Breaking Up Your Routine in Santa Monica
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Breaking Up Your Routine in Santa Monica

We’re still grooving on those Santa Monica vibes we were putting out last week, and decided to keep things west of the 405. This week we discovered a few more up-and-coming west side gems for Angelenos to explore. We’ve included a new place to get your morning coffee or take your daily lunch escape, a yoga studio on the rise that will leave you sweating from every pore and feeling Zen, and a place to go for health ailments and alternative medicinal options. Hopefully we’ll inspire you to break free from your daily routine and try some of our new and refreshing suggestions.

Food: Infuzion Café

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Infuzion café is a Santa Monica establishment that should already be on your list of favorite places to visit if it isn’t already. It’s one of those spots that knows you by name – or at least your food and drink order. You can’t feel out of place here with the warm decorum and relaxed atmosphere hanging in the air. Infuzion already has a customer following given that they have been in the neighborhood for over a decade serving patrons delicious boba and coffee drinks. Roughly a year ago, owner Henry Cong decided to make the upgrade to a larger space, and with it, added a larger menu exploring food options for customers.

You can find a variety of sandwiches, salads, and soups as well as their signature boba and coffee drinks. Vegan and vegetarian options are in abundance and Infuzion offer as many organic and in-house made items as possible. The café is also a purveyor of local goods from smaller up-and-coming companies and has even sold big names like Ethos Water and Om Snacks before they became well-known brands. Cong notes that the café’s success is due to their dedication to fresher, higher quality ingredients and never selling stale products or taking short cuts.

If you haven’t been, drop by and try an almond milk chai and one of their mouthwatering Paninis.  Camp out for a little while on their free wifi and get some studying or last minute work done!

Infuzion is located at 1241 5th Street in Santa Monica.
http://www.infuzioncafe.com/

Fitness: Sweat Yoga

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Sweat Yoga is the newest addition to the block and they are heating up the surrounding competition. With local Yoga spots like Santa Monica Power Yoga, Bhakti Yoga Shala, and Power Yoga East all within a one mile radius, Sweat Yoga has some big names to stand up against. That shouldn’t be a problem though as they are already gaining notoriety and quickly filling up their classes. Sweat Yoga is a part of the growing trend of Power Yoga with classes ranging from 60-75 minutes of what is the majority a Vinyasa flow practice in a warm room (they refer to this as sweat-flow). The longer 75 minute classes incorporate more Ying with long hold poses.

I had the pleasure of putting my beginner Yoga skills to the test in one of the studio’s evening sweat-flow classes earlier this week. The room was definitely full, and at first I was alarmed by how hot it really was in there. After a few warm up Vinyasas though, I forgot about the heat and focused on the practice and the music playing in the background guiding me through the postures. I left the class dripping in sweat, smiling and feeling cleansed from the weekend.

The studio on Arizona and 7th St in Santa Monica, is their first space and it opened just this past November. The founder has lofty goals of becoming a nationwide establishment and we’re eager to watch them grow.  Class schedules can be found on their website and they have very reasonable introductory rates for brand new students. It’s wise to reserve a space if you want to join the other local patrons getting in an after work sweat sesh before heading home.  If you like smaller classes, instructors recommend taking one of the ‘sweat does lunch’ or morning sweat-flow sessions. Don’t forget to check out their Sunday evening meditation class to soothe and restore your mind! Namaste.

Visit Sweat Yoga at 702 Arizona Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
http://www.sweat-yoga.com/

 

Health & Healing: Proactive Health Labs

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Proactive Health is a health and retail center dedicated to helping the public optimize their health through alternative options. Proactive Health Labs is intended to teach people about their bodies and how to maintain their vitality in an all-natural holistic manner.  The clinic contains a staff of natural doctors who identify and diagnose internal issues in patients through a series of different tests designed to recognize the root of a person’s health issues. What makes this medicinal approach appealing is that Proactive Health doctors are getting to the source of the issues and finding lifelong solutions for patients rather than treating symptoms and overlooking the underlying issues.

Physicians prescribe all-natural solutions and have all supplements readily available for purchase in the clinic. It’s kind of a one-stop-shop. They offer memberships of different levels that cover doctor visits, pH body composition analysis, pH water, pH tests and a few other things depending on the plan members select. Some insurance health care providers are accepted and will cover certain tests for clients.

