Rub a Dub Dub, Three Men in a Tub?

Growing up, I remember my father would poke fun at my Italian relatives as they preferred to take a tub versus a shower. “Why would you choose to take a bath.  It’s like you’re sitting in your own filth!”  Made total sense.

Now I know better.

I have come to believe that the Italians are right (ah, Roman Baths, anyone?).  And so are the Turks (oh yes, the infamous vicious mud bath scrub downs), the Koreans (oooh.  I love the Korean Spas available for a nominal charge in all metropolitan areas!), the Nordic folks (arctic hot springs + wood burning sauna, anyone?), the Egyptians (Cleopatra and her milk + honey baths!)…..the list continues.  Really.  They’ve definitely got something figured out.

I digress. 

This may be T.M.I….But I have “officially” become a serial tub taker. While I prefer backpacking and discovering natural hot springs (yup. hippie alert), when I am in a pinch, and I am craving some “take care of Aimee time”, a bathtub *always* does the trick.  When I am working hard, I have learned that to always schedule some “Me Time”, even if it pains me to stop and slow it down.  Even when I think “I don’t have *time* to relax.  I know that is just a lie.

You want to know my routine?  Well, I am *so* glad that you asked!

Aimee’s “Me Time” Tub Relaxation Regime

A. Block out 60 minutes onto your calendar

B. Set the mood:  Light a couple of of candles in the bathroom & set up your iPod with some super-chill music (Pandoras Ambient New Age is always great)

C. Indulge in your spa treatment hour!

Part one:  The Shower

1. Wash hair, and leave in conditioner.
2. Scrub entire body with your favorite soap [use loofah scrub gloves if you have them].
3. Brush and floss teeth — squeaky clean!
4. Shave (if you have really sensitive skin, you much choose to skip this option, because the upcoming skin treatments might irritate your skin — but I “tough it out” because I like feeling all smooth and silky afterwards!)
5. Rub on body scrub with your bare hands [buy it at health foods store, or recipe below]
6. Rinse off body (do not use soap!) & rinse conditioner from hair
7. Clean shower floor immediately with soap and a washcloth (trust me. It is *way* better to clean it now than later)
**and this way, you WON’T be siting in your own filth when you hop into the tub!

Part two:  The Tub
1.  Draw a bath to your perfect temp [if you want, add bath salts or a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil — but no soapy bubbles!]
2.  While bath is being drawn…. apply a liberal amount of homemade mud mask onto your face [buy it at health foods store, or recipe below] onto your face
3.  Hop into the tub….and…..ahh….relax….breathe
4.  After 15 minutes,  remove the dry crackly mask from your face with wet clean washcloth (yes, right in the tub!)
5. Allow yourself to enjoy the tub as long as you want (maybe adding more warm water…)
6. When you leave the tub,  find a quiet place to lay flat for at least 5 solid minutes to allow your body to re-adjust and literally buzz with new energy (i.e. my bed, on a towel in the bathroom floor..)

The True Meaning of “Me Time”

At the end of this “Me Time” experience, you will have accomplished three major things….Which I believe some of the core components to simple living:

  • I have made a conscious decision to slow down my life
  • I have created a decadent yet economical solution
  • I have taken action to take care of me

Aimee’s Face Mask & Body Scrub Foundation Recipes

You can get all of these ingredients in your garden, a health foods store, or the farmer’s market.  I have purposefully not put exact amounts in the recipes below, because when I create & cook, I am a “dumper” (meaning, no dish is ever exactly the same).  So, first of all….There is no “wrong” way to make a face mask or scrub. I encourage you to create the concoction that tickles your fancy.  Secondly….Have fun making your own creations. Every creation is just perfect!

AIMEE’S BASIC FACE MASK RECIPE = clay mud base + apple cider vinegar
* apple cider vinegar? It acts as the “activator” to rally help the mud to penetrate the pores (Bragg is amazing)

Scents & add ons:
– Adding Honey to the mask is very soothing to the skin
– For deep cleansing, a few drops of Tea Tree oil are super astringent
– A few drops of essential oils can make it very “spa-like”
– Invest in a terrycloth headband to help keep your hair back

AIMEE’S BASIC BODY SCRUB RECIPE = sugar or salt exfoliant + oil
* oil? coconut or grape seed or almond oil are my picks (olive oil makes me feel like I am preparing myself to be roasted like a chicken, but it works in a pinch)
* sugar or salt? They are both great — but my body prefers salt

Scents & add ons:
-mix in a few drops of any essential oil you choose
-add in organic citrus juice and zest from the rind
-chop up fresh herbs from the garden and add them to the mix

Some of my favorite creations include:

  • “Mango Tango Sugar Scrub” (sugar + pureed mango + lemon zest)
  • “Mojito Mint Madness Scrub” (salt + fresh lime juice + lime zest + fresh mint)
  • “Soothing Vanilla Cookie Scrub” (sugar + oats + vanilla extract)
  • “Tangerine + Kumquat Zinger” (sugar + pureed kumquats & tangerine)
  • “Herbal Salt Scrub” (salt + fresh lavender flowers + fresh thyme leaves + lavender oil)

OTHER HELPFUL TIPS:
-If you are new to homemade masks & scrubs, I suggest that you just start with making just enough for one application (1/2 cup total for face mask & 1 cup total for body scrub)
-If you want to make a bigger batch so you can indulge more frequently, use your Cuisinart or Kitchen Aid to make this concoction — just be sure that you “stir in” the items that you might want to keep whole (i.e. oats, lavender flowers)
-Mason jars are wonderful storage mechanisms for the masks & the scrubs; but because they do not have any preservatives, and you have probably added some fresh ingredients, know that they will only have a shelf life of a few weeks for the freshest quality.
-Treat yourself to a Spa Day on a regular basis. Maybe block out 60 minutes 1x a week…. or at least 1x a month!

What crosses you mind when you read this article?  What do you do for “Me Time Relaxation”? If you enjoy the tub/spa indulgences, what scrubs and masks and regimes do you prefer? Please put your comments in the section below, as I am very interested in what you think!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

bath soap March 23, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Asking questions are really good thing if you are not understanding anything fully, except this post offers nice understanding yet.

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