Louise waiting for the bus Raraotonga, Cook Islands

How to create a home spa experience on a shoe-string budget

I’m such a dreamer! Every holiday I have had has made a lasting memory. It takes a few minutes for my imagination to start working to see blue skies and waves on the Ocean. My memories of my recent visit to the Cook Islands is one of those happy memories that I keep coming back to.

Do you like to dream too?

We can bring our beautiful memories back to life with photos, flowers and scents. It is possible to bring back your holiday memories.

Take a look at these ideas and try them. It doesn’t have to cost the Earth.

My name is Louise from Busy Bee Blossom. I was recently married in the Cook Islands. My memories were of:

  • green forested mountains high on the horizon
  • blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and crashing waves on the reef
  • swimming with turtles in the Lagoon
  • reflecting on the past and resetting my thoughts
  • playing guitar with Ocean waves in the distance
  • delicious food and friendly smiles

Markets and culture

Of course, a holiday isn’t complete without good food and experiencing a new culture. There were so many friendly faces in Cafes and restaurants. The seafood in season was Ocean catches like Tuna or Mahi Mahi. It was all very yum and a great experience. Coconut pancakes was a real favourite. I adapted a recipe to be a close replica so I hope you will enjoy it. The Night Market in Rarotonga had locals cooking up a delicious storm too. It’s the best experience to enjoy food cooked by locals who can share their family recipe with you. Each fish curry had a different spice mixture and beautiful taste.

My recipe for Coconut pancakes

Tip: Try some recipes out at home. My first attempt at coconut pancakes didn't work and was a disaster. Coconut flour doesn't behave like plain flour. But I made some modifications, and the second attempt was much better. I hope you will enjoy the recipe.

Cocktails on the beach with amazing views

We had our ceremony on Muri Beach by a local wedding celebrant at a beautiful spot on the beach under a tree. The view was stunning with blue waters and crashing waves on the reef edge far on the horizon. The water at the Reef edge drops off to an immense depth. It was wonderous to think about the size of the Pacific Ocean and how small we are in comparison. And even more incredible to think how the Maori people took canoes out and made it all the way to New Zealand.

Tip: This is one of my favourite spritzes. Take a small can of peaches or fresh ripe peaches with their stone and skin removed. Blend them with a drop of honey and top up with either sparkling mineral water or Prosecco. Sit outdoors or on your verandah and enjoy the view with your loved ones.

Swimming with the turtles

Swimming with turtles on Rarotonga, Cook Islands

We swam in the lagoon surrounding Rarotonga. Raro is one of the fifteen islands of Cook Islands. We joined a snorkel tour and swam with turtles. It was so beautiful. The guides took us through the strong currents. They were fun and knowledgeable, and they took some great photos of us swimming with turtles. On the way back we each shared our thoughts on what we were grateful for.

Tip: Take a moment to be grateful for what you have. It's so easy to forget that we have things to be grateful for. We have enough for now.


We took some great photos to remember our trip. But most of all, the trip has left some very happy and vivid memories. There were times when it was so hot that we sat under a tree. At other times we watched the mud crabs go about their day on the mud flats.

Tip: Give yourself some time to relax. Your shower or bath will be a time to focus on yourself. After your shower or bath apply Rose Otto Repair Body Cream all over. The pure essential oils help to heal yourself in a gentle and kind way. As the scent rises, rose otto essential oil helps to improve dry, sensitive or mature skin. I use pure and natural botanical and essential oils in my skincare. It’s a better choice. There are no nasties in my formulations.

Fragrant blossoms

The flowers were beautiful everywhere on the Island. Nature was so beautiful to watch and admire. Flowers bloomed in white, pink, yellows and reds against their green foliage. I discovered Coconut Oil produced In the Cook Islands by Rito. Skincare included tropical flowers of Tiare, Hibiscus, and Camellia. Tamanu Oil is an active ingredient that has healing and rejuvenating properties. Rito sources local Tamanu and use sustainable methods to extract the oil. I found Rito at the daytime Market at Punanga Nui Markets.

