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Welcoming Spring 2009 !

Whew! As this (finally!) wet and soggy February winds to a close we are almost at Springs doorstep. I dont know about you but its got me looking around my house thinking Wow, I need to do some spring cleaning! Spring is synonymous with renewal & regeneration, it is the time to clean out the old funk and start fresh. How about doing your spring cleaning the green way this year? There are so many environmentally friendly products on the market now, they seem to be everywhere. But not all products that say green actually are so be sure to check those labels. Look for cleaners that dont contain chlorine bleach or ammonia, for starters and try to avoid the other hazardous ingredients whenever you can. Many of the labels we find on cleaning products are vague and arent regulated by our government. Non-toxic implies that a product causes no harm either to you or to the environment, but this can be difficult to prove. Natural is another label that we see a lot of. A label denoting that a product is biodegradable is somewhat easier to substantiate, it implies that either the product or its packaging (or both) will break down naturally over time. Thats obviously a good thing but again the definition is still a little loose.

The great thing is that many green cleaning products dont even have to be purchased but can be made from items you already have in your home. Vinegar can be purchased in abundance very inexpensively and used to clean dozens of things. An effective cleaning spray can be easily made by mixing a couple of tablespoons of vinegar into a gallon of water. Pour it into a spray bottle and voilayou can clean everything from your countertops to your windows to your bathroom mirror with it. You can even spray it on your sofa to get out the many yucky leftover smells our kiddos seem to leave behind! Dont like that vinegar-y smell? Substitute the vinegar for lemon juice. Then grind the left over lemons up in the garbage disposal to make that smell fresh and clean too! When washing those windows, shun the paper towels. Those old t-shirts taking up space at the bottom of your drawer will make excellent cleaning rags. Do you prefer a more soft-scrubby kind of cleaner for use in the bathroom? Combine one cup of baking soda or borax with a cup of castile soap and you have a perfect cleanser that can be used to safely scour your sinks, showers and toilets. Another awesome green cleaning product is those nifty microfiber cleaner cloths that you see in many stores. They can be used to dust or clean windows with no need for any spray at all. Just get a little warm water on it, wring it out and wipe. Then youre off to another task, leaving it to dry streak-free on its own. Green and easy!

The Environmental Protection Agency tells us that the air inside our homes can actually be more polluted than the air outside! This can be more of a problem in the winter months when typically our windows are closed for weeks on end and the heater is blasting away. Make sure one of your first Spring cleaning steps is to let that stale and stagnant air out by opening up those windows a bit and literally getting a breath of fresh air! Bringing in a few new lush and green houseplants also helps to combat that indoor air pollution and imbues a sense of Springs beauty inside your home.

Once the Spring cleaning is out of the way its on to the fun partfreshening up your home! The farmers markets are filled right now with rows and rows of vibrant yellow daffodils and their dizzying fragrance, just begging to be brought home and placed on your table. Try to buy locally and/or sustainably harvested blooms whenever you can. How about a few new throw pillows for the sofa in a shade inspired by some sweet-smelling hyacinth blooms? A single vividly green frond in a simple vase or a handful of parsley in a tumbler can bring a fresh new vitality into a room.

The winter color palette doesnt give us much to choose from does it? What with its generous offerings of_white. And winter white. Oh and then theres taupe, beige, gray and light gray! Painting just one wall in a room can completely change its feel. Open your doors to a new Spring palette, consider colors youve perhaps not used before. Whether you choose from the warm reds, oranges and yellows of the tulips on offer at the market or opt for cooler hydrangea blues and purples, look to Springs colors to inspire you. Choosing a paint that is low or no VOC makes it an eco-friendly choice for your home and for the environment. Changing paint in a room or a few rooms is quick and easy way to invite Spring in.

Julie Arcino is the Resource Coordinator at MB Jessee Inc.

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Customer Reviews

“My entire experience with MB Jesse was very professional. The crew were very friendly and super accommodating of my ridiculous schedule and geriatric pets in the house. The finished product, which was pretty much my entire house, far exceeds my expectations. Would definitely work with them again!”

— Heather Jordan

“Dear Matt,You must be so proud of your men! They were fantastic to have around. Polite, courteous and hardworking. I am so pleased with the outcome of our home--in fact, I couldn't be any more pleased than I am!”

— Mrs. S
San Leandro

“Hello Matt,Just another notice of thanks to your wonderful crew, Rigoberto, Javier and John. They did fantastic work, with Rigo providing meticulous and conscientious attention to the details and excellent woodwork finishing, as evidenced by the beautiful fireplace. Javier did a fantastic job in the bathroom especially, it looks "brand new," and John always does quality work, both with the interior and exterior. I can tell they care about what they do. Rigo's "punch out" was very thorough, too. I will call again when I need some more work and will definitely recommend your company and fine crew. I also felt as a homeowner, I could leave my house in their good hands during the day and that took a lot of worry from me, they were honest, prompt and reliable. They were also very kind, respectful and clean in their work, very professional. Thank you.”

— Beth Marx & Melissa Kirsch
Oakland

“In September, MBJessee finished painting two sides of our 3-story condominium building (six owners). We were impressed by the professionalism of the company and every one of its workers, Matt Jessee couldn't have been more helpful in planning the project. His painters were well-trained, easy to communicate with and eager to please. In addition to painting the stucco, they made extensive repairs on windows and frames, which will save us considerable money in the future. They finished earlier than anticipated, with as many as five men working on the job, and the scaffolding came down the next day. All of us were delighted with the results. Now my husband and I are looking forward to having MB Jessee paint our own apartment later this month. Matt and Gustavo (who will be our crew leader again) have explained how they will work to make the painting proceed smoothly while we're living here, and they have been endlessly patient with our protracted decision-making process. If you look at their website, you'll learn that MB Jessee is an exemplary company that takes good care of its workers as well as its customers, and contributes public service projects to the community. All in all, we can't recommend MB Jessee highly enough.”

— Jayne W.
San Francisco, CA

“I can't say enough about how courteous and professional my foreman was. He was on time every morning and arrived cheerful and ready to go. He is highly organized and very thoughtful. He was extremely careful and respectful when moving my belongings - a mature professional.”

— Nora Robinson

“Awesome work by highly experienced, professional painters. They were: Conscious about the amount of time it would take. Ours had a lot of pre-work and took 3 weeks. Accommodating when we added a few last-minute changes Understanding when a heatwave hit and we remove some of the plastic sheeting over windows, which they had to put back up the next day. Accessible, especially the on-site crew (Hi Jose & Victor!) -- always answering questions and checking in. The end result is a perfect paint job that makes our 94-year-old house look brand new. I would definitely hire MBJ again”

— Stacey R.
Oakland, CA

“Thank you for the support you have given the Women's Cancer Resource Center over the past year!”

— Margo - Director Women's Cancer Resource Center

“Very easy to work with, they did an outstanding job with our project of re-painting our painting our kitchen cabinets. Given the scope of the job and that our kitchen is roughly half of our upstairs living area they did a fantastic job of minimizing the mess. Workmanship was top notch, would definitely recommend.”

— Vince Scola

“M.B. Jessee painted the exterior of my Spanish house over 9 years ago, and they did such an incredible job that they are still getting referrals from me today. The paint is holding up perfectly -- there is absolutely no peeling chipping or any other deterioration. I still remember that my final walk-through list consisted of items written on one side of a 3x5 index card (and I'm REAL picky about my house!) However, when Matt and I did that walk-through over HALF the items were no longer an issue, as his team had noticed them first and they had already been resolved.”

— JoAnn Newcomb

“I want to express my thanks for a job well done. The rooms look great and there is no problem with any marks on the all the trim, floor, carpet, etc. The paint job is lovely. I also want to express my thanks for the level of professionalism the foreman showed in running the job. He was very attentive to any changes I needed to make, was extremely careful in getting the faux paint color and effect correct. Thanks so much for a job well done.”

— Suzan D’Arcy

“The entire MB Jessee team is courteous, efficient and professional. From scheduling and estimating to the crew managers and crew, they all did an excellent job on a small (but complicated) two room project in my house. I'm already thinking about getting them scheduled for the next project in the spring.”

— Cari Cheney

“MB Jessee just finished our exterior and we couldn't be happier with our experience. The foreman (Pedro) and lead painter (Ricardo) were incredible to work with: they communicated scheduling clearly, Ricardo was a joy to be around every day, the showed up early every day, were incredibly tidy and did great paint work. The final walk through experience was incredible. Pedro pointed out items I missed demonstrating a clear desire to complete another quality project. I highly recommend them. As others have noted they definitely aren't the cheapest but you quickly realize that you're getting what you pay for. The 3 year guarantee is also a nice touch since there are likely touch up items that will show up after the job is done.”

— Joshua Jansen