Thursday, August 25, 2022

Spring in New Zealand, and pancakes on the weekend?

Hello chic friends!
Spring is in the air here in Hawke's Bay!

It’s been so mild lately. I’m sure we still have some cold weather to come but it’s getting warmer. It's so nice to feel summery after a long winter (even though I love being cozy when it’s cold outside) and last summer not being great.

I am officially dreaming of warmer days to come
To celebrate, I made pancakes for brunch on Sunday. It has been years, possibly decades since I last had pancakes. They were delicious! But I am happy not to have them again for a while, lol. The stodge factor is high :)

I had maple syrup and butter on mine, and my husband Paul had lemon juice and sugar.

Making a special breakfast at home is one my favourite ways to be 'thrifty chic'. We used to go out just about every Sunday for brunch, but eating at home is just as nice, and far more exclusive :)

I reckon we saved $50 with our at-home brunch. Plus we got to choose the music, the dogs could come too, and there were no other people to annoy us!

I used this recipe here. And made adjustments, like I always do :)

I used 1C of Edmonds self-raising GF flour rather than plain GF flour and baking powder, butter instead of coconut oil, and I ended up adding 1C extra of milk as I whisked so the batter would be thinner.

I'm sure you could use normal non-gluten-free flour if you aren't GF.

And finally, we visited my brother’s store Interior Warehouse in Napier, to choose a gift and Chloe made herself right at home...

Also, cutely, her cousin Micky dog is peeking out on the right side of the photo from behind the sofa. He has such a happy smile and it shows his sweet nature.

Micky is a part-time shop dog and enjoys greeting customers and napping too.

Wishing you a wonderful day. I am staying home ALL DAY and writing. That’s the best kind of day in my book!

xx Fiona

PS. If you need a little dreaming in your life this week, pick up my book Loving Your Epic Small Life for inspiration. Inside you will find ways to:
  • Feel lighter and happier every day.
  • Have more fun in your everyday life.
  • Feel more motivated and upbeat, in a peaceful and relaxed way.
  • Decide on exactly the right flavour of lifestyle for you.
  • And do all this without spending any more money than you already do.
Join me in a fun romp over the golden land that is your life. We will create mystery and magic together and I promise, once you have finished reading ‘Loving Your Epic Small Life’, you will have a completely new view on your world.
Are you ready to be transformed? You can find Loving Your Epic Small Life here!

I am an Amazon Affiliate which means I may receive a small commission when you use my book link, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support if you choose to use my link!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Glamming up your day, and my skincare regime

Me, getting out for a brisky walk in icy winds straight from the South Pole. It’s amazing how good it feels to be outside even if I’m glad to get home before my fingers freeze.

When I lived in the city and it was a lot more built up, going for a walk outside still helped me feel reset.

My icy walk was so enjoyable that I forgot to turn on something to listen to - it was nice to have time to think and ruminate :)

In the summer when it is too hot most of the day I either go out very early, or after dinner is a lovely time to stroll too.

Nothing beats nature for an energy refresh!



:: How I care for my skin ::

I always get a lot of questions about my skincare regime. Lucky this is one of my favourite topics, so here goes!

(Day 17 'Take Exquisite Care of Your Grooming' in my book 'Thirty Chic Days' also talks about how I take care of my skin, so check that out if you want to).

Since the age of 13, almost forty years ago, I have been cleansing and moisturising my skin twice a day thanks to my mother's influence. Not only do I have her to thank for this, but also her genes since she has lovely skin as well.

I don't use expensive skincare, just whatever looks nice and is on special at the supermarket. Occasionally I get Estee Lauder, my favourite luxury brand, but not often.

I have always drunk tons of water, and I eat good fats too such as avocado, raw nuts etc.

I was never a big sunbather so that probably helped. And I use an SPF in both my moisturiser and foundation.

Speaking of foundation, I have worn this since a young age too, and wonder if it makes a difference. It would have to, being an extra layer of protection against the wind, sun, pollution etc.

Back in my teens I had a water-based Clinique foundation that you had to shake to combine each time you used it (thanks again, mum for buying it for me!) or a tinted moisturiser. Now I use Estee Lauder's DoubleWear, which I love to apply with a foundation brush. I might try something new next but I do love the coverage of DoubleWear.

