With all of us being as safe as we can be during these trying times, a lockdown or “Shelter in place” order can get pretty old pretty quick. There are times when we feel like a walk around the subdivision or a bike ride in a park just doesn’t last long enough and before we know it, we are right back at home on what seems like ‘’house arrest”. But we know that the socially responsible thing to do is stay at home, so here we are, dealing with the circumstances that we have been saddled with since March. Well here is a tried and tested way to do more than just “deal with the circumstances” and actually be excited in these seemingly endless days of confinement.
Purchasing high-end items that you normally wouldn’t dare risk your frugal reputation on is an excellent way to keep a smile on your face and keep your keel even. The best parts of this mental health strategy are, (A) you get to buy things that will actually make your “cabin fever” more sustainable and (B) you deserve it anyway! Now we aren’t suggesting that you go on an all out, irresponsible and budget busting binge for Loubies or Brooks Brothers items. What we suggest is that you instead treat yourself to things that you can retreat into that will keep that smile on your face long past the moment of opening the box that was left at your door. Things that either you can lock yourself in the study and rock out with, or things that will make the whole family laugh and forget that you have been indoors since what seems like 1984.
Start off by indulging in some personal audio enhancements that you will be thankful that you have long after the COVID 2020 crisis is over like premium, noise canceling headphones. Having these cans over your ears and listening to Pat Metheny coast on a mellow musical journey or listening to Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” uninterrupted by a ringing phone or disturbing CNN reports can be utopic. The top headsets that we have found are (Click on the product to see details and specifications):
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II
(Right now, you are certainly wondering “Where are the Beats Studio3 Wireless?” Well this fine example of musical headgear gets an honorable mention. Not that it didn’t make our list because of quality deficiencies but only because you have them already. Don’t you?)
Of course, any new headset needs a delivery system. Portability is the key here as you will want to easily go from room to room with uninterrupted sound in your familiar yet brand new “house of corrections”. Therefore we recommend a tablet such as any in the suite of Apple or Samsung units. Really? Both iOS and Android operating systems deliver rich, crisp sound. This varies by which hardware you choose, but not by much. That being said, the most practical sound producing items remain cell phones. Again, any iPhone (after 6) or Samsung Galaxy S (after S8) are sure to please in regards to sound quality.
Now, if you are feeling communal and would like to make the entire clan happy, nothing beats a new big television and surround sound system purchase. If you are going to be confined to your family room then it just makes sense to make that confinement…ummm…”bearable” and makes the justification of spending a couple of grand….errr….”practical”. Right? We are not likely to be frequenting our local movie theater in the near future so replicating one in our homes just makes sense. Especially since we are spending at least 50% more time at home. Since there are so many different sizes of televisions and each one of us has different “upgrade goals” it would be pointless to recommend specific models with their prices. We do highly recommend that you at least start with a base level of your TV being “Smart” and at least have 4K definition. With these parameters, your expenditure can range anywhere from $750 to $2K + depending on what size you are looking for. You can click here for the most reliable reviews and specifications.
Surround sound systems are within our technology knowledge wheelhouse however! Whether seeking that special “alone at the movies” feeling or “family movie night”, a proper amount of chest vibrating bass combined with the sound of jets streaking from the left side of your room to the right is vital to the “at home cinema experience” that will make you forget that you have been “at home” for a month now. We recommend that you only consider a 5.1 (2 front speakers/1 center speaker/ 2 rear speakers/1 subwoofer) or greater unless your room configuration doesn’t support placement of the rear speakers. With that in mind, here are some of the best that we have found:
Lastly, if you want to spend time getting lost in your private outdoor space, an outdoor grill is an absolute must! A quality grill will serve two purposes. First, it will allow you to spend a significant amount time of time on your deck or patio with something productive to do instead of just vegging out with a snifter of cognac or a pitcher of sangria. Secondly, it will allow you to actually prepare delicious dishes that rival some of your favorite menu items at your favorite restaurants that are currently shuttered. This now brings us to maybe the most asked question in the world of outdoor cooking. Gas or charcoal? We will not endeavor to answer this age old quandary in this article but, instead, will broach this controversial subject in a future piece dedicated to solving this mystery alone. For today’s purposes, we will only recommend gas (Propane):
While we have no scientific evidence that a giant new television or a three thousand dollar grill will help mentally with the isolation of a “Shelter in place” order, we are confident of one thing – Anything that made you happy before the pandemic certainly cannot hurt now. If sitting on your deck with the aroma of tuna steaks cooking on the grill while you listen to your favorite artist with crystal clear audio definition on your new and too expensive headphones buys you some momentary peace of mind, then when not seize that moment?
We are also pretty sure that if you are short on smiles… Hearing that doorbell ring, opening that box, connecting that surround system and relaxing in a private paradise will certainly make at least one person smile.
We are counting on that person being you.
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