This month my guilty pleasure is taking a long, hot, luxurious bath.
Pampering myself in a hot bath is one of my favourite things to do at the end of a long day, especially when it's freezing cold in Melbourne as it is at the moment.
Taking a luxurious bath is the perfect way for me to take some time for myself to clear my head and relax mentally. I shut the door to the bathroom and for a few precious minutes there are no phones, no email: it's how I regroup. I know I'm more centered when I manage to squeeze in the time to enjoy that quiet space
I turn the overhead lights out and light as many candles as possible to create a lovely, gentle glow. It's restful on the eyes and the shadows from the flickering flames are almost hypnotic.
I love using beautiful scented oils in the bath – some of my favourites are by Aromatherapy Associates – and I choose them to suit my mood. If I have to go out in the evening after a busy day at work I'll revive with a blend that contains peppermint and perhaps some orange oil. If I'm trying to wind down before bedtime I'll choose a blend with lavender oil in it – Neal's Yard makes a gorgeous one in a divine dark blue glass bottle.
If I have time to really treat myself, then I'll give my skin a deep cleanse with a face pack while I'm in the bath. The steam from the water really helps to open up the pores leaving my skin looking brighter and feeling squeaky clean. That's especially nice when I've been wearing lots of makeup for work. It makes me feel as if I'm in my very own health spa.
I was delighted when I discovered Ethan is such a water baby because bath time is pure 'us' time.
Of course, the whole experience takes on a new complexion when it's Ethan doing the splashing about. Out go the candles in favour of a raft of rubber ducks – we've got a big one with a Union Jack on it and three little yellow ones – who do tours around the tub. The scented bath oils I love are also out. We can't even do bubbles yet because Ethan just tries to eat them...
It's the thing Ethan looks forward to the most every day and he gets his legs and arms going as soon as he knows it's time to get into the water. It might not be as relaxing as my own tub time, but reconnecting with rubber duck is a chance for the two of us to hang out and have fun together.