Show you care, with gifts that honor a vegan lifestyle and sustainability preferences. Here are 5 tips
1. Packaging matters: avoid plastic if you can. Look for glass bottles or paper packaging. FarmHouse Fresh Goods has great glass packaging for many items.
2. Bar soaps wrapped in paper are low waste and our Shea butter soaps are richly hydrating.
3. Look for local and handmade over mass-produced and shipped from overseas. The further a product travels, the bigger the environmental footprint. We carry beautiful Morphew Designs made right here in central Iowa!
4. Check labels to see if products are vegan. Common animal ingredients in skincare include milk or whey, beeswax, lanolin, or keratin. Zoya Nail Polish and Treatments is totally vegan as are many Farmhouse Fresh lotions!
5. Some dark chocolate is vegan. When purchasing chocolate, know the source. Chocolate is often sourced in ways that violate ethical human labor standards. Equal Exchange chocolates use fair labor, fair trade, and their dark chocolate flavors are vegan (they’re also kosher!)
This is just a small assortment of our vegan and sustainable collection of items available at www.shopeastvillagespa.com or in our brick and mortar store in Des Moines, IA. We’re always happy to help with suggestions and read some labels for you over the phone if you have questions about whether an ingredient is appropriate for a vegan lifestyle!
Today on Star 102.5, Ken, Colleen, and Kurt talked about the stress of being a Secret Santa. I think the same can be said of host gifts when you’re invited to a dinner party or gathering and instructed to “Just bring yourself!” Here are a few simple ideas that could work for both!
Spices from East Village Shops
My current favorite gifting spice is the Ammazza Suocera spicy Italian seasoning from Allspice (also available at Cooking with Alessandra.) This translates to “Kill the Mother in Law” so you may want to select something like the Everything Bagel seasoning or a pumpkin pie spice if you’re visiting a future or current mother-in-law.
Hydrating hand creams
A hydrating hand cream from Farmhouse Fresh, available at East Village Spa, is a great gift for anyone who’s preparing a big meal and cleaning for company. Bonus points for animal lovers. Farmhouse Fresh donates a portion of their proceeds to animal rescue and is situated on a farm animal rescue sanctuary!
Cute dish towels and recipe cards
Stop into one of our favorite gift shops in the East Village, Ephemera, for cute and locally crafted dish towels and recipe cards. These are great secret Santa gifts for the co-worker who is always bringing treats, and a perfect host gift when you’re told not to bring anything to share!
Room mists for a great cause
Thistle Farms aromatherapy room mists in limited edition holiday scents are a perfect gift for a host or Secret Santa. Thistle Farms supports women survivors of trafficking, abuse, and addiction. These women craft their beautiful products and the proceeds from their products goes back into the helping with the amazing work Thistle Farms does. Available along with many other Thistle Farms products at East Village Spa.
At home foot treatment
The Farmhouse Fresh Pedi Delight set is a great gift option, with a foot or body scrub, lotion, and our top selling Hydrating Honey hand, foot, or body mask. This is great for a secret Santa and can be divided up over multiple days OR as a host gift for someone who has been on their feet preparing for guests! Available at East Village Spa
Need something in a pinch? Try an online gift card!
Did you forget a last minute gift? We’ve got you covered! East Village Spa offers online gift cards in any denomination that you can print and hand-deliver from your office! Purchase yours here!
After a few weeks of 60-degree “winter” weather, I think we can’t complain about the cold and wind we’ve experienced the last few days. I personally can tell I’m due for a change in my skin routine. My hands are cracking and my lighter moisturizer just isn’t cutting it for my face. Our Managing Esthetician, Camille Arbegast, shared some tips for changing up your skin and body care routine to account for colder, dryer temperatures and less time in the sun.
HYDRATE YOUR SKIN
Rhonda Allison Ultra Hydration Cream: This is by far our #1 best selling product when the weather gets cold and windy. This moisturizer uses the purest form of Hyaluronic Acid which can increase the skin’s moisture by 300%. The best thing about this moisturizer is that it doesn’t feel super heavy and leaves the skin feeling nice and smooth.
Rhonda Allison Cucumber Spritz: This product is great all year round, but in the winter when skin tends to feel “tight” from dryness, especially in stuffy offices, a mist of the cucumber spritz throughout the day will help you feel more hydrated. Plus, it is a good way to perk you up in the middle of a work day!
Rhonda Allison Drops of Essence: These hydrating drops are a healing, heavy serum that will help to soothe chapped winter skin with high concentrations of lavender and geranium essential oils. They can be effective for skin burns (including wind burn), cold sores, and even help with the appearance of scars.
REVERSE SUMMER DAMAGE
Winter is the perfect time to brighten skin and reverse pigmentation that may be lingering from the summer’s sun exposure. We have two concentrated corrective serums to power treat pesky dark spots:
Rhonda Allison ChronoPeptide A uses the purest form of Vitamin A to brighten, strengthen, and firm the skin without the irritation found in some commonly prescribed vitamin A products.
Rhonda Allison C Stem Cell is a 20% Vitamin C serum that not only helps lighten pigmentation, but increases hydration, reduces redness, and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
DON’T FORGET YOUR BODY!
Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze: This mask is for more than just feet and is one of our best-selling spa products. Brush on this hydrating, soothing mask on dry hands, elbows, knees, heels, wrap with plastic wrap, socks, or gloves, and let let it gently exfoliate and hydrate dry skin. We incorporate this into our signature services and many of us personally use this product. You can wash it off or put it on before bed for an overnight miracle fix for dry skin!
Farmhouse Fresh Shea Butter Scrubs: These are the most hydrating body scrubs we carry. Unlike salt scrubs which can irritate dry, cracked skin, shea butter scrubs are gentle, not TOO abrasive, and will leave your body feeling hydrated like you’ve just applied lotion. We carry 3 delicious scents. Camille recommends a weekly full body exfoliation. These are also great to help prevent ingrown hairs after a wax.
CND Solar Oil: Cuticle oil is important year round, but in the winter, dry cuticles can become painful and picking at your cuticles and nails can lead to infection. Apply a few drops of CND Solar Oil after your shower or before bed to keep cuticles soft and help you resist the temptation to pick!
Stop into the spa anytime to ask our front desk for advice on the best hydration products for your needs or click here to book yourself a hydrating body scrub or facial at the spa!
The East Village’s annual holiday kick-off is THIS FRIDAY, November 17th. Thanksgiving is crazy early this year so we’ll get an additional week of holiday festivities before Christmas. As always we plan fun events for the Promenade and encourage you to stop up and say hello! Here are our top 5 reasons to stop up this year!
TREATS! Our friend Anne at Shade Tree Bakery is creating gingerbread cake parfait cups for us. Be one of the first up to make sure you get one. She’s a genius with baked goods.
DRINKS! I’ll be making my spiced cranberry hot toddies. Cranberry, cinnamon, cloves, orange, and a splash of Jameson to warm your body and spirit.
BLENDS! Kelly and Molly will help you craft perfectly blended gifts at our aromatherapy blending bar so you can give a homemade gift that is customized for everyone on your list. Enjoy 20% off of all custom blended lotions, body scrubs, body mists, bath salts, and bubble baths.
MENU UNVEILING: We’ll debut our December and January seasonal menu at the event…need a hint? The menu pairs perfectly with our treats for the evening.
GIFT CARD SALE! As Always, we’ll be kicking off our annual gift card sale on Friday. For every $100 in gift cards purchased in the spa (excludes online) you’ll get a FREE $20 voucher good for regularly priced services in 2018. The sale goes through 12/23, but it is best to shop early to avoid the lines.
P.S. A secret 6th reason? We have restrooms our customers can use between all of the Promenade stops for holiday cheer and merriment. A perk of being part of the East Village Spa family!
One of the most frequently asked questions I heard when I was practicing massage was “how often do YOU get a massage?” As massage therapists, we learn to get a good read on our bodies and learn what works well to prevent or manage our own pain. Some of the LMTs on our team shared what works best for them, and their favorite referrals.
