Category Archives: LIFE + STYLE

Get Outside – Your Health Depends On It!

March 5, 2020

As you get outside this spring, have you ever considered how our green spaces contribute to our health? Studies show that green space and landscaping contribute to health, happiness, and intellect.

It’s natural to long for spring when it’s cold outside. But did you know, there’s a good reason why you may pine for green? Living landscapes are an important part of the outdoor lifestyle that Americans enjoy, but the benefits go beyond the barbeque and backyard baseball. Green spaces are necessary for your health.

“The advantages of grass and landscaping surpass the usual physical benefits that result from outdoor activity,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Numerous studies have found that people who spend more time outside or are exposed to living landscapes are happier, healthier and smarter. As you get ready to get outside this spring with your lawn mower and other outdoor power equipment, it’s great to know being outside is good for you.

Researchers have studied the impact of nature on human well-being for years, but recent studies have found a more direct correlation between human health, particularly related to stress, and the importance of people’s access to nature and managed landscapes.

Getting dirty is actually good for you. Soil is the new Prozac, according to Dr. Christopher Lowry, a neuroscientist at the University of Bristol in England. Mycobacterium vaccae in soil mirrors the effect on neurons that Prozac provides. The bacterium stimulates serotonin production, which explains why people who spend time gardening, doing yard work, and have direct contact with soil feel more relaxed and happier.

Children who are raised on farms in a “dirtier” environment than an urban setting not only have a stronger immune system but are also better able to manage social stress, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

Living near living landscapes can improve your mental health. Researchers in England found that people moving to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health that was sustained for at least three years after they moved. The study also showed that people relocating to a more developed area suffered a drop in mental health.

Greening of vacant urban areas in Philadelphia reduced feelings of depression by 41.5% and reduced poor mental health by 62.8% for those living near the vacant lots, according to a study by a research team.

Green spaces can make you healthier too. People who live within a half mile of green space (such parks, public gardens, and greenways) were found to have a lower incidence of fifteen diseases by Dutch researchers — including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma and migraines.

A 2015 study found that people living on streets with more trees had a boost in heart and metabolic health. Studies show that tasks conducted under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Spending time in gardens, for instance, can improve memory performance and attention span by 20%.

Living landscapes make you smarter. Children gain attention and working memory benefits when they are exposed to greenery, says a study led by Payam Dadvand of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, In addition, exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children.

This applies to adults as well. Research has also shown that being around plants helps you concentrate better at home and at work. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture believes that spending time in gardens can improve attention span and memory performance by as much as 20 percent.

A National Institute of Health study found that adults demonstrate significant cognitive gains after going on a nature walk. In addition, a Stanford University study found that walking in nature, rather than a concrete-oriented, urban environment, resulted in decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and produced cognitive benefits, such as increased working memory performance.

Living landscapes help you heal faster. Multiple studies have discovered that plants in hospital recovery rooms or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients heal up to one day faster than those who are in more sterile or austere environments.

Physicians are now prescribing time outdoors for some patients, according to recent reports. Park Rx America is a non-profit with a mission to encourage physicians to prescribe doses of nature.

All of these benefits reinforce the importance of maintaining our yards, parks and other community green spaces. Trees, shrubs, grass, and flowering plants are integral to human health. Not only do they provide a place for kids and pets to play, they directly contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

GALERIE XII LA WILL DEBUT PAOLO VENTURA’S FIRST-EVER WEST COAST SOLO EXHIBITION Celebrated Photographer’s January Exhibition Marks the Gallery’s One-Year Anniversary

January 7, 2020


Galerie XII Los Angeles (www.galeriexii.com) is celebrating its first anniversary with the solo exhibition of world-renowned, Milan-based photographer Paolo Ventura. On the heels of completing the much-talked-about cover for January’s issue of Vogue Italia, which just came out, Paolo Ventura’s first LA solo show debuts in LA on January 18 to March 14, 2020 with a public opening reception on Saturday, January 18 from 4 – 7pm.
The exhibition of Ventura’s magical photographic works, “An Invented World” spans six series over the last decade and will provide the most comprehensive overview of the celebrated Italian artist’s oeuvre on the West Coast to date, including the debut of new works.
Galerie XII is located near LA’s famed Museum Row on Miracle Mile (6150 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048).


Italian photographer Paolo Ventura (b. 1968) has been referred to as one of the art scene’s most interesting storytellers with his timeless and charmingly enigmatic works. Widely known for his elaborate narrative series acted out by the artist and his family, the whimsical stories touch upon many facets of the human condition within life-size dioramic cityscapes, reminiscent of war-time Italy, which are constructed entirely by the artist. By creating fictional worlds as stage design, the artist is able to physically inhabit the short stories of his imagination. Founded by Valerie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing, the daughter of former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, Galerie XII LA’s curatorial goal is to showcase the pioneering works of photographic artists from Europe and Asia to the Los Angeles community. “Curatorially, Ventura’s work was a natural choice as it’s so visual and cinematographic.” says Valerie-Anne Giscard d’Estaing. “I still remember the impact of seeing his work for the first time in Paris in 2009 and am excited to share his work with a West Coast audience.”

“I’m happy to show some of my works spanning the last decade for the first time in Los Angeles,” says artist Paolo Ventura. “Cinema is a recurring theme in my work and it resonates with the City of Angels”.

The exhibition begins with Ventura’s third body of work Behind the Walls (2011), and notably the first in which he began inserting himself into his images. With access to a larger studio in Anghiari, his hometown in Italy, Ventura was able to now construct larger, life-size sets and backgrounds having moved from a Brooklyn apartment where his first two series were made using puppets and small dioramas.
The works on view then progress through his caricatured self-portraits in Short Stories (2012-2015) working with his wife and son in playful serial pieces to more recent large-scale pieces from Collages (2017-2019), which make up a predominant portion of the exhibition. These new works are constructed of multi-panel pieces featuring an anonymous cityscape where the character(s) seem to perpetually recede in importance relative to the scene or sometimes are not present at all (La Citta che scende, 2019).

Where for most of the decade Ventura had utilized himself to enliven the characters of his imagined history portrayed in straight photographs, the influence of painting and the ambiguous stories of the cities themselves take on more significance in later works. The small dioramic series Morte e Resurrezione II, 2018 and a unique three-dimensional work from his Paper Sculptures (2014-2016) will have their exhibition debuts as well, giving a further overview of Ventura’s expansive and unique practice that has garnered him wide critical acclaim.

Paolo Ventura has been the subject of more than forty-five international solo exhibitions since 2006 and was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2011 Venice Biennale. His work is held in prominent collections of museums across Europe and North America and  is featured in the current exhibition “Make Believe” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He lives and works in Italy. Galerie XII Los Angeles is open Wednesday – Saturday from 11am – 6pm and by appointment: (323) 917-5106

The Better Skin Co.: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

December 27, 2019

The easiest way to get your teen into her skin is to make cute.The Better Skin Co. has this down in spades and they love the holidays so much that this year they curated 5 unique skincare gift sets at various price points ($32-$78) all housed in playful sequin bags. Stocking stuffer success but think the whole year through.

Most noted for their award-winning hero products Mirakle Cream, Lava Magik and Zit No More, The Better Skin Co. focuses on clean, multi-tasking formulations that mix natural and organic ingredients boosted with a bit of science. TBSCO products are vegan, paraben free, cruelty free, gluten free and made in the USA. This holiday, TBSCO gift sets can be purchased on Thebetterskinco.com and Amazon.com.

Holiday “Must Have” Trio – Dry and Delicate – $74 (Value $104)

Lotion Kleanse – Treat your skin to a gentle, luxurious cleanse that removes impurities and assists in melting away makeup. Moisturizing shea butter complimented with aloe, seaweed and soothing green tea prep the skin for the perfect cleanse.

Epik C Serum – Containing a powerful blend of cutting edge plant based technology combined with Vitamin C, this serum gives the appearance of tighter, brighter skin while using natural botanicals and fruit extracts to protect from pollutants. Scented with a hint of lemon.

Mirakle Cream – #1 selling product with proven clinical results. Nature plus science combine to create a Day cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream, Brightener, and Primer – All In One. Moisturize and fight the signs of aging.

Pink Sequin Bag

Holiday “Must Have” Trio – Normal to Oily – $74 (Value $104)

Gel Kleanse – This kleansing gel is boosted with charcoal to draw out impurities while French Lava sloughs away the nasties. Green Tea and Aloe soothe the skin and leave it feeling hydrated – not stripped.

Epik C Serum – Containing a powerful blend of cutting edge plant based technology combined with Vitamin C, this serum gives the appearance of tighter, brighter skin while using natural botanicals and fruit extracts to protect from pollutants. Scented with a hint of lemon.

Mirakle Cream – #1 selling product with proven clinical results. Nature plus science combine to create a Day cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream, Brightener, and Primer – All In One. Moisturize and fight the signs of aging.

Pink Sequin Bag

Sparkling Zit Zapper Trio – $54 (Value $72)

ZNM Rollerball – This clear wonder potion includes tea tree oil combined with a powerful acne fighter, salicylic acid. Use day or night – leaves no residue. Dry up trouble spots with this travel-friendly rollerball. Great for Zits, Bug bites and Ingrown hair.

ZNM Klarify Moisturizer – A lightweight gel cream moisturizer formulated with salicylic acid, tea tree oil, witch hazel, and vitamin E. Loaded with acne fighting properties to clear up blemishes, penetrates pores to assist in preventing new pimples from forming and provide moisture to troubled skin.

ZNM Kleanse – This daily gel cleanser contains salicylic acid, kombucha, and tea tree oil to fight current blemishes and help protect against future blemishes. Removes grime while assisting in the treatment of problem skin. Perfect for those with acne prone skin.

Silver Sequin Bag
Holiday Hero – $34 (Value $44)

Mirakle Cream – #1 selling product with proven clinical results. Nature plus science combine to create a Day cream, Night Cream, Eye Cream, Brightener, and Primer – All In One. Moisturize and fight the signs of aging.

Pink Sequin Bag
Stocking Surprise – $32 (Value $42)

Never Not Alkaline-ing.

December 18, 2019

*We Know That’s Not A Word And We Don’t Care Because ALKALINE.

The DYLAN water bottle  is here for all your in-bottle alkaline on-the-go needs.

The DYLN Insulated Bottle is a 950 mL, ergonomic bottle that alkalizes your water within minutes and keeps it cold for up to 24 hours.

Why Drink Alkaline Water?

  • Absorbs more quickly into your cells and hydrates you faster than any other form of water.

  • Detoxifies the body to improve blood circulation and boost the immune system.

  • Helps to manage a healthy weight.

  • Combats conditions like acid reflux and high blood pressure when drinking enough.

Simply put. Acid, no. Alkaline, yes.  When your body is too acidic you experience uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn and acid reflux. However, the specific consequences of being too acidic oftentimes lead to other issues which can be detrimental to overall fitness and health.

To combat these problems and to achieve optimal hydration, Dorian Ayres founded DYLN, an alkalizing, vacuum insulated water bottle that can help combat acidity while simultaneously:

  • Helps manage a healthy weight
  • Increases speed of hydration
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties

Each Insulated DYLN Bottle comes with a replaceable VitaBead Diffuser that increases the pH of water up to 9+ within 15-20 minutes, helping to neutralize the acidity in the body. DYLN reduces the Oxidation Reduction Potential of water to -150, helping to protect against free radicals, and enriches water with hydrogen, which has been shown to boost energy, improve recovery and lower inflammation. 

We love the bottle because it’s also sturdy and sexy. We are ga-ga over this green.


A part from having an alkaline diet, drinking alkaline water can help your body more effectively maintain its acid-alkaline homeostasis, supercharge your immune system, balance your body, and deliver optimal hydration.

Purchase here!

That One Day To Night Dress You Always Wanted: Lucy Of Paris

December 16, 2019

What the holidays means (re: your wardrobe)

  1. After work cocktails
  2. Last minute party invites
  3. Celebratory gifting drop offs
  4. The need to look super fresh and ready to toast, clink and wish our loved ones and biz partners the best for a new year ahead, at any time of the day.

This means a fun day to night dress – perfect for office, luncheons, events and sexy evening cocktail or dinner.

We are gaga over this one from Lucy Of Paris. Seen here with boots from Zadig and Voltaire and Hanes opaque tights, a funky day time choice to make the look earthy and cool.

Every single dress on this site is an incredible purchase – why? Affordable! (Under $100!!), perfectly cut, whimsical and also structured. I am in a MEDIUM ( 5’4″ / 135 pounds – your average American woman) and never felt lighter, sexier and more comfy in a day to night look.

The only problem is it’s hard to choose only one. They really all look that great.

Need a quick hit this season? Lucy of Paris has got you covered!