Los Angeles and the surrounding areas always seem to be bustling with activity, and it’s easy to get caught up in that rat race. Meditating is a great way to break away from the daily grind and recommit to yourself.
Even in the busy city, there are a few places where you can meditate and find the solitude you need to get back on track.
Mahamudra Buddhist Center
The Mahamudra Buddhist Center in Hermosa Beach offers meditation classes throughout the South Bay. You do not need to be a practicing Buddhist to attend a class or workshop; everyone is welcome.
Classes are held throughout Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Costa Mesa, and San Clemente. There are a variety of time slots available, so there’s no excuse for not making time in your day for some some meditation!
The center also offers a half-day class on perfecting concentration, meditation workshops for families, and many other events throughout the year.
Ananda South Bay
Ananda South Bay in Redondo Beach is a yoga and meditation studio that focuses on helping its clients achieve physical and mental wellness.
If you are new to meditation, this might be a good place to start. The center offers an Introduction to Mediation series that meets weekly throughout the year. Ananda also offers drop-in meditation sessions from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Even taking a few minutes out of your lunch hour to meditate can bring huge benefits in the form of increased concentration and a more relaxed state of mind at work. The classes are free but donations are encouraged.
If the lunchtime sessions will not work for you, check out the free Monday evening meditation classes at Meditation Unlimited in Torrance. Each class includes meditation time and a lecture on a different wellness-related topic each week.
No experience is needed to participate in these sessions, and recordings are available on the Meditation Unlimited website if you want to get a feel for things before you go.
Going out to lunch every day is a sure fire way to bust your budget and expand your waistline. With a little planning, you can enjoy tasty lunches that are better than fast food and healthier to boot! Make-ahead lunch recipes are widely available online, but here are a few ideas to get you started.
These lunches turn the idea of a traditional salad on its head by putting all of the ingredients into an easily-portable mason jar. You can prepare ingredients in large batches and then divide into individual jars to grab as you head out to work in the morning.
The possibilities here are endless — everything from sushi to BBQ to to burritos. Once you get a hang of how the jars are set up, you’ll be coming up with your own combinations in no time.
If you want to meal prep but are short on time, the slow cooker might just become your new best friend. Throw your ingredients in and, a few hours later, your food is ready to pack up for the week.
Just like mason jars, the options for the crock pot are only limited by your imagination. You could go Indian with a curry, Mexican with chili, or Italian with a ragu — just to name a few. If you get sick of eating the same thing every day, many slow cooker meals can be frozen and thawed out later.
Meal Planning 101
Once you decide what you want to make, it’s time to get organized. You’ll need to make a grocery list and have all of your ingredients ready to start cooking.
Once the food is ready, make sure you have enough jars or containers to store it in. Ideally, each day of the week would have its own container for maximum grab and go factor, but you may need to reuse containers throughout the week depending on how many you have or how much room you have to store them.
It’s great to have friends and family visit from out of town, but the days leading up to that visit are often stressful as you realize that your house is not ready for other people to see.
Your house is not a hotel, and your guests probably are not expecting perfection, but that does not mean you should skimp on cleaning and other tasks to get your home organized. Here are a few easy things you can do for maximum return on your investment of time and energy.
Make a Fresh Bed
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting into a fresh, clean bed, especially after a long day of traveling. The last thing you want is for your guests to find themselves in a bed with dirty or musty sheets.
You should always strip the guest bed or beds a day or two before your company arrives and make sure it is freshly made for their first night. Even if no one has slept in the bed since you last washed the sheets, they can pick up whatever smells are in your house and lose that fresh feeling over time.
The arrival of visitors is a great time to remove some of the junk that tends to build up around the house. This includes everything from stacks of unopened junk mail to the clothes you’ve been meaning to donate to kids toys that never seem to get put away.
Effective decluttering does not mean shoving everything into a closet or other out of the way place. Instead, separate items into things that you want to keep, things you want to donate, and things you want to throw away. Then make a plan for getting rid of whatever you are not going to keep.
Set the Temperature
Consider whether your guests’ temperature preferences may differ from yours and adjust your thermostat accordingly. You’ll need to do this at least a few hours ahead of their arrival in order for the temperature to adjust as needed.
As an extra courtesy, set out extra blankets in the bedroom if it’s cold, or place a fan in the guest room if it’s hot. That way, your guests will have the ability to control the temperature beyond what you set.
The days are a little shorter and the temperatures are a little cooler during the fall and winter months, but that does not mean that these seasons are short on activities. Add these three events to your calendar and plan to soak up all that fall and winter have to offer in the South Bay!
Redondo Beach Lobster Festival
Held each September, this festival pays tribute to one of the tastiest crustaceans around. Food choices range from traditional lobster rolls and surf and turf dinners to outside the box choices like lobster quesadillas.
The festival is held at Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach each September. Beyond the wide variety of lobster dishes, it includes live music, craft beer, paddle board lessons, and a variety of events for kids. Tickets typically go on sale at the end of the summer.
Port of Los Angeles Happy Halloween and Pet Parade
Celebrate Halloween on the water at this family-friendly event held in late October each year. The day begins with a pet costume parade, and ends with food and games for the whole family.
This free event has two locations: Downtown Harbor in San Pedro and Wilmington Waterfront Park. Visit the LA Waterfront website for more information. The LA Waterfront holds events year-round, including a few others during the fall and winter months.
Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks
Only in Southern California can you find fireworks in the middle of December. This annual display is the Manhattan Beach area’s signature holiday event and draws thousands of spectators to kick off the holiday season at Manhattan Beach Pier.
Beyond the fireworks, the event also includes a Santa float parade and a family holiday carol singalong. The event has been going strong for more than 30 years and fireworks are faithfully launched at 7 p.m. rain or shine. Make sure to get there early if you want a good seat for the show!
Moving can be hard on everyone in the family, but can be especially stressful if changing schools is involved. Luckily, a summer move gives children the chance to start fresh for the new school year. The following are ways that families can help their students adjust after a summer move.
1. Meet the neighbors
The combination of no school, warm temperatures, and short nights means that many families spend their summer evenings playing outside. Take advantage of this opportunity to get to know your neighbors; even if you don’t have kids the same age, they can give you tips and tricks about the local schools as well as help connect you with potential playmates for your children. Most neighborhoods will have at least one or two other children the same age as your kid. Even if they won’t be in the same class, starting a new school can feel less intimidating when you already have several friends.
2. Go to summer school
Many schools offer summer enrichment programs or day camps on campus. Signing up for these programs not only helps your child be more familiar with their new school building, but it can also help them meet new children who will be attending school with them in the fall.
3. Sign up for sports
Signing up for a local sports team is another great way to make connections with other students and families. As sports teams are grouped by area and age, there is a good chance your child will be on a team with students from their new school - if not their new class.
4. Get involved at the new school
Joining parent groups such as the PTO can be an additional support as children acclimate to a new school. This benefits both parents and children; as parents meet other adults with similarly-aged children, playdates and other outings can be easily arranged. Likewise, joining a parent group will show your child you are also interested in learning about their new teachers and school.
5. Take a trial run
The days leading up to the start of a new school year are stressful for everyone, but doubly so for those starting a new school. To make the first day more enjoyable, try taking a trial run; about a week before school starts, practice everything you are going to do the first morning. Set your alarm and wake up at the new time, get ready and practicing walking to school or the bus stop. If time permits, drive to the school so they can get more familiar with the route and any landmarks along the way. Likewise, take advantage of any open houses or meet the teacher nights the school hosts as a way to explore and get familiar with their new school and classroom.