by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
“The Road to Wellness is up the road and around the corner” was the lead in an article I wrote in 1998 when I was a reporter for the Peninsula News Review. My assignment was to interview a Naturopathic Doctor who had just opened a wellness clinic in Saanichton. At that time, I wasn’t as concerned about health and wellness as I am today (aah… “youth is wasted on the young…” as the saying goes) so I didn’t take advantage of what the clinic had to offer. But now, looking back, (I can still remember the long, white, billowing curtains in the treatment room), I think my conversation with the Naturopath and my visit to his clinic may have had more of an influence on me than I realized because within a couple of years of that meeting, I opened Homespunspa Enterprises, and have been on the road to wellness ever since.
Now, 12 years later, after going back to school to become an esthetician and adding a mobile spa to my business, I’ve come to a new stretch of road. Dr. Oksana Sawiak, who is a friend of my mother’s from childhood and also a holistic dentist (retired), has graciously invited me to spend some time with her in her new Integrative Wellness & Detox Centre, youwell.ca, in Norval, Ontario. Dr. Sawiak is a frontrunner in the dentistry field and throughout her 30+ year career, has focused on mercury-free/biological dentistry and is now delivering lectures on holistic dentistry, non-surgical gum treatment, pain control, hypnosis, and detoxification, etc.
I can’t wait to learn everything I can from her and her colleagues so I can transfer my new knowledge about this super-big topic of wellness to my readers and customers. I’ll be calling on my writing skills from my aforementioned journalism days and will be making regular updates on my blog about what I’m learning so everybody benefits.
I’ve already purchased my plane ticket and will be leaving Victoria in mid November. I’ve decided to call my adventure to the Toronto area, the Homespunspa Wellness Tour 2012. If you’d like to help support me while I’m on my wellness tour, (and I’d really appreciate this ) please buy a t-shirt or knick-knack from my special collection in my Café Press store. If you ask me, I think those t-shirts and mugs and blankets are pretty-darn cute.
While I’m in Toronto, I will not be available to accept any mobile spa appointments myself until I return but can facilitate any alternate arrangements with other trusted spa practitioners, if you’d like. Just send me an email and I’ll hook you up.
In the meantime, why not buy or rent a copy of the movie or book by T.C. Boyle, “The Road to Wellville” for a laugh and to catch a glimpse of the early days of how this whole wellness movement started in the first place.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Are you planning to celebrate a special occasion soon, like a birthday party, bridal shower, wedding, anniversary or seasonal holiday and would like to do something fun and unique for your bff’s?
How about hosting a spa party?
If a spa party sounds like a great idea to you, here’s a checklist that will help make the job easier:
- Pick a date & time: Choose a date that works for most, if not all of your guests. Spa parties usually last no more than 3 hours, so if you have plans before or after your spa party, (like dinner at a restaurant or a golf game or a night on the town) pick a time that gives you some wiggle room. There’s no point in adding stress to your special spa day by rushing to the next event.
- Pick a venue: Spa parties can be held virtually anywhere like a hotel room or office but oftentimes your home is best. Just make sure you have enough open space to accommodate your party guests and anyone else you may have hired (like caterers, massage therapists, yoga instructors) to help you with your party.
- Decide on a party budget: I know, “budget” and “party” don’t sound good together but it’s a good idea to know what you want to spend ahead of time and stay in that ballpark. Overspending on impulse purchases will dampen your fun in the long run and having a budget will keep you on track.
- Send invitations: Nowadays, you can either send your invitations electronically like through email or you can create an event on Facebook or you can hand deliver your invitations door to door. It’s up to you. On your invitations, make sure you ask your guests which types of spa services they’d prefer and let your guests know to bring things like: flip flops, if they’re getting a pedicure; pj’s; bathrobes; a bathing suit for the hot tub; a potluck item to share or cash, if you want them to pay for their own spa services and tip.
- Get a head count: Now that you have your guest list and everyone has said “Yes, I’ll be there with bells on,” know how many guests will be attending your spa party.
