Thursday, December 8, 2022

My teenage throwback picture, and time to relax!

It's been moving week for my mum and I've been helping every day. One of the days I didn't have any lunch to take with me so I threw this together from the fridge - 'accidentally vegan' is what I call it, and it was delicious! Plus I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me full all afternoon.

I considered stopping on the way to buy lunch, but couldn't think where to go for something healthy and gluten-free (a medical necessity for me), so that's when I came up with my delicious salad. So, as well as being healthy and yummy, I was saving money too, because even basic lunches these days are $10-$20 to buy.

I used butter crunch lettuce, cucumber, parsley, avocado and walnuts, and didn't need any dressing because of the avocado. SO YUM.

Today is handover day for my mum's home so we are all finished with the moving. Phew! It's been a marathon month but we are past it now, so maybe I can start to make my own place Christmassy now! That is after I give some TLC to my poor neglected home.

I really appreciate the work moving men do - most days I did 13,000-17,000 steps plus lifting etc. Talk about fitness bootcamp! Both my mum and I are exhausted and she said she sleeps like a log too.

Today it is SO nice to potter around at home and sort things out with nowhere to go and nothing to pack. Mum is staying with us until her new home is ready - we have a one-bedroom apartment attached to our house so it's nice to have her here and she also gets her own space. We just carpeted and painted it recently so I'll show you a few photos next time - it looks so nice!

Yes, it's 1985 all over again :) Days of the big hair and baggy sweatshirts. And I think the shirt underneath is floral. Big hair didn't seem so big then, it was just... normal. Happy days!


I always love using my Christmas Starbucks cups. They make me feel happy and cheery. My 'thing' with Starbucks comes from when I first moved to Auckland twenty-two years ago. There were two Starbucks – downtown in the city, and Parnell, and they gave off a big city, American, stylish vibe to me. It was always a treat to get a Starbucks, especially when I was new to the city.

Fast forward to now, and I've been living in a small provincial area for five years now, which I love. There are just enough people to give the place a buzz, and I can drive around easily. No grid-locked motorways here, although the single lane expressway can get a bit slow at rush hour :)

So, the local Starbucks is tiny and not so inspiring. It's nicer to sit in my living room with a coffee than Starbucks, which is the opposite of when I first moved to the big city!

A couple of years back I found a brand-new looking Starbucks Christmas mug in a charity store for $2. Then I bought my current mug (pictured) from Starbucks online, so I have two now. The 2022 mug has just come out, but it looks so similar to my first mug that I'll probably skip it.

I know it's only a coffee mug and many of you probably don't get excited about Starbucks, but I just love having a few sparkly reminders around. They make me happy when I use these mugs and that's the main thing.

And, from a financially savvy point of view, they save me $5+ every time I use them! I make coffee just as nice at home with my Nespresso and a Starbucks pod, either with foamed milk or a splash of cream. I even bought myself a bottle of sugar-free vanilla syrup (sadly not Starbucks branded) so I could make vanilla lattes or an iced coffee.

This photo was taken in my office where I also put my makeup on because the light is nice in there and I can listen to an inspiring YouTube video on my computer at the same time! So that's why my coffee cup is accessorised with makeup and makeup brushes :)

Happy Thursday to you!

xx Fiona


(My Amazon links are affiliate, and through Amazon Smile which donates money to the ASPCA. The price you pay isn't any different, so thank you if you choose to use my links!)


  1. Hi Fiona

    How wonderful to have your blog drop into the e-mail box this morning, it was so heartwarming to read of salads and warmer days from across the world. It is going to be -10 degrees here today and as I drink my mug of hot coffee (not Starbucks) I am dreaming of brighter, warmer days to come.

    The weather is lovely, to look out at and we have to embrace the changing seasons and you never know, it could be a White Christmas for us in the UK!

    Thanks to your recent book sale, I now have completed my collection of all your hardback books and I will be dipping into the Winter and Christmas ones for my daily dose of Chic escapism as we get further into the season.

    Looking forward to your next book Fiona – really like the 100 Ways series as they are so easy to read and digest.


  2. Hi Fiona
    Thank you for all the happiness you have brought into my life with your blog and books. It is lovely to think of you preparing for Christmas in warm, sunny weather. Have a great time xxx


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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