#26 Rent a Sports or Luxury Car

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#26

Rent a Sports or Luxury Car

In the spirit of treating yourself as mentioned in yesterday’s post by making opportunities to enjoy some of the ‘finer’ things in life, why not drive something a little different? Remember when you rented a limo for prom or a wedding? It was a special occasion that called for a special vehicle. Your birthday, anniversary or the third Tuesday of May can also be considered a special day if you want it to be. Allow yourself to consider for a moment, would it be a sporty convertible or a luxurious sedan?

Go Sporty

If you live in a cool damp environment, perhaps sporty is the way to go. You might consider a weekend in a warm and dry region where you can rent a convertible coupe and spend the weekend exploring the region with the top down and the wind in your face. If you normally drive a SUV or truck and rarely get the opportunity to sit close to the road – consider something small that can take a turn tightly.

In the few markets that I investigated, you can rent a Porsche or a Maserati for under $300 a day. While that may seem like a lot of money, it’s about the same many spend on a fancy dinner with a great bottle of wine. I know a few men who would be downright giddy to get on the road behind the wheel of that dream car. What a great gift idea for a big birthday!

Go Luxury

Likewise, if you’ve been fiscally conservative in your vehicle choices through the years, it may be nice to go luxury. There’s a certain kind of pleasure when your body sinks into temperature controlled leather seats that conform to you body shape in a car offering more than necessary legroom as you absorb sunshine through the edge to edge sunroof over your head.

A Cadillac Escalade ESV or a Mercedes S450 may be the perfect ride if you’re in the mountains or exploring a cold city; especially if you need those great features of four wheel drive and traction control. There’s something comforting about having the girth of a large vehicle protecting you when the road conditions are less than supreme. What’s more luxurious than driving to the slopes in the comfort of a roomy, temperature controlled ride filled with all the mind comforting safety features one can wish for?

If you’re scheduled to take a vacation or if you have a special occasion coming up, why not treat yourself and …

Rent a sports or luxury car.

TTAH

Listen to me on Try This at Home – a series of conversations about making life better.

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#27 Get Five-Star Treatment

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#27

Get Five-Star Treatment

When was the last time you were treated like the Queen of something? Or the King? Have you had white glove service? Flown first class? Have you been waited on pool side? You deserve to and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg – or anything at all if you are super lucky.

Deserving

We are all deserving of being spoiled and attended to from time to time. Whether it is a spa day where our bodies are pampered, a five star restaurant where a meal is prepared and served with perfection, or a day at home where our every need is anticipated… it’s nice to know that someone in the world – at some point in time – is there for us.

Defined

Exactly what constitutes five star treatment? Most of us agree it’s when we feel attended to, important, and/or special. It’s when service is entirely focused on the pleasure and satisfaction of the customer. And, sadly – it’s not available everywhere. Indeed, five star service is so exemplary that it’s difficult to achieve.  

Five stars is a mentality according to Dr. Williams in an article in CSM magazine – a way of working. He explains that it’s an attitude and discipline that denies mediocrity. And while we intellectually know that “perfect” isn’t consistently possible – the persistent striving for is what sets the tone of five stars.

Finding It

A five star experience is when every detail is anticipated or provided for and it’s not necessarily only at expensive establishments. There are spas, restaurants, markets, shops, hotels, and resorts that are reasonably priced and demand excellence from their staff. Finding it can be challenging at times and if it is affordable for the average consumer, there may be a significant wait time for service. Websites and apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor can help in your search.

Treat Yourself

There’s something really special about being treated as if you are the only person in the world for an hour, a day, or longer. Especially for those of you who are devout caregivers, it’s great to provide exemplary care and maybe even nicer to be the recipient every once in a while. Why not treat yourself by making an appointment or reservations to …

Get five-star treatment.

TTAH

Listen to me on Try This at Home – a series of conversations about making life better.

You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, or Feedburner

 

 

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#70 Splurge on Nice Sheets

Merry Christmas! If this is a religious holiday for you, I wish you the joy of Christ’s blessings. If not, I wish for you the joy and love of friends and/or family and hope you have a beautiful day.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#70

Splurge on Nice Sheets

Considering that we spend somewhere around one-third of our life in bed, it’s not presumptuous to think that it needs to be a place of comfort.  A major element of a great bed are the sheets that we lie between. It’s one of those treats we never knew we needed until we’ve had the experience. Once you have the pleasure of sleeping on really nice sheets, it will be a goal.

Material

What determines how nice a sheet is? The experts say that the very first thing to look for is the fiber of the sheet – what is it made of? The higher quality of fiber, the more comfortable the sheet. 100% cotton sheets may wrinkle and be more expensive but they will absorb moisture better than anything else. If you perspire a lot while you sleep, cotton sheets are a must. They’re easier to keep clean as well because polyester blends tends to hold dirt and stain. For the most comfortable feel, choose a long fiber sheet generally labeled ‘Pima’ or ‘Egyptian long staple’.

Thread Count

After the material, you want a high thread count. [note that lower thread count 100% cotton is better than higher thread count poly blend] In my experience, typical sheets are in the 200 range (the number of vertical and horizontal threads per square inch). Thread counts can go as high as 1000 but really nice sheets are in the 500 – 800 range most often.

Weave

The method of weaving those threads is also a determinant of how the sheets feel. The most common is Percale, equally woven between horizontal and vertical threads. Percale sheets are known to be crisp and breathes more easily so they’re cooler in summer months. Sateen sheets are woven differently and are therefore much thicker and tightly woven. They will keep you warmer in the winter months and they are generally thought to be softer.

Buying

If you didn’t get sheets under the Christmas tree, don’t fret. January is known for its “white sales” where linens are generally deeply discounted. If sheets aren’t the priority right now, you’re likely to find great prices at online retailers like Overstock.com throughout the year. It’s been my go-to site for linens for years. Similar to the strategy many of us use for electronics – buy the most exquisite you can afford.

Treat yourself to the thing you never knew you wanted…

Splurge on nice sheets.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#220 Make Ice Cream

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#220

Make Ice cream

I know it’s super easy to reach into your freezer or stop by your local ice cream store but there’s something about making your own ice cream on a hot summer evening that evokes pleasure in a way that the other options cannot.

DIY Satisfaction

Sometimes, it’s the experience of ‘doing it yourself’ that adds to the fun and satisfaction we enjoy during and after an activity. The sense of accomplishment increases our confidence and overall esteem but perhaps more importantly, we become empowered.

Tools

Of course, an ice cream ‘maker’ is one of the easiest ways to complete this task – most of them come with recipe books for unending motivation but for a simple vanilla flavor, making ice cream at home is super easy with a few basic supplies. You need large zip lock plastic bags, coarse salt, and some arm muscle.

Recipe

I am recommending this recipe from The Stay at Home Chef blog because it worked well and tasted great! It took a little longer than the suggested 5 minutes to get the consistency that I preferred but it only meant a better arm workout (shaking is super important). What wouldn’t taste good if it is mostly heavy cream, sugar, and half & half?? We don’t want to calculate the calories in this recipe of course – just grab a spoonful and enjoy.

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half and half

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 gallon sized resealable plastic bags

2 cups ice cubes

½ cup salt

Instructions

Pour cream, half and half, sugar, and vanilla extract into a gallon sized resealable plastic bag. Seal well. Squish it around to combine until sugar is dissolved.

Place ice cubes and salt into another gallon sized resealable plastic bag.

Place the bag with the ice cream mixture into the bag with the ice. Seal the larger bag.

Shake until mixture freezes, about 5 to 7 minutes.

 

The next time you need a little inspiration to liven up a hot summer day, remember to pull out this recipe and …

Make homemade ice cream.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#296 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#296

Have an at-home spa day

This may be the ultimate in Self-care activities. Spending an afternoon or an entire day pampering your face, your hair, your skin, and your nails. Back in my youth this meant massaging a gross amount of mayonnaise into  my hair and wrapping it in a warm towel; rubbing my heels with Vaseline and covering my feet with cotton socks; and then applying baby oil all over my skin from head to toe. Just to be cute I would use cucumber slices on my eyes on occasion but mostly they got cold compresses. That was the process of beautification as I knew it.

Today, while those methods may work fine, there are dozens of fancier options. From homemade facial scrubs to electric foot baths – having a personal spa day is easier than ever. Get started with a bath, a glass of wine, some soft music, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Spend time moisturizing your hair, your face, and your extremities. A sugar scrub for your face, hands, and feet will exfoliate and prep your skin for the lotions that come next. Using honey, buttermilk, coconut oil and/or avocados are a natural way to hydrate the largest organ (your skin) on your body.

Finish up with attending to your finger and toenails – to polish or not is a personal preference. Some light yoga or meditation may be a great way to still your mind while while your body regenerates and then perhaps some outdoor time in a garden or a short nap.

In my late twenties I treated myself to a full day of pampering and as I attempted to buy wine the next day – I was asked for ID. As I got back in the car to go home I slammed a solid fist pump into the air believing that my primping was responsible. Who knows? The more you take care of your skin – the longer it looks good so go ahead and treat yourself to an…

At Home Spa Day.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#341 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#341

Fresh Sheets

The mention of fresh sheets brings a sigh of ‘ahhh’ when ever it is considered. Memes suggesting fresh sheets and shaved legs are heavenly experiences float through social media with happy puppy faces and satisfying smiles.

when-you-got-fresh-sheets-and-you-just-shaved-your-4140554

As I investigated people’s thoughts about sheets, I found a variety of practices as it pertains to how frequently people do change their sheets. From “weekly, duh!” to “umm…. I really can’t remember”, it seems that only some of us have a hard fast rule.

There are all kind of reasons that we might consider a more regimented protocol for clean linens but this post is not about hygiene. Perhaps the most compelling reason to change our sheets is the sense of comfort and pleasure that fresh sheets compel almost Every. Single. Time.

Have a rough day at work? Change your sheets before going to bed.

Feeling lonely? Change your sheets before going to bed.

Need to be your best tomorrow? Change your sheets before going to bed.

We are programmed to associate cleanliness with good health and/or a sign that things are ‘right’. The act of going to bed in an environment that smells and feels clean, tricks our brain – if only momentarily – to believe that everything is in place – in order – and good to go.

To make the experience as good as it can be, I strongly recommend that we all have at least one set of amazing sheets. While the experts vary in their opinion of thread count, they all seem to agree that Egyptian cotton is by far, the best.  As long as the thread count is at least 200 and European Egyptian, you will be sleeping on some of the most comfortable fabric in the world. An 800 count EE sheet is some of the most luxurious bedding to experience. It compels nudity for an entire sensate experience. Think about it tonight and treat yourself the experience of …

Fresh sheets.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Chechi Pe on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND