In the mid-nineties, Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance was published. If you were a fan of the Oprah Winfrey show, you may have watched her breathlessly describe how this book changed her life. It IS a wonderful book and one that I bought again (after losing my copy during university moves) during COVID. The premise of the book is to enjoy the simple joys of every day life and look inward to see what our deepest desires are.
For all the simple joys, the author ended up having some not great life changes in the years that followed but I still find comfort and encouragement in the pages of Simple Abundance.
My favourite parts of the book are the “Joyful Simplicities” that are listed at the end of each month (the book is divided into months and themes, with an entry and quote for each day). They are suggestions for simple ways to celebrate the month such as “[remembering] that ice cream is good for the soul” (June) or “mull cider and/or wine on the weekends for an autumn cup of cheer” (October).
The nice thing about the ideas is that they don’t cost very much money. And that leads me to the theme of this post – little luxuries.
I think we are all feeling pretty squeezed these days with the cost of EVERYTHING going up. A small basket of groceries can ring up at over $60 and I even noticed big price increases on some of the things I bought all the time (e.g. Freshii bites were $1.97 at Walmart for the longest time and then suddenly they were $2.97).
It’s hard to justify spending a lot on facials, dinners out and new clothes when we are paying so much for everything else. But it got me thinking back to the lists in Simple Abundance and how so many of the ideas cost very little.
If you know me, you know I really love to shop. But there are some “little luxuries” (hint frugal) treats that I go back to and I’d love to share them here:
- Tranquil Moments Bubble Bath (Avon) – baths are my favourite way to unwind. This bubble bath is really relaxing and always on sale.
- Crème of Earl Grey (David’s Tea) – black tea has been researched for its ability to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and it really helps me start the day with a calm mind.
- Fresh flowers (my garden or anywhere!) – you don’t need to spend a lot to have a small arrangement of flowers to brighten up a room.
- Trufru chocolate covered strawberries – because of course chocolate is an affordable luxury! You can get these treats at Costco and they are so delicious. And they feel a little bit healthy too…
- Relaxing music – Spotify has so many relaxing things to download, from binaural beats to Dan Gibson’s Solitudes (flashback 90s!). I also love listening to music from Sleeping at Last and get compliments in my fitness classes when I use their songs during stretching 💗