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As a child of the '70s and '80s, “Calgon take me away!” commercials were ingrained in my head. Growing up in Rhode Island, the oldest of three kids, I recall my mom sneaking away to the bathroom at least once a week for some “me” time. It was the same thing each week: My mom would grab her favorite book, the bathroom door would lock, the closet door would open, there would be fumbling through the various products, the water would be turned on as the fragrance from bath oils and salts would seep through the cracks in the door, and then there'd be silence for an hour. My mom would emerge looking refreshed, and almost always, in a much better mood.

It was only once I submerged myself in my chosen field of Psychology that I began to understand the importance of decompressing from daily stressors. Now add children to the mix, and it became even more important. I launched A Girl’s Gotta Spa! (yes with the exclamation point, because this is an action phrase, a mantra for me, if you will) in 2005. There weren’t many other beauty bloggers at the time— little did I know that years later I would be considered a pioneer for what I was doing. I felt there had to be other women like me out there: passionate about people, passionate about connecting with other like-minded women, and completely obsessed with beauty products. I created it as an outlet for myself and as a way to say it’s OK to take time for yourself no matter how busy you are—in fact, it’s imperative.

I learned that the most when I had a miscarriage in January 2006. Not only did I begin to make sure I was spending more time DIY spa’ing to get through the mental anguish I felt, but my blog connected me with other women who understood how I felt, both for the loss and the need to pamper my soul. I made it through and went on to have a healthy son a year later (my fourth).

Now, after six years of feverish blogging, which I officially celebrated on October 24, my blog has been a tremendous platform for me. Every May I hold a Mom: Get Glamorous in search of a deserving mother to be awarded an incredible beauty and fashion prize. I donate much of the products that are sent to me to battered women’s shelters, but most of all I am a role model to my sons that you can be absolutely passionate about what you do and do it successfully. So every time I have the opportunity to sit back, relax and try out the latest beauty treatment—I’m grateful that I get to practice what I preach.

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