Confession: Despite having a very British grandmother, and the tea reserves to prove it, I have never been a royal wedding superfan. (Maybe I would care more if I actually got to attend? Give me a fascinator, and I will be there.) But this year’s is an entirely different ballgame. First, because Harry is and will always be my boyfriend, and I’m glad he’s found someone who makes him want to be a better man. But mostly, because Meghan Markle is a princess of the people. She’s American. Divorced. An entrepreneur. So I am here for the fact that Meghan Markle is about to upgrade her life from “ordinary” celebrity status (I kid, but girlfriend was a working actress and that’s no joke) to actual princess. Or duchess, technically. And I’m a little hopeful she might shake things up a bit in the process. I mean, she’s been a feminist since elementary school and speaks openly about the challenges of being a biracial woman in America. Like, she’s our girl.
But the royal wedding is also a fun excuse to think about the ways our lifestyles change after marriage, even when you’re not moving into a palace. As someone who married relatively young, our wedding was an opportunity to get into the adulting game. We traded in our pots and pans for nonstick ones that could withstand a dishwasher, we registered for a vacuum that removes more dirt than it deposits, and we traded in our scratchy dollar-bin sheets for cotton that feels like silk (so worth it). But in the time since we got married, some of the most impactful upgrades have been pretty simple pleasures. So today we’ve partnered up with Cottonelle, who just introduced a new Wavy CleanRipple™ Texture to both their toilet paper and flushable wipes, to talk about the everyday upgrades we can make even when we’re not, say, moving into Windsor Palace. I obviously snagged some of the new Cottonelle when we were photographing for this post, and I can attest the New Wavy CleanRipple™ Texture lives up to my toilet paper snob (tell me I’m not the only one?) standards. Yup, y’all, we’re talking toilet paper and Royal Weddings. That’s how we do it.
For me, the things that make my life feel luxurious are often of the small, everyday variety. I got a pair of Bluetooth headphones so that I can watch my programs on my Kindle while I cook dinner. I have a microfiber towel that cost $5 and has changed the trajectory of my hair forever (curly haired ladies, why did I not know this until now?) I’ve also started a habit of lighting a few cheap taper candles during our dinner routine, and it’s such a small adjustment that makes our night feel infinitely fancier, if not quite Windsor Palace. (Please send me my butler. That will help.)
WHAT SMALL HOME HACKS MAKE YOU FEEL FANCY?
Speaking of upgrades, Cottonelle is giving away a year’s supply of Cottonelle’s “perfect pairing,” aka toilet paper and flushable wipes, to any APW readers getting married on the same day as the royal wedding. Enter below for a chance to win. Not getting married this weekend? Cottonelle is giving away fifty of these prizes, so go share it with your fellow toilet paper snobs who are. I mean, if they win, that basically counts as your gift, right?
Here’s what the rest of the staff had to say about their not-quite-Windsor Palace post-marriage upgrades:
After we got married, one small investment we made for a serious upgrade was to purchase a wine aerator. How do you make a $5 bottle of red wine taste like a $10 bottle? A $10 bottle taste like a $15 to $20 bottle? Wine aerator. I prefer the in-bottle versions because they’re no mess. To really take your cheap-wine game to the next level, I highly recommend coupling an aerator with the Vacu Vin Wine Saver. It extracts the air from your wine bottle to slow oxidation, so your wine is just as good the next day.
—Kate Bolen, Copy Editor
My fave life upgrades list is embarrassingly practical. We have a big overgrown yard (with rose bushes), and for years it never occurred to me that spending a few extra dollars on contractor-grade bags that didn’t rip open immediately could reclaim hours of a weekend and a whole bunch of sanity. Whoops. Equally silly is just how fancy I feel when I drink seltzer out of a wine glass during dinner, and how obsessed I am with the $10 motion-activated LED lights installed in our otherwise dark bedroom closets.
—Keriann, Director of Brand Partnerships
Upgrading our bath towels made a huge difference, and one that I didn’t expect! It’s amazing how a soft fluffy towel can make you feel like a million bucks.
Upgrading our main cooking pan and a few of the cooking utensils changed the whole kitchen for us. We wanted to cook more often but also TRY more adventurous dishes with our new fancy cookware. It’s not that we ate out much less but that we upgraded the food that we ate at home. And since we are talking about upgrading our toilet paper game, while we are at it, purchasing a bidet attachment started out as a joke and ended up being a magical, bathroom-experience-changing decision. Alright it’s still kind of a joke, but you do feel fancier every time.
—Mark, Associate Editor
Since I’m not Mark, I’ll just stick with my “bidet in a box”—aka Cottonelle flushable wipes—which also doubles as a “shower in a box” and is the crux of my new mom survival kit. In the meantime, I’ll be watching Harry and Meghan this weekend from the comfort of the actual fanciest part of my home—my couch—drinking the $5 tea that makes me feel like the upscale version of myself. Because if I learned anything from The Princess Diaries, is that real true life upgrades come at a cost, but for a small investment and maybe the price of a tiara, I can have it almost as good.
What everyday upgrades and luxuries have got you living your best life?
This post was sponsored by Cottonelle. Cottonelle New Wavy CleanRipple™ Texture is soft, strong, and effective for a superior clean* and will be featured across Cottonelle® products, including toilet paper and flushable (no seriously, they are actually flushable) wipes, starting this May. For more information—and because opinionated reviews of toilet paper are never not entertaining—visit Cottonelle.com.
*Dry—per sheet vs. leading value brand; Moist—when used after toilet paper vs. using toilet paper alone