Autumn Hiking at Red Mountain Resort and Spa

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 | Adventure, Destination Spas, Healing, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, fitness, hiking, mindfulness, wellness | No Comments

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  – Albert Einstein

Whether you love to hike or are new to hiking, this area offers stunning views and many opportunities to get out and practice mindfulness while enjoying physical activity.

Red Mountain Resort and Spa offers some of the best hiking anywhere and with Snow Canyon State Park in their ‘backyard’ you don’t have to wander far.  Snow Canyon offers close to 7,000 acres of red rock canyons and cliffs, lava caves and two volcanic cones. The morning hikes are a draw for many and the guides practice the “Leave No Trace” program and are trained in CPR and American Heart Association First Aid.

A bonus is just an hour from Red Mountain Resort – what is it you ask? It’s Zion National Park and is open year-round.   There are several adventure trips (group and privately led) that Red Mountain offers to this spectacular park.

For more insight and information about hiking at Red Mountain Resort and other spa adventure opportunities feel free to e-mail me directly at  If you’re considering a Red Mountain adventure I’d love to assist you with your planning and questions and you’ll also receive my special bonus to use during your stay when I reserve your Red Mountain journey (using the best available promotion and/or rates for your dates).

Mindful Adventures – Let your Journey Begin!

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Miraval at Natirar – A destination spa comes to New Jersey

Saturday, August 24th, 2013 | Adventure, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, fitness, healthy living, wellness | 1 Comment

Arriving at Natirar
The anticipation continued to build as I made my way to Natirar in Somerset County, New Jersey, formerly owned by the King of Morocco.  Brimming with excitement I drove past the stone pillars and finally arrived at what will soon be Miraval at Natirar by early 2015.

Growing up in New Jersey I never ventured out to this lush and beautiful 500-acre park and it was such a pleasure to explore what Bob Wojtowicz, Founder of Natirar and Kim Wojtowicz, have created.  It was evident from first meeting both of them that it’s a labor of love and the passion for their vision was evident.   Knowing Miraval as well as I do, it was clear to me that both visions are aligned for wellness and life changing experiences.

A few days prior to visiting Natirar in Peapack-Gladstone, I had the pleasure of meeting with Michael Tompkins, Chief Executive Officer of Miraval Resort & Spa and he shared his excitement for the New Jersey expansion. “With so many of the Miraval Tucson guests residing in the Northeast, Natirar’s proximity to New York City and the surrounding region coupled with the extraordinary physical setting made it a natural choice for Miraval,” said Tompkins.  “Although the new property will offer the same level of luxury and authenticity as the Tucson property, each location within the Miraval brand is unique to its setting and will offer its own authentic experience.  We’re excited to be poised for growth, and are actively evaluating additional select locations across the U.S. at this time.”

Plans for Natirar
Plans include an 86-room luxury hotel, including restoration of the mansion suites as well as the addition of villas.   As my tour with Bob Wojtowicz began and as we approached the mansion I felt transported to another place and time and the protected view of the vibrant green rolling hills from the mansion was spectacular.  Plans for restoring the mansion to its former grandeur will soon be underway.  The mansion is rich in history as it was originally completed back in 1912 by architect Guy Lowell, known for his many designs including the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The hills will soon be alive with a new 20,000 square foot spa with plans for a grass roof, a unique feature (in my opinion) to integrate nature even more as well as an infinity pool/water feature as you enter the spa. Continuing our tour we visited the expansive swimming pool and activity area and Miraval at Natirar will also include a yoga center.  One of the other features with Miraval at Natirar is the river that is about two-miles and meanders below the property, great for fly-fishing and winter-sports are possible too, like cross-country skiing. Miraval at Natirar will also offer activities that Miraval is known for including nutritional counseling, wellness classes, the Miraval Equine Experience and other signature activities.

Ninety Acres (left)

Anise Hyssop at the farm (center)

Cucumber Gazpacho (right)

The Farm
After touring the property with Bob Wojtowicz, I met with Kim Wojtowicz who runs the farm and what a farm! The 12-acre farm supplies Ninety Acres Culinary Center.  They also offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegetable box for members (offered from June to November).  Kim shared that the chefs like different kinds of herbs and vegetables from German striped tomatoes, to Adirondack blue potatoes to anise hyssop, which I tasted (big anise fan).  Natirar’s farm also raises sheep, pigs and chickens in a stress-free environment.  Organic berries and an abundance of herbs and beautiful flowers make up other areas of this 12-acre sustainable farm that will provide ingredients for both Miraval’s spa restaurant and Ninety Acres, their farm-to-table restaurant.