Camdine: I use a Lacrosse ball on my hips, back, and neck to massage painful spots. Camdine also uses locally produced Rapid Fire to reduce pain.
Julie: Daily stretches, epsom salt and Kneipp arnica bath soaks 3x week, a glass of warm Pure Inventions Tranquility tea (with magnesium) before bed, Rapid Fire to control small areas of pain, regular massages and chiropractic care as needed.
Jamee: I use acupressure as a cure for everything but death, and I haven’t died yet. I see my personal massage therapist (co-worker Tiffany) regularly. I also purchased a Yoga trapeze that is a miracle for low back pain.
Hannah M: Staying active after a hard day reduces tension for me.
Jamee (cont’d): …On second thought, I should get a med alert bracelet made up that says in an emergency, call my massage therapist (Tiffany.)
Brandi: Yoga and using a foam roller, a 30 minute daily walk, get adjusted at Shine Chiropractic weekly, Fadeaway Flotation monthly.
Tisha: Rapid fire for aches, pains, and headaches, cupping therapy, foam roller, yoga, and a monthly massage (more often when needed!)
Conny: I’m not in pain often, but if it happens, I either overworked something or an emotional issue came up. For physical pain, I use rapid fire and a soak in a hot bath with epsom salts, receive massage twice a month. A good book, a glass of wine, and a friend for heartache.
Cassie: The older I get the more my joints act up, especially after running, biking, and swimming. In addition to regular massage, I see Dr. Pulley for chiropractic care when I overdo it or something feels “off.” I have done regular pilates at Gigi’s Pilates for about 6 years. Sometimes stretching isn’t the answer (or isn’t the only answer). The strengthening techniques in Pilates really help my low back and knees from screaming after longer runs.
Want to try massage therapy or one of our favorite pain relieving products for your own aches and pains? Stop into East Village Spa at 601 East Locust or book online!
When I was in my early 30s, I knew I needed to get fit. I grew up swimming but didn’t know how to ride a bike and couldn’t run a mile. The first time I ran a full lap around Gray’s Lake (1.9 miles) without stopping was as exhilarating as my first half marathon. I learned how to ride a bike in in my quiet neighborhood after dark so little kids wouldn’t seem me wobbling around on two wheels. While I crave regular workouts now, I totally get how awkward it can be when you are just getting started so I wanted to share a few ways I’ve found that are comfortable for people of all fitness levels, especially people just starting out or getting back into the swing of things after a long hiatus.
Des Moines City Ride: A safe, comfortable bike ride
I still swim, and I learned to love running. I can bike well enough to complete triathlons, but biking on streets terrifies me. Not learning how to ride until late in life means I still almost fall off my bike every time I stop and can’t stand up to pedal, weird things most people take for granted. My friend Katy gently nudged me to try the Des Moines City Ride last night after several people told me this was an awesome way to get comfortable biking around Des Moines. Last night we met at Westchester Park on Aurora Avenue and biked as a group to Dogpatch Urban Gardens which will be my new favorite place for produce! It was awesome!
The ride was a nice slow pace so nobody was left behind, great practice biking on streets, family friendly, and everyone was encouraged to use proper signaling. I was able to meet new people and catch up with friends while biking. The group meets most weeks on Mondays to explore a different neighborhood, but check their facebook page and website for the up-to-date schedule.
Lap swim at Ashworth Pool
During regular pool season, Ashworth pool offers lap swim only hours from 12-1 daily. The hours are not well-published so there is usually not a crowd. For newer swimmers, Ashworth’s lap swim time offers a comfortable space to practice without dodging kids and families. The 50 meter length is great if you dread turns and swimming outdoors helps make getting in a workout more of a treat and less of a chore, especially if you use the last part of your visit to enjoy quiet time on the pool deck while you dry off. When I make it to lap swim, I usually notice a range of abilities, from new swimmers and senior citizens just covering a couple lengths of the pool, to triathletes and college athletes training in the off-season. Everyone just does their own thing and has plenty of space.
Fleet Feet run programs and social runs
I’ve always been a fan of Fleet Feet Sports and their run programs and social runs. The employees and volunteer mentors for Fleet Feet are the kindest, most supportive people you’ll ever meet and they welcome both new and experienced runners and walkers to their programs. Whether you’re running to get ice cream or beer, training for your first 5k or your 50th marathon, they have something you’ll enjoy at just the right pace. They’ve even started doing social runs in other areas of the city. Check the Fleet Feet Website page for their upcoming events or stop into the store where they will be happy to invite you to join the fun!
Visit the South Suburban YMCA
Prefer an indoor workout? I’ve found the team at the South Suburban YMCA to be exceedingly welcoming to people of all fitness levels. Some of our spa guests who have never gone to a gym have found a great home at the South Suburban Y and look forward to lap swim, water aerobics, spin classes, and individual workouts. If you’ve never been a “gym person” this might be a good place to start.
Wherever you start out, we’re happy to help you on your journey! Book a massage to help with aches and pains, or any spa service as a healthy reward as you progress toward your fitness goals!
Traditionally, the spa industry has found ways to reduce waste and help to offset the use of energy, water, and disposable products required to provide services. Spa and wellness providers understand that caring for our planet to ensure we have clean air, water, and places to enjoy beauty of our natural surroundings is important for physical and mental health. At East Village Spa we are always working on finding new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Here are 5 of our favorite ways we’ve been working to reduce our footprint:
We partner with Recycle Me Iowa to recycle. Most of our products come in recyclable packaging and Recycle Me Iowa helps make it easy for us to recycle the packaging and shipping containers required to run a spa by providing us with containers to keep our recyclables and coming on a regular schedule to pick them up for us. They are affordable and provide excellent customer service. If you live or work in a building that doesn’t offer recycling, reach out to Cigi and her team. They take great care of us, and the Earth.
We switched to Himalayan Salt Stones from Jade stones for our hot stone massages. Not only do our clients get the benefits of Himalayan Salt, but these stones require less energy to heat and save gallons of water per use as they don’t require a water bath to soak in and gallons of water for cleaning. Instead, they are heated on a temperature controlled mat and are cleaned safely with an eco-safe, EPA registered Thyme oil spray. According to Saltability, a 10 room spa (that’s our size!) can save 20,000 gallons of water annually by switching from traditional water bath stone heaters to salt stones.
We don’t use whirlpool soaks for pedicures. First, we value your safety (the bacteria in many whirlpool basins is gross) so we use one-time-use disposable tubs. These tubs save an estimate of 10-20 gallons of water depending on whirlpool size. For every whirlpool tub, it not only needs filled for the service, but then filled again and run with cleaning chemicals that go down the drain. That’s lots of water.
We only offer robes for people getting multiple body or skin care treatments as a convenience when switching treatment rooms. I know, it is fun to slip into a robe, but people do not realize the environmental impact. Only about 4-5 big plush robes can go into a wash/dry cycle which uses lots of water and energy. If people are coming for one service, say a massage, they would have to undress, put on a robe for a couple of minutes, take off the robe, get on the massage table, and then put their regular clothing back on again. Not only would this shorten service time as in our rushed world, guests tend to run a bit behind (ahem, pot calling kettle black here since I’m chronically 5 minutes late) but the main reason we forgo robes for single-service visits is the environmental impact.
Our products are safe, not only for you, but for the Earth. We carefully choose our partners so we know the products you are enjoying are ethically produced and healthy. Our Rhonda Allison Skincare is European Certified Organic (a tougher standard than in the US), our Farmhouse Fresh line is partially crafted out of herbs grown on their farm, which includes a farm animal rescue sanctuary. The Kneipp line uses salts sourced from an underwater salt cave in Germany that has been used for over 100 years so the salts are pure and haven’t been exposed to environmental pollutants. The Rescued Jewelry line we carry includes recycled jewelry components and gives all profits to an animal rescue. Our Rapid Fire pain relief products are produced locally in central Iowa, thus reducing shipping waste as they are delivered by the man who developed the line himself. Our nail polishes from Zoya and CND are free of harsh, toxic, chemicals and always have been.
Please help us this Earth Day by finding a way to reduce a bit of waste, making choices for sustainable, ethical, and non-toxic products, and enjoying some time outdoors for your mind, body, and spirit.
Every year we like to compile a list of our current favorites for dry, chapped skin. This year we have some new additions to the mix!
Farmhouse Fresh Plum Chiffon Balm: Pure Shea, cocoa and mango butters have been combined into a rich, solid, scrumptious all-purpose balm that melts into skin on contact, nourishing dry, chapped hands, knees, knuckles – even lips! This blend of butters is a highly effective skin conditioning formula that helps fight wrinkles through deep penetration of vitamins A & E. The Farmhouse Fresh team even suggests dabbing a bit to the outer eye area before bedtime, for a deep moisturizing sleep shield. I personally used it with socks last night when I realized I could exfoliate one foot with my other foot!This balm really does it all. $12.50
Farmhouse Fresh Shea Butter Hand Creams: Shea butter and Vitamin E-packed Jojoba and Soybean oils calm even the severest of dry skin. We recommend the shea butters over the body milks for this time of year for a longer lasting burst of hydration. The purse size tube is just $14.
Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze: Great for hands, feet, any dry patches! Use as a mask and remove after 15-20 minutes or leave on. Great to leave on overnight with an old pair of socks or do a home spa treatment and put your hands in saran wrap or baggies to let the mask work! One client had us order 10 of these so she can gift one to all of her friends for a “My Favorite Things” party theme. $25
Farmhouse Fresh Clementine Oil: Antioxidant rich Olive Fruit and Grapeseed oils combine with Orange Peel, Jojoba, Sunflower Seed and Apricot Kernel oils to nourish and calm the most sensitive of skin types.Great for after the shower while pores are open OR a few pumps in the bath (just be careful getting out) so you don’t have to sacrifice your skin to enjoy a hot soak in the tub.$18
Pure Inventions Drink Mixes: Hydrate from within! Pure inventions mixes are a great alternative to caffeine or alcoholic beverages (or to stay hydrated between them). Because these drinks are caffeine free, sugar free, and free of other icky ingredients, they are hydrating and satisfying! (I won’t lie, I make a big mug of the Cranberry Elderberry blend with a cinnamon stick and orange wedge and add a splash of Jameson for the best hot toddy ever…yes, you lose some of the health benefits this way!) $28.95 (60 servings in a bottle)
Solar Oil Cuticle Oil: Hand cream is a must have, but it won’t quite do the trick to hydrate cuticles. A cuticle oil that is designed to penetrate better into the nail are than thicker balms should be used morning and night to help prevent painful hangnails and dry cuticles and that can open the way for infections. The mini bottle is just $2.50 so you can keep one in your car, one on your night stand, and at your desk!
Rhonda Allison Ultra Hydration Cream: This is a rich moisture cream that delivers and binds humectants within the skin. It contains the purest and most potent form of hyaluronic acid – L-Sodium Hyaluronate and Cassia Betaglycan (plant hyaluronic) to increase moisture by 300%. Hyaluronic Acid is said to be the principal water-regulating molecule and can bind up to 6,000 times its weight in water. Because of this, it will keep skin hydrated all day or night, without going on heavy or oily. $15 for the trial size bottle.
Book a visit! Need more than home care to ease your dry skin? Our favorite skin hydrating services are the Gong Fu Chai Body Scrub, our EV Signature Facial Experience, and the EV Signature Manicures and Pedicures. Our Seasonal Hydrating Honey Plum features are also designed with winter skin in mind! To learn more or book your services, visit our website!
At East Village Spa, we LOVE the Small Business Saturday movement. We will be participating on Saturday, November 26th with free adorable tote bags for the first 10 people to purchase retail items in our shop in November 26th.
Not sure what to get? Our team members shared some ideas of their favorite spa retail gift ideas AND some small businesses you need to check out.
