Healthy Inside, Happy Outside

in my attempts to get this whole Jan1 Challenge underway, I knew I needed to make sure I wasn’t just focusing on the superficial. Sure, just about anyone can reduce their caloric intake and pump iron/sweat it off at the gym. But what about what’s going into my body? And how am I treating it otherwise?

One of Claire’s mini-goals during our kickoff was to avoid couch sleeping, and make sure she got to bed for a night’s rest. And one of my goals as of late has merely been “get a full night’s sleep”. I’ve found that when I go out during the week, or when I’m eating my meals late at night, getting to sleep is a challenge. And staying a sleep is damn near impossible (oof. After that trip to Australia, I was a combo of jet lag and regular crazy. The bags under my eyes had bags. A veritable luggage set…)

out like a light

out like a light

Lately, though, through getting some early workouts in and feeding my body exactly what it needs, I’m enjoying 8-9 hour sleeps (a new record) without mid-evening wake-ups. And a trip to Eviama Life Spa this Sunday showed me a whole new way of looking at keeping my mind and spirit in good shape.

(photo stolen from Philly Loves Fun)

(photo stolen from Philly Loves Fun)

Spas aren’t something I normally treat myself to. Maybe I’m a cheapskate. Maybe I prefer THINGS over pampering. But typically, when I #treatmahself, it’s more about the food and the drink and the stuff than the self. And maybe it’s time for a change on that front. Luckily, Eviama really brought their A-game.

Bubbles and bites

Bubbles and bites

I know I was talking about more than just food, but let’s talk about the food and drink for a minute. As this event was a Sip and Spa Brunch, it wouldn’t be right to ignore the food and drank! Of course, I couldn’t help myself and indulged in a mimosa… but then I switched to sparkling water, so happy they offered a few different options. There were organic yogurts, gluten free crackers, more vegetables than you could shake a stick at, and all the foods were labeled for anyone with dietary restrictions. Love it.

We were offered the chance to enjoy “mini sessions” to try the spa services and, when I saw the words “Kansa Wand” I was… intrigued.

Promise, these are SFW

Promise, this photo is SFW

Kansa Wands, made with wood bases and copper/tin metals, are used on the face to “enhance health and strength, increase energy, and relieve stress”. After some essential oils were rubbed on my face, the wand was rubbed onto my face with repetitive long strokes and circles. Allegedly, this works to detoxify and works on the “subtle electrical system”. It was brief, though, so I can’t say I felt fully detoxified. But I felt relaxed, and the circles around my eyes especially were refreshing as that’s not exactly a place I focus much energy on during my day-to-day. I have no photo, but I felt as if I were glowing afterwards.

We had a great little talk with Jill Hoffman, a Naturopathic Doctor, about how your skin reflects your lifestyle. Definitely going to agree there. She highlighted the importance of real food, restful sleep, limiting sugar, and regular breathing and relaxation. These are all things that seem like common sense… so why don’t I do them? Life gets in the way. But the point of NOvember is making sure I say NO to the parts of life that might not be best for my body.

I’ll admit, after a trip to Australia and an upcoming one to New Orleans this weekend, getting an Eviama service is unfortunately not in my budget. It’s a high end spa with all natural, green focus and, though I’m a high end kinda gal… I’m balling on that post grad-school budget. Maybe if I came across some splurge bucks, I’ll hit them up… Until then, I treated myself to a brow wax.

For $5.

Baby steps to that inner peace and tranquility that comes from regular Kansa Wandings and natural sea salt scrubs, right?


See, the thing about stepping on a sea urchin your first day of spring break is: things can only get better, right?

Very right.



As coconut flavored anything’s Number One Fan, I was the happiest camper. And despite limping around the island and a dash of miserable weather [including a rainy day in paradise], Nancy and I managed to muster up one fantastic break.

We ate everything.


Steak and blue cheese cream sauce, say WHAT?!


Breakfast of Champions

And then we detoxed a bit with spinach-packed smoothies. We got some very confused looks from patrons as we explained why our fruit smoothies were green. Just pre-gaming for St. Patrick’s Day.

Six smoothies and some eggs. Seems about right.

Six smoothies and some eggs. Seems about right.

When the weather wasn’t cooperating, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Or rather, the skilled hands of a masseuse.


I just want someone to rub some stuff on me.

Facials and massages do wonders for your attitude. I smelled so delicious I wanted to eat myself up. And I was much perkier than when I couldn’t stop glooming about some rain.


Post-Spa Bliss

I even enjoyed dancing with some of the locals.


Couldn’t stop blushing. Or laughing.

Our room neighbors also seemed to enjoy themselves.  VERY loudly.

Made for quite the interesting listening.

Made for quite the interesting listening.

It was obvious that they were enjoying 50 shades of something.

And though we took our tanning very seriously, we made sure to enjoy playing some games. Can’t take things too seriously…

photo 2-4

It was paradise. And just what the doctor ordered, escaping winter and snow for sunnier climates. We relaxed, we maxed, and even enjoyed a few adult beverages. Things certainly didn’t get too wild, at least for us.

I can’t say the same for everyone else.

She was like this all day.

She was like this all day.

I guess that’s why they suggest pacing yourself….