I experienced my first official ‘spa day’ a couple of years ago. I, of course, have booked the occasional massage and now-and-again facial where I get berated by the facialist for not having more facials, but a day dedicated to ‘spa’ isn’t something that I could have afforded years ago and rarely have time for now (I mean, WHO DOES?). Lucky for me, I partnered with Culligan Water this year to talk about the health and beauty benefits of softened and filtered water. So, with pleasure, I will talk about water while pampering my team. It is a partnership that I am excited about as we use the water every day and it is something that makes me so happy.
So gather your friends, dip your toes in some spa water and place those cucumbers on your eyes. Actually, research has shown that cucumbers on eyes inhibit your vision by 100%, which means it’s generally bad for viewing anything…except the insides of cucumbers. You have some pretty photos and a video to watch here. SIT UP, REMOVE THOSE CUCUMBERS AND PAY ATTENTION TO US RELAXING – and if, by all means, you find taking notes soothing, do that too, because we’ve got a huge helping of great ideas for you to try out yourself. 🙂
There are a few key elements to executing an at-home spa and I wanted to bring all of those together to create the ultimate oasis. I think one of the reasons I never had a “spa day” until last year was that part of the experience is being in a pretty setting, and spas with really pretty settings are generally the most expensive ones. So making the patio an area that feels special and relaxing was key to my team actually relaxing. Yes, this was during work hours, but I wanted them to feel like they were off the clock (no emails allowed).
Set Up A Relaxation Area:
Ah. America’s patio. Now, it goes without saying that having a patio is not a prerequisite for creating an at-home spa relaxation area. You could use your living room or yard – really, wherever you have the space (bonus points if it serves up super chill vibes). Set up chairs (beach chairs could work) with bowls of Listerine water and some flowers. If you just did a double take at that last sentence, then you must not have been on Pinterest enough this last year. More on that in the next post, but yes, Listerine + softened water (by Culligan Water, DUH) is our version of the ‘foot facial’. Sure, you can use scrubs and scraping tools to smooth over your weary toes, or you can do this (#keepingitsimple).
I made us all wear matching robes, like a spa. Or a cult. But seriously these robes are jersey knit and flattering and all of us use them daily (I’m not just saying that, I PROMISE – they drape well and are so soft).
Each of the chairs got their own foot basin which we filled with a ‘Pinterest-famous’ Listerine foot soak. It promises to leave your feet feeling as fresh and supple as a baby’s. I want to have baby feet so badly, guys. We used a clear color of Listerine thus the clear water (but lots more on that next week, as we have a full post planned that walks you through each of the DIYs and how it all came together – steps and ingredients to recreate everything). But for now, let’s continue the relaxation…shhh. Inside voices only please – the EHD team is busy relaxing.
I think Jess and Julie fell asleep. WAKE UP AND RELAX, PLEASE!
Also, that is the most of my foot you will ever see on the internet for the rest of my life so if ‘Emily Henderson’s Foot’ is something you Google often, then take a long hard look because THIS IS IT FOREVER.
HA. Those are not mine. #stuntfeet.
A trip to the spa nearly always means a big ol’ dispenser of fruit or herb-infused water that is perfectly chilled to keep you quenched and relaxed while enjoying the amenities. I wanted to do the same at home but with a few different flavors, because no one takes relaxing at the spa more seriously than I do. To keep us all hydrated (with delicious water) throughout the day, I pulled together three different spa waters that were not only delicious, but healthy and very easy to make.
Creating your own spa water with fresh cut fruit and herbs is a super quick and easy way to kick your water up a notch (not to mention keep guests – or team in my case – feeling very quenched as they drift into pure relaxation mode). Let’s talk about this delicious water for a moment and why I was excited to work with Culligan this year.
When we first moved into our home, I was concerned about not only keeping our unlacquered brass fixtures looking nice (more on that here) but also having clean water for my family and me to drink. If you know me, then you know I am the type of person that loves a VERY cold glass of water at any time. My team can attest to this. So when we started doing research for filtering and softening systems, thanks to your suggestions, I found Culligan Water.
On to the message at hand:
We had Culligan’s High-Efficiency Water Softening System and Reverse Osmosis system installed in our home and I can say that I have been so happy with it AND THIS WAS PRE-PARTNERSHIP, meaning I loved the system before they even reached out to potentially work together. I bought it because we wanted it, and the partnership came six months later.
