While Most Places Businesses in France are the Best and Most Beautiful Places in the World, There are Other Places Businesses Worthy of Note

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Insuring Big Dreams

Insuring Big Dreams

France’s history, architecture, and art are among the richest and most beautiful in the world. It’s home to some of the greatest creative minds of all time, from the Coco Chanels of fashion and the Claude Monets of art. 

When I lived there, life felt like a dream. I was surrounded by elegance and exquisiteness. It was home to my joy, but it was also home to my pain. I couldn’t make ends meet by selling paintings alone, so I also worked a full-time corporate finance job. This meant that I used all of my “free” time on evenings and weekends to paint and sell paintings. 

After years and years of doing both, I burnt out. If I got too tired from my job in finance to paint on evenings and weekends, I’d feel guilty—but mostly, I felt like my life was being stripped of work in which I found joy and meaning. Without art, I was just another cog in the wheel, a replaceable and disposable unit of human labor. On the other hand, when inspiration struck at night, I’d feel exhausted during the day. My eyes would glaze over the spreadsheets in front of me. I felt like a zombie staring at numbers that had no meaning to me. But I couldn’t quit my corporate job; if I didn’t have a full-time job to keep me alive, I would be a starving artist.

While most Americans dream of quitting their jobs and relocating to Europe or Asia, I wanted a different escape. I wanted to find a way to turn painting into a profitable entrepreneurial venture. I wanted clients who were willing to pay me for what my paintings were actually worth. The challenge in France was the competitive art market. In a country with such rich art history, people here have seen it all.  

What I love about the United States is the motivation that so many people have here to succeed and achieve the American dream. When I first arrived, I met someone who is now a dear friend of mine. He had been a truck driver for his entire life, and then he decided that it was time to become a commercial trucking fleet owner and operator

Free Man Wearing Black Denim Jacket in Driver's Seat Stock Photo

I asked him why he hadn’t started his commercial trucking company sooner. After all, he had the experience and had saved up enough money as startup capital. It turns out that most truckers love driving but hate paperwork. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires proof of insurance alongside the application for Operating Authority. Luckily, my friend discovered an insurance expert who specializes in commercial trucking and made it simple to get insurance for his truck fleet

Imagine delivering an online order for a painting worth tens of thousands of dollars and then having to navigate through narrow driveways and cramped cul de sacs in a truck. Last-mile deliveries are no easy business, as precious cargo needs to be delivered in mint condition. Truck insurance is especially important for last-mile deliveries, as there are many risks involved in transporting finished goods to the customer. Trucking insurance like last-mile trucking insurance helps fleet owners and operators manage safety and financial risks.

A Blessing In Disguise

A Blessing In Disguise

On most days, I feel like life can’t get any better. 

And then there are days where I wonder why I even moved here.

Sometimes I wake up and I think that this is all a dream. And then, from the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of my windows and remember that I’m not in France anymore. My window blinds are vinyl, not wooden. And I hate the way they slide open. I miss being able to actually swing my windows open and hear the church bells ring. 

You can take the boy out of France, but you can’t take France out of me. 

I have been thinking about renovating my house for a while. Specifically, I have wanted to switch the windows from the North American style to the European. In fact, I wanted to redesign my entire home to look and feel less American and more French.

The walls had to be repainted; boring and plain eggshells had to be replaced with mahogany, emerald, or pomegranate. And the light wooden and carpeted floors desperately needed to be replaced with dark wooden floors and Provence rugs.

White Leather Sofa Near Window

Trouble In Paradise

They say that nothing feels like home sweet home, but mine didn’t feel homely at all. The renovations, however, would change all that. 

So imagine my shock and horror when my contractors pulled out the floors…

…and found termites.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this was some divine karmic punishment for something bad I did when I was a child. Not only was I living in a house that didn’t feel like mine, but the house had also been infested with uninvited inhabitants. Was this a sign that I wasn’t meant to be here?

I could have just given up right there and then—pack up the life I had moved here, all the way from France, and quit trying to make it work here. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be here. 

But then I decided that I couldn’t just give up at the first sign of trouble. Bad stuff happens all the time, especially when starting a new life somewhere new. I could retreat back to comfort, or I could persevere and finally make my home feel like home sweet home. 

