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Float Therapy

The Joy of Float Therapy

There is what seems to be this bizarre, yet genius form of stress relief expanding around LA called Float Therapy (also known as Float Tanks or Isolation Tanks). The idea is fairly simple: you get undressed, shower off and lie down in a shallow pool of heavily salted water. This allows you to float without doing much else but lying there spread out in Christ pose. This is typically done inside a pod or tank which is meant to be dark – you do have control over opening the tank or pod whenever you’d like – and many of them have colorful lights and music.

The main goal here is to relieve stress and anxiety through sensory deprivation – in other words floating in complete silence, in the dark with only your own thoughts  – deprived of any stimuli to take your focus away from your own mind.

HOMER SIMPSON FLOAT

The even bigger idea here is to reach what is called the theta state, which often happens in the final 20 minutes of the float.  Theta state also happens just as we fall asleep, when our brain waves go from alpha (or beta) into theta, the most relaxed our body becomes just before drifting into dream land. This can last for several minutes without you actually falling asleep, giving you a weightless feeling, as though you are floating in space.

So now that you know the science behind float therapy you’re probably dying to know where you can do this and how quickly can you get there.

Here is a short list of places I recommend around LA:

1. Pause Float Studio - Santa Monica. 310.439.1972. pausefloatstudio.com

2. Float Lab - 2 locations, Venice & Brentwood. 310-396-3336. floatlab.com

3. Just Float - Pasadena. 818.639.3572

4. Float Clinic - Torrance. 310.702.6870

So if you’re feeling stressed or want to know what its like to completely deprive your senses of any stimulation for a good 30 mins to an hour, book a session and let me know how it turned out.

Closet Sage by Melanie Gretsch

The Juliette Interviews: Closet Sage by Melanie Gretsch

Decluttering has always been a hot-topic in many of my blog posts, especially when preparing to list your home for sale. But have you ever considered hiring a professional to help you with organizing something even as simple as your closet? I had the pleasure of doing so. I hired Closet Sage by Melanie Gretsch and it made a world of a difference.

Melanie says, “Our closets tend to be filled with our emotional attachments and clutter. These attachments compel us to keep things much longer than we should. But, when our closets only hold what we love and what looks most flattering, then we are left clutter free. This peace not only comes to the space, it can also be felt in our minds and hearts.” And she was right, my whole home felt a lot lighter just by organizing one aspect of it.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing Melanie about her methods and here is what she had to say:

JH: How did you get started in the professional organization service?

MG: Becoming a wardrobe and closet organizer has been an evolution for me. I have been in fashion and retail for many years. I owned my own store for over a decade and before that, I was a personal shopper. I do feel this part of the evolution combines all my favorite things into one place. I really love that I am back working with clients-helping them to discover how to look and feel their best. In addition, merchandising has always been one of my favorite things. And, that’s how I approach each closet…I want it to look and feel beautiful, like your own boutique. Between working with clients and beautifying their spaces, it’s pretty much a dream job for me.

JH: What is a typical consult like? Can you walk us through the process?

MG: A typical consult starts with a conversation about each person’s personal style goals. That way, when we are editing the wardrobe, we can find together, what may be redundant or what may be missing. Then, it’s time to look through the closet. For most, this is the part that make them cringe- people are very private about their closets. It is a very personal space where many have shame for so many reasons. But, somewhat like a doctor, I’ve seen it all and nothing, I mean nothing is too big of a mess. I then go category by category (ie, I take out all the pants, then all the shirts, etc.). One category at a time, one piece at a time, we edit out what isn’t working. Together, we decide is this a great item? Do you love it? Does it bring you happiness? Does it fit your body as it is today? Would you wear it if you altered it or hemmed it? Once we have gone through everything, I then spend the rest of the time, organizing, seasonally storing away items, merchandising, reconfiguring, so that when the closet is reassembled, it is a peaceful, happy place. A place where everything hanging is something that is cherished and easy to find. During this time, we also talk about what items are missing from your wardrobe. Sometimes I suggest something specific but mostly people take notes so they know what to look for when they go shopping. We also spend some time discussing items that are loved but not worn because sometimes people aren’t sure how to wear it. We go through all those pieces and make sure the client has a plan how to feel good about what’s being kept.

JH: Your focus is mostly on the closet and wardrobe. Do you offer other organizational services outside of that?

MG: My focus is the closet and the wardrobe pretty much exclusively.

JH: Other than the obvious reasons for being organized, what are some of the other benefits of hiring a service like yours?

