Saturday, March 30, 2024

Naughty doggies (again!), a healthy lunch, and a good book

 Hello chic friends!

So this is what happens when you get up from the sofa for less than a minute. You lose your seat.

These dogs are like wet sand at the beach. Your footprint is erased as soon as you lift your foot. You get where I am going here. Where Micky and Daphne are sitting in the photo was where I was sitting only moments before.

And Chloe is busy working on squashing the back cushion. Of course she is.

And actually it happens in my office too, with Nina cat. She can often be found on my desk, and if I so much as stand up to turn the printer on, she hops onto my office chair and curls up into a contented ball. It happens more often than could be called an accident. I do feel like I am being stalked by her. Daily it seems!

I guess these are just the prices I'll have to pay to enjoy all this 'goodness' in my life 🥰🤣

Do your pets bully you out of the good seats too? I do hope I'm not the only mug who never has anywhere to sit 🤣 Maybe they think they are doing me a favour, because standing is better for my health. Such caring pets and not self-serving at all 😊

How yummy does my 'wellness bowl' lunch look? I've been loving making these lately. Changing up how I view things such as 'wellness bowl' (so trendy 🤣) instead of 'salad' is how I keep my motivation fresh.

Of course lunches like these are always delicious, but sometimes I don't 'feel like a salad'. But I make something healthy anyway, rechristen it 'wellness bowl' and et voila, it's lunchtime with a flourish 💃 (I always love the dancing lady emoji, she has such a pep in her step!)

In my wellness bowl above are:

- homegrown black and yellow cherry tomatoes, normal red tomatoes and cucumber
- homegrown avocado (we are so lucky to have a tree!)
- celery
- homemade coleslaw
- 9-minute hard-boiled free range eggs from my aunty's chickens
- hummus
- salt and pepper

Basically whatever veggies are in my fridge, plus protein, plus a bit of dressing such as mayo on the coleslaw, and hummus.

And I love serving my lunchtime goodness in these stylish shallow bowls. I got some from Kmart for $3 each which look EXACTLY like the $25 each ones from fancier stores.

Happy lunchtime to you, and I hope this gives you some inspiration for a healthy, delicious lunch!

Please let me know what your favourite lunchtime healthy treat is. I love new ideas!

I just finished reading the book above and I really feel like I achieved something 😂 It was a complex, meaty read with a vast list of characters, and 756 pages long.

Something I enjoy about reading a paper book is seeing the bookmark advance through the book as I read it, and this one especially so because the size of the book had put me off reading it in the past.

But I did it! And it was a very enjoyable read.

I'm actually quite proud of myself, because my memory, and ability to concentrate has been lacking, seriously lacking lately.

I wondered if it might have something to do with menopause and I'm glad I looked it up (apparently it is very common with 60% of menopausal women experiencing it, and thankfully it is temporary although it can last ten years...)

I'm just glad I don't have early onset dementia, and I'm deadly serious, I was very worried. I read that if you remember something, whether it's after two hours or five years, you are okay. Phew 😅 And one of the best things you can do is exercise, both mental and physical, and that reading is very good. Yay!

So I will carry on reading (I am reading through my bookshelf at the moment), and also enjoy my walking and at-home Pilates (I call it my 'rich lady lifestyle' exercise so it's more appealing for me to do 🤣 It actually is enjoyable once I'm doing it, I just need help getting started sometimes 😊)

Happy Easter to you if you celebrate!

xx Fiona

PS. Penny’s books are here on Amazon and the one I just finished is called ‘An Absolute Scandal’. Another of hers I loved was ‘A Perfect Heritage’ mainly because it was set in the cosmetic industry and reminded me of Estee Lauder as the main character (even though it’s set in London).

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


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Autumn in New Zealand, and relaxing crafts

Hello from sunny, autumnal Hawke's Bay!
I am making the most of wearing my summer sandals on the warmer days, but we have also lit the fire some evenings as well. It’s winter one day and summer the next!

Autumn is a nice time of year for linen and I am drawn to it right now. This yellow blouse is linen, and I also have a couple of white linen shirts that feel lovely on. The fabric is slightly heavier than for true summer temperatures and linen feels cozy and snuggly in a lightweight way.

How is your change-of-season wardrobe switch going? I always leave it too late and only do it when I can’t find any suitable clothes. Maybe this year I can be more intentional about it? I’ve made a good start :)

Ladies lunch at my mum's this week 🍃



For ages I've been collecting pretty cards, stickers, and stylish postage stamps in a small box, planning to make my own greeting cards from them one day.

Well this one is the first I’ve made, for my Aunty's birthday last month. I love the colours and the cats and the French stamp.

Such fun! It’s great finding crafty projects that are actually useful (as useful as a greeting card can be!)

Doing things like this are all part of living (and loving) my epic small life. They are satisfying and you get something lovely at the end.

Pottering away on something like this doesn’t take much time (I always have the looming spectre of something being ‘a waste of time’ if it takes me too long :) and it’s fun too. Something you can do with your inner child.

Tell me something you like to do ‘just for fun’ but that produces a good result too. I’d love some more ideas to add to my ‘play’ list.

The book above is available on Amazon, in paperback and as a Kindle eBook.

And if you prefer an Amazon alternative you can download the eBook from my eStore.

Happy weekend to you, chic friend!

xx Fiona

PS. My audiobook ‘100 Ways to be That Girl’ is now available in my eStore too, for instant download. You can see it here



Saturday, March 16, 2024

Audiobook out now, and our weekend away!

Hello chic friends,
I have exciting news - for me anyway :) and hopefully for you too!
She's finally here - my first audiobook, and I chose to begin with '100 Ways to be That Girl'.

You can find her on Audible as well as at most other audiobook retailers.

You can even ask your local library to order in the audiobook. How cool is that?

I hope you enjoy it, and also the narrator I chose. I ‘interviewed’ quite a few, and I loved how this lady sounds, and how she suits my books.

Before I proceed with the rest of my books into audiobook format, I’d love to get a little feedback on my narrator, so please let know directly, or via a review on Audible.

Thanks to all of you who have requested my titles as audiobooks, we’re now on our way!
Also, in local travel news haha, Paul and I went away to Tauranga last week for a couple of nights, and had such a fab time. It was warm and sunny, and there was a real buzz around.

I've shared a few photos from our trip :)

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

xx Fiona


Friday, March 8, 2024

A winery harvest lunch, the end of summer, and do YOU want to be an author?

Hello chic friends!
Last weekend Paul and I were invited to the Alpha Domus vineyard harvest lunch here in sunny Hawke's Bay and it was such a fabulous day.

Chardonnay grapes. They were so sweet!

There were about thirty of us there, and we picked Chardonnay grapes in the morning. After that we had a beautiful lunch outside under market umbrellas at big long tables.

I did do proper work, promise! Almost four hours of picking!

We also got to tour the winery and taste the juice from the grapes we picked. It was such a fun glimpse into the workings of a winery. I'm sure it's not romance and moonlight all the time; I know it's a lot of hard work but we sure had a good time that day!

Our hosts were generous, kind and friendly, as always. Thank you! (We are part of their Merlin wine club so that's how we received our invite.)

This is our agapanthus 'hedge' when it was looking all summery. Now that we are heading into autumn the flowers are gone and it's a simple green line again.

Mother Nature moves us along whether we are ready to go or not.

Can you see Daphne photobombing from our patio area? 😂 She is never far from me, little sweetheart.

I love watching big city vlogs, and it always amuses me that we are heading into autumn while most of the world (let's face it, the southern hemisphere doesn't have many people in it) is looking forward to spring.

I'm excited for a change of season, cozy days, lighting the woodburner, different clothes, and writing or pottering inside guilt-free (dad always told us to get fresh air and play outside when it was sunny).