The contractors said that this had happened to previous clients and recommended Natural Science Exterminating, a professional pest control company specializing in natural termite control. It turns out that orange oil isn’t just a favorite for French pastry chefs—it’s also one of the best natural compounds for termite exterminations. 

A Natural Miracle

Organic pest control doesn’t involve traditional chemicals; it uses natural compounds like orange oil, which can be just as effective as a chemical termiticide in moderate cases.

When the exterminators arrived, they told me that if the termites had been discovered later, extermination and repair would have been more expensive. 

I realized that this was all actually a blessing in disguise…that I hated the floors enough to renovate them, which led to the discovery of termites. 

So maybe this was actually a karmic reward for something I did in my youth that was good.

If you need effective natural pest control solutions, you can give Natural Science Exterminating a call today.

Natural Science Exterminating
11642 Knott Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92841

Synthetic Lawns May Increase Your Home’s Market Value

Synthetic Lawns May Increase Your Home’s Market Value

As readers of my blog know, I have had synthetic grass installed. I have recently been considering making more investments in real estate, and given my positive experiences, I would highly recommend artificial grass installation for property owners.

Real estate investors are always looking for the best opportunities to buy and sell properties for a rewarding profit. The price of a home usually depends upon the forces of supply and demand at a particular location. There are many factors that can influence the overall value of your home. 


The location of the property plays the most essential role in determining its market value. Homes that are located in close vicinity to shops, schools, public transportation, and restaurants are likely to receive higher price valuations. On the other side, properties located in areas with higher crime rates and unemployment rates are likely to have low worth. 

Size and features

The size and features of the home will also influence the overall worth. The four bedroom home could have a higher price tag as compared to the two bedroom house, even if they are located in the same area. In addition, the availability of outdoor entertaining areas, swimming pools, garages and bathrooms can be a considerable factor in the property valuation.

Renovation potential

Investors and homebuyers are always interested in making updates to the property to increase the valuation. If your property has enough renovation potential such as the ability to add an extra room or exterior modifications, the property may receive more competitive offers. The more renovation potential, the higher the property is likely to be valued.

Photo Of Green Grass
Photo by Kellie Churchman from Pexels

Consider installing a synthetic lawn to boost your property’s value

Those who are looking to boost the overall value of their property are advised to consider the installation of synthetic lawns. Professionals in the real estate industry believe that a well-maintained lawn significantly enhances the appeal of the property.

Synthetic lawns are low  maintenance

The greatest benefit of synthetic lawns is that they are easier to maintain in the long run. Once you have installed these beautiful artificial lawns, they create the perfect space for family outdoor activities and relaxation. These lawns require only minimal efforts for maintenance and management. Small irrigation channels are added during the installation process so that water can be drained away automatically to prevent pooling. 

Read Dennis Z.‘s review of NoMow Turf on Yelp

Artificial turf does not require harsh fertilizers

As these lawns do not grow or die, there is no need to use fertilizers like normal grass lawns. Once you have installed this turf, it will remain green, lush, and toxin-free—even in the long run. Harsh fertilizers may be detrimental to the local environment while posing a serious threat to children and pets at home. But these synthetic lawns make fertilizers and other harsh chemicals unnecessary.

Synthetic grass is highly cost-effective

Another amazing benefit of synthetic lawns is that they offer long-lasting value with minimal installation costs. As there is no need to invest in the maintenance of these turfs, you have to manage the upfront cost only. Once installed, these lawns can enhance the overall appeal of your property by a considerable level. 

There are so many benefits to installing synthetic lawns for your home. It is a highly effective way to enhance the overall value of your property. You can give NoMow Turf, Inc. – Synthetic Lawns & Putting Greens a call today to book an appointment today.

NoMow Turf, Inc. – Synthetic Lawns & Putting Greens
26674 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA 92630, United States

Termites At Home

Termites At Home

There are two types of people. Those who want to live in an apartment and those who like living in a house. So, which option is better? There is no correct answer to this. The decision may be very complicated and depends on different factors, or it may be merely a matter of personal preference. One should assess each option to figure out which of those two choices is the best. 

I mention this today as my greatest dilemma when I first came to the U.S. was choosing between an apartment or house.

Life in an Apartment

The main distinction of an apartment is that they are smaller than houses. However, that should not be a deal-breaker. You can find ways to save floor space through wall-mounted furniture. Or, you can make rooms appear visually larger by using the right materials and colors.

Living in an apartment means many surrounding neighbors, and they may not all be welcoming. One may have difficulty finding quiet and peace of mind in an apartment. The best thing you can do is create a positive relationship with the neighbors from the beginning. 

As far as security and maintenance, apartments appear to be the right choice. Several apartment buildings have security guards, and most of them have secure front doors that can be opened exclusively with a card or code. It is also less likely for an intruder to enter or go unnoticed when there are lots of neighbors. Houses typically have garages or parking spaces, whereas finding parking in a jammed apartment complex can often prove to be impossible.

Every apartment building must be treated according to city laws to ensure that residents do not experience any concerns with pests such as termites

Wooden House
Photo by Céline Chamiot-Poncet from Pexels

Life in a House

Houses are usually for those who live with other people, such as family members. If you have a large family or are looking to start a large family, you may have no other choice. Entertaining loved ones and relatives are easier when you have enough space. 

You will have more privacy and freedom when living in a house: no neighbors to trouble; no inquisitive eyes snooping from the building across the road. 

However, a large space requires more maintenance. You can imagine how simple it is to clean a small apartment in contrast to a large house. The owner of a house has more floors to vacuum, more rooms to clean, and gardening and exteriors to worry about.

While the damage can range from trivial to significant structural damage, a termite infestation can go unseen for many years. That is why Garden Grove termite inspections are essential. Termites cause billions of dollars worth of damage in the United States every year, by munching on the wood structure of the house.

If you are considering buying a house, make sure the property is free from any termites. Each year after ownership, it is crucial to have a careful assessment to take action against termite infestation. You can give Natural Science Exterminating a call today for a termite inspection or extermination.

Natural Science Exterminating
11642 Knott Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92841, United States

The Heart That Truly Matters

The Heart That Truly Matters

I don’t know what I would do without my dog, who had accompanied me during the hardest transition of my life: moving from my home country France to the United States, where I began my new life as a divorcee. I thought I would write about my appreciation for animals and how they can support us through tough transitions.

Having a pet at home may seem like hard work. The responsibility to care for an animal in addition to the several responsibilities in your life requires a serious commitment in terms of time and money. This can be stressful, but if we consider the perks of owning a pet, you will find that all that effort to pay off in the end. 

Pets provide us a type of positive energy that you cannot find anywhere else. Dogs are the best companions for a human being; they share a strong emotional bond with us.

If you are a frequent traveler, you can take your furry friend with you on adventure journeys.

Dogs support your mental health

No matter what kind of situation you come up against in life, your dog will always stay beside you. Even during a global crisis pandemic, pets have been a great source of emotional support for individuals. A study conducted on college-going women revealed that people who own pets had considerably lower loneliness scores on the UCLA Loneliness Scale; “having a pet can help to diminish feelings of loneliness, particularly for women living alone, and compensate for the absence of human companionship.” Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are believed to be helpful for the overall health and well-being of people suffering from serious mental health conditions such as major depression, panic disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorders. 

Dogs enhance your physical health

It is scientifically proven that people who have dogs are likely to enjoy better physical health and more positive energy. Since dogs are high-energy creatures that frequently require a walk outdoors; the dog owners benefit from having a reason to get outside, walk on a regular basis, and stay committed to that in the long run.

Without any doubt, dogs can enhance the overall quality of life. At the same time, owners must take care of the health of their dogs. Owners are advised to visit an experienced veterinary consultant from time to time to maintain their dog’s complete health and well-being. Dogs may suffer from health problems such as skin issues, ear infections, urinary tract infections, vomiting, diarrhea, parasites, dental disease, obesity, arthritis, and toxicity.

Woman in Brown and White Plaid Scarf Sitting on Beach
Photo by La Miko from Pexels

Dogs provide great social support

Along with several mental and physical health benefits, pet dogs are also known for providing great social support to their owners. Pets show unconditional love towards their owners and other family members. If you show the same level of compassion and empathy towards your pet, you are likely to enjoy a happier life. They are also likely to be friendly towards your neighbors, friends, family, and other people in your life.

I highly recommend adopting a furry friend. You never know how much joy they will bring to your life. Becoming a dog owner was the best decision of my life.

The Beauty Of France In My Own Front Yard

The Beauty Of France In My Own Front Yard

I left my home in France 3 years ago to move to the United States for work reasons. Ever since I left, I have not stopped longing for my old French life. The culture, food, and history—how could I not miss it all? On any given day, I could sit outside or at home with my friends or visit one of the country’s numerous outdoor attractions: France’s most symbolic monument, the Eiffel Tower (which I climbed to catch an exhilarating view of the city); the Louvre Museum, which holds some of the world’s greatest artworks like Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci and Wedding Feast at Cana by Veronese; or the royal residence designated as a UNESCO world heritage site, the Palace of Versailles. 

The beauty of France is so spectacular that it seeps into everything, even the appearances of the homes. Home gardens and lawn designs are quite beautiful. A memory of my visit to the royal gardens of Louis XV at Trianon I convinced me to start thinking of installing my own artificial grass. Historically, well-kept lawns were a symbol of affluence among the elites of French society, so having one was not simply a matter of home improvement, but of tapping into a long and rich history.

Photo of Eiffel Tower

I decided to upgrade my lawn by installing artificial turf.

I highly recommend hiring a professional service to install your artificial lawn. Grass installation requires specific equipment and expertise to achieve a level and durable lawn. The contractor will start by digging to remove the grass from your existing lawn. Then, they will use a professional turf cutter to prepare the site for the next stage. Installing a commercial grade weed membrane will prevent weeds from growing through the lawn. Some companies install compact stone, as it provides a solid base for the new lawn and adequate drainage as well. Granulated granite is leveled and compacted, allowing for a more stable foundation, and thus a longer-lasting lawn. 

The most important part is the laying of the green grass. It is cut to size, each tile laid closely and joined tightly. This creates seamless coverage. An infill may also be used when laying the grass so that the pattern of the lawn looks real. This is followed by motorized brushing of the infill so the grass can stand upright and look like real grass. Finally, the newly installed artificial grass is washed to remove any site debris, and a final quality check is conducted.

I could not be happier with my new lawn. If it can’t be France, at least I can have my own beautiful garden. NoMow Turf is a professional artificial grass installation company that has saved me so much time and energy. When I look out onto my lawn every morning, I feel like the royal highness of my own Palace of Versailles. If you are interested in transforming yours, you can give NoMow Turf a call today.

NoMow Turf, Inc. – Synthetic Lawns & Putting Greens
26674 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA 92630

How I Filed A Claim: Car Accident Insurance

How I Filed A Claim: Car Accident Insurance

I moved to the United States about a year ago. Not long after, I became the victim of a car accident that opened my eyes to the American insurance system. Until then, I had a pretty vague idea of how the auto insurance system worked. I gained more knowledge pretty quickly, which helped salvage this incident. And here’s a little summary of what happened.

It all started on one Tuesday evening after dark, when the rain had just finished falling. In fact, it had been raining all week. I was returning home from the grocery store and by now, the road was pretty slippery, so I had to be pretty careful. I cautiously navigated through a section of the road, and then I heard a bang! My car jerked about 50 yards forward with speed. By the time I regained control, I was drifting into an empty grazing field.

I managed to bring the vehicle to a halt by the side of the road. I was quite shaken. The next thing I did was check myself for any injuries; I had a scratch on my arm which was nothing. I checked to see the damage done to the car’s rear; the bumper, the trunk, and the rear window were badly damaged. I was lucky it wasn’t any worse. I then got out of my car and walked over angrily. As it turned out, I had been hit by a young lady in her mid-20s. Her front bumper and lights were done. Fortunately, she was okay. 

The next thing I did was call the police to explain the situation as clearly as I could. An officer was sent over to make sure we were both fine. I felt slightly disoriented. I was taken care of and dropped off at home.

The first thing to do when filing a claim after an auto accident is to capture and supply thorough information about the accident to the insurance company to start the claims process. This includes details regarding the accident such as date and location; the extent of injuries and damage to the parties and vehicles; road signs and the sides of the road of each driver; the number of passengers, how the accident happened, the other driver’s insurance information, name of the police department, and police report number.

