How to ‘Tune Up’ Your Everyday: 8 Everyday Life Items to Invest In for an Awesome Day
Monday July 8, 2024

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The key determining factor in whether to invest in something that to look at the price tag appears absurd when there are oodles of cheaper options is the answer to this question: Does it add value to my life that I cannot find elsewhere (i.e. from another lesser-quality product or service)?

Secondarily, as with any investment, the next question is: Will it accrue value over time?

When you begin to weigh these two questions, and bringing to the equation knowledge yourself and the lifestyle that brings you most fulfillment, the decisions become easier to make.

As July has begun, I have found myself assessing and taking stock of what needs ‘perking up’ – for example, any everyday item I use that needs maintenance or an upgrade, or seeing if there are any gaps that if I tended to them, the quality of my everyday would elevate.

Having a slightly more leisurely schedule this month (no travel plans, lighter production schedule, no major projects, just regularly weekly postings), I am take advantage of this window to essentially tune up my everyday. As well, many brands have sales on at the moment, so taking advantage of the savings on my favorite products.

Let’s take a look at eight of the life details to invest in for an awesome day.

1. Luxury Down Pillows

A great day begins after we’ve had an amazing night’s sleep, and it wasn’t until I slept my first night at The Savoy hotel in London in 2022 where we were given one of the higher end rooms at a very lovely low rate (as very few people were traveling at this time – we still had to take Covid tests to get back on the plane to come home and did so in the lobby of The Savoy – imagine the concierge administering a nasal swab🤦‍♀️ ), and I slept on their pillows.

Now I share that this was a higher-end room because not all rooms were accessorized as nicely – down to the quality of pillows as I later learned during my recent stay at The Savoy this past fall (still a lovely stay, but honestly I would almost pay for a nicer room just for the better pillows as the primary activity I am engaged in during my stay in a hotel is sleeping).

Back to the pillows during our stay in 2022: Keep in mind, this was on day/night 10 of our visit, so jet lag has largely been surpassed. The pillows were large – not European squares, but long – 80 cm (31 inches) by 50 cm (20 inches), and as wide/tall as a European pillow. That made this pillow dreamy indeed as you were entirely surrounded by the pillow when you rolled from side to side, but it was the fill and the amount of fill that swept me off to dreamland. I had the best night’s sleep I have ever had at a hotel, even, at that point, on any pillow, at home or otherwise.

So, yep, I quickly pulled back the pillowcase and snapped a photo of the brand of the pillow and became determined to find and shop for a few to ship to Le Papillon: Mühldorfer.

The company supplies pillows and bedding to the following luxury hotels around the world – see the list here. You will see that The Savoy as mentioned, along with The Ritz Paris, as well as Claridge’s in London, are listed.

Germanpillowmuhldorferbestsavoy

Well, that wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, until this year. I was so tickled to find that finally this made in Bavaria, Germany, brand of pillow and bedding, ships to the states. Yes, the shipping is not cheap, but knowing how amazingly made these pillows are, the price is worth it.

I shop the Royal collection and they have numerous sizes to choose from depending upon what you want (listed in cm). Mühldorfer also makes one luxury line of Eiderdown, and then just below the Royal collection is the Premium which would also be a worthwhile collection to purchase. The difference between the Royal and Premium collections is the percentage of down used in the pillow, so you really just want to know the type of feel and structure you desire.

I purchased one pillow to begin with to ensure I had the firmness I preferred, and I will now be purchasing one more for my primary bedroom and two more for my guest room as the budget enables.

~Shop all of Mühldorfer’s pillows and bedding here.

~I have permanently included a link to shop Mûhldorfer pillows in TSLL’s Shop under Décor (menu bar ‘TSLL SHOP’, then drop-down menu – Décor)


2. Samsung’s Frame TV

Last month I detailed why I chose to upgrade to the much-talked-about Frame TV, and hands down, as an everyday item I use, it was far forth the price. Read the detailed Home Tour post of my living room sharing all of the reasons I purchased it, details about what you need to install it, how to set up and use your own art.

Leftsidesofalookingtotv


3. Stock up on hair styling accessories – such as French Hair pins and Mini Spin pins

Whether I keep my hair down, I like to always have in my purse something I can rely on should I choose to pull my hair up – either into a French chignon, low messy bun or a ponytail.

I have shared a couple of times over the past few years that I often will pull my hair up and back into a chignon or French twist (even for yoga class), and I finally found a single item that holds my hair well and is simple to use, as well as looking nice! – the French hair pin, but not just any French hair pin. They need to be the right size and be made of a non-metal material, so it will not weight down my hair (I have a lot of hair, but it is fine, so can easily go flat, and as it is straight, it is quite slick and has little texture). I have found Machete’s French hair pins are perfect. The length needs to be 5″, and I choose the blond tortoise color. The price is $35 for each which may sound steep, but they work and you will have them forever (so long as you don’t lose them as I have done before).

