Everyone deserves a little luxury in their lives. Whether you’re worth a million bucks, or just need to forget that you’re surviving on a diet of ramen noodles (blame the horses for that one), we’ve got you covered with our list of life-changing little luxuries.
Okay, let’s be real, they likely will not change your life. But they just might make you feel better about it.
A Signature Scent: Galop d’Hermes Parfum
Behold - after a lifetime of searching (30-something years), traveling near and far (I went to our local mall in Southern California), testing and analyzing the many options (I read about this particular one online and concluded that I had to give it a try), I have discovered my signature scent: Galop d’ Hermès Parfum. Okay, okay - so this elusive task came a bit easy to me. But I’m pretty damn pleased with the accomplishment and my ability to check this box on the “sophisticated things you must do before you die” list. It’s as if I can see grandmothers smiling down on me from the universe above, giving me a little pat on the back.
When my little luxe-scouting ears caught wind of Hermes’ addition to their fragrance family line-up with Galop d’Hermès, I was immediately intrigued. A “contemporary manifesto” with two standout essences in the form of masculine leather (yeah) and feminine rose (heck, yeah). Add in the quintessential and exceptional “object” stirrup bottle Hermes is known for, and bam - I was sold and my elusive signature scent quest was over. Whatever your personal tastes may be, finding your signature scent is simply about finding something that you like. Ignore the science. Don’t overanalyze. Try it, wear it, let it evolve. Your signature scent will come to you in time. But if you have a taste for leather and rose, then cut to the chase and give this one a try. Galop d’Hermès Parfum, $215.00, www.hermes.com
Horse-Proof Digits: Gel Manicures
Four years ago, I committed myself to presentable nails. And it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve spent a lifetime working outside with, and around, animals. Throw in my perpetual anxiety-induced nail biting and picking, on top of a penchant for bold colors, and what was I left with? Messy nails and a self-designated requirement to try and look at least partially professional. So what’s a girl to do? I scheduled into my already overwhelming calendar a bi-monthly gel manicure. While I may be covered in dirt and bruises, exhibiting sunburned arms and sun-deficient legs, messy helmet head and occasionally questionable attire, at least my nails are looking good. It’s a little luxury that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Pure Magic: MAS Bisjoux
Give us modern, simplistic, semi-precious mystical jewelry and we are in. Make it unicorn themed, and we go crazy like a kid for Halloween candy. The Magix the Unicorn collection from luxe jewelry designer MAS Bisjoux is just the healthy dose of statement-making luxury that you need to complete any ensemble. Right now, we are particularly fond of the 14k Rose Gold Magix the Unicorn Ring, complete with a genuine white diamond eye. Maybe because it pairs real nicely with those fresh horse-proof gel nails... Regardless, let your middle finger (or any finger) enjoy some luxury and appreciate the small, shiny things. Magix the Unicorn Ring in 14k Rose Gold, $800.00, www.masbisjoux.com
Insta-Style: Coffee Table Books
You don’t possess a decorating bone in your body? No problem. Do as the stylish designer types do: buy some stellar coffee table books, leave them open on display and flip the pages on a weekly basis. Voila! You’ve got interior styling 101 in the bag.
Our personal libraries are filled with a multitude of tomes and monographs. Favorites include the bold, the beautiful and the big. Did I mention that they double as art? Any of the Abrams-published Slim Aarons pieces are a solid choice. For pure equestrianism, get yourself Vicky Moon’s books - The Stylish Life: Equestrian or The Private Passion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. American style is epitomized in Ralph Lauren’s massive namesake ‘landmark volume’ celebrating a lifetime of iconic and defining style. And when all else fails, scour your local antique stores for vintage gems - old horse show programs, sporting art books, and other old treasures can coexist beautifully with modern day tomes.
Do The Splits: Personal Sized Champagne
I’m a one-drink wonder. Always have been. If I dare move onto a second drink, things get a little dicey and my lips a little loose. So, I tend to stick to single libation intake, which makes opening a bottle of wine or better yet, sparkling wine (hands down favorite), slightly wasteful. Enter the wide, wonderful world of splits. It’s all the celebratory, luxurious bubbly I need packaged in one mini, and totally drinkable, package.
