October 1st, 2014 at 10:00 am

Valet Parking

Although you may have used a valet service before, have you been following proper valet etiquette? Like many other service-oriented jobs, following unspoken protocol can help you get better customer service and make sure your car is well taken care of. Follow these tips the next time you valet your car.

  1. Tidy up your vehicle before you plan to use the valet. Make sure there’s nothing you’d be embarrassed about inside and consider removing any high-priced items.
  2. Follow instructions and pull your car all the way to the indicated location. This helps service run smoother and decreases delay times.
  3. If you need to have your vehicle returned at a certain time, let the valet know when you’ll be back or call ahead. Depending on the establishment, it can take your valet a few minutes to retrieve your car.

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September 29th, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Big Bear Lake, CA

Big Bear Lake

Sunshine isn’t the only perk for those of us who live in Southern California. Besides usually perfect weather, we’re afforded the luxury of a variety of scenery and vastly different surroundings just a short drive away from our homes. Take a day trip and explore the nearby surroundings. You might be truly surprised at how much is within your reach.

  1. Santa Barbara – Just north of Los Angeles is this not-so-hidden gem. Although it might be a popular tourist destination, it’s with good reason. Visit Santa Barba and seek out the less-obvious activities and sights in town. See the ocean, but don’t miss the scenic drive on Alameda Padre Serra.
  2. Mammoth Mountain – OK, this might not be quite a day trip and it’s not in the southern half of the state, but it’s worth a visit. East of San Francisco, Mammoth Mountain is the spot for Californians seeking winter sports. However, don’t rule out the other seasons and as the area is beautiful year round.

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September 26th, 2014 at 2:36 pm

It’s no secret that architecture draws inspiration from nature. Biomimicry in architecture is the art of modeling buildings and systems after elements of nature with the intent of solving complex human problems. Examples can be seen around the world. Many well-respected and notable architects such as Buckminster Fuller, Frei Otto, Ross Lovegrove, Santiago Calatrava and Frank Lloyd Wright were known for their work in this style of design. Below are a few stunning examples.

1. Redwoods Treehouse , New Zealand – a pod shaped structure drawing inspiration from insect cocoons designed by Pacific Environment Architects.


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September 24th, 2014 at 11:30 am


What’s the one item you use almost every day in your kitchen?

Your butcher block and cutting board.

If it isn’t the most-used item, it’s likely high up on your list. If you have a wood cutting board or butcher block, you likely know how much damage they can sustain. However, when cared for properly, these wooden pieces can last a lifetime or longer. Wood surfaces show dirt and blemishes much quicker than the plastic variety. To keep your wood surfaces intact, start by knowing when to use them. Avoid using your wood block to cut raw meat or poultry. Keep a few plastic cutting boards in your kitchen for these types of projects. Use your wood block for cutting cooked meats, fruit and vegetables.

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September 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 am


© modscape

The scariest house yet, architectural innovation at its finest or a bit of both? The Cliff House is depicted as a direct extension of a seaside overhang and inspired by the barnacles that hang off a ship’s hull. Designed by Australian architectural firm Modscape, the house is still just a concept.

The project was designed specifically for a couple exploring options for a holiday home. Residents would enter through a carport and an elevator would connect each level. The design includes three bedrooms, a living room and kitchen.

Living in this home would offer 180-degree views of the ocean while enjoying a cup of tea in your living room. See the full design layout and learn more about the house at


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