The officer had filed a report at the scene, which he explained would be necessary for insurance claims. Filling a compensation claim was pretty straightforward, as I had found the Best Insurance Agent in Marina Del Ray. The claim was filed after a few days. They worked with me to accurately evaluate the claim and complete it as quickly as possible.

Some states considered ”no-fault” states will let your insurance cover for up to a specific limit for injury, car damage, and related claims. This will apply to the other driver as well. I hadn’t even thought of that. Even though it’s considered illegal in all states to drive without a specific amount of insurance, some people still do it.

Close-Up Photo Of Car Rims

It is risky to drive without car insurance in a state that requires it, as you’ll pay for your medical expenses and damage and for the other driver’s injuries and damages if you are at fault. You could also be sued by the other party, issued a ticket, face jail time, and face future problems getting affordable insurance rates when you eventually shop for a policy.

If you are in need of insurance coverage, give Byron Galindo a call today:

Byron Galindo – State Farm Insurance Agent
214 Pier Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

When Love Crumbles, Consider Mediation

When Love Crumbles, Consider Mediation

In Paris, France, there once was a famous bridge, known as the “Love Lock Bridge”. Couples from all over the world would visit the bridge to attach their locks, along with a note, symbolizing their marriage and love as eternal. This practice is said to have started in Rome, Italy in 2006, and to have made its way to Paris in 2008. However, as it became more popular, the weight of more and more locks being attached to the bridge was beginning to cause serious problems. CNN reported that the weight of the locks was equivalent to 20 elephants!

Similar to this once famous bridge, my marriage to my then-soulmate was once sealed and fated to be locked and everlasting—or so it seemed. Over the years, it seemed more and more like my spouse didn’t want to be married anymore. I thought I had done everything I could as a husband and spouse, but she seemed to be dissatisfied with marriage nonetheless. Not to mention that I not only treated her with kindness and respect, but I had also given her a very comfortable life. My ex-wife was a stay-at-home socialite who spent my money lavishly. I worked in investment banking for fifteen years, and it broke my heart to come home every night, after an exhaustingly stressful day at work, to a wife who didn’t seem to care for my presence. There was no excitement, no intimacy—just the seemingly unbearable weight of being married. Eventually, it apparently crumbled on her, and she decided to leave me.

Plant On A Balcony

Now, I should mention I do not write in order to merely air out my dirty laundry out on a cyber balcony. What I mean to express is that marriage is hard. And if you, despite your best efforts, have been unable to save yours, then perhaps it is time to walk away. The love locks on the Paris bridge were eventually removed in 2015, as the weight of the locks were no longer sustainable. Such is the metaphor of love and life: when a marriage has become unhealthy, it is time for the couple to consider divorce.

Think about all of the joint assets, liabilities, and properties between you and your spouse. If you have been married for many years, this can be complicated. According to family experts in Orange County Law, divorce is a roller coaster of uncontrolled emotions. If you find yourself falling out of love with someone, how should you proceed? Of course, there is always the option of litigating in divorce court: hire a lawyer, spend an average of “$15,000-$20,000 per person”, and leave your fate up to a judge.

Or, you could mediate. In Orange County, family law mediator Colleen McNamee has been hailed as “the divorce whisperer”, helping couples navigate through legal separation on amicable and mutually respectful terms. Mediation takes place through a neutral third party, rather than in court. It is thought to be a healthier option for everyone involved, especially for couples with children.

If you are looking to remove your locks of love and start a new chapter in life, you can give McNamee Mediations a call:

McNamee Mediations
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660

A New Office For My Writing Endeavour

A New Office For My Writing Endeavour

I remember how my life seemed to fall apart during my divorce with the love of my life. Everything—from getting dressed in the morning to finding happiness again—seemed impossible. I could not believe that my soulmate decided that she was to spend the rest of her life with another man. I could not believe that everything we had overcome and built together meant nothing to her—that she had thrown it all away for some young, twenty-something starving artist she had met one afternoon at a cafe. She told me that she loved that he didn’t work in a “stuffy corporate” office like I did.