Had a crap jump schooling session? Open a split. Tortured by your trainer in a no stirrups flat lesson? Open a split. Had a stellar round in the show ring? Obviously, open a split.
So, what is a split you ask? A normal bottle of wine is equivalent to 750ml. A demi or half bottle holds 375ml. A split is 187.5ml. Buy a couple to have on hand (Moet & Chandon splits retail for $12.99), leave them in your fridge, and treat yourself as needed.
Old School Entertainment: Playing Cards
Nothing says mid-century chic better than the ability to play a damn good card game. It’s equally geeky and entirely fabulous. So put down that phone, turn off the TV, and spend a little down time playing a game of cards. Did we mention that this is a great activity for one to enjoy at horse shows between rounds? Gin Rummy is a personal favorite, enjoyed best over a glass of wine (hint, hint). Elevate your card playing style with fantastical razzle-dazzle and buy yourself an extra fancy deck of cards, like these luxe options from Hermès. Or tap into your childlike ways and play a Game of Memory with these beauties, also from Hermès. www.hermes.com
Music To Our Ears: Frank Sinatra Pandora Station
No joking here - if you are looking to elevate your surroundings, feel classy AF, all while eating your ramen noodles and lamenting over your last vet bill, then create a Frank Sinatra Pandora station. It’s upper echelon Americana at its best. From good ol’ blue eyes to Ella Fitzgerald to Dean Martin to Bing Crosby to Sammy Davis Jr., this is Rat Pack era musical perfection. Doesn’t matter your age or taste, music transcends and transports. Heck, it might even transport you to a larger bank account.
The Power Of: Flowers
This is a no-brainer. Fresh flowers are perhaps the number one thing that comes to mind when you think of life’s little luxuries, yet we often don’t commit to having fresh florals in the home. Be it life/time/money/negligence, this is a hard one to make happen regularly, yet it is quintessentially luxurious. Go ahead - treat yourself and buy that grocery store bouquet. Or better yet, sign yourself up for a flower subscription. Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly -- whatever works for you and your budget, subscription and online floral retailer UrbanStems has you covered. And, it’s uber luxury-chic. UrbanStems, www.urbanstems.com
Jot It Down: Luxe Stationery
The art of the handwritten note is not dead. No. We refuse to accept this. Old world correspondence is alive and well and carries much more weight than today’s instantaneous means of communication.
Yes, we send our fair share of text messages, emails, DM’s, smoke signals, carrier pigeons, and what-have-you. But every once in a while, it is a true luxury to pump your breaks, pick up a decent writing utensil, and express yourself the old-fashioned way. And on the receiving end? Nothing is sweeter than finding a piece of physical snail mail in your mailbox that does not classify as junk or bills. We are particularly fond of the stationery options from retailers such as Paperless Post (yes, they do offer actual paper post, despite the name), Sugar Paper, and Moo. Many offer bespoke options, letter pressing (oh la luxe), and much more.
So write that dang letter, find a pen pal, send a note - just because. You’ll get the warm and fuzzies, and feel extra fancy in the process.
Something Old: Vintage Luxe
They say once you go vintage, you don’t go back.
That’s a lie. We made that up. But there’s some truth in this statement, and investing in quality vintage goods is one of the best ways to infuse true luxury into your life. Several years ago I jumped into the ring of online luxury consignment in an effort to purge the items I no longer need and put a little money in my pocket (or more appropriately stated, my horse show savings account). I began with The Real Real, became obsessed, and haven’t looked back. While I consign with TRR, I equally love to peruse the endless amounts of luxury vintage items for sale. Sometimes it’s just digital window shopping, other times I discover a true one-of-a-kind piece that I cannot live without. From art to clothing to accessories and home decor - you cannot go wrong with vintage. The Real Real, www.therealreal.com