OsteoStrong Builds the Bones of Skeletal Health

My mother was taller than me when I graduated from college, but now I tower over her.
Not because I had a twentysomething growth spurt, but because she’s been plagued by osteoporosis, which literally means “porous bone.”

This horrible condition, which causes the bones to become more porous and fragile, greatly increasing the risk of painful and often disabling broken bones, is a tough one to treat and an impossible one to cure. They think my mom’s osteoporosis was caused by chemotherapy, but genetics and aging are factors too. So naturally I was intrigued when I wrote about OsteoStrong (osteostrong.me) for last year’s Active Aging guide. But at that time, because of the pandemic, the wellness studio was closed to the public, and I wasn’t able to try out the machines for myself.

This year, I finally got to check out the rather novel bone-building exercise approach designed to stimulate bone growth through delivery of high-intensity loads. A franchise operation owned by Yvonne and Jim Parsons, the OsteoStrong program uses special exercise machines that deliver intense bone-stimulating loads through four nearmaximal
isometric exercises.

“The most important thing is that you compress the bone and the axial,” explained
Yvonne of how it works. “And if you noticed, when you were doing each piece of equipment, nothing moves. We get into position and it’s robotic in that sense, but once you get on, nothing moves except you, and it’s the compression of the bone that stimulates the adaptive response.”

The circuit itself takes only about 10 minutes, which is certainly efficient. I didn’t work up a sweat because, as Yvonne explained, “It’s only about the adaptive response. A good
analogy is that it’s like if you walked into a dark room and your pupils expanded. You go
to a gym to get your muscles strong, but you go here to get your skeletal strength.”

The machines work on the principle of “osteogenic” loading. These super-resistance
machines cover every section of the body—a chest press, leg press, core pull, and skeleton stressing vertical lift—and they resemble weight machines with feedback monitors. Clients come in once a week, stand on vibration platforms to warm up, then exert 30 seconds of all-out force at each workout station.

All in 10 minutes! Seriously, I saw at least three people cycle through as I interviewed
Yvonne.

Although my one session at OsteoStrong was not enough time to report any results,
nothing hurt afterward, and the people I saw come in seemed to be all smiles with
a little extra spring in their steps. There are certainly loads of happy customers, as their video testimonials attest to (osteostrong.me/video-gallery).

“People love it,” said Yvonne. “It’s fast, it’s very safe, and it’s so efficient. It seems like it’s not real, but it really is. We can’t say that we cure anything or anything like that, but we have many members who come in and they’ve had their T-score [a measure of bone density] measured, and they come in, and the next year when they get it again, the T-score has improved and bone density has improved. … When your bones are stronger, you’re not having that fear of fracture if you fall. It’s like when you walk off of a curb, people go, ‘Oh no, I don’t have any problem with that anymore.’ Their balance and agility has improved.”

Check it out yourself for free. Call (805) 453-6086 or email santabarbara@osteostrong.me to set up an appointment. See osteostrong.me

Originally published in The Santa Barbara Independent on August 12, 2021. Cover photo by Erick Madrid. To read this special section as it originally appeared in print, click here.

sbmidmod Brings Mid-Centry Style to Santa Barbara

Owner of sbmidmod, Tracey Strobel. Photo by Erick Madrid for the Santa Barbara Independent.

Owner of sbmidmod, Tracey Strobel. Photo by Erick Madrid for the Santa Barbara Independent.

An appealing array of home furnishings and artful objects—featuring the mid-century modern motifs of clean lines, bright colors, organic and geometric shapes, bold patterns, mixed textures, and contrasting materials—are on display at sbmidmod, a new addition to the Funk Zone. Located on Anacapa Street next to the popular Mony’s Mexican restaurant, this eclectic retail space showcases the timeless appeal of the design style.

A self-described research geek with a degree in ancient history, owner Tracey Strobel has spent almost two decades collecting, studying, restoring, and selling mid-century pieces. She got started hunting down furnishings for her own home. “Then it became a situation where I had one or two too many pieces and I thought I could maybe sell them … and it
snowballed into a business rather rapidly after that … and 18 years later, ta-da,” she laughed.

