Recently I got sort of straightforward (maybe a better word would be "bitchy) and told Husband that in lieu of gifts for my birthday/mother's day/anniversary, which all happen to land in May, I would really appreciate if he and my mother joined forces to send me to a spa day. BFF has told me on a few prior occasions that I have a tendency of dictating my gifts and that is probably true but I'd rather have the money spent on me be for something I really want and will truly appreciate. See? That's very selfless! I don't want you to waste your money on me. Ha!
I had no idea that he would go to the lengths he did but on my birthday I was told that on Sunday, May 24, I would report to the very luxurious Ojai Valley Inn & Spa for a full day of pampering. I had no idea this facility was as giant as it was and tried to check in at the hotel instead of the spa, which was at least a minute's drive away with an additional minute's walk. I was running late and basically got lost in the parking lot and then again while walking to the spa. To top off my rapidly mounting anxiety, I stopped to pet a giant poodle named Barnaby who bit my pinky finger and I felt like no less than a hillbilly imposter in this amazingly bourgeoisie atmosphere. It was at this time I decided to pop a Xanax and chill out.
I was shown a locker, had some amenities explained to me and was handed a robe as I was being shuttled off to the first of my five appointments. My itinerary looked like this:
9 a.m. - Deep Tissue Classic Massage
10 a.m. - Seasonal Manicure
11 a.m. - Seasonal Pedicure
(I mean, it was Memorial Day weekend... 'Merica!)
After this, I had a break for lunch which was included in the astronomical price. I decided on the teriyaki salmon bento served with brown rice, steamed vegetables, cucumber salad and fruit. I also got a delicious serving of edamame as an appetizer. In true spa fashion, I ordered the pistachio mint smoothie made with banana, almond milk and agave. Can you even? I cannot. After I ate this lovely lunch alone, poolside, on a perfectly warm and sunny day, I went inside and napped until my next appointment which was:
2 p.m. - Orange Blossoms & Honey Wrap Body Treatment. I'll spend a moment on this because a) I didn't know what it was and b) it was amazing. It started out with a lovely young lady brushing my body with a bristled brush reminiscent of what would be used to groom a horse that removed who knows what from my person. After that I was slathered in oil and tucked into a cocoon of hot towels. While I was "baking" she applied hot oil to my scalp and massaged my head for no less than fifteen minutes. She insisted on some aroma therapy where I inhaled a bouquet of citrus. All the while, she alternated warm and cold compresses on my eyes. After I was done baking, I rinsed the oil from my body with water but no soap. I but was told to leave the oil on my hair until the next morning and I will say it has worked wonders on my 'do. I crawled back on the bed and a jojoba butter was applied liberally on my body and more massaging happened. AMAZING
3 p.m. - Deep Cleansing Facial. This was also a first for me. There was steam, a mask, pimple popping, another mask and more neck rubbing and moisturizing. I spent all day being massaged in some way or another and it was glorious. How glorious was it? Look at my face as I was about to dress to go home.
That is one happy mama and here is where this post will become less of a summary and more of a reflection. The amount of money spent on this day was no less than preposterous but it was worth ever single cent. Probably more. Sunday was the first "day" I have had since Casey was born almost five years ago where I was completely alone, no friends, no children, no family - Just "Mrs. Friday." Husband has only lived with me for about 18 months now but prior to that I played the very demanding role of full-time working single mom (sometimes pregnant) in charge of a household. Vacations? Not really. The only time we've been out of California as a married couple was for our honeymoon which was essentially a trip to attend a friend's wedding. Other than that it has been to Michigan to visit family, which while lovely, isn't exactly "vacation." Our dates are few and far between so I guess what I am trying to say is we live our life quite frugally and I deserved this splurge.
I don't want to seem bitter because I am not. I love my family and I love my life. But DAMN! I love being alone. I pine for it. When I got home to my excited children, I thought to myself how much better I could be for them if I was simply more rested. If I allowed myself the time to reset. To recharge. I am not doing myself any favors if I don't ever feel relieved. I don't foresee a spa day becoming a regular feature in my life unless I get a crazy raise but I highly recommend this experience to all you hardworking mamas out there. You owe it to yourself and to your family to "Treat Yo'Self."
Just want to sneak this in here for the next time I need to find it. I'm making dinner, now, which is totally new. Husband had put out some ground beef as if I know what to do with such things so I made the 2-minute tortellini from Costco, put half a jar of garlic Alfredo sauce on a burner and then seasoned the meat with this little number that I found on Google after searching "Italian seasoning for ground beef." Oddly specific no? Anyway, I tossed that all together and it was really delicious. Easy and totally something I'd do again. Like your mom.
1/2 tablespoon of salt
3/4 tablespoon of paprika
1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (I actually read this wrong and used 1/2 tablespoon and it was nice and spicy and I think actually quite good.)
1-1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon of fennel (I did not have this. Nor do I know what this is. Thus it was not included.)
Do you guys remember when I'd do a movie review a week minimum? The last time I went to a movie was in December or January. I had sort of tricked Husband into seeing Into the Woods because he didn't know it was a musical. I felt really bad about it so I never reviewed it but I will here now just for fun. Husband really, really disliked it and I liked it okay. There's not really much more to say about it other than it would have probably been better to see on stage instead of on film. However, the charming princes stomping around in the water while singing "Agony" was awesomely hilarious. Oddly enough, that film has something in common with Pitch Perfect 2 as they both star Anna Kendrick! Who, also oddly, I sort of didn't like at all when I first saw her in Up In The Air. Since then, well since Pitch Perfect, I have grown to like her quite a lot and even follow her on Instagram because in real life she is super funny and snarky and a great role model for young girls. Wow! That's a lot of words and links that essentially say very little.
PP2 picks up with the Bellas making a mockery of themselves when Fat Amy exposes her "down under" to the president and first lady while performing. Their champion reputation is tarnished and they are forbidden to perform unless it is at the world championship. This sequel was far more girl-centric than the original so I had guilt once again for exposing Husband - this time unintentionally - to another chick flick. I owe him so many action movies. It's true. If more of the male acapella bands were featured, the chip on his shoulder may have been slightly less. Not even a cameo by the Greenbay Packers could get me out of this one.
I laughed a lot in the form of sort of uncontrollable giggle fits. The cameos were appreciated. I loved all the songs and the performing. I did. I'm not proud of myself. The original is by far a more superior film but as far as sequels go, PP2 was not terrible. It is definitely not a "see in the theater" movie but Husband humored me because it was something I was super excited about and it was near my birthday and we'd just celebrated our anniversary dinner and he is nice and I'm not.
This year has been a rough one for me as far as television goes. Glee, Parks & Recreation and Mad Men all came to their end. The Mindy Project was canceled. Tom Bergeron bid farewell to America's Funniest Videos after fifteen years in my life. I have shed a tear or two, it's true. Luckily, I have Netflix. Orange is the New Black is back next month. And for now, there is Daredevil. Husband is a huge fan of podcasts and one podcast he listens to is Kevin Smith's who happens to be a big time comic book guy so he heard about this program. Since I, too, am down with the superhero, Husband sort of forced this show on me. He basically insisted I watch the first two episodes and now every time we have had a moment, guess what pops up on the TV?
This is essentially that critically panned Ben Affleck movie only better. I can't say that for fact as I have not seen the movie, but that is the word on the streets. Essentially, Matthew is a blind lawyer by day, crime fighter by night. It takes place in Hell's Kitchen after Loki's destruction in The Avengers so crime is rampant in the streets. It's very dark and gritty and everyone seems to be speaking in forceful yet hushed tones. Since Husband is hard of hearing, we watch with subtitles and there is a lot of colorfully descriptive "Bones Crunching" type adjectives on the screen at any given time. Lots of blood and realistic violence.
Somehow, I am totally okay with Superman flying and Bruce Banner transforming into Hulk and rich people like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark buying their way superhero status with a bunch of tech but the suspension of disbelief needed for me to accept a blind man fighting crime is simply too much. Matthew is BLIND but he can run through the streets of New York at warp speed and parkour his way up the sides of building to save someone. He can magically hone in on the sound of a ticking watch and identify a person using only this sound and then proceed use this sound to track him across town. From what Husband tells me, it will soon be revealed how he came to do this but it better be a good damned story for me to buy it. We've already learned he can take a punch like a champ and fight like the dickens because his dad was a professional boxer.
Does that mean I dislike Daredevil? Not at all. Right now Rosario Dawson and Vincent D'Onofrio are stealing the scene with their acting chops. Four or so episodes in, the storyline is actually quite gripping and I'm looking forward to being forced into watching more. There are villains galore plus it's New York, a city I love to see on screen. But the blind thing and the fact that I can't help but see Christine's husband sometimes when I look at Matthew, is making it hard for me.
On Friday after work, I dragged the kids to the park for an hour then we went to watch my nephew play flag football. He scored three touchdowns. So proud.
His grandmas were there, too. Kids love laying on Grandma Rhonda. Christa would not leave Gaga's purse or iPhone alone. For nothin'.
Saturday we stayed close to home. Look at this little monster. I love these PJs. And her hair. And those socks. And her.
My new favorite thing is watching these two play in the sandbox.
Sunday was the Strawberry Festival! We went early and had loads of fun, rocked out to some local Mexican music and ate some yummy food. Not too shabby.
After naps we played outside again because the weather was GORGEOUS.
This is mostly what I did on Saturday. Load up bookshelves, moved pictures around, basically gave the house a wee facelift. I'm quite happy with my new grownup looking casa. I'm super mature now because I'm 38. Or something.
One of my favorite parts of the morning is getting ready with Christa. Well, technically, I get ready and involve her as she sits on my counter top. This keeps her from emptying all the drawers and cupboards at my feet. I will dab her face with my powder sponge, put a little blush on her cheeks and gloss on her lips, brush her hair a bit. Today she decided to hijack all of the toothbrushes. I will eat her alive, you guys.
On Friday after work I felt like reheated garbage so I took the kids to "Old McDonald's" for happy meals. Casey was thrilled about the park. It's the little things.
Saturday was BFF's shower. We drank champagne, ate delicious nums, celebrated the beeps, made onesies. I won a game. Mostly it was amazing because it was outdoors with awesome grown up ladies and my children and husband were not there.
This was before we went to visit my Gran at the home. I love these kids. They make me so happy. Happy looks good on me I think.
Then we saw this doggie trunk surfing.
This is how Tutti rocks a dress. I want to be her.
My fam bam before brunch.
My ma and Tutti
My mother's day gift. I hate birds but I really like to feed them and offer them a bath at my home. I am a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Here's my wee flower bed that I work so hard to maintain. To fight the drought, I drag buckets of the kids' bathwater out every night so flowers can bloom for my buzzing bees and happy hummingbirds.
We let the kids play outdoors in their jammies after bath. Makes sense.
The end of Mothers Day. The Fridays. Happiness is.