Open Your Eyes To Natural Stone!



The other day I wrote a blog about a walking program we started at work, and also mentioned that I belong to a health club (Life Time Fitness). I don’t know how many of you out there belong to Life Time, but for those of you that do, you probably have noticed all of the remodeling going on at the clubs. Over the past several months, members have been able to see some of the changes being made including the addition of lots of natural stone! While another fabricator did the work, I was happy to see so much stone going in, as it is beautiful and promotes the industry.

Last weekend, was the grand re-opening of their Moore Lake location. I wasn’t able to attend the re-opening, but was anxious to see it this week.  When I went to work out on Monday, I made sure to tour the new club, to see all of the changes, especially the stone.

Some of the changes include:

  • St. Cecilia Classic Granite Countertops Throughout The Facility
  • Verde Butterfly Granite Vanities
  • Multi-Colored Slate Waines Coating And Wall Coverings
  • Jura Beige Limestone Flooring Along With Various Granite flooring
  • Etc.

The clubs look great, and I’m not surprised they incorporated so much stone into their new design. Afterall, granite and other natural stones have been used throughout the ages for building because of their durability, and beauty. In fact, many commercial buildings including banks, government centers, etc., built today use granite, and other natural stones for this very reason. Just look around, and you’ll begin to notice all of the stone! Who knows, you may get some ideas for an upcoming remodeling, or building project.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

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Posted in Company, Granite, Industry News on June 26th, 2008 by Barb | | 0 Comments



Walk This Way!



I don’t know about you, but I am avid walker. I enjoy walking outside, no matter what the season, and also enjoy walking inside on a treadmill. While I walk to get some exercise, it also is a form of meditation for me. It allows me to clear my mind, relieve the stresses of the day, and gives me some time alone to think about things. While I also have the privilege of belonging to a health club to exercise, I know that not everyone does. That is why walking is so great. It requires no equipment, no membership fee, and can be done in many places.

Last week, we kicked off our “Walk For Wellness At Work” program. We purchased pedometers for all of our team members to track their daily steps. The idea behind the  program was to encourage everyone to get out and walk—both on breaks and lunches, as well as on their own. The goal is to reach 504,000 steps before anyone else, and the one who does is able to claim a grand prize.

The program and pedometers already have everyone comparing steps, various activities, and is getting our team members interested in their health.

Have you considered purchasing a pedometer? It’s a great way to get on track to health.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

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Posted in Company, Uncategorized on June 25th, 2008 by Barb | | 0 Comments



Building a Successful Team



I was paging though the May 2008 issue of Kitchen & Bath Design News and came across an article titled, Suggestions for Inspiring Motivated Teamwork. I found it very interesting and a good reminder. Whether you are in a corporate, non-profit, small business, or service environment, teamwork is essential to the success of the organization.

In the article, Hank Darlington, points out the many advantages to building a successful team within your organization:

  • Employees working together are generally more successful at solving problems.
  • Being a member of a team helps people to feel more energized.
  • Teams can make constructive use of differences in expertise, experience and personalities.
  • Team members can work together to improve processes and reduce mistakes, waste and costs.
  • Teams give employees a sense of belonging and security.
  • Since most work requires the cooperation of employees, teams simply make good sense.

Successful managers set the tone for the success of a team through their actions and attitudes. Following are 10 ways to prepare your team for success:

  1. Give them a clearly defined set of goals and purposes.
  2. Let the team make its own rules.
  3. Encourage fun and a sense of humor on the job.
  4. Give employees the authority to make decisions and act on them.
  5. Be supportive. Do what you say you’ll do!
  6. Let the team find solutions to its problems without intervening.
  7. Allow team members to make financial decisions and create their own budgets.
  8. Expect ups and downs. Some projects will run more smoothly than others.
  9. Let the team set up a rewards and recognition system.
  10. Create and nourish team spirit and pride.

Building a successful team will take time and open communication. The longer teams work together, the more effective and comfortable they will become. Print off the lists above and use them as daily reminders of the importance of, and the goals to promoting a healthy team in your workplace.

Feel free to share…

Angie

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Posted in Business, Company on June 24th, 2008 by Angie | | 4 Comments



Recipe: Kicked Up Margarita’s



OK—I know that technically this isn’t cooking, but you can try one of these margarita’s while you’re cooking in your kitchen, or grilling outside. They are really easy to make and taste great!

Kicked Up Margarita’s

1 can limeade
2 cans beer
Tequila (Fill empty can of limeade)

Mix together above ingredients in a pitcher, or blender. Prepare a maragarita glass with ice and salt and pour in mixture. Serve and enjoy!

These would be great with the Best Black Bean Salad recipe I posted awhile back served with tostito chips.

Enjoy! (In moderation.)

Barb

P.S. If you like recipe’s, make sure you check out and purchase our cookbook, Indulge 101 Recipe Favorites for others. Keep in mind that profits from the cookbook will be donated to www.healinghaiti.org

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Posted in Cooking in your kitchen on June 20th, 2008 by Barb | | 0 Comments



Finishing Options For Granite Countertops



Many of our customers visit our showroom to make both their color selections, and edge choices for their granite countertops. Some customers however, don’t realize they also have a choice when it comes to finishes. While a polished finish is by far the most popular choice with its reflective, mirror gloss appearance and best rating in regards to staining and scratching factors, there are several other finish options to choose from for select colors.

A honed finish offers a matte look, that has more of a dull appearance and is non-reflective in nature. It is also fairly popular, (especially when shown in a variety of Parade Home models), but the honing process does make the material more susceptible to staining and scratching.  A satin finish is also available for some colors, and is somewhat similar to a honed finish, but offers a smooth, softer look with a vibrant, non-reflective finish.

There are also several textured finishes available in a limited number of colors that have become available over the years. A leather finish offers a smooth, yet soft look and appears slightly more polished than a honed finish, but with a slight texture. An antique finish offers a brushed, dull appearance that is slightly textured. While an antique finish can be used for countertops, it may be a better choice for fireplace surrounds, or flooring applications.

Another finish choice for flooring and fireplace surrounds, is a thermal or flamed finish, which offers a rough textured look and has a varying depth. A thermal finish is produced with the use of a high temperature flame that is quickly run across the surface of the stone.

If you are interested in more information on stone finishes, or stone terms feel free to check out the MIA’s (Marble Institute Of America) Glossary of Stone Industry Terms.

Thanks for reading!

Barb

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Posted in Granite on June 19th, 2008 by Barb | | 14 Comments



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Paramount Granite Company - The Natural Choice

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