In these lean times, splurging feels just that more luxurious these days, right? I don’t know about you, but when we do decide to go nuts and spend money on something nice these days, it just feels that much better. Or in the case of a pricey massage, it goes just THAT MUCH FASTER. So today I’m blogging about some of my favorite big dollar splurges that have really paid off in the long haul and STILL have us feeling thankful we paid the big bucks for it. Actually, one of the criteria for making this list is that it had to be something that John and I talk about how happy we are that we got it, on a pretty regular basis.
Here we go, in no particular order:
Beco Baby Carrier: $140
It’s been going strong with two kids now. Best baby purchase ever. You’ve see me carry Jocelyn in it too.
Jogging Stroller: $150-$600 (I spent around $250 on one that was clearanced down from $500.)
Must have features: A front tire that can either swivel or lock, inflatable tires, storage underneath and a waterbottle holder. I don’t jog, but we do go on lots of walks. We didn’t buy this stroller until Miles was two, because it felt like an unnecessary luxury. That was a super stupid thought as we would have gotten so much use out of it from day one with him. Thankfully we have had it for all of Jocelyn’s life and clearly he still enjoys it for a nap on the go.
Trampoline: $170 (6 years ago)
This was our first joint purchase when John and I were dating. Oh my gosh, we have had SO much fun on our trampoline. Sadly, it hasn’t been out of storage since before I was pregnant with Jocelyn, but it stands as one of the most fun purchases we’ve ever made. Oh, and it’s a GREAT workout, especially if you have a toe touch competition. (Though you won’t be able to walk for days after the first toe touch competition of every season-OUCH!) This is a controversial one as it can break your neck and your friend’s necks too. So proceed with caution here.
I grew up with one of these in my kitchen, so it was a given I needed one of these once I was a grown up. Go ahead and get the vegetable grater too so you can make zuchinni bread in a flash. I’m not a major cook or baker, but this thing has made making chocolate chip cookies on a whim so easy and so fast. Oh and angel food cakes? Oh my favorite kind of cake! I would never make another one without my Kitchenaid.
Honda Odyssey: $24K+
I was anti large car for a LONG time. We held out for the longest time but honestly, if you are pregnant or have little ones, just make your life more amazing sooner and get a van. Some say they only want an SUV, but dude, an SUV won’t open the door for you. I’m just sayin. Plus, the Odyssey has this Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) thingy that helps with efficiency by deactivating cylinders when you aren’t using them, so it’s not a major gas guzzler.
I spent a weekend at my girl Gail’s house and on Sunday morning she and her husband made me (I was pregnant at the time) Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream on top. I was in HEAVEN. They ROCKED MY WORLD. One would think that this would put a pregnant girl in a food coma, but I drove home that morning feeling fantastic for the rest of the day. I couldn’t help myself, I ordered a maker the minute I got home. We now enjoy beautiful waffles almost every Sunday while watching CBS Sunday morning, or otherwise known as the “Sun Show.” It’s also made for some great breakfast for dinner evenings.
Oh and by the way, the waffle maker makes PERFECT waffles every time. We have made both fancy homemade batter and mix batter, but we have found that The Fresh Market’s brand Belgian Waffle Mix is our favorite. It’s easy and tastes just as great. This photo doesn’t show how nice and thick the waffles are. Just trust me on this one.
Apple iphone: $199
Without my iphone, how would I ever document awesomely bad hair days like this? (Or the grey shirt that I haven’t stopped wearing non-stop since fall 2009.)
Our iphones are SO much more than a phone. It’s a camera, Flip video camera and of course a way to communicate in 9 million ways other than actually having to talk to someone on the phone. John has said over and over what a blessing our iphones have been to capture our life right now. (I do print iphone photos, so it’s not like I’m just taking photos to share on Facebook.) John filmed and edited this little video all from our iphone too, which blows us away.
Oh and my old iphone 3 took this photo, one of my favorite photos of John. Without my iphone, I wouldn’t have captured this sweet moment. (I was too sleepy from having Joss to handle our big camera.)
Apple ipad: $500
Do I really to explain this? Oh my goodness, we use the ipad a million times a day. We don’t have laptops, and don’t want to do our main work from one, but we need another way to access the web on the go or in other parts of the house, so the ipad is a much more affordable option. It’s genius. (Need a cover? We got this one.)
Having a baby soon? You NEED an ipad. Period. Just trust us. It’s your 3 AM feeding’s best friend.
Stamped Concrete Patio: $3K-ish
When we got our house the only patio we had was a grease stained and chipped little square of concrete out back. When Miles was a baby we had a stamped concrete patio put in and had landscaping created around it. Oh my goodness, that was money so well spent as we spend so much family time out there. It has made a HUGE difference in how we can enjoy our backyard. I say any money spent that facilitates family or friends getting together is money well spent! The concrete was done by Hoot Landscaping and landscaping done by JPS Curb Appeal, which was not part of the $3K.
Of course, I would be remiss to not mention photography. That’s always been a great investment for us as well. (One that I haven’t done or arranged yet in 2011 for our family though. Oops!)
This is an image from a session back in 2007 and I see it everyday when I walk by it on my way to our bedroom. (It’s a 12×18 inch print, matted and framed.) Many times a day I think about how much I love it and how it captured a truly precious time of my life reading to Miles.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to list my camera and my favorite lens on here since they are business expenses, but I really think that a good camera and the knowledge of how to work it is a splurge (of time and money) that is something that keeps giving back over and over to the people who posses them. We constantly give thanks for the equipment that I have learned how to use to capture our world. Time moves so quickly, what could be more precious than being able to bottle a bit of it?
So what’s your big splurge that you are thankful for, time and time again?