Gifts for Christmas

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Gifts for Christmas. Remember when all you wanted to be your two front teeth? I recall when I was in first grade I lost my two front teeth. That Christmas the song “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” definitely resonated with being high on my Christmas wish list. My two little perfect, white baby teeth were gone and the wait for my permanent teeth was on. It seemed as though it took well over a year for them to come in. It was soon after Christmas that I finally received my wish, my teeth came in. Unfortunately, they took so long to come in that my back teeth had shifted and my front teeth came in crooked. As I look back on it, I realize now that the book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum was accurate. I learned that sometimes when you want something you will get it, but it may not be what you want. All I asked for was two front teeth and I got two front teeth. I suppose I also learned a second lesson back then when you want something to be specific. I should have said all I want for Christmas is two perfectly straight white front teeth. Of course, that is when my parents taught me my third life lesson that you should always be happy and grateful for all you have for at any moment you can lose those things you are dissatisfied with and then you will realize just how important they were even if they were not perfect. Would you rather have imperfect teeth or no teeth? Yes, those crooked teeth were looking pretty good.

Spa MagazineHowever, feeling my oats at the age of twenty-seven, I had forgotten the life lesson I learned. I decided to right the wrong and get my teeth straightened. The orthodontist informed me that he could straighten my teeth out, however, once straightened my teeth would be protruding and “buck teeth”. He explained that my mouth was too small and that my jaws had not grown properly. He advised that once my teeth were straight I would need to undergo maxillofacial surgery to correct my bite. I decided to undertake the nine-hour surgery, my upper and lower jaw were broken, the roof of my mouth was sawed in half to expand the palate to accommodate my teeth and correct my bite. After the surgery, it took me quite a while to come out of the anesthesia. When I finally awoke, I had tubes down my nose going to my lungs and stomach, my mouth was wired shut and the roof of my mouth had a large plastic apparatus over it. I remembered the feeling of choking, blue lights started flashing and an alarm sounded. The room filled with medical staff and a priest started to give me my last rights. Another life lesson was learned by me. If you work too long on trying to fix one thing to make it perfect, you may lose sight of the big picture and screw up something else. That something else just might have been the loss of my life. I spent the next 2 weeks in the hospital with a cardiologist checking on me several times a day.

After the surgery, my mouth was wired shut for 6 weeks. I was unable to speak, unable to open my mouth, unable to close my lips together, I had no feeling in my lower lip and chin, I was unable to use a straw, and had to feed using a turkey baster to squirt fluids between my teeth into my mouth. It was a long recovery, stretching my lips so my mouth could close, prying my teeth open with a tongue depressor, and hoping my nerve ending would reconnect so I could once again have feeling in my lip to know if the glass I was drinking from was in my mouth.

During this time, I learned another major life lesson. Sometimes we take the little things for granted in our life. I never appreciated having the ability to use a straw until I could not close my mouth and use a straw.

The New Open World Corporation announced the New Seven wonders of the World, they included the Great Wall of China, Petra, Christ the Redeemer Statue, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Colosseum, and the Taj Mahal. After going through the surgery and the recovery, I realize that the true wonders are the ability to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh, and to love.

Now as we head into the holiday season of wish lists and gift-giving, let’s remember what is really most important. It isn’t the gift, the amount of money you spend, or how perfect the dinner is. It is about accepting the things that are missing (my two front teeth), embracing the things that are not perfect (my crooked teeth), appreciating everyone and everything you have in your life (the seven true wonders of the world) and truly knowing that if we spend our energy bringing out the best in others, supporting others, expressing our appreciation of others and knowing that the meaning of life is love.

In this edition of the Spavelous “Now You Are in the Know” Spa Magazine, I would like to share some of my favorite things. They are great gift ideas to help your loved ones, friends, co-workers, bring out their personal best. They are items that will warm the heart, improve the body and mind, express your appreciation, and support their goals.

Spa Magazine

A Spa Gift Certificate is a thoughtful gift for any celebration or life event. Men and women appreciate the gift of time at the spa. A time for self-improvement, self-reflection, relaxation, stress relief, sharing, caring, fun, and enjoyment.

Now you can choose a fabulous spa experience as the perfect holiday gift!

As a result of our recent partnership with SpaWish, Spavelous is very pleased to provide our website visitors with the ability to purchase spa gift certificates online!

Just in time for this holiday season, now you can choose a fabulous spa experience as a gift option in any denomination. SpaWish gift certificates are accepted at quality spas nationwide. Why not select a rejuvenating gift for your loved ones today?

Search the Spavelous National Spa Gift Certificate Directory to locate a spa in your area which conveniently sells gift certificates online.

Rules of Giving – Common questions about Spa Gift Certificates:

Where can I buy a spa gift certificate?

The easiest solution is to buy a gift certificate directly on-line at Spavelous’ National Spa Gift Certificate Directory. You can select a spa in the location you desire, you will be directed to that spa’s website where you can purchase your spa gift certificate directly from the spa of your choice.

How much should I purchase a spa gift certificate for?

Some Spas allow you to purchase gift certificates for services and discounted packages. Most sell gift certificates for a dollar amount. Set a budget. How much you want to spend determines which spa to get your gift certificate from, and what services you can purchase. You will find that the prices of services will vary based on the type of spa and the amenities they provide. A resort spa that also allows you to use the fitness facility, classes, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, showers, changing rooms, and relaxation areas may charge more than a day spa where you get changed in the treatment room and there is no available shower.

When determining the dollar value, check and see what the spa’s policies are. Will they allow a portion of the gift certificate to be used for a tip, will they allow you to use it for retail. I prefer to purchase gift certificates for a dollar amount. This enables the receiver to choose the services that they will enjoy. Generally, I will price the service I think the person would like and add 20% for a gratuity. If for some reason they do not want to leave a 20% gratuity they can use the rest for retail purchase. If the spa will not allow the gift certificate to be used for gratuity, then I would purchase the gift certificate for the cost of the average service and give them cash for the tip.

When it comes to Spa Gift Certificate there are no rules, it all is just right! The best part is that one size can fit all. There is something for everyone at the spa, and while you are at it, don’t forget to take yourself to the spa too.

Spa Gift Certificates and Expiration Dates:

Many states have gift card consumer protection laws. For your convenience, Spavelous has put together a summary of Gift Certificate Laws. For any other specific state information or the most recent information, you may contact your State Attorney General’s office.

All That Glitters Is Gold

Just when you thought a facial couldn’t be any more of a luxury, spas have come up with a gold-leaf process that recreates the golden mask of Cleopatra except it is designed for today’s woman.

Throughout history, gold has been recognized for its luxurious and beautifying properties. Historians have long maintained that Cleopatra used pure gold as a tool to maintain youthful skin by reportedly sleeping in a gold mask every night. In ancient Rome, gold salves were used for the treatment of a variety of skin problems. In ancient Chinese medicine, gold was a key to youth, as the queen of the Ch’ing dynasty used a gold massage roller on her face every day. These gold facials are also being touted as being based on the ancient Indian healing art of Ayurveda and are said to firm the skin, give it a glow and reduce wrinkles.

  • Gold-based facial spa treatments may be found in California, Georgia, Texas, New York, and New Jersey with prices starting at $175 for a sixty-minute treatment. The benefits of gold reportedly include:
  • Gold slows down collagen depletion and the breakdown of elastin to prevent sagging skin. It stimulates cellular growth of the basal layer to regenerate healthy, firm skin cells and provide a tightening effect.
  • Reduces the Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles.
  • Reduces the Appearance of Sun Damage and Age Spots: Since 1929 Gold has been successfully used to treat rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation. Gold’s anti-inflammatory properties also decrease skin inflammation, thereby slowing down melanin secretion and reducing age spots.
  • Gold fights off damaging free radicals to help prevent premature aging of the skin.

Prefer to have a gold product that can be used at home?

Gold Revitalizer 1.8oz

Gold Revitalizer will purify and moisturize even the deepest pores of your skin. Gold delivers its active elements to the skin’s deepest keratin layer, known as the skin’s “barrier zone.” Gold Revitalizer uses natural Gold ion formula to reach, exfoliate, and moisturize even the skin’s deepest basal layer. You might be pleasantly surprised by Gold’s comfort and refreshing feel. Find your natural self, and experience your true skin. Gold’s ion treatment will completely moisturize your skin.  Unlike peeling that uses acid and/or polish, the Gold ion formula will not cause damage to the skin. After old skin is exfoliated through peeling, Gold active elements–including collagen, squalene oil, elastin, and Vitamin E–will moisturize the skin to the fullest. Skincare is made simple with Gold Revitalizer.

Add your own touch of gold to anything or anyone!


Edible 23K Gold Dust Shaker

Edible 23K Gold Dust Shaker

This genuine 23K gold is made specifically for the food industry. It’s perfect for decorating Holiday cookies wedding cakes or anything that you want to prepare with the real glow of gold! This gold dust is 100mg of finely powdered gold leaf, and it comes in a handy (and handsome!) lucite shaker.

This is a favorite of mine to make simple things sexy and fun.  You can sprinkle it into your body powder or face powder to add a hint of gold.

It is Edible, so I love to use it to top off a glass of champagne or make a ho-hum dessert extra special by adding a dash to everything.


  Gold Medicinal and More

  • The alchemists in the 15th century considered gold a favorable remedy for most ills and prepared many substances with it.
  • In Renaissance Venice, the double function of gold as medicine and as a symbol of riches was combined in the custom of serving gold-covered, sugared almonds after the meal in order to strengthen the heart and protect against rheumatism.
  • During Visconti’s reign in Milan, gold and spices were blended with unpleasant things that needed to be swallowed in order to make them more appetizing.
  •  Embellishing foods with gold is a centuries-old tradition that originated in the East, where it served as a symbol of hospitality and wealth. Gold on food and drink was also considered a symbol of respect for special guests at your table.

The Gold Standard of Home Skincare:

Hylunia has created a fabulous all-natural skincare line based on Ayurvedic principles.  You too can incorporate your own Gold facial using the Hylunia products that are right for your skin.  Since 1988, Hylunia has grown to be the trusted skincare brand used by physicians and exclusive spas around the world because of its products’ unique anti-inflammatory properties. Hylunia’s focus is to create products that calm and soothe the skin and reduce the impact of environmental stress and sensitivity. Hylunia creates safe, effective skincare products free of all irritants.

Here is my own Hylunia Gold Home Recipe for fabulous skin:

Gold Leaf

Marie’s Cleopatra inspired Solid Gold Evening Anti Aging Facial:

  • Cleanse your face with the appropriate cleanser for your skin type
  • Mist with your favorite Hylunia Healing Water to tone the skin
  • Apply a 50 / 50 blend of Hylunia Ultimate Anti-Oxidant Treatment and Night Treatment (you only need a pea-size amount.
  • Apply Edible Gold Leaf Sheets to your face

    Edible Genuine Gold Leaf, 23 karat turns your Facial into something extra special.  Also, a great way to customize a simple store-bought cake or dessert and turn it into a culinary presentation works of art.

  • Relax and let your face dry for 30 minutes
  • Massage gold leaf off.  Do not rinse.  Just head off to bed and enjoy your fabulous golden glow skin in the morning.

To locate a Hylunia Spa near you, contact 1-800-547-1232
Here are a few Hylunia Spas near you.

Their faces are their fortunes. But long hours under hot lights and heavy makeup can wreak havoc on a celebrity’s skin. So what’s the secret to keeping faces looking fresh?

Vera Brown says, “I can honestly say that I have never seen anything that is more beneficial than the diamond microdermabrasion.” Skin specialist to the stars, Vera Brown says diamonds are not only a girl’s best friend, but also their best beauty secret. “It’s a tip that is made of fine, fine diamond and when it goes over the skin, there’s no redness.”

Diamond microdermabrasion peels away dead skin and reduces wrinkles, acne scars, and brown spots. It’s Diamondsa kinder, gentler twist on an old procedure. You may have heard of microdermabrasion. Crystals sandblast the face leaving the skin red and sore.

Using the diamond-tipped wand, the top layer of skin is removed while a gentle vacuum takes away the dead cells. Next, a cooling is mask is applied. Then the face is massaged with a vitamin-filled cream to help new skin cells grow. Finally, the air is blown over your face to cool and re-moisturize.

I really prefer this to the microdermabrasion crystal machines that sandblast your face.  There are some concerns about the aluminum oxide microcrystals.

The diamond dermabrasion system, on the other hand, replaces the micro-crystal flow with a disposable or reusable diamond tip wand. Areas closer to the eyes and mouth can be abraded more accurately with diamond abrasion with no risk of stray crystals causing damage or being ingested. Other than that, crystal-free microdermabrasion works in the same way traditional microdermabrasion does. Most doctors agree that aluminum oxide is not dangerous when ingested and is safe for use with skin resurfacing treatments (specifical microdermabrasion) but there is a great deal of controversy in the medical community about its side effects.

Diamond Microderm machines usually come with tipped wands of varied size and coarseness for different skin types and depths of resurfacing. The wand tip is made of natural diamond chips that polish the skin and remove dead cells, which are then vacuumed back into a waste filter.

Afterward, your skin will feel great.  Diamond Microdermabrasion is a real gem!

Home Care Diamond Skincare

Shahnaz Husain has developed the Diamond line of skincare.  These quality products incorporate the unique complex of powerful Diamond “bhasma” (ash) with the principles of Ayurveda to create an incredible line of products to enhance your skin.  From scrubs to crèmes, these products will polish your skin and polish your face to a new color and clarity.

