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!)


  1. I am in southwest Middle Georgia, USA and we are getting very near Spring. This morning we awoke to one of those glorious preview days with clear blue skies, white blooming pear trees everywhere and the hint of exploding green leaves and grass. Sunshine pouring over everything. It was breathtaking. It is strawberry and asparagus season and since we live so close to Florida we get to start that season earlier than most and then it lasts through April and early May, which is our season for local strawberries. I'm looking forward to more sun, less rain and lovely days outdoors.

    1. Hello from Peachtree City, Georgia.

  2. Hi Fiona, writing from Washington State in the USA. I have been reading your blog (and books!) for a decade or more. You have a way of making things feel simpler and less overwhelming. Thank you! I have been to New Zealand once back in 2007 and spent time on the South Island. I loved New Zealand! Wonderful people and landscape. There is still a bit of snow here. I am waiting for the first buttercups!

  3. Greetings from Collierville, Tennessee in the USA! (I'm half an hour from Memphis.) I think I found your books through another blogger, and I've been diligently reading them ever since. Anytime I want a quick and easy non-fiction read, I search for your books! Thank you for the information on the email course you offered; I just signed up today and am excited to begin those. I also just bought your Chic Author book and had never seen that before, so thanks for the recommendation! Thank you for inspiring me to write and to live my best life!

  4. Fiona,
    Congratulations on reaching 100,000. What an achievement! I’m from Wisconsin, USA, and have been reading your blog/books for years. In fact, I just thought of you yesterday because I was switching over my closet from winter to spring, and was remembering what I learned from “The Chic Closet.” 😊

  5. I always love sharing your adventures. Adventures are vicarious right now so I appreciate you sharing and the beautiful picture! Arkansas is trying to bring me spring so I enjoy the trees and grass getting greener. There are a couple of good Vineyards and winery’s around here and you have given me the desire to go see them again! CONGRATULATIONS on reaching over 100,000 - I believe you’re going to double that quickly!!

  6. Hi Fiona, congratulations on your book sales! I usually read your blog in my adopted home of Peachtree City, Georgia. This week I am in England visiting family and spending Mothering Sunday with my mum. I was woken early by a call from my son who lives in Melbourne, Australia, wishing me a happy Mother's Day. He is getting married in October in the Yarra Valley wine area so we will definitely be visiting some wineries there. It's one of our favourite things to do.

  7. Wow, congratulations that’s awesome! I have many of your books and enjoy reading them while eating breakfast every day, I re-read them so I can always have one on the go. I live in Yorkshire, UK and we are just about coming into Spring, I am looking forward to some warmer weather, starting off my vegetable and flower seeds for the garden and watching the world bloom into life again. We already have daffodils out so that’s a good start!

  8. Writing in from Chicago - we’re having crazy early warm weather…punctuated by abnormal cold (65 today, 26F next week). So the gardens are up way early & all us gardeners are obsessing over the forecasts, frost blankets at the ready. But the birds have been singing spring for weeks, and some of my daffodils are blooming, so it’s all good… so far….! :)

  9. A big congratulations on your sale of 100,000 books.
    My husband bought me your "Chic Author" book for Christmas.
    We both like to write. He has two books on the go, one he is at the editing stage and the other - thanks to info in your book, he used KDP to self-publish and his book is now for sale on Amazon. Yayyy!!!
    It is a book for bird-watchers and is a completely new idea. As you know - the hard work starts now - marketing it.
    I write articles with Hubpages and have a few travel / wildlife articles which get read everyday, so have added an Amazon Link onto those.
    We have also sat down and come up with a few ideas for organisations he could sell it to.
    Your Chic Author book was so positive. with your just go for it and get it done attitude. When he was in doubt, being a perfectionist etc, I kept saying to him "Fiona says this, Fiona says that", just do it.
    It was such a thrill when he held his first sample copy in his hands to check it. After some small tweaks and ordering a 2nd sample, which he was happy with, he pressed the publish button. I am so proud of him. It is amazing to see an idea in someone's mind manifest in physical form.
    He is off to Thailand on holiday next week and will be taking his book with him to use on his bird-watching trips.

  10. Congratulations Fiona on 100,000 sales of your books.
    My husband bought me your "Chic Author" book for Christmas as we both like to write. Thanks to the advice in your book he self-published a Bird-watchers book on KDP, which is now for sale on Amazon. As you know, the hard work starts now - marketing it.
    Once again, congratulations and thank you for the time you put in to writing your books, inspiring and encouraging others to live their best life.

  11. Hi Fiona, I have been feeling a bit down lately, it just isn't a good time, for various reasons. I so wanted to feel enthused by your writing inspiration emails, but I'm afraid I'm just not in the zone at the moment.
    I am dipping in and out of several of your books looking for inspiration and just this morning was inspired to look back through old journal prompts to see how far I have come. I was really delighted to see that one page I had written about elevating my dining experience is now a list of things we do on a daily basis 😊
    It has given me quite a boost. It may still take a while for me to regain my joie de vivre but with your help I'm sure I will get there 😊


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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