SANTA BARBARA, CA – Jennifer Burrows, art director –The Simpson House is a five-diamond bed & breakfast on an acre of land right off bustling State Street in downtown Santa Barbara. My husband and I decided that Valentine’s Day weekend would be the perfect opportunity to visit. When I received the brochure and booked our cottage, I noticed an insert offering special spa services in the privacy of your own room. I promptly signed up for a spa pedicure.

We arrived late Friday night, but there was someone to greet us and show us to our cottage. As the rain fell outside and we settled in, we knew instantly that this weekend splurge was well worth it. To think we had in-room spa services coming the next day was icing on the cake.

The next morning we had a homemade breakfast in the main house. Then, promptly at 10 a.m., Jill Alexander arrived at our cottage. The cottages aren’t very large, so Jill rearranged the furniture to create more room. She brought all her supplies with her, but I brought a bottle of polish that I wanted her to use. (Working for NAILS certainly has its perks.) I sat on a window seat surrounded by pillows while my feet soaked in a portable foot tub, gently bubbling. The fire and the music added to the at-home atmosphere.

I have had professional pedicures before, but I was surprised at how much could be duplicated in a home environment. My pedicure started with a long soak followed by a good scrub. My feet and legs were massaged several times during the service, first with the scrub and finally with the lotion. My toenails were trimmed, filed, and painted. Jill gave me the brick file to keep because she only uses one per client. By the end I was totally relaxed. The best part about the pedicure was that when it was over, I didn’t have to spoil my relaxed state by driving home or worry about smudging my freshly painted toenails.

During my service I asked Jill about her business and how she began offering services at the Simpson House. She is a licensed beautician and massage therapist, but she doesn’t work in a salon during the week. She actually manages another hotel in the area, but loves giving nail and massage services so she does it as a side business. In addition to hotels and B&Bs, Jill also works private spa parties around Santa Barbara. Her business is growing fast, especially since hosting spa parties at home is so popular right now.

All in all, our weekend was a grand success. The rain continued to fall, the fire continued to burn, and the bottles of wine continued to empty. My husband and I were completely relaxed and we plan on returning again next year. Next time I think I’ll get a pedicure again and a massage.

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