MG: Closets can be metaphors for our inner self. There are so many times we’d rather leave the mess unattended and walk away. But, unfortunately, for all of us, it mounts over time. You may not even realize how clutter destabilizes your inner peace. It’s hard for all of us to want to take the time and energy to make the changes that make the difference. It’s also hard to know what to get rid of without another set of eyes. By ourselves, we sometimes get lost in the ability to judge “does this look good?” We have all made mistakes in either direction!  A service like mine is definitely a luxury. One can do it without hiring someone, it’s absolutely possible. You would want to get a friend to help you edit. And, as for the organizational part, I like to think that I bring my years of experience to make it extra special… but, if you have the time and energy, a few tips will get you much of the way there!

JH: Are there any good places or stores you recommend for buying items that help with closet organization?

MG: There are only a few places that I like to go to for closet organization supplies. Really the mother of all is the Container Store (also online). From storage boxes, to hanging storage units, to drawer dividers, etc. You really can get anything to make a difference there. After that, i do much shopping especially for hangers on Amazon. Places like Bed, Bath, and Beyond will also have some helpful items.

JH: Do you only recommend donating old clothes or selling also? What are a few of the donation services you work with?

MG: I highly recommend donating your old things. Places that I like to bring client’s and my own things to are: The Midnight Mission, Dress for Success, and NCJWLA. I like to turn what isn’t working into something that makes a difference. I have found consignment stores are only really worthwhile for designer items (and even then I have been sorry I didn’t give a special item to a friend instead of selling at such a deep deep discount). But for some very special pieces, I’d recommend the RealReal or places like that. Consigning non designer items doesn’t usually turn any kind of real profit. I personally think the donation makes a difference to someone and is a tax write off as well- win/win!

JH: What are some quick tips you recommend for being or staying organized?

MG: A few tips to help keep your closet looking good and organized…first, edit out what you don’t absolutely love. Then, make sure everything is hanging on one type of hanger. I most often use velvet hangers. They come in different colors- just keep it all uniform. Next, hang like items with like items. All shirts together. All denim together, all pants, etc. Within each of those categories, try to keep like colors together as well.  Those few things will make a huge and immediate difference. Lastly, every time you purchase something new, try to force yourself to let one thing go…otherwise, it won’t take long to be back in the clutter again!

JH: What’s the best way to utilize a professional organizer? That is, is it best to hire an organizer one time and then try to upkeep what they’ve done or should best to hire a pro like you to come out periodically?

MG: The first time you hire a professional organizer will be the most dramatic difference you can imagine. A typical closet organization takes several hours. If after that initial visit,  you find the clutter creeping back in, a follow up is easy. It can all be done in an hour or two. Often people want a follow up visit to change things over to a different season. In Los Angeles, we don’t need our sweaters for another few weeks, but it won’t be long before I go to my client’s homes to take the sweaters out of the storage boxes, put the boots back out, and put the sandals and bathing suits in the summer boxes!

So if you’ve been opening your closet lately and muttering things like “I need get get rid of this” or “I will tackle this clutter soon”, but never do – it may be time to have Melanie come rescue your closet.Visit Closet Sage by Melanie Gretsch at www.closetsage.com.

LA Vegan Hollywood

Is L.A. the plant-based capital of the world?

I love dinner parties – usually hosting them at my home and inviting my closest friends. Aside from the fact that it’s great-tasting, quality food that satisfies the palette, we typically eat and drink whatever we like and there is rarely a theme to what is being served.

At my most recent gathering, we decided to focus on vegetarian meals, serving mostly plant-based food. It seems that everyone in LA, whether a carnivore, a pescatarian or a herbivore, has had the pleasure to feast on some of the amazing vegan and vegetarian dining that seems to be cropping up on every corner of the city.

But which ones are the best? Here are some that I recommend:

Crossroads Kitchen
1. Crossroads Kitchen: This is the belle of the ball when it comes to vegan food in L.A. Tal Ronnen is a world renowned vegan chef who can make a 100% plant-based Bolognese taste as authentic as a the real thing made at The Chateau Marmont.

Gracias Madre
2. Gracias Madre: If you love good atmosphere, Mexican food and tasty margaritas, Gracias Madre is the place. And if you’re a cheese lover but can’t stomach lactose  – their non-dairy cheese looks and tastes so much like the real thing, it even fooled Adrienne.

Plant Food Wine
3. Plant Food and Wine: Matthew Kenney’s new hot spot in Venice serves up locally sourced organic foods and delicious wines. The communal back patio is always packed with beach goers looking to ditch the meat for a leaner lunch option.

REAL FOOD DAILY
4. Real Food Daily: Their Santa Monica location closed but the West Hollywood location has thrived since the 90′s, regularly serving Hollywood hipsters their favorite vegan milkshakes and cashew cheese nachos.

