Thursday, January 26, 2023

Summer chic, naughty dogs, and... my fridge!

We went out for lunch on the weekend and it was so nice to dress up and wear a summery dress.

I had the best lunch too, a ‘goodness bowl’ salad with protein at Giant Brewing Co in Havelock North. It was yum!


Asking for a friend... Do you ever receive 'assistance' from your pets? Here is sweet Daphne helping (un)fold the washing. In this case a quilted pillow cover.

Thankfully she didn't get into the pile of dinner napkins. That would have made me much grumpier!

Life is never dull with pets, especially four of them. Nina cat is very self sufficient and makes her own fun outside often, although she does spend a lot of time napping on the tartan wing chair in the living room.

It's the three dogs always getting into something - running outside to bark at the birds, keen for food at any time of the day... the list is endless.

Still, where can you get this much 'fun' all for the price a package of Jimbos medallions and a bag of dog biscuits, I ask you?

Tell me, how do your pets 'help' around the house? I'm keen to hear if they are worse than mine.

And to finish this week, I know it’s funny to show you a photo of my fridge, but I love my streamlined fridge so much I couldn’t not. It really does bring me joy to open it each day and see all that empty space. A while back I gave myself permission to declutter my fridge. This is what I got rid of:

:: Expired condiments with hardly any left.

:: Jars of half-empty, expired ingredients such as green curry paste.

:: Small pieces of cheese wrapped up that I forgot about and so were past their best.

Are you sensing a pattern here? I’d keep these things hoping I’d get use from them but never did; they were just cluttering up my fridge.

One day about four months ago I took everything out and, after doing a quick wipe of all the shelves, put the items back one by one, asking myself honestly if I wanted to use that item. The ones I didn’t got put aside.

Once all the ‘good stuff’ was back inside the fridge I looked at the small collection on the bench and made a big decision to bin them. A big decision for me that maybe would not have warranted a second thought from someone else.

The things that tripped me up were that I am thrifty and like to make the most of the money I’ve spent, I don’t like waste, and I also feel like I’m being disrespectful wasting the world’s resources.

Once I got over that, I felt so free. And, my fridge has never accumulated items like this again. It is a breeze to use things up while they are still nice, I love going into the fridge to get dinner ingredients to prep, and it’s pleasurable to go to the supermarket (aside from the prices!) because I buy only what will make meals for that week. I don’t try to stock up on specials anymore.

Tell me about your fridge, is it like mine? Or do you love a fridge stocked with anything and everything? Whichever way you lean, I hope this post has inspired you to let go of some guilty clutter!

xx Fiona
PS. You can find all my books here on Amazon, or click on the pictures below for those specific books :)

My Amazon links are affiliate, and via 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!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

New interview, and 'introducing myself' :)

Hello chic friends!

I am excited to share with you a fabulous new podcast called ‘Let’s Slow Down’ by the lovely Annemarie Stolting @letsslowdown2023.

It was my absolute privilege to be interviewed by Annemarie recently and the episode was released yesterday!

You can listen to our interview here.

And here’s Annemarie's linktree for other listening options.

I hope you enjoy it!

(My book referenced by Annemarie is 'The Peaceful Life' and is available here on Amazon.

And for my new followers and readers, I thought I’d introduce myself as I haven’t done so in a little while. I love it when people online do this because I’m really curious about how other people live, and maybe you are too. So here's me!

My name is Fiona, and I’m 52. I live with my husband Paul and our three dogs and one cat. I know that’s a lot of pets. Which actually reminds me of a funny faux pas I fell into a few months ago. I was chatting with someone I know through visiting their business quite often, plus they are a friend of a friend (it’s a small town where I live). Anyway, they asked how many dogs I had when I mentioned them, and I said ‘three, I’m one of those people with too many dogs. Two is okay, three is getting into crazy dog person territory’. He replied, ‘We have three dogs’. *awkward silent moment*

(In my defence I used to only have two dogs before my brother moved overseas three months ago and I ‘acquired’ his dog. I am such a good sister.)

So, anyway, we live in Hawke’s Bay, which as I said is quite small (around 180,000 people I believe). Hawke’s Bay is on the east coast of New Zealand’s north island. We are usually very sunny (just not this summer where it’s been rain, rain, rain) and grow lots of apples and grapes as well as other fruits plus vegetables.

Beautiful light at sun down - one of our unicorn non-rainy days

Paul and I live ‘just’ out in the country, not proper country but town-country, only seven minutes away from civilisation. And I get to stay at home and write books! It’s my dream career and something I only ever dreamed of when I worked in an office. I just love being creative and I’m a homebody too, and it wasn’t until I had the guts to self-publish the books I love to write that I created this reality. You never know what’s possible until you try.

