Robbie and I have always been the types who waited with great anticipation for adulthood. Our earliest conversations -- talking on the phone as teenagers until late in the night -- revolved around this. Throwing lavish dinner parties for friends, wine tasting, hosting overnight guests, having babies. There was one extremely elaborate talk where we planned out our dream house -- we volleyed ideas back and forth, about what exact type of wood the floors might be, the shape of the windows, which wardrobe should house a secret passageway.
When True Fabrications in Seattle offered to send us these towels to try out, it was perfect timing, because we've recently been on quite the wine (and bubbly!) tasting streak. These towels and stopper are the perfect addition to our tasting parties for two -- we love the linen texture and simple wreath illustration on the towels, and how the topper resembles an antique doorknob. These are both from True Fabrications' Twine collection, which has a rustic, hip feel about it. I can't wait to pair these goodies with our antique floral dessert plate and fancy champagne flutes over the holidays! (This post from their Twine Living blog is getting me SO excited for holiday dinner parties!) To us, pulling out the wine accessories signals: it's time to relax, talk over a glass of wine. And the little things help make the tradition feel more real -- quite like putting the ornaments on the christmas tree! We're still waiting on that secret passageway (and, let's be honest -- a kitchen that's just a kitchen, a bedroom that's just a bedroom, haha!) but, in the mean time, we're having fun making our own little traditions in our own little space.
Here are some nightly rituals of mine -- little acts that help me feel soothed and centered before crawling into bed.
Cleanse I love showering at night. My hair has a naturally groovy wave to it, so it works best if I go to bed with slightly damp hair and let it do its thing overnight. Beyond bathing at at night being the more practical choice for me...it's also soothing. There's nothing like crawling into bed with warm, soft, fragrant skin. It helps me sleep so much more peacefully. Don't forget to moisturize! (I love Aveda's tourmaline line & coconut oil.)
Adorn Oh, blessed pajamas! I lean toward soft, neutral-hued, layerable pieces. I wear mostly white, gray, balletic pink and beige -- slips, half-slips, camisoles, lots of lace. Very romantic and gentle -- a bit like an off-duty ballerina, top bun optional. I love scouring the thrift stores as well as Free People & UO's sale sections for pieces that work for both daytime and lounging.
Light Candles are such a mood booster. To me, they signal that someone is home and wants to be home, wants to stay awhile, get cozied in. Plus, they're multi-sensory. A deep-fragranced candle will soothe your senses, but what really gets me is that flickering glow. At night, I'll light candles in all the different corners of the apartment, and it creates such a comforting flow as you move from space to space.
Read While I'm not always the best, I'm always trying to be better about setting my phone down an hour or so before bed. The fluorescent glow and the inundation of images sort of clutters my brain, and I often find myself taking longer to fall asleep if I'm glued to it. I try, instead, to read. Sometimes if the last thing I take in before sleep is someone else's creativity -- rather than trying to put out my own -- it reinforces that I don't always have to go-go-go. I can appreciate what someone else created instead.
Hydrate In the hours leading up to bed, I always try to drink several glasses of water. Unfortunately, I'd be up every few minutes if I sipped water right before sleep, so I try to jumpstart this ritual earlier in the evening. Also, staying properly hydrated will curb false messages from your body that seem to be hunger -- when often, you're just thirsty!
One tiny exception to the unplugging principle: white noise app. I love my white noise app. Every night, we crawl in bed, turn off the lights, and turn on the white noise app -- set to the sound of a soft fan. We actually use a real fan too. But it's something of a Pavlov's dogs thing for us at this point -- to us, the sound signals sleep time.
While it's not always possible to go to bed with a perfectly clean apartment...it's nice to keep the immediate surfaces around your bed tidy. A cluttered bedside table is indicative of a cluttered mind in my case. The ritual of putting things in their places helps me feel organized -- even if life is anything but. And the small act of neatly placing any extra jewelry into a little, dedicated box (or tray, or teacup -- always in rotation) signals to me that things are intact, and that tomorrow is a new day.