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.
These personalized wooden cuff links are a great gift for any dapper looking, style conscious dude. Each gift is made to order from Clouds and Currents Etsy shop.
Small, thoughtful and unique. This cedar candle is made from natural soy wax and essential cedar oils. Even better- it comes with a few sweet words printed just for Dad.
There's nothing better than receiving a gift you'll actually use. Cord clutter haunts all of us and this cord organizer is functional, nifty and excellently engineered.
A perfect gift for a new Dad. This first father's day frame is completely customized and is a timeless keepsake.
These custom made toiletry bags make an excellent gift and are beautifully crafted. Each bag can be customized to read a name or initials.
These himalayan salt grilling stones are just plain cool. They reach temperatures higher than 450 degrees and can also be frozen as a cold food platter.
Speaking of food, this hand made marble cutting board/ cheese platter is a great gift for the Dad that loves to cook.
A perfect complement to the Himalayan salt stone, this personalized grilling set is another timeless gift for the ultimate grill master.
These whiskey/beverage stones are a creative and unique twist on father's day gifts. For anyone who likes drinking whiskey, wine or anything chilled, these stones are a great pick.
According to the National Safety Floor Institute, falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency visits, making them the leading cause for hospital visits.
For those 65 and older, 79% of bathroom injuries are caused by slipping or falling in the shower.
So what about bathroom floor mats and rubber shower mats? Not effective. While they may provide some resistance to slipping, bath mats soaked with shower water in a dark and damp environment grow mold and bacteria. Shower mats are also known to have mold and slime beneath them.
Aside from preventing bathroom injury, shower sandals also protect you from your little bacterial/fungal friends that grow on bathroom and shower floors.
Various strains of mold, algae and fungi are shown to exist on most shower environments and can be transported via the bare human foot.
Countless viruses and infections can develop from the filth that grows on bathroom and shower floors. Shower sandals can help prevent meningitis, plantar warts (that cause HPV), athlete's foot and other illness.
The investment of a lifetime: shower sandals!
Your health is your business, but staying virus and infection-free can affect your teammates, colleagues, friends and family. A shower injury or infection due to bathroom floors can occur at any age, so protect yourself and others by staying safe and wearing shower sandals.
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.
Take a Hike! There is no other remedy like retreating into nature for a few hours to change setting. Being amidst the grandeur of nature and its beautiful forms has an amazing way of broadening your perspective to see the things cluttering our lives are very small, insignificant even. Fresh air, exercise and the sound of silence have immense healing and grounding properties.
Create a Vision Board. Heck, throw a vision board party. Gather your closest buddies, grab a few stacks of old magazines, pick up some foam boards and start gluing. Don't forget the wine. But seriously, creating a vision board is a great way to literally design your dream world, and it really gets the creative manifesting juices flowing.
Don't hate, meditate. You don't have to be in a yoga class or a temple to get quiet, silence the mind, and tap into your inner eye. Start with a 10 minute mediation in the morning or before you go to bed and watch your days transform. I prefer sitting on the ground, cross legged, eyes closed with soft music or silence. Natural or dim light preferred. I start quieting the mind by "following my breath." Follow the stream of breath flowing deeply in, and stretching all the way out. Once you clear that mental space, you're open to receiving light and good energy.
With the end of the semester around the corner and summer calling my name, my life tends to go into overdrive around this time every year. Between planning the rest of the year out, planning the rest of my life out, and staying afloat in work and school, it's easy to get stuck in the weeds of STRESS during the most beautiful time of the year. Over the past few years, I've learned to get a handle on stress so that I can be my best self and not let stress take over my life.
Stay in the NOW! Last summer, a friend lent me Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" and it changed my life. The message of the book is simple: living in the present moment will transform your life for the better. This amazing read has reminded me on countless occasions to get out of my head and just be grateful for that moment. In the hustle and bustle of planning, take a break to appreciate what's going on right now.
Get enough sleep. It seems counterintuitive that when you're caught up in an endless to do list, you should drop everything for a cat nap. Sleep is essential for a person's health and well-being and is a huge part of limiting your stress. Often times, when your body doesn't seem to be functioning at optimum level, you may just need to get some Z's to regenerate and rest.
Take time to check in. Every six months or so, I take a couple hours to sit down to write down my short and long term goals (personal, health, and career-wise). When you're starting to feel overwhelmed by your tasks, check in with these goals to make sure the things you're doing every day are in line with your long term vision. Be a person of your own design.
Surround yourself with people that support you and want to see you do well. As much as I think of myself as a one-woman show, there are countless individuals in my life that I owe all of my success to. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals as you, who will remind you of the bigger picture and push you every day to be great.
Take time everyday to regroup, get grounded and retreat. Everyone has different ways of doing this. Some let off steam at the gym. Some like to meditate and focus on their breath. I have found that my happy place to re-center myself is through yoga. I started my practice a few years ago and since then it has been a crucial part of my life. I encourage everyone to take the time to try out a class at your local yoga studio.
Don't know where to start? Here are a list of my favorite studios on the West Side!
Yoga Salt. Of all the studios I've tried in the area, Yoga Salt is by far my favorite. The classes are mostly all levels, which makes it easy to bring some of my friends that haven't had much experience doing yoga. The studio is simple, bright and welcoming. Located at 11955 Washington Blvd. in Culver City.
YogaWorks. One piece of advice: Bring a towel. YogaWorks is no joke and will leave you feeling sore, sweaty, and like a true yogi. With locations in Santa Monica, Playa Vista and El Segundo, finding the right class for my schedule is always easy.
Yoga Vista. Located right in Playa Vista, this small vinyasa studio provides a variety of classes that are accessible for all levels and are taught by truly incredible teachers. Being located right by Whole Foods is also a plus.
Hot 8. Right next to the Promenade in Santa Monica, you can easily get your sweat on after a long day of shopping. Hot 8 will leave you feeling refreshed, detoxed and slightly euphoric. Hot yoga isn't for everyone, but is worth working up a sweat for. Also located right next to Nekter juice bar, another plus.
Please pass along your favorite ways to de-stress in the comments! Also, let us know any of your favorite yoga studios if we've missed any. Namaste, yogis.
Located in the heart of Culver City, Sage is by far my favorite plant-based joint on the West Side. The rustic style bistro has a brilliant way of converting classic comfort foods into yummy vegan masterpieces.
This vegan oasis is exquisite to say the least. From the bright dining room to the breathtaking back patio and garden, eating at this gem is truly an experience. Chef Matthew Kenney combines raw and cooked plant-based items to form a flawless menu. Favorites include the almond burrata special with citrus, and the ravioli.
Being my very first vegan experience in LA, Cafe G has a special place in my heart. The seasonally driven and ever-elvolving menu never disappoints. The dishes are fun and original plays on classic items like pizza, burgers and salads. Word to the wise: DON'T skip out on the brownie dessert.
4. Fala Bar
Fala Bar is my not-so-guilty pleasure burger joint. One of the toughest parts about being vegan is grabbing a quick bite somewhere. This little place on Abbot Kinney was the answer to my plant-based prayers. Comforting without the guilt, you can find THE perfect balance of flavor and freshness in every bite. Kale-falafel burger and sweet potato fries. I'll say no more.
This Abbot Kinney sanctuary literally pulls you in from the street with its bright, airy and whimsical ambiance and the food seals the deal. Vegan breakfast pizza, avocado toast, hand crafted pastries, the list goes on. Whether you're looking for a sit down brunch with an old friend or just dropping in to grab a juice, The Butcher's Daughter is taking up real-estate on your foodie bucket list.
Looks like ice cream. Tastes like ice cream. Feels like whole, organic, clean yumminess. Made with coconut cream, Kippy's non-dairy ice cream shop truly is a trip to vegan paradise. There's nothing like surrendering to some double dark chocolate with magic shell and cacao nibs. Treat yourself, treat your soul.
"The Gods created certain kinds of beings to replenish our bodies; they are the trees and the plants and the seeds." -Plato