oh, my aching back

71dewojfsml-_sx522_This little machine is the best $40, ever spent! Have you ever been to the chiropractor and wanted to take home their electrode based massaging machine? Well, now you can have a simple version of it all for yourself at less than the price of an office visit.

witouch1Sold under the brand names Aleve by Bayer (blue) or WiTouch (green), regardless the brand, the machine is exactly the same little battery powered contraption that in 30 minutes offers amazing relief. While not as high powered or multi-armed as the fancy doctor’s office machine, it’s two pads sit either side of the spine and provides varied pulse sensations in a pre-programmed rhythm and is adjustable from low to medium intensity. If you suffer from lower back pain it is well worth a try.

Tip: 

The WiTouch replacement gel pads, required for each use (usually lasting 2-5 uses each) are much less expensive than the Aleve branded pads. And since the machines are exactly the same, go for the cheaper option.

available at drugstores or Amazon.com

giving 2016

holiday-2016This year of all years, give the gift of a donation to causes that need our support like the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Union of Concerned Scientists, The Sierra Club, NPR, etc… If our government is not going to protect what’s near and dear to our hearts as caring citizens, then it’s up to us to make a difference. Friends and family will understand if donations are a priority and gifts are small this year. With that in mind, here are just a few small gift ideas to help take minds off our worries:

1. No holiday season (or stressful time) is complete without a little chocolate. This bean to bar chocolate company weaves social responsibility into everything they do so you can feel good about this guilty pleasure.  Askinosie Chocolate Peppermint Bark  $30  |   2. Pizza solves all woes. Where to Eat Pizza from Phaidon  $20  |   3. Maybe the future holds something better. Here’s Hoping!  Tea Leaf Reading Kit  $23  |   4.  A little humor goes a long way even if hidden from view. Cheeky Knickers by Naja  $22 each   5.  YOGA!!  Two Toned Mat by Stella McCartney  $71    6. The ultimate mind-numbing puzzle challenge.  500 pc. Gradient Puzzle  $20, avail in 3 colorways.

Save

another new beauty

hellodysonDyson has introduced their answer to the hairdryer and it is a looker!  Always on the cutting edge of technology and design, Dyson is great at making great looking things. I’m not a fan of their vacuums (because I prefer a bag to bagless) but this little beauty might be worth a shot.

dysondyson-attachmentsWith two colorways and three magnetic attachments, it looks like a hand held version of their room fans. Reviews are thus far positive owing to the balance that shifts the weight to the handle, those easy to use magnetic attachments, quietness and descent amount of power. At $400 it is priced like a professional model so before you jump, maybe see if the pros adopt it as a tool of choice.

dysondryer

have you seen this?

juicero-cold-press-juicer-1This sleek wi-fi enabled contraption is the latest invention in the cold pressed juice craze. No longer do you need to lug umpteen heavy bottles of juice home from the store — and when you’re juicing that’s 6 bottles a day mind you. Or ship a maximum 3 day supply from a cross-country juicery. No more nasty cleaning of a traditional juicer that removes all the good stuff anyway. This handy dandy machine is a sleek, clean, easy to use counter top version of a high pressure juice pressery, previously only available for commercial use.

OK, it’s expensive at $700. But it’s brand new, heavily VC funded and will come down in price eventually (she says hopefully). Just buy the machine, download the app, order juice packs that range from $5-7 each and come in 8 juice combinations, use the app to verify the freshness of the pack via QR code (the machine won’t juice if the pack is out of date), insert the pack and within 2 minutes you have fresh cold pressed juice. Simply throw the pack away (or rinse and return for recycling), no need for clean up.

I’m thinking it’s actually not all that bad a deal.  if you juice regularly and spend $200 plus $25 shipping for 3 days of juice, the machine will pay for itself eventually. OK better if it were $400 then it’s in the range of your stand mixer price, that you maybe use once in a blue moon while this beauty would get used every day — and look great on your counter top too!

The Juicero, currently only available in California but expanding to a state near you one day soon.

my new obsession

paleonolaThis is my new breakfast obsession. Simple ingredients and no grains. The crunch is perfect and a small serving with a scoop of Fage Greek Yogurt or a pour of almond milk and a handful of berries keeps me going all morning.

OK, it’s not cheap and I could probably just as easily make my own. But I’m lazy that way. Available at your local Whole Foods or order online from Thrive Market for a savings of a couple dollars per 10 oz. package.

Happy Eating!

nine things i can’t live without

must have list

Row 1 (left to right):  Aesop products & the lovely stores they sell them in   natural light flooding into my home   a Duxiana mattress

Row 2:  my favorite piece of art — a printed mailer received from a vendor in the early 90’s floating in a frame. it makes me smile to this day  |  ice cream in any form but especially one of the crazy flavors from Gelato Messina  |  Vogue Living Australia magazine —  i have a 20+ year collection!

Row 3:  morning hikes in the Santa Monica mountains  |  a good mid-century modern staple like this Saarinen dining table  |  Australia — just 19 when I first visited, my heart has belonged to the land down under ever since  ♥♥♥

best part of living in los angeles

Sullivan TrailHiking . . . Not that you can’t hike anywhere but I particularly love hiking in Los Angeles. Not only is it beautiful with views of lush canyons and the ocean (sometimes at the same time), but today I saw Goldie Hawn on my hike. BTW, shes pushing 70 and looks fabulous! Only in LA.

It’s funny — I first started hiking back in college when my sister suggested I go to The Ashram, a hiking boot camp in Calabasas, CA. After 6 days of hiking, hiking, more hiking and no eating I boldly declared, “I hate hiking!” But then I moved to Los Angeles full time and hiking became my exercise of choice. I even returned to the Ashram several more times. Who needs a gym with the abundance of natural beauty and trails that are free? Let me tell you, nothing works better than walking up hill to whip your fat ass into shape.

And that’s exactly what I will be doing over the next few weeks or maybe even months between afternoons hunting for a job. Being unemployed has its perks. (It’s also a great way to keep my extreme stress in check.)

My favorite hike: Sullivan Ridge in Pacific Palisades at the top of Capri Drive off Sunset Blvd. The smell of wild fennel abounds and the views are spectacular. While it’s a far drive from where I live, i know the road like the back of my hand and never get tired of it. It’s not too crowded like some other hikes closer to town and you never know who you’ll run into. This week, in particular, there has been more people than normal on the trail, all coming to see the final days of Murphy Ranch — a Nazi refuge built in the 30’s that has been in a ruinous and graffitied state since the late 70’s — down in Rustic Canyon and accessible from the trail.

But if what I saw today is any indication, these ruins will soon be history and the hike will be back to it’s normal minimal traffic.

Soon I’ll post more about other great hikes in Los Angeles so stay tuned.

images courtesy: hikespeak