I Love What I Do

By Mike Waters

Even though I am not a Bay Area native, I may as well be. I visited from the East Coast in 1984 and never looked back. The Oakland/East Bay hills, San Francisco and Alameda are a Painter’s paradise, and it is here that I found the ability to work year-round doing what I love. And hey, how about the Warriors after all these years!

I got my start at 14 years old with a friend’s Dad painting houses over the summer. In New Jersey, you can only paint about 5 months out of the year, so I hopped on crews, earned some summer money and stayed out of trouble. I didn’t know it then, but that was the moment that sparked a lifelong love of the trade.

I moved to Florida and worked for larger companies painting 10 to 25-story high rise hotels and condos on the water. We battled the heat and the tropical rain as we hung from our swing stages. This is where I picked up the much-needed skill of “amateur Meteorologist.” As a painter I had to predict how weather was going to impact my projects.

I love what I do. I love the trade of painting. I love managing my painters and I love a quality outcome. I have been in the field for 45 years and I have seen a lot of technical problems in that time. I can solve almost any technical problem we face, and I love doing that. I especially love preventing problems.

For the first 15 years of my career in the Bay Area I worked in the field for a large Bay Area Contractor. After that I went out with my own crew for 13 years, and I have been with Arana for the last 6. In fact, Ernesto was a painter on one of my crews. I taught him some things back then, and then joined his team in 2012 as Production Manager.

It’s fair to say that I live and breathe my work, but I also spend lots of time with my daughters who were raised in Walnut Creek. We go to concerts, 49ers, Warriors and Giants games, and we enjoy eating our way through Oakland. For me, there is nothing more satisfying than a job well done. And here where the Bay Area is my office, there are so many jobs to do. I look forward to the next one with you!

Adapted from: Easy Self-Care Strategies That Counteract Seasonal Depression
By Harriet Randall

Seasonal Affective Disorder is not much fun and certainly isn't very festive. There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel less affected by the “winter blues” this year. Here are five of the best ways to take care of yourself during winter. Try them out, see which ones work for you, and don’t be discouraged by the way you’re feeling—you are not alone!

1) Light Therapy
Light therapy is currently cnsidered one of the best forms of treatment for SAD and the one I personally find most helpful. It is thought that exposure to special fluorescent light can help regulate serotonin activity in the brain because it encourages the production of vitamin D.

2) Exercise
Regular exercise is considered an excellent form of natural medication for all types of depression, including SAD, as it improves mood and lowers stress levels.

3) Have Fun
It’s important to find fun activities that you can enjoy and that make you feel more positive about winter. Engage in activities that get you out of the comfort of your own home and have fun with other people.

4) Sleep
Poor sleep contributes to symptoms of depression and depression contributes to poor sleep. Here are some tips for better sleep:

  • Keep a regular schedule
  • Follow a sleep routine
  • Make sure your bedroom is prepped for sleeping
  • Avoid sleeping with your phone/tablet/laptop in your room and definitely don’t use them just before bed

5) Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy works by triggering receptors in the brain and in fact, a 2007 study showed that lavender oil significantly reduced levels of cortisol (the major stress hormone) in patients suffering from depression. Many holistic health practitioners believe the best scents for alleviating symptoms of depression are lavender, roman chamomile, ylang-ylang and bergamot.


Adapted from: 5 Awesome color resolutions for your home
By Diana Hathaway Timmons

Here’s to a new year of color! At the beginning of a new year, you may feel compelled to make resolutions and plans to do things a little (or a lot) differently in the coming year. The new year is a wonderful time to reassess your space, and plan changes and projects for the upcoming spring.

With the gorgeous color trends announced at the end of each year, there is never be a better time to to live a little more colorfully!

Lose any Color That Does Not Make You Happy
Yes, you got a bargain on that paint, and spent a lot of time putting it on the wall, but it’s never really been the right color. This is the year to finally stop regretting that color mistake, and make it right. You should surround yourself with colors that make you happy, every single day.

Take Chances With Color
Have you noticed that the best decorating decisions you’ve ever made were made without a ton of deliberation and doubt? Sure, you can carefully choose color to get just the right shade, but those other times when you found something that really speaks to you, it was more heart and less brain carrying it out of the store. Take the time you need to find the best colors for your home, but be open this year to accent colors and decor that you would have never considered before.

Learn More About Color
You don’t need to go to school to study color theory, but if you love to decorate your own home, learning a few basics like why undertones matter and how to create a color scheme, will make your decorating less stressful and more fun.

Check out the Color Trends
While you may not consider yourself the trendy type, seeing the annual color trends can spark inspiration in your decorating, and give you new ideas for making over your decor.

Paint and decor trends and forecasts are more valuable for learning new ways to pair colors, and find new color palettes you love.

Bring out the Best in Your Home With Color
The right colors can create a calm retreat in any room, or they can spur energy and creativity. When you choose colors with intention, they can transform any space. The colors in your foyer will let your guests know what your home is all about. For a guest room, creating a serene color palette can communicate to your guests that you’re happy they’re here.

For the rooms you use every day, bringing out the best can mean updating accessories, rearranging furniture, or creating an accent wall.

The beginning of a new year works beautifully for making changes at home, because often our main rooms look quite stark after the holiday decorations are put away.

This is the best time to assess what works, and what doesn’t, and formulate a plan to make your color resolutions a reality this year.


Tags: Arana Craftsman Painters

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