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6 Reasons Why You Should Implement Autumn’s Spa Sunday Routine

Botticelli was thinking about Spa Sunday when he painted this.

Or, 6 Reasons Why You, Too, Can Feel Like Venus Rising Newborn from the Foam 

1. The luxurious mani/pedi.

So my New Year’s Resolution was to take extra special care of my hair, skin, and nails (thus, Spa Sunday was born!)–but really it’s my nails that need the most help. They sometimes look live I’ve been living in the wild, killing prey with my bare hands and digging Autumn-sized lairs under the roots of trees (I often envision myself having to survive all alone in the wild, just for light amusement, but that’s another post). So the first order of business on Spa Sunday is to clean, trim, and file those suckers. You’ll do the rest in a minute.

[NOTE: I do not include any actual nail painting in this mani/pedi, because, I mean seriously, I have other demands on my time. But if your schedule is less rigorous, feel free to polish away at the conclusion of the Spa Sunday routine.]

2. The sumptuous hair mask.

I do clean and brush my hair fairly regularly, but I sort of neglect it otherwise. The time had come to do a little something extra, so I mixed up an olive oil and honey hair mask (easy recipes for this and other concoctions below). It adds lots of shine and softness. Pour it all over your head and massage deeply into scalp and roots. It’s probably going to drip into your eyelashes or run disconcertingly down into your armpit. Ignore the urge to leap in the shower and scrub it off with a Brillo pad. Just keep on rubbing till you look like this. Then wrap it all up in a towel (if you can get hold of the ridiculously amazing Turbie Twist, I highly recommend) and wash your hands till your fingers stop sticking together.

3. The soothing facial.

Start running your bath water (see item 4) and add the bath salts. While that’s going, give yourself a quick face wash to remove impurities and turn your sink faucet on super hot. Lean over the sink with a towel over your head so you trap all the steam. You might feel like you’re going to die, or at least I did, since breathing in steam gives me a thick, panicky feeling in my throat –but stick to it for a few minutes because this opens your pores. We’ll continue the facial in just one sec.

4. The relaxing bath.

Head for the tub with a jar of sugar scrub, your favorite facial moisturizer, and an orange wood stick (you know, that thingy they use at nail salons). Once immersed, massage the sugar scrub into your face, hands, feet, elbows, knees, and any other bits you care to soften up. Rinse the scrub off your face with warm water first, and then follow up with a splash of cool (I did all this while my bath was still filling up). The chilly water closes up your pores and then you can slather on a dab of face lotion to seal the deal. Next, proceed to soak for a while, making sure to get your fingers and toes fairly raisin-y. Sip a glass of wine, listen to some Kenny G, what have you. Finally, just before you wind things down, push your softened cuticles back with the stick.

5. The rejuvenating shower.

It’s time to shampoo your hair and rinse off the sugar granules lingering in the, er, creases. Use cool-ish water (or lukewarm, you weenie) for this stage–it restore the tissues, as Bertie Wooster would say. You know what to do here. Report back when your hair doesn’t smell like Italian food.

6. The comforting towel-cuddle.

I hope for your sake that you have a nice, big, fluffy towel or robe to wrap yourself in. A thin, scratchy one is no good–that would be like topping a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone with a stick of celery. Anyway, snuggle into your plushest towel and sit in your comfiest chair. Bring along lotion and some nourishing nail serum for your hands and feet. Moisturize yourself into a state of bliss. The end.

My Spa Sunday supplies (bath salts, sugar scrub, and hair mask from left to right).

Hair Mask
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup olive oil

Bath Salts
1 bag Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salt
1 1/2 cups baking soda
1 cup sea salt

Sugar Scrub
2 parts sugar
1 part oil (I used sweet almond, but olive oil is fine too)
A few drops of essential oil (peppermint was my choice this time around) 

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4 Reasons Why You Need This Quiche In Your Life

Or, 4 Reasons Why Sunday Brunch Is the Best Part of My Week

quiche

1. Onions

Normally I despise onions. Raw onions are disturbingly crispy and taste like I’m having the inside of my mouth bleached. Cooked onions remind me of slimy translucent worms. Plus I hate chopping them because of course my eyes are THE MOST REACTIVE POSSIBLE to onion fumes. The burning! The tears! I even kept swim goggles in the kitchen junk drawer to wear when I made guacamole (I mean, you can’t skip the onion in guac, even if you don’t love it). But things have changed, y’all. I feel like the Grinch when his heart grew three sizes. Because onions are the best thing about this quiche. I first tasted it at an office party, thought to myself “ye gods! this is the most beautiful and joyous thing I’ve ever masticated,” stalked my colleague until she emailed me her recipe, and then felt my heart sink when I saw that it called for 1 large onion. Eeep. But I conquered my fear, threw an onion into the food processor so I didn’t have a quiche full of large oniony chunks, and never looked back. The flavor is…well…I have no words. Just try it (recipe below).

2. Butter

So the aforementioned onions are sauteed in an entire stick of butter until everything gets brown and awesome. Yes, an entire stick. Don’t skimp. This mellows out the onions, adds a sweetish, nutty flavor, and makes the egg mixture lovely and smooth and silky.