A Richard Schulman print of actor Anthony Hopkins, sits in the corner of sbmidmod. Photo by Erick Madrid for the Santa Barbara Independent.

A Richard Schulman print of actor Anthony Hopkins, sits in the corner of sbmidmod. Photo by Erick Madrid for the Santa Barbara Independent.

Strobel began selling in the early days of eBay. “I’ve done the grunt work,” she said. “I worked estate sales, I’ve had spaces in antique malls—including a current space at the Antique Center Mall—and I’ve been incredibly grateful for those experiences because you
learn a lot from the people around you. One of the things I love the most about this job is that you’re constantly learning.”

She finds her inventory everywhere, from online searches to estate sales to tips from her network of antique dealers. As to what excites her about the mid-century modern aesthetic, Strobel said, “I love the minimal lines. I love the simplicity, and honestly, I view all of these pieces as functional art. It’s a lamp, yes, it gives you light, but it’s beautiful to look at and it inspires an emotional reaction for me. I can’t explain it better than that.”

Kitty corner, a tribute to cats in art form, at sbmidmod in the Funk Zone. Photo by Erick Madrid for the Santa Barbara Independent.

Kitty corner, a tribute to cats in art form, at sbmidmod in the Funk Zone. Photo by Erick Madrid for the Santa Barbara Independent.

The research geek that she is, Strobel added, “There is also the component of knowing who the designers are and having the opportunity to research and learn about someone new.” The other appeal of the era is the craftsmanship. “It’s so well-made,” she said. “When you take care of these pieces, they will last for generations. It’s also important to me—though it’s pretty simple and rather obvious—that antiquing and buying vintage/used furniture helps the planet.”

As to the risk of opening up a new retail space during the uncertain days of a pandemic, Strobel said it was really a matter of stumbling onto a building that spoke to her. She was out on a bike ride in February when she spotted the “For Lease” sign in the window of a gutted building. “All I could see was the brick and the studs,” she said. She quickly made an appointment for a walk through. “It just landed with me,” she said.

Strobel signed a lease two weeks later. The timing was good. “I was really ready to have a
place where people could come in and shop, but also where I could research and do my work,” she said. “This is essentially my office that people can come and shop in.”

“It’s definitely an obsession,” she laughed. “You’ve got to have a passion for this in order to make it last a long time. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work.”

Santa Barbara Independent, June 24, 2021.Originally published in the June 24, 2021 issue of the Santa Barbara Independent. To see the story as it originally appeared in print click here.

Home and Garden: Special Issue

HAPPY HOMES & GLORIOUS GARDENS

Architects, Antiquers, Nursery Pros, Chefs, and More Celebrate Indoors & Out in 2021

From private homes with public impact to public gardens offering private inspiration, our annual Home & Garden special issue for2021 celebrates the many design and decorating options for residential life in Santa Barbara. We hope you find something that works in your living situation, whether that’s a small tree to plant on your patio or a complete remodel of your mansion.

Here is the whole package of stories:

Sheltifying Santa Barbara

Tips From a Veteran Vintage Shopper

Exploring the Ambriz Kingdom of Plants

Confined to Quarters, Not to Canvas

Public Gardens for Private Inspiration

Seasons Star in Lush Life Cookbook

Bringing Brass Ring to Home Decor

Indian Pink Pillow Power

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on May 20, 2021. To see the story as it originally appeared, click here.

Tips From a Veteran Vintage Shopper

Tips From a Veteran Vintage Shopper, photo by Erick Madrid. Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on May 20, 2021.

Unlike many of today’s cheaply manufactured products, antiques were built to last a lifetime. These high-quality items can be a chic, unique, and eco-conscious way to furnish your home. But you need to know what to look for.

Antiques dealer Anne Luther founded Raggedy Anneteques at age 14, selling her wares at flea markets and swap meets. She shared some tips during a recent walk through the Antique Center Mall on Hollister Avenue, where her collections are on display (she also has space at the Summerland Antique Collective).

