Life’s Little Luxuries: Everyday Celebrations

The following is a post inspired by Häagen-Dazs® ice cream, encouraging life’s little luxuries. It’s about taking a step back and enjoying all that’s important and delicious in life.

When I began writing about this topic, I thought it’d be easy. I was going to start by saying that even though the vacation is months away or that long weekend getaway isn’t even on the books yet that there were a few things you could do to have some fun. I knew I had certain rituals to make a Wednesday seem special (it’s a bottle of champagne enjoyed with a roasted chicken), but when I posed the question of Facebook it became an entirely different post.

What did I find? I discovered that there were dozens of people, some personal acquaintances and some not, who don’t need an excuse, a blog post, or even a reason to celebrate what matters most to them. There are people so filled with life that it spills out and flows all around them, people that really know what matters most (hint: it can’t be bought!) and people who love life so much that there is always a celebration or party wherever they may be.

Even on a Monday.

Heck, these people are my role models!

I discovered that Monica will pile the kids into the car and head out to the nearest ice cream place and eat huge sundaes for dinner, just to make an ordinary day extraordinary. The thought of this brings the world’s biggest smile to my face, can you imagine how it’d make you feel as a kid? I adore Monica and know this isn’t an everyday event, it’s for those special moments when you throw caution to the wind and really do something fun as a family. I think a spontaneous Sundae Supper is going to be a tradition over here.

 

I learned that Sherri Jo will have a weeknight fondue with the family in the middle of the living room with a great movie and plenty of special drinks (cocktails for the adults, mocktails for the kids), even in the fancy glasses! You want to talk about celebrating life! This is a party of the “just because” variety, and it makes me realize that when you love life and your family you always have a reason to celebrate. I can hear the laughter and see the smiles from here! Besides, melted cheese? Oh Sherri Jo I love you…

 

My friend Ellen of Neat Productions (who also happens to be my Photographic Guardian Angel, fyi) tells me a very special tale that all business owners and freelancers will appreciate: she takes her lunch outside, complete with silver tray and beautiful china. On a regular day. Because her husband is a freelancer as well, they do not discuss work things during their outdoor break, instead taking the time to sit under a tree and enjoy the meal before them as well as each other’s company. I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time to enjoy lunch this way, it’s usually a rushed affair where I barely stop to acknowledge my surroundings. I aspire to incorporate a bit more Ellen into my life, and I’m starting with this very simple way of celebrating life’s little luxuries.

 

Stephanie had an excellent way to make your day special, and it seemed to be enjoyed by a few others as well: breakfast for dinner. There were a few times as a kid we did this too, and it always made me smile. I can’t really explain why, something about changing things up with food makes it automatically special, or maybe it’s sitting down to a plate of fluffy pancakes for dinner that makes life special. It’s all about the celebration.

 

Denise tells me of a tradition that must immediately be incorporated into my life: Champagne Fridays. These tastings happen one Friday a month and involve tasting (and enjoying) a new champagne at home. As a bubbles lover this sings to me, and I love the idea of taking something so regular and elevating it into something elegant at home. And since we’re on the adult beverages tip, I can’t find a better example of someone who knows how to celebrate better than my friend Dana Robinson, who was my very first friend when I moved to LA over 10 years ago. She’s also my ITG (International Travel Girlfriend), but what I admire most is her longstanding tradition of creating a luscious bloody mary bar at home on Sunday mornings. Just because. Laying out great ingredients, a good vodka, gorgeous glassware and inviting friends over makes for a perfect weekend. PERFECT. And when I think about the afternoon nap that must follow afterwards, well, this is really what life is all about, isn’t it?

And Other discoveries? Grady makes sure to enjoy dinner with a beautiful place setting, napkins, and real flowers on the table. Diane keeps fresh flowers at her office on Mondays. Elizabeth and her boys give each other awards at dinner: “Best Mom”, “Best Cookie Eating” and have indoor picnics. Many others celebrate with Pizza Nights, Burrito Nights and Taco Nights (hell to the yes here, folks!). And my dear friend Linda keeps special ingredients on hand (homemade pâté!) which she will enjoy with a baguette and champagne followed by macarons on days that prove to be a challenge.

I sincerely want to thank all the people who took the time to share the special moments in their lives that celebrate everyday through food and drink. If these aren’t surefire ways to celebrate and enjoy life’s simple pleasures then I don’t know what is. Now I’m off to find some champagne!

Comments

  1. Angela says

    Aww Matt. I love this post. Once, when Zoe was little and we gave her breakfast for dinner, she was initially confused. She looked at her pancakes, looked at us, looked back at her plate. Finally she said, in her sweet little voice “Mommy, are we poor?” Precious.

  2. says

    I LOVE this so much Matt! I think I might just start the champagne Fridays for my honey and I too :) <3 it! Life is short and your tribe of family and friends so need to know how important they are to you…. what better reason to celebrate than being with people you love and who love you?

    You are awesome!

  3. says

    What a wonderful post! I LOVE how the majority of the great ideas mentioned are done at home, and all at little to no cost! The main thing is to break the monotony that life seems to turn into when we become grown-ups! Thank you, Matt!

  4. says

    Great post, Matt. Thank you for the mention of our Champagne Fridays. It is definitely a great way to end the week with the one you look. Not to mention so much fun trying new bubbles from different parts of the world.

    I love many of these ideas; but, the thought of breakfast for dinner really pulls me in. Going to have to play with that idea, at least once a month. Maybe with bubbles!

  5. says

    What a great post! I truly loved it.
    We sometimes take bowls, cutlery and all to the beach just because, to make an impromptu dinner picnic. But my favorite way of making a day special is going to a random cafe or restaurant and asking the server to bring me anything they want, to surprise me. Some of them have really gone out of their way to prepare great things just for me, or play a joke to see if I would really try anything, and I have tried many new things as a result of this. LOVE your blog.

  6. says

    Fabulous! LOVE Angela’s comment above. My kids have a blast with breakfast for dinner. Something about it is so innocent and yet so offbeat. Life’s little luxuries are a plenty over here. Your grateful friend :) xo

  7. says

    I love this – I think that finding celebrations in the everyday would make life so much happier for everyone! Great post, Matt

  8. says

    Love, love, love this post…anyone who wants to stay sane needs days that are somewhat off the beaten path, and God knows we have several of those. Taco Tuesday’s is one of our favorite days and Friday nights are pretty cool too. Friday nights we have family night where we play boardgames with our kiddos and either make our own pizzas or have some leftovers from during the week. Thanks for some new ideas….have a great lunch y salud!

  9. says

    Great post Matt. I was going to suggest a monthly bottle of bubbly myself until I got to the end of the article! Life itself is a special occasion, so don’t save those things for only the big events.

  10. says

    Love all the ideas! We also have ‘breakfast for dinner’ at least once a week; and when hubby travels and I have the house to myself; I must confess to ‘ice-cream for breakfast.’ :)

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