Vida Spa – Seattle, WA

Another trip, another state, another experience of a lifetime…

I happened to be in Seattle this past weekend discovered Vida Spa downtown by the Pan Pacific Hotel. It was a discovery that paid off. I would rate this spa a close behind Kohler and Red Door spas. Why behind?? It is smaller, changing rooms are not well furnished, and there is no hair services provided. After a long day at the spa, feeling great and relaxed who wants to leave the spa looking like a hot mess!!!

Anyhow… let’s get to the best parts about this spa: personnel, quality of services, and the Ayurvedic Journey package!

This is part of the lounge; where they have fruits, nuts, tea, and cucumber water all day.
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After getting a great massage and mani service, I decided to give the Ayurvedic Journey package a try. In the past I have done bits and pieces like shirodhara but never had a full program. This was the opportunity and I seized the moment!!

After filling out a very short and sweet survey, the practitioner was able to identify my dosha. Then based off of that she organized my Ayurvedic journey package. Melanie is an incredible practitioner — if you ever go, ask for her by name! you won’t regret it.

So we started with Ayurvedic Massage – A unique massage that applies generous amounts of warm sesame oil over the body with extra attention to the head, neck and scalp. This technique optimises the body’s systems, mobilises joints and enhances tissue suppleness. The oils she used were specific for my dosha and I loved them. Generally this massage is soft but if you are like me you can and will request more pressure.

Swedana – A deeply aromatic sensation enhanced by herbs, cleanses and detoxifies your system. A dry flour brushing of your entire body stimulates and exfoliates your skin to prevent the re-entry of toxins.

Here is the cacoon – wide open. The box at the bottom makes steam and the tray of special herbs and florals is put there to steam. Can you smell how the room filled with amazingly relaxing scent??
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Yes this is me inside the cacoon – steaming seriously. That’s a cold towel on my forehead. Usually this is to last 15 minutes, I lasted 10 minutes and apparently that is congruent with my dosha.
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So, I loved the cacoon so much, later I wanted to go in again. Amazing! and would do this again.

Shirodara – A steady stream of warm oil is poured over your third eye (forehead) to awaken the senses and increase mental clarity. I fell asleep briefly during this part of the treatment, it was incredible – felt like I was on a pillow of clouds. I would like to think this really helped make my afternoon high profile meeting go so well.

The spa works with Pan Pacific hotel so they can order food if you are staying for a long spa day. This treatment started at 9:30am and finished at 2:00pm – so I squeezed in a lunch.

Melanie really went beyond expectations; she wrote me a sweet card and enclosed sleep and food recommendations for my dosha. Now that is what I call intentional, thoughtful service… leaves you thankful and blessed 🙏.

Highly recommend Vida Spa if you find yourself in Seattle with a free day to care for your body and soul. I hope that next time I visit they will have hair services — a girl can hope 👸.

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Day trip to Sundara Spa – Dells, WI

Took a friend for a belated birthday celebration to Sundara Spa. Was a rather positive experience and here is the synopsis — if and when you find yourself in WI its a place you can go.

Grounds of the spa are peaceful and there are 37 rooms I believe for overnight guests. We had a great day trip with Express Spa services and access to full facility.

The quiet room is a bit tired looking, could use an update but comfy, cozy overlooking the outdoor pool. Yes! even at 48 deg weather it is open. The outside floor is heated, pool is heated and there is hot tub next to it too. Now this is an impressive feature – makes me want to come back when it snows. IMG_2303.JPG
Express Spa package is perfect for a day trip. The practitioners are so good that 35 min are well done. Normally 35 min are never enough for me; barely get relaxing in 30 min. We had massage, facial, and pedi. They use fully vegan organic nail polish, and all of their treatment products are organic. IMG_2310.JPG
While spa services were great and reasonably priced – the food was meh!! Had lunch in between services and lounging; neither dish had much flavor. Later when chatting with other guests we learned people drive elsewhere to eat. We now know why 😉 They can improve this, and we recalled how amazing the food at Kohler Spa and Red Door Spa is. So this was a tiny let down.
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In any case… if you find yourself in WI and want a mid-level Spa experience Sundara will do great! Look at this… who can complain about huddling around an outdoor fire, cozy and brisk at the same time. IMG_2308.JPG

LaBote Fall/Winter 2014

We are two creatives who delight in making one of a kind art pieces, including jewelry and pottery. Excited to share our passion with you and hope every pieces you buy brings you joy and luck!

We have been busy busy in the studio getting ready for fall and winter. So much inspiration and excitement is building. We are primarily getting ready for two shoes that are coming up.

Curious what we are cooking up 😜 check us out:

1. Instagram: Shop LaBote see what comes out of our wheel and kiln first! Follow us.

2. Etsy: Shop LaBote purchase our art. Hope you’ll find something you love!

If you like some of our creations but you just want them in different color or shape or etc. we make custom orders to please our customers’ unique tastes.

Update 9/15:
Just added new products and a video on Instagram. Check it out!

Please spread the love and the post, thank you!!
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Find something you love!

Surprise..surprise… not everyone is in love with their job. As a mentor, friend, colleague I always hear variations of:
‘meh it’s ok’
‘I just don’t love this’
‘it’s good money’
‘feeds the family’
‘it’s allright, like the people’
‘it’s just a job’
‘it’s convenient and pays the bills’
‘putting kids through college is not cheap and we are not in Sweden!’
‘ugh, got the golden cuffs on, addicted to my paycheck’
‘it’s boring but I am good at it’
…. and so on…

Reality is this: it is ok that not everyone is head over heels for their job. Yes, despite all LinkedIN articles and HBR catchy headlines, this is reality for millions of people. At some level it is ‘just’ a job and only ‘one’ part of your true life. So my response usually goes ‘ok, but find something you love to do. Not saying find a job … find something in your life that you enjoy doing’. This could be as simple as cooking, writing, jumping off planes, surfing, book club, spending time with your kids, bird watching, traveling, blogging 😉 … you get the idea.

Recently in one of these sessions tables were turned… and I was asked ‘huh ok … so what is that something that you love to do, what is that for you?’. For a moment, which felt like an eternity, I was stumped… was not expecting the question. Before I could open my mouth, visuals of my pottery studio and things I have made popped into my brain. Told her ‘I love making stuff out of clay… oh let me show you’

Here is ‘shooting star’:
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Here is ‘fun’:
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Here is ‘hope’:
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Before boring her I stopped at showing her these 3 clay and porcelain ornaments. She got the point – and was surprised, said she expected that my thing would have been something more lofty or tied to work. Hmmm … Will probe on that next time, but for now let’s adjourn; I have a to run to the pottery studio!!!

So have you found something you love to do??

Maldives: Kuredu exploration continues

20140606-161156.jpgWhen you swim and a fleet of fish swim behind you and when you stand they circle around you and play — you can’t help but feel happy and so enchanted by the Maldivian ocean.

Truly our one big regret is not having underwater camera to capture and show you all these amazing fish. IF you ever decide to visit Maldives you MUST buy an underwater camera or some kind of gear so you can take pictures.

The food debacle continues… today we spent 30 min until staff finally directed us from one closed restaurant to another for a simple lunch. We ended up eating at the O Restaurant, which suppose to be the upscale one. Setting was pretty over the water and with breeze coming through windows. Food was OK and was served buffet style – we expected menu and service since it is advertised as a la carte. Well, we embraced the unexpected and ate up!!

A long walk on the beach took us to the island’s sandbar. So far on each of the islands we had the joy of exploring a sandbar. We can confidently say the Kuredu sandbar is the best and biggest. Saw 3 types of fish and a small shark.
20140606-161237.jpgOn our way back from the sandbar we decided to walk through the center of the island, where there is a sandy road and bit of jungle. This is also the main road where they drive golf carts (taxi) to shuttle people from point to point. We heard this funny squealing and decided to see what it was. See for yourself — they were two baby birds.
20140606-161326.jpgWe don’t know what kind they are but they sure are cute birds.

So the full day of sailing we were looking forward to… it was cancelled this morning via a letter at out door. Reason was there was not enough people signed up to do it. Frankly this gave us the opportunity to schedule excursions and reef snorkeling with the diveshop instead of the hotel. Diveshop staff has been very helpful and providing clear information.

Tonight the food theme is Arabian and we were told there will be a White Party at the bar — we have our white dresses ready!

We noticed this little charm lock at the beach swing. How adorable… we dedicate it to all of our readers, may you have a love filled fantastic summer 🙂
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What’s your new vacation destination?

If you have been following our blog you know we are crazy about a few things… and one is definitely traveling. As we are getting ready for an upcoming trip (wooooo!!!) we wondered about what our readers are up to.

So tell us…. where are you headed next? and why? we would love to hear your stories.

An old and wise saying goes something like this: a man who has traveled knows more than a man who has only read books.

And we say — a man who has travelled definitely has more fun than one who has not traveled !!!

The Art of Unhappiness

I recently read a fellow blogger’s writing about The Art of Happiness. It was written so well and thoughtfully by Gede Prama. It actually compelled me to write this piece – so thank you Gede for inspiring me!

So… as many people, I excel al the art of unhappiness. Not sure where it’s exactly coming from but I have the talent for it. I look around I know I am not the only gold medalist either – in fact some people have gone for platinum and diamond encrusted medals in this art-sport.

1. If you are unsatisfied regardless of small and big wins – personal or business, you have a shot at this sport.

2. If you are never quite fulfilled and always feeling that something is missing, and think if you only had more… you have a shot at a medal in this sport.

3. If you are #2 and surrounded with others like you who can commiserate with you, go on endless rants about how it’s not good enough, how glass is always half empty, and only if… my friend you are a serious athlete in the art of unhappiness.

As I have been immersed in all 3 points – it is easy to recognize it in others when I see it. So easy to spot the person who is not going to be fulfilled even after negotiating a 20K better deal, or went on a great trip but just was not great enough because it did not involve a yatch or the right person in their arm. “People want you to be happy. Don’t keep serving them your pain.” — Rumi

Consciousness is the first step to waking up from this vicious spiral. So if you do feel it hang on to it and nurture it, you will be better off and start being happier.

I am not saying any of this with pride. In fact I hope to hold a mirror to myself and others so we can recognize the epidemic of unhappiness. It is certainly easier to be unhappy than happy as it’s easier to point out flaw and shortcomings endlessly. The higher energy, the better calling is to have the character and maturity to recognize this and aim at the opposite for a more satisfied life. Hold on! I know what you medal winners are thinking – no, I am not telling you to settle, or not to be ambitious or anything like it. I am only suggesting that taking a moment to recognize what you currently have and be happy for it … I promise it will not stop you from achieving more nor become less ambitious, it will make you enjoy the journey and the destination more. The real challenge and victory resides in attaining then spreading happiness.

Now that you read this, you should read Gede’s The Art of Happiness to complete the circle: Songs of Compassion
http://gedepramascompassion.com/

“Life consists of what a person is thinking about all day.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson