Spanista » Self Care Rituals, Reflections & Resources for Joyful Living by Ginny Shiverdecker

  • Spa Style & Self Care Reflections, Rituals and Resources for Joyful Living

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  • About Spanista

    Ginny Shiverdecker, Creator of Spanista is Spa Wellness Enthusiast, Adventurer Seeker and Brand Builder.
    Ginny is……Read more

Hyde Park Marketplace, TampaPINIMAGEHippiePINIMAGEDear Wellness Seeker,

Our Hyde Park Marketplace offers anyone a Sunday of joy. In a world that can feel so mass-produced, there is welcome respite in the idea of The Farmers & Artisans Market. As a creative soul, I certainly do appreciate the authentic nature of something shaped by hand and heart while having the chance to meet the inspired maker. The often eclectic collection of stands draws you in as one never knows what unique treasure awaits.

One of the pleasant surprises I discovered while living in New York was the traveling City Marketplace that appeared on Saturdays in various neighborhoods during summer and fall. A major street that once gave way to streams of traffic would be claimed by all types of vendors offering ethnic food, imported jewelry, hand crafted clothing, and freshly squeezed lemonade. Taking to the street fair was a way to get lost in another side of the city for those that did not escape to the Hamptons.

Where ever I am, it is fun to find the local market – just to explore the true street colors of the area. There is a tradition in South Tampa at Hyde Park Village, an intimate shopping and dining retreat nestled in the comfortable yet refined neighborhoods of South Tampa, to present Hyde Park Marketplace monthly.

My husband and I took a stroll through Hyde Park Marketplace and were amazed by the number of people who had chosen to join us with temperatures in the 90’s. Thank goodness for a few clouds for some shade.

The atmosphere was festive with people from all walks of life. You could see that in the faces of everyone – sheer enjoyment and they took to the eclectic mix of hand-made foods available. After we strolled through the fair, I was drawn to the Lobster Rolls ( that’s Lobsta for the Coastals). Oh my –  I was so enthralled by the taste I forgot to take a pic to share!

After that tasty lunch, I was ready to do some serious exploring. Sampling my way – wine slush, butterscotch oatmeal cookies and special recipe pickles ( I have a penchant for pickles, but that story can wait for another time.) But I digress. What I really am in search of is hand crafted bath and body products. Something unique I can incorporate into my Self Care Rituals at home and share with you.

Golden! I came upon this quirky Candle Maker and Owner of Hippie’s Homemade Candles. I was smitten. Do you know the feeling? Her name is Krista Jacobson. As you can see from the picture she set the stage with these wonderful tie dyed fabrics. Her idea is ‘Candles hand poured with love, from my home to yours’.Krista’s candle themes are loving too including floral, foodie, wine scents and relaxation aromas. For me there is nothing like the right candle to set a mood. I was drawn to the red wine scent in deep purple. Krista is delightful with a caring heart. You can connect with her at She would love to hear from you.

Supporting local artisans is simple way to enrich your Self Care Joy – it sends out the right karma as every good efforts helps improve our world.

Where is your favorite Framers & Artisans Market? Go forth – enjoy!

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


Spanista Founder & Self Care Advocate

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Evangeline Spa Epicurean Hotel Tampa

Relaxation LoungePINIMAGE

Epicurean Herb Garden Is Real Wall ArtPINIMAGE

Epicurean Herb Garden Is Real Wall Art

Evangeline Spa Goodies With WinePINIMAGE

Evangeline Spa Goodies With Wine

Hello Wellness Seekers,

New Spanista Travel Diary: Wine Lovers Savor Spa Evangeline is the first in a special series, featuring select spa experiences from my travels. It feels apropos to kickoff with my recent staycation in South Tampa. Visiting the new Evangeline, A Delectable Spa is exciting for a Spanista like me, always in search of a rare place that really gets the holistic experience right. Starting the long weekend at the new Evangeline, just open a few short months ago, is sheer happiness.

For new guests, Spa Evangeline sends a questionnaire online so I got the basic registration done before arriving. A great plus is their wine specialization. They asked if I desired optional special amenities (YES, indeed!) electing to have a wonderful glass of red after the massage.

I arrived early, checked in and was introduced to the locker room routine and amenities. To me the quality of the robe sets the tone. This one was white, plush and fresh with a thoughtful surprise gift. (No spoilers here!) Being robe ready, I looked forward to settling into the relaxation lounge to get in the right state of mind and body. Devoted to the Spanista Values System, I ready by taking time before, during and after my therapy. Through reflective questions, I become mindful to be really present and prepare for a more holistic outcome. Just as I sit back and close my eyes my lovely therapist Jess, welcomes me and inquires if I want to get started early. So off we go.

What can I say other than Jess was marvelous.  She was soft-spoken, warm and skilled. This could be the start of a great relationship with Evangeline. I always begin with a basic deep tissue massage. It acts as a true measure of talent and how strong the other services maybe. 80 minutes of shear eucalyptus bliss flew by. Quality product is core to massage. For this treatment they use Farm House Fresh. When I opened my eyes I felt truly in the present and more in touch – heart, mind and body more in sync. I realize how the worlds distractions can pull me out of touch. After the treatment she greeted me with a cool blend of raspberry, apple and green tea.

