How about a virtual retreat? Spa Along on our podcast!

12 May

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Visit Life’s A Holladay Productions, where spa and fashion go manicured hand in hand to make healthy living fun!  Whether it’s a spa, cooking or styling – come along via podcast & video to vivaciousness!  xoCandy


Spa Gift Guide: Add Haven to Your Holidays!

3 Dec

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The #HolladayWishbook is your guide to giving the spa life this holiday season.  With a carefully curated Santa’s bag of spa living goodies that we loved so much we had to buy them ourselves!  We even included a few hints to make your season more haven and less harried.

Holladay Hint:  Click the image above to view the magazine on ISSUU, at the top of viewer there’s a little box with an arrow shooting out of it, use that to share the entire book or just an item – after all you might like to receive a few of these gems as well as give them!

PS:  We have more of these coming out, if you’d like to receive them via email, join our Spa Brunchers Club here

We hope you love what we found as much as we do!

Happy Holidays Y’all!

72 dpi candy signature



DIY Vigilius Spa Apple & Polenta Body Scrub

24 Feb

We all know an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but it can also keep the wrinkles away!  With it’s acidic properties and thick, fibrous texture, apples make an exfoliating scrub to retexturize the body.  Honey is added to give flexibility to the scrub & polenta as an extra exfoliant.  Here’s our DIY version:

Combine in a bowl

1 Cup Applesauce

1/2 Cup Dry Polenta

3 Tablespoons honey

In the shower: rub onto body (this is a body only scrub) in circular motions, focusing on knees and elbows.  (Place a piece of cheesecloth over drain to stop clogging)  Rinse!  Finish w/your fave lotion.

You can also soak your fingers in it as a pre-manicure softener.

Live, Love and Lounge, Candy

How to Do The Five Tibetans exercises

24 Feb

Vigilius Mountain Resort may not have a gym, but it has something better – an incredible natural outdoor setting in which to move and meditate.  You can elect every morning to do The Five Tibetans with Vigilius’ personal trainer in The Paradise Garden.

The Five Tibetans are highly energizing yogic postures and exercises that originated in the Himalayas. Liberating and enhancing the innate energetic power of the human body and mind, these five exercises take a minimum of daily time and effort but offer remarkable results in the way of increased physical strength and suppleness as well as mental acuity.

Amazon has the classic how to book: The Five Tibetans which demonstrates the original exercises. However, our friends at Yoga Today have a free and supereasy to follow Five Tibetans video on YouTube which you can do every morning! Click here to watch now.

Live, love & lounge, Candy

Vigilius Mountain Resort Spa – South Tyrol, Italy

21 Feb

This year is proving quite fun no?  Thanks for accompanying us to our sixth spa this year the Vigilius Mountain Resort in Tyrol, Italy.  A secluded mountain spa retreat is the perfect apres Valentine’s surprise for our sweeties, don’t ya think?

Oh look, here comes the gondola.  Isn’t it supercool that this or a crisp hike up the mountain are the ONLY ways to the resort and only guests & staff are allowed?

Check out this architecture!  The clean lines are making me feel more serene already!  I wonder if architect Matteo Thun makes US housecalls? He has been quoted saying that Vigilius is a treehouse like retreat & we agree!

The piazza with free-standing fireplace is a stunning combo of locally sourced larchwood walls (which smell divine) & silver quartz floor.  Red curtains & furniture beckon.  No way, we’re ready to see our room.

Ciao simplicity! Check out that view of the Dolomites! The unadorned furniture, good lighting, lots of wood and a free standing clay wall are orchestrated to cradle us and to draw our eye to that view.  Did we mention the Frette sheets?  We may never leave.

A surefire remedy to post flight leg cramps, we scheduled our 1st treatment in the Paradise Garden.  And it’s a Vigilius specialty called Phytomassopodia.  Say that five times fast!

PHP Phytomassopodia (trademarked) is a foot treatment researched by Prof. G Mazzocco based on the studies of kinesiology, physiotherapy, podiatry, thermal medicine and aromatherapy.  An hour incorporating peeling, massage, cold/warm wraps, algae and PMP herb prepartaions     Improves circulation, cramps and muscle pains and activates inner organs.

Fancy a swim anyone?  How about a lounge by the fireplace?

Pool view from the lounge chair!

Refreshed we felt like giving archery a go.  Who knew it was such a good arm workout?  Mine are numb!  Watch out Robin Hood!

There is no “official” gym at Vigilius.  Hurray!  Instead, the grounds are your playground.  Hike, snowshoe, ski, play Boccia ball or schedule a session with their personal trainer.  We are dying to try the Five Tibetans: five poses said to extend youth & vitality.

All that exercise calls for a roll in the hay!  One of Vigilius’ signature treatments calls for hay comprised of Tyrolean mountain herbs which are said to invigorate & increase circulation.  We can’t wait to try the Apple & Polenta scrub either!

A nightcap of design books in the Vigilius library conjures designer spa dreams to end our day.

SpaHome It!