- Hire a local mobile spa company like Homespunspa: Mobile spa companies are popping up all over the place and I’m sure there’s a good one in your city. And if you happen to live in Victoria, BC, then please call or email Homespunspa Mobile Spa. We’d be thrilled to help make your spa party extra special and stress-free.
- Choose spa services to offer at your party: Mobile spas can deliver all kinds of spa services like manicures, pedicures, facials and massages to your guests. At Homespunspa, we have designed a mini menu of 30-minute spa treatments for spa parties which lets guests get pampered and still participate in the party.
- Prepare spa snacks and beverages: Of course, what’s a spa party without food and drinks? I recommend serving crispy kale chips and refreshing cucumber water.
- Create your spa music playlist: I’ve been collecting spa music for over 20 years, long before I became a lover of all things spa and an esthetician, and I love, love, love the Homespunspa playlist. Regardless of whether you want something quiet and relaxing or something more pop and upbeat in the background, having music will add whole nother dimension to your spa party.
- Design your spa space: It’s time to create a spa environment. First move your furniture and make room for the different spa stations. You want to create a space that allows for people to move around freely. You might also like to create some private areas for the quieter spa treatments. And don’t forget to vapourize some essential oils into the air to enhance the spa mood.
- Decorate your space: If you can swing it, try adding some spa-chic elements, like a water feature, a low-burning fire in the fire place, smooth stones with inspiring words painted on them, lit candles of all sizes, throw pillows, plushy white towels folded just so, waffle bathrobes with slippers, and leafy tropical plants with big flowers to your décor.
- What about pets and other family members? I love family pets, especially cats, but sometimes they may not be the ideal guests at your spa party. Figure out what to do with your pets ahead of time so they don’t cause a distraction. And if there are family members or roommates that will not be participating in the spa party, (like husbands during a bridal shower) give them lots of notice so they can make alternate plans.
- Decide if there will be games and/or craft activities during the party: Some people like to play spa games while others like to encourage everyone to do a short craft project during their parties. If you want to do some spa-themed crafts and use essential oils, find some home spa recipes and try making your own perfumes, massage oil blends or bath salts. These activities are completely optional but if people are up for it, they might add some fun to the spa party.
- Collect and package party favours: Once the spa party starts winding down and everyone has received their pampering spa treatments, you might want to send your guests home with some party favours (or a loot bag, as I like to say). You can keep it simple, like a bottle of nail polish, or go all out with travel-sized shampoos, conditioners, lotions, lip balms, eye shadows, soaps, candles, assorted tea bags, packets of chocolate covered almonds, costume jewellery…whatever you want. You can always ask your mobile spa ahead of time if they’d also like to contribute some free product samples or coupons to the party favour bags.
- Clean up: Your spa party was a success and you can rest assured your friends had a good time. Once the mobile spa leaves and takes all of their equipment and supplies with them, clean up will be a snap. You may even like the furniture the way it is and not feel the need to move it back.
I hope this checklist for a successful spa party helps you plan the best spa party ever. And I hope you include Homespunspa in your next spa party. Please leave a comment if you have anything to add and please share this with your friends if you have a spa party in the works right now.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
As you may recall from my blog post, “Have you ever Spa’d at Sea? Part 1,” I went on a cruise to Alaska with my mom in June of 2012. It was a wonderful experience and a dream come true for me.
Here is the much anticipated, “Have you ever Spa’d at Sea? Part 2″ and today I’m going to blog about my visit to the Celebrity Century Cruise Ship’s, AquaSpa.
Homespunspa is a mobile spa, but a spa on a cruise ship takes “mobile” to a whole new level. Not only were we travelling at sea while I was getting my detox treatment, we had hit a major storm, with no end in sight, and things got pretty rocky for a while.
Images of the Aquaspa on the Celebrity Century Cruise Ship.
I don’t remember hearing any mention of a spa on the Love Boat in 1979 but I’m sure they must have had at least a hair salon on board. Nowadays, spas are a big part of the cruise experience and as an esthetician and lover all of all things spa, I needed to go “undercover” and do some “research.”
We were treated to a complimentary hot stone shoulder massage and tour of the spa and fitness facilities on the first day of our cruise. I didn’t realize how much tension I carried in my shoulders until I sat down for my mini hot stone massage. I wouldn’t give my free massage a 10 out of 10 because I felt like the spa therapist was spending way more time on my left shoulder than on my right and I noticed that although she started my massage after her co-worker started my mother’s massage, she finished my massage sooner. I’m just saying…
I briefly considered getting a full Aroma Stone Therapy Massage but I’m familiar with hot stones and wanted to learn something new. I was also tempted to get the Elemis Aroma Spa Seaweed Massage because I think seaweed is one of our planet’s most valuable treasures. Ultimately, I decided to go for the Ionithermie Treatment to firm, tone and detoxify my body.
Here is the write up on the spa menu: “An extraordinary treatment, developed by a French medical physician, proven to detoxify and visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite, stretch marks and guaranteed 1 to 8 inch reduction on the body after one single treatment…” One to 8 inches off my waist — I’ll take it! “Using active Red Algae and rich marine clay combined with gentle stimulation targeting the stomach, thighs, arms and abdomen.” Red Algae and marine clay? There’s my seaweed, sign me up!”
When I met with the spa therapist, I told her I was an esthetician and I wanted to learn about the Ionithermie treatment for myself and for my spa clientele. I told her I work out regularly and had lost 40 pounds a couple of years ago but have gained a lot of it back and would like to focus on my tummy. I also thought it might be a nice treatment to add to my mobile spa menu for my own customers. She said she would tell me as much as she could without revealing trade secrets.
She drew a diagram of a cell with arrows and told me how we are exposed to 40,000 toxins a day and these toxins interfere with maintaining a healthy body weight on a cellular level if they’re not dealt with efficiently. She recommended Ionithermie as a detox program but emphasized that people only need to detox once every 5 years to stay healthy.
My Ionithermie Appointment:
So there I was standing in the middle of the spa treatment room wearing a pair of disposable undies and a towel while a storm was brewing outside on the open sea. I was feeling uncomfortable because I’m a modest person, to put it mildly. My esthetician started by measuring my midriff, upper waist, natural waist, lower waist and upper hip. Then the spa therapist applied a cleanser to my tummy. Then she whipped up a big bowl of blue clay that was made with Algae, Ivy, Kelp and Guarana extract and that’s when things started to get interesting. She placed a tray on the bed and then poured the clay into the pan and spread it around as if she was icing a birthday cake. Then she strategically placed some electrodes in the clay and covered everything with something like a cheesecloth.
She told me to lie down with my back on the clay tray and then she placed the other ends of the electrodes near my belly button. She turned on the machine to see how strong a signal I could take. It felt like two centipedes were running across my stomach and then it felt like two thumbs were pressing on my tummy. So that’s what they meant by “gentle stimulation.” After a few minutes, it also felt like hands were pulling the skin on my abdomen to my left as if kneading dough. These odd sensations would repeat every 30 seconds for 30 minutes with an increase in intensity as the minutes clicked by and as more waves crashed against the side of the ship.
Once I was fully committed and couldn’t go anywhere in a quick hurry, I thought to myself, THIS IS SO WEIRD. Here I am on a cruise on my birthday, in my birthday suit, covered in clay and agreeing to have an electrical current zip through my body in the middle of a raging storm in the north Pacific Ocean. How did I get here?
After my treatment, I was re-measured and all in all I lost 2 and 3/4 inches off my waist in one session and this made me happy. Also, when I got home and was weighed by my personal trainer, I only managed to gain 1 pound during my cruise which also made me happy.
My Recommendations on a Scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high):
- Would I recommend the AquaSpa on the Celebrity Century? — Yes (8)
- Would I recommend the Ionithermie Treatment? — Yes (7)
- Would I recommend the esthetician who administered the Ionithermie Treatment on the Celebrity Century? — Yes (8)
A little note on price:
It says on the spa menu that one session of Ionithermie is $159 US. However, when I received the printed statement in my cabin later that day, they added another $30 as some sort of a spa service charge to the total. There was no mention of any extra charges on spa treatments anywhere (not in the fine print, not when I booked my appointment). I was not impressed when I got the final bill and for that, the spa got dinged a point on my recommendations scale.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
In 2012, Mother’s Day will be celebrated in Canada on Sunday, May 13. I know what I’m going to give my mother this year but shh, it’s a surprise.
