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Art of the Spa has moved to www.artofthespa.com – Please visit us for loads of ways to Destress your Nest!

12 May

AND new features like our Spa Brunch radio show, simpler to navigate menu options and a newspaper format!  Visit the NEW Art of the Spa now!

Spa with you there!  Candy

You’re Invited to the Launch of #HomeSpaChat on twitter

4 Jan

Just a quick announcement – tonight is the night we’re kicking off #HomeSpaChat parties on twitter.  Each Tuesday we’ll unwind & lounge with the twitterverse, bringing our spa flair for life & decor to a different topic.  The chat runs from 8 PM- 9 PM ET feel free to even just pop in and say hello or lurk if you like! Follow @homespachat for weekly updates.

This week we’re chatting Spa Resolution Solutions.  Visit the chat’s website for all the hows, whys and wheres.  Including giveaways. Hope to see you tonight –

Live, Love & Lounge, Candy

Why I Won’t Go to the Spa This Year

2 Jan

Nope. Nuh-uh. That’s not a typo. I really will not be going to the spa in 2011. Pick up your jaw. I know it’s beyond bizarre. How can a spa crazed gal go cold turkey for 12 entire months?

The Dream Job

Image by Michael Shalev. Purchase on canvas at http://www.m-shalev.co.il

I spent over 7 years going to the spa as my career. I suffered through massages, pedicures and facials all in the interest of helping my clients improve their properties. Cue violins.

The Real World

But who gets to do this? Most of the women I know are too tired, busy or broke to spa – it’s pretty much a forbidden extravagance. And on top of that, their home, which is supposed to be a sanctuary, often causes more stress.  Not to mention we’re coming out of that nasty R word.

That’s why my passion has always been to help others recreate this privileged experience in their own homes. What if we lived like we were at a spa, surrounded ourselves with similar decor, pampered ourselves with beauty treatments and ate the delicious, yet diet friendly, cuisine?

We (& our VERY LUCKY families) would be happier and healthier. (Which just so happen to be two of the top New Year’s resolutions!)

The Aha Moment

The epiphany hit during one of my favorite holiday specials, The Year Without a Santa Claus, I kept thinking: “What if it were the year without spa?” It would show my sincerity & seriousness about achieving the bliss of the spa at home. So I’m going to practice what I preach and spend 2011 spa free.

The Blog

Each week we will focus on a particular spa, delivering super easy, specific ways to bring that spa’s unique qualities to your abode. That may be a recipe, color palette, piece of furniture, DIY treatment, etc.

And to make it a little more interesting, we’ll use the 52 spas featured in The Art of the Spa (the 1st engagement book devoted to spa by yours truly) as a guideline to which spas we select.

Though I may visit a spa to photograph interiors or interview therapists, I won’t be indulging in any treatments at the spa. It’s going to be rough. . . let’s hope I survive ; )  I’ve gotta admit I’m scared!  Do you think I can do it?   Vote in the poll or comment below.

AND follow along my quest in my Un-Spa Diary here.

Live, Love and Lounge, Candy

Spatinis for Everyone – New Year Cocktail

31 Dec

A spa salut to you all – by popular request Art of the Spa’s Spatini Martini.  Now that’s a yummy way to relax into 2011.


Haunted Spas

1 Nov

Put the Boo! in beautiful at these spooky spas that have all been rumored to be haunted. Maybe the ghosts are looking for a little body work?

1. 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Sci Fi Channel’s Ghost Hunter show can’t be wrong! One of the most haunted hotels in the world, dark spots, floating visions and the ghost of a construction worker who fell to his death during the construction of the hotel.

But, who cares about a ghost when you can relax at the hotel’s New Moon Spa? Try the Pure Focus Facial Massage!

2. Safety Harbor Resort and Spa Safety Harbor Florida

Considered Florida’s first spa, Safety Harbor’s founder Dr. Baranoff’s presence has been said to felt during a massage.   Salt shakers have mysteriously disappeared from the restaurant (bad for the body you know!) Plus, 2 people said they were bitten by a dog statue. Via http://starkimages.homestead.com/safetyharborspa.html

Sleep right through those hauntings, try their Lavender Dreams spa duet – an Espiritu Springs Mineral Bath & Lavender Dreams Ultimate Experience

3. Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii

HHV is the home of Mandara Spa, the largest spa in Waikiki. In 1959, an employee saw a woman in a red dress vanish before his eyes as he was escorting her to a room. Some say she is the ghost of a woman murdered in a tower room, while others say she is none other than the volcano goddess herself, Madame Pele.

