Sunday, December 27, 2009


Kick off 2010 with a fresh start and a fresh face. The Foundation at Barneys in Beverly Hills has two skincare events coming up in January. The Fresh Facial event on January 17 includes a facial and shoulder massage. If that's not your style, check out the Shu Uemura facial event on January 22. For the New Yorkers, enjoy a complimentary (yup, I said free) 45-minute Jurlique Signature Facial on January 5. Here's the scoop. Give your face a 180 degree turn.

Image by Joseph Newton.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Comeback kid

After a couple weeks off, I'm back. I guess I could blame my absence on a few crazy work weeks mixed with the madness of the holiday season. I could, but I won't. A lot has happened and there's much to catch up on. Here's a quick look back at what I've been up to and some exciting things to look foward to in 2010. Hope you're all enjoying the holidays. Spend some relaxing with friends and family and take some time for yourself. It's so needed at this time of year. xoxo

A look back
Coming up
Image by Justin Krietemeyer (taken from our Holiday-Related Event invitation)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Raining shoes

Happened upon an estate sale in Burbank last weekend landed myself a few pairs of new shoes. Correction: Make that nine pairs of shoes. Yes, I went a little overboard. But at $10 a pair on unworn vintage heals and boots, I couldn't resist. This woman was a fan of the peep toe which means I'll be in need of some regular tender-loving foot care. Anyone recommend a good place in Los Angeles for a reasonably priced pedi?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dear Jeanette...

Since you're the most knowledgeable spa aficionado I know, do you have any suggestions for a great facial?

XO -joycie

First off, aficionado? Joycie, you flatter me. So, I spent some time trolling my mental encyclopedia of past treatments and came up with the following suggestions.
  1. The Clinic at Kate Somerville - O.K., confession, as you'd know if you read my recent post about The Clinic, I've never actually had a facial at Kate Somerville. But, I've always wanted one. Is that good enough? From others' rave reviews, it sounds like aestheticians at The Clinic are miracle workers. If I ever get around to booking a treatment you can expect a thorough review.
  2. dtoxygen facial at Dtox Day Spa - I really should get a discount at Dtox since I'm constantly giving props to the folks there. It's in my hood, so I drop in a lot. Recently I tried out the dtoxygen facial when I was feeling a little, well, down in the dumps and left the place feeling like a goddess. I swear. While this treatment is perfect to get you "camera ready," I stopped in for no special occasion on a weekday evening and reaped the rewards for a week following my treatment. Note: They don't do extractions when you're getting an oxygen treatment so don't do the dtoxygen facial in you want someone to dig in.
  3. Bliss Spa at the W Hotel - I thought really long and hard about this. And, hands down, the facial I got at Bliss while lounging at the W San Francisco was perhaps the best ever. I haven't been to the spa at the W Westwood (probably because I'm scared to venture west of La Brea) but as long as the West Los Angeles location is on par with its San Francisco counterpart, you can't go wrong.
What's your fav facial?

Friday, November 27, 2009

The final countdown

Just a matter of time now and we're off to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs for some R&R. Took a look at the weather this morning and it could rain tomorrow afternoon. Rain in the desert? Maybe I'll kill some time with a spa treatment or two. Anyone want to help me choose from this list of goodies? Have a fabulous long weekend!

Photo from Robert.Montalvo's photostream on Flickr.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for...

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you're enjoying eating fabulous food with your closest friends and family. Today I'm thankful for so many health, my man, friends, family, Nico...the list goes on. Before the busy month of December hits carve out some time and try this do-it-yourself Pumpkin Body Scrub (courtesy of the Menacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania). You should have many of the ingredients leftover from your turkey-day feast.

Pumpkin Body Scrub
From Woodlands Spa at
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort via SpaFinder
1 small can pumpkin
2 cups of sea salt
½ cup of raw sugar
2 Tablespoons of Oil (sunflower or safflower)
¼ tsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. Nutmeg
½ tsp. Pumpkin Spice or Cinnamon
Mix all ingredients by hand until scrub has a firm consistency. Apply pumpkin body scrub in tub or shower and rinse thoroughly. Refrigerate product when not in use. Discard any unused product after three weeks.