I also like to not stress myself too much which I think shows on your face. You can't avoid stress totally, but choosing to be low-key, calm, relaxed, drama-free etc definitely helps me deal with things. And I try to focus on the 'nice' things in life.

I go walking, either outside or on my treadmill, and the blood pumping around even on a leisurely stroll must help one's complexion I always think.

So really, it's a combination of a lot of different things, plus the concept of 'Little and Often' (which is next in 'Thirty Chic Days' after the grooming chapter). I do little things such as cleanse my face, drink water, moisturise lots, eat good foods, be happy as much as possible, daily walks. It all adds up.


Who is up for a little 'glam life' today? It's Thursday here, maybe Wednesday for you. Not the most 'fun' day of the week I'm sure you will agree, but it's almost the weekend!

So let's all put a little extra pizzazz into our day today, whether it's morning for you like it is here in New Zealand, or later in the day.

I'm still in my gym gear, about to go for a walk soon, but after that and my shower I will be choosing something to wear that makes me feel extra good (but still suitable for home wear). I'll do my hair and makeup, and some perfume of course, and put my 'diamond' stud earrings on. I don't wear my watch or any rings at home, I like my hands to be bare, but I always have earrings on.

And I am going to tidy up loose ends as well as do my writing. I always feel SO much more put together and yes, glam, when there aren't little messes or undone admin all around. It makes such a difference.

Earlier in the week I felt like glamming it up too, and I met my mother in town for a coffee. I chose black and denim, with a chunky gold necklace, and of course my mum turned up in a black top with a silver necklace over top of it. We often turn up in similar things...

I hope you feel inspired to make your day (or evening) even 1% more glamorous too.

xx Fiona

PS. Of course, you can find The Glam Life here at my Amazon Affiliate link if you haven't already read it!

PPS. Another fab review :) Thank you!

"Another fire cracker of a book from Fiona. I am always inspired when reading these nuggets of chic and glamour. This one had a phrase that stayed with me the whole way through - “move in silence” - where we make plans and live life without feeling the need to tell everyone. Instead we show them! And of course, always add double the amount of mascara you think you need! Bat those eyelids on this glam world, take a sip of something comforting and enjoy Fiona’s books…all of them! You’ll be glad you did (not to mention more chic, more organised and definitely more glamorous)."

Thursday, August 11, 2022

A winter walk, new furniture, and errors in my books...

Hello chic friends!
I take the doggies for a walk down the road each day. We walk away from the house, turn around, and come back.

This has been working fine for… more than four years since we adopted them.

Now Chloe decides that she doesn’t like leaving the house and puts the brakes on all the way. I have checked if she is hurt, no. Too tired, no. And the little tart is full speed when we turn back to come home.

So, what’s a girl to do when her tiny dog calls the shots? No I am not carrying her one way.

I thought of a genius plan… when my husband leaves for work each day, we all catch a ride to the end of the road… then walk home! The dogs love going for a ride in the car and they only have to do ‘the good half’ of the walk. And I don’t have to try and coax Chloe all the way. Seriously, the away leg takes twice as long as the return leg!!!

I know it’s not very good dog training but I couldn’t think of a better solution!

So in just over an hour, we’ll be heading off for our morning ‘walk’...

I hope your pets are better behaved than mine are!
Can you see Chloe and Daphne in their hot-pink fleece jackets in the photo above? It’s been frosty this week.

And the next photo shows the cows in our paddock enjoying their breakfast. They come running for hay! And they’re always so inquisitive about the dogs too. Black and white heads turn to follow them when we walk up the fence line. So cute.


The chapter I remember most fondly writing in my book 'How to be Chic in the Summer', was Chapter 5 - 'Your Own Personal Stylist'.

The concept was really inspired the way it came to me and I enjoyed writing it so much that the chapter almost wrote itself.

So I decided to revisit that chapter the other night and went to the book in my Kindle. Imagine my horror when I found a mistake! I have a thorough editing process and my books go through many 'sifts' to make them as readable and error-free as possible but this one evaded me.

