friendship, health

Pampered A-Z

The long awaited getaway weekend had arrived. Schedule conflicts hit hard as the time of departure hit. It took some finagling to get all to work out but that was not without added stress.

The take off was planned for early morning with a distance to drive. All attendees were to meet at the destination vs the previous plan of arriving the night before. This special time with friends was a long weekend planned for my birthday. Lots of unknown surprises and adventures were on the agenda. The list was long but there was a PJs party and sleepover, of course. Plenty of sweets to eat for all. Many giggles with the girls took away any of the pre-travel stresses.

One planned event I knew about was a spa day. However, I knew nothing of the venue nor did I really remember what treats were in store for me at the spa. The check in was detailed. A locker was assigned as well as a fancy robe. The cell phone was tucked away for me to adhere to the cell-phone-free zone. Off we went to a waiting room which was more like a grand foyer with a fresh wood-burning fireplace.

The waiting room ended up being a common area or meeting place for us to exchange stories and socialize in between services. At this point I had no idea how much time I would spend here but it was already amazing at this point. This common area had a snack bar with nuts and water and little refreshers which was a nice treat but the log cabin feel of a living room with the fresh fire added to the ambiance. The lounger chairs were placed on the outer edge of the room for reading: the inner area was a plush leather couch and recliners assembled with care for a little closer seating to chit chat. There were so many ladies in and out.

Moms and adult daughters. Girl groups like ours. It was hard to guess the average age or if there were any patterns of ages. While I might have silently people watched or observed my surroundings on my first visit to the common space,  I didn’t care after my first moment of zen. I had entered a whole new state of ooey gooey relaxation.

I had a massage first. 85 minutes of aroma therapy, oils, hot stones and a medium level touch. It was just delightful. Head to toe relaxation. After a huddle up in the common area one pal headed to sauna. Another to steam room and shower. Two of us opted for the salt cave encounter. This was a first but a one and done. A novelty experience but one I don’t feel I would ever do again. 

Back to the meeting place. This time we shuffled around the corner to a semi-private area for a mini lunch and mimosas. Oh, the treats hit the spot. Grapes for refreshment. Berries to add to the mimosas. Meats and cheeses for protein. A few crackers for crunch and orange slices for some sweet hydration. Some chocolate covered nuts and strawberries, however those were not on my tasting list this time. Each table set up was slightly different in theme making such a cute accent for those gathered for these snack sessions.

Next was the facial. Cute little coverup was worn to allow your arms and shoulders to be free. For yet another massage of sorts. The head. The neck. The face. The shoulders. The arms. The hands. Hydrating massages built into the facial process was beyond amazing, the glow after the service was remarkable. Such a rejuvenating experience.

For this spa had rooms upon rooms. Long hallways. An upstairs and a downstairs. Lots of nooks and crannies. I had never been to such an interesting spa. Many had brought their favorite books for reading in between sessions while others were in small groups chatting away.

I will be back for sure. Another interesting tidbit was there were more males than I expected receiving service however they had their own section for gathering. Oh how I wished to be a fly on the wall in the women-free zone to see their snacks and relaxation stations, now I’m so curious. Maybe I will have to make a phone call to inquire about the difference.

Today was a great time with friends but the most pampering I have ever had. Not sure if it was the time, the kinship, the services or the combination but I will cherish the experience. I chose to write about this day for many reasons.

One day I may want to reflect on this day with valued friends.

One day I may not be fortunate enough to receive these kind of services this I would want the detailed memories to relive the moment in my mind.

One day I will want my daughter to read my recap for her to understand how she should value self-care.

And for today, anyone reading along who may not ever experience this bliss, I want to share my experience virtually. Not for a bragging type experience rather for an experience to daydream about what can be someday.

Dreaming big is an important part of my life. I live for new experiences and opportunities. If I never had things to look forward to I would remain stagnant. My hope for readers is to reach for those days ahead that seem impossible for I know one can always reach beyond to get what they are willing to work hard or push for.

author moments, health

The Massage. Some Womanly Advice. Don’t Miss This…

It’s been a long awaited time to visit my favorite massage therapist due primarily to Corona restrictions and a limited schedule offered when the spa actually re-opened.

Today was the day. It’s been almost two years since I was going to get a massage from my favorite masseuse. He is tall, strong and has that sexy European accent. That’s not what I get most excited about though. It’s the movement techniques he applies. It’s like a dance of sorts. As relaxing music plays in the background the pressure points in your body are hit. Gentle and harsh motions. Deep as well surface penetration is applied in a methodical way.

Back to the dance. He leads and my body reacts. It’s that simple. I need to release the tension of the world and allow my body to enter the relaxation state that many don’t experience. And then while in that moment, my body dances or receives the massage motions/movements. The tension goes away. The aches subside. Nothing else matters. No background noise is heard aside from the gentle sound of background music.

When the body moves well there is an occasional pop or natural release. From hot stones to warm towels to aroma therapy, the experience is like no other. Of course I have had other massages but this therapist is by far my favorite due to his techniques.

Face down is how it begins. The shoulders. The back. The arms. The hips. The thighs. The legs. Nothing is skipped. You feel the pressure and release in your quads. Your calves. Your IT bands. Even your fingers and toes.

Then there is a pause. The slight pause is time for the flip. Flat on your back the process starts again. More oil. More warm towels. More pampering from head to toe. The forearms. The chest muscles feel the finger rub to get the smaller area. The triceps and biceps get a little more pressure. The toes crack. The feet are flexed in new ways.

I won’t give you every last detail however I will say I am completely refreshed. My mind. My body. My soul. I am capping off my session with very berry smoothie. Pictured above is the cherry on top. The chilly, protein packed refreshment. Now I am off to enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Some may say this is me spoiling myself and unneeded.  I will respond with this is self care and you should try it! From me to you. Get the massage. Spoil yourself. You are worth it! For my male readers: spoil your partner. Let them know you are okay with them relaxing and unwinding. 

health

Morning Mind Reader

It’s a yelp. And not a small one. A piercing, booming, where-is-this-coming-from-and-how-can-I-make-it-stop yelp.

Even worse. it’s 5:00 am. My quiet, sanctuary time. I’m happy to see our oldest girl when she rolls down the stairs but when she breaks out into that bark it’s a mad scramble to figure out how to make it stop.

It’s a throwback to parenting a screeching toddler. Do they need a snack? A toy? The blue blanket? The red blanket? The swing? Music? A pacifier? A TV show? A diaper change? Long succession of whatever she might fancy. Anything to get the screech to stop.

Her bark is the same way.

Which means at 5:00 I’m scrambling to figure out what she is asking for. I go from serenity with my candle and reading to here, there, everywhere, filling the water and food bowls, taking walks, scratching her back, swaddling her in a blanket…anything to get the ruckus to stop. This never used to happen.

Life being lifey (including an unexpected new dog) and her old age makes her more likely to be all topsy turvy and persnickety. Old girl wants what she wants. Why can’t pups use telepathy or just speak my language? Where’s a crystal ball when you need one?

Sometimes I get it right, but sometimes I run out of choices and I haven’t solved it. I just keep trying. A couple of times she just wanted her person to wake up. I can’t help that. Sometimes she gives up on trying to make me understand. She must find me so frustrating.

Just another glimpse into the lives of the chicks and our pups.

health

Stretch Goals

My body needed a good stretch.

I made an appointment to get stretched. Yes there is actually somebody you can pay to stretch your body!

It was painful at times but also refreshing at times. As I age my hips seem to tighten. Repetitive stress on certain joints can show wear over time. The stretch was a reset of sorts.

Loosening the tightness. Getting corrective movements to do at home. It’s all part of my maintenance plan. Some go to doctors for pain pills. Others opt to suffer in silence. I choose options. As many options as I can to stay fit, active and overall healthy.

Our bodies endure a lot in a day. Stress alone can settle in parts of your body and wreak havoc. Your shoulders can get tight from poor posture sitting at a computer all day. You legs can show fatigue from lack of sleep. The list goes on an on and normally reflects your lifestyle. Or the aches and pains reflect your life choices.

Any day we can be overworked. Stretching, yoga, recovery activities all play a role in overall health. Today I stretched. Something my body needed. Unfortunately it’s not a one time deal but I need to practice and build a stretch routine to continue on my stretching path. For now I am learning what my body needs. How I can help it and how to properly stretch today. I must repeat often.

As I age my stretching needs will most likely change. For now I want to keep my activity up and stretching is part of that process. Today’s post is dedicated to my stretch goal. A physical stretch goal vs. a stretch goal many may often refer to in business or life.

health, healthy hacks

Just Breathe

Such a simple statement: just breathe.

There are many times now-a-days I think about this simple statement. In the morning when my coach programs deep breathing in my warmup. It’s almost a time to put me back to sleep but it doesn’t. It settles my mind. It gets me ready for the crazy day ahead. Just simple breathing.

Then I think about the many I know near and far struggling with their breathing. Just breathe is hard for them. They could be having issues with Covid or they could be just aging or they could be dealing with an asthma flare up. Just breathe for them takes on a totally different meaning than my just breathe in the morning.

Then there is deep inhale and long exhale of breathing I do in times of stress. When the calendar is full to max capacity. When everyone needs you in different places at the same time. When life is crazy amidst a pandemic. When you need to make choices. Just breathe. It’s simple but not so simple.

On days like today I take a few minutes to breathe in and breathe out. Appreciating each breath for what it is. An opportunity. A chance to take on a new day. For me the fresh air breathing outside is much more appreciated than indoor but some days I take what I can get.

Don’t underestimate the value of breathing. It can be therapeutic. If done calmly with purpose and thought it can be a reset button of sorts. Just breathing has hidden values.

Take a walk in in the park and inhale the scents, exhale the worries of life.

Sit in your yard and listen to the birds chirp while you inhale and exhale.

Take a trip to the mountains and breathe the crisper mountain air. Exhale the toxins of the city hustle and bustle.

If you are near the the ocean, enjoy calm breathing with the mist of the sea. Exhale any negativity in your life.

Go to your special place. Close your eyes. Just breathe. Remember a loved one. Cherish memories while you breathe in and out. Just breathing slowly with purpose allows up time to enjoy the simplicity of breathing and reflection.

Just breathe. Just breathe as you wait for the big news you are anxious about. Just breathe as you stress about the days ahead. Just breathe as you tackle the the new you that’s on the horizon. Just breathe. It’s simple enough but sometimes we all need that reminder to just breathe through it all.

I’ll leave you with this clip of my morning routine today. Give simple breathing a shot for five minutes. Let me know how this 5 minutes of your day worked to your advantage.