Wednesday, November 27, 2013
It may be a strange thing to be talking about smoke alarms on the eve of Thanksgiving. Or maybe not. When I saw this product in a magazine recently, I was intrigued by its beauty but thought to myself, “Ok, but does it really work?”
No I don’t spend my days thinking about smoke alarms. But I do spend alot of my time thinking how I can improve my life and home while keeping it in alignment with what my idea of beauty is. And for me, Nest hit it right on the head.
Let me be completely transparent. As we speak, my current smoke alarm is sitting, under a cabinet in my kitchen. Which cabinet, I honestly can’t tell you. I know, not very helpful. But I was tired of the darn thing going off each time I made fish, or hearing the incessant beeping each the time the battery was dying. It drove us nuts. Let’s just say, the batteries have not been in that guy too often. And don’t even get me started about what the thing looks like.
How is this related to Feng Shui? Feng Shui is about feeling balanced and in an optimal situation, feeling in command and at peace. Each time I would pass my old smoke alarm I would think to myself, “Urgh, I really need to do something about that.” Or when the shrill shriek of the alarm would go off while I was so lovingly cooking my meal, well, it was alarming and unsettling to say the least.
Ok, now I am going to relate it back to Thanksgiving. I may sound like an infomercial but this is how I feel about it – if you are feeling grateful for your home and family this Thanksgiving, please think about keeping them safe. Because I know I’m not the only one who is guilty of unplugging that darn smoke alarm.
Nest’s smoke alarm is definitely going on my Christmas list. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Thursday, November 7, 2013
I’m a sucker for packaging. For example, I don’t really wear fragrance because I can’t find a scent in a bottle I really like. Does a product’s packaging really make that much of a difference?
In Feng Shui – YES, especially when it comes to the facade of your home or business. Too often, I work with clients who don’t have working doorbells, are missing addresses on their house and/or door, or whose front door is almost completely hidden by bushes or trees. How are opportunities supposed to find you people?!
How many times have you driven or walked up and down a block searching for an address and being so frustrated that you either gave up or arrived completely annoyed? Not the feeling we want when we, or others walk through our front door.
Take these savvy business owners for example.
Clearly visible and eye catching designs are no-brainers for successful businesses. But now let’s apply it to your home. Take a minute and look outside your door. In Feng Shui we ask, can people and potential opportunities find you easily? Is your address and doorbell visible? Or when explaining how to find your home say, “it’s the house that is next to the rock to the left of the hydrant….” There is an easier way.
Take some tips from these successful businesses today. Put yourself out there. Spruce up the exterior of your space, making it visible and bright. Then, listen for those opportunities who’ll soon be knocking at your door.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Yesterday was an amazing day. I had the opportunity to attend the “Beauty Wellness Wisdom Event” at ABC Carpet. All I have to say is Wow.
I was so excited for the line up of speakers and presenters, some of who are already my heros and others who would soon become them – Kris Carr, Dr. Frank Lipman, Vani Hari aka “the Food Babe”, Agapi Stassinopoulos and Gabrielle Bernstein, just to name a few. If it couldn’t get any better, we were kept hydrated by Lov Tea, Organic Avenue Juice and Organic Fair Trade Coffee. I didn’t get a chance to taste the coffee as I am on a Fall Cleanse but, I’m sure it was delicious.
We were inspired by various mediations, talks about alternative medicine and food that nurture our bodies, minds and souls. There was no way anyone walked away from the event un-enlightened.
During a long lunch break, we were further treated to mini treatments by various holistic beauty companies including SW Basics, Tata Harper, Tracie Martyn and Dr. Pratima Vassiliadis. Side note – I am in love with SW Basics and founder Adina Grigore. More about that in another entry.
As a Feng Shui consultant, I was awed at the powerful energy and nurturing love that was present throughout the space. The group’s collective positive qi uplifted my personal qi even further. The event was about beauty and wellness and that was was definitely reflected in the glowing participants and the beautiful space. It took place in Deepak Homebase, the mezzanine level of ABC Carpet that seeks to “create(s) a critical mass where together we can create a peaceful, just, sustainable, healthy, and happy world.” That’s exactly what we were doing yesterday.
As if that amount of joy was not enough, I attended with a friend who is just as passionate about health and wellness as I am. That’s always a big bonus when someone shares a passion for a mutual interest. We need more people like that surrounding us, so go on now – create your tribe!
The day was intense nurturing for my body and soul. As I told my friend as we left, I felt that I had just spent the day at the spa and I was not joking. I feel so lucky and am so grateful that I have been attending events that is speaking directly to my soul. I’m ready Universe for the next event. Bring it on!
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
When everyone is off to the beach, I’m doing things like visiting hotel lobbies and architectural exhibits. It’s just what I like doing. I was lucky enough to catch the last day of this amazing architectural exhibit called, “Renzo Piano Building Workshop – FRAGMENTS.” On display at the Gagosian Gallery in the historic gallery section of Chelsea, the exhibit housed a selection of projects by the architects of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Yes, interesting name and it was the first time I had heard of them.
It was so beautiful. It was not an enormous space but what they were able to pack in was impressive. Besides the usual architectural models, each project had various models that were been made from wood, glass, metal, foamcore and some other things I didn’t recognize. On each table, the projects were referenced in art books that one could thumb through at their leisure. The best part was the bit of technology that was thrown in. I’m not a techie but I enjoyed the fact that each project had chairs at the table where an ipad was available to students and aficionados alike. If we wanted, we could spend the day watching the development of each project on a 9″ screen. That beats the beach any day.
Click here to learn more about Renzo Piano Building Workshop Architects.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Having been a former graphic designer, I’m was sad when I found out that The Metropolitan Museum of Art will no longer be issuing their colorful metal buttons on admission. Wasn’t it nice to guess what color it was going to be and then hearing the “clink” when you dropped it into the plastic box when exiting? Alas, no more.
But, what we did get in return is no small token. They’re open now on Mondays! Yes, you heard me right, the Met is now open 7 days a week. Now that’s a real New York frame of mind.
New York City is a busy place. More often than not, it’s difficult to find places of respite. The Met for me has always been one of those places. Not only is its architecture awe-inspiring and lovely, you can easily get lost in the interior hallways, cooled by the historic stone walls. When you’re there next, try a walking meditation and then find your own little corner to restore and rejuvenate. It will probably be next to a 3000 year old Greek statue.
Friday, July 19, 2013
Have you gotten around yet to rent and ride a Citibike? Ok, I know the weather has been less than cooperative with its stifling jungle-like weather, but things should be cooling down hopefully this weekend. Just in time to hop on a bike!
But please, please, please, remember to wear a helmet. Biking is great exercise, an excellent way to raise your qi, but, cracking open your melon (as my neice would say) would be less than stellar.
I saw this wonderful invention called Helmet Hub – bike helmet rentals. It is a helmet dispenser where you would rent your helmet just like you rent your bikes. Ingenious right? It’s an innovative and phenomenal idea thought up by two MIT students, Dani Hicks and Chris Mills. Listen to an interview with them here. The machine would reside right next to the bike station. If you are interested in getting this in your neighborhood, just contact them.
Hopefully we’ll see these all over the city soon. Until then, ride safe or don’t ride at all.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
The craziness and the humidity of the city had us seeking out quiet and solace. We went to visit some friends upstate and took advantage of visiting the Chuang Yen Monastery in Kent NY. We were so happy we did. We were surrounded by quiet and beauty. Our main goal was to visit the “Giant Buddha” that we heard about.
Walking up the Bodhi Path, you are greeted on each side by multiple gods. They are in a variety of poses with many adorned with coins left by visitors. It’s a lovely contemplative walk up to the pagodas and the Great Buddha Hall that houses the Giant Buddha.
I was curious about the different poses and I found this great explanation from www.straightdope.com:
…mystic hand gestures called mudra (Sanskrit for “seal” or “sign”) are also a big deal in Buddhism. The five most common.
- Teaching mudra. Also called “turning the wheel of law.” Used by the historical Buddha when preaching, the right hand is in front of the chest, palm outward, thumb and forefinger forming a circle. The left hand is beneath the right hand, also with thumb and forefinger touching, but palm inward. Variation: right hand at shoulder level pointing up and the left at hip level pointing down, both with palm outward and index finger and thumb forming circles; sometimes called the “reasoning” mudra.
- Fearlessness mudra. Upraised hand lifted above thigh, palm facing out, fingers pointing up, usually with middle finger slightly forward; means “fear not” and is a sign of protection.
- Welcoming mudra. Right hand pointing downward, palm facing out, often with middle finger slightly forward; means welcome, blessing, or charity.
- Meditation mudra. Found mostly on seated images. Both hands in lap, palms upward, usually right on top of left but sometimes fingers curled, thumbs touching to form a circle; indicates a state of, well, meditation.
- Earth-touching mudra. Statue in lotus position, with right hand hanging over right knee, palm inward, fingers (or just forefinger) touching the earth; left hand in lap, palm upward, sometimes holding a begging bowl. Symbolizes the Buddha “calling the earth to witness” his victory over temptation.
When I walked into the main temple, I was unprepared for the greatness of what I was about to see. Sitting approximately 37 feet tall, the impressive Buddha sits serenely on a giant lotus flower and is surrounded by thousands of other buddhas.
We finished with a visit to the pond. There it seemed that hundreds of carp lived there. A beautiful statue of Kuan Yin (the Goddess of Compassion) stood watch at the entry. It was a great day. I definitely would recommend visiting the monastery as a day trip. Thanks Annamarie and Dirk for taking us there!
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
If you are looking to furnish your home with some great items, look no further. French & Scouser is where it’s at. An electric mix of modern and reclaimed vintage, F&S will make your space feel instantly hip and chic. The store’s launch party was last week and I was impressed because the soirée reflected the brand perfectly. Let me explain. The name French and Scouser was dreamt up by a French Mademoiselle and English Lady, Dorothée Walliser and Diane Ormrod respectively. Putting their patriotic differences aside, they joined aesthetic forces and voilà, F&S was born. Global love. Paté, saucisson and tea sandwiches were washed down with a Pimms inspired cocktail. Lovely.
The energy of the space was infused by beautiful design, creative guests and happy animals. Did I mention the great finger food and ingenious drinks? A good time was had by all. Félicitations Dorothée and Diane!
Saturday, June 15, 2013
What a great week it’s been – if you don’t count the weather and the clouds and storms that courted NYC recently. I am feeling the transition of the season and the excitement that usually precedes the long awaited summer temperatures. Change of seasons often get us thinking about changing things around our home and warm weather outdoor activities usually has us reviewing our health and wellness.
Brooks Brothers was thinking this too. Christina and I took part in their employee Health and Wellness Fair since June for them was “take care of your health” month. The event took place at the BB’s headquarters in the heart of midtown Manhattan. We were thrilled to have a wonderful spot in the room – the command position – with perfect view of the door as well as the whole room. And as luck would have it, our neighbors in pain management, were handing out homemade chocolate pudding. Talk about getting positive qi or energy coming our way!
We received great interest in our services and everyone loved getting their Chinese astrology calculated for them right on the spot! We had a lot of fun and are pleased with the turnout and response. We raffled off a complimentary 15 minute floorplan evaluation and the winner will be announced soon. Thank you Brooks Brothers for taking care of your employees and to A Balance Life for a great show. Enjoy your weekend and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads!