Call it maturity or a newfound joy in the simple pleasures of life. These days, the definition of "luxury" doesn't just mean designer handbags and fancy vacations to me anymore; it also extends to the nuanced delights that make daily living worth savouring. These delights are different for everyone, I'm sure, and thankfully for my pocketbook many of mine cost little to nothing as you'll see below. So why 31? To celebrate my upcoming 31st birthday this Friday, of course.
1. Unstructured leisure time. Time to myself to do whatever I feel like—no work, no to-do lists, no chores, no errands, no obligations.
2. Working out. The 2-3 Bar Method workouts I fit in each week feel indulgent in the sense that I'm actively taking time for myself.
3. Coming home after a long day. As a homebody and an introvert, I love the feeling of unlocking the door, kicking off my shoes, and knowing I have nowhere else to be.
4. Epsom salt baths. So good after luxury #2 or #3.
5. Freshly washed sheets. I always feel like a million bucks sleeping in crisp, clean bed linens. Bonus points if they're still warm from the dryer.
6. Daily contact lenses. I switched from monthlies to dailies after I started developing an intolerance to the former. It feels so freeing to wear a fresh pair comfortably all day and toss them at night.
7. A full-fat cappuccino with just a sprinkling of raw sugar on top of the foam, unstirred. Try it sometime.
8. A new lipstick. Even better if it's a super-luxe one like Chanel, Dior, or Tom Ford—you'll feel so glamorous every time you reapply.
9. A fresh mani. Whether DIY or profesionally done, I love the satisfaction of looking down and seeing nice nails as I'm typing away at the computer.
10. Good pizza takeout, a movie, and a bottle of wine. Pizzeria Farina, Netflix, and Quail's Gate rosé FTW.
11. Going to bed early. Even more glorious in combination with luxuries #4 and #5.
12. An unexpectedly gorgeous day. A sunny day when the forecast called for rain just makes me giddy with joy.
13. Long walks in our neighbourhood. The Olympic Village and seawall in one direction, the many independent shops, restaurants, craft breweries, and coffee joints of Mount Pleasant in the other...living where we are has its perks.
14. Scented candles. They make the condo feel that much cozier, especially on a cold day.
15. The feeling of clean hardwood floors against bare feet.
16. Curling up with a good book. Here are 6.
17. Fresh raspberries out of season. Last winter I had a $15/week antioxidant habit. #dontjudgeme
18. Drinking tea out of my favourite mug. It just doesn't taste the same out of any other.
19. Lazy Sundays spent indoors. Especially if it's gross outside. So. Much. Coziness.
20. Checking things off a list. I get a strange OCD satisfaction out of it.
21. Wearing sneakers. Put on a pair of Converse the day after you've suffered in heels, and it's like you're walking on clouds.
22. A platter full of raw oysters. I'm overdue for indulging in this one again!
23. Hot noodle soup on a dreary day. Ramen, pho, laksa...I love the feeling of warmth and contentment that settles deep within my soul and my belly afterward.
24. Brunch. The boy and I are fans.
25. Living in the moment. Putting away the phone helps me focus on the here and now and enjoy it so much more.
26. Drinking Moscow mules out of a proper copper cup.
27. Having a savings account. It's not the money itself per se, but the feeling of calm, security, independence, confidence, and empowerment that comes from knowing you're prepared—for that next life milestone, that potential disaster, that upcoming vacation. You can't get that from a handbag (sorry, Chanel).
27. Fresh flowers. Buying peonies, tulips, roses, and hydrangeas in season is an easy way to feel decadent for less than $20.
28. Travel. Not just the fancy vacations; even a day trip to an unfamiliar small town can be lovely.
29. Nice notebooks and pens. Are they absolutely necessary? Not really. Do they make work feel more pleasant? Heck yeah!
30. New socks.
31. Face masks. Whether they're of the sheet, hydrating gel, clay, or exfoliating variety, taking the time to do one...just aaaahhhh.