We hope you enjoyed your day at Vigilius.  Follow along the rest of the week for:

-A DIY version of the Polenta Apple Peel

-Eco-friendly bathroom decor inspired by Vigilius

-Ideas for your own meditation spot (for those without space for an entire room to devote to it like at Vigilius)

-A video lesson on how to do the Five Tibetans

Live, Love and Lounge, Candy

*Images courtesy Vigilius Mountain Resort

How to Throw a Water Tasting Party – Make a Date to Hydrate!

11 Feb

Have you ever wondered why people pay $4 or 5 for even a small bottle of water? Does it really taste better? Is it a packaging or marketing ploy? Is it really any better?

This “watered down” version of wine party will not only answer these questions, but it’s also a fun way to help your friends keep their “drink more water” resolutions AND BEAUTY BONUS! leaves their skin superhydrated!

Antipodes a Contender for Tasting!

Assign the Aqua

There are SO many waters to choose from – limiting criteria is essential. 1st decide on still or sparkling. Next, go to the grocery and see what’s available. Choose five – you may even want to limit to a certain country. Or even take it a step further and do vitamin enchanced water beauty waters. Ideas for waters to taste:

Evian (of course!)
Tap Water (a must)
Poland Springs
Antipodes Artesian Water
OgO Water from Japan

There’s a waterworld online too at the ultimate guide to bottled water at Fine Water for a selection sure to leave you thirsty for more!

Setting up the Tasting Area

Unlike wine, where I think a tasting works better standing up, a water tasting is best seated. Set up a circle with chairs and a low table in the center – a glass or lucite table especially looks cool. I also make sure the lighting is bright so we can see the waters.

Keep the water in the refrigerator prior to guests’ arriving. About 10 minutes before the party starts, I take the water out and decant each water into it’s own glass pitcher. So I can remember which water is in what pitcher, I tie different color/pattern ribbons to the pitcher handles and keep a “key” away from the tasters.

Have a large bowl or ice tub nearby for each guest to dump their water remnants into if they don’t wish to drink the whole “taste”.

Cleanse the Palate & Whet Your Whistles

Each guest gets one water glass.

Pour tastes as you go along, reminding each guest to write at the top of their scorecards the ribbon “code” for that taste.

Make sure each guest has one scorecard for each taste. The scorecards from wine tasting kits work really well for water. As you hand these out, it’s the perfect time to instruct guests how waters have unique body, fragrance, mouth feel & undertones just like wines.

Here’s a free scorecard to download if you don’t have a store bought wine tasting kit. Just substitute water for wine.

Give each guest a few sprigs of parsley to nibble on to cleanse their palate in between each taste of water (Beauty Bonus: It’s also a detox food.)

Sip and survey! Salut!

PS: We’d love to know what waters are you and your friends’ favorites – comment below or in our Facebook Lounge.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Aqua Shiatsu DIY a la Evian Spa

7 Feb

Shiatsu is often compared to acupuncture without the needles. A rigorous form of acupressure in which pressure from the fingertips stimulates your body’s meridians (energy points) Evian offers it’s own brand of shiatsu while you are submersed in a pool of water.

Here are a few products and ideas to turn your next bath into a virtual Aqua Shiatsu session:

Do it Yourself

Feeling ambitious? Buy the book: Do It Yourself Shiatsu considered the bible of self practice. Master the techniques while you’re watching TV or relaxing then try it in the bath!

Aquasense Massage Mat from WalMart

Aquasense Massage Mat

Super simple to use and a bargain less than $18, the Aquasense Mat has massage zones with unique textures for each zone. Pop it into the tub, lay down and rev up your circulation.

Conair Thermal Massage Mat

A little slice of shiatsu for your soak

The Conair Thermal Massage Mat fully padded mat offers stimulating allover bubbles. The neck rests on an adjustable massaging pad, and moving down the mat, a dual back massager calms tight muscles and relaxes the spine.


For Aqua Shiatsu ambiance pop this Shiatsu music compilation into your (watersafe) CD player.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Gourmet Baths a la Evian

6 Feb

A long relaxing soak is one of the quickest relaxation and beauty measures we can do at home. The therapeutic aspects of bathing are achieved at Evian by using water directly out of the spring & then upping the ante with infused baths for specific conditions.

You may remember last year, I wrote about the Hotel Victor in Miami which offers a bath in an entire tub full of evian water. Well you can do that at home (just buy it at Costco) if you’re feeling really decadent – but most of us aren’t going to blow $100 or more to fill our baths with evian.

But we can emulate the therapy baths from the actual Evian spa!

Chinese “New Year’s” Tea Bath

Tea can protect and moisturize the skin when added to a bath. The Chinese actually take herb specific baths at certain times of the year to attract good fortune. Since yesterday was Chinese New Year‘s here’s our version of Evian’s Chinese Tea Bath:

Take a washcloth size piece of cheesecloth and add the following herbs to the center:

1 TBSP Basil
1/2 C Ginger Root (Shaved off of a fresh ginger root)
5 – 7 drops of Sandalwood essential oil over top

Tie cheesecloth together and hang over bath faucet so water filters through the bag. Then throw and tub and soak away!