Shahnaz Husain Products are available at Bloomingdales (New York) and various shops online:

Shahnaz Hussain’s Herbal Clinic
3322 Clair Ct
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 227-8111

Robes Fit for a King & Queen

Spa RobeNow that the cold weather and snow has hit most of the USA, how wonderful is it to curl up on the sofa with your large comfortable robe.  Spavelous features my favorite uni-sex doe skinned robe.  I have had my seafoam colored large robe for over seven years and it still looks brand new despite me wearing it every cold night and chili morning.  I chose the seafoam green because the color green balances the heart.  If you balance the heart you balance the whole body.  My robe is my color therapy for the day.  This robe is worn in many of the five-star resorts.

They are so soft and yet they can stand up to the many times they have been washed and dried in industrial washers and dryers.  You may find a robe that looks like this, but the quality is not the same.  Have you ever seem a robe where the thread looks bunchy?  Well, this is caused by them using a cotton thread.  When the robe is washed, the thread shrinks and causes a bunching in all the seams and decorative stitching.  This will not happen with these robes.  They are sewn together with a preshrunk thread.


For the face

Clarisonic Skin Care Brush

The Clarisonic Skin Care Brush was chosen as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things”!

The Clarisonic Skin Care Brush sonic technology works with the natural elasticity of the skin to provide deep, thorough, gentle daily cleansing of the skin. Cleansing is the foundation of a complete skincare routine. Oscillating back & forth at a sonic frequency that produces about 300 movements per second, a flexing action is created between the outer & inner brushes that work deep within the pores to loosen dirt & oil. The brush motion effectively cleans, clarifies & stimulates, resulting in smoother feeling & looking skin.

Clarisonic Skin Care Brush

Experience the benefits of CLARISONIC’s sonic cleansing:

    * 6X more makeup removal
* Leaves skin feeling and looking younger and smoother
* Increases product absorption
* Gentle enough for use twice daily
* Helps reduce oily areas, dry skin patches, and blemishes
* Helps reduce the appearance of visible pores
* Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
* Gentle enough for different skin conditions

I use mine every day the first time to cleanse my skin and the second time to help my skin creams better penetrate.  I have really noticed a difference in my skin tone and my pore size has diminished.


Easy Walking


Chi Machine

Sometimes the easiest way to walk is to not walk at all.  Over ten years ago I purchased my chi machine.  Actually, I discovered the chi machine closer to 15 years ago, but it took me a while to believe the concept.  Now I am a transformed believer.  At fifty, many people ask me how I stay in shape.  I like to credit my easy care fitness equipment.
The idea behind this unusual aerobic exercise machine was suggested by Dr. Shizuo Inoue, Chairman of Japan’s Oxygen Health Association. Dr. Inoue, who has spent decades, researching the relationship between oxygen levels in the body and the quality of human health, got his idea by watching goldfish swimming.

Noting how remarkably healthy and well-toned fish are, Dr. Inoue thought that perhaps the steady undulation of the spine causes the fish’s whole body to be exercised and oxygenated.

What would be the effect on people, he wondered, if we could move like fish?

Engineers took his basic concept and designed the Chi Machine. The pattern of motion the machine generates in the human body uses minimum effort and achieves maximum results. It improves the basic metabolism of the body, increases our energy, adds flexibility to our lives, and improves our attitude. It can also increase our sense of awareness, balancing the mind, and body connection.

Just 15 minutes on the chi machine, is comparable to walking 1 ½ hour.  In addition, to the exercise benefits, I use mine as my morning meditation time as well.  I must caution you though, do not use it too close to bedtime or you might find yourself re-energized and not able to get to sleep.

If you want to get an even better boost out of this, you may detoxify while you chi by using the Aesta Dome Far Infrared Sauna at the same time.


MBT Line of Footwear

Imagine taking a rubber ball, cutting it in half and affixing it, curved side down, to the bottom of a pair of running shoes. Then imagine taking a walk in them.

The rolling sensation from midfoot to toe would be similar to the effect of Masai Barefoot Technology, a line of chunky and somewhat unattractive footwear that’s has been flying off store shelves across North America for years.  I have worn mine for five years, yes the same pair for five years.  These sneakers really hold up and they still look brand new despite me wearing them every day for up to ten hours a day.

It’s not just a shoe, it’s a piece of exercise equipment.  When you stand up in them, your pelvis straightens out and you’ll be standing much straighter. So often it is hard to find time in your busy day to work out.  What I really like about MBT’s is that you are working out with each step you take.  After wearing my MBT’s for a month, I lost one inch from my waist.  MBT’s really work your core muscles.  They may seem a little pricey, but after five years the soles show no sign of ware, and the uppers still look new.

