Fab Mama | Pamper yourself this holiday season

Dinner party couture

With this festive holiday season comes fancy dinner parties. The trend this year is hosting parties at home and cooking for your guests, rather than renting a place or catering your event. You’re going to need something glamorous to cover that new holiday dress. That’s where an apron, preferably one from Jessie Steele, www.jessiesteele.com, comes in.

This isn’t your mom’s apron. From festive to dressy, the aprons add just the right touch to your fabulous cooking. Favorites include the Candy Cane, Red and Pink Polka Dot and the especially feisty Black Lace. Some aprons come with a cute little terry towel, and the pocket details are the adorable cherry on top. Aprons range from $32.95-$34.95. You, the life of the party? Absolutely!

Mama’s little helpers

Everyone will be looking for easy ways to save money and organize their presents this season. With your wallet and sanity in mind, Fab Mama has found two great Web sites-one for saving and one for organizing your wish list-to help make your holidays a little easier.

A quick visit to www.FreeShipping.org will bring you to more than 1,600 online retailers offering shipping deals in 25 categories. The site also offers a money-saving blog and the option of comparison shopping. Really, who doesn’t love the word “free”

Billy wants an iPod, Samantha wants a pony and you really want that pair of cranberry Altadama Christian Louboutin pumps. But where did you put that wish list?

Fear not, you can register everything online at www.wishpot.com and send it to all your family members. Now your mom won’t have to call you five times to find out what your kids are asking for. The free service lets you create a list using links from any Web site and allows gift buyers the opportunity to comparison shop, saving them a little money for more presents, of course.

One stop spa shop

Face it, holiday shopping can be so stressful. Add on your mission to maintain a green lifestyle and your choices become a little limited. Relax. Team Blonde Boutique and Spa, 7442 W. Madison, Forest Park, has you covered. The eco-friendly spot has great gifts for your list. In addition to a grand selection of beads to create your own jewelry, you’ll find a little bit of R&R for yourself as well.

The owners, Jayne Ertel and Heidi Vance, take earth consciousness to the next level. Not only do they run a store with an eco-agenda, they make their own biofuel from leftover frying oil to power their vehicles. This dedication to the Earth even reaches into the spa, where the floors are made from bamboo, a renewable resource, and during construction they reused materials from an earlier renovation.

The Corrective Herbal Facial, which Fab Mama had a chance to experience, uses organic products by Elina Skincare Company to cleanse, detox, exfoliate and nourish your skin. The spa also offers the vegan SpaRitual nail polish for its manicure and pedicure services.

When it comes to gifts from Team Blonde, you not only have responsible and fair trade goods to choose from, you can also get a little crafty in the studio. Bring in your old jewelry to redesign or start from scratch using the store’s multitude of beads and charms to create one-of-a-kind jewelry. The store is kid-friendly, so bring your daughter along for a little one-on-one creativity time.

Studio time does require an appointment, so you’ll want to call ahead.

Through the month of January, Fab Mama readers will receive a 25-percent discount to pamper yourself with a Corrective Herbal Facial (regularly $100), just mention Fab Mama when you call to book your appointment. Spa treatments range from $11 for a polish change to $110 for a 90-minute massage. For more information, call (708) 771-5590 or visit www.teamblonde.com.

Spin mistress

Your arms may be your least favorite body part. Start an attack on your flabby arm fat with The Forbes Riley SpinGym, www.myspingym.com. This little gadget-made of special string, two aluminum rings and an aluminum disk-uses inertia and gyrotronic resistance to work the muscles in your arms, chest, back and shoulders.

Starting the SpinGym is pretty simple, although you might feel a little silly at first, and it takes about five minutes a day. The SpinGym comes with two DVDs holding seven fitness routines (a few of which are kind of hard when you first start), a carrying bag and an extra-strength cord (the string). SpinGym retails for $39.99.

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