Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Real Girlfriends: An Oprah Show Adventure!

Having an adventure together is a proven way to get closer to your girlfriends. Appearing on Oprah together definitely qualifies! We couldn’t wait for Melissa Mellott to share this Real Girlfriends story and we know you’ll enjoy it.

by Melissa Mellott

I have an amazing group of girlfriends – educated, funny, quirky, beautiful … and single and looking for love. Conversations in a week can look like a scene from Sex in the City – talk of careers, mishaps from blind dates (”did he really say that?”) and bikini waxes (”what’s a landing strip”?) and analyzing our love lives, all done in the “privacy” of over-the-cubicle comments (during breaks of course) or in a cozy coffee shop sipping a cappuccino.

Camera ready!
Camera ready!

Recently while browsing the Oprah website, I came upon a link: “Do you need dating advice?” Given recent conversations with my girlfriends, I think I double-clicked in a millisecond. After a quick two minutes of venting dating dilemmas on the Oprah site (it was great therapy), I moved onto another distraction.

You can imagine my surprise when I got a call the next day from Jason, an Oprah producer, who asked if my girlfriends and I would want to be on that Friday’s LIVE show via Skype to talk about dating with Steve Harvey, the author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. And in a matter of a couple days, three of my (Oprah-crazy and boy-crazy) girlfriends were prepping with Jason for Friday’s LIVE show via Skype.


“And Skyping in from my favorite city Santa Barbara are Melissa and her friends with dating questions” was going to be the introduction, according to Jason, as he prepped us through the Skype session.

Getting ready to Skype
Getting ready to Skype
Giddy giggles, high-pitched voices, talk of what we would wear and ask, all had us 30-somethings being such … girls. Read the rest of this entry »

Girlfriends Offer Summer Skin Advice

Are you and your girlfriends hitting the beach, hanging out poolside, or taking some sunny side trips this summer? Our spa correspondent and expert esthetician Melissa Mellott is back to your beauty rescue! For this article, she collaborated with her esthetician students to come up with some summer skin tips. If you’re not too fond of those “cute” freckles and sunspots, read on.

by Melissa Mellott

I find it a little funny when my clients confess their sunshine sins to me, stating with a guilty voice, “I didn’t wear sunscreen this weekend at the beach.” Of course I sarcastically gasp, but then share ways to combat the signs of sun damage.

The fact is that wearing sunscreen is the best anti-aging tool, but let’s face it: Sunshine makes us happy and feeling the warmth on our face is blissful.  Remember too, spa health is about doing things that are pleasurable and summertime is all about fun and sun!

My esthetician students and myself agree: Enjoy the sunshine! Just be informed and know what you can do to nurture your skin if you do get a little too much sun. So, if you are noticing new freckles from your summer adventures, here are some tips from esthetician students in Santa Barbara—a sunny place where we can’t ever deny the kiss of sun!

Jenny & Joanie remind us:

90% of wrinkles are caused by the sun!  But we also love the sun and sunshine (vitamin D) has its benefits too!  The name of the game is “Sunshine in Moderation” and if we wear our sunscreen, we can splurge.  Here’s the scoop on a good, effective SPF (Sun Protection Factor):

*Make sure the SPF is Broad spectrum, which protects from UVA (aging rays) & UVB (burning rays)

*Any sunscreen higher than a 30 SPF offers only about 1% more protection and sunscreens that have 45 or higher SPF are more about marketing than sun protection.

*Re-apply sunscreen every 1-2 hours

*Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on ears, neck, décolleté (chest) and orbital bone (NOT directly under eyes as it will migrate into eyes and could cause irritation.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Chocolate Inspires Downward Dog at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

[Our spa correspondent Melissa Mellott is back with another amazing review, in which she shows us that "spa" doesn't just mean facials; it can mean new experiences too. Sharing them with your girlfriends is even better!]

by Melissa Mellott

I think we can all agree that getting a facial, massage or any type of spa treatment is relaxing, and thus good for mind and body. As an esthetician, I believe that these treatments are good/nurturing/healing to our skin and body. 

The concept of Spa Health, however, is defined as doing something positive for yourself—something that makes you relaxed, happy, balanced, peaceful, or simply rested.  This could be a facial, but it could be taking a walk on the beach, playing with a puppy, cooking (yes, comfort food; it doesn’t have to be spa cuisine!) or eating a truffle (I, personally, could be in any sort of stressful situation and chocolate becomes my “OM”!) 

Speaking of chocolate, I recently attended a Chocolate & Wine Yoga Workshop at Ojai Valley Inn Resort and Spa. Prior to the workshop, I scrambled to find anything that resembled yoga pants to take with me, commenting to a friend about the upcoming workshop, “I don’t do yoga, but…I certainly do chocolate and wine.”  The class was taught by author and yoga expert Dave Romanelli, and over the course of two days, I took two yoga classes and had two chocolate and wine tastings following the yoga; it was like the carrot dangled in front of me … except it was the most delicious Vosges Aztec truffles infused with ancho chillies  and Ceylon cinnamon. Read the rest of this entry »

One Day of Rejuvenation for a Recessionista

Are you and your girlfriends having a tough time justifying those little indulgences that you used to take for granted? Well, our spa correspondent Melissa Mellott is back with some thoughts on how pampering yourself fits into a tough economic picture. And, she reviews the Lake Austin Spa in Austin, Texas. Sit back, relax, and enjoy! by Melissa Mellott  Lately, my girlfriends and I find ourselves constantly assessing and maximizing.  We assess our career situation and stability, our families, our options… and maximize our resources, money and networks. As women, we are brilliant multi-taskers, caretakers and maximizers, but it is exhausting!

In a time when we are more cautious about spending, why would I recommend spending money on pampering spa treatments? Even the consideration of treating ourselves leads women right back to the assessment of the idea, “I have worked so hard and it would be good for me, but can I afford it? Shouldn’t I be saving my money or using the money for groceries?”

As a spa health advocate, I believe spa treatments are necessary for maximizing your efforts and energy. At first, it may seem like you are “splurging,” but think of it as maximizing your health and managing your stress. 

I recently had the ultimate rejuvenating spa day at Lake Austin Spa in Austin, Texas and if I may say so, Lake Austin is truly one of my favorite spas (in my top three—and yes, even compared to the spas I’ve visited in Italy!)  Here’s why …

Read the rest of this entry »