Archive for February, 2010

So today, treat yourself to an at-home spa day before you (if you even do) opt to clean the house. Follow my tried and true recipe for a spa day & you will feel refreshed, relaxed and invigorated.

Start out by making yourself a healthful meal line up (like one you would get at a fancy shmancy spa). It would be preferable if you could do this a day in advance, or do all your cooking before you start your treatments. The goal will be to flow from one “treatment” to the next with minimal interruption.

Try this meal plan:

Strawberry Sunshine Smoothie– Blend 2/3c. frozen strawberries with ¼-1/2 c. vanilla soy or almond milk. Add one packet of no calorie sweetener if desired. About 45 cal. Per smoothie.

NBC’s Biggest Loser® Ginger and Lemongrass Sliders in Lettuce Cups (from SpaIndex.com)

1 – 20 oz package of Extra Lean Ground Turkey
1 clove garlic, minced fine
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
1 Teaspoon fresh lemongrass, grated super fine
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped rough
2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
6 drops toasted sesame oil, divided
Fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
½ Cup orange juice
1 cup red cabbage, cut into ribbons
1 large carrot, finely grated
8 whole leaves iceberg lettuce, washed
Whole cilantro leaves for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan on medium high heat.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chopped cilantro, 1 Tablespoon soy sauce and 3 drops sesame oil. Mix well until fully incorporated and season with fresh cracked black pepper.
  3. Form the turkey mixture into tight balls of approximately 2 ½ ounces each – there should be 8 balls. Flatten them into patties about ½ inch thick.
  4. Brush the grill lightly with oil and place the turkey patties onto the grates. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165F in the center of the burgers.
  5. While the burgers are cooking, mix the cabbage and carrots in a separate, medium sized mixing bowl. Mix in the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil along with the orange juice. Mix well and season to taste with black pepper.
  6. Remove the burgers from the grill and let rest for 2-3 minutes. To serve, place a burger into each lettuce leaf or cup and mound a small amount of the cabbage and carrot salad on top. Garnish with cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately. 195 cal. Per serving (2 burgers)

Fruit Sushi

1 firm, ripe honeydew or cantaloupe melon
1 fresh pineapple, papaya, and starfruit, peeled and julienned (or fruit of your choice)

Peel, halve and seed melon. Using a potato (veggie) peeler, obtain thin, long and straight slices from the flesh. Lay melon strip down and place a few julienned pieces of fruit at one end. Roll strip and secure with a toothpick if necessary.

Your preparation period being done, now you are free to move on to the most relaxing part… the spa treatments

  1. Your spa day begins with your most overworked body part; relax your brain first. As you release all of your stresses and anxieties, your body will surely follow. Play some music (try my Snow Day Spa Playlist!!!), light scented candle in a relaxing scent (like lavender or chamomile), dim the lights, and meditate or try to achieve “no thought” or a blank mind.
  2. Now, onto the face. Our faces are the way we greet the world and, though we may not often realize it, people generally make assumptions about us based on this feature, whether we like it or not. So put a fresh face forward with this delectable mask:Chocolate Facial Mask
    This creamy mask is an excellent moisturizer, leaving your skin baby soft. Recommended for normal skin.
    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    3 tbsp. heavy cream
    2 tsp. cottage cheese
    ¼ cup honey
    3 tsp. oatmeal
    Mix all ingredients together (I use my Magic Bullet) and smooth onto face. Relax for ten 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water. Follow with a gentle toner and sweet smelling moisturizer.
  3. Next, move to your hands and feet. I like to do a soak, then a scrub, then slathering on a moisturizing cream or oil. Sweet Feet Spa Treatment


