Thursday, August 4, 2011

International Visitors of Note. And Extreme Nice.

If you find out where I can source a baby Missoni cardy (preferably heavily discounted), let me know. Today was dead set exciting because Buphee (so not her real name and provider of excellent baby shoes) and JP are here from Canada and we all met up for lunch. It was fantastic to see them.
Made some more breadrolls this morning. Sorry Dr Atkins, but they were delicious.

And I'm still doing my bit for International Relations because my brother in law's here from Honkers so he's coming over for dinner. I'm actioning a roast. With accoutrements like vegetables smothered in bechamel. Because that's just how I roll.

Can I just recommend this product? You can have it as a salad or wack it in soups. I know. Handy. And time saving.

Buphee kept up our long standing traditional where she gives me a Foreign magazine. I cannot wait to read this.

I'm wearing Essie's Touch of Grenadine. Blighty gave me this. I think about our crazy road trip to the Cotswolds and Oxford a lot. Gee we had fun.

I love looking at photos of Le baby to see how much he's grown. This is him with his great Grandfather when he was less than a month old. He was teeny tiny.

I am loving the ideas in the Happiness Project. The decluttering stuff is good and so is the concept of Extreme Nice. It's like an Extreme Sport for Niceness so you improve your relationships with those you love- no snapping, no nagging, no criticism etc The premise is that you aim for a very high standard of behaviour. I'm giving it what can only be described as A Red Hot Go.

Must read her blog. But first had better get the show on the road dinner wise.



  1. I love how the boy is meeting and greeting foreign dignitaries with the aplomb of Kate & Wills.

    There's a man on my blog I think we might fight over...

    I can't believe you like The Happiness Project, it drove me and my friend up the wall, we both hated her whining and both threw the book away!

  2. I had to look twice at the photo of your son. Who needs a fake moustache when you can use a bee? xx

  3. Hi Tabitha, I'm only up to the 2nd chapter but I like, no I LOVE decluttering and like the idea of Extreme Nice! I'll let you know how the rest of it goes. I like the idea of being more conscious about feeling grateful. Anyone who declutters and makes the connection between it and peace/soothing/calm is onto something!

  4. FF!!

    Re the sourcing of baby Missoni.

    Young Skyler, mother Rachel Zoe, has a whole wardrobe of Missoni knits, Tods loafers and baby Gucci biker jackets. Perhaps Rachel could on sell her stuff when Skyler grows out of his?

    Let me know what eventuates. I would be very interested to know.

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  5. Who needs a book to tell them to be nice to people? I would think that personality trait came naturally if you were a nice person to begin with.

  6. I think conciously feeling gratitude is a great exercise and I strive for it often (daily would be exaggerating a bit). I do feel a sense of calm when I declutter and love to say the word randomly just to relive that feeling.

  7. Dear Anon,

    No one needs a book to tell them how to be nice, but I think that extreme niceness, that is, NEVER nagging, whinging or criticising ever is a real talent and takes a lot of discipline. Congratulations on achieving this day in day out already with your own life- you are clearly a very disciplined and happy person and wouldn't benefit from reading the book.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment on the blog.

    Best wishes, FF xxx

  8. Dear S
    Conscious gratitude is a lovely thing- I'm all for it! x

  9. Oh I gotta get me that book. Decluttering as we speak... and have had moments this week when I was extremely nice.... I think? .... so off to a good start. A-M xx

  10. Thanks for the S, I really needed it! x

  11. Dear S
    Thankyou so much for always taking the time to comment- I love reading your insights! I am a bit hopeless with replying these days but I am VERY APPRECIATIVE!!xxx

  12. Dear S, you are very much loved and appreciated... over my way too. You are what I would call a 'hard core commenter' reliable and dependable. How's that for extreme nice! A-M xx

  13. I'm a bit confused, does it mean still speaking your mind without whinging, whining and nagging?
    I often have to ROAR to be heard when urgent jobs need to be done around the house and no one else can see the glaringly obvious.
    I am SOOOOOO into hardcore decluttering. They say if there's a cluttered house, there's a cluttered mind and body. I know people who feel like they are living in a storage unit. I do not want to just live my life being 'the keeper of the stuff'.
    I grew up with the 'maybe I'll need it one day' theory, then my teacher training reinforced this and reusing and recycling!
    It's such a hard mould to break!!!

  14. Dear Ms FF, I am sure there are some people who are always, infallibly lovely, kind and nice. I wish I were too. The week of Extreme Nice to one's nearest and dearest is hard because one may have found oneself in a pattern where all the lovely things one's partner does are forgotten and the only focus is a crabby one on the things they do or fail to do. Essentially, one can find oneself a consistently grumpy bitch. One thing that drives me bananas is Mr LiC's not doing the washing up on the weekend. So in my week of Extreme Nice, I bit my lip, put on Hot August Night and did the dishes singing at the top of my voice and yes, getting them done even though I could have nagged/shouted/carried on like a pork chop instead made me feel happier and when I am happier, my whole family is happier. I also loved Gretchen's thought - The days are long but the years are short. I think that all mums will grasp this one immediately. Must make some of your Defiance Flour bread rolls today. Loved your post yesterday too but iPhone ate my comment. love Lindaxxx

  15. Baby FF is quite the dignitary himself! He looks smashing in the sweater and loafers. I see you two coordinated your colors.

    Love your Chanel "baby bag."

  16. Dear FF, I really like the sound of The Happiness Project, am in decluttering mode as found throwing away used up suntan lotion on holidays very liberating!some of the lotion dated from early 2003...does Extreme Nice mean I have to give up making hair jokes at Mr B's expense? Thought so. xxx

  17. FF,
    I was just commenting on what seems like a stupidly populist book. I'm not sure you need to attack me with shrouded sarcasm.

    You have no idea what my life is like. Maybe you do need to hardcore absorb that book.

  18. How nice it was of anon to provide another insight, ff, and your good self for taking the opportunity to make me spit my breakfast cereal out all over my laptop with laughter. Tho that's not very nice, is it? Clearly I need more insights regarding this noble practice, that's if it's not too much bother. Planning to action extreme niceness this very business day.

  19. While I was reading about Missoni coming to Target(US only-boo!) on Grazia - I saw a lovely Christian Dior resort-style frock that reminded me of you instantly.
    Here tis - it's the watermelon one.
    Not too keen on the shoes with it though.

  20. Hi Anon,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to pop back and comment again on my blog. If you read the post carefully above, you'll see that I am reading and trying to absorb the ideas of the Happiness Project.

    With respect, you don't know about my life either- I just post a brief snippet of its whole.

    If you don't like my blog, the stuff I write about or the comments I make, I am 110% at peace with you never reading it again.

    I wish you luck with your own endeavours xxxxxx

  21. sounds like i need to read that book. will get on it pronto.


  22. May have to try bits of this Happiness Project, more niceness can only be good in this funny old world. Glad young Master FF is going along well - such relief. Love your nail polishes FF, fantastic colours not to mention their names! Thoroughly enjoy your blog from down here in the southernmost state of Oz. Regards BB xxxooo

  23. Not been able to comment on your blog for ages - blogger issues - and really hope that this one goes through ok! God those veggies in the bechamel look totally FAB....and that book? I must get it. I think I need a happiness project ;-)

    And the little one and his grampa - great photo.

    Ali x

  24. "hardcore nice" sounds like a variant of "will this matter in 10 days/10 months/10 years?" The time frame could vary a bit, but thinking of things this way sure can help.

    And Anon, if it makes you so unhappy to visit Chez FF, why do you insist on torturing yourself so?

  25. What a precious photo of your grandfather and your son. They're clearly smitten with one another right from the start.

    I'm glad your back semi'regularly blogging again.

    bf x

  26. Love those baby loafers, amazingly cute {{>

    That book sounds excellent too, might check the Book Depository and put in an order.

    Check out my new blog if you're interested :)

  27. I know exactly how wonderful time spent with distant friends and loved ones is FF, so I'm very happy to hear that you're enjoying it right now!

    I really must avoid visiting your blog when I'm hungry. Your cooking always looks so incredibly delicious and tempting.

  28. I'll keep reading if you don't mind. I've just found your blog and it's highly entertaining.

  29. I am in awe of your ability to get those baked products out. Do you ever sleep? I made your 40 garlic cloves chicken last night for my Mum and boyfriend and it was a real hit. Now just to convince my father that chicken is not the work of the devil and he must try it too.