Photo from the cat & the exercise bike's photostream on Flickr

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


In preparation for turkey day, I spent some time trying to find a good recipe for spa water. It's expected to be a warm day in Los Angeles and some cucumber-infused deliciousness seems to fit the occasion. I came across this Southern Living recipe and the cranberries sold me. Try it out for your Thanksgiving feast.

Decked-Out Water

- 1 medium cucumber
- 12 cups of water
- 3 thin orange slices
- 3 fresh, thin ginger slices
- 3 fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro sprigs
- 6 fresh cranberries


1. Cut 2 thin lengthwise slices from cucumber. Reserve remaining for another use.

2. Stir together cucumber slices, 12 cups water, and next 5 ingredients in a pitcher; cover and chill 1 hour. Pour over ice in glasses before serving. Garnish, if desired.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Throw your dog a bone

I'm completely, utterly and hopelessly in love with Nico, my three-ear old golden retriever. But, does Nico really need a back rub? According to Buddha Dog, the answer may be yes. Specialists in small animal massage, Buddha Dog's website says pet massage can decrease pain and increase your animal's energy and muscle tone. Learn more about Buddha Dog by reading Erin Auerbach's San Fernando Valley Pet News Examiner article. At $50 for a 60-minute massage (recommended for medium to large dogs), I'm just not sure I can stomach a spa habit for my pet. Sorry Nico. I think I'll throw you a bone instead. It's more affordable and I have an inkling you might enjoy it more.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Seeing Purple

I happened upon Napa Valley Bath while online over the weekend and woke up this morning practically seeing purple. From body lotion, to foot cream, to bath salts...I want everything lavender! Well, with the exception of clothes. The smell of lavender takes me back to my trip through Southern France with a couple of friends some years back. Here's to the days of driving through Provence in our two-door Peugeot without care in the world. Well, until we smashed the Peugeot into a pole while parking. I've come to learn that rental insurance doesn't cover everything but lavender makes it better.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Deep Thoughts

I started the day with a deep tissue massage. So needed after a tough week. While I was lounging after my treatment somehow the Saturday Night Live sketch "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" popped into my head. So, I decided to share this.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Add a pinch of salt...

Happy weekend! What better a way to kick off the weekend than with a relaxing bath. So, this evening I combed the web for recipes. Here's a quick recipe if you're looking to spend your Friday night laying low and don't want to spend a lot of money on fancy ingredients. Enjoy!

Simple Epsom Salt Bath

-Fill bathtub with hot water (or warm if you prefer)
-Add four generous handfuls of Epsom Salts (available at most grocery stores and pharmacies)
-Add 10 to 15 drops of an essential oil of your choice (choose lavender if you're generally stressed out or overwhelmed; or choose chamomile to calm and soothe your nervous system)
-Soak for 15 to 20 minutes
-Take a shower to rinse the salt from your skin (the salts can be drying)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful for the Ace Palm Springs

Today I'm thankful for the Ace Hotel Palm Springs and the time I'll be spending there with friends over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It's time to get outta Dodge, relax at the pool and stay up late.

Photo from poketo's photostream on Flickr.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In desperate need of a spa-cation

I'm finally emerging (at 10pm) from one of the more stressful days of my adult work life. I'm in desperate need of a vacation. I typically carry all my stress in my upper body. But today, it got so bad the tension crept all the way down to my spine to settle in my lower back. It got me to thinking. Is there some kind of a fellowship I can apply for which will allow me to spend the next six months on a spa-cation? If you find anything let me know. Until then, anyone want to sponsor my trip to the Four Seasons Nevis, West Indies?

