Archive | August, 2013

The Best Part Of Waking Up

There is no doubt that waking up from a dream can set the tone for your entire day.

This morning I woke up with the most amazing dream hangover:  feeling inspired to go out and do great things, that nothing & no one was going to stand in my way.  All I had to do was ask, and people would find a way to say yes because they saw something in me they wanted to be a part of.

Bold. Confident.

What a kickass day it’s going to be today!

you care

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau
dont be pushed

“Unsuccessful people focus on the problems; The successful focus on the solutions. Focus on your fullness, your strengths, your dreams – the things you love in life.”

Marc Allen

mug

“Make no small plans, they have no magic to stir your blood.  Make big plans.  Aim high in hope and in work.”

Daniel Burnham

Legend …

Wait For It ….

Dary

 

Love,

Leanne

Episode One

In an effort to show you our silly side, here is our very first episode of SkinCatering TV!

We hope you’ll enjoy it with the spirit in which it was filmed – good humor.

Stay tuned for our next episode in October!

JUST SHOOT ME

In the name of having a little fun, a few spa team members got together to shoot a video for the new SkinCatering YouTube channel that will be making it’s debut this week.  We hope you’ll subscribe so you don’t miss any of the spa-tacular episodes we have planned!

While we were changing the set, Kim told us a little story.

[It had to do with a time when she tried to give herself a bikini wax on Fourth Of July!]

Kim-video

Stay tuned for the video!

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Our location for this episode

Home Is Where Your Flip Flops Are

Recipe for good skin:  a fantastic hat, saltwater ocean spray, and relaxing by a good campfire to make you look & feel a few years younger.

Last weekend, my friends and I planned to do our Annual Girls Weekend Camping Trip but at the last minute, there was a little glitch and one of our key members was unable to attend.

Since the deposit was already paid and we were pretty much packed and ready to go, my friend Mila and I decided to forge on by ourselves.  Not to be out-smarted by disappointment, I discovered a way to bring our friend with us to camp!

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She was pretty quiet on the ride in to Newport, RI but once we arrived at the campsite, she perked right up! Melville Pond Campground was the perfect size and our site looked like a magical glen where fairies would come out at night to dance.  It was very peaceful – unlike our nightmare neighbors with screaming demon children during our last trip when we went to NH.

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After oooh-ing and aaaah-ing over what a great choice we made in picking campgrounds, it was time to get to work.  Our dear friend Robyn was in charge of supervising, while Mila and I were set to the task of putting up the tent.

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Putting up the tent was fairly easy, except that once it was all done, one of the tent poles that was questionable to begin with due to a crack in it, decided to snap like a twig.  After an hour of splinting and duct-taping the ‘broken wing’ (as we called it), our home away from home was up …and a drink was definitely in order!

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Next we unpacked the rest of the truck to set up camp.

Robyn tested out the chairs to ensure they were fung shui around the campfire while Mila and I went up to the pavilion to use their electrical outlet to blow up the mattress.  I had a converter from my truck, but the pump for Mila’s bed was over 100 watts and kept shutting off the power, so we schlepped it up around the corner.

Getting the mattress BACK to the campsite, however, was a different story.

While I personally don’t have any pictures of the events that followed, many campers came out to see this spectacle, with their cell phone cameras in hand, laughing, as they snapped picture after picture of the purple-headed pack mule.  I’m sure a brief search for ‘Camper With Air Mattress’ will bring one up.

You see, the air mattress didn’t fit in the truck all blown up (duh) and our rope wasn’t long enough to tie it down to the roof (cuz that would have been simple), so I told Mila to drive the truck back to the site, and I would walk it down by myself.  How hard could it be? I carefully hoisted it up onto my head and upper shoulders, held onto the sides with my hands and set off to walk the tenth of a mile back to camp.