Designed a decade ago by Swiss engineer Karl Muller to help ease back pain and foot problems, the Masai is considered a medical aid in Switzerland and Germany.

So if you want to get back in shape, park the car further away and walk.  The MBT’s will do the rest.



Power Plate Exercise Machine

The Power Plate Exercise Machine from ActiveForever is the premium vibration-exercise machine produced for home use. It utilizes vibration and the principles of Acceleration Training to help consumers achieve higher success in their workouts in shorter amounts of time. The vibrations that are produced using the Power Plate Exercise Machine – my3 transmit waves of energy throughout the body, activating muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second. By doing this the Power Plate enhances overall performance in sessions as short as 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week. Acceleration Training on Power Plate equipment offers a host of benefits, ranging from an immediate improvement in blood circulation, to a variety of other outcomes: such as increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved range of motion, decreased cellulite, increased bone mineral density, reduced pain and soreness and faster recovery times.

This piece of equipment is used by many celebrities in the Scottsdale, AZ area.  It really helps to tighten and tone the muscles.

If this model is out of your budget, consider the Fitstar whole body vibration machine. Many professional basketball, football and baseball teams are using the WBV as an additional strength training method. While standing on the vibrating platform, your whole body vibrates, causing your muscle fibers to contract like they do when lifting weights, but at a much higher frequency.

The straighter you stand the higher and stronger you feel the vibrations, but it is better to bend your knees slightly to keep the vibrations in your lower half, where they are more beneficial.

This is another great way to tighten and tone in just 15 minutes.

Power Plate Exercise Machine


Healing Rhythms by Wild Divine

Biofeedback and multimedia combine for stress relief.

Learn how to relieve stress for a stronger, more balanced life through a series of beautiful, interactive meditation and breathing exercises led by Deepak Chopra, M.D., Dean Ornish, M.D. and Andrew Weil, M.D. This new biofeedback training program is easy to use on either a PC or Mac. ? The Journey helps you understand the mind-body connection and how a few concentrated minutes of deep breathing can have long-lasting health effects, Says Chopra.  Watch your body respond in real-time, on-screen! Practice these mind-body techniques along with your mentors as you listen to transformative music and watch soothing visuals rippling by on your screen. Or switch to the Grapher Mode and track your body’s signals as they rise and fall in synch with your state of mind. Finally, watch your mind & body at play on-screen during the breathtaking biofeedback events as you learn to juggle balls with your laughter, build a stairway with your breath, and meditate to open doors! Increase the difficulty level of each challenge as you begin to master your new skills and are comfortable practicing them in your everyday life. It comes with media software and a biofeedback hand/finger analyzer.  This is a fabulous tool.

Healing Rhythms

My All Time Favorite Reads:

    • Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia   by Elizabeth Gilbert
    • You Can Heal Your Life  by Louise Hay
    • Creating Affluence: The A-to-Z Steps to a Richer Life  by Deepak Chopra

Heat Therapy

Dream Time has been supplying spas for years with the very best heat therapy products.  I love to microwave these on a cold night to heat my feet, my hands, my neck and to quiet my eyes.  They feel good and they smell great.

    • DreamTime Foot Warmers ~ Heat Therapy with Aromatherapy, Sage Velvet
    • DreamTime Hand Cozys Heated Mittens – Lavender Velvet
    • DreamTime Herbal Neck/Body Wrap – Sage Velvet
    • DreamTime Aromatherapy Eye Pillow
    • DreamTime Foot Warmers ~ Heat Therapy with Aromatherapy, Sage Velvet

Aromatherapy

    • Nuvara Exotique Ambersweet Cream Reed Diffuser

Distinctive, innovative yet simple, simply remove the cork and insert porous reeds into the fragrance oil. Reeds will draw and diffuse the fragrance oils within 24-36 hours. Reeds may be flipped occasionally to refresh fragrance. Fragrance diffuser contains one beautiful 8.5 oz frosted, golden silkscreened bottle filled with premium fragrance oils and 12 porous reeds.  I love these in the Bathroom. The room always is nicely scented without being overpowering. 

Spa Stocking

Final Thoughts:

ChristmasMy holiday wish for everyone is that we all appreciate all the people in our lives, that we take the time to honor the skills we have, the things we can do and we make a conscious effort to use our seven wonders to make ourselves and the world a better place.

Make it a Spavelous week and please take time for yourself a spa is a great place to shop for others and relieve your holiday stress at the same time.  Not sure where to go?  Then search Spavelous and find a spa near you.