A Time For Change

A Time For Change

Spring is quickly passing by and summer is just around the corner, which means for many of us it’s high time to start planning out the renovations we’ve been putting off for months now. Hours of browsing Pinterest later, we need to start asking ourselves how we want our bathrooms to look, how to open up the kitchen to make it less confining, and, most importantly, what contractors are we going to hire to get the job done right?

The contracting question is one for the ages, as the businesses that populate the industry have a well-deserved reputation for cutting corners and providing shoddy workmanship in order to increase their margins. Even contractors that come recommended to us from friends and family have a tendency to disappoint, as I found out after one such company revamped my kitchen just to find that they had accidentally removed a load-bearing wall. Whoops!

So, what are we to do about finding the diamonds in the rough? Well, Yelp is one option – people spending a significant chunk of change on a shoddy remodel are unlikely to keep their silence for long.

So, a brief search for home remodeling contractors in Orange County will bring up some of the best contractors in the business, which brings us to the spotlighted company for today’s post, Inspired Remodels, Inc. Not only do they have one of the best ratings on Yelp for a contracting firm I’ve seen, they have some truly stellar testimonials that go on at length about the quality of their craftsmanship. Lisa G., for example, talks about their work on her bathroom here:

“After spending time looking for a contractor to renovate our master bathroom, laundry and power bath, we settled on Inspired Remodels and I’m so glad we did! From start to finish every single person that worked in our home was professional, considerate and communicated with us throughout the process. I am rather “particular” about things being just right and they went above and beyond to ensure our satisfaction. Joe and Collin were very patient with me during the selection process and Jason was responsive and made me feel at ease with any questions I had along the way. The tradesmen were all outstanding but I need to give a special shoutout to Haime and Rudy, Mark and Ulysses, for their attention to detail and the long hours they put into making our home beautiful.  Thank you, thank you! I highly recommend using IR if you have high expectations – they will be met!”

Mike S. expands on her words here:

“Our experience with Inspired Remodels was the best I’ve ever experienced with contractors.  Jason and Joe Mueller we’re responsive throughout the project.
We are very meticulous and hired IR to redo a remodel that went south.  Our remodel included removing new wood like tile flooring due to improper installation from a previous fraudulent contractor.  IR flawlessly removed all flooring and kept the job spotless during the 7-week remodel.  Our house was virtually left better then IR found it.  IR installed the new wood tile above and beyond industry standards, removed and replaced all new baseboards and doors.  Additionally, IR painted and perfected areas that were previously left imperfect by the previous contractor.
I will definitely use IR again for our future remodel needs.  Jason even brought us a house warming gift at the end.  We moved back into our house on schedule and couldn’t be happier.
Thank you IR family!  We look forward to using your professional and family oriented services again in the future.
Thank you” So, there we have it. Excellent quality work in a reasonable time frame, which is much more than you can say about a lot of firms in the biz. Happy hunting, folks, and don’t forget: never use stainless steel for your counter tops. Just don’t.

Inspired Remodels, Inc.

(949) 716-1938

21098 Bake Pkwy Ste 100, Lake Forest, CA 92630

Bookkeeping In The Time Of Corona

Bookkeeping In The Time Of Corona

There are few mantras in the world as dependably true as the one regarding the government’s revenue services: “Don’t mess with the IRS.” As the economy tumbles through the tumultuous throws of a worldwide pandemic, government policies and actions come and go, new loans and payouts are dolled out, but the other old adage, ‘nothing in this world is certain, except death and taxes’ remains as true as ever, meaning you’d better pay what you owe, or else.

Accurate bookkeeping has always been key to not only staying in business but staying out of jail. Just ask Al Capone, the infamous Prohibition-era gangster who was caught not for the pile of bodies he left behind, but the 22 counts of federal income tax evasion he was eventually sentenced over. Crime may pay, but some of that had better make its way into Uncle Sam’s pockets or else you are going to run into some real state-sanctioned thuggery.

As the pandemic progresses and more government programs roll out to assist in the recovery effort, good bookkeeping might make the difference between your small business dying out in the economic destruction reeked by COVID and living to see another day. To best navigate these new and uncertain waters, you need to be constantly updating your financial knowledge to ascertain what programs you can take advantage of to stay afloat.

