There are few among us, I think, who have managed to go gift shopping without occasionally picking something up for one’s self in the process. Here at Little Birdie Me too, we confess, temptation is rife as we try to suss out great gift ideas for folks - in the process, we often find ourselves falling in love anew (or all over again) with the object(s) of our research.
So, if we all know what self-gifting is about, and we all have a pretty good idea of what we like and how to treat ourselves every now and again, what is this blog post about? Well, we thought we’d share a few ways to treat yourself that you may not have considered before. Whether it’s Black Day, Singles’ Day or Singles Awareness Day you’re celebrating, here are a few ways to treat yo’ self and help make the day special:
A DELICIOUS TREAT - We’re not ones to stint on delicious goodies, especially during the holidays. In the past though, we’ve hardly ever ordered special treats for ourselves in the “off season.” But, we’re making some changes around here. Arguably, a sweet or savory indulgence can be even more enjoyable in the quieter months of the year, since it will be doubly (maybe triply?) savored. Holidays can be so rife with special goodies and, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, which is why we think off-season food gifting can be really fun (and delicious!). Whether it’s a Jeni’s pint club subscription, a Big Tasty sampler from EHChocolatier, a box of Bauer’s caramel Modjeskas, a selection of Olympia Provisions’ cured meats, several wedges of cheese from Formaggio Kitchen, or one of Roy Shvartzapels’ panettones - we say, go for it!
A NAP - This sounds like an easy one and, in a way it is, but many of us are “go, go, go” all the time and may feel just a tad worn at the edges, or in need of an extra three Sunday morning lie-ins. It’s easy to fritter away bits of time here and there and they all add up - five minutes on one’s phone suddenly becomes an hour, or even longer - or, perhaps you get sucked into a great new TV series and you stay up way later than planned. Whatever it may be, we propose taking some of that time and reallocating it: to schedule a nap. We suggest actually putting it on your calendar - block out an hour (or two, or three) on the weekend and set your alarm to go off when you are meant to head to bed. Or, if it’s a weeknight, schedule yourself to get into bed way earlier than usual. The key? Turning off all those electronic devices and sticking to your plan. We’ve done this more than once - gone to bed at 6:30pm, 7:30pm, or something like that. For most of us, I think, it feels a little weird to climb into bed when it might still be light out but, by golly gumdrops, if you don’t feel blinking amazing the next day and ready to take on the world again!
A PLANT OR FLOWERS - Flowers and plants are often things we get and give to others. Why not treat yourself to a lovely bouquet of fragrant blooms? Or, a brand new plant for your workspace or home? Over time, we have found it’s little things like this - seeing a plant bloom, catching a waft of a hyacinth’s fragrance as you walk by, a spot of color in an otherwise neutral space - that actually add up to make a noticeable difference in the quality of one’s day-to-day life experience. For fellow plant and flower lovers, get yourself to your nearest florist and/or garden center and allow yourself to pick something out, something just for you.
AN EVENING OUT - Don’t have a beau? A significant other? Still looking for the love of your life? Or, perhaps you prefer to navigate the waters of life solo? Whatever your situation, if you are absent a partner-in-crime, there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself to a special night out. Book yourself a fantastic meal at a special restaurant. Get a single ticket to a theatrical production. Go to the cinema and see two movies back-to-back. Why the heck not? Doing any of these things with a friend or a loved one can be heaps of fun - but, we posit that when you’re flying solo, you’ll focus on the performance or meal at hand in a way you might not were you catching up with someone during intermission, or having a conversation while eating. The narrator in Henry James’ novel, The Portrait of a Lady, notes, “one should try to be one’s own best friend and to give one’s self, in this manner, distinguished company.” Be your own best friend and take yourself out for a special evening on the town!
LEARN SOMETHING NEW - Stop saying you’ll do it someday. Do it now. Even if you’re crazy busy, start small, but start today. Want to teach yourself a new language? Book yourself into an intensive multi-hour-per-day class - or, start with baby steps and download yourself a language app (we like Drops) or sign up for a class that meets a manageable one evening per week. Check out the likes of Lynda.com, The Great Courses, Craftsy and YouTube for instructional videos (many free!). Always wanted to learn how to dance? Start this week. Find the nearest dance school and research those beginner classes pronto. Or, as we have done, start following along with dance tutorials on YouTube (there are some amazing choreographers posting lessons for free there), or check out eBay for affordable, used copies of instructional DVDs. Half the battle is researching, scheduling and getting the materials you need to accomplish your mission - but, we’ve found that once something is on our calendar and we have everything we need to hand, we’re much more likely to make headway on our goals, step by step, however small. We promise, you’ll feel awesome the minute you start making progress. P.s. Even if you feel totally awkward in a beginner’s class, keep going. Believe us, we’ve been there, tripping over our feet at the back of the dance classroom, or stammering out our first words in a new language - but, if you keep at it, you’ll experience those totally amazing moments where you can’t believe how far you’ve come. We’re warning you now though: that feeling gets a bit addictive!
FOOT CARE - If your feet are in any way uncomfortable, chances are you’re not having a great time - whether it’s a pair of new shoes that’s giving you blisters, a pebble in your sneaker, a pair of socks that keep riding down your heel, or simply sore feet from overuse or a chronic condition. If your feet are feeling less than 100%, we recommend treating yourself to a pedicure, to a set of new socks (Darn Tough socks are our go-to!) and/or to a comfy set of Powerstep inserts for the shoes you wear most on a daily basis. Pedicures are grand for a good scrubbing, exfoliation, nail trim and best of all a bit of a massage. Treat your feet right and who knows where they will take you!
BEDTIME UPGRADE - Hands up if the thought of climbing into a bed newly made up with freshly laundered sheets sends tingles of delight coursing up and down your spine. The best part of laundry day, as far as we’re concerned, is just that - climbing into a newly made up bed. If you too view your bed as one of the best places in your home, may we suggest treating yourself by taking things up a notch linen-wise. If you have cotton sheets, check out linen sheets, like those from Rough Linen, which have the added bonus of getting softer with every wash - or, if flipping your pillow to get the cool side on your face is something you often do, first: get a chuckle out of the fact that there is a Facebook community page for folks who like the “cool side of the pillow” (with over 75,000 followers!). And, second: you may wish to check out Slip silk pillowcases which are purported to offer a cooler sleep experience.
BATH TIME UPGRADE - As one’s bed can be a place of relaxation and rest, so too the shower or bathtub is where many of us unwind. Be it singing our favorite tunes, enjoying a cold beer while sinking into a bubble bath, or using the time to let ourselves daydream, a good soak has the power to restore, refresh and re-invigor one’s day-to-day. There are many ways to upgrade one’s bathing experience and we swapped out our usual thinking caps for our shower caps to come up with a few ideas for you. First up, if you are a bathroom vocalist, you may wish to consider treating yourself to a bathroom-friendly (i.e. waterproof or water resistant) radio or speaker like Sangean’s H205 waterproof shower radio or Photive’s M90 water-resistant bluetooth speaker. Alternately, if you are a devotee of sedentary bathing, a specially designed bathtub tray or caddy can help you manage your reading material, your music and/or your bath time beverage. Last but not least, if you find you do some of your best thinking in the shower, a waterproof notepad could be a great investment to make sure you don’t lose the fruits of any of those eureka moments!
A REALLY NICE BOTTLE OF WINE - Wine lovers, we’re giving you permission to splash out and spend a bit more on a bottle of wine than you usually do. AND, we’re giving you permission to keep the contents of that bottle just for yourself. Or, if you’ve already given yourself permission (😉) but you’d like to do something to improve your wine-ing experience in the long run, consider upgrading or adding to your wine glass collection with a couple of glasses from the likes of Riedel or Zalto Glas, so you can feel extra elegant while savoring your favorite bottle of red/white/pink/bubbles. It doesn’t matter if you’re dressed in sweats, sitting on your sofa, taking the time to enjoy a good glass of wine is, we venture to say, one of life’s many pleasures.
AN AMERICAN GIANT SWEATSHIRT - Speaking of sweats, we first introduced American Giant and their hoodies in our list of “50 Great Gift Ideas” last holiday season. However, we can’t not include them here too because they are so eminently comfortable and because we genuinely consider ours to be among the best gifts we’ve given ourselves in the last couple of years. A bit more expensive than your run-of-the-mill sweatshirt, there is a good reason for that: excellent quality. Ours has been through the laundry many times now but is still as soft and comfortable as the day we received it - none of that pilling that sometimes happens to the fleecy interior of lesser sweatshirts. Let’s just say, we’re not surprised that the American Giant hoodie has been dubbed “the greatest hoodie ever made.” Take your loungewear up a notch with one of their creations. We’re pretty sure you’ll thank us later. (Word to the wise: size up your order if you like a looser fit as their ‘slim fit’ is just that, slim fitting.)
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