I am not about to tell you to go out and spend a bunch of cash. However, there are some items in my life which I have grown to appreciate over the years of use and I am going to tell you what they are. All are in the ‘premium’ cost bracket for what they are, however because they are excellent my cost per use is probably lower than if I purchased lower priced equivalents.
Whether you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift or consider a treat for yourself, maybe some of these are for you. I am not including links – everything is easy enough to find online, so get googling.
Le Creuset stoneware mugs
Usually retailing at a significant £15 per 0.35l mug, they are not cheap. However, the design makes them both incredibly pleasant to hold and pretty good in keeping your hot beverages warm for a good while. If there is a TK Maxx near you, I’ve spotted them in a limited colour range there for £7.99 a piece, which is a pretty exciting price. I have a bunch of these and they have replaced my other everyday mugs slowly over the last couple of years.
Breville glass kettle
If you live in the UK, or anywhere in Europe really, a good kettle is a thing. I’ve had a whole bunch over the years, but none were quite as lovely and lasting as the Breville’s Crystal Clear Glass 1.7l Jug Kettle. You might wonder why anyone would want a glass kettle, especially one with mediocre reviews, so let me just say that I need a visual reminder for descaling my water-heating appliances. Living in London, the water is pretty hard here and while it makes your tea spectacular, it also makes your limescale problematic. I’ve had my one for close to 5 years now and it’s been holding up great – it’s relatively quick at heating the water up, the light makes it obvious for the little ones and pets to stay away from it when it’s on and I weirdly like watching the water heat up and boil.
Fjallraven Kanken backpack
I’m not a hipster. I’m not a schoolchild. BUT I am enjoying my this backpack for two particular reasons:
- it fits my laptop for work and makes carrying things back and forth manageable and painless (anybody else heard the joke about millennials having lower back pain instead of properties? Not this one!).
- it fits the tiny hand luggage size restrictions of Ryanair, my airline of choice to visit my family based in another country
I have the classic black(ish) one with red fox on a white background reflective badge (£85 full price, usually around £60-£65 in sales). It’s not super pretty, but it certainly is comfortable, and minimalistic enough to be considered stylish. It’s also light and well constructed, so for a small bag you can fit a lot of unnecessary and necessary junk in it. It’s also water-repellent, which I appreciate in the British weather.
Citizen Eco-Drive watch
Who needs batteries for a watch when you can have a light-powered one? I’ve had my Citizen eco-drive watch for close to a decade and it’s still in great shape. As far as useful jewellery goes, this one might be the best thing I have bought for myself. I don’t go easy on my watches and this one being my primary choice now has a couple of scratches on the face and would do with the bracelet being deep-cleaned, but it has never failed me. For a technology-forward device, the styling is timeless – unlike the current smart watches for example this one is unlikely to age quickly or become so off-trend that you’ll want to lock it away in your safe for good. The exact model I have is ew1254-53a which I don’t think is manufactured anymore, but you can scoop similar ones easily enough.
Disclaimer – it does not work for all skin tones and hair colours. I’m a pale brunette, which gives me the opportunity to skip the discomfort and cost of waxing, shaving, sugaring or whatever else semi-permanent unwanted hair removal method you choose with Lumea. I’ve had my device for 7 years now and it’s still going strong – the initial outlay was around £240 from what I remember, which in my case paid for itself within the first year of use both in monetary terms and in convenience.