Little did I realize, the triple-layered inflatable would bounce so fiercely with each step, that I wouldn’t be able to contain it.  After 1000 or so steps, I gave up and just walked it along, rolling it end to end until Mila could park the truck and come running over to help.

An icy cold beverage was definitely in order…

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Because no camping trip is complete with just two incidents during set up, a third (albeit, minor) situation came upon us.

While making our beds, Mila discovered that her husband sent the WRONG sleeping bags with her.  She had planned to bring sheets and a blanket, as we have always done.  He said, “No No No, all you need is this sleeping bag and you’ll be plenty warm.”  Needless to say, a mummy-style sleeping bag doesn’t cut it on a queen-sized air mattress.

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As they say, things come in three’s, so with that, the debacles were done and over with for the weekend and it was only good things from there on out, but dinner and drinks were definitely in order.

Getting ready, we were pleasantly surprised to find private shower rooms at the campground that didn’t need quarters!  Here’s a snapshot of Robyn getting ready to go.  We said she didn’t even need to change, she looked so good already!

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Into town we went, to a fantastic little restaurant called Asterisk.  It was a special little place on Lower Thames St. in Newport down by The Bodhi Spa (a new hydrotherapy spa coming soon!)  The restaurant has a delicious menu full of variety, as well as an entire sushi menu.  Robyn was intrigued by that most of all.

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To celebrate our girls weekend, champagne flowed, as we enjoyed the perfect breeze flowing through the open doors, dining semi al fresco.

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Our table was nestled in the side with a very comfortable banquette and adorable pillows.  This is where Robyn decided to park it for the remainder of dinner.  The champagne made her feel all warm & cozy, so she snuggled with the pillows until it was time for dessert.

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We discovered that Asterisk actually used classy garage doors on the front of their building, so in good weather, they roll them up to provide many people with desirable seating.

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Of course, no dinner is complete without cheesecake!  This was the tallest, fluffiest cheesecake I have tasted since eating Lorraine’s Cheesecake in Hansport, Nova Scotia.

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After dinner it was time to head back to camp.  Robyn got in the spirit of things, using a headlamp to show us where everything was in the dark, again, supervising as we built the fire.

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As always, her supervision pays off – our campfire was amazing!

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After a few hours relaxing around the fire, it was time to head to bed.  Robyn and I have been roommates many times in the past, and tonight was no different.

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Sleeping fitfully through the night as my air mattress deflated around me, I awoke early.  I admit, it was difficult to stay grumpy when I had this peaceful sight.  I gave thanks for the sunshine and the stillness around me as I listened to nature wake up around me.  It sounded just like a spa CD that plays during appointments.

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Robyn & Mila started to wake up and get hydrated.  We discussed plans for breakfast, and what we we would do that day.

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We love a good diner for breakfast, and right across from Melville Pond was this gem – Cindy’s Country Cafe.  Hands down, the best breakfast food I have ever tasted in my life. (And I’m not just saying that because  I’d been awake since 5:30 am waiting for coffee!)

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Like a hobbit, Robyn loves breakfast, so we took a look through the Daily Specials and decided what to get.

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Little did we realize how much food we actually ordered.  That is STUFFED FRENCH TOAST and an OMELET WITH TOAST.  What you don’t see pictured is that I also ordered Portuguese French Toast.  Biggest, fluffiest, bestest breakfast ever!

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After a little shopping in town, it was time to head to the beach (to sleep off the breakfast).  Robyn preferred to stay in the shade to protect her glossy skin. Luckily she had her sunglasses on the whole time, but just in case, we added a hat and some refreshments.

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Diligent about skin-safe practices, Mila and I both slathered on sunscreen after a dip in the ocean, then settled in for a long-summer’s nap.

[Insert Public Service Announcement here: Friends don’t let friends go without sunscreen!  Not only do you want to protect yourself from skin cancer, but you don’t want to speed up the aging process either!]

