Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Final day: A Week of Christmas Self-Care

 Day 7: A Week of Christmas Self-Care
~ Sparkle ~

We are only a few days away from Christmas, and whether you are spending the day by yourself or with others, I want you to remember to S P A R K L E, from the inside-out and the outside-in.

Let the festive spirit wash over you and for getall perfectionism, worries and future to-dos.  You have done all you can to get things organised up until now, and for Christmas Day and beyond all there is left to do is enjoy yourself.  Even if you are hosting.

If you are lucky enough to have people spending the day with you or are visiting others, not everything needs to be perfect.  Your loved ones will simply enjoy spending time with you.

Sparkle in your way of being, how you dress, and even how you do your makeup.  Some will be more sparkly :) while those of us who are more subdued in our personal style will sparkle in a subtle way perhaps with a little gold-toned highlighter on our cheekbones.

Sparkle in your personal interactions by asking questions of others, and promising to yourself that you will only speak of positive anecdotes.  Be that person who lifts others and yourself up by your manner.  You can set the tone for your gathering by being calm, joyous and relaxed.  Be that person who puts others at ease.

Have something sparkling to drink too, from a flute of course!  A glass of sparkling wine, spritzer or mineral water with a dash of fruit juice.  There is nothing more festive than something fizzy in a Champagne glass.

I invite you to revisit one of my favourite holiday posts here, on having an haute couture Christmas.  It’s magical :)

Merry Christmas chic friends, it’s been a pleasure to spend this week with you.  Thank you for your lovely comments too, they are received and appreciated.

I look forward to seeing you in the new year that is 2021.

All my best to you! Fiona


Monday, December 21, 2020

Day 6: A Week of Christmas Self-Care

Day 6: A Week of Christmas Self-Care
~ Make your own sunshine ~

There are many things to be miffed with this Christmas.  It’s been a crazy strange year, and who knows when things will be easy again.  And I know it is especially hard in Europe and the UK right now.  It almost defies belief that ‘Christmas has been cancelled’ for many.

However, we are working with what we have.  And we can all bring our own festive spirit each day - 'bring our own sunshine'.  We can be that light heart for ourselves and others.  I’ve been watching 'Diane in Denmark' videos on YouTube while putting on my makeup and doing admin tasks and household chores.  She is such a bright spark.  I love her cheery style and colourful outfits.  She has inspired me to wear my prettier clothes just for everyday.  She can be quite ‘silly’ about things which I really appreciate, because I can easily slip into seriousness, and we all know that is no good for anyone :)

If you could use some lightening up right now, here are my tips:
  • Dress up – check the weather and choose your outfit the night before; admire its loveliness; wear your brighter colours and better items
  • Do your hair, wear makeup, put on jewellery
  • Play soft, instrumental background music as often as you can
  • Light candles and switch on Christmas lights, even during the day
  • Enjoy ticking off your tasks-to-do one by one
  • Have a break with your current feel-good novel each day – I am reading 'The Red Notebook' at the moment and it is delightful
  • Get some fresh air and go for a walk outside if you can
  • Give yourself a pass – if you can’t muster up the energy to cook dinner, have something light and snacky
  • And, watch 'Diane in Denmark', truly, she is a tonic!
It is up to all of us to make our own sunshine.  Let it radiate out from you to illuminate yourself and others.  Even in hard times life is good.  Know that I am cheering you on and right there with you every day living my life, and making things lovely.  Doing my chores to the best of my ability and treating myself well at the same time.  We can all create our most wonderful lives, and we are lucky to get to do so, 'even now'.  Big hugs to you if you need one :)

Stay bright, chic friends!

See you tomorrow for day 7.

xx Fiona

PS.  For more uplifting inspiration during the cold months, take a look at my book ‘How to be Chic in the Winter’.  And if you know anyone who would enjoy this series, please let them know about it!  Thank you!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Day 5: A Week of Christmas Self-Care


Day 5: A Week of Christmas Self-Care
~ Cleanse your space ~

Whether you are hosting Christmas, visiting someone else's house or having a socially distanced Christmas, you are likely to have more 'things' coming into your home.  It's nice to have a clean out before Christmas so that you can feel spacious instead of suffocated.  Wardrobes and cupboards aren't packed and messy.  There aren't items lying around because they have nowhere to live.
Even if you don't do a big declutter - because I'm sure you have enough to do right now - you can still straighten up areas and remove a few items as you go.  Put them aside in a donation box if they are good enough and give yourself the gift of a gently cleansed space this holiday season.

We are clearing some hanger space for guests who are staying, so it's a perfect time to take a look at clothes we haven't worn for a long time and have even bought newer versions of.

Sometimes we have to look at your home with new eyes too, because we can become immune to what is around us.  Go out your front door and come back in as if you were a guest.  Check out the entrance way.  Walk down the hall.  Go into your bedroom and bathroom and see if it pleases you.  What can you tidy up, move somewhere else or declutter?  What hotspots flare up again and again?  Can you fix them once and for all?  Say with a basket for the junk mail?  Or putting a pot plant on top of the microwave so that it doesn't become the dumping ground for stray pieces of paper? Horizontal surfaces are always magnets for 'stuff' :)
I also like to swap around decorate items such as pictures on the wall, candles and ornaments and pillows on the sofa or bed.  Moving them somewhere else makes them seem new again.

As I cleansed my space this week, I lit a beautiful candle gifted to me by lovely reader Jo Macfarlane.  All the way from Scotland!  She chose the Bergamot and Lemon scent, and it is divine.  I particularly love citrus scents so it was the perfect choice.  I feel very spoiled and am so thankful to you for your generosity Jo!  You can view Jo's elegant website here.

And I will see you tomorrow for day 6!

xx Fiona

PS. In my book 'Financially Chic', one of my main abundance tools is to declutter, organize, clean and tidy your home.  It's not as much fun as going shopping for new things at first, but then it is much, much better.  You find hidden treasures which seem much more appealing when not surrounded by things you don't care about or which are not in good working order.  You keep going back to look at the drawer/nook/room you have tidied.
I always feel a zing of happy energy when I organize even a tiny space.  It's definitely a good mood-changer!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Day 4: A Week of Christmas Self-Care

 Day 4: A Week of Christmas Self-Care
~ Give yourself grace ~

December is crunch time for many of us.  There ends up being too many things to do for the space of time left before Christmas day.  And we all want everything to be finished and perfect before Christmas day!  Every year!

I wanted to release my next book this month.  And it’s not ready.  Plus I have expanded on what I want it to be.  So I decided to let my December goal release, and immediately felt less pressure on myself.  I can now relax and enjoy the holiday season, and happily publish my book in the new year.

My new book is ‘Thirty Chic Days, Vol. 3’, and I have written 23 chapters so far with another couple in progress.  Almost there!  The third volume is focused on having a happy relationship, staying youthful, being your best self, and having a ton of fun at the same time.  And I’m having a great time writing it!  (Plus I can’t wait for you to read it 😊)

What have you promised yourself you would complete before Christmas that is really stressing you out?  Or what multiple things???  Ask yourself what is the worst that could happen if you put them aside until the new year, or perhaps only partially completed them this month.  We don’t need to be all or nothing!  I am not releasing my book this month, but I am still writing towards it here and there.

Take the pressure off.  Enjoy the holiday season, because it comes and goes so quickly.  Feel festive in your mind and relax your mind.  Spread love and peace by your demeanour.

And if you are curious about how I write my books, you might like to browse ‘The Chic Author’, where I let you in on everything I know about writing and self-publishing my books and how you can do the same.  You also don’t have to have an author dream to gain inspiration from this book either.  I talk a lot about my success practices which could easily apply to anyone’s daily life 😊

See you tomorrow for Day 5!

xx Fiona

PS.  Please share this series with your friends!  Anyone who needs some peace and tranquility right now! #chicselfcare

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Day 3: A Week of Christmas Self-Care

Day 3: A Week of Christmas Self-Care
~ Do what soothes you ~

The holiday season is the time of year you want to enjoy most, yet it’s also the busiest and most stressful.  Aside from all the organization that Christmas entails, there are all the loose ends that need tidying up before the end of the year.

Something that always gets out of control for me, but paradoxically is the thing that calms me down the most, is being tidy and organized.  I often ignore a messy area because I tell myself I don’t have time and I’ll get to it ‘later’, and it almost feels as if I am being decadent and utterly frivolous for considering spending time tidying!

So for me, it would be tidying and organizing.  I have quite a few areas that are bothering me at the moment – my wardrobe, writing desk, candle cupboard and sewing room.  Yes I have a candle cupboard…

I’m not going to make everything show-home perfect before Christmas, but giving myself half an hour here and there to do a little bit will make a huge difference to both how the space looks and functions, and how much calmer I feel.  I spent 30 minutes in my wardrobe today, and similar in my sewing room.  Plus I took a box of donations to the charity store.  I feel the weight on my shoulders lifting slowly :)

I know it sounds strange to say that tidying up soothes me, but it does.  (I promise you it’s not a humble-brag).

It might be something else for you, maybe something completely different such as reading a book.  I always take time to read a book, mostly five minutes before I go to sleep which doesn’t sound that luxurious, so perhaps I have to find a bigger spot.  It certainly beats scrolling Twitter for worthiness, and I always seem to find time for that!

Perhaps yours are baking, yoga, or knitting.  Find out what your soothing activities are, and make sure you do them more.

See you for Day 4 tomorrow.

xx Fiona

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Day 2: A Week of Christmas Self-Care


Day 2: A Week of Christmas Self-Care
~ Let yourself be light ~

There has been so much to worry about this year, and the new year is completely unknown.  We look forward to the 1st of January as a fresh slate for our goals, dreams and plans, but I'm sure I am not alone when I say I am approaching 2021 with trepidation and thoughts of, 'What the heck next!!'

Yes, definitely do everything you can to keep yourself and those around you safe, but beyond that, forget about what's happening in the wider world.  Switch off the television, delete news apps from your phone and don't buy into the scaremongering.  Do you know what doesn't sell well?  Good news.  Calm news.  Relaxing news.  Feel-good news.  Facts are sensationalized and made extreme because they are the headlines that will catch our attention.

Don't buy into the crazy.  Create your own bubble of well-being where you can feel light, optimistic and hopeful.  Lavish love on your family.  Care for your home.  Read happy books and watch fun movies.  Don't scare yourself silly with gruesome horror stories or work yourself up into a frenzy over what 'could' happen in the future.

Make plans, even travel plans!  I can't wait to visit New York City, visit the Sagrada Familia in Spain, and have an extended holiday in England one day.  It doesn't matter if we can't do any of those things now.  There is time.  And in the meantime my husband Paul and I watch YouTube walking tour videos on tv instead of bad, sad and scary news.

And if it turns out that we never leave New Zealand again in my lifetime, that's okay too.  My happiness is not dependent on outside factors.  Of course, to a certain extent it is, but mostly not.  Dirty water becomes clear by leaving it to sit still, not by shaking it more.  Let your mind become still and clear.  Let yourself feel light and festive.  Find a pocket of calm in the corner of your mind and dwell there for a minute.

Sometimes I just lie on the carpet at home and close my eyes for a few minutes and breathe. The lying down makes a difference!

See you tomorrow for Day 3.

xx Fiona

PS.  Of course my newest book 'The Peaceful Life: Slowing down, choosing happiness, nurturing your feminine self, and finding sanctuary in your home' is the perfect accompaniment to Day 2.  Check it out at my Amazon affiliate link here if you haven't already :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Day 1: A Week of Christmas Self-Care


Day 1: A Week of Christmas Self-Care
~ Gather your favourite treats ~

The holiday season isn’t just about one day.  Surround myself with your favourite festive treats throughout December as you get all your jobs done.  Yours might look different, but for me I love:

:: Christmas trees ::

I put my tree up at the end of November, in the entrance way.  It looks so lovely when you come in the front door, but I also wanted something Christmassy in the main living room – et voila, I now have a second tree.  I never saw myself as a multi-tree person, but there you go – we can always surprise ourselves.

While I was shopping for my second tree online, I saw a smaller version of the same pre-lit fibre optic tree.  It was très inexpensive, so I bought it too, to put on the kitchen counter.  It looks very pretty in the kitchen/family room area!

[Lest you think I am someone running amok buying cheap Christmas plastic, please let me assure you that I consider purchases very carefully, and from many angles.  There is the green angle (covered, since I plan to use this tree for years, and even if the lights don’t work one day, I can still decorate and enjoy it), the money angle (does it provide value for me, yes), and the clutter/storage angle (will it become clutter to me and also do I have a good way to store it (no it won’t, and yes, I have kept the tall skinny box to put it in the garage after Christmas is over). Phew!]

:: Christmas drinks ::

I am totally besotted by the Starbucks Christmas cup campaign.  They look so cheery decorated in red.  We have a Starbucks in the town where I live, however it isn’t very inspiring…  But I do have my own ceramic Starbucks mug picked up (looking brand new) from a thrift store.  I love it so much!  So I shall have my Twinings Lemon Scented or English Breakfast tea from my own Starbucks Christmas cup at home.

::  Christmas music ::

I have found a fab new playlist on Spotify called ‘Christmas Cocktail Jazz’ which feels very elegant and cosmopolitan, and I also love the YouTube instrumental playlists on channels such as Relax Music or Café BGM Music.  This one here is lovely.

In my book ‘Thirty Chic Days’, there is a chapter called ‘Create and guard your secret garden’.  Make your favourite Christmas treats part of your secret garden.  (‘Thirty Chic Days’ is available here at my affiliate link on Amazon).

Whatever your Christmas treats are, enjoy them as often as possible to keep the holiday feeling humming along, even if you are knee-deep in end of year admin!

See you tomorrow with Day 2 :)

xx Fiona

PS.  If you know anyone who could use more poise, calm and tranquility right now, share this series with them too!  Please tag me and use the hashtag #chicselfcare

Monday, December 14, 2020

New series: A Week of Christmas Self-Care

Bonjour chic friends!

How is your holiday season going so far?  I’ve been having such a nice time this year by being more intentional with how I want to feel in December.  I know we are all working within limitations at the moment, some more than others, but we can still harness some of that Christmas magic to see our year to a sparkling close.

To help with this, I am excited to bring you a new series called ‘A Week of Christmas Self-Care’.  For the next seven days I’d love it if you could join me with a steaming mug of hot chocolate or glass of something fizzy as we count down to the culmination of the festive season.

If you know anyone who could use more poise, calm and tranquility right now, please share this series with them too!  We will start this time tomorrow.  Please tag me and use the hashtag #chicselfcare

I can’t wait to share my Christmas Self-Care plans with you.  See you back here tomorrow!

xx Fiona

PS.  If you don’t have it already, I invite you to take a look at my book ‘A Chic And Simple Christmas’ at my affiliate link on Amazon.  In it you will find inspiration and helpful tips to have your most relaxed Christmas yet.  You can find ‘A Chic and Simple Christmas’ here.

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

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
PS.  You can find all my books here, at my Amazon affiliate link.

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


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