No holidays on the horizon? Here are 25 things making me a little happier at home right now
We will get there – it WILL happen.
With the recent announcement earlier this week of the delay of the next stage of the reopening, I think many of us are disappointed. It feels like a step back – again – and I think more so than anything, we all need to feel like we are moving forward at this stage. Towards normality. Towards things we have missed. Towards feeling like the world start looking like it once did again.
For most of us, it will be another summer close to home. Maybe some day trips, or a little staycation. But, by and large, like last summer, a summer spent mostly at home. Which, I know, is not where most of us want to be – having spent more time inside the walls of our homes than ever before these past 18 months.
But – it is what it is, and I am a firm believer in making the most of things. And so right now, I am planning on, as much as possible, make my home feel like a spa-like, fun and cosy resort this summer. I am planning on indulging in little luxuries, lighting the expensive candles, buying the new garden swing, and generally just doing whatever it takes to make me feel happier at home this summer holiday.
And right now, these 25 little things are doing just that:
1. The Essentials Body Duo – The Body Cream and The Body Wash
Call me shallow, but there is just something about nice shower products that always makes me feel better. Right now, I am obsessed with the new Essentials collection from Pestle & Mortar, and love that they are made with 99 percent natural ingredients, and as suitable for me and they are for the rest of the family.
€40, Pestle & Mortar
2. Enamelled pots
Looks like it will be another little while until we'll be eating inside restaurants again, so cooking at home it is. At least cooking in my new pots from Zara Home will be more pleasurable.
From €45.99, Zara Home
3. Breeze Linen duvet cover set in 'Rose'
If you have not tried sleeping in linen sheets yet, now is the time. Forget about hotel beds – you will actually not even want to leave your bedroom with these luxuriously soft and beautiful sheets from Amurelle, made from 100 percent certified French Flax Linen.
4. Lovely Lilac faux flower bouquet
Yes, I love fresh blooms in my house, and will often treat myself to some. However, this habit comes at a cost, because, as we all know, flowers wilt. And so this summer, I have treated myself to this beautiful faux bouquet for my kitchen island – which looks so real that several of my friends have already stuck their noses into it to smell it!
5. Organic Cotton Unisex Bathrobe
Nothing says hotel feel like a big, fuffy white robe, IMO. And so now, that my home is mostly also my hotel for the summer, I have treated myself to this beautiful organic cotton waffle one from White & Green. An investment that will last and last and last!
€59, White & Green
6. Lavender And Blossom Potpourri Jar With Cork Lid
In an effort to make my bedroom feel more hotel-y too, I have done a big declutter, and my night stand is looking so much sleeker and tidier now. All that is left on it is the book I am currently reading, a reusable water bottle, my Airpods and this gorgeous potpourri jar I picked up in Penneys – the lavender scent is so dreamy and makes me fall asleep quicker every night.
7. Beo Codladh Sámh Silk Eye Mask
Speaking of sleep – the evenings are so bright now, so I also recently treated myself to this gorgeous silk eye mask – to block out the light.
The BEO Sleep Well eye mask has been crafted to soothe tired eyes, aid sleep and encourage deep relaxation, and I love how it feels against my skin when I slip it on. Total everyday luxury!
8. Striped cotton blanket
For cosy evenings out on the terrace – or snuggles on the sofa, I love the texture and look of this cotton and wool blanket from H&M Home.
€39.99, H&M Home
9. Bamboo and glass lantern
Is there anything as cosy as flickering lantern when you are sitting outside with your Aperol Spritz on a summer's eve...? I think not.
€19.48, Sostrene Grene
10. Soilse 'Strand' candle
I have a thing about scented candles, but am very picky when it comes to the quality and scent. The beautiful soy wax candles from Soilse are made right here in Ireland, and the new scent 'strand' is so perfect for summer – a floral marine fragrance with notes of water lily and saltwater sitting on a base of amber, rose salt and driftwood. Honestly, it smells like the seaside, and I am obsessed.
11. Malibu Farm cookbook
While it is looking like far-flung travel might still be a bit off (sob!), I am combining two passions of mine with the purchase of this gorgeous cookbook – food and travel. I am dying to take a trip to L.A. when the world returns to normal, and this book, with its stunning photography of coastal California and seriously yummy recipes, makes the wait for the trip to happen a little bit better.
12. Pillow + Room Mist - Bergamot & Eucalyptus
Back to my obsession with creating that hotel feel in my own bedroom, I have another find I recently discovered and now cannot live without.
This pillow (or room) spray from The Handmade Soap Company smells so, so good, and – even better – is a blend of pure, natural botanicals. I now cannot go to sleep at night without a little spritz on my pillow.