I was lured in by the natural pet products they were featuring but was not disappointed when I discovered so much more than just organic canine shampoos inside. The most popular neighborhood purchase is the water plan which provides alkalized water for the year. The benefits of alkalized water are supposed to reduce high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer risk. Maybe spending a little extra on water is worth it! Of course you don’t have to purchase a membership to see the doctors or browse the store. You can still stop by and check out their Santa Monica or Sherman Oaks location for products promoting a healthy, non-toxic, balanced lifestyle.

Located at 1241 5th St #101 Santa Monica, CA 90401 and also 14619 Ventura Blvd Sherman Oaks 91403.
http://phlabs.com/

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Ron Robinson’s Ultra-Cool Eclectic Santa Monica Boutique
Lifestyle

Ron Robinson’s Ultra-Cool Eclectic Santa Monica Boutique


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Recently we have been exploring all that this giant city of opportunity has to offer our bodies, minds, souls, and well, let’s face it, our closets. Our focus as of late has been on the West side of Los Angeles –the more laid back, beach vibes, and dressed down luxury that is Santa Monica. We are all too aware of the Santa Monica Promenade tourist jungle, alive and bustling with the cacophony of street performers belting out the oldies and top 40 hits, the shrieks and laughter of children running free,  and of course, the crowded sidewalks full of shoppers perusing the latest trends. The promenade is alive with visitors who have come to enjoy the sun and sand, but that’s not the only population spending their time on this side of the boardwalk. If you are a local, you strive to break free of the tourist trap and find the quainter, less commercialized boutique and eateries in town.

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We decided to explore Santa Monica a little deeper and went off the beaten path, well, maybe just a few blocks off the promenade really, in search of some of the best spots that are establishing reputations as west side residencies that won’t be going off the grid anytime soon. This week we discovered a unique all-in-one place to shop that actually has its historical roots here and really is a Los Angeles household name.  You most likely are already familiar with Ron Robinson’s boutiques, or the name at least rings a bell – so it isn’t news that the Robinson brand has been in existence for a few decades. If you haven’t heard about them though, or seen their eclectic and stunningly beautiful layout in their new Santa Monica storefront, let us just fill you in. I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Robinson this weekend and got the inside scoop on what the company is all about, how they got their start, and what you can expect to see in stores and online.

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Mr. Robinson started as a salesman for Fred Segal, moved to buyer, and eventually became Vice President for the company before creating his own brand that has been available to the public for the last 20 years now.  He has created a shopping experience that in his own words “is supposed to touch your senses through its visual and esthetic pieces … its experiential when you walk in.” And it truly is. The Santa Monica boutique looks like a house made of recycled sea glass (which was the aesthetic intention), filled with an assortment of furniture, clothes, jewelry, perfumes, and high end skin care remedies that you wish filled your own home. Robinson seeks forward design that is “an expression on a lifestyle concept,” meaning buyers can find an assortment of retailers and items that are less common place. The never-ending goal of Robinson boutiques is to represent the Los Angeles lifestyle and present things people have not yet seen. Everything you need and didn’t know you needed is encompassed in this single store.

We appreciate the emphasis Robinson has on keeping business local and cultivating products from Los Angeles proprietors and designers, as well as retailers local and worldwide. Our favorite thing about Robinson’s boutiques is that they are conscious of environmental preservation and offer a variety of brands that feature products made from recycled water bottles, 100% vegan leather suitcases, and an assortment of organic skin care lines. All the lighting is LED and shopping bags are made from recycled products as well. Robinson notes that they have always been eco-conscious and has made these options available before it was cool to save the planet.

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Robinson’s newest boutique opened just this past December and can be found in Santa Monica on 5th Street between Santa Monica and Arizona.  It’s just a few blocks from the main promenade strip, and you almost wouldn’t know it was there, except for that fact that the inside design of the store is eye catching from across the street.  If you can’t stop by the store – but really you should see its beauty – you can always shop their goodies online or at Fred Segal where you can purchase all their women’s, kids and men’s lines as well as home, beauty and accessories.

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