The last time I had a spa day in an actual spa was when I was six months pregnant with my first child. I really enjoyed it; I have no idea why I haven’t been back since.
It’s indisputable that few people need spa days more than moms. It’s also indisputable that it’s much easier to find the time and money to go to the spa when the loves of your life aren’t consuming all your time and money.
But what mothers may lack in free time and discretionary funds, they make up for in resourcefulness and ingenuity. If mama can’t get to the spa, she can bring the spa right home to her–with the help of Angie of My Four Monkeys, who hosted The Motherhood’s talk on having yourself a home spa day. Angie was joined by guests Liz of A Nut in a Nutshell, Felicia of Go Graham Go, Xenia of Thanks, Mail Carrier, Bridgette of Experimental Mommy, Renee of What Mommies Need, and Jennifer of Mommy B Knows Best to discuss head to toe pampering without leaving the house.
Admittedly, it’s difficult to get a full spa day experience at home. For one thing, who has a full day? For another, it may be tough to train your four year old to drape you in fluffy snow white towels she’s rushed straight from the warm dryer. (You may have more success getting your seven year old to peer at you critically and ask if you’re sure you don’t want your lip waxed.) But if you can steal an hour or two after the kids are in bed, you can have yourself a peaceful, relaxing time.
Don’t forget that a spa experience is for all your senses. If you find candles relaxing, have some at hand in your spa area. Have some favorite music selected and ready to go. Don’t forget a beverage, and not necessarily an alcoholic one. A nice cup of tea, or some chilled water with a few thin slices of cucumber in it, are refreshing and contribute to the spa experience. Get some essential oils and use (sparingly–a little goes a long way) to scent your bath. Some favorites among our panelists were vanilla, coconut and lavender for relaxation. Peppermint and grapefruit are great choices for invigoration.
Once it’s quiet and feeling spa-like, what are your favorite ways to pamper? Many of our talk participants really enjoy a facial or a great skin scrub. Of course you can buy that stuff in a tube, but it smells and feels even better (and costs less) if you make it at home. Our panelists provided their favorites, and links to more:
Angie’s Honey Avocado Oatmeal Mask
(especially great for oily skin)
½ cup dry old-fashioned oatmeal
1 tsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. In a bowl, mix the honey, olive oil, and avocado.
2. Add in the oatmeal and mix thoroughly.
If acne is a problem for you, Angie recommends this facial mask:
Chamomile and Mint Facial
1 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 Tblsp honey
1. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Apply the mixture to your face.
3. Let dry for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with tepid water.
Angie’s Honey Lip Scrub
1 teaspoon of honey
1 teaspoon baking soda
a few drops of olive oil
1. Mix the honey and baking soda till a smooth paste is formed.
2. Apply the mixture on your lips and leave it on for a few minutes, then gently rub the lips to remove dead skin.
3. Wash your lips with water, and apply olive oil to your lips to moisturize them.
For a more all-over skin scrub, Felicia offers her Brown Sugar Scrub. Angie also recommends Vanessa’s Chiquita Banana Sugar Scrub. (Angie points out that while many of these items make great gifts, ones using fresh perishable ingredients like bananas or avocados obviously do not, since they should be refrigerated and used within a few days.)
Essential oils can be used to scent and customize scrubs as well, such as this hand and body scrub offered by Angie:
½ cup brown sugar
2 Tblsp almond oil or olive oil
5 drops of honey
3 to 5 drops of your favorite essential oil
1. Mix ingredients thoroughly in a glass bowl.
2. Scrub can be used on the entire body, or just hands and feet (great for pedicures).
Angie says, “If you feel like splurging for a special occasion, here’s a scrub that uses papaya and smells like a beach getaway!”
Tropical Fruit and Sugar Scrub
½ cup white sugar
3 Tblsp coconut oil or coconut milk
3 Tblsp almond, jojoba oil, or olive oil
½ cup fresh pureed papaya
1. Mix the sugar and all the oils.
2. Add papaya to the mixture and stir.
3. Use on skin to rejuvenate, and remove dead skin.
When you create your own spa, you can do as much or as little as you like. Angie says,”I f you want to REALLY get into DIY pampering you can purchase supplies like beeswax, flavors, and coloring to create all kinds of products at home including lip balms, lip glosses, bath bombs, and more! Want to stick to recipes you probably already have the items to make? Look for scrub recipes, face masks, and bath salts.” She offers up this recipe for bath fizzies from Martha Stewart.
Sometimes the best part of a spa day is sharing it with someone else. But just because your spa is at home doesn’t mean that you can’t share it. In fact, it’s a great way to spend time with your daughters and create memories without spending a mint. Angie recommends Bonding Over Beauty by Erika Katz as a great source of pampering ideas and recipes for mothers and daughters to enjoy together.
Home spa days are also a relaxing and inexpensive way to get together with your friends. Jennifer did it for her bachelorette party, as did Liz’s daughter. Jennifer also suggests a spa day for a girl’s birthday party. Whether you have your spa day for a special occasion or no occasion at all, with your daughter, sister, friends or just yourself, relax and enjoy your pampering. If anyone has called you Mom, Mommy, Mother or Mama today, I promise you–you’ve earned it.