There’s still time for you to plan something special for your mom and all of the mother figures in your life. On top of giving your mom a nice card, some flowers and maybe breakfast in bed, I recommend giving your mom the gift of spa to thank her for all the kind things she does for you, for your family and for the community.
Getting a spa service like a facial, massage, manicure or pedicure feels really good and people are often surprised at how much more relaxed they feel during their appointment and for hours afterward.
If the idea of a spa appointment appeals to you and your mother, have you thought about inviting a mobile spa to come to your mother’s door instead of taking her out to a busy day spa in town? A mobile spa will save you and your mother time, energy and maybe even some stress — just ask Grampa Earl in the cartoon below.
If only Grampa Earl knew about Homespunspa Mobile Spa. He would still be able to take his afternoon nap and wouldn’t have to worry about Gramma’s comings and goings. Meanwhile, Gramma would feel pampered and beautiful and wouldn’t feel the need to swear at her husband for being late in picking her up and therefore undoing all of the relaxing goodness of the spa. It’s win-win. What’s that old expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure?” — Sounds like something a wise mother would say.
Here’s some good news. Homespunspa Mobile Spa is offering a Mother’s Day Special. If you book your appointment for your mother before May 12, 2012 for anyday of the week between Sunday, May 13 and Sunday, May 20, 2012, we will take 15% off your service. Choose from any of our fine services on our menu. (Note: the offer does not include the mini menu for the spa parties, however). Be “Early” and call or email soon to reserve your appointment.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers of the world!
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
My friend, neighbour and high school classmate used to joke with me about the smell in my house. She said that if she was blindfolded and taken all over the world on a wild goose chase and then dropped back into my house on Trombone Court in Vienna, Virginia, she’d know exactly where she was just by the smell alone. Of course, I could say the same thing about her house, too.
This observation leads me to think about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You know how Santa says, “Rudolph, with your nose so bright…won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Maybe, Rudolph’s Marachino cherry nose is more than just a light bulb. Maybe, Rudolph’s nose is more like a highly-tuned, GIS, infrared, gizmo that homes in on unique household smells and that’s how he helps Santa get his job done so well each year while everyone else is sleeping.
Either way, at the end of the day, the nose is the star of the show and I’d like to invite you to pay attention to all of the aromas that are surrounding you at this time of year. This is an aromatherapy lover’s dreamtime! When you walk into someone’s house to celebrate the season, take a moment to stop amidst the flurry of activity and close your eyes and breathe deeply. What are you smelling? Turkey and stuffing roasting in the oven? What else? Try to catch a whiff of a single ingredient on the holiday menu. In my house, you’re likely to smell onions caramelizing on the stove top, which is home sweet home for me.
Do you have any favourite Christmas scents? What are they? If you were to smell them right now, would they transport you straight back into your childhood? Which smells tell you that you’re home at last?
Top 7 Christmas-themed Aromas, Tastes & Essential Oils
Here’s a list of the aromas and tastes I associate with the Christmas holidays. Some are cool and refreshing like a snowy, winter’s day and others are warm and cozy like a country cottage.
- Citrus Family: Mandarin, Orange, Pomegranate, Cranberry
- Mint Family: Peppermint, Spearmint, Wintergreen
- Spice Family: Cinnamon, Clove, Allspice, Nutmeg, Cardamon, Ginger, Star Anise
- Sweet Family: Vanilla, Chocolate, Cream, Sugar
- Nut Family: Hazelnut, Walnut, Almond, Macadamia
- Woodsy Family: Pine, Spruce, Cypress, Fir, Juniper Berry, Cedar, Sandalwood
- Biblical Family: Frankincense, Myrrh
Everybody knows that smells awaken deep memories and I hope everyone will create lots of happy moments with their loved ones this Christmas to replay with fondness in future Christmases, year after year.
