The Little Things In Life.

October 24, 2008

OK, I've been inspired (once again, I might add) by Maxwell over at Apartment Therapy. This month he asked readers to write in with the Little Things in Life That Make It More Lovely (that's my interpretation of the topic). Well, I didn't write in with my ideas, but I have been thinking about this subject over the past couple of weeks. And I thought I might share a few of my ideas here....and maybe you'll share them right back.

Here are some little things that make a big difference in my world:
  • Making my bed everyday. I don't care what you say....getting into a made bed just feels better.
  • Having some sort of home baked treat ready for an afternoon snack. Sooo much tastier (and usually healthier) than a store-bought one. And in the family I grew up, food is love. And something sweet and hot out of the oven is as much love as one will ever need.
  • Opening as many doors and windows as possible. The fresh air does wonders for my mood.
  • Using cloth napkins...when you're done, just toss them in with one of your loads of laundry. It's really no work at all, but it makes a meal fell more, well, civilized.
  • I keep these flushable cleaning wipes in all of our bathrooms for a quick wipe-down of the sinks and floors. It makes such a difference between the regular cleanings and it takes just a minute.
  • Having lots of cold beverages ready for guests. I like to keep a couple of types of beer, white wine, champagne, sparkling water, Izze sodas and Classic Coke (in bottles).
  • Fresh flowers -- this goes without saying. I like to put them in unexpected places, like the bathrooms. Whenever my mother-in-law comes to visit, she always finds flowers and other things in the yard to put in vases. I want to do more of this rather than always buying them at the market.
  • Having a stash of hostess gifts ready to is always a good choice, but having less expected choices on hand and ready to go is nice. I feel so clever (sort of 007) whenever I pull something out of my stash as we are rushing out of the house to go to a friend's for dinner.
  • Not saving the special wine (and bath products and food and the like) for "special" occasions. Today is special. Open that bottle that means something to you and enjoy it rather than letting it decorate your shelf.
  • Putting the toys away. Everyday. All. Of. Them.
  • Candles....they don't have to be fancy, just plain white tea lights and the plain white ones you can get in the Latino section of your supermarket (an AliceQ trick I learned...they are cheap, simple and last a long time).
  • Keeping pretty notecards and interesting stamps handy and ready-to-go. I always feel better after writing a note or two, and I find I am much more inclined to write them if they are accessible and if I like the way they look.

OK, what are your ideas??


  1. Fresh fruit. I like an apple, pear, banana, orange or whatever is on sale at the Super Target or Sprouts. I eat at least one piece every day.

  2. Carol...oh yes, a piece of fresh fruit is so nice. Especially in a nice bowl on the counter!

  3. Hmm, great question. I love having very nice, scented soaps out for guests... organizing bed linens into sets so they look pretty in the linen closet... changing our pillowcases twice as often as rest of sheets (so fresh on the face)... fancy salt and pepper out in pinch-bowls everyday... definitely with you on the "real" napkins everyday. And "real" stemware/dishware for parties, no matter how many people come over... scented shelf liners... flowers, definitely! Love this question ;) I could go on and on.

  4. One thing I always have in my pantry is really good coffee, tea and a some of my favorite european chocolates...I'm ready for my friends to stop by and visit at any time!

  5. Ohhh Blake, I love your ideas....esp. the one about changing your pillocases more often. I never thought of that!

  6. Going to the Farmer's Market every weekend weather you need anything or not. Just to shop, wander, enjoy being outside, watch the season's change just by noticing the new fruits and vegetables.

  7. #1) I love having assorted snacks, that when composed on a piece of slate or a wood chopping block look a lovely display, and there is a little something for every guests: sliced salami, bowl of grapes or berries, slices of cheese and some bread, little nuts or wasabi peas, maybe some olives and assorted mustards or fig spread). Just whatever, the combination doesn't matter it is just so much fun to make the spread and enjoy the cornucopeia.

    #2 having the camera with me while I walk my dog, Nelly. Snatching a moment, a flower, a funny thing the dog is doing makes me feel human and present in the day.

