Friday Freedonist: Combining 5 Luxurious Home-Made Indulgences for a Personal Spa Day

| January 18, 2014 | 1 Comment

It’s been a hard week, or to put a more positive spin on things, I should say an industrious week.  Work days that stretched into the evening hours, long workouts to try to start shedding some holiday weight, and too little time left over to just sit and take a deep breath.

So I thought I’d take some time tonight to just take care of myself, and give my body and spirit a reset before the weekend.  Here are recipes for five special treats that I keep in my back pocket to whip up for days just like this, and how I do self-care up green and cheap.

These kinds of things have many, many recipes on the Web, some easier than others, and if you don’t feel like making them, you can buy them from the awesome Crunchy Betty in her Etsy shop (NOT an affiliate link, just love her stuff). This Friday Freedonist isn’t just about learning how to make a few simple luxuries, but about taking time to treat yourself in ways that are sustainable and luscious.  Once you have your own recipes, having your own personal spa day (or afternoon, or evening, or weekend….) is easy.  Or pick any one of them for a special treat in those times when you need the boost a little self-care gives you.

A Facial Steam with Chamomile (Calming) or Mint (Stimulating)  ($0.30-0.40 for the tea bags)

You’ll just need:

1-2 quarts of water
2-3 chamomile tea bags or a handful of dried chamomile flowers (super easy and pretty to grow) OR the equivalent amount of mint
A chair and a comfortable table at which to site for 5-10 minutes.
A towel (optional) and a pot holder

Bring the water to a boil in a wide pot on the stove. While that’s happening, remove any makeup you’re wearing, and tie your hair back or wrap it in a towel, or one of those cool shower caps. Turn on some music that will take you somewhere else, somewhere good, not stressy.

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the tea bags or chamomile/mint.  Let them steep for a couple of minutes and stir.

Move your pot over to the table and onto the pot holder.  If you want, drape your towel over your head to make a steam tent, or you can just hover your face over the tea.  Close your eyes and let the steam seep into your pores and your mind. Inhale deeply.  Relax, and remember all the things you’re grateful for.

Steam for 5-10 minutes, then pat your face dry.  You can use the cooled leftover water to water plants – I do, anyway.  My favorite thing to follow this with is:

Olive Oil Facial Cleanse  ($0.35)

Though it sounds like a greasy mess, this is one of the most pleasurable experiences I know – and it’s good even for acne-prone skin.  Here’s what this looks like:

You’ll need:

1/2 tsp organic castor, almond, or avocado oil, mixed in a little bowl with
1 1/2 tsp organic olive oil

Tie your hair back if you have long hair.

Making sure you can still hear your favorite music, take your oils and go to a room where there’s a place to lie down in peace.

Pour a dab of the mixed oils into your palm (about the size of a quarter), rub your hands together to warm the oil, and then slowly massage it into your face for about a minute.  Enjoy this – it feels warm and wonderful as it dissolves all the dirt and oil that might be keeping your face from really breathing.

Wet a washcloth with hot – but not uncomfortably hot – water.  Lie back down and put the washcloth over your face to open up your pores and let the oil penetrate a bit. When the washcloth is room temperature, use it to gently wipe off the oil, turning it over and rinsing/wringing it out with fresh warm water if you wish.

Time to fire up the shower.

Natural Hair Cleansing with Baking Soda, Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil  ($0.50)

Before you hop in the shower, prep and line up these things on the side of the tub:

–1/4 cup of baking soda
–a little squirt bottle or cup containing 1/3 cup each of apple cider vinegar and water
–a little bit of coconut oil, brought to a little above room temperature (and therefore liquid)
–if you’re continuing on to the next treat, as I am today, get that lined up too

After saturating your hair with warm water, rub the baking soda into your scalp and the top portions of your hair (I have long hair, but the only part that get oily is right against my head, ymmv).  I give myself a good head massage, making sure the baking soda slurry gets all the way down to the scalp, “sanding” off any sebum or oils.

Give it a good rinse, then squirt the vinegar mixture evenly throughout your hair.  Sometimes there’s an interesting pop-rocks kind of hiss, if you’ve missed any baking soda, as the two ingredients meet and react…it’s harmless, trust me.  Work it all the way through your hair.  Rinse.  I tend to rinse very well, so I don’t smell faintly like salad dressing when Mr. HH hugs me. This gives you shine like you wouldn’t believe.

If your hair is on the dry side, put a couple of drops of coconut oil in your hands and rub together, then apply the oil to the very ends of your hair, giving it a perfunctory rinse afterward as well.  If I have time, I like to let it sit in there for a few minutes, maybe while I enjoy the…

….Homemade Vanilla Sugar Scrub  (about $1.00)

This one’s probably all ready to throw together in your kitchen. I make a bunch all at once I can enjoy this for several spa days.  Mix all of these things together in a bowl:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown or raw sugar
2 T olive oil
2 T honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract  or a few drops of vanilla essential oil (or choose your own oil flavor…whatever makes you feel wonderful to smell)
1/2 tsp vitamin E oil

When you’re in the steamy shower and have soaped and rinsed your sweaty parts, apply the sugar scrub to any part of your body that needs a good exfoliating – for me it’s usually my arms, legs, neck, hands, and the top of my chest. Don’t scrub hard – you don’t want to feel irritated later.  (If you decide to use it on your face, keep it away from your eyes.)  Just rub it gently all over, and feel the dead skin cells being cleared away, leaving you glowing.  Rinse with warm water, finish with a cool rinse to help close up your pores, and pat yourself dry with the fluffiest, nicest towel in your closet.

All glowy?  Then reach for the….

…DIY Body Moisturizer with Smellgood of Your Choice ($1.50)

Okay, this one’s a little more complicated, but you end up with a batch that lasts a while, so it’s worth it.   Remember, you can find this sort of lovely stuff already made on, or at your local farmer’s market (look for the people who have goats!)  and it’s kind of a triple-whammy: green, luxurious, AND supporting small businesses.

3/4 cup strong-brewed herbal tea (I use green tea with lemon and ginseng) cooled to room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup olive, almond, or avocado oil
2 T beeswax pellets or grated beeswax  (this is the only “expensive” part!)
5-7 drops essential oil of your choice (optional but nice smelling)

Mix the oils together well in a glass measuring cup. Put a small saucepan with about 1″ of water on the stove to simmer, and when it is, put the measuring cup into the water to heat the oil. Add the beeswax and stir until it melts and is mixed in. That’s the only part that requires any care.

Put the tea in the glass jar of a blender.  Turn it on high.

Reduce, reuse, recycle and all that….

While the blender is running, slowly – very slowly – add the mixed oils in a thin stream until it starts to emulsify (it’ll begin to thicken and turn white). Add the rest of the oils and continue blending, stopping to pull any liquid out of the corners with a spatula, until everything is evenly blended and creamy.  Transfer this to a jar for storage.

Smooth a little bit into the areas of your body that need it.  For me, that’s my arms (especially hands and elbows), neck, and all over my legs and feet — the dryness of Colorado winters can be absolutely brutal on skin.  Start small, and get the feel of how long it takes this to soak into your skin, and gauge how much you need to use to absorb well

Schedule your own spa day and enjoy taking time to care for yourself.  (Gently) snub the needs of others during this time.  If we don’t take tender care of ourselves, and for the body that transports us from here to there, who will?  Love starts with us, inside of us; only then can you share it with other people.

You deserve this.

Happy Friday.





Category: Friday Freedonist, Fun, Home, Mental Health, Money Saving, Organic, Sustainable

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  1. Stacy says:

    This is perfect for my austerity measures! Well, except for our spa day next week 🙂

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