Allowing me quiet time, she came by after a bit to pour my glass of red wine from a bottle she took from the wine cooler (Nice!) and encouraged me to enjoy the cheese and fruit delectables that were simple yet satisfying. Quality details are notable and set Evangeline apart. As you can see in the pic (Yum!) I cuddled up on the sofa with a silky purple throw and closed my eyes for quality reflection time. After several minutes the aroma of that great wine was irresistible. So I took a nose – the rich aroma made me smile – the background music fit the mood – these are golden moments of self care joy as I lost myself in this local wine country escape.

Eventually I came back to reality from my reflection time feeling restored and joyful – mind, mood, manner restored. The emotional rewards of investing in self care are so worth it. To me, this Ritual is life well lived. When I was saying my good byes to the staff there was a note card from my therapist – a unexpected personal touch.

My first experience with Spa Evangeline can be expressed as: A Sumptuous, Sophisticated, Intimate Escape to Wine Country. The difference is in the high quality touches throughout. The Spa menu features many, many treatments and extras – which includes customized scents and oils and the Herb Garden I mentioned yesterday. Now I am ready to experiment with more.

New Spanista Travel Diary Classification of Experience Quality suggests Spa Evangeline is in the top 25%  – excellent, affordable luxury. Plus is attentive service.

Should you wish to experience Spa Evangeline. It is located at the Epicurean Hotel, in Soho. Let them know Spanista sent you. If you do let me know and I will meet you for a coffee at the Chocolate Pi- just next door!

What Spa experiences to wine country stand out to you and why?

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


Spanista Founder & Self Care Advocate

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Greetings Wellness Seekers,

First visit to new Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, a Bern’s Family and Mainsail Lodging & Development collaboration was a long anticipated event for Spanista. Everyone in the neighborhood watched the structure emerge over the last couple of years. Happy to share, it is on its way to becoming our first world class boutique hotel in an otherwise tightly held community after being open for just 6 months. In fact it is the first newly constructed hotel in America to join the prestigious Autograph Collection Hotels by Marriott International. This is Part 1 of my experience.

It is all about a relaxed lifestyle here in South Tampa, so the area has been well protected by the residents who treasure it. The Laxer Family of legendary Bern’s Steakhouse are part of the fabric of the community since 1956. They are famous for quality aged steaks and the largest wine list in the world! The family dreamed of designing an intimate hotel experience that would extend their love of outstanding food and wine to further enhance South Tampa living for residents and visitors alike.

Beyond bringing fame to the area for being voted the best steakhouse in the country by Rachel Ray and other experts, the Laxer’s are well regarded for investments they make in beautifying SoHo, where operates. This commitment is carried forward by Bern’s son David, the current owner as it remains privately held. Their dream of a unique hotel came true this January when Epicurean Hotel opened.

It is truly one of a kind with design features that promise to please the seasoned traveler who appreciates fine cuisine, marvelous wine and a warm neighborhood environment. The fun is in the simple but elegant extras – like the ability to take an Epicurean bike ride along beautiful Bayshore Boulevard. A standout is Evangeline, A Delectable Spa. I purposely waited before venturing out to this spa, respecting it can take time for any new venture to hit its stride. After having a leisurely Saturday brunch at Epicurean’s Elevage Restaurant with my dear friend Kathleen over deviled eggs to start, a wild mushroom and white truffle omelet to follow, complemented by a perfect glass of red, we strolled over to the spa to check it out.

Stepping into the lovely reception area one immediately feels the extension of Epicurean Hotel’s wine centric story. We were warmly greeted by Lindsey who recognized out sincere interest and promptly offered us a tour. We were thrilled to have her indulge us. Throughout the spa the winery ambiance comes to life with a rich palate of purples and greens, exuding warmth. I knew immediately this is someplace to explore so made my first appointment as I was planning a staycation for next weekend right in Tampa. The time was now as soon my husband and I would venture to our Kansas City country house for the colorful autumn season.

The Evangeline Spa menu suggests it is ‘A Recipe for Relaxation’. Indeed there is a variety of delectable treatments arranged around the foodie theme. ‘Bask in the Garden’ caught my eye as it featured a custom detoxifying cilantro scrub with had ingredients snipped directly from the Epicurean Herb Wall. Delightful! But I just might change my mind when the day comes. Of course my goal to try a message treatment as it would allow me to get a sense of what this menu really offered a Spanista like me.

I cannot wait to share the Spa Evangeline experience with you, so stop in tomorrow.

To Your Self Care Journey To Joy,


Spanista Founder & Self Care Advocate


P.S. Bicycle photo is from Epicurean Hotel website, all others are by Spanista.