And, if you’re wondering about the name “Natirar,” it is an anagram for the Raritan River.

For more updates about Miraval at Natirar, stay in touch on Facebook @Mindful Adventures.

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Mii Amo – A Journey to Rediscover Yourself…and more.

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 | Adventure, Beauty, Destination Spas, Meditation, Mii Amo, Red Mountain Spa, fitness, healthy living, spa, wellness | No Comments

Mii Amo

When I think about Mii Amo, which is the Yuman (Native American language) for “journey, to continue one’s path, moving forward,”  so many words come to mind for me like Intention, Sacred, Balance, Renewal, Contemplation, Self-care and the list goes on.  There are many reasons to fall in love with this top destination spa  including personalization,  the stunning background of  Sedona and the peaceful setting of such an intimate resort.

I think what I love most about Mii Amo is the Native American influence and traditions reflected in their program – the Crystal Grotto is a personal favorite, this is where you can go each morning to set your intention for the day.

And, because Mii Amo is more intimate (14 spa guest rooms and 2 spa suites), you have the opportunity to truly make this as personal an experience as possible from planning your activities in advance (which differs from some other spas) to narrowing down the journey you’d like to experience.  There are Five Journeys offered at Mii Amo for  a 3-, 4-, or 7-night stay beginning with either a Sunday or Thursday arrival.

The Five Journeys include:
- DeStress Mind, Body & Spirit (leads you to a more centered and focused life)
- Healthy Body in Balance (focus on exercise and nutrition)
- Spiritual Exploration (focus on your inner self, insight and balance)
- Rites of Passage (assists you in embarking on a new stage in life)
- Mii Amo Master (based on past guest experience and focuses on current needs)

Each customized journey includes your room, meals, spa treatments, consultations, activities and more.

Mii Amo is a magical place – full of beauty – where you can hike at Boynton Canyon or enjoy outdoor yoga; where you can enjoy healthy and delicious cuisine; where you can relax and take care of ‘you’ either in the spa, at the pool or in your private room; where you can immerse yourself in the abundance of activities offered daily, stargaze, and enjoy the stunning Red Rocks that surround you and where you are taken care of throughout your stay.

When you go:
- Fly into Phoenix and you can either rent a car or request private transfers (additional fee)
- Arrive early as it’s about 2-hours to get to Sedona
- Once your Mii Amo reservation is made you’ll receive a questionnaire and this helps the spa coordinators personalize your stay

Healthy Living at Home:

- Implement what you learned and enjoyed at Mii Amo
- Continue to journal each day
- Meditate
- Set an intention each day
- If you loved the cuisine (and I’m sure you will), consider getting their cookbook:
Journey of Taste: Favorite Recipes from Mii amo Spa in Sedona

Have you been thinking about going to Mii Amo?
If you’d like more information on Mii Amo, feel free to e-mail me directly at and I’ll share more insight and details about Mii Amo.
(You’ll also receive an additional gift from me when I make your Mii Amo reservation).

Facebook Fan Giveaway:
- ‘Like’ the Mindful Adventures page on Facebook
- Look for the Fan Giveaway announcements
* One of our giveaways was the Mii Amo cookbook, Journey of Taste
Additional monthly giveaways including music, other healthy spa cookbooks, journals and more will be offered as well as inspiring quotes, photos, articles and special offers focused on a healthy lifestyle.

Twitter:    DonnaSpaGal
Pinterest: DonnaSpaGal

Red Rocks of Sedona

I hope you find joy, love, great health and a lifetime of dreams come true on your journey! ~~ Donna

“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu

Photo Credits:
Mii Amo – Mii Amo Spa
Red Rocks Sedona – Donna Adinolfi

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Simple Summer Pleasures at Mohonk Mountain House!

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 | Adventure, Meditation, Mineral Springs, Relaxation, fitness, spa, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Simple Summer Pleasures at Mohonk Mountain House
Are you still thinking about a summer getaway?  Let’s look at something in the eastern U.S. with an amazing history, plenty to do (if you choose) and an award-winning  spa.  Mohonk Mountain House is an enchanting Victorian Castle located about 90-miles from New York City.  This location reminds me of the simple pleasures of a summer vacation in the Catskills.  A time to relax, enjoy a cold lemonade and time by the lake or hikes along the mountainside.

First. a little history as I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this with you.  Mohonk’s history goes back to 1869 when Albert Smiley visited Shawangunk Ridge, the northern end of a long ridge within the Appalachian Mountains. What we see today at Lake Mohonk (situated on Sky Top Mountain, one of the highest peaks of Shawangunk Ridge) is much of what he saw back then.  He and his brother visualized a peaceful retreat where others could enjoy this stunning natural setting and that is what they created when they purchased 280 acres and a small inn.   What they envisioned grew into what it is today and what many have enjoyed for over 125 years spanning from the 19th century to the 21st century.

Present Day:
Today, Mohonk Mountain House is still owned and operated by the Smiley family, and with what started with a 10-room Inn has now become a 259 room Victorian Castle.    Inclusive overnight rates include accommodations, meals, afternoon tea & cookies and most resort activities.

Spa & Activities:
Let’s get back to ‘Simple Summer Pleasures‘ as Mohonk Mountain House offers everything you can imagine for a relaxing getaway including the natural beauty of a deep-blue lake, acres of pristine forest, winding trails and their stunning mountain-top gardens.   Activities such as hiking, yoga, Pilates, dance, meditation, wellness classes and more are all available.  Mohonk’s award-winning spa is a must with 16-treatment rooms, a solarium, an outdoor heated mineral pool, a fitness center and a relaxing list of services (check out Signature Elements of Nature – Mohonk Red Massage or The Indigo Poultice Massage).

Golf anyone?
The Mohonk Golf Course is one of the oldest courses in the U.S., with 115 years of continuous use.  Designed with a Scottish influence, it has also received high accolades as one of the “Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Courses in the U.S.” by Links magazine and Cooperative Sanctuary Award from the International Audubon Society for their environmental-friendly practices.

Currently, Mohonk Mountain House is offering a ‘Spa-tacular’ through December 2012. Guests on this package will receive a $150 spa credit, unlimited access to the Spa (steam and sauna rooms, outdoor heated mineral pool, relaxation verandas and solarium), three delicious meals, and most resort activities.**
** Based on availability, other restrictions may apply and tax/gratuity are additional.

Final Thoughts:
If you’re considering a getaway to Mohonk Mountain House, feel free to e-mail with your dates and we’ll review the best options for you.  In the meantime, relax in the comfort of your home and enjoy this guided meditation from Mohonk’s Nina Smiley.

Guided Meditation (you can do this mini-meditation at home)

Summer Spa Specials – Explore the Possibilities!

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Zipline, fitness, healthy living, joy, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments

It’s been a hot summer so here are some cool savings at some of our favorite destination spas!

A Spa Getaway offers opportunities to focus on healthy living – engage in new fitness classes, improve your Yoga or Pilates practice, meditate, relax and reconnect with yourself.  Anything is possible at a destination spa.

Below is a sample of the summer promotions being offered at several of the top destination spas in the U.S. (and one just across the California border!).  If you’re ready to take the next step, please see the contact info below and let’s get started!

Canyon Ranch – Tucson, AZ
Special:  Students and Grads
Travel Dates:  Through August 31
Brief Details:  The first person pays the regular single occupancy rate and the student/grad stays free.
Spa/Services:  A spa allowance is included for the full-paying guest and may be shared between both guests.*
* Allowance varies based on number of nights and package chosen.

NOTE: Canyon Ranch offers other promotions including one for new guests (two sharing a room) as well as for Teachers, Nurses, Solo Travelers and local residents.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

Miraval – Tucson, AZ
Special:  Discover Miraval Package
Travel Dates:  Through September 19, 2012
Brief Details:  If you’re new to Miraval or thinking of returning and enjoying more of the activities vs spa services, then this is a great value for you.  Double occupancy rates start at $299 (plus tax & resort fess) per person per night and Single occupancy rates start at $349 (plus tax and resort fees) per night.
Spa/Services:  A spa allowance of $50 per night of stay is included.

Note:   Additional promotions including the 5-th night free is offered through 9/19 – based on availability.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

Rancho la Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
Special:  Family Weeks
Travel Dates:  August 4-11 and August 11-18

For Families with children 7-17 years of age – Your promotion:
Brief Details:  The rate for adults is $3000 per person (plus 8.14% tax) and the rate for children (ages 7-17) is $500 per child (plus 8.14% tax)*
*Each adult can bring up to two children for $500+tax each, staying in the same room. The third (or more) child per adult is $1000+tax each. Some restrictions apply.
Note: The regular schedule will be available as well as additional classes/activities for children.

