My Hammam Bath Experience

My doctor, dermatologist, actually, suggested the hammam bath for me due to my dry, scaly, bumpy skin.  I knew my skin, especially on my back, needed attention.  In fact, one reason I was in her office was to check for cancerous spots, but also to diagnose the itchy rash that suddenly appeared all over my back and legs.

For the rash I was prescribed a visit to the spa.  Well, kind of.  In many cultures body scrubs are part of a monthly ritual for deep cleansing.   The hammam treatment is a Moroccan bath which  involves a period of steaming followed by vigorous scrubbing.

I’ve been to many spas over the years, but I have never experienced the hammam.  I googled it to see what to expect.  Experiences vary so I thought I would share mine.

Fortunately a spa providing hammam baths is located within a 15 minute drive of my home. Soon after arriving I was ushered into a comfortable room with a daybed and two chairs.  Maria, who performed my service told me to remove all of my clothes, including underwear and to wrap in the large Turkish towel provided.

Next I followed her into a sizable tiled room that was filled with steam.  A shower was running in the corner and I showered there, basically letting the warm water wash over me.  From there I was helped over to a large tiled slab where I lay down on a mat.  The room is so steamy you can barely see and I felt like my breathing had to adjust a little.  But it also feels good.

Then Maria used black soap to wash my entire body, front and back.  This took about 5 minutes.  You are left to steam for about 15 minutes.  When she came back, she began a vigorous scrub with a brush on my legs, working her way up to my shoulders and arms and then doing the same on my back side.   This scrubbing felt good for the most part.  Only my abdomen felt a little sensitive.  After scrubbing a section Maria would pour really warm water over me and that felt wonderful.  After the scrubbing and the water she applied a thick gel-like substance, like a masque all over my body.  I steamed some more, probably 5 minutes.  She came back and poured more water over me, removing the masque with her hands.

Then she had me sit up and she washed my hair and applied conditioner.  I went back to the shower for a final rinse.  In the dressing room I toweled off and Maria came in and applied Argan oil which my skin just drank up.  The entire process lasted a little over an hour.

My skin feels so smooth now.  I think I will go on a regular basis because I do have exceedingly dry and bumpy skin.  Also my doctored “ordered” it.

Afterwards you  feel a little raw, so if you are going to go anywhere you might want to bring a hairdryer and a little make-up.  Although there was a hairdryer and brush in the room, which I used, I would probably bring mine next time unless I planned to go directly home.

All in all it was a good experience and I see why some make it a regular part of their skin care routine.

What is your favorite spa procedure:  massage, facial, scrub, steam?

Make College Graduation Day Special

Make College Graduation Day Special

Our three children  have long since graduated from college.  But I clearly remember the excitement and pride I felt on each of those occasions. We wanted to celebrate afterwards  to make our graduate feel special and show them how proud we were.


 Each institution has its own traditions for those celebrations that take place immediately after the commencement ceremony.  How do you throw a party when you aren’t at home?  Won’t the restaurants be packed?  If you prefer to host a gathering, finding a venue can be challenging.

Perhaps your student has been living in an off-campus apartment and that would be suitable.  Streamers and balloons in the school colors add a festive touch.  Don’t forget napkins and other paper goods in the appropriate colors.   Food and drink could be purchased locally or brought from home if you are driving from nearby.

 If the weather is conducive, a picnic is a great option.    Picnics can be as casual or as elaborate as you like.  You will need to coordinate with your student to find out if the institution allows picnicking on the grounds.  Or perhaps there are public parks  nearby.  Check to see if these spaces require reservations.

Along these same lines, perhaps a tailgate picnic would work.  If you have the capability to bring a grill and some coolers, then your graduate can invite friends to join the celebration. Or some of those public parks may have grills (and restrooms) available.

Some colleges and universities have provided options on campus for families to set up their reception area.  I am surprised that more schools don’t do this, recognizing that families want to take the time to congratulate their student.

Obviously if you want to go to a restaurant you must plan ahead and make reservations.  I would start calling in February for a May graduation.  They may tell you that you have to wait, but then you can find out when reservations open for graduation day.  Put that date on your calendar and call early that day.

For one of our children’s graduations we rented a house for the weekend.  Having a house enabled us to invite our graduate’s friends and their families over to join us.  The school colors were orange and navy blue so I found as much decor in those colors as I could.  We brought food from home since the school is a short  two hour drive.

For another child’s graduation we attended a party at his fraternity house that was coordinated by some parents.  We all contributed to the cost. This provided an opportunity to socialize with the other graduates and their parents.

Any other suggestions for celebrating college graduation?  Let us know in the comments!


Best Greenery for Your Home

Best Greenery for Your Home

I think we all know that plants and flowers add a warm and nurturing feeling to a home.  Plants not only add beauty but also make our homes healthier by acting as air filters.

I know, I know.  What if you are not good at keeping plants alive?  House plants can be somewhat tricky.  For the most part I confine myself to the easier variety.  Today I’m going to share what works for me and a few other ways that I bring foliage into my house.

Continue reading “Best Greenery for Your Home”

Boho Guest Bedroom Final Reveal

We are done (for now anyway) in sprucing up my daughter’s guest bedroom on a $500 budget.  This post is a little late because we ordered a rug which didn’t arrive until the end of the week.

We are so happy with all the new personality in this room!

Continue reading “Boho Guest Bedroom Final Reveal”

5 Tips for Renting A Vacation House

Every year (almost) we rent a house at the beach for a week of vacation time with our family.  Now that our three children are grown, and two are married, it can be difficult to coordinate our schedules so that we can all be together for an extended time.  All of us try to make it a priority to set aside a few days to come together.  And it’s vacation, so it’s not hard.

4 houses, better (1 of 1)

Of course, as your family grows and people mature, you look for different things in a house.  This year we will have two granddaughters with us.  Yay!  In years past we wanted a ping pong table.  Now we need some quiet areas.   It’s a good idea to jot down some must-haves for your house, along with budget and the dates that are good for everyone.

Continue reading “5 Tips for Renting A Vacation House”

Show Your Love

I don’t usually make a BIG deal of Valentine’s Day, but it is fun to make it a little less ordinary.  Here are some of the ways I have celebrated the day with those I love.

I made this potholder for my mother-in-law.  If you sew, it’s easy to make these with scraps from your fabric stash.

I bring in more candy than usual.  Candy doesn’t last long around here – even with the kids gone.

It’s a good opportunity to bring out your heart decor.


How cute is this craft heart for your kids, of any age?

And thank goodness for Valentine’s Day or I would have lingering Christmas decor until Easter.  Oy!

I’ll be back on Monday with my easy weeknight Valentine’s Day dinner for two.

Boho Bedroom is almost Done

We are almost done in the guest room of my daughter’s new house.  If you haven’t been following along, we are sprucing up this room on a $500 budget.  You can see more here.

This week we worked on the side of the room across from the bed, which basically only needed a mirror and a little styling help on the dresser top.

I think a little larger plant might be in order at least for the pictures.  I do like to leave room for guests to place their brushes and toiletries, etc. on dressers and other surfaces.

I found the small shelf at a thrift store and painted it white.  We didn’t need anymore brown furniture in this room.

In the beginning it looked like this:

Luckily we had good quality furniture.  All we had to do was add a few accessories and warm it up a bit.

This empty corner gets a little personality with a shelf and some pictures.

A few more incidentals and we are done.  And we have not spent all of our $500.  I will have a full accounting of our expenditures on the final reveal.

Boho Guest Bedroom Makeover

As I mentioned in this post, I am working with my daughter to spruce up her guest bedroom.  It’s a room she just hasn’t had time to tackle and I thought it would be fun to see what we could do for $500.

As you can see we have the basics: a bed, nightstands, lamps.

Lilly and I both like the boho vibe and while this furniture doesn’t necessarily suggest that, I think we can work around it.  Since the sleigh bed is pretty traditional I plan to use the bedding and some pillows to bring in the modern feel.

And then as I was contemplating what we would do for art,  this blog post regarding inexpensive art popped up in my feed from  Emily Henderson.  I love her blog; there are so many great pictures and ideas and ideas for decorating on a budget.   And she lets her funny personality come through in her writing so it’s just entertaining to read.

I found so much to love in that post but settled on some prints from The Printable Studio.  There is a variety of art and we had a hard time deciding on just two prints.  But we finally chose these two.

I had already bought frames at Michael’s (40% off) so I knew I needed the size to be 11×14.  Roseanne at The Printable Studio was very accommodating and had the files to me within minutes.  There is a Fedex Office nearby so I went there for my printing.  I selected white cardstock in a matte finish.  They turned out great.

Here they are framed in the Michael’s frames.  The total cost for both pictures is $65.50.  I’m excited to see how they will look in the room.

And I am excited by this new discovery of how easy it is to have great art that is affordable.  I have a lot of plans for some new art in my house.

I will have an update on the bedroom makeover later this week so check back here to see the progress.

Home Goals for 2018

I hope you had a warm and cozy holiday with your loved ones.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves, eating too much, playing games and watching our favorite holiday movies.

Now that we are headed toward 2018, my thoughts quickly turn to my goals for the new year.  I always look forward to a fresh start and the opportunity to move forward on my goals in all areas of life.  In fact, I usually review past goals and I always see progress. Even small change is welcome. I have found that writing down my goals is the best way to stay on track.

  Mr. DB and I sit down for a planning session for our joint goals each year.  I have  to get vacations and trips on the calendar or we are frantically try to squeeze them in among other commitments.  We sit with our calendars and talk about potential trips and pencil in dates.  Also, it helps him with scheduling work commitments knowing this personal time is planned.

I also make plans for my home.  Writing your goals and plans down brings them from the vague “someday” ether and into reality.  And sometimes I realize that I don’t want to bring a vague goal into reality, it was a fantasy anyway.  But actually putting down window replacement for 2018 means I will make it happen.

So, to that end, I created this printable goal list to jump start your thinking on the changes and home improvements you would like to make in 2018.

Home Goals for 2018

I would love to hear about your planning process each year.  Let me know in the comments!

Gifts For Her

Just in case you need some ideas for that special female someone!



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The Noonday Collection has such lovely and unique items.  And you get the added gift of feeling good about your purchase since all items are fair trade, benefiting the artisans who make them. The jewelry here is a tiny fraction of the collection.  In addition, the site offers apparel and art, all handmade from the finest materials.

I love so many of the Molton Brown line of body washes and lotions.  Right now I am enjoying the Pink Pepperpod fragrance.  It is a subtle and elusive scent that will delight your senses.

I love the Kiehl’s lotions as well.  I have never actually used this whipped body cream, but there were 145 reviews that raved about this product.  It costs more than I would normally spend but I am intrigued by the devoted following.

The mohair throws from Pottery Barn would be perfect in any room, from bedrooms to living rooms.  I like the slim profile and the gorgeous colors.  Peacock would look perfect in our family room, in case you were wondering.

We need new stainless flatware.  Ours is 37 years old and it looks it!  Pottery Barn flatware has a nice heft and the price is reasonable, especially if it lasts another 37 years.

I finally admitted that my old booties were killing me and put them in the donation bag.  I really like the look of these shoes from Kork-Ease and the reviews confirm that they are very comfortable.

So, what’s on your list?  I’d love to hear!

Some items are affiliate links, meaning I may get a commission if you click on the link.