1 cup epsom salts

1 cup apple cider vinegar

4 drops peppermint essential oil

several marbles or smooth stones


  1. Boil a large pot of water. Using a large spoon, stir in the epsom Salt. Add the vinegar and essential oil and stir. Pour the mixture into a basin or a footbath that you’ve already filled with warm water. Add the marbles or smooth stones. Put your feet into the footbath and swish your feet through the water, allowing the marbles to massage your feet.
  2. Now that you’re in the thick of it, we’ll move to your crowning glory: your hair. Whether you have short hair or long, curly or straight, color processed or natural, everyone could use a little follicle pampering J For an ultra-moisturizing hair mask: Mash the flesh of one avocado with 1/2c. of honey and spread on dry hair. Leave on hair for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse with water. Follow with gentle shampoo.
  3. And… the piece de resistance… the body scrub & soak!! I prefer to soak in a dimly lit bathroom, with a  few candles and mood music playing; after about 20 minutes, I let the water out & apply the body scrub (made earlier). I follow all this up with a nice warm shower and then slick on a liberal amount of body butter. I like to make mine a mocha routine (just a little nod to my addiction to both coffee and chocolate!).


1 cup of unscented bubble bath
1/3 cup of unsweetened soy milk
3 oz. of grated or powdered dark chocolate

Heat the soy milk and add in the grated or powdered chocolate. Stir well until melted and blended, but do not boil. Allow to cool.  Mix well again just before adding to your bath.

 Morning Buzz Coffee Scrub (from Veria.com)


1/2 1 cup used coffee grounds from your coffee pot

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil


Empty out your coffee filter into a bowl or container that will be safe in the shower. Add the salt. Drizzle in the olive oil and stir with your fingers to blend. Take it with you into the shower. Scrub gently, being careful to avoid the eye area.

 Now that you’re all lubed up and relaxed, you will be better able to face any challenges that await you during the week. Or maybe even… those dishes you didn’t do before the spa J

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Snow Day Spa Playlist

Another weekend snowed in with no one but my animals… and a need to calm my mind. I am going to treat myself to a snow day spa, and I have the perfect playlist for just such an occasion! Enjoy the subtle, soulful sounds in the tub, surrounded with candles and the beautiful scents of CHOCOLATE bubble bath (recipe to follow!).

  • The Dress Looks Nice On You- Sufjan Stevens
  • Dream- Priscilla Ahn
  • Lullaby- Priscilla Ahn
  • How Deep Is Your Love- The Bird & The Bee
  • Quelqu’un m’a dit- Carla Bruni
  • Like A Star- Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Duet-  Rachael Yamagata
  • Be Your Love- Rachael Yamagata
  • Fireflies- Rachael Yamagata & Rhett Miller
  • Sunny Road-  Emiliana Torrini
  • In The Waiting Line- Zero 7
  • Let Go- Frou Frou
  • Morning Song- Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Tel Que Tu Es- Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Mykonos- Fleet Foxes
  • Corner Of Your Heart- Ingrid Michaelson
  • Crash This Train (Acoustic) Joshua James
  • My Hands Are Shaking- Sonre Lerche

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Snow, snow, snow

Well, it snowed again. We got another 10″ of snow in Roanoke between the drifts on Friday & Saturday. However, on a positive note, the next day it was about 40 degrees outside, so the meltoff was a damn sight more than the last storm. This storm did make me come to a certain realization.

My realization is thus: Snow shovels were invented as an implement of torture. Especially effective when used on the following:
1) the short.
2) the less than enviably fit.
3) those who have poor balance.
4) those without appropriate winter-tread shoes.
5) anyone who has to stare longingly at his or her neighbor using a stupid electric snow blower. That is cheating. Blessedly mechanical cheating.

I can only say that I am not looking forward to the storm that is fixing to hit us on Friday. I am supposed to house-sit for Heather Beth & Brady Friday-Sunday, but if it snows, I may be stuck up there longer. My truck really doesn’t like going anywhere in the snow. Boo. We’ll see how all this works out. One positive is that school was cancelled today, so I got an extra day off 🙂 Awesome! We’ll see what comes of this winter advisory for tomorrow as well. Perhaps another day off from work?? Would love it!

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