Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas week happenings

Hello chic friends,

It's the last week before Christmas! In order to feel peaceful and relaxed, I am planning to be less busy than other years. I want to mostly stay at home, and keep a simple daily schedule of writing and playing, and keep away from the shops as much as possible.

I've just finished reading a book called 'The Wake Up Call' by Beth O'Leary, and although it took me a while to get into it, I did enjoy it. I even had happy tears in my eyes near the end. I love books like that!

So my reading schedule is wide open for my next read. Yay! Let me know what you've enjoyed lately. I do have a long, long list of yummy books to dive into, both on my shelves and my Kindle but am always open to new titles. I think that's 'why' I have a long list to read :)

I do still have a few errands to run though, so it's fun to dress nicely and enjoy them. Even though it's a busy time for people, it's a jovial atmosphere.

I am not hosting Christmas this year, but my contribution to Christmas dinner is a potato gratin. So, so delicious. I have a three kilogram bag of potatoes and will probably use all of them. I think there are at least 14 people attending, and extra gratin never goes amiss. There is rarely any left over!

We are currently having our house re-roofed after many issues with leaks this year (it’s been a rainy 2023 in Hawke’s Bay).

Micky dog is a sensitive boy, and jumps at the slightest noise. Opening a can of fizzy drink is scary, and once he even took fright when I was putting hand cream on and there was a tiny squelching noise. That was his best one, haha.

So you can only imagine his poor beating heart with all the drilling, hammering, and crashing going on above our heads last week and this week.

In this photo I was doing my Pilates class and Micky moved ON to the mat for comfort. Amazingly I could do pretty much everything I needed to do, and it was quite lovely to cuddle into him doing a child’s pose or side ways kicks :)

At one particularly loud-roof-noise point I had ALL THREE dogs on my mat. It was getting ridiculous! Anyway, I got through my class fine, and it was only half an hour to play doggie Twister through.

Shout out to ‘Move With Nicole’ on YouTube for such amazing classes. There are tons of them (beginner, intermediate and advanced – I am on intermediate classes). She is friendly and smiley, and gives the best instructions. They are clear, and the classes are enjoyable. She provides an incredible free service. Thank you Nicole!

And we are all looking forward to our roof being finished this week. Yes, a new roof for Christmas. Aren’t we lucky? Father Christmas will have to land his sleigh on the lawn this year. We don’t want to scratch the paint on our new roof :)


A lovely dinner outside :)

It always amazes me how the simplest things can make an everyday meal more special.


- A rush table mat
- French linen dinner napkin
- A napkin ring
- Fabric coasters
- Sparkling water
- A glass of wine
- Yummy and fresh salad and protein dinner
- Sitting outside on the patio

And of course, jazz music in the background. My husband Paul has curated his favourite jazz tracks into one big playlist, which we listen to on shuffle/random just about every night. You are welcome to listen to it too if you are a jazz fan! It's here on Spotify, free for anyone.

And even if you're not you might find some new music to enjoy :)


Christmas lilies in the hall make the whole house smell beautiful


The stockings are up!

Doggies Chloe, Micky, and Daphne are all waiting for their stockings to be filled with treats for Christmas (they love Duck Tenders or Chicken Biscuits).

I didn't buy a stocking for Nina cat because she has Temptations for a treat and they would get lost in the bottom, haha. Also, she likes to differentiate herself from the dogs. She refuses to use the same water bowl, and has even started waiting at the door to be let in or out, rather than use the cat door because the dogs use it too.

Nina said she is not a diva, just a lady with high standards :)

I hope your week is going well and that you get to enjoy the season as well as getting everything done.

xx Fiona

PS. If you need a little Christmas inspiration, check out my book 'A Chic and Simple Christmas' on Amazon here. It's not too late to add a little sparkle to your mindset!

(My Amazon link is affiliate, which means I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thank you if you choose to use my links!)


  1. I read this back win, but forgot to comment. So happy belated merry Christmas to you. You should post that potato gratin recipe. I thought about it all during Christmas. I love that all three dogs kept you company while you exercise. That’s hysterical. I will go check out move with Nicole. I love your relaxing back patio and I love jazz so I’m going to check Paul’s list out. Your Christmas lilies are beautiful but your Christmas tree is over the top gorgeous. And I fully understand and love Ninas superior high standard attitude.

  2. P.s. I forgot to proofread my comment so it may be a mess!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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