Setting the Scene

 A spa experience is more than the product used. Atmosphere is a vital part of the spa experience, and all of the senses should be considered when doing so. Yes, audio, scent, and touch but don’t forget taste and sight, too! Before your spa day, consider your goal. Is it relaxation on your own? Are you having others over and want to bond? Deciding on the tone of the event first is important, though in general a successful spa day involves the following:

    • Choose the right place- Having a relaxing spa day is difficult in certain surroundings. Wherever you choose should be quiet and clean. If you are hosting a party, give a good scrubbing to sinks, counters, tables, and furniture. Even if you are having a quiet spa day alone, show yourself the respect of a nice surrounding. If quiet is not possible, consider a nice hotel room for the afternoon.
    • Choose the right time- Timing is everything. Do not plan to spoil yourself when the kids need to be fed or when the project due date is looming. If hosting a party, late afternoon or early evening is generally most suitable, but consider what is best for your guests. Also remember that even for a spa day, you will need to feed your guests, so plan the time accordingly based on what you are willing to offer as food. If needed, ask your guests to bring something to share, whether that is food or supplies for the spa.
    • Choose the right music– Pandora, Spotify, iTunes Radio, and other similar streaming music stations can create an ever evolving play list by merely selecting the genre or purpose for your listening. Stations, though, may surprise you: Pandora Stormy Day Singer-Songwriters channel, for example, has calming almost coffee house style music, a calming alternative to the traditional instrumental spa music.
    • Make it smelly– candles and aromatherapy help set the mood for your intentions. Scented candles and oil diffusers or essential oils in the bath work best. Incense, while immediately pungent, should not be burned while in the room as it is considered to be a carcinogen. Oils and scented candles can be purchased at most grocery stores or health food stores. For relaxation and stress-relief, try traditional lavender, orange, bergamot, rose, or sweet marjoram. For a pick-me up, try spearmint, or if feeling ill geranium is key.
    • Light it up– Even if you do not have scented candles, lighting a few or turning on special low-light lamps or light strings will visually set the mood. Completely or mostly dark is great for helping insomniacs fall asleep. For relaxation, leave some lights on low as well as lighting candles of varying sizes. For rejuvenation, lights should not be bright but should be plentiful.
    • Warm and Cozy– Temperature is important as well. Keep your accommodations at a comfortable temperature, but get things toasty by putting towels, robes, and sheets in the dryer.
    • Tasty Sensation– While most of the recipes in this blog are organic and right from your pantry or garden, you may not want to eat the mask off your face. Put together easy, healthy, and light fare for yourself or for your guests. The following suggestions focus on holistic, healthy eating. In essence, to match an external beauty day stay healthy when you eat for an internal beauty day.
      • Quaff (drinks)-Warm water with lemon reduces inflammation and can help bring down swelling in the face. This drink also aids in digestion and simultaneously helps to cleanse the body. It is considered an energizer, however, so choose this if your aim is to refresh and cleanse. If looking for more relaxing drink, consider cucumber in sparkling ice water instead. Cucumber water is also great for detoxing, and is fantastic for supple skin and healthy muscles. It is also less energizing and so can be served any time of day. Teas are also a great option, both hot and cold. Consider herbal non-stimulant teas like hibiscus and chamomile for relaxation, or caffeinated anti-oxidant teas like green or white tea for rejuvenation. If you are having more of a celebratory party with guests, consider offering wine as well as water. Choose a wine that matches the mood- if this is before a wedding, for example, think bubbly! Champagne or prosecco with a splash of pomegranate juice is a fun celebratory pink drink. If the day is hot, consider a chilled white wine. Consider a sweeter wine like a rieseling to pair with lox appetizers. For an evening affair, a smooth red can liven and simultaneously relax you. Pair this with chocolates and light cheeses. However, it is recommended that water still be consumed so as to avoid dehydration, and alcohol should be avoided all together if having sleep trouble.
      • Nosh (bites)– Foods offered should be simple, not processed, and healthy. Deep-fried or super cheesy anything makes a body feel heavy, sluggish, and imbalanced, which defeats the purpose of a spa day. Instead, fresh seasonal fruits and berries of varying colors offers nutrition, sweetness, and nutrients. Strawberries tend to be a staple for the ease of serving and eating, visual appeal, and high vitamin C content, which is excellent for the skin. Pair this with dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher) for an antioxidant powerhouse. If salty is desired, think Greek olives with feta cheese, or guacamole with salted jicama. Need a little more? Lox, light cream cheese, and whole wheat crackers are easy to make and nutritious!