For many of us, that is a step too far in a direction we don’t specialize in or have time to learn about. There is not a lot of time to read up on how to repair a leak when your boat is quickly filling up with water, so for these matters we can turn to some of the experts. A great bookkeeper not only keeps up with your numbers, they also keep up with every new development to make sure they stay within the strict confines of the law while helping your company thrive in the new financial environment.

For our Orange County readers, there’s only one bookkeeping service we can think of that truly rises above the rest: The Bookkeeper Specialists. Jonathon Agee and his team work tirelessly to not just understand your business on a fundamental level, but also keep at the forefront of every new law you need to conform to and program available at your disposal. Pramod P. of Los Angeles testifies to the firm’s unceasing dedication on this front:

“Jonathon has assisted my business with multiple matters.  He assisted with transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online.  He has assisted with getting the accounting in order.  Those are normal things that a good bookkeeper should be able to do.  What separates Jonathon is that he has taken the time to be well informed on financial matters of importance to small business loans.  Since he has done his homework on the Federal and California COVID-19 related financial relief programs he is a go to resource for information on those matters in regards to how those programs work and how to best apply for them.  Of course, he can also get your books and records ready for the applications.”

To get out of this pandemic alive both physiologically and financially, we need to listen to the experts. In regard to the latter, there is no better resource than The Bookkeeper Specialists in southern California. Remember: Don’t mess with the IRS, and don’t end up like Capone. Get the bookkeeping services you need now by looking up:

The Bookkeeper Specialists

(714) 694-3876

2050 W Chapman Ave #216, Orange, CA 92868

Accidents Happen. Don’t Let Yourself Be Caught Unprepared

Accidents Happen. Don’t Let Yourself Be Caught Unprepared

Today began like any other day – wake up at 5:30, gym, shower, breakfast on the drive to the office. As I was pulling out of the parking lot of my favorite café, however, things took a frightening turn.

As I drove forward, looking both ways, I slowly took my left turn, seeing that the light at the nearby intersection hadn’t turned to let traffic coming my way go. As I hit the middle lane, however, I took one cautionary look to make sure I hadn’t missed anyone, and that’s when I saw the massive SUV that absolutely dwarfed my compact barreling down the road towards me, completely ignoring the fact that he had a red light.

Things seemed to slow, with my car inching towards a lane that inevitable death was screaming down towards, not 100 feet from impact. I jerked the wheel, and the SUV did as well, tires squealing on pavement as we passed mere inches away from one another. He honked his horn at me as I righted myself back into the lane, cold sweat dripping down my spine.

The whole drive to the office I clenched the wheel with white knuckles, the image of the impact that was so narrowly avoided playing again and again in my head. What would have happened if I hadn’t taken that last cursory glance over my shoulder?

It’s times like these that I’m really glad I know some excellent legal advisors around Poway, the town the café is in, and with this event on my mind, I began asking around to see what I could have expected if I were in a crash. They directed me to who, in their opinion, is the best in the biz in town, Villasenor Accident Law Firm.

The Poway-based firm and its name holder, Christopher Villasenor, has been helping victims of accidents and personal injuries for over 25 years and has built his brand as the best accident attorney in Poway through blood, sweat, and tears. The firm has helped hundreds of people recover revenues lost due to injury as well as receive restitution for the wounds they’ve received due to the negligence of others.

This whole experience has taught me a couple of lessons:

  1. Don’t expect other people to know or respect the laws and rules of the road. Seriously, the guy honked at me as he drove away, despite the fact that he ran a red light! What a moron.
  2. Accidents can happen at any time, and you need to do the groundwork now to be prepared for the worst if and when it happens.

In the interests of this last point, I highly recommend you seek out the best accident attorney in your area, and make sure you ask other lawyers who it is so you know which one won’t jerk you around and cost you a bunch of extra money with nothing to show for it. If you’re in the San Diego area, I definitely would recommend you seek out the services of Villasenor Law Firm.

Villasenor Law Firm

(858) 707-7771

12396 World Trade Dr, San Diego, CA 92128

A Top-Rated Company For Your Pest Problem

A Top-Rated Company For Your Pest Problem

Here at the Clute Institute, we focus on local businesses that can make a positive difference in your life, no matter the industry they operate in. Today, we’re looking into the pest control and extermination industry, something a lot of people tend to either ignore completely or look at with some level of distaste, yet is an entirely necessary aspect of what makes modern society possible.

