Sweet
  Escapes

10 ways to make each day
just a teensy bit better

Set Up a Coffee Bar in Your Kitchen

The crowds at your trendy neighborhood java shop are really starting to put a damper on your morning commute. And truthfully, that $4.75 a day is adding up fast. Instead, set up a coffee bar with all the fixings right in your own kitchen. Do it up with the works: a Nespresso machine, a cute rack for mugs, a simple syrup dispenser­­--you know, everything you love about your barista’s joint. Think of it as an investment. The more tricked­out you make it, the more you’ll actually use it.

Revel in a Little Place Called YouTube

We’re giving you full permission to dive into the black hole that is YouTube (for a few minutes, at least). Watching Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard perfect the art of the home video, nerding out over the newest Game of Thrones trailer or giving in to the giggles as celebrities read Kanye West tweets is a perfectly legitimate way to give your brain a break. Then regain productivity when you resurface, of course.

Twenty20

Sip Something Citrus

Sponsored Your umbrella broke on the way to work. Your heels are already giving you blisters. Your cubicle neighbor is mouth breathing again. While you can’t escape right this instant, you can distract yourself with something sweet and refreshing. Simply Orange juice is your ticket to a delicious mini refresh any time of the day. Not only can citrus rejuvenate the senses, but a glass of OJ also comes packed with antioxidant vitamin C. Makes you almost forget about the blisters, doesn’t it?

Reap the Benefits of the Beauty Counter

It’s safe to say that the best lunch hour is one where you return with a bag full o’ goodies (and maybe a few false eyelashes). So take a trip to a nearby department store where you’ll be actively encouraged--really!--to take as many beauty samples as you’d like. (Perfume sticks, hand cream packets, brow spoolies galore!) See? You just went on a wild shopping spree without spending a dime.

Discover the Miracle of Multi­Masking

You may think your skin type falls into just one category (dry, oily, sensitive), but in actuality, it probably varies. How to treat these all-over-the-place hot spots? Multi-masking. This new technique calls for using different masks on different areas depending on your needs. 1. Use a detoxifying mask (pick a charcoal- or clay-based option) on your T-zone and a hydrating version (hyaluronic acid and glycerin are two good ingredients to look for) on your cheeks. 2. Use an eye mask that plumps fine lines around your peepers and a brightening mask (choose one with enzymes or glycolic acid) on your forehead, cheeks and chin.

Gush Over Monet…on Your Lunch Break

You’ll never get to touch a Van Gogh painting in real life. But that’s OK, because you can get lost in his works whenever you please thanks to the Love Art app for London’s National Gallery, which gets you up close and personal with more than 250 masterpieces and lets you search for works based on theme. (What shall it be today: “Triumph” or “Torment”?) Best of all, virtual tour guides lead you around with the most alluring British accents. (We swear that’s Jude Law talking about Botticelli.)

Freshen Up Your Bathroom with Eucalyptus

Ever step into an outdoor shower? If so, you can attest to the utter relaxation that comes from cleaning your body right in the great outdoors. Re­create that feeling at home with some twine and a bunch of fresh eucalyptus. Simply hang the sprigs upside down from your showerhead and behold as the steam releases the plant’s essential oils and instantly invigorates your body and mind.

Embrace the Farmers’ Market Produce

Pushy crowds, weird waxy produce and squeaky­wheeled shopping carts…supermarkets are strange places. Hit up your local farmers’ market instead for an experience that’s way more delightful. Our top three tips: BYOB (that’s “bring your own bag”), reach for the “ugly ducklings” (that gnarly knotted potato will still taste amazing and you might even score the uggo discount) and commit to trying something new every time you go. (This recipe guide is a good place to start.)

Arrange Supermarket Flowers

Now and again, you treat yourself to a bouquet from the deli (how lovely). But when you put them into a vase at home, they look…not so lovely. Don’t give up and splurge on an expensive bouquet from a florist. Just follow our four tricks to supermarket flower arranging: 1. Always stick to one color. 2. Use floral tape. 3. Use clear hair ties to secure the bouquet together. 4. Ease any roses open with a twirl of the finger.

Relax with the Square Breathing Trick

Need serenity now? Sit tall in your chair with put both feet on the floor. Then use any four­sided object (ahem, your computer screen) as a visual guide. Start by focusing on the upper left corner of the square. As you inhale and exhale, move your gaze smoothly to the upper right corner and all around until you return to the upper left corner. Feeling calmer, aren’t you? Repeat before (and after) every client call.