Elyse Major and I were recently invited to sample services at The Spa (formerly the Red Door), located in the Providence Biltmore in downtown Providence. Having the opportunity to spend the afternoon at a spa is a luxury that never seems to fit either of our budgets or timetable. But after spending an afternoon at The Spa—I had an amazing manicure and pedicure while Elyse enjoyed a massage, followed by relaxing in the quiet room with candles and magazines and ending with a delicious lunch and glass of wine at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant—we both felt like we had gone away for the weekend, forgetting any stress or pressures of everyday life.
What I loved about The Spa: Clean, modern, tranquil and private atmosphere, friendly knowledgeable staff, free valet parking, artwork on the walls by local artists, princess menu for girls, and a discount for local residents. The added bonus: Not having to travel far from home made scheduling our services easier to fit into our busy schedules of juggling work and family life.
If my husband want’s to treat me for my birthday or for mother’s day, I am hoping he sends me back to The Spa. In the meantime, since many of us moms may not have the time or budget for frequent spa trips, Elyse put a together a list everyday ways to relax and pamper yourself no matter your budget. - Anisa
I can recall as a new mom, nodding along as well-meaning family and friends advised me to take time for myself, do something nice for myself. With two small boys just two years apart, I felt lucky to indulge in brushing my teeth. But the old saying “When Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy” is pretty much true so now I’m passing along that same advice to parents: Try to make a little time for yourself. Sometimes small indulgences can do the trick to restore a busy parent’s energy. Here are a few ideas that work/ed for me:
Alone time: With the kids
Okay, this one seems like a contradiction but read the list and you’ll understand:
- Meet friends at a park and let children play while you chat. My pick: The Gladys Potter Playground, Humboldt Avenue, Providence
- Keep a tote bag in the car loaded with favorite magazines or a good book and when children fall asleep, pull over in a shady spot, roll down the windows and luxuriate in quiet reading time. My pick: Any place with a waterside breeze.
- While kids are occupied with a favorite movie or activity, give yourself a quick pedicure.
- Color along with the kids in your very own coloring book. Coloring can be very relaxing, and the contemplative, busy time creating side by side with your children is rewarding and satisfying. My pick: Disney’s Cinderella.
Alone time: Low-cost
The following activities require little time away from home but child care is needed for these quick escapes:
- Visit a bookstore and sit with a book or stack of magazines and read on a comfy chair. Treats optional but preferred! My pick: Any bookstore with a café!
- Wander through the cosmetic aisle of a department store. Sample perfumes and ask for samples, try a new eye shadow, buy a bottle of cheap nail polish in a color you’ve never worn. My pick: Sephora (for samples), CVS, Target.
- Meet a friend for a snack. What’s better than sharing over a cookie? My pick: Panera.
Alone time: Indulge!
- Lunch or Dinner out with friends.
- A trip to a spa for a pedicure, facial and/or massage.
- Plan a (gasp!) weekend away without the kids!
- We split a lobster salad for lunch and McCormick & Schmick’s
served each half like this. Beautiful and delicious.