Hello! Welcome to the second Tuesday blog. This week I’m going to be doing a blog that has been requested by a couple of people…how to have the ultimate chill out evening. Learning to unwind and de-stress is so important in the world we live in. Every one of us will have something that riles us up over the course of a week whether it be work related, personal worries and stresses or the fact that traffic and road rage destroyed our day from the out set! Therefore it is so important to take time to focus on you. To realise that the most important thing to focus on is you, because if you aren’t taking time out to restore your batteries you won’t be any good to anyone!
Everyone will have different ideas for what their ultimate chill out evening will involve. Mine however includes baths, pampering, beauty products, PJs and either a good book, chilled music or my favourite TV programme or film.
The main part of my chill out evening is my bath. I will start the bath running while I gather all my bits and bobs to create the perfect setting. Dimmed lights and a nice scented candle (for me a Bath & Body Works one every time) always make the mood immediately calming. Once the bath is starting to fill I will pop in my LUSH product of choice. If I have a Bath Bomb like I did in these photos, I will also add in some Sanex unscented bubbles so that I get colour and bubbles! Some people do choose to throw in a Bath Bomb and a Bubble Bar but for me that becomes too expensive. At this point I will also put my towel on the radiator (in the colder months) so that you don’t get that horrid cold shiver when you get out later.
Here are a selection of the LUSH baths I’ve had and the names just incase you want to go out and have a splurge!
1 – Northern Lights Bath Bomb 2 – Sunnyside Bubble Bar 3 – Avobath Bath Bomb
4 – Ickle Baby Bot Bath Bamb 5 – Autumn Leaf Bath Bomb 6 – Dragons Egg Bath Bomb
7 – The Experimenter Bath Bomb 8 – Bright Side Bubble Bar 9 – Lava Lamp Bath Bomb
10 – Twilight Bath Bomb
I will then set up my entertainment (!) whilst the bath finishes filling! I normally watch something on the iPad which I prop up on the basket next to the bath. Occasionally when I don’t want to concentrate on a screen, I will have my chill out playlist going which is lovely when you’re in a candle lit bath – heaven. I do chop and change the playlist but just incase anyone is interested, I’ve listed the songs that have made the cut at the moment for you:
- Patty Griffin – Up to the Mountain
- Gallant – Weight in Gold
- The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
- Simply Red – For you Babies
- All Saints – Pure Shores
- The Script – I’m Yours
- John Legend – Stay with You
- Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway
- Ray LaMontagne – Trouble
- Coldplay – Us Against the World
- Beverley Knight – First Time
- James Taylor – Sweet Baby James
- Otis Redding – These Arms of Mine
- Bruno Mars – Count on Me
- Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes
Obviously I wash (shock horror) whilst in the bath and due to my skin sensitivity I have to be careful with what I use. I find that the scented Dove products are fine for me or I opt for Johnsons. I love using a body puff as it allows your shower gel to go further and I find them gentler on my skin compared to sponges or flannels. I’ve got a bright yellow one at the moment which was given to me as a ‘piece of sunshine’ which always makes me smile! Since being in Dubai I have definitely started looking after my skin more. I exfoliate once or twice a week and my go to product is called ‘Rub Rub Rub’ and yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s a LUSH product. It’s bright blue in colour but has a fresh but not overwhelming scent and isn’t harsh on the skin.
Once a week I will give myself a face mask or face exfoliation when I’m in the bath. I absolutely love using Clarins Doux Polissant which is a gentle refiner and has tiny microbeads resulting in an extremely gentle but effective face exfoliation. Although cheap and cheerful, I find the face masks from Superdrug are really lovely. I really like the Manuka Honey Peel Off mask but I have never had a bad experience with any in this range so I’d highly recommend them.
You may find that depending on how long you want to stay in the bath, you may have to top up the hot water which is no big problem. Something I have never owned but am tempted by is a bath pillow, the better ones have little suction pads underneath so you can position it perfectly without worrying that it’s going to slip.
Once you’re ready to get out, make sure you have your choice of body moisturiser ready. I go for Dr Organic Aloe Vera Skin Lotion or another LUSH product called Dream Cream. Both are so refreshing on the skin and sink in quickly and aren’t greasy. It’s easy to forget to look after your feet so I always include them in my moisturising regime after a bath! My favourite foot cream is called, ‘Best Foot Forward Foot Butter with Peppermint Oil’ by Dirty Works. I get mine from Sainsbury’s but I’m sure you could find it elsewhere. Once the cream is well rubbed in, pop on some cotton socks and this will ensure that the cream is fully absorbed leading to maximum mositurisation.
Then you need to look after your face. I either use the Dr Organic Aloe Vera face cream or the Clinique Moisture Surge however, Dream Cream can also be used on your face. Twice a week I also like to apply Clinque’s ‘All About Eyes’ cream which is a moisture surge for the under eyes, reducing the size and colour of circles. Then a little layer of Vaseline to keep your lips moisturised too is a must do.
I always have my baths when I know all of my other jobs are done and anything that’s needed first thing in the morning is ready to go. That means I can then either get straight into bed and spend some time reading or continuing to listening to calming music or I can snuggle up under a blanket and watch some TV. Something that I would recommend is to not have any screen time i.e TV, iPad, phone, computer within the last hour before you are going to sleep. I find that when I do this, I get to sleep much quicker and sleep much more deeply and wake up feeling more refreshed the next day.
As strange as it is, I don’t like hot drinks but I know that many people find having a hot tea or hot chocolate helps them relax and sleep better too. Some people will even have this when they are in the bath although it’s more common for people to have a glass of wine or a soft drink whilst soaking! Each to their own!
I have always been a stickler for making my bed in the morning because then when it comes to bedtime, you are getting into a welcoming bed rather than one of mess and chaos which would destroy your relaxation of the last few hours! There’s nothing better than sinking into a freshly made with plumped up pillows and warm covers! My most relaxing evenings are aways made better when it’s been sheet washing day – I’m sure most of us will agree that fresh sheets are one of life’s true luxuries…or maybe that’s just me!! Sadly, alopecia has only robbed me of hair from the neck up but that does mean that the fab feeling of getting into a freshly made bed with newly shaved legs hasn’t been taken from me! Some men will never understand the joy of that feeling!
So there you have it, a simple yet fulfilling way to spend an evening which will guarantee you have a happy and productive day when you wake up.