Pamper Yourself

Discover a vast array of gifts especially designed with pampering in mind.

women getting massage
A visit to a spa soothes the soul -- and isn't just for movie stars.

Today's little luxuries are as beautiful to the eye as they are rejuvenating for the body. This cool blue collection includes a translucent massager, bath gels in gorgeous bottles, and colorful soap. Nestle all these goodies in a textured towel for a gift that assures hours of relaxation.

A luxurious stack of towels and an assortment of scented lotions that come in beautiful jars that are perfect for the vanity. A tube of lotion is a nice extra that you can take anywhere. Be sure to toss in a big sea sponge for an invigorating scrub after a long day.

When pulling together a package to pamper, appeal to all the senses. Potpourri delights the eye with color while also providing pleasing fragrance. Include a CD of tranquil tunes as well as a candle to provide a flickering flame that is calming in a dark room while filling the air with a favorite scent. Finally, a fluffy towel waits to wrap someone in warmth after a long soak or a relaxing shower.

You can give family and friends an hour of relaxation for as little as a $20 gift certificate for a manicure, depending on where you live. Or spoil your sweetheart (and yourself) with a gift certificate for a massage. You may even want to treat someone special to a spa vacation.

Spas aren't just for women anymore, either. More are catering products and services to men and couples. To find a spa, look in the Yellow Pages for local listings. Or for a spa vacation, check with your travel agent or on the Internet.

What You Need:

massaging items
A healing bath becomes a sensual retreat with fragrant candles and bath sachets.
  • Loose grean tea
  • Unscented body wash (such as Neutrogena Rainbath)
  • A sieve

Instructions:

1. Brew one 8-ounce cup of green tea, letting it steep until it is full strength. 2. Pour the tea and leaves into a blender and blend well. 3. Pour the mixture through a sieve to strain out most of the leaves. 4. Add the mixture to the body wash by teaspoonfuls until you like the color.

What You Need:

  • Distilled water
  • A decorative plastic bottle
  • For blondes, 1/4 cup dried chamomile (or 1/2 cup of chopped fresh) and 1/4 cup of dried lemon peel (or 1/2 cup of chopped fresh)
  • For brunettes, use 1/4 cup of dried rosemary (or 1/2 cup of chopped fresh) and 1/4 cup of dried parsley leaves (or 1/2 cup of chopped fresh)

Instructions:

1. Bring 4 cups of distilled water to a boil; then add the desired mixture of herbs and let steep 20 minutes. 2. Strain the mixture into a decorative shatterproof bottle. 3. Keep refrigerated and use within one week.

What You Need:

  • Scrap paper
  • 2 terry-cloth washclothes
  • Water-soluble marker
  • 1/4-inch-wide elastic
  • 1/4-inch-wide double-fold bias tape
  • Thread to match the washcloths

Instructions:

1. To make a pattern, trace around your hand and wrist on the scrap paper, spreading your fingers slightly. 2. Add 1/4 to 1/2 inch all around the hand and add at least 1 inch on each side of the wrist. 3. Cut out the pattern and place the pattern on one washcloth, positioning it so the wrist edge falls at the cloth's trimmed edge. 4. Trace around the pattern with a water-soluble marker and repeat for the remaining washcloth. 5. Cut two pieces of elastic 1/2 inch shorter than the wrist width. 6. Stitch one piece of elastic to each washcloth at the wrist (in the cloth's trim area). 7. The elastic should extend 1/4 inch beyond the traced lines. From the bias tape, cut an 8-inch length. 8. Stitch the long open edges together, then fold to make a loop. 9. Pin the washcloths together with the elastic aligned and facing out and sandwich the bias-tape loop between the cloths with the raw edges at the seam. 10. Stitch around the traced lines, being sure to catch the bias-tape loop, then cut out the glove 1/2 inch beyond the stitching line. 11. Zigzag-stitch around the cut edges then turn the glove inside out. Add a felt leaf at the wrist, if desired.

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