The sad truth is that I don’t get out nearly as much these days. When you’re on baby-time, the schedule is surprisingly rigid – from feedings to naps and bedtime routines – there is very little time is left for excursions. So when I do make a point to get out and explore a good spot in the city, it’s got to be really really good. Case in point: Parlor Mini Spa in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood.

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The spa opened last year just as we were welcoming le bebe into the world, so I was thrilled to finally be able to do some mama pampering in this lovely space. The spa’s founder Michelle Clark came from the business world and was in market for a type of mini spa, a place to go to relax and receive care that’s inspiring (and comfortable) and quick (but never rushed). It’s like she read my mind. My days of 4-hour spa treatments are long gone. Finding time to cram in a 45-minute pedicure is now the ultimate luxury, but a very worthwhile one.

Check out this crazy quote from The New York Times:

“More and more of us find ourselves unable to juggle overwhelming demands and maintain a seemingly unsustainable pace. Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less. A new and growing body of multidisciplinary research shows that strategic renewal — including daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations — boosts productivity, job performance and, of course, health.”

So basically it’s good for your health to treat yo’ self! That’s all the convincing I need so off to Parlor I sped (between morning feedings and swim class mind you). Everything in Parlor’s jewel box of a space is designed to perfection. From the marble-topped beauty bar that serves tea, coffee, juices and bubbly (required in my book!) to the cool entry and serene treatment areas, my design heart went pitter patter. The color palette is muted, the details show restraint and yet the space is warm, welcoming and cool. You kinda just want to hang out in there.


What better way to relax and take a much-needed break than in the lovely environment Michelle created. There are only two treatment areas – one with two seats and another with three – which is perfect because who wants to listen to random conversations during your moment of zen.


This is an idyllic spot to catch up with a girl friend or just enjoy some serious me time. Oh and I should mention that Parlor is much more than a nail salon. They also offer facials; chair and hand and foot massage and waxing, along with manicures and pedicures of course. You can see all the details about their services here. I strongly recommending booking something – soon – because I might beat you to it.

original photography for apartment 34 by suzanna scott and some snaps by me!

What do you think?

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  1. Wonderful idea, BRAVO! Looks like a very wonderful place to slow down, relax and just unwind. Question may I ask where you got those beautiful indigo baskets by the chairs, I have been looking for these forever. Thank you.

    When I find myself in the area I will certainly make a point of making an appointment.

    From the rainy NW

  2. This sounds absolutely dreamy about now! Great post!