Archives for posts with tag: Pampering

Owning my own spa and wellness center has always been on my radar, so it’s no coincidence when I stumble upon centers of the like. There are so many routes and niches that you can create when entering into the holistic and pampering industry. So when I discovered The Springs LA on Instagram I was intrigued. It encompasses a few things that I find myself seeking out in separate places – but all under one roof. Yoga, juicing, smoothies, massage, hot stones, and colon hydrotherapy to name a few.

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My roommate and I decided to go on a little weekend getaway to LA for Memorial Day weekend to celebrate her new found freedom as a recent graduate from USD. As the awesome crony she is, she was down for whatever, so I lined us up an adventure filled weekend. And since I had my eye on The Springs LA we were definitely stopping in.

We got into LA on Friday morning, went to the LACMA for the afternoon, then had lunch at The Line Hotel’s Commissary restaurant (a must!) and went out Friday evening to Toca Madera and Ysabel’s. We called it an early night so that we could wake up Saturday morning in time to catch our 9:00am yoga class at The Springs LA. The Springs is located in the arts district of Los Angeles. Perhaps it was because everyone went out of town for the holiday weekend but we found the city to be quite mellow compared to the hustle and bustle we were expecting – it was nice.

Once parked, the gate to the center was rolled open and we walked in and was greeted by an open and sunny space with a Palm Springs meets warehouse feel. Simple and cheerful. We were directed by the juice bar attendant to walk to the back to check into our class. We tucked our items into the cubby holes in the yoga room and began our morning yoga session.

An hour and 15 minutes later we awoke feeling more limber and relaxed. We pursued the items for sale – lots of cute little items such as oils, candles, jewelry and fitness gear. After we walked back toward the front where we purchased a fresh made green juice (Northstar was our choice) and headed out.

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The Springs LA is a really neat concept. With it’s open casual space I can only imagine all of the events that take place within this center, and to add to it, they have a restaurant in the works too. I highly recommend a yoga class and juice if you’re in town. Your first class is free! After that drop ins are only $15. Juices are pricey (about $10), but you can’t put a price on healthy liquid gold like that. 🙂

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Every year, and every so often, I like to treat myself to some type of spa experience on the day of my birthday. This year I wanted to finally get around to visiting this place called Cocoon Float. It basically is what it sounds like. You float in a white bubble tank for 60 minutes. It’s technically called a “Sensory Deprivation Tank”. A tank filled with Epsom Salt, a mineral made of magnesium and sulfate. Have you ever heard how good it is for you to take a salt bath to relax muscles? Because Epsom Salt creates the absence of gravity for a human body when combined with water, the stress and tensions that are released when enjoyed for 60 minutes is incredible; incredible in nutrients for the body to absorb, and incredible in experience. Sensory Deprivation is knocking out one Western ailment after another. Interesting.

Allow me to explain my experience.

The business is located in Hillcrest of San Diego, California. It’s three stories up on a corner building. No signage that I could visibly see unfortunately. I found my way and walked into this serene and quaint white lobby environment where I am politely greeted. Within checking in you are handed an iPad and headphones to watch a 5 minute video on how you will navigate your experience and what to expect. It was a cute cartoon, informative and flew by. Basically, the goal is to try and 100% relax…and see how that feels. Queue spooky transcendental vibe music. Not going to lie, I may or may not have felt a bit of a sexual vibe in how free this felt at one point.

I was walked to one of the back rooms (there are only 2 cocoons), and was explained the more hands on procedures of how to operate the tank and how the lights will be turned down. I was told to put my earplugs in before I touch anything wet. This is pretty much where the experience began. My plugs were in, all went quiet. I turned on the shower to warm it up. I slid out of my clothes. Stepped in to the shower, and used the body wash in my palm to clean and then rinse. Turned the shower off. Stepped down, and walked thethree steps to the cocoon, put one leg in (water went up to right under my knee), grabbed the hood of the cocoon, stepped my other leg in, and kneeled as I pulled down the hood over me, enveloping me into this surreal experience.

So I plant my butt down, or tried. But since there is an absence of gravity I gently leaned back and allowed my body to be lifted to the surface of the water. The tank was filled with a glowing blue light that bounced off the white lacquered bulbous tank walls and water. There were two buttons I had control over. The light and the music. I wanted both on. And I wanted to close my eyes.

The whole reason this is worth writing about is: if you can possibly get to the zone where you are 100% relaxed, it’s otherworldly. You’re awake but your somewhere else – thinking. About entirely subconscious things. I felt very happy and lifted after my time spent in the tank. (And slept great the next few days) I was amazed that I was able to get to that place – because trust me, it took focus. And within that focus I relaxed a bit more every other minute. Once my mind finally let go, as in I was in another realm not thinking about how I’m thinking, it was probably a good 20 minutes I was there. However, it was one of those moments where you feel like you literally just went to sleep two minutes ago – but I was really just relaxed because I was floating. It was a really cool feeling. A lot happened in my mind in this 20 minutes while at the same time nothing happened. It was the sensation of floating that brought this all home. A sensation more people should try… and I hope more find worthy of experiencing for oneself.
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While we’re on water and relaxation, my boss told me about this form of water therapy called ‘Watsu‘. That’s the definition link and here’s an actual experience. Check those links out! That’s what I’m on the hunt to experience now.

Sidenote: About blue light: …Findings confirm that blue light at night stimulates alertness and diminishes the feeling of being drowsy (i.e. awake), interfering with sleep. Exposure to blue light during the day, however, results in a similar, more welcome boost to alertness and reduction to fatigue, which stand to benefit both daytime function and nighttime rest¹. So this paradox to how I felt in the tank is beyond me. Like I said, I was awake, but so relaxed some may call it sleep because we don’t know anything else other than sleep. Or do I now? Re-queue spooky vibes.

After being on a month long adventure where I went in knowing I was going to be able to be myself entirely, and then being accepted for that, I couldn’t agree with this article more. Because well, sometimes we wind up in situations where we have to tiptoe around people and, ew. That was and is the great thing about planning out your life, you can choose the situations you put yourself into, or take yourself out of. However, sometimes sacrifices have to be…that I understand. Any who, I put myself into homes and situations I knew I was going to be comfortable with – the comfort level I know and prefer.

Given, I chose not to backpack across the world without showers or a close-by laundry machine or a with a 50 pound bag on my back..I continued to live the way I do at home. Leisurely. I stayed with friends/family in Miami, New York and Cascais, Portugal, and then we shared our own apartment in Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Lisbon. The person I met up with to travel a few of those places with (Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona), fully understood how I like to live. As he says, he knew what he was getting himself into. Lucky for me, he’s great at reading people. He majored in journalism with a focus in digital media so understanding people is key to what he does for a living. We’ve known of each other through mutual friends for probably 6+ years now? So he’s been able to watch (social media), chat with me about, and comprehend how I carry myself. What I didn’t realize was how special and understood it made me feel to be with someone who let me take care of myself (and be taken care of) how I like to. I think I’ve always tried to come across as low-maintenance. The guys-girl. No more.

Let me just share a bit of my routines….

It’s true I don’t contour my face with makeup, just the tinted sunscreen moisturizer (no wrinkles or sun damage please!) on the face, with accentuated eyes (eyeshadow and mascara), a little blush for rosey high-lighted cheekbones, and maybe some lipstick and liner, or just chapstick. So I may come across as the girl who doesn’t look like I am wearing much makeup but trust that it is there and it takes time. You can also guarantee I am the girl who religiously washes my face, am picky about my products, and brush/flosses day and night, and maybe in between. (I’ve heard successful people floss their teeth. Sticking to it.)

But I also take long showers….so I spend quite a bit of time hanging out in the bathroom. It’s like my own daily spa experience, something I have been exposing myself to more and more lately. I have long hair that needs to be washed appropriately (cool water). I have legs, arms, armpits and a bikini line I have to shave sometimes. I moisturize every part of my body. I tweeze. I usually paint my own nails and toes. I like to give myself a blowout when I dry my hair; it’s so straight it needs that luscious and voluminous volumne you can’t get from air-drying. And hey, sometimes I like to feel girly and curl it. Then there are the days where I don’t wash my hair but I have to use that golden product, dry shampoo, to take away the days buildup of oil. And then comes the styling of that day (or two) old hair. Time.

I could easily (or maybe more like painfully, for me) run out of the house with just brushing my teeth and throwing my hair up, but that is not the essence of my soul or how I prefer to treat the one vessel I have been given. I am an artist by nature in the way I live and I choose to express that in how I look, dress and experience life.

I have adamantly worked out since I graduated high school. Another thing that takes time, and is damn worth it. Now at 28 I couldn’t be more comfortable in my sexuality and skin because I’ve worked hard to be where I am at physically, and nutritionally. If I don’t take care of my body, who will? Like this article says, you are treated how you treat yourself. And I refuse to subdue my maintenance levels any longer. I now know what it is like to be with someone who fully accepts and works around/into how I care for myself. And you know what? The level of how much he showed me he cared, was almost unbelievable. If like this article says, those two things correlate, well then I’m joining this #HighMaintenanceMovement.

Booking my next spa appointment very soon. Something this true gentleman I speak of also graciously accompanied me to in Barcelona…at the phenomenal, and surreal, Aire Ancient Baths. And what’s funny, he also just told me that because of our time spent together, he realized the “Princess type”, that he’s dated before, is what he prefers too. It just took him time to figure out and accept. It works for him. And it definitely worked for me. He likes a woman who is assertive, confident and knows how she likes to be treated and who wouldn’t put up with anything less. And she’s also fairly dolled up on the regular? What guy doesn’t like a pretty girl on his arm? None. Or he’s lying.

Click the article link below to hear where I found my inspiration and soundboard for this article.

Why Women Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed To Call Themselves High Maintenance.

If only I had a home to do all of these time-consuming tasks in. One day!

November Checklist for a Smooth-Running Home.

Face of Spanish Fly Hair Garage

Bird's Nest View of Spanish Fly Hair Garage

I was the daughter who was never allowed to cut or do anything to her hair or eyebrows, or even leg hairs at that. In sophmore year of high school I was finally allowed to add some low-lights and highlights; barely noticeable. My parents got a divorce and it was on. Hair color changed all the time. But I always remained the girl that wouldn’t let anyone, not even myself touch my hair unless it was by a “professional”. The first and last time I gave in to someone dying, or should I say bleaching my hair, I wound up with a platinum blonde, two inch mohawk in the part of my hair, while I had long black hair with extensions. I needed it to somehow be fixed. I wound up talking to a friend I worked with (now that I was living in the Sacramento area) about who she went to and how I wanted a more high fashion stylist because it was time to move up in the world of beauty and I had always believed you get what you pay for and short-coming yourself on your very own head of hair would be a shame. The difference in quality an expert hair stylist can bring to your physical beauty, as well as confidence, was worth it.

I was referred to Erin Flores at Spanish Fly Hair Garage in downtown Sacramento. A straight up rock’n’roll, red wood floor, white brick walls, post and beam ceiling, metal-chain-framed mirrors, tool boxes for stations, plasma screens, art hanging from suspended cables above stations, and of course guitars, kind-of-salon. Not to mention amazing natural lighting, a great layout, with a patio corridor and a separate salon in the back, booming sound system, and alcoholic beverages being served. Yup, there was no way this salon wasn’t going to affect me. I wanted to be apart of this. If not this one, one of my own, or better yet a specialist and owner in this industry. This salon is where my passion for the fascinating influence a pampering environment can bestow upon your being…just by the matter of walls, elements, space plan, imagery, professionalism, characters and aesthetics, and oh yeah…a good hairstyling. You walk in feeling drab, then during you feel apart of something great, and walk out feeling fabulous, new, revitalized.

I put myself out there and asked the owners, as a student of design, if I could come in and sketch the layout of the salon and they were more than obliged. I needed to see such a business on paper. I had only, at that point in my schooling, seen residential rooms drafted onto paper. I needed to see the space plan and function-flow of a business/salon. So I did it. And here are my sketches:

Front Salon, Reception, Stations, Sinkbowls

Outside Patio Corridor, Lounge Area

Back Salon, Lounge/Seating, Stations

Go easy, I was in the very beginning of my schooling, especially with drafting let alone sketching and scale of things. I may redo and label the sketches of the salon and attach them to this post at a later time so it makes more sense to the untrained eye.

But, this is where it started, this is where I still go almost 5 years later, and now Erin and I are great friends. Speaking of, we just finished having a drink together which inspired the importance of posting this monumental epitome I had at age 21.  I knew if this is what I were to put my mind to, I would have a career I would be happy to wake to everyday and would do anything to make happen. Every day since, I seek my niche and how I can make my plans come to fruition. Day by day, skill by skill, person by network I solidify my dream.