Hartwell House Hotel and Aromatherapy Associates – Anti-Bucket List 2015 Update

Health & Beauty, The Anti-Bucket List, What's Happening?

One of the best things about putting ‘visiting Spa’s’ on my Anti-Bucket List is getting to do one of my favourite things…. visit spa’s!

Last weekend I had the complete joy of visiting a new spa near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, at Hartwell House Hotel with my lovely friend L.J. Ross.

Our rather stunning room

Our rather stunning room

The old manor house has been turned into a hotel in the most beautiful way.  It has retained the feel of a house, keeping four large drawing rooms with fire places for guests to relax in (or read and write within as was the case with us – what can I say, it’s all rock n’ roll when two writers go away).  With such a number of drawing rooms and a library available to use, it never feels crowded.  There was more than one moment when I felt like I was in Downton Abbey, especially when walking down the engraved, ornate staircase.

The Spa is in the old stables and has been wonderfully converted, again very sympathetically, complete with the required beige stone and soothing music.  The Spa uses Aromatherapy Associates a product that surprisingly, I hadn’t tried before.  The smell was delicious, not as fragrant as other products but I think that is a good sign.  It shows that there aren’t high levels of chemical perfumes added.

Unknown-3I had the Aromatherapy Associates Essential Rose Facial with Back Massage.  Starting with the back massage the therapist focused on my shoulders after I told her it was my area of concern and then went into the facial, complete with an amazing head massage.  I honestly felt like a new woman and my skin looked so clean and radiant, wonderful.  My wonderful co-assistant reviewer had an Indian Head Massage which she enjoyed but would have liked more time spent on her head and less on her shoulders as her back is so ticklish.  Thank God I don’t have that problem, couldn’t imagine not liking back massages!

I was very impressed by the products and went on to buy the Rose Face Mask and Rose Facial Tonic, which I am enjoying using.

Overall, I loved Hartwell House Hotel and Spa.  So much so that I am planning on taking husband there and it is high on my list of favourite hotel.  An amazing big tick of the Anti-Bucket List 2015, but I think I will happily add it again and again! 🙂

Make my day and follow this blog by hitting FOLLOW on the right hand side (at the bottom if you are reading this on your phone).

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Breathing Space Spa, Harpenden & ESPA Review

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty

Walking into Breathing Space, you walk into a busy cafe selling delicious healthy juices and meals, with a buzzy reception desk and people heading to Yoga or Pilates in their studio but as you walk upstairs you are transported into a wonderful calming haven.  Large sofas with luxurious throws.  Dark, beautifully carved wooden furniture that looks like it has just arrived from Bali.  Dimmed lighting and  the obligatory calming music means you could only be expected to do one thing, relax.

I hunted out Breathing Space because I am in love with ESPA treatments.  I don’t mean the products (which I also love) but the actual treatments.  ESPA have very specific training and way of doing treatments they expect all therapists who use ESPA to keep to.  Having trained in them myself when I worked The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, London, I really do know just how fantastic they are.  One of my favourite things is their philosophy that a treatments should be holistic and dedicated to you.  Their treatments are also very effective but non-invasive, a perfect combination.  I could go on and on about how fantastic ESPA is, but I think you get the point.

As with all things, an ESPA treatment is only as good as the person giving it.  I had a massage and facial and both were fantastic.  They upheld ESPA’s high standards perfectly and my skin felt and looked radiant afterwards.    The therapist took an interest in what I wanted to get from the treatment and could adapt the treatment to make sure that was what she focused on.  In the massage that was a lot of extra work around my shoulders.  In the facial, using regenerative and hydrating products and doing a lot of draining and massage on my face to help clear the layers underneath the skin and tension I hold in my jaw.

I do think Breathing Space is quite expensive, but I do think that you are paying for quality and in this case, it was worth every penny.

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 24 – Super Smoothie

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Love a Super Smoothie

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 24 – Super Smoothies

I love a smoothie.  I just love imagining my cells being flooded with goodness as I drink them.  So yummy and the fruit helps settle my sweet-tooth as well.

My real tip though is use Coconut Water in place of Milk.  Great if you want to cut down on lactose and Coconut water is fantastic and rehydrating your body naturally.  And the Coconut flavour goes great with fruit.

images-2

My Favourite Smoothie Recipe

  • 250ml of Coconut Water
  • 10 Strawberries
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • Tablespoon of Oats (keeps you fuller for longer)

Also, hoping the summer weather stays, you can chuck a lot of ice cubes in to make it seriously refreshing.

Happy smoothing x

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 18 – Honey Mask

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Yummy Honey

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 18 – Honey Maskimages-1

Honey makes are great mask as it helps reduce and prevent wrinkles & softens the skin.  Plus it couldn’t be easier.

  • Cleanse your face so lovely and clean
  • Rinse with warm water to open your pores
  • Smoother your face in lovely Honey
  • Leave for 10 or 15 mins and wash off.
  • Admire your lovely honey skin!

Happy masking x

 

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 17 – Eyebrows

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Tame the Brow

UnknownSpring Health & Beauty Tip 17 – Eyebrows

Use a tiny touch of vaseline to sculpt your eyebrows into shape.  Particularly useful if you have an eyebrow hair that won’t go the way you want it to!  The more you do it, you maybe able train the hair to grow a certain way.

Personally I often use mascara instead, I find the brush helps me move the eyebrow hairs to exactly where I want them and saves using an eyebrow pencil.

Happy brushing x

 

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 11 – Sugar Scrub

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Exfoliate your skin in the sweetest way

Spring health & Beauty Tip 12 – Make Your Own Sugar Scrub

Exfoliating is great for your body as well as your face.  The fantastic news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy products, you can make delicious products at home.  I personally LOVE this recipe.

Mix some Sugar with a little Olive Oil into a stiffish paste.  Add a drop of Geranium essential oil (Lavender will work well too if that’s what you have).  And that’s it, a delicious Sugar Scrub.

Warm-Vanilla-Sugar-Scrub-3

In the shower, scrub, rinse, done!  You are all exfoliated and soft, no trouble!

If you prefer a Salt scrub, swap the sugar for Salt.  I personally find that Himalayan Salt has the best result and makes the skin feel best.  But I am assuming that you already have Sugar in the cupboard so may be best?!

Happy Scrubbing x

By the way did you know you can follow this blog? Just enter your email on the link on the right of this post (under all the stiff about me) then you will get these tips delivered straight to your inbox.

You can also follow me on twitter @njbrn or Facebook InnerHaven

New Years Resolutions – How Are You Doing?

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Goals
Leanne

The lovely Leanne Clack

How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions?  Well I have been speaking with the fantastic Leanne Clack who has done amazingly well, completing a 21 day detox in January.  When speaking with Leanne just before she started she said

I was nervous about sticking to it but had been feeling so sluggish and put on weight over Christmas so I was determined to do it.

Leanne’s 21 Day Detox meant that she was only going to be eating pure, clean foods.  Basically vegetables, fruit, whole grains and nuts.  I can’t lie I was horrified at the thought.  I gave up alcohol for January and that was enough.  I’m all for eating well, but no coffee?  Step too far for me!

Leanne didn’t just decide I wanted to do it and start there and then.  She planned it and think’s that it was part of that planning that was key in her success.

I cleared out one kitchen cupboard that was just for me and only had food that I could eat inside it.  So when I was feeling peckish and tempted I could just open that cupboard and know everything in there I could eat and snack from and I made sure that it was full of really yummy things.

It also gave me time to go online and hunt out some delicious recipes such as the Mango ‘Ice Cream’ so I still felt like I was having treats.

I am terrible that if I know I am starting a diet or healthy eating plan, I use the time to binge on all the items I am planning on giving up as it will be my last chance to eat them, I have always considered this a fantastic argument but Leanne used to the time to start trying to get used to a healthier way and lower her sugar and caffeine intakes so it wasn’t a complete shock to her body when she cut them out altogether.  When you think about this for longer than a nano-second, clearly makes a lot more sense than my way.

Once on the detox a typical day for Leanne was;

  • Porridge made with water or rice milk with blueberries for breakfast
  • Homemade vegetable soup for lunch
  • Vegetable stir-fry with wholegrain rice for dinner
  • Snacks included fruit, peanut butter (as long as it is 100% natural) and nuts.

I also made sure that I ate plenty of quinoa, humous and nuts for protein.

It wasn’t all plain-sailing though.  I saw Leanne 3 days in and all was not so well.  Complaining of headaches, tiredness and feeling hungry I am sure that this is the point that I would have given in, but Leanne stayed strong and soon really started to feel the benefits.  According to Leanne, that was the hardest part and once she had got through it, the feeling of hunger and cravings for sugar and caffeine based products started to fade.

I was surprised on how quickly the cravings went and after the first few days it got easier and easier as the days went on.

After successfully completing her 21 day Detox, I was desperate to know how she felt, was it worth it and would she be sticking to it at all?

I have lost all the Christmas weight which is great, but more than that, I just feel so much better.  Not so sluggish, much more energy and I am not finding I miss sugar or caffeine now.

I am planning on keeping large parts of the plan because I just feel so much better, but I have introduced chicken, eggs and yogurt.  I really missed eggs and yogurt!

Leanne looks brilliant, she is looking noticeably slimmer but even more than that, she looks SO well.  The white of her eyes looks so white and clear, her skin is glowing and she is radiating health.  I must say I am feeling very inspired.  I have even replaced a couple of morning coffees with hot water and Lemon (which I love and for more information on the benefit of Hot Water and Lemon, click here) and I am cleaning out a cupboard all ready for me.

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 17

Beauty Treatment, Health and Beauty Tips
Holly

Holly’s attempt at a yougart face mask! 🙂

Love the Skin You’re In

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 17 – Give Your Skin A Treat

Especially the skin on your face can take a serious battering everyday.  We have already discussed the effects of anti-oxidents on your face, so every now and then you need to give it a real treat with a lovely mask so that it can recharge and get loads of lovely nutrients in it.

Here are some simple – make at home – natural Face Masks.

  • All Skin Types:  Mix together a tablespoon of honey, 3 tablespoons of yogurt & a few drops of lemon.
  • Cleansing Mask:   Smear honey on to damp skin.
  • Normal / Dry Skin:  Crush a banana with a fork & smooth on your face & neck.
  • Oily Skin:   Crush 6 strawberries with a fork & smooth on you face & neck.
  • Mature Skin:  Mix 1 avocado, 1 teaspoon of clear honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice & 1 teaspoon of plain yogurt, mashing it all together with a fork.  Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Always apply your face mask to freshly washed skin.  Another good tip is to exfoliate your skin after cleansing but before your mask to get rid of all the dead skin first.

Let me know how you get on and post any piccies of your masks in the comments. xx

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 5

Beauty Treatment, Complementary Therapies, Health and Beauty Tips

Give yourself a good Scrub down!

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 5 – Scrub Away with an Exfoliator

Basically your skin consists of cells moving from the bottom layer to the top layer of skin.  At the bottom they are beautiful big plump cells, by the end they are slightly dried and tired looking…. if you think opf a grape turning into a prune…. you get the idea!

What exfoliating does is remove those dried up tired cells by gentley taking off the very top cells and exposing the lovely plumper one’s underneath.

You have to be careful not to scrub too hard or you can damage the underneath cells or even expose ones baby ones that aren’t ready to exposed to the harsh world at the moment and cause even more damage making them look worse (really don’t want this) and not to often.  2 or 3 times a week is plenty.

Exfoliating will also help rid the skin of any toxins that have built up from environmental factors that you skin is exposed to all of the time and give the skin a really good clean.

You can even make your own Exfoliating Masks at Home using everday products, this is also great as it ensures you aren’t putting any nasties on your skin!  For more information check out…. http://http://www.ehow.com/way_5426317_homemade-exfoliating-scrubs.html

TOP TIP:  A common misconception with exfoliators is that you should exfoliate all the time if you have oily skin to remove all the oil but the reality is this can cause the opposite to be true.  If you keep completly stripping the skin of oil your skin thinks ‘oh!  There’s no oil, better produce a load more’.  Keep it balanced by exfoliating 2 or 3 times a week.