For Adults traveling without children during these two special weeks – Your promotion:
Brief Details:  The rate is $3000 per adult (plus 8.14% tax) and includes -five- 50-minute massages*
* Not valid with Four-Hands massage

If you’ve been wanting to go to Rancho la Puerta on your own- this is a great opportunity for the summer since it’s open to all, not just families.  The regular schedule will be available.

Note:  If these dates don’t work for you, we can review other possible opportunities for other dates through 2012.
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

Red Mountain Spa, Ivins, UT
Special:  Last Minute Savings
Travel Dates:  Through August 31, 2012*
Brief Details:  Midweek rates begin at $200 per person per night for double occupancy ($230 per person per night (Thursday, Friday, Saturday).  Single occupancy rates begin at $230 per night/midweek and $250 per night (Thursday, Fri, Sat).
*Based on availability and may not be available between 8/5-18 due to limited space/high occupancy
Promotions based on availability and subject to change.

“The journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Let’s get started!

Contact: for more details and to inquire about your travel dates.
You’ll also receive our bonus for stays of 3-nights or longer (7-nights at Rancho la Puerta)

Life is a journey…travel!

Get Ready for Summer at Canyon Ranch with this Special Lower Rate!

Friday, May 18th, 2012 | Adventure, Beauty, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Meditation, Nutrition, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments

We’re nearly a month away from the start of summer.  Families may have their summer camps all set for their children and thoughts of road trips and family getaways on the calendar.  That all sounds great and maybe you’re also looking for a week away to focus on fitness, relaxation, yoga, meditation and a place to unwind either on your own, with your friends or significant other.

With that thought in mind, I’ll keep this post short and let you in on a special week at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ where you can do all of that and so much more.

Looking to work on improving your golf game?  Check!
Looking to improve your Pilates practice?  Check!
Looking to just unwind and say Ahh!? Check!
Looking to start a new activity like Tennis?  Check!
Nutrition, Weight loss, stress management, better relationships, and the list goes on.

My personal experiences at Canyon Ranch have been profound and that’s one of the reasons I’m bringing this special reduced rate to my readers.  It’s for the week of June 10 so it’s approaching soon and just in time for summer!  If you’ve been wanting to experience Canyon Ranch, this is a great time to do so.

As always, e-mail me at if you have any questions and if you’d like to get in on this reduced rate for Canyon Ranch (stays can be for 4-7 nights).

Mindful Adventures from A to Z are Possible at Canyon Ranch Tucson!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Nutrition, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, Zipline, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, mindfulness, spa, wellness | No Comments

There are times an idea becomes so powerful that restlessness moves you forward and that’s what happened here.  It was about 4a when I started thinking about all of the possibilities that could fill a list from -A- to -Z-at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ.

Have you been wanting to go to Canyon Ranch and maybe thought you’d wait for a great offer? This could be it and I thought I’d connect this -A- to -Z- list with something special for the Week of June 10.  Mindful Adventures has a few rooms available at a lower than usual rate for the summer.   Check out the flyer for the full details and connect with us asap to get in on this reduction and kick off the summer with a healthy getaway that may get you from where you are to where you choose to be!

Let’s get back to that A-to-Z list!

A is for Aquatic offerings. 
is for Burdenko Land Exercise. 
is for Cooking Demos.
is for Dance! 
is for Exercise.
F is for Fabulous Facials. 
is for Golf (conditioning, clinics, lessons and more!) and the Gyrotonic system. 
is for Healing (and Hikes in the desert). 
is for Inner Wisdom and Integrative Medicine Consultations.
is for Joy! 
is for Vitamin K and the many delicious ways Canyon Ranch prepares high K veggies!
is for Life Management. 
is for Meditation, Mindfulness and Muscle Function Assessment.
N is for Nutrition.
is for Optimum Health. 
is for Pilates. 
is for Qi Gong.
R is for RELAX and Reconnect!
S is for Sleep, Sexuality and Stress Management. 
is for Tennis. 
is for Unconditional surrender! 
is for Vitality. 
is for Watsu.
is for…..  
is for Yamuna Body Rolling. 
is for Zipline!

There is so much more available at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ.

You’ll notice one letter is incomplete.
Any ideas?  Leave them in the comments section and I’ll choose one for a follow-up post.

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New Year, New Chapter, New Journey – Are you ready?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 | Abundance, Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Manifesting, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Prosperity, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Many of us are contemplating what we’d like to bring in to our lives as we enter 2012 as well as what we’d like to let go.  I for one am working on letting go of the fears that hold me back and the disappointments, frustrations and things I can’t change.  I’m focused on what I can change, choices that will get me from where I am to where I want to be and a focus on taking action rather than over thinking.  And, first and foremost, I’m grateful for my family and friends.  These are just some thoughts that come to mind as the dawn of 2012 approaches.

