Valentine’s Day – Is it Really a Hallmark Holiday?

love_text_in_hippie-1024x768“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” It is one of the most crucial aspects of being human.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a Hallmark holiday. It’s a great reminder for us to take a day to pause in our hectic lives and acknowledge everyone in your life that you love and that love you.Think of your parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends. Take time today to tell them what they mean to you and how thankful you are to have them in your life.

Valentines day is also a day to love yourself. Celebrate all that is positive about YOU (and there is a lot!). Celebrate with friends, treat yourself to a spa day, or make plans to volunteer at a nursing home, children’s hospital, or animal shelter. There are so many ways to give back and come out of it feeling happier and more uplifted in the process.

If you are looking for a last minute Valentines Day gift, visit  where you can find eGift Cards to perfect local spas, eateries, artisans and more all throughout the South Shore.

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day!


A Day Spa Owner’s Inspiring Journey

Arlene Fithian purchased Spa-tique Day Spa in June of 2014 from her previous employer.  Arlene never in a million years ever thought she would one day own an award-winning day spa on the South Shore of Massachusetts.  “You just never know what life is going to present you.”

Arlene’s journey began with marrying the love of her life, Scott Fithian, and happily becoming a stay-at-home mom for her two sons.  Her life unfortunately, took an extremely unexpected turn when her husband was diagnosed and passed away from cancer at the age of 45.  Needless to say, she was devastated but had to find a way to go on because she had two children at home to take care of emotionally and financially.

She met with her financial planner to get some sound advice for their future, and he said, you’re only in your 40’s so you’re going to need to get a job.  I want you to pick something that you are going to love.  She thought about it and thought about it and she kept coming back to…she loved getting facials once a month and always loved trying out new skincare and makeup products.  Also, she realized after taking care of her husband through his illness, that she loved nurturing him through that and thought that she could translate that into taking care of her clients and nurturing them as well.  Decision made.  She signed-up and graduated from Spa-tech Institute in Plymouth as a licensed Esthetician.

Arlene was hired by Spa-tique Day Spa right out of school and is now the proud Owner and still remains as an Esthetician a few days a week.  How did that transpire?  She mentioned to the Owner during a performance review that she absolutely loves working at Spa-tique and that she was never going to leave so if you ever decide that you want to sell the business, please give me the first right of refusal.  The opportunity presented itself, and the rest is history.  She and the former business owner always say that it was a plan from above.  Her husband Scott orchestrated this opportunity for her from heaven.

Arlene’s favorite part about giving a facial to her clients is when they snore!  She says to herself “I did it”, meaning she was able to get her client to the ultimate state of relaxation with her healing touch when they actually fall asleep, literally, in her hands.  “It’s so rewarding to give them that and to have them leave feeling good about themselves, and building those trusting client relationships is wonderful.  I also benefit as well in that I feel almost as relaxed as my client does by the end of the facial, it’s healing for me too.”

Another favorite part about being a Spa Owner is researching, picking out and purchasing all of the products both for back-bar and for the retail boutique as she is a self-proclaimed “Product Junkie”.  She uses every product on herself first to make sure she thinks it’s great so rest assured, if it’s at Spa-tique, it has passed the “Product Junkie” test and is fabulous!

Most people assume that as a Spa Owner she would receive spa treatments every week.  If only that were true!  She kind of does because she gives herself facials all the time because her staff is too busy to give her one, but she actually does try to treat herself to one massage per month and her absolute favorite spa treatment is the Hungarian Moore Mud Massage which is an organic substance that comes from a 20,000 year old glacial valley basin in Eastern Europe that has never been drained away allowing the Moor to retain its entire organic mineral and trace elements.  In addition, it has an unusual concentration of humic acids, folic acids, vitamins, amino acids, plant hormones and fatty acids in a molecular form that is easy for the skin to absorb.  Moor has been used for centuries to heal, nourish and detoxify.  It sounds messy, but it’s actually not at all, it’s heavenly from start to finish and you don’t have to shower afterwards.  Other than that, she will receive treatments when she interviews potential employees, not a bad perk.

If you’ve never been to Spa-tique and live on the South Shore or plan on visiting the South Shore of Massachusetts, you must give them a try.  Their spa is situated in a historic building dating back to 1673 and it has a lot of the original beams, hand-crafted nails, pine floors and all the charm that goes with that, and they’ve also received over 20 awards to date which speaks for iteslf.  Arlene’s goal which is engrained in each and every spa employee is that “every client goes home feeling nurtured, happy and great about themselves.”

Spa-tique Day Spa
2000 Ocean Street
Marshfield, MA  02050

eGift Card:

The Birth of the 1620 Winery & Wine Bar

Robert and Raquel Mullaney went from owning Comfort Keepers in Plymouth, Massachusetts for 15 years,  the second largest private duty home care company in the world, to becoming owners of the 1620 Winery & Wine Bar in Plymouth scheduled to open Memorial Day Weekend 2016.

