Thursday, June 15, 2023

Lunch out, cozy Autumn, and a book sale!


With last Monday being a public holiday, Paul and I took the opportunity to go out for lunch at a local winery called Craggy Range. Being of a certain age, lunch suits me better :) I love being tucked up at home in the evening - especially when it's cold outside since we're in autumn here.

How beautiful is the place we dined at? It's a truly world-class winery and restaurant, with the most exquisite grounds.

Dressing up for lunch out is one of my favourite ways to live my own 'epic small life'!

Going to a place like this makes me feel different, it really feels like the experience changes me on a cellular level.

Everything feels elevated, and I carry that feeling home with me.
(After seeing the little table lamps on the restaurant tables, I found them on Amazon. Sadly nothing local. I ordered two, they arrived very quickly, and now I have my own! I love getting inspiration from bars, restaurants, hotels etc. The lamps are rechargeable LED lights, and look very pretty on our dining table. They only last one evening for us, maybe two at a stretch, so I charge them whenever I use them. They are here on Amazon. I also bought my mum a slightly taller version for a dark corner she has with no power point. It seems slightly higher quality than mine, a bit less 'tinny' if you know what I mean, and I can't say how the lasting power compares, probably similar. But I still love mine and how they look!)

We also met a very nice couple at the next table, from Adelaide. They were travelling around New Zealand for eight weeks and said their Craggy Range lunch was the best meal they'd had in their seven weeks so far.
And I have exciting news! I’m having a sale!

For a very short while, Thirty Chic Days - my most popular book of all time - will be US$2.99 on Kindle (a 70% discount!) and US$12.99 in paperback (35% off, sorry it can’t be more but there are printing costs that affect this).

I thought there must by many of you out there who haven’t read it yet and I wanted to encourage you to give it a go!

And if you have already read Thirty Chic Days, I’d love it if you could forward this post on to someone else who you think would love this book. I’d really appreciate that :)

Thirty Chic Days is about approaching things in a new way – through a French-tinted lens in fact – and covers just about every category you can think of. It’s about enjoying your daily life more with a few mindset tweaks and inspired actions – not necessarily spending any money. Phew!

Jennifer L. Scott, author of 'Lessons from Madame Chic' said:

'Fiona Ferris has created a fun, motivational book for women on how to live a more joyful and chic life. Just by reading one or two chapters you will feel compelled to get up and start making changes and implementing her unique tips. Fans of her blog, How To Be Chic, will not be disappointed in this rich volume, full of chic words of wisdom.'

And Shannon Ables, author of 'The Simply Luxurious Life' said:

'Fiona's book is a delightful read to serve as a reminder that it is the everyday approaches to living that make a grand difference in our overall happiness. With a devoted appreciation and love for the French culture, she shares ideas that anyone can incorporate into their daily routine. With thirty chapters, readers can go at a leisurely pace indulging in one chapter an evening before drifting off to blissful slumber or devour in a day as it is easy to want to do.'

You can find it at the sale price here on Amazon Kindle and in paperback.

Or, for an Amazon alternative, the eBook is in my eStore here.

(My Amazon link is affiliate, meaning I may earn a small commission if you choose to use this link, at no extra cost to you. I appreciate it if you choose to use my Amazon link!)

We had family slides at my sister’s place on the weekend. This was my very mature mother before we started! Lol!

Dinner prep on Sunday morning (not by me :) with the Le Crueset slow cooking bolognaise on the fire. Daphne is keeping an eye on things, little sous chef that she is.


In spite of the abundance of rain and our devastating floods in Hawke's Bay, I do still love a good cozy day with threatening clouds outside.

Lots of people don't like talking about the weather because it's such a cliche, but I think weather is magnificent, grand, and a reminder every day that us mere humans are not in charge of everything.

Even though we like to think we are!

This is a good reminder to me as a perfectionist and control freak. Perhaps the weather could be my daily meditation to just... surrender. Aah, I feel calmer already.

It's early morning here, and I am playing around with my ideas and my cup of tea, in my jarmies and robe. The book I started writing isn't quite grabbing me so I'm interviewing others. It often happens like this; I start 2 or 3 and then one takes off.

If you could choose the title of my next book, what would it be I wonder??? Please let me know!

And just for a little fun, I thought I’d share a passage from my latest book 100 Ways to be That Girl. In case you haven’t come across the online ‘that girl’ trend, it’s the name for someone who has it all going on. She is focused on self-improvement and does all those wellness things that we mean to get around to doing but never do… such as yoga and stretching daily. And she does all of this without showing off; it’s just what she does. Maybe we know people like this in our real life and wonder how they do it all!

This mini-book’s focus is on getting some ‘that girl’ energy for ourselves. Sure we may love our lazy life; I certainly like to keep my life as simple, low-key, and yes, as relaxed as possible, but at the same time it’s fun to zing things up a little. We can enjoy our comfortable down-time and be ‘that girl’. We want it all and there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have it!

Our inner ‘that girl’ is great at motivating us when we really want to gain some traction but inertia is holding us back. She is our alter ego, our greatest cheerleader and she makes it fun to take action.

Sound good? Let’s visit one of the tips.


Tip 53: Fall madly in love with yourself.

Imagine if you treated yourself like someone you’ve just met and have a wild crush on. You’d think about them all the time, doodle your name and theirs together, wonder what they’re doing right now, and drop everything when they call. Or perhaps you’d play it cooler, being busy and happy when they pop around, always on point with your looks, and playing the long game by not seeing them too often. However you would act in your daydreams, do it for yourself. For me, I’d look good every day, take myself out on solo dates, do things that I know I love doing, and make myself my favourite meals. It’s such a fun concept to treat yourself as the one you’re trying to impress, don’t you think?


So that’s what I’ll be doing today, impressing myself 😍 You too?

Ladies afternoon tea #throwback

I love hosting! When it comes to afternoon tea, everyone brings something. It's just how it ended up turning out.

Of course we end up with too much food afterwards, but then goodie plates go home with the guests.

I bought a stack of paper plates just for this purpose, that way we're not scrambling for containers for our plethora of yummy leftovers.

Also, I love a jumble of pretty coloured roses all together. So lovely!

Tell me if you do afternoon tea too, and if not, why not?

Even if you host yourself and don't like to ask your guests to bring anything, you could do a plate of finger sandwiches, a cake, and some fruit.

Add tea and coffee (and a glass of bubbles if you like) and it's a real high tea experience.

Saturday afternoon around 2pm is the best time. Shall I see you then?

xx Fiona

(PS. This is just one of the many ways I love to live a luxurious life on a budget. For 149 other ways, see my best-selling book here!) 



  1. Hi Fiona, I've often thought I'd like to see your thoughts on chic dining. Store cupboard, table settings, music and, most of all, your recipes 😊

  2. Love your mom! I could not figure out the shadow at first until you said it was your mom! I laughed. The LED candle is perfect for beside my bed. I like the larger one for that. The winery looks amazing inside and out, too.

    I do so enjoy your posts. No matter what you write about, it inspires me. I have made so much progress in my “going through boxes” challenge. I look at everything I unpack now with the eye toward keeping only the unique, the best, the things that talk to my heart, and getting rid of massive clutter. It wasn’t necessarily clutter back when we went on our road trip in 2018 and I packed my whole house up. Now as I unpack I find myself letting go of so much. I like simplifying my life. Now that I don’t have the house it all fits in, I am inspired (such a good word) to let go but beautify in a different way! Thank you for helping me find my new me!

  3. Hi Fiona, I'm currently re-reading The Glam Life, I think it's my favourite of your books, along with How To Live A Luxurious Life on a Budget, they're the ones I've taken the most from.
    I have taken some great leaps in improving the level of glamour in my life! I have recently started to keep a notebook/journal, as you suggest. Sometimes the ideas come easily, and sometimes they don't 🙄
    Your vision of glamour sometimes tallies with mine, almost completely, but we are all very different.
    I would like to learn some of your quick wins for infusing a spot of glamour into your life.
    How do you turn your vision into reality?

  4. Afternoon Tea? Being English, of course :) I have my Grandmother's Tea Set and for a recent birthday my husband bought me the matching cake stand off of Ebay. We have enjoyed afternoon tea for the Queen's Jubilee - put on some 1940's music and the Coronation of Charles III, plus special days.
    What could your next book be? Hmmmmm. How about 100 Chic Places to visit. Your readers could all contribute an idea. Obviously No. 1 would be Paris, but where in Paris to get that sense of Chic.
    Yes, I know what you mean about feeling different when you visit somewhere nice. Wouldn't it be nice to feel like that all the time. Relaxed, elegant, refined, cultured............If only we could bottle it.
    Sadly, when we step back out into the outside world, some people's energy isn't like that - stressed and rushed etc.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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