*this post is in partnership with Olay
As I type this, I’m curled up on the floor of my living room in front of our first fire of the season. I’ve got a cozy throw around my shoulders, spicy candle burning nearby, and I’m feeling warm and satisfied from a just-finished cup of cocoa.
Yes, it’s no secret that my favorite thing about this season is cozying up and finding joy in the little things. Especially this year. Carving out little moments to treat myself feels like a major boost to my mood and overall wellness — as in, stress be gone. And when it feels like there’s a lot that’s out of our control (aka 2020), it’s good to remember that we can choose to find joy in our daily rituals, whether it’s curling up with a good book, lighting a seasonal candle while we work, or nourishing our skin with great products. For this post, I’m teaming up with our friends at Olay to share some of my current favorite simple luxuries – one of which is their new Renegerist Ultra Rich Moisturizer, which feels so luxe that it brings spa vibes to my bathroom at home.
Fall foliage or flowers.
Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards branches or dried grasses gathered in vases for my home – not only do they feel autumnal and earthy, they’re also an extremely cost-effective alternative to flowers since they can last weeks (or in the case of dried flowers/grasses, indefinitely!) I often trim branches from the olive trees in our backyard (like in the above photo) and arrange them simply in an earthenware pitcher or vase. Another hack I just learned on a trip to the flower market: with any type of grasses like pampas or wheat, give them a good coat of hairspray (!!) then place in a vase without water. After a few days they’ll dry out, and the hairspray will help keep them intact without shedding all over the house.
Olay Regenerist Ultra Rich Moisturizer
Ever since I first partnered with Olay a while back, I’ve been a total convert to the brand’s “red jar,” aka Regenerist Moisturizers, thanks to their uber effective anti-aging ingredients and seamless application. So, I was excited to find out that the newest member of the lineup, the Ultra Rich Moisturizer, takes things to the next level with the highest concentration of key ingredients to transform skin. Vitamin B3 + Peptides + Hyaluronic Acid provide major hydration and firming upon application, and a new shea butter blend makes it feel super rich without being greasy. It’s kind of amazing that all that is found in an affordable drugstore moisturizer. Like I said, I’m a convert.
So here’s how this fits into my “treat myself routine” lately: after a hot bath with epsom salts, I slather myself in body butter while my skin is still damp, then I use my dermaplaner (if I have time – it’s game-changing), exfoliate with a toner (always), then use a retinol serum, Ultra Rich Moisturizer, and eye cream. My skin feels so pampered, especially during this time of year when the air is drier than usual.
I made a little video of my nighttime routine that you can watch right here.
Pumpkin Spice (or Bourbon Vanilla or Cinnamon or Salted Caramel) Candle
Any super seasonal candle will do, because there’s nothing quite like getting you in a fall frame of mind than the scents of warm spicy goodness filling the air. The other day, I bought this candle on a whim, and it actually surprised me how much having it on my desk, burning while I work, makes me enjoy my workday so much more. Instead of rushing through my to-do list, it’s a little mental cue to slow down and enjoy the process. And yes, if drinking a pumpkin spice latté while inhaling the fragrance of this pumpkin spice candle is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
A Special, Soul-Warming Drink
I’ve always been enamored with the idea of Sweden’s fika ritual: it’s a little break in the middle of the workday for a coffee and a chat with a friend, no matter how busy things get. A slowing down and appreciating.
To make this habit feel extra luxurious, I love to have a few “special” drinks on hand that are sans alcohol (we’re talking about wellness vibes here people) but still feel festive. Apple cider, kombucha, citrus-y sparkling waters, or this blue lotus flower tea that you make by infusing an actual flower in hot water. It supports major relaxation, and looks very pretty in my favorite mug.
Winter Citrus + Dark Chocolate
Although fruit is frequently associated with the summer months, sweet and juicy in-season citrus fruit is one of winter’s greatest delights. I love to stock up on a variety when I go to the grocery, and splurge on one or two of the more exotic offerings that I may not have tried before. From blood oranges to kumquats to ruby red grapefruits to seville oranges, the options are truly endless. And since for me, the ultimate simple luxury is a bar of really good, really dark chocolate, an orange and chocolate pairing platter is the ultimate treat.
When I have friends over for dinner during the colder months, I love to end the meal by setting out a cutting board with a variety of pretty citrus fruit, a couple bars of dark chocolate that I’ve broken into pieces, and let them go at it. What could be simpler (or more delicious) than that?
A Stack of Magazines…
… and an afternoon to leisurely read them. I used to subscribe to so many magazines, and I couldn’t wait to settle onto the couch and read them cover to cover. In recent years, most of my subscriptions have gone digital, and I find myself quickly scrolling and skimming through them each month as unstructured leisure time feels harder to come by.
A couple weekends ago, I took a stack of my old Darling magazines off the shelf, kicked my feet up on the couch, and felt so inspired and relaxed as I flipped through the pages, reading every article, earmarking images that caught my eye, and just enjoying the moment. I came away with new creative ideas, and a reminder that sometimes reading a digital version just can’t compare to the real thing.
Luxury often carries with it an association with spending lots of money, but these simple pleasures are reminders of all the attainable moments of enjoyment we can work into everyday life.
Luxury is really just a state of mind — and let’s face it, we could all use some new ways to spark joy right now.