Alpine Essence Bath

This is the basic bath therapy at Evian. The tub is filled with water having been filtered through the mineral rocks at Evian and thus contains traces of Sodium, Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium. It’s also pure with no additives or preservatives that most water has.

This bath is noted to be good for anxiety relief, purification of skin, insomnia and eczema. And the minerals can be infused into your bath:

Sodium & Magnesium 1/2 c of epsom salts (aka Magnesium Sulfate)
Calcium: 1 cup of powdered milk
Potassium: Must be purchased from a soapmaker’s resource like Snowdrift Farm 1 Tblsp. add and dissolve in water first.

Ahava Bath Salts

If you don’t feel like gathering ingredients, Ahava The Source Mineral Bath Salts are rich in these four minerals.

Hydro Massage Bath with Plant Extracts

Red Flower Bath Salts

Because fresh plant extracts can be expensive and hard to find it’s best to use a pre-made concoction like:  Red Flower Bath Salts which contain chlorophyll to nourish the skin.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Make Flavored Spa Water Infusions: Water Cocktails!

5 Feb

Plain water is a thing of the past

At Evian’s Spa, their programs offer a different herbal water each day.  The idea is that different herbs have unique restorative properties and complement the spa treatments prescribed for each step of their guests’ health and beauty transformations.

We love this because let’s face it, plain water for many of us is so boring and we have trouble getting our 8 glasses a day.  That’s why we shared the Spa Water Infusion ideas below with our eHow audience.  Enjoy!  Once you try our versions, get creative and make your own water cocktails.

How to Make Spa Water Infusions for Young Glowing Skin and More Energy |

Evian Resort at Hotel Royal – Feature Spa Week 5

4 Feb

Lake Geneva is your constant companion at Evian

Royal Evian Resort

“Water water everywhere” should be the theme for this week’s waterlogged spa – not only is The Evian Resort & Hotel Royal (formerly the Royal Parc Evian) situated on the awe-inspiring South Bank of Lake Geneva at the foothills of the Alps but. . .

Evian Facial Mist

Welcome to the Spa Evian Source

Spa Evian Source sits on the mineral springs that spit forth the magical Evian water. Found in grocers & beauty retailers worldwide, Evian hydrates the world from the inside out. What makes it so special? As the Alps formed a natural filter was created protecting the mineral rich water. Evian even hired a hydrogeologist to explain it see his video here. Drink it, spray it on your face, even bathe in it.

The lobby greets you with grandeur as you check into your vacation.

Subtle blue & white decor in your room seamlessly melds with the view.

Play in the Water

Skiing anyone?

Water in all it’s forms, frozen, frothy, still provides the canvas for all sorts of activities.  Evian is not a place to just lay around.  Have an invigorating ski in the Alps, go river rafting. sailing, even paragliding!  The sky is literally the limit.

Sailing on Lake Geneva so serene

Spa Time

At Spa Evian Source the philosophy is water is the original source of all energy,  And Evian specializes in pre-set personal well-being and youth regaining courses.

The spa even creates a different herbal water for each day of their programs.  The herbs vary depending on an individual’s health & beauty goals.  For instance, check out their Source of Re-energy course:

Day 1 Elder or Rosemary essential water
Facial purity treatment – 1h00
Purity bath with essential oils – 20 min
Ancestral Indian skin scrub – 1h15
Purifying massage with oils – 50 min

Day 2 Lavander essential water
Chi Cong – 1h00
Energising massage :
Tui Na or Shiatsu or Nuad Bo Lan – 1h15
Instantaneous plenitude treatment – 1h15

Day 3 Sage essential water
Stimulating hydro-massage bath – 20 min
Balinese massage – 50 min
Kansu – 50 min

Day 4 Mint or thyme essential water
Energising facial drainage – 25 min
Seaweed or mud treatment with trace elements – 50 min
Foot reflexology – 50 min
Energising abdominal massage or Relaxation massage – 25 min

Day 5 Wild rose essential water
Regenerating facial treatment with coloured clay – 1h15
Abhyanga massage – 1h15
Shirodhara – 45 min
Shiny hair treatment

To start your #spa time, unwind with Tai Chi in the water.

Next a massage with a view!

Evian's exclusive Hydro Contact Course. Each nook is a station where you work another part of your body.

Finish your spa time with a chill out session in the relaxation lounge.

Sup in Style

A romantic dinner in the Royal Suite

To end the day how about some fine French cuisine overlooking the twinkling Lake Geneva? Fois Gras, Cassoulet and Crepes are typical menu choices.

Or dine in one of the gourmand restaurants!

SpaHome It!

In honor of our watery spa this week, join us as we take a waterlogged approach to fitness, learn how to turn bottles of Evian (or any water) into H2O health cocktails, how to purify your tap water, host a Water tasting party and recreate 2 of Evian’s famed bath treatments.

Live, love and lounge, Candy