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Dear Wellness Seekers,

A Spanista Reflection Walk is a Self Care Ritual I am devoted to daily . It is a 4 mile wellness excursion through a lovely area of South Tampa that is a true gem in the Bay local. I thought it would be fun to introduce you to this unique area through my eyes.

To give you a sense, this place is highly sought after for its quality of life and youthful spirit. It is perfectly nestled between a harbor city proper to the north that is home to Tampa University and infamous MacDill Air Force Base to the south, the acting control center for Operation Desert Storm. Due to the typography you are surrounded by miles of bay waters offering beautiful views with easy access to Florida’s western coastal beaches via three causeways over to Clearwater and St.Petersburg.

Everyday this Spanista walk starts in SoHo at lovely Bern’s Park Fountain. It is a joy to greet the Wine Maiden’s as I set my intentions for the day and stretch. I tune into Pandora which I love. Depending upon my intentions I pick from my play list of Ambient, Adel or Jazz. Today I tap in ‘Beyond the Moment’ by Patrick O’Hearn and step out on this tour with you in mind.

Along South Howard Street are the local flavors of independent restaurants and outdoor drinking establishments as this spot is well-known for its social scene. Influences include a unique blend of international culture with deep roots in Cuban and Italian fare. I walk past a couple of spots with a health consciousness focus and then come to the world-famous Bern’s Steakhouse. Variety here is key. Across the street is the new boutique Hotel they developed – Epicurean. It also features a the new Spa Evangeline. The first of its kind in South Tampa. I recently tried the restaurant which carries the traditions of Bern’s excellence in cuisine and wine. And am excited to share my views on the Spa too. More on these experiences later this week.

Now I head into Hyde Park with its historic neighborhoods. This residential area is well protected as the homes are true treasures of a time gone by – bungalows, arts and crafts along with southern structural charm. There is vegetation everywhere – lush and green. Home gardens are a point of pride for many. So everyday a devoted walker can come across stunning rose gardens, succulents and tropical varieties flourishing in a rage of color anytime of the year. There are several streets where stately architecture carries the grandness of any affluent area. That is the case along beautiful Bayshore Boulevard. I turn onto Bayshore at the half way mark after walking the shade covered streets with well cared for homes. Bayshore Boulevard offers 9 miles of sunny, uninterrupted walkway on inner Tampa Bay. This is a place loved by runners, bikers and walkers like me. Any time of day or night you will see people of all ages – the serious health enthusiast, the reflective walker or the casual site seer taking in the view.

This particular morning I came upon two moments of magic – I could not help but think they appeared because my intention is to share this Reflection Walk experience with you. The dolphins only come into Tampa Bay in the warmest months. As I have been out of the country the last few years during this time it was rare treat to see them again as they were happily feeding. They were a bit out of camera range – but I had to take a picture for you. As my walk takes a bend in the road, I am surprised to see a rainbow forming in the sky to the south. A spot storm had just moved through to give us this gift in the sky. The perfect way to end this Reflection Walk – inspired to take on the day.

This morning was truly a magical experience – you just never know what you’re going to get when you venture out into nature and really take time to see it through reflective eyes. So happy to share it with you

Hope you enjoyed this peek into my Spanista world.  Do you have any Reflective Rituals you would like to share?

To Your Journey To Joy,

Ginny Shiverdecker

Spanista Founder & Self Care Advocate

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Spansita Loves NYTimes Review, "Hit The Reset Button In Your BrainPINIMAGE

Spansita Loves NYTimes Review, “Hit The Reset Button In Your Brain” by Daniel J. Levitin

Dear Wellness Seekers,

Spanista loves NYTimes Review,“Hit the Reset Button In Your Brain” by Daniel J. Levitin because it struck a chord. I especially zeroed in on these wellness comments, “Taking breaks is biologically restorative”. His closing remarks in the piece state, “If we could train ourselves to take regular vacations without work – and to set aside time for naps and contemplation, we will be in a more powerful position to start solving some of the world’s big problems. And to be happier and well rested while we are doing it.”

I pondered this over my brekky of Allegro Earl Grey Tea and fresh blueberries. New brain science research by neuroscientists like that of his collaborator, Professor Vinod Menon is uncovering how our complex brain operates. This new insight fascinates me as a Spanista because there is so much we do not know about our brains until recently. With it comes welcome news for Wellness Seekers. Reading this opinion reinforces to me Spansita is founded on a solid philosophy. Really striking is discovering my personal experience when practicing Self Care Rituals aligns with his observations. Specifically the restorative effects that come from making a concerted effort to devote time to taking breaks, reflection time, play time and vacations.

Thanks to Mr. Levitin, I not only know how I will feel as a result of such purposeful personal time, I also know why I feel that way. It seems a natural extension is the Spansita Lifestyle of Self Care Reflections and Rituals along with Massage Therapy. What so you think of Mr. Levitin’s opinion – do you recognize the benefits from devoting time to activities he suggests?

To Your Journey To Joy,

Ginny Shiverdecker

Spanista Founder & Self Care Advocate


P.S. Stay tuned for more on Spanista life in Tampa Bay this week.

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