Cassandra: From East Village Spa I recommend anything Farmhouse Fresh! A lotion and body wash or shea butter soap are a great gift. Two other stores I recommend are Wanderlust and Jett and Monkey’s Dog Shoppe.
Casey: In addition to gifts at our spa, our receptionist Casey suggests you visit Look @ You in the East Village because the owner, Amber, rocks and their jewelry assortment is amazing. It truly is a hidden gem!
Dawn: I’m love getting all of my sons’ teachers Farmhouse Fresh Shea Butter Hand Creams because everyone has such dry skin this time of year and they smell amazing! I also like grabbing a few items at Raygun and Hill Vintage and Knit. One of my favorite local fiber artists, Girl With a Sword, sells her yarn there!
Tisha and Camille: Farmhouse Fresh Honey Glaze!
Cori:I love the honey heel glaze; it smells like Christmas! And anything lavender scented. It’s great for relaxation; something you’ll really need for the holidays.
Molly:The Farmhouse Fresh gift sets – I like the Whoopie Cream set because it comes with the lotion, body wash and candle. And for local Christmas shopping I also recommend visiting Domestica or Preservation!
Tiffany and Cyerra: Nail polishes make great gifts
Cammie: Kneipp bath salts. My favorites are Arnica Joint and Muscle and Sweet Dreams. Both are needed around the holidays. I absolutely encourage anyone I can to go to the Market Day Black Friday sale at Capital Square. Tons of hand crafted small businesses with high quality items. You can buy coffee there while you shop, and usually a few other edible treats. Easy to find something unique and fitting for each person on your list.
Let us help you pick out a perfect gift! In addition to our great retail items, we have our annual holiday gift card promotion. Now through Christmas Eve stop into the spa and receive a FREE voucher for $20 toward regularly priced weekday services in 2017 with every $100 in gift cards purchased. (Not available with online orders).
Before we invest in a product line, we like to know the story and get a feeling for the company. Kneipp, a German line we carry, has an awesome story and long history of offering balance, pain relief, and relaxation naturally. The rare instances we have German spa visitors, it is a blast to see them rush the Kneipp product display. It shows that many have the utmost respect for the founder, Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897)
Sebastian Kneipp was a priest, naturopathic doctor, and is widely considered to be the father of hydrotherapy. He believed he cured his tuberculosis with regular dips in the icy Danube river. He worked with a pharmacist to develop a line of medicinal cures and many of the formulations are included in today’s Kneipp remedies. He continued to share the benefits of water in wellness treatments, including wading pools, baths, and using water in other ways to ease pain.
Today the Kneipp salts are still mined using traditional methods from Europe’s last remaining salt cave, which is 250 million years old and 1500 feet deep so the salts are not exposed to environmental pollutants. Products are planted derived, free of animal products, free of preservatives and mineral oil, eco-friendly, and dermatologist tested for skin safety.
The Kneipp Philosophy Today
Sebastian Kneipp believed that the five pillars to health were water, plants, exercise, nutrition, and balance. This simple philosophy is embraced by spas and wellness providers today. In the foothills of the Bavarian alps, there is an entire town dedicated to Kneipp wellness, “Kneipp town.” The spa village of Bad Wörishofen features Kneipp treatments at all lodgings and doctors practice Kneipp wellness. In Kneipp wellness communities, you’ll find many hydrotherapy tubs, walking paths where people walk through streams and in nature, and more!
Our East VillageSpa Best Kneipp Sellers:
Kneipp products are incredibly popular, especially with clients who hope to continue their relaxation and pain-relief benefits post-massage. The Kneipp Bath Salts are our top seller, with the top three scents being:
Arnica joint relief
Juniper muscle relief
Eucalyptus Cold and Sinus relief
Red Hemp and Poppy “Pure Bliss”
Our top-selling Kneipp oil is the Devil’s Claw, which aids in pack pain, neck pain, and headache relief. Our massage therapists love incorporating this oil, plus the arnica products into treatments.
Learn more about Kneipp through their website, or visit us at East Village Spa to smell and feel the different products, pick up literature, or ask our team for guidance on hydrotherapy and aromatherapy!