Photo from Four Seasons website.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Spa deal

I've always wanted to check out the "Clinic" at Kate Somerville but could never justify it. Nestled into one of the Bungalows off Melrose Place in West Hollywood, it's always seemed like a place for the Hollywood elite not a regular girl like me. So, what better way to justify a splurge than a deal. This week Kate Somerville is offering 30% off treatments and its signature line of products. (Thanks Daily Candy.) If you're in the market for an oxygen facial, light therapy or just want something simple like the Kate Somerville Signature Facial book before November 24 for any treatment before December 31 and cash in the discount. Don't forget to mention Daily Candy upon booking. A Kate Somerville treatment might be exactly what you need to pull together the perfect look this holiday season. New clothing optional.

Photo from Kate Somerville website.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Almost famous

I'm famous, well almost. My friend Anna was in Los Angeles this past weekend shooting photos and blogging about the Parisienne experience for YSL. We met up for drinks at the Chateau Marmont and some pics of me and my friends Meredith and Brigitte made it on the YSL Experience PERISIENNE blog. Fancy. Kinda makes me want to buy the fragrance eventhough I'm not much of a fragrance kinda girl.

Photos by Anna Wolf.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Candle light

My man brought me home an adorable, affordable (O.K. cheap) candle the other night. It's shaped and smells like a pumpkin pie. Yum! It got me to thinking about all those delicious candles that you find as point-of-purchase sales at the spa. So, I was inspired to pull together a quick roundup of my favorites below. Some affordable. Some, well one in particular, not so much. The limited edition D.L. & Co. Sworovski crystal thorn apple candle isn't at the top of my holiday wish list but might be if I could justify anyone spending $420 on a candle. Let's just say I probably wouldn't return it to Barney's unless there was Phillip Lim little number for about the same price.

D.L. & Co. (Photo from D.L. & Co. site)

Voluspa Crisp Champagne

Lemongrass & Eucalyptus Candle (

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Under the weather

I've been under the weather. The worst part? Along with my cold came an infection in both my eyes! So, I'm wearing my very unstylish glasses and popping eye drops once an hour. By night, I’ve been using cold compresses (my optometrist’s preferred regimen). Cold wash cloths aren’t cutting it. And, I’ve realized I need a cooling eye mask like this one from Sephora.

Photo from Sephora website.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Miracle

Just outside Joshua Tree National Park, atop Miracle Hill in Desert Hot Springs, Calif. lays Miracle Manor, an affordable, motel-like spa retreat. Relax in the cold and hot spring mineral baths by day and retreat into one of the six guest rooms (two of which have full kitchens) by night. Perfect for a quick weekend away. With hiking trails aplenty nearby, I hope a weekend retreat like this one is in my cards.

Photo via Miracle Manor website. Credit April Greiman.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Slippery Slope

I've never been much of a slipper girl but I think the time has come. Now I've got to choose from among these beauties from JCrew. Eeny, meeny, miny, moe.

Photos via JCrew website.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered

I've been a longtime believer that massage is healthy. And I found out today that the famed Mayo Clinic agrees. Not only does massage help with stress management, but it may also be helpful in boosting the immune system, says the Mayo Clinic. According to this web article, "People with HIV who participated in massage studies showed an increased number of natural killer cells, which are thought to defend the body from viral and cancer cells." So, imagine the benefits it can have on those without compromised immune systems. Forget the swine flu vaccine, book a massage instead. Massages can also help reduce anxiety, promote infant growth, and decrease pain. As if I needed another reason to book a massage.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pining for the perfect spa robe

I'm not much of a robe girl at home but when I go to a spa I expect to find a stylish, yet functional, robe hanging in my locker. The sad truth is it rarely happens. They're always oversized and make me feel like I'm 10-years old again and playing in my mom's closet. So, I'm hunting down the perfect spa robe and I want one with a hood like this lovely from the Ace Hotel Palm Springs. Anyone have any suggestions?

