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April

Welcome to the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine, a monthly e-mail magazine with Feng Shui tips, success stories, clutter-clearing advice, and other information to help you make simple Feng Shui improvements. If you can’t get enough Feng Shui, also check out my FengShuiForRealLifeBlog.com, the weekly articles I write for the BellaOnline.com Feng Shui site, and my own website, Feng Shui For Real Life.com.
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip For April – Passover and Easter Feng Shui
Passover and Easter are two spring holidays that focus on new beginnings and making your home ready for family dinners. Among the many parallels between these two holidays and Feng Shui is freeing yourself from clutter, arranging your home to promote a fresh start, and creating a new flow of energy into your home. The Feng Shui parallel to the Passover tradition of searching the house for crumbs of bread (called "chametz") is to search for dust, remove old dried flowers, replace air filters, wash windows, and make other seasonal adjustments. Here are a few Feng Shui tips for a harmonious holiday gathering no matter which spring holiday you celebrate, or for all celebrations where your family comes together.
• A round or oval table is the best to encourage the easy flow of conversation; if you have a rectangular table, soften the hard edges with a white tablecloth.
• Avoid seating a husband directly across from a wife, which is known as confrontational seating.
• Decorate the table with a Feng Shui color scheme that includes blue for harmony and new beginnings, white for clarity, and gold for power.
• Place fresh flowers in the room to symbolize growth and rebirth, preferably in front of a mirror, to symbolically double their positive energy.
• Avoid wearing red at your dinner. This color represents the hot Feng Shui Fire Element, and adding more heat could lead to family arguments.
Click here to read more in my article “Passover and Easter Feng Shui" on my Feng Shui site at BellaOnline.com.


Clutter Clinic -- 10 Quick Spring Clearing Ideas
Want to start clearing the clutter from your closets, cabinets, and storage spaces, but don't know where to start? Here are ten quick things you can do to jump-start your spring cleaning. All you need to do is set a timer for 10 minutes, then start down the list. If you have more than 10 minutes, move on to the next item on the list.
1. Check the expiration date on your sunscreen and throw out any containers that are too old to provide protection.
2. Remove the outdated notes and flyers from your bulletin boards and refrigerator door.
3. Locate one unfinished project that you know you will never finish, and recycle the materials.
4. Clear out your kitchen junk drawer.
5. Clear out your home office junk drawer.
6. On the first warm day, give your wool scarves and leather gloves a good airing.
7. Collect all the clothes you didn't wear even once last season and put them in a "donation" bag.
8. Help your child find one toy that he or she no longer plays with and add it in the donation bag.
9. Clean out your sock drawer and get rid of the "singletons;" accept the fact the dryer long ago ate the match and you're never going to find it.
10. Put the donation bag in your car so you can take it to your favorite charity.
You can find more clutter-clearing tips in the month-by-month guide to clutter clearing in the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.


Success Story – Carol’s Empty In-Box
I love to share my clients' success stories because they show how a few simple Feng Shui changes can make a big difference in what you attract into your life. And in return, my clients urge me to share my own Feng Shui stories. Since this issue has a spring clearing theme, it's the perfect time to share what happened when I decided to tackle the pile of e-mail that had been accumulating in my in-box.

Here's my story --
At the beginning of the month I caught a miserable cold and had to cancel a week's worth of appointments. My Feng Shui mantra has always been "Nothing new comes into your life until you make room for it," so I decided to practice what I preach and clear out my overflowing e-mail in-box. I spent the week reading e-newsletters, checking out my Google Alerts, clicking on links to free e-books and fact sheets (and actually reading them), replying to requests for information, deleting junk mail and spam, etc. I cleared out everything, then emptied the trash. Boy, did it feel odd to see an empty in-box. The next day I ventured out for my MasterMind group, where a colleague gave me the name of an interior designer and suggested I talk to her about working together on a project. The next morning, I opened my e-mail and there was a message from this designer, asking if I could give a Feng Shui presentation to the interior design class she teaches at the local college. Total synchronicity, because she had no idea that her name had come up at my meeting. I had simply made room in my in-box for a new opportunity, and she filled it.

Will new opportunities come your way if you spring clear your in-box, desk drawer, or closet? Give it a try and let me now what happens.
Read more Feng Shui Success Stories on my Facebook Fan Page.


Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: We just moved, but in our rush to find a new home we never noticed the electrical utility box on the corner of our property. Now I can't stop thinking about it and I'm concerned it's sending bad energy our way. Is there anything I should do?
A: One way to mitigate any electro-magnetic issues is to plant flowering shrubs all around the utility box to absorb any negative energy. Also, you could also place a wind chime, flag, or other wind-sensitive object on your house, between the electrical box and your home, to symbolically move the negative chi away from you.

