Springtime Rituals: Soothing Spa Sessions, Fresh Foods + Inspiring Shows

Vita Nova Spa, Courtesy of The Lodge at St. Edward State Park

“Self-care” has certainly become more of a buzz word in recent years, and rightly so. While we acknowledge it’s crucial to stay informed (and involved, when able) during these highly-stressful and unsettling times, it’s also OK to occasionally press “pause” on the news and attend to one’s own well-being. Find a few ideas below on where to eat, unwind, get pampered or indulge in the arts — including some live music this weekend at Tractor Tavern.

Courtesy SkinSpirit

In Green Lake, there’s a sleek, new spa-like destination (pictured above) that offers aesthetic skin, face and body treatments done by a kind team of nurse practitioners and aestheticians, who are experienced in personalizing treatments for clients. At Skin Spirit, which has several other Seattle-area locations, prepare to feel pampered, and also show up with as many questions as you’d like. We recommend the DiamondGlow, a noninvasive skin-resurfacing facial treatment that leaves your skin looking radiant and healthy (and requires zero recovery time).

Courtesy SkinSpirit

When caring for your face at home, we recommend supporting local brand MOTSI, whose skincare products are vegan and sulfate-, paraben-, talc- and carcinogen-free. (Founder Courtney LeMarco is an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and this is merely his latest venture!) Our favorite products include the Detoxifying Charcoal Mask ($45), a powerful combination of activated charcoal and three triple-action clays, and the Cucumber Herbal Eye Gel ($45), a fast-absorbing cooling eye gel that uses hyaluronic acid, caffeine and botanical extracts.

Courtesy MOTSI

We’ve long been a fan of MyChelle Dermaceuticals, too, who recently introduced a sensitive skin care regimen consisting of a trio of effective formulas. Try their new Gentle Calming Cleanser, Gentle Calming Serum and Gentle Calming Cream, that restores and replenishes skin’s vital nutrients, helps protect against irritation and deeply hydrates to restore natural moisture balance. It’s also a great time of year to wisely stock up on their reef-safe sun care offerings that help protect your skin with products that are vegetarian, cruelty-free, and free of phthalates, parabens, petroleum, sulfates, ureas, artificial fragrances and colors.

Courtesy MyChelle Dermaceuticals

Spa visits are another way to treat yourself, whether you head to a downtown venue or a tranquil property like The Lodge at St. Edward State Park, a Catholic seminary-turned-luxe hotel. Tucked into a wooded, 300-plus-acre state park on the shores of Lake Washington (be sure to leave time to wander the grounds), this stunning hotel also features an inviting restaurant and the full-service Vita Nova Spa, with an outdoor lounging area and fire pit, ideal for quiet reflection among the trees. Inside, an enticing menu of therapeutic treatments are offered using top-notch products by Yon-Ka Paris as well as hyper-local brands like Island Thyme Botanicals.

Back within city limits, Seattle’s Le SPA de l’hôtel LOTTE elevates any day on its third-floor oasis. The spa’s minimalist, all-white interior brings immediate calm from the moment you step off the elevator into these ethereal spaces. The venue offers a variety of upscale treatments and services featuring well-loved brands like Biologique Recherche and Medical Beauty Research.

Courtesy LOTTE Hotel Seattle

Savor full body or targeted massages here including Deep Tissue, Swedish, Lymphatic Drainage, Sports, Lomi Lomi, Prenatal and Hot Stone options. Each massage includes a complimentary sauna visit — an ideal way to wrap up a decadent downtown visit, even if just during a few-hour stay.

Courtesy BlendJet

If you’re on the move a lot like we are, you’ll likely appreciate the convenience of BlendJet, the original portable blender that means smoothies and other nourishing drinks enjoyed on the go. They recently launched an easy way to make a variety of healthy, cafe-quality blended coffee drinks, too. BlendJet JetPack Latte packs (all vegan) come in flavors like vanilla, caramel, chai, matcha, mocha and cinnamon-dolce.

Made in House photo by Helen Kwak

If you’re looking to eat the rainbow this spring, try Fremont newcomer Made in House, deli sibling of Georgetown’s popular BopBox. In a lovely, light-filled space that has some tables and counter seating too, enjoy fast-casual Korean fare like bibimbap, japchae and bentos. Recent menu additions included chickpea korokke (vegan) and kimchi pancakes, and beverage options range from Timber City ginger beer and hot matcha green tea with fresh mint to lattes featuring House Hemp Cashew Mylk. (Find beers and wines as well.)

Suzi Pratt/Uneeda Burger

And just up the road is another Fremont favorite — Uneeda Burger — whose patio is ready to welcome some springtime sunshine. (But don’t worry, there are covered options, too!) Loyal fans return for the variety of burgers or seasonal favorites like the hand-dipped huckleberry shakes, tempura mushrooms or green beans and onion rings. (Those with allergies or intolerances will be happy to find gluten-free options and easy menu adaptions.) We’re always a fan of the colorful Buddha Bowls, and we recently tried the housemade veggie patty, which we thoroughly enjoyed. Tasty toppings include portobello mushroom, tomato, pickled red onion, bib lettuce and lemon garlic herb aioli.

Then there’s always self-care that comes in the form of indulging in the rich, beautiful arts. There is magic to be found, whether you expand your mind while watching the global films screened at the Seattle International Film Festival (April 14 through 24) or savoring live theater at venues like Seattle Rep and Book-It Repertory Theatre.

John Craigie photo by Bradley Cox

There’s an amazing lineup of musical talents pasting through our city in coming months, as musicians resume anticipated tours. Sarah Shook & The Disarmers just released the much-praised album Nightroamer, and will be performing at Tractor Tavern this Sunday, March 27. Thanks to critically-acclaimed releases Sidelong (2015) and Years (2018), the North Carolina-based quintet built a reputation as a “honky tonk, indie band with a punk rock spirit.”

On this newest album, produced by Grammy-winner Pete Anderson (Dwight Yoakam, k.d. lang), “the group expands their sound with pop sensibilities and melodies without sacrificing its unflinching intensity and raw edge.” Nightroamer, a collection of 10 songs written by Shook, takes a hard look at relationships, yet doesn’t claim to have one-size-fits-all answers, with songs that are vulnerable, smart and sincere.

And on Wednesday, April 20, one of our all-time favorites, John Craigie, returns to The Triple Door, and we couldn’t be happier about that news. At 7:30 p.m., the multi-talented and endearing singer-songwriter will perform The Beatles “Let It Be (Lonely).” Seating and dinner service begins at 6 p.m.

During the show, Craigie plays the album in order, in between weaving stories about the Beatles and this magnificent work. He’s done this for other Beatles albums in the past. In fact, his “Abbey Road Lonely Show” is being released on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 23. Welcome, Spring!

Sarah Shook & The Disarmers by Harvey Robinson