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On our way back to camp to prepare for dinner (yes, pretty much all we do is eat, sleep, drink, and go to the beach on these weekend trips) we saw a car ‘pulled over’ by the maintenance crew.  They politely asked him to slow down because he was flying through the campsite.

I overheard his response: “Oh sorry, I didn’t know. This is my first time here to this campsite.”

This confused me because

1) What campsite IS it ok to drive fast?

2) It was also my first time at this campsite and they told me at check-in what the speed limit was

3) The map of the campground to find your site also stated the speed limit

4) This sign is posted multiple times along the camp road.

DUDE – HERE’S YOUR SIGN. (a la comedian Bill Engvall)

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Dinner was spent at a local pub called Coddington Brewing Company.  They actually make their own beer there, which was pretty cool.  We kept it simple this night, having a few fresh seafood apps before heading back to camp.  I think we were all just focused on what our dessert would be – S’MORES!

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Our last evening, we made the most of it.  We played Rummy by the fire, relaxed with cold bevvies, and snacked to our hearts content.  My heart was full and so was my belly.  It’s moments like these that give me the best memories to take me through the stressful days of building a business.  It was good to just let go and unwind, to cater to my spirit.

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Good night Melville!  We hope to come again soon.

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Home is where your flip flops are.

Women In Wellness

While doing some research on spa industry information, I stumbled across one of the first Wellness Programs started the USA.  

I was excited to learn the program was started by a nurse at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the early 1970’s.  Mary Fleishauer attended a workshop by Dr. John W. Travis at the Wellness Resource Center, inspiring her to start the first university-based campus wellness center.  Influential in the spread of the wellness movement across the United States, Campus wellness programs became popular and spread throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Of course, one cannot read an excerpt like that without wondering what other interesting things women have accomplished in the Health & Wellness field – so with that thought, I got lost in hours of Google searches and link-surfing to bring you a few fun facts about women in medicine.

It’s exactly what happens to me when I go into the Target store for 1 or 2 items and come out $175 later!

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Here’s What I Learned In A Distracting 2 Hours:

  • Merit Ptah (2700 BC), earliest cited women physician in Egypt
  • Agamede, pre-Trojan War healer
  • Agnodike, the first female physician to practice legally in 4th century BC Athens.
  • Trotula of Salerno, 11th century physician who is supposed to have held a chair at the Medical School of Salerno.
  • Hildegard of Bingen (1098–1179) is considered Germany’s first female physician.

In the 17th century wives could not own property, but three qualified widows, Susan Lyon, Anne Crosse, and the Widow Wyncke, were allowed to run early pharmacies called apothecary shops after their husbands passed.

  • James Miranda Barry (179?-1865), a renowned woman doctor who passed as a man to gain a medical education and practice medicine.
  • Amalia Assur (1803–1889), first woman dentist in Sweden and possibly Europe.
  • Ann Preston (1813–1872), first female dean of any medical school.
  • Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910), first woman to graduate from medical school in the US; MD 1849, Geneva College, New York.

Dr. Blackwell’s acceptance was a near-accident. The dean and faculty, usually responsible for evaluating an applicant for matriculation, were not able to make a decision due to the special nature of her case. They put the issue up to vote by the 150 male students of the class with the stipulation that if one student objected, she would be turned away. The young men thought this request was so ludicrous that they believed it to be a joke, and responding accordingly, voted unanimously to accept her.

It warms my heart to know she got the last laugh!

  • Rebecca Lee Crumpler, (1831 – 1895), first African American woman physician in the United States.
  • Lucy Hobbs Taylor (1833–1910), the first woman dentist in the United States.
  • Kadambini Ganguly (1861–1923), the first Indian woman to obtain a medical degree in India having graduated from the Calcutta Medical College in 1886.

AS YOU CAN IMAGINE – THE LIST GOES ON AND ON

So I encourage you to meander through it on your own if you find it interesting!  One thing I know I will be forever grateful for is the change in OB/GYM affairs!

