Center Parcs and Tots 100 challenged us this month to create a mini home spa experience. Now I am not a huge spa girl but every now and again I like a bit of pampering. Like many busy working mums taking time out to actually get to a spa can be tricky so I tend to have a few little rituals that I can carry out in the privacy of my own home. My favourite spa treatments tend to be manicures and pedicures so this is what I concentrate on at home.
Thursday nights, historically, have always been boys night out so when Mr M disappears off to the pub this is the time for me to break out the SSB. You're familiar with the SSB concept aren't you? If you're a Sex and the City fan you'll know Carrie Bradshaw made reference to her SSB when she first moved in with Aiden (Season 4, Episode 13 fact fans!). Your SSB (Secret Single Behaviour) is all that stuff you do that isn't for public consumption and should never be seen by anyone. My own SSB covers a whole host of sins but mini-spa treatments at home definitely comes under the title of "things-that-should-never-be-seen-by-your-husband".
I will normally start my mini-spa with a nice hot shower. I'm not a bath person, I don't like the wrinkly-prune effect you get so I rarely hit the tub. That's not to say I never do though and occasionally like if I've got a bad cold, I'll have a soak in the tub and maybe light a nice smelly candle. I like to use nice shower gel and Mr M always buys me some Philosophy stuff for Christmas - they smell divine and if you've never had a sniff, then you ought to. They are good enough to eat and leave you smelling tasty too!
After the shower, whilst my pores are nice and open, I'll probably undertake a bit of obsessive plucking, do some blackhead scrutiny and more than likely extract the odd stray grey hair with a pair of tweezers - this definitely comes under the banner of "SSB". What? Don't tell me you never removed a grey hair in-between hair dying sessions... If I'm really going for it I might apply a face mask.
The next important task is the feet. Oh the feet. WARNING. For those of a delicate disposition there is a foot photo coming up. (You do realise I could get all sorts of visitors on my blog after this post don't you...).
That, dear friends, is what Mrs M's poor feet generally look like in the winter months - chipped nail polish, dry and hard skin, untidy nails. It's not pretty is it, that's why I've not enlarged this photo any more.
My wonder kit - it's called heel balm but really I slather it on all over my feet before I go to bed. I may have even put it on my arms and knees. I like to call it my pee cream based on the fact that's what it's mainly made of. I'll attack my feet with a foot file, working off all the hard skin areas before applying the cream. I actually really enjoy filing my feet. I know. That sounds rancid but it's true, so I'm putting it out there. After that, there's some attention paid to the toenails before they are re-painted and hidden away again.
The manicure comes after this. I've accumulated a collection of cuticle creams, base coats, top coats, nail hardeners and strengtheners and whilst I'll admit to find this part a bit tedious, I do like my nice soft neat cuticles afterwards. It would be far more rewarding if someone would actually notice this though. I'll select a nail colour, of which I have many and let them dry whilst catching up on a trashy magazine and trying not to smudge them. I rarely achieve these and normally have to go back and touch up and remove smudges on my fingers with my corrector pen.
I have a bit of a nail polish problem so selecting a colour can normally take a while. I tend to favour Barry M and OPI polishes, I always normally veer towards a glitter. Even when I'm not going anywhere that requires glitter.
Of course this whole ritual is set to music, however I am not a relaxing music kind of girl when having a pamper session, I'm not a fan of pan pipes and I like a tune I can belt out with a loofah. Perfect unwinding songs for me are something I can get my teeth into. My iPod has a playlist just brimming with such singalong, ready for those occasions when I am completely alone. Little gems like Paradise by the Dashboard Lights, the Stock Aitken and Waterman back catalogue and a bit of Cher might pop up. I'm also partial to a bit of Connie Francis and my current favourite warbling tune is Who's Sorry Now. (If I'm being absolutely truthful I like the Rose Marie version as it reminds me of being little. It's Irish 80s-tastic and awesome).
On a final note, Amy from the Aqua Sana spa said that we should hydrate and I wholeheartedly agree so I always make sure I rehydrate myself whilst relaxing - with a lovely glass of wine. Oh c'mon. There's nothing relaxing about a bottle of Evian.
This blogpost is my entry for the Center Parcs and Tots 100 January monthly challenge.