Posted April 17th, 2010 by Mimi

My task for this week, is to find time for me. We Mothers are terrible at that, aren't we? So, I figure, what I need is the fast food approach to 'me' time. A kind of drive thru order system. Order here, pay here, drive out rejuvenated and ready to face another week of dance rehearsals for the Princess, a closer relationship with my sons vitals than we would both prefer due to his physical limitations, and finding time to woo my husband and partner of 15 years.

Todays task is to find a bit of time for physical restoration, closely followed by some spiritual rejuvenation.

Physical....deep conditioning treatment for the birds nest that lives on my head that I lovingly call 'hair'. Curly hair is both a curse and a blessing. When it's behaving itself, it nestles on my shoulders like a sheeps fleece. On a day like today, I look like I've slept on it...which of course, I have. Cut my nails. Growing them is futile. Neatly trimmed and filed is the way to go. That'll have to do for today!

Spiritual....Go through my Adobe photo album and look at the photos I took in France last year. Some were taken with the express purpose of painting French scenes a la Van Gogh and Monet upon my return. Best get started on that before, like Monet, my eyesight fails me. Mind you, didn't do his work any harm!

So I thought I'd start by looking at the spa menu for the Holy Grail of Spas locally, The Golden Door Health Retreat. It's long been a wish of mine to spend a week there, but that remains financially out of reach for now.

So a bit of Gold-ish Door is required here.

From the Golden Door Spa Menu:

Skin renewal (80 mins) $185
Your journey starts with a stress relief massage targeting the head, neck and shoulder tension areas and is followed by a full body Aromatic salt exfoliation using salts sourced from the mineral rich Canadian glacial fields. Be cocooned in a vitamin nourished body wrap to reveal soft, velvety skin and complete your journey with a hydrating express facial to repair and rejuvenate your complexion.

Power of 3 (80 mins) $185
Targeting the body, face and feet, our Power of 3 treatment will transform lacklustre skin while placing you into a state of pure tranquility. Your journey starts with a full body salt exfoliation using an elixir of balancing oils and salt derived from the Himalayas. Follow your body scrub with an express facial including an active concentrate mask to boost skin's hydration. Complete your experience with a soothing foot treatment to nurture tired, dehydrated feet. Includes revitalising mask and
specialised pressure point massage.

I'm thinking I'll choose something from each of these treatments. Clearly I'm going to save money, but let's not go crazy running out and buying stuff to do so. That's a fools' game.

Skin renewal McMimi's style (20mins) $0

My journey starts with 5 minutes of yoga stretching to release tension. Yoga book sitting in bookcase for guidance. Salt exfoliation in a warm shower follows. Salt sourced from my kitchen cupboard. Wash hair and cover with Mayonnaise, a well known kitchen hair conditioning treatment. Leave in and cover hair with an old shower cap. Hop out of shower and cocoon myself in Sorbolene Cream and an old sheet, while my dampened sheet of Nori (Sushi seaweed) works it's magic as an interestingly aromatic express facial. Emerge soft, velvety and fresh.

Mimi's Power of 3 (30 mins) $0

Having already placed myself into a state of pure tranquility (son yelling to me for a weewee break aside), I skip the bio enzyme scrub, having already accomplished the required energising and harmonising and re-hydrating. Ditto on the revitalizing of face. Consult massage book from bookcase on facial massage. Get husband to administer. Takes 3 minutes. Soak feet in bucket of scented water while husband tries to massage other parts of body. Honestly, men! Slather feet in olive oil and sugar as a scrub, massaging as I go, and put on unattractive bedsocks while they soak. Use residual oil and sugar to scrub hands and fingernails, pushing cuticles back as I go. Put on cotton gloves. Lounge around for fifteen minutes or so.

Revitalise in cool shower. Rinse mayo out of my hair. Hop out and pat self dry. Slather self again in the remnants of a jar of Avon Rich Moisture cream face stuff that gave me a breakout on my face, but which is lovely as a body lotion. Put more Leave-in Conditioner in my hair and leave to dry naturally. Feel blissful.

Time saved&at least 6 hours of driving to get to the Golden Door and back. Money saved& probably $200 in fuel and $370.00 on the treatments.

Time taken.....50 minutes. Money spent....nil.

Result? Pretty much the same. I have had these types of treatments when given as gifts, and whilst they are lovely and pampering, they don't really accomplish what they claim in anti-ageing and the like. Yes, you feel good. But I firmly believe that it's the letting go of the responsibilities of life for an hour or two, that give the feeling of wellness¬ the act of someone else playing with your skin.

So there's the McMimi's version of The Golden Door Health Spa Treatment. Cost - Nil. Results - similar or the same. Wellness rating - priceless.

Of course, at The Golden Door, you'd be served a super healthy lunch during your spa day. So here's the lunch I made for all of us today. Why should Mum get all the fun ;-)


Mimi's Spa Day Powerhouse Warm Pearl Barley Salad

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
6 cups vegetable stock
500 gms your favourite greens, sliced into similar sized pieces (I used Pak Choy, Snow Peas, Rocket and Zucchini)1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted in a dry pan
Dollop of cottage cheese, ricotta or crumbled feta (optional)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, add the stock and pearl barley. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the barley is tender and most of the water is absorbed. About 40 minutes. Drain if necessary.

Heat a little olive oil in another large pan or wok, over highest heat, and stir fry the greens, about 1-2 minutes, until just wilted and warmed through. Add the drained pearl barley to the greens in the wok and toss. Then add in the toasted flaked almonds and lemon zest.

Mix the lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Adjust seasonings to taste. Pour over grain salad and toss.

Serve in bowls and garnish with a dollop of the cheese or feta and some fresh garden herbs.

Have a day of peace and serenity.

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