Make Everyday a Special Occasion

My grandma used to tell me that you should always have things waiting in case “The Queen of England came to tea”. She kept biscuits, cookies and tea constantly ready in case an “important” guest came to visit, although I have no recollection at all of there ever having been one.¬†After my grandparents had passed away years ago, my family went to their house and started going through closets, cupboards and drawers to clean the house up for putting it on the real estate market. I remember being in charge of the dining room, where I was shocked to find an entire set of china dishes that I had never seen before. They were still in the packaging they came in and were carefully, lovingly, placed into a cupboard where I’m sure they were waiting for the Queen to come for dinner.

I’d thought of this anecdotally over the years that have since passed as I’ve used my grandma’s “special occasion” dishes to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and even just for a fancy dinner on a weekend. Life is too short to wait to use things, or to constantly be “saving” things for the future. I realized this again today when I decided to mix up my perfume routine and spritz one on that I hadn’t worn in a couple of years. The perfume smelled a little funky when I dabbed it on my neck, but about 20 minutes later had developed into a full-blown rash and had a face like a puffer fish. The expensive perfume has gone bad.

Annick Goutal's Petite Cherie turned into my Grande Horreur - rash on neck and swollen face

Annick Goutal’s Petite Cherie turned into my Grande Horreur – rash on neck and swollen face

Kate is well-known for her love of deals (outlet shopping) and recycling outfits (just recently wore the same TopShop polka dot dress to a Royal Engagement and a few days later to a friend’s wedding) but I’m sure she’d not ever agree with the adage that my grandmother supported – and she has the real distinct confidence that the Queen of England will coming for visits. If you spend your whole life waiting for the perfect moment to use something, will anything ever be worthy?

So What Would Kate Do? I think she’d make everyday a special occasion.


Everyday Special Jewellery
– I have always admired Kate for constantly wearing her engagement ring, despite it’s large size and value. I have friends who keep theirs locked in safety deposit boxes while only wearing their wedding bands everyday. What is the point of having a beautiful piece of jewellery that is only worn on occasion? Break out the jewels that you own and love and if you’re concerned about them being lost or stolen, talk to an Insurance Advisor and have them insured. There just simply isn’t a point in keeping something in a safety deposit box or in a drawer at home.

Riedel Champagne Glasses

Everyday Special in the Kitchen
– Kate loves to cook, and I’m sure she throws a great dinner party. Why not use pretty china dishes for those events? I’m not saying to get your fanciest china out for everyday use, but I bring mine (OK, my grandma’s) out when we have guests over almost every time. It breaks my heart to think that someone had purchased my grandparents these gorgeous place settings at their wedding decades ago and then they sat, unused, in cupboards for decades afterwards. I also own fancy champagne glasses that I use every time I have champagne.

Illuminum White Gardenia Kate Middleton Wedding Perfume Duchess Kate

Everyday Special Beauty
– Unlike me, Kate is strict with her beauty regime and as anyone strict about these things knows, the products you use lose their potency after several months. Take it from someone who has let emotions take precedent over logic – you can’t keep a pretty perfume you bought during a honeymoon in Paris good for as long as you wish you could. I wish I had used it while it was still good and enjoyed it rather than having looked at it on a shelf and then had to pour it down the drain. This goes for all beauty products, those expiry stickers are there for a reason.

So how would one make everyday more special? That is what What Would Kate Do is all about! Adding elegance and grace to your everyday life. Here are some of my tricks, inspired by Kate:

  • I stopped buying “cheap” bottles of wine to drink at home for just me and my husband. I now buy the more expensive bottles, the ones I know I love because if I’m drinking those calories, they should be worth it. Besides, I’m worth it!
  • Buying cheap cuts of meat may be in your budget, but they are never going to have the taste of a good cut of meat. I like to buy smaller pieces of meat in better cuts to save both some cash and enjoy a better tasting dinner
  • I have found one small materialistic luxury item that makes me happy just looking at it, my Diptyque Figuier candle. The smell of the candle makes me happy and while I procrastinated lighting the candle for quite literally years, I now light it up on a regular basis to enjoy


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Amanda is the Media & Operations Director for Effervescence Media Group (otherwise known as behind-the-scenes editor of What Would Kate Do? and The Refined Side). When she isn’t blogging, she can be found with a nice glass of red wine or browsing a vintage shop. Her interests are varied and include vintage couture, etiquette, and the financial markets. She resides in Vancouver, British Columbia
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5 Comments on Make Everyday a Special Occasion

  1. Sarah Walsh
    May 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm (2 years ago)

    These ideas remind me quite a bit of Jennifer L. Scott’s book Lesson from Madame Chic. She writes about living a quality and elegant life quite frequently on her blog as well:

    It’s worth a look!