Stay Positive, Make Quarantine a ‘StayCation’!

Family

Viewing posts tagged Family

Stay Positive, Make Quarantine a ‘StayCation’!

These past few weeks have undoubtedly been a time of change and struggle for us all, as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

While watching the news and stuck inside, it is hard not to be pessimistic and feel a bit down. However, we want to take this time to shed a positive light on some aspects of this quarantine.

For one, this change has really made us appreciate so many aspects of our life that we often take for granted, after all “you never know what you got ’til it’s gone.” This could be anyone, such as your best friend, or anything, like your favorite restaurant — we personally are missing going to the beach and seeing the sunset. However, you will see your family and friends again and most restaurants will reopen, and, when this happens, the friendships and experiences shared will be better than they ever were before

The other great aspect of the quarantine is it is giving us that break that many of us have longed for — in our opinion, this is just one big “StayCation.” Staying in your home may seem inconvenient at times, but these will be the days you miss in a few months when you are back at the office.

Finally, and most importantly, this time has been a great opportunity to spend this StayCation with our loved ones. We know many of our friends feel the same and have discussed how grateful they are to be able to spend this time with and grow closer to their family. We have even found ourselves Zooming those friends and family that we are socially distanced from.

We have also found joy from a number of former clients reaching out to discuss how happy they are to be enjoying their ‘Outdoor Living’ space during this StayCation. With the weather getting better, we hope everyone is taking every opportunity they can to be outside, whether it be working or relaxing. In the coming weeks, we will be discussing the best way to make the most of this StayCation.

We hope you and your families are all safe and well, and our thoughts are with those struggling from the impacts of COVID-19. Shoot us an email and let us know what you have missed most during these last few weeks of quarantine!

We would love to hear from you all!

Unexpected Benefits of Pool Ownership

Over the years, our clients have had various reasons for installing a pool – in fact, we have probably heard every reason out there. Regardless of your motive, there are often a few key value-adds that people overlook. This week we want to touch on a few of those unexpected benefits, so pool owners can keep appreciating their pools and non-pool owners can find a few more reasons to make the jump!

Healthier Life

We have talked a lot in the past about the health benefits of a pool and did a recent post about the benefits of water yoga. However, we wanted to reiterate this point because it benefits both you and your children or grandchildren. In the age of technology, kids are spending more and more time playing video games and sitting in front of a screen, but a pool is a great way to get the kids outside and exercising. Pools also offer a healthy opportunity to exercise with minimal joint pressure, so any age can find health benefits in a pool.

Keeping the Kids at Home

Whether you are a helicopter parent or not, we can all admit we get a little worried when the young ones are running around town. With a pool, every local kid will want to spend time in your backyard, so your kids can spend more time at home. Thus, you can have peace of mind knowing where they are and that they are safe. We talked about ways to get your kids in the pool here.

Cross-Generational Fun

How many activities can you think of that both grandparents, parents, and children can enjoy together? I would imagine pretty few, but here is one: swimming. With a pool, you can make sure both your kids and their kids learn to swim in your backyard. We have had many clients with adult children who were hesitant to buy a pool, but the ability to swim with their grandchildren made adding a pool worth it.

Aesthetic & Home Improvement Value

Sunset prides itself on making sure all our projects are of the highest-quality, and the customers see benefits. By comparing before and after pictures, you can see the transformational power a beautiful pool can bring, check out the video below for proof. The value-add goes beyond that though, as a pool can significantly increase your home’s market value, which we talked about here. The up-front price of a pool may seem daunting, but this increase in value and the priceless experiences along the way make it worth it.

Let us know: What benefit do you like the most about your pool?

Pool Myths — Busted!

At some point, we have all heard a mom, whether it was yours or someone else’s, tell us to wait 30 minutes to swim after eating. Well, turns out this and many other pool “rules” are actually myths. In this post, we are going to play the MythBusters and dispel some of these widespread fallacies.

Waiting 30 Minutes After Eating Before Swimming

This is by far the most popular pool myth. This idea stemmed from the fact that after a big meal blood diverts away from your ligaments towards your stomach and digestive tract. People then assumed the risk of drowning is heightened if your limbs are not working at full force. However, while it is true blood moves to assist your digestive process, a person still has plenty of blood in their body parts to function after a big meal. This makes sense after all because, while you may feel bloated after a large meal and want to sit down, it is not like you are suddenly unable to stand. Some say not waiting to swim after eating makes you more subject to cramps, but even this is not proven. Myth: Busted – maybe mother does not know best after all.

Chlorine Changes Hair Color

Likely better known among the female community is the myth that chlorine can make your hair green. Surprisingly, chlorine has no impact on turning hair green, although it goes damage hair and make it dry and brittle. However, hair can still gain a green tint from swimming due to copper sulfate, which binds to proteins in your hair to cause a green coloring. Copper sulfate is a safe chemical and is added in most pools to combat algae, but the one downside is this green tint. If you are concerned about this effect, then there are certain “swimmer’s shampoos”. Myth: Partially Busted – chlorine is harmful to hair, but it is not the chemical causing the green tint in hair.

Chlorine Smells

Properly chlorinated pools do not have a strong chemical smell. There are only two reasons why you would ever have a chemical smell: yucky substances in the pool that mix with chlorine and form chloramines or if the pool is overly chlorinated. If your pool is clean and properly chlorinated, then you will never have the “chlorine smell”. Myth: Busted – only if your pool is kept properly clean though.

Peeing in the Pool Will Turn It Blue

Growing up, you likely were told not to pee in the pool because it would turn blue. Well for those of you that have tried peeing in the pool you quickly realized this was a lie. In fact, there is no such dye that even exists. Regardless, pools are not meant to be peed in, as urine contains bacteria that you do not want to swim in. Myth: Busted – but do not pee in pools!

Growing up, we all here our parents tell us various things that we take as fact only to find out later they are not so. We outlined a few above, but we want to know: What did your parents tell you as a child that was not, in fact, true?

The Devastation of the California Wildfires

As everyone is surely aware, wildfires have been devastating cities across California. However, many people are unaware of the cause of such fires, as well as the magnitude to which these fires are impacting communities. We wanted to write this blog to examine the cause of these fires, look at their impact, and take a moment to thank those brave fire fighters working effortlessly to keep us safe.

What is Causing This Outbreak in Wildfires?

California is coming off one of the wettest winters in years, so why are wildfires the worst they have been in years. Believe it or not, the wet winter negatively contributed to these fires because the rain left hillsides covered in grass and vegetation which then became dried out over the summer. This means that the hills were covered in dried out grass that provided tinder and fuel to these raging fires – there are also estimated to be 102 million dead trees due to the 5-year dry spell and bark beetle infestation. These factors, coupled with intense winds, make the fires stronger and pushing them further than ever before.

The Impact of These Fires

Cal Fire reported over 6,700 fires in California in 2017 which burned 505,000 acres. To put that in perspective, there were 4,742 fires in 2016 with 244,297 acres burned. This horrific year for fires first worsened in Northern California. The Northern California wildfires took 42 lives and burned 5,700 homes and businesses – making the Northern California series of fires the most deadly and destructive in California history. Now the fires continue in Southern California with new fires seeming to arise every day. The most significant and destructive fire is the Thomas Fire which had scorched over 270,000 acres and over 1,000 buildings. As of Christmas, the fire was only about 50% contained and had impacted over 100,000 Californians, according to Cal Fire. Below you can see a map of the fires that occurred in California from October to December and boundaries of the Thomas Fire specifically.

CA Fire MapFire Fighting Efforts

During the Northern California fires, there were some 9,000 firefighters working long hours to battle the raging hours. The combination of steep terrain, intense heat, and lack of sleep had Northern California firefighters “pushing it to the limits” according to one commander. The Southern California firefighters have been facing similar challenges, with more than 8,400 firefighters working around the clock with 1,000 fire engines and 34 helicopters. One firefighter, Cory Iverson, died fighting the fires and a funeral procession was recently held through 5 counties. We want to thank every firefighter working tirelessly to save these communities – especially those who may have spent the holidays fighting fires rather than with their families.

These California fires are looking to become the worst of all time; thus, we wanted to take a minute to update everyone on the magnitude of such fires. Beyond this, we are incredibly appreciative of everyone working effortlessly to stop such fires and keep us safe.

It is the Time of Year for Fall Fun

It’s that time of the year – look outside and see the leaves changing color! From Halloween to Thanksgiving, Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. Below we listed some of our favorite things to do at this time of the year so be sure to check them out and make the most of your fall.

Using the Pool in the Day and Spa at Night

It is tough if you’re feeling that you’re not making the most of your pool and spa, but have no fear because fall is the perfect time for this. The days are warm making it a great time to go for a quick swim in your pool, while nights are cold making it a great time for a spa. With that said, enjoy the weather and hit your spa at night for a nice sleeping pill!

Go to Your Local Pumpkin Patch

You’re never too old to go to your local pumpkin patch and pick out a pumpkin. The pumpkin patch is a great place to visit and get in season, whether it be with a family or with a date. Everyone loves carving a pumpkin and you are truly missing out on October if you don’t carve a pumpkin and set it on your front porch.

Get Dressed Up for Halloween

Some people may think getting dressed up for Halloween is just for kids, but getting dressed up is fun no matter your age. There’s only one time of the year that you get to dress up as whatever you want, so be sure to attend or host a Halloween party. Find a partner or few friends and get a group costume going if you really love to dress up.

Spend Thanksgiving with the People You’re Thankful For

Thanksgiving is a holiday unique to us Americans, and, although the rest of the world finds it odd, it’s many people’s favorite time of the year. Thanksgiving food is amazing, but Thanksgiving is really pointless if you don’t spend it with the people you love. So while we highly recommend cooking a turkey and some mashed potatoes, the most important thing is to make sure you gather the people you’re thankful for to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

Experience Black Friday

Whether you’re shopping or not, you have to experience Black Friday. It’s truly amazing to watch the hype and spirit that surrounds Black Friday. People plan for weeks and line up for days just to save a few bucks. The atmosphere of Black Friday is truly unlike anything you’ve ever experienced and we recommend you watch, whether it be in person or online, if you aren’t planning to shop.

 

 

Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. The weather is perfect, the holidays are great, and the atmosphere is energetic. Fall is one of the best seasons to get into and really go all out, and we think you can do just that by following these tips. How do you like to celebrate fall and get into the spirit?

Getting to Know Your Neighbors

We all have neighbors, but not everyone knows their neighbors. I know my neighbors quite well and we get along nicely; however, it occurred to me that many people do not have a similar relationship. Oftentimes, people have those neighbors that they drive by and wave to but never truly talk to or interact with. Thus, I decided to write this blog to offer ways to get to know your neighbors whether they be new neighbors or old neighbors you just never got around to knowing.

Nextdoor.com

NextdoorNextdoor is a private social networking service for neighborhoods and can be a great way to communicate online with your neighbors. The Rossmoor neighborhood is showcased at https://nextdoor.com/neighborhood/rossmoor–los-alamitos–ca/ and you can put in your address and it will direct you to an online community just for your surrounding neighborhood.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Quickly get the word out about a break-in
  • Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter
  • Find out who does the best swimming pool construction in town
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name

Nextdoor’s mission is to provide a trusted platform where neighbors work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world. Nextdoor is a great way to stay up-to-date with your neighborhood without the hassle of speaking to every neighbor in your area.

Knock, Knock

There’s no better way to introduce yourself to neighbors than the old-fashioned tradition of knocking on someone’s door. How often do neighbors go and knock on each other’s doors these days? Not enough. In the modern age, we have grown accustomed to talking via text and social media at the expense of friendly, person-to-person interactions. I may have advocated for Nextdoor.com due to its convenience, but I have always found the best way to meet your neighbors is to simply go next door and knock. Bringing a gift of some sort or some form of baked goods is a great excuse for knocking on your neighbor’s door and can be a great start to a friendly relationship.

Invite Them Over For Dinner

If you have spoken to your neighbors a few times but don’t know them as well as you wish, then a dinner is the great way to grow more acquainted. Dinner can be at your house, someone else’s house, or a restaurant, but in the end, there is no better way to get to know someone than over dinner. Many of us know our neighbors but not very well – a dinner can be a perfect way to grow this relationship and learn more about your neighbors next-door.