Little Pine
5. Little Pine: A Silver Lake vegan restaurant owned by Moby, a well known animal rights activist. This one serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in an attempt to sway meat eaters to consume all three meals strictly plant-based.

Monty's Good Burger
6. Monty’s Good Burger: It was just a matter of time before someone’s lightbulb lit up and they decided to open a plant-based version of In N’ Out. Located in K-town, Monty’s is a fast food, vegan burger stand serving up the famous Impossible burger – which (almost) tastes like the real thing.

That is just my short list of vegan cuisine around LA and you don’t have to be a hippie to enjoy them. There are many more around town, so please let us know what some of your favorites are!

Also, for dinner party music, click here for my Spotify Picks for the month of August.

Anita Rosenberg

The Juliette Interviews: Feng Shui Practitioner Anita Rosenberg

A few months ago, Anita Rosenberg worked with me to balance the energy in my home in Venice. She mentioned it has great Qi life-force energy. Sometimes, all you need to do is tune-up the good vibes to attract more of what you want into your life like abundance, success, loving relationships and vibrant good health, and thanks to Anita – I have been experiencing much more of that.

I also had the pleasure of interviewing her for my continuing series The Juliette Interviews and here’s what she had to say:

JH: Why should we consider Feng Shui? What are some of the benefits?

AR: Feng Shui is an environmental science that has been around for thousands of years. In ancient times, good Feng Shui created emperors and kings and built empires. In the modern world and especially through Asia in Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, business moguls and developers rely on their Feng Shui and BaZi Chinese Astrology experts for advice on all areas of their lives, not just the homes and offices.

JH: What sparked your interested in the art Feng Shui?

AR: In the late 1980s, I was one of the few female directors in Hollywood having made cult classic chick-flicks Assault of the Killer Bimbos and Modern Girls. After 14 years in a male-dominated business, I decided to start my own hand-painted furniture and décor business and grew a million-dollar company in 5 years out of my garage in the Hollywood Hills.

My Feng Shui journey began in Hong Kong on a business trip to oversee production of my collection. As the tour bus climbed Victoria Peak for a dramatic view of the city and harbor below, the guide chatted away in her microphone about Feng Shui this and Yin/Yang. It was then I began to understand that Asian life was firmly rooted in the ancient Chinese Art of Feng Shui and I had to know more.

JH: What are your main tips for someone just getting started with this practice?

AR: First of all, there is no perfect Feng Shui. There are different schools of Feng Shui and although all roads lead to nirvana, most of the techniques counter each other. I practice Classical Chinese Feng Shui which requires compass directions using a Luo Pan. I wrote a DIY Feng Shui guide called Feng Shui Luck where I address myths and truths, how to set up bedrooms, why the entry or Ming tang is important and so much more. For those selling property, I have an Advanced Degree in Feng Shui for Real Estate and wrote Real Estate Luck – sell faster, to help you see through “Feng Shui eyes” when listing property.

JH: What are a few of the main reasons your clients hire you?

AR: I have been an expert in Chinese Metaphysics and spirituality for over 17 years, and my specialty is working with creative entrepreneurs. Having been in the world of art and film, I understand what it takes to be at the top of your game and climb even higher. I work with a person’s physical space through Feng Shui, to boost the Qi energy and attract more of what they desire. I am also one of the few experts in the West who does BaZi Chinese Astrology, which is based on a person’s birth date and time. Everything in your life is in your chart and by analyzing the four pillars of destiny we can gain clarity on your true purpose and potential. I call it “Cosmic Coaching” because successful people have coaches, but spiritual people have Cosmic Coaches.

People hire me to gain focus and clarity on their life, clear away stuck energy and reboot, and help them manifest their personal and professional goals.

JH: We hear a lot about how Feng Shui will bring more abundance into our lives, can you elaborate on this?

AR: No Feng Shui expert can bring you more money or attract the love of your life. If we could sprinkle fairy dust to make all your dreams come true, we would.

What Feng Shui can do is shift your physical and personal energy to attract more of what you desire. Once we have made our recommendations and left a consultation, it’s up to you to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The changes you make are totally up to you. The awareness you have is in your control. When a client has a major break-through or they receive a magical phone call right away about a job or a sale, I am thrilled. My goal is always to see positive changes.

JH: What is your favorite thing about teaching your clients about Feng Shui?

