Happy Garlic Day!

Posted by Maria on April 19, 2017 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Esthetics School, Face, Feet, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

When you think of a spa, you probably don’t think about garlic at the same time, but did you know that garlic is actually a supernatural spa ingredient?

In honour of National Garlic Day on April 19th, here’s a quick snapshot about how garlic is used in cosmetics and how it can be used in the home spa.

GARLIC (Allium sativum):

  • Home spa recipes: extracts, baths, lotions. Garlic among the roses.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning, masking.
  • Baths: Add whole cloves with their peel to bathwater for antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and to treat ACNE scars.
  • Body: Add extract to a lotion to rub Rheumatic pain and to disinfect insect bites.
  • Feet: Apply to feet to heal corns and bunyans.
  • Food: Eat for flavour and nutrition and to help with colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, digestive problems, high blood pressure, vericose veins, Rheumatism, and to support healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Balances: Root (1st) and Third Eye (6th) chakras plus reduces Vata (Infinity/Air), Increases Pitta (Fire), Reduces Kapha (Water/Earth).
  • Find in: Healthfood stores, grocery stores, markets, wellness centres, pharmacies, cosmetics, food products, medications/supplements, gardens.
  • Caution: Garlic’s odour may be overpowering to the people around you.

Here’s a quote that talks about the aromatherapy side of garlic:

“I could smell garlic, butter, and wine – the world’s most delicious flavor combination. It made me feel warm, like the first few sips of wine always do,”
~ Sarah Jio, The Violets of March

So as you can see, even though it’s known as the “smelly rose,” garlic is still loved by millions around the world and has been regarded as both a food and a remedy since ancient times.

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

How about a heaping helping of Pumpkin Spice Bath Salts?

Posted by Maria on November 4, 2013 under Aromatherapy, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Gift Ideas, Home spa, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

How about a heaping helping of Pumpkin Spice bath salts? It’s my newest creation and I’m so excited about this recipe!

pumpkin spice bath salts

I took my basic bath salts recipe with sea salt, Epsom salt, cornstarch and baking soda and then glammed it up by adding Himalayan salt for a peachy colour and gold sugar — yes gold sugar — for sparkle. And instead of using Almond oil, I used Pumpkin Seed oil which has a deep, maple red, caramel colour. Then I created an aromatic blend of cinnamon, clove, ginger, vanilla, cardamom and bay essential oils which I hope reminds people of sharing a pumpkin pie with family and friends by candle light on a windy November night and feeling all comfy and cozy inside. That’s what I was going for.

For me, taking a bath is always delightful. It’s so relaxing. I love lighting a few candles and listening to spa music and getting the temperature just right then immersing myself into the calming water. That aromatic bath salts take this experience to a whole, new level and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth. It’s just a matter of carving out the time and sometimes that’s easier said than done. With these bath salts, I’m hoping to take more time for myself to relax and to encourage others to do the same.

If you would like to get your hands on my limited edition Pumpkin Spice Bath Salts for yourself or to give as gifts, you have options.

  • You can call or email me and order a batch for .039 cents a gram plus shipping.
  • You can call or email me and ask for the recipe and make a batch yourself.
  • You can attend the Victoria Chamber of Commerce Gala on November 16th and bid on and win my chair massage donation which includes 3 packets of Pumpkin Spice Bath Salts.
  • You can make an appointment with me for a pedicure, massage or facial which include a foot soak made with Pumpkin Spice Bath Salts.
  • You can make an appointment with me for a skin-softening, aromatic Pumpkin Spice Salt Glow treatment available only until December 31, 2013.
  • You can schedule a spa party to take place before December 31, 2013 and all of your guests will receive a complimentary 150 gram packet of Pumpkin Spice Bath Salts.

How does that sound? Is there a Pumpkin Spice bath in your future?

11 Things You Can Do To Prevent Stretch Marks

Posted by Maria on June 11, 2013 under Bath and Body, Guest Bloggers, Home spa, Ingredients, Massages, Mobile Spa, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | 5 Comments to Read

By Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

One of my readers, Leah of Healing Natural Oils, kindly shared this groovy info-graphic with me about stretch marks and in turn, I’m sharing it with you. I know I’ve had my share of stretch marks over the years and I’ll definitely keep these 11 tips in mind the next time I come across some off-colour, squiggly lines and scars on my skin.

11 Tips to Prevent Stretch Marks

  1. Stay Hydrated
  2. Eat Healthy
  3. Exercise
  4. Massage
  5. Creams & Oils
  6. Routine
  7. Avoid Caffeine
  8. Collagen
  9. Vitamin A
  10. Vitamin E
  11. Vitamin C

I’m going to add a #12 to this list: Make an appointment with an esthetician like me. We can help improve the health of your skin, including fading stretch marks, by applying natural, skin-friendly products, offering relaxing massages and healing body therapies, and by providing customized skin care treatments.

And by the way, these tips don’t just work on stretch marks, they offer all kinds of health benefits that will increase your quality of life overall. Enjoy!

Stretch Marks Infographic

Home Spa Recipes for Peaches

Posted by Maria on September 2, 2011 under Aromatherapy, Bath and Body, Facials, Green Living, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Recipes, Skin Care, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | 3 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Do you have more peaches right now than you know what to do with? I do. I must have at least 30 on hand and I have to get to them quick before they go bad. Sure, I can make jams, cobblers and salsas but I think I’m going to use at least one of them in a home spa recipe this weekend, especially since it’s a long weekend and the last one of the summer.

bowl of peaches.

See, I told you I had a lot of peaches. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Peaches originated in China several thousands of years ago and were glorified as fruits of immortality. Because peaches are packed with moisture, vitamins and minerals, they help keep your skin looking young and healthy. If you keep using peaches in your home spa recipes, you’ll notice more elasticity in your skin and you’ll find an improvement in the tone and texture as well. As an added bonus, peaches soothe and cleanse inflamed and blotchy skin, which is good to know if you get a sunburn anytime soon.

And of course eating peaches on a regular basis will help with your digestion and will flush out the system of toxins. Here’s a recipe for a refreshing peach smoothie — perfect for breakfast or as a snack.

Peach Smoothie

  • 1 peach, peeled, pitted and chopped — Succulent peaches are brimming with Vitamins A & C which revitalize the skin from the inside and on the surface.
  • 1/2 cup plain, 0% yogurt — Cleanses, tones and moisturizes skin and leaves all skin types feeling smooth.
  • 1 cup ice cubes — Extends recipe volume and adds a cooling element.
  • 1 cup Perrier water — Drinking water hydrates skin and lubricates joints and muscles.

Method: Place the ingredients in a blender and blend into a healthy, smooth, but not too thick, beverage.

Peaches and Cream Shower Sachet

If you’ve ever poured boiling water over peaches to make it easier to release their skin, then you know how fragrant and perfumy peaches can be. No need for fancy equipment here, this is low-tech aromatherapy at it’s finest.

Ingredients:

  • 1 peach, pitted and roughly chopped — Succulent peaches are brimming with Vitamins A & C which revitalize the skin. Meanwhile the natural AHA’s have a cleansing and exfoliating effect.
  • 1 TB cream — moisturizes, nourishes and softens skin.
  • 1 TB coconut oil, fractionated — liquid at room temperature, this oil has a light, non-greasy feel and has emulsifying properties.
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated — is an ideal addition to bathwater because it’s warming qualities stimulate circulation, which increases blood flow, which helps the body detoxify.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar — sugar granules are mildly abrasive and make sweet alternatives to salt in exfoliating scrubs.

You will also need:

  • a blender or a mortar and pestle
  • a piece of cheesecloth (or very thin and loosely woven piece of cotton or linen), at least 8″ by 8″
  • a piece of ribbon, about 48″ or 2 feet long

Method: Set the brown sugar aside in a bowl. Place the peach, cream, fractionated coconut oil and ginger in a blender (or mortar and pestle) and mix into a pulp. Pour over the brown sugar and stir to combine. You should have a thick scrub. Place the scrub in the center of your cheesecloth and then tie into a bundle with a ribbon or piece of string, leaving enough slack of ribbon to suspend the sachet from the shower head.

Manner: Hang the sachet from your shower head in the path of flowing water and then reap the benefits. Then, remove the sachet from the shower head and use it to further exfoliate your skin by gently massaging it over your shoulders, arms, torso, legs and feet. Rinse your skin and pat it dry. Drink a glass of water after any spa treatments that involve detoxification.

Shelf-Life/Storage: Discard the sachet after use. If you have some leftover, the coconut oil will help preserve this mixture, if it’s unused and kept in the fridge, for a week or so.

Enjoy the peach harvest!

10 Ways to View Water as a Metaphor for Wellness

Posted by Maria on June 3, 2011 under Bath and Body, Fitness, Home spa, Homespunspa, Humour, Ingredients, Meditation, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Recently, while attending a fashion show fundraiser, I came across a wellness poster that really spoke to me and I thought it would fit in easily with my blog. I don’t know who the original artist of the poster is, otherwise I would give her credit. I think the artwork is really cute. The poster has 10 cartoon drawings under the heading, “Today’s Healthy Woman is…” and I thought I’d use them as a spring board to build a metaphor that joins water and wellness. I hope this inspires you to stay healthy.

1. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Balanced

I’m constantly trying to balance my life (career, relationships, time, chequebook, health) and I’ve noticed that when I’m out of balance, I get tired and irritable and I eat more than I would otherwise. Imbalance shows up in a lot of different ways for different people. You can see imbalance manifest as acne on your skin, a bad hair day, insomnia or illness to name just a few on the tip of the iceberg. It has occurred to me that maybe that’s why people indulge in their addictions. I think people drink, smoke, over-eat, shop, gamble, go to tanning salons etc., etc., etc., because they want to correct some sort of imbalance in their system. They want to feel better, or at least different. Unfortunately, as we all know, addictions are counter productive. Here is a quick, easy and free way to feel more balanced any time of day. — Breathe. — That’s right. Focus on your breathing. Take a moment to picture some gentle waves curling along a sandy beach, in and out, in and out, and then follow the rhythm. Add a palm tree and a sunrise or sunset or full moon. I feel better already.

2. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Self-Accepting

Acceptance is the answer; De Nile is a river in Egypt.

Self-acceptance is about being OK with all aspects of who you are and not feeling the need to change anything in your life. Often times people forget about their strengths or talents and at the same time deny or ignore the parts of themselves they don’t like. But seeing the whole picture — sunlight and shadows — will help you live the life of your dreams.

Do you accept yourself as you are, unconditionally, right here and right now? If you were to see a pool of water with a big sign above it saying “Swimming Pool of Self-Acceptance,” would you: 1) dip your big toe in and then run away 2) wade in, ankle deep, in the shallow end 3) stand in water up to your waist or shoulders and occasionally dip your head under water and maybe do a hand stand or two? or 4) artfully dive in off the diving board and do the backstroke and the butterfly in the deep end?

If you are having trouble with this concept of self-acceptance, as many of us do, there are several exercises you can do in your daily life. Start with getting to know yourself on a deeper level and remember to be kind to yourself.

Ironically, positive change comes easier when you’re able to accept what’s already there. Remember the “Serenity Prayer.” God, Grant me the serenity / to accept the things I cannot change; / courage to change the things I can; / and the wisdom to know the difference. / Living one day at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; / Taking, as He did, this sinful world / as it is, not as I would have it; / Trusting that He will make all things right / if I surrender to His Will; / That I may be reasonably happy in this life / and supremely happy with Him / Forever in the next. / Amen. — Reinhold Niebuhr

3. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Humourous

Gather around the water cooler, everybody, I’ve got a blonde joke.

A guy called “Ken” has noticed that his girlfriend, let’s call her “Barbie,” likes to put two glasses on her nightstand each night before she goes to bed. (He’s very observant). One glass is empty and the other one is filled with water. “Why on earth do you do that?” he asked her. And she answered, “Cuz, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I don’t know if I’ll be thirsty or not.”

4. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Fit

When I first started Jazzercising back in 1998, I quickly learned to bring a bottle of water to each class. I like taking sips of water between songs to stay hydrated.

On another note, sweating is also an important part of staying fit. I learned recently that the amount of sweat you produce is proportionate to your fitness level, so if you’re sweating during a workout more than you used to, you’re on the right track. Keep up the good work!

Some people don’t like to sweat, but I do. It makes me feel empowered. It’s the body’s way of cooling the system and releasing toxins and as far as I’m concerned, it’s a happy day and a great workout when I feel that first bead of sweat start trickling from my forehead.

5. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Passionate

What activities make your face light up when you talk about them or do them? Do you enjoy painting with water colours? Do you like taking photos of the world’s tallest water falls? How about going whale watching or scuba diving or fly fishing? Hula dancing on the beach after a day of surfing? Or maybe you’re like me and you like writing in your journal with a fountain pen? In any case, having a passion for something is one of life’s great gifts and I urge you to pursue your passions with zeal and fervour.

6. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Self-Nurturing

This one’s my fave because it’s all about the spa. Sprinkling the spa into your life on a regular basis is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your life.  The word “spa” splashed onto the world scene after some therapeutic mineral-rich springs were discovered in Belgium in the 14th century.

All spas have some sort of water element in them, especially the ones that focus on Thalassotherapy or “sea therapy,” a school of thought that was named after Thalassa, the Greek goddess of the sea. Thalassotherapy uses the mineral-rich supplies from Poseidon’s playground — salt, seaweed, mud and, of course, water — to create healing treatments that help relieve stress, smooth skin, stimulate circulation and eliminate toxins from the body.

You don’t have to go far to enjoy some spa time, unless you want to. I think taking a bubble bath at home, with some candles and some music for added ambiance, is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself. If you take time to take care of yourself, like getting your hair done or polishing your nails or giving yourself a facial every now and then, you’ll manage the rest of your life that much better. Remember to put some “me time” into your life. That’s what Homespunspa is all about.

7. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Spiritual

Spirituality is hard to define in a quick paragraph but in my mind, being spiritual is having a belief in an invisible energy that surrounds and permeates through every living thing in the entire universe. (I call that energy “God,” but you don’t have to). A spiritual person tries to connect with that energy through prayer, meditation and contemplation etc., to enrich their life and find deeper meaning in their existence.

I believe in the power of prayer. Praying can have an influence on people’s health and wellbeing. Did you see the 2004 movie, “What the Bleep do We Know?” At one point they talked about the work of a Japanese author, Masaru Emoto, who claims that if positive human thoughts like prayer and music are directed at droplets of water before they are frozen, the resulting water crystals will be beautiful, suggesting that invisible thoughts and their energy have an influence on the material world. It’s fascinating.

8. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Optimistic

I don’t know about you, but I immediately think of the “glass is half empty; glass is half full” saying for this one. Just out of curiosity, what’s in your glass? Water? Milk? O.J.? Pop? Beer? I always picture water with blue food colouring in it. Anyway, some people are naturally optimistic and positive in life. Others prefer to view things more “realistically” and feel they would be lying if they were to put a positive spin on things. Others tend to see things negatively, thinking that if they get their hopes up, the bubble will burst and things won’t work out and they will be left feeling worse than they would have otherwise. My thoughts? You may not have control over everything that happens in your life, but you do have the power to choose your attitude in every given moment. Here’s a quote that might help:  “It’s the same up and down roller-coaster but it’s up to you whether or not you enjoy the ride.” Why not choose to be more optimistic? It’s more fun that way.

9. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Loving

Do you remember the song, “Shower the People” by James Taylor? Here are the lyrics to the last half of the song. I don’t remember that last bit at all but it fits with my water theme, so I’m keeping it.

Better to shower the people you love with love / Show them the way that you feel / Things are gonna be just fine if you only will / Shower the people you love with love / Show them the way that you feel / Things are gonna be much better if you only will / Shower the people you love with love / Show them the way that you feel / You’ll feel better right away / Don’t take much to do / Sell your pride / They say in every life / They say the rain must fall / Just like pouring rain / Make it rain / Make it rain / Love, love, love is sunshine / Oh yes, / Make it rain / Love, love, love is sunshine / Yeah, all right / Everybody, everybody / Shower the people you love with love…

10. Today’s Healthy Woman is: Confident

Confidence has always eluded me. Searching for it is like trying to fish an eggshell chip out of egg whites. What does having confidence mean anyway? I’ve given this topic  considerable thought over the years and I’ve finally figured out that having confidence starts with positivity — being able to find something good in everyone you meet and in every situation you face. If you can see a positive outcome from the beginning, than you’re already halfway there in my book.

