Blogging is definitely a method of relaxation for me. Sitting with a cuppa by the window and editing my photos and writing away seems to send me into a little world of my own. And the best thing is, blogging doesn't cost you anything (well, perhaps the internet connection but that doesn't really count) But one thing that does cost us something is the subject matter we are writing about. Lunches, new dresses, lipsticks and even baking ingredients if you're a cupcake fiend. As a lifestyle blog if I didn't do/have these things, then what would I have to write about?
In the month of November I have been on the hunt for relaxation, as I mentioned in my last post. Taking myself away from the busy city and into the quiet of a spa and the countryside seemed like the right thing to do (and of course I was going to blog about it) But what is the true cost of relaxation? I'll be honest, if I hadn't been gifted the next few experience for review purposes then I probably wouldn't have been able to afford them at this time of year. Here are the gems where I have been relaxing my weary head recently...
I took a jaunt through to Edinburgh at the start of the month to The Guerlain Spa at the Caledonian Hotel for their Festive Spa and Sparkle Package.
The package included full use of the Spa facilities, a personalised fragrance journey, luxurious footbath, body exfoliation, on the move manicure and pedicure, touch of colour makeup application and a glass of champagne. The spa surroundings were beautiful and my therapist Jennifer could not have been more helpful and knowledgeable about Guerlain (who are renowned for their classic fragrances) I think this package would be perfect for before a Christmas night out or even earlier on in the day to kick start a day of Christmas shopping in Edinburgh. I always look at spa prices and think WOW, why so much? But if you break down the prices of each individual treatment then you are actually making a massive saving. This package in particular is the best one I've seen which offers so many treatments included in the price. The only thing I missed out on was the manicure because I already had shellac on and they didn't have anything to remove it with. So if you go then don't make the same mistake as me. Apart from that, it was festive and sparkly and lovely :)
Festive Spa and Sparkle - £140 for 1 hour 30 minutes
Shopping and spa treatments seem to be a combination that go very well together. A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to the Next store at Braehead, for a wander around and look at their new Christmas range. Along with gorgeous party dresses and christmas jumpers they also have the loveliest collection of gifts and homeware so I managed to pick up a few bits of christmas shopping while I was there too. You guys already know how much I love Next as there is something for every member of the family there so I won't gush on about it too much.
We then popped along the motorway to Mar Hall for afternoon tea and a spa treatment. Mar Hall is in Erskine but sits on the clyde looking across in the direction you would drive to Loch Lomond. I had an ample amount of cakes and sandwiches and proceeded to fall asleep during my treatment, it was so relaxing, I didn't want to leave :( I'd had quite a stressful week beforehand and was feeling quite anxious that day, so this was the perfect chance to properly wind down and relax and I am very grateful to Next for treating us so well. That day really cleared my head and prompted me to get all of my christmas shopping done, and I'm all organised now so that's one less thing to worry about as the shops get manic and far too busy.
DECLEOR Aroma Full Body Massage - £75.00 for 55 mins
I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to kick start a healthy body as well as a healthy mind, so to get back on the fitness wagon I went for a Shrinking Violet Wrap at the beautiful Chamomile Sanctuary Spa in Edinburgh. The science behind this wrap is that is uses Lipolysis via heat transfer, which disrupts and changed the permeability of the fat cell membranes. This causes the cell to release intra-cellular fat and reduces the size and shape of fat cells without affecting the surrounding structures of skin, blood vessels and peripheral nerves. In simpler terms, they brushed me down, covered me in oil, and wrapped me up in a sort of heavy duty cling film for an hour! But the method definitely works as I lost a total of 6 and 3/4 inches from around my body.
You get marked and measured before the treatment begins, then measured again at the end. While wrapped up in my plastic cocoon I had an express facial, and despite the overall wrap experience not meant to be relaxing as its priority, I fell asleep (again) and actually woke myself up snoring! Which I hope is a compliment to the therapist as I was very relaxed and comfortable in my surroundings :) I was worried that the wrap was going to be a bit claustrophobic, but it was actually very cosy and warm and I was quite sad when she cut me out of it at the end :( I wanted to stay wrapped up like that for a few more hours!
Overall I lost 3/4 inches from one thigh, 1 inch from the other, 1/2 an inch from around my bum, 1/2 an inch from my abdomen, 1/2 an inch from my waist, 2 inches from under my bust and 1 and 1/2 inches from above my bust. This treatment would be perfect if you're looking to kick start healthy eating and fancy a bit of a detox to get you started.
Shrinking Violet Wrap - £50 (normally £65) for 90 minutes
What do you do to stay relaxed? If money was no option then I would go for a spa treatment once a month. It's always the sort of thing that you would buy as a gift for a friend but never book for yourself (as I said before, we are pretty rubbish at being selfish) But afterwards you feel amazing and I always think I NEED to do this more often. My sanity would benefit from it greatly!