I suppose that each of us has a different vision of what the “good life” entails. At Champagne Living it tends to be about living a lifestyle that may on the outside seem enviable, but in reality is rooted in good planning and creativity.
Little things can make a BIG difference in your lifestyle and whether you have $10 or $10,000 to spend on these splurges – each will make a difference.
1. Buy Flowers – For some it means picking up a $3 bouquet at the grocery store before checking out and for others it could be a trip to the florist for arrangements to put around the house. Either way, somehow flowers seem to make us feel like we’re “special.” My favorite way to purchase flowers is at the farmer’s market . I actually prefer a vase of local sunflowers over a stuffy looking floral arrangement. Here in Florida we see large bunches of gladiolas for around $3 a bunch, while when I lived up north it would be mums that were inexpensive.
2. Enjoy a bottle of wine – There’s nothing like sitting at home in the evening with your significant other and enjoying a glass of wine. Beside the elegant factor, it’s GOOD FOR YOU. Mr. “S” doesn’t drink wine, so I’ve been known to drink alone while relaxing at the end of the day. Staying within your budget doesn’t mean drinking a “cheap” wine (Barefoot Shiraz received the Gold Medal at the 2007 Grand Harvest Awards in Santa Rosa – I’ve seen it on sale for $5 a bottle). My favorite is the Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio at around $25 a bottle.
3. Dine elegantly – While a chewy steak dinner at a chain steakhouse will cost you around $20 per person, spending the same amount on dinner at home can mean an elegant appetizer, filet mignon with bleu cheese or bernaise sauce and a dessert of fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate. You might even be able to add something that sparkles in that budget (I’m a huge fan of Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut ).
4. Do something that lifts the spirit – If reading a great novel, or even a trashy novel takes you away, then a quick trip to the library and you’ll be in another world in no time. Is there music that takes you away and is relaxing? Then throw in your favorite CD, turn on the radio or put your iPod on play and enjoy. For most of us, it’s simply taking the time to enjoy those things that we have been putting off that are essential to living the good life.
5. Pamper yourself – While I enjoy nothing more than going to the salon, I do take time each week and do a mani/pedi. You can easily do it at home with less cost. Want to splurge? Buy yourself a bottle of OPI or Essie rather than the cheap stuff. The key to getting a beautiful finish that lasts? Use a good base coat and a shiny top coat to finish it off, just like in the salon. You’ll pay a bit more when you buy it, but you’ll be saving on that weekly trip to the salon and get months and months of beautiful nails out of it. For the full pampering make an evening out of it. Light some candles, take a bubble bath, give yourself a facial and enjoy some “ME” time.