How does this tie in with water you ask? Well, when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, do you think he had a clue about where he was headed and what he was up against and how long it would take him to see land again? I think not. But I do think he had confidence and a vision and a faith that everything would work out for the best. If he and his crew approached that voyage with fear, doubt and negativity, they wouldn’t have gotten very far and I wouldn’t be blogging from Victoria, BC today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they had their moments, but they didn’t let that stop them from exploring the high seas.

Having that sense of adventure, taking calculated risks, stepping out of your comfort zone, facing challenges head on, braving stormy weather and reaching out into the great unknown, build confidence. And having confidence will make life more interesting.

I hope you found this post “good to the last drop.” As always, if you have any comments to add, feel free to write them.

9 Ways to Spring Forward with Chamomile this weekend

Posted by Maria on March 13, 2010 under Aromatherapy, Bath and Body, Face, Feet, Hair, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Pop-Psychology, Sleep, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

It’s time to spring forward again. At 2:00 am on the second Sunday in March, we set our clocks ahead one whole hour to go to Daylight Saving Time and therefore magically lose an hour of the day over the course of the night.

I never really understood the concept behind Daylight Saving Time but have accepted this practice as one of the rhythms of the season. If nothing else, it reminds me to flip my mattress.

All of this extra sunshine is great, but there is a bit of a downside to this shift. Apparently, driving to work on the second Monday in March is slightly more dangerous than usual because the time change on the weekend disrupts people’s sleep patterns and causes them to be extra groggy on the road, which contributes to more traffic accidents.

So, I thought I would help people maximize their limited sleep time and reduce crashes by talking about Chamomile today.

Chamomile

With its apple-like scent and taste, Chamomile (which looks more like a Daisy) helps calm the nervous system and is used as a natural sleep remedy. Spanish chamomile is called manzanilla which means “little apple” but the generic name “Chamomile” is derived from the Greeks who referred to this herb as kamai which means “on the ground” and melon which means “apple.” The term “road apples” comes to mind every time I try to remember this, but that’s something totally different. :)

It’s Saturday Night, Why Am I Drinking Tea?

There are lots of things you can do tonight with Chamomile before you go to bed, to help you get a good night’s sleep in spite of being cheated out of an hour. Here are some tips from my book, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa Way:

  1. Drink a cup of chamomile tea for sleeplessness, nightmare prevention, depression, anxiety, anger, headaches, indigestion, female issues and shock;
  2. Place warm tea bags on your eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles;
  3. Use chamomile water as a toner in your facial to clean pores, relax facial expression, and de-stress (good for all skin-types);
  4. Use as a hair rinse to add highlights and gloss, repair damage, encourage hair growth, and for a relaxing fragrance;
  5. Use chamomile essential oil in foot creams to fight fungus;
  6. Add to bathwater and soap recipes and take a bath right before bed;
  7. For extra aromatherapy, spray your bedroom and sheets with comforting chamomile linen water;
  8. Use the herb in sleep pillows;
  9. Add chamomile essential oil to massage oil to relax, foster sleep, lift depression, soothe pain, and strengthen breathing.

Enjoy your weekend and may your commutes to and from work be smooth and clear this week. Feel free to add your comments and tips to this post.

Three Wise Home Spa Gifts: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

Posted by Maria on December 21, 2009 under Aromatherapy, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Gift Ideas, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Recipes, Self-Care, Sleep, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized | 5 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Winter Solstice is here. Today, December 21st, is the shortest day in terms of day light hours of the year. The sun will set in these parts at 4:17 pm and the day is already gray and overcast to begin with. On the bright side, the days are going to start getting longer again for the next six months starting tomorrow.

It seems like only yesterday I was writing about Summer Solstice and talking with my Swedish friends about how they sleep in broad daylight. I suspect they’re not having too much trouble in that regard these days.

My version of the star of wonder -- it's actually a photo I took of a lunar eclipse in March 2007.

My version of the star of wonder -- it's actually a photo I took of a lunar eclipse in March 2007.

All of this talk about astronomy is leading me to think about the night sky and how the three Wise Men followed the brightest star that would eventually lead them to the baby Jesus so they could deliver their gifts. If you want a refresher on the story, here are the words to the Christmas carol, We Three Kings of Orient Are, words and music by John H. Hopkins.

