Weekend wrap-up & this week’s to-do list

How was your weekend? Mine was really great. Stan’s birthday was on Friday, so that night we went to see his boss in the play Murdered to Death, presented by Phoenix Stage Company. It was my kind of play — a murder mystery spoof — and Stan’s boss played the bumbling inspector.

I got all dolled up to go, because I rarely have a reason to dress up. I was the only non-actor wearing semi-fancy clothes, but I didn’t mind one bit. I apologize for the image quality — it was dark, taken with an iPhone, and I was standing in front of my curtained bedroom window. Still, I had to post this because I really loved my outfit!

Saturday was wonderfully busy, too. We did some more prepping for the Craftacular, then hung out with our friends Michele, Jeff, and little Noah for a few hours. After that, we had pizza and good conversation with some of my family, and again stayed up past our bedtime. But I was very excited when we got to Stan’s apartment because in his mailbox was his surprise gift from me:

Manly grooming products! These are all handmade and free of toxic chemicals by Sam’s Natural, which is essentially the male version of Poor & Pretty, I think. Their Simple Start Hygiene Kit has all the necessities a man needs to stay smooth and nice-smelling: lotion, soap, shaving soap, after shave, and deodorant. He shaved with the shaving soap yesterday morning and it smelled wonderful.

Yesterday, I did laundry, then came home and printed out this to-do list to get organized for the busy week of Craftacular preparations I have. Yes, it is going to be a busy week.

At some point, I will need to sneak in a pedicure:

My toes have not been painted since Scarlett introduced me to her strange method of painting them sideways a few weeks ago. I hope your week is off to a nice start!


Guest Post: Sani’s DIY French Mani/Pedi

Hello everyone, I’m Sani, Sami’s “twin sister”. Sami and I met working at Apple and ever since she has been an awesome best friend. You might remember me from Sami’s strawberry mask post, and her post about the New Haven cupcake truck. Speaking of cupcakes, have any of you tried her amazing cupcakes? Ha! If you do, don’t say I didn’t warn ya, because you are going to be ADDICTED.

Anyway, about a year ago I shared this awesome tip on how to do your own French mani/pedi and ever since she’s been in love! A few days ago we got this awesome idea about making this video for all of you great readers out there. I also wanted to acknowledge that in this video for some odd reason I was saying manicure when clearly we are doing a pedi here. Silly me! There was lots of silliness going on that day so we are just going to blame it on that! Enjoy!!!


DIY: At-Home Spa Day

home-spa-lgSure, a weekend spa getaway or even just a few hours at a day spa can be super relaxing and you can feel its effects for days. But, that’s just my problem with professional spas — you spend hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars on supreme bliss that is only temporary. I challenge you to spend much less money and allow yourself to have temporary bliss more often, in your own home. Yes, I understand living situations can be difficult. Maybe you live with a boy/girlfriend or roommate who is always around which doesn’t allow you much alone time. Or, if you’re like me, you live with your parent(s), older sister, her husband, and their 7-year-old daughter on top of living with your boyfriend, so you never get so much as a minute alone unless you’re showering or peeing (I know, it’s rough). But there will still be times when, miraculously, everyone is gone from the house. Or, if your roommate is a total loner and never leaves the house, ask them nicely to step out for an hour or two, tell them you’re treating yourself to an in-house spa day, and offer to do the same for them when they need it. While you have the whole place to yourself, here’s how to create a spa-esque atmosphere in your own dwelling without breaking your bank:

  • Bubble bath~ I am a huge, huge fan of bubble baths. I try not to take them often as they are a huge drain of resources, but there’s nothing like half an hour or so of soaking up warm, bubbly water. Bubble baths, especially if coupled with a few burning candles around the bathroom, are a great way to de-stress, if only for a little while. bubblebarsYou can find bubble bath almost anywhere, but my favorite bubble makers are the LUSH natural Bubble Bars, which range from around $6-11, depending on the scent you choose. The LUSH Comforter Bubble Bar is by far my fave, and even though their website says you can get two baths out of it, I’ve gotten three and have enough left for at least another two! And it smells so yummy! Disclaimer: if you’re prone to yeast infections or urinary tract infections, bubble baths are probably not for you. May we suggest taking a long, warm shower and using a LUSH Emotibomb instead?
  • Self Mani-Pedi~ The average cost for a good manicure and pedicure duo can range from $30~$100+! While I agree that we all work our hands and feet pretty hard, most of us have the right tools in our own homes to give ourselves manicures and pedicures; a pretty nail polish, nail file, warm & soapy water, a good body lotion, and something to exfoliate with (loofah, pumice stone, or exfoliating gloves/brush). I found a great DIY manicure & pedicure guide on the Better Homes & Gardens website, here
  • Face Mask~ You can buy face masks almost anywhere, but you have to know what type of skin you have. Have Mark_Calm_Yourself_Hydrating_Maskoily skin? Get an oil-free mask, ones made with clay are best. If you have dry skin, make sure you get something that will moisturize it. Remember the strawberry acne-fighting face mask I wrote about here? My friend Sani and I made it from scratch and it cost us around $6, plus we had ingredients left over for more masks (or for eating strawberries while you’re taking that relaxing bath!). Other than my own homemade masks, my favorite one to buy is from mark (a line of Avon products for teens/college kids). It’s called Calm Yourself hydrating mask (I have dry skin).
  • Massage~ I realize that, unless you know a masseuse, nothing can compare to spa massages, and this is the one thing that I can justify spending big bucks on. However, if you have a boy/girlfriend or even a best friend you’re close with, I see no reason you couldn’t ask for a massage. I would offer to give one in return, so you’re helping the other person relax, too. You could even pick up a book of massage tips and practice on each other.
  • Relax~ The most important thing to do is relax. After you take your bath, sit on the couch for a while in your bathrobe and watch your favorite show or movie and just chill out. Or, better yet, meditate. If you’ve never had experience meditating, I suggest turning off your phone(s), sitting down and lighting a candle on a table in front of you. Take deep, calming breaths and just focus on the candle flame for a while, letting all of your thoughts flow away. I’m no expert at meditating, but this certainly helps me :)

Everyone needs a little time to themselves, but there’s no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on pampering yourself if you have the necessities available to you in your own home. And, if you’re broke like Mish and I, spas just aren’t an option, but we make do anyway! <3