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER: “Don’t think because you see a rack of
Hawaiian shirts when you walk in that there won’t be anything in the store for you,” said
Luther. “Multi-dealer collectives often have a mix of dealers with a range of items to offer. Shopping at these kinds of places saves you time and helps you develop your own style.
Dealers will sometimes have to buy an entire estate or box at auction to get the items they really want. So make sure to look closely. That Asian art dealer may also have a small
box of English china in the corner. You never know.” This is also a good way to find bargains, she said.

LOOK CLOSELY: You may be surprised by what you spot. “Make sure to look both up and down when you’re in an antique collective,” she said. “Real estate is expensive, and dealers take advantage of every inch of space, hanging things from the ceiling and tucking them under tables.”

TOUCH THINGS: “You’re not in a museum,” said Luther. “Feel an item and its weight. The heavier the piece of furniture — specifically chairs — the more likely that it’s a period piece from the 18th century.” Her pro tip: If you reach your hand underneath the front of a chair,
you can feel the raw wood. If it’s smooth, it’s been machine-cut, and the chair was made after 1860. If it’s rough, then it’s hand-cut, and the piece is likely much older. For china, pottery, and glassware, she advised, “Check for chips and cracks with your fingers as well as your eyes. Run your finger over all of the edges.”

DISCRIMINATE, BUT DON’T HOARD: “It takes three of something to make a collection,”
said Luther. If you have tabletop items, like lion figurines for example, “when you display them at home, you want to put them on a tray to give them a little more presence and interest. And you don’t want to buy every single lion you ever see: This is how hoarders get started. Be discriminating, buy the best quality you can afford, signed pieces or pieces
manufactured by well-known names. Keep refining your collection, replacing inferior pieces with better quality ones.”

Antique Center Mall, 4434 Hollister Ave., (805) 967-5700, antiquecentermall.com; Summerland Antique Collective, 2192 Ortega Hill Rd., Summerland, (805) 565-3189, summerlandantiquecollective.com

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on May 20, 2021. To see the story as it originally appeared, click here.

Bringing Brass Ring to Home Decor

Bringing the Brass Ring to Home Decor, Urban-Equestrian photos by Amy Barnard. Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on May 20, 2021.

A new line of luxury accessories by designer Joel Chauran melds his years as a professional horse trainer with his longtime career as a home furnishings product developer for brands such as Pottery Barn, Pier 1, TargetNeiman Marcus, and Williams Sonoma.

In addition to horse-inspired bags, jewelry, and accessories, Urban-Equestrian’s line of feather pillows embraces the sturdy yet elegant materials of contemporary riders. Coronado suede, Coronado cowhide, and Adagio cowhide leather pillows are
available in a variety of colors, shapes, and styles, all of which are designed to work
together with an emphasis on both style and comfort.

“I like to layer pillows together,” said Chauran, working from his studio in the hills near the Santa Barbara Bowl. “Refreshing your pillows and even rearranging the ones that you have really is a quick fix to give new life to an old room. I’m always thinking about how I could put this one together with that one; I always have different combinations in my head when I’m designing.

Though he designs all sorts of items, textiles are particularly dear to his heart. “I’m just drawn to all of the different techniques that you can do with fabric to customize things, and so it becomes this playground of different embroideries and different stitches and different folding and ruching and whatnot,” said Chauran. “I just can’t seem to get enough of it.”

Urban-Equestrian pillows are available at Lily in Montecito (lilyinmontecito.com), Cercana in Ojai (cercanaojai.com), and online at urban-equestrian.com, where 2 percent of online sales are donated to Love This Horse Equine Rescue.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on May 20, 2021. To see the story as it originally appeared, click here.

