Low Cost Pampering: Is It Possible?

Alright, ladies, I need your help!  Here is my scenario:
1.       I am a high school teacher and the regular school year ends next week.
2.       I have only 12 days before I begin to teach summer school!
3.       It has been a somewhat stressful year and I am feeling fatigue…honestly, I am fried!
4.       I have absolutely no extra money for a fun 12 day getaway plus I need to do a lot of work around my house since I have neglected it with overwork recently.
What would you do for no-cost relaxation and fun during the 12 days?  I would love to hear any ideas…home remedies…places to go….things to do….beauty or health treatments to feel pampered and rested… read any good books lately?…bring it on!
Today’s pictures were taken one morning on my patio…I love morning coffee on the patio…I will do that a few of the 12 days!   Have a wonderful Wednesday!!


  1. Wow! What would I do? Hmmmmm…..lots of sitting at a coffee shop reading. Thrifting. And home mani/pedi. Maybe organize and purge my closet (that's an ongoing mission for me!). Can't wait to hear what you decide to do! Hugs! ~Serene

  2. Try a home papaya mask, (I have it on my blog from last week), a long soak in the tub. I agree w/ Serene that home mani/pedi's can be a good alternative. Light the candles, put on your favorite tunes, and indulge. Treat yourself to a picnic or a back rub from hubby. Pick yourself a nice bouquet of flowers from outdoors and place them throughout your home. Take your camera and go for a nice long walk and take photos of everything that catches your eye. Take naps daily and do NOT feel a bit guilty about it. Do the yard work in small doses so you don't feel overwhelmed. xoxo

  3. Take yourself on a picnic! Find a park with lots of shade, pack your lunch and lots of water or iced tea, throw in a good book you've been wanting to read, take a blanket and go! If you were close to a beach, I'd say go there – I do that, and take a stack of magazines that have piled up during the school year, and get caught up.

  4. As a newly retired teacher I can commiserate with your situation. I went through something similar for many, many years. This is what helped me. I made a "ritual" of the small luxuries I could afford. The first thing I would do was book a massage and facial at a good spa. Start the day with a Mimosa. Relax and put the "to do" list on hold for a couple of days. You need to distance yourself from the school. If you don't you will be wiped out in the Fall–not to mention summer school. Go out to a movie. As a lot of people do not have the same schedule as you do and work every day, you may need to do this alone. I do not recommend going with a teacher friend as tempting as that may be because you will continue your year by rehashing details and frustrations and I know there are many. If you are interested in a hobby (painting, gardening, jewelry making, writing) sign up for a weekend workshop. Connect with other people in other professions/interests. Get into nature and live in the moment. I would do this by drawing or writing Haiku as it forced me to observe deeply and stay in the moment. Pulling out the creative self requires you to suspend time. If you have a Forest Preserve, river, lake, or Botanic Garden..go there. Stay away from other teachers ( I love them, but the conversation always went back to …..teaching and you need a break)

  5. One of my favorite ways to pamper myself is to do exactly what you're doing: sit on the patio, sip coffee, maybe read a little bit. I'm not a bath-and-candles kind of gal, but maybe a nice foot soak? Put some Aquaphor on your feet at bedtime with light cotton socks? Lie back with some used teabags or cucumber slices on tired eyes? Listen to favorite music?

  6. Hi Pam, Sleep in as long as you want to a couple of days, pick either a mani or pedi to get done at a salon & do the other at home, find a great muffin recipe & bake muffins for your coffee time on your deck, bird watch, take a walk around your neighborhood and really look at the little details about the neighbor's homes and yards, deep condition your hair do a home facial (there are a ton of recipes for this on the web). Count your blessings and spend a day giving back. Whatever you do…don't watch the news!!

  7. I agree with the movie suggestion. It is a good way to lose yourself without any other distractions. Watch some crazy TV. One episode of Maury or one of those type of shows will make you realize how wonderful your life really is!
    You are taking some beautiful pictures.

  8. I too an limited when it comes to pampering. Here are some of my methods:
    Join a Living Social club! (found via internet) I have gotten massages for 30 dollars for an entire hour! – I also request them as gifts 😉 – I do a home day spa every now and then,which consists of a home facial, bubble bath, candles, great music, a killer smoothie and a new nail polish color. I also re-condition my hair that day. A little self-love goes a long way!
    I also like to venture out all alone for a day and see where I end up. (usually at a new thrift shop!) Happy pampering!!!

  9. There are so many good ideas here. One idea I'd like to add is to download your favourite soothing easy music on your ipod, lay on a blanket or a lounge chair in your backyard underneath the trees, plug in your earphones and relax and veg. I love doing this.

  10. I'm with Aprillane. When I get a break from work without anyplace to go I step up my workouts. Twelve days is long enough to see results from an extra 30 minutes a day of walking plus a 15-20 minute toning DVD.

    It's also long enough to get your diet tamed. Without the stress of work you can step back and review what you're taking in and get your pantry organized so summer school will have a healthier cuisine. It's so easy to slip into bad snacking habits when we're busy and stressed.

  11. I love to just get away from my house even if it's just for a few hours. I would take myself out for coffee and reading in a coffee shop. Then, get my chores done. Maybe exercise. And then, I really love going to a local lake with a beach to just sit with me and my magazines for the day. However you decide to spend your 12 days, ENJOY THEM! You deserve it 🙂

  12. PAM,
    i put a widget on my side-bar as I forgot to blog about your eshtaki give-a-way :)-it will be in a post tomorrow.

  13. 1. Yoga classes (even if have never gone): way cheaper than spa treatment and you will feel as relaxed after
    2. Buy hot new nail colour and give self pedi. Use pale colour for mani.
    3. Do you have the opportunity for a romantic interlude?
    4. Invite a GF over for chick flick and popcorn, and depending on your preferences, wine. A comedy will lift off months of stress.
    Invite four women friends over for a tea party, or martinis.

  14. Yup, I agree with the teacher above (I was a teacher too…) put the 'To Do' list on hold for at least a couple of days while you sleep, nap, rest, read or do whatever you like.

    I also second the ideas about getting away from the house so you're not tempted to do chores or worried about them. Go anywhere local that's nice – a lake, a park etc. and just rest for a bit. Then you can do some chores if you have to.

    I liked living across the city from my students so I didn't see them when I was out shopping etc. I hope you can avoid students as well as other teachers (unless you're close friends and can talk about stuff other than teaching).

    Have fun and rest up, you deserve it!


  15. Enjoy your lovely patio whenever the temperatures allow. Read some good books. I recommend The Hunger Games and, although it is not an easy read, I really love the Game of Thrones and the four other books in the series…and then there is always Fifty Shades of Gray. There are some good movies too. I love little outings that don't require packing or planning. Enjoy the hill country.

  16. i love to use a sugar scrub on my feet and legs
    just fill up the tub with some warm water, bring in a glass of wine, hot tea, whatever you like, your favorite music and just sit on the side of the tub and relax
    then use the scrub on your feet and legs. feels awesome. wash away with the tub water
    you will feel like a new person… or at least i do!

  17. Epsom Salt in your bath, add lavender oil and relax in a hot soaker. Get out, and instead of lotion, smooth your skin with coconut, olive or sesame oil. From top to bottom in a downward stroke. From there, slip on a robe, and go lay down, listen to music. Beeswax candles help alliviate stress (negative ions, purifies air) So perhaps some chill time. Hydrate with a nourishing cup of Rooibos tea or some soothing Camomille. Sleep. Repeat.

  18. My vacation began last Thursday and I have a similar time frame. For the first three days, I didn't make myself conform to ANY time frame. I let myself sleep as late as I wanted and then take a nap. I actually did some DIYs that I'd put off–using my hands to be creative. I read a book…all of those things I don't get to do when a regular semester is underway. It is nice to just let the spirit lead us from time to time. And there is always a surprise in that.

  19. Sleep, sleep and more sleep! Hah. 🙂 I hope you find lots of ways to have fun while still being productive! My mom is a teacher too and just has a few days off before summer school as well! Hopefully you both will be rejuvenated and ready to go back to work!

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