Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekend Retreat

When I was in 1st grade, we had a red padded bathtub in our classroom. Mrs. Parker would let us read in there when we were good. Maybe that's why I still love to read in the bathtub.

I hope you all have a warm, relaxing, book and bath-filled weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lazy Day Links

Here's some of what I've been reading:
  • The New York Times article about luxury hospitals. Kind of like going to a spa when you're sick. Must be nice. But it also makes me uneasy knowing that so many people can't afford decent healthcare.
  • On a lighter note, you might want to get a pedicure before you check in. Not into black and blue nail polish, Allure has a list of the most classic reds.
  • Remember me telling you about the great Fresh gift set I got for Christmas, well Fresh has a new gift set coming out on Feb. 1. It's inspired by the Veuve Clicquot vineyard in Reims, France. 
Happy browsing. See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My Trip to Canyon Ranch Miami

I was very lucky last year because my sister took me to Canyon Ranch Miami for my birthday. It was a great trip, as you can imagine. But at the time I wasn't really blogging, so I decided it was about time I do some posts about my visit.

Canyon Ranch is one of the biggest names in spas. I think I first heard of Canyon Ranch on the Oprah show. The original resort was in Tucson. My sister and I prefer beaches over deserts, so we decided to go to Miami instead. There is also a Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, and there are Canyon Ranch SpaClubs in Las Vegas and on some cruise ships. We'll talk more about that later.

My sister dealt with the travel arrangements, but I believe she purchased a weekend package that included a certain dollar value worth of spa services. She told me that the staff at the resort were very helpful in assisting her and helping her find the package that was right for us. After she made the reservation, we were contacted by a Canyon Ranch employee who helped us book our services for while we were there. They highly recommend that you make all of your appointments in advance of your stay, so that you get in everything that you want to do. Since the choices are a little overwhelming, the Canyon Ranch guy recommended some services to us. He gave great recommendations.

Once we were at Canyon Ranch, the service continued to be great. Everyone was super friendly, and helped us to feel comfortable and relaxed. Plus, as soon as we got to the hotel we got free tote bags and water bottles. What great souvenirs of our trip.

On my next post, I'll write about the accommodations.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weekend Retreat

You can barely see the bathroom in this picture. But the most important thing is that it's in Jamaica. I know we're all dreaming of warm weather right about now.

From Elements of Style

I hope you all have a warm, relaxing and bath-filled weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lazy Day Links

Hope you're having a great week. Here are some of the things that caught my eye this week.
Until tomorrow. Happy browsing!

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    Getting Through the Winter

    I live in the Midwest, which means cold and dry winters. This winter has been a little weird, and we've actually had some pretty mild weather. But it's still really dry. So it's time to talk about some not very glamorous stuff. How do you deal with the dry, itchy skin that comes with this time of year?

    Here are some of the products I use to survive:

    To deal with constant hand-washing, I go straight for the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. This stuff is basically like petroleum jelly except not so greasy. As the container says, "just a dab heals dry skin." I keep this stuff in my desk at work, and I use it every time I wash my hands. It really works. But now someone needs to invent lotion that doesn't have to be reapplied after each hand washing.

    Before I go to bed each night, I smother my feet, hands and any other particularly itchy body part with Eucerin Dry Skin Therapy Original Moisturizing Creme. I first discovered this when my pediatrician recommended it for my kids' itchy skin. It comes in a big tub and is super thick. You have to really work to rub it in, but it's worth it. My manicurist has even commented on how good my hands and cuticles look and wanted to know what I used.

    I fluctuate between different moisturizing shower gels. Right now I'm using Dove Sensitive Skin. It's unscented, which I like because it doesn't compete with my perfume. And it seems to do the trick.
    Also, I take a ton of baths in the winter to try and stay warm, which is terrible for dry skin. To somewhat counteract that, I use Neutrogena Body Oil, which I've rhapsodized about before. It's definitely a year round staple.

    I told you this wasn't going to be a glamorous post. But these products will make you winter much more bearable, and you can pick them up on your next trip to Target.

    So how about you? Any winter weather bath and body products that keep you from wanting to rip your skin off? Let me know.

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Do You Birchbox?

    Have you heard of Birchbox? Birchbox is a cosmetic subscription service. For $10 a month you can receive a box of beauty samples in the mail.

    I love it. It's always fun to get a package in the mail, and it's really fun to get a box full of surprise beauty samples. Each month I get fun samples from brands like Jouer, Redkin, philosophy, Stila and much more. Plus, each month they add in a fun non-cosmetic gift, like a Kind bar or a cool ponytail holder. There are other subscriber benefits, such as free shipping on full-size version and Birchbox points when you buy products.

    I highly recommend you try it out. I gave a subscription to my sister for her birthday. She loved it so much, she got a subscription for our cousin.

    Try it out and let me know what you think.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Weekend Retreat

    This bathroom makes me want to paint my bathroom black.

