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Archive for the ‘spa-licious’ Category

Now that the weather is finally becoming pool/beach suitable (we’ll forget about the hiccup yesterday), I have been on the hunt for the perfect combination of a pool and beach…and a little eco-consciousness might help to!

Well I think I found a new favorite pool that I would die to visit…if I ever win the lottery

The infinity pool at the Huvafen Fushi Resort in the Maldives.

Huvafen Fushi resort and spa in the Maldives

Huvafen Fushi resort and spa in the Maldives

The freshwater infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean at the Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives

The freshwater infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean at the Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives

Have your cake and eat it too...at your room: a private infinity pool, hot tub, expansive deck, and a private portion of ocean (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Have your cake and eat it too...at your room: a private infinity pool, hot tub, expansive deck, and a private portion of ocean (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Named the best beach resort by Harper’s Bazaar and featured in Conde Nast Traveller, the resort is located in the North Male Atoll area of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Arrive by plane to Maldives International airport and either take a 30 minute speed boat ride, complete with complimentary champagne, or a sea plane out to this man-made, but nature conscious, paradise.

Map of the resort...

Map of the resort...the Maldives are located off of the South West coast of India

The hotel created an underwater spa and organic raw restaurant as part of their sustainable luxury endeavors. They also take part in fair trade practices of local goods and conservation of their local island reef and the greater reefs of the Maldives.

The freshwater infinity pool, surrounded by day beds, the private pools for each of the 43 rooms, the sustainable reef and the healing floating saltwater pool, all combine to give this resort the title of holding the best quality pool:ocean:guest ratio.

ariel view of a portion of the resort (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Ariel view of a portion of the resort (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

Every room comes with either a private plunge pool, or if your are willing to pay the really big bucks…a larger private pool.

This particular room even comes with a telescope for prime romantic star-gazing in the middle of the Indian Ocean....ahhhh (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

This particular room even comes with a telescope for prime romantic star-gazing in the middle of the Indian Ocean....ahhhh...the rooms also boast 7ft x 7ft beds (maldives.tropicalideals.co.uk)

green saltwater therapeutic spa pool  (3.bp.blogspot.com)Lonu Veyo is a “green” saltwater floatation therapy pool…the first of its kind in the Maldives

The resort also boasts a “green” saltwater pool, called Lonu Veyo, that has “special healing techniques”.

The resort has its own area of reef for SCUBA and snorkelling that is preserved by the hotel

The resort has its own area of reef for SCUBA and snorkeling that is preserved by the hotel, complete with rays, turtles, and on occasion, even sharks...

I just melted when the website states they have complimentary SCUBA out of their PADI dive center…I would probably find myself fully addicted again, doing 2 dives a day…spending all my time in those glorious waters looking at rays, exotic fish and sea turtles, that are abundant and viewable even from some of the decks of the resort.  The resort also boasts sunset fishing, deep-sea fishing,snorkeling safaris and boating trips.

The hotel even has an “in-house” reef, and a spa, Lima (by the Per Aquum group),  immersed under water surrounded by the reef! Even if you aren’t a swimmer, you can enjoy the reef while experiencing the resorts spa treatments which include all natural spa treatments and remedies, spa cuisine, aromatherapy massage, and yoga massage, among a slew of other treatments that can be customized for you. The spa boasts “chromotherapy” lighting and an indigenous treatment known as crystal therapy. Wooden tools for massage were created by locals specifically for the spa, while the virgin coconut oil was purchased in a fair trade, sustainable way and is used as a staple in  signature treatments for guests.

An organic spa paradise in the Huvafen Fushi resort (photo: maldivedigst.com)

An organic spa paradise in the Huvafen Fushi resort (photo: maldivedigst.com)

Even though you are on a private island, it does not mean you go hungry…far from that, actually. As I mentioned before, there is “spa cuisine” and fresh fish plucked from the ocean at the resorts many restaurants and bars. The main bar, UMbar, has been frequented y some of the world’s top DJ’s,while serving designer cocktails.

There is also an underground wine room/restaurant called Vinum and a more casual restaurant called Fogliani’s.

Meanwhile, for a healthier stay, the restaurant, Raw, serves that aforementioned spa cuisine and even raw cuisine for optimal health benefits. Celsius and Salt are also options for deliciously fresh food on the island,or take a break from the resort and explore other restaurants in the Maldives through the resorts speed boats or plane, along with “destination dining” at private locals around the island.

Yoga pavilion at Huvafen Fushi

Yoga pavilion at Huvafen Fush...picture doing yoga out there at dawn...mmm

I must admit, the element of the resort that really got me hooked was its perfect yoga pavilion…completely separated from the rest of the resort, jutted out into the Indian ocean…your yoga practice here is sure to bring you to new levels physically, spiritually and mentally. You can even experience the resort through a yoga retreat through teachers such as Annoushka Hempel.

The reosrt boasts a yoga therapy sessions as well as numerous yoga retreats from world-renowned gurus

The resort boasts a 'yoga therapy' sessions as well as numerous yoga retreats from world-renowned gurus

The pavilion is not the only delgated yoga spot...you nca practice practially anywhere...even in the underwater lounges, surrounded by fish! (photo courtesy of blog.360dgrs.nl)

The pavilion is not the only delegated yoga spot...you can practice practically anywhere...even in the underwater lounges and spa, surrounded by fish! (photo courtesy of blog.360dgrs.nl)

The resort is expensive, I am not going to lie.

It can range,depending on season, from about $1100 per night to about $8000 a night if you are one of those people who just absolutely needs the larger private pool.

For me, I think I’d be happy just working as a concierge here, or maybe as a visiting yoga teacher…hint,hint, Huvafen?…sigh…

I think I would easily find paradise atthe place where ifinity meets the ocean

I think I would easily find paradise at the place where infinity meets the ocean

For more information on sustainable tourism in the Maldives click here.

For more information on the Huvafen Fushi Resort click here.

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When the weather is nice, classes move outoors...overlooking Stockbridge Bowl

Kriaplu center, Lenox MA....When the weather is nice, classes move outdoors...overlooking Stockbridge Bowl

Now that the weekend is approaching, I would like to offer a weekend activity for all you Bostonians out there. Take a drive out to Western Massachusetts, to Lenox, and spend a day…or two…or a week, at Kripalu Yoga center.

This place is a sustainable yogi’s utopia!

the gardens around Kripalu are little sanctuaries waiting to be discovered. There are multiple meditation gardens all of the property and in the woods...

the gardens around Kripalu are little sanctuaries waiting to be discovered. There are multiple meditation gardens all over the property and in the woods...

I have spent numerous days at Kripalu,  and a week out there for a workshop with Raphael Cushnir. Although the center is famous in yoga circles, especially for its phenomenal yoga teachers, Ayurveda, and massage practitioner, trainings, I had not heard much of it before a few years ago. I almost literally stumbled upon it while out visiting my grandmother in Pittsfield, MA. I had experienced dreams of going there, and finally, after she passed away, I decided it was time.

The KRiaplu center from the back, it used to be a church, so its architecture is a little odd on the outside...but it is stunning on the inside!

The Kriaplu center from the back, it used to be a church, so its architecture is a little odd on the outside...but it is stunning on the inside!

At first I spent only a day. You can get a guest pass which allows you into all the facilities, includes free general yoga classes and includes a meal. I was hooked! The center focuses mainly on “Kripalu” style yoga, started by Swami Kripalu, however, the best teachers from all types of yoga in the world come and teach workshops there, such as Shiva Rea.

Birds eye view of Kripalu yoga center

Birds eye view of Kripalu yoga center

I spent a week last year, kind of a birthday present to myself, doing a “Transformation” workshop for 5 days with Raphael Cushnir. He is an amazing resource on incorporating Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness in every day life.

The program was a bit pricey, but it was completely worth it. I lived in the “dorms” which are just big, pristine rooms for about 6 people. They have options for doubles and singles but it was cheaper to live in dorms and I am really glad I did. I met a wonderful friend there and numerous other women from all walks of life who I will continue to stay in touch with.

The atmosphere at Kripalu is light, mindful, gracious, calm, compassionate and yet everyone almost acts as if they are in summer camp, because that is what it feels like!

There are evening activities, like chanting, yogadance and book readings, while you can take kayaks out on Stockbridge Bowl (the lake it looks over), go hiking in the trails behind the center, or even take in a Boston Symphony Orchestra Concert right next door at Tanglewood.

Class at Kripalu

Class at Kripalu

My schedule, while there, basically consisted of waking up extremely early, going for a swim in the lake at dawn, heading to a 6:30 am yoga class, having an amazing organic microbiotic breakfast (one of the best parts of Kirpalu is the food) attending my workshop, lunch (amazing again), more workshop, maybe another yoga class or a hike, then relaxing in the sauna or giant whirlpool, having a wonderful dinner with new friends at the dining hall, writing for a bit, then attending an evening event, or just relaxing and reading.

If I had my way, I would go every weekend! Lenox, MA also has so many artisan shops, cafes and galleries to entertain you when you want to leave the space. Definitely a must try!

Workshops at Kripalu are usually themed and can be anything form “Kayaking and Yoga”, to “Yoga for Women”, to “Yoga for Relationships”, and even “Yoga and Horses”.

If you do not want to commit to a workshop, try a day pass for $50…you’ll be hooked!

Because the place also runs on volunteers, you can also arrange to do a volunteer stint at the center in exchange for room, board, and unlimited classes!

For more informaton on Kripalu Yoga Center click here.

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So you may have “bow hunting skills…nun chuck skills….” but what about Mongolian warrior skills…aka shooting a bow and arrow off of horseback while riding across the Steppes?

I didn’t think so.

Mongolian warriors were the fastest most tactful warriors in their time. Led by Genghis Khan (name given in 1189), who united rival clans , and by the mid 13th century,  the Mongol Empire extended from Beijing to the Caspian Sea.

TRain to be a Mongolian Warrior in Mongolia...for vacation

TRain to be a Mongolian Warrior in Mongolia...for vacation

Now you can learn what it takes to be a Mongolian warrior through Mongolian Warrior training….one word…AWESOME.

Mongolia, or “The land of the blue sky”, is one of the last places on earth where one can explore an untamed natural world in a dynamic landscape. Travel on horseback with nomads, who learned their skills from their ancestors, through ominous snow capped mountains, down through lush and calm green meadows filled with wildflowers and edelweiss, galloping towards a barren desert until you reached a pine-tree filled forest reminiscent of an Asian warrior film.

Mongolian lanscape...traditional Mongolian huts

Mongolian landscape...traditional Mongolian huts

Movie Still from Genghis Khan...filmed in Mongolia

Movie Still from "Genghis Khan"...filmed in Mongolia

A Mongolian travel adventure is responsible travel because it furthers the idea of “Fair Trade Traveling” by supporting the local culture, traditions and arts, while not exploiting it.

mongol warriors  (photo courtesy of nomad.com)

mongol warriors (photo courtesy of nomad.com)

BBC did a piece on this travel adventure entitled “Tasting Warrior Life”. Mongolia, as well as being great for adventurers, is a great place to show your support for the local flora and fauna which carries some rare animals…including the argali sheep, przhevalsky horse; Asiatic wild ass, wild camels, snow leopard and ibex. Dinosaur remains have also been found in the area!

A sample sleeping situation for one of the Mongolian warrior tours..they are surprisingly luxurious

A sample sleeping situation for one of the Mongolian warrior tours..they are surprisingly luxurious

Depending on the tour company you travel with, and how much you are willing to pay, groups can range from 2-12 people and are usually around 9 days long and cost around $2000, not including airfare.

Tours include an itinerary in which you are completely taken care of. Think of it as Mongolia’s version of a safari on the steppes.

Activities include, and are not limited to, learning how a warrior would live their day, riding horses and taking care of them at the end of the day, learning archery skills,  Mongolian cooking, taking part in Mongolian shaman ceremonies, Mongolian traditional songs…and…my favorite…learning Mongolian wrestling tactics and skills. Training progresses over time, and in between you travel to different parts of Mongolia, and can opt to visit museums and monasteries.

Nomad Tours does an expedition…click here
So Does Responsibletravel.com, who also donate to climate care for each person who signs up for the tours…click here

If you do not want to do a full tour, but want to stay at a truly Mongolian hotel that is only $60 per night…yes only $60 per night…try the Hotel Mongolia Resort (click here)

Hotel MOngolia at night...looks like a minitaure Mongolian city...and operates like one as well

Hotel Mongolia at night...looks like a miniature Mongolian city...and operates like one as well

A Ghen Room at the Hotel Mongolia

A "Ghen" Room at the Hotel Mongolia

Entrance to Stone Ghen room

Entrance to Stone "Ghen" room

The Resort is equipped with all modern essentials but you will feel like you are stepping right back in time to the Mongolian empire…you even have your own “tent” which is actually furnished with a full bathroom.

Hotel Mongolia

Hotel Mongolia

Entrance to a Temple Room at the Hotel Mongolia

Entrance to a "Temple Room" at the Hotel Mongolia...

There are different types of rooms, and the most expensive (from $80) is the Temple Room located in the stone building.

