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The Spa At Home, The Perfect Girlfriend Party

Here’s the perfect girlfriend party: yoga, facials, massages, guilt-free food, and a chance to catch up.
By Janet Rosell |

GIRL STUFF: Yoga instructor Kathi Lind offers in-home private lessons in addition to classes at the Dallas Yoga Center. (Below) Allison relaxes while receiving a hair treatment.

A Day Spa at Home
Here’s the perfect girlfriend party: yoga, facials, massages, guilt-free food, and a chance to catch up.

My friends and I work constantly. No matter how hard we try, making time to get together seems to be nearly impossible. And scheduling time to take care of ourselves? Most of us just sigh and say, I’ll do it next week. But I finally hit on the perfect solution: let a get together pull double-duty. I put together a spa day at home for a few close friends with a simple agenda: beauty treatments and good companionship. It was, in a word, amazing.

Use our day as a blueprint or change it up to make it work for you and your friends. But here are a few things to keep in mind: a day-spa party should include a variety of beauty treatments and pampering, perhaps even some light exercise. Set a date about a month in advance and be sure to tell your friends what’s on the menu; there’s no way they’ll cancel. Buy or concoct a few pampering products “you can’t go wrong with a mask, a hair treatment, and something indulgent for the feet”and call in a caterer, a yoga instructor, and maybe a massage therapist. Don’t over-schedule yourselves; you’ll only need an hour or so of their services. At the end of the day, the results “physical, emotional, and spiritual “will be well worth it.

ON THE MENU: An in-home spa day should include some light fare, such as steamed Sea Bass with green-tea noodles (above), and more than a little pampering (left). Have lunch catered and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

9:45 a.m.: If you want to go A-plus-plus, have your spa day catered. Andrew Ormsby arrives with loads of goodies. Andrew has planned two light meals to energize and refresh us. He relies on fresh ingredients, such as chilled watermelon juice, fresh fruit, sea bass, spinach, and a fruit sorbet to create a tantalizing and exotic menu.

10:00 a.m.: Invite your very best buddies. Allison and I stroll into our friend Kim’s posh Turtle Creek pad (check out that carpet!) in our yoga best, with pooches in tow “they needed a play date, too. We’re looking forward to a day of dishing and indulging ourselves.

10:15 a.m.: Indulge in all of the little things. Andrew serves up bowls of fresh papaya and glasses of watermelon juice, the perfect fuel for our yoga class. But, first things first, we quickly get down to the business of catching up while we apply facial masks.

PRODUCTS TO INDULGE IN

Sonya Dakar facial mask and Fresh sugar scrub, available at Aqua Spa, 6405 Hillcrest Ave. 214-443-0100. www.aquarx.com.

Philip B. rejuvenating oil for hair, available at Neiman Marcus, 400 NorthPark Center.
214-363-8311.
www.neimanmarcus.com.

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha-Beta Peel, available at Nordstrom, Dallas Galleria, 5220 Alpha Rd. 972-702-0055. Multiple locations. www.nordstrom.com.

Noon: Do something physical. This pose really hurts my feet, I say, as Kathi Lind begins our yoga class. Kim and Allison are groaning, as well. I bet you all wear heels, Kathi replies knowingly. Oops “Manolo strikes again. Kathi’s Iyengar class is a combination of invigorating and calming poses. The motions are fluid and help build strength and flexibility. Kathi is an excellent teacher; by the end of our session, she’s acquired three more groupies for her 7:15 morning class at the Dallas Yoga Center.

1:15 p.m.: Dine lightly but lavishly. Lunch is light yet satisfying: steamed sea bass in spinach leaves and Thai Tom Yum, the most incredible soup we’ve ever had. Andrew’s enthusiasm about food and the creativity of his menu make me want to quit my job and assist him permanently. But I settle for cadging his recipes and planning a Sunday jaunt to Central Market to reproduce the menu for myself at home.

2:45 p.m.: Pamper yourselves from head to toe. To treat our colored, highlighted, blown-out, hot-rolled, and generally abused hair, we apply Philip B. rejuvenating oil. While the oil works its magic, we say goodbye to dry skin on our feet. Perched around Kim’s tub, we work in a Fresh sugar scrub and compare notes on everything from 401(k)s to religion to our newest skin care finds. (Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha-Beta Peel is the unanimous new favorite.)

ONE OF THE GIRLS: Skyler, in pink feathers”of course”does a little unwinding of her own.

4:00 p.m.: Massages are a must. Ooohhh! Allison squeals, Can I be first? Keith, our reflexologist, has just walked through the door. An hour and a half later, after Keith has worked out all of the week’s tension, we’re agreed: our feet have never had it so good. We’re almost ready to swear off our Jimmy Choos. Almost.

6:00 p.m.: Take the rest of the night off. The dogs are starting to yawn, and if we get any more relaxed, we’ll be asleep. We make dinner plans to discuss the schedule of our newly established monthly in-home spa date. Given our results “happy hearts, glowing skin, silky hair, rejuvenated feet, and limber bodies “I don’t think it’ll be any problem to get the girls together again.

DO-IT-YOURSELF SPA TREATMENTS

WHO’S WHO
We tapped a few of the city’s best to create our at-home spa day.

Catering by Andrew Ormsby Catering, 3121 Ross Ave. 214-841-1917. www.ormsbycatering.com.

Yoga class led by Kathi Lind, Dallas Yoga Center, 4525 Lemmon Ave., Ste. 305. 214-443-9642. Private lessons, by appointment, available through the Dallas Yoga Center or 214-599-9149. www.dallasyogacenter.com.

Reflexology by Keith Manning, Aqua Spa, 6405 Hillcrest Ave. 214-443-0100. www.aquarx.com.

For the Body
Body-smoothing Apple Polish
Core, peel, chop, and mash one large, overripe apple. Stir in 1 cup sugar. In the shower, rub mixture on dry spots, such as elbows and heels. Rinse and follow with lotion.

For the Face
Perfect-your-complexion Facial (for normal to oily skin)

Stir 1/2 cup cornmeal and 2 tablespoons milk into a paste, then use to gently scrub skin. Rinse and pat dry. Mix 1 teaspoon honey and one egg white until blended. Apply mask to face, let it dry, and then rinse. Mash one banana and 1 tablespoon avocado together. Apply to skin and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse one last time, and finish with your regular moisturizer.

For the Feet
Milk & Honey Foot Treatment

Mix 2 cups milk and 1 cup honey in a foot basin or bath. Soak for 10 minutes, massaging mixture into feet.

For the Hair
Fruit-smoothie Hair Mask

In a blender, combine 1/2 banana, 1/4 avocado, 1/4 cantaloupe, 1 tablespoon wheat germ oil, and 1 tablespoon yogurt. For extra conditioning, squeeze in the contents of one vitamin E capsule. Apply to hair. Leave in for 20 to 30 minutes. Shampoo
and rinse.

Source: Salon Pompeo, 3227 McKinney Ave., Ste. 103. 214-979-0440.

DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS: Exotic fruit sorbets are guilt-free indulgences. (Below) Thai Tom Yum is light yet flavorful.

SPA FOOD

Steamed Sea Bass
(serves 4)
 
 2 pounds fresh sea bass
 1 bunch large-leaf spinach
 1 packet Japanese green-tea noodles
  Sesame oil
  Sweet Indonesian soy or Bentang Manis, available from Henk’s Black Forest Deli
 1 fresh ginger root
 1 green onion
 1 packet fresh nametake mushrooms
 1 ounce snow pea shoots
 1 bamboo steamer

Cut sea bass into 12 even squares.

Plunge cleaned spinach into boiling water then strain leaves into iced water immediately, to refresh and keep green. Lay largest leaves on dry cloth and spread open. Being very careful, fold and wrap leaf spinach around each piece of bass then place in greased bamboo steamer.

Cook tea noodles in boiling water with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil until al dente, then refresh in cold water.

To steam fish: add water, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, chopped fresh ginger to taste, and 1 tablespoon of Indonesian soy to a bowl and mix. Place under steamer. Steam fish until just cooked. Serve over hot or cold noodles.

Garnish with blanched nametake mushrooms and snow pea shoots.

Thai Tom Yum
(serves 4)

 1 onion, diced
 1 clove garlic, chopped
 1 tablespoon sesame oil
 2 green onions, sliced
 1 flat tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
 1/2  teaspoon sabal oelek, available at Asian grocery stores
 1 stick lemongrass
  Juice of 2 limes
 1 jar hot-and-sour shrimp paste
  (Tom Yum paste)
 1 quart fish stock
 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
 1 can light coconut milk
 
Add sesame oil to saucepan and saut onions, garlic, green onions, and ginger. Add 3 big teaspoons of Tom Yum paste, sambal oelek, and lime juice, then stir. Add palm sugar, fish stock, cilantro, mint, and lemongrass. Simmer for 5 minutes on low. Remove lemon grass then puree broth. Serve hot and garnish with small amount of light coconut milk and fine julienne of ginger. For extra spice, sprinkle on red chile flakes.

Tangelo, Granny Smith Apple, and Lychee Sorbet
(serves 4)
 
  Juice of 8 tangelos
  Juice of 8 Granny Smith apples
 1 can lychee nuts, strained and pureed

Add tangelo and apple juice to saucepan. Reduce by half. Set aside to cool. Add cooled liquid to pureed lychees, then pour into ice cream maker. Churn until ready.


Raspberry, Blackberry, and Lemon Sorbet
(serves 4)
 
 2 pints raspberries
 2 pints blackberries
 1 tablespoon sugar
  Juice of 2 lemons

Add berries, sugar, and lemon juice to saucepan. Bring to gentle boil. Puree mixture in blender. Strain liquid to remove seeds, then churn in ice cream machine.

NOTE: if you don’t have an ice cream machine, freeze mixture in a flat plastic or stainless steel tray. Run a fork through it every 20 minutes to aerate the mix until it reaches the desired frozen consistency.

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