So unless you’re Victoria Beckham or Gwyneth Paltrow, I’m guessing you don’t have a personal masseuse or a full-time nanny who can take over whenever you need to “run to the salon” for a mani or massage. Which, if your life is anything like mine, is probably everyday. Right now, I’m nursing a muscle spasm in my back that’s likely from hoisting children onto my right hip all weekend long. That being said, no one is taking care of it for me. In fact, no one cares.
So since our funds aren’t unlimited, and more importantly, I have children to take care of on the daily, I have a few little things I do to “treat” myself. Let’s keep it real: they’re NOT the same as going to the salon, but… you know what? They actually make me feel really great and they’re not expensive at all. Sometimes it’s not about doing the thing we THINK we need to do, it’s about addressing the need that’s under that. Maybe I really don’t need the trip to the salon, I just need a few peaceful moments to myself.
My 5 favorite, under-$7 indulgences
1. Put on some lip gloss. For some reason, it doesn’t matter if I am not wearing deodorant and haven’t even had time to brush my teeth, but if I’m wearing my favorite lip gloss, I’m feeling preeeeetty good. Lip gloss is so wonderfully indulgent, yet it’s something we rarely think about that way. Just imagine being on a deserted island for two days and not being able to put anything on your lips. Some days when we go to the beach, and I forget my lip balm, all I can think about is how parched my lips are, and once I get home, nothing tops that luxurious feeling of coating them in minty, cool lip balm. And there are sooooo many different kinds. Flavored, lip-plumping (though some of those will skyrocket you right out of the under-$7 category), tinted and my personal favorite: Smith’s Rosebud Salve. Lip gloss is really is one of THE BEST things in life. Buy it and keep one everywhere: the car, your purse, your bedside table and the kitchen.
2. Use your favorite scented lotion. Something about becoming a mom made me think I have no time to put lotion on my dry hands and arms after I get out of the shower. That might have something to do with the fact that my every shower is accompanied by an orchestra of cries and whines, and a full audience of little pervs under the age of three. I take four minutes to throw on shampoo, rinse and get out. Forget the lotion. I’m lucky if I get deodorant. So, for the days when I can’t lotion like a normal human being, I did something really innovative. I put another lotion in the driver’s door of the car.
Ground-breaking, I know. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped at red lights, smelling like a beast, and I’m so thankful I have my favorite Bath & Body Works Charmed Life body lotion in the door. (By the way, Bath & Body works doesn’t sell it anymore, but I legit order it from Amazon whenever I can.) It’s like a stay-at-home mom’s shower.
Ooooh, that reminds me of another awesome lotion-y indulgence that I do every night: I wash my feet before bed, and once I get into bed, I slather lotion all over my feet. I promise, you will feel as luxurious as ever and your husband will appreciate smelling your favorite scented lotion, instead of the stale spit-up that’s on your shirt that you’re too lazy to clean off.
3. Light your favorite scented candle. When our boys first started becoming mobile, it felt like our life was over. I put all our breakables away and thought we could never use our candles again. Not true. Get them back out and just put them in places the kids can’t reach. Or, if you need to, wait until the kids are in bed, and light candles then. For me, it makes such a difference in my mood and mindset! Just try it. A lot of times, if I’m stuck at home with the little ones on a rainy day, I will light a candle, and I promise you: the combination of the beautiful ambience it creates, along with the amazing smell, just relaxes my whole body. Even if there is a toddler screaming at my feet because I gave him the red sippy cup instead of the blue one. Just stop, breathe and enjoy the beautiful scent that fills your dirty, disorganized house. Hey, at least it smells good.
4. Paint your nails. Yes, I know this one may not work for everyone, but if you haven’t yet, just try it. Painting my nails is one of my favorite ways to feel put-together. Every few nights, after the kids are in bed, I take a look at my nails as I brush my teeth and get ready for bed. And if I need to, I paint my nails. I buy nail polish at the drugstore, and it’s an inexpensive, fun way to feel fashion-forward and well-manicured without breaking the bank. (Seriously, there are soooo many fun colors out there right now. Bright yellow, mint blue, gunmetal and even Pantone’s color of the year radiant orchid. Let your mood be your guide and have fun with it!) There are no rules when it comes to nail color. Oh, and bonus: your nails never look fat. They always look fabulous. Just like you. Oh, and I know you do a crapload of dishes, laundry and generally non-nail-friendly things everyday, so I’ve found that the key is putting a legit clear top coat over the color. I’ve tried ALL the drugstore versions, and my favorite nail top coat for stopping polish chips is this Sally Hansen Hard As Nails. (Seriously, people. It’s $2.) I even got a nail top coat that looks like black confetti, and I painted it on my ring fingernail. It’s fun and makes me feel cool. Even when I’m wearing 4-day-dirty shorts, a stained shirt and no makeup out on my errands. Hey, at least my nails are rockin’ some style.
5. Change your kitchen sponge. I know, I know. Have your laugh. But seriously, it takes the smallest things to make me happy. (I tell my husband this everyday.) For real. If you’re like me, you do tons of dishes everyday, and after a while that sponge is a nasty, mildew-smelling, bacteria-ridden mess. And guess what? NOTHING feels better than reaching under the kitchen sink and unwrapping a brand-new kitchen sponge. Yes, I know I could wash the old one in the dishwasher and save a few pennies. But I don’t want to. I want to spend the extra $2 because it makes me happy.
What are your favorite little indulgences? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below!
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