Experience ‘Me-Time’

by Ella patterson

In this blog you will experience many Me-Time Rituals that you can incorporate into your lifestyle of pampering.

Today you’re going to understand why spending small amounts of quality time on pampering are important to your inner pleasures.

At some point this week you need to schedule time to do something that you love while alone. Take a walk, have a long luxurious shower or bath, read a favorite blog, work on a scrapblog, eat your favorite dessert, complete a sewing project, or watch a movie. It does not matter what you do with your ‘me-time’ just as long as you take time to treat yourself special. It’s all about YOU!

A true diva loves her self and attends to her needs in more ways than one. She’ll spend at least an hour or more each day taking care of herself. Taking time to feel pampered, petted, stroked and cared for is easier than most people think.

When you finally start loving yourself, don’t worry; you are not being selfish; you deserve all of it! Listed below are over 150 pampering treats. Many women contributed to this chapter and gave their version of what ‘me-time’ means to them. As you read you’ll notice they are similar, yet very different in their approach and fulfillment. Read, enjoy and indulge in them in your own ways.

Become a Diva
1. Be a Diva for a day. Avoid any effort or stress. Stay in bed; take frequent naps, baths, and pampering moments. If you decide to get out of bed stay in your pajamas. Have food delivered, drink herbal tea and relax. Do only what you want and what you like during your Diva moments.

2. Create rituals that make you feel pampered and cared for. Stop to take in life’s wonderful beauty and the experiences that make your life more enjoyable. Indulge in the kind of rituals that make you feel like your life is worthwhile.

My friend Carol sets aside an hour each day to do something for herself. She gets out her best bath oils and takes a long soothing bath without interruption. Another friend, Marva, sips wine from time to time and relaxes by watching a movie.

Why not develop your own me-time rituals that will help you unwind or relax after a long day. What rituals can you develop for yourself?

Create A Passion Boudoir

by Ella Patterson

French women are famous for creating the sexiest bedrooms in the world, and like many French women, today’s homemakers often plan for sex and decorate creating evocative, enticing bedrooms. Here are a few suggestions for creating a Passion Boudoir.

Flattering colors contribute to personal beauty and are erotically appealing. Choose seductive colors like rouge red, lipstick reds, creamy peaches, and subtle pinks. Make sure the colors enhance your natural beauty. Be daring and use bold colors on the walls.
Luscious fabrics will set the stage for pampering times. Use silky, velvet, and chenille textures in combination with fluff textures. Use fabrics that remind you of a favorite-shared memory. Exotic patterns, such as animal prints or tropical florals, conjure images of faraway journeys.

Placing mirrors in unusual places, such as the tops of dressers or side tables, reflect dancing candlelight. Tropical plants and trees, uplit with special lights, also cast exciting shadows. An intimate bistro table, set with two chairs, invites private conversations.

Dressing tables, furnished with feminine accessories and intimate objects, add mystery and romance to a room. The presence of a bed tray suggests the possibility of the ultimate pleasure: breakfast in bed, while soft lighting, candles, essential oils in a diffuser, and gentle oscillating fans effectively complete the décor in a Passion Boudoir.

Create An Exotic Bedroom

by Ella Patterson

If you want a topical bedroom, all it takes are a venturesome spirit, a discerning eye, and imaginative details. Your bedroom can be a temporary escape from your daily routine as it transports you to some tropical island.

Choose a statement piece – a unique bed, distinctive piece of artwork or sculpture, or perhaps an exotic rug or fabric. You may choose a plantation style canopy bed, and then stylize it with bamboo flooring, grass-cloth wall coverings, and a large breezy ceiling fan. Use materials and colors indigenous – anything from cool seaside hues and bleached driftwood to spicy Mediterranean colors and chiseled stone.

Choose the accents and accessories, potted palms, tribal textiles, animal prints, and one-of-a-kind-lamps. Today the products and designs from around the world are more accessible, so creating an exotic bedroom is easy. All you need is a sense of adventure.
For example, African drums create unique nightstands and accent table. Asian temple doors make wonderful room separators and headboards. Beaded shawls and embroidered textiles fabricate fascinating pillows, draperies, and table runners. Tribal rugs make head-turning blankets. Liberally display pieces gathered from travels. Each item has the power to add significantly to the room’s uniqueness.

For example, the Moroccan theme flourishes with rich spicy colors, a harem of decorative pillows, and metallic accents throughout. Many cultures use unique carvings and woodwork to put their own signature of style on distinctive furnishings. Incorporating these pieces into your décor instantly imparts the flavor of the land from which it came.

Create A Modern Bedroom

by Ella Patterson

Creating Your Modern-Sophisticated Bedroom
For some people, the clean lines and uncluttered simplicity of the modern bedroom create a sanctuary that cannot be beaten. It is peaceful in its purity, refreshing in its refinement. Clutter is not welcome here.

Floors set the stage with cool concrete, light-tones polished woods, or structures carpets. The rule is sleek and spare. Walls become canvases of bold or demure colors and play host to expanses of glass, translucent doors, focused art, and architectural attributes.
The bed is often the modern-styled suite’s focal point and, therefore, its style is very significant. Bedding should be tailored and simple. A sleigh bed of stainless steel, a cushioned armchair fashioned from stone will give a modern accent to your bedroom.
Furniture is selected to heighten the room’s style. The importance of its design is only equaled by the function it serves. Window treatments, when necessary, are minimal and restrained; so are accessories. Bold statements of art, sculpture, and ingenious light fixtures are often the most fitting ways to accent the room while keeping it pristine and clean.

The trick is to remain focused on the simplicity and clarity of the space while being imaginative in its design details. Sophisticated bedroom welcomes you with a sense of elegance, a simple rich ambiance.

Mutes tones unify the elements of room surfaces, furnishings, and accents. The key to creating a sophisticated bedroom is simplicity. Soft natural shades of taupe, ivory, gray and brown most successfully accomplish this. A juxtaposition of materials flavors the room with a mix of rough and refined; linen plays against polished wood, glass pairs with chiseled stone, and velvet teams with marble. Use texture rather than patterns to bring pampered rhythm and motion to the space. Lines of the furnishing should be round, keep them cleaned and uncluttered. A monochromatic color scheme on floors, walls, and ceilings, creates the ideal background.

Assorted woods may be paired; fabric and leathers of same tones should be combined. The interplay of tones and textures, rather than multiple colors and bold patterns, shapes the room’s visual interest. Tailored window treatments are understated. Simple details like vases, pillows, lamps, candles, rug, art, and beautiful throws finish the room brilliantly.

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Create A Relaxed Bedroom

by Ella Patterson

Creating a Relaxed & Comforting Bedroom
Close your eyes and imagine the most comforting bedroom you can think of. Imagine a pile of fluffy pillows, a lofty down comforter, and stream of natural light warming the room, soft colors, patterns, blond wood floors, white sheer draperies swaying in the breeze. If this is the kind of bedroom you think about, the relaxed-style bedroom is for you.

The relaxed-style bedroom is made for sunny afternoon naps and leisure weekend mornings spent reading in bed. It is soft, nurturing and peaceful. The relaxed bedroom is perfectly suited for beachfront cottages or a cabin in the woods.

The relaxed bedroom is a celebration of simple and honest detail. All the senses are nurtured with the freshness and calmness of the room. Every element must be chosen for its ability to bring visual and emotional serenity to the space.

The floors should be soft underfoot with polished wood, scattered rugs, or natural sisal. The walls padded in sun-washed colors, may be covered with painted paneling, floral or striped papers, or satin-finished paint. Cool and tranquil, blue and white are classic color companions in a relaxed bedroom. A splash of bright sunny yellow or spring green brings warmth to the space and adds a touch of cheer.

The bed should be grand and impressive or low and understated. In either case, it is the linens that cover it and set the tone for the room. Buy quilted cotton, soft linen, and warm woolen blankets mixed and matched with downy pillows and cushy bolsters.

Windows welcome the outdoors in and when necessary, soft sheers, natural blinds, or painted shutters can provide privacy. Softly shaded lamps help illuminate the area with a peaceful glow. There are no fads or fashion criteria to the relaxed bedroom, only time that caresses with the ease and blissfulness of its style.

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Create Ambience at Home

Creating Ambience in Your Home
Remember … creating your special place – a place of comfort and serenity – one that is personal and has everything you love is what makes your home reflect your taste.

Lighting: To set a relaxing and comforting mood, pay special attention to the lighting. Install a dimmer switch or place a small lamp in a corner. The shimmer and glitter of small bulbs from a chandelier can create a special atmosphere.

Candles: It’s wonderful to set the mood for a romantic evening or decadent bath with flickering candles arranged on tables. In the bathroom place candles around the tub, on the counters, or even in cans on the floor. If you use scented candles, be sure not to mix too many fragrances. Find one you like and concentrate on one scent.
Bubble Baths: Have luxurious bubble bath or bath oil ready to pour into your water. The bubbles will look and feel fun, the oil will make your skin soft, and you’ll feel so good you may never want to get out!