Tip: Blossoms are a great way to bring happiness into your home. A vase of flowers can be as simple as picking a small bunch of lavender spikes from your garden and placing in a vase. I place my small bouquet of flowers near my laptop to bring a smile as I work.

Tip: Place a plant is your bathroom and let the steam from the warm shower or bath nurture your plant. Plants are good for you to care for, as your focus is only on this task and nothing else. As the plant grows you can learn how to care for it better. It teaches us to strive to learn more and realise that sometimes mistakes can happen. But we must move on and keep on learning.

Enjoy your hobbies every day

Tivaivai quilts made by Aunties at Punanga Nui Markets

At the Markets I saw Aunties sewing their beautiful tivaivai.
Tivaivai is hand sewn patchwork needlework. The Aunties chat and work together and pass their skills on to others who wish to learn. Each textile creation is a treasured piece. Occasions include births, deaths and marriages.

Tip: Put your mind on a fun activity like guitar or sewing. Practice makes perfect, or at least a bit better than last time. The time spent together chatting and playing is fun and good.

Tip: Practice mindfulness in anything that you do. Be in this moment and not worrying about the next moment. If it’s out of our control, put it aside. Keep on remembering to focus on what you can control.

Hawaii Five-0

On Aitutaki we paddled our canoe to the other side of the lagoon, passing turtles coming up for a breath of air. We walked on the other side of the Island and as it was a Sunday the locals were coming back from Church. Disappointed that we missed their Church service, but happy to chat with them for a while. I had forgotten it was Sunday! After chatting he gave us some local bananas to eat on the paddle home. They were good, picked fresh from a giant bunch from a variety of small banana trees that he grew at his home.
The paddle was a good one to get back to our stay and we rowed like it was Hawaii Five-0. Fast!

Tip: Light a candle to remember ones that have passed. We missed Church but it's good to remember the connections with people that we meet on the way.

Most beautiful bus stop in the World

Island life is a lot slower and nothing worries the locals. They have a great way of life and take it slow and enjoy the ride. The local bus ride is Clockwise or Anti-clockwise. It's not a new shiny Mercedes Benz. It’s down to earth and laid back. No need for fancy transport modes here!

Tip: Slow Down. Breathe in and out for some relaxation every day. It takes 5 to 10 minutes and it could be in the grass at the park looking up at the clouds rolling by.

Did you love your spa experience on your last holiday and want to take it home with you?

A spa treatment from your holidays is my favourite memory to bring home. Don’t forget your precious memories. Bring it home with you by having a Lemon Calendula Milk Bath Soak. Pop 3 tablespoons of Lemon Calendula Milk Bath Soak in your bath and take some well-deserved time to relax. As you relax, the organic Calendula petals float in the bath. The warm water will lift the Australian Lemon essential oil scent up to immerse you. The milk bath will soften and moisturize your skin.
There’s also Goat Ate my Roses Bath Soak for a romantic bath. Or a vegan choice is Sweet Orange Blossom Bath Soak which has Epsom Salt with Calm essential oils.

Place an Australian travel tin coconut soy candle in your bathroom. The soft light will set the mood to relax. Your home spa is complete with fresh towels, lavender eye pillow and a cup of herbal tea. It’s your time to be calm and get ready to have a restful night’s sleep. A handmade lavender silk eye pillow is a great idea to help promote sleep before bedtime.

A holiday is a happy time that you want to remember. But, it doesn’t need to end. Your home can reflect your experiences and show everyone your happy times. Each room in your home can reflect your personality and individuality. At Busy Bee Blossom we care about quality products that bring a smile to your face. It doesn’t need to cost the Earth.

Busy Bee Blossom has affordable homes décor to lift your spirits including:

  • skincare
  • textiles
  • candles and ceramics

My ethos is that we should be gentle on ourselves, our loved ones and the World. Every room in your home can get a fresh update to reflect the happy memories of your holiday.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog. Please share it with your friends and check out my collections. 😊 🐝

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