The sun has just crossed the plane of the earth’s equator— this means longer sunlight-filled days ahead and a warmer climate as the northern hemisphere approaches closer to the sun. Besides the blossoming flowers and lengthier days, there is typically some form of rebirth and regrowth during this season. Whether that is a mental, spiritual, or physical form of transformation, spring is a great time to reflect and refresh as we enter into a much brighter season ahead.
There is something about spring that has always made me excited to start anew. My closet tends to get more spacious, as I thoroughly clean it out around this time, and my body tends to feel more revitalized, as I fill my tummy with lots of fresh fruits and veggies that this season offers. Besides the physical cleaning for spring, I like to focus on my internal state as well— a sort of mental spring cleaning.
As the lifeless foliage turns green and flowers begin to flourish, I find myself too yearning to mirror mother nature. I want to let the past go, forgive, and move forward with both happiness and gratitude.
One of my favorite forms of self-reflection that allows me to practice both forgiveness and gratitude is journaling. If the ability to forgive has been hard this past fall/winter season, I recommend writing a letter to this person in your journal. Writing down your frustration and collecting your thoughts in one place, allows for the transfer of built-up internal anger into organized words. I never send this letter, but at the end, I always make sure to write “I forgive you.” This form of journaling always tends to help me move forward— sometimes I even write multiple “letters” if I still feel anger towards this person. Forgiveness takes time.
Another form of journaling that helps bring about a refreshed mental state is gratitude journaling. Simply being able to focus on what I do have (this can range anywhere from talents and skills, to amazing people I am thankful for, to the highlights of my day) allows me to recognize the blessed life I am able to live. Focusing on the good (instead of complaining, wishing we had more, etc.) allows for happiness to prevail.
This spring, let’s practice moving forward and appreciate the goodness that Mother Nature has blessed us with. So, take that extra hour of sunlight, relax, and let your feelings flow onto paper as your mind is able to let go and spring forward.
The contest will run for two weeks from December 22nd until January 4th. One winner will be chosen on January 5th and will be contacted via direct message on instagram. More than one entry per user is acceptable and encouraged! Happy holidays!
1. Himalayan Salt Lamp from Urban Outfitters
Himalayan salt products are known to have incredible health benefits and can be incorporated into your life through cooking or decor! The negative salt ions released by heating can boost blood flow, improve sleep and increase levels of serotonin in the brain. This salt lamp will add warm light to any space and bring healing energy.
2. Faux Fur Pom Knitted Throw from Pottery Barn
Who doesn't need more cozies around the house during the chilly winter months? Even better, the poms make for a decorative accent on any bed or lounger. No matter who you're gifting to, they will appreciate this one- guaranteed.
3. Classic red flats from Rhea Footwear
These flats are a staple piece this holiday season. Make any outfit Christmas party-ready with these festive flats! Comfy and safe for those icy winter months!
4. Capri Blue Iridescent Jar Candle from Anthropology
Candles are by far one of the most versatile gifts. Everyone appreciates a yummy smelling, pretty candle for their bathroom or bedside table. Anthropology candles make an amazing stocking stuffer!
5. Organic Vegan Cookie Mix Set from Free People
These cookie mix sets are an adorable and thoughtful gift for any and all vegan loved ones! Each cookie mix comes complete with a wooden spoon and cookie cutter or maple syrup. Give the gift of yummy and organic treats this Christmas season.
6. 101 Cocktails to Try Before You Die from Burro
This charming little spot tucked away on Melrose Place is the ultimate trendy, LA coffee shop. This magical brewery of all things caffeine-y and magical is the birthplace of "But first, coffee." So yes, you'll definitely need to take a few shots for the 'gram before you leave.
Located on the Venice's most beloved street Abbot Kinney, Intelligentsia Coffee is the home of true coffee engineers. Anyone from high-brow espresso hipsters to coffee commoners will find something skillfully crafted to their liking here. Rhea Recommendation: The Angeleno. Quad shot, simple syrup, milk, ice, shaken. Enough said.
Venice is truly a coffee hotspot. Blue Bottle Coffee is located just a few shops down from Intelligentsia and brings its authentic, San Francisco vibes to the heart of Abbot Kinney. The minimalist shop offers just enough options for the inquisitive coffee drinker, but keeps things simple and straightforward (as they should be).
Groundwork Coffee is one of the many buzzing businesses that line Rose Avenue in Venice. This lovely shop is the type to make you smile the moment you walk through its rustic doors. The friendly baristas and (what I like to call) comfort coffee is sure to warm your heart and belly.
Another San Francisco native, Philz Coffee is notorious for its carefully brewed pour-over coffee. Walking into the Santa Monica location is like walking right into your neighborhood coffee shop, pulling you in with its homelike atmosphere. Philz is living proof that a simple cup of coffee can be extraordinarily crafted and authentically special.
Hashtag #RHEActive in an instagram photo of you doing any type of fitness activity (sports, beach workouts, fitness classes, group exercises + more). Multiple entries are accepted and encouraged!
At Rhea, we think it's important to incorporate fitness activities into your everyday life and even more importantly, to make it fun and interactive. Rhea Footwear's mission is to make any activity or adventure fun and SAFE. So grab your family and friends and get #RHEActive with us! We will choose three lucky winners on Tuesday 8/23.
Rhea Footwear is invested in safety and slip and fall prevention in any and all activities. Rhea Footwear combines an exclusive rubber compound and patented outsole with a micro-tread pattern to channel out liquids and provide maximum contact with the surface.
Whether or not you burn in the sun, sunscreen can help reduce skin damage from the sun altogether. It's important to keep sunscreen with you, especially if you find yourself outdoors often! Keep your summer activities fun and safe by protecting your skin!
Your skin isn't the only thing that needs protection. Proper sunglasses can help protect the eyes from harmful UV rays. Stay safe and stylish with a pair of good shades.
My favorite accessory. I take my reusable water bottle everywhere I go because it limits the usage of plastic water bottles, and helps me stay hydrated all day long! It can also save you a few dollars a day if you usually buy bottled water on the go.
DISPOSABLE/ POLAROID CAMERA
Be ready to capture life's wonderful moments on film! I love having a disposable camera on me so I can have a few printable photos at the end of the summer. They're great to keep, add to a small gift or string up on a wall!
A BOOK OR MAGAZINE
I love to keep at least one book or magazine, along with my journal and planner with me. You'll never know when you need to jot something down, or when the long summer day calls for a reading break. At the beach, by the pool or sitting in traffic- a book is always good to have!
Good shoes are a MUST HAVE for any and all summer outings. Shoes are your foundation and support for adventures and activities, and help you stay on your feet during the loveliest season of the year. Rhea Footwear's non-slip sandals combine fashion and function with NeverSlip technology. This is how Rhea does beach days:
In case you haven't yet seen what Rhea Footwear sandals can do, check out this short video:
Easygoing and personable, Hershy tells us that it's the people part of the business that's got him hooked. People come to the restaurant to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, or to grab a few drinks after a long day at work. They come around looking for a good time.
This isn't Hershy's first restaurant in Venice. He previously worked at an upscale restaurant on Abbot Kinney, so we asked him what makes the food culture in Venice so special.
"I believe our food culture on the West Side is driven by our clientele. They’re young, hip and they’ve got a lot of money. If the food is locally sourced, ethically harvested and socially responsible, they’re willing to pay more for it."
The world of food and food culture speaks a lot about the people and the place from which it blossoms, and LEONA is product of that. The team behind LEONA stays current with the style and trends of Venice while also aligning with the needs and wants of the community.
Hershy describes the clientele at LEONA as connected to and invested in their community. Hershy's team integrates this into the restaurant by hosting events such as beach cleanup days, participating in a local inter-restaurant soccer league, and #HashtagLunchbag (where they made and distributed lunchbags to local homeless people on the beach and pier).
The interconnectedness of LEONA and its community is reflected in the lively atmosphere of the restaurant on a busy night. Locals and neighbors excitedly return to share the weekly special with a new friend, to stop in and chat with Chef Nyesha, or to just have a glass of wine at the bar. Hershy makes it his duty to make everyone, visitors and locals alike, feel right at home once they step through the doors.
"I treat every table like they're a guest at my party. Pretend like it's a wedding; as you move around, every table must feel your presence and know that you want them there."
Just a block from the beach, LEONA is an exciting place to be. Hershy prides himself in reflecting the feel of the restaurant in his choice of attire every shift. While it's his job to pay attention and guide the guests' experiences, he notes that they're also paying attention.
"They appreciate the shirt you got from Scotch and Soda, or a haircut you got at Rudy’s Barbershop on Main Street. It’s a way to feel good about yourself while also showcasing the other businesses in your community."
While staying on top of the latest trends is an exciting and crucial part of the job, it's just as important for his style of dress to be practical and supportive. Hershy claims that shoes are everything in the restaurant industry. Without proper footwear to support 10-12 hour days, it's impossible to work efficiently. He admits that shoes are usually the hardest part of the outfit because they must have a balance between comfort, durability and utility.
The ideal restaurant shoe not is not only supportive and durable, but also must have premium non slip features to prevent dangerous slip and fall accidents. As a manager, Hershy has witnessed many accidents due to inappropriate footwear and actually requires his team to wear closed toed, non slip shoes. We asked if Hershy believed that a shoe could be both reliable and safe, while also meeting his style standards.
"Not since a good friend of mine shared Rhea Footwear shoes with me, did I think I could wear something as elegant and elevated in fashion and also serve me in both front and back of house duties. I don’t have to worry when walking back and forth out of the kitchen; I know I’m going to be safe and look good."
So the verdict is in and Hershy more than approves of our NeverSlip technology that is so brilliantly paired with a stylish and elegant design. In the heart of Venice, Hershy Petty and the team at LEONA push food culture forward by connecting people, sharing food and going above and beyond style standards.
This is no traditional hike, or flight of stairs for that matter. However, the Culver City stairs workout will leave you sweaty, sore and probably sun burnt. This outdoor workout is perfect if you're looking to get active outside of your regular gym. The view going up may look daunting, but the view from the top is well worth the sweat.
On a sunny day, the Hollywood sign hike is the ultimate summer outing. With medium and small inclines all the way, the hike is widely accessible and leads you to a full view of the city. Helpful tip: Go early in the morning or right before sunset to get the best view of the skyline!
Every Thursday starting on July 7 at 7 pm. The concerts feature a wide range of musical genres including indie rock, dance, classic, reggae, disco, latin + many more. Mark your calendar because this is LA's favorite summer tradition!
Find Yoga Works studios all over Los Angeles in Brentwood, Hollywood, Koreatown, Playa Vista, Santa Monica, and El Segundo. Yoga Works has classes every hour for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. If you're not already convinced, you and your friends get your first week free! Find more information on the Yoga Works website.
Blue Bottle Coffee is a San Francisco coffee roaster and has a convenient location for Angelenos on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Their menu features a specialty drink that they call "New Orleans Iced Coffee," which is cold brewed with chicory root, mixed with your cream of choice and a dash of sweetener.
On the first Friday of each month, food trucks line the one mile stretch of Abbot Kinney and small shops and boutiques on the street host special events. The new-age food trucks display an array of global influences and flavors, and surely never disappoint!
The Broad is located in downtown LA and offers free general admission. The postwar and contemporary art collection is an eclectic, provocative and vibrant representation of LA culture. If you mind waiting a few hours in line to get in, be sure to book tickets in advance. More information on The Broad can be found on the website.
Playa Vista's farmer's market opens at 9 am every Saturday morning and showcases locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the most beautiful flowers. The farmer's market also offers live music, local artists and vendors and the BEST breakfast burritos in town. Start your Saturday off on the right foot and pay a visit to the Playa Vista farmer's market.
Whether you're looking for some greenery to spruce up your home or just coming along for the ride, the LA Flower District is truly a summer's dream. 6 blocks of flower heaven and nearly 200 wholesale flower vendors, the marketplace seems to never end.