Towels: Be sure to invest in some wonderful, thirsty, thick, and large towels. When you get out, you’ll be able to wrap yourself and hold the warmth inside. Invest in a luxurious terry or satin bathrobe to snuggle inside.

Lounge Chair: If your bathroom is large enough, consider putting a lounge chair, bench, or comfortable chair in the room. You’ll be able to get out of the tub and not have to go to another room to sit down until you’re ready.
To be honest a man doesn’t really know a woman until he’s seen her home. From the sofa to the rugs on the floor, each makes its own statement about who the woman is.
Your pampered happy home is your own and you’ll want to cherish it and the things you bring into it.

Creating your pampered home is as easy as using your five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, and tasting.

 

Create A Private Sanctuary

Your home does not have to be expensively decorated to display neatness. Your goal should be to make your house a home by adding touches of comfort that personalizes your space.

Have you ever walked past a stranger who was wearing your favorite scent and thought, “Wow he smells good enough to eat? Or have you ever gotten goose bumps and felt tingly inside when you heard a song that reminded you of a past lover? Have you ever seen a man that looks so good you just had to say something to him? If you answered yes to any of these questions that means your senses kicked in during these times.

These are the same senses you’ll use to create a home that’s good enough to love. You’ll achieve the look, smell, sight, sound and taste in your home that you want by creating the kind of home you really want.

Read on to find out how to make your house, apartment condo, ranch or whatever feels like a pampered Queen’s paradise.

What Does Your Home Look Like?
What do you see as you walk up to the front door of your home? Do you see a comfortable and relaxing zone or a war zone? Does it make people who visit feel warm and welcome? Let’s examine this a little further.

Start by painting your front door a welcoming color. Your entryway is the important transition between the outside world and your home. The color you choose should be warm, inviting and friendly. To add more personalization, place some colorful flowering plants on your front steps and hang positive flags that flutter gently in the breeze. Hang a sentimental welcome sign on your door to make your guests feel good.

Now, step over the threshold into the entryway to your home. Is it bright and joyful? Is it inviting? Is it calming and sensitive? Does it display peacefulness? Do your guests feel welcome? Is it clean? Is your entryway dark or dingy?

Try hanging brightly colored artwork or mirrors to reflect light. Different colors can evoke different feelings. Try to find soft, welcome colors that embody feelings of security and peace. Consider using blue for relaxation, yellow for energy, red for passion, and white for clarity. Keep this area clean and free of clutter.

What Does Your Home Sound Like?
Step inside; close your front door, stop and listen. Most people are surprised to discover that the ambient sound level in their homes is quite high. As you listen, consider what kinds of sounds you hear. Are they happy sounds such as birds chirping, joyful music or children playing? Is it the stressful noise of traffic or fussy neighbors? Is it the irritating noise of phones ringing, dogs barking or vehicle engines?

Your living room is where the outside world bursts in through telephones, televisions, radios and computers. Just as you wouldn’t allow a boisterous guest to ruin the ambience, don’t let the noise of the world overstay its welcome.

Create a retreat atmosphere by switching off everything that makes noise. Don’t leave the television on if no one is watching and don’t use it as background noise while you are busy elsewhere.

If you desire pleasant sounds here’s an alternative. Play gentle music that can be heard upon entering your home. Be sure that you have a radio or stereo close by so that you can lounge with the sound of beautiful music in the background. Don’t play anything too loud, or distracting, but rather soothing and pampering.

What Does Your Home Feel Like?
Walk into your home and look around. What do you feel upon entering? Does it feel safe, peaceful, happy and comfortable? Does it have the feeling of love and care? Does your lover enjoy the atmosphere of your home? Do people in general feel welcome and never want to leave? Does your guest feel comfortable? Are they at peace while in your home? Do you find that it takes a long time to say goodbye to guests or do they have a hard time leaving? If so, they probably like where they are. People are reluctant to leave a place where they feel calm, welcome, and warm.
Your home should display continuous comfort for others as well as yourself. It should display an inviting, and beautiful environment and it should always be a retreat from the outside world.

What Does Your Home Smell Like?
Your home is the perfect place to explore aromatherapy with bath salts, candles, oils and soaps. Quality, not quantity is important, so shop for pure oils, essences and beeswax candles with a pure cotton wick. Products containing pure oils and essences have stronger healing properties than those made from chemicals.
Research has shown that one of the fastest ways to influence mood is through smell. Some aromatherapy scents to consider: roses for romance, soothing aroma of vanilla for comfort, delicate scents of lavender, geranium or rosemary for relaxation, fresh fragrances of orange or peppermint for energy.

What Does Your Home Taste Like?
Your home is the place to celebrate life and nourishment. Honor your family heritage and create a dish similar to one you might experience while on a romantic date. Use all of your taste buds: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and taste textures such as crunchy, creamy or chewy.

Are you stuck in a taste rut with not enough zest in your food? Buy a new spice like cardamom or turmeric. Eat slowly, chew often and savor every bite of your food. Experiment by creating ethnic dishes together with good friends to nourish and to also sustain both your body and your spirit.

Continue to find ways to make your house an oasis of sensitivity and love by enhancing the environment. Include the man in your life as well as all who visit. Remember good food, good friends and good drinks bring good times.

Host A Pampering Party

Host a ‘Girl’s Night In’ Pamper Party
Good times, good friends, good food, good drinks…
What more could a girl ask for.

Get together with a few of your good friends, a few bottles of good wine, and some healthy appetizers. Add soothing music, relaxing massages, beauty treatments, great conversation and the good times are wonderfully invigorating ways to spend an evening with your best girlfriends.

It’s about midnight on a Friday, and lavender aromatherapy scents fill the air. The party is going strong. Wine, champagne, sparkling water, cold drinks, fresh vegetables, cheese, sliced fruit assorted meats and seafoods are spread out on a table.

Here’s an example. The sounds of soothing instrumental music and voices of happy women fill the air. One woman is feeling so good she’s closed her eyes. Her head is cushioned, her feet are being massaged and a joyous smile is planted on her face.

Another is stretched out on a massage table – lying in a semi-dark private room, enjoying a firm pair of hands that are working methodically over all parts of her stressed body.

Two other women are experiencing soothing mud pack facials. Another is wrapped in a fluffy white bathrobe and stretched out on a lounger with cucumbers on her eyes. There’s another woman sitting with headphones on her head with hot paraffin wax moisturizer on her hands and feet.

Four others are relaxing with their hair wrapped in towels and their feet soaking in basins of warm, scented water. “Mmmm,” one sighs. “This is simply divine.” Another one moans, “God knows I needed this.”

Welcome to the latest embodiment of girls’ night out: ‘the girl’s night in’ pamper party. By day, these women lead busy lives. One is a homemaker and mother of five children, one works in a doctor’s office, one works for the largest air conditioning company in the world, one runs a catering company. Another is a flight instructor and another is an hotelier. So to relieve stress they gather every few months at one of their homes, put on soft music, change clothes and let massage therapists and other professionals work their magic.

“It’s more intimate than a health spa,” says Marva, the flight instructor. “And your time is not limited. It’s very stimulating to get together with other women to discuss pampering, men, relationships, goals and to network.”

Day spas are recognizing this girl’s night in trend by offering mobile services. Added to this is an expanding array of do-it-yourself kits sold in stores nationwide with everything from aromatherapy candles to body scrubs, and it’s clear that home spa treatments are becoming more popular.

The setting can be luxurious (a hotel suite with a fleet of beauty technicians) or intimate (a few friends giving one another facials at your home). Some pamper parties have included as many as 20 women, but there are many ways to enjoy them and scale down the cost.

‘Girls Night In’ Pamper Party Formula
Unwind, relax and distress with the aid of a therapist, give your girlfriends a range of complimentary therapies. Choose from the following types of spa treatments. (See also Spa Treatments and Benefits in the back of this blog.)

Indian head massage Aromatherapy Body massage
Hot stone massage Indonesian massage
Ayurvedic therapy Hopi ear candles
Holistic facial Holistic pedicure Reflexology
Cupping Reiki
Tibetan head massage Thai seated massage
Korean hand massage Algae body wrap
Ayurvedic leg/foot ritual Indian spice body polish

It is really up to you to choose the type of pampering treatments that you or your guests will appreciate. A massage helps relax your guests and can be accompanied by beauty treatments or complimentary therapies.

Many spas bring every element of the spa to you, with a custom menu of pampering for your group. Enjoy luxurious treatments in the comfort and convenience of your home with the same sensory details that you experience in a spa – aromatherapy, relaxing music, candles, robes and slippers.

In addition, you can give a spa gift of an aromatherapy candle and either bath salts, neroli mist or foot balm. It’s up to you!

How To Host A Pamper Party
You can choose to host the party as a gift to your best friends or family members or have everyone select and pay for their own services. It’s as simple as sending out an invitation, taking everyone’s spa treatment order and taking care of everything by creating a schedule for the technicians, sending the correct number of people and spacing out the appointments so that you have ample time to relax and chat.

Pamper Parties can include express facials, 30 minute massages, manicures, and pedicures or the works which might include a series of treatments for each person. Make sure they last long enough for your guests to simultaneously beautify and socialize.

Mixing A Pamper Party with A Blog Party!
You can combine a pampering party with a blog club party. This can really make your pampering party fun.’ Here’s how to do it.

• Issue invites to your party by sending them out attached to your bestseller Pampering Pleasures or Sexual Healing.
• Instruct everyone read the blog before they come to the party.
• Use decorations that reflect the theme of the blog.
• Use homemade blogmarks as napkin holders.
• Read a chapter together at the party. (The host gets to select the featured chapter.)
• A mother-daughter Pamper-Blog Club party is a great idea too. Be sure to choose a chapter that both of you will enjoy.
• Use elegant gloves as napkin holders. Place the napkins half way inside the gloves.
• To keep conversation going use a beautiful purse to hold questions about the blog. Pass the purse along to each guest to get everyone involved. Guests can place their questions in the purse upon arrival.
• Provide blogmarkers as gifts or guests can create their own.
• Have the each guest write his or her initial on a piece of felt with a marker. Later, you can hand stitch their initials to give at the next blog club gathering.
• Coordinate the activities so that they flow smoothly and every guest gets equal amounts of pampering.

“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.”
– Betty Smith

Ella Patterson is a published author

Drifting Off

A good night’s sleep is delicious and essential for our mental and physical health. Sometimes we’re so wound up we can’t manage to drift off, and the minutes tick by as we lie awake. Just as you’d prepare for waking activities, try preparing for sleep. Make time to soothe yourself. Sleep can’t be forced; relax as you approach.

What you’ll need: lavender and chamomile essential oils, candles, towel

Relaxing Baths:
Draw a warm bath. Do not make it too hot. You should be able to enter the bath comfortably and remain in it for half an hour. After the bath fills, add 10 to 20 drops each lavender and chamomile essential oils, and agitate the water with your hand to mix. Light some candles around the tub and turn off the lights. Enter the tub and lie back. Close your eyes and slowly run your thoughts through your mind. Whenever you find tension, consciously try to release it. Soak for 30 minutes, letting go of every day stress.

Deep Belly Breathing:
This kind of breathing can be very calming. After one of your baths; lie comfortably in bed on your back. Breathe in deeply through your nose, filling your lungs to the full capacity; your upper chest should rise as your lungs fill. Exhale through your mouth. Listen to your breath as you exhale. Next, as you inhale through your nose, focus on breathing into your abdomen as well as your chest. Exhale through your mouth. Repeat this pattern for up to 100 breaths, or until you fall asleep.

Sleep Inducer:
Soak in tea instead of drinking it before going to bed. Steep four bags each of tangerine lavender and chamomile tea in a pot of boiling water. Add this mixture to your bath and submerge yourself in the tub. Close the room up to seal in the steamed aroma. Relax for ten minutes or more as you inhale the scents. You’ll be able to fall asleep sooner after the sleep inducer bath.

Refining Your Hands

A woman’s hands are exposed to the elements daily from washing dishes to typing emails. Great looking hands and nails make a strong impression and so do troubled ones. If your hands are dry, your nails are brittle or uneven, or your cuticles are hard and curling, its time for some hand help. Overworked hands need care and attention to look their best. (See Nail Care)

 

What you’ll need: lavender essential oil, cuticle cream.

v  Soak The Hands: Soak your hands with warm water. Add 2 drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender acts as a soothing antibacterial agent, helping to clean and disinfect nail beds. Immerse the tip of your fingers into the water making sure your nails and cuticles are completely covered. Soak for five minutes. This softens the cuticles and helps prepare the nails for additional care. Apply cuticle cream on a regular basis.

v  Exfoliation and Grooming: Exfoliate with your favorite scrub, working from the top of your hand up your fingers to the nails and around the cuticles. Rinse; then with an emery board (metal files can damage nails), file each nail from one side to the center with one smooth movement and repeat from the other side. Push back cuticles using an orange stick wrapped in a small piece of cotton (never cut your cuticles, as this can cause infection).

v  Hydrating Massage: Your hands have fewer oil glands than the skin on the rest of your body. Apply an extensive restorative lotion, such as vitamin E or hemp to keep them well hydrated. Disperse a small amount in your hands and rub them together to spread the lotion evenly. While hydrating your skin, give yourself a simple massage to help relieve hand fatigue. With your thumb, rub deeply in small cuticles all over your palm and along the length of each finger.

v  Nail Buffing: Finish your manicure by giving your nails a natural shine, using a buffing file or block. Hold the buffer between your thumb and finger; curl the fingers of your other hand in toward your palm. Slightly extend one finger at a time and use the buffer in a back and forth motion across each nail, using quick, smooth strokes to give nails a long lasting polished shine.