Boston Brick & Stone - December 2018


2005 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103 | 626-296-7700 | | December 2018

Best DIY Gift Ideas

For Everyone on Your List

L ooking for gift ideas that don’t break the bank but still show the special people in your life how much you care? Do-it-yourself (DIY ) gifts are the way to go. Here are a few ideas to put together on a chilly night. Pull out your crafting supplies, turn on some holiday tunes, and get creative. Best DIY Gift to Make With the Little Ones: Handprint Apron Aunties, uncles, and godparents will love a gift that incorporates their favorite little ones, and it’s a great way to get the kids in on the project. Choose some unadorned aprons from your local craft or home goods store and some acrylic paint in a variety of colors. Then get crafty! The kids can use their handprints as a starting point and add other decorations as they like. You can also find some fun ideas on the blog Little Page Turner, like painting a butterfly from your kids’ stamped footprints. Have fun with it! Best DIY Gift for Your Bestie: Personalized Mug

the dollar store or thrift store, and get expressive! You could write a sweet or funny message (“but first, coffee” or “two shots, hold the chatter”) or list their favorite beverage (“coffee, no sugar” or “green tea”). Write something that makes them think of you, or create a simple drawing. Enjoy the artistic freedom as much as they’ll enjoy your thoughtful gift. Best DIY Gift for Someone Special: Memory Map Utilize a map, a pair of scissors, some glue, and your memories of meaningful places to create this sentimental gift. Choose map locations that are meaningful to you and your special person — where you met, where you celebrated special moments, where you first lived — and cut them out in geometric or heart shapes. Then, glue the cutouts to a piece of matboard. You can add kind words at each point, or let the places explain themselves. Place in a frame and gift to your loved one.

-Dave Laverdiere

You only need a mug and an oven-safe or porcelain marker to create this personalized gift. Use a mug you already own, or pick one up from |


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How to Score the Best Deals

Haggle! Don’t forget to bargain with the seller! Being able to negotiate the price of an item is another huge benefit of visiting an antique store in person. While some sellers can ask for a “best offer” on their online listings, many don’t, giving buyers next to no flexibility. A lot of people may be too intimidated to haggle, but when you take the time to do it, you will almost always save a little money. Do Your Research As a buyer, you want to have reference points regarding authenticity, condition, and price. If you find an item you’re interested in, take some time to research it further. It’s great to have your smartphone on you so that you can do some digging before extending an offer or making the purchase. The more informed you are, the greater the chance you’ll get a good deal. Have Fun Antiquing is about discovering hidden gems and having fun along the way. When you’re traveling or exploring an area you’ve never been to, visiting antique shops can be a wonderful experience chock-full of history and one-of-a-kind items you wouldn’t otherwise come across. When you go in with an open mind, that’s when you find the greatest treasures!

Antique stores are not as common as they used to be. Thanks to online shopping and websites like eBay, it has gotten slightly harder to find quality antique items and good deals. All too often, it seems like sellers rely on eBay and similar websites as a point of reference to price their items, even if eBay isn’t the best avenue to gauge the market. For those of us who love antiques, this can be discouraging, but don’t fret! In the era of mass-produced, low-quality home goods, antiquing is very much alive, and it is still possible to find the unique items you’re searching for. The styles of yesteryear can still be found tucked away in dusty little shops — if you’re willing to put in the work to find them! Here are a few tips for finding those treasures in the age of eBay. Inspect the Item Good, old-fashioned antiquing comes with one major perk you won’t get on eBay: You get to inspect the item personally before making a purchase. You can investigate the condition of the piece and ask questions about its authenticity. If you notice certain flaws in the item, you can bring that up when it comes time to haggle.

Rock-Solid Review


•Inspection •Restoration and repair •Construction •Sweeping


•Inspection, restoration, or repair of an existing structure •Installation or reconstruction of new structures

“Our house, built in 1927, had seen its share of earthquakes, rainstorms, and toasty Valley temperatures. While we'd re-stucco'd the exterior the previous year, we'd completely avoided rebuilding the chimney, fearing the expense. From the outside it looked fine, but there were definitely issues internally. The BBS inspector ran a camera all the way through the chimney, looked things over, and came up with a great solution involving a special process that re-coats the inside walls of the chimney. Fantastic, and way less money than we thought it would be. It's summer and we've only lit a couple fires in the fireplace so far, but it's been at least 20 years since that fireplace was safe to use. Absolutely wonderful to find a company that does such great work and so quickly.” – Bru ce B. North Hollywood, CA


•Backyard patios •Outdoor kitchens and barbecues •Outdoor steps, walkways, and paths •Retaining walls •Outdoor fireplaces •Driveways

HISTORICAL RESTORATION Our previous restoration work includes the following:

•Restoration of the main lobby chimney system of the El Tovar Hotel on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim •Repair and restoration of chimneys in 56 original historic cabins on the Grand Canyon’s North Rim •Historical chimney restoration for the lodge in Bryce Canyon National Park •Faithful restoration of the chimneys on the Nottingham and Arden properties in Beverly Hills


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The Chimney Specialist's Code of Ethics

Did you know there is a Chimney Specialist's Code of Ethics? At Boston Brick & Stone, we operate under this code. The purpose of a code is to establish a uniform standard of professional chimney and fireplace ethical practices regarding quality, safety, and pricing.

• Refuses to put the client's financial considerations above their safety. • Refuses to put the client's financial considerations above the safety of future owners of the property. • Includes all the work they expect to encounter when delivering a proposal to a client and does not purposely leave work out that they can submit a change order for mid-project. • Refuses to cover up a situation that came up during a project, knowing it will become a problem for the property owner in the future. • Refuses to allow uncertainty or fear to influence their report to the client when inspecting the system — instead of simply condemning the system and taking the easy and safe way out, they take the necessary additional steps to discover the actual and true condition of the system so that a correct diagnosis can be made and reported. • Refuses to allow shoddy workmanship and untested or unlisted components to exist in the systems they’re responsible for — while quality may not be as important in carpet laying or paint, it most certainly is in chimneys. • Ensures that all the members of their group follow the Chimney Specialist’s Code of Ethics. • Ensures that the members of their field follow the Chimney Specialist's Code of Ethics. • Actively educates the public on the need for chimney safety.

A professional chimney and fireplace contractor always does the following:

• Studies the building codes and understands how the applicable codes apply to chimneys they encounter. • Studies previous building codes to understand the timeline of how we arrived where we are today with the building codes. • Studies and understands the safety codes, such as the NFPA 211. • Continually keeps up-to-date with new building and safety codes and regulations in the chimney industry. • Continues their training with industry-released videos, seminars, and courses. • Continues to research new chimney-repair technology and does not use or recommend a new technology until it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. • Abides by the building and safety codes in all of their dealings and does not consider that their opinion and experience is above or superior to the actual codes, understanding that these codes are laws. • Refuses to accept unlisted component parts in prefabricated systems.


Holiday Roast Prime Rib

Looking for an easy holiday roast that still feels elegant enough for the occasion? Look no further than this delicious prime rib flavored with garlic, thyme, and red wine.


• 1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds) • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced • 2 cups red wine

• 4 cups beef stock • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. 30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature. 2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare. 5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.

Inspired by Food Network

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2005 Lincoln Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103 | 626-296-7700 |


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The Best DIY Gifts

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Antiquing in the Age of eBay

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Rock-Solid Review

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Have You Heard the Chimney Specialist's Code of Ethics?

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Holiday Roast Prime Rib

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Holiday Decoration Tours

Christmas Tours

Get Away and Be Festive This Holiday Season

There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must-visit list. New York City’s Rockefeller Center New York City is an iconic location for Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice-skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply-decorated tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit from November to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. Ranch Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming Jackson, Wyoming takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays, they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding the archway make for a Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a

John Wayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered.

Yearly Yuletide in Santa Claus, Indiana This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, Indiana, this holiday season, you can still celebrate Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. Disney World’s Christmas Magic What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.


| 626-296-7700

Published by The Newsletter Pro •

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