“Being a woman no longer means being silent and subservient. A modern woman is strong, but in a subtle, confident way that doesn’t need to be abrasive. A woman’s looks can be helpful, but her brains will always propel her to where she wants to go. A modern woman is well-educated; she is up on what is going on in the world around her so that no one can pull the wool over her eyes.” –Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide
The Simple Sophisticate, episode #28
Throughout the duration of TSLL blog, many lists have been shared: back-to-school/work, weekly grocery, travel tote packing, 10 wardrobe essentials and maintaining a simply luxurious life – just to name a few. But after perusing through some of my favorite magazines over the weekend and tending to my to-do list to stock up on certain lifestyle basics that had run out, I realized there was one list that has not yet been shared – the lifestyle grocery list.
What is the lifestyle grocery list?
Any item that requires money in your budget, but doesn’t occur regularly (i.e. weekly or monthly), minus food or clothes. This list includes a variety of arenas of our lives as keeping these items stocked allows for our lives to run more smoothly, our confidence to soar, a healthy balance between work and leisure to be struck, networking and relationships to remain strong and our knowledge of the world to regularly stimulated and informed.
From thank you cards to basic blank stationery and even the annual holiday cards, make a point of trying to stock up before you run out, as you never know when you’ll need them, but you’ll always be glad you do have them at the ready. (TSLL Rec ~ Inslee Stationery)
2. 2-3 Intriguing Books
Whether you have a book on your nightstand next to your bed, in your purse or prepped and ready next to your favorite reading chair in the living room, have two or three books of different genres so that no matter what your mood, you will always have something to dive into. Here are three categories I have found to cover all of my bases of potential moods and interests: leisure (cozy mystery, beach reading, etc), literature (classics, award-winners, etc) and non-fiction (how-to, biographies, history, lifestyle, inspiration, etc)
3. Favorite tea, coffee or drink of choice
Knowing you have your favorite coffee in the morning ready to help kick off the day or your favorite sipping tea in the evening to unwind is a wonderful comfort to bookend the day. Be kind to yourself when choosing your varietals, and remember that such a simple luxury can make a very big difference. (TSLL recommends ~ Palais des Thes Montagne Bleue, BeeCrowBee black lavender, Mariage Frere Vert Provence)
4. Trusted Make-Up Basics
Thankfully make-up doesn’t need to be purchased each month, as it can become expensive, but it is a necessary purchase to include in our budget. Whether you are an extensive routine, or something simple, be sure to have these five basics stocked: concealor, blush, lipstick, primer, and mascara. After all, when we look are best, our confidence receives an extra boost and we are better able to forget how we look and focus fully on what we are doing.
5. Necessary Hair Products
Now this list, similar to the make-up list, will vary based on you, but for a general list, most of us need products to help us prep, style, hold, and repair. And to maintain a blow-out as not everyone washes their hair everyday, having a dry shampoo is always a good idea.
Lately, I have fallen in love with having scented candles around the home. Especially during the chillier months, candles offer the similar touch as fresh flowers as they cozy up the space and soften the mood. (TSLL Recommends ~Archipelago, Diptyque – Santal & Lavender)
7. Bubble Bath
Dipping into a warm bubble bath at the end of a long day or during a leisurely weekend is a simple pleasures that must be enjoyed from time to time. While yes, a bath without bubbles works just as well, there is just something lovely about the texture, opaque appearance and often scent depending upon which varietal you purchase. These are my two favorites: verbena & lavender.
Ah, the outlet for self-therapy, expressing gratitude, keeping a personal history, cataloging ideas, and anything else that prompts you to write, having a journal on-hand at all times is something I highly recommend. Often purchased twice a year, sometimes once, a journal is a trusted companion that doesn’t cost all that much to maintain.
As I’ve mentioned several times on the blog, in the book and on the podcast, one of my favorite rituals if I haven’t indulged in dessert is one dark chocolate truffle paired with a cup of black lavender tea. A simple luxury that always satiates my taste buds and signals to my mind that its time to unwind, Arrowhead Chocolates are always ready to be enjoyed.
A razor that is primed and ready to work its magic is a simple item we may take for granted. Making sure we are not using a dull razor as well will help avoid razor burn and unnecessary stubble.
Sometimes this item is something I forget about and keep brushing away with a bristles that really aren’t doing much. Every six months, help your teeth and your gums out and pick up a new toothbrush.
Certainly items that are worth the investment, caring for our skin will allow our best selves to shine and prevent unnecessary pre-mature aging. From cleanser to moisturizer, eye cream, scrub, masques, and body lotion, have a look here for tips on how to create glowing skin.
13. Planner Refills
As someone who still using a hold-in-your-hands planner, this requires an annual refill. While I have tried to go completely digital, the writer in me needed to physically be able to write, erase, pen-in the events of my everyday life. Scratch this from your list if you are paperless. (Franklin Planners)
14. Make-up Application Tools
Each woman’s make-up routine will be different, and aside from the brushes we use and clean, we will need to keep stocked the disposable items such as: cotton balls, Q-tips, sponges, etc.
15. 2-5 subscriptions for regular reading material
Part of being a savvy citizen, individual and wise decision-maker is knowing what is going on in the world. Also, having when we stay abreast of news in our fields of interest, we have ample conversation topics and deepen our own knowledge base as well. Here are just a few ideas of subscriptions you may want to include in your reading repertoire: local newspaper, world/national newspaper, periodicals, hobbies, etc. Below is a potential list of specific publications that I have in the past or currently enjoy that you may be interested in:
- The New Yorker
- The Economist
- The Week
- The New York Times
- The Wall Street Journal
- Times Literary Supplement
- The New York Review of Books
- Vogue US
- Real Simple
- The English Home
- Harper’s Bazaar
- Elle UK
- Elle US
- Town & Country
- Vanity Fair
- Bon Appetit
- Elle Decor
- House Beautiful
16. Business Cards
Whether you run your own business, work for a company, teach, or simply are done working in the traditional work-force, having a card to quickly hand someone that contains your information is always a good idea. After all, you are your brand, so enjoy designing your card if you have that luxury. I prefer to use the online printing business Zazzle, as they offer great prices and endless options so you can design the precise card to match your vision. (Vistaprint)
17. Nail Polish
Even if you have the luxury of paying someone else to do your nails, having polish and top coat at home is a good idea for chips and touch-ups. As someone who does her own pedicures and manicures, having these two items fresh and full is a good idea for whenever I can squeeze in this pampering activity.
While much of the correspondence we are involved in doesn’t required stamps, if we are sending cards and using our stationery, we will need to have stamps.
If you have any type of prescription whether for health, eye-sight, etc, this is a must-have item to budget for whenever the cycle is about to run-out.
Perfume can last six months to a year and still have its potency, but not having it always makes me feel naked. Since it is an item that doesn’t need to be purchased as often, investing in a quality fragrance is a wonderful idea.
If I can, picking up flowers weekly is ideal, but either due to the season or my budget needs, this may not always happen. While a discretionary purchase, purchasing flowers and bringing them home can add a warm and welcoming touch.
22. Dry Cleaning
Necessary, but not always on a regular basis, keeping a little extra available for such moments when your favorite dress, blouse or skirts need to be cared for is a worthwhile investment in your style, presentation and confidence.
Perhaps your planner refills involve a calendar element as well, but if part of your home decor is hanging a wall calendar, this is a yearly expense to budget for.
24. Fitness Passes
Depending upon your fitness regimen, you may already pay a monthly gym fee or not attend a gym or classes at all. As someone who attends yoga classes, I purchase a pass with a certain number of classes and it runs out once I’ve used each pass. This is not a monthly expense, but something I need to budget for when it is about to run out.
Primarily, the reason to be aware of our lifestyle grocery list is to recognize what our budget needs to be prepared for, rather than being surprised when we run out of items we depend on regularly. Not all of these items will be on your list, as I have compiled it from what I tend to need and use in my own life. Please do share items that you feel I should add, as I am always looking for feedback.
Most importantly, living well, living simply luxuriously is about living consciously and handling those items which are completely in our control. Being prepared, looking our best, and feeling our best are three things that we can influence in a variety of ways. Why not do all that we can?
~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
~blopro The Perfect Shower Cap, only
$9 (updated 8/26/17 – $18)
With a terry cloth liner that soaks up steam and moisture, your blow-out will remain in tact on those days when washing your hair isn’t necessary. A simple beauty must-have that will save time and maintain your great style.
~Care Instructions: After each use, turn inside out to dry. For occasion washing of the cap, wash in the gentle cycle and do not run through the dry, set out to dry (inside out).