Temple room at the Hotel Mongolia

Temple room at the Hotel Mongolia

The Resort is only 40 minutes from the regional airport and 20 minutes  from Ulaanbaatar city. It has facilities  and services that include a business center, restaurant, room service, pool tables, boating, archery, beach volleyball on the river beach, massage…any modern hotel amenity.

The Hotel strives to the standards of Fair Trade TRavelling by enhancing its guests cultural experience of Mongolia throuhg traditional performances and cultural experiences

The Hotel strives to the standards of "Fair Trade Traveling" by enhancing its guests' cultural experience of Mongolia through traditional performances and cultural experiences

For more information on the Hotel Mongolia...click the link below

For more information on the Hotel Mongolia...click the link below

For more info, click here

Now…If you are in the mood to splurge in your trip to Mongolia after a long hard adventure-packed tour through the Steppes…then you have to check out Mongolia’s premier luxury resortThe Terejl Rsort and Spa

Entrance to the Terelj Hotel at night

Entrance to the Terelj Hotel at night

The hotel is located next to the gorgeous Terelj National Park...where you can go hiking, horseback-riding, etc.

The hotel is located next to the gorgeous Terelj National Park...where you can go hiking, horseback-riding, etc.

The resort was recently named one of the top luxury hotels in the world. It only opened in 2007 and is the first luxury hotel in Mongolia. The design reminds me of a 19th century palace and yet fits well into the Asian landscape.

The hotel functions as any other luxury hotel, catering to every need (including pick up from the local airport and organized tours of surrounding areas of interest), and even has an outdoor wedding garden!

The resort has eco-friendly initiatives and “Fair Trade Traveling” initiatives that include utilizing local fabrics (like cashmere and camel hair) for its linens and decor, and employing local artisans to make furniture, sculptures and paintings for the hotel.

The Presidential Dining includes exquisite serveware...

The "Presidential Dining" includes exquisite serveware...

Suite at the Terejil

Suite at the Terejil blends traditional and contemporary elements as well as an East meets West design

Spa at the Terelj Hotel

Spa at the Terelj Hotel

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So in addition to my post on how to create a Moroccan-themed spa day at home…I found some enviable Moroccan inspired bathrooms….take a look…

A Truley Moorish masaic  tiled bathub...le sigh

A Truly Moorish mosaic tiled bathtub...le sigh..designed by Sig Bergamin and featured in an Elle decor book

Those antique moroccan doors make you feel liek you are stepping bakc in time...

A bathroom at La Sultana in Morocco...those antique Moroccan doors make you feel like you are stepping back in time...

check out this dusty rose bathroom from

check out this dusty rose bathroom from moroccanarchitetcure.wordpress.com

Heres a modern twist on a Moroccan style bathroom

Here's a modern twist on a Moroccan style bathroom by Delpha designs

Moroccan inspired bathroom from designholeonline.com

Moroccan inspired bathroom from designholeonline.com

this abthroom was deisgned by St.Tropez design company using traditional moroccan style tile-making techniques

This bathroom was designed by St.Tropez Boutique design company using traditional Moroccan style tile-making techniques

Some main elements of the moroccan sesign style are moorish tiles and fountains...

Some main elements of the Moroccan design style are Moorish tiles and fountains...

Even just tiling a normal western shower with Moroccan tiles and adding some North AFrican plants create a Moroccan feel...like in this bathroom designed by TimClarke.com

Even just tiling a normal western shower with Moroccan tiles and adding some North African plants create a Moroccan feel...like in this bathroom designed by TimClarke.com

Here’s a little blurb about Moroccan interior design by the writers at moroccanarchitecture.wordpress.com

“The Moroccan home is a unique blend of African, Berber, and Islamic aesthetics…Interior decor is essential to Islamic architecture. Vaults, cupolas, and arched doorways are principle features which serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. In some village homes, recessed walls and benches set in cement stucco offer simple detail.

More elaborate elements may include geometric and floral motifs carved into wood beams or plaster walls. Ceramic tile, known as zellige, is also used, and may be applied to any and all surfaces, and not limited to walls, floors, roofs, and ceilings. Creative and surprising patterns, molded organic materials, and the intriguing lines of Moroccan structural motifs make the Moroccan home an extraordinary visual playground.”

When it comes to Color in Moroccan design..don’t be shy…if there is a spice or north African natural object/vegetable/fruit/flower in that color…go for it.

Also consider the Moroccan landscape when going for color choice…maybe try some golden hues (to reflect the sand) and some blues and greens to reflect the Mediterranean Sea..

A way to get a Moroccan feel, as stated before is to go for Moorish inspired tiles, Islamic-inspired architectural details and colorful fabrics. To get all three in one…try adding a Moroccan fountain or Moroccan inspired mirror to your bathroom’s interior.

Casablancamarket.com has a fair trade selection of Moroccan decor including tiles!

Also Star of Morocco specializes in Moroccan design (one of their fountains pictured below).

Also, at berbertrading.com you can find Berber furniture and decor…even a Berber bathtub! And it’s all fair trade!

HEres a gorgeous moorish style fountain I found at moroccan-furniture-decor.com...definitely a splurge...sigh

Here's a gorgeous Moorish style fountain I found at Moroccan-furniture-decor.com...definitely a splurge...sigh...can you envision listening to its water's run as you sit in the bathtub surrounded by Moroccan lanterns...candles...ahh heaven

To make your Moroccan bathroom even more eco-friendly, try scouring local flea markets for antique Moroccan-inspired wooden doors, room dividers, mirrors,chairs and tables…one’s with even a hint of arch detail can be transformed using a little paint and some fair-trade mosaic tiles added on top!

HEres a gorgrous girly-chic take on a Moroccan bathroom featured in House Beautiful

Here's a gorgeous feminine and chic take on a Moroccan bathroom featured in House Beautiful... even New England inspired paintings..a perfect West meets North Africa combo...

the other side of the above bathroom...featured in Elle Decor

the other side of the above bathroom...featured in Elle Decor

To purchase a fantastic book on Moroccan interior design called  “Moroccan Interiors”  click here.

Moroccan Interiors...available at amazon.com

Moroccan Interiors...available at amazon.com

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As promised I’m bringing you a few tips on how to create a  Moroccan-inspired spa in your own home this week. Of course Hammam (or Moroccan plunge pool)  not included…your bathtub will have to do!

But there are a few key things you can do to create the ambiance of a Moroccan spa, and to treat yourself to some Moroccan-inspired and eco-friendly spa treatments.

find your calm in a DIY Moroccan spa...photo courtesy of hawaiiresortspa.com

find your calm in a DIY Moroccan spa...photo courtesy of hawaiiresortspa.com

start of your day with some rose water cleasinng your feet in hands...or any local flowers

start of your day with some rose water cleansing your feet in hands...or any local flowers

Start off your spa-day by cleansing your feet and hands in some rose water as they do in Morocco…maybe sprinkle some rose petals in a bowl for good measure…and try this organic Rose Water (below) from Amrita.

Rose Water...you cna find organic rose water at your local Whole Foods

Rose Water...you cna find organic rose water at your local Whole Foods

Next do a few yoga poses..consider Tree and maybe some seated spinal twists that are extremely cleansing…followed by Savasana.

Then treat yourself to a cup of organic mint tea…a tradition in Moroccan spas…

try Numis Organic Moroccan mint tea...its delicious and brings your right to the source

try Numi's Organic Moroccan mint tea...its delicious and brings your right to the source

Next wrap yourself in an organic lush bathrobe…

try this one from feelgoodhampers.com

try this one from feelgoodhampers.com

Then create an atmosphere using some Moroccan lanterns…and maybe some lush pillows in deep Berber reds and burnt oranges. You can find lanterns anywhere, and imitation rugs/pillows are an easy find. Light some organic pale candles to further the ambiance…and try out some relaxing music…I enjoy Goldfish’s song “The Real Deal” when I relax…it puts me in another place (they are a South African band).

these lanterns are a STEAL! from gabrielsgiftsgalore...

these lanterns are a STEAL! from gabrielsgiftsgalore...

casablancamarket.com sells traditional Bereber rugs (like this one) and pillows!

casablancamarket.com sells traditional Bereber rugs (like this one) and pillows!

A Berber pillow from berbertrading.com

A Berber pillow from berbertrading.com

Now for the good stuff…

One of the major elements of Moroccan beauty treatments and even their food…is Argan oil.

Moroccan organic Argan oil...use it for hair, skin, nails, facials...

Moroccan organic Argan oil...use it for hair, skin, nails, facials...

Argan oil is used by Moroccan men and women, even on their babies, to decrease  acne and reverse the aging process. It is said to increase the skin’s elasticity, reducing the appearance of scars and stretchmarks and is a miracle worker on hair, especially ethnic and courser hair.
It is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids which aid in these processes.

Click here to purchase the above argan oil, or just hit a google search for “organic argan oil”.

Goats scouring for nuts up in the Moroccan Argan tree...the Moroccan tree of life

Goat's scouring for nuts up in the Moroccan Argan tree...the Moroccan "tree of life"

Argan oil is a product of Morocco’s Argan tree, or what many call the Moroccan “tree of life”. The tree is gnarled and thorny, allowing goats to climb up to eat branches and eat its nuts. The tree is extremely rare yet it lasts longer than olive trees and requires little to no upkeep.

The tree is only grown in the South Western part of the country in the regions of Essaouira and Agadir.

The goats go after the green fruit, in which inside there is a nut.  If you want to know why this oil is a little pricey…well get ready….

the green fruit of the argan tree

the green fruit of the argan tree

The goats eat the fruit and nuts….the nuts are ‘passed’…the farmers collect the remaining nuts and turn those into oil.

Argan nuts

Argan nuts

Making oil from the nuts of the Argan tree

Making oil from the nuts of the Argan tree

But the process doesn’t end there. Making oil is a laborious process done in factories or in individual homes. One litre of argan oil may take up to 20 hours to make because each individual kernel must be cracked open.

The great thing about this process is that argan oils are fair trade and they aid in the employment of women of that region in Morocco!

The purchase of this oil will also aid in preventing deforestation, while the argan trees in general aid in holding soil together due to their deep roots.

Here are some spa treatments using argan oil you can create at home…they are espcially good during this time of year, when dry skin and sun damage are wreaking havoc on our hair and skin.

An Argan facial

An Argan body scrub:

make your own argan body scrub...(photo: beaut.ie./blog)

make your own argan body scrub...(photo: beaut.ie./blog)

2 cups of sugar (or use sea salt if you want a courser scrub)

1/2 cup of Olive oil (or until desired grainy-ness)

1/8 cup Argan oil (or even less…use sparingly!)

a few drops of a favorite essential oil…try either lavender (to calm, orange (to energize), or eucalyptus (to cleanse)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and head to the bath or shower. Use a natural bristle brush, or I like to justscrub with my hands. And massage the scrub in to wet skinin circular motions, all over. It will leave you glowing, i promise!

Kiehl’s also makes an Argan body cleansing oil…here.

make your own...or buy Keihls body cleansing oil and lotion using Argan oil.

make your own...or buy Kiehl's body cleansing oil and lotion using Argan oil.

For a Summer Argan Facial for dry/sun damaged skin:

Start by cleansing your skin with your normal cleanser, and then opening your pores over a steaming bowl of water (microwave a bowl and then lean over placing a towel over your head so the steam wont escape.

Try mixing

1 tsp organic powdered milk

1 tablespoon ground almonds

a few drops of Argan oil

1 tsp organic aloe vera

1 tsp  organic  honey

mix…apply to face…let sit for about 10 minutes…and rinse with luke warm water.

For more information on the Argan tree and its oil in a New York Times article click here.

Most of the time, the oil in households are use for cooking things like amlou. A traditional and delicious Berber dip (kind of like Humus and peanut butter). Check out a recipe below courtesy of moroccanfood.about.com.

Or click HERE for a video on how to make it!

Amlou

Amlou

  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz. or 200 g) almonds
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) argan oil
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons warm honey
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Preheat an oven to 375° F (190° C). Spread the almonds on a baking pan and roast for about 10 minutes, or until a bit dark and crunchy but not burnt.

Allow the almonds to cool a bit, and then pass them through a meat grinder twice to make a powdery paste. Or, grind the toasted almonds as finely as possible in a food processor on high speed.

Next, gradually stir the argan oil into the almonds, a spoonful at a time or in a very slow trickle. You can do this by hand, stirring vigorously, or with the food processor on the lowest speed. (Note that the amount of oil in the recipe yields amlou with a traditionally thin consistency. Adjust the amount of oil to your own preference.) Next, gradually add the warm honey, sugar and salt in the same manner. Taste the amlou and adjust the sweetness if desired. Serve amlou on a small plate or dish with bread for dipping. Amlou will keep for two months in cool, dark cupboard.  Store amlou tightly covered in a jar, and shake or stir before serving.

For cooking: try this Alili organic argan oil..available here at alilimorocco.com…or find it at your local Dean and Deluca!

Alili organic argan cooking oil

Alili organic argan cooking oil

So we all may not be able to jump on a plane to that Moroccan dream spa I mentioned on Friday’s post…but try creating this little spa in your home! You deserve it!

Note: you cna also add some Moroccan tiles to your bathroom to give a Moroccan feel...

Note: you cna also add some Moroccan tiles to your bathroom to give a Moroccan feel...

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