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» Listings for November 2013

  1. The Relaxation Den in Gloucester Review

    I was very privileged to recently be invited for a massage of my choice at The Relaxation Den in Gloucester.  Such an offer was certainly far too tempting for me to refuse!

    The Relaxation Den is a brand new luxury salon based in Gloucester.  They offer ‘a wide variety of treatments from facials to manicures, pedicures to massage, threading to body toning treatments'.

    The relaxation den massage therapy gloucester

    I’ve never had a hot stone massage before so emailed Heather (the salon owner) and checked out their website to see what exactly was involved and the benefits.  The website describes the massage as ‘a variation on classic massage therapy. As well as being held by your therapist, heated smooth, flat stones are placed on key points on the body stimulating blood and lymph circulation and aiding relaxation. One massage stroke with the stone is the equivalent to 10 strokes with the hand generating a very relaxing yet very beneficial massage.’ 

    Heather further explained the treatment by saying: ‘A hot stone massage is lovely! A mixture of the warmth in a massage makes a big difference! Also, the stones penetrate deeper and work the muscles more to loosen those knots and tension!’

    I was sold.  It sounded totally fantastic, deeply relaxing and very beneficial for my knot prone muscles.  I booked my appointment and somehow patiently waited just over a week for my slot.

    A week soon rolled by and I went along to meet Heather at The Relaxation Den (at 6.15pm last night).  They regularly offer early evening appointments which are ideal for me as I care for my young daughter during the day.  Also perfect to pop into after a long hard day at work for a de-stressing therapy or two. 

    I’ll admit, the location appeared a little odd at first.   It was in an office type room in one of the converted dock warehouses in Gloucester.  However upon arrival I discovered Heather is currently waiting for her permanent premises to be ready.  A dedicated location will soon be in Gloucester city centre where the business can truly be established.

    So Heather left me to it and I whipped off everything and lay on the cosy treatment bed.  It had an extra super soft layer so was amazingly comfortable which aided to the relaxation.  The hot stones are not actually placed on the back, as I perhaps stupidly originally thought, but instead a towel is placed over the back first and the stones on top.  I didn’t notice the stones too much as Heather gave me a really satisfying and tingling scalp massage.  I am definitely a sucker for a good head rub, and a scalp massage by a professional is highly recommended.  The hot stones were removed after a while and a back, neck and shoulder massage given to finish off the treatment. 

    The Relaxation Den Gloucester Review

    Although the treatment was only half an hour it felt considerably longer, much to my satisfaction.  The finishing massage was really very pleasurable and by the end I was almost drifting off which, of course, is a very good sign.  I felt suitably relaxed, calm and less stressed.  My back muscles were notably more relaxed and I felt as though my shoulder blades had dropped two inches down my back due to being less tense!  A good massage definitely benefits my shoulder muscles and the results are always instantly pleasing to feel. 

    The massage took place last night and my back still feels lovely and relaxed today.  My mood seems calmer and more worry free than usual.  I really believe regular massages really can benefit the mind as well as the body.

    Heather’s professional and mature approach is admirable; I was very surprised to learn Heather is only twenty one.  Heather’s ambition and passion for her business was clear to see as we chatted away after the treatment!


    The Relaxation Den in Gloucester’s contact details are:
    Tel: 0114 209 6213
    Mob: 07749 724746
    E: therelaxationden.gloucester@gmail.com
    Twitter: RDgloucester

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  2.  

    Personalised ClaireaBella Jute Bag Review

    I was very lucky to recently be gifted with a fabulous ClaireaBella jute bag.  These are wonderful jute bags which are hand painted in the UK with generous amounts of glitter and sparkling Swarovski elements.  They feature a character which you can personalise to look most like yourself by choosing an eye colour, skin colour, hair colour, length and style and even an outfit!  The website is so fab it even lets you preview your chosen design before you purchase to ensure you are happy with it.  You can add a name, business name or even short message to the bag too.

    Personalised ClaireaBella Jute Bag Review

    Personalised ClaireaBella Jute Bag Review

    I chose a purple outfit, long dark hair, natural tone skin and blue eyes.  I excitedly awaited my ClaireaBella arrival!

    The bag arrived quickly and came in a pink mailing bag via a courier service meaning the bag reached me in the finest condition.  As soon as I opened the bag I was instantly impressed.  The bags look even better in real life and are even more sparkly.

    Personalised ClaireaBella Jute Bag Review

    I will most definitely be taking my dazzling ClaireaBella on my next shopping trip.  Using a jute is a much more eco-friendly way to shop rather than wasting carriers from the stores.  This personalised ClaireaBella jute is also much more glamorous!

