On My Five Guilty Pleasures, And Not Feeling Guilty

There are things we’re meant to feel guilty about; we’re wired that way so that if we’ve wronged someone, we know when to make amends. It’s unhealthy to feel guilty for long, though: take action or stop talking bad about yourself!

But when it comes to everyday pleasures, there really are no guilty ones, IMHO. Indulge often in beautiful things that don’t break the budget. Invite beauty into your day. We deserve beauty and pleasure just by virtue of being here.

Here are five of my own “guilty” lifestyle pleasures:

Anything that’s 100% silk. A blouse, a skirt (I had a green silk gathered skirt that I wore down to almost-rags, because it felt so damn good), a scarf. Silk isn’t always expensive, but like most things, the quality does go up with price. Vintage pieces in silk are among my favorite pleasures.

I love vintage silk lingerie, like this 1940’s nightgown. Via Etsy.

Fragrance. I love a floral scent, not too heavy, and no overpowering roses, please. I have two fragrances in rotation now, and I don’t mind spending a few dollars for them: L’Infusion d’Iris by Prada,  and a second, more popular scent: Viva la Juicy. I wear them to bed, not only to entrance my husband, but because I love the fragrance.

Leather boots. Although I don’t eat meat, I’m a bit of a hypocrite and wear only leather boots. They smell good, look good, and, especially if you live in Florida, last forever. Living in the sub-tropics makes it hard to justify buying lots of pairs, but I do anyway.

Can these qualify as my Summer leather booties?

Pedicures. Mmmmm, hot water and a foot massage. A “lifestyle” magazine and cup of tea, my phone turned off, and what is more delightful?

Good wine and coffee and hotels. These can add up, but I refuse to feel guilty about these pleasures. “Good” coffee varies from person to person, but you know a full, fragrant brew when you find one. Some days the cheap wine is fine, and on others, you want a truly crisp Pinot Gris from the motherland France. A great hotel is worth a splurge for me (getting old has its privileges). Thick towels, crisp sheets and a view, ahhhhh.

This is our favorite at-home coffee. What’s yours?

I’d love to hear about your own “guilty pleasures”, and please: never feel guilty for them. 😄

Stay fabulous, and enjoy every sandwich, xo


Some pleasures to browse that create no guilt, and may spark joy:

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  1. Okie doke — true confessions time.

    Pretty much all the pleasures you and everyone else have already mentioned are on my list of pleasures. Off the top of my head, here are my five:

    1. Playing “dress up” in my closet — looking for combinations and ensembles and outfits I’ve never twigged on before. I can spend hours doing this — pre-packing for a cruise, a hotel vacation, a visit with friends, my next yoga class outfit, even a (blush) fantasy formal state dinner that I’ll surely never be invited to. OK, I said it. And I’m a play-dress-up-aholic.

    2. I smoke one cigarette a day. With my solitary glass of wine at sunset. And yes, it’s really only one cigarette. And yes, my daily wine is only one 5-ounce pour. So sue me.

    3. I’m a new widow (2 months, 1 week and 4 days). And I pretend my soulmate husband is still with me, watching me, not agonizing for me, just loving me, giving me “gold stars” for doing the things that are hard for me to do right now. I am working through so much grief and revisiting so many existential questions (expecting absolutely no resolution to those lifelong questions), but this is how I’m dealing with my life right now. For the record, I am also healing. Slowly. But it’s not a linear process, and it’s exhausting, and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. So there’s that bit — concocting whatever reality makes it easier for me to get to tomorrow.

    4. Moving right along — Amazon Prime. It is so wonderful to have access to products that I simply cannot find in my nearby shops or that I’d have to spend hours searching for. Receiving on my porch little boxes of Espresso, my favorite micellar water makeup remover, eyebrow fiber gel, and other inexpensive things that are just so hard to find on brick and mortar shelves is so bloody convenient. I appreciate Amazon so much — not to mention the low-cost subscription to the Washington Post and all the “free” Amazon Prime movies, TV shows, and music. In these respects, modern life does not suck.

    5. I love going to bed super-early and waking up super-early. My husband and I always kept a “going to bed with the chickens” schedule. Since he died, I’m going to bed a little later. But I will always be a lark. Heck, I wake up the larks. 😉 All the darkness and quiet in the pre-dawn hours, along with that Italian espresso delivered by Amazon, make my days really worth getting up for. 🙂

    Thanks for your blog, I’ve lurked a lot here, but never felt compelled to post. Those of you publishing these great fashion/style blogs really give me joy. Thank you!

    • thank YOU, Ann, for this moving list. So sorry for your loss; the healing is a long, jagged road. You’re in my thoughts. xo

      p.s. Amazon Prime is a great pleasure!

  2. Shopping is my #1 guilty pleasure. Then, driving down the avenue with windows open, and pulsating Reggae beat on the radio. Enjoy every moment my Dear. . . .

    • Oh you have to come live nearby me, grocery shopping is like my little bit of hell! xo

  3. I am the same about boots – so many to choose from now and they are more supportive for feet and ankles. (Got John Fluevog Venables this week). My others are cheese, champagne, hot tea and cookies in the afternoon and laying in bed til I feel like getting up (weekends of course)!

  4. Not-guilty pleasures: a long, slow, leisurely thrift shop; singing along to “Xanadu” at the top of my lungs; napping in the afternoon with the cat; reading for a couple of hours at a stretch; taking the seaplane to the mainland instead of the (very slow, but cheaper) ferry!

    • Xanadu may only be sung at the top of your lungs!! Napping with a cat = heaven. xo

  5. One of mine is reading your (and other’s) fashion blogs– I love them. I live in Australia and I think our climate might be quite similar so I really enjoy your take on fabulous after forty. Thank you very much.

  6. I wear Viva La Juicy everyday. I love the scent so much. I’ve tried switching but always end up going back to it!

  7. I’ve got far too many guilty pleasures, but the thing is:I don’t feel guilty about them anymore. Standing in front of my wardrobe deciding what to wear, especially in the weekends when there are no time restrictions. Changing into my pajamas when I get home in Winter. And oh, go on, I’ll take that slice of homemade cake as well! xxx

    • Thanks, Becky! I have a bite of chicken from time to time, like once a month. xo

  8. Paper sewing patterns. I have more than I’ll ever use (although I have used most of them). Those envelopes are full of paper dreams for me — can spend hours just rummaging through the file drawers, looking at the drawings/photographs.

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