Volcano Goddess or not, emerge as a goddess from Mandara, after indulging in their Hot Stone Therapy which incorporates volcanic Basalt stones in the massage!

4. Claremont Hotel & Spa Berkely, CA

A little girl who died in the hotel is said to haunt the fourth floor with her friendly apparition. via www.realhaunts.com

Maybe she needs a spa day? Their Anti-Gravity facelift would be perfect!

5. The Langham Hotel & Spa, London

Though 5 ghosts have been seen here, the main one is the ghost of a doctor who committed suicide at the hotel after murdering his new wife on his honeymoon. via NatGeoAdventure

Visit the hotel’s Chuan Spa to balance the yin and yang out of that ghost. The spa opens in Jan. 2011.

Happy Halloween! Candy

Yolanda Aguilar Beauty Institute & Spa LA

16 Sep

Spa Week sent me on a mission to Yolanda Aguilar Beauty Institute & Spa in Los Angeles for our weekly #SpaWeekGossip parties and I gladly accepted.

YA Beauty Institute and Spa is in the financial district and I can’t think of a better spot for a gem of a spa. YA specializes in skin rejuvenation – sort of a medical spa with a luxury feel. While relaxing and pampering are part of the experience, clients expect to leave with their skin visibly improved. Acne, lines, inflammation and discolorations watch out!

Perfect for me, who since moving to LA, has noticed more freckles and a drier visage. Yolanda, who has been in the beauty business for 45 years, pays extra special attention to her clients so each treatment is customized. After changing into a robe & slippers, I sipped a cup of green tea and relaxed in YA’s earthy green and fountain filled waiting area.

*Superspagoer secret: You know how they say to look at stylist’s hair at a salon? Check out the skin on the staff at a spa. Every person at YA had lineless, gorgeous skin.

Yolanda retrieved me and welcomed into her office for a consultation which all new guests receive. As I suspected, my skin was dry on the cheeks but oily in the t-zone with some acne (Ick – how embarrassing!) and freckles. Rx?   Her Hydra Facial.

The Hydra Facial uses a high tech machine with several attachments that allow the aesthetician to exfoliate, peel, oxygenate and inject vitamins deep into the skin.

Claudia, my aesthetician, cleansed and exfoliated me. (SpaHome note: she recommends if you wear make up washing twice – once with a milky cleanser, then with a sudsy one). Bumps (read zits) were extracted (the unfun part of a facial), but the foot massage I got during the extractions numbed any discomfort.

Next a gauze mask was applied over a disinfecting gel and a light passed over. Tingled! Then the diamond peel. I was a bit nervous it may hurt, but it felt like sandpaper on my face. Next suctioning cups dispersed a vitamin gel into my pores, then sucked up excess – I felt like I was making my face do sit ups! The finale, a blue light to calm residual redness.

To finish, sunscreen was applied. Wow, babies would be jealous! My face felt tighter, tingled and was a bit pink. But it looked like velvet.

Watch segments of the treatment: Here

BONUS: Yolanda Aguilar is celebrating Spa Week & you can treat your summer ravaged skin for only $50! Less than half of the regular price. Call now Spa Week ends Sunday.

PS: A week after my Hydra Facial, my skin is smoother, brighter and softer. As one of my friends put it last night, you always look good but now you’re glowing from the inside out! Wow! What a huge compliment. Thank you Yolanda, Claudia and the entire staff.

Yolanda developed her own treatment line which I have to try. Will report on that in a month.

Live, love and lounge, Candy

The Zen Den: Spa Secrets to Buddha Bliss – #SpaWeekGossip 8/25

23 Aug

Do you feel like the Queen of Chaos?  God bless this . . . stress?  NOT!  Step into the Zen Den my dear. . . we’re giving that cortisol creator the boot to make room for Miss Bliss.  Because at the spa – it’s all about ahhhhhhhh.

Kick off your shoes, uncork the champagne and gather your gals and join the #SpaWeekGossip girls as we gab about creating peace from chaos & spa secrets to find your inner Buddha.  We’ll chillax with:

– The most relaxing spa treatments on the planet & our “B” (bliss!) spots  (many available at Spa Week – booking now in Chicago & on the West Coast)

– Pro decompression do’s like getting REM quality zzzz’s and how to make your next spa day the most soothing ever.

– Peace perks – music, fragrance and tricks to bring on the nirvana wherever you are.

– Our personal Zen Dens!  How we unwind at the end of the day.  Om Zone retreats without going on vacay.

