Link Love Weekend Sendoff, November 21st

Happy Friday! Check out all the health, wellness and beauty happenings from around the web this week:

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How To Get Runway Brows via TheBeautyDepartment.com

A Pair of Tights That Will Never Run via Refinery29.com

Tips for Restoring Dry, Damaged Hair via BuzzFeed.com

Transform Your Skin with Sheet Masks via LuckyMag.com

Reverse Signs of Aging with These Ingredients via TruthInAging.com

How to Run Your First 5K via Shape.com

Friday Favorites: A Sparkly Nail Polish & More

A glitter-filled nail polish and a delightful perfume are a few of our Friday Favorites this week! See what else we’re loving, below:collage

Clockwise From Left: Melon Daiquiri Shampoo, Bubble Bath, and Body Wash available at Philosophy.com, Capelli of New York Metallic Cheetah Print Infinity Scarf available at Nordstrom.com, Nail Polish – Superstar available at DeborahLippmann.com, Mini iPad Folio Hardcase Glitter Bug – Rose Gold available at KateSpade.com, Bobbi Brown ‘Warm Glow’ Eye Palette available at LordandTaylor.com, Jimmy Choo ‘Stars’ Eau De Parfum available at Ulta.com

Leah Gay is the Editorial Intern of Spa Week Daily. 

Five Ways to Stay Happy This Winter

Don’t let the winter blues bring you down! Here are five easy ways to stay happy during the holiday season.

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It may be hard to imagine, but December isn’t always “the most wonderful time of the year.” For some of us, darker days, hectic travels and family feuds can make the holiday season sufficiently stressful. And then there are those who find themselves forced to spend the holidays alone—turning a family-oriented occasion into a season of sadness.

So how do we keep our spirits up when the winter blues threaten to bring us down? Here are five easy ways to boost your happiness barometer during the depths of winter.

Take a Morning Walk

Besides being a great way to get exercise, going for a morning walk is a wonderful way to raise your spirits and take full advantage of the season’s shorter days. We guarantee that soaking up the soft winter light will get your day off to a good start.

Ditch The Holiday Crowds

There’s nothing more detrimental to your mood than dealing with the mobs at your local department store. If possible, avoid doing your holiday shopping on the weekends prior to Christmas. Shopping online is an easy way to escape the holiday crowds and score some serious bargains while you’re at it!

Give Back

With the commercialization of Christmas, it can be easy to forget that the holidays aren’t about getting gifts—they’re really about giving back. Helping others who are less fortunate will not only make you feel better than any gift you might receive, but it will also give you a more positive perspective on your own situation.

Drink Less

Packed with holiday parties, the month of December can often become a blur of booze and its unpleasant after effects. Practice moderation when enjoying the pre-Christmas festivities. Match your alcohol intake with the equivalent amount of water to prevent that hangover haze.

Enjoy The Indoors

When winter does her worst, enjoy the indoor comforts of the pre-Christmas season.  A warm fireplace, delicious baked goods and an evening of board games with friends will fill your heart with happy holiday cheer.

Elle Fure is the Editorial Director of Spa Week Daily. 

Hot Mom Holiday Tips: Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce

Hot Mom Daisy Bryce brings us a recipe for the perfect turkey alternative, just in time for Thanksgiving!

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If you have a non-turkey eater in your house, preparing the perfect Thanksgiving feast can feel like a chore rather than a delight. And the last thing you need is more holiday stress! That’s why we were so excited when Hot Mom, Daisy Bryce, sent us the perfect chicken recipe that’s kid and diet friendly. Simply add your favorite side dishes and desserts, and we bet you won’t even miss the turkey tradition.

Don’t forget to come back soon because each week we will be bringing you our favorite holiday dishes. While you’re in the spirit of the season, join us on Pinterest for our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest. It’s just another way you could win a spa day on us!

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with  Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce

By: Daisy Bryce of Trendy Mom Reviews / @TrendyMomReview
Ingredients:
Chicken
  • 1 1/2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Pretzel Thins (increase if needed)
Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce
  • 1.5 cups of sour cream
  • 2.5 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 Tablespoon of honey

Three-Step-CoatingDirections:

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.

2. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

3. Crush the pretzel thins in a food processor on a low setting.

4. Slice chicken breasts lengthwise so that they are thin for baking.

5. Dip each chicken breast slice in egg, flour, and then the crushed pretzel thins.

6. Place each chicken breast in the baking dish and cook for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.

7. Create the Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce by combining the sour cream, mustard, and honey.  Stir until thorough mixed.

8. Serve the Pretzel Crusted Chicken with the Cream Honey Mustard Sauce and your choice of vegetables.

Photos by Daisy Bryce

Do you have a delicious healthy holiday recipe in your collection? Make sure you send it to leah@spaweekmedia.com and you could be featured on the Spa Week Thanksgiving Menu AND walk away with a $50 Spa and Wellness gift card.

Leah Gay is the Editorial Intern of Spa Week Daily. 

Workout Wednesday: Zen Strength

This Workout Wednesday, our aches and pains were relieved during a restorative Zen Strength class.

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Typically we try out the roughest, toughest workouts each Wednesday, but after channeling our zen at CLAY Health Club + Spa this week, we discovered that there’s certainly something to be said about a more laid back sweat session.

CLAY’s Zen Strength class seamlessly blends yoga, Pilates and strength training to create a unique fitness experience. The workout, suitable for all ages and experience levels, is effective in opening up and lengthening the body, relieving tight joints and stiff muscles that are common during the colder months.

Aside from some seriously powerful stretches, what sets this class apart from the rest is the focus on alignment, which is a hallmark of Iyengar Yoga. Using a foam roller, your balance is put to the test, and your core is forced to compensate for the lack of stability.

While you won’t walk out of this class dripping sweat, you will leave feeling energized and rejuvenated. Muscles like your abs, arms and thighs definitely feel the burn, but the restorative effects are truly what make this class worth trying.

Noelle Chehab is the Senior Writer of Spa Week Daily. 

Get Into The Holiday Spirit With NYT Bestseller Nancy Thayer

New York Times Best-Selling Author Nancy Thayer joins us for a live Facebook chat at 2pm EST tomorrow.  Here’s how to participate and win!

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Here at Spa Week, we believe it’s never too early to get into the holiday spirit. So when world renowned author Nancy Thayer let us feature her new holiday novel, An Island Christmas, for our November Book Club, we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Filled with the quintessential chaos of family affairs, Nancy’s heartwarming holiday tale is the perfect companion to cozy up with this pre-Christmas season.

If you’re already a fan of Nancy’s Nantucket-based novels, listen up! Tomorrow (11/20) at 2PM EST we’ll be chatting live with Nancy Thayer on our Facebook page. This is your chance to ask Nancy any question under the sun, get the inside scoop on the latest installment in her celebrated Nantucket series AND win your very own signed copy of An Island Christmas. Simply sign in to Facebook at 2PM and ask Nancy a question for your chance to win one of five signed editions. Can’t wait that long? In the meantime, curl up under the covers with a preview of Nancy Thayer’s page-turning winter tale here.

Happy Holiday Reading!

Elle Fure is the Editorial Director of Spa Week Daily.

Donate Your Coats for A Good Cause

This holiday season, you can donate your used coat or buy a celeb’s, all for a very good cause through the Lolë Yellow Label Program!

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Between whipping up a delicious dinner and perfecting the holiday décor, it’s easy to forget what Thanksgiving is all about. So we were thrilled to discover that the Lolë Yellow Label Program is making it easier than ever to give back – and in a very stylish way!

This Saturday, November 22nd and Sunday, November 23rd Lolë will be at the Brooklyn Flea Market selling gently used coats, with 100% of proceeds benefitting AmpleHarvest.org. Among the pre-loved jackets for sale will be autographed coats from A-List celebs like Liv Tyler, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Portia de Rossi and Padma Lakshmi.

Just in case you needed another reason to get involved, you’re in luck! If you stop by the Lolë Atelier store in NYC and donate one of your jackets, the do-good brand will say thanks with a $50 gift card to be used towards a brand new (and insanely chic!) Lolë coat.

This is definitely a cause that we can all feel good about getting involved with, so be sure to stop by the Brooklyn Flea or the Lolë Atelier store this week! Here are all the details for donations:

  • Coats must be less than five years old in clean, good condition without tears
  • Lolë will accept coats of any brand, style or gender
  • One hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to AmpleHarvest.org

Noelle Chehab is the Senior Writer of Spa Week Daily. 