Photo courtesy of Miyoko39 from Flickr.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Review: Harvest Spice Aromatherapy Massage

It's back! I found my review of the Harvest Spice Aromatherapy Massage at Dtox. This offer is only good for the month of October. Jump on it.

Oh Dtox, what have you done to me? I used to be a traditionalist. A 50-minute deep tissue massage kind of girl. But then I started trying out new treatments plucked straight from your monthly email specials. And with a Harvest Spice Aromatherapy Massage on tap this month, what’s a girl to do?

I checked in right about 2:30 pm and quickly slipped into my old routine Yes, I still remember my way back to the ladies changing room. (Seriously, it’s only been about a month.) After a quick rinse I pulled on my terry robe and my way to the co-ed waiting area. I grabbed myself some cucumber and lemon water and settled in on one of the chaise loungers. When it was my turn a female massage therapist introduced herself and escorted me off to the treatment room.

Full disclosure, I’ve already had this treatment before. The massage is essentially the Dtox Custom Massage with a “Harvest Spice Aromatherapy” add on. The treatment was everything I’d expected. The scent of Harvest Spice was subtle but instantly created a warm and relaxing cocoon in which I remained for the next 50 minutes.

Following the massage I was hesitant to wash the oil off my skin. I wanted to remember that scent. That is, until it started making me kind of hungry. That night and into the next day I had an insatiable appetite. I wanted potatoes, roasted veggies...pretty much anything that pairs well slice a pumpkin pie. Warning to dieters: steer clear if your will power is a little faint.

Why thank you Mister Parker

Just got an email from Mister Parker and had to share the news. For a limited time the Parker Palm Springs is offering an insane spa steal. From November 1 through December 29th book a $179 a night room Monday through Thursday and get a $200 spa credit. The catch? To seal the deal you have to book by midnight tomorrow (October 29). More details and fine print here. Who's in?

Photo courtesy of Parker Palm Springs website.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'm crushed...somehow I deleted my recent review of the Harvest Spice Aromatherapy Massage I had a few weeks back at Dtox Day Spa. Guess I got kinda trigger happy when messing around with widgets on this fancy tool we call the World Wide Web. I'm trying to resurrect it from somewhere in cyberspace. Hope to have it back online soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The sky is falling

I finally had the pleasure of eating at The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel last week. The food was incredible. Celebrity chef José Andrés sat at the table next to ours opening bottles of wine throughout the night. So L.A. Though I didn't get to check it out, next time I'm in the neighborhood Ciel Spa is on my list. From what I hear the white-on-white Philippe Starck-designed spa is one of the best new spots in Los Angeles. I'm saving my pennies for the Escape package which includes a 60-minute specialty massage, a 90-minute customized facial, spa lunch at the pool (cuisine by José Andrés) and finishes with a mani pedi. OK, so maybe I've got my head in the clouds.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Raising eyebrows

I am so bad about keeping my brows tweezed. But, with Flo & Steph's wedding right around the corner and friends flooding into town for the nuptials, it's time to hit Stark Waxing Studio. The oil-based wax they use removes hair without irritating my skin.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Birthday Bonanza!

I'm dedicating this post to someone very special who turned thirty something today. Here's to many more years of spa days, slumber parties, and flip flops with socks. Miss you lady! xoxo

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let's hear it for the boy

I’m not quite sure how or when it happened but I’m now a proud member of UrbanDaddy. I guess somewhere in cyberspace my identity was swapped and now spammers think I’m a dude. I'm not complaining. Especially when the UrbanDaddy membership comes with a 40% discount at Ona Spa in West Hollywood. I think I'll skip the Botox and cash in the discount for a massage. UrbanDaddy, Can you please hook me up with some discounted snowboarding gear soon? It snowed over a foot in Mammoth today. Thanks!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I caved...

I did it. I've been holding out all week and just couldn't stand it anymore. I booked an appointment tomorrow afternoon for the harvest spice aromatherapy massage at Dtox Day Spa. Check back soon for my review.

Good Day Sunshine

I don't often spend big bucks on skincare products. O.K., so maybe that's a little white lie. From time to time I cave and buy one or two expensive products following a good facial. There is, however, one exception: sunscreen. Being a redhead, I've spent most of my life dreaming of the perfect concoction. You know, something that provides full coverage while moisturizing but without causing breakouts minutes after application. After years of experimentation, I think I finally cracked the code thanks to Eminence Organics and its SPF 30 Sun Defense Minerals. I'd heard rumors about powdered sunscreen but had written it off until one enlightened esthetician told me this was the sole product she couldn't live without. So, I tried it. It's water-resistant (this part still blows my mind), organic, and doubled as my go-to foundation the entire summer. It comes in several shades from light to dark (I'm a No. 1). The powder is stored in a handy brush applicator making it super easy for girls on the go. Until something better comes along, I'm a total convert. What's your go-to sunscreen?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Land of Milk + Honey

On my first and only trip to Austin nearly four years ago my dear friend Lisa and I happened upon Milk + Honey day spa. It was Friday night and we were looking to make appointments somewhere nice but not the Four Seasons. Hotel spas often feel like massage factories. Word of mouth, and a quick Google search, landed us appointments the following day at Milk + Honey. It was the new kid in town back then. In fact, I think it had only opened a couple weeks earlier. I booked a facial, and Lisa a massage. I fell in love the moment I walked in the door. It was small, sweet…in every way a big city boutique day spa. Absolutely perfect. I remember having one of the best treatments of my life than rainy Saturday. Lisa must have too. We were so impressed, in fact, that we booked appointments to return the very next day.

On our way out the door we met founder Alissa Bayer. She told us her story of how she moved to Austin to attend graduate school, fell in love with the city and stayed. Just one thing was missing from Austin and that was a good day spa. Combining her business acumen with big-city spa sense, she opened Milk + Honey. Since that fateful day in January almost four years ago, I’ve watched Milk + Honey grow from afar. (They’ve now got two locations and a salon.) And I’m still on the email list even though I have no idea when I’ll ever land back in Austin. I guess I left a little piece of my heart in Austin, TX that weekend thanks to Alissa and to the land of Milk + Honey.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spa baby

Between tennis lessons and building sand castles on the beach, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. I couldn't help but share this adorable pic of my niece from our trip to Lana'i last summer. She's a total spa diva in the making. Love her!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Hello fall. It's been cooler than normal for October in Southern California and with the cool weather comes cravings for pumpkin spice lattes, roasted fall veggies, and butternut squash soup. There's just something in the air that makes me want to host potlucks and dig out my crockpot (even though the only thing I've ever successfully made in it is mulled wine). I'm just in a fall frame of mind. So when an email landed in my Inbox earlier this week from Dtox Day Spa I was beside myself. Included among this month's specials is a "harvest spice aromatherapy massage" with a $25 savings to boot. Yum! I think I might follow up my treatment with some curried pumpkin soup.

Monday, October 5, 2009

12-step program

Not sure when or how it happened. Maybe it was the plush terry robes. Or, the rubbery spa slippers. The smell? You know, the citrus-y, cucumber-y, lavender aroma that floats through the air the moment you walk into any good day spa-smell? Like I said, I’m not sure when or how it happened but it did. I have a confession to make. I’m a junkie. A complete spa addict.

I didn’t think it was a problem. I mean massages are good for one, right? But then I found myself rushing out of work a little early for a “personal appointment” on a Tuesday afternoon. I’d reason, “If I leave at 5 o’clock I can squeeze in a 50-minute massage and still have time to hit the steam room before dinner.”

So, admission is the first step. And this inaugural post is all part of my 12-step program. In the coming days, weeks and months I’ll share with you all those little things that led me here today. I’ll write about my favorite spas, treatments, robes, scents, even post-spa feasts. You can expect to find pretty much anything spa-related. What’s your addiction?