Thursday, July 20, 2023

'Serene Spa July' series part 3

✨ Serene Spa July ✨

Hello chic friends!
Welcome to the third weekly wrap-up of Serene Spa July, where we are aiming to bring a little peace and relaxation into our lives, one day at a time. And, create a spa ambience for ourselves. Let's get straight into it!

Day 11:Take a city walk
I do my exercise most days by going for a walk (often on my treadmill), but something that makes me so happy is to go for a glam walk. It combines exercise with window shopping :)

There is something that is so refreshing about being outside, even if you’re in a built up area. I live in the countryside now, but when we lived in the city I used to love going for a city walk. I’d wear nice clothes with sneakers, and exercise while I window-shopped. Big sunglasses were mandatory for the look!

This photo is a throwback to a trip earlier in the year. I love being a tourist, dressing up and going for a walk around the city.

Even with a lot of people around, I find it really peaceful and relaxing to just stroll. And it's a great way to get your steps in without even noticing it too.

As mentioned, the key is to wear nice sneakers with your outfit so that you're comfortable.

And if you live in a small town like I do now, it still feels good to walk more – very European. Rather than move my car all over town, I can park in one area and walk everywhere I need to go.
Day 12: Create ‘contemplation corner’
When we lived in Auckland we used to stay at the Langham Hotel as our staycation every so often. In their spa area by the pool was a long room with comfortable seating and glossy magazines, and it was called the Contemplation Corner.

I borrowed their peaceful atmosphere and now enjoy creating contemplation corners in my own home. And you can too! It might involve turning a chair slightly so your view is out the window, and adding a temporarily-moved side table. Add a vintage or current magazine, or book, and a cold or hot drink and you are set for a little while of solitude.

Or set up a blanket under a tree outside. Or wrap yourself up in a cozy rug on your sofa or bed for a while. You can even be in your car if you are out, listening to an audiobook with a hot coffee.

My favourite is to be at home with a cup of tea and an old Victoria magazine. I choose one from my small collection and flip away.

Imagine the peacefulness of sitting in that Langham contemplation corner and see how you could bring the same into your home, even just for a little while.

Day 13: Uplift yourself with happy journalling
It’s all very well to be inspired by others and take in what they are saying. I do this a lot. I love reading books, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, and studying the various courses I’ve purchased over the years.

And, I always feel good when I balance this intake with my own creations. In my journal I’ll explore such concepts as:

• ‘Happy lists’ of what makes me feel happy at that particular time.
• ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing if’ lists of my biggest dreams, hopes, and goals.
• ‘Ideal self’ visualisations in any area of my life that I desire to upgrade next, such as my wardrobe, health goals, or lifestyle wishes.
• Brainstorming loads of inspiring actions towards a specific outcome, such as ‘How can up uplevel my personal style without spending any money?’

Even if you don’t know what you’ll write about, find yourself a pretty journal and plan to fill a page today. That’s how I approach it, I just fill a page. There is no timer to set and no word count. Just a page to fill out. Sometimes it’s those last few lines that are the most challenging, but it feels good to complete that page. And sometimes I’ll even write two or three pages.

Date your pages too, that’s always interesting!

Day 14: Add pampering spa touches everywhere in the home
Here are some of my favourite ways to do this:

• Thick, soft tissues in just about every room.

• Hand cream in multiple places too: the car, by the sofa, by my bed, on my office desk, in the bathroom, in your lady basket and a tiny tube in your handbag. When it’s there, you will put it on. Massage it into your wrists, and push your cuticles back with it too.

• Saved up hotel slippers for putting on after you’ve moisturised your feet with a luscious body cream before bed. Or fluffy socks if you don’t have spa slippers.

• A small, neat stack of glossy magazines for a quick browse.

• Using white towels. I went through a coloured towel phase but have recently started using white towels again. I love both, but the simplicity of only having white towels to wash is wonderful.

• A cozy throw rug for the cooler season for wrapping up.

• A bud vase with a few tiny fresh flowers in it.

None of these items cost very much, but reading through that list, don’t you feel pampered and cosseted already? It just makes for such a nice atmosphere.



Day 15: Cultivate a soft, hushed atmosphere in the home
I know for myself I can easily crash around putting things away (emptying the dishwasher!) and yell at the dogs to ‘be quiet!’ when they go nuts barking at birds outside.

And, I can just as easily make life serene and pleasant for myself by doing everything as quietly as possible.

• Putting clean cups and plates away without clanking them
• Shooshing the dogs in a calm voice
• Going to the room my husband is in to talk to him rather than calling down the hall
• Speaking in my ‘inside voice’
• Thinking when to speak at all, is it necessary? Or am I just filling air?
• Moving around the house in an intentionally calm and contented manner, quietly doing what I want to do.

And at work too, you can be quietly productive, not bothering others with noise, loud sighs and intrusive chatter. Is there anything worse than an annoyingly loud coworker? I think not!

But mostly it’s just me here, so I do it for myself. I love to feel peaceful and calm, and being intentionally quite quiet is one way that I do this for myself.

And when the house is peaceful, the dogs seem calmer and quieter too. It makes sense. They pick up on my energy.


Day 16: Add extra nutrition into your daily meals
Just like you would receive at a spa retreat, but at home :)

When I want to upgrade my healthy eating, it does not work well for me to change everything up all at once. Far more helpful is to make small changes and tweak what I eat by increasing the nutrient content.

For example, you could:

• Eat an apple after lunch, even if lunch was fast food.

• Add a pre-made side salad to your dinner, regardless of what you are having.

• Slice some fresh fruit to have with your breakfast.

The key with all of these kinds of ideas is to have the ‘extra’ washed, sliced if needed, and ready to go when you serve yourself your meal. Have the apple washed in your bag when you go through the drive through (I rarely eat fast food because I am celiac and nothing is ever gluten free, but I am also realistic :).

Wash, slice and store fruit in a small GladWare container to have with your breakfast. Make your salad in portions too. That way, all you need to do it ‘grab and go’. Lessen the barrier between you and the healthy additions. This is the gamechanger for me.

I promise you will feel great with the added fresh nutrition. When I started having NutriBullet smoothies for breakfast, my cells would practically zing with happiness after I’d had one. I could feel it quite literally! Mother Nature provides so much goodness for us, let’s be grateful and nourish ourselves with her fresh produce!

(In this throwback restaurant photo my bunless burger came with a side of asparagus as an option. It was amazing!)

I hope you enjoyed this week's round-up, and please, let me know if you are enjoying this series and what your favourite day is so far!

Have a wonderful week and I'll see you soon.

xx Fiona


  1. all of your posts are just delightful, this spa series was especially enjoyable. Thank you! Continue to be a role model for all.

  2. Thank you for this encouraging, idea-filled spa series, Fiona. I feel uplifted and more creative about my surroundings and life after reading. You are a blessing.


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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