Cool Summer Indulgences for Hip Moms
Oh Mama. How is your summer going? Are you schlepping kids to camps all over northeastern Oklahoma? Are you making multiple trips to the pool per day, piled down like a beast of burden with the noodles, the buckets, the sunscreen, the snacks, the drinks, and the iffy-smelling towels? Have you already been on your family “vacation,” involving car sickness, sand, dirt, and way more work than you do at home? Are you still monitoring screen time, or have you just given up? Well! Guess what. I’m giving you permission to carve out a little time for yourself so you don’t lose your precious mind before that blessed institution called school starts up next month. So call up grandma, find a sitter, and do one or all of these things – stat!!
Head to Massage Envy – yes, it’s a chain, but I’m going to sing its praises. A couple of years ago, I was in a car accident, and while I was fine, I felt oddly kinked in strange places. A friend recommended a massage, and I thought that sounded like a great idea – and it was. After my massage, the receptionist recommended a monthly membership. It’s a mere $60 per month, which is a lot cheaper than an a la carte massage almost anywhere. Your membership includes a monthly massage, facial or assisted stretching session. All of these take up one measly hour, and I figured if I can’t let someone attend to my pores or my sore muscles for one dang hour per month, something is pretty messed up in my life. So I’ve been a member for almost two years, and I love the forced self-care my membership imposes! The massages are heavenly, administered by professional masseuses, some of whom are astoundingly strong. Their chemical peels are excellent, too – not too harsh (my face doesn’t peel off in snake-like layers like it has after a medical spa chemical peel), but I really notice a difference in my skin – softer, buttery-er. There are locations all over – South Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Brookside, Tulsa Hills – and if for some reason you can’t make it one month, you can carry over your unused service to the next month. So get yourself over there and get a membership!
Find a friend with a country club membership – stat! I think this is crucial for a summering mom in Tulsa. I’m not fancy enough to have a country club membership, but I have a couple of friends who are! With all the country clubs around here, you’re bound to have a friend of a friend who’s a member in our little old town. So find this friend, butter her up with her favorite bottle of wine or some truffles, have her smuggle you in, and spend a few hours by the pool, carefree. It might be tough to relax at first — after all, no one is going to be drowning, or asking you to go potty, or wanting their Capri Sun opened — but I bet you’ll become accustomed to lying there with a novel — or your daydreams — for a few hours. And since this is such a rare occurrence, I double dog dare you to skip the sunscreen and slather up with baby oil like a teenager from the ‘80s. Surely such flagrant disregard of the skincare rules won’t be too wrinkle inducing — just this once! My friend Jennie smuggles me in to Southern Hills — we sun ourselves, chat for hours, eat a delicious lunch, and forget about life for a few hours. Note: apparently all country clubs have a “Club Special,” which is a potent cocktail with assorted strong spirits and mixers that slides down far too easily while you’re lazing and sweating by the pool. Ladies, just have one of these or maybe two if you need to actually go home, pay the sitter, and function that day. Don’t have three! (Don’t ask me how I know!)
Shop somewhere new! The Pearl District downtown is blossoming with all kinds of new stores: Adorn is a holiday, gift and home decor store, so it’s full of delights that are quite unique and rare – I’ve not seen a store like it before (although it conjures up memories of Mackenzie Childs in Manhattan!). The Forever Flower Bar is stocked with all kinds of beautiful silk flowers; the whole store is like walking through a whimsical wonderland. Right next door is Hummingbird Fine Craft — it’s like a haute craft bazaar, full of portraits, Garden Deva statues, and other artsy baubles like succulents and prints. It’s an artist’s cooperative and gallery, and it rotates through upcoming Tulsa artists. I fall in love with some moody garden prints and want to buy them, but then I find out they’re samples of a local landscape artist’s work. Ah, well! And you’ve probably heard of the super hip Boxyard, a cluster of repurposed containers now functioning as an outdoor mall. Go have lunch at Sabores Mexican Grill, then peruse the women’s clothing offerings at Modern Mess or rosegold. And then maybe you’ll miss your kids a tiny bit and want to bring them a treat back from Sweet Boutique!
If you’re in a stage of life where just extricating yourself from the house is too dang overwhelming — maybe you’ve got a newborn, or you’re suffering from first or last trimester blahs, or you don’t have a lot of financial wiggle room for a babysitter, have some fun come to you. I’ve discovered beauty subscription kits — monthly boxes of large-ish beauty samples — from companies like Allure, Sephora, and Ipsy. These boxes are such a delight to receive on a boring, sweaty Tuesday at 2 p.m. — and it’s all delights just for yourself! I’ve found some of my favorite cosmetics this way. For just $10 or $15 per month, it’s such an affordable treat. Ipsy is great: You take a quiz on their site that asks about your skin and make-up preferences, so your box is personalized to suit your needs. They mix high and low products, and it’s with Ipsy I discover a pumpkin and turmeric mask by Yensa, a brand I’d never encountered. The mask is heavenly, quick to apply, and smells divine. The Allure beauty box – yes, that Allure, the magazine — is brimming with many full-size products and exclusive items that haven’t even been released yet. For $15, this box is hard to beat. Unsurprisingly, Sephora has a great box too: Play. For just $10, the Play box lets you try skincare, “statement-making makeup,” and luxurious haircare. Subscribers also get a fragrance sample, a PLAY! Book of tips and tricks, an adorable clutch to store your loot, and a PLAY! Pass for in-store learning and 50 extra rewards points.
If cosmetics aren’t your love language, why not sign up for a box that has a wider variety of treasures we girls covet? FabFitFun is a subscription box that is a little pricier — $49.99 — and ships four times per year, one for each season. The retail value of products included in each subscription top $200, so you’re getting a great deal. Previous FabFitFun boxes have included jewelry, purses and clutches, wrap dresses, cosmetics, household items for entertaining — all kinds of lovely baubles from well-known, trendy brands. I’m anxiously awaiting my summer box. PopSugar also has a seasonal “Must Have Box.” It’s a little pricier at $75 – but claims to hold over $300 in retail value. One of my favorite beach hats came from a PopSugar box several years ago; all items are test driven by Lisa Sugar, the company’s founder, and her team of choosy editors. There’s always several great full-size items for you and your home in these delightful gifts. Even Rachel Zoe is doing her own box now — her “Box of Style” is $100 if your tastes run Hollywood!
There you go, Mama. Hang in there! You deserve a little indulgence for yourself. After all, summertime, it’s not just for kids!