Host a Party

Every few years, my neighbors and I plan a block party. Block parties are amazing because you are hanging out with the people who live in your area, and they are a perfect way to socialize with those people around you. Block parties can be rather hard to organize though, so a simple party at your house with food, drinks, and swimming is a great option, as well. Invite over a combination of good friends and new neighbors which will allow you to meet your new neighbors without putting the pressure on you to constantly be interacting with only them. Whether it be a block party or a smaller house party, having a party with your neighbors is a great way to meet them and form stronger relationships.

Being friends with your neighbor can be incredibly beneficial whether you are running low on sugar, need someone to watch your house while you are on vacation, or want to avoid a noise disturbance at your next party. Getting to know your neighbors doesn’t have to be anything extravagant and can be as easy as checking a social media site or knocking on their door; thus, we think everyone should be, or at least make an effort to be, friends with their neighbors.

Tips for a 4th of July BBQ

4th of July is just around that corner and that means it’s the perfect time to invite friends over and fire up the barbeque. Grilling and the 4th of July go together like peanut butter and jelly, so we decided to write this blog to make sure you’re ready to host your BBQ and show off that backyard of yours. Every great BBQ follows a few simple steps and you follow these steps then you will be on your way to making this year’s 4th of July party a memorable one.

Get a Grill

A grill being a necessity at a BBQ – who would’ve thought? Seriously though a grill is the most important part of the BBQ, and, while any grill can technically get the job done, not every grill will do the job the right way. We partnered with Summerset grills last year because they make top of the line grills that not only look good, but also cook well. You may not be able to tell the difference between grills when you are cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, but when you start cooking steaks and other high-quality meats then the difference becomes apparent. If you want to step it up and bring your BBQ to the next level then you are going to need a next level grill. Additionally, if you are feeling really adventurous you could even try using a smoker – smoker grills typically burn wood to cook meats at low, controlled temperatures while also adding a smoky flavor some people love. A smoker is a big commitment in terms of effort and time, but if you really enjoy barbecue then maybe a smoker could bring your BBQ to the next level.

Find a Grill Master

Every great BBQ has a grill master, or a person who operates the grill. Grilling is often harder than it looks – almost anyone can learn how to grill something like a hot dog or hamburger, but grilling more difficult foods to perfection is easier said than done. Odds are someone at the party enjoys grilling and would love to work the grill, so there is no need to worry about overseeing the grill if you are hosting the party. However, you just have to ensure that you find someone proficient in grilling to manage the grill or else you could end up with undercooked or charred food.

Find Your Recipe

If you are just looking for a classic BBQ then you can always just go with classic hamburgers or hot dogs, but if you are trying to make this 4th of July memorable then you should try spicing it up and finding a recipe to set your party apart. Brisket, ribs, and pulled pork are three great BBQ meals that have a number of various recipes if you are looking to spice it up. You can also try recipes not relating to meats – you can try grilling vegetables, artichokes are just one of many vegetables that taste delicious when grilled, or making a special side whether it be potato salad or some other tasty recipe. The internet is home to millions of recipes perfect for any occasion, so this 4th of July think ahead of time, search the web, and decide on a recipe to spice up your party.

In the end, parties are not defined by the food or drinks, but rather by the people. However, if you want your guests to be happy then there is no better way to create a positive atmosphere than some great food. It is always fun to experiment with different recipes, and there is no better time than the 4th of July. Thus, we encourage you to make your 4th of July memorable and host a BBQ party that will blow away your friends and family.

Local Nonprofits We Love to Support

Los Alamitos is home to some of the most generous and philanthropic people around; thus, it only follows that Los Alamitos is also home to some of the best nonprofits in the area. This article will focus on some of the most prolific nonprofits in the area and the good they are providing for the community. We at Sunset proudly support all these organizations, and we encourage you to read up on them and get involved if you are not already.

 

Casa Youth Shelter

Casa Youth Shelter is a nonprofit organization that offers emergency temporary shelter for homeless, runaway, and abandoned youth. Their mission is to provide a supportive environment so that the youth they assist can recover and redevelop personal strength in hopes of ultimately reuniting with their family. Myldred E. Jones opened Casa Youth Shelter in 1978 with a minimal budget and only one full-time employee, but the organization now has twelve beds in six bedrooms with a number of caring employees. Besides providing shelter for distressed youth, the organization also offers counseling, outreach to schools, youth leadership programs, and parenting classes. Below is an infographic with Casa Youth Shelter’s statistics from 2014, and it is clear to see the good this nonprofit is providing to the Los Alamitos area – this organization has truly come a long way since its opening in 1978. Here is the link for Casa Youth Shelter’s website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://www.casayouthshelter.org/

casa youth shelter

Los Alamitos Youth Center

The Youth CenterThe Youth Center looks to positively impact children through social, educational, and recreational programs. The Youth Center has developed partnerships throughout the Los Alamitos community with organizations like the Los Alamitos Unified School District, Rossmoor Community Service District, Seal Beach Lions and Leos Club, and many more – this means that many of the largest and most impactful events in the community have close ties to the Youth Center. In 1952, Frank Vessels, the Los Alamitos Race track entrepreneur, applied to the State of California for an additional race day and then used those funds to open the Youth Center. The Youth Center now continues to provide various programs and benefit to the community through donations from local individuals and businesses. Here is the link to the Youth Center’s website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://www.theyouthcenter.org/

 

Precious Life Shelter

Precious Life Shelter provides a safe environment for pregnant women with no place to live. Precious Life Shelter’s three step program provides various means of support which then allows these women to safely have their child, while simultaneously teaching them to become self-sufficient. The goal is not only to help these women in their time of crisis, but also to ensure that they are prepared for the responsibilities that come with life after childbirth. The program opened in 1989 and has since expanded, developing new programs and adding property to better support those women in need. Precious Life Shelter also operates a Thrift and Gift shop in which they sell extra donations not used by the residents and raise enough money to cover about 40% of the organization’s operating costs. Precious Life Center is another great nonprofit that has come a long way in supporting the Los Alamitos and surrounding communities. Here is the link for Pathways’ website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://pathwaystoindependence.org/

 

NCL

NCLNational Charity League or NCL is a mother-daughter philanthropic organization focuses on community service, leadership development, and cultural experiences. The organization formed in 1947 after two groups, one started in 1925 by a small group of women in Los Angeles and the other by their daughters in 1938, merged to create the first mother-daughter philanthropic organization. We are especially tied to the South Coast chapter of the National Charity League which is based in the Long Beach and West Orange County areas with most junior members attending Los Alamitos schools. The chapter supports philanthropies with hands-on service as well as monetary donations raised from their thrift shop, Miss Charity’s Attic, located on Cerritos Avenue, and their popular event Tournament Day, held every fall.  Here is the link to the South Coast division of NCL if you are interested in donating or volunteering: https://southcoast.nationalcharityleague.org/

 

WE CARE

WE CARE pools the resources of the community in order to meet the emergency needs of families and individuals. WE CARE offers emergency, referral, therapy, healthcare, and holiday services to ensure families in need can remain healthy and happy. Listed below are a few statistics showing how many people were helped by WE CARE from 2015 – 2017:

  • Food Distribution– 456 families/2,280 individuals were given 7,000 bags=140,000 lbs.
  • Hygiene/Personal Care– 275 families/1,375 individuals were given personal hygiene kits.
  • Food Certificates/Gift Cards– 75 families/375 individuals=$3,200.00
  • Rent/Mortgage– 170 households/850 individuals=$215,180.00
  • Utility Assistance– 47 households/235 individuals=$10,500.00.
  • Vehicle Supportive Services– 12 families/60 individuals=$3,072.00
  • Christmas Adopt-A-Family Program– 800+ children received toys
  • Case Management– 505 families/2,020 individuals

Sunset is happy to support a great nonprofit like WE CARE working constantly to better the Los Alamitos community. Here is the link for WE CARE’s website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://wecarelosalamitos.org/

 

Pathways to Independence

Pathway to Independence or Pathways works to transform the lives of disadvantaged young women through education, therapy, mentoring, housing, and healthcare. Pathways was founded in 1994 and has always sought to help financially poor young women from backgrounds of abuse with higher ambitions of receiving an education or job. Through their services, Pathways is able to help a group of about 50 women at a time achieve such ambitions and become independent. Since its beginning no members or executives of Pathways have received any compensation whatsoever and about 88% of the program expenses went directly to the clients in 2015. We also love to support Friends of Pathways, which a subdivision of Pathways comprised of a small group of women who work to raise the money necessary for Pathways to function. This all just goes to show how Pathways is another great nonprofit working effortlessly for the betterment our community. Here is the link for Pathways’ website if you are interested in donating or volunteering: http://pathwaystoindependence.org/

Here is a promo video Pathways made back in 2013 with their founder Dave Bishop talking about their mission:

 

We truly believe that Los Alamitos is one of the best communities around, and this is largely in part due to these organizations. These nonprofits offer a wide variety of ways to get involved meaning nobody should have an excuse for not volunteering or donating. Regardless of personal preference, we are certain that everyone can find a way to help out and keep this community flourishing, so we encourage everyone to reach out to these nonprofits and help in some way, shape, or form.

Planning for Summer

The title of this blog, “Planning for Summer”, may seem odd to many of you given that we are still in the dead of winter, but this is not a mistake. If you are looking to renovate your yard or house for summer then there is no time like the present. Everybody knows that renovations and builds take months and cannot be done in a matter of days. Oftentimes, it becomes summer and families realize they want a pool or spa or fire pit and it is too late. Thus, we are writing this blog to think ahead towards summer and start planning out how you will spend your time this summer.

Build on your Yard

There’s no better way to break in the summer than with a new pool, spa, or fire pit. If you have younger children then a pool is probably the best fit for your family. However, if you don’t have children or your children have moved out then a spa or fire pit can be a great option for late nights or parties. All of these options are wonderful and will no doubt add to your summer experience, but you have to start planning now.

pool & spa at night

Renovate your Yard

Maybe you already have a pool or spa, but you are looking to really amp up your yard for this summer. We would be glad to help and make sure you have a brand new renovated pool or spa to enjoy when the weather gets hot. We can always add new items like new cement or a fire pit as well if you desire.

Plan a Vacation

Finally, adding to your home and enjoying a staycation can be a blast, but who doesn’t love a nice getaway? Now is the time to start texting your friends and family and start planning that vacation you have been dreaming of. There is no better time than the present and you should make time this year to vacation with the people you love. It can be a simple vacation like camping or an extravagant one to a foreign country – all that matters is that you take some time off and spend time with those you care about.

Fall Fun! A Great Time of Year!

It’s that time of the year – look outside and see the leaves changing color! From Halloween to Thanksgiving, Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. Below we listed some of our favorite things to do at this time of the year so be sure to check them out and make the most of your fall.

Using the Pool in the Day and Spa at Night

There’s no worse feeling than feeling that you’re not making the most of your pool and spa, but have no fear because fall is the perfect time for this. The days are warm making it a great time to go swimming in your pool, while nights are cold making it a great time for a spa. With that said, enjoy the weather and hit your spa at night for a nice sleeping pill!

Spend Thanksgiving with the People You’re Thankful For

Thanksgiving is a holiday unique to us Americans, and, although the rest of the world finds it odd, it’s many people’s favorite time of the year. Thanksgiving food is amazing, but Thanksgiving is really pointless if you don’t spend it with the people you love. So while we highly recommend cooking a turkey and some mashed potatoes, the most important thing is to make sure you gather the people you’re thankful for to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.

Experience Black Friday

Whether you’re shopping or not, you have to experience Black Friday. It’s truly amazing to watch the hype and spirit that surrounds Black Friday. People plan for weeks and line up for days just to save a few bucks. The atmosphere of Black Friday is truly unlike anything you’ve ever experienced and we recommend you watch, whether it be in person or online, if you aren’t planning to shop.

Fall is one of our favorite times of the year. The weather is perfect, the holidays are great, and the atmosphere is energetic. Fall is one of the best seasons to get into and really go all out, and we think you can do just that by following these tips. How do you like to celebrate Fall and get into the spirit?