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A luxury hotel experience is all about pampering yourself. From soft, comfortable bedding that will leave you happily lounging the day away in bed, to delicious room service or even a relaxing spa treatment or two, a five star hotel stay should be a decadent exercise in self-indulgence. Perhaps part of the fun is leaving your home and trusting yourself to experts to pamper you. But when a tight budget is holding you back, why not recreate the luxury hotel experience at home? While it won’t be free, you will be able to experience the highlights of a luxury hotel experience for a fraction of the cost and some of these ideas will keep you happy for months to come.

High thread count sheets

One of the best things about a night in a luxury hotel is the amazingly comfortable bed. While getting a mattress comparable to those at high end hotels may be out of your price range (the Westin Heavenly Bed, for example, starts at almost $2,000), you can start by treating yourself to luxuriously soft and smooth high thread count sheets. These may be expensive, but they are a good investment you are unlikely to regret. Find cheaper bedsheets at discount chains like Century 21 in New York City or at factory outlets nationwide.

Downy soft pillows

Why stop at the bedsheets when you can get some new pillows as well? Like luxuriously high thread count sheets, comfortable pillows will last you a long time, and will contribute immensely to the luxury hotel staycation experience.

Decadent toiletries

Our sense of smell plays an instrumental part in bringing back memories. Using the little bottles of toiletries snagged from a previous trip to a luxury hotel will help to trigger fond memories and enhance your luxury hotel staycation. Alternatively, treat yourself to some indulgent soaps, shampoos, or even bubble bath. These products don’t have to be expensive. Simply buy something that is different from, and slightly superior to your everyday toiletries and use it exclusively for your luxury staycation. Remember, it’s all about the pampering.

Food, glorious food

The point of a luxury hotel staycation is to indulge yourself. You may have to spend your holiday at home, but that doesn’t mean you have to burden yourself with the usual chores. Instead of slaving at the stove, treat yourself to a candlelit meal at a nice restaurant. Alternatively, prepare some treats for yourself beforehand. Whether it is a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or tiramisu with extra shots of Baileys or simply strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce, make sure you have your fridge stocked with some of your favorite foods.

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Fail-Proof Sunday Loaves

I remember every Sunday my great-grandma would bake bread. She would use these loaves for meals throughout the week and give any leftover crumbs to the chickens. Nothing went to waste!

The mark of any successful homesteader is the ability to make a delicious, hot loaf of bread. Here’s how you can make your own with homestead-friendly ingredients, like whey.

Granny Mary’s Sunday Bread

Ingredients:

3 cups whey (you can use water or milk, but your bread won’t be as fluffy)
8 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 servings packages of active dry yeast
5 to 7 cups of unbleached white flour
Cornmeal

Directions:

In a mixer with the dough hook attachment, add all of your yeast.

Heat the whey to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the whey with the yeast. Cover the mixture with a towel for ten minutes, or until the yeast froths.

Melt the butter, sugar, and salt. Mix.

Add 4 cups of flour. Mix.

Add more flour in 1/4 cup increments. Do this until the dough is slightly sticky but doesn’t stick to your hands.

Increase the speed on your mixer to knead the dough. Knead for five minutes, until the dough is shiny.

Grease a separate bowl with oil. Put the kneaded dough into the bowl, cover with a wet dish towel, and let rise for one hour.

After the dough has risen, punch it two or three times.

Lay out the dough on a floured area and shape it. I like to do a round loaf and a plaited loaf.

Place the dough on a pan lined with cornmeal. Cover with a towel and let rise another hour.

After the bread has risen, add any embellishments or an egg wash, if you’d like.

Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes. You’ll know the loaves are done when you knock on them and they sound hollow.


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