For the record, I am planning on winning the $312 million Mega Millions tomorrow. That’s the plan, but if for some strange reason things don’t work out according to plan, I suppose I’ll continue in my efforts to live a budget friendly yet self-indulgent lifestyle.

The last two weeks have gone pretty well. As it turns out I don’t need much to be indulged. Here are some of my favorite ways to indulge my spoiled side without dipping into my severance package.

Spa Water

When official word of my layoff came down, my dear friend Sarah treated me to a night of manicures and pedicures to celebrate.   I felt totally pampered, and as we sat there gossiping while our nails dried I had an epiphany: WHY DON’T I MAKE MY LAYOFF ALL ABOUT PAMPERING? For serious people, I deserve it. I’m going to enjoy this layoff like no one has ever enjoyed a layoff before.

My first cost effective pamperesque idea was inspired by the spa we went to that night. While our toes soaked they offered us lemon or cucumber water. Since that night I have kept a pitcher of water in the refrigerator with sliced lemon or orange in it. What’s amazing is that you can totally use up the produce that’s on its way out—being immersed in water totally plumps those fruits back up. I usually use the same fruit, refilling the pitcher for two days, then sub in another near-death lemon or orange.

Being my own Barista


At rehearsal a few weeks ago the director welcomed us with fresh baked scones. That totally inspired me, and I followed suit, making my own scones using whatever I had in my pantry, freezing them for individual use. I also made that yumtastic low fat chocolate cake the other day and froze individual pieces of that. I like to couple these low fat baked goods with homemade lattes.

I always keep cheap bodega espresso in my freezer. I like to cook that up in my moka pot (from a dollar store). While the espresso is brewing I heat some almond milk (you could use regular, or soy, or hemp, or whatever milk like substance you prefer) in a sauce pan, add a dash of vanilla, and then use my immersion blender to foam. I combine the two and voila instant latte! Way cheaper than Starbucks!

Get YouTube Beautiful
For the record I do not know, and am not affiliated with, the people who created these videos. I just found them helpful. If you click on the YouTube logo on each video it will bring you to their video page.

I’ll admit that I’m terrible at prettification maintenance, but I am determined to keep things together lest I let the sweatpants and tussled hair takeover.

First project: Learn how to do my own nails.

Second project: Get pretty hair. (I’ve had hot curlers in my closet forever; it’s time to learn how to use them).

Third project: Homemade beauty products

Log some TV Time


I am notorious for not being able to watch television without my laptop open. It’s veritably impossible for me not to multi task. I’ve made it a mission to watch at least one movie a week without computer interruption. Just me, some stove popped popcorn, and my Netflix account.

Boxy Wino


I’m not a big home drinker, but I figured since I’m going to be spending more time at home than ever before, I might as well treat myself to a little wine. The problem with being single and opening a bottle of wine is that it generally goes bad before I can finish it. Enter cheap boxed wine. Boxed wine stays fresh longer because it doesn’t oxidize AND I bought 5-liters of this pretty pink White Zinfandel for under $15 (for the record, I’m not going to say this is good wine, but it’s not rubbing alcohol either). Now I can have a glass while my home scrub sits, I watch a movie, and my latte milk warms.

Do you have any budget friendly pampering rituals? I’d love to read about them in the comments, you know in the off chance I don’t win the lottery tomorrow.

No amount of pampering got me through today unscathed. If you saw a crazy woman running through the streets of Brooklyn at approximately 12:50pm, that was me. If today was a test in time management, I failed.

This is pretty much what I looked like all day:

I had my alarm set for 6am. I wanted to get some work done before I met up with my coffee shop writing date at 9am. My thoughts were that I could get the majority of my professional work out of the way, then focus my coffee shop time on personal projects. It didn’t quite work out like that. When my alarm went off at 6am I pressed snooze, I continued to press snooze until I accidentally sleep dialed my new boss (my alarm and my phone are one and the same). When I heard ringing coming from my phone it jarred me from my sleep long enough to hang up and hope that he doesn’t have caller ID.

Then I snoozed again until my phone again chimed, this time with a text message from my writing partner telling me she’d be late. That’s when I realized it was almost time to be there. I brushed my teeth, put on jeans and ran to the coffee shop.

Breakfast was a very large cup of coffee and a steaming pile of email…

Ugh.

At around 12:45 I realized I had an appointment to be 30 blocks away in 15 minutes. I had left my metrocard at home so my only option was to hoof it. I sprinted, laptop in hand, and actually got there relatively not late.

By the time I got home at 3pm I was overdue for a real meal.

Lunch


Whole wheat tortilla with refried beans, a fried egg, salsa and super spicy hot sauce that came out of the bottle too quickly.

A couple of hours later I realized I wasn’t hungry yet for dinner, but I had class at 7pm and needed to scarf down a second meal if I was going to get through my improv class without gnawing on my classmates.

Dinner


Brown rice pasta, broccoli, Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs (they’re so good, they’re better than meat meatballs!), tomato sauce and low fat mozzarella

Then I came home and collapsed. Perhaps I need to pick up on some of my pampering duties tomorrow.