Hello Sweets. Today I have uploaded a very basic Lifestyle Shopping List to the download page, so that we can begin to think about getting into the habit of shopping for a scrumptiously pretty lifestyle without overwhelming ourselves with tall orders for obnoxiously rare or expensive items.
The trick to successfully using a Lifestyle Shopping List is to bring your most regular puttery treats in line with your regular shopping habits. So for example deciding that the lavender oil you can buy in your local health food store will do the job equally as well as the darling little vial of French lavender oil your Great Auntie Mabel brought back from a week in Provence in 1995.
While it is wonderful to aspire to loveliness, there is very little point in building your routines and rituals around items that you will have to move mountains for, or spend bucketloads of pennies on, to make happen again. In this way you merely set yourself up to fail. So first up, we have to get real about what is available to us to make life that little bit less ordinary and then we have to commit to those same puttery treats if they are to become rituals we adore.
On the shopping list I have created there are just six or seven spaces for listing the components of your chosen rituals for each of the main rooms in the house. This is deliberate, as it is absolutely essential that you do not get carried away stuffing your life with ritualistic puttery treats for this I know for absolutely sure: the minute you feel overwhelmed with the organisation of more than a few treats, is the minute before you will throw in the tea-towel and decide that a life of pot noodles and Special Brew is the life for you.
So don’t go mad. If you followed my instructions last time, you will have in your planners, a list of all the treats you want to include in your life. Today I want you to take out that list and study it with a realistic eye. Which of the treats are truthfully never going to happen? Which cost too much money to happen on a regular basis? And which of those treats can be re-invented so that they are possible on a daily or weekly basis?
This may mean that you have a bunch of farm shop bucket daffodils on your bedside instead of the hard to find, single white cabbage rose you visualise: but the point is that you are still indulging your eye, still providing a tiny bit of floral happiness for that eye to rest on. So the treat stays the same, but it’s components alter to take into account availability and ritualistic possibility. And so it goes on as you work your way through your list, altering your expectations so that you can enjoy the ritual of the treats without getting hung up on on it’s pernickity, finniky, hard to come by details.
Now this isn’t to say that I am saying you must look at your life and downgrade it at every turn so that your whole life can be chucked into a trolley at the supermarket, I am simply saying that in order to fill our days with small pleasures, we need to adjust them according to what is on our doorstop, to ingredients we can discover and replace routinely, without adding unnecessary excursions and expense to our lives.
This still leaves room for luxuries, the kinds of little somethings you are given, or buy for yourself on special days out, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I am advocating the abandonment of the many teeny tiny puttery joys we seek daily as Vintage Housekeepers, I am merely saying that when it comes to lifestyle, less is more: because we build the routines that dictate the aesthetics of our lives by repetition and commitment and we can neither repeat nor commit to a ritual dependent on components we have do not have regularly at hand.
What, then, will you put on your lifestyle shopping list?