Happy Spa-nukkah! Light The Aromatherapy Menorah

Happy first night of Hanukkah, my fellow latke-loving, dreidel-spinning, gelt-indulging friends! When the sun dips down this evening, we’ll kick off those eight infamously crazy nights; the beautiful, celebratory Festival of Lights.

Uh oh, what’s that you say? No lights for your festival? Did you forget your MENORAH!? If you’re anything like me: a nice Jewish girl who just happens to not have a menorah around her apartment, yet is drowning in scented candles, let’s join hands and do this together:

The Aromatherapy Menorah.

I hope my rabbi isn’t reading this right now. But with no disrespect to the Jewish traditions I loved growing up with, I have decided that this year I will put my large collection of sweet, musky, cinnamon, lavender, and other such delicious-smelling candles to good use, bend the rules of Hanukkah, and make my own little Festival of Lights.

I’ll designate one large candle as the Shamas to be lit every night, and night by night, I’ll say my Baruch-ata-adonai and add a small candle to the aromatherapy mix. My apartment is soon to smell like an unidentifiable jumble of Hanukkah goodness. A miracle indeed. Malin+Goetz, Diptyque, Bond St… welcome to The Tribe.
Join me on Polyvore to see all the featured candle brands, and where you can get this beautiful menorah!

10 Ways to Glam Up and Zen Out Your Place On The Cheap

I’m on the verge of a move! In just two weeks I’ll be settling into a three bedroom apartment a few blocks east with my first-ever exposed brick wall. It’s a beauty! And the last thing I want to do is ruin it with all my decorative clutter. You know, if you pamper your palace it’ll pamper you back. My first goal is minimalizing my collection of all-too-excessive trinkets and decor, and after that, it’s adding the perfect select pieces to finish it off. With a small budget, and keeping in mind that we plan to be entertaining a lot (hello ugly sweater party!), it’s important to have a strategy. Interior design guru Michael Craig, founder of dinette.com, shares his budget-friendly tips on how to glam up your place with just a few strategic moves, along with my picks, all under strong consideration for purchase!

1.  First thing’s first… LESS. IS. MORE. Take away unnecessary items that distract the eye from the Main Event. Take notes from your favorite zen spa ambiance: de-clutter, ladies!

2.  Jazzy pillows. Add some to spice up your boring sofa. Also, make sure they are comfortable for your guests to relax. My pick: Add a patchwork safari touch from Urban Outfitters for conversational comfort- $36

3. Orchids. Orchids always add sophistication to any space – make sure to water accordingly and watch them blossom.

4.  Add a shiny bowl to your tabletop – nuts look great in a glitzy silver bowl. Editor’s pick: A giant spoon! From Z Gallerie – $29.95

5.  Put a runner on your tabletop.  Not only does it protect against nail polish remover spills (the worst!) but it will add charm and style. Editor’s pick: Opt for an unusual shape – who said runners need to be straight-edged? This red flamenco flower runners from Pier 1 will pop, even under 2 tons of turkey and potatoes. $29.95

6.  Candles. Not only do they provide great lighting but can fill the room with relaxing aromas. Go easy on the strong scents! Editor’s pick: get in the holiday spirit with a little luxury from Diptyque’s new Joie de Vivre collection, a pine and candied plum scent. Visit diptyqueparis.com – Starting at $32

7.  Edit your framed pictures. Too much is too much! We don’t need to see a 100 pictures of your baby. We already did on Facebook. On a similar note, here’s an idea for a very cool use of picture frames!

8.  Live plants. Putting a live plant in your home is never wrong – but proportional size is key. Editor’s pick: Bring the desert home with these small and very low maintence little cacti plants from Home Depot. 3-pack for $23.96

9. Rugs and runners.  Add a runner or rug to give warmth to your space. It keeps your toes from touching the cold surface. Editor’s pick: Dare to go furry and white for a cozy elegant touch. Crazy, you say? Actually – my friend has one just like this, and surprisingly it has remained unstained and looking brand new for over a year! Not recommended if you have kids… and keep Drunk Uncle Bob in the other room. On overstock for $290.

10.  Dimmers are key. This one takes a little more planning, but mood lighting always helps control the ambiance and allows you to drift off to your happy place.

Think Pink: 10 Beauty Products to Shop for the Cure

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we want to do our little part to raise awareness. Many spas offer oncology massages to help breast cancer patients, among all the other ways 96% of spas are giving back. We’re also thrilled to partner with Stillwater Spa in Newport, RI for a second year for our Pink Martini Night. (If you are in the area, you’re invited!)

Women should do everything they can to prevent the disease because the facts are staggering: Each year it is estimated that nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will lose their battle. You can show your support in various ways – such as helping Melissa’s mom raise $ for her Breast Cancer Walk – and also shopping for the cure. We’ve rounded up 10 great beauty products that are donating to the cause:

Aveda will donate $4 of purchases of their Lend A Hand Relief Hand Lotion during the month of October to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

AHAVA will make a donation to The National Breast Cancer Foundation with every purchase of their Hope Blossoms Mineral Bath Salts.

For each purchase of Clinique’s best-selling moisturizer, they’ll donate $10 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

diptyque is partnering with The Pink Agenda, non-profit organization, this Breast Cancer Awareness month and donating 20% of the proceeds from their Mini Pink Rose Candle to support in the fight against breast cancer.

Elizabeth Grant International is donating 20% of the online sales during the month of October from their highly coveted Light Up Your Lips in Sweet Pink to Breast Cancer Awareness programs.

Mama Mio will donate $1 to Look Good…Feel Better for every October purchase of Boob Tube Bust and Neck Firmer made on online . A breast self-exam instructional packet is included with each purchase.

O.P.I. has created the shatter version of their Pink of Hearts nail polish and will be donating $20,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation this month.

With each purchase of this Sonia Kashuk 6-piece makeup brush set, Target is donating 15% to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Tweezerman has created a limited edition of their best-selling slant tweezers and will donate a portion of the proceeds to organizations who are in search of a cure.

Philosophy will donate a 100% of the net proceeds of their Shower For The Cure shower gel.

Photo via totalbeauty.com