Perfect Easter Basket Fillers

Whether you need a perfect hostess gift or some Easter basket fillers, we have lots of cute options…including some on sale!

For the Easter Brunch hosts: This Bunny Loves You Gift Set (15% off through April 30th, 2016)

This Bunny Loves You set includes a Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) hand cream and a sweet cream salt scrub.  It is so pretty it doesn't need a basket!

 

This Bunny Loves You set includes a Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) hand cream and a sweet cream salt scrub. It is so pretty it doesn’t need a basket!

For sisters and nieces: Nail polish minis (Zoya sets are 15% off through April 30th, 2016.

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The Zoya lips and tips quad includes 3 spring minis and a coordinating lipstick.  The Vinylux Flirtation gift set includes 4 polishes minis and fast dry topcoat mini.  These sets are perfect to give whole or split to fill Easter eggs!

For moms, co-workers and your BFF: Farmhouse Fresh spring scented shea butters.  These scents are 15% off through April 30th, 2016!

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Farmhouse Fresh has tons of delightful scents, but our two favorites for sprin are their Fluffy Bunny (lavender mint) and Rainbow Road (pear).  They come in a beautiful jar and a purse size hand cream tube.

For YOU: A visit to the spa

East Village Spa Spring Specials

Whether you’re hosting a big Easter gathering or worn out from getting your garden beds ready for spring planting, you deserve a trip to the spa.  Check out our fun spring specials and book YOUR spa visit here!

Healthy Holiday Cookie Make-Overs: Part 2

Yesterday I shared my favorite healthy holiday cookie, a vegan, gluten free, paleo friendly Pecan Sandy.  Today I’m going to share yummy and healthier version of chocolate bark and buckeyes.  Both are easily customized to your preferences too!

My friend Renae shared with me her favorite monster cookie protein ball recipe.  It was easy to adapt into a protein ball that was healthier, AND to dip into dark chocolate for a buckeye that had lots of protein and fiber, win-win!

Protein Ball Buckeyes

Ingredients:

Ingredients used for the "made-over" Buckeyes

Ingredients used for the “made-over” Buckeyes-I doubled the recipe below and made about 50 buckeyes

1 c. old fashioned or quick oats

1/2 c. natural peanut butter (I use one of the easier-to spread versions like Jif)

1/4 c. honey (local if you can-if making vegan, you can use agave)

1 scoop vanilla whey powder (if making vegan, look for a vanilla flavored vegan protein powder)

1/3 c. ground flax seed/chia seed blend or 1/4-1/3 c. flax or chia seeds (optional)

Dark chocolate for melting and dipping (I used the large dark chocolate bars from Zoet, found at Hyvee)

Combine all above, I found that starting with the peanut butter and honey, then adding the dry ingredients a bit at a time was best. If you can’t quite get them sticky enough to form a ball, add a bit more peanut butter or honey at a time.  You’ll need to mix with your hands eventually.

Roll into balls, then place on waxed or parchment paper.  To be honest, they are delicious at this point without being chocolate dipped.  You can store then in the freezer for a quick protein snack or breakfast this way or continue with the next step.

Melt chocolate squares in microwaveable bowl about 30-45 seconds at a time and stir each time until just melted.image2

Drop a ball into the chocolate and roll until it is covered, then remove with a spoon and place onto the wax paper.  Do this until all protein balls are covered in the dark chocolate, stopping to re-soften the chocolate or add more squares as needed.

Place into fridge to harden faster.

Store in fridge or freezer, depending on how quickly you’ll eat these.  (Warning, it might be pretty quick-I had to tell my husband to back-off because they were so good).

The finished protein buckeyes, ready for sampling at the Promenade (unless my husband finds them first).

The finished protein buckeyes, ready for sampling at the Promenade (unless my husband finds them first).

While these protein buckeyes do have more fiber, nutrients, and protein than regular buckeyes, do note they are certainly not low calorie and are ideal for active lifestyles or a grab and go breakfast replacement!

Be sure to visit the spa this Friday for the Holiday Promenade to sample these and a few other holiday cookie healthy makeovers! 🙂

A Healthy Twist on a Classic Holiday Cookie: Pt. 1

I’m a sucker for holiday cookies, candies, bars, you name it.  I also love finding recipes for healthier versions of said treats to find  perfect recipes to please diverse crowds, from those who love decadent desserts to people who are vegan, gluten free, or have other dietary limitations.  This year, I decided to make several healthier versions of classic holiday cookies to serve at our Holiday Promenade event, along with recipes, to inspire others to be creative.

Sometimes my experimentation leads to hilarious cookie fails.  Last night one of my cookies had maybe one-too-many healthy substitutions and was deemed by my taste testers as “So bad that if you serve this at Holiday Promenade, you will RUIN Holiday Promenade.”  My husband even asked if I made it with potatoes. This explains why my dog that eats anything in sight didn’t try to get the pan off the counter.  And I just thought he was being good!

To save our Promenade guests from fails or substitution headaches, I’ll only be serving really yummy treats taste-tested by my picky friends made with easy-to-fi
nd ingredients.  This is one of my long-time favorites: Healthy Pecan Sandies.

Pecan Sandies (Gluten Free, Vegan, Paleo, Possibility of being raw)

Ingredients:

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1 c. pitted dates

2 c. chopped pecans (use raw if making this as a raw cookie)

zest of half an orange.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  Process pecans in a food processor until finely ground.  Add pitted dates and orange zest.  Process until the mixture starts to pull away from the side and makes a coarse “dough”

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Pecan Sandy cookie dough after it has been processed

Roll into walnut sized balls on prepared cookie sheet and press a pecan half into each while flattening slightly.  They can be placed close together as they will not spread while baking.  Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms brown slightly.  Cool before eating (or they’ll fall apart!)

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Pecan sandies ready for the oven (they look the same coming out of the oven!)

To make a raw version, make sure you purchase raw pecans (easy to find in health food stores or Trader Joes) and don’t bake your cookies, but prepare them and freeze in a single layer so they hold their shape.  Eat out of the freezer as they’ll crumble as they warm to room temp if you haven’t baked them.

Stay tuned for more healthy holiday treats recipes this week!

Check out our fall favorites!

Whether you need jewelry or nail polish to complement your favorite fall sweater, a unique host or hostess gift for Halloween and Thanksgiving gatherings, or want something sweet, spicy and delightful to nourish your skin, we have the perfect fall finds in our gift shop!

  1. Caramel Lovers Rejoice!

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The Backcountry Caramel Body Milk and Triple Shot Caramel Coffee Scrub are retail favorites every fall.  This year we’ve incorporated them into some of our seasonal services.  Don’t forget to stop up at the desk for your complimentary caramel truffle after your services (we know you’ll be craving one!)

2. Zoya Fall Nail Polishes

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These fun colors are available in full size bottles ($9) and mini bottles ($5) and are perfect to complement your favorite fall boots and sweaters!

3. Morphew Designs Jewelry

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Heather, the designer behind Morphew Designs Jewelry, lives in Central Iowa and regularly updates her collection of earrings and necklaces at the spa.  She’s also happy to do custom orders and has a fast turnaround time.

4. Pure Inventions Cranberry Elderberry Drink Mix

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Pro tip! Mix the cranberry elderberry drink mix into hot water and add a cinnamon stick, orange peel and cloves for a delicious and healthy no-cal alternative to heavy holiday punches and ciders.

5. Pumpkin for your skin

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Pumpkin is a popular skin care ingredient because it contains vitamin A, which soothes and softens skin, and antioxidant rich Vitamin C. Our Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Mask includes pumpkin puree and our Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Cleanser is a best-seller.  Both are suitable for many skin types, but ask your esthetician if you aren’t sure.

6. Hot Spiced Rum

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Farmhouse Fresh Butter Rum Sugar Scrub is a year-round favorite, but the Spiced Rum and Bunny Slippers Cozy Candle is a new product just in time for crisp fall evenings. Also perfect as a hostess gift for Halloween or Thanksgiving gatherings!

Great gift ideas for dads!

A 2014 study commissioned by the International Spa Association (ISPA) revealed that men make up 47% of the spa-goers.  As attitudes about health and wellness change and people see spas as a regular part of their health care as opposed to occasional pampering, it makes sense!

Our team has put together a list of 4 great father’s day gift ideas:

1. A Spa Gift Card: While spa gift cards are one of the top Mother’s Day gift ideas, they tend to be overlooked for Father’s Day, but they make AWESOME gifts!  We notice that once men try spa services, they tend to be the most loyal visitors…which is great for stress reduction!

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2. Farmhouse Fresh Bourbon Bubbler Body Scrub: This delicious body scrub is made with real Kentucky Bourbon and is great for exfoliating rough hands.  To quote some of our male clients “It smells like bourbon and donuts!”  No wonder they love it!

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3. Clarisonic Mia for Men: This version of the Mia comes in gunmetal gray with a deep cleanse brush head.  If the man in your life has been stealing your Clarisonic (and really, you shouldn’t share brush heads) it is time for him to get his own!  Also great for active or out-doorsy guys who get clogged pores.  This is easy to use, feels great, and helps keep skin healthy.

clarisonic men's mia

4. Kneipp Joint and Muscle Products: Perfect for men who have arthritis, joint, or muscle pain, the Kneipp line of products is time-tested and effective with ingredients like arnica, wintergreen, and juniper.  These products come in bath salts, liquid baths, massage oils, and arnica topical gels.

kneipp joint and muscle

We are always happy to help make suggestions.  You can book a spa treatment for dad OR purchase an online gift card here.  You can also stop in and we can help you find a great father’s day gift, prepare a gift card in-store and gift wrap them together.   This father’s day, help the men in your life discover new ways to relieve pain, de-stress, and stay healthy!

 

5 Great Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother’s Day is a fun excuse to pamper the women in your life (moms, grandmas, wives, sisters, godmothers, dog-mothers, fill-in mothers…you name it!)  Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

1. A spa gift card.  We make it easy!  Pop into the spa and we have 2 great packages ready to go with popular service combinations.  Can’t make it in or pampering mom from a distance?  Purchase a gift card online and print it to include in your mother’s day card or e-mail it to mom!

Wellness Facial at East Village Spa 22. Two treats for tired feet: Our Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze is a great mask for rough calluses on the feet (and dry hands) and is one of Oprah’s favorite things.  The Derma E Intensive Therapy Foot Cream is a great pick-me-up for moms who are on their feet all day, providing a zippy mint scent and circulatory boost.

honey glaze3. Relax at East Village Spa and Beautify at Blo: We still (as of typing this) have 4 openings for our Mother’s Day “MOMosa” event at the spa, enjoy 2 hours of indulgence (mimosas, pastries, a special lavender honey massage and lavender honey facial) for just $200 all inclusive. Our neighbors across the street at Blo Blowdry Bar also have a great Mother’s Day Special!  Book a blow out for you and mom on Mother’s Day and mom’s is only $30!

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4. A Kneipp Bath Set: The healing properties of water can’t be overstated.  A soothing soak in the tub with aroma-therapeutic oils or mineral rich salts and it is like a mini vacation for stressed-out moms.  We have a variety of bath sets, plus single scented salts and mineral oils.

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5. Pamper moms-to-be: Purchase a gift card for a Pampering Pregnancy Massage, a fun bottle of non-toxic Zoya nail polish to paint her toe-nails (especially if she can’t reach them herself!) or a Farmhouse Fresh hand cream for a scent-sational treat in her hospital ready bag.

