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A New Way To Get Your Daily Dose Of Chocolate:
“Chocolate Bliss” Spa Products


Just in time for the Holidays and Valentine’s Day, new products from the “Chocolate Bliss” Spa Collection offer a unique and sensual way to indulge someone sweet.

These all-natural, handmade spa products are detailed in artisan chocolatier Susie Norris’ new book, “Chocolate Bliss: Sensuous Recipes, Spa Treatments and Other Divine Indulgences”. Each recipe is easy to prepare and the ingredients include real chocolate. Some of the products such as the Salty Chocolate Body Scrub (recipe seen below) are even edible!

The range of products outlined in the book offer chocolate bliss for every occasion. The Chocolate Soap and Hint of Cocoa Body Lotion leave the skin with the sensual smell of chocolate, while the Salty Chocolate Body Scrub can be used to exfoliate on a tough day, allowing the skin to feel silky smooth, and the Chocolate Mint Foot Rub soothes and cools tired feet. And for those special times, there’s the decadent Melt Away Chocolate Massage Oil.

Aside from the recipes in the book, the products can also be purchased at Happy Chocolate’s online store at www.happychocolates.com

Salty Chocolate Body Scrub
Makes 2 ˝ cups scrub

˝ cup rolled oats
˝ cup cocoa nibs
2 tablespoons unsweetened
cocoa powder
˝ cup kosher salt
˝ cup sweet almond oil
˝ cup jojoba oil
2 tablespoons vitamin E oil

Use a food processor or blender to grind the oats into a powder. Add the cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, salt, almond oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E oil. Hit pulse a few times to blend. Store in a glass or plastic jar, and scoop out for use with a spoon or a seashell. Massage the scrub into skin, then rinse with warm water.

Part cookbook and part gift book, Chocolate Bliss is a fabulous book about all things chocolate.  The book, which can be found in bookstores nation-wide, celebrates the rich and diverse culture, delights, and benefits of chocolate.    



Las Vegas is quickly becoming one of the world’s premier spa destinations.”  This fall, three new spa experiences at CityCenter, an extraordinary resort destination opening in December, will raise the bar even higher.


  • Opening with Vdara Hotel & Spa December 1, Vdara Health & Beauty will focus on holistic health with a selection of globally inspired signature treatments that use quality ingredients derived from organic herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables and essential oils.  The two-level, 18,000-square foot facility will boast three distinct relaxation lounges and a champagne and smoothie bar that will serve vegetarian and vegan-inspired meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Vdara Health & Beauty also is the first Las Vegas spa recognized by the Green Spa Network for its commitment to the environment and guest health.  Reservations are now being accepted and can be made by calling (866) 391-7111.  Vdara Health & Beauty will be open to the public. 
  • Opening with Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas December 4, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will be a 27,000-square-foot oasis for serenity and rejuvenation.  This 1930’s Shanghai-designed spa will reflect the glamour and fusion from that era.  The two-level relaxation haven will feature a menu based on Eastern methodologies with Western applications.  The Spa will include 17 treatment rooms, including seven couple’s suites, multiple relaxation and water experiences, a Rhassoul for women and a co-ed Hammam.  An expansive Fitness and Wellness center and dedicated yoga studio also will be available.  Reservations are now being accepted and can be made by calling (888) 881-9578.  The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas will be open to the public.   
  • Opening with ARIA Resort & Casino December 16, The Spa at ARIA will invite guests into a peaceful haven where nature’s healing properties take center stage.  Salt, stone, earth, fire and water will join to elevate guests to a meditative state of relaxation and rejuvenation.  The two-level, 80,000-square-foot venue will feature a salt meditation room, designed to encourage the healing of skin irritations and upper respiratory problems, a ganbanyoku (Japanese for “stone sauna”) room and a fire lounge that will serve as a place for relaxation before or following treatments, along with many other luxuriating amenities.  Reservations may be made beginning November 9 by calling (877) 312-ARIA.  The Spa at ARIA will be available exclusively to guests of CityCenter’s hotels.  The salon will be open to the public.

The Living Spa at El Monte Sagrado Named “Best Environmental Practices” in Prestigious 7th Annual SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards

El Monte Sagrado Resort, A Kessler Hotel Bild 

El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa has been named among the top-10 best spas in the world for “Best Environmental Practices” category in its seventh-annual SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards. Based on votes submitted by readers of SpaFinder publications, including Spafinder.com, the awards represent the most comprehensive consumer assessment of the global spa market available today. Over 360,000 votes—a new record for the Reader’s Choice Awards—were cast for favorite spas by continent, country, region and across 27 categories.

“After seven years of enthusiastic consumer participation, our Readers’ Choice Awards have become the industry’s premier award program – the spa world’s answer to the Academy Awards,” said SpaFinder, Inc. President Susie Ellis. “Now that there are roughly 15,000 hotel, resort and destination spas operating worldwide, for the Living Spa at El Monte Sagrado to be singled out by our readers is a tremendous honor.”

The Living Spa is a serene experience for body and soul, offering customized spa services based on healing, restorative treatments and spiritual practices of cultures worldwide.  Spa Director Monica Munoz said, “The Living Spa provides a consummate venue for our guests to experience a truly transformative event. Through our unique special offerings as well as a focus on providing alternative treatments, our staff is able to nurture our guests, while incorporating green practices to sustain the natural environment.”

To help consumers identify the very best spas for their specific goals, SpaFinder asked its readers and web visitors to name their top picks for the best spas in 27 unique categories – from “Best for Affordability” and “Best Cuisine,” to “Best for Men” and “Best Medical Program.”  More categories were included in 2009 than ever before, including new entrants like “Best Environmental Practices” and “Best for Water Sports.” Voters were asked to only cast ballots for stay spas they’ve personally visited within the past three years.

            About El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa

            The AAA Four-Diamond El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa is located in Taos, NM at the foot of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Experience exquisite accommodations inspired by Native American and global culture and a dramatic art collection graced by world-famous artists at the Grand Bohemian Gallery. Visit the AAA Four-Diamond De La Tierra restaurant for award-winning indigenous cuisine, and experience the extraordinary treatments of the Living Spa™ designed to heal mind, body and spirit, or simply meditate in the Sacred Circle among towering trees and waterfalls, and breathe in the tranquility. Host your special occasion at the newly designed ballroom and elegant meeting space.

Kapalua Spa Announces Brand New Packages Perfect for Relaxing and Rejuvenating in Paradise


Kapalua Spa is now offering new, luxurious spa packages to help guests celebrate every occasion – from weddings to girlfriend’s getaways.  Guests can indulge in exclusive spa treatments and experience Kapalua Spa’s world-class facilities at an exceptional value.

 Girlfriend Getaway

Treat yourself to a day of serenity and unwind with your best girlfriends for $375:

50 minutes – Lomilomi Massage

50 minutes – Organic Ocean Facial

50 minutes – Deep Sea Indulgence Pedicure

Choice of a healthy meal

 Also, receive the following complimentary of Kapalua Spa:

Pedicure upgrade

Unlimited smoothies

Yoga class

 Ultimate Wedding

Perfect for pampering and preening before the wedding, enjoy one-of-a-kind treatments and exceptional services with your bridal party. Choose from the following packages:

 Your Ultimate Wedding Day Experience – $760

80 minutes – Kapalua On the Rocks Massage

110 minutes – Ultimate Facial

Revitalizing Pink Grapefruit Hand and Foot Therapy (includes manicure and pedicure)

Eye brow shaping

Under arm waxing

Professional make-up application

 Also, receive the following complimentary of Kapalua Spa ($170 value):

Upgrade to an outdoor hale

Skin analysis

Make-up consultation

Unlimited smoothies

Yoga class

La Bella Donna lip shine

 Your Hawaiian Experience – $580

80 minutes –  ‘Awa Cacaco Lomi Wrap

80 minutes – Intense Hawaiian Facial

Moisturizing Ali‘i Kula Lavender Hand & Foot Therapy (includes manicure and pedicure)

 Also, receive the following complimentary of Kapalua Spa ($125 value):

French manicure and pedicure upgrade

Smoothie of choice

 Your Ocean Experience – $360

50 minutes –  Seaweed Contour Wrap

50 minutes – Organic Ocean Facial

Basic manicure and pedicure

 Also, receive the following complimentary of Kapalua Spa ($100 value):

Deep Sea Indulgence pedicure upgrade

Smoothie of choice

 For more information on Kapalua Spa, please visit www.kapalua.com or call 1-866-941-KSPA (5772).



By Sheila Cluff, Founder of The Oaks at Ojai Spa

“By the time a child reaches nursery school, he or she will laugh about 300 times a day. Adults laugh an average of 17 times a day,” as reported in “Science of Laughter” and Discovery Health. And if you’re not getting your share, you could still be unfit at any age.
Laughter is good medicine. It’s reduces stress, can help lower blood pressure and even protect the heart. Comedian Henny Youngman is quoted joking: “Doctor, I have a ringing in my ears!” to which the doctor says, “Don’t answer it!” If we stretch our bodies, why not stretch our funny bones, too?
Are you aware that laughter can be a great workout? Remember something funny that recently happened and laugh out loud. Doing so you’ve just exercised your diaphragm, abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles. More so, laughter has the ability to massage abdominal organs, tone intestinal functioning, and strengthen the muscles that hold the abdominal organs in place. A real “belly laugh” could be the right workout if you’d like to give your midsection some exercise and that laugh can help digestion and absorption functioning as well.
According to www.HelpGuide.org, it is estimated that hearty laughter can burn calories equivalent to several minutes on the rowing machine or the exercise bike. Now that’s worth laughing about.
But what if you’re already stressed, have too much responsibility or are coping with situations that are out of your control? Here are some tips:
*Make a point to find some humor in everyday situations. *Start your morning with a joke. There are lots of joke books and websites that have clean, funny jokes that you can share with kids, family and friends. When telephoning or emailing her adult children, a colleague always tells the kids some jokes. “It’s good clean humor and I have a feeling they look forward to hearing what nutty joke their mom will tell as much as what is new in my life.” Once she began this, they’ve started to work hard to find jokes that mom will enjoy, too.
*Seek out the absurd, silly, incongruous activities that go on around you each day.
*Watch and learn to laugh from infants and young children. They revel in most ordinary things, from a splatter of a cherry tomato shirking out of a child’s mouth to a dog racing around the garden.
*Be proactive and pro-laughter. Find ways to make life funnier by increasing you exposure to comedies, comic sitcoms, joke books, and visiting places where people laugh.
*Seek out and then hang around with folks who enjoy the same style humor you also like. For instance, if you’re nuts for jokes about a certain professions such as teachers or florists, began to create a collection.
*Studies indicate that the happiest marriages are when couples can laugh together. Each month and as soon as it arrives, a couple I know takes turns to read the jokes from Reader’s Digest. Now, they’ve passed this tradition on to their adult kids, who are doing the same with their spouses.
*Break out in laughter for 5-10 minutes instead of snacking on a candy bar or drinking yet another soda. Read a joke book; get a stack of humorous books like those written by Dave Barry and the late Erma Bombeck. Listen to humorous books on tape.
*Heard a joke you liked? Write it down and tell it to a friend. Writing it down will help you remember it.
*Take five minutes whenever you can and write down some things that will make you happy and give you a chance to have fun. They can be real or fanciful. While you might not be able to run on the beach or play in the river, but if you close your eyes and pretend, you can be there in your mind.
*Get outside and watch nature. Just a good dose of sunshine (with sunscreen on your skin) will make you feel more like smiling.
*Smile at someone and watch it come back.
*Select your new friends for their sunny personalities, especially if you tend to be more somber.
*Remember, it’s okay not to watch violence or horror on television or read it in the news. You can avoid conversations that are troubling by simply moving away from them, or letting your family and colleagues know that you’re not comfortable with the topic.
Now here the “why” of laughter, because roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. Scientists who study humor and laughter on the human body have found that it can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, elevate mood, boost immune system, improve brain functioning, protect the heart, connect you to others, foster instant relaxation, and make you feel good

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