It’s that rare moment when you have a little quiet time to yourself. Or maybe you’ve just pulled a 12-hour workday during which you’ve managed to put out a dozen fires and it’s finally time to unwind and leave the chaos of the job behind you.
Or perhaps you’re still keeping your New Year’s resolution to get in shape and you’ve put your body through a grueling workout at the gym.
If you need something to help your tired muscles relax, something to melt away that tension, a long, hot bath is possibly the ultimate escape.
So why not make it an occasion? A good book or magazine, your favorite drink and some high-quality bath salts can go a long way toward helping you to unwind.
Light your favorite candles — lots of them — and sprinkle fresh herbs or flowers (available in most grocery stores) over the steaming hot bath water. The scent lasts longer, and the petals won’t disappear like bubbles will if you stay submerged until your toes start to prune. Roses or sprigs of lavender release their essence when they hit the water. In hot weather, try fresh mint — it not only scents the bath, it will leave your skin feeling cool and tingly when you get out.
And don’t forget to have an oversized plush towel or soft robe waiting for you when it’s time to get back to the world outside.
CLOSE AT HAND:
A bath caddy will help you while away the hours reading without soaking your page-turner ($29.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond stores or online). What we like best about this caddy is the little hook that allows you to keep a glass of your favorite drink close and the compartments for your decadent scrubs or cleansers.
A soak in the bathtub is the perfect end to a long day. Candlelight sets the mood for a relaxing bath, and these copper candlesticks are a perfect vessel for your favorite candle. Hand-forged by Californian artisan Gregg Hessel, each stick is unique. Available at the Linen Tree, 6137 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Prices start at $120.
1 When your bath is filled with bubbles, salts or flowers, adding a scented candle can be overwhelming. Substitute scented candles for these 100 percent beeswax candles, available at the Linen Tree in Scottsdale. Slow-burning candles ($25 for two) are fragrance-free add a beautiful light to your bath.
2 Sleep Well Epsom Bath Salts from Thymes come in a glass milk jug that looks great on a bath ledge. Made with rose oil, chamomile and valerian, these salts will soothe tired muscles and help ease you into deep slumber. $23 at http://www.thymes.com" class="content-link" target= "565">www.thymes.com.
3 Need to ease the tension in you neck after a long day? This wooden back brush ($9.99) from Bed Bath and Beyond goes a step further than your typical brush, adding tiny rubber massage heads among its bristles for cleansing and a little sore muscle relief. Available in stores.
4 This robe by Kashwere is everything a robe should be — soft, fluffy and roomy. It’s made from microfiber, but the feel rivals any cashmere competitor. It’s available locally at Jurlique Spa at the Caleo Resort and Spa, 4925 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, or online at www.kashwere.com for about $150. Matching slippers are available for $40.
5 Rest your weary head on this Spa Wedge Bath Pillow that’s covered in a terry cloth case that’s water repellent and easy to remove. It’s filled with memory foam, so it will mold around your head and neck, providing you with the perfect support during your next soak. $19.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond or online at www.bedbathandbeyond.com.
PHOTOS BY LEIGH SHELLE ROBERTUS, TRIBUNE; MODEL COURTESY OF FORD MODELING AGENCY; PHOTOGRAPHED AT CALEO RESORT AND SPA IN SCOTTSDALE.