I hope you are enjoying the last of the summer/winter and looking forward to autumn/spring where you are!

In fact, just for fun, please share with me where you're reading this from, and what you are most looking forward to in the incoming season. As with my vlog-watching, it always tickles my fancy that we can connect with each other from all over the world, in real time!


Whether you want to be chic in the summer or chic in the winter, please check out my books here on Amazon.

By being intentional at the beginning of the season about how you want to show up, what personal style you’d love to portray, how you would dine in your idealistic chic life and what kinds of experiences you want to have, you can really wring all the juice out of the season! Doing this slows time down and lets you really enjoy every day.

You can also download the eBooks from my eStore too, for an Amazon alternative.


And I'm celebrating - as you can see in the screenshot above, more than 100,000 copies of my books have now been ordered, and it's all thanks to you, my lovely readers. I couldn't love what I do more, and I'm so appreciative that you read what I write!

I started self-publishing in 2015 and my journey started several years before that when I began writing on my first blog. You just never know what can happen when you give something a go.

If you have always wanted to write a book, I'd love you to sign up for my ten-part email series with tips and prompts on starting your writer's journey.

It's completely FREE and I've had great feedback from the people who have gone through it.

All it takes is a little time, and for you to put your doubts aside. Self-doubt will always be there, but you can choose not to listen. And, over time that voice will become quieter - thank goodness!

So if you've had even an inkling that you'd love to write a book, go to this link and join me (there is no cost and no obligation - yay!)

As you might already know, everything I do has to be fun, enjoyable, and softly driven, and this email series is no different.

And, please join me in celebrating 100,000 copies - I am raising my cup of tea as we speak! Champagne is not really appropriate at 7.45am (I know, I’m such a wet blanket 🤣) It might be later in the day where you are!

Lots of love and huge thanks,

PS. I also have a book called 'The Chic Author' available for instant download on Kindle, and a paperback version too. Same topic, different information. It's here on Amazon.

And for an Amazon alternative, the eBook is in my eStore here, also available for instant download.
(My Amazon links are affiliate, which means I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. I’m grateful if you use my links!)

Friday, March 1, 2024

My newest interview, and teddy bear handcrafts

 Hello chic friends,

I'm thrilled to share my latest interview with you, available now on YouTube or you can watch it below :)

The delightful Daniela Acitelli interviewed me and we had such a fun hour chatting.

I had a fabulous time with her – she is a great interviewer. I hope you enjoy it too!


We had a bright moon last Saturday night, with ribbon-like clouds adding to the beauty.

Plus, fairy lights in the trees of course. I love restocking at Christmas and enjoying them all year round.

Such a magical evening view it was!

I like nothing better than a Saturday night at home, just the two of us with a lovely dinner and wine to go with it.

And jazz on the stereo too. Bliss ❤️


I love doing little handcrafty projects but don't often have the opportunity.

My Aunty's childhood bear Edward (who is more than seventy years old) needed teddy bear surgery after their miniature dachshund puppy savaged Edward's face...

It was such a fun project, and even though he looks different than he did, he now has a sweet face again.

You can see through the photos how he progressed from all his stuffing hanging out, to a stitched up face, to a new facelift.

I googled 'how to stitch a teddy bear nose, and other equally cute phrases. He also needed an ear and one paw mended ❤️

I like to use what I have so the fabric, and button eyes were in my small stash of bits and pieces.

I knitted his jersey back in the eighties from leftover yarn that I'd made my own bat-wing 'house jersey' from. It's such fun to use what you have.

Handcrafts bring happy memories!


(Edward is quite bare as my Aunty plucked him as a child 😂)

And he is so old and fragile that you have to support his neck like a newborn 😭

I hope you enjoyed Edward's story today!

Do you have an old toy? I have 'Susie Doll' from the early 1970s. And my Daisy doll from a little later, maybe the early eighties.

xx Fiona

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