    You may have spotted ClaireaBella on TV as they are featured in two national TV adverts regularly shown on E4, MTV, E! and Viva.  ClaireaBella has many celebrity fans too including Amy Childs, Michelle Keegan, Kelly Brook, Tess Daly and Una Healy.  They have all been spotted out and about with their very own personalised jutes.

    So how did the ClaireaBella brand come to be?  It was started by a lady called Claire who wanted to raise some extra money for her family.  Claire is a mum of five and had a job working in the police force too.  She never dreamt the brand would grow so considerably and it is now the bestselling personalised fashion bag in the UK.  This is an amazing story and a fabulous brand to support and watch grow.

     Personalised ClaireaBella Jute Bag Review

    The bags are available from www.toxicfox.co.uk/claireabella where they also stock a whole range of personalised products.

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  3. Review: Polka Dot Beauty Salon in Cheltenham

    In August I decided to download the Groupon app and see what it was all about.  I’m very glad I did as there was an offer for a 30 minute aromatherapy massage and 30 minute reflexology for just £18 at a new beauty salon in Cheltenham.  This deal was just too fantastic to miss so I instantly purchased a Groupon voucher and soon booked my appointment time.  I had both treatments back in September and returned last Saturday for a 30 minute back, neck and shoulder massage with a mini manicure afterwards.

    Polka Dot Beauty Cheltenham Massage Beauty Salon

    Sally, the salon owner, is just lovely.  She’s warm, friendly and greeted me both times with a fantastic huge smile.  Her presence is so welcoming I feel like I’ve known her for years.  I instantly felt comfortable and relaxed at the salon.   Sally has the perfect personality for making you feel at ease which is just what is needed for such personal treatments.

    As the massage began we chatted away and caught up on what’s been happening since our last appointment.  I was impressed Sally remembered some things I’d said which shows she really listened and took interest in what I had to say.  After a few minutes of talking I thought I’d better be quiet and relax; the whole point of booking the treatment!  So I closed my eyes, listened to the totally soothing music and imagined as best I could lying on a magnificent desert island away from life’s daily stresses.  Although the massage was only 30 minutes I felt like I was lying there much longer which is always a bonus.  Sally worked on some knots in my shoulders which always seem to build up and make me feel tense.  My shoulders felt much more relaxed afterwards and I didn’t feel so hunched up.  As for my mind, I felt completely chilled which was of course the desired effect.

    The salon is located at the top of the Cheltenham High Street.  I was a little worried the hustle and bustle outside would be a distraction but I didn’t even notice it.  The room is adequately darkened, pleasant relaxing tunes are playing and Sally’s massaging technique is so wonderful you can truly escape reality.

    Polka Dot Beauty Cheltenham Massage Beauty Salon

    I’d decided to treat myself to a mini manicure afterwards as my nails were horrific.  I have a great fear of pushing my cuticles back myself and just can’t seem to manage to do it.  My partner tried to give it a go once but I was too freaked out he was going to hurt me so that was a failure too.  I’d definitely rather someone professional do it who knows what they are doing! 

    The mini manicure was a great success and really tidied up my cuticles, sides of nails, hang nails and actual nails themselves.  They look so much neater and healthier already.  Sally added lots of nourishing solutions and added a layer of base coat which gave them an excellent shine also.  My nails were shockingly short; I’d not realised how soon my appointment was and naughtily bit them all off last week.  I have promised to grow them so there is more length to work with next time to be shaped and polished.  I’m not sure you want to see a photo of my silly short nails at the moment so I’ll take one next time when they are longer and more feminine!  Sally ensured I was happy with the results before finishing up and I definitely was.  They really did look a billion times better!

    I’ve already booked again for December and plan to have a treatment every six to eight weeks after this.  I think it’s a good idea to relax and de-stress regularly whilst giving any tired muscles some much needed TLC.  I’m incredibly glad I started going for massages this year as they seem to be the perfect remedy for soothing my body and mind.  If you are local to Cheltenham I highly recommend Polka Dot Beauty for fantastic customer service and totally wonderful treatments.

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  4. The Best Natural Tension Headache Cure

    I rarely suffer from headaches which I put down to drinking copious amounts of water every day.  Apparently 90% of headaches are caused by dehydration.  If I did ever feel one coming a pint of water would usually do the trick.  Not yesterday.  My head really hurt at the sides and in the middle and it felt tight.  I was pretty sure this was a tension headache from lack of sleep (I work late and rise early) and slight work stress.  Ouch.  Headaches are not fun.  Moving around was seemingly making it worse but I was at work last night and my job is rather active.  I’m not a big fan of taking pills so unless I am in excruciating pain I would rather try something a more natural remedy.  Tiger Balm was exactly what I needed and off I popped to purchase some.

    The Best Tension Headache Cure | Tiger Balm White Ointment

    Ooh this stuff is just totally amazing.  Using my fingertips I rubbed a generous scoop onto each of my temples.  Even this motion started to relax my head.  After around thirty seconds my temples started cooling from the menthol.  I find the minty menthol smell very soothing and this in itself started to cool my headache and the pain began to ease.  I applied a second lot after one hour and then my headache was forgotten about after this.

    I would definitely recommend reaching for some Tiger Balm next time you have a tension headache.  The jar is around £4-£5 and it lasts a few years.  For me this stuff really is a miracle cure for any overtired/stress/emotionally caused headaches.  It eases the pain whilst relaxing and soothing the head and mind.  A real bargain that actually works and is totally natural too!

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  5. Essential Oil Recipe for Spot Prone Skin

    I’ve been popping a little potion of essential oils onto my face before bed for around three weeks now, maybe more.  I douse a cotton ball in the mixture and wipe generously all over my skin once it has been thoroughly cleansed.  I only do it in the evening before bed as the essential oils can take around 60-90 minutes to totally soak into the skin and make my skin look rather greasy during the process.

    I’d been looking for a more natural skin friendly way of combating my breakout skin.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been suffering with adult acne and at one point a couple of months ago my entire face was hidden by the breakout and I felt like a gigantic walking spot! 

    I’d tried numerous creams and lotions promising great results but had always been slightly hesitant to try loads due to the crazy ingredients lists that came with such products.  I decided to do some research into alternative acne treatments and was very intrigued by the potential of essential oils. 

    There were reviews by people using Teenage Dream (an essential oil based acne treatment) saying it was a miracle cure and they saw results in only three days.  This sounded just fantastic as even some prescribed acne treatments suggest you wait up to four weeks before results are seen.  I decided to do my own research, take a look at their ingredients and make up my own potion to see if it worked.

    How to use essential oils to naturally clear acne - Essential Oil Recipe for Spot Prone Skin

    I settled on jojoba oil as my base oil as it had many benefits for the skin and followed this recipe from www.your-aromatherapy-guide.com/aromatherapy-for-acne.html:

    30ml Jojoba Oil
    10 Drops Lavender
    7 Drops Tea Tree
    3 Drops Geranium

    I mixed this in a dark glass mixing bottle I purchased from eBay.  It’s important for the oils to always be kept in a dark bottle away from direct sunlight so they don’t lose their potency.  Stored properly the oils can last for several years.

    Just some of the benefits of each component are as follows:

    Geranium – Geranium oil can help to reduce sebum levels making skin less oily and therefore aids spot clearing.  It is an antiseptic and also a fantastic toner.

    Lavender – Linalool found in lavender oil is fantastic for maintaining healthy skin.  It can help to clear acne and alleviate skin irritations.  It is an antiseptic, an anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory; perfect for spot busting.

    Tea Tree – Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that help to heal blemishes and kill bacteria.  It’s also a great natural moisturiser.

    Jojoba Oil – Jojoba is antiseptic and helps to clear clogged pores. It will reduce pore sizes and oil production over time which will prevent breakouts.  It’s also an excellent cleanser.

    I’ve been applying this magical potion every evening after cleansing and I am astonished by the results. 

    My spots have drastically reduced in quantity and those that are left are less angry and seem to be drying away.  The ones that are left are much more easily concealed with natural make-up as they are flatter to the skin and seem to be disappearing.  The evenings I have not applied the magical potion, my spots seem worse in the morning so I have been making sure I now religiously apply this every night. 

    Many of the shop bought lotions seemed to aggravate my skin and were not clearing up my spots.  They seemed to have the total opposite effect.  These essential oils have been working wonders and I highly recommend trying them to anyone who is suffering from a long lasting breakout.  I don’t think they are an instant fix, definitely not over night, but I started to see a difference in a few days.  I’m pretty sure the mixture has also been sending me to sleep with its aromatic scent!

    It’s important to use a base (carrier) oil to mix the essential oils in as used alone they can be very potent and irritate certain skins.  It’s also vital the mixture is shaken before each use to really blend the oils before applying.

    I’m going to continue making this blend and really hope my spots totally disappear soon!

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