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Entertaining at Home
An Excuse to Visit with Old Friends
March, 2007 - Issue #29
How long has it been since you lingered over a drink and rich conversation with a close friend? Now multiply that experience by the number of gal pals you've been meaning to catch up with "forever."

Enough of the guilt. It's time to take action.

Spa parties are all the rage and can be as simplistic or complicated as you desire. The same goes for the cost involved. Some women hire masseuses, manicurists and cosmetologists. "I frequently accommodate small groups with massages," says Joan Malley of Malley Massage. "Make sure you find out how long your professional will be willing to serve the group without a break. For example, I max out at five hours, or 10 half-hour sessions, but a lot of people can be accommodated in that time frame."

Don't limit the experience to traditional treatments alone. "We do have massage therapists who do 'out calls' for parties, and we do facials for parties of six or more, but something unique are mineral makeup sessions for parties. We use Youngblood Mineral cosmetics and women always have an awesome time trying new colors and learning new applications," says Rosemary Murphy, owner of Beyond Harmony Medspa.

Others create a do-it-yourself buffet of face masks, hair oils and nail care selections.

"There are great products that can be used at home," says Karen Whiteley of Balance Point Spa. "The foot care line from Gilden Tree includes a scrub, cream and shea butter for rough spots. Guests can be treated to the finest masques and facial treatment products from Ayur-Medic and Yonka, which can be purchased retail, too, and shared with friends."

"HOW LONG has it been since you lingered over a drink and rich conversation with a CLOSE FRIEND?"
Which brings us to another issue: the invite list. More specifically, how many is too many? "This kind of party should be a small, intimate group of women who feel comfortable with each other. I wouldn't suggest more than 10," says Myra Harbour, an event planner and owner of Celebrate.

Harbour hosted a spa party for her daughter not long ago. "We took 10-feet by 10-feet canopies draped with fabric outside and created separate spa rooms, one for massage, one for facials and one for paraffin dips. Lavender-scented candles hung all around to relax guests further. We had a salad and smoothie bar, and even a bathtub filled with rose petals just in case a guest wanted to indulge in a soak," she recalls.

All that relaxing can make a girl thirsty. "We've rented our frozen beverage machines to ladies who've wanted a delicious non-alcoholic signature beverage for their parties," says Lori Parkinson of The Big Chill, "but most go the traditional route: strawberry margaritas or pina coladas."

Appetizers are a must, and you'll need to provide spa fare, too, if the time span of the party overlaps a regular meal time. A shrimp, avocado and mango salad is easy to prepare ahead and will sit lightly in the stomach as guests enjoy their treatments.

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Outsourcing Treatments and More
The following businesses offer in-home services for parties.

Balance Point Spa - 661-252-0650
Malley Massage - 661-713-4413
Beyond Harmony Medspa - 661-298-8008
The Big Chill Frozen Beverage Machine Rental - 661-209-1810
• Order smoothies and healthy wraps from Tropical Smoothie Cafe and have them delivered by SCVGoodToGo.com
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