We Three Kings of Orient Are

(1) We Three Kings of Orient Are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

(chorus)

O, star of wonder
star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright.
Westward leading still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect light.

(2) Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.
(chorus)

(3) Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense owns a Deity nigh.
Prayer and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God most high.
(chorus)

(4) Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.
(chorus)

(5) Glorious now behold Him arise,
King and God and sacrifice.
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Earth to heav’n replies.
(chorus)

Back in the days of yore, gold, frankincense and myrrh were considered the creme de la creme of gifts — if you had to shop for a king or queen or royalty of any kind, these presents would have been the way to go. These days, you don’t hear much about frankincense and myrrh, but of course, you still can’t go wrong by giving someone gold, (hint, hint:>).

Have you ever thought about adding gold, frankincense and myrrh to your home spa?

If you want to use frankincense, here is a lovely recipe for a Shower Sachet. Hanging this herbal sachet from your shower head as the water runs will generate a steamy aroma to take care of your mood, skin, hair and breathing passages all at the same time.

Shower Sachet

from the book, How to Throw a Home Spa Pajama Party the Homespunspa Way, by Maria Koropecky, page 78.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds — Helpful in the home spa as a tension reliever, digestive aid and skin conditioner.
  • 1 tsp thyme — Good for sleep. Adds shine and strength to dark hair.
  • 1 tsp spearmint — Makes a refreshing, aromatic tea which chases away feverish colds, aids digestion, freshens breath and cools skin.
  • 1 tsp sage — Combines with other herbs to induce sleep. Treats normal or damaged hair, giving it extra shine and covers gray stands.
  • 1 tsp Frankincense crystals — Enhance deep breathing and meditation.
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds — Used to tone the scalp and to wash normal hair.
  • 1 tsp yarrow — Used for insomnia, headaches. Improves hair’s manageability. Excellent for oily or problem skin.
  • 1 tsp lemon peel — Can be massaged into temples for headaches or added to bath products for zesty aroma.

Method:  The easiest thing to use for the shower sachet is a pre-made (drawstring included) organza gift bag that you can find in a craft store. Or you can make your own pouch with cheesecloth and some ribbon. Place the herbs in the small bag and secure the opening.

Manner:  Squeeze the bag with your fingers to release the aroma and tie it to the shower head so the water hits it as it runs. Turn on the shower and step inside. The steam from the shower should intensify the aroma of the herbs and your tension will evaporate. Your hair and skin will also benefit from the herbs.

Storage / Shelf-Life:  Shelf-life will last at least 3 months, depending on the freshness of the original ingredients.

And if you want to use myrrh, here is a recipe for an exfoliating scrub. Ground rosehips add delightful red flecks to this purely luxurious recipe and you’ll be surprised by the depth of fragrance coming from the myrrh.

Sugar & Myrrh Massage Scrub for Hands

from the book, How to Throw a Home Spa Pajama Party the Homespunspa Way, by Maria Koropecky, page 56.

  • 1 cup sugar — Granules are abrasive and make sweet alternatives to salt in exfoliating scrubs.
  • 1 TB myrrh gum powder — Rich, exotic, velvety and smoky. It is known to treat dry skin and gum problems.
  • 1 tsp rosehips, ground — Antidepressant and sedative. Add to beauty recipes for scent, colour and for their astringent, anti-inflammatory and wrinkle-reducing properties.
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil — Ideal for massage because it is light, non-greasy, odourless and leaves a satin-smooth finish on skin.

Method:  Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Manner:  Massage mixture on your hands for a minute. Rinse off with warm water.

Storage / Shelf-Life:  Keep leftovers in a sterilized jar in the fridge. Use within 3 months.

So I’ve got the frankincense and myrrh covered, but gold in a home spa treatment, you ask? Yes, it’s possible. Nowadays, you can find edible (food grade) gold leaf to add to your home spa recipes. And gold is not just a pretty face. Gold smooths out wrinkles, draws out impurities, softens skin and reduces puffiness. Gold gets glowing reviews all around. Apparently, Cleopatra, the mother of all home spa beauty secrets, slept with a gold mask on her face every night.

The thing is, I haven’t developed or tested a home spa recipe using gold yet. That’s on my to do list over the holidays. But here’s your chance to contribute a recipe to this blog. If you have a recipe using gold, by all means, post it here. You can leave your golden home spa recipe in a comment and I’ll make sure it appears online. I would really appreciate it. And as always, if you don’t know where you can find any of these ingredients or supplies, ask me and I’ll shed some light on the path for you.

Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer

Posted by Maria on August 2, 2009 under Bath and Body, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Pets, Recipes, Self-Care, Sleep, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

By Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Is it hot enough for ya?

Somehow I’ve managed to stay pretty cool during this past week’s record-breaking heatwave on the West coast.

Sleeping through the night hasn’t been much of an issue for me. For once I’m grateful for living in a basement apartment. It stays pretty cool without air conditioning.

Water on the Inside

I’ve also increased my water intake during the day. Staying hydrated is key.

And the same goes for your pets. You can tell if your animals aren’t getting enough fluids if they’re panting or if their muscles are twitching. Of course, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make ‘em drink. At least have some bowls of cool water available to them in case they do get thirsty.

A few weeks ago, I asked my personal trainer why I was feeling so tired when I woke up in the morning even though I went to bed early and thought the quality of my sleep was pretty good. She said I wasn’t drinking enough water and recommended drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning and sipping water throughout the day, especially since I’m exercising more.

Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. I don’t recommend drinking beverages that have extra sugar, sodium, caffeine or alcohol, however. These ingredients will dehydrate you and will get you back to square one – that is, being uncomfortable in the heat. Being dehydrated makes you sluggish, tired and fatigued – which isn’t fun at all.

On the other hand, keeping yourself well-hydrated during the day will help you regulate your body temperature at night, which in turn will help you sleep better, which will make your days brighter.

Take a page from the book of cucumber

Cucumbers are mostly composed of water. The expression “cool as a cucumber” stems from the fact that the inner core of a cucumber is known to be significantly cooler than the outer skin, in spite of the external room temperature.

According to folklore, cucumbers are said to be “ruled by the moon” and everyone knows that the moon influences the tides and our moods and affects our sleep.

Cucumber Water

Ingredients:
1/4 English Cucumber, thinly sliced in rounds – is widely known as a remedy for puffy eyes. Its soothing, cooling and toning properties also work on general skin problems including wrinkles.
1 Litre of fresh water – Drinking water hydrates skin, lubricates joints and muscles and helps the body flush out toxins.

Method:
Wash the cucumber and cut into slices. Place the cucumber slices in a glass pitcher. Fill the pitcher with cold water. The taste of cucumber will infuse the water over time, making a refreshing drink.

Manner:
Keep chilled in the fridge. Pour over ice in a nice, tall glass. Alternatively, you can freeze the cucumber water as ice cubes and then add them to your favourite drinks like tomato juice.

Water on the Outside

And don’t forget, water and cucumbers work well on the outside of your body, too. Taking a cool bath or shower before bed could make all of the difference for you when 2:00am rolls around.

Cucumber Bath for Hot Summer Nights

Soaking in a bath cleans the body and relaxes the mind.

1 cucumber, pureed – Matches the pH level of skin and is good for all skin types. Contains potassium and Vitamin C. Helps relieve the pain from sunburned skin.
1 12″x12″ piece of cheesecloth or sieve.

Method:
Wash the cucumber and cut into chunks. Place the cucumber in a blender or food processor and puree to an even consistency. Put the pulp in a sieve and strain out the water or achieve the same result with a cheesecloth. Reserve the cucumber water for your bath. If you want, you can add the pulp to a salad or apply it to your face as a face mask.

Manner:
Draw a cool/warm bath before bedtime. Add the reserved cucumber water to the bathwater. Sit, soak and cool off.

I hope these tips help you enjoy your summer more. If you have any comments about this post or have any sleep-related questions, please let me know.


Mud Messy? … Who Knew?

Posted by Maria on June 6, 2009 under Bath and Body, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Spa Review, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Yoga | 8 Comments to Read

I took Homespunspa (read yours truly) on a road trip to Whistler, British Columbia last weekend.

Whistler will be the home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and is a wonderful outdoor playground and a perfect location for a summer spa weekend retreat.

I could not have picked a better weekend weather-wise. We were experiencing the best stretch of weather I have seen in these parts in years — clear blue skies and sunshine all the way!

View of mainland BC near Horseshoe Bay from the ferry. Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eye.

View of mainland BC near Horseshoe Bay from the ferry. Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eye.

I planned a trip to Whistler because I wanted to reward myself for my weight loss. I also wanted to do something special for myself on the edge of my 40th birthday. I called it my “39 and holding road trip.”

I made an appointment at Solaris Spa the week before and that was the highlight of my trip. First I took a yoga class with Colleen at 10:30 am. The poses were more challenging than I was used to and we did some new-to-me stuff — like tilting, turning and twisting on one leg — which kind of reminded me of those tipping duckies that drink water. The space was really lovely with a spectacular view of the snow-covered mountains. Colleen new her yoga inside and out, so to speak, and was a good instructor. It just goes to show no two yoga instructors are alike and you’ll never take the same yoga class twice, even with the same instructor. Colleen also added a chant to her practice, which I enjoyed, but wasn’t exactly sure what to do with.

After the yoga class, I had my first ever mud wrap treatment. At first I had signed up for the thalassa seaweed wrap because I wanted a detoxifying treatment, but Shelly, my spa specialist, suggested I go with the mud instead, which does the same thing, without the unpleasant smell.

This trip was all about stepping out of my comfort zone and this propelled me out of my nest. I soon wondered, what have I gotten myself into? I didn’t know what to expect and I soon found out how messy and involved a mud treatment was. I was so glad I didn’t have to do the laundry there.

First I had to strip down to my skivies. Cringe. I quickly hopped on to the bed that was covered with a heated blanket, a plastic sheet and regular towels and sheets. I thought Shelly did a great job in making me feel at ease. First she exfoliated my skin with some sort of abrasive glove or brush. It just acted to stimulate the skin, preparing it for the mud. I definitely felt the bristling effect, but at the same time, it was quick and painless.

Then she took the dark, coffee ground-brown mud and painted it on my limbs. It was cool to the skin. After that step, she wrapped me up like a burrito in the plastic sheet and heated blanket. It was very relaxing. I just closed my eyes and was glad my nose didn’t start to itch. Meanwhile, Shelly massaged my face and feet.

Shelly warned me about the contrast I’d feel in the air temperature as she unwrapped my cocoon and yes it was noticeable. The hardest part of the whole process was getting out of the warm bed and into the shower to wash off. I had to make my way covered in clay, wearing a bathrobe and flip flops, across the spa lobby and into the Swiss shower room. (That is my only criticism of the whole experience). People just don’t need to see that before lunch.

Anyway, I tried not to take too long in the shower, but the mud doesn’t exactly rinse off that easily, even though it’s water-soluble. Thank goodness for their pipes that it virtually contains no clay.

Moor Mud (also known as therapeutic peat moss) is an organic substance, produced from the natural decomposition of a galaxy of plants, herbs, flowers and grasses, under special conditions, over thousands of years.

Found in moor mud bogs of Europe, moor mud has been used as a spa treatment ingredient since day one. It contains minerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, plant hormones and fatty acids in a molecular form that is easy for human skin to absorb.

Moor mud has an extraordinary ability to heal, nourish and detoxify the body as it promotes circulation, stimulates the immune system, relaxes muscles, relieves pain, breaks down fat cells, reduces cellulite and improves range of motion — perfect for someone like me who is exercising and doing yoga regularly to get fit.

Getting a back massage was the last part of my mud spa treatment. Unfortunately, I took too long in the shower which didn’t leave much time. I chose the mimosa fragrance, as part of my celebration theme, for this stretch. Shelly told me to drink lots of water because some people get dehydration headaches after detox treatments.

All in all I felt so relaxed. What a beautiful morning. Sipping my water, I walked so slowly through the village and forest path. It took me 40 minutes to walk back to my hotel room — a trip that would normally take 10 to 15.

There’s something to be said about getting away on your own to enjoy your own company and not having to deal with other people’s agendas. As much as I wanted to meet people there, I’m so glad I had the luxury of “Me time.” It was worth the trip.

Here's my Moor Mud Treatment in writing. Drop-in yoga class was $20.

Here's my Moor Mud Treatment in writing. Drop-in yoga class was $20.

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