Ten Small Luxuries That Make Life Better, Guaranteed

The small luxuries, they make life good. So few of us will have a private jet and vacation cottage in the Hamptons (call me if you do?), but we can enjoy luxury every day. In fact, we can thrive on it. A little lift can make a whole day brighter, like when you’re looking forward to wearing a new lipstick, or your sassy argyle tights.

Here are ten of my favorite little luxuries, and please tell us yours:

Hot coffee, fresh bread, real butter. OK, these are three things but they go together so beautifully, right?

Heaven at the table. Source.

Grabbing a taxi in NYC. If there’s two of us riding, it’s only a couple of dollars more than the subway. And the subways, while sturdy old things, need a lot of attention.

Clean sheets. Heh, when I was younger I said, “When I’m old I want fresh clean sheets every night.” I hadn’t realized yet that I’d need a daily laundress to get that done. Still, the evenings that I slip into freshly washed sheets are a pleasure.

Good shoes. These might cost a little more than most luxuries listed here, but our feet are sooooo worth it. I will skimp on most anything, even drink the cheap wine, in order to get good-looking, walkable shoes. They will change your life.

Like these groovy boots by Sofft.

Perfume, and/or body lotion in a bewitching scent. Fragrance makes me feel happy, and you can find it at both low and high price points. A scented candle can be as little as $10, but when set on the bathroom counter, it makes the daily routine more pleasurable.

A cashmere sweater. One great one will do, and you can find terrific sweaters in thrift and consignment shops. Black for me, with a vee-neck and soft as a kitten.

A new-to-me novel. These can also be thrifted for a song. I especially love a good series, with characters that are larger than life. I prefer dramas, mysteries, a bit of historical stuff, and no romance. Latest read: The Genius by Jesse Kellerman.

Alterations. I bought a fab vintage dress from my friend Suzanne’s Etsy shop (go, go!) and since I happened to be staying at her home at the time, she altered it to fit me perfectly. In about ten minutes! Now that’s a luxury.

Here’s the fabulous horse-y dress, at a Nordstrom Canada event with my friend-who’s-a-star, Melanie.

Icy filtered water in a wine glass, sipped while I’m surfing my favorite blogs. Cold water is an under-rated pleasure, and much of the world struggles to get it.

Lunch with a friend in a cozy cafe. This one speaks for itself, yes? And if no friend is available, I also love a solo lunch with a good book.

So share, please: what little luxuries bring you joy?

Enjoy them every day, and stay fabulous, xo,

Here’s some fab “small luxury”pieces to browse:

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  1. So right with all the things you and ladies commenting here have mentioned. For me after finally getting used to being retired after six years (because I had a hard time getting off that treadmill), it’s having the time to do things and not rushing around. Time to sleep in on a weekday morning because I’m tired, to have that second cup of coffee leisurely and if listening to the radio, being grateful that I’m no longer in rush hour traffic. Also because I love to sew, cook and read, having time to do these things and have lunch with a friend on a weekday and not having to worry about getting back to the office.

  2. What a great post. My joys are strong hot coffee, warm bread with real butter and fresh flannel sheets, for sure. My husband loves the flannel sheet too. But I also take great pleasure in tinny shoes that fit perfectly for walking a mile or more at the mall before it opens. I have a hard time finding comfortable shoes I can walk a long time in but I just discovered Under Armor shoes and they are wonderful.
    A good book, read in a hot bath with a hot cup of tea is very high on my list. Great topic and I enjoyed everyone’s comments too.

  3. The occasional breakfast in bed is a real treat. The free lunchtime concerts in a nearby church. And I’m with you on good coffee!

  4. Looking gorgeous in that horse print, next to our friend Melanie, who is a star !
    I share these simple pleasures, fresh sheets in high tread count cotton, fresh coffee with cinnamon, my new humidifier- oil diffuser that gives off fragrant notes of mint, and a great audible book .

  5. Although I do enjoy that first cup of coffee of the day and climbing into a freshly made up bed which I’m looking forward to do tonight, my ultimate luxury is a day off without any obligations or plans whatsoever. As a full-time working girl, these do not happen all that often. xxx

  6. A hike on my favorite trail with my favorite 4-pawed girl anytime. Or just sitting still on a Sunday afternoon and reading

  7. 1. A beautiful Hermes scarf. I buy them gently used for a fraction of full price.
    2. A good manicure

  8. Bless you for this! Not a single advertising pitch, either.
    I would say: real bread (i.e., ingredients are flour, yeast, salt and water. and nothing else). In fact, my kid recently told me that the greatest luxury would be to eat no processed foods at all (kids these days!).
    Clean sheets are lovely and clean antique sheets are even better. I have been buying them for our AirBnBs and keep any with defects for us. Sometimes as cheap as €2 for a hand-embroidered 100% cotton sheet (and sometimes more, but still less than what you’d pay for flimsy polyester blend). In the AirBnBs, they’re ironed–another rung higher on the luxury ladder.
    A hot bath. Like cold, filtered water, it’s something many folks in the world never enjoy. Yet it melts away aches and pains and worries.
    Yes, yes, yes to the good shoes. I was looking at shoes today, my feet still aching from lots of walking yesterday. I recently met a shoe designer (Deuxième Studios), and my new goal is to buy a pair of her shoes, which honestly are quite reasonable.

