Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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(Spring) Cleaning House

The first day of spring is sneaking up fast. Along with the urge to undertake various spring cleaning projects in the homestead, there is also the need for other renewal of a more personal nature. When is the last time you treated yourself to a meditation class, massage, Reiki, or other natural pampering experience? If you are like me and hard-pressed to answer, it is high time you checked yourself in for a treatment. In fact, make a day of it. Inform anyone else who may routinely depend on you that they will simply have to take a number.

When looking to book, it is always a good idea to go by word-of-mouth that you trust for a good experience, particularly when it comes to massage. If you don't already know someone that you trust or who can be referred by someone that you do, at the very least, do some research and read reviews. Once you've got your appointment booked, get a good solid 8-hours of snoozing in the night  before. Likewise, don't indulge in any partying of the hardy kind. You want to truly be able to luxuriate in the experience. If you are about to rid your body of any pent-up toxic energy, you might as well shed as many toxins as possible leading up to it.

On the day of your appointment, don't schedule any other activities. Wake up in a leisurely, unrushed manner. Take the time to do a crossword puzzle or get artsy with an adult coloring book. Enjoy some fair trade coffee or green tea and a light, healthful breakfast, such as fresh mashed avocado on whole grain toast. Garnish with a few red pepper flakes and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. If you want to partake in a little yoga or other low-impact workout before heading out, definitely do so. Listen to some pleasantly relaxing tunes, too.

I realize that some of you may be morning people, but for the optimum experience, I would recommend a mid-day appointment, around noon or one. A good one-hour minimum is a sure bet to enjoy the best possible benefits. Some spas even offer private nap rooms to continue relaxing after your treatment. If there is no nap room available, head home and take that lengthy siesta. Later, enjoy a home-cooked meal and a quiet evening at home. Play some mellow records like Joni Mitchell, Pentangle, or Cat Stevens. Watch activity out the window. Read a good book. Write in a journal. At all costs, unplug and let the hustle and bustle pass you right by. After all, you've earned it. When Monday rolls around again, consider your inner spring batteries fully recharged.


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Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work has been featured in her new blog, Off The Beaten Path for the Shepherd Express online (, and the Wisconsin Life radio show for WPR. She recently adopted a little grey and white cat named Tessa, after beloved 22-year-old Bootise passed on.


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