In 1972 the University of Iowa Medical School instituted a new training program for pelvic and breast examinations.  Female students would act both as the doctor and the patient, allowing each student to understand the procedure, and create a more gentle, respectful, examination. This method was much different than the previous practice in which doctors were taught to assert their power over patients.

By 1980 over 75 schools had adopted this new method.

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Packing List for Glamping

I’m getting ready to go away with for our Annual Ladies Camping Weekend Trip, also known as the TTM Convention of New England.  I look forward to this trip every year as a way to Cater To My Spirit!

Typically my kind of camping involves cushy beds in lux hotels and a spa, but once a year we ladies like to pretend to ‘rough it’ as an inexpensive excuse to go to the beach every day, drink around a campfire, and prove that we can take care of ourselves.

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As the appointed fun-ensurer, it is my duty to make reservations and create the list, then divide up the tasks to the attendees.

I’ve adapted Coleman’s Tent Camping Checklist for our trip:

COLEMAN LADIES TENT CAMPING GLAMPING CHECKLIST

CAMP COOKING

  • Portable Grill and Cook Stove 
  • Plenty of fuel menus
  • Grill Gloves
  • Griddle
  • Skillet 
  • Pot Holders
  • Cookware 
  • Cooking and Eating Utensils 
  • Skewers
  • Corkscrew
  • Knife for Food Prep possible intruders
  • Plates, Cups, and Bowl
  • Can Bottle Opener
  • Tables and Chairs
  • Coolers with Plenty of Ice or Ice Substitutes  for booze
  • Plenty of Food marshmellows, chocolate, and graham crackers, and other such snacks
  • Paper Products and Trash Bags
  • Foil for Lining Cookware and Wrapping Food
  • Beverage Jugs flasks or Water Carriers filled with Drinking Water booze
  • Water Bottle: a must have when the grill drinking gets out of hand

SLEEPING AND COMFORT

  • Air Mattress, Cot or Camp Pad
  • Sleeping Bags 500 TC sheets, pillows from home, and thick comforters
  • Tent Fans and Tent Light

CAMPING GEAR

  • Tent, Poles and Stakes
  • Lantern with Extra Fuel or Extra Batteries
  • Extra Lantern Mantles
  • Waterproof Matches
  • Compass, Maps and Portable GPS
  • Flashlights or Headlamps with Extra Batteries [our friend Mila brings her hubby’s fishing headlamp, so we will keep that on this list] 

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  • Ground Cover or Tarp
  • Multipurpose Knife or Multi Tool and bat
  • Camp Saw
  • Rope, Bungee Cords, 550 Parachute Cord or Wire

PERSONAL CARE

  • First Aid Kit
  • Camp  Beach Towels
  • Biodegradable Soap (this is a given as we only use non-toxic soaps at home anyway!)
  • Citronella Candles and Insect Repellent
  • Layered Clothing [author note: enough for 6 costume changes during the 2 day trip]
  • Rain Gear boots… If it’s raining, we are leaving for a hotel.
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet Paper  we don’t camp where there isn’t a flushing toilet with toilet paper already provided

EATING/FOOD PREP

  • Coffee  Directions to cafe or diner
  • Coffee Pot
  • All-in-One Portable Sink
  • Plastic Zipper Bags
  • Pot Scrubbers and Rags (… just kidding!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Tin foil

SLEEPING AND COMFORT

  • Tool Kit: Hand Axe, Rubber Tent-Peg Mallet and Tent Stake Puller
  • Tent Repair Kit
  • Extra Tent Stakes
  • Pillows
  • Whisk Broom and Dust Pan Floor mat for wiping feet outside the tent so the inside doesn’t get dirty in the first place

CAMPING GEAR

  • Fire Starting Kit: Butane Lighter, Cotton Balls, Strike-A-Fire or Trioxane Tablets, Fire Starter [log] and Waterproof Matches
  • Firewood for Camp Fires [Author Note: we can’t bring in our own, we have to buy it there]
  • Fuel Funnel (if using a liquid fuel lantern or stove) 
  • Lantern Carry Case
  • Lantern Stand
  • Long-Nosed Butane Lighter

PERSONAL

  • Digital Camera with Extra Batteries  cell phone with camera
  • Clothesline
  • Cards and Games
  • Flare, Signaling Mirror and Survival Whistle lead-lined billy club
  • Pad of Paper, Pencil or Pen
  • Radio with Weather Band Pandora Radio / iTunes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen

I think that about covers us for this weekend!

 

Our schedule usually follows as such:

Friday afternoon

  • Pick up everyone going on the trip

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  • Arrive & set up camp
  • Go for dinner & drinks
  • Arrive back at camp just before the gate closes for the night
  • Sit around campfire eating snacks, partaking of refreshments, playing cards, and giggling
  • Go to bed an hour later

Saturday

  • Wake up at the ass-crack of dawn thanks to sounds of mother nature and unruly children nearby

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  • Curse at children and shake our fists at them, threatening terror upon them while they sleep
  • Nominated person makes a coffee run as the others nap with their heads on the picnic table
  • Coffee Wench arrives, much to to everyone’s relief
  • Pour over all the adventure options while sipping java
  • Attend Adventure

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  • Hit the beach
  • Enjoy beach all day, complete with a liquid lunch and plenty of snacks
  • Go back to camp to change for dinner at a restaurant in town
  • Walk around town on bloated bellies, shopping (usually for hats)
  • Seek more adventure

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  • Go back to camp & play cards and polish off the last of the weekend’s beverages while sitting around the fire
  • Stumble to bed

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Sunday

  • Wake up at the ass-crack of dawn thanks to sounds of mother nature and unruly children nearby
  • Curse at children and shake our fists at them, threatening to find them when they go home
  • Send out the coffee wench
  • Pack up camp
  • Go find a diner for breakfast
  • Go to the beach until it’s time to head home
  • Drive home, tired, sated, and happy – talking about the trip we will plan for the winter to a lodge, but never actually do.

 

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See you back at the spa on Monday!

Check back later for an updated blog post about our 3rd Annual Convention to see if anything new and exciting happened.

Roadside Assistance, Take One

Driving home from a mobile spa appointment the other day, it was a gorgeous sunny day so I had the windows down in my car, music blaring, and my hair flipped around in the breeze as I sang off-key to my favorite songs.

I was feeling rather happy!

As I was going around a corner, I noticed a rickety roadside stand with buckets of sunflowers for sale. My mood dictated that I stop in and donate $5 to the self-serve station so I could flood the house with the essence of my sunny disposition.

I hopped out of the truck and skipped over to the yellow blossoms with a smug smile on my face. I was feeling extra good because I was “shopping local” and proud that my money was going to help the little old lady (who I pictured must live in the old farm house) make ends meet.

Ready to pat myself on the back for my good deed of the day, I reached into the bunch to select my blooms ….and BAM!!!

I yanked my hand back like I’d been stabbed!

Confused, I looked at my hand and saw…nothing. Knowing, sunflowers don’t have thorns, I timidly began to reach back for the stems, when JUST in time, I realized – ALL THE FLOWERS WERE COVERED IN BEES!!

Not to be thwarted by the dastardly buzzing ninjas, I carefully reached in, took hold of the flowers and gently waved them around to shake off any potential attacks.  Searching my bouquet one more time and satisfied they were gone, I put my prize on the floor of the vehicle and drove away.

All the way home I giggled as I wondered if a hidden pollinator would make it’s way into the front seat, making me do a reenactment of the bees-in-the-car scene from “Tommy Boy” with Chris Farley and David Spade.

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XOXO,

Leanne

PS. Witch Hazel in a spray bottle does wonders for a throbbing bee sting!