As for putting my hair in a messy low bun, for years I have relied on Goody’s mini spin pins, and they work like a dream for my hair. I first pull my hair into a low ponytail (using a cloth hair band), and then twist and roll my pony tail around the base of the ponytail and pin with two pins into place. Back in 2013 I wrote this post where you can see my bun and a step-by-step how-to of how I style my bun, and the only thing I have upgraded to is the mini spin pins. I love using the dry shampoo that is listed and always have that in stock in my beauty supplies.


4. Linen sheet and pillow sham stock up and/or replacement

Piglet in Bed’s linen bedding is included in Nordstrom’s Anniversary sale

~Bed Threads has many different colors made of French flax – Looking for the shade of Oatmeal for my primary bedroom, their Euro shams were a perfect replacement fit for the ones that are now worn out in my linens.

~Brooklinen’s linen bedding

~Coyuchi’s luxury linen sheets

~Quince’s linen bedding — I picked up a couple of Euro shams in Mist as they currently are 50% off (see below)


5. A quality stainless steel weighted razor

A couple of years ago I invested in two different weighted razors and gave them each a try. Having used the razors sold at the grocery store for years, and simply replacing the blades as needed, that was what my budget could afford and they worked well; however, I wanted a cleaner, closer shave and a item that didn’t have plastic, so I did some exploring.

I ended up trying Oui the People as well as Hanni, and have used both, and highly recommend the former (the latter led to many cuts and a few in-grown hairs). Oui the People, a brand designed for sensitive skin, ensured there were no in-grown hairs, a very close shave as you apply absolutely no pressure as the weighted design provides that weight to rest against your skin. All you have to do is switch out the blades as necessary and when you buy the razor, 10 blades come with your purchase.

One brand I have not tried that looks to be equal in many ways to Oui the People (price is similar as well) is Leaf, and you can learn more about that brand here.

And as an extra bonus, these razors look nice in your shower.


6. Anti-Aging Body Lotion

When looking for a quality body lotion that will help reduce wrinkles and improve skin, there are a few ingredients you want to see near the top of the ingredients list: Niacinamide, Vitamin C and Retinol.

The Mayo Clinic explains how each work when applied to our skin:

Niacinamide: “can have a calming effect on the skin, making your skin more able to benefit from other ingredients in your cream”

Vitamin C: “when added to a wrinkle serum and used regularly, it reduces damage from the sun and pollution and reduces skin discoloration. Vitamin C helps your skin produce collagen too.”

Retinol: The Cleveland Clinic explains that it “increases skin cell production (proliferation). It helps unclog pores. Retinol also exfoliates your skin and increases collagen production, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, giving your skin a fresher, plump appearance.” Made from vitamin A compounds. It is weaker than a retinoid. Do not use if pregnant.

There are other ingredients as well – have a look here – and of course, always use sunscreen to prevent skin damage and premature aging.

I use, since 2022, and have noticed improvement (especially around my knees) when using Nuxe’s Toning Firming Cream. The US based Nuxe online shop is currently undergoing a change, so you will need to find this product on other shop’s sites, but if you are shopping outside of the states, you can find it directly on Nuxe’s website.

Other top recommended body lotions:


7. Comfortable (and sturdy) outdoor furniture

While it goes without saying that investing in quality furniture indoors is a worthwhile idea in the practice of quality over quantity (a sofa and stove were high on my list – see all of my sourcing in my home here), if you enjoy time outdoors on your patio, terrasse, in your garden, yard, etc., while you need not have much, investing in quality furniture to sit on is a wise idea.

After all, the furniture, when made well and with the best products (wood, metal, whichever the construction), will last far longer, and you will fully be able to relax when you sit down.

For example, invest in cedar, acacia, eucalyptus, or teak. The softwoods, such as cedar, have natural moisture-wicking properties. And teak, a hardwood, contains natural oils that are responsible for their amazing weather-resistant properties. Teak outdoor furniture will repel water, deter insects, and won’t warp with changes in humidity. Learn more about all of these wood types and their benefits and drawbacks here.

When it comes to metal, your chose comes down to aluminum or steel. Choose steel and here is why. Yes, I know it is heavy and will be more expensive, but it will last and it will function as you want it to – in other words you can fully relax in it without worrying you will bend it. Read this detailed article comparing the two and breaking down the pros and cons of each.

Coming later this month I will be sharing a tour of my bird garden where I have included a bistro set from a brand I highly recommend, and while an investment (so something I had my eye on for two years before I purchased), I am over-the-moon with my purchase. High quality, comfortable and handles the outdoor elements, including regular sprinklers, as if nothing has happened (I store it during the winter).

Bistrosetbirdgarden


8. Daily drink of choice, quality varietals – teas and/or coffees

Reflecting on something I enjoy every single day, and considering if I changed the quality to something inferior, my tea, hands down, is an investment I make ensuring I always have stocked my favorites. Some come from French companies and others British companies. Some can easily be found in the local grocery store – Twinings and Yorkshire Gold, others I have to have shipped, but once I began doing this move than six or so years ago, I have never stopped because I enjoy moments, multiple, throughout my day sipping a good cuppa.

Once you have tasted the quality that sings, especially in something so everyday, your taste preference forever has been elevated, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps a bit more expensive, yes, but worth investing in if sipping tea or coffee elevates the ordinary. For me, it is the sipping of tea that slows me down, encourages me to be still, and the more I do this regularly, the more I am fully present and reminded to simply savor.

You can view all of my favorite tea varietals here.


Now this is just the beginning of a list of items that elevate the everyday, but they have been on my mind as of late as I took stock. You can view other lists, such as the Modern Woman’s Lifestyle Grocery List here and explore the Small, Yet Significant Everyday Details at Home as you too perhaps assess what is working, what is needed and how to bring more enjoyment and quality to your everyday.

Freshrosesgardenvasejuly24teacup

16 thoughts on “How to ‘Tune Up’ Your Everyday: 8 Everyday Life Items to Invest In for an Awesome Day

  1. Such a fun post. I don’t think I’ll ever sleep on anything but linen sheets again. I’ve wanted to try a French hairpin so thanks for the recommendation. Also, the Hanni razor left me with a lot of small cuts. I kept thinking I was using it wrong. I recommend the Naturium brand for a retinol body lotion- it’s a great price point. I do love the everyday upgrades!

    1. Cathy,

      Thank you for stopping by and you were not alone. I carefully used the Hanni razor (no pressure, etc) and had some not fun cuts. I think you will feel much more satisfied and cut-free with Oui the People. Thank you for the recommendation of the Naturium lotion. 😌

  2. We scaled up to Eileen Fisher Linen sheets during the pandemic and they have been wonderful. Then we added high quality down pillows with silk pillowcases (Bliss). It really makes a difference!
    We’re staying at The Savoy in September so I’ll have to compare! Those pillows sound divine.

    I’m going to look at the French hair pin. At last my hair is long enough to pin up, and I’ll have a look at your how to video. Five inches seems big to me, but I’ll see.

    Thanks to Cathy for the recommendation of the Naturium brand for retinol body lotion.

    1. Cannon,

      Thank you for stopping by! Quality sheets make a wonderful difference in our sleep and since we spend 1/3 of our life sleeping, it just makes sense! Thank you for sharing what you have found and love.:) Thank you as well for sharing the silk pillowcases you use. That brand is a great one! And when you stay in September at the Savoy, the pillows, be sure to check the label and note that they do use different quality of pillows depending upon which room you have. The rooms just behind and above the check-in area (so to the right of the restaurant and foyer, are the premiere rooms and suites, and the rooms to the right (down the hall, past the rest rooms) – where I stayed the second time (still awesome rooms), had lesser quality pillows, but still great ones. Enjoy! What a beautiful time to be in the city.

      Regarding the hairpin. As you know my hair is longer, so I have more hair, there are 3″-4″ hairpins in a similar design that you might want to look into, and since your hair is shorter, make sure not use metal as it will weigh the hair down. There are many sizes out there, so keep searching until you find what works best. They really are simple to use, a simple gathering of your hair at the nape of your neck, twist the “ponytail” one or two times depending upon how tight or loose you want the top part, and then pin over and flip-back 180 degrees and into the hair. They usually have visuals on the packaging, but you can watch many Youtube tutorials as well. I have been doing for over twenty years, it is now habit and I don’t really think about it. Having just one pin now makes it so much nicer. 🙂

      Have a great week!

  3. After purchasing linen sheets, it is difficult to sleep on anything else. My son had a recent sleep in my bed and talked about how comfy it was. We have the same exact mattress, but those sheets make all the difference. Like Cannon, I have paired with a silk pillowcase and it makes for a fabulous night sleep. Right now, I use a feather pillow, however think I might give the down a go. Although I love the feathered, I have to fluff in dryer as it tends to flatten quickly.
    I also love the French hairpins, which work great with my very thick hair. Shannon, thank you for the reminder of the corkscrew pins. One item I lost in the fire that I forgot all about replacing. Can’t believe I didn’t remember them sooner as it’s been almost 7 years on. I will be getting them soon as they are perfect for thick hair as well.