In our ancient past, lack of pest control led to a number of rather horrific consequences – famines, plagues, structural collapses, you name a calamity, you can bet some rather poor pest control could lead to it. In that vein, there are quite a few companies that operate within the industry that have some rather shady practices, leading to the necessity of us once again getting to the bottom of which companies provide good, honest service without the bilking or fraud that is so endemic in our society.

It seems we’ve hit the jackpot with the company we’re spotlighting today – we’ve rarely seen so many glowing testimonials for a small business in our neck of the woods than what we’ve found for Grand Oaks Termite Control in Pasadena. In fact, it may be the best reviewed pest and termite exterminators we’ve found in all our years of reporting.

A quick peek at their Yelp page reveals a number of testimonials that paint a positive and heartfelt picture of the business’s owner and his employees. Carina Z. of Duarte, California, has this to say about Justin, the owner of the company, and his partner Gary:

“I am in awe of Grand Oaks Termite Control. Justin and Gary came out and inspected my home and they were punctual, polite and very knowledgeable. I was so worried about my home being infested with termites, but Justin put my mind at ease. He determined that I had an isolated infestation in one room of my home and that there was no need to be tented. He gave me a fair quote and treatment of the room literally took maybe an hour. He explained that the process would not harm my family or cat and termites and eggs will not survive after the treatment. He and Gary came out a week later for the water damage of the affected area. My husband and I are so pleased and grateful we chose this company. Gary did an impeccable job of the repairs that took about 6-7 hours and you can’t even tell I had any termites or water damage. They are both so pleasant and polite and will highly recommend them to anyone. Thanks guys for an outstanding and affordable job.”


As you scroll through the reviews, each similar in tone to Carina’s, you begin to understand that Justin and Grand Oaks are the real deal, providing excellent service at a very fair price. They go so far as to provide prompt carpentry services to fix damaged wood fixtures in your house as a part of the service, leaving your pest problem in the past in as quickly as a week or less.

If you are in the Grand Oaks area of southern California and are looking for pest or termite control, you could do much worse than getting the guys from Grand Oaks Termite Control to come out and take a look.

Grand Oaks Termite Control

(626) 538-4156

110 S Worthy Dr., Glendora, CA 91741

Don’t Burn Down the Barn…

Don’t Burn Down the Barn…

We as people have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to pest control, and this is exemplified nowhere better than in the agricultural sector. One of the top pesticides used during the corn growing cycle is a chemical called Atrazine, which has an unfortunate tendency to cause hormonal disruptions in any animals that inject it (which is why it’s so effective in the first place).

These endocrine disruptors leach into our water system, where they flow eventually into the natural waterways of our nation to flow out into the ocean. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen before it not only interacts with a significant amount of our natural wildlife, but also our drinking water.

The effects of pesticides like Atrazine on the wildlife that it interacts with are startling and quite concerning – in the frog populations in the ponds and eddies fed by the waterways polluted with Atrazine, it is a common occurrence for male frogs to experience a large number of sexual ailments, from being born with malformed genitalia to having the hormonal profile of a female frog despite being genetically male.

All across our country, the chemical warfare we’re waging against pests are starting to backfire, not only on the environment and animals around us, but also on our own communities. Algae blooms are destroying our natural fisheries, bees are dying due to fungicides and pesticides, and our own health is quickly being shown to be negatively affected by the myriad ghastly poisons we use to try to make our corn product as profitable as possible.

The same mindset is applied to common household pests like cockroaches, ants, and termites. The second these creatures are typically discovered, the first thing most exterminators want to do is get in there and murder the lot of them with some gas made in the early 20th century for ghastly purposes outside the purview of most exterminators.

Well, I say no more to all of that dastardly, destructive hoo hah! If there’s a way to do these things naturally, then I think it’s high time we abandoned our industrial mechanized way of pest control and started taking the naturist’s way, whether that be to eat organic or using all natural termite control!

If you’re in the southern Los Angeles or northern Orange County area and you agree with me, I recommend you start using Natural Science Exterminating for your pest control needs as soon as your next scheduled inspection. The company uses a combination of a number of oils and extractions to naturally deter the critters and pests that are most likely to invade your home, and the concoctions they use to kill them once they’re in are made to harm the environment as little as possible.

Whether your house has already been infested or you’re looking to make sure it never does, don’t settle for more harmful chemicals being sprayed into your living space just to be breathed into your lungs or washed into the water supply, choose Natural Science termite extermination for ethical and conscientious pest control

Natural Science Exterminating

1-800-246-7378

11642 Knott Street #9 Garden Grove, CA 92841