Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mommies out there!  If your family didn’t come through with the gift you thought you wanted, you might want to rewrite your wish list and can hopefully guilt the family into one of these 14 amazing gadgets.  Some of their descriptions are listed below:

1) Plant Sense Easy Bloom.  This gadget is put into the ground for the day and it reads the soil. You put the USB into your computer and it reads the data collected for the soil you are wanting to plant in and the Easy Bloom will recommend what types of plants will do best in that spot.  plantsense.com

2) Kodak Easyshare W1020 digital frame. kodak.com

3) Flip UltraHD camcorder.  This small, budget friendly camcorder is not only extremely easy to use but it takes high quality HD videos.  You shoot the video on this pocket size video camera and you can plug it directly into your computer to upload it to your favorite website or social network. theflip.com

4) Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth headset. Plantronics.com

5) Roku Player.  This Internet-connected player plugs right into a TV and automatically and for no extra charge will pull any online-viewable videos from a Netflix cue and play it right on your TV. roku.com

6) Amazon Kindle. amazon.com

7) Philips GoGear Spark MP3 player and iPod Shuffle or Nano. consumer.philips.com and store.apple.com

8) Sony DSC-G3 Cyber-shot camera.

9) ScanMyPhotos.com makes scanning your photos extremely easy, while offering 1,000 scans to Jpegs on a DVD for only $50.00.  scanmyphotos.com

10) Clickfree automatic backup drive.  Everyone should be able to back up their computers.  Just think about how many pictures, documents, etc. you could lose if your computer decides to quit.  Clickfree makes backing up your computer easy! goclickfree.com

11) Asus Eee PC 1000HE.  This small, powerful computer is perfect for mom. eeepc.asus.com

12) Peek Pronto.  Unlimited texts and emails without the confusion of a BlackBerry or iPhone. getpeek.com

13) Skype. Amazing, free. Enough said, download it today! skype.com

14) Dell Wasabi mini printer. dell.com

For full descriptions on all of the gadgets, go to: http://www.switched.com/2009/05/08/14-gadgets-we-want-to-give-our-moms/

Skinny Houses – MET HOME Magazine; Dec 2008

In a great article from the December 2008 issue of MET HOME magazine, Karrie Jacobs discusses her trip to Portland, Oregon and her discovery of the city-approved radical experiment in urban planning, called “Skinny Houses”. Here are a few highlights from the article:

Portland has provided permits to housing developers for plans that will improve the quality of single-family homes that are built on narrow lots, i.e. Skinny Houses.  These skinny homes are usually 15-ft across and three stories instead of two, but pack approximately 1,100 sq. ft. of living space into the allotted space.

In 2004,  architect Bryan Higgins, one of the first to build a skinny home, submitted his idea/design in the city’s Living Smart: Big Ideas for Small Lots competition. His design was one of two that was chosen by the city to be built.  In 2006, the city gave him the plan, permit and reduced his permit fees. His home, along with the other winner’s property emerged as a new Portland architectural symbol.  Since 2006, ten of these official skinny houses have been completed, with the aid of the city providing free plans and no red tape for anyone who wanted to build one.

Karrie Jacobs found that this Living Smart program was one of the boldest attempts by an American city to foster the building of smaller, better house.

For more information on Skinny Houses and for an article like this one, go to: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/stories/2004/08/23/focus3.html

OC Restaurant Week – February 22nd – 28th

Attention Orange County Foodies!  The inaugural Orange County Restaurant Week is set for February 22-28.  Participating restaurants will offer special three-course menus, aimed to showcase the region’s most talented chefs.  The $10 – $20 lunch menus and $20 – $40 dinner menus will feature locally grown and seasonal ingredients.

Pamela Waitt, president of the Orange County Restaurant Association, explains: “Orange County Restaurant Week was created to showcase Orange County as a premier dining destination and allow our many local food aficionados an opportunity to enjoy special prix-fixe menus from a wide variety of participating restaurants. With the current economic climate, this week-long event will allow diners to discover new restaurants in Orange County and enjoy all their favorites at a discounted price.  With unbeatable prices, those interested can afford to dine out every night of the week – after all, our tagline states, ‘The only thing to make for dinner during Restaurant Week is reservations!’”

Go to, www.orangecountyrestaurantweek.com, for the most up-to-date list of participating restaurants.

Check out The Roxburgh Agency on Tumblr & Vimeo

Tumblr is a social network, much like Twitter & Facebook, but instead of Tweets & Posts (respectively) Tumblr features tumblelogs.  A tumblelog is a variation of a blog that favors short-form, mixed-media posts over the longer editorial posts frequently associated with blogging. Common post formats found on tumblelogs include links, photos, quotes, dialogues, and video. Unlike blogs, tumblelogs are frequently used to share the author’s creations, discoveries, or experiences while providing little or no commentary.  Follow The Roxburgh Agency on Tumblr at: http://roxburghagency.tumblr.com

Vimeo is a social network with a focus in uploading videos.  Vimeo supports embedding, sharing, video storage, and allows user-commenting on each video page, much like YouTube.  Although, I find this site much easier to use that YouTube because it has a lot less content to filter through.  The Roxburgh Agency is on Vimeo, follow us here: http://vimeo.com/roxburghagency

Give A Little (Or A Lot)

Do you want to make a difference in 2009 without reaching deep into your pockets?  Check out these websites to see how you can help someone in need this holiday season:

* GoodSearch.com allows users to Surf Selflessly this holiday season, because with every online search through GoodSearch.com, the company donates a penny to the charity of your choice.

* iLoveSchools.com assists teachers who are in need.  Teachers create wishlists through this site and donors can use the site to recycle those old Jane Eyre & Grapes of Wrath books that are collecting dust on your shelves.

* GivingTree Gift Cards, are a MasterCard product.  When you forgo the traditional gift card and give a GivingTree Gift Card, 10% of the prepaid Mastercard value goes to the charity of the recipient’s choice, while the other 90% can be used wherever MasterCard debit is accepted.

* RoomtoRead.org is a website that allows you to adopt a library, school or village.  Even the smallest contribution to this program will go to building a library or school is places like South Africa or Cambodia.  Even better, your online gift will be matched through the end of the year.

Service Rox a Food Pantry

Service Rox for the fourth time this year! This quarter we bundled ourselves up and headed down to South County Outreach in Lake Forest to help families in need. Some of us sorted, stacked, and shelved food for families in the warehouse-sized food pantry. Others went into the toy warehouse and put together gift bags for children of all ages. Inside, we were told stories of hardships, giving, and kindness by the staff. All of which were very inspiring. Roxburgh would like to thank everyone at South County Outreach. We appreciate everything they do for families in our community and for welcoming us so warmly. Rox staff left grateful and inspired!
For more information about South County Outreach please visit http://www.sco-oc.org/

Host Your Own Four-Star Dinner Party

Eric Ripert, an uber-famous New York chef and Michelin star recipient, has created an online opportunity for you to recreate the taste of his three-Michelin star restaurant, Le Bernardin, with his new website, www.aveceric.com.  Ripert has planned to post a series of dinner menus, based on the season that include two canapes, first course, main course and dessert.  In addition to the menus, Ripert also outlines planning tips for the party and includes a printable shopping list and schedule.  After your hugely successful debut as a Top Chef, Ripert is encouraging guests to share their stories and photos and to submit photos of their food for a contest, where the winner will receive a camera from Olympus.  To find out what menu Ripert is sharing for the winter season, go to www.aveceric.com.

Service Rox a Soup Kitchen

For the 3rd time this year, Roxburgh staffers ventured out into the community to help those in need.  Each quarter, three names are drawn to put together a community service program for the period.  This quarter, the team chose Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa.  We put our hair back, donned aprons and broke out the kitchen knives.  We chopped, grated, peeled, mixed, blackened and boiled the afternoon away.  It was a team effort and hundreds were served in the process.  Many thanks to Someone Cares Soup Kitchen for serving our community on a daily basis and allowing Roxburgh to come in and be a part of that. We are thankful and appreciative.
Visit http://www.someonecareskitchen.org/ for more information on Someone Cares Soup Kitchen.