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Welcome to the Feng Shui For Real Life E-zine, a monthly e-magazine with tips, success stories, and clutter-clearing advice to help you make simple Feng Shui changes to attract wealth, harmony, love, and much more.

Keep in touch between issues of the e-zine.
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Carol M. Olmstead
Feng Shui Master Practitioner

Feng Shui Tip of the Month – Presents and Pie
On November 28, Chanukah will coincide with Thanksgiving, the first time this has happened since the late 1800s and the last time it will happen until the year 79,811. The Hebrew calendar is drifting toward the solar calendar so there might be an adjustment sooner than that, but for now this is a rare phenomenon. This gives some kids the opportunity to be thankful for presents and pumpkin pie at the same time, and it also gives me a chance to write about the Feng Shui aspects of two festive holidays at once. Both holidays involve giving -- giving thanks and giving gifts.

Chanukah Gift Giving Do's and Don'ts
Whether you spell it Chanukah, Hanukkah, or anything else, it's a holiday all about presents, and when you're looking for gifts it's important to be aware of the hidden Feng Shui meaning in what you buy. Here are my top five Feng Shui holiday gift giving "dos and don'ts."

#1: Don't give an empty wallet, purse, or briefcase because it represents an
absence of prosperity. Instead, do give a new wallet filled with cash to send the message that your gift will always be overflowing with wealth.

#2: Don't give knives or sharp objects because these represent cutting a relationship. If you do receive a sharp object as a gift, hand over a coin to the giver to symbolize that you bought the object, and restore the bond between you.

#3: Don't give spiky plants like cactus or roses with the thorns because these symbolize piercing a relationship. Instead, do give a living plant with rounded leaves in a red pot to symbolize prosperity. If you receive roses with thorns, be sure to remove them to symbolize a smooth relationship.

#4: Don't give bonsai trees or other miniature plants because they symbolize stunted growth and stale energy. Instead, do give wind chimes to attract positive, active energy to any location.

#5: Don't give gifts that show time, like clocks and watches, because they symbolize stealing time and a limited life span. Instead, do give a gift certificate and include a photo of a watch so the recipients can choose their own timepiece.

You can read more Feng Shui gift ideas in the Q&A section.

Thanksgiving Feng Shui
Many of us have a love-hate relationship with holidays that involve food and family gatherings like Thanksgiving. We love the aromas and bounty of food and the joy of seeing friends and family, but the strain of cooking, cleaning the house, entertaining family and out-of-town visitors, or worrying about eating too much can sometimes result in more stress than harmony. Here's how to use Feng Shui to assure a peaceful and harmonious gathering around your Thanksgiving table.
  • • If your family is prone to squabbles, keep yang (active) energy to a minimum by decorating with grounding Earth Element colors in shades of brown and yellow.
  • • Minimize the Metal Element by limiting shiny objects and removing the carving knife from the table so its sharp edge won't encourage sharp words at the table.
  • • The dining room is considered to be a place of wealth in Feng Shui, so if you have one be sure to use it, not only for the big Thanksgiving meal, but even when you're enjoying those leftovers.
  • • A round or oval table is the best shape for Feng Shui-friendly dining because there are no sharp corners aimed at guests. If you have a rectangular table, use a tablecloth to soften the edges and avoid seating guests near the corners.
  • • Bring out the "good stuff" you have been hiding in your cabinets and closets, especially grandma's china, mom's crystal, and even the silver you hate to polish. What are you saving them for if not the holidays?
  • • Entertaining guests is an activity associated with wealth, so hang a mirror where it will reflect your dining table and you'll symbolically double your wealth.
  • • Remove photos of deceased relatives and pets from the dining room since these can create health problems if you dine in their presence.
  • • In addition to flowers, this year add fresh fruit and vegetables to your centerpiece to represent good health and longevity.
If all else fails, keep this in mind: the person seated nearest to the door will be the first one to leave. So you might want to consider a seating plan if you have any relatives who always provoke arguments.

Clutter Clinic -- Getting Rid of Halloween Candy Clutter
Admit it -- late at night when the kids are asleep you've been known to rifle through their trick-or-treat bags and swipe a mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or two. You know who you are. But some time in November there will come a day when you realize you just have to get rid of all that candy clutter. The ever-helpful website offers these suggestions for donating excess candy and helping to minimize the excess candy glut in the first place.

Operation Shoebox sends snacks and personal care items to troops deployed outside of the US. They accept donations of individually wrapped candies not only after Halloween, but also throughout the year. They request heat-resistant candy in the summer months.

Operation Gratitude works with dentists to buy back Halloween candy, then sends packages to deployed troops. Some dentists in your area might be participating in their Halloween Candy Buy Back program, or you can collect candy and dental hygiene items yourself and donate them.

Treats-4-Troops, a program run by MoverMoms in the Washington, D.C., area, collects a large amount of Halloween candy for troops and also teaches kids about sharing. Then, Boatsie's Boxes in Wheeling West Virginia packs the candy into Christmas stockings for the troops. This year they'll collect candy for troops through November 11.

At The Crossroads in San Francisco uses donated candy to make packs that they hand out on the streets to homeless youth and young adults. ATC says that while they give their clients plenty of healthy options, offering something fun like candy helps form connections and trust with young people.

Other donation possibilities include polling places during November elections, the local fire department, or shelters that provide Thanksgiving meals for families in need.

Success Story – What's in Your Attic?
I've often written about how the things you store in your attic can symbolically press down on you and represent an additional "weight on your shoulders," while things stored in your basement represent your foundation. Kathleen is a reader of this ezine, and she also bought my book. Her heart-warming story illustrates how clearing some of the things that you don't need from your attic and basement can have a profound effect.
Here's what Kathleen wrote:
My father is 89 and contracted pneumonia 7 months ago. They sent him home from the hospital with two weeks to live. While I was at his home waiting for this, I explored the attic spaces and upstairs rooms of my former childhood home. There I found enormous amounts of broken items and stored orthopedic appliances. I tossed all the broken items along with many of the orthopedic appliances, then organized the rest of the items. His nursing attendant was having a garage sale so I gave her the items that were in good shape for the sale. A month after the sale there was a flood in the basement and I found additional broken things that I tossed. It definitely felt like I was creating good Feng Shui to get rid of all that stuff. Well, it's been 7 months now and he's still alive and has begun to drive again.

Wishing Kathleen's father continuing health for many more years to come.

I would love to share YOUR success story. Email Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038 to schedule your home or office consultation.

Ask the Feng Shui Maven
Q: What do you think about having a treadmill in the master bedroom? I used the bagua from your website and discovered it's in my relationship area. My love life isn't so good and now I'm thinking there's a connection. Can I trade in the treadmill for a new one that folds up so I can store it under the bed? I use it only occasionally but like having it available.
A: I would definitely move the treadmill out of the bedroom because all that "walking to nowhere" could symbolize working too hard at a relationship. Every room should have a purpose, but when you add the yang energy of working out with the yin energy needed for rest and romance, things can go wrong. Storing a hard metal treadmill under the bed isn't a solution, because that area should be open so the chi can circulate around you and support your relationship and health. Do you actually use the treadmill enough to make it worth keeping it? If every time you look at the treadmill you feel guilty about not using it, it's better to sell it and put the money toward a gym membership.

Q: Greetings and as always thank you so much for sharing your fantastic newsletter, I love them. My son and his wife recently got married and they are moving into their new home next month. What kind of gift should I bring to their open house?
A: Congratulations on your son's marriage. I do have a few favorite Feng Shui friendly housewarming gifts for newlyweds, or for anyone moving into a new space.
  • Plants - Any plant is good as long as it doesn't have thorns like cactus. People especially like to give the Lucky Bamboo Plant because they associate it with Feng Shui and good fortune. It's low maintenance because it can be grown in water. •
  • Wind Chimes- These "call" the positive chi to a location, so giving them as a gift sends the message that the recipient's home will always attract happiness. Choose pleasant sounding metal or wood chimes to hang at the front or back of the house.
  • Precious Stones - Specific stones are associated with special powers of healing, happiness, inspiration, wealth, and love. My favorite stone for a house warming is amethyst, the stone of change, protection, and enlightenment that enhances serenity and composure. Other good choices include rose quartz for love, tiger's eye to help concentrating and clear thinking, and turquoise to dispel negative energy and provide protection and peace of mind.
  • Books. A gift of a book opens up the world for the recipient. It doesn't matter whether it's a printed book, gift certificate to the local bookstore, or gift card to download an ebook. Of course, I'm partial to giving a copy of the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office as a gift because it helps the recipients settle in to their new home.

Q: My sister lives in a tiny studio apartment and has photos of the three of us from very early childhood (we're triplets) all over the place, and even more photos of our deceased mother. She's 54, single, and hasn't dated in years. I know she should remove the family photos from her Relationships area, but I wondered if having them all over her apartment can also affect her love life, or lack thereof. Her Relationships area has an old ugly chaise lounge, and she has stuffed in so many old pieces of furniture from her former home that everything feels crowded. How can I help her?
A: To attract a relationship your sister needs to remove the family photos and old furniture from her bedroom and Relationship Area and replace them with items that are paired, romantic, and coupled. I recommend keeping only a few old photos in the Family or Helpful People Areas and surrounding them with new family photos to represent growth and harmony among family members. Also, it sounds like she's holding on to the past and is reluctant to let go, such as keeping the chaise you describe as "ugly" and the extra furniture that fit in her former home. She needs to replace the old chaise and let go of some of the old furniture. Nothing new will flow into her life until she makes room for it.

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

Feng Shui For Real Life Blog
Here are two recent post from the Feng Shui For Real Life Blog:
"This is Your Brain on Curves."
Turns out that choosing curves over straight lines in your decor it not just a good Feng Shui principle, but now research shows that our brains may be hard-wired to love the curve. From furniture with curvy legs, to smooth couch cushions, to rounded dental floss containers, curves play on our emotions. But what does this have to do with my watch?

"Thinking About Drunk Tank Pink."
Can a certain color pink really make strong men weak, violent prisoners calm, and football players too "chilled out" to beat their opponent? And what does Feng Shui think about the color pink?

Click here to read these post and to subscribe to the Feng Shui For Real Life Blog.

Feng Shui For Real Life Bookstore
Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office --
Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love
"Move your stuff, change your life." The Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office includes Feng Shui basics, a monthly guide to clutter clearing, hundreds of Feng Shui tips, and success stories. This is the book that will help you learn how to attract wealth, achieve harmony, improve relationships, advance your career, and clear clutter. Highlights include a month-by-month guide to clearing your clutter and a day-by-day calendar of fast fix Feng Shui tips, and links to download free bonus articles. The perfect gift for everyone on your list - clients, colleagues, family, friends - and a great way for real estate agents to say "thank you" and welcome home buyers to their new home.
Voted "Best How-To Book 2010"

Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office
254 pages
Retail Price: $15.95
Special web price: $12.95
Click here to purchase your signed paperback copy.
Also available at Kindle and iTunes.

Feng Shui Workshops
Introducing The Feng Shui Home Party
Feng Shui + Friends = Fun
This is your invitation to host a fun and fascinating Feng Shui Home Party. I'll provide an interactive 2-hour Feng Shui afternoon or evening workshop at your home for you and your friends, and you get a free Feng Shui home consultation. Everyone learns practical Feng Shui basics and tips they can take back to their own homes, gets handouts, a copy of my book, and some surprises. A Feng Shui Home Party is a chance to get together with your friends and learn Feng Shui in a relaxed atmosphere, with advice for the homes and apartments in your neighborhood. Your workshop will be customized for your group, with popular topics like "Finding Love with Feng Shui," "10 Ways to Attract Wealth," or Creating Harmony at Home with Feng Shui."

The Feng Shui Home Party is perfect for housewarming parties, bridal showers, holiday get-togethers, or a special "girls night in."

Here's How It Works:
You invite up to nine guests, provide refreshments, and get a Feng Shui consultation for your home. Everyone learns Feng Shui basis, participates hands-on in the host's home consultation, and gets a copy of my book. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers. Guests also get a deep discount if they book their own home consultation.
Click here for details and to schedule your Feng Shui Home Party.

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 fundraisers because they always sell out.

Here's what people are saying about Carol's workshops --
Carol rocked it with her powerful workshop, and how great to have the entire day to soak it as she covered so much. Everyone really LOVED it! Carol's fresh take on Feng Shui is invigorating yet light enough to actually make changes and see immediate results in a space. Her book is additional reinforcement to her live trainings. Carol makes the process fun and yes, anyone can do this! -- Jennifer Ashton, Jennifer Ashton Interiors

I have enjoyed Carol's lively and informative Feng Shui presentations, and I always leave with new insights and tips that I can immediately put to good use in both my home and office. I’m excited to have Carol create a custom workshop for my group.
-- Lainie Grimmer, CPCC, ACC, Creating Clarity Coaching

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, ASID, Samuel Design Group

Thank you for a great presentation! Really great stuff.... you are a whiz. -- Val Romero, Founder, 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 Consulting
I will visit your home, office, or business and help you rearrange your space, shift energy, and transform your life. 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, and Denver). Nationwide, I consult on request throughout the US.

During the consultation I will teach you Feng Shui basics, then we'll go through your space and I'll make suggestions for changing the placement of furniture and objects and dealing with color. We will move what we can at that time and I will leave behind a written step-by-step Feng Shui Makeover Plan of recommendations for you to follow, a ToolKit of information to help you make the remaining changes, and a copy of my award-winning book, the Feng Shui Quick Guide For Home and Office: Secrets For Attracting Wealth, Harmony, and Love. All sessions include 30 days of free Feng Shui coaching to help you continue to make changes and move forward.

Here's what clients are saying about Carol's On-Site Feng Shui Consulting:
You stood here in my family room and said, "Now that the renovations are done and no more fixes are needed, there are no more excuses, it's time to write." And that's what I'm doing. Your consultation was a big factor behind this exciting time for me, and you can tell everyone that I said so.

I am love, love, loving my Feng Shui'd home. I have added red to many of the rooms, like you talked about, and what a difference. Thank you again for coming and doing your magic.
J.P., Executive Coach

Appointments fill up fast, especially on weekends Click here for details and to schedule.

Remote Consulting by Phone and Skype
When an on-site consultation isn't possible, I offer Off-Site and Remote Feng Shui Consulting in the US and internationally for homes, offices, and businesses. There are two options, either Whole House Consultation or the new Room Rescue Package for one room in your home. You will receive advice for re-arranging furniture and accessories, selecting and hanging artwork, choosing the right colors, clutter clearing, re-purposing what you already have.

Here's what clients are saying about Carol's off-site Feng Shui consultations:
Thank you for the advice you provided during our Room Rescue consultation. You are the instrument to help me achieve tranquility and peace of mind.

The floor plan analysis told me everything I need to know. I especially appreciate the Hotline Coaching Package so I can continue to check in with you and ask questions as I move things around and before I make purchases. Loved your suggestion for art in my bedroom.

To schedule your on-site or remote Feng Shui consultation, e-mail Carol Olmstead or call 1.800.652.9038. I welcome your referrals.

From the Feng Shui Store
In the Feng Shui Art Gallery – The Feng Shui Menagerie Collection”
Artist Morgan C. Leshinsky created this original series of high quality giclée prints and note cards to use as Feng Shui cures for specific bagua areas in your home. Called The Feng Shui Menagerie Collection, these prints are modeled on the traditional Chinese zodiac, but with a fresh simplicity that is both contemporary and original.

The Rooster and the Pearl"
"The Rooster and the Pearl" is a powerful Feng Shui Office Cure to cut down on gossip, back stabbing, and office politics.

"Nine Goldfish"
The image of nine fish - eight gold and one black - is a classic Feng Shui symbol for attracting wealth because it represents growth and movement. The single black fish represents protection for your health and career, as well as increased earnings. In an office or business, this image also represents healthy competition in business.

Click here to see all of the art cures offered in the Feng Shui Store.

Purse Hangers
Where do you put your purse? There is a Feng Shui saying that "your purse on the floor means money out the door." You carry your money, credit cards, and checkbook in your purse, and in Feng Shui, putting these on the floor represents disregard for your wealth and income. Plus, scientific studies also show that your purse can be contaminated with numerous bacteria when it comes in contact with the floor. The Feng Shui remedy is a Purse Hanger that lets you hang your purse safely from a table or desk. I have 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.
Click here to order a purse hanger for yourself and for your friends at the Feng Shui Store at

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.

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 and 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

Need a Space Clearing or House Blessing?
Carol Olmstead is an Ordained Minister specializing in Feng Shui house blessing ceremonies and space clearing. Call 1.800.652.9038 or e-mail Carol for details.

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

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 (IFSG) and was elected to the IFSG Governing Board.

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.

©2013, Carol M. Olmstead

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© Copyright 2018, Carol Olmstead