Five or so years ago, you would have been more likely to find me dropping £70 on hungover Happy Meals and nights in Vodka Revs than on fluffy white towels. But here we are, towels in situ, and admittedly not an inkling of regret. Isn’t it funny how you slowly morph into the person you never expect yourself to be? I never thought I’d ‘waste’ money on seemingly superfluous items, but when you start to build a home and the novelty of Nicki Minaj in Vodka Revs starts to wear off, the little things you surround yourself with can make a big difference to your resting mood (with your resting mood being the general, average way of feeling when you’re neither particularly happy or sad. Not sure if this is a term or not but you’re now complicit in my buffoonery, so please nod along).
I thought I’d share some of the non-fashion items which I love and think are worth their salt. Some of these I’ve bought for myself and some have been gifts from friends and family, but all of them are bits and bobs that I use regularly and which I rave about to others when given the chance. These are the kind of things that may not look great online but will keep you happy whilst you piss yourself off for closing and reopening Instagram for the 86th time.
The speakers are on more often than the TV in this house. Both of us love our music and it wasn’t long after we moved in that we realised laptop speakers and a phone in a mug weren’t going to cut it. We have three SONOS speakers now, one of which was gifted to us by the brand, one which was gifted to us by Keiran’s Mum and Dad, and one which was gifted to us by our bank (account - we bought it for ourselves).
Being able to link each of them up and control them either as a group or individually from an app is really helpful, and it also means that we can either listen to the same thing or ungroup the speakers and listen separately. Useful for when Keiran’s is gearing himself up for a football match with grime and I’m trying to relax with some medley of soft jazz or something. One of the speakers has Alexa built in, but honestly, she doesn’t seem to work all that often and after the novelty of blurting ‘Alexa, what is the weather like today?!’ wore off, we found she wasn’t much use to us anyway (plus I don’t trust her - she knows too much).
B&O Play Headphones.
Keeping with the music theme, my B&O Play by Bang & Olufsen H6 headphones were a brilliant purchase. They weren’t cheap - about £250 I think? - but I use them religiously and so it was well worth investing in a pair which were good quality, delivered a clear and loud sound, and were pretty to look at too. You can daisy-chain from these as well (connect another set of headphones), which means you can share music if you’re travelling or canoodling somewhere nice. I don’t think they make this exact model anymore, but you can buy remaining stock through Amazon, eBay and John Lewis etc. or opt for a newer model on the B&O Play website.
White Company Towels.
I am now a woman who has at one time in her life, spent more money on some towels and flannels than she has on mascara and shoes. A quiet initiation into “adulthood”, I’m sure you’ll agree. Here’s the thing: Keiran, for some unbeknownst reason, loves scratchy towels. He likes them to be old and a bit rough, with his reasoning being that it dries him quicker whilst also exfoliating too. This is not the kind of life I wish to prescribe to. I want to be wrapped in a Samoyed cloud and elevated from bathroom to bed. Our towel basket at this point was filled with a tired medley of Primark and Wilkos - great for Keiran, but not great for me - so I decided to invest in some White Company towels. I opted for fluffiest variety my budget could afford and I regret nothing. We don’t have a tumble dryer so they were always going to lose a little bit of softness after a number of washes, but they still feel super thick and dense and I love them. The flannels are good too but not worth splurging on. Save the big bucks for the baby gal towels.
I’m a sucker for anything which creates ambience and gives off a good smell, so I’ve had the Muji Diffuser on my radar for a while now. I’m sure there are others which are just as good or even better, but this is the most popular to my knowledge and I feel safe in that realm of everyone-and-their-Nan owning it. My brother kindly bought this for me as a Christmas present and Keiran and I turn it on every evening with a relaxing blend of essential oils to ease us into the routine of sleep. I LOVE the sound it makes it as well; the quiet bubbling is particularly relaxing, and the low light is a great alternative to a lamp if you’re pushed for bedside table or plug space. I need to up my essential oil knowledge and invest in some others which are the pre-packaged blends from Muji, but as it stands, I can’t see us having a home without one now. As good as everybody says it is.
Which model and brand of steamer I own probably rivals which mascara I wear daily as the most popular question I’m asked on Instagram. In truth, I pinched it from Dani Vanier. Is it a useful investment? YES. A thousand times yes. I gave up on ironing long ago (lolol can you believe I used to iron Keiran’s pants and the bedsheets when we first moved in together? Oh how things change), so the option to quickly turn on the steamer and easily iron out any clothing creases with ease is a dream. Also useful for steaming the likes of curtains when they start to look a bit drug-denny (although realistically I’m not sure a drug den would have John Lewis curtains). Mine is an upright Quest Benross model which I bought from Amazon; it’s really easy to use, does the job, and doesn’t break the bank. If you’re the kind of person who puts a t-shirt on with 3 minutes to leave the house and thinks ‘FUCKKKK! This is beyond acceptable’, then it may be worth picking one up.
Skandinavisk KOTO Candle.
Listen, I love a super bougie candle as much as the next girl (my brother also bought me an Overrose candle for Christmas and I swear to God I’m never burning that bitch), but sometimes the less expensive items really come through. The KOTO candle by Skandinavisk is other-worldly. It fills the whole house after only a little burn-time and the scent is rich and amber-y, PLUS the glass fits seamlessly into our kind of boho-simple-aesthetic and it’s about £29, so I’d categorise it as afforadble(ish) luxury. I’d recommend buying one of their mini variety packs first to get an idea of the different scents, and then buying the larger version of whichever truly tickles your pickle. I liked HYGGE too but KOTO was the big daddy.
The Warm Charm.
What is the greatest gift a friend can give, I hear you ask? Warmth, my girls, warmth. Raise your hand if you’re glued to a hot water bottle throughout winter but you also begrudge the chore of constantly boiling the kettle to refill it? I got you. The Warm Charm is an electric heat pack which is marketed for easing aches and pains, but that’s all just marketing baloney. What it actually is is a PLUG IN REHEATABLE HOT WATER BOTTLE. That’s right: just plug it in, let it heat up for a few minutes, and BAM. Long-lasting, portable warmth. I like to wear mine around my waist and then layer my dressing gown over the top so I’m really sweating buckets, and I keep it at the bottom of the bed for heating my feet up during the night. Keiran keeps kicking it out because he claims it makes us clammy, but I don’t care. I know who REALLY keeps me warm at night.