 

The Five Best Boots For Winter

Baby, it’s cold outside! Keep your toes toasty with footwear that’s fabulous AND winter-friendly!

Boots

Being the procrastinators that we are, it typically takes the onslaught of the polar vortex to prompt our search for winter-friendly footwear. This November, of course, was no exception. With plummeting temperatures and bone-freezing gusts making our morning commute feel like an expedition to the arctic, we stumbled into the office with one mission: buy winter boots! After a few hours of ogling everything the Internet has to offer, five fashion-friendly pairs emerged as the editorial team’s favorites. Check them out.

Zena Boot by Coach

ZenaBoot

($248, coach.com)

Joan of Arctic Boot by Sorel

Sorel

($150, zappos.com)

Shearling-Lined Bean Boot by L.L.Bean

 BeanBoot

($199, llbean.com)

Danning Waterproof Bootie by Burberry

BurberryBoot

($485, shop.nordstrom.com)

Nowles Shearling-Lined Leather Concealed Wedge Boots by Isabel Marant

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($810, netaporter.com)

Elle Fure is the Editorial Director of Spa Week Daily.

Hot Mom Holiday Tips: Caramel Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Hot Mom LeTroy Cooke shows off her sweet side with her favorite holiday dessert that will impress all your guests!

Photo by Troy Cooke

We’re back with another tasty recipe from one of our fabulous Hot Moms. No holiday meal is complete without a yummy dessert and we found the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Although this treat may not be the healthiest recipe on our list, there’s no time like the holidays to indulge in moderation. And this creamy, cheesy dessert is just the thing to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Don’t forget to come back soon because each week we will be bringing you our favorite holiday dishes. While you’re in the cooking mood, join us on Pinterest for our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest and you could win a spa day on us!

Caramel Banana Pudding Cheesecake

By: LeTroy Cooke of Thriftanista in the City / @TheThriftanista

Ingredients:
Crust
  • 40 – 50 vanilla wafers
  • 5 Tbsp butter (softened)
Cheesecake
  • 2 Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 bananas (mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 instant banana pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Topping
  • 20 Vanilla Wafers (crushed)
  • Kraft Caramel
  • Whipped cream
Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350º. Mix softened butter and vanilla wafers in a food processor until finely crushed. Press into a springform pan evenly along bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Mix cream cheese and brown sugar together until smooth. Add in mashed bananas and instant pudding mix. Mix. Add eggs. Mix.

Pour mix on top of crust and bake for 50 – 55 minutes. Remove from oven. Center should still be a little soft. Refrigerate at least  hours.

Once cooled, top with crushed vanilla wafers. Melt caramel over medium heat and drizzle caramel over top of wafers with a spoon. Finish with whipped cream.

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Photos by LeTroy Cooke

Do you have a delicious healthy holiday recipe in your collection? Make sure you send it to leah@spaweekmedia.com and you could be featured on the Spa Week Thanksgiving Menu AND walk away with a $50 Spa and Wellness gift card.

Leah Gay is the Editorial Intern of Spa Week Daily. 

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Pinterest Contest

Join our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Pinterest contest, and you could win a spa day on us! 

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and we know the thought of a preparing a gourmet meal for all of your friends and family can seem a bit daunting on top of your day-to-day responsibilities. Factor in your calorie count, and the thought of Thanksgiving is enough to trigger a full-on melt down!

But, fortunately we’ve found the perfect way for you to relax this holiday season! Going on right now is Spa Week’s Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest, where the most delicious AND nutritious recipes are yours for the taking. Think eating healthy this Thanksgiving means tons of work? Not a chance! These healthy recipes are also totally easy to whip up.

Start browsing our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes Pinterest board today, so you’re ready to embrace the holiday spirit in just a few short weeks. To make the season even sweeter, we’re gifting one lucky winner with a Spa Day on us for sharing your favorite recipes.  So what are you waiting for? Click here to start pinning and winning!

PS – If you’re a member of our Hot Mom Squad, don’t forget to email your recipes to Leah@spaweekmedia.com for a chance to be featured on Spa Week Daily!

Noelle Chehab is the Senior Writer of Spa Week Daily.