AR: I am a practitioner, not a teacher but a few times per year I hold workshops where everyone gets to learn about their Guardians of Destiny aka “Super Powers” and we practice Sage Mode meditation and how-to empower your inner guides to manifest your reality. My Chinese New Year events are my most popular because everyone wants to set up their year correctly. I hold these in the fall every year because the Chinese New Year energy kicks in officially on February 4, so we want to get the all-important Feng Shui “water activations” for wealth set up in advance. If you miss those dates, well – you miss them and I can say that they work!

JH: Is there anything unique about your technique in comparison to other practitioner?

AR: Qi Men Dun Jia is the hot new practice that until recently only old Chinese men in caves knew about, and certainly not women. But now, this mystical practice is being taught by my teacher Joey Yap and I find it to be one of the most powerful and fascinating tools in my repertoire. We use Qi Men for forecasting the future, analyzing the best areas of a house, winning at negotiating and meetings, being empowered when speaking to an audience, choosing best dates for important activities like signing contracts, ground-breaking, and even marriage, and that’s just some of the miraculous ways to work with Qi Men. For those on a higher consciousness path, wanting to dig deeper into taking charge of their own destiny this is the metaphysical tool for you.

JH: What is one simple thing everyone can do right now to be in harmony with the space they are in?

AR: Tips for romancing the bedroom:

  • Bedrooms have 2 purposes only; recharge your battery through sleep and rejuvenate your spirit through romance
  • The room is all about the bed
  • Headboards up against a solid interior wall are best
  • Two bedside tables and two bedside lamps for balance (they don’t have to match)
  • Add romantic art – what says romance to you?
  • Only photos of you and your lover, if you are single no photos
  • No ceiling fans – these are chopping blades above your head
  • Overhead beams will give you a headache
  • No plants – they use up your oxygen and release carbon dioxide
  • No mirrors – they stir up too much energy
  • No books – you will be sleeping with every character in every story and this is too active for a bedroom
  • No multi-tasking; no computer, no TV, no dirty laundry, no children’s playrooms, no exercise equipment
  • Add rose quartz crystals to open your heart chakra and attract love on all levels

JH: Can you point us to any additional resources if someone wanted to learn more?

AR: My teacher, Joey Yap is also an amazing resource at www.masteracademy.com.

JH: And where can we reach you?

AR: I invite you to join my community on my newsletter at www.anitarosenberg.com or stay posted on social media: FB and Instagram are both Anita Rosenberg Studio.

gelato

Interior Design Trends of 2018

We are more than halfway through 2018 so it’s a great time to discuss the hottest interior design trends of the year.

As a realtor, I obviously see the interiors of a lot of homes. I’m always looking at who’s doing what and gathering new ideas to share with friends, colleagues and most importantly my clients.

Here are some of the trends I have seen since the clock struck midnight into 2018:

1. Arches: Curvy windows and arched doorways are all the rage. I’m seeing them consistently these days and I definitely love it!

arch

2. Chrome: It’s always been a go-to, but lately it has taken a backseat to brass. I am seeing more and more of clean and shiny chrome accents in many homes I visit lately so it’s definitely trending.

chrome

3. Artistic Wallpaper: From geometrics to floral prints, the wallpaper craze is on! Long gone are the days of stuffy floral prints from the 70s, you can find fun, gorgeous options everywhere, from Anthropologie to local boutiques, like my favorite Walnut Wallpaper.

walpaper

4. Gelato Colors: These are colors you want to eat and almost cool you off just by looking at them. Pink walls, lime-green accents. Makes me wonder if the ice cream museum had any influence on this?

gelato

5. Embellishments: Handmade blankets, throws, and pillows with added feathers, fringe, macrame or tufting seem to be everywhere right now, adding an extra bit of texture and comfort to every room imaginable.

macrame

6. Cement Tiling: An affordable trend, the look of stone is a solid choice for a bathroom, literally unbreakable and also wont break the bank.

cement

7. Geometric Tables: These tables are an easy way to add a modern element that goes well with almost every interior design style. They are functional and visually striking, what’s not to love?

geo

Those are just a few of the trends I have been spotting on a daily basis. I’m sure I will have many more amazing ideas to share before the year ends.

DISCLAIMER: 150 EL CAMINO DRIVE, BEVERLY HILLS, CA 90212. 310 595 3888 © 2018 DOUGLAS ELLIMAN REAL ESTATE. ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. WHILE, THIS INFORMATION IS BELIEVED TO BE CORRECT, IT IS REPRESENTED SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. ALL PROPERTY INFORMATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO SQUARE FOOTAGE, ROOM COUNT, NUMBER OF BEDROOMS AND THE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN PROPERTY LISTINGS SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY YOUR OWN ATTORNEY, ARCHITECT OR ZONING EXPERT. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY