Friday, February 8, 2013

Girl's Night In SPArty

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In-home spa parties are all the rage right now, but you may be wondering: Is it possible to treat your girlfriends to a pampering spa event without spending a fortune–or stressing yourself out? Yes, yes, yes! In this post I will share with you some very simple preparations that will lead to a fun, meaningful, affordable, and relaxing spa party spectacular. 

The invitations: To really keep it simple, Evite has several cute spa party invitations. If you are feeling a little more ambitious, there are many spa-oriented pre-printed invitations or papers you can use to create one on the computer. Slip your invitation into the envelope with a piece of tissue paper you’ve scented with a calming aromatherapy oil.  For a more special "gifty" invitation, scour Target or the dollar store for spa items you can write on with a gel pen. Flat items, such as a pedicure sander or an inflatable bath pillow, work best. Write the party details on the item, let dry, add a pretty curl of ribbon and then hand deliver the invites or mail them in a padded envelope. 

Be sure to state on the invitation which spa services will be included, the cost, and what (if anything) your guests should bring. See below for suggestions. 

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The setting:  Many girlfriend groups like to reserve a block of time in a real spa, bring some bubbly and let girlfriends simply book and pay for the services they desire. This is a simple approach, and you’ll have a blast. If this appeals to you, go for it! But if you have a smaller budget or want the more intimate ambiance of a spa party at home, read on. You really don’t have to do a lot to transform your rooms into spa-dom. 

Create a spa-like atmosphere with dimmed lights and plenty of candles. Use scented candles or an aromatherapy diffuser to infuse the air with a relaxing scent such as jasmine, lavender, or rose. Play soothing music in the background (Spa Lounge is one CD to try, but anything you find relaxing can work as well). Fresh flowers here and there, while not absolutely necessary, add some natural beauty. Be sure to have plenty of comfortable seating and a good selection of trashy gossip magazines to make your girlfriends feel like they’re in spa heaven! 

Food and drink: Cut off the caffeine and offer light, relaxing beverages such as wine, herbal tea, or juice spritzers. (Here are some easy recipes to get you started: with alcohol and without). If you’re handy with a blender, you can whip up smoothies for one and all. For simple yet satisfying nibbles, use healthy whole finger foods you can simply purchase at your supermarket and set out in a buffet. Nuts, cheese cubes, a sushi platter, and a fruit plate create a well-rounded snack offering. Make it a little more fun with this Spa Themed Cheese Ball. Squares of dark chocolate are a healthy way to feed everyone’s sweet tooth. With slightly more work you can make chocolate-dipped strawberries for a decadent treat.

Spa services: It’s easy to get your favorite spa services–manicures, facials, massages, even reiki masters– in-home today. Invite your favorite massage therapist to set up a chair for mini massages. Call the local beauty school and ask them to send a team of nail specialists. The cost is usually quite reasonable if split among your guests. For example, most massage therapist quoted me a cost of $85 an hour, with up to 10 massages per hour. Don’t forget to tip the service provider. As the host, you may want to take care of the tip yourself, or you can put out a jar for contributions.The providers generally bring their own supplies, but you’ll probably need to set aside a comfortable, quiet area for the spa services. 

To supplement the paid-for services, you can provide manicure supplies or have each guest bring her own. Ask each guest to bring a favorite nail color or hand lotion to share, for example. It’s a lot more fun to do your nails surrounded by your girlfriends, laughing over gossip magazines, than doing them by yourself in front of the tv. 

Party favors: There are many possibilities for simple, inexpensive party favors that let your girlfriends take home a little spa relaxation. Tie an aromatherapy votive candle up in some tulle with a ribbon. Create a relaxation CD and copy it for all your friends. Wrap up a natural soap and a loofah or bath scrubbie. Feeling crafty? Make your own bath salts, hand scrubs or aromatherapy oils and give each girlfriend one. Check out my In Home SPArty board on Pinterest for lots of DIY beauty products, recipes and ideas!

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For additional ideas, Girls’ Night In by Jennifer Worick is a great little book devoted to creating spa parties at home, with recipes for facials, body scrubs and bath salts you can make yourself. 

Share your own spa party ideas below, and let me know if you try this idea at home. I would love to hear from you! 

Have a sensational spa party! 

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