    Baby Missoni sounds like a brilliant idea to me. All those colours would hide a myriad of baby related stains.

    The book sounds interesting, I'm all for different ways to think about things. Last year I made the conscious decision to find something happy in every day and write it down which was the start of my blog. In a year when I got very sick, my aunt died and there were some tough family times I managed it and I think it really helped me cope. Not every day is filled with shining wonder, but taking notice of what makes you smile makes you smile more.

  30. Hi Lisa,

    I've just started the book but it is interesting. Last year was challenging for me too- I had health problems and some sad times. Grandma died, my uncle died 2 weeks later and then when I was overseas my aunt died. There was a lot of sadness, and a lot of grief and emptiness but I'd already started to look for joy in the little things, and it took me very little to be happy...I kind of grabbed whatever joy I could and just focussed on small domestic minitiae. I like to think there is room for improvement happiness wise. And I am all for Conscious Gratitude.

    Glad the 40 clove chook was a hit. I do sleep, although not as much as I'd like!


  31. Good morning dear! I love the sound of this book. Even though I think I am Extremely Nice alreay (!) its an area I'd like to constantly improve and as you say, gratitude is so important. All the while you're busy being grateful for things, there's no room in your head for petty or negative thoughts....

    Hope the Canadian contingent have fun in Aus and your dear bro-in-law enjoyed his dinner. xxx

  32. Will try and read. Getting to the point where the amount of reading I would like to do is now way beyond my years on earth!! Love this one - "Be kind - for everyone you meet if fighting a hard battle." Hope you enjoy a lovely weekend. Bootsie

  33. I've read with interest the comments concerning this post.
    Like many I've ploughed through books on happiness searching for it's meaning etc and while I personally don't get excited by this type of book if others find these titles comforting then all power to them I say.
    Today I felt blissfully happy by actioning a couple of incredibly mundane, basic activities after a rather upsetting week and for this I'm truly grateful.
    Have a lovely weekend FF.

  34. FF what can anyone teach you about decluttering and the cathartic effect that it generates? You have insprired so many of us, although, this year I plan to shop my own wardrobe.
    Talking of nice, one of my work colleagues came laughing to my office with a quote attributed to Annette Bening "I am really looking forward as I get older and older, to being less and less nice".
    Food for thought.
    Good news that baby FF is tickety boo.

  35. Dearest FF

    I have rushed off to Amazon to place my order for The Happiness Project, and dying for it to arrive. I am inpsired by your progress with it, and am loving the idea of decluttering...wondering how to keep it going with a houseful of adult children and husband though.

    Baby FF looks adorable and I am so thrilled for you that his health is ok now.

    I wouldn't even respond to the silliness that is written by Anonymous. Clearly it is someone who is unhappy in their own life and has to stoop to sarcasm and pettiness on such a wonderful blog which makes me feel so happy reading it! Your blog is a breath of fresh air and is my daily fix of smiling at the simple pleasures you take the time to so succinctly describe. FF you are my Happiness Fix, who needs the book??!!
    Jane xx

  36. Dear FF,

    I've never posted before but just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog.

    I'm a uni student in my final year of studies over in NZ. It's always lovely to pop in and read about fashion, your garden and general FF activities.

    Here I am getting snippets of happiness from reading, so I thought it was about time I gave you a snippet in return!


  37. Hi there FF,
    I've been studying and applying positive psychology for a few years now, and have found it makes an enormous difference to how engaged and fulfilled people are. The more we can learn about living well, the better.
    And maybe the anon commenter should look at their own style of communication to realise their ability to be nice is somewhat lacking? There's some irony in sounding grumpy when you ask why we need a book to tell us to be nice! .... If you want to open up some dialogue you need to show you're open to listening!
    Cheers, Polly xx

  38. If only the human race was as simple as Anon imagines it to be. No one would ever have the desire or need to improve themselves.Love Mouse xx

  39. Love the nail color! Fabulous. Essie Plumberry is beautiful and faux fucshia worthy.

  40. Dear FF -

    I very much enjoy your blog.

    Recently, when back in the U. S. on home leave, I ran across a book about Australia written in the 1970s.

    This helped me understand many things on your blog...such as the name for Hong Kong and what a chock is..... then Cole's is a grocery store...right?

    What is the CoalFace? I know it is a place of work, but how did the name come about or to what does it refer?


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