Friday, October 27, 2023

Where I spent my birthday!

Hello chic friends, it was my birthday this past week (and my husband Paul's too - we have the same birthday one year apart :)
Guess where we spent our birthday? In prison! Only for a little while though.

We had friends staying for the long weekend and we all took a tour of the historic Napier Prison. It was so interesting.

And thankfully they let us out too!

52 and 53!

Hello from beautiful Hawke's Bay in the spring! This is the view from the paddock looking up to our home. If you look closely you can see our new outdoor area's roof.

It's lovely to have a paddock and walk the dogs off-leash in their own private 'park'. Just make sure to dodge the cow pats!

This week I did a second interview with the delightful Annemarie Stolting, for her podcast Let's Slow Down. Annemarie is such a great interviewer with great questions and comments.

The episode should be released next month and I can't wait for you to hear it. We had such a fun time chatting. I think I may have spoken really fast in my excitement so I really hope you can understand my Kiwi accent easily! LOL!

In the episode we discuss how to feel calm and peaceful during the holiday season, my morning routine, how I became a self-published work-from-home author, and lots of other fun bits and pieces.

You can listen to our first episode together here.

The book we discussed in next month's episode: 'A Chic and Simple Christmas' is still on special for a few more days - it will go back to its normal price on Monday, so if you don't already have it this is your chance to get it at a discounted price.

The Kindle and paperback versions are both reduced on Amazon at my affiliate link.

And for an Amazon alternative the eBook is in my eStore.

And finally, it's me again. I forgot to post this when I went to see the Barbie movie! I know it's old news now, but what did you think? I enjoyed the fun parts of it and the inside jokes. I loved Ken and Barbie, and all the other Barbies, and how Ken's job was 'beach' :)

But I also thought it was a missed opportunity because it felt a little weird. Like it was just a ton of scenes glued together (I know that's what a movie is, but, you know ;). It could have had more heart I think.

Still, I'm glad I went got to see it. Whenever I go to the movies I always think how good it is and that I'm going to do it more often and then it's another 3-4 months until I go again :)

What good is coming up? Have you been lately and what would you recommend? And what did you think of Barbie? If you can remember back that far!
Enjoy the rest of your week, it's the weekend here! Friday night - yahoo!

xx Fiona

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Afternoon tea, and this month's book sale!

We had ladies afternoon tea recently! It was held in honour of my aunt's 82nd birthday. We had such a fun time, and I don't know how it happened, but we now also have bubbles before we start on the coffee and tea. Oops!

Everyone brings a plate. I made the soft white bread sandwiches (cucumber, and chicken, mayo and parsley), and I bought some coconut macaroon cookies. I don't usually keep them in the house because the first time I tried them I ate the whole packet of seven cookies all at once. They were THAT good.

I played 'PLÜM Radio' on Spotify and had a relaxing flyover YouTube video of the Greek Islands on the tv in the other room. And of course candles and my essential oil diffuser were going.

I love to create an ambience! (selfishly as much for me as for my guests).

The birthday girl unwrapped her lovely presents - the afternoon tea ladies swap small, nice gifts. I gave her a facial cleansing lotion and two face flannels in her favourite autumn-tone pumpkin shade. When she unwrapped it she said, 'ooh this colour is nice'.

And then at the end, everyone went home with the divvied up leftover goodies on paper plates.

I love ladies afternoon tea! And next time it will be mine, with my birthday soon!


This is my mum's dog Milly - she was sweet 16 a few months back! My doggies love it when Milly comes to visit. They run around so happy to see their cousin 🥰 Or maybe she is their aunty?

No matter the title, they love to greet her when she arrives. Although it is a bit overwhelming for Milly with three younger dogs (‘younger’ = 7, 9, and 12) bustling around her in a frenzy of excitement. She is probably pleased when it's time to go home!

Milly is a busy little dog, even in her retirement. She is sitting by the fire in the first photo, but for most of her visit she likes to potter outside checking every centimetre of the garden :)

Then she comes back in the cat door and rejoins the group. She is such a good little self-contained doggie!

Mum always told us as children that 'bored people are boring' and obviously Milly got that memo too because she knows how to occupy herself! Although at her age what this looks like is mostly sleeping :)

I think if Milly was one of my book titles, it would be the one called ‘Loving Your Epic Small Life’, haha!

(Here is my affiliate link to this book on Amazon :)


A few months out is the perfect time to start thinking about how you'd love to spend your Christmas this year, don’t you think?

You may already have your actual plans set, but what about your mindset? Are you excited for Christmas but also a little apprehensive?

It's such an emotional and sometimes highly charged time of the year. Is it any wonder we overeat all the goodies or end up in a disagree with someone we love?

I invite you to make this year the Christmas of your dreams by using all the tips in this book to really have it turn out the way you've always imagined - like a movie Christmas!