    I hope you all have a warm, relaxing and bath-filled weekend.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Travelling in Style

    Since yesterday's post was about travel toiletry basics. I thought it would be fun to look at some luxury travel items. Sometimes when I go on trips for work, I try to schedule a little bit of time (maybe one evening) for myself. With a full-time job, two young kids, a husband and a cast vying for my time, downtime is hard to come by. So I like to order room service, rent a chick flick and relax. It's also a perfect time for a little pampering action. Here are some great pampering products:

    • Aveda Balancing Ritual.This contains Sandalwood Single Note (essential oil), Chakra Balancing Body Mist,  Foot Relief, and a Chakra Ritual Card.I love that this set comes with instructions! I think most of us could use some instructions on how to relax.

    • Bond No.9 New York Gift Collection The Voyage Travel Candle Set: These candles are beautiful. They are a little pricey, but they would certainly make me feel like I was having a luxurious vacation even if I was staying at the Holiday Inn.
    • vbeaute It Kit: I also picked this kit because of how cool it looks. I don't usually go for really expensive skincare, and I don't think I'm the only one because I couldn't find any review of this brand. (Anyone out there tried it?). It includes Undercover Agent serum, Rub Off exfoliater, Evidence Eraser cleanser, Buying Time moisturizer and Eye Never cream. 
    So, what about you? Do you like to take some "spa time" when you travel? What are your guilty pleasures?

    Tuesday, January 10, 2012

    A Moveable Spa

    I love travel kits. I know they are sort of wasteful, and I should just dispense my full-size products into reusable travel container. But that's no fun! Plus I always forget what I put in the containers. Is that conditioner or body lotion? And how long has it been in there?!?

    One of the best things about travel kits is trying out new products. I am planning a trip to Las Vegas in about a month, so I might need (OK, want) to buy some new fun things.

    I really want a kit that has shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion. Let's check out some options:

    • philosophy The Travel Agent: This looks promising. It includes Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, Hope in a Jar Moisturizer, Amazing Grace Shampoo, Bath and Shower Gel, Amazing Grace Firming Body Emulsion and a Amazing Grace Hair Conditioner. This has everything I need plus face cleanser and moisturizer. I love the Amazing Grace fragrance, so this would definitely work for me. 

    • Westin White Tea Aloe Travel Set: I recently stayed at a Westin hotel, and I loved the scent of the in-room toiletries. I am thinking that when I run out of the bottles I took from the room, I may have to order some more. It's so great they have a Westin store online called Westin at Home. Since I have always wanted to live in a hotel, now I can pretend that I do. I would also like to try the other Westin scents, which include green tea grapefruit and chamomile lavender.

    • Malin + Goetz Essential Kit: I haven't tried out Malin + Goetz products yet, but I hear good things about them. I found this kit, which includes grapefruit cleanser, vitamin e face moisturizer, bergamot body wash, peppermint shampoo, cilantro hair conditioner and b5 body moistiurizer, on Their motto is "for those who travel, those who are curious and those who can't commit." That pretty much sums me up, which is also why I love Birchbox (post coming soon).

      So what do you think? Do you like to try out new products when you travel? Next time I'll look at some travel kits that are a little more fun and less utilitarian. So let me know if you know of any brands that do travel sizes and travel kits well.

        Friday, January 6, 2012

        Weekend Retreat

        It's almost the weekend. Relax!

        This bathroom is a little more traditional than my usual taste. But with the French doors, the checkerboard tile and the 18th-century French buffet used as a sink, it does feel nice and cozy, like the bathroom at my (well, not mine but some rich grandma with really good taste) grandma's house.

        I hope you all have a warm, relaxing and bath-filled weekend.

        Thursday, January 5, 2012

        Christmas Goodies

        When I was a kid, one of the best parts of Christmas was telling my best friend what I go. So I thought I would share a few of my favorite Christmas presents with you.

        I got a Fresh Brown Sugar gift set from my husband that contained the perfume (shown below), a Sugar Rose Tinted Lib Treatment and Brown Sugar Body Cream. I love the smell of the perfume and the lip balm has a great color for when I'm going casual. I think I will use the body cream when traveling, so I don't have to pack the perfume bottle. I don't think this exact gift set is available any more, but Sephora and Fresh have plenty of other gift set options.

        Next up, my mom bought me a Clarisonic. When I visited Canyon Ranch Miami last year and got a facial, the aesthetician used a Clarisonic on me, and I've been dying to get one since then. I didn't do a lot of research, I just told her I wanted the turquoise one. So far I've been pretty happy with it. It does feel great on my skin, and it gets me motivated to actually wash my face (instead of just using a makeup remover wipe, which is what I usually do). We'll see if the motivation lasts.

        I got a bunch of other great stuff, like some slippers, a Silpat baking sheet, some jewelry and more. I know. I'm spoiled. But I'm dying to hear what you got. Do tell.

        Tuesday, January 3, 2012

        Happy New Year

        Since it's that time of year, I've been thinking about some New Year's resolutions, or rather some vague promises to myself. I would like this year to be a year in which I focus more on my accomplishments and less on what I'm not getting done. I would like to focus on learning some new skills instead of just acquiring new things. And, as always, I want to focus on taking time out to relax.

        I hope that you all had a great holiday, and I wish everyone the best in 2012!