Tis the Season for Believe'n


 Meet "Ty" our Elf on the Shelf...


For those of you who don't know about the "Elf On The Shelf" tradition, these pesky little guys show up uninvited to your home December 1st and don't leave until December 25th!  Each night they (read:The Parent) magically transport their bodies from one area of the house to another.  For example, your Elf on the Shelf might do something cute like eat cookies from the cookie jar, write messages with m&m's or hide in the freezer because it reminds him of the North Pole.  Other times, make a big mess, forming snow angels in the flour he spilled on the kitchen floor (terrible idea by the way) or seek adventure by clinging to a candy cane/garland zip-line across the living room.  (I'm pretty proud of that last one...)  Whimsical creativity and excitement abound in your home as your unpredictable friend entertains the family with his latest stunt.

However, if you are considering taking on this time honored, ridiculous tradition, you must know, you will have to lie, a lot.  Even more important to know than that, your Elf HAS TO MOVE every night!  Lord help us if you forget!!  "Mom, my Elf didn't move!"  Your child sobs as you wipe away the sleep from your eyes. You were out late, the bionic flu took you down, you fell asleep watching a movie...doesn't matter.  The Elf must move.  To cover your blunder and keep the magic alive you tell a bold face lie or make up some lame excuse like, "I heard that when he doesn't move, it means he is resting up for a really big crazy move the next night!"  You do what you have to do.  There is no greater sinking feeling than your child crying at your bedside over their idle, futile, lame Elf.

So you see, it's a lot of pressure hosting an Elf on the Shelf...not to mention isn't the idea here at Alison Burmeister for Balanced Beauty to feel good and lower stress?  So you might ask yourself, "Why in the world would I want more responsibility?"  Here is why...because the Elf on the Shelf represents more than just a silly tradition dreamed up marketing geniuses.  The Elf on the Shelf represents magic and belief in something you cannot see!  The Elf on the Shelf inspires creativity!  To quote the author Steven Pressfield, "Is there a spiritual element to creativity?  Hell yes.  Our mightiest ally (our indispensiable ally) is belief in something we cannot see, hear, touch, taste or feel."  Something as simple and silly as a little Elf on the Shelf consciously or subconsciously reinstates that life doesn't have to be so serious.  There is plenty of time to be serious.  When we have the opportunity to encourage fun and creativity in our homes, we should take it on with gusto!  To quote another great mind, "Creativity is intelligence having fun."  Albert Einstein. 

As crazy as it sounds, until my daughter walks into our room and looks me straight in my the eyes and says, "Mom you can give up the Elf act", I will keep the tradition of Elf on the Shelf alive.  For I believe we are all growing up too fast today.  With the influence of media on every corner and technology accompanying our every move, it is important to get back to the basics.  Whether you are 5 or 75 we are all kids at heart.  If something as simple as placing a goofy little Elf on a Shelf each day makes you smile, you are on the right path.  If that same act makes you and someone else smile...well that's magic. 

 Wishing everyone magic and a little silliness this holiday season!


Alison Burmeister


Balanced Beauty 


Back to School With Essential Oils!

It's official now, I think.  Every Parochial, Private and Public School is ringing their bells this week. When school starts, traffic on the main streets increases, schedules fill up, the weather changes and everyone is just plain busier.  Regardless if you have a back to school kid or not, this big shift of energy manifests in our homes and communities and somehow, you feel it. Not a bad time to arm you and your family with a few essential oils to increase energy, balance stress, increase focus and deepen much needed sleep!



There are so many incredible oils and oil blends out there...that you might get overwhelmed with all the choices. The good news is you don't have to go crazy buying a million different oils to create the perfect combination for every moment in your day. What I've noticed is, some oils work for more than one situation!

Here are some of my Favorites!

Lemon Benefits:

Fights Fatigue

Boosts immunity

Cleans surfaces and skin

Brightens and heals skin







Peppermint Benefits:

Supports the digestive system 

Relieves headaches

Stimulates circulation

Encourages hair growth









Frankincense Oil Benefits:

Helps Reduce Stress Reactions and Negative Emotions

Eases Digestion

Acts as a Sleep Aid

Helps Decrease Inflammation and Pain 




Lavender Benefits:

Promotes relaxation

Eases muscle tension

Helps heal skin irritation

Boosts immunity




Cedarwood Benefits:

Disinfecting wounds 
Killing fungal infections
Helping with insomnia
Ridding skin of blemishes






Vetiver Oil Benefits:

Reduces Inflammation
Prevents nervousness/Calms/Grounds
Relieves Insomnia 
Speeds-up Healing






So whether you need a boost or a bolster, with just these six oils, here are a few combinations to start and finish your day in perfect harmony!


For Energy:

Lemon, Peppermint and Frankincense


For Stress:

Citrus, Lavendar and Peppermint


For Focus:

Lavendar and Frankincense

Cedarwood and Vetiver


For Sleep:

Lavendar and Frankincense

Vetiver and Cedarwood 


Thanks to my friends at Young Living for these great combinations!


Wishing you a great start to a New Season!

May you feel Balanced And Beautiful!


Alison Burmeister


Balanced Beauty



The Palisades Magazine, August/September issue. "Yoga Anywhere"

What a pleasure it was to write about yoga in nature!  Two of my favorite things!!  

In today's world the image of yoga has morphed into some supernatural being that can balance on one finger while wrapping her leg around her neck.  The fact of the matter is, yoga is not about that at all.  It's about tuning in to the natural wonders that happen inside each and everyone of us.  So I hope you will slow down and take a moment to find yoga everywhere and anywhere you go!

Alison Burmeister


Balanced Beauty




Read the full magazine HERE


Chin Up!

This blog is all about Balanced Beauty.

Which means looking and feeling good on the inside and out!

One of the easiest ways to look and feel good is to be aware of your posture.

How we stand says a lot about us...but it also begins to AGE us!

Consider how your hold your phone, sit in the car and at your desk.

You might even be guilty of it as you read this!

Bring your chin up!  



It is so simple, but so effective!

Not only will it keep you from having neck pain and slouching shoulders,

It prevents double chins that form over time and poor posture as we age.

Alison Burmeister


Balanced Beauty



"The Palisades Magazine" June/July Issue: Self Realization Fellowship, Lake Shrine Discover Inner Bliss in a Magical Oasis Within Reach

When asked to write this article for The Palisades Magazine I was delighted.  Self Realization Fellowship, Lake Shrine has a special place in my heart. Not only did I walk the lake the day I went into labor with our daughter, is it where she was Christened and the reason why we live in Pacific Palisades!

I'm excited for you to read the article (see below), but first a little back story on why Self Realization saved my life...

Sounds dramatic, "saved my life", but in some ways, it did. Long story short, my boyfriend and I were living in the Beverly Glen area in a house that he was "flipping". So on any given day we may have a bathroom, but no running water and on another day, no kitchen or bathroom. To say I wasn't mentally and emotionally prepared for this experience would be an understatement. One day, however, I pulled on my big girl pants, shuffled through the dust and out to the back yard. There was a crew of laborers ripping apart the landscape around the pool. "I'm going to help them!" I told myself...and I did. The thing is I did not realize the plants they were pulling were poison oak! I had the worst breakout of poison oak I'd ever seen!

That night I tried to sleep in the back bedroom (which I use the term "bedroom" loosely, as it consisted of a mattress and a few cardboard boxes for night stands) but my skin was crawling and so were my nerves!! It is difficult for me to admit this, but in this moment I had thoughts of ending it all, I was that uncomfortable and stressed out.  I had endured a lot on the Beverly Hills Camping experience, but this would send me over the edge.

Tired and miserable from a sleepless night, my now Husband (yes, I married the guy!) told me he was going to take me somewhere to calm my nerves and take a break from the house. We headed out of the hills, down onto Sunset Boulevard and West to Self Realization Fellowship. As we drove along Sunset Boulevard, we passed by a new construction that had just opened.  On our way back from SRF, we stopped in on the property, called the owner and took a place in it the very next day! We have lived in Pacific Palisades ever since and when we do go camping is in a campground...with no poison oak.

~Alison Burmeister



Camino De La Cumbre, 2000


Now for the article... 

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thanks to my husband, Mitch for all the beautiful photos and to Brother Ritananda and Sujon Datta for you time and insight!