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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 make simple Feng Shui improvements. If you can’t get enough Feng Shui, also check out my, the weekly articles I write for the Feng Shui site, and my own website, Feng Shui For Real
Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Create a Feng Shui Secret Garden
No matter how much outdoor space you have available, you can create a Feng Shui garden sanctuary that will help you rest, relax, unwind, and nurture your spirit. Feng Shui garden design is based on harmony and on balancing the chi. First, select flowers and flowering shrubs in colors of the Five Elements that represent how you want to use your garden retreat. For example, hot pink will fill your space with energy, red represents romance, yellow brightens your spirit, orange encourages conversation, white and soft green add peaceful energy, blue and lavender help you relax and restore your spirit. Then, create pathways through the garden that gently curve and meander, rather than straight line paths that push the energy through your garden too quickly. Finally, add focus.

My colleague Debe Holland of Debe Holland Garden Design Studio suggests these six essentials to add to your "secret garden" to create your own personal retreat.
1. Art. Include a focal point such as a sculpture, brightly painted art on a wall, an orb or gazing globe, a pottery urn, a hand-painted chair, or an art piece made by a friend to personalize your garden space.
2. Fragrance. Plant highly-fragrant plants and herbs, such as lemon scented geraniums, lavender, roses, jasmine, or catmint, either in the ground or in a special pot.
3. Furnishings. Add a special chair to your garden retreat to create an intimate space and sanctuary for contemplation.
4. Screening. Borders and boundaries are an important part of using Feng Shui in landscaping to create a sense of enclosure for your garden sanctuary, especially a beautiful stone wall, hedge, fence, or vine covered area.
5. Water. Whether you add a simple, free-standing fountain or install a waterfall, the soft sound of gently bubbling water against rocks adds a soothing rhythm that helps you get away from it all.
6. Candlelight. It's always a good Feng Shui touch to add the soft glow of candlelight so you can use your garden retreat in the evening hours. This kind of lighting ranges from candles to lanterns or torches.

Clutter Clinic -- Clear Out Your Kitchen
A clean, food-filled kitchen is a symbol of health and prosperity in Feng Shui, and spring is the perfect time to clear out the stale winter energy from yours. The kitchen represents the heat of the house in Feng Shui because that is where you store, prepare, and cook the food that nourishes your family and guests - which is also associated with wealth. One of the most important ways to create good energy in your kitchen is to remove all cutter so positive chi can flow throughout the space. That means keeping your counters free from objects like newspapers, mail, and schoolwork, and limiting the number of "knick-knacks" you display. Here are six more quick things you can do to clear kitchen clutter and make room for fresh spring energy.
• Thoroughly sweep the kitchen floor toward the door rather than into the room to symbolically remove any stale winter energy.
• Throw out anything in your refrigerator and freezer that is more than six months old or that is congealed, crystallized, or fuzzy.
• Update the old photos, take-out menus, and shopping lists on the refrigerator door.
• Get rid of any dried spices that are more than six months old.
• Buy a new pair of oven mitts or potholders to replace the burnt ones.
• Refill canisters with fresh flour, sugar, rice, coffee, and tea bags.

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 – Deb’s New Job Opportunity
met Deb when I was a guest lecturer at a college Interior Design class. She asked a lot of great questions, bought a copy of my book, then put into practice what she learned.

Here's what she wrote:
The technique you introduced to us was so much easier than the other types of Feng Shui that I've tried to absorb. I read your book cover to cover and reviewed the bagua worksheet against the layout of my house. Much to my horror, the Power, Wealth, Abundance section of my house was in the garage, and I was storing my garbage there. OMG. Plus there was another trash can right in front of the garage. This would explain my job loss last year and a huge reduction in my income. I was literally throwing out my money, letting my personal power go out with the trash. Fortunately I had this week off and did a thorough cleaning and moved all of the nasty garbage, recycling, old tools, from that corner and repurposed it with things that mean a lot to me. Now, everything is organized. I hung a beautiful poster where I can see when I drive in, and replaced the outside trashcan with flowerpots flanking both sides of the garage door. It looks great and I feel clearer, lighter, and am in control of what's going on for me. Just before I left on vacation my boss asked if we could talk about my future, and I am sure that it will include a pay raise plus full-time benefits. This was certainly a wake up call, and I am working on upgrading my whole house. Read more Feng Shui Success Stories on my Facebook Fan Page.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: We have a framed picture of the Twin Towers in our bedroom, which is a beautiful night skyline, but it does make me feel sad when I look at it. I worry that the negativity surrounding it could be the reason for our past serious financial woes since this picture is located over the desk in our bedroom. Is this bad?
A: The Twin Towers picture might be too stimulating for a bedroom. A bedroom should be reserved for rest and romance only, so it's best to move out anything that interferes with that purpose. That includes not only this emotionally-charged picture, but also the desk if possible. Art for a bedroom should feel romantic, paired, and coupled. My new video on that will give you some tips for choosing art for your bedroom.

Q: Why is it considered good Feng Shui to hang a mirror behind the stove, and is it really necessary? I like mirrors, but not in my kitchen.
A: There are two reasons why some practitioners suggest hanging a mirror behind your stove. Classical Feng Shui believes that cooking is related to wealth, the more burners you have the wealthier you will be, and a mirror symbolically doubles the number of burners. Also, if your stove is located so you stand with your back to the door, you can hang a mirror to assure you can see behind you and won't be caught off guard by anyone entering the room. However, this doesn't need to be a mirror; instead, it can be any reflective surface like a reflective backsplash, stainless steel appliance, or a shiny tea kettle (like I keep on my stove) to achieve the same purpose.

Q: Reading last month's Q&A about an electrical box in the front yard made me realize something similar could be happening to me. The fuse box for my house is located on the Northern outer wall. Could that contribute toward financial imbalance? If so, can I place something between the box and house or on the interior wall?
A: It's certainly possible that the fuse box on the outside of your home could be creating an electrical imbalance, and when things are imbalanced, your prosperity, health, and well-being can suffer. One thing you can do is hang fabric, such as a rug or fiber artwork, on the interior wall that backs up to the box to block some of the electro-magnetic energy from entering. You could also keep healthy house plants in that room near that same wall. You can read about choosing house plants in Feng Shui in my article on the BellaOnline Feng Shui site.

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 – New Feng Shui Videos on
My three new videos or are now up and running. They were requested by to cover these most requested topics from their readers: Getting Started in Feng Shui, Feng Shui Basics, and Feng Shui For Bedroom Art.

Click here to watch the three new videos, then use the share buttons to post them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
Getting 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 May from "Calendar of 366 Tips" in my book --
1. Trim large trees that grow over the top of your house because when limbs hang over a home, they symbolize issues weighing down on the occupants.
2. Clean out the top drawer of your desk today to make room for new opportunities to flow into your career tomorrow.
3. If you are setting up a home office, locate it as far from the bedroom as possible or your work will interfere with your sleep and your love life.

These are only a few of the more than 500 practical tips 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
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

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.

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, or call 1.800.652.9038 for more information.]

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.

Feng Shui Room Rescue recommendations typically cover:

Rearrange + Reorganize + Reuse = Room Rescue. Click here to register for the Feng Shui Room Rescue Package, or call 1.800.652.9038 for more information.]

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

Beyond Feng Shui – How to Complain and Get Results
Regardless of the old saying "the customer is always right," we've all received bad service at some time. The helpful folks at believe that complaining is a survival skill that anyone can and should master. They offer these tips to incite action for an unresolved complaint.
Complain in person if possible. Letters can be dismissed and phone conversations are less direct, and it's more challenging to ignore or argue with someone face-to-face.
Have the facts at your fingertips. Be ready with every name, date, time and price that relates to the complaint. Documentation, such as receipts and written estimates, are key in winning the complaint war.
Act assertive, not angry. A great opening line is to tell the company that you have "a problem" and are looking for help in how to solve it. Explain the facts without showing emotion.
Go to the top. If the person answering the phone is not responsive to your complaint, ask to speak to the manager in customer service. Don't antagonize this person since he or she will be more encouraged to refer you to the right "higher-up" if you tell that person you will be sure to explain to the manager how well you've been treated.
Follow the Golden Rule. Treat the company with respect, even in the way you explain your complaint. For example, if a bill turns out to be higher than expected, ask for a detailed breakdown of the bill before you accuse them of "price-gouging."
Explain the consequences. If you're not getting a positive response, explain what will happen if you don't get action. For example, let them know they will no longer have your business or get your referrals.
If these steps fail, the Angie’s List Complaint Resolution Team will go to bat for members.

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.

©2011, Carol M. Olmstead

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead