Break Your Routine And Incorporate A Real Change…

It is hard to believe that fall is just around the corner.

fall color at the garden

I hope you enjoyed the summer, while it was here. I know I did. I do like the fall season however, and always enjoy the beautiful fall colors and the cooler, brisk mornings. While fall typically signifies change, many of us like routine and may have a hard time adapting to new things. While routine can be good because it makes us feel safe and comfortable, it can also, at times, makes us feel stuck.

In fact, in the article, “Creating The Greatest Ideal of Yourself, author, Dr. Joe Dispenza, says, “if you repeatedly think and act in identical ways on a daily basis, your brain will become molded into a specific hardwired pattern that will support the same level of mind. It’s ironic. Most people routinely think the same thoughts, perform the same actions, and secretly expect something different to show up in their lives. If however, you were to sincerely think about a greater ideal of yourself before you started your day, you would begin to make your brain fire in new sequences, patterns, and combinations.”¹ That is why he recommends doing something that breaks your routine. It can be as simple as taking a different route on your routine, morning walk. Who knows, you might just see something different that sparks a new idea. You could also take a different route to work, to the gym, or the grocery store. Maybe you could try a new food item, such as a different vegetable, or prepare it in a new way. The possibilities are endless, but the point is to change it up and stimulate your brain!

Speaking of changing it up, fall is a great time to incorporate some changes to your home. If you are planning some remodeling that includes adding some new countertops, make sure you give us a call, or stop by our showroom. We’d be happy to show you our material and color selections. Keep in mind that we work with both natural stones, including granite, as well as provide a number of “quartz” products including: Caesarstone, Difiniti, Dupont Zodiaq, Hanstone and Silestone.

No matter what material and color you choose, we would love to help incorporate a beautiful change to your home.

Thanks for reading!



¹ Dispenza, Dr. Joe. Creating The Greatest Ideal of Yourself. Dr Joe Dispenza website.



Posted in Business, Inspiration on September 10th, 2014 by Barb | | 0 Comments

Rest, Relax And Rejuvenate…

Most of us live in a society where things always seem to be go, go, go! More, bigger, better, and faster are words many of us have adopted in regards to work, and lifestyle. While many of us have more things and a better life-styles than that of our parents, or those of a generation ago, why is it that more people feel unfulfilled and stressed and what is the solution?

Many people have demanding jobs and are required to juggle multiple things throughout a day. Many people also skip breakfast and are on the run from the time they wake, to the time they get home. Others skip lunch and may run from one meeting to another. We also live in a society where we are being constantly bombarded with information, from e-mails, to texts, to social media, and often feel like we just can’t keep up. It is no wonder many people wake up tired, instead of refreshed.

While we all have stress in our lives, from work, children, family, household chores, etc., there are ways to control it and make it less frequent.

I recently came across the article, “10 Secrets to a Stress-Free Life,” that shared the story of Kathleen Hall, a famed stress expert that I found interesting.  She developed a “powerful but surprisingly simple mantra—SELF, an acronym for serenity, exercise, love, and food and started teaching it to others to great effect. These ‘four roots of happiness’ may seem almost too easy, but she insists they have a centering effect in even the worst of circumstances.”¹ Taking and making time for serenity helps us meditate and be one with ourselves and nature. It helps us to be in the moment and helps reduce stresses in our lives. Exercise helps the mind, as well as the body. Exercise helps to release endorphins in the brain, which in turn help us to feel good and have a better outlook. Love and friendships help to nurture our soul. They promote well being by giving us a connection to others. Nourishing food helps sustains us. Keep in mind that food is fuel. We all need to choose foods that give us energy and provide nutrients for the body, such as fruits and vegetables and foods that are of the earth. Food preparation can also be a means to share and gather with friends and family.

While we will never be able to get rid of stress entirely from our lives, we can certainly try to change the ways we react to it and find more ways to rest, relax and rejuvenate our lives.

Following are a few tips I wanted to share from the article:

10 Secrets To A Stress-Free Life:
by: Kathleen Hall

  1. Start Small—Relax into your day. Start with a small change such as a new morning habit, trying a new food for the day, etc.
  2. Connect—Put love and friendship first in your life. Try and make  it a habit to schedule time with others. Often times, feeling connected helps prevent health problems down the road.
  3. Focus on now—Try to focus on one task at a time and be mindful of what you are doing. Being in the present moment helps us to avoid stressful situations.
  4. Write it out—To help release negative thoughts, grab a pen and paper to write them down. Taking this action step will often help to release the negativity.
  5. Practice gratitude—Take at least 5 minutes each day to give thanks for all of the gifts in your life.
  6. Walk Softly—Often times when we are stressed, we walk with firmer steps. Try walking softly, or slower to help calm the mind.
  7. Take stock—Make a list of things that bring joy to your life and then make another list of things that drain you  and your energy. Compare the two lists and contemplate how you can add in things to increase joy.
  8. Love your commute—Use your travel time to work on your patience skills. Use deep calming breaths to help yourself relax and enjoy your time for thoughts.
  9. Try a mini-meditation—Memorize a three to five word phrase, or mantra that you repeat when you are feeling stressed, or keep a peaceful image, or photo near by to reflect upon.
  10. Own the news—Tune into the news only when you want to get more information about a certain topic. Don’t dwell on the negativity in the news, but instead try to send positive thoughts and prayers to those in need. Help out in situations where  you can make a difference, otherwise let information go.

A few members of the Paramount Granite Company team had the opportunity to take in a bit of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation the other week up at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Here’s a photo of the crew…


Pictured from left to right: Justin Miller, Second from left, Jon Pipenhagen (Fabricator/Saw Man), Third from left, Ryan Urlaub, Fourth from left, Troy Godeman (Lead Installer), Fifth from left, Sara Rodgers (Customer Service) and Sixth from left, Chris Rodgers (President of Paramount Granite Company).

Make sure you check out our Facebook page for more photos of the trip.

Thanks for reading!


¹”10 Secrets To A Stress-Free Life,” July 1, 2013.




Posted in Company, Inspiration on June 9th, 2014 by Barb | | 0 Comments

The Sun Is Always Shining Behind The Clouds…

I was outside walking this morning and just had to take a picture of the sky. The clouds were pretty cool looking and the sun looked like it was just ready to bust through. Anyway—it reminded me of the following quote…

“The Sun Is Always Shining Behind The Clouds.”


I don’t know about you, but I love that quote! It is a simple reminder that there will always be good times and bad times, and that neither of them will last forever. While we all may get depressed, or down from time to time, we just need to feel it and then move on. While this is sometimes easier said than done, we can always take control of our mind to make it happen. Carol Dweck, in her book, Mindset, talks about two specific mindsets we can take on. The first is a fixed mindset where you”believe that your qualities are carved in stone, which creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. The other is a growth mindset where we see failure as an opportunity to learn, to grow and become a better person.”¹ Which mindset sounds better to you? I am going with growth.

Why not embrace our failures and weaknesses and look for that silver lining? Oh—and make sure you take a minute to check out Brad Paisley’s song, Behind The Clouds. It should definitely lift your spirits!

Thanks for reading!



¹Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes—Mindset “ pg. 1, 5

²Paisley, Brad. Behind the Clouds.


Posted in Inspiration on May 6th, 2014 by Barb | | 2 Comments

Add Some Spring To Your Step By Decreasing Clutter…

Spring is just around the corner! For some of us, that is hard to believe, especially here in Minnesota, with the April snow storm we just had.  Deep down however, we all know it will come. We just have to be patient. As they say…

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” — Hal Borland


Anyway—With the warm weather just around the corner, it is the perfect time to put some spring in your step and renew your energy level. While many people are ready to clean up their yards, and plant their flowers or gardens, others may be ready to work on their homes, whether it is a new remodeling project, or just cleaning up some clutter.

Speaking of clutter…

Did you know that excess things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information? In fact, according to the article, How Clutter Affects Your Brain and What You Can Do About It,” Neuroscientists at Princeton University found just that when they looked at people’s task performance in an organized versus disorganized environment. The results of the study showed that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress.”¹ Dorothy “The Organizer” Breininger, seen on A&E’s Hoarders show, The Today Show, Dr. Phil, etc. in an interview with Reid Tracy of Hayhouse Publishing said that “If you’ve got pockets of physical clutter in your space and you have been ignoring it for a while—clutter is keeping you on the ‘other’ side of the line of success. Clutter acts as a ‘fence’ and the clutter literally keeps you corralled and can immobilize you permanently.”²

So why not free yourself and get organized? There are many ways to do this, but start small. Maybe work on one room at a time, or start by cleaning up your computer desktop or e-mail.

Following are a few tips from “How Clutter Affects Your Brain and What You Can Do About It” you might find useful:

4 Ways To Master Clutter

  1. Apply Constraints: Limit how may people you follow on Twitter, etc., how many books you buy, etc.
  2. Use Small Storage Spaces: Try cutting your closet down by only a certain number of hangers for clothes you wear. Use a smaller bag when you travel, etc.
  3. Conduct a Monthly Review of Your Closet: Review your closet monthly for items you haven’t wore. Make a pact to rid your closet of those never or rarely used.
  4. Remove All Files From Your Desktop Daily: At the end of each day, remove every file from your desktop. Do the same for e-mails, creating a folder for the ones you actually need to keep.

You will be amazed how much better you feel when get organized. Maybe you will be ready to move on to bigger and better projects—like remodeling! Oh—and if your are looking for new countertops when it comes to that project, we definitely can help.

Thanks for reading!



¹Cho, Michael. How Clutter Affects Your Brain  and What You Can Do About It. Hacker website.
²Tracy, Reid. Empowering Your Life—One Moment At A Time. Hay House April 2, 2014 eNews article.



Posted in Design, Granite, Inspiration, Uncategorized on April 4th, 2014 by Barb | | 0 Comments

California Dreamin…

Most of you out there have probably heard the song, California Dreamin, by the popular 1960’s American/Canadian folklore group, The  Mama’s and the Papa’s, as it is ranked #89 in Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. I have to admit, most of the time I hear this song, I want to change it, or fast forward it because who wants to hear about brown leaves and a grey sky? It is depressing!

Well—when I heard the song recently, I had some different thoughts and not because it is actually fall.

Although the song is not one of joy, but one of pain, I feel it also depicts a story of hope. We all get depressed, or down in the dumps, from time to time, but we don’t have to stay that way. We can change the slide in our mind, and our thoughts.

The last four years for many remodelers and builders have been a challenge, with many ups and downs. While some have gone out of business, those that have hung on clearly weren’t focusing on brown leaves and a grey sky. While the days of all blue skies are long gone, the sunshine is clearly not and we all need to have ways to find it.

Alan Cohen, in his book, Why Your Life Sucks And What You Can Do About It, talks about how nourishing your spirit is a must. Cohen states that “The few minutes a day you take to feed your soul is your strongest investment in your happiness and that we should do whatever it takes to inspire ourselves to stay in a creative consciousness.” When we do this, we are naturally attracting more positivity into our lives, which projects us forward, a place we all want to go.

How are you focusing on that California sun?

Thanks for reading!



Posted in Inspiration on October 30th, 2012 by Barb | | 0 Comments

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