3. Cream

YES IT HAS CREAM TOO. Who are you, Jillian Michaels? Just climb off your treadmill and make the quiche. Life is too short to not taste its buttery-creamy-oniony magicalness.

4. Mimosas

If you spend an hour in the kitchen slaving over this masterpiece of a quiche, then by gum, you deserve some booze to go with it. Splash together some OJ and cheap champagne, maybe put the football game on TV, and you’re in business.

SUE’S QUICHE 
(thank you Sue, I love you forever)
2 frozen pie crusts, deep dish (or make your own if you’re super fancy)
4-5 eggs
3 cups shredded cheese of your choice
1 large or 2 medium onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 stick butter
1/2 cup half-and-half
salt & pepper
meat and veggie ingredients of your choice (see below; generally you want about 1 lb. of protein and 1 cup cooked veggies)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Put onions and garlic in food processor and pulse till finely diced. Melt butter over medium heat, add onion mix, and saute for 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly.
3. Poke holes in your crusts with a fork and partially bake for 7-9 minutes.
4. Mix eggs and half-and-half in large bowl till well-blended. Add onion/garlic/butter mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in 2 cups of cheese, your meat and veggies, and pour into pre-baked crusts. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
5. Brush crusts with eggwash (beaten egg plus a splash of water or milk) if you like a nice golden brown look. Bake for 45-55 minutes till egg mixture no longer jiggles. Enjoy!

Quiche Flavor Possibilities
These are just a few ideas, but there are infinite possibilities using these and other ingredients. Southwest quiche! BLT quiche! Broccoli cheddar quiche! Use your imagination and go wild.

Bacon, Mushroom, & Tomato
Cook 1 package bacon on a baking sheet in 400 degree oven, then crumble or layer in bottom of crust; saute 2 cups mushrooms in butter till browned; finely dice 1 Roma tomato.

Steak & Mushroom
Cook 1 ribeye steak to your preference, slice thinly and layer in bottom of crust; saute 2 cups mushrooms in butter till browned.

Chicken & Spinach
Boil 5 chicken tenderloins and chop fine; microwave box of frozen spinach for 6 minutes, use half; Parmesan cheese goes nicely with these flavors.

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3 Reasons Why I Coupon (And Yes, I’m Allowing That Word to Function as a Verb)

Or, 3 Reasons Why I Feel Motivated to Get a Tattoo in a Scandalous Place to Counteract the Fact that I’m Dangerously Teetering on the Precipice of Being Known as “That Lady With Four Cats Who Is Obsessed with Coupons”

1. Couponing appeals to my competitive nature.

It feels like an enjoyably elaborate game to me—hunt for deals, gather my coupons, find everything on my list—so when I do well, I win, hahah! And this victory is especially sweet because I win ACTUAL MONEY. So it’s essentially like Monopoly on crack. And the store in question just landed on my Boardwalk with three hotels bwaaaaahahahhahaha—sorry. I frequently lapse into Monopoly fantasies.

Original cost $82. I paid $14.50.

2. Couponing appeals to my finicky, organized nature.

It gave me a reason to arrange this file box and write a bunch of labels. That kind of thing is, like, the chief joy of my life. Yes. I am openly admitting that.

I got so excited about the folders for each month that I actually made folders for each week too. Totally unnecessary, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Now, you might be one of these folks who is interested in couponing but you always hold back because you’re thinking, “Seriously, who are these freaks who spend hours cutting coupons and standing in line to buy 200 boxes of cereal? Aren’t I doing enough for my family already? I mean, for the LOVE OF GOD, what do they want from me? MY BLOOD?!?!?!” If that’s you, lemme just share a little something (after which you will probably say, with tears in your eyes, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings). Here’s how it works:

  • Set up a file box with a folder for each month, plus a few general folders for coupons you print off the internet (groceries, household, etc.)
  • Buy papers every Sunday (good rule of thumb: get one for every person in the house)
  • Write each week’s date on your inserts and file them away
  • Check out this couponing site and others like it, which will tell you what deals are running at which stores, and which coupons from which dates and inserts you need for each deal.
  • Decide which deals you want, cut the coupons you need, and you’re all done except for the fun shopping part.

I have great success with this non-overwhelming method (not to mention, I just enjoy filing things) and it takes no more than an hour a week. Perhaps even less. Are you misting up yet?

3. Couponing appeals to my shameless-desire-for-lots-of-money nature.

Now, I am told that in the music world it has been posited that mo’ money = mo’ problems, but in my own humble opinion, the author of that sentiment is just STRAIGHT TRIPPIN. I will take all the money I can get and whatever “problems” come with it. Mo’ couponing = mo’ money = mo’ stuff from Etsy, is my personal view. Speaking of which, check out my favorite Etsy purchase to date, “Picky Duck,” which continues to make me giggle like a lunatic even though it’s been hanging on my wall for months.

From WhatParty, an embroidery shop par excellence.

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