Today I´m blogging off-topic. I´m a sucker for that perfect little thing that adds joy to your daily grind. I´m always asking friends – wow, where did you get that fabulous pen/coffee/pair of gloves? The holiday season isn´t that far away, and I´m gathering stocking-stuffer items like great hand salves, wonderful gardening gloves, one of those reversible multi-head screwdrivers (which we keep in the kitchen drawer.) You get the idea. A slight variation: those small-necessary-splurge items that, if yours broke or you ran out, you´d go to that obscure store or oddball website and get a replacement pronto.
I´m traveling; I´ll be back on Wednesday night, although I expect I´ll read your comments if I can find access. Please – give it a bit of thought and leave me a comment about one of your favorite small pleasures – for your house, in your garden, a beauty product, accessory, whatever. If you feel like sharing your secret I´d love to know.
Three everyday things that give me foolish amounts of pleasure:
1) An old-fashioned glass lemon juicer. There´s a reason these things are still around, both in kitchen supply stores and elsewhere as antiques – they work really well with a minimum of fuss and maintenance. I squeeze lemons every day – for tea, salad dressing (sea salt, lemon and olive oil), and on various foods. Using this juicer is oddly satisfying in an era of high-tech gadgetry and electronic items I can´t figure out how to program. Those little bumps catch the seeds, you pour the juice from the spout, and it takes seconds to rinse off in the tap. I love it.
2) Aprons. I should be more embarrassed about this, but somehow I´m not. I like to bake, and all too often I have to clean the house. And it´s a lot more fun if I pop some silly music on – like one of those Paris café CDs – and tie one on – an apron, that is. The kids have their own aprons, and I have a cute collection of new and vintage ones. Folding laundry? Cleaning out the closet? Consider one of these charming aprons from Anthropologie (and I´d wear one of those in public over a white cotton shift), pour yourself a glass of vino and get in touch with your inner Martha. Lee and Tom — you could totally work one of these.
3) Unlike a lot of fragrance nuts, I don´t use much other scent in our house – no potpourri, no scented candles (actually, no candles except for tapers on the table at dinner, where they make fish sticks look so much more elegant.) But I do love my scented bars of soap – they smell nice in the bathroom, I´m assuming they´re more eco-friendly (no plastic bottle to toss), and the kids can´t dump them down the drain in 30 seconds or squirt them on the dog. I’m a big fan of Pacifica – they´re vegan, natural oils, etc., plus they come in amazing smells. The bars last a long time, and the smell doesn´t fade. My favorite right now is Mediterranean Fig (a green, sandalwoody fig rather than cloyingly sweet), and I’m partial to their Woods and Resins line (especially Tibetan Mountain Temple and Roman Frankincense), Thai Lemongrass, and Madagascar Spice (peppered clove). I think most scents also have body lotions and candles.
Barbara Bui Update and Giveaway – I swear nobody´s paying me to write about this, I paid for my bottle of Barbara Bui Huile Blanche (literally, white oil – it´s further described on the bottle as “a satin-smooth body mist”) from Perfumes from France (she threw in a Barbara Bui tee shirt when I told her I´d do a giveaway). It´s a subtle take on an already subtle fragrance, so note the word subtle three times in this sentence. It´s milky and it comes in a spray bottle (!), so it goes on with the same fine mist as a fragrance. I have dry skin; it soaked in quickly, left a gentle note of the fragrance, and gave my skin a sheen that looks pretty and youthful but not oily. This would be particularly nice if you want very light scent along with that moisturized look but not the oil slick. Did I mention it´s less than 20 bucks?
Today´s Special Giveaway is called: Guess that Serge. While I was at Art With Flowers I fell in love with another Serge Lutens I´d never really noticed. Which one was it? Further clue: it´s not Miel de Bois. First person to name my new Serge Love gets the Barbara Bui tee and a sample each of the Barbara Bui fragrance and oil, plus whatever else I throw in there, you never know. If nobody gets it I´ll do a draw among the commenters.