Sunday, October 31, 2010

10 Ways to Pamper Yourself...

How much fun is this, feeding all the ghosts and goblins at my door and putting this list together of ways to pamper yourself. Ideal way to wrap up the month of October!

1. Relax and Recharge with Aromatherapy

2. Manicure & Pedicure

3. Time for green tea

4. Milk Bath

5. Organic Products

6. Time out just for you

7. Massage

8. Steam

9. Exercise

10. Go to your favourite Spa

Happy Halloween Spa Girls....

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spa Girl says Happy Halloween

It's that time of year, where witches and goblins come out to play, it's Halloween, or in Mexico, Day of the Dead. If you have never witnessed this Mexican holiday, it is definitely worth the trip.

Halloween is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity and life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth... In the 19th century, Halloween began to lose its religious connotation, becoming a more secular community-based children's holiday. Halloween, one of the world's oldest holidays, is still celebrated today in several countries around the globe.

In recognition of Halloween many spas have created pumpkin-based treatments. Pumpkins are rich in natural plant enzymes and carotenoid antioxidants that help to repair, exfoliate, and hydrate dull skin. Add a little cinnamon (sounds like a pumpkin pie) which stimulates circulation and helps firm and polish the skin, you have the perfect face mask.Spas in Bali, Hawaii, Tahiti and other such exotic get-always often mash fresh fruit into their facials, a tradition I'm happy to say is starting to happen more often elsewhere, which leave your face fresh and glowing.

Here's one to try this Halloween...

2/3 cup fresh papaya, mashed
15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1 egg, beaten

Beat until frothy an organic egg and combine with mashed papaya, then add pumpkin. This can be done by hand or in a blender. Apply to a clean face being careful to avoid the eyes. You most likely will feel a tingling sensation as the enzymes in the pumpkin begin to work. Leave the mask on for about 10 minutes, then rinse off with warm water, pat dry and apply your favourite organic tonner and moisturizer.

Trick or Treat...Happy Halloween Spa Girls!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spa Girl's visit to Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa

Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate it in October or November is a time to give thanks for the bounty of the fall harvest and express our gratitude for all we hold dear. It is also one of my favourite holidays as I just love the fall.

This year I decided to celebrate by heading with a friend to the newly opened Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa located in the stunning landscape of the interior of British Columbia, just outside Vernon. Not only is this wine country, it is dotted with hundreds of amazing lakes, rolling valleys and spectacular mountain vistas.

If you saw the film "My American Cousin", traveling to Sparkling Hill will bring to life all that unforgettable scenery--and there is nothing like the real thing!

Named after the sun drenched mountain it sits atop of, this resort is the perfect blend of Canadian and Austrian elegance. Built as an international destination for extended wellness holidays and designed by Canadian architects this $122-million resort was funded by Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the patriarch of the Swarovski crystal empire.

And crystals you get, every aspect of this facility is infused with crystals from the breathtaking iridescence of the sculptural lighting in the four storey open lobby and dining room, with their panoramic views, to crystal fireplaces in each room, crystal encrusted washroom signs, imbedded in the backs of chairs and cupboard doors and sculptures throughout, this place hums with energy and magical prisms.

And then there is the Spa!

Sparkling Hill KurSpa is a expansive 40,000 square foot European inspired wellness centre designed after Spa Girls motto, relax, rejuvenate, and restore! In their own words, KurSpa "is a place of calm and tranquillity; where a distinctive sense of time and place pervades in the character and quality of the spaces".

In addition to a myriad of treatment options guests have the luxury of indulging in seven unique aromatherapy sauna and steam rooms, an indoor salt water pool with underwater music and a starry Swarovski crystal ceiling, a hot pool, outdoor infinity pool, a Kneipp waterway, state-of-the art fitness studio, tea room and Serenity Room.

KurSpa services, when fully staffed, are offered by physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists and trained estheticians. I opted to have four treatments starting with a Fango (Italian for mud) wrap consisting of pure volcanic ash and warm water mixed into a buttery mud which detoxifies and invigorates the muscles. A perfect appetizer prior to the KurSpa massage. My second day I enjoyed the elegance of the beauty section at KurSpa with a facial and pedicure. I had considered trying KurSpa's famous Cold Sauna (-110 degree C) popular in Europe and the first in North America, but it was out of order. This treatment known as cryotheraphy involves spending up to three minutes in this icy chamber (feet, hands, ears and mouth are protected) and purports to help improve circulation, alleviate pain, improve joint and muscle function, reduce skin irritation and leave you feeling refreshed (no kidding) and energized!

After two days at Sparkling Hill I felt like I had spent a week relaxing and re-energizing, indulging in fine dining and treating all my senses.

