hot water from the kettle. I kept adding a bit more until the immersion blender could do a good job. You can always add more liquid, but a too-liquidy soup is no fun.

After it was well-blended with the immersion blender, I served myself a bowl and added salt and pepper with a giant spoonful of sour cream.

If you try my recipe I hope you enjoy it! I generally make things up in the kitchen and this soup was no exception. If I haven’t explained anything well enough, please let me know and I can clarify.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Hobbies as self-care

 

I picked up my new sewing machine last week, and I didn't realise just how much a missed having a fully functioning it's-a-pleasure-to-sew-with machine!  I bought my old machine in the very early 1990s, so it was almost thirty years old.  Even with regular servicing it was just O L D and did not sew as well as it could have.

So I chose this mid-range model from a moderately priced brand, and even though it's simple and basic, it's wonderful.

In the spirit of decluttering, I took my old machine to the auction, plus another machine I had too (it was even older).  Even if I only get $5 for each, someone else can get use from them, plus they are out of my house.  The Bernina lady told me that sewing machines are hard to come by all over the world, because everyone is sewing in lockdown.  From the order my machine was in, it was the only product that turned up - all the other machines were out of stock.

So far I have done some hemming and some upcycling, however I am becoming enthused about making clothes again now that I have a new machine.  I think sewing has always been my first love, right back to when I was ten years old and learned to sew.  In my teens I made lots of clothes, and it was such a fun time.  Mum said when I ran out of fabric I started raiding her sheets for material.  Oops!

Feeling good with my creativity and future projects got me to thinking that hobbies aren't just an enjoyable thing to do with our time.  They are also a form of self-care, just as much as having early nights or making yourselves healthy meals are.  When you find a hobby you love, you are enjoying yourself while you are doing it, but you are also clearing your mind.  You get into flow as you do something and your mind is settled.  There is no room for worrying thoughts of future possibilities or past issues when you are focused on your task.

My friend Justine who I have just reconnected with, spins wool and knits, and she told me that ten minutes on her spinning wheel calms her right down when she is feeling frazzled.  Gardening is the same; I'm sure baking is too, and many other hobbies.  And, at the end you get a result!  A garment, new yarn, a weeded garden, or some cookies.  How excellent is that!

My exciting project for my new sewing machine is that I am going to find some good patterns for summer dresses that are simple to make, flattering, and comfortable that I can wear every day when it's hot - we are just coming into Spring here in New Zealand.  I may even have a go at drafting my own pattern based on dresses that I like from my own wardrobe.

What do you do as a creative outlet and does it help your peace of mind too?

xx Fiona

~~

 

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~~


These are my four most popular books at the moment!  Click on the image to read more :)



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