Escape the Ordinary

What's On My Playlist

Play any of these albums (better yet: load them into your CD player and hit "shuffle") to create a chilled-out vibe that will put you and your guests into a perfect Zen state.

What's On My Playlist

Play any of these albums (better yet: load them into your CD player and hit "shuffle") to create a chilled-out vibe that will put you and your guests into a perfect Zen state.

You can also order these albums directly through us from Simply click the Buy from Amazon logo and follow the directions to order each album or write down the list below and head to your favorite record store.

"Moon Safari" by Air

"The Richest Man in Babylon" by Thievery Corporation

"Ambient" by Moby

"Bravebird" by Amiel Larrieux

Om Lounge, Vol. 10, various artistsThis month’s installment of Stylish Living is about finding your personal retreat. For most people, the notion of sanctuary in our modern world is practically non-existent. If there were such a thing, it would involve permanently silencing their cell phones and throwing the BlackBerry out the nearest window. However, if you are like me, and the chances of actually getting away from it all are lodged firmly between “never” and “when hell freezes over,” I invite you to explore the idea of creating a sanctuary without leaving your home.

Whenever I am desperate for an escape from the madness, four things immediately come to mind: a massage, a pedicure, spending quality time with my friends, and spoiling myself with my favorite comfort foods. With this in mind I have created this
at-home spa party with planning tips and convenience foods that let you relax and unwind instead of feeling like a frazzled hostess. And don’t think this is a ladies-only affair. This sumptuous, in-home getaway can be easily reimagined as a retreat just for you and your better half, or even as an alternative to a bridal shower or bachelor party.

To create a fabulous in-home spa, you have a couple of options. You can literally bring a full-service spa to your doorstep by searching “mobile spa Denver” on the Internet for a list of local vendors who can help you create the perfect event. Or, keep it simple and invite your guests to bring their favorite skin care goodies to share, along with their personal getting-gorgeous tips and techniques. Set the stage by making sure your guests have the amenities they would enjoy at a real spa—luxurious soft towels and washcloths, bowls of cotton balls and swabs strategically placed around the room, and a thoughtful goodie bag filled with products they can use the next time they need to be pampered.

Wondering how you are going to pull this off without working yourself into a lather? Using pre-made or quick-prep food items from your favorite gourmet grocer and putting your own spin on them at home will help you conserve energy for more important activities…like sipping a refreshing Golden Door Martini, a sultry concoction made with Lillet (the famous French aperitif) and a splash of Champagne. For some truly indulgent noshing, offer Truffled Parmesan Popcorn (ready to serve in three minutes flat) and one of my new favorites: salty-sweet, crunchy-creamy Honeyed Apricot-Chèvre Bites. Keep the rest of the menu light, yet supremely satisfying, by serving Mini Crab Cake Sandwiches with Mint-Orange Aioli and Roasted Chicken Salad with Avocado and Grapefruit. Finally, to guarantee that everyone has a happy ending, assemble a do-ahead Decadent Dessert Sampler tray. Turning your home into a spa-like sanctuary has never been easier. A bientôt!

Preparing your home for a spa party does not have to be stressful. Here are five easy steps that take your space from dull to diva in no time at all:

Create space: The day before the party, organize your furniture to create cozy “treatment stations.” Move area rugs to make room for portable massage tables or overstuffed floor pillows. Remove breakables and clear tables of oversized decorations. Set up portable tray tables
to keep snacks and drinks nearby.

Bundle up: Give your guests personalized packages of a towel and washcloth rolled together and tied with ribbon.

Get a glow: Replace harsh light
bulbs with soft white or pale pink bulbs for the evening. Help everyone relax by arranging clusters of fragrant candles around your space.

Make scents: Create simple and
beautiful floral arrangements of white Asiatic lilies, white hydrangea or dendrobium orchids. Allow guests to make their own essential oils by filling small empty glass bottles with eye dropper tops filled with neutral almond oil. Then set out
several aromatic oils for blending like
eucalyptus, rose or lavender.

Wrap it up: Place sample-sized facial masks, exfoliating scrubs or nail polish along with a sachet of bath salts and a tea light candle in pretty gift bags for guests to pick up as they leave.
More questions? For answers, email me at!

Kendra Anderson is owner and chef of Flavor, a specialty catering and event-planning company, (720) 849-3458.

Categories: Entertaining, Recipes