This remarkable Canadian destination was the dream of Hans-Peter Mayr the resorts President and CEO whom we had a chance to meet on the day we left. Mayr is determined to make this resort known for its quality and outstanding service echoing inside the breathtaking beauty of the Monashee Mountains and Lake Okanagan which encircle Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa.

It is impossible to describe in one blog all that this amazing resort has to offer, so check out their website.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spa Girl is off to enjoy a Thanksgiving Get-Away!

Well I have been waiting for this for months.  A good friend is join me and we are off to the new Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, British Columbia for Thanksgiving weekend; we booked this weekend get-away just after this amazaing new resort and spa opened its doors.  Mud wrap, massage, salt steam, facial and swimming in their healing pools--and I will tell you all about it when I return.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian Spa Girls!

Sparkling Hill Resort

"It is here that you will discover a modern oasis—a most remarkable hotel and wellness centre with European-inspired design elegance. “Unique” doesn’t come close to describing the experience awaiting you at Sparkling Hill Resort—the first resort in North America to incorporate Swarovski crystal elements into every aspect of its design. The mood is set from the moment you enter—an iridescence from crystals infused everywhere; in waterfalls, fireplaces and overhead lighting, providing a luminous luxury that is palpable. Bold prisms throughout subtly create a feeling of warmth and serenity. It’s all part of Sparkling Hill Resort’s outstanding master design."

This is the salt steam room!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spa Girl checks out the benefits of Walking

For some of us exercise does not come easily. Tired when we get home from a busy day--I would rather head to the spa--the last thing you feel like doing is lacing on the runners and going for a walk. But the extraordinary benefits of walking are worth pushing just that little further. And walking is one of the healthiest forms of exercise. So I say, walk to the Spa!

Walking is a simple and easy way to improve your overall wellbeing and reduce the chances of developing health concerns associated with inactivity such as obesity, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Walking will reduce your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular functions and as a low impact activity, it's gentle on the joints. But the benefits don't stop there, walking is also credited for helping to reduce high cholesterol, reducing body fat, enhancing mental wellbeing, increasing bone density, reducing the risk of cancer, helping to control body weight and helping to increase flexibility and co-ordination. Pretty impressive!

Many cities, eager to help improve the health and welfare of their residents offer great walking programs and have published books highlighting local hiking trails from easy to extreme. Just go to your cities website and check it out.

The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes or more of accumulated moderate intensity physical activity on five or more days per week to improve health and fitness. "Accumulated" means you can do it in shorter bouts throughout the day (for example, 10- or 15-minute intervals throughout the day), and "moderate intensity" means you feel warm and slightly out of breath when you do it.
There are many great ways to get started. Ask a friend to walk with you, get off the bus and walk that additional block or two, or better yet, ride your bike to work. Park your car at the bottom of the parking lot and walk that extra wee bit, and keep your walking shoes handy for that quick ten minute walk around the block for a nice break from your computer.

I'm off to practice what I preach!

Here is some great information on the do and don'ts of walking...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spa Girl finds happiness in a Pumpkin Soufflé

Pomegranates, plums and yes pumpkins—it’s that time of year! Delicious to eat and great for your skin, these seasonal goodies help relax and rejuvenate as we slide, perhaps reluctantly, into fall.

Pumpkins are a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C, E, and A, potassium, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein. From facials to revitalizing body wraps, pumpkin and other seasonal ingredients are now being incorporated into a variety of decadent treatments at your favourite Spa.

Pumpkin makes an excellent face mask for all skin types as it soothes, moisturizes and promotes that healthy glow.

Pumpkin Soufflé for your Face

Here’s what you’ll need… ½ Apple, 1 small slice of pumpkin, 1 TBSP honey, 1 to 2 TBSP half & half and 1 to 2 TBSP oatmeal.

Wash, peel, core, and chop up the apple and pumpkin and blend adding honey, half and half and oatmeal. Puree until you achive a rich, thick consistency. Apply to your face for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse with warm water and pat dry. Apply your favourite moisturizer.
And check this out Spa Girls…what fun!
Pomegranate martini facial masque

Freshly stirred, our pomegranate martini is a skin-loving cocktail that delivers radiant skin. The ancient Greeks believed that the pomegranate was a powerful fruit, and today's scientists have determined that the pomegranate has powerful and valuable properties when used in beauty treatments.

Skin-brightening pomegranate, rich in ellagic acid (reputed to have age-reversing properties), is combined with anti-oxidant laden strawberries and blackcurrants. Honey, well known for its powerful humectant abilities, along with skin-softening buttermilk, high in lactic acid, are added for yet another outstanding renewing and skin-smoothing facial masque concoction from Melis. You will notice the difference in your skin within a single application. Also contains French pink clay and Kaolin clay, both suitable for sensitive skin. Suitable for all skin types, and fragrance-free. *paraben-free, phthalate-free & cruelty-free beauty product