December, 2013


18
Dec 13

Children, Gifts and Christmas

I consider buying for children the easiest; they aren’t shy in letting you know what they want! And if they don’t like what they unwrap on the big day, you’ll soon find out!

Recent research by Early Learning Centre has shown that most kids spend two days compiling their Christmas wish list hoping to get things like dolls houses, bikes and tablets adding up to an average total of £880. Wow – kids aren’t cheap! Unless your parents are the Beckhams, most kids end up with toys/gadgets worth an average of £207.

The study of 2,000 parents found that 72% of children compile a Christmas wish list every year, with a third saying their youngster believes they will receive everything on it. The sweet innocence of children!

When I was young (according to my daughter – who asked if I was alive during The Great Fire of London – hundreds of years ago) we used to spend ages going through catalogues deciding what we wanted but nowadays 57% of kids get inspiration for their wish list from TV adverts, while 37% want the toys they see their friends playing with. To compile their list, children search two catalogues, visit three shops and surf two websites over the course of two days.

And while most children start putting their wish list together in October or November, one in twenty has got it sorted as early as August. You know what to do for 2014!

If you’re still stuck for what to give next week; how about these (which my kids love)

People moan about receiving pyjamas but as well as toys, I like a practical present for kids which is why I was happy to come across The Pyjama Store; how cute are these PJs?!

pyjamas
Ava and Luc Angus the Sheep Organic Pyjamas – £28

toys

I don’t get the whole SpongeBob SquarePants thing but my daughter is a fan so I know she’ll love this SpongeBob Singalong. She can sing into the microphone and SpongeBob will sing along. I might be locking her in her room with this one!
SpongeBob Singalong – £29.99

I took my 3 ½ year old son along to a preview screening of Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D movie and he is now officially obsessed – he keeps asking when we can go back! If your kids love dinos (and if they don’t they will after seeing this) treat them to a showing of this during the winter holidays.

poster

Failing the above, they will probably love you forever if you get them an iPad.


16
Dec 13

The Frigi Thalgo Wrap

The Frigi Thalgo is a simple cool wrap designed to eliminate excess water from the tissues.

Concentrating on the thighs and abdomen – most women’s trouble spots – the wrap helps activate surface circulation, tone the skin and increase elasticity.

My treatment at The Chuan Spa (inside The Langham Hotel, London) started with a Descomask Body Scrub and shower before I was massaged with Modelage De La Mer cream.

frigi-thalgo

My therapist Gosia (ask for her, she’s great) then applied Plasmalg Gel before wrapping me in Frigi Thalgo solution dipped bandages to stimulate blood flow. I warn you now, the bandages are cold! The solution contains caffeine and menthol and it feels as if the pores on my skin were opening and receiving the menthol, as the best way to describe the feeling is cold and minty.

Frigi Thalgo Body Wrap - THALGO

The 50-minute treatment ended with Thalgomince Massage Cream worked into my body using slimming massage movements.

There’s very little I wouldn’t do for slimmer thighs and I have to confess, I had my doubts on how massage and a few wraps could slim my legs but I was pleasantly surprised! I felt slimmer as soon as I got off the table but to ensure it wasn’t just psychosomatic, I measured myself when I got home and I had lost a centimetre from each thigh! Happy days. The next day my skinny jeans felt less skinny so all in all I was very impressed.

Of course the results don’t last forever (I wish) but I think the massage is perfect to help you squeeze into your party dress or give yourself an extra slimming boost before you go out on holiday.

Cold but worth it!

The treatment is good for intensive and progressive treatment of cellulite in the hip and thigh area, tired, heavy legs and localised weight problems associated with deficient cutaneous circulation.

The Frigi Thalgo Wrap – £65/50 minutes
The Chuan Spa at The Langham Hotel
1C Portland Place
Westminster
London W1B

www.london.langhamhotels.co.uk


2
Dec 13

Gifts for The Best Friend and Sister

DHC Olive Oil Butter – £15.50
Cold weather man leave skin chapped and flaky so an all over moisturising routine is essential to keep you ready for summer (even though it feels years away!). This body butter contains shea butter, olive oil, avocado oil, squalane and argan oil and leaves skin non greasy and super soft.

Mavala Oil Seal Dryer – £11.85 
The drying part of applying nail polish is the worst. And we’ve probably all slept on our freshly painted nails and woken up with patterns from our duvet! This new oil seal dryer leaves nails touch dry within seconds and also provides nourishment for cuticles.

beauty

Aveda Damage Remedy – from £20.50
Party season means lots of hair washing, curling and twirling. Treat her tresses to the three-day restricting system from Aveda. With babassu and quinoa protein, this shampoo, conditioner and intensive restructuring treatment helps strengthen and repair hair from the inside out.

photo 5

Clinique Superprimer for Deeper Skins – £20 
Finding a primer that doesn’t leave dark skin looking ashen or grey is not as easy as you’d think so thank goodness Clinique have formulated one especially for deeper skin tones. The primer colour corrects dullness in deeper skins with its soft, pearlized bronze tinted colour and corrects ashiness and dullness leaving you with a radiant, healthy looking base.

photo 2

MALIN + GOETZ Absolute Rose Candle – £37 
With top notes of green ivy and Anjou pear, middle notes of Moroccan rose and bamboo and base notes of musk, this is the loveliest candle I’ve ever come across. I vote they make it into a perfume!

photo 3

Burt’s Bees Therapeutic Bath Crystals – £10.99
Pippa Middleton recently called Burt’s Bees Therapeutic Bath Crystals ‘hydrating, healing and de-stressing’, which sounds exactly what we all need for Xmas and the New Year!

burtsbees


1
Dec 13

Thai Square Spa Covent Garden

Housed on Sheldon Street off of the famous 7 Dials, the Thai Square Spa is a revolution in elegance, opulence and tranquility. A little hint, if you’re visiting in non-daylight winter hours enter via the Spa’s rear exit on Earlham Street. It’s like entering a mountain Sanctuary in Chang Mai!

Upon entry I was warmly greeted by the receptionist shortly followed by Spa Manager, Sarai, who showed me several of the rooms including the group bookings suite and treatment room. The facilities upstairs are stunning. The decor is very dark, with walls finished tastefully in dark woods and gold leaf.

Heavy antiqued metal ornaments, bell and statues complement these staple finishes and lots of Buddhas back dropped by candles. Sarai tells me the Spa used to be an Italian restaurant; certainly no trace is left following the refurbishment. I was offered a choice of teas to kick start my treatment and not before time Bea, my masseuse, arrived to take me downstairs.

Thai Square Spa 1

If you thought the upstairs was nice the downstairs is truly the height of decadence. Once in my stunning treatment room, complete with copper slipper bath (next time I mentally note) Bea begins to bathe my feet, in what I can only say is the most loving way my feet have ever been bathed. Not even am I that loving! I’m then asked to de-robe and hop up on to the couch. I opted for a traditional Thai Massage to the neck, back and shoulder. The massage works on heating the body temperature and muscles using hot oils massaged into pre exfoliated skin. Once warmed up a multiple pressure points are applied and manipulated to relieve tension. Blissful.

The room is very dark and aromatic, the mood music is soothing and peaceful and the massage itself sends me into a state of limbo; not sleeping, aware of my surroundings, but detached, far removed, an almost out of body experience. But it’s not so when Bea announces the treatment is over we both have a giggle as I struggle to get up. I’m that relaxed! She offers me another tea and a chance to recover back in the changing room.

Thai Square Spa 2

All in all, the Spa is first class. The staff are proud of this fact and it shows in the attentiveness, hospitality and friendliness of everyone I met. Bea is an excellent masseuse; all staff at the Spa have trained at the prestigious Watpo (Temple of Reclining Medicine) Thai Traditional Massage School in Bangkok.

In the run up to the holiday season the Spa have a number of award winning packages to suit all:
Super stress relieving Package £69 (was £110) – a package for men or women including a 30 minute Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage with either a 30 minute foot or Head massage depending on whether you are over worked or over shopped!

They also have an indulgent Siamese Traditional Stress Relieve treatment priced at just £99 which includes a 90-minute Thai Massage and a 30-minute oriental foot or head massage. I cannot recommend this Spa highly enough. It lifted exceeded my expectations and lifted my spirits, the only thing it didn’t do was tuck me into bed!

Thai Square Spa 3

Thai Square Spa
25 Shelton Street
London
WC2H 9HW
Tel – 020 7240 6090
www.thaisquarespa.com

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