The Reverse Osmosis system lives under your sink and directly filters the water that you drink from your tap, meaning that the quality and taste are going to be so much better. In case you need a water refresh (no pun intended), head to my first post where I talked all about how delicious this water is. But, both my staff and I enjoyed that spa water all day long knowing that what we were drinking was the highest quality water that we could get right from the tap.
Now, for the whole home system, that’s a unit (about half the size of an old hot water tank) that typically is installed in a garage, basement or utility space. It basically softens all the water directly at the source and then distributes it out through your pipes once it has gone through the system. You can have a service person come and refill the tank with salt (based on the level of the hardness of your water) which is needed to soften the water, or you can also do it yourself. Once the system is installed, the majority of contaminants are removed from the water coming out of all of your faucets.
It’s a system and a product that you may not think about every day as it is tucked away doing its job, but it is something that helps contribute to a happier, healthier home every time you use your water.
On to the treatments. Our face deserves love so we smothered them in a few DIY treatments.
The day before our spa day, I made a simple and nourishing yogurt mask to soften skin (which only has two ingredients – Greek yogurt and probiotics). Lauren Conrad recommended it, and if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for my crew. If you can get over the fact that you are slapping yogurt on your face and relax a bit once it is on, your skin feels so soft and hydrated afterward – it also makes for a great mid-spa snack should you get hungry while relaxing outside (kidding…kind of).
While we let our face masks work their magic, bringing us one step closer to perfect “baby-butt-soft skin”, we took a load off and relaxed together outside in the sun (a little vitamin D was an added bonus to patio-turned-at-home-spa).
This was Velinda’s second week. She loves it here!
We then followed the yogurt mask with an activated charcoal scrub which helps to brighten and exfoliate.
It’s a little bit gritty but the texture and the ingredients help to scrub out blackheads and any dead skin so that after you rinse it all off, you are left looking 10 years younger and 35 pounds thinner (that part is not true, unfortunately). But let’s talk about charcoal for a second. The other night I realized that my mask was charcoal, my bar soap was charcoal, I had charcoal in my smoothie and I was taking charcoal pills for digestion. Is charcoal the new sun-dried tomato? It’s hitting hard right now, but I seriously LOVE what it does for my skin. While I do like our DIY mask, if you want to splurge I recommend buying the Dermalogica charcoal mask – I noticed an immediate change in my skin when I started using it. The pills and soap I’m unsure about but I’m telling you, put some dead fire on your dead skin and POOF it’s somehow alive again. Stay tuned for our mask recipe next week – all the ingredients are from the grocery store.
Lastly, I also made an at-home rose water spray to spritz ourselves with during the day – because nothing makes you feel fancier than being able to spray filtered and softened rose water on your (now) baby-soft face. Soft water = baby-soft skin, it’s as easy as that.
ROSE WATER IS KEY TO STAYING YOUNG FOREVER. I heard that once and I’m not wavering (I will it to happen). And I was surprised at how easy and fun it was to make.
We felt good. We loved the time together. Here’s proof:
We were caught relaxing, laughing, hanging out, and enjoying the day off from our normal office duties. THESE ARE REAL EMOTIONS.
Take Home Spa Basket:
Before my crew left, I created a little take-home version of everything that we used during the day for each team member. Fine. They helped me assemble it and maybe Brady did all the prep, but I (we) filled it with little jars of the homemade face scrubs, DIY fountain of youth rose water, some inexpensive soaps, a decanter of filtered water, and a few other spa and wellness items to help them keep the R&R going, even after they’ve left. They’ve been instructed to use it one to three times a week, as needed.
Doctor’s Boss’s orders.
It was such a fun day. I have such a fun crew. And yes, I LOVE MY CULLIGAN WATER. I know it doesn’t feel like a traditional partnership, and I get it. But I love having treated water for my face, body, hair and, yes, to drink. If you are in the market for softened water, filtered water, or both, I can’t recommend Culligan enough. Seriously.
Cheers to a wonderful afternoon with wonderful people and many thanks to Culligan for giving us an excuse to take the day off and relax at home. I will also now be taking reservations at Spa Henderson for anyone that would like to join us next time.
But please, remove the cucumbers from your eyelids so you can watch this video – you may or may not see my feet :).
***Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD