August 2012 Archives

Simply Delicious Vacations

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It's important for everyone to take a break from life as they know it and revel in the delicious luxury of vacation and of not doing anything  - or doing as they please. 

 

The complications of life, work and juggling many tasks often lead to stress and stress can definitely take a toll on one's body, physical appearance and health!

 

While it's important to take little breaks (like weekends) and enjoying regular hobbies and activities, there's nothing more potent than jetting off to a tropical vacation spot or taking an historical tour of a European location.

 

Vacations are a great way to connect to yourself and to those you love.  Travel that gets commemorated in a picture album is also a way to relive the pleasure of a vacation long after the vacation ends.


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I'm still delighting in a recent trip my husband and I took to Hawaii.  I find that whenever I look at the many photos we took, I get a happy, energized feeling.   I almost feel as if we are there!

 

Some great tips to keep your vacation stress free:

 

•Get a Vacation Account

Keep a savings account stash of cash just for vacations. Figure out what your budget will allow, then put away a certain amount of money each week on an ongoing basis. You'll be surprise how it adds up. 

 

•Plan ahead

Research your destination.  Talk to friends who might have traveled to the spot.  Get recommendations for accommodations, food and sightseeing. Research information on the net.  Better yet, perhaps an acquaintance might know some of the locals you can contact before you leave home.  Some of my best experiences have transpired when I've contacted friends of friends.  I've gotten some great, personalized tours of places that could have never been duplicated otherwise.

 

•Speak at least a few words

Knowing to say hello, goodbye, thank you, yes and no along with "Where's the toilet?" and some other important phrases can serve you well.  While you may not be in for taking a Rosetta stone course, you can always find an English translation dictionary on Amazon.com or in your local bookstore.

 

•Understand the customs and local you're visiting

Americans have a bad enough rap as it is overseas.  So, why not get caught up on the local customs?  Research the country and towns you'll be visiting.  When you get to your destination, you'll feel like a local and get a great education while you're at it!

 

•Get some of the local currency before you leave home.  Travel with secure Traveler's checks.

While you may want to pay for everything on your trip with credit cards (a good idea to keep accurate records), you may also want to have a few dollars in your pocket of the local currency.  Traveler's checks are also a great way to go because they're refundable, if lost or stolen and usually within 24 hours.

 

•Pack well

Find out the weather of the locale you'll be visiting at the time of your visit.  Bring various layers of dress just in case.  It's always a good idea to pack wash and wear and clothing that looks great no matter how wrinkled it gets.  Bring multi-purpose clothes. For women, a dress you can wear during the day with sandals and at night with a pretty scarf or different jewelry to jazz it up. For men, a jacket that can be worn casually and with/or without a tie. (So at night, you can  get into that exclusive restaurant!).

 

•Let work know you are on vacation (try not to answer emails)

A vacation is when you vacate your usual life.  So put away the computer and texting.  Let the office know you'll be unreachable. Make sure you have someone qualified to cover for you just in case there's a problem at work.  Don't feel guilty.  You deserve your vacation.  It's also a good idea to post your pictures on Facebook when you get home. (It's NOT a good idea to let everyone know you're out of town!). 

 

•Take lots of pictures

I know some folks that moan and groan that they have to get their picture taken.  However, these same folks love seeing the photos post-vacation - especially as the years go by.  So tell your family, spouse, friend or anyone else on the trip with you to, "Chill!" You're making memories here!  Many new cameras also have video capabilities.  If a picture says a thousand words then a video can, well you get the idea.

 

•Bring home a memorable item that will represent your trip

I always love to pick up a local artist's painting, watercolor or stencil when I travel.  That way, when I look at them hanging on the wall at home, the memories flood back.


You might also pick up a beautiful piece of furniture that you can ship back or some other item that has meaning just for you.

 

Vacations are all part of Simply Delicious Living, so enjoy your trip, even if it's a weekend jaunt, you deserve every moment.  To find out more about simply delicious living, visit my blog at simplydeliciousliving.com

 

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Water Take 1 Launches Global Online Short Film Contest

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Every person on this planet relies on water. In Ventura, our water is from local sources and it's our responsibility to protect it for future generations. To help spark that awareness, Ventura Water is partnering with Limoneira's Limco Del Mar, Patagonia and iThentic for the inaugural "Water: Take 1" Online Short Film Contest. We hope that this exciting initiative will highlight people's relationship with water and promote water awareness, efficiency and recycling programs.
 
"We chose to do an online film contest with a water focus because members of our community, as well as on a national and global level, must begin to recognize the importance of water and its infrastructure," explained Shana Epstein. "With the contest, we hope to engage intelligent and creative conversation between leadership, businesses and the community."
 
Filmmakers worldwide are invited to submit short films of less than five minutes in any genre - drama, documentary, comedy, animation, Sci-fi or experimental - that address the topic of water. Films can be submitted and uploaded at no cost to the contest website,
watertake1.com, through September 4, 2012.
 
A panel of environmental and entertainment professionals will choose a winner for the $1,500 Grand Prize and the top winner will be presented at an event hosted by the Brooks Institute later this fall. The film receiving the most votes at
watertake1.com will be presented the Audience Choice Award and its filmmaker will receive a Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera.
 
Competing in this contest is a great way for Ventura County's high school and college students, among others interested in water and the environment, to do something positive that helps others appreciate our access to clean water while promoting water efficiency and sustainability. Help spread the word to your friends, neighbors and coworkers and get involved by joining the contest and/or join the wave by voting for your favorite video at
watertake1.com.
 
The issue of water infrastructure is a global one. In the United States alone, there are large areas of infrastructure more than 100 years old that must be fixed or replaced. However, in many other countries, such as parts of Africa and India, the total lack of infrastructure there has a serious impact on the local health and economy and causes a negative ripple effect worldwide.
 
Water is also an important issue in Ventura, although many residents are unaware of the huge effort and the amount of energy it takes to clean and move our water so it can be used again and again for generations to come.
 
Ventura is among California's oldest coastal cities and has many areas where infrastructure is ending its useful lifespan and will need replacement over the next few decades. While projects and plans are underway to improve this invaluable infrastructure, it isn't without cost.
 
Years ago, much of the infrastructure was maintained using federal grants, most of which are no longer available due to budget cuts. As a result, water customers now bear the full financial responsibility of infrastructure maintenance, replacement and improvement.

 

Saving the World A Drink At A Time: The GREEN TASK FORCE Hosts GREEN DRINKS

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"Green Drinks" is a term known in the environmental world as a fun,

meet up for like-minded business professionals in relaxing, celebratory

settings where they can network, exchange ideas and forge valuable

working relationships.


Well known in international environmental circles, Green Drinks is a network

of unstructured meet-ups where environmental professionals and concerned

locals get together in a relaxing setting to network, exchange ideas,

and forge valuable relationships.  At last count, Green Drinks events

are hosted in over 600 cities worldwide.   

 

The mixture of attendees at Green Drinks events usually include professionals

in the areas of: general business, academia, government, non-profit, medicine,

home décor, construction and other fields.  


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On Wednesday, August 1, The Ventura Chamber of Commerce's 

Green Task Force (GTF) organized this year's first Ventura-based Green

Drinks event at EcoLogic Life, downtown's designer showroom for

sustainable home decoration products. The event was a smashing success

with over 50 attendees. Tutti's on Main provided the delicious food.

Alquimia Tequila provided the green drinks, made from organic agave, no food

coloring included.

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LtoR:  Diane de Mailly and Courtney Lindberg, Green Task Force Co-Chairs

"Green Drinks has been around for a long time," said Diane de Mailly,

President, DDM Metering Systems and GTF Co-Chair. "Recently, the

GTF was asked to step in and organize these events in Ventura.  We know

they'll be a big success moving forward because Ventura is such an

amazing community dedicated to the environment.  We plan to make

Green Drinks a quarterly event."


"What the GTF strives to do," added Courtney Lindberg, Environment

Specialist with the City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability

Division and GTF Co-Chair, "is to promote green business development. 

We bring local businesses together and educate them about sustainable

practices, covering such topics as waste recycling, energy, water

conservation, pollution prevention and staff education. We highlight successes and

learn from our mistakes so that we can grow as a community with

green business practices part of our every day consciousness."    


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Green Task Force LtoR: Courtney Lindberg (Environmental Specialist,
City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability Division and Green
Task Force Co-Chair), Janis Shinkawa (Veterinarian, Buena Animal
Hospital), Diane de Mailly (President DDM Metering Systems
and Green Task Force Co-Chair), Kirsten Davis (AdvoCare)
and James Davis (Associated Electric)

 

"If you had to paint Ventura one color, it would probably be blue,

the color of our ocean.  If you added another color, it would be

green," Rick Cole, City Manager, City of Ventura. "This is a

remarkable community and environmentally-oriented to its core.

We all pay attention to the motto 'Think globally, act locally.'

Whether it be on a global scale, or a local scale, waste costs money

and pollutes the planet. It's also something we don't want to pass

onto the next generation."


In addition to Green Drinks, the GTF organizes a series of quarterly

"Best Practices Workshops" where local businesses share their

green ideas and practices with others in the community. To date,

there have been workshops at Red Brick Pizza focusing on sustainable

practices and the YMCA focusing on lighting retrofits.


Room.jpgVIEWVIEW Event Photos on Facebook, CLICK HERE.

 

In May 2012, The Green Task Force teamed up with the office of

Assemblymember Das Williams's for the Second Annual Green Jobs

Summit held at City Hall.


"The Green Jobs Summit brought a number of businesses together to talk

about ideas and sustainable principles," said James Joyce,

Field Representative, Office of Assemblymember Das Williams.

"Through working together on the Summit, our office developed a

great relationship with The Green Task Force.  There's so much

synergy. It's great to be a part of it."

 

Stay tuned and read this newsletter for information on future

Ventura-based Green Drinks events.


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VIEW the  GREEN DRINKS TV NEWS STORY, CLICK HERE!

VIEW Event Photos on Facebook, CLICK HERE!
VC Style
Maryann Ridini-Spencer produces video stories about environmentally friendly and healthy living in Ventura County.

She co-hosts "Sustainable Ventura" with Ray Olson on CAPS-TV's VTV, Channel 15 as well as "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND.