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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 bring simple Feng Shui improvements into your life. Also, check out the posts on my, the weekly articles I write for the Feng Shui site, and my own site, Feng Shui For Real
--Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month -- Where to Place the Christmas Tree
A Christmas tree connects you with the living world, so it is considered a strong Wood Element symbol in Feng Shui. Also, the triangular shape of a Christmas tree is considered a Fire Element symbol in Feng Shui, even more so when it is covered with twinkling lights. That means the ideal location for a Christmas tree is in either the Wealth, Fame, or Family area of your home because these are supported by Wood and Fire. The Wealth area is the room in the upper left hand corner of your home, and the Fame area is located across from your front door. Triangular shapes displayed in these two areas enhance finances, abundance, and prosperity. The Family area is on the left hand side of your home.

Sometimes, you can't place your tree in the perfect Feng Shui spot -- for example, maybe the Wealth area in your home is a bedroom; or,perhaps you have always placed the tree in a certain room because of family tradition. If you must place your Christmas tree in another Feng Shui area of your home, here are some ways to balance the energy --
• If you locate your tree in your Career Area, decorate with blue lights and ornaments, "icicle" decorations, and a blue/black patterned tree skirt to help bring Water Element energy into balance.
• If your tree is located in either the Children or Helpful People Area, use metal ornaments, tinsel, white lights, and a silver or gold accented tree skirt.
• If your tree is in either the Love or the Knowledge Area, use lots of ceramic ornaments, yellow and red lights, and a red tree skirt. Skip the tinsel and white lights here, since you don't need to add more metal.
• If your tree in the Grounding Area of your home, choose a yellow or gold tree skirt and a bright yellow star or angel with golden hair at the top of the tree.

Click here to download a color bagua map that shows all nine of the Feng Shui areas in your home.

You can find more tips in my article "Where Do I Place My Christmas Tree" on the BellaOnline Feng Shui website.

New Year's Feng Shui -- What To Take With You Into the New Year
In the November 2010 issue, I wrote about the six gifts to avoid giving because of their negative Feng Shui messages, and six gifts to give because they bring positive energy. This month, to wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous New Year filled with wealth, harmony, love -- and everything else you are wishing for -- here are six gifts to give yourself on New Year's Day or early in January to turn all of your New Year's resolutions into reality.

6 Things to Take With You Into the New Year
1. New Red Wallet -- to attract wealth and prosperity this year.
2. Large Tote Bag -- to carry all the good things you expect the year to bring.
3. New Shoes -- to stomp out any the frustrations in the upcoming year.
4. Gold Jewelry -- to signify that you can afford fine things throughout the year.
5. Red Accessory -- to attract good fortune in the days ahead.
6. Purse Hanger -- to keep your purse off the floor and respect your wealth.

Read more in the article about New Year's Feng Shui on my Feng Shui website at

Clutter Clinic -- Declutter Your Holiday Season
Having a more organized, less cluttered holiday season doesn't mean going bare-bones or avoiding celebrations altogether; instead, it could involve finding meaningful ways to celebrate this month's holidays without filling your home with unwanted, unneeded stuff. Here are 4 ways to declutter your holiday season.
1. Simplify Your Décor. If you decorate your home for the holidays, consider using some basic, multi-functional items to add seasonal flair, rather than buying lots of decorations you'll only use once a year. Try swapping a few standard decorations that you will have to store after the holidays with compostable things like pinecones and holly.
2. Re-tool Gift-Giving Traditions. Exchanging gifts can be a quick route to clutter, especially when it involves giving or getting presents that aren't sure-fire hits. Instead of giving gifts to everyone in your extended family, an option is to give edible gifts. Or, you can exchange services, such as errand runs, childcare, or help with a household project.
3. Limit Self-Gifting. While you're out shopping for others it's tempting to buy things for yourself, but self-gifting can result in items you don't really have room for, as well as strain an already-fragile budget. If you encounter something you truly want, put it on your wish list, or hold off until after the holidays, to see if you still want it.
4. Focus on "Stuff-Free" Ways to Celebrate. Keep clutter at bay this season by finding ways of enjoying the holidays with friends and family that don't involve "stuff," like having a party where everyone contributes something to eat or drink but doesn't bring gifts, or using your family's holiday party to share stories and family history instead of gifts.
These tips come from San Francisco-based professional organizer Emily Wilska, who is BellaOnline's Organization Editor.

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 -- Bedroom Makeover
Nancy took advantage of my free consultation with book purchase offer, and called me for her session. She had gone through a nasty divorce and had been living a solitary life while she healed, and her too-small twin bed reflected her isolation. Her only bed partners were her three dogs. Nancy had reconnected with a past love, but only online, and she wanted to see if she could rekindle the relationship. I recommended that she trade in her teenage-style bed for an adult size, move out some of the furniture, and repaint her room from girlish purple to a skin-tone color more suitable for an adult relationship.

Here is what Nancy wrote about her bedroom makeover --
My new queen bed feels great, and I have no dogs in it. I brought in two matching antique bedside tables from another room and lamps from storage. I removed a lot of unnecessary furniture as you suggested and that made the room feel bigger. The day we spoke I bought the new bed and consigned the old twin. I saw both the wisdom and the necessity of what you told me, and I am sleeping better than I have for a long time. That gave me incentive to redo my home office, library, and a closet. It feels cleaner and more airy all throughout the house. I picked out a more natural color for the walls and the painter will be here soon. Two days after the changes were in place, I received my first written love letter from my friend, which was a big change from our usual "e-conversations."

Read more Feng Shui Success Stories on my Facebook Fan Page,

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: My daughter has expressed a need for a set of knives for her new apt and I would like to oblige her as part of her holiday gifts. I know there is something about giving blades and scissors as symbols of cutting the relationship. She and I are getting along so well now that I would do nothing to jeopardize that, even if honoring her wishes. The kind of knife set I have in mind is the large block with the blades facing inward.
You are right that Feng Shui doesn't recommend giving knives as gifts because they symbolically cut a friendship or relationship. Instead, you could give her a check or a gift certificate for the store that sells them, and include a picture of the knives in the envelope so she knows what to use the money/gift certificate for. Personally I prefer to keep my knives in a drawer rather than on display in the kitchen, but I know most people want them out on the counter.

Q: I always create a new vision board at the start of each new year. Can hanging it be considered a type of Feng Shui cure or remedy, and if so, where do you recommend locating it?
A vision board, also called a dream board or treasure map, is a powerful way of using images to create the intention to attract something into your life, and that's also what Feng Shui is all about. I frequently remind my clients that "you are what you see," so, yes, you certainly can use your vision board as part of a Feng Shui adjustment. The ideal place to display your creation is in the Fame/Future area of your home or office. Another Feng Shui take on this is to arrange the images on your board according to the Feng Shui bagua. That is, place the images that relate to wealth in the upper left hand corner of the board, those that relate to love in the upper right hand corner, etc. You can download a color bagua from my website,

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

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. Celebrate Hanukkah by decorating in the traditional colors of blue (the Water Element) to make your holiday flow smoothly, and silver (the Mewinter blues, especially around the holidays, counteract feelings of loneliness by surrounding yourself with the color orange.
3. Decorate your home for New Year's Eve with gold and silver, the colors of valuable coins, symbolizing your intention to attract wealth in the coming year.

Special Holiday Offer
Complimentary 30 Minute Feng Shui Consultation
Buy one or more copies of the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office by December 15, 2010, and you will receive a complimentary 30 minute Feng Shui consultation by phone. You can use this consultation to discuss your home or workspace. A great gift for all your friends and family, and the perfect thank you gift to give your clients. Offer good only on books purchased through the Feng Shui store at www.FengShuiForRealLife. US purchases only for this offer.

You will find hundreds of practical tips like these in the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office.
• Feng Shui Basics
• Calendar of Tips
• Clutter-Clearing Strategies
• Success Stories from people who made small changes with big results
Order your copy of the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office from the Feng Shui Store at

From the Feng Shui Store -- Purse Hangers Are Inexpensive Holiday Gifts and Great Stocking Stuffers
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.

I have a new supply that I was able to buy before the holiday price increase, so order now for the best price. Order at the Feng Shui Store at

Home, Office, and Business Consultations
On-Site Consultation
Nationwide, I schedule residential and commercial consultations on request. On a regular basis I work with clients in the Northeast (Washington, DC, Maryland, Baltimore, Annapolis, Northern Virginia, New York City, and New Jersey) and the Southwest (Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Phoenix, and Denver). Appointments fill up fast, especially on weekends, so schedule your consultation now to get the date you want. E-mail me with the date you would like to schedule your consultation.

Off-Site Feng Shui Consulting
To help you get started with a plan of Feng Shui changes for your home, I am now offering Off-Site Feng Shui Consulting and Floor Plan Review. This service includes review of the floor plan and photos of your home, office, or business, followed by a telephone consultation with recommendations and changes you can make to the placement of furniture, artwork, and objects to activate the positive energy in your home and clients into your business. The service also includes 30 days of follow-up consulting. Sign up for this service through the Online Store at, or call 1.800.652.9038.

Workshops for Your Group or Organization
Bring one of my Feng Shui workshops to your city. I will create a custom presentation to help your business or group 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 workshops are full of practical advice, tips, and fun. Feng Shui workshops make great fund-raisers, and they always sell out.

New Workshop: "Creating Home Sanctuary"
Where do you go to unwind at home after a stressful day at work? Most of us spend the bulk of our time at the workplace or working from a home office, which makes it especially important to have a special place to relax when the workday is done. Learn 10 Feng Shui tools for creating a private sanctuary and safe haven at home where you can renew, restore, slow down, and just let go. Click here to inquire about bringing this workshop to your group or organization.

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 me or call 1.800.652.9038.

Beyond Feng Shui -- Holiday Party Etiquette
As you make the rounds of the holiday party circuit, keep in mind that others remember you not only by the impression you make when they first meet you, but also when you say good-bye. Try following these tips from etiquette expert Cynthia Lett of The Lett Group.
• Don't arrive early or more than 30 minutes after the party starts.
• Greet your host/hostess when you arrive and make sure you say good-bye before you leave.
• Dress appropriately. If you don't know what to wear, ask your host/hostess what the dress code is or what they plan to wear.
• Don't bring along a guest unless the invitation says "and guest."
• Don't drink from bottles.
• RSVP as soon as the invitation is extended; if invited by phone, say yes or no the same day, if by written invitation you have 48 hours to respond.
• Send a thank-you note to your host the next day, and you might include a small gift.
• Take a hostess gift to the party or send something like flowers the day before.
• If you bring wine, don't expect it to be opened that evening.
• Make sure that you eat something before you go so you don't arrive famished and head right to the buffet.
• Avoid getting drunk.
Cynthia Lett is currently the only etiquette and protocol expert holding both the Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) certifications. For more etiquette advice, especially for business situations, check out The Lett Group.

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 when you print the article or use it online.

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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
Click here to e-mail Carol Olmstead

Carol M. Olmstead, FSII, 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.

©2010, Carol M. Olmstead

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead