I decluttered the room, found some Spa candles and downloaded some calming Buddhist meditation music to my ipad and set up a calming atmosphere for the arrival of Suzie, our 'Neal's Yard Treater'. 

I arranged a Saturday afternoon appointment. I had run the idea past my oldest as she is likely to have weekend plans. We decided to keep it as a surprise for my younger daughter. I asked her to keep the date and time free but she didn’t have a clue what to expect. It was obvious that she was excited at the prospect of a treat but nervous about what I may have arranged. You see I have form in the surprise department. I organised a surprise family event on the way home from visiting the grandparents. My oldest son was first to notice that we had taken a wrong turn. It was a route that they had travelled many times. He started to panic and asked what was going on. When I informed him that we were detouring for a treat he had a little meltdown stating ‘I will not get out of the car unless I know what is going on!’ When my husband and I informed the children that we had arranged an indoor skydiving session he was both excited and very nervous. His siblings were super-excited. It was a great moment to observe their expressions and then to enjoy the thrill of the skydiving as a family. Family days are precious and need to be nurtured and enjoyed. They soon fly the nest but having a strong sense of a supportive family is something that my husband and I have tried to develop. It is something we have both been lucky enough to experience growing up and has given us a solid foundation to build our own family.

Back to the facials!

Saturday arrived. The surprise was disclosed and my daughter was happy. I could tell. She leapt around, twerking and chatting about random stuff . She said she had trusted me but at the back of her mind I think she was worried that I had arranged extra science tuition for her GCSE's.

Frankincense Facts:  New research suggests the scent of frankincense can help relieve anxiety and stress.
An international study found a chemical in frankincense called incensole acetate affects areas of the brain involved in emotions, as well as activating nerve circuits that normally respond to drugs used to treat anxiety and depression. 

As she was about to leave Suzie gave each of  the girls a beautiful bag of sample goodies.

A perfect end to two perfect beauty  'Facials'.

Frankincense Facial Product Line Up

Parenting is a steep learning curve and I have found my skills are constantly evolving and changing. It is impossible to get things right all the time but I think it is important to try and think about the impact we have on our children.  The teenage years are full of exams and the stresses of getting the grades for Sixth Form and then possibly Uni. It is also a time of important subject choices towards career pathways. It can be hard for children to live up to the  expectations they set themselves or those of other people. I wanted to show the girls that it is OK to take time out too. I  wanted them to know that we noticed how hard they worked over the  Christmas holidays. We also wanted them to understand that while we often can't avoid the difficult things in life we can make sure there are lots of  fun times and treats too.

Week 31

Friday 29/01/16

Quick Facial 'How To' Guide

Fabulous Facial Sampler Treats.

The girls visibly relaxed as Suzie cleansed and gently massaged their faces with frankincense. We chatted and laughed. We picked Suzie's brains on all sorts of things from  products to recipes. Whilst I had forgone my facial opportunity it was really special to take a bit of time out of the weekend to just stop and spend quality time with my girls. It was also lovely to see the girls spend some fun time together as they are often caught up with their friends.

Mini Facials- Treats for Hardworking Girls

This week is not all about me for a change. Well, not totally, but it could have been.

I received a Christmas card with a great little offer: free Frankincense
facials for me and a friend as a reward for being a Neal's Yard customer during 2015. It was very tempting and I do have friends that would have appreciated a post-Christmas treat. However, I thought it would be a lovely surprise to arrange some relaxing down-time for my two daughters. They had just survived the stress and hard-work of January mocks exams. We have GCSE and A levels to cope with again this year. There are many joys of parenting four children , mostly 2 school years apart and recurring bouts of exam stress is one of them.

Now, I realise Frankincense is aimed at mature ladies skin but I didn't think my girls would be too fussy about that and they are always keen to try new products. The main aim of the facials was to make my girls feel special and relaxed.