Wishing you a very aromatic and fragrant Christmas with lots of sugar and spice and everything nice, Maria of Homespunspa.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Growing up in a Ukrainian-speaking household, we used the word “Shlaf-frock” for bathrobe or housecoat. Up until about 5 minutes ago when I used Google Translate, I always thought the Ukrainians borrowed this lovely word from the Germans because I knew “Schlaf” meant “sleep” in German and I believed “frock” meant dress. I thought it was a clever word and I always got a warm and fuzzy feeling every time I said it.
Well, as it turns out, I have been wrong on a few counts all of these years. First, the Ukrainians took the word “szlafrok” from the Polish language and on top of that, Ukrainians in Ukraine (according to my friend) don’t even know that word at all anymore — they use “hhalat,” as do the Russians — and “szla” doesn’t mean sleep in Polish — it means “precious.” Confused yet? I am.
Regardless of my befuddled etymology, I’m still sticking with good old Shlaf-frock because it’s fun to say.
And did you know that putting on a bathrobe is one of the most relaxing things you can do at the end of a long and stressful day? Don’t believe me? I invite you to go and put your bathrobe on right now and see for yourself. Just take it off the hook on your bathroom door, drape it over your shoulders, stick your arms in and tie the belt in a loose bow. Go on. I’ll wait.
There you are!
Well? How do you feel now? Better? I thought so.
There’s something about a bathrobe that lets your body know that it’s time to relax and unwind and get ready for a good night’s sleep.
It’s no wonder that bathrobes are a big feature in all of the spas. Where else are you encouraged to walk around in your bathrobe and slippers in the middle of the day?
The History of Bathrobes
Funnily enough, bathrobes can be traced all the way back to the togas of ancient Rome. In the days of yore before indoor plumbing caught on, it was customary for people to head to the local bathhouses to get wet and clean. I guess bathing suits hadn’t been invented yet and they needed something that could maintain some semblance of modesty in a public space and be slipped on and off easily at poolside.
Time travel to Asia in the 1800’s and you’ll see a resemblance between the silk kimono and our stylish bathrobes of today.
Bathrobes make excellent gifts any time of year
If you’re looking for gift ideas for friends and family, why not wrap your loved ones in bathrobes this season. Summer or winter, rain or shine, young or old, man or woman — everyone likes a nice bathrobe to wear morning or night.
Bathrobes are unique in the world of fashion because they are equally regal and luxurious on the one hand (maybe that’s why the Polish call them “precious”) and cozy and informal on the other.
When you picture a bathrobe, do you see a white, thick one made of terry cloth or do you remember the loud orange velour one with the busy jungle pattern from your high school days or maybe you had a pink fuzzy one with flower appliqués? I personally have a soft spot for tacky and ugly bathrobes because those bathrobes are the ones that are most loved by the people who wear them.
I had a red, wool plaid one in high school which wasn’t very practical but it looked nice and made me feel like I was living in LL Beanland. I also had a thin peach one that became thinner and thinner every time I washed it. Later, I had a white terry towel one with a pink collar. Now I have a purple polar fleece polyester knit that my mom made for me. Of course I also have a lots of waffle ones for my spa guests to wear during our Homespunspa Mobile Spa appointments.
In any case, regardless of everyone’s tastes and personality, I’m sure there’s a nice bathrobe or shlaf-frock out there for everyone on your list. Just make sure they don’t feel scratchy to the touch and can absorb excess moisture from the skin after a bath, shower or day at the beach. That’s all I ask. Otherwise, go to town.
Oh and please send me pictures of your favourite bathrobes. I would love to add them to this blog post.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
When my family was living in Hawaii, we had the luxury of having real bananas growing in our yard right outside the kitchen door. At the time, I didn’t think I liked bananas at all (hard to believe, I know) until my father coaxed me into trying one. I remember how we chose a small, greenish-yellow banana together and then we sat down and peeled it ribbon by ribbon and then I tasted it and it was good. Now I think bananas are really awesome.