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7 Fun Valentine’s Day Ideas (that are not couple’s massages!)

For the second year in a row, we’re sharing our favorite Valentine’s Day gift and activity ideas that are not couple’s massages!  We have 3 couple’s massage rooms and all of them have been booked since mid January for Couple’s Massage because Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year.  You aren’t out of luck though, Des Moines offers lots of great date spots and we offer lots of great gifts for an at-home spa day!

vintage valentine

1. Spa day at home

Draw a bath and soak in one of our Kneipp bath salts or liquid baths.  We recommend a blend of the Pure Bliss and the Almond Soft Skin for a bath that will make your mood and your skin feel beautiful.  Pick up one of our Kneipp or Farmhouse Fresh Massage Oils and trade massages.  All of our massage oils are 15% off during February!  Finally, at the end of your spa day at home, surprise your sweetie with a gift card to visit East Village Spa for the services of their choice.

2. Lunch at Trellis and a romantic stroll through the Botanical Center Gardens

It is cold and snowy white outside right now but warm and colorful in the lush gardens inside the Des Moines Botanical Center.  Grab a romantic lunch and sip from the great wine and beer selection at Trellis inside the Botanical Center and stroll hand-in-hand while you look at the beautiful gardens.

3. Get your heart racing!

Join Fleet Feet, our neighbors across the street, for their Saturday Morning Social Run at 8 am on Saturday, February 14th.  Single?  Who knows, you might just meet your soul (or sole…get it?) mate!  No registration needed, Fleet Feet hosts lots of free, fun social runs!

The annual Red Flannel Run is also on Valentine’s Day this year, starting and ending at the NEW Wellmark YMCA.  Registration is still open!

4. Book her a blow out hairstyle at Blo and enjoy Hoq’s Valentine’s Day menu.

Visit our neighbors across the street at Blo for a blow-out hairstyle (I recommend getting the scalp massage upgrade!) and then take her to show it off over an Iowa farm-to-table dinner at Hoq.  As of 2/4/15 Hoq still had openings after 8:30 pm for Valentine’s Day and had openings for their same prix fixe Valentine’s Menu on Friday 2/13.  Blo had a few openings both Friday and Saturday.  Reservations required for both!

Check out Hoq’s menu and contact info here, and book your Blo appointment online here.

5. Dinner at home

Purchase all the ingredients for a delicious dinner at home including spices and oils from our East Village Neighbors Allspice and add a fun surprise by including a special gift from Kitchen Collage that can be used to make the dish.  Need recipe inspiration?  Two of our favorite cooking blogs are Budget Bytes (easy, delicious and you can use the savings to buy higher quality spices!) and Iowa Girl Eats.

6. Movie and drinks

Fleur Cinema is a great place to catch a flick and if you bring your ticket stubs to neighboring Mezzodi’s, you get two for one drinks and the perfect opportunity to discuss the movie you just saw!

7. A perfect pair: Fruit Fantasia Tea from Gong Fu and something pretty from Amour

Amour in the East Village has lots of lovely underpinnings, jammies, and robes in a beautiful and inviting shop.  Heather, the owner, and her team are great at making recommendations and helping even the most timid of gift-givers feel comfortable shopping for their sweeties.  They also recommend Gong Fu Tea’s Fruit Fantasia blend as an aphrodisiac.  With a rosy hue and sweet tart fruit flavor, it certainly is delicious!

Great ideas for Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts

Looking for a fun alternative to wine or flowers for your Thanksgiving host or hostess this year?  We have a few great ideas for you!

Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Pumpkin Mask: $20

Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt MaskPamper the person who has spent a day in a hot kitchen by giving them a gift that nurtures their skin!  After the guests go home, the host or hostess can unwind with this tingly and super effective pumpkin puree mask and wake up looking and feeling refreshed for Black Friday adventures!

Pure Inventions Cranberry Elderberry OR Apple Wild Cherry Drink Mix: $28.95

pure inventions holiday

These are the PERFECT gift for healthy holidays!  Both of these drink mixes are delicious hot or cold, are sugar and caffeine free, full of healthy natural ingredients, and a great alternative to high calorie, sugary holiday cocktails.  Each bottle contains 60 servings.  At the spa, we toss in a cinnamon stick and cloves for a perfectly spiced treat.

Kneipp bath benefit kit: $22

kneipp bath benefit kitThis kit includes 5 assorted bath salt sachets to help a stressed-out host or hostess unwind after entertaining a house full of guests…and throughout a hectic holiday season.

East Village Spa Gift Cards: Varies!

East Village Spa ServicesIf you’ll be staying with someone for a prolonged visit, nothing says “thank you!” like a trip to the spa!  Plus now we’re offering an extra $20 treatment voucher to enjoy weekdays in 2015 with every $100 in gift cards purchased INSIDE THE SPA (excludes online gift cards) so the recipient can enjoy even more TLC in the new year.

 

Shop local and save on Small Business Saturday!

Visit East Village Spa (or any participating small business) on November 29th and use your American Express card and you can earn up to $30 in credit back on your account!  Starting in October, we were finally able to sync

What if I don’t have an AmEx card?

Even if you don’t have an American Express card, you can still take advantage of specials at our spa on Small Business Saturday.  All Pure Inventions drink mixes will be 10% off and our gift card sale is in full swing!  For every $100 in gift cards purchased in the spa (not online) you’ll receive a $20 voucher toward weekday services in 2015!  We’ll have fancy chocolates out for you to enjoy and the first 15 people who purchase a retail item (excluding a gift card) will get a “Shop Local” tote bag and pin.

The first 15 people to purchase a retail item on 11/29 (regardless of what kind of credit card) will get a free "Shop Local" bag!

The first 15 people to purchase a retail item on 11/29 (regardless of what kind of credit card) will get a free “Shop Local” bag!

I want free money! How do I get an AmEx Statement Credit?

 

According to the American Express website, you can earn a $10 statement credit if you register your Amex Card and then spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction at a qualifying small business appearing on the Shop Small® Map available at ShopSmallNow.com. If your transaction qualifies, you will receive a $10 statement credit within 90 days. You can take advantage of this offer up to three times, for a total of up to $30 in statement credits.

Online transactions do not qualify. Registration is limited. Other terms and conditions apply. Go to ShopSmall.com/OfferTerms for details.

Register your card as soon as possible by 11:59 pm MST on November 29th, the sooner the better because they do limit the number of cards that can participate.  Corporate and prepaid cards are not eligible for the offer.  Each card you wish to use must be registered separately.

 

November Staff Picks Have Been Announced!

November Staff Picks Have Been Announced! As always, enjoy 10% off our favorite products of the month.

Clair’s Pick:  Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze
Clair picks this Farmhouse favorite because of its awesome moisturizing properties! Apply it before bed & while you sleep it transforms your skin from dry & itchy to soft & supple.

Tiffany’s Pick: Pure Inventions Sport Drink
Tiffany likes this product because it’s not a traditional sports drink full of sugar & sodium. Natural electrolytes from Hawaiian sea salt & natural energy from vitamin B12 make this the perfect drink before, after & during your workout!

Cassie’s Pick: Farmhouse Fresh Sparkling Bath Soak
Cassie picks this luxurious soak because it’s great to combat your  dry winter skin. Use it as massage oil or add it to your bath to moisturize those hard to reach places!

Cammie’s Pick: CND Solar Oil
Cammie loves this product for easy home care! A light oil that absorbs quickly to restore & maintain the health of your nails, great for cuticle/skin care too. Use with your favorite polish or on naked nails!

An assortment of our favorite products in November!

An assortment of our favorite products in November!

Enjoy 10% off these products the month of November 2014