My days are spent writing, walking the dogs, reading, keeping my house nice (I am an aspiring minimalist but for the moment will just settle for ‘decluttered’ and ‘in progress’), creating new inspiration, and being a happy home-based introvert.

If you are new here, so happy to meet you :) And, please feel free to introduce yourself. I’d love to know your name, where you are from, ‘vintage’, hobbies, pets, family, anything you’d like to share!

xx Fiona






(My Amazon links are affiliate, and via 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!)

Thursday, January 12, 2023

The state of the world, decluttering, and my favourite thrifty decor tip

In the past little while I have had yucky feelings about the safety of our world. Inflation, empty shelves at the supermarket, food shortages and food safety, rising crime, more people struggling, and seeing the effects of drugs and gangs in my community when I’m out doing errands. It doesn’t feel good.

If you’re a spongey/empathetic person like I am, these things can leave you feeling bad and like the world is going to hell.

But then I got a thought-message that said, ‘Stay in your bubble Fiona’. All any of us can do is stay in our lane, and do the best we can. Live our life the best way we’re able to and assist others by not falling apart ourselves. Not that I’m in danger of falling apart, but I have felt low yesterday and today.

Every time I get an update on my retirement savings account it’s gone down, even though I put money into it every month. And I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I can buy the food that’s doubled in price and I do still have a retirement account.

But these world stresses can’t last forever. Nothing ever does. The sun will come out again; hang in there.

After my ‘stay in your bubble’ message and giving myself some pep talks, I’m feeling more buoyant again. What use is my constant worrying? What good is that going to do anybody including me?

So I’m here to say to myself, and you if you need it, to stay in your bubble. Find contentment in your daily routines and don’t try to fix everything nor worry about the state of the world. It is what it is. It’s a rocky time post-pandemic.

Build for the future. Keep your frequency high and cultivate an air of light-heartedness. Focus on the good things. That’s what I’ve been forgetting lately. Instead I focused on everything that was going wrong. But there is always good and bad, so why would I not focus on the good?

There is always goodness around. Sometimes you just have to search a little harder for it.

Big hugs to you all!

It’s been a rainy ole week here as a tropical cyclone passed through New Zealand. We are lucky enough to be on the edge of it in Hawke’s Bay but upcountry fared far worse.

I hope you’re doing good where you are. I am staying busy at home, tidying up and clearing out. Is it the time of year that makes us want to declutter our home? You too?

I even found myself reading ‘100 Ways to Declutter Your Home’ last night. C’mon, who reads their own book? I do, obviously! You can find my decluttering book here on Amazon (it’s actually quite good!)

And I've been watching Marie Kondo on Netflix this week while walking on my treadmill. So good and so motivating. She is a delight to watch as well.

Questions for you:

Are you a weather geek like I am?

Are you decluttering your home now that it’s January, for no other reason than it’s January and you feel like it?

Are you counting on 2023 being the year that you get your home fully – 100% – sorted, even the hidden corners that no one ever sees? Yass! Me too!

It’s going to be so much fun :)

And to finish this post, my favourite thrifty home decor tip. I love decorating with books. They make the most excellent plinths.

There are so many decorative items you can showcase on books: real candles, faux candles, photo frames, flowers in a vase, and I’m sure many other options which I haven’t even dreamed of yet. (If you have any other ideas please let me know!)

The photo is of my siblings and me, about 20 years ago although it doesn’t feel that long. Surely I’m still in my early thirties, right?

Anyway, go and dig out some pretty books and make a display! Once you start you will become addicted, I promise :)

Have a great week!

xx Fiona



(My Amazon links are affiliate, and via 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!)

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Happy new year - 2023!

Hello chic friends, from a rare sunny Hawke’s Bay! Sunshine has been in short supply lately so we have all been digging deep and creating our own. It’s not hard when we have a bright shiny new year to look forward to and my whole household is now better too :) Covid begone!

I am looking forward to getting back into my simple and peaceful daily routines. Yesterday I  cleaned the fridge out and prepped dinner before 10am. I love days like that! It always feels good when I’m on top of things.

How cute is this photo? I took the doggies out on an errand drive (the day wasn't too hot), and when I got back into the car I was greeted with this display :)

And they even stayed there while I took a snap! This picture rivals one of Wolfgang2242's on Instagram for craziness, although he will always beat me, having triple the number of dogs that I do. (If you don't follow him his account is wonderful, and he is a very funny writer too).

From left to right above, Chloe (9), Daphne (7), Micky (11).

How has your new year's been going? Are you on holiday? I have been mostly at home, reading books and watching movies, plus doing a bit of weeding in the garden and tidying up my house to make it look nice.
I hope your week is going beautifully too - let me know what you’re doing today - even if it’s ’normal'.

Happy new year to you!

xx Fiona


(My Amazon links are affiliate, and via 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!)
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