Wednesday, 19 April 2017

3 Spa Techniques that Will Attract More Customers

Being in business for yourself and having a day spa is sure to be lots of fun and provide you with a steady income. This will give you the opportunity to work with numerous clients and interact with people quite a bit. The good news is that you will be able to provide a service that is almost guaranteed to help make your clients happier. Many people simply can’t wait to go to the salon or spa because it’s a real treat. Offering the most and best services to your clients is the ideal way to get more business. By being aware of various techniques you can provide in your spa, this may be helpful in allowing you to get more business and increase your profit.

Technique #1: Offer body massages
Is there anything that can help you feel as relaxed as getting a full body massage? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no in most cases.
By having the right salon equipment in place, you can provide this service for your clients and doing so is sure to have customers entering your doors. There are tremendous health benefits to getting a massage, and some of these are listed below:
1.  Sense of well-being – One of the worse things you can do for your health is walk around stressed out all the time. This is horrible for your body and getting a massage can help you relax and stay that way for some time.
2.  Better rest – The key to getting good sleep may depend on having a massage at various stages of life.
3.  Lower blood pressure – If you suffer from high blood pressure readings, you will want to be sure to get this critical number in the right range. Studies indicate this reading should be 120/80.

Technique #2: Give pedicures and manicures
The warmer time of the year indeed calls for feet that are seen much more often. You’ll want to do all you can to have nice and attractive toes during this wonderful time of the year.
The most efficient way to get feet that look amazing and help you want to show off your scandals and flip flops is by getting a pedicure. This is an enjoyable and relaxing experience that will have your toes in tip top shape while you simply sit back and enjoy yourself.
Of course, you will want to offer the opportunity for your clients to get a manicure. This is sure to be one thing that is requested to go along with the pedicure and allow your customers to look and feel great.

Technique #3: Spray tan
This is the day and age of taking care of your skin. However, you may want to add some color to your look, and one of the ideal ways to get a head to toe experience is by getting a spray tan.
The health benefits of doing this are much greater because you won’t be exposed to ultraviolet rays like you would be by sitting in the sun.  Of course, you will need to invest the money into getting the right equipment that will enable you to do this for your customers and clients.
However, this can be a lucrative opportunity for you and a real enjoyment for the individuals that visit your salon. Studies show that the average cost of a spray tan is $25-$50. If you were to only do ten of these a day, this would add up to a nice profit for your spa.
Taking care of others sure is to be one of the ideal ways to build self-confidence for your clients. Having time to relax and unwind is the perfect way to do so and spa days could be the best way to make this happen. This is sure to be one of the most efficient ways for you to help others and have the profitable business that you want and need for success. Be sure to add these techniques to your spa today to reap the numerous benefits that are offered to you and others.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Mia Bakes: Choco-Peanut Butter Ban Ban Cookies

As I've mentioned before in my previous ban ban cookie recipe post (HERE), the flavour of matcha and chocolate didn't seem to go that well with each other, hence I've decided to switch up the recipe a bit and got these instead.


Choco-Peanut Butter half half cookies! 

So let's get over the ingredients so we can get started!

For the chocolate cookie dough, you'll need:
63g bittersweet chocolate 
(AT LEAST 60% cocoa, if not reduce your sugar)
63g salted butter, soften at room temperature
(if using unsalted, add in 1/4 tsp salt)
35g brown sugar
25g castor sugar
(or any baking sugar replacement of your choice, I used stevia)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 small egg
75g all purpose flour
15g unsweeten cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
150g peanut butter chips

First up, melt your bittersweet chocolate over a double boiler and set it aside to cool down. Cream your butter and sugars until pale and fluffy. Stir in the cooled melted chocolate and mix well. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Sift in dry ingredients (very important to sift cocoa powder) and fold until almost thoroughly combined before adding in peanut butter chips and folding until just combined. Never over-mix your batter. 
Then, keep your batter in the fridge for at least 20 to 30 minutes while you prepare your peanut butter dough. 

For the peanut butter cookie dough, you'll need:
250g creamy peanut butter 
180g castor sugar
(or any baking sugar replacement of your choice, I replaced half with stevia)
1 tsp baking soda
1 extra large egg
(or 2 small eggs)
1 tbsp cornstarch
150g bitter-sweet/dark chocolate chips 
(you may add more if you want them to be extra chocolatey)

For this dough, it's a super quick and easy 1 bowl recipe. Firstly, stir in the sugar with the peanut butter until well combined, before beating in the egg. Then, fold in your dry ingredients and lastly, the chocolate chips. 

Using a 1/2 tbsp, scoop 1 spoonful of each of your dough and drop them beside each other (touching) on your prepared baking sheet. Do remember to space out your cookies at least 2 inches apart because they do spread out, a lot. 
Then, with slightly oiled hands (your peanut butter dough should help you with that) carefully mold the two flavoured doughs together into a ball and press them down slightly. 

If you'll prefer flat and thin cookies, send them straight into the oven to bake at 175 degree Celsius for about 18 minutes. Each oven bakes differently hence do keep a watchful eye on your cookies, especially at the initial part (for they may spread gloriously into each other) and towards the end (so they do not burn). If you find your cookies getting dangerously close towards each other, you may crank up your temperature to 190 degree Celsius to "set" the cookie edges first (for perhaps about 5 minutes) before turning your temperature back down to 175 degree Celsius. 

Big and flat ban ban cookies from doughs that were sent straight into the oven.

However, if you prefer a slightly dome-shaped cookie, pop your dropped cookie doughs into the freezer for at least 10 minutes to harden up before popping the chilled dough straight into the oven. You can either tweak the temperature slightly (I baked at 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes and then 170 degree Celsius for another 10 minutes), or bake them for an additional 1 or 2 minutes at the same temperature. 

Slightly smaller and fatter cookies from doughs that were frozen for 10 minutes before baking. 

I have to say, peanut butter and chocolate just complement each other so well! These cookies will be extremely soft and feels spongey/cakey when first removed from the oven, so remember to not disturb them and let them cool completely to harden up. The outsides are slightly crisp and the insides chewy, filled with decadent sweetness of the chocolate and complemented with buttery, nutty fragrance of the peanut butter. 
SO YUMS CAN!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Joining the Ban Ban Trend

If you think my ban-ban cookies is all to the ban-ban craze, you're wrong! Apparently, the Koreans has also allowed the ban ban trend to take over their skincare scene.


To join in the trend, I decided to pick up two more ban ban items on qoo10, Gram Double Chemi Ban Ban Pack and Mogong Dodook Pore Professional Ban Ban Cream. 


Both comes in a handy tub with two separate sections for each product, along with a spatula for more hygienic usage. 

Mogong Dodook - $23.66 (Get yours at Qoo10)

The Mogong Dodook comes with a pore tightening pudding gel-like texture day cream, and a moisturising whipped cream texture night cream. You can use them separately as a day and night cream, or mix them up in proportion suitable for your own skin type like I do. 

Packed with tons of good stuff like gold extract, lotus extract, witch hazel extract, lemon balm extract, marine collage, baobab tree extract, hyaluronic acid and argan oil, this day & night cream boast of much anti-aging, pore tightening, whitening and moisturising effects. 

A mixture of 2 night - 1 day cream for the night leaves my skin well nourished and feeling smooth and supple the next morning when I wake up, while a mixture of 2 day - 1 night cream for the day keeps my skin well moisturised and keep my face relatively oil-free throughout the day. There's also a very subtle, pleasant citrus-lemon scent that invigorates your senses.

Ban Ban Pack - $24.90 (Get yours at Qoo10)

This banban wash off pack comes with two "flavours", green tea for our T-zone and pumpkin for our U-zone. The idea of this product is that most ladies actually suffers from oily T-zone while their U-zones are generally more dry and lack hydration.

 The green tea clay mask helps with deep pore cleansing, reduces our oil & sebum, and also reduces appearance of our blackheads. The pumpkin cream mask helps to moisturise our skin, firms up our skin and provide nutrients while reducing dryness and sensitivity. 


Well, I have very oily chin (speckled with tons of whiteheads) hence I chose to use the clay mask on my chin as well. 

Rather than helping to reduce appearance of blackheads, I find that the green tea mask helps to "pull out" the blackheads, making it easier for us to remove them, either by following up with a pore strip or just using blackhead remover stick to lightly scrap through. My entire face always feels super smooth and thoroughly cleansed after each use. Best part is, you only need to wait for 15 minutes for the mask pack to do their work, hence it's a super quick and easy fix for your skin. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Tofu Chocolate Bread Loaf (BM Recipe)

Haha, yet another baking post up for the week! The thought to bake with tofu started after I came across a youtube video on tofu banana baked doughnuts. And I did ended up trying a variation of it without the banana HERE
Then I wondered if it's possible to have tofu replacing something in our everyday bread loaf, mainly to lower the calories per slice. Well, one fine day I was bored and hence decided to calculate the calories per slice of my usual homemade wholegrain bread, and was horrible shocked to know that my homebaked version is 2x the calories of the store bought loaves. 
No wonder my weight loss has plateau off

And due to denser loaves from wholegrain flour, I usually only manage to cut 9 slices per loaf and that gives me about 176 kcals per slice! 

Okay, calories talk aside, let's first get over the ingredients so we can get the BM started.
For a 500g loaf, you'll need:

125g wholemeal flour
115g all purpose flour
10g unsweeten cocoa powder
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
10g sugar 
(I used 5g sugarless sugar & 5ml raw honey)
150g soft silken tofu
3g salt (about 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp ceylon cinnamon
80ml milk

First, soak your wholemeal flour in the milk for about 20 minutes before adding in the rest of your ingredients and let the dough knead on your mix dough function

Due to lower percentage of wholegrain flour in this recipe, I got slightly higher loaf (perhaps switching to bread flour will give me an even higher loaf) and managed to cut 11 slices out of this loaf. That gives me about 92 kcals per slice, almost 50% of my usual sunflower seeds & raisin loaf. 


There's hardly any tofu taste and the bread still turned out pretty soft and chewy in spite of the high wholegrain content. Pretty sure that tofu shall be one of the main ingredients for my weekly bread making from now on!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Monday, 13 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Choco-Matcha Ban Ban Soft Cookies

And so the baking trio met again for another day of therapeutic baking! And if you haven't seen our re-creation of Maangchi's gyeran ppang (korean egg bread) recipe, be sure to check it out HERE.

And of course, the three of us wouldn't be satisfied with just barely 30 minutes of baking for the day, hence here's our 2nd bake. Ban ban (half & half) cookies! This is something like the currently trending brookies (brownie + cookies), but more flexible with the flavours. 

For our first try at the ban ban cookie, we've decided to follow another Korean youtube baking guru, Honeykki's recipe. 

You'll need:

For the green tea dough:
150g cake flour
15g green tea powder
100g castor sugar
100g salted butter
(add 2g salt if you're using unsalted)
3g baking powder
1 egg
a dash of vanilla extract
50g white chocolate chips

For the chocolate dough:
150g cake flour
15g unsweeten cocoa powder
100g castor sugar
100g salted butter
(add 2g salt if you're using unsalted)
3g baking powder
1 egg
a dash of vanilla extract
50g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prepare both doughs separately in two large bowls. First, cream your butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and fluffy, before beating in the egg & vanilla extract until well combined. Then, sift in your dry ingredients and fold until just combined before adding in the chocolate chips and folding lightly to mix it evenly.

Drop about 1/2 tbsp of each dough (together) on a baking sheet, spread about 1 inch apart. Using wet or greased hands (the dough will be sticky!), mold the two flavours together (but do not mix them up, just press them together into 1 cookie) and press it down lightly to flatten. Top up the flatten dough with more chocolate chips if desired before baking at 160 degree Celsius for about 13 minutes. 

The baking temperature and baking time will depends greatly on your oven and its setting, hence do start with lower temperatures and keep a watchful eye on your cookie while they bake. You DO NOT want your cookie to brown. 

TADAA~!

These are soft cookies with a cakey texture, not really my kind of cookie as I prefer mine crunchy, but being both a green tea fan and a huge chocolate fan, this was right up my alley!

But I might want to tweak the recipe a little next time to get crunchy cookies, and also try out the combination of peanut butter with chocolate instead. Green tea with Chocolate tasted a little bit... not that much in sync. 


CL suggested of using a flavour that makes red cookies (red velvet or strawberry?) in place of the green tea next time so we can get ladybug cookies!
How cute would that be!

Till then,
Mia Foo

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Mia Bakes: Gyeran Ppang!

Just a couple weeks back at our small gathering at Chicken Up, we were having a small chat over the Korean food we know/like and somehow, Gyeran Ppang popped up and was really popular at the table. 


Not sure of what is egg bread is about, I did a google search on it and stumble upon Maangchi's recipe HERE
If you're also unfamiliar with this trendy Korean street food, it's a type of bread/muffin with a whole egg cracked into the middle and baked together, hence the name Gyeran (egg) Ppang (bread). 

I picked up the mini loaf paper tins from daiso at just $2 for 4 pieces of these 6 x 12.5 x 4.5 cm mini pans and doubled Maangchi's recipe to get 4 loaves.

You'll need:
240g all purpose flour
240ml milk
2 tbsp melted butter
6 tbps sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cooking oil
6 eggs
(2 for batter, 4 as toppings)
8 cubes of cheese 
(I used laughing cow cheese cube spread)

This is an extremely easy, one bowl recipe. Simply dump ALL your ingredients (2 eggs, not 6!) into one big bowl and whisk until smooth. 
Spoon your batter evenly into the 4 loaf pans, about 1/3 of the pan, stick 2 cheese cubes into the middle of the pan, about 1.5 inches apart. Crack an egg into the middle of the cheese cubes before sending your gyeran ppang into the oven at 200 degree Celsius for about 13 minutes. 


So, total time from nothing to 4 yummy looking gyeran ppang = less than 10 minutes preparation + 13 minutes baking = just a mere 23 minutes!
I'll say this is the PERFECT quick recipe for an effortless, but feels like a lot of effort was put in kind of breakfast. 

Baking for 13 minutes gave us eggs that's almost completely cooked through and the bread/muffin part just nice. So if you would prefer a more moist bread with runny egg centre, you might have to tweak your baking time a little. 

Till then,
Mia Foo

Thursday, 9 March 2017

#fitnessfriday - Fitbit Charge 2

Hello, my fellow fitness junkies. It's been more than 6 months since I embarked on my #eatclean diet (you can read my 21 days detox diet HERE and my tips on sustaining it after the 21 days HERE) and I thought that I should reach out to you peeps again with an update.
And so my total weight loss till date is about 6kg and it has been fluctuating around this figure for a while. Well, I probably could cut out more kilos but I will probably need to go into high calorie-deficit, which I'm really not keen on. 

Anyhow, the huge failure of the accelerometer on my new OPPO R9s phone has made me decided to get a proper fitness tracker. Not like miband or what, but something 'smarter', which can tells me more about my daily level of activities and help me track my calories in and out.

And so, after tons of google searches, quite a few of forced discussions with friends, and a couple days (or was it weeks) of consideration, I finally decided to take the plunge and burn 200 bucks on the fitbit charge 2.
I assure you, I didn't get this just for the salmon pink strap.


But still, it's so chio (pretty), isn't it?
They even have super cool leather straps (HERE) and super pretty metal chains (HERE) for you to switch out as and when you felt like it.

Apart from the usual steps tracking, Charge 2 also track your stairs climbed, daily active minutes, calorie expenditure (BMR and daily activities), continuous heart rate monitoring, sleep monitoring, daily travelled (walked) distance, and allows you to record your daily meals to check your calories in-out, and also allows you to set notifications from your phone to track text messages, calls and set vibrating alarm. Charge 2 also has a few special exercise tracking functions, which includes the ever so popular spinning, running, yoga, pilates, weights and etc.


Charge 2 also allows you to choose your preferred layout on the main "screen" of your tracker and I've chosen the one that shows both my heart rate and steps taken on my main screen, you can easily flip though the screens to check the rest of your stats (calories burnt, distance travel etc) by tapping on the screen. 
And no, it's not a touch screen so... you might need a few taps before it responds. 

Accuracy wise, I'll say the Charge 2 is pretty accurate when it comes to steps counting. I've once checked it against my own manual counting of 100 steps and my charge 2 counted just 1 extra step. As for stairs counting, it can get a little unstable. Certain days it's 100% accurate while certain days it just goes way off. But that doesn't really bothers me as this stairs climbing function isn't what I really focus on when I made the purchase. 

Having a specific spinning and yoga tracking under the exercise tracking function gave this gadget a lot of brownie points IMO, because these two exercises are what I usually do! But it's a shame that there's only ONE yoga function, when we all know there's TONS of variations to yoga and each very different from another in terms of intensity. 
For example, my Charge 2 tells me I burn roughly 266 kcals per hour of Hot Yoga on this particular yoga function, but isn't Hot Yoga supposed to burn more calories as compared to, let's say, Hatha Yoga? And 266 kcals does seem a little too low for hour's worth of near-dying experience in the hot studio too, doesn't it? 

Anyhow, I guess this booboo will actually work in your favour if what you want is to lose weight by maintaining a calorie deficit, because you may be underestimating your actual calorie expenditure. 
So, erm... yay?

In terms of food logging, I didn't feel that their data of food choices is that awesome, hence I'll prefer to log my daily meals on myfitnesspal instead and sync and data over to the fitbit app. 

So after 2 weeks on my Charge 2, I can say it's so far so good. But whether or not it helps in weight management (loss), I can't tell yet. So let's just wait for my next update, yeah?

If you're interested in getting a Charge 2 yourself, do check it out at lazada.sg

Till then,
Mia Foo
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