Friends, meet Annie from the wonderful blog, Poetic and Chic. She is creative, well spoken and just plain great. I hope you take a moment to check out her blog as well her other endeavours and of course  her thoughts on what are her “Little Luxuries”.

Poetic and Chic: I used to work in luxury fashion, so my basic instincts always seem to have the most expensive price tags. A set of richly-woven sheets, or the mere whiff of a pair of Italian-made leather shoes sends me into paroxysms of delight! During these leaner times however, I have had to keep a tight reign on my natural desires for the finer things.

But where is it written that luxury has to be expensive? Rare, of course, but it doesn’t need to be pricey. I’ve had a smooth, velvety goat cheese from a farmer’s stall on market day in Chartres, France that was far better than anything they serve at Gary Danko. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch but at least I remember eating the Chartres cheese more than any fancy meal I’ve had.

Therein lies the point: luxury is simplicity – of design, craftsmanship, quality – as long as it’s always the finest, then there’s really no hoo-hah to worry about.

The same philosophy goes for little luxuries too. As long as something is well-made and makes you feel good, it doesn’t need to break the bank. It is the little luxuries that make us appreciate the finer, more expensive ones too. The grace and beauty of a humble thing that we enjoy privately will always make us smile, regardless if we’re wearing red-soled shoes for everyone else. It is the little luxuries we can enjoy every day too, not just on special occasions when we dress up, want to impress, or want to celebrate. Why not celebrate life all the time by taking the time to enjoy the small, but good?

So, here are a few of my little luxuries…

Great coffee. When you live in San Francisco (and have even the slightest bit of gourmand in your blood), there’s absolutely no excuse to drink mega-brand coffee. Four Barrel, Ritual, and Blue Bottle, and even Peet’s offer amazing roasts at very affordable prices. I take mine black, from a classic stove-top Bialetti coffee maker. (I don’t have an electric coffee maker nor a microwave. I must say, NOT having a lot of electric junk on the countertop is a luxury in itself!) Just one cup of this, and it’s a little morning trip to a happy wake-up place.

Hot baths. Is there anything better than a hot bath? I’ve heard stories of people who don’t have bathtubs where they live; for me this fate is more tragic than being without a dishwasher. While a hot shower has its merits, there’s nothing like a hot bath after a long day of drudgery. It always makes you feel relaxed, content, and it even makes you sleep better. I usually like a little Molton Brown bubble bath, but the $30-plus price tag makes me pause. Luckily, Target now sells the amazing brand Boots from the UK. Their classic bubble bath is fragrant, foamy, and costs under $12 for a vintage-looking glass bottle-full. Cannot complain.

{Bath Foam}

Scented candles. Yes, these can be expensive, I’m not going to lie. Believe me, when I get going in the Dyptique shop it’s hard for me to stop! I want one of every single fragrance to try, but the one I ALWAYS come back to is the sweet & subtle Figuier. So lovely! For a spicier scent, I’ve always loved Williams-Sonoma Home’s Safari or Jonathan Adler’s Big Sur. The DL & Co, are nice too, but I received a Ciré Trudon “Ernesto” candle for Christmas this year and it is pure heaven! Leathery, smoky…I think it’s meant to evoke the smell of Cuban cigars, but to me it smells like a 6’2” Chilean polo player. I’m not going to name names.

{Diptyque}

Many thanks Annie, xoxoxo
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