Thursday, March 30, 2023

Autumn is here, ladies afternoon tea, and self-care

It’s officially Autumn here in the southern hemisphere, which feels weird because we didn’t ‘actually’ get a summer this year, and then the cyclone happened which really topped things off...

But that’s life. I still believe in making my own sunshine. Working with what I’m given and carrying on. It’s all any of us can do!

And I like to make the best of things, because it just makes life better.

Every Saturday my mother, aunt, their cousin and her daughter meet for coffee at 3pm. They have a rotation of cafes that they meet at. Sometimes I go too. This past Saturday however, I said 'Why don't we have Saturday coffee at my place?' So we did.

I made some gluten-free cookies, and everyone brought something as well. We had a cold drink and tea or coffee, and it was so lovely.

I don't know why we don't do it at home more often. It's a low-stress way to host, and you get to clean your house extra well before guests arrive, lol, so are rewarded with a nice house at the end of it. It doesn't cost a lot at all either - in fact it costs nothing to set the table with items you already own and it gives you a chance to use your pretty things and set the table.

It's a lovely way to spend a few hours - imagine inviting a group of friends around for afternoon tea. We started at 2.30 on this occasion.

I served bubbles and non-alcoholic drinks, and then hot drinks after, with the cakes. There were seven of us in total and it was a delightful afternoon!

And I even managed to find a few roses in my garden - burgundy iceberg roses and a yellow ones I don't know the name of but they have a beautiful spicy rose scent, very rich.

Have you ever hosted afternoon tea? In the past I have made sandwiches and didn't this time, but they are a nice touch.

I played my current favourite playlist on Spotify too, it's here. Or look for 'Ralph Lauren Vibes' under my profile 'Fiona Ferris' on Spotify.

And finally, I had some lovely pampering on Sunday morning with a mud mask after exfoliation. I rinsed the mask off in the shower. I always do a mask when I’m about to wash my hair then I don’t need to worry about making a mess. I'm telling you, I was squeaky clean with goodness when I’d finished!

I hope the past week has been full of self-care, fun times, and some relaxing for you as well.
xx Fiona

My Amazon links are affiliate, which means that I may receive a small commission on anything you purchase through my link. The price you pay isn't any different, so thank you very much if you choose to use my links :)

Friday, March 24, 2023

A sorted life = self-care

Good morning and Happy Friday!

Gosh, I have had such a productive week at home, both mine and my mother’s.

There has been tidying, organising, unpacking and more going on. Whoever knew sorting out loose ends could feel so good?

Even something as simple as clearing away hot spots brings such a high :)

Our kitchen counters had been cluttered with extra items ever since the cyclone but no more baby. They’re clear now!

My next project is putting up a few pictures that have been hanging around (except they weren’t hanging, that was the problem :), plus tidying up the ‘everything cupboard’ in the garage.

And, I have a lunch date with my husband Paul today. Yay!

And earlier in the week I had such a good day in the garden - it was a big day of weeding and gardening. I love to see a nice garden, but it doesn't come naturally to me to want to potter around and do things in it all the time.

So, I make a day of it every so often and do everything. And it was so satisfying! I weeded my herb garden which contains parsley, chives, thyme and oregano. I also transplanted a rosemary plant and some mint. I planted the mint in a pot then the garden so it doesn't take over everything else. Plus mint likes it wet, so the pot will keep the moisture in more too. Let's hope everything thrives in my herb garden!

I watered the transplants even though it was meant to rain, and we did indeed get a light, misty sustained rain that afternoon which was just perfect.

I also decluttered ALL of my outdoor pots. Everything that was in a terracotta pot is now in the garden. This was one of the things I identified that I could do to ‘make my life easier’. The question ‘How can I make my life easier?’ is one of my regular journal prompts and it always brings up good answers.

I have all the pots stacked to donate. And I now don’t have to weave around them to hang my laundry out, water them, plant them, buy potting mix and bring it home… so many jobs eliminated.
I have enjoyed pots in the past, and the sight of a recently planted, well-watered pot brimming with bright flowers still brings me joy.

But for the season of life I’m in right now I love the simplicity of no pots and also the clean open look of a terrace, lawn and garden.

An easier life = excellent self-care!

What could you do to make your life easier? What’s one thing that comes to mind that you could do that would make a big difference like my pots?

No. 1, thank you! You've made my day. If you have ordered my newest book, I hope you are enjoying it and getting some good, useful advice and inspiration from it.

The goal when I write my books is to share what inspires me and what I have learned. And also I write them for me. I write what I want to read, and what I need to hear. They are as much reminders for me as anything else.

I know there are many of YOU who would write an excellent book. You know who you are! And I'd love to read it.

Let your fanciful side fly free and let her write what she wants to write. Don't worry about what anyone might think, do it for you.

You have to be the one who has your own back, in anything in life but especially your creative work.

