Make time for yourself.

Since my husband was gone for two fun vacations in a row (and I couldn’t attend either of them — boo!), I lucked out and was invited to visit Burke Williams Spa in Santana Row for the second time. I happily obliged as anyone would, am I right? Because I signed a paper at the front desk of Burke Williams, there was to be no photography in the spa at all. So instead, you’ll have to revert back to me describing the location back in October, and have some photos of the outside in this post!

These April showers better be bringing some May flowers. Let me just say that right now. The scent of spring is simply refreshing and my surroundings are blooming all over the place. A visit to Burke Williams was thee spot to go to to balance myself, relax a little and feel renewed. A few weeks ago I went in for a full body Pure Relaxation massage, where actually although full-body, I asked my massage therapist to focus mainly on my shoulder area where I thought I was feeling a bit tight. However I was definitely in heaven getting massaged literally from the nape of my neck, right down to my toes.

Burke Williams has special pricing on their massage and skin care treatments this month; which is perfect timing to spoil your Mother considering Mother’s Day is coming up in a few short weeks. I can’t wait until my Mom comes down to California to visit us (she’s literally right across the North America continent, in Newfoundland Canada for those that are new to my blog). I’ll definitely be treating her to a spa day here at Burke Williams Spa Santana Row, since it’s so close to us and I have always enjoyed every second that I was there.

Ananda Ayurvedic Treatments: 80 minutes ($169-$189 depending on location)  One of my favourite treatments of all time, I had this done in October!

The Anti-Aging Facial: Regenerate and firm your skin ($179-$199 depending on location, regularly $205+)

Mother’s Day Packages: 

Choose from either Relax, Escape, or For Two: A Special Mother/Daughter Experience. Each package includes the Passion Fruit and Agave Pedi, which uses Passion Fruit and Blue Agave Sugar Scrub to exfoliate, Honey Heel Glaze to nourish the skin, and Passion Fruit and Agave body soufflé to hydrate. Each package is offered at an incredible value, and packages are available now and vary slightly per spa location.

“Relax” with the Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure with her choice of a 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage -or- Spa Style facial starting at $149 ($189+ value).
“Escape” with a Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure, a 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage -and- a 50-minute Spa Style facial all starting at $249 ($308+ value).
“For Two: A Special Mother / Daughter Experience” welcomes mothers and daughters to share in a relaxing experience and enjoy the nourishing Passion Fruit and Agave Pedicure with their choice of a 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage -or- a 50-minute Spa Style facial for $299 ($378 value).

Burke Williams has incredible services that you should take advantage of while you’re there. It was suggested to me, my first time there that we arrive an hour early to do so. While I didn’t arrive an hour early this time, I ended up staying a little longer after my treatment to relax in the quiet atmosphere without my cell phone at my side. The robes you change into at Burke Williams do not have pockets — which I love, because that means I can fully recharge, and relax without the feeling of needing to check my phone every few minutes.

When I was called into the treatment room with my massage therapist, she asked me how deep I wanted my massage – and although it was labeled as a relaxing massage, I wanted her to dig deep and get the knots out of my shoulders. Definitely bearable, but some parts definitely took my breath away (it was my request, remember lol… you can ask to apply as much pressure as you want with a massage), but I felt a million times lighter in my shoulders once the 55 minutes were up. Although I knew I was feeling a bit tight, I never really knew how much I needed that. I guess I simply don’t get a massage as often as one should. I can count the times on one hand how many times I’ve ever gotten a massage to be honest.

Definitely an excellent relaxing retreat for part of my day a few weeks ago, and thanks again to Burke Williams for inviting me to try out the Pure Relaxation Massage.

Burke Williams Spa
355 Santana Row #2010
San Jose, CA 95128
T. 408 241 0071
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For information on Burke Williams and to find a spa near you visit Burke Williams Spa or call 1 866 239 6635. Spa services and pricing vary per spa location.