    ~Michelle

    1. Michelle,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with linen sheets. Yep, I too will never go back to cotton. 🙂 As you shared, the feather does become flatten very quickly, and it is the down that I prefer. I think you will like. Happy to bring the mini spiral hair pins back round. Any time I am not using this pin and instead a straight large bobby pin, I am reminded how secure the former is. So simple, and so few to use to hold the bun.

      Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  4. Shannon, I love your posts which show rituals, and honoring our rituals with quality, not quantity in our choices. Slightly off topic, when my grandson left for university Charlie Brown (Havanese) came to live with me, and would sleep nowhere but with me on my bed. Cannot seem to change his mind. I have good bedding, and wish he would love his own bed.

    Do your beautiful KCharles Spaniels join you, or ?? I am not entirely sure CB could be re-trained at the age of 12.

    Love the photos of Oscar and his new sis…

    1. Joan, my pups sleep with me, always have. I place a blanket across the bed that can handle regular washings and all has worked very well. 😌 It’s a bonding thing and you are building trust. Once you feel comfortable with your bedding protected, I think you will find more ease and Charlie Brown will be forever grateful. ☺️

  5. Thanks for all this info, Shannon. All very helpful and thought-provoking. I have been known to dig under hotel sheets to see just what kind of mattress I slept so well on. I’m tempted to give those pillows a spin, they sound heavenly. May I ask if you are a side sleeper, which would give me an indication of if they would work well for me. I tend to feel like I’m suffocating if I sink too far into a pillow. Oh, and silk pillowcases, yes yes yes!
    One thing I had to share after reading about razors, cuts, lotions, etc. My thrifty grandmother always shaved with lotion, since it cut an extra expense of shaving cream and time/energy in half…. you’ve gotta lotion after anyways. I gave it a try and haven’t looked back!

    1. Melissa,

      Sounds like we have many readers who are savvy and are checking those labels when something works well while we travel. Love it! I too am a side sleeper, so perhaps that will help you make a decision. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your tip about the silk pillowcases and the approach to shaving. 🙂

  6. Shannon, my husband and I have brought some bits into our home that we have enjoyed when on holiday. Our everyday cutlery was spotted in a cottage we stayed in when our boys were young. We discovered it was from IKEA and promptly invested in a set and it’s still going strong. And, we recently bought a new mattress because they’re used in a hotel chain we use. We have also purchased bed linens too and I always check labels so loved this piece. I need to upgrade my hair clips too so I shall have a look at what you suggest. I have long fine wavy hair so find it hard to get the right weight of pins etc so thanks for the prompt. X

    1. Nicola,

      I love that you too are checking hotel labels! Kindred spirits! ☺️ And thank you for the heads up about Ikea – great to know about their cultery. 🙂
      Yep, I am in a similar situation with my hair, so it has taken time, but the small “mini” spin pins work well for me (the large is unnecessary or regular size. I hope you it works for you too!

  7. Investing in everyday luxuries has made a tremendous difference in my life. I’ve tried several brands of linen sheets, and the Piglet in Bed linen is, hands down, the best I’ve found. The saturated colors that can be mixed and matched plus the weight of the sheets make for a beautiful bed. I have also found my signature laundry detergent (The Laundress No. 723) for my sheets, which enhances my enjoyment of getting into bed. I have three dogs and two cats. My Newfoundland and cats sleep with me every night. My two Leonbergers and the cats nap on my bed throughout the day. Piglet in Bed sheets hold up with no problem! I tried another brand, Brooklinen, and they showed wear and were see through in spots after a few months.

    Once I took the time to find my everyday luxuries I learned that I could stop wasting money on other products. For my kitchen, I love the Homecourt products in the steeped rose scent. Oh, and the Frame TV! What a difference that has made in my living room. It elevates the space and has fooled quite a few people into thinking it was a framed piece of art rather than my TV.

    I’m excited to try the recommended razor and both of the hair pins! Thank you, Shannon, for the recommendations!

    1. Kirsten,

      Thank you SO much for sharing your honest review of these brands. I am new to Piglet in Bed but will be scooping up a few of their sheets during Nordstrom’s sale and appreciate your words. As well, thank you for the Brooklinen insight – similar brands for me that have shown quick wear are Pottery Barn. One brand that actually has done well is The White Company of all places and of course, vintage cannot be beaten if we have a chance to travel to France or Belgium and pick up sheets at brocantes there.

      Thank you for sharing your sleeping situation – sounds similar to mine, but smaller pups! ☺️🐾❤️ Your pups are so special and knowing how to best live with them and what works in our home is key. Thank you for the introduction. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing as well that you too enjoy and appreciate the Frame TV. 🙂

      Investing in quality, as you have shared, easing the decision making process and ultimately saves us both time and money. Great points! 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by.

  8. Hi Shannon, I’m a first timer to linen sheets. Is there any way for you to rank your experience with the brands? Love this list.

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