Gratui-Tees

Gratui-Tees, originally published in the May 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Looking for a way to support Santa Barbara bars and restaurants, Beau Lawrence, owner of Ace Rivington (acerivington.com) clothing store, created the SB Monster Tour Tee, a
100 percent–cotton t-shirt with an illustration of a monster printed on the front and a list of the date-night hot spots in the city that Lawrence and his wife Yasmin have enjoyed on the back. For each t-shirt sold, Lawrence will donate $10 to what he considers a tip-sharing pool that will be divided among the establishments on the list.

“The idea is that the monster is waking up as things are opening up, and it’s time to have some fun and come alive again,” says Lawrence. “It’s also about wanting to come up with a creative way of supporting local bars and restaurants.”

Recognizing longtime favorites, such as The Andersen’s Danish Bakery & Restaurant and Harry’s Plaza Cafe, as well as newer venues, like Venus in Furs bar and bottle shop and Yona Redz taqueria, the tees are available at the Ace Rivington website and store in Santa Barbara’s historic La Arcada Plaza.

805 Living Cover, May 2021, photo by Gary Moss.

Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

 

Biking Bliss

Biking Bliss was originally published in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.Specializing in electric bicycles, Montecito’s new Mad Dogs & Englishmen (maddogsenglishmen.com) bike store offers a wide selection of high-end e-bike
brands for sale and rental.

Like the other locations in Mill Valley, Carmel-By-the-Sea, and Monterey, the recently opened outpost on Coast Village Road also carries helmets, some of which are disguised as pretty straw hats, and sporty sidecars—a fun way to turn an e-bike into a cargo bike, or carry kids and dogs (up to 100 pounds) as passengers.

Owner and CEO Jennifer Blevins has a passion for the e-bike. “It’s like a magic
carpet that lets you discover more, go to more places,” she says. “You can see more
and enjoy more on a bike. Perhaps ditch the car and take the kids to school by bike.
Or cycle down to the beach with your pup. The e-bike levels the playing field and
eliminates all obstacles—and makes biking fun again for many riders.”

Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Cabin Chic

Cabin Chic, originally published in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.Building on the success of Yarfa, the Joshua Tree rental-cabin company’s owners started Campover (campover.com), an online home goods business inspired by the cabins.

Now they have opened a brick-and-mortar store in Los Alamos to showcase their wares.

“We’re drawn to simple, well-designed,
and functional products,” says co-owner Lindsey Woitunski. “We also carry a selection of home goods inspired by the local vibe of Los Alamos.”

Among the offerings are an assortment of linens,
Hasami ceramics, locally made pottery and
cutting boards, and vintage finds.

 

 

Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Room For Change

Feng Shui Collective, originally published in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

If home has become a bit too familiar of late, this might be the year to take spring cleaning to a more transformative level—perhaps with the help of feng shui.

“Feng shui is not just about creating lovely, inviting spaces,” says Lauren Bragg (below, left), who cofounded the Santa Barbara-based Feng Shui Collective (fengshuicollective.com) with her mother, Pamela Abbott-Mouchou (above, right),
in October 2019.

“Just as importantly, it’s about change and being the architect of change in your life.”

The mother-daughter team offers services ranging from one-time visits to intensive consultations to a six week fundamentals course.

Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Pillow Power: Montecito’s Indian Pink Pillows

Pillow Power originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Pillow Power originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Few decorative updates are as easy to pull off as simply adding some stylish throw pillows to a space. Lending a pop of color and rich texture, they draw interest to sofas,
beds, windowseats, and chairs while providing extra comfort.

Montecito-based Indian Pink
Pillows (indianpinkpillows.com/pillows) introduce an exotic vibe.

The vibrant, one-of-a-kind pillows
and bolsters come in assorted sizes
and incorporate vintage textiles from
around the world.

“I am passionate about vintage
textiles,” says Tamara Cajuste, who
co-owns the business with her husband
JP. “The texture, the story, the wear,
the quality—it all just sings to me.”
Pillows “can make or break a
room,” Cajuste says. “I like to anchor
the sofa with larger neutral pillows,
then add a smaller pillow with pattern
or color. I also like to use color or
pattern on a side chair to make it
complete. But I don’t overdo it. There
needs to be a nice balance.”

Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of 805 Living Magazine.