Instead of saying that your visiting personal stylist 'envelops you in a fragrant, warm hug', I had put 'envelopes you in a fragrant, warm hug'. Envelopes! Like the stationery!!

The next morning I corrected the error in both my Kindle and print documents and resubmitted them with Amazon so it's all okay now, but it got me wondering how many other little mis-types like this have slipped through...

So, I am asking you, if you spot an error in any of my books, will you please email me and let me know? If you can be bothered of course, it's not your job to be my proofreader. But if you are someone like me where errors in books jump out, it's probably fun for you to spot them, and I'd be so grateful too!

And of course I will fix them straight away :)

I am the kind of person where typos and errors jump out at me. I wish I could turn it off...

The kind that really get me are bad apostrophes such as 'Farm fresh apple's for sale', and their/there/they're mix-ups. I just can't help it!

And if you have the 'envelopes' book copy, perhaps it will be worth a fortune one day, like when postage stamps are printed upside down. Some are worth over $1million. For a tiny paper stamp!

(From online: "Stamps with printing errors are strongly coveted by collectors, some being valued thousands of times higher than their nominal price")

Let's hope those rare first copies of my book are the same!

We finally found a cabinet to go under our television. The colour and style suits the room so much. But of course, when there is a new empty space, can a cat ever resist it?

(And obviously she had me trained well to put her sheepskin inside too). Jessica loves her new apartment!

Thankfully the novelty wore off (well actually we just shut the cabinet door) and she is now back to her spot on the sofa, with sheepskin square in situ of course.

(The cabinet from Interior Warehouse, Napier. This is not an ad but it is my brother's store!) 
I hope you're having a fab week. I have been pottering around at home getting things done, and enjoying some writing time as well. My next book is coming along and I hope to have it available before the end of the month. Wish me luck!

xx Fiona

(I am an Amazon affiliate which means I may make a small commission on items you buy through my links, at no extra cost to you.)

Thursday, August 4, 2022

My Weekly Wrap-Up :)

Hello chic friends!
While in Auckland the other weekend we had a work event and I got to met the host for the night, Hilary Barry, one of New Zealand's most popular tv presenters.

I was happy to find that she is as friendly and delightful in person as on the telly.

It was a fun and glamorous night. It's so nice to dress up and sip bubbles of an evening!

I had my Zara 'Chanel' jacket on :)


Poor sweet Jessica cat has a bad head cold and fever! I noticed on Friday night she was sneezing a lot and her eyes were running, so I thankfully got a vet appointment on Saturday afternoon.

The vet said he really felt for her as he'd just had Covid, and it wasn't nice being so stuffed up and trying to breathe. Apart from that he said she was good though, so she is now on medicine to help. She looks better already.

I really don't know how on earth a cat who never leaves the house could catch a cold, but she did! She's almost finished her medicine and looks like she is feeling much better, thankfully.


And in book news, I am partway through my next book, but have been not writing for it as much. Even though I love the topic and got off to a good start, I'm not in the zone for it right now.

So I shall explore other book projects :)

I do this, and have started and partially completed books ready to go. It works well for me to flow between them.

So today will be a fun look through everything to see what sparks my interest. I love that I have this flexibility, and it is also why I don't announce what a book is going to be until I have completed it and are in the editing phase. 'Book content is liable to change at short notice'!

It's all part of the creative brain. I used to judge myself and wonder why I couldn't 'stick' to something from beginning to end, and sometimes I can. But for my writing to truly be magical to me (and hopefully you), I have to be true to myself and write from the heart.

And as we all know, the heart wants what the heart wants!

When I start reading through a previously started project or get a lightening bolt for a new one and I get all excited and tingly, that's when I know it's the one.


And a little soothing scene to end. Cheese, crackers and olives set out. Candles lit. Music playing. A clean and tidy home staged 'just so'. Perfect and peaceful. It's so nice to relax in those few minutes before guests arrive!

xx Fiona

PS. You can find all my books here on Amazon.
A display of my books at my brother's beautiful furniture and homewares store 'Interior Warehouse' in Napier.


(I am an Amazon affiliate which means I may make a small commission on items you buy through my links, at no extra cost to you.)

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