all by myself

When you’re a working mom, moments alone–like, no kids, no husband, no pets, no work–are few and far between.

As I type this, I’m on a plane, by myself, headed east for a work trip for two nights. Two nights in a massive bed. Alone. Two nights with lots of cable channels. Two nights of eating whatever I want (healthy options, of course!) for dinner. I mean, I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with myself!So, now what? I read an entire issue of Real Simple, my traditional airplane treat. I’m enjoying the solitude of listening to old-school John Mayer (which I’m really into these days…take me back to college, John!) while feeling the sunshine on my face and drinking as much water as I can without having to go to the bathroom (because bothering people while sitting in the window seat and using airplane mini bathrooms are two of my least favorite things).

I got teary eyed this morning with my hubby. We are such a pack, our little family we’ve created, that–as liberating as it is to be alone–it’s also a little overwhelming. I will miss E’s silliness. She’s extra funny these days, making voices, faces, and trying to make me laugh. “I’m a funny guy!” she tells me.

I’ll miss George’s cozy companionship. My pup is the most loving little dog I’ve ever met. We’ve been trying to give him extra attention lately because we know his little sis takes a lot of our time. 

And to my hubby, who makes it possible for me to leave, I am grateful. I’ll miss his humor, his audible reactions to the Cubs on TV, how he religiously asks me how my day was. After 15 years together, he really is my partner in life. Being away from him helps me realize how much I lean on him (if only I could tell him in person!).

I love these work trips because they challenge me. To be the best I can be for my job. To realize my family can survive without me. To pause and reset–which is important for anyone and everyone to do.

Here’s to a productive and relaxing time away from home. I hope the Inn has HGTV….


Week #5 – Mario Tricoci’s Beauty Resolution Event

It’s come to my attention (you know who you are!) that I’ve been dining out a lot lately for the blog, so I was especially pleased to hear a voicemail confirming my RSVP for the 4th Annual Beauty Resolution Event at Mario Tricoci.

Although I’ve been to the downtown location once, I’ve never been to this FREE beauty event. I received an email a few weeks ago, and called soon after to reserve my spot. (Did I mention it was FREE?)

As part of the event, which was held at Mario Tricoci locations across Chicagoland, guests could choose to be pampered with:

  • Lady LUXE Blow Dry Style
  • Cellophane Color Treatment
  • Makeup Application
  • Mini Anti-Aging Facial
  • Mini Therapeutic Massage
  • Mini Signature Manicure

Because this event was RSVP, I was riding solo. If you know me, the only thing I like to do alone is shop (mostly for groceries). The event started at 5 pm, so I decided to show up fashionably late at 5:30 pm.

It was pretty busy once I arrive. I checked in, and was asked to choose which two complimentary services I’d like. Well, if there’s anything I hate more than being alone, it’s decision-making. Where should we go on vacation? Which shirt should I wear today? Chipotle for lunch today or tomorrow? These are all really life-changing examples, but decisions tend to be a struggle for me. Imagine me planning my wedding…yikes…

The massage was a no-brainer, so I chose that first. (Note: My first spa treatment was an aloe wrap on vacation with my cousin Merry when I was 15 years old. We had to pretend that we were 16 years old to get into the spa. Talk about living on the edge.) In the spirit of trying new things, I went for the Cellophane Color Treatment. It seemed “exotic” for me, and the woman was kind enough to say I could get a blow out after. Yes!

I was then taken to get a glass of wine (“Red or White?”—more decisions!) and whisked away to wait for Arturo, my masseuse. I almost felt like I was waiting for a blind date, like Meg Ryan in You Got Mail. But instead of tea, I sipped on my glass of wine, and I was looking at magazines featuring Chicago socialites and not holding a single rose and a copy of Pride and Prejudice.

My appointment was at 6 pm, and I started to get a little nervous when it was 6:10 pm and no Arturo. Did I not have enough knots in my shoulders? Do I not look exhausted enough? Trust me, that’s impossible. But I wasn’t nervous for long. The staff at Mario was extremely helpful and did their best to get everyone an appointment as soon as possible. When Aidan arrived to take me away, my liquid calm resumed.

The 20-minute massage was just what I needed, and Aidan was a joy to talk too, which is always an added bonus. He also used a spice-scented lotion that smelled really good. Thanks, Aidan!

From there, I was guided to the salon section where I met Bethany, who would give me my Cellophane Treatment. This treatment, which I found out is extremely affordable, helps give your hair a glossy shine. Bethany was really nice, and patient as I asked her many times if the treatment would have an affect on my first-time color from Salon Buzz. She said maybe just a little, but it wasn’t anything permanent.

This was only the second time I was having something brushed on my hair, and the first time I went under one of those huge hair dryers (see below). It was bizarre—I kind of felt like an alien, but it was warm, which was heavenly for a person like me who is cold in Florida.

After 15 minutes, Bethany washed the treatment out my hair, recommended a leave-in conditioner for my ends (Do you use this?) and took me to get my hair blown out. The girl who dried my hair was so nice, and we chatted about her upcoming 21st birthday. (Mine consisted of too many Jaeger Bombs and hiding under the bar…oops…) Bethany came to check on me after my hair was styled to check the treatment, which was a little above and beyond in my book. Much appreciated.

This event was a great opportunity to try out Mario Tricoci’s great offering of services, and I will definitely be coming back for more massages at the very least. The salon is clean, the staff is friendly, and who doesn’t love free events?!? Sign up to be on their mailing list to hear about more great events like this one!

Mario Tricoci
900 North Michigan Avenue
Mag Mile

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