10 Titillating Classical Pieces + Shauna Mei Challenge Recap

Did you make friends with Johann, Wolfgang and Ludwig? Shauna Mei, Spa Week’s Intellectual Wellbeing Expert and CEO of AHALife.com, challenged our readers (and the Spa Week team) to listen to classical music for two weeks. The plus side: increase your IQ a few points. In 1993, Nature magazine published a study that proved your IQ actually increases by listening to classical music, which is known as the “Mozart Effect.” So how did it go?

I’m not entirely sure how much smarter I am after this challenge (haven’t taken an IQ test) but I definitely felt less stressed starting my day, and as a New Yorker that is something I so appreciate. Rather than waking up to a high-pitched shrilling alarm noise, I was greeted by the sounds of violins and pianos. I must confess that I wasn’t a big fan of classical music before this challenge. I thought it was just music they played in fancy opera houses and elevators. However, I have a new lease on life (and music)! I won’t be lip syncing to these tunes in the shower but they will be waking me up from now on, as much as possible at least. When you feel like life is moving too fast or you don’t have a moment to yourself, put on some classical music and I swear you’ll find your peace by the end of one song. It also makes me feel quite sophisticated. Shauna is definitely onto something here.

You can expand your spatial-temporal reasoning long after this challenge with some of the greats.

10 Titillating Classical Pieces

First, here are Shauna’s top 4 picks:

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 – Andante

Vanessa Mae’s rendition of Toccata & Fugue (especially at 1:38 sec)

Chopin Fantasie Impromptu Op 66

And here are some I enjoyed listening to:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass In B Minor

Ludwig Van Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E flat major “Eroica”

George Frideric Handel’s Messiah

Johann Sebastian Bach Well-Tempered Clavier

Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida

Last but certainly not least, I’d like to announce the winners of the $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Cards by Spa Week (who shared their experiences on the event page):

Kimberly Y: “Each morning, I have faithfully listened to Bach and Mozart. I also enjoy the soundtrack to Memoirs of a Geish. The soundtrack is wonderful and very relaxing. I find myself breathing deeper and relaxing my shoulders when listening to classical music.”

Melissa C: “I have fulfilled my promise and have enjoyed it so much! A NEW RITUAL!!! I used to play the French Horn & was a music performance major but had health problems due to a car accident. I have been a licensed massage therapist for almost 14 years, & will be listening to more classical during treatments from now on.

Sincere thanks!!!!! ♥” 

Congrats you two, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and please contact michelle at spaweekmedia dot com within 3 business days to redeem your prize!

Image via

What’s In Your Bag? (You don’t wanna know!)

Last week we asked a rude question: What’s in your bag?

We wanted to know 1 semi-unusual thing you’re carrying around in your bag, and whichever 3 Facebook comments made us want to rummage through the rest of your bag the most would be the winners. (See the giveaway details HERE.) You gave us such a great response that we decided to up the prize… instead of 3, we picked 5 winners! Each one of you will walk away with a Kumiko Spa Bag, a $245 value. We’ve got 2 black, 2 brown and 1 purple bag. If you are one of our 5 winners, sign the Facebook page saying I WON! and claiming the color you want–first come first served.

Now here they are… the winners, the reasoning, and an unreasonable amount of potential fun imagining what else you might find in the bags on this list.


…because we’re afraid if we don’t pick you you’ll taser us.

Kisha ‘Seven’ Barnes – Taser


…because we wish Cinco de Mayo could last forever too?

Tiffany Stano – a purple sombrero


…because it is just SO much fun to say!

Shannon Schulte – Bananagrams! So obsessed! I bust it out anywhere there’s waiting involved, including restaurants.


…because we are not sure whether to admire your dedication, or alert others to come to your rescue. Also, have you spent 2 years sans window?

Sharonda Layton Carter – Three pieces of broken glass. I have been carrying them around for almost two years trying to find a match to a window that was broken at my home.


…because this is simply too creative NOT to win… and we absolutely believe you!

Kim Miller Malone - 12 goldfish crackers swimming, 11 tic tacs ticking , 10 pennies jingling, 9 hair clips waiting, 8 M&M’s a meltin’, 7 markers marking, 6 checks a bouncin’,* 5 golden earrings*( lost one :), 4 toddler books, 3 old french fries, 2 wet wipes, and a partridge in a pear tree :)

Runners Up – 50 more bags we’re dying to rummmage through

1. Joanna Abraham – A frying pan

2. Akua Wright- Denture adhesive… and no i don’t have dentures.

3. Saundra Robinson – A mini-Zohar from the NY Kabbalah Ctr.

4. Laurel Levey-Giacomino – Since I just got out of my annual mammogram check today, I have the paperwork from the hospital with a clean bill of breast health!

5.Heather Alger Worthen- A bacon chocolate bar (chocolate bar with bacon pieces in it- Called Mo’s Bacon Bar by Haut Chocolat)

6. DonEisha Goodson – A flashlight

7. Tash Brown – A boiled egg

8. Shereeda Maragh Brian Edwards – a portable nebulizer

9. Cristina Taboga Napier – A mini wind chime

10. Tiffany Stano – A rubber chicken

11. Yolanda Nunez – A chocolate covered cherry… and boy my purse was sticky

12. Nicole Hayes – a wine glass from my grandparent’s 65th wedding anniversary party

13. Alysha Allison – one of my son’s toy cars

14. Diane Meyrick Rudnick – Silly putty – you’d be amazed what you can do with that stuff

15. Kristine Krickit Bemboom – Ideas for 2 new tattoos & black gum

16. Jodi L Smith Kozloff – a tube of caulking

17. Bianca Guevara – Charmin To Go Toilet Seat Covers

18. Sabrina Segarra – 3 pairs of sunglasses

19. Loren Long – A little minature buddha that is supposed to encourage luck in love (a girl can use all the luck she can get!)

20. Crys Riley – Organic chicken doggie treats. Never thought I’d be THAT girl

21.Sylvia Acosta – a fruit cup

22. Cooleen Mcgill – a lock pick

23. Susan Carroll – An apple peeler

24. Tressa Washington – Wig piece

25. Isabella Smalera – Tibetan Healing Incense

26. Irene ✯ LaLo – A purse inside another purse

27. Vanessa Lynn – A 12×12 tile square to take to the paint shop to match my walls.

28. Sharon Jeans Crawford – an open can of cat food

29. Alison Solomon – 3 pairs of shoes

30. Lisa de la Rionda – travel size Dove Deodorant, compliments of Spa Week (okay, we had to put this one in!)

31. Sarah Glass – a piece of cardboard that I found in my grandparents old luggage written on by my grandfather with their old contact information on it.

32. Lacey Sue Maffettone – A teal travel corkscrew

33. Rebecca Burdick DeBorst – a screwdriver

34. Tiffany Stano – A rubber chicken

35. Amy Adams Rabenstine – a jar of baby food

36. Denise Doldron – A mini Swingline stapler

37. Camille Brown-Robinson – a package of strawberry jelly from pizza hut (breakfast at the airport last week)

38. Paige Emenheiser McLaughlin – A ziploc baggie of burned white (baking) flour to heal my newborn’s diaper rash. (it works!)

39. Ann Freeland – A mini plastic turtle – my son puts toys in my purse for when he gets bored while we’re out.

40. Deidra Johnson – Mini speakers for my iPod

41. Lateefah Alleyne – A strapless bra… I can not turn my day to night outfit into one without it

42. Abby Phinney Robertson – an avocado

43. Sheila Hedlund – A box of thank you cards so that in my spare time I can write long overdue thank you notes to friends.

44. Erika Mia – my grandmas dentures

45. Batya Kornblum – a ziploc bag filled with drinking straws

46. Halle Kat Farokhi – Copcutt – Food scale

47. Denise Yvette Perez – sponge rollers for my hair

48. -Sarah Hecksel –  a large ziplock bag full of various human hair, including my ownr. I had a haircut yesterday and the salon wasn’t donating it’s hair to to help clean up the Exxon oil spill the the Gulf, and thought I’d donate some myself. And yes, I rummaged through the trash bin for the swept up hair

49. Shereen Mencke – it’s a toss up between a box of resume paper and my daughter’s leapster that needs some new batteries

50. Junie Reypach – An Elmo Toothbrush