After the dust had settled and our separation was finalized, I realized that she had really had left me—she wasn’t coming back. As I came to terms with the fact that my hopes and dreams with her would never come to pass, I realized it was also time for me to move on, and to not look back.

As my long-time readers will already know, I packed everything into a suitcase, bought a one way ticket to California, and have been slowly mending my heart ever since. It’s been a slow and painful process, but I am beginning to see the light. This morning, I woke up and sat down at my writing desk to journal for an hour, as I normally do, and began to ponder what it is that I really want to now do with my life.

The divorce shattered my heart, but it gave my bank account some much-needed reprieve. Again, I’m not sure why she ran off with that starving artist, or why she disapproved of my job, because during our marriage, I was the only one earning an income. My lucrative investment banking career allowed me to fund her expensive tastes in fashion, restaurants, and theatre.

I personally had no interest in that lifestyle. All I have ever needed to be happy is a good book, along with a pen and some paper. As I sat at my desk looking out the window, I realized, that working in investment banking to appease my then-wife had obscured what I have really wanted all along: to be a writer.

Used Red Coffee Cup and Saucer

I had spent so many years suppressing my creativity, but now, I finally had the freedom to follow my heart. As I looked around, I realized that my office wasn’t really an office—it was a bachelor’s man cave with a tiny nook by the window, carved out for my small writing desk.

I wondered if I could transform my space into a creative oasis, to bring out the writer in me. I went online to look for office furniture, and came across a supplier and studio, Creative Office Design. They carry inventory of all sorts: desks, chairs, cabinets, bookcases, new cubicles, and anything you can think of when it comes to your LA furniture needs.

Upon visiting their showroom, I was greeted by a kind and knowledgable design expert, who helped me select the best desk and chair for my new writing office. If you are looking to transform your existing space into an office that inspires you, you can give them a call.

Creative Office Design
5230 Pacific Concourse Dr #105, Los Angeles, CA 90045, United States

One Less Memory

I woke up the other morning with the worst pain I have experienced since my divorce. However, this wasn’t the emotional pain of heartbreak, this was physical pain. Every part of my body was sore from mowing the lawn. I could not believe it.

If you had heard me screaming while I was trying to get out of bed, you would have had to pardon my french. I did not want to think about mowing my lawn ever again. As I finally stood up, I had a sudden flashback to a time when life was much less painful.

White Wooden 2-storey House Near Tree

I remembered the life we once shared, and how we used to spend all of our days together at our beautiful manor in France. Back then, we had housekeepers and gardeners. We didn’t have a care in the world. It was bliss.

Of course, that was all shattered when she decided on divorcing me and taking mostly everything we shared. When I moved to the United States, I wanted to start over in a new country, on a blank slate. But I never wanted to leave behind memories of my home country France. I was very lucky to find a house that reminded me of the manor. It has a big beautiful lawn, just like my previous manor. That said, over time I have grown weary of the upkeep, as I do not have housekeepers and gardeners anymore. Starting over in life has been a very humbling experience. While I would love to hire someone to do the lawn-mowing for me, I haven’t been able to afford it.

After I finished reminiscing in misery, I suddenly came to the recollection of having overheard someone at the local cafe saying something about artificial grass and being quite pleased with the results of their installation. I hobbled over to my laptop to see what that was all about. I was quite intrigued by the idea of it: grass that does not require mowing and a lawn that looks green and beautiful year round. This had to be it! This had to be the solution and the end of my struggles. Upon further research, it turns out that I am not alone in my dislike for lawn-mowing; many homeowners seem to be choosing artificial turf over real grass.

I came across a company called NoMow Turf, Inc., and I was quite impressed by the photos of their work. But being the skeptic that I am, I had plenty of detailed questions to ask them about artificial grass and the process of installation. They very patiently answered all of my questions to my satisfaction, and I decided to book an appointment right away.

Alas, I am very happy report that I have a brand new lawn and that my body has fully recovered from the soreness. Now that I won’t have to physically take care of my lawn every two weeks, I shall now have one less painful memory of France to think about. This shall be a new era of a new kind of bliss.

NoMow Turf, Inc. – Synthetic Lawns & Putting Greens
26674 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA 92630, United States