  9. It is good to reflect on what makes us happy in life, especially the little things.
    Like you I’m a fan of fresh sheets. Funny enough so is my dog. She can’t wait to get into her clean bed.
    It makes me very happy to do something nice for someone else like alterations, homemade cooking or a small gift. Putting a smile on someone else’s face fills my heart, especially when it feels like the rest of the world is falling to pieces.
    A cup of tea, a good book and a warm fire next to my two pugs (well one is a husband) in the winter is also high on my list, especially when it is freezing outside.

    • LOL at “well one is a husband”. : > You are wonderful at making others happy with your cooking, art, and hospitality, xox.

  10. At 69 a resounding yes to comfortable shoes and either warm or cool toes to go with the weather! Also
    1. Little food treats that are unusual and tasty. My latest is dried pomegranates from my farmer’s market.
    2. A really good cup of coffee several times a day.
    3. Having said coffee and a chocolate old fashioned donut at my library’s cafe while sitting outside reading.
    4. Finding needed/wanted clothing items that fit, are flattering and in the best colors for me.
    5. Walking on a pier or beach side along the Pacific ocean.
    6. Randomly looking out the window to see a glorious colorful sunrise or sunset.
    7. Birdsong
    I could go on.

    • These are lovely, Juhli. A chocolate donut is so delicious with coffee, on a cool day. xox

  11. What a lovely list! Yes!
    As I live in Minnesota where it gets very cold, let me add a few items.
    1. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, a cozy fire now and then. Combine that with the good book and a lovely cup of tea (I like Yogi tea, especially “Breathe Deep”).
    2. Being able to bundle up and take a walk outside in the frosty evening air. I live in a neighborhood with adorable bungalows and it is a pleasure to see all os those homey little houses frosted in snow.
    3. A hot bath with a bit of bath oil and maybe a candle or two, and maybe that book as well.

    • ahh, you describe such appealing “luxuries”! Your neighborhood sounds charming, xox.

  12. What little pleasures/luxuries bring me joy at age 66?

    1. Your blog and other blogs aimed at women my age. It’s so nice to feel recognized and visible.

    2. Good, high quality loose leaf, non-flavored tea in the morning, every morning as I read blogs and e-mails. A splash of heavy cream, a beautiful mug or cup and the morning sunshine coming in. “Expensive” tea is really not that as it can brew multiple pots of tea.

    3. Linen sheets. I dreamed about them for decades and finally found a place that makes fitted linen sheets so I bought a set in pure white. They are cool in summer, warming in winter without making me sweaty the way flannel ones do and they get softer and softer as they are washed. I have linen pillow cases, one linen top sheet and 2 pairs of fitted bottom sheets and can’t imagine sleeping on anything else.

    4. Well fitting, all cotton, waist high jeans in my inseam size. These things seem as rare as Cape May diamonds. The current, widely available jeans that hit at or above the ankle and are more than 40% stretchy stuff are, to me, the equivalent of rubber pants. They sag all over by day’s end, no matter how much they cost and they do not breath! Call the all cotton high rises “Mom” jeans or whatever you like-they fit, they flatter, they cover my ankles and shins and they feel delicious on. Like the all linen bedclothes, they get softer and softer as they are washed.

    5. A fresh, flaky, plain croissant heated for a few minutes or a crisp, classic, buttery cookie or two from a good patisserie that uses real ingredients and does not rely on fads. These are a worthwhile treat a few times a month and are savored slowly with tea.

    6. Comfortable, stylish shoes and boots for wide feet. Gone are my days of squeezing my broad feet and longer second toes into shoes that are not truly my size.

    7. High quality resins for use on an electric incense heater and Japanese stick incense (not the scented oil dipped reekers that we burned in the 60s) to light as an adjunct to morning meditation/contemplation or to scent the bedroom before sleep.

    8. A warm, comfortable, stylish and full length down coat for East coast winters. I basically live in my winter coats from November through March and being cozy and not looking like a frump or bag person means budgeting for this kind of garment.

    9. Hair styling products for fine, silver, curly hair that hydrate, moisturize and enhance the curl and a stylist who is knowledgable about dry cutting curls. I spent most of my life being told my hair was not curly and being subjected to “straight hair” cuts and blow outs. I’m too old and wise to be shamed for my curls.

    10. Vintage perfume. I started collecting years ago and catching a waft of vintage Chanel No. 22 or Caron’s En Avion from under my hoodie is sublime.

    11. Unusual and comfortable sterling silver rings and bracelets. I have a large jewelry collection but the pieces I reach for the most are ones I can put on and feel like they become a part of me.

    14. The Headspace meditation app. I have been using it daily for almost 5 years and it has changed my life.

    • Never be shamed by your curls – they are a gift! I love your list, you cover many of the things that make life good. Thanks for coming by, xox.

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