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My name is Georgia Butterfield and I am Chairman of the Bay East Foundation Scholarship Committee.

Each year we offer scholarships to students who are planning to enter the field of Real Estate.

Bay East Association of REALTORS is offering scholarships to students

pursuing higher education degrees related to real estate.

Minimum qualifications to apply for a scholarship are:

*Primary residence within Alameda County

* GPA of 2.5 or higher

* Must currently be attending, or be enrolled for 2014-2015 at an accredited educational

institution with programs acceptable towards a bachelor's or higher degree.

Please visit the Bay East Foundation website to download a copy of the application.

Applications are due 11:59 PM - May 5, 2014.

For additional questions, please email Marie at Marieg@bayeast.org.

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Send us the details and we'll post it for you. Submissions can
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PostHeaderIcon Bikini Week Attempts World Record


San Diego is the place to be the next few weeks as the 2nd annual Bikini Week Event hits the beach.

On June 13, Bikini Week will kick off with an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest bikini parade ever.  Hoping to outdo the current champions, Johannesburg, South Africa, who paraded 287 bikini glad girls in November of 2009, San Diego will attempt to go over the 300 mark.

The largest bikini parade is open to the public and organizers invite all women to partake in the event.  To participate or receive more information, e-mail them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Bikini Week is a sexy fashion industry event that celebrates the art and lifestyle of swimwear.  It features a platform of talent that includes fashion designers, photographers, stylists and models. 

In the next few weeks there will be runway shows, poolside parties at the hippest San Diego hotels including the Hard Rock Hotel and online contests.  The kick off party will be held at Fluxx Nightclub and the creators and sponsors promise that it will be the hottest party of the summer.

In this their second year, Bikini Week represents innovation, creativity and opportunity for those hungry for the spotlight.  Plus it's your chance to strut your stuff or just have fun and enjoy summer in beautiful San Diego. 


For more information about Bikini Week or to buy tickets to the events, visit www.BikiniWeekSD.com.  - SEW

 

PostHeaderIcon Is Being Thinner Better? - Andrea Week 32

This is my 32nd week on the WW program and I lost 2.6 pounds for a total of 41.6 pounds.

This puts me a little past the halfway point of my weight loss journey. I'm so relieved to have lost the 6.2 pounds I gained in April. I didn't think it would take this long, but it did.

This week I've been thinking about how people treat me when we interact lately. Specifically, I've been wondering if they are nicer to me because I've lost weight. I wonder whether I'm giving out a different "vibe or it's the weight loss.

At work, I have noticed that my visitor chair is occupied a lot these days (much more than it was 41.6 pounds ago) with people stopping just to chat. Are people more drawn to me because I'm emitting a cheerful optimism or is it because I'm thinner and thinner is better?

Maybe it's just a coincidence and I am imagining the whole thing.

I have also noticed better treatment from the attendants in the lot where I park. They close my door for me when I get into my car. What gives? Is that a new company policy or are they nicer because I'm thinner?

Another phenomenon I've witnessed is people being very complimentary of my hair. I'm not trying to be boastful, but sometimes the compliments border on embarrassing. I guess it could be that my hair is looking really great these days, but let's face it, there is nothing miraculous about my hairstyle (see pic). It's longer than I usually wear it, but I still see the same stylist and color it at home.

My theory is that people want to compliment me on my weight loss, but because that is fraught with awkwardness, they compliment my hair instead. It's safer.

It will be interesting to see when I have my annual performance appraisal at work if my "thinner = better" theory plays out. I don't feel like I have really made any major improvements in my work, but if my review is far more positive than in past years I will consider my theory to be proven.

What do you think?

Does thinner = better?

 

PostHeaderIcon Take the Allnewsnoblues.com Poll


How do we really feel about our lives and the choices we've made?  

Information from major newspapers, magazines and websites, including GQ Magazine, USA Today and TODAYshow.com, show that after weathering a few years of a down economy and tough times, some are questioning where they are in life, and the decisions they've made. 

However, many are content and don't feel beat up or disillusioned with their lives. Intead, they are happy in their jobs and relationships and strong in their convictions.

A whopping 79 percent of people said they like their work.  Contrary to a widespread belief that many dislike their jobs, most actually enjoy going to work and feel they are contributing to making things better.

Data also shows that 65 percent of those polled said that they see a better attitude among coworkers and those they come in contact with during the day.  More people are taking the time to say "thank you" and "please come again soon" in service industries and small businesses.

Speaking of small businesses, 62 percent of Americans feel the recent tough economy is bringing back the concept of entrepreneurship and small family-owned businesses.  There has been a strong backlash against "big business" and impersonal companies.

Nearly 80 percent of those polled said they like where they llive. Even when asked "if you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?" most people said "right where I am." Even when suggestions like a tropical island or another country was posed, most  said there's no place like home.

On to the topic of relationships:

Roughly 70 percent of men say they think they are with the right partner in life, while 56 percent of women feel they've chosen correctly.  So you see guys?  We aren't such ogres after all. 

Of the women who responded, the reason given for the lower percentage was that woman have a more romantic view of love, therefore they compare their spouse or partner to a "prince charming" while men look at a bigger picture in considering happiness in a relationship.

Two out of three single people say they are happy and content being alone. Single people don't feel the stigma that past generations of singles often felt.  Many say their lives are full with work, friends and family.

And only 27 percent of people polled would change who they married or are in a relationship with.

Age is an interesting part of these polls, too.

Of people over 50, about three-quarters of those polled said they like their age and wouldn't go back to being 20-something if they could.  NBC's Today Show runs a segment on the over-50 crowd and it has shown that many feel that by age 50, people know themselves better, have settled into their bodies and enjoy the free time grown children and less responsibility has given them.

Allnewsnoblues would like to ask you to weigh in on some questions.  Please tell us your answers in an e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or in the comment section below this post.

Do you feel you made the right choice in a life partner?

If you could go back to being 20, would you?

Are you happy with your job or what would you rather be doing?

Where would you like to live if you had your choice of anywhere in the world?

We'll follow up with a story about the results.

We look forward to hearing from you. - SEW

 

PostHeaderIcon Feeling Color - Designers Log- June


You've probably seen them too, those people at Home Depot or at the local paint store, holding a handful of paint color swatches with puzzled looks on their faces.

For most of us, selecting a paint color is difficult enough.  But beyond deciding which blue is lighter or which green is closest to your daughters bedspread, there is a psychological impact of color in our lives.

Every color we encounter in a space has some impact on how we feel.  It can make us happy or sad, literally give us a headache or put a warm fuzzy feeling into our hearts.  A recent study by Olympic Paints found that yellow, an old standby for babies rooms, can actually provoke anxiety and that babies in yellow nurseries tend to cry more.

Color can also affect our appetite, work productivity and even our lovemaking.  Even the saturation or intensity of a color can alter how it makes you feel.  A soft blue can bring back fond memories of childhood while a strong dark blue can be depressing.

Cultural preferences can be another factor in color selection.  In China and India white is the color of death, as opposed to black in this country.  We think of white as meaning peace, virginity and is usually the color for wedding dresses.  But in many Latin America countries, it's considered good luck to wear bright colors, not white. This is also the reason we associate fun and bright colors with certain places.

Here is a quick primer on how some colors can affect your psyche. 

Yellow -  A very invigorating color, yellow can also bring on anxiety.  Don't use it for high energy areas like the kitchen, but keep it to smaller areas like hallways or laundry rooms.  If you enjoy this color, opt for one with honey or golden tones.  This will add an elegance to the room

Red - Did you know research brought us to use red for stop signs?  Red literally tells the brain to slow down.  It's often used in bars, casinos and restaurants to keep customers there and remove any feeling of being rushed.  Red is perfect for dining rooms and sexy reds, like the color of Merlot is soothing in the bedroom.

Blue - It's not a stretch to understand that blue is a calming color.  It's the color of the sea and the sky.  Be careful that the blue you select isn't what I like to call "little boys room" blue, but choose a turquoise or navy for large rooms.  Blue is also an appetite suppressant.  When was the last time you ate blue food?

Green - Again a color associated with nature,  greens make us feel secure and tranquil.  Green is not a good color for skin tones, so shy away from using it in a bathroom or bedroom where you look in the mirror.  However, mossy green is a great neutral, while apple green feels fresh and clean.

Brown - Another color that prompts comfort and security, brown really runs the spectrum from light to muddy.  Don't use a dark brown in small rooms, it only intensifies the feeling of claustrophobia.  But a light brown, like soft suede is very conducive to dens or home offices as it cuts down on eye fatigue.

Don't let the paint color you choose have the wrong effect.  That pink in the store can look like Pepto-Bismol in your bedroom.  Terra Cotta might seems like the perfect selection for that Italian look, but can be dreary and depressing when it surrounds you.

So, the next time you are stymied and overwhelmed with the choices at your local paint store, think beyond what might be pretty or safe.  Color is a psychological tool and can hugely affect your mood and life. - SEW

Steve Wallace lives in Danville.  An interior designer for more than 20 years, his work has been featured in Palm Springs Life and he is completing a book about design for publication soon.  He writes a monthly entry for www.allnewsnoblues.com about design and style.  Contact him at www.stevewallacedesign.com or call 925 915 1005. 

 

PostHeaderIcon Tour the O'Neill Tao House in Danville


At one time, street walkers, circus men, and ghosts lived in the hills above Danville, as characters from the mind of Eugene O’Neill, considered by many to be one of the greatest playwrights of all time.

O’Neill spent nearly his entire adult life looking for a home for his restless spirit where he could bring his elaborate characters to life. In 1937 he and his second wife, Carlotta, were living in a San Francisco hotel when they discovered a 158-acre ranch in Danville. Drawn to the hillside covered with native oak trees, the couple built their dream house. A long-time devotee of Eastern thought and concepts, and interested in Oriental art and furnishings, they called the house Tao, which means “the way” in Chinese.

O’Neill declared this his final home and refuge and it is here that he wrote his last six and most well known plays, including The Iceman Cometh, Long Days Journey Into Night and A Moon For The Misbegotten.

The only American playwright to ever win the Nobel Prize for Literature, O’Neill also received four Pulitzer Prizes for his work.  Tao became his muse, where he often locked himself away for days, creating his legendary and timeless masterpieces.  The couple spent time by the pool and with family dog, Blemie, and the author enjoyed walking the hills and the isolation and peace the home brought him.

Carlotta was in charge of decorating the house. Built in the Spanish Colonial architectural style, the residence featured blue ceilings, red doors and black tile floors.  Having sensitivity to bright lights, Carlotta kept the drapes drawn, which gave the house a mysterious and shadowy aura.  Although they entertained family and friends often, most visitors found the house gloomy and foreboding.  It was, in fact, the perfect haven for a playwright to create the unforgettable characters and emotional situations he brought to life on the stage.

The O’Neill’s lived in Tao until 1944, when his worsening depression and alcohol abuse forced them to return back east. 

Due to severe hand tremors brought on by his alcoholism and his continuing struggle with depression, O’Neill never completed another play after leaving his beloved Danville home. He died in a hotel room in Boston at age 65 in 1950.

In 1974, due to the efforts of Senator Alan Cranston and others, The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, was formed.  The property was in danger of being torn down by a builder and with the help of many,  the ranch became the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in 1976, and the home has been restored to its original state.  It’s now run by the National Park Service,  whose mission is to perpetuate the writer’s vision, to provide programs for future artists and to keep alive the contribution to theater in America that O’Neill made.

Tours are available through the National Park.  In May, the park service announced No Reservations Saturdays, which includes tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Reservations are required for tours on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The tour takes a little more than 2 hours and is free. 
 
Access to Tao House is via a private, gated road. The park service provides a free shuttle van at the Museum of San Ramon Valley (Railroad Avenue at Prospect Street) for the short ride to the site.
 
For more information, call 925-838-0249 or go to www.eugeneoneill.org.  - SEW

 

PostHeaderIcon Andrea Gearing Up for Vacation

I had a great past week and lost 3 pounds.

In 31 weeks I am at a grand total of 39 pounds lost.  There is one stubborn pound left from my "vacation" from Weight Watchers. 

It’s ironic that I will probably lose the last of those 6.2 pounds I gained right as I’m preparing for my next holiday. 

No, it’s not that I take a lot of vacations, but the one I took in April left a legacy of weight that has stuck around for almost two months.  Luckily it happened so recently that I will remember the affect it had this time around. 

I will count points, track what I’m eating and try to remember that just because I’m not at work; it doesn’t mean I can eat whatever I want. 

Fortunately, this little holiday will be spent camping in the mountains and with that, there will be a lot more physical activity and no dining out.  I know not to skip any more WW meetings than is necessary (no meetings in the mountains).  Last time it was three weeks before I went back to WW and I had gained more weight than I had on the few days I was away.  

I have one more column before I leave on this camping trip. 

See you next week. - AV

 
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