Friday, June 18, 2010

Sipping Sangria

Sangria is the quintessential summer beverage! If you ever had an amazing sangria the you know exactly what I'm talking about and if you never have, trust me you don't know what you are missing!

I got this recipe years ago from a Spanish Tapas restaurant and unfortunately since then they no longer make amazing sangria but a watered down version of what was once the best sangria I've ever tasted. Thankfully, I have the original recipe and I"m happy to share :) The weather on the West Coast seems to finally (albeit slowly) getting warmer and my Sangria Recipe can finally be made for the first time this year but certainly not the last...

1 Lemon
1 Orange
1 Apple
1 Bottle of Red Wine
1 1/2 oz brandy
1 1/2 oz Triple Sec
2 oz lemonade
2 oz orange juice
6 oz Soda or 7 UP

Peel orange and lemon carefully. You can start at the top and wind your way down so you get a large curl that you can dangle over the edge of the pitcher for decoration. Slice apple, orange and lemon and mix with all the liquids in a large pitcher. Stir gently and refrigerate until chilled. If you want to serve right away you can add plenty of ice but don't add the ice until you're ready to serve or it will water it down.

Of course you can add any other fruit you like such as peaches etc. and I prefer to use more orange juice and lemonade and eliminate the soda or 7 UP but adjust according to your taste and enjoy!

When I told the girls in the office about the Sangria, Lauren shared one that her and her girlfriends make that sounds awesome too. I haven't tried it but I'm sure it will be good and I've always wanted to try a white one. They call this the Lazy Man's Sangria :) She didn't give me amounts but I think they just eyeball it and put whatever amount they want?

White wine
Aranciata ( San Pellegrino's Sparkling Orange Beverage)
Grapes or whatever other fruits you like

Chill and serve with ice!!

Happy Weekend...

*photos taken from Tapas Oswaldo & Internet Therapy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Say Spaaaaah

Having just finished moving into our new house I dragged my weary body to the Spa on the weekend. I can honestly say it was one of the best spa experiences I have ever had! I'm continually trying to find the best of everything in life, the best recipes, restaurants, spas, vacations, experiences etc. My husband calls me his life concierge. My quest for the best beauty products led me to start my own company as I was in the industry and frustrated and knew I could create amazing stuff. Anyhow, I digress...

Always on the lookout for amazing spas all over the world I had yet to try a new one right in my own backyard. It's the Chi Spa at the Shangri La in Vancouver. Honestly, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I'm so picky when it comes to spas and I could find no fault with this one at all. I'm so happy as I have a new favorite and it's close! Just entering the lobby is incredible with stunning crystal chandeliers and you already know you are in for a treat. The elevator opens up to a cascading wall of water which is so beautiful (insert angels singing here).

You don't have to share a dressing room with anyone as you have your own gorgeous private treatment room. They are huge with a sitting area, fireplace, tub, massage area and a large bathroom to change in with amenities, separate toilet area and a really big steam shower so you can use the steam in private as well which is so nice. I opted not to do the steam as we have one in our house so I use it everyday but if you have never indulged I highly recommend it. When I wanted to put it in the last house we built my husband balked at first but now he is a huge fan as well and uses it daily too and I can't imagine not having it. We put the eucalyptus in it and its truly incredible. Check out some of the benefits of steam showers here.

I suppose all of this would have been wonderful on it's own but to top it off my massage therapist was one of the best I have ever had. Her name is Marisa and she has magic hands! I have no idea what makes one therapist that much better than another but she was so incredible and my massage was simply to die for.

They explain in their brochure that in traditional Chinese philosophy "chi" is the universal life force that governs well being and personal vitality. For people to maintain good health, it is believed that chi must flow freely within the body, and when blocked health suffers and illness follows. There are Five Elements being metal, water, wood, fire & earth. You complete a short quiz to discover what element you are and then the treatment is customized for you based on that element. Click here to take their quiz and discover what element you are

This place is exquisite and they knocked it out of the ball park on all levels!

Photos courtesy of