Anyway, that's just a little pep talk today as I settle in for some writing time :)

I hope you're doing well!

xx Fiona

PS. My book 'The Chic Author', goes into everything I did to begin self-publishing my books. Whether you're a complete beginner or have already written a book, there will be something in this book for you.

It's here on Amazon.

And in my eStore (eBook only) for an Amazon alternative.

And my newest book '100 Ways to Enjoy Self-Care for Gentle Wellbeing and a Healthy Body Image' is on Amazon (paperback and Kindle).

And the eBook in my eStore.

(My Amazon links are affiliate, which means that I may receive a small commission on anything you purchase through my link. AND it's an Amazon Smile link too, which I have directed to the ASPCA. I don't know how they manage to do both with one link, but they did. Thanks Amazon!)

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Gloriously normal life

It was a beautiful day on Sunday and I made the most of it. I had a petite sleep-in and then wrote a bit on my next book with a big cup of tea. Some morning routines are too beautiful to skip, even on the weekend! I love my morning writing time and cup of tea SO MUCH. Don't know if you've noticed :)

And it was a DAY OFF after Paul working long hours and all the extra admin of living without water and power around here.
We went out for lunch, and gosh it felt like being on holiday after the month we've had.

I asked Paul if we could go to the place we went last time (Giant in Havelock North), because their Goodness Bowl (with seasonal veggies, leaves, quinoa, herb dressing and crunchy seeds) and grilled chicken was so good. I had the exact same thing this time! And I normally can't resist getting french fries so that really says something about the goodness bowl.

Plus I felt cheery in my pink top. A pretty, happy colour near the face does wonders for my joie de vivre and lifting of the spirits.

And in other breaking news, our water is now back on! We have indoor plumbing!! What a treat to wash my hands under the tap and I had my first shower at home since mid-last month on Monday. It was so good!

The internet could still be a while away but that's okay. We now have power and water! Hoorah!

So far this week I have completed our insurance admin, and other admin too. I have also been writing a lot and it feels fantastic. Yes, I’ve been chainsmoking! (Which is when you start writing another book immediately after finishing one.)
I hope you are enjoying my new book if you've downloaded it. I was pleased to see it is 'no. 1' and a 'bestseller'. Everyone likes their children to do well in life, lol!

And in the spirit of self-care, what do you have planned today? And what is your ideal weekend self-care when you have a bit more time?

As mentioned above, mine on Sunday was:

A sleep-in
Writing and tea
A shower and hairwash (not at our house, somewhere else that has running water since we didn't have it back yet)
A dog walk down the road
And lunch out

Oh, and one of my recent self-care habits was to buy a jar of multivitamins and minerals. On choosing, there was a normal jar, and a 'for women 50+'. I am in that category!! Still, better than the alternative. I told mum and she said that I'm a senior now, haha. I still feel young at heart!

Thank you for the lovely reviews on the new book '100 Ways to Enjoy Self-Care for Gentle Wellbeing and a Healthy Body Image'. I read them all and appreciate them, and also learn from lesser reviews. Sometimes it is something I can improve on, and other times it is to know that I can’t be the author for everyone. We all like different things!


You can find this book (and her reviews :) here on Amazon Kindle and in print.

And the eBook here at my eStore for an Amazon alternative.
Wishing you a fab day, it's been lovely here this week - sunny and blue although a little chilly in the mornings - 6 degrees C (43F) before 8am. Autumn must be on its way.



And I can't go without showing you sweet Nina cat having an afternoon nap :)

Doesn’t a nicely made bed with a velvety cover just beg you to lie down for a few minutes? With a book or for a short rest?

This is in one of our guest rooms. I love the headboards! And the bed is one that zips into one big bed or two singles, so very versatile.

Since I’ve just released my book on self-care, all the different ways we can look after ourselves has been front of mind for me.

Curling up for even five minutes is one of them!


And little Micky dog got to have his post-cyclone grooming appointment recently. I have never had a dog who needs grooming, but Micky grows so shaggy he can't see out of his eyes!

He now goes to an Italian groomer, originally from Milan (I know, so bougie :), and he absolutely loves himself when he's finished. You can just see how happy he is and how good he feels.

His groomer, Roberta, is an absolute delight. You can tell she cares so much about her furry clients wellbeing and is very holistic as well. Such a beautiful lady, inside and out. Her business is called 'Whisper Soft Dog Stylist'. So cute!

While we were picking up Micky, Daphne and Chloe had their claws clipped (and filed too!) Would it be too over-the-top to have short-haired dogs groomed? Perhaps...

Can you see in the photo a little brown paw behind my leg? Hiding away there.

And I'm going to the hairdresser today as well! What a treat. Just like Micky :) But I'm not going as short as him. Just a trim thanks, and some highlights and lowlights to blend the blonde with the grey.

I love it when self-care is a deliciously pampering appointment where I get to read a book for a few hours while being fussed over.

Happy Thursday to you!
xx Fiona

(My Amazon links are affiliate, which means that I may receive a small commission (4% on ebooks I think) on anything you purchase through my link. AND it's an Amazon Smile link too, which I have directed to the ASPCA. I don't know how they manage to do both with one link, but they did. Thanks Amazon!)

Thursday, March 9, 2023

New book out now!

Dear chic friends,
Today is the day! My newest book has just been published and is available now on Kindle and in paperback.

There was a bit of a hiccup between finishing writing the book, and the editing and proof-reading... in the form of a major natural disaster where I live. But we got there in the end!

Disappearing into my book work was my saving grace of sanity and loveliness when all around me was falling apart. But the region is improving every day, our neighbours who were staying with us are now set up in their own home and doing okay, and each day there is something to be thankful for.

In the meantime though, I really do hope you enjoy this new book, and feel peaceful and serene as you read it and dream up your most pampering and elevated mindset life full of self-care.
The links to download the new book are below. The Amazon links are affiliate, which means that I may receive a small commission (4% on ebooks I think) on anything you purchase through my link. AND it's an Amazon Smile link too, which I have directed to the ASPCA. I don't know how they manage to do both with one link, but they did. Thanks Amazon!

Click here for the eBook or paperback on Amazon US.
And you can also purchase the eBook from my eStore if you prefer an Amazon alternative.

Chloe and Daphne have been helping my mother move into her new home this week. Because a lot of her things were flood damaged she now has a lovely new sofa. Her last house had blue accents but now she is feeling 'neutrals and dark green'.
Those faces :)


The doggies haven't heard the 'no pets on the furniture' rule though... But who's going to tell them? And will they listen? That's the million dollar question.

With our houseguests moving out, and Paul at work it's just me at home now. I have been organising and cleaning, and trying to get back into a normal routine.

And Monday was our wedding anniversary! I had it on our fridge calendar but when Paul said on Sunday about getting something special for dinner at home Monday night, I said 'I'm not going out tomorrow, how about I get it Tuesday.' He had to hint really strongly that it would be better to get the special dinner ingredients on Monday and then I remembered it was our anniversary :)

So happy anniversary to us! 15 years married and almost twenty years together in total. Where does the time go? 
Anniversary dinner on Monday night ✨🥰

I posted some photos of our flood-ravaged street on Instagram, and rather than bring you down here, if you haven't seen them yet and would like to, go and take a look. There are ten photos in total of the reality of living in a natural disaster zone.
Even if we were very fortunate to not have our house affected it's been very trying. Our power is back on now, THANK GOODNESS! but the water will be a week or so longer. And no internet or phone still. But we have power. And a house. Life is good. Here is the Instagram post if you want to see a lot of silty mud and broken things.
So I hope you enjoy the new book, happy reading, and thank you for being wonderful! The messages and emails I have received have been so kind, I appreciate every single word. Thank you.

xx Fiona

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Still a glam pioneer! And the new book is coming, promise :)


Hello chic friends!
I found a photo from 1973 showing me looking over my sister in her cot. In those days baby sunbathing was encouraged, so mum would wheel us outside as babies for a few minutes of sun each day. In her words:
Baby sunbathing then meant all clothes off and baby turned over to do both sides 5 - 10 minutes 'toasting' :)
Now we're all made to be scared of the sun, but I believe moderation in everything.

Things are improving day by day after the devastating cyclone and floods here. Our neighbours are making progress with all their admin such as insurance claims, ordering new bank cards, drivers licenses and passports etc. There is so much to replace just to live daily life! And they are organising their 'new' home to go to once they can get some furniture together.

We still have no power or water, but we do have a generator which runs during the day, and a portaloo at the gate! It's so funny to wave 'hello' to people driving past as you open the toilet door to go in...

And I've found I can use my phone data to connect my computer to the internet since we have no broadband/wifi either. So I've been editing my next book which is exciting. I've been loving my retreat into my own little dreamworld as a nice break from all the tasks that are required to live like a 'glam pioneer'.

As well, I have formatted my three blog series ebooks into print copies. This was requested and so I thought, 'Why not!' How cute they will be :) The size and page count are about the same as the '100 Ways' mini books just to give you an idea. The covers of the blog series books are so pretty that it would almost be a crime not to print them as a paperback copy!

You can find them by clicking on each image above, or through the links below:

'How to Live Well' contains practical and easy ways to bring more peace and elegance into your life.
(Kindle and paperback)

'Chic Inspiration' gives encouragement to create your own version of a truly charmed life.
(Kindle and paperback)

'How to be Slim and Healthy' is focused on the topic of blending the European way of eating into your own life wherever you may live - for pleasure, slimness, and good health.
(Kindle and paperback)

And the '3-in-1' book contains all three:
(Kindle and paperback)


How cute are the three doggies waiting in the hall... when I go out in the car they always look hopeful. If I can't take them with me they have a crestfallen look on their face and stay there watching me as I leave. It's such a sad sight! But when I come back an hour or two later I get a Queen's welcome :) It's like I have been gone for months!

So I will wish you well, and fingers crossed for power and water restoration within the next week with any luck.

Talk to you soon!
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!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...