The Wiltern – life hack

My husband and I found this great life hack when he took me to see Van Morrison at The Wiltern last week (yes, the show was awesome!!).  The restaurant we normally go to, right next door, was packed and we were out of luck to have dinner before the show began.  But when a door closes…  We got an insider tip and walked two blocks down to 3832 Wilshire Boulevard to M grill.  It’s a wonderful Brazilian Steakhouse.  It’s upstairs in a strange little mall, Suite 202.  But as soon as you find it you’ll be glad you did!  You can go early and have the whole Brazilian Steakhouse experience or do what we did and just sit at the bar.  Although the menu is limited, the items we had on the bar menu were excellent.  I would recommend the lamb and the pineapple.  I would also recommend their lychee martini 🍸!!  To top it all off we learned when you have dinner there you can leave your car in valet until midnight…another score!  So check out the M Grill and enjoy the show!! 96BD78AA-FBAF-4A8D-BBEE-AD2FD396E72E

Take the Opportunity to Show You Care

Like it or not we are all living in this crazy, fast paced and seemingly uncaring corporate culture.  So this last Christmas it was nice to feel some genuine humanity.  A little back story…

Even if you’re not from Northern California you would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the horrific Camp Fire that wiped out the entire community of Paradise.  In the weeks before Thanksgiving over 18 thousand structures burned, over 14 thousand of which were homes.  Among those who lost everying were my aunt and uncle.  They lost everything, I mean ash, nothing left.  But in the days that followed their attitude was one of gratefulness for what they had and prayers for others.  Even while evacuated and living in an RV park all they focused on was how thankful they were that their family from Paradise were safe and unharmed.  Not all families were as lucky.  For me they were truly an inspiration and example of focusing on what is really important in this life.  

I tell that part of the story just so you know that my aunt was not crying and going on and on about her “stuff”.  She barley spoke about the lifetime of precious things that were lost.  My Aunt Connie is one of those people that decorates their home beautifully for all occasions.  Her home was where our family would always gather for family events, yummy family dinners and crazy fun games she would just make up!  Much love, laughs and joy were felt in her home.  Though she didn’t complain about the loss of her things I knew her heart was very sad.  In a conversation we were having I was reminiscing about all her beautiful Christmas decorations and she mentioned her beloved Brighton Christmas charm bracelet she loved to wear at the holidays.

The conversation got me thinking.  Maybe I would buy her a Brighton bracelet this Christmas.  Then the thought began to grow.  I reached out to her daughter, Heidi, and with her help our plan was hatched!  With no home of her own Aunt Connie would be at Heidi’s house for Christmas this year.  What if we reached out to friends and family and each one bought a single charm for her.  Maybe we could fill up a whole bracelet.  Wouldn’t that be a lovely Christmas morning.  I could just see her opening each precious little packages of love.  Every one reminding her of how many people are thinking about her and want to say how much she is loved.  

Well as you can imagine everyone we reached out to wanted to join in.  In the weeks before Christmas Heidi was busy receiving, wrapping and hiding away charms for Christmas morning.  When the day came I wasn’t able to be there but I’ve heard the morning was filled with surprise and smiles and many alligator tears of joy!

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This is where the corporate part of my story comes in.  When I reached out to my Aunt Vicki about the bracelet charm idea she was eager to participate.  She had some issues with the gift page I set up on Brighton’s website so she called in to get some help with her order.  Being the friendly person my Aunt Vicki is she explained to the customer service person what we were all doing.  Guess what showed up in the mail from the customer service team at Brighton… a beautiful Christmas charm and a lovely note signed individually from their whole team.  A beautiful and sweet reminder that the “corporate culture” is really just people.  People like you and I.  People who would take a moment out of their busiest time of year to say, we don’t know you but we want you to know we care.  As for me I’m going to take a lesson from the team at Brighton…whenever I have an opportunity I’m going to reach out, take a moment no mater how busy I am and let people know there are people who care, I care. 

So I’m taking a moment out of my busy day today to say – Thank you Brighton for taking the opportunity to show you care about my Aunt Connie who is a light that lights up our world.

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Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

7817b25c-3daf-43a3-aa5b-b991a6c3a223The way my home smells is so important to me.  I don’t like overwhelming fragrances but a hint of something in the air can add a nice touch.  I wanted to make my own Oil Reed Diffusers so I did some research.  I love https://www.theprairiehomestead.com.  She’s my kind of people!  I learned from her and then made my own little alterations to make it my own…

Some tips:

  • Use a glass container with a narrow opening (check thrift stores) A container with a narrow-opening is preferred for this project since it will slow down evaporation
  • 20-25 drops of essential oil(s) – there are so many choices when it comes to essential oils – personally I love lavender and vanilla but it’s your home or space so do what feels right to you

Instructions:

*Mix the essential oils and carrier oil together in the glass container.  You can add some alcohol (either rubbing alcohol or vodka) to the mixture to help speed up the process of the oil moving through the reeds.  

*Place the diffuser sticks in the container. It will take a while for the oil to travel up the sticks, so speed up the process by flipping the sticks after several hours.  

*Continue to flip the sticks every few days to refresh the scent.  

*Enjoy!

Dehumidifier

I love living at the beach but it does come with its own special issues.  The humidity for one.  It gets into everything, making things from your clothes to your toilet paper smell musty.

I have used different options over the years.  I used DampRid crystals for years.  They work really well but they’re kind of a pain.  I always hated the mess and finally when one I had on a shelf in the top of my closet overflowed I had it!  All that sticky goo all over my clothes, yuck!  That’s when I did my research,  read manufacturer websites and a bunch of blogs and settled on the Eva-Dry renewable mini dehumidifier. 

After a year of using the Eva-Dry I can report that it does a great job. It also appeases my need to cut down on my carbon footprint.  I always felt a little weird about pouring that goo down the drain.   

It’s simple and clean and reusable.  Set it in your closet or under the sink and when the crystals in the window turn a light pink you plug it into a light socket.  Give it a couple hours to dry out and repeat! No mess, no throwing chemicals down the drain and my closets and under my sink smell great!

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A Comfy Bed is Key!!

I love snuggling in to a comfy bed.  My husband says I can “sleep like a teenage boy” and I take that as a compliment!  They are constantly coming out with reports talking about the health benefits of getting a good nights rest.  Bedding is key for me and I found the BEST sheets!

While staying at an AirBnB in Malibu last New Year’s Eve I fell in love with the sheets.  When it came time to strip the bed at the end of our stay I searched for the tag and lucked out!  I wrote down the name and went immediately to Google prepared to spend a small fortune and 100,000 count Egyptian cotton!  To my shock and joy they were on Amazon for $32.70!!!!  Yes, you read that correctly…not just one pillowcase… California King full set with 2 pillowcases in many colors for less than $40…What?!!  

I have a couple AirBnBs and I put them on all my beds.  I swear to you I have had inquiries about where to get these sheets! 

Then, just to prove I was really on to something, last week my favorite daily email, Today’s One Small Thing, featured MY sheets!!  Enjoy!…

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Hang Your Sweaters

Yes I know there are organizing experts who frown on hanging everything but I’m not one of them!  My philosophy is hang it up where you can see it and find it easily.  If you have too much hanging up you might just have Too Much!  But I’ll save the full closet reboot for another day.  Today I’m just excited about this great way to hang your sweaters without stretching them out.  Enjoy!…

https://youtu.be/tbExTXkafyE1033BD70-F48F-41C3-9309-E489C9FCB6FD

Is Floating Mumbo Jumbo?!

5D8532ED-9289-44B3-98E7-3C3E6FE3A666Last weekend my husband suggested we go to Float Clinic in Torrance.  The flyer said “Being in a float tank is like relaxing in outer space.”  How they know that is beyond me but whatever, sounded good!

So here is how it works… you go in to a private room with a shower.  You put in earplugs then soap up and wash off all the oils on your body and hair.  Then make sure you dry your face.  That will keep you from inadvertently touching your face with your salty hand – you don’t want salt in the eyes!  There is a door in the wall that leads in to the tank.  You step in and close the door behind you.  I hear some places are actually “tanks” but this was more like a room.  It’s pitch black, the water is 93.5 degrees and the air is skin temperature.  The water has 1200 pounds of epsom salt.  You lay down in the water, which is only a couple feet deep, and you FLOAT!   After 90 minutes music comes on and eases you out of your float.  Now don’t panic!  It might be a little hard to find the door but you know it is there!  Just feel around the walls until you come to it.  You get out, wash off the salt water and that’s it!

The only bad part for me was my own fault!  I had just gotten my hair done the day before.  I read the night before that you shouldn’t float if you’ve had highlights in the last 2 weeks.  So I wore a swim cap in an attempt to keep the salt water off my hair.  Don’t bother!!  My hair was soaked and the cap bugged me the whole time.  I suggest you just go with the intent of getting your hair wet and washing it in the shower when you come out.  

Those who advocate for floating suggest there are great physical, spiritual and learning advantages.  I’m not sure about that but for only $45 I really enjoyed the experience and will definitely do it again!!  

My husband said that he was extremely relaxed and just floated on his back the whole time…if you know us you know he is way more Zen than me!  I have a mind that is always working on something.  I did some stretching and worked on a couple projects in my mind…good time to concentrate on one thing and work it out.  It wasn’t until the very end that I was really still and started more of a meditative state.  Even though I wasn’t still the whole time I still enjoyed the whole experience.