If we’re lucky, at the end of every day, we crawl into our own little boxes where we nourish, hang and rest our heads. These boxes we like to call home.
I didn’t always love returning home. In fact, for a good portion of my life, home was not a place where I felt safe and that sinking feeling is one that I will never forget. I can remember closing my eyes through challenging times and coaching myself through what I would tell myself is “only temporary.” I dreamed of a space where the environment was stable and I felt nothing but safe and calm. And guess what? That manifested into reality.
Now that I’m all grown up and have my very own safe and beautiful home, I don’t take it for granted. Not for one minute. I think about how grateful I am when I wake up, whenever I return and every night before I go to sleep. I understand deep down to my core what the consequences are of not having that safe haven and now that I do, we put a lot of thought and energy into creating the best environment possible. As someone who loves wellness, a big focus is on making a healthy home. A wellness oasis if you will. Here are the things that I like to do to make our home feel like our very own wellness retreat:
1. We fill our home with things that we LOVE, only
Loving and appreciating everything I’m surrounded by is a great feeling. Think things like photographs, the espresso machine, plants, linens, books, furniture, art, rugs, the jar that holds my kitchen utensils, literally everything! This is an endless effort that takes time to build (I moved back to LA after college with nothing and had less than a thousand dollars to my name, I can vouch for how long it takes!) and the things we love evolve as we do. It’s a process of updating, upgrading, swapping, moving things around and ultimately curating a world that you want to spend a lot of time in. I truly believe this has a big impact on my overall mood.
2. Keep a well-stocked fridge and pantry of our favorite items
Food has a way of making a house feel like a home. Stocking our fridge and pantry with our favorite bites brings comfort and ease – especially when feeling super lazy while starving. I try to make sure we always have coffee (I can’t be bothered with the stress of rushing to a coffee shop every morning), breakfast options, items in the pantry to toss together lunch or dinner in a pinch (think pasta, soups, beans, the like) and ideally fresh fruits, veggies and fish. In general, I keep a pretty healthy home (if you’re interested you can read my usual grocery list here) but it’s not all boring! I also ALWAYS have goodies on hand including desserts, chilled champagne and a fully-stocked bar.
3. We grow our own organic fruits, vegetables and herbs
After dreaming of growing my own food pretty much for as long as I can remember, it finally happened! And just to be clear, I live in Hollywood and have no grass so we’re not talking a fancy farm. It’s a handful of planter boxes and pots that we replant every season. Currently growing kale, arugula, lettuce, squashes and lots of goodies albeit we’re getting close to replanting for our spring harvest! Trees include lemon and lime. Herbs, pretty much all! A big pot of mint (you have to grow this separately or it will take over all your entire herb garden, trust me, I learned the hard way!), basil, cilantro, parsley, sage, rosemary and chives. And we planted the herbs closest to the kitchen so that they’re easy to grab. I toss them on pretty much everything.
4. Alkaline water delivery
This is a luxury that I love! We don’t have a filter on our tap so ordering water for our house is essential in good ol’ Los Angeles and it may as well be alkaline for the added health benefits, right? For more on why alkaline is a wellness luxury, check out this post. Did I mention that I love it?
When things aren’t clean, it’s an icky feeling. A clean home is a happy home (IMHO!).
6. Clean with non-toxic cleaning products
Major key! I don’t want our home full of chemicals and cleaning products are the easiest way to pair down the toxins. Here and here are posts which cover products I like to use.
7. Organization sans clutter
I have to give my husband a lot of credit for the organization and lack of clutter in our home. He’s adamant about it and it truly does limit stress. I never have to look too hard for anything because everything has it’s place and nothing is jammed into a drawer or closet. As the saying goes, “cluttered space, cluttered mind.”
8. Plants, plants, plants
Again, this is all my husband. He’s our in-house plant care taker and it’s such a treat living with greenery. Plus, they say it’s excellent for your health by way of improving your mood, some plants generally clean the air, some fight specific bad things in the air, etc. For me on plants, check out this wellness challenge from a few months back.
Healthy and happy light is a high priority for me. In the past when looking for places to live, it was a deal-breaker. I like to wake up to the sunlight on my face, watch the sun shift through the day, enjoy being home without electricity on during daylight and quite frankly: darkness makes me feel blahhhhh. Our home is bright and airy and our window treatments are open pretty much 24/7.
10. Feng shui
We had a feng shui expert come to our home to inspect our place. She wasn’t really focused on the way furniture was set up, it was more about the way energy flowed and most importantly, protecting our home with things like crystals, mirrors, sealing the doors, etc. Some people find this a little kooky but I was into it.
Nothing alters your mood quite like music and I for one love having it on throughout our house. Luckily we’re in 2017 which means you no longer need a handyman to install speakers and get you wired up. We have Sonos and music plays all day and night – jazz, classical, hip-hop, classic rock, the works! On top of that, we recently got a record player and man, it’s a real treat. With the volume way up, it feels like I’m sitting live at the Eagles concert, or whoever we’re spinning.
12. Bathroom spa
So much of my wellness routine takes place in the bathroom so I try to make the bathroom itself as spa like as possible. Towels are fluffed and folded, a cozy robe waits for me on the back of the door and on a little bench next to the tub I leave out my skin brush, a tempting bath soak and luxurious candle to remind me to do those things everyday. I fill the shower, counter and beauty cabinet with our favorite things, but not too many. I try to avoid cluttering the space up, I’m going for a spa feel after all. And the coup de grâce, we installed a steam shower which is a reallll spa treat.
13. Zen bedroom
Similar to the bathroom, I like where we sleep to feel really calm. I kept the palette light and limit the clutter.
14. Environmentally safe.
Before we moved in, we had all sorts of environmental inspectors check for things like mold, quality of the air, the earth below us and the electromagnetic fields (<–this one is important because things like power lines emit high levels of emf which can be hazardous to your health).