Where to shop: Fresh at NorthPark Center

Fresh 01Towards the end of my LA days, a friend of mine introduced me to SpaWeek. If you’ve not heard of or participated in SpaWeek, you really should; I’ve taken full advantage of it then in LA and several times since in Dallas. Twice a year, in April and October, participating locations offer around three of their signature services for only $50 each. It’s the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in the spa waters (literally or figuratively) if you’ve never done so. Or, if you’re addicted like a lot of us, it’s the chance to try out some of the more pricier establishments you normally wouldn’t dare. This is how I was introduced to Hiatus Spa in Inwood Village (and became a member) and the Fresh store at NorthPark.

According to their website, there are only 14 standalone Fresh stores in the world; the majority are of course in New York. NorthPark has the only one in Texas, which isn’t a surprise to anyone familiar with the magnificent place that it is. People fly in from all over the globe just to shop at NorthPark, it’s THAT awesome. It’s Texas’s version of South Coast Plaza (for my SoCal friends) and without a doubt my favorite place in the city. It was late one SpaWeek that I decided I needed to partake of it before it was over, but knew I couldn’t get an appointment at any of the actual spas, so I thought I would give Fresh a try. I figured since it was a retail store and at the mall (NorthPark despises being called a mall, by the way) and late on a Friday I had a shot. And I was right. It’s a super tiny store on the first level near the escalators one takes to AMC or the food court, you might overlook it but I dare say you won’t once you actually go in there. They have, without a doubt, the best customer service of any store I’ve ever been into from New York to Los Angeles. My first experience that SpaWeek was great and I was super pleased to find out whatever you spend on the facial (SpaWeek is $50, otherwise it’s more) you actually get back in credit towards product. It’s a win-win situation and definitely not something other places offer!

Last year three of my girlfriends and I decided to do a Fresh facial party for my birthday. The year before is when I’d broken my ankle leaving my birthday party, so we figured a spa day was much more safe. Fresh blocked out an entire Saturday morning for us and pretty much rolled out the red carpet. They had mimosas, a fruit and cheese platter and delicious cake balls. Who doesn’t love cake balls? If I recall, they made around $1,000 from us that day. Every single dollar was worth it and we’ve all continued to buy their products. They even had little gift bags full of samples for each of us and for me, a gift box full of even more. Screw Tiffany turquoise, Fresh powder blue is officially my favorite blue box or bag to get now! (Please note, I will not turn down the turquoise…)

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How to relax: Yaya Foot Spa

Yaya LoversHope you all had an amazing weekend! Mine was wonderful and we had gorgeous Southern California-esque weather. Saturday evening was lovely; I had dinner and caught up with three of my very best girlfriends. The four of us have been friends for over a decade now; we’ve visited other states and foreign countries, chased hockey players, watched the Sex and the City finale and both movies together (ladies you know how important this is!), cried many tears and shared a plethora of other wonderful memories. In fact, not that this qualifies as a “wonderful memory“, but all three were in my (first) wedding. I expect they’ll play a part in the second (and last!) as well.

The times all four of us can get together collectively are few and far between. So when we do we make it count. Usually it’s some sort of beauty treatment (facials, mani/pedis, etc.) and a yummy dinner. This time around we checked out Yaya Foot Spa on West Lovers Lane (across from Inwood Village). It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like, a spa just for your feet. No pedicures, just an hour-long, extremely intense reflexology foot massage. For only $36 + tip (please, always tip appropriately). And it’s EXACTLY as amazing as it sounds. If you’re a runner, if you wear heels often (for my industry friends, imagine this after a week at CinemaCon) or if you just love to be pampered…you have to try this out! I won’t lie, there’s nothing fancy about this location and it’s quite small. I was told the Duncanville location is more spacious. Either way, be sure to make reservations in advance because they’re quite popular. The aesthetics are those of your average nail salon, but the chairs are heavenly and they work some magic on your footsies. And given what my feet have been through the past two years (the right ankle busted, the left pulling double duty) I didn’t even realize how bad I needed some attention. Who knew you could get knots in your feet?! In addition, spending money on something so self-indulgent has not been on my agenda for months now. It was quite a treat and extra appreciated. Perfect if you need to get away for an hour and/or need an alternative pick-me-up. Here is the lowdown from their website:

YaYa Foot Spa is the longtime dream of Oak Cliff resident Nicole Isenberg. Nicole was born and raised in Northern China and emigrated to the US after marrying the love of her life.  Nicole is passionate about the long-held tradition of reflexology, and is dedicated to providing her patrons a relaxing environment with a high dedication to quality service at affordable prices.

Reflexology-FOOT1The Yaya website, along with other various sites I skimmed about reflexology, state that its many benefits include increased energy and balance; improved circulation and immunity (it is cold and flu season, after all); nerve stimulation and stress relief. For those of you expecting, it apparently aids in pregnancy and delivery relief.

And of course NOW I learn it helps postoperative recovery! I personally do not plan on breaking another bone, but should you happen to do so…crutch or wheel your way to Yaya, y’all. I know me and my healed and healthy bones will all be back.

Should you wish to follow in our footsteps (pun intended?) have dinner afterward at Fernando’s. We hit up the Midway location, which is rather family oriented, but I know the Travis location is quite a hot spot. Their salsa trio is amazing and if you’re staying healthy, they have a killer skinny margarita (that I couldn’t have this time around since I am diligently on my 24-Day Challenge) and the Ensalada de la Casa is very diet friendly (sub salsa for the dressing!)

Xo, Nikki