Disclaimer: My Pure Relaxation Massage was complimentary in exchange for my review. 

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Shop Local Gift Guide: Santana Row

Santana-Row-headerShopping local is something I try to keep in mind not only at Christmas time, but year round. I’m doing a round-up for a Holiday Gift Guide for shopping local around the Bay Area here in California and thought it’d be helpful for those that live in the Bay Area too.

First up, my favourite spot in San Jose: Santana Row! It’s an excellent source for all the things. Whether you’re brunching with girlfriends, Christmas dress shopping on a budget or have the dollars to spend, they have it all. So I thought I’d do a themed Santana Row post based around Christmas dresses.

I always love visiting Santana Row around this time of year. They’re always so decked out in twinkly lights.Christmas-at-Santana-Row

Now, you’ll never see me wearing a dress, actually that’s a lie. You’ll rarely see me in a dress, but I found some gems at Santana Row yesterday afternoon and I even got stuck in one of them in the change rooms. My body temperature definitely rose when I was trying to remove it, I’ll tell you which one it is when I get to it :) But for now… here are some of the dresses that can easily be worn year round, and if you dig my style then you’ll probably love these as well. Most of them aren’t your traditional Christmas-style frilly red/green dress. It’s my style. I mean, only fair I show you what I’d actually wear, right?

7 stores/many different looks. Let’s get to it.

Ted-Baker-dressTed Baker| $279. You know you’re in a fancy store when they let you borrow heels for trying the dress on to see what it looks like. I think the dress is perfect for a Holiday party, and considering how pricey Ted Baker pieces are, this one is on the ‘lower’ end of his line. I’m digging the shape.

Anthropologie2Anthropologie| $138. Anthropologie is such a feel-good store. A lot of the pieces fit me so well, and make me feel awesome. Plus, velvet has made an incredible come back this year and I’m quite happy about it. I’ve always had a thing for velvet, and to be honest I loved this plum velvet dress so much I was carrying it around the store with me for a good twenty minutes deciding on whether or not to buy it. I didn’t :( I might go back for it though! I literally stole the fur vest idea from the mannequin that was showcased as soon as you walked in the store. It goes well, ya? :)

Anthropologie1Anthropologie| $148. LOL. Can you tell I’m feelin’ this dress? Sunglasses and all, hey I had to see if it worked with my ensemble! I needed to put Anthropologie in here twice. It’s my favourite store in the entire world and their pieces are always unique. This dress is definitely me. Although perhaps too casual for a work Christmas party, you could easily wear this with a hint of red to make it more Holiday appropriate. Ooooh cute red leggings and some boots? Got it figured out. Isn’t it cute?! I’m going to wait for this one to go on sale. It’s a bit

MadewellMadewell| $118. Can’t go wrong with a comfy knit sweatery feeling dress. This one was so cozy with fun almost-bell-like sleeves!

hmH&M| $49. I’ve yet to find a jumpsuit that doesn’t make me look large around the hips/stomach area. I’ve always been bigger there than anywhere else on my body, and while this is a fun bright red jumpsuit with a flattering neckline, it was way too short! It didn’t even hit my ankles. Weird. It was super fun looking, minus the shortness of it, heehe.

Kate-SpadeKate Spade| $398. Kate Spade’s dressing room is huge at Santana Row! I could do cartwheels in there. This dress is something I would wear to a formal event, and like Ted Baker, they allowed me to try on some fancy peep toe heels with the dress to get a feel for how it looks all prettied up. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the frilly bits on the side, but it works out well!


Free-People2Free People| navy $128/plum $228.Free people clothing are quite …. boobie. I don’t mind it, just stating the fact. The dresses are also short. Maybe they’re not dresses at all. But I kept my jeans on and tried to visualize what the items would look like with black leggings. I’m a huge fan of the velvet, as you probably already know from the Anthropologie dress above. The plum one had pockets! I really loved the fit of the two also, and both work well with jeans don’t you think?

Urban-OutfittersUrban Outfitters| $149. Such a statement dress! I love a good sparkle, and in one of my favourite bold colours, too. Red! Okay, so this is the sequins dress I got stuck in. It was a short dress hence why I cut off showing you where it ended on me. You know that sense of panic when you can’t get something off your body when you’re in a change room by yourself? Pretty sure my eyes went bloodshot and I have scratch-marks all over my shoulders from trying to remove the dress carefully but in a state of panic.

After you’re done dress shopping you definitely deserve to relax at Burke Williams Spa in Santana Row, especially after that last try-on dress I did and panicing for a few moments. Remember back in October when I surprised my husband with a treatment for us both there? It was incredible.

They have holiday gift card packages which benefits YOU if you decide to gift to someone this season. Win win. Each gift purchased will include a coveted 3-Day Spa Pass as a special gift just for you. I mean, ’tis the season of giving and receiving am I right?

There are three holiday packages to choose from *note, packages vary slightly by spa location!*:

Introduction| (yes! that’s the name of the package!) includes a luxurious 50-minute Pure Relaxation Massage or nourishing Spy Style Facial, and Spa Pedicure starting at $129 (regularly $169 and up).

Relaxation| is a rejuvenating escape that offers an 80-minute Burke Williams Massage or 80-minute Spa Style Facial with peel and Spa Pedicure starting at $179 (regularly $239 and up).

Transformation For Her| allows the ladies in your life to indulge in an 80-minute Burke Williams Massage, a 50-minute Spa Style Facial, and Spa Pedicure, starting at $279 (regularly $358 and up).
Transformation For Him| offers the special men in your life a chance to enjoy an 80-minute Deep Tissue Massage, 50-minute Men’s Facial, and Spa Pedicure starting at $279 (regularly $368 and up).

Disclaimer: I was provided compensation from Santana Row for this Holiday post. 

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Unwinding with a luxurious experience at Burke Williams

White spaWith the stresses of everyday work life, and 2016 in general, I wanted to do something extra special for my husband this year for his birthday. I surprised him with an Ayurvedic Treatment for the two of us so we could both unwind with a luxurious experience at the Burke Williams spa in Santana Row in San Jose.

My husband is an incredibly active man as he not only commutes to work on his bicycle (because Bay Area traffic is horrendous) he’s also an Ironman triathlete who seems to be always in training. He rarely sits down to relax, so a trip to the spa without any distractions whatsoever was the ultimate birthday gift to help him decompress. With the Ayurvedic body treatments we chose, they are supposed to calm the mind, balance the three doshas and create a profound sense of bliss and contentment. Let’s see. Did it work?

For the past three years of living here in the Bay Area, I’ve walked past Burke Williams spa in Santana Row countless times. This was my first time visiting the day spa and I have to mention, it’s quite understated as to how large the place truly is. Actually, I laugh now but I did get lost in the women’s spa area trying to find the exit to the waiting room to be called for my treatment. The San Jose spa location has over 12,000 square feet!

It was suggested to us we arrive a bit earlier than our appointment time to take full advantage of all the services Burke Williams offers, and we did just that. My husband and I parted ways for the next hour and a half (as the men’s and women’s area are separate minus the communal waiting area). I changed into just a warm luxurious robe, put away my street clothes into a locker, slipped on some fresh slippers and poured myself some spa water, and carefully entered the Women’s quiet room before being called.

Burke Williams Spa San Jose The communal waiting area was warmly lit with plush velvety pillows and was decorated in what I feel like, a Moroccan style. The vibe was purely serene when walking in. I could have just stayed in the waiting areas the entire time since the amenities felt like they were endless. However, we were both scheduled for an 80 minute Shirodhara treatment (one of the three Ayurvedic Treatments available).

SHIRODHARA| Head-flow. Profound — Flowing — Clarity
This deeply soothing traditional Ayurvedic treatment calms the central nervous system and integrates the mind and body to achieve a heightened state of awareness, relaxation and contentment. The treatment begins with selecting the herbal massage oil specific to the mind-body constitution, or dosha. Guests will be expertly massaged with the warm herbal oil ending with the Shirodhara, a constant and gentle stream of oil poured over the third eye to create a profound state of happiness and mental clarity. Description of the Shirodhara treatment pulled from Burke Williams site.

Not too long later, I was called by my massage therapist and quietly walked down to a quiet and dimly lit room — a little oasis for me, for the next 80 minutes.

The treatment began with me selecting which oil I preferred to be used, one was a calming, the other soothing, and lastly there was an energizing oil. Since it was later in the evening, I chose the soothing one for my therapist to use on me during my treatment. You guys, I kind of already want to book another Shirodhara treatment. My skin and hair is so moisturized, because they definitely use a plethora of oil on you during your full body massage. It’s an amazing feeling to be covered in oil from the top of your head, right down to your toes and massaged (almost) every inch of your body. It was amazing, and not once did I feel chilly (I’m always cold!) despite the lack of towels on me (you have minimal coverage with this treatment, with just a towel covering you).

Towards the tail end of the treatment the dosha oils were applied to my hair and I received an incredible scalp and neck massage. To finalize the treatment, a constant and gentle stream of oil was poured over the third eye in a pendulum motion, to create a profound state of happiness and mental clarity. While I’m not sure it sent me into a state of happiness and cleared my mental state, it was definitely amazing and soothing. My husband was the opposite, as he mentioned that it was his least favourite part of the treatment since he wasn’t entirely into it. Then again, you have to remember all these treatments are bound to affect everyone differently.

After my treatment was done, my massage therapist draped a heated robe on top of the blankets I was underneath and left the room for me to change. Once I walked out of the room, I was greeted by my massage therapist again, with a glass of water and a yummy piece of chocolate, then given written instructions on how to properly rinse the oil from my hair.

Apparently upon finishing an Ayurvedic Treatment, it isn’t unlike the feeling you have when finishing a meditative session or yoga class. More specifically this is why I prefer yin yoga classes at my local climbing gym. I love the relaxation and centred vibe I get from it. I guess it helps to have an awesome instructor who is completely into it too. As weird as it sounds, since I don’t usually blog about my yoga or climbing sessions, I did have a I had a familiar feeling from the Burke Williams Shirodhara treatment.

The experience my husband and I had was incredible. Once the treatment was done I took advantage of the shower and steam rooms available. Their showers? Seriously, next level you guys. Private stalls with a huge shower room to yourself with three separate sprays coming at you in the shower. It was glorious, and if we ever buy/build a house I want my shower to have three shower-heads too.

Burke Williams Women’s spa area facilities were completely equipped with anything and everything I could have wanted. I went a little ham and used most of the hair products I spotted, whether or not I needed them (I wanted to see what they were all like! Lol). I used a leave-in conditioner, a volumizing gel, I blow dried my hair using a few brushes (they have clean brushes available then once you’re done, pop them into the dirty bin) then followed up with a spritz of dry shampoo. Then before getting dressed I used their body lotions, face washes, facial toners and a moisturizer. Guys, I don’t think I’ve ever been so fresh, and ready to head home and get into bed!

What a relaxing experience that left the both of us feeling serene, and in a happy state of mind. I suggest anyone who is feeling stressed or has a demanding workload, to try the Shirodhara treatment. Don’t neglect your well-being, relax a little!

Thank you again to Burke Williams spa for allowing us to try their new Ayurvedic Treatments. Visit Burke Williams website for more information on their services and products.

Disclaimer: My husband and I both received a complimentary Shirodhara treatment from Burke Williams. 

Burke Williams San Jose
355 Santana Row, Suite 2010
San Jose, CA 95128
T 408.241.0071
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