Robert always dreamed of becoming a wine maker, and then one winter day, they truly believe the Universe was speaking to them loud and clear when they saw that the Plymouth Winery was for sale.  The timing was right and they decided to make a complete change and try their hands at their dream, and their “last swan song”, the 1620 Winery & Wine Bar, in hopes of leaving a beautiful legacy for their four children and one granddaughter.

Raquel said they probably would not have followed-through with purchasing the winery if it was anywhere else other than Plymouth, her home town.  “You have to take care of your own.”  They are very excited about being a part of the downtown waterfront business community and will be promoting all of the other amazing businesses who are now their friendly neighbors.

I just had to ask the question…How hard is it to work and live with your spouse, essentially being together 24/7?  A big smile came upon Raquel’s face and she said, “Oh my God, it does take a very special relationship to work with your spouse 24/7, I can’t lie, but we are doing something right because we already worked together successfully for 15 years at Comfort Keepers and believe it or not, we’ve only been married for 16 years.  Our chemistry and individual strengths makes it work well.  Robert has amazing back-end operations skill set, and I have to admit, I have the gift of gab and love the sales aspect of business.”

Raquel is most excited about meeting people of many cultures from around the world.  Plymouth is such a tourist Mecca and will only become more popular because of the 400th celebration.  “Life is Good.  I didn’t think I would ever have a job whereby I get to socialize, meet people from all over the world, and drink wine!”

The process to open such an establishment is not for the faint of heart.  First you have to get through all of the licensing and permitting aspects starting with the Federal level, then the state level, then the town level, just to name a few. She has to say that the Town of Plymouth has been wonderful to them, going out of their way to help them with their extremely tight timelines.  We also plan on educating the public on the Northeast cold climate grapes and the town is excited about the educational piece of our business as well.

Speaking of cold climate grapes, Robert will continue the legacy of the prior owners award-winning cranberry blush recipe, as customers love it, in addition to always experimenting with bold reds and light crispy buttery whites.  They are keeping it local and within New England, working with Ocean Spray, Decas Cranberry Products, and harvesting our grapes from the Finger Lakes region.  We will also buy our charcuterie ingredients from local farmers as well.  And, we are so very excited to host other “Guest Wineries” at the 1620 such as Hazlitt’s, Red Cat Cellars, First Crush Winery, Mill River Winery, Truro Vineyards and Coastal Vineyards.  We will rotate carrying their wines at our wine bar in addition to having them as guest speakers at special events.

Hosting a special event in the future, they plan on hosting any and every celebration you can think of such as birthday parties, bachelorette parties, baby and bridal showers, or just because parties.  All you have to do is contact Raquel and she will be thrilled to help you organize your get together.

Last but not least, Robert and Raquel wanted to make sure to say “thank you to everyone who had a hand in helping make their dream come true.  Saying thank you just doesn’t seem remotely enough, but know that we appreciate each and every one of you and will never forget the hands that help lift them up to where they are today.”

1620 Winery & Wine Bar
170 Water Street
Plymouth, MA  02360

eGift Cards:

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Romantic Getaways to Celebrate Your Love and Relationship

Exclusively Gifted Blog

Romantic getaways are important for every relationship. It enables you to escape the daily grind of work, chores, errands, life’s responsibilities and stresses. It purposely creates time and space to re-charge individually and as a couple. Strengthening your bond and creating new memories, may even add a little extra spark to your love-life. Having the opportunity to give and receive undivided attention from your partner, allows you to enjoy all the reasons why you fell in love and made a commitment in the first place. There are so many romantic getaways in New England, but so little space to name them all.

Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel
138 St. James Avenue
Boston, MA, 02116
Phone: 617-267-5300 Toll-Free: 800-441-1414

A Romantic Weekend Escape, Fall in Love in Luxury – Enjoy a romantic weekend surrounded by luxury, first-class service and New England history at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston’s Back…

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How to Turn a Bottle of Wine Into a Work of Art

Creative Wine Bottle Wrapping Ideas

My favorite go-to gift when attending a holiday party, dinner party, ok, basically any party, is to bring a lovely bottle of wine. Here are some creative ways in which to “dress” the wine bottle, turning it from ordinary to an extraordinary work of art. The only negative to the beauty of this gift is there’s a chance the host may decide not to “undress” it after all, “it’s too pretty to unwrap.” Hopefully I’m being a little too dramatic, but I believe a risk worth taking!

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DIY Halloween Decorations

Halloween is one of those “holidays”. Either you’re obsessed with it and can’t wait for it to arrive, or it’s just another day.

For those of you who are obsessed, here are some great DIY Halloween decorating ideas. Some fun and some downright scary!

Happy Halloween…

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