And,  I also believe that 2012 will be another year of reinventing and redefining who we are.  Our ‘to do’ lists will be different, however I believe we have a common goal of being the best we can be.  Have you started your creation list for 2012?  Each year I find there’s a bit of a ‘rollover’ from the previous year and then a few new goals.  I’m finding a greater sense of urgency to accomplish these goals the older I get and it sometimes feels like a 2×4 is hitting me to move toward the direction of these dreams vs getting stuck in just thinking about them.  It’s so empowering to reach even the smallest of goals and so with that said, here are a few plans I’m getting ready to work on for this new chapter, new year and what I hope will be an amazing journey moving forward.

1 Planning: This is an annual tradition – the purchase of a new day planner.  A place where I can enter as much as possible for the new year.  Birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, appointments and goal setting.  If it’s written down, I find the odds are in my favor.   I still have a book called, “Write it Down and Make it Happen,” and it works.

2. Vision Board: A must have moving forward.  If you have one, you can easily refresh yours with new photos and new words, phrases and/or symbols.  If you don’t have one, consider creating one that you can view every day.  It works and I’m excited to see how the new one will unfold.

3. H2O: Yes, every year I make an effort to drink more water and I have to say that 2011 worked out okay, however I must refocus on this one.   If this isn’t on your list, think about it.  Are you getting enough water to stay hydrated and healthy?  I picked up a water carafe to help me out – always keeping water on my desk ensures I’ll stay with this.  For more on the benefits of water, perhaps some things that you haven’t thought about, check out this article.

4. Spa Cooking at Home: Let’s face out, going out to dinner is fun, great for socializing (outside the four walls) and it’s relaxing, however this year I intend on cooking at home more.   Since part of my business is working with destination spas, I know how simple, healthy and enjoyable ’spa cooking’ can be and it’s really about cooking healthy – fresh veggies, organic products where possible and portion control.  With that said, I’m going through my Spa Cook Books and staying in more…and will hopefully shed a few pounds.  Check back here from time to time for some healthy spa meals, photos of my efforts and notes on how they turn out.  And with the help of my new KitchenAid blender, healthy spa-like smoothies are on the menu!

Here is one Spa cookbook to consider from Canyon Ranch, a destination spa:
Canyon Ranch: Nourish: Indulgently Healthy Cuisine

And, if you’re a fan of Miraval Arizona, their much awaited Mindful Eating Cookbook will be available in May 2012.

5.  Journal: This is always on my list.  I have a Gratitude Journal and another journal for ideas, and day to day entries.  I keep both the Gratitude journal and the Idea Journal by my bed.   Begin yours by entering what you’re thankful for each day – it could be one, two, five or more things.  A sunny day, connecting with an old friend, drinking your water, anything and everything you’re grateful for.  A Gratitude Journal is about awareness – reflecting on what we’re thankful for keeps us in a positive mindset and that is what will help us move forward.   Your journal can be a notebook, however if you’d like something special, consider this one Gratitude: A Daily Journal

If you’re looking for a journal that will help guide you to rediscovering yourself, this may be another to consider Soul Catcher: A Journal to Help You Become Who You Really Are

These are just a few of my personal thoughts, plans, ideas for 2012.  What is on your list?  Perhaps one of these will inspire you to Plan to Cook More at Home, Begin your Gratitude Journal, Create a Vision Board and Drink your Water.  And, a carry over for me from 2011 is to write my book…looking forward to taking the first step to chapter one.  (And, yes, exercise and moving more are always on the list!)

“The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu
What step will you take today to begin this new journey in your life?

May 2012 be a year of good health, joyful living, new adventures and much prosperity!  Believe in yourself, continue to have faith and trust that you are exactly where you’re meant to be.  Happy New Year from Mindful Adventures.

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The links for the above are also on the home page.

Photography by Donna Adinolfi.  Copyright 2010.

Top 7 Favorite Gift Ideas from Mindful Adventures!

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 | Abundance, Adventure, California Wineries, Canyon Ranch, Destination Spas, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Peace, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, joy, well-being, wellness | No Comments

‘Tis the season and as much as I think about buying gifts earlier, I never do.  So join me for a few minutes and review the latest Mindful Gift Giving ideas from Mindful Adventures for anyone else on your shopping list.   Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays!

1.  Shop locally
Now that I live in Michigan I’ve been paying more attention to what I can send from this area.  Michigan is one of the largest producers of cherries and for that reason, I like Cherry Republic, located in Traverse City, otherwise known as ‘The Cherry Capital’ of the world.  Cherries are also healthy and one of my favorites is the Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries – double dose of goodness.   And, I must not leave off another Ann Arbor, MI institution – Zingerman’s!  There’s still time to send out some delicious treats and you’ll love the choices – so many to consider.  Both of these Michigan options are offering flat rate shipping.

2. Tea
Do you enjoy tea?  This is another favorite gift because tea is more than a beverage to me, it’s ceremonial and all about mindfulness.  Think about the old Tea Houses and Afternoon Tea.  Nothing is rushed.  It’s a time to be in the moment and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea with friends or on your own for a few moments of solitude.   Check out Tea Forte for some last minute ideas and consider one of my favorite books Tea Here Now.

3.  Nourishing & Natural Body Products
Most of you enjoy chemical-free, natural products and one of my favorites for this is Burt’s Bees.   Their Cranberry & Pomegranate Sugar Scrub is great for this season as well as the Bee Pampered Spa Set.   There are great gift ideas for everyone and they’re affordable and so well received.

4.  Uplifting Books
Another favorite gift is a Day Book.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving year round because each day there’s an uplifting message and when I find one I like for myself I often gift it to friends, family or colleagues.   One of my personal favorites is by Mark Nepo titled The Book of Awakening.

And, if you or a loved one is going through a difficult time due to the loss of a loved one, or other personal loss, this one came into my life and helped me and I feel compelled to share with others, especially at this time of year.  It’s by Susan Barbara Apollon and is titled Touched by the Extraordinary and her second book, Book 2: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope

5. Wine & Dine with a different twist
These are some of my favorite vino finds.  Some can be ordered online and others can be found at your favorite wine store.  In addition to giving the gift of wine, consider making it more of an event – include a note to enjoy a wine-pairing dinner that you prepare at home, or perhaps a private wine tasting with your friends. These aren’t new ideas, however perhaps they’ll spark another idea for a last minute gift with more meaning and an opportunity to get out more and enjoy the moment with your friends and family.  Okay, the list… Tres Sabores Vineyard – I love their Red Zinfandel; Husch Vineyards – check out the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; and Cline’s Cashmere – this one has a limited supply available for both the ‘09 and 2010.    And how about an added link for some wine pairings for that special wine & dine gift at your house!

6. Gifts that Give Back
The best gift is the one that keeps on giving.  These are few to consider:  Rails to Trails Conservancy, Feeding America, Bread for the World, American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial.

7. Relaxation and Rejuvenation
Well, this one is on my list every year – it’s the gift of spa.   A gift card to their favorite day spa to enjoy a relaxing massage or revitalizing facial, or perhaps a year of Yoga or Pilates.  There are so many options to give the gift that enhances their health and rejuvenates their body, mind and spirit.   Another favorite is a destination spa – an opportunity to immerse into a week or so of activities, healthy meals, hiking, fitness and services that uplift, rejuvenate and inspire.  If you’re looking for more insight on a destination spa like Miraval Arizona, Canyon Ranch, Red Mountain Spa, Rancho la Puerta or other last minute ideas, e-mail me at

There you have it – a short list with some ideas to get you going or help you finish up your holiday shopping.  Thank you for stopping by. – DMA

Serenity in September at Canyon Ranch Lenox and Special Offer!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, fitness, healthy living, well-being | No Comments

Water evokes a sense of calmness and serenity and I love that peaceful feeling.    At Canyon Ranch in Lenox there are a number of options to get out on the water and enjoy the outdoors – that’s one of the most appealing attributes to this amazing destination spa.

There are several activities to choose from and one that I like is the Canoe & Hike – you get to enjoy a two-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail and then canoe.  They split the group in two so half hike while half canoe and then switch off at the Appalachian Trail Hut by Goose Pond.  This is only offered until October and then starts up again in May.  And it’s included in your stay!  There are several offerings for kayaking as well including group kayaking, pool kayaking and private lessons and tours.

Let’s get to that Special Offer from Mindful Adventures – if you can travel between 9/18 – 22 for either 3- or 4- nights you’ll save quite a bit, but you have to contact me directly by 9/6 or sooner.   Simply e-mail me and I’ll send you the rest of the details.  September is a great time to experience Canyon Ranch.   Space is limited.
E-mail me at

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See you in September!

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