€17.95, The Handmade Soap Company
13. Nespresso Barista Recipe Maker
Let me just say it – yes, this is pricy – but my GAWD is it a game-changer!
My DIY ice coffee game is strong these days – and it's all thanks to my new Nespresso Barista Maker. The best bit? I can just find the recipe I want to make on the app, add the ingredients, click 'OK' – and voila, the most delicious coffee creations – right at home in my own kitchen!
14. Sunny Daze - Myrtleville Beach – Aerial fine art photograph
I have been a fan of photographer Grey Malin and his iconic beach shots for the longest time, and was so delighted to find something similar – but done here in Ireland by Irish photographers!
Sky Folk create the most amazing drone photography, and right now, I am lusting after this shot from Myrtleville Beach, showing Irish crowds flocking to the beach on a sunny spring day.
From €80, Skyfolk.ie
15. The Weekend Club Sweatshirt
My new off-duty staple! Who doesn't love the weekend? And now you can show your love with this fab (and super-soft!) sweatshirt, embroidered in sage with The Weekend Club artwork front centre.
Even better? All the items from Teddi Lounge are made from organic cotton, locally embroidered, ethically manufactured, and kind to the environment.
In other words, a total win-win.
€34.95, Teddi Lounge
16. Silicone straw set (8 pack)
I love sipping on iced coffees or smoothies in the heat, and I prefer to drink these through a straw. Paper straws might look cute, but we all know they end up dissolving into your drink, and effectively ruining it.
Enter these very pretty and 100 percent silicone straws by Liewood. Not only do they look Insta-ready (I love the muted hues), but they are perfect for at-home, out and about, picnics, parties – wherever.
17. Helen James Considered Wellness Journal
I have made a promise to myself this summer to try to stay more present, and see if writing things down will help me feel more grounded and less like I am either living in the past or the future all the time.
Journalling is meant to be great for that I am told, and so I recently picked up this very cute notebook on a trip to Dunnes Stores.
€8, Dunnes Stores
18. Nobo Salty Caramel Bar
Because we all need a treat!
Being plant-based, I don't eat dairy chocolate, and until Nobo happened, I always struggled to find milk-free chocolate that actually tasted like, well, chocolate.
This, let me assure you, does indeed taste like chocolate, and the new creamy vegan caramel flavoured is my absolute favourite treat these days. The hand-made bar is topped with sea salt flakes. 48 percent cacao solids, stoneground with coconut and cashew nut butter for added creaminess.
19. Patchology Flashmask Illuminate 4 Pack
OK, so we might not be checking into fancy hotel spas just yet, but that doesn't mean I can't have some spa-like experiences at home. Right now, I am loving the Flashmasque Illuminate from Patchology and use one a couple of times a week when I am watching TV or even lying in bed at night scrolling.
Essential ingredients like Vitamins C, Licorice and Grapefruit Seed Extracts help even out skin tone and gives a really healthy glow.
€22, Mccabes Pharmacy
20. Pink Daisy Jaipur Tablecloth
No indoor dining in restaurants, but we can at least get our family and friends around for a meal at home (whether you are cooking it or ordering takeout!).
And to make it feel more special, I love setting a nice table. And right now, I am obsessed with the gorgeous tableware and decorations from The Designed Table – especially this beautiful tablecloth.
€95, The Designed Table
21. Ficus Elastica Robusta - Rubber Tree
Still obsessed with green plants and filling my home with them. I love the selection you get at Clay, and how you can order your plant online and they can deliver.
€85, Clay Plants
22. Apple HomePod Mini
To be honest, I use this most as a speaker, to listen to podcasts or blast some tunes in the mornings to get us all to wake up. But I love how you also get Siri on it, as my own little personal butler.
23. The Home Edit Pantry Labels
Did you watch the show and love it too?! I am obsessed with anything to do with The Home Edit, and literally get excited about organising anything from my beauty products to my spice drawer. Right now, I have decided to use the next week or two to get my kitchen completely organised and so have ordered these cute pantry and fridge labels. No more looking for stuff – it's all right here!
€9.99, The Organised Store
24. Summer Paisley Cotton Quilt
I am planning on having some friends around for an outdoor movie night experience soon, and what better way to wrap up than in this gorgeous, boho cotton quilt from Avoca?
25. Holdereight Yoga Mat
Having really missed my local yoga studio so much over the past year, I must admit I have now gotten rather fond of my at-home morning practice. It requires zero commuting, no looking for parking, no getting ready, I can just roll my mat out at home and get stuck into my routine or an online class.
I love these beautiful maths from Irish Holder Eight, the grip is great, and I just think this star constellations ones is so pretty.
€89, Holder Eight