Art of the Spa will unveil her signature technique for blissing out in your abode.

What: SpaWeek Daily & Art of the Spa’s #SpaWeekGossip

When: Wednesday, August 25th, 2 pm EST / 11 am PAC

Where: On Twitter with hashtag #SpaWeekGossip or

For easier chatting (hashtag entered automatically for you) tweet on either:

Tweetchat.com

or

Tweetgrid.com

Topic: The Zen Den – Spa Secrets to Buddha Bliss
Who: @spaweek @artofthespa @dailygrommet @hostesstori &  YOU!

1,2,3. . . Relax!

Michelle (SpaWeek Daily) & Candy (Art of the Spa)

Spa Glam Vanity

23 Aug

So gorgeous – makes getting dressed a happy, exhilarating experience. Live, love, lounge, Candy

SpaDream Rooms a La Sotheby’s

23 Aug

Your own Island of Tranquility - In the Living Room!

The St. Bart’s Home  has the ultimate escape – an inside island retreat!

Live, love and lounge, Candy

Spa to Home Interior Design: The Spalicious Style of Red Mountain Spa

6 Aug

Rugged mountains cradle Red Mountain Spa in Ivins, Utah, and the guests feel coddled as well with spa treatments, fitness & health classes & fun activities.  In addition to visiting Red Mountain, you can actually live there in their cozy canyon enclave called the Residences at Red Mountain.

The earthy color scheme of the villa decor reflects the desert.  The living room is a soothing sand with deeper taupes, goldenrods, rusts & burnt oranges of the surrounding red rocks & mountains.    SpaHome Secret:  Mimicking surroundings in interiors helps reduce stress.  Your body & mind don’t need to adjust or transition when the inside and outside environments are similar.

Kashwere throw

My favorite feature of this living room can’t be seen.  The sofa and ottomans are made of Kashwere .  As soft as a bunny’s belly, Kashwere is a microfiber chenille – their robes were made famous when Oprah named them one of her Favorite Things.  Red Mountain’s designers had the foresight to have the furnishings made from this fabric.  You may never want to get off the sofa – um room service please?

The Villa Living Room

Spa to Home:  The Living Room

While having custom made Kashwere furniture is beyond most of our budgets, Kashwere does make throws and blankets.  These can be tossed over your ottomans/chairs for instant sofa softening.

Bamboo Ladder from Gaiam

Did you notice the magazine ladder?  It’s a handy way to store your current reads and keep them in view.  Warning:  Do not overload – too many will lead the clutter and steal the spa right out of this organizing tool.   The best choice:  Go for a bamboo ladder at least 72″ inches high to bamboozle that reading pile with style.  Like the one from Gaiam.  A too small or fragile looking ladder will add to visual busyness rather than “sorting it out”.   Red Mountain also employs these ladders in bathrooms as towel racks.

The Bathroom

A slate floor & shower walls keep with the natural decor – while adding depth and signaling slowdown time with a new element.  SpaHome Secret:  Instead of matching towels to bath decor especially when the bath is all neutrals – bring in color from another room in the home with them.

Spa to Home Bathroom:

Normally I’m not a shower girl, but I’m a sucker for pebble floor showers like Red Mountain’s.  Walking on pebbles massages the feet, improves circulation and increases energy.  It’s something that can be achieved in any shower with the pebbled tiles available from places like Pebble Tile Mosaics.

The Bedroom

Double queen beds take up a lot of space, but the oblong arrangement of the guest bedroom looks inviting.  The fireplace does it’s share of balancing out the beds, but another tip is to keep the bedding simple so it doesn’t overpower the room.  SpaHome Secret:  notice the artwork, the bench and even the arrangement of the bedding echo the rectangular landscape of the space – this keeps the calmness & chi flowing.

Spa to Home Bedroom

Shawl from Shalincraft

Because many of us tend to overdo bedding (more is better right?) the way the linens are configured here is genius.  Reddish brown sheets, a white down comforter, 4 bed pillows (2 red and 2 white) and 2 bolsters to match the sheet.  Bulk  is minimized by making the centerpiece of each bed a lightweight wool blanket throw.

The ones from Shalincraft – e enlarged versions of a Jamawar Jacquard Shawl that the women wear there in India, come in bold colors.  Just fold into a  rectangle at the end of the bed.   For a less expensive idea, use a wide table runner – they come in loads of colors & designs.

Don’t forget a bench or trunk at the end of the bed helps define that space & can help defray the stuff factor by providing storage like this one from Target.

Live, Love & Lounge, Candy