Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dear Self Care Girl: I Need A Spa Day Badly...But I Am Short On Money & Time

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” - Robert Brault

There are few things that a good day at a Spa won't cure....

Work rubbing you the wrong way?...A therapeutic massage will help you get you back on your game.
Kids driving you crazy?...A nice body wrap will feel like a really good hug.
Winter blues?...A bright new pedicure will put some "spring" in your step.

Only problem:  Spa days can be very expensive...and when was the last time you had a day when you could actually step away and indulge yourself with the Queen for a Day package?

I have no perfect solution to this except to say that Mother's Day is coming and if you drop enough hints and perhaps ask for a spa gift outright starting today,  your loved ones should be ready to bestow one upon you by the time May gets here.   (Your birthday and Valentine's Day are also opportunities to ask for this)

A few other ideas that will never completely make up for the absence of a spa day in your life, but might make you feel a little better:
  1. A hot bath, with bubbles...and candles...and no interruptions.
  2. My local pedicurist-extraordinaire charges $15 for a pedicure.  Shop around and save up if you need to!
  3. Clear a corner of your home for peaceful escapes.  A good comfy chair, a small end table and a few of your favorite things about you can take you miles away -even if its just enough time to drink a cup of tea...or count backwards from 20!
  4. If your grandma never crocheted you a blanket or made you a quilt of your very own, go buy yourself a nice blanket.  Seriously- you will be warm and comforted. 
  5. Keep a hidden chocolate stash.   Invest in good quality chocolate. Eat slowly. 
  6. Take a quiet stroll, engage your senses- be one with nature and inhale lots of that fresh outside air.
  7. Call a friend...or a sister...or your mom
  8. Go back to bed.
  9. Have your own spa evening.   Put on a facial mask...soak your tired feet in a tub of warm water...give your hair a hot oil treatment.
  10. When I was younger and money was tight, I used to find that a small personal purchase was enough to lift my spirits.  A new set of pillow cases from Ross freshened up my tired bedroom, a cheery new nail polish brightened my outlook, a springy bouquet of flowers, a fragrant candle, or a new pair of trouser socks can have a huge impact with little expense.
Let me know if you have any additional solutions!  We love your comments and ideas!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lots of Great Excuses...

A man who wants something, will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse. -Stephan Dolley, Jr


This morning I am sitting here drinking my requisite morning coffee with whole milk and contemplating my recent life experiences, my future itineries,  and the importance (and difficulty) of making some changes recommended by my cardiologist a few months ago.   (See previous post about that, shamefully, unresolved issue here.)

I have been traveling for work almost constantly since October.   That nomadic lifestyle does not lend itself well to healthy eating and exercise.   (Excuses, I know)

In Italy, I fueled my long work days with fabulous pasta, bread and pizza, copious amounts of red wine and olive oil-drenched antipasti della casa and adhered (by necessity) to the Southern Italian custom of eating dinner at 9pm. 

In November I was in Melbourne, Australia.   The “foodie” in me was absolutely overwhelmed by the variety of foods from around the world that are available in this marvelous city.  Also, the beautiful, fresh produce of a Down Under summertime.   Wednesday nights at the Queen Victoria market, you can find everything from Sangria to Delicious food from Mauritius to Crocodile burgers and Dutch Pancakes.   A Melbourne cab driver told me to tell him what type of cuisine I craved and he would take me to that neighborhood!   Heaven!

The holidays came and went – the worst time of year to start a diet- and we were occupied with my mother in law’s visit until late in January.  (More excuses…yep)

I spent the month of February in Nagoya, Japan.   The Japanese eat more consciously than we do in the States.  They eat conservative portion sizes and a variety of food consciously at each meal.   There are very good lessons to be learned here about eating healthy and NOT overindulging…of course, that would have been much easier to adhere to if I had not located the Mochi-cream shop downstairs in my hotel.   (I should own stock now). 

I returned home last Saturday and I am slowly easing back into my comfortable, unhealthy routine.  The voice of Dr Getchell is constantly in my head and I am seriously contemplating jumpstarting my weight loss with a diet that was introduced to me by my naturopath late last year.  

Change is hard…it may comfort you to know that Self Care Girl is painfully human and imperfect too!   I am trying to get my head around it and how I can be successful when I head to South Carolina in April and then back to Melbourne in May.   It would seem that the best way to start is to think of some even more compelling excuses for making the right choices in the future.    I will keep you posted on my progress and share with you what I learn.  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

25 Ways to Bring On Spring!

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn  - Hal Borland

Today, I have decided to not get out of my pajamas.   I will drink hot cocoa; I will blog a little; I will get the required work done for the job that funds my luxurious lifestyle (hah!) and I will marvel at the snow and sunshine outside my home office window while dreaming of spring.  

While late winter snow is beautiful- being cold is getting old!  My mind lately has been drifting toward springtime.   Spring will eventually arrive -whether you prepare for it or not - but sometimes the wait can seem like forever.  To that end, I have compiled a list of things to do to take good care and to make the wait for spring a little less excruciating.

1)      Keep feeding those birds- this time of year is tough on our little winged friends.   If you feed them, they will sing to you too!
2)      Get a new haircut or color – Spring is all about fresh new beginnings
3)      Get a pedicure to put a “spring” in your step!
4)      Clear out a sacred space for yourself (a place in your home you can escape to for peace and quiet)
5)      Buy a cheery pot of spring flowers – I bought one yesterday to thank a neighbor…really thinking I should grab one for myself now too.
6)      Browse seed catalogs and start planning your garden
7)      Pull out your spring clothes- donate what you won’t wear /don’t wear/can’t wear to charity
8)      Take a walk and watch for signs of budding trees.
9)      Add bright colors throughout your home…rearrange your furniture, paint a room,  set out your spring themed accents!
10)   Make up your bed with floral sheets (might want to keep a set of floral flannel ones around if possible)
11)   Add some fresh fragrance to your rooms- candles, pot pourri, or a springy room spray.
12)   Watch for the arrival of fresh seasonal produce - asparagus will be in season very soon.
13)   Clean the garage.  (Not my favorite chore, but something we do every spring)
14)   Plan a vacation
15)   Make these really cute little bird cupcakes
16)   Wear bright fuzzy socks
17)   Eat strawberries
18)   Change your screen-saver to a springy theme
19)   Clean your windows
20)   Organize your filing cabinet- the new tax season will be easier if you are organized
21)   Force some buds
22)   Get crafty- add a spring theme to your card making, scrapbooking or sewing hobby
23)   Think Spring!  Post only positive thoughts and spring observations on facebook
24)   When the sun is shining, make sure you step outside and soak up some of those rays of Vitamin D.
25)   Plan a spring party with your girlfriends- one great theme: have each person bring a bouquet of one type of flower and a vase.   Everyone leaves the party with a mixed bouquet!  Have each person bring a dish that reminds them of spring.