Monday, January 23, 2012

A little pampering!

The holiday were crazy this year!
Of course, the holidays are crazy every year.  I don't think I am alone in this dilemma.

Between work, kids, school, church, and all the activities that go with them I felt like I was sitting in the middle of a tornado with no way of hanging on.
When it was over, I started feeling a little under the weather. 

That, I expected.
Sadly, it happens every year.  I think when the craziness ends and I finally slow down, my body is confused and doesn't know how to respond.  Luckily this year it came only in the form of a cold, rather than the severe case of the flu I got last year (on Christmas Day, no less!)

This year I decided that when January rolled around, I would set aside a day  to do something for myself.  I rarely ever do anything like that!  Partly due to time constraints, and partly (mostly) due to cost. 
However, on this occasion I was given a gift certificate and I could not wait to use it!

If you live in the Donelson area, you have probably seen the Seraphim Salon and Spa. 
It sits just off Lebanon Rd in a beautiful old stone house.

My gift certificate was for a Natural Elements Massage.   As I stated above, it could not have come at a better time.  I could feel the tension and stress from my increasingly-gray roots all the way down to my toes!

I have to give them kudos, because it was by far the best Salon experience I have ever had!
First of all, when you go in, you are automatically taken over by something that smells really good.
It didn't smell like color and bleach the way some salons do.  First impressions are so important.

Second, the ladies at the front desk were all smiles, knew my name and greeted me warmly!  Before I could get a word out of what I was there for they asked me if I would like to relax with a cup of coffee or hot tea before my massage!

Hello! Can you say GREAT SERVICE!?

Next, I was taken upstairs to the area where the massage therapist works.  It was the most comfortable, relaxing atmosphere I could imagine outside of my own home! 
Before she came in, the massage therapist gave me a cup of the most delicious Aveda hot tea I had ever had, while sitting on a comfy sofa in a bath robe, with my feet in a hot bath.

Of course the massage was awesome too! 
It lasted about an hour.  Afterward, she refreshed my tea and gave me a glass of cold water to sip on before leaving.  I was surprised at how much the glass of water helped to "wake me up"! (I was so relaxed, I really didn't want to go anywhere, so this helped.)

So, if you are in the area and want to treat yourself, go for it! 
The ladies at Seraphim will take great care of you, treat you like family, and you will leave feeling like a whole new person!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another recomendation!


Yes, I know it has been months since my last post.  I am most definitely ashamed of this since I truly love keeping up the blog, but as you can imagine things have gotten a little.... uh, hairy in the months since my last post.

I'm sorry.
(does that about cover it?  If not, well....)

I wanted to start the new year off with another recommendation for you!
You probably know how much I love to read.  It is one of the few things that I almost always manage to make time for in a day.

Usually at night, after everyone has gone to bed, I will snuggle up in my favorite chair and enjoy some peace and quiet for a little while.
This is usually only 20-30 minutes, or until I nod off, whichever happens first.

Really it is therapeutic!  I find that it helps me sleep because I am able to completely take my mind off of the hectic, craziness that has become my life lately before going to bed.

As I have said before, I love a good suspense novel.  
Most people who know me think that it means I am reading horror stories, but that is actually not the case.
I do love horror movies, but books are different. Most of the time you cannot translate something that would be surprising and frightful onscreen into something that would deliver the same effect in a book.  On the other hand, a good suspenseful book could easily be turned into a horror movie, simply by the extra effects and features, music, etc. that a film can add.  I always love seeing a book that I have read turned into a movie.
Then, when people talk about what a great movie it is, I remind them of how I was teased for reading the book.... 
oh, nevermind!

Anyway, I typically read books that are suspenseful.  I love the page-turners that wind a story and keep you guessing until the very end.
I have read MANY of these over the years, from John Grisham to James Patterson.  All the big names you think of when you enter a bookstore.  I have even read a good variety of Stephen King.  That is a story for another day, though.  His are typically suspenseful, but in a more supernatural way.   

Then, last summer when I went to Florida with the family I was in need of a new book.  I took one along that I had picked up at a yard sale.  
My first day by the pool I realized I had discovered a lemon in the book world.  One that sounds interesting and exciting on the back cover, but is slow and stupid once you get 50 pages in.  
There were NO bookstores, I was an hour from the nearest Wal-Mart, and the Piggly Wiggly close by had zip.

Luckily, my little sis has the same taste in reading and had brought a few extra books along.
When I told her of my dilemma she was happy to loan me one of hers.

I looked on her bedside table to choose my new read and came away with one from an author I was unfamiliar with.
My sister told me that once I read some of his books, I would be spoiled.  I would find it hard to read books written by other authors because they just didn't have that extra "umph!"  I figured she was being dramatic.


I am totally hooked!
The author's name is Harlan Coben.

He has been writing for years, I just cannot believe I did not stumble upon his work before now.  My sis was right.  I just hope he keeps writing.... what will I do if he every quits?

Regardless, I picked up the book and started reading.  
I could NOT put it down.  I managed to break for dinner, but was soon buried in the story once again.  
I have no idea what time I finally fell asleep that first night, but I do know that I soaked up a good tan the next two days.  That is because I spent the next day and a half by the pool with my nose buried in that book!
I read it all the way through, in record time considering the fact that my 2 kids, 2 nephews, and my niece were usually splashing in the pool right beside me!

That first book I read was called "Just One Look".

I have since read 5 or 6 of his other books.  Each one was fantastic!  Obviously I have my favorites, one of which is that first book I read.  

As with some other authors, he has a series of books that follow a main character (Myron Bolitar) through each.  Therefore, those need to be read in order.  So, before picking up one of his books, I recommend you check to be sure you are not starting in the middle of the series.  It might be hard to follow if you don't start with the first one.

Among my favorites so far, if you are looking to try one (aside from the one mentioned above):
* Caught

* Tell No One

* Play Dead

All of his books are available on Amazon.  I got most of mine that way.  Just click on the links above if you want to try one of these, it will take you right to it.

You CANNOT go wrong with any of these!  You will find yourself whisked away into a suspenseful mystery, trying to determine if you have it figured out!

Isn't that the best part, after all?