Q: I have an open spiral staircase in my house and I have fallen several times going down, fortunately without really injuring myself yet. Is there a Feng Shui fix to make me feel more secure on the staircase?
A: With an open staircase, there is nothing at the bottom to make you feel grounded as you climb the stairs. To remedy this, try placing several house plants at the bottom of the stairway to help you feel grounded. Choose bushy plants with soft, rounded leaves, and avoid cactus and plants with pointed leaves. Other options include placing a stone statue at base of the staircase to ground it (Earth Element), or hanging artwork on the walls near the staircase that has outdoor and landscape themes (Wood Element), and make sure the staircase has good lighting.
Q: I am researching replacing my front door, which is in very bad condition. Does the interior side of the front door have to be the same color as the exterior?
A: The front door is considered the "mouth of chi" where all the positive energy enters your home, and it's important to select a color for the exterior that symbolizes what you want to attract. However, the interior side of the door can be a color that harmonizes with the entry area walls. The most important suggestion for a door in poor condition is what you are already doing -- replace it with a new one.
You can read more about front door colors in the article "Front Door Feng Shui" on my Feng Shui site at BellaOnline.com.

Do you have Feng Shui questions for the Feng Shui Maven? E-mail them to Carol Olmstead, then watch for the answers.


Feng Shui in the News
My New Feng Shui Videos on About.com
The first three videos in the series of eleven that I recently taped for About.com are now live. This is the fourth video series that the professionals at Knowlera Media have produced for me. The eleven videos cover the topics most frequently requested by About.com readers. The first three videos requested by About.com cover these topics -- Getting started in Feng Shui, Feng Shui Basics, and Feng Shui for Bedroom Art. In the other videos I talk about the living room, foyer, guest bedroom, child's room, and nursery, plus bed selection and placement. The videos will be released over the next few weeks.

Watch the three new videos, then share them with your friends and colleagues.
How to Get Started in Feng Shui
Learn Feng Shui Basics
Feng Shui For Bedroom Art

Do you want Feng Shui tips and tidbits to include in your article, blog, website, or newsletter? Check out my website or e-mail me with a request about a specific topic.

Quick Tips from the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.
Here are three tips for this month from the "Calendar of Tips" in my book --
1. Passover -- Place the Seder plate in the center of the table and arrange the traditional items on the plate according to the Feng Shui bagua - the egg is on the far left of the plate, the shankbone is on the top right, the bitter herbs in the middle, the vegetable in the lower left, and the charoset in the lower right.
2. Palm Sunday -- Display palms in the Family Area of your home, which is activated by the Wood Element and the color green.
3. Easter -- If you or your children color Easter eggs, display your creations in the Creativity Area of your home, because this area is activated by round shapes and white color.

These are only three of the more than 500 practical tips in the
Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.
Includes:
• Feng Shui Basics
• Calendar of Tips
• Clutter-Clearing Strategies
• Success Stories from people who made small changes with big results
Winner, Best How-To Book 2010, New Mexico Book Association
Southwest Book Design Award, 2009-2010
Order your copy of the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office from the Feng Shui Store at www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.


Custom Workshops
Bring one of my workshops to your city. I will create a custom presentation for your business or group to help you make simple changes to attract wealth, harmony, and love. From keynote speeches, to "munch and learn" workshops, to half-day or full-day seminars, my interactive sessions are full of practical advice, tips, and fun. Feng Shui workshops make great fund raisers because they always sell out.

Here's what people are saying about Carol's workshops --
I received great feedback about the Creating Home Sanctuary "munch and learn" Feng Shui workshop you gave at our design studio, and what an engaging person you are. You did a terrific job! -- Lisa Samuel, Samuel Design Group

Thank you for a great presentation! Really great stuff.... you are a whiz. -- Val Romero, Women Make a Difference

I welcome your referrals. If you know of a group or organization that would be interested in scheduling me as a speaker, e-mail Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038.


Feng Shui Consulting Services
I work with clients nationwide, either on-site in person, or remote by phone, e-mail, and Skype.

On-Site Feng Shui Consulting Services
Nationwide, I schedule On-Site Feng Shui Consultations for homes, offices, and businesses by appointment. On a regular basis, I work with clients in the Northeast (DC Metro Area and Maryland Suburbs, Baltimore, Annapolis, Northern Virginia, New York City, and New Jersey) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Denver). All on-site consultations include written recommendations, a ToolKit of information to help you continue to make changes after the session, and a copy of my book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office. Appointments fill up fast, especially on weekends, so schedule your consultation now to get the date you want. E-mail Carol Olmstead with your location and the date you would like to schedule your consultation, or call 1.800.652.9038.

Remote and Off-Site Feng Shui Consulting
When an on-site consultation isn't possible, I offer Remote Feng Shui Consulting for home, office, and business clients across the country. There are two options, either Remote Whole House Feng Shui Consultation, or the new Feng Shui Room Rescue Package for one room in your home.

Two types of remote services are available:
1. Remote Whole House Feng Shui Consultation -- This off-site consultation includes analysis of a questionnaire, floor plan, site map, and photos of your space, plus an in-depth Skype phone conversation. During our conversation I will answer specific questions, plus provide recommendations and changes you can make to the placement of furniture, artwork, and objects, and adding color to activate the positive energy in your home. The service also includes 30 days of follow-up consulting.
Click here to register for a Remote Whole House Feng Shui Consultation.

2. Feng Shui Room Rescue Package -- Do you have one room in your home that is driving you crazy and needs a special Feng Shui rescue, but you don't know where to start? The 3-part Feng Shui Room Rescue package is for you. The package includes:
• 30-minute phone consultation and personalized Feng Shui room rescue plan.
• Copy of the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office -- Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love to keep your moving forward.
• Maintenance check-in to make sure you stay on track.

Recommendations typically cover:

Rearrange + Reorganize + Reuse = Room Rescue. Click here to register for the Feng Shui Room Rescue Package.

I welcome your referrals nationwide. E-mail Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038.


From the Feng Shui Store -- Keep Your Purse Off the Floor
In Feng Shui, keeping your purse on the floor represents disregard for your wealth, plus scientific studies show that your purse can pick up all kinds of bacteria when it sits on the floor. The remedy is a Purse Hanger that lets you hang your purse safely from a table or desk. I have finally found folding purse hangers that fit neatly in your purse. It's the perfect gift for all the women on your list. The 2" disk opens to a sturdy 3" hanger. I stock them in elegant black and silver, plus I have a few available in assorted colors.
Order one for yourself and one for a friend at the Feng Shui Store at www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.


Beyond Feng Shui – The IRS Dirty Dozen
Tax filing day is April 18 this year. Whether you're waiting until the last day to file or you've already filed and are looking for ways to get a bigger refund next year, you'll want to make sure your return doesn't raise any tax audit red flags. The IRS audits only about 1% of all individual tax returns annually, but the chances of being audited increase based on these 12 important factors, as identified by Kiplinger.com.
• Failure to report all taxable income
• Returns claiming the home-buyer credit
• Claiming large charitable deductions
• Home office deduction
• Business meals, travel, and entertainment
• Claiming 100% business use of vehicle
• Claiming a loss for a hobby activity
• Cash businesses
• Failure to report a foreign bank account
• Engaging in currency transactions
• Math errors
• Taking higher than average deductions
If your return includes any of these areas, Kiplinger advises making sure you have good documentation for the deductions you are taking. You can read details about the IRS Dirty Dozen at Kiplinger.com.


F Y I
Do You Want to Use Articles From This E-zine? While articles in the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine are copyrighted, I encourage you to reprint them and link to my website. I ask only that you credit Carol M. Olmstead as author and include my website address or link to http://www.FengShuiForRealLife.com when you print the article or use it online.

Make Sure You Receive Every Issue of This E-zine. I hate spam, but unfortunately sometimes spam catchers block the words “feng shui.” To ensure that your copy of the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine does not get caught in your SPAM filters, please add my e-mail address the domains www.constantcontact.com and ui.constantcontact.com to your address book, approved senders list, or white list.

Check the E-zine Archives. If you missed any previous issues of the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine, you can download them from the “Archives” page on credit Carol M. Olmstead as author and include my website address or link to http://www.FengShuiForRealLife.com.

Schedule a Consultation or Workshop. If you would like to set up a home, office, or business consultation, or schedule a customized workshop, contact:
Carol M. Olmstead, FSII
Feng Shui Master Practitioner
1.800.652.9038
www.FengShuiForRealLife.com
Click here to e-mail Carol Olmstead

Carol M. Olmstead, FSIA, was certified by the Feng Shui Institute of America, and awarded Red Ribbon Professional Status from the International Feng Shui Guild.

Feng Shui For Real Life, LLC, and the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine serve as a reference and guide for the principles of Feng Shui and as such bear no responsibility for results a client or reader experiences. Individual results may vary based on the client's participation and intent.

©2011, Carol M. Olmstead


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© Copyright 2017, Carol Olmstead