Weeklyish Challengey Thingie: Pamper Myself

December 16, 2012


Remember how I kept on bragging about how I have an entire month off for winter vacation?

But first I had like eleventy-million-kajillion papers to grade?

See? Eleventy-million-kajillion papers. Just like I said.

See? Eleventy-million-kajillion papers. Just like I said.

And then instead of grading the eleventy-million-kajillion papers, I ate pie?

Well, you’re not going to believe this, you guys.

Because, frankly, I don’t really believe it myself.

But I graded them all.





Even the ones that I put on the let’s-save-this-for-later-because-my-brain-can’t-even-deal-with-whatever-this-is-right-now pile.

Not only did I grade all the papers, but I handed in my final grades by the middle of this past week — which was ahead of the grading deadline by almost two weeks.


I think this just goes to show you that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

And that pie somehow makes you superhuman and capable of doing things you never thought possible.

Pie. It will make you a superhero. Probably.

Pie. It will make you a superhero. Probably.

After handing in my grades on Wednesday, I decided to kick off my month of leisurely living with a little TLC.

And, yes, I’m totally talking about the television channel.

I’m also talking about the other kind of TLC — the kind that involves getting my nails did and drinking fancy smoothies full of ingredients I can’t pronounce and hanging out with a Swedish masseur named Sven.

Unfortunately, that kind of TLC costs money. Especially in the States.

Gone are the good days when I could get a "scratch fever" for a mere 28 yuan.

Ah, China, where a massage was cheap… and “scratch fever” was even cheaper.

And, well, I don’t exactly have tons of money at the moment. This might have to do with the fact that I spend all my paychecks on cheese and boots.

Besides, the little bit of money I do have I should probably be using to buy Christmas presents for people — not to buy spendy spa treatments for myself. As I have the feeling the old, “Sorry, I didn’t get you anything for Christmas because, you know, I kind of live in Asia, so I just took a trip with all my money” excuse is probably not going to work for me this year.

Merry Christmas from China! I got you this wall. But I'm having trouble shipping it.

Merry Christmas from China! I got you this wall. But I’m having trouble shipping it.

Instead of splashing out at the spa, I decided to have a little pampering session in my apartment. Which is kind of like a spa.

You know, if they had spas in barns.

See? Very zen-like.

See? Very zen-like.

I put on my fluffy bathrobe, turned on some new agey music and lit all the candles I could find. Which, coincidentally, all smell like pie.


Okay, that’s probably not a coincidence.

I rooted through my fridge to find the most spa-like beverage I could find.

I found this:

Lemons AND berries? Practically a smoothie. Except for the beer part.

Lemons AND berries? Practically a smoothie. Except for the beer part.

And then I fired up the bathtub and threw in one of those fizzy bath ball thingies which claimed to relieve stress. Because I don’t know what relieves stress like a big bathtub full of fizzy water.


Especially if that bathtub happens to have a ledge perfect for holding beer.

Move over shower gel. Make room for alcohol.

Move over shower gel. Make room for alcohol.

Then, it was facial time.

I decided to start things off with this gadget that I received a few months ago as a prize at a bridal shower but had never bothered to use.


According to the packaging, it’s called a “power cleanser.”

From what I can gather it’s kind of like a power sander for your face. Which probably explains why I’ve never used it before. My life motto has always been: “Don’t use power tools on your face.”

And, so far, that’s been working for me.

My face: power tool free since 1976.

My face: power tool free since 1976.

But, hey, I figured why not? After all, what do I have to lose? Besides, you know, a nose and some cheekbones and stuff?

As I was attempting to put the thing together, I discovered the contraption requires a battery to make it work. I didn’t have a spare battery on hand. So I had to skip the “power” part of my “power cleanser” and just go straight ahead to the “cleanser” part. Which meant I ended up rubbing a soapy pad across my face a few times.

This did not really work out so well for me. Or my face. At least, I can’t say my face felt very “purified” afterwards like the packaging promised. Unless by “purified” they meant “foamy.”

So, yeah. Not quite.

I’m thinking this is not quite the desired effect.

Luckily, I had a backup facial plan in the form of these face masks that I picked up in Vietnam this summer.


And, yes, they are made from snail parts.

My friend, Barbara, made me buy them. As you may recall this is the same woman who made me eat snails. And she now makes a living by making other people eat snails. She is obviously more than a bit snail-obsessed.

She made me eat these.

She made me eat these.

She is also, obviously, capable of making pretty much anyone do pretty much anything they don’t want to do. I blame it on the fact that she’s Australian. There’s just something about an Australian accent. It just makes everything sound like fun. Even eating snails.

Am I having fun yet?

Am I having fun yet?

Even though I bought them in Vietnam, the masks are actually from Korea. Where apparently putting snail parts on your face is all the rage.

I can’t read Korean. But I’m pretty sure this says: “Snails! Now for your face!”

I opted to test out the Cell Illuminating Multi-Step Treatment mask because, hey, whose cells couldn’t use a little illuminating this Christmas season?

As promised, getting the mask on my face did involve a number of steps.

First, I was instructed to apply something called a “Cell Illuminating Ampoule.” The ampoule turned out to be a slick, clear goo – not unlike something you might find trailing behind a snail. Which I tried not to think about as I was slathering it on to my face.

Then I was told to open the “Snail 3D Mask” and put it on starting from my chin.

The Snail 3D Mask. Looking very 2D fresh out of the package.

The Snail 3D Mask. Looking very 2D fresh out of the package.

It was kind of a tight fit as it had been obviously made for a much more petite Asian-sized head. In order to make sure it stayed on my not-so-petite, non-Asian-sized face for the prescribed fifteen to twenty minutes, I couldn’t move my face or mouth much.

Which made drinking difficult.

But, as I said before, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Turns out, where there’s an unfinished beer, there’s also a way.


Then all I had to do was sit back and wait for the snail mask to work its cell-illuminating magic.

Or for my face to explode.

You know, whichever one came first.

While I was waiting, I decided to bust out the nail supplies and give myself a pedicure. Which was only slightly better than the last pedicure I received. Which happened to be from a five year-old.

What happens when you hand a five-year-old nail polish.

What happens when you hand a five-year-old nail polish.

Then, the true TLC began.

And, yes, I’m totally talking about the television channel.

Toddlers & Tiaras marathon? Don't mind if I do...

Toddlers & Tiaras marathon? Don’t mind if I do…

P.S. Good news, guys. My face totally didn’t explode. Yet.

P.P.S. Anyone want a face power cleanser? I’m willing to trade mine for a Swedish masseur named Sven. Or Gustav. I’m flexible like that.

How do you like to pamper yourself?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On December 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm Priya said:

    Girl, you went all out. I’m a little jealous. Spas in barns is the shit yo.
    Priya recently posted..5 Things I Learned From Doing 46 HOT YOGA Classes In 30 Days

  2. On December 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm Steve said:

    My house is overrun with kids and my wife (I’m still trying to figure out how that happened), so if I want to relax I take a handful of dollar coins and head down to the mall to set up in one of those vibrating massage chairs. You’d think it would be hard to block out all those shoppers, but it’s surprisingly easy. The mall security gets a little uptight if you snore too loud though.
    Steve recently posted..The 4th Day of Christmas – Travel Version

  3. On December 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm cosmoHallitan said:

    Priceless! This makes me want to run to Watsons to see what fun products I can find. I’m sure most of them will include some sort of whitening agent. Rubbing ground pearls on my face sounds luxurious! By the way, did you ever try a blind massage when you were in China? I’m trying to work up the courage…
    cosmoHallitan recently posted..Playing with Baby Elephants in Thailand

  4. On December 17, 2012 at 1:39 am Dyanne@TravelnLass said:

    “I think this just goes to show you that where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

    To… WHAT? turn in papers a full two weeks EARLY???

    Nope, girlfriend – THAT only goes to show that you’re a mean-spirited lass who takes personal GLEE in making the rest of we poor schleps feel like lower-than-dirt procrastinators.

    I mean, otherwise – why would you FLAUNT such an achievement right under our lazy, dawdlin’ less-than-a-shade-of-brown NOSES.

    O.k. there, now I can go back to reading the rest of your – no doubt equally uppity, but nonetheless ever-entertaining – post…
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Mozambique Lobster

  5. On December 17, 2012 at 1:52 am Dyanne@TravelnLass said:

    O.k. I finished it. Most entertaining indeed. But i must say…

    Not to throw cold water on your bliss there in where? Buffalo? New York (hey – do you actually have BISON in your backyard?)…

    Uh, might I delicately remind you that… here in Asia, those pedicures are – you know, a dime-a-dozen. Like here in Vietnam honey we’re talkin’ little more than a BUCK for the “French” kind.

    Just sayin’, missy “Where there’s a will there’s a” youknowwhat!
    Dyanne@TravelnLass recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Mozambique Lobster

    • On December 17, 2012 at 10:09 am Sally said:

      Yes, I realized as I was writing this post that if I were in China or Vietnam, I could just get the full spa treatment for all of $10… and that includes the beer! Except I doubt it would be fancy, fruity beer. So there’s that… right?
      Oh, and sorry for bragging about finishing all my work. But TWO WEEKS EARLY! I MUST BE A SUPER PRODUCTIVE SPACE ALIEN!

  6. On December 17, 2012 at 8:29 am Emily in Chile said:

    We have snail face products in Chile too! “Snail cream” is apparently a great moisturizer.
    Emily in Chile recently posted..Saturday in Santiago: Coquinaria

  7. On December 17, 2012 at 10:29 am Aggy said:

    I could use some snail mask right now and pie-smelling candles (where did you get them anyway?!) and TLC and beer…well basically I envy you very badly girl!
    Aggy recently posted..Nepal: From Curiosity to Obsession

  8. On December 17, 2012 at 10:48 am Carmel said:

    I usually like to take a bath, but that requires me to make sure the bathtub is clean, so it doesn’t happen often. Not that I don’t clean my bathtub, it’s just when I do, I never have any of that good bath stuff.
    Carmel recently posted..Thanksgiving Recap

    • On December 17, 2012 at 9:31 pm Sally said:

      I’m really lazy about waiting for the bathtub to fill up with water, so I hardly ever take baths. This was actually the first bath I’d taken in the tub since moving home. But in Japan my bathtub had an remote button I could use to fill it up while I was in the kitchen! And when it was full, there was a little alarm that would go off. And there was a water reheat button so you never had to worry about the water getting cold. I could sit in there for days. It was pretty much the awesomest thing ever.

  9. On December 17, 2012 at 11:56 am Montecristo Travels (Sonja) said:

    Oooh thanks for the inspiration! Totally giving myself a home spa evening. Only I will have candles I got from Provence that smell of lavender. That’s ok right? And a dead sea mask … and ooooh maybe I will open that mini sparkling wine bottle I got from a colleague for the holidays. Maybe I can use my cereal bowl as a mini ice bucket to make it really fancy like. Thanks! And here I thought I had no plans.

  10. On December 17, 2012 at 12:57 pm Daisy said:

    Look, you got off easy with the snails-on-your-face thing. In Chile, I was instructed to go out into my backyard, grab a handful of slugs, squish them up (“you can look at them if you want, but it isn’t necessary”), and smear them on my face.

    Which I did not. Perhaps if there had been an Australian accent involved…

    Can you get your mom to send me some pie?

    • On December 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm Sally said:

      WHAT THE WHAT NOW? They actually told you to get real life slugs and squish them on your face? And people actually do this?! Remind me to never undergo beauty treatments in Chile.

  11. On December 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm Daisy said:

    I love it! Candles that smell like pie? Beer shelf in the bathtub? Crazy Korean paper masks? Go barn spa!

    Sounds like it was a great day 🙂

  12. On December 18, 2012 at 3:35 am The Guy said:

    Well done on getting all those papers done in such good time! Definitely deserve some pie after that 😉

    Oh, Chinese massages are a must the first day I arrive in China on each trip. Mind you having beer in the bathtub has certainly got me thinking 😉
    The Guy recently posted..The Magic Of Melbourne – Christmas Animation Show

    • On December 18, 2012 at 10:37 am Sally said:

      Yes, beer in the bathtub is the new reading in the bathtub. And you don’t even have to worry about your fingers getting wet because, hey, it’s just beer.

  13. On December 21, 2012 at 4:04 am Sediqa said:

    Scratch fever and cupping? What’s cupping? You pay someone to cup your breasts? You pay someone to put hot cups on your body?

  14. On January 2, 2013 at 3:50 pm Erin said:

    Spa! You should look for a Chinese Foot Spa in your area for massage. They are so much cheaper than a masseuse, but still so good. Here in the Silicon Valley, I go to Happy Feet Foot Spa. $25/hour foot reflexology, which also includes basically a full body massage.
    Erin recently posted..A New Year; Being Yourself and Letting Go of “Shoulds”

    • On January 2, 2013 at 6:47 pm Sally said:

      Ooo, thanks for the suggestion. Buffalo isn’t the most international of cities, but maybe I can find a Chinese foot spa. Guess I’ll have to research it!

  15. On March 3, 2013 at 9:53 pm Ceri said:

    My pampering is literally staying in my room all day wrapped up in a blanket and watching films. … Not quite as glamourous as snail face treatment!
    Ceri recently posted..Scenes from the Museo de Arte Moderno


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge