Thursday, April 14, 2022

My evening routine, and Italian Chic inspiration

Hello chic friends!
This little patio area is off our kitchen/family room and faces east so it's perfect for breakfast when it's warm enough. Now that we are into autumn those days are becoming less but I do love being cozy so it's a payoff I am happy with.

One of my lovely readers asked me what time I go to bed and when I get up, and if I have a night time routine. Happy to oblige!

I always get up at 6am. I love rising early. I want at least eight hours sleep so I plan for lights out by 10pm.

I like to relax and wind down before bed, so I often indulge in 'Boudoir Time' (as written about in my book 'The Peaceful Life').

Boudoir time is when I set myself up in our bedroom after dinner with soft music playing. I wash my face and apply a face mask. I either read one of my style files or journal some inspiration for myself.

Once my face mask is ready to wash off I remove that and take my time smoothing night cream and eye cream on. Sometimes I use a serum or facial oil, sometimes not. I brush my hair and remove my jewellery.

I'll massage body cream into my feet, hands, elbows, wrists and decolletage. I collect those white hotel slippers and use them to protect our carpet while the cream soaks into my feet.

The last thing I do is get my Kindle out and read a few pages of a novel. No matter how tired I am I need to read at least one page or it doesn't feel right, because I have done it for so long! Sometimes if it's late and I really am tired, I'll open my Kindle, read a paragraph and then close it again. LOL!

Boudoir time is such a delightfully restorative way to unwind before sleeptime and I love it. Tell me what you do to relax before bed?

I really do think having a little night time ritual promotes peaceful sleep and helps me sleep right through to the morning.

I love my Italian Chic inspiration almost as much as French Chic. There is just something about Italian style that is sexier, less buttoned up.

The few nights I spent in Rome it was wonderful to see people dressed up, definitely in a more fashion forward way than most of us here in New Zealand, for sure!

There is an Italian term 'passeggiata' which is a leisurely evening stroll where you dress up to see and be seen, and socialise lightly with others. Doesn't that sound delightful?

As with all my inspiration, I try to bring a dash of Italian into my own life here. I even wrote a little inspiration piece for myself about 'my Italian life' - how I would be if I infused Italian style into my day, every day.

So, to complement my Italian style book display, here is my perfectly fictitious inner Italian girl :)


She lives la dolce vita – the sweet life.

She follows the la bella figura philosophy – making a good impression and putting your best foot forward in everything you do.

She wears capri pants and a fitted blouse with ballet flats or tab-front loafers. Her wardrobe is minimal and stylish.

She accessorises with big sunglasses in black or tortoiseshell and carries a tote bag.

She dresses to show off her figure and dresses to be seen. Chic sensual is her vibe.

She strolls the cobblestones with her beau after dinner. She says buona sera – good evening! to others.

She sips espresso coffee or red wine at a charming side-street cafe or ristorante.

She plays opera on the stereo in her stone apartment.

She is unabashedly feminine with a womanly figure – think Sofia Loren.

She has big hair – straightened, and back-combed in a 60s style.

She rides a Vespa with her coffee on the handlebars, wearing a pencil skirt, high heels and open-faced helmet. (I actually saw girls like this in Rome, it was a treat for the eyes!)


Of course, I’m not about to start backcombing my hair or even buying a Vespa, but it is certainly fun to have my Italian girl as a muse.

What about your muse. What does she like? Where does she live? How does she dress? What does she eat and drink?
This is Milly, my mother's dog. Milly is 15 years young, and came to live with my mum 3+ years ago when her previous owner died. It was through a mutual friend who asked if mum could take on Milly since the lady's children lived overseas.

Milly adapted to her new life with pluck - she is such a happy and playful dog in spite of being geriatric in dog years!

Her favourite things are her hot-pink rugby ball toy, Duck Tender treats, and 'greeting' the postie as he rides past on his little electric cart.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Milly :)
Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

xx Fiona
PS. You can find my newest book in Kindle or print - still a no. 1 bestseller after more than two weeks in the Amazon store - '100 Ways to Live a Luxurious Life on a Budget'.


  1. I loved that book and can't wait for your newest one coming soon .
    It is a treat to see parts of your beautiful home and peek in at
    your life. Many thanks for all you do. jan in IL USA

  2. Hi Fiona! I received your new book from Amazon on the weekend. I've been taking it with me through the days since and decided yesterday, to add a skinny notebook to bring along too. I realized that when I was reading, I was wishing for paper to make my lists. This "100 Ways" book is brilliant. Thank you. Thank you for this little peek into your world again today. Milly is lovely, and lucky. xo karen (in Vancouver)

  3. Hi Fiona, I lived in Italy and agree Italian style is somewhat sexy. Things we noticed living in Milan, Italians always fasten up their overcoat if they are wearing one. The always dress up even to go to the supermarket, this may still be jeans but they will not be the dirty ones they wore to clean the apartment, full makeup will be worn too. Makeup is often very heavy, I don't know how they put up with it in the summer heat. Italians do not drink cappuccino after 11am and never ever after dinner. They always carry a scarf in their handbag in-case of draughts, draughts are considered to cause all manner of illnesses. Italians do not readily follow laws such as the speed limit but they will follow social rules to the letter, swimming after lunch, never! They care very much about how they appear to the outside world but are not above buying knock offs to wear at the beach in summer, if everyone is wearing a particular watch on the beach in San Remo you can be sure it is being sold by the hawkers around town.
    It fun to try out new style and Italians are chic, you just need to know the rules. Good luck.

    1. What an amazing observation, Elizabeth! I'd love to put it in a new post so everyone can see it. Would that be okay? Hopefully you will read this lol :)

  4. Reading one of your books. What's a style file??

    1. They are a collection of any inspiration I have printed out, cut out, torn out etc, and I keep them in those display books which have clear plastic sleeves (such as here on Amazon: I put together different books with themes such as fashion and style, being financially savvy, slimness and health etc.They are like my own personal magazines, and a good way to be able to use all the bits and pieces I have collected over the years.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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