Friday, February 13, 2009

BOCA spa night

On Tuesday I had the privilege of getting to attend an awesome spa night sponsored by the BOCA Balanced Living Website at Spa Soak. I first heard about the event on Linda's website, but she ended up going to the DC event. Then Miss Zoot wrote that she was going to be attending the Chicago event. I was so pumped! I've probably read her blog for almost 2 years, and she seems (from her website) to be so nice. Plus she's southern, I feel like I can relate a bit from my Southern Indiana roots!

I was excited to attend the event all day on Tuesday. First of all, I got to meet Miss Zoot and other ladies in the area who blog. Like I've said before, I wanted to go to Blogher a couple years ago when it was here in Chicago but was way too shy to go. It's funny... in a group that I know, or even around one person I know I am loud and outgoing. But in a group of all people I don't know - quiet people-watcher! So having an opportunity to meet other bloggers in a smaller settings seemed promising. Secondly, I was looking forward to some free spa services, food, and cocktails. That's the Grandpa Curley (my mom's dad) in me; I LOVE free stuff. Who doesn't?

I took the Blue Line up to Bucktown after work. As always, the city knew that someone I was hanging out with was in from out of town (Miss Zoot is from Huntsville, AL), and the crazies were out. A woman tried to put her foot in the El door just as it was closing to make it the last minute and ended up wiping out, falling on the platform, and thumping against the train doors. She screamed super loud, and everyone just acted like it didn't happen. Typical! And she was still laying there on the platform when the conductor throttled the train and screamed out of the station. The blue line, it is FAST! Also, it means business! :)

Once I got up to the Damen stop, I headed north on Milwaukee to Spa Soak. The Bucktown area has gotten super chi-chi in the past year or so, but that cosmopolitan vibe hasn't extended to Milwaukee north of North Avenue. It still seemed every bit as sketchy as I remembered it from living just west of there on Western and St. Paul a few years ago. Regardless of the surroundings the spa was super nice. They had a super cute and sophisticated little waiting area, all set up with some good-looking food. As per usual, I was the first person to arrive. I am nothing if not punctual! So I got a glass of bubbly (Cava) and sat down to observe the surroundings.

Hmmmm, let's see how this new camera works in low light.
Wait. This spa also sells.... stationery? Wha?

People started filtering in and and I started to meet and chat with some ladies. Miss Zoot was super nice, and I met Jessica, Jenn, Amy, Blagica and Veronica, among others. Everyone was so nice and friendly! I very much enjoyed meeting everyone and chatting - it seemed like everyone was so down to earth and laidback, with a vibe of knowing-each-other enough to be comfortable but not clique-y at all. It was so fun to meet these ladies! After some tasty boca burgers (with fresh basil aioli, YUM) and some lentil and feta salad, Miss Zoot, Jenn and I went with a Yoga/Pilates instructor Lindsay to learn some stress-relief techniques. I still need to email Lindsay for the details, but she was super sweet and taught us some very useful breathing, stretching, and centering techniques.

After meditating, I was ready for some spa services. First I hit up the massage area for a chair massage. The masseuse, Blake, was so great that I got his card. I've been trying to find a great masseuse in Chicago to no avail - the only halfway decent guy I've found TALKED THE WHOLE MASSAGE. Ugh, pet peeve... shut up already, Chatty McCathy.

After that I pretty much just stood around and chatted with the people I'd met and waited for a pedicure. By the time I finished the pedicure the event was over and everyone was pretty much dispersing. I had so much fun that the three hours whizzed right by! On the way out they gave me a couple gift bags - one for me and one for one of my readers!

Here is the loot (disclaimer, picture taken on Mike's "Man Chair" with point and shoot... so, not great!):

The gift bag includes a yoga mat with carrying bag, a reusable shopping bag (ah! so excited to finally score an Envirosax!), a day planner (this one is super cool, has monthly and daily calendars and task lists, all color coded... super handy), a relaxation CD, and a coupon for one free BOCA product.

I won't use the dayplanner in my bag because of my love affair with my iPhone, so an extra dayplanner is up for grabs as well.

So, dear internets (all 5 of you who read my blog), leave me a comment about what YOU do live a balanced life - anything from giving yourself some much-needed couch time to hitting up spinning class. Also let me know whether you want the whole shebang or just the dayplanner so I can divvy them up.

In addition, BOCA is having a contest for $5,000 at their Balanced Living website. All you have to do is write up to 250 words describing the change you would like to make in your life and how BOCA can help you achieve that balance (with the prize money). This contest ends on February 27th. Good luck if you enter!!


Mich said...

I kind of feel like you are a celebrity now - I am soooooo jealous that you got to meet Zoot! Argh.

I do not live a balanced life - as much as really I want to. I feel like I am never caught up and always have something annoying to get done.

Cannot wait to drill you with questions about your adventure out - I am so impressed that you went solo...I would never have the guts to do that. nice work!

Stephanie said...

Balanced life? Is there such a thing? All I can do is choose to press pause and let a few things sit a while so I can chill out for a while!

Tabatha said...

April....Wow I finally get to post a comment on here. I always read as you know I told you I love your photos and such.
Balanced life if there is such a thing in this crazy world Lets see some things I do for me and me only....I get my nails done at least twice a month no kids with or anything and I try to go out somewhere alone 1 time a week just to have me time. Oh and I veg on couch often ;-)
The reusable shopping bag is my interest as when Uncle Charles was sick his daughter Teresa from Seattle had one and I so wanted one of those bags and living here in Little Greensburg Indiana they just dont have them anywhere.
PS....I get to meet a Blogger friend this week myself!
Much Love

Bayjb said...

Know I'm not eligible for obvious reasons but it was so nice to meet you. Love the new blog design too.