Here are 10 excuses to eat more bananas:
- Quick energy boost: the sugar and fiber in bananas will boost your energy for your high-intensity workout.
- Help digestion: the fiber in bananas will help with digestion and constipation and over time will help manage your weight.
- Improve your mood: eating a banana will simultaneously help calm your nerves and lift your spirits.
- Relax: bananas contain tryptophan which your brain converts to serotonin which in turn will help you relax.
- Brighten Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): As we head into the gray, winter months, the tryptophan in bananas will help prevent SAD symptoms from emerging.
- Reduce PMS: The high levels of Vitamin B6 in bananas will help manage your monthly PMS symptoms.
- Reduce restless leg syndrome (RLS) and sleep better: If you have RLS and involuntary muscle twitching, it could mean that you have a definciency in Vitamin B6. If that’s the case, eat more bananas for their Vitamin B6 and see if your sleep improves.
- Increase your iron intake: Bananas are a good, vegetarian source of iron. Get more iron in your diet to prevent anemia.
- Lower your blood pressure and risk of stroke: Bananas are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they are great to add to your daily diet to manage stress and lower your blood pressure which will reduce your risk of having a stroke.
- Quit smoking cigarettes: If you’re trying to quit smoking, the Vitamins B6, B12 & C, plus the potassium and magnesium in bananas will help your body deal with nicotine withdrawal.
Today, I’ve decided to profile bananas in my blog and offer two home spa recipes. The first recipe is for a banana bread. When I made this recipe for a breakfast starter at the Beacon Inn, one gentleman said, “Your banana bread is outstanding” and another gentleman from Denmark said, “this is excellent and I should know because I bake for a living — when I come back, I hope you’ll give me the recipe.” Well, here it is. It’s from Company’s Coming, Muffins and More, by Jean Paré, published in 1983, page 40.
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (3 medium) mashed, very ripe bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Method: In one mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add mashed bananas (if they’re frozen, defrost them in the microwave first to make things easier). Add vanilla. In a second bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and walnuts, making sure all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add this dry mix to the banana mixture and stir only to moisten. Transfer the batter to a greased 9×5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about an hour. Test with a toothpick or skewer and if it comes out clean, the banana bread is ready. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and place it on a cake rack to cool.
The second recipe is for Peanut butter and Banana Lip Balm. It’s one of my original recipes. Peanut butter and bananas are a classic flavour combination and this lip balm really feels good on the lips.
Peanut Butter and Banana Lip Balm
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa
Try making some peanut butter and banana lip balm today.
- 1/2 banana, chopped in 3-4 chunks — moisturizing for all skin types.
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar — to achieve glowing skin, add sugar crystals to exfoliating scrubs.
- 1/3 cup water — extends recipe volume and provides a base to blend ingredients.
- 1 TB smooth peanut butter — provides a creamy yet solid base for cosmetics and is loaded with skin-loving Vitamin E and other antioxidants.
- 1 TB beeswax — mostly used for its scent and to thicken cosmetics.
- 1 TB almond oil — good for normal, dry and mature skin. Has cleansing, moisturizing and conditioning properties.
- 1/4 tsp honey — antiseptic, cleansing and ideal for treating chapped lips and wrinkles.
- 1 Vitamin E capsule — good for skin and acts as a preservative.
- Wash your containers in hot soapy water and dry thoroughly. If you’d like to buy some containers for lip balm, please go to the containers page on Homespunspa.com.
- To make a simple syrup with sugar, water and bananas, melt equal parts of sugar and water over low heat on a stove top. Add large pieces of banana and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the syrup simmer over low heat to infuse the banana flavour into the syrup.
- Meanwhile, in a separate pan, melt the smooth peanut butter, beeswax, almond oil (or peanut oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, etc. — almond oil is what I had on hand today) and honey over low heat. Stir until smooth.
- Strain out the bananas from the liquid sugar and set them aside. Add 1 TB of the banana-flavoured syrup into the peanut butter mixture. Turn the heat off but keep the pan on the heated element. Keep stirring. Add the contents of the Vitamin E capsule.
- Pour the mixture into your containers. The lip balm will harden within a few minutes.
Manner: Apply the peanut butter and banana lip balm to your lips as needed.
Storage: Your lip balm should last up to 6 months.
Warning: Do not make or wear this recipe if you or someone you know has peanut allergies. Discard your batch if it starts getting sticky or tasting rancid.
As always, let me know what you think. I would love to post your comments on my blog.
P.S. Pour the left over bananas and sugar syrup over ice cream and use the syrup in cocktails to add another layer of flavour. And I just thought of something else: use the banana flavoured syrup in a lip gloss!
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Picture it…Honolulu…1981. “Private Benjamin” (read original bootcamp) was the 5th most popular tv show; Olivia Newton John, while sporting a headband, was singing her hit song, “Let’s Get Physical,” on the radio; American fitness personality, Richard Simmons (wearing his trademark candy-striped Dolfin shorts and Swarovski-crystal studded tank tops), was “Sweating to the Oldies” and promoting weight loss. And last but not least, a young school girl receives a pair of roller skates for her birthday. Fitness was alive and well in the early ’80’s!
The young pre-teen took the roller skates for a spin right away and she loved them. When she wasn’t roller skating, she was drawing posters about roller skating which hung in her bedroom. One of the posters said, “Roller skating is the best.” Did I mention that her birthday cake was also in the shape of a roller skate that year?
Meanwhile her brother was an avid skateboarder in those days and her father built him a 6-foot ramp made of plywood. The ramp sat on the end of the driveway under the plumaria tree and blue sky (because that’s where the smooth cement of the carport ended) and all of the kids in the neighbourhood would start from the kitchen door and take turns booting it through the open gate and down a step and then they’d go full speed up the ramp. She can still hear the clap of the skateboards as they crested the edge and landed on the flip side. She wasn’t quite so adventuresome as the skateboarders were and only went to the bend, but it was still fun.
That little 6th grader was me and now after 30 years, it’s time for those beloved roller skates to change hands and get on to some new feet.
Would you like to buy a pair of vintage roller skates?
Vintage Roller skates for Sale.
Health Benefits of Roller skating:
You can roller skate for recreation or sport. You can even dance with them or join a roller derby team. And roller skating is also a great, green mode of transportation. If you were to roller skate for one hour, travelling at a rate of 6 miles (or 9.6 kilometres) per hour, you’d burn 350 calories and would get a complete aerobic workout. If you were to increase the speed to 10 miles (or 16.1 kms) per hour, you’d burn 600 calories and you’d look great doing it!
Roller skating is a fun workout and although you think you’re just gliding down hills while the wheels do all of the work, most of your body’s muscle groups, including your core, glutes, legs and even arms, get engaged by this exercise. It’s like riding a bike or jogging in cardio terms and is low-impact to boot.
Roller skating down the street on a sunny day while breathing in the fresh air will lift your spirits for sure. Roller skating will also help build your physical strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and coordination and will sculpt your body into shape.
If you want to spice up your fitness routine and throw something new into the mix, try roller skating, old school style.
Roller Skate Details:
- Style: Low-Cut Boot, Quad, Outdoor.
- Size: Girls’ size 7. Note: I have an 8 1/2 to 9 to 9 1/2 shoe size, depending on the type of shoe, and they still fit me.
- Colours: Grey (synthetic) suede with blue and white striping, blue wheels.
- Year: circa 1980 (30 years old) (vintage).
- Condition: Used but Excellent.
- Price: bidding starts at $35 CAD, plus shipping.
- Status: SOLD
P.S. If you mention which ’80’s tv show character started her stories off with “Picture it…” — I’ll gladly take 10% off your next mobile spa treatment (but this offer can’t be combined with any other promotional discount).
Happy roller skating and thanks for rolling down memory lane with me.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
OK. Maybe Victoria isn’t the fashion capital of Canada all year, every year, but it will be for one day this Saturday.
If you like vintage and designer fashions, here is your chance to bid on and buy a few unique pieces to add to your collection.
Join us on Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1319 Mills Road on the corner of West Saanich and Mills Road for the Timeless Treasures Fashion Sale. I’m sure you’ll find something among the various pieces of designer and vintage designer clothing that has your name on it.
The Timeless Treasures sale will feature unique and beautiful pieces of new and gently owned clothing from well-known designers, including Louis Feraud, Escada, Mondi, Max Mara, Diane Freis, Geiger, and Linda Lundstrom, along with elegant accessories such as handbags, hats, shoes and jewellery. Models, wearing their faves, will be mingling in the crowd. The clothing will be available in many sizes, from size 8 to 2X. You’ll also find the most unique pieces of wearable art, (no, not Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress :>) and an exquisite piece of fine silver jewellery, created by Shirley Price, which will be sold by auction. There will also be several tables featuring one-of-a-kind, fabulous items, for every budget.
I was planning on donating the lovely white on white, polka dot, tafeta dress my mother sewed for me for my Debutante Ball in Washington D.C. in 1987, (yes, I was a debutante! That’s me in the dress in the black and white photo with my date and best dance partner I’ve ever had in my life), but first we couldn’t find the dress and then once we dug it out of the closet, I noticed there were some curious royal blue, quarter-sized stains at bottom back of the dress, which makes it unwearable, for now. I vaguely remember something happening in the wee hours of the morning when I stepped on the dress while dancing in some sort of puddle in an after hours club, but that was almost 25 years ago, so who knows. I did, however, end up donating a frilly, forest green and black organza blouse that my mom also made for me, which I wore only once for a Murder Mystery party while in university and it suited my character perfectly. It just added a certain flair and whimsy to the entire evening. That’s the beauty of fashion.
All proceeds from the auction will go directly to the “Light of Justice Scholarship” which will be given, for the first time, on July 8, 2011, to a young student who shows promise as a future moral leader in Ukraine.
I hope to see you there. I’ll be the one with the camera taking all of the fashion photos. And if you have any stories about vintage fashion, pass them on, I’d love to hear them.
by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
For the month of April, 2011, I am offering mobile mani’s and pedi’s by donation and the proceeds will be given to the Canadian Red Cross.
The cost of the manicure or pedicure is up to you. My goal is to raise at least $500.
The idea for this mani and pedi pledge drive came to me in bits and pieces. For the last couple of months, I’ve been having a hard time coping with day to day life and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan didn’t help. My anxiety was getting the better of me. Then I had a really bad day at work. It all started with a bad smell and got worse from there. It’s a long story that I won’t get into but as a result, I was consumed with self-doubt and I didn’t know what to do next. I had to ask myself, “Do I give up and quit everything that I have been working towards or do I (as the old song goes) pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again?” Between you and me, I wasn’t sure which way that coin would land. Thankfully, there were a lot of people (friends and strangers) who showed me tremendous kindness during that rough patch and I will forever be grateful.
Then I volunteered to give my friend a pedi for her birthday. I went to her house on Saturday morning and gave her a birthday pedicure. She chose OPI’s Austin-tatious Turquoise and it looked really good. She was so happy and said, “What a great thing to be able to do for people.” At that moment I realized I do have something to offer the world. It felt really good to do something nice for someone else without any expectation of a return and it took me out of my woe-is-me headspace long enough to shift focus to the bigger picture.
I had to be reminded that what I’ve been going through doesn’t compare with what others are experiencing around the world. Something clicked and now I am hoping to pay the kindness I received forward and help people work through their challenges one step at a time, whether it’s dealing with the aftermath of an earthquake in Japan or with something more personal on a smaller scale closer to home. We’re all connected.
If you’d like to participate in this charity fundraising event for the Red Cross and Earthquake Relief for Japan, please post a comment on this blog or send me an email. I’d be happy to book an appointment with you. As an added bonus, Homespunspa is mobile, so I’ll come to your house. Feel free to check out the nail polish colours on the OPI website and let me know which ones you prefer and I’ll make sure I’ll have those colours available when it comes to polish time.
Thank you for your generosity.
See you in April.