And of course I'd love to help out by having this month's special be 'A Chic and Simple Christmas' - it's only $2.99 on Amazon US and the paperback is reduced as well - it's down to $7.50.

You can find both at my affiliate Amazon link here.

And if you'd like to download the eBook from my eStore for an Amazon alternative, you'll find it here.
Reduce your stress levels by keeping a few ideas up your sleeve. It doesn't take much to turn things around!

If you haven't already read 'A Chic and Simple Christmas' I hope you enjoy it and get lots of new ideas from it. And if you have already read it, please let me know your favourite takeaway!

xx Fiona


Thursday, October 12, 2023

Dining at home - what to wear?

Hello chic friends!
I call this photo :: Dîner pour deux à la maison ::

And "the lady of the house wore black satin pyjamas"
I love having nice home loungewear, and treated myself to these PJs from Victoria's Secret when we were in Hawaii a few months back. I also bought a set in hot pink.


Does wearing my nicest and newest loungewear for dinner at home on a Saturday night count as dressing up? I'm asking for a friend :)

I hope you are having a lovely week so far.
I really enjoyed reading all the 'how did you meet' stories on my last post. It was so cool to see the variety of ways. And if you missed out sharing, please share today!


Thank you for ordering my newest book and keeping it in the 'Skincare' bestseller list. I hope it is a relaxing and peaceful read for you.

In the final chapter at the end, '21 ways to make your home a calm haven', number 17 is this:

"Think ‘wellbeing’ when you are looking around your home, and ask yourself how you can infuse a sense of wellbeing into each room. Can you make a cozy corner for yourself somewhere? Is your kitchen stocked with healthy foods? Is your bedroom tidy and ready for a restful sleep?"

I love to use this tip to make my home calm and welcoming. It feels so good! Not only for guests, but me too. I know my husband Paul appreciates it, and I'm sure my pets pick up on the energy as well.

Have a happy day!

xx Fiona

PS. You can find this book in paperback and on Kindle at my affiliate Amazon link here.

And the eBook in my eStore for an Amazon alternative.



Thursday, October 5, 2023

A simple life tip + where I met my husband

Throwback to that fun night out at the place my husband and I met at 20 years ago.

When we told the barmaid we’d met there she told us she heard that all the time :) We are not so unique after all!

Apparently Lime Bar is quite the meeting place. When I went there it was Cosmopolitans all the way :)

And amazingly enough it’s still the same name after all these years.

I love a good ‘Where did you meet’ story so please share yours!

:: How I keep my life simple ::

In our dining area, the apples and the orchid plant are both faux. I have decided that I prefer my plants to be in the garden where the rain waters them (I don't even have any outdoor pots anymore), and my fruit in the fridge for maximum crisp and freshness.

Life becomes easier and happier when you choose to 'be you' in little areas like this. I know loads of people love cut flowers and indoor potted plants, but they just stress me out!

I have to water the plants, keep them alive, feed them, upsize their pots when necessary, and put a plate under the pot for watering so I don't damage our furniture.

It's the same with cut flowers. I enjoy receiving them as a gift and have a few vases for just such a time, but otherwise I no longer buy them for myself. A bunch of flowers with my weekly shop is NOT a treat for me!

I'm not saying my way is right or wrong, it's just nice to know you have the choice, right? And you can always change your mind at any time too.

For where I am right now I want easy-care and simple. And it's not that my life is so hectic, I just prefer less to look after. Call me lazy, I don't mind :)

Tell me where you are lazy, haha, and what changes you have made to simplify your life lately.

I've been chain-smoking again, yes! With writing though :) I started my next book on the high of releasing a book. I've been enjoying outlining my next book all week and will be starting my chapters soon.

Thank you for your lovely messages about my newest book's release - if you've ordered it I hope you are enjoying reading it! (pictured below)

I always take on the feeling of the book I am writing, understandably, so I am feeling very zen after writing and reading through '30 Chic Days at Home Vol. 2' :)

And much like ‘a busman's holiday’, I love to read in my downtime, lol.

I've recently finished Jane Fallon's newest book 'Over Sharing'. I love her books and have read every one. They all seem to have a common theme of revenge, but they have heart too, and the endings are very satisfying.

This title was very enjoyable. I admire that her characters are fully fleshed out with quirks and lives of their own, but it doesn't come across as contrived or cliched.

Would recommend! (It's here at my affiliate Amazon link.)

Please let me know if you enjoy Jane’s books as well, and also, what have you read lately that you would like to share? I enjoy novels for my relaxing time, or before bed.

I hope you're having a lovely week, and see you soon!

xx Fiona

PS. You can find my newest book here at my affiliate Amazon link on Kindle and in paperback. It's been number one - yay! And thank you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...