  8. I like all of these ideas - here are a couple more I subscribe to:
    1) splurge on the expensive hand soap for the kitchen sink - it's better for your skin and smells so good, and you use it every day. I like Savon de Marseille Lavender.
    2) grow fruit or flowers in the yard
    3) Squeeze fresh juice for cocktails (or use the best you can buy.)
    4) Use lamps and/or invest in dimmer switches. Lighting is huge for me.
    5) Take lots of pictures. You'll never regret it.
    6) We always keep at least one bottle of champagne in the fridge -and some improptu cocktail snacks in the cabinet - cheese sticks and salted peanuts. Instant party!
    7) And as Jora mentioned, I like to buy those plain white jar candles in the Mexican section of the local grocery. Peel the bar code stickers off and they're just plain white candles in a jar - perfect for outdoors, or put them on the floor around the perimeter of a room (if you have wood floors) for party lighting.

  9. I subscribe to all your little things in life and do most of them. One thing I have started doing is ironing my pillowcases so there are nice and crisp. It makes getting into bed even more luxurious.

  10. An eyebrow wax, really nice pens to write with, high-quality ice cream, cold sodas in the fridge, getting me car cleaned A LOT.

  11. Fresh flowers. Method cleaning products- I am in LOVE with the almond wood floor cleaner and the ginger kitchen floor cleaner. Splurging on natural scents is important for me. I am going to check out the wipes at target as I hadn't seen them before. Also: Coffee with real cream.

  12. Oh so many wonderful things that everyone has provided! For us - lighting a candle at dinner and at bedtime. It has become a lovely ritual with our little one. The candlelight is so nice and calming at bedtime while I tell him a story or rub his feet.

  13. I really, really love all of these ideas! Ironing pillowcases? Nice pens? Real ice cream? This all makes life so much better. :)

  14. GREAT post. All of these ideas are so terrific and heartwarming. I'm in complete agreement with handwritten notes, and with 'snail mail' in general. It's so nice to send and receive mail, knowing that someone took the time to put a bit of themselves on paper, find a stamp, and go to a postbox. I especially love to take it up a notch and mail baked goods to loved ones, not only around the holidays but just for no particular reason at all. People never expect it and so it comes as such a lovely surprise!

    In terms of little pleasures around the house, I like to splurge on scented candles. The pricey ones are worth it (no glade or febreeze, please!) because not only do they smell much nicer and more subtle, but they last a really long time. I light one after I've cleaned a room as a little finishing touch. It feels so luxurious and it's something to look forward to after scrubbing the toilet :)

    And on the topic of method cleaning products, I love to buy their stuff not only because it smells great and really works, but because I've done some work with the company and am happy to say that they are 110% committed to producing only the healthiest and safest products on earth. The founders both have families with young children, I have complete and utter confidence in the work they're doing to make our planet a better place for our kids. And wherever possible I try to buy from companies whose mission aligns with my own values- it's a great way to feel good about the things you're bringing into your home.

  15. Always eating on real dishes and drinking in glass, no paper or plastic.

    Taking a minute before rushing out to make sure my makeup is on, makes me feel like I'm ready for the day.

  16. never commented before, but i like this post :) i should post it on my fridge (esp. re: make bed, toys picked up...)

    Not sure if anyone said this, but I really like to use my good china often. Not too often that it's commonplace, but whenever I make an out of the ordinary dinner, it just feels special. i just happen to be using them tonight :)

  17. Agree with Susan. Iron those pillow cases, only takes a couple of minutes. I grew up with the luxury of ironed sheets because I had a fastidious german/southern grandmother (I know, wierd), the pillow cases are all you need! Oh, and use heavy starch if you can.

  18. Yes, I believe in using the good china (my grandmother's) for mid-week meals too. The bonus is that it reminds me of my grandmother and her wonderful meals. :)

  19. love this list!

    thanks for sharing -

  20. I love this post. One of my favs for sure!


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