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First Quarter Review of 2021

While 2021 has not been boring, at least it’s not as wild as 2020. Here is a recap of everything that’s happened in 2021 in the first quarter.

 

January 2021

January definitely kicked off this year with a bang. First, the Capitol fiasco. After that incident, the left and the right are more against each other than ever. Then, Trump gets banned, which leads to media subscriptions going down. Magazines, blogs, and news channels are seeing less attention now that Trump isn’t around anymore. Two weeks later, the world held their breaths as Joseph Biden swore in as the 46th President. But yet, this and the stock market kept people tuned in. The great GameStop incident led to a stock market frenzy. Hey, it also led to fire memes. Bitcoin is now popular again and rising. One of the best parts of January? The Bernie Sanders mitten meme.

 

February 2021

Then February blows in with the craziest winter storm most Texans had ever seen. On the bright side, the forced quarantine reduced COVID cases. So, hospitals finally got a little relief. While we had to rough it, we found warmth in friendly neighbors and hospitable family members and friends. And, now we know how to be better prepared. Thankfully, the government is taking care of relief procedures. Congresswoman AOC raised $2 million for Texas!

 

March 2021

March was a good month. The Biden administration passed the second round of stimulus checks. This helped those affected by the winter storm. Also, March 11 marked the anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown. Now, the world is in a better mood as the vaccine is more widely available. Along with that, but businesses and events are opening up at full capacity again. Slowly but surely, we see life returning to normal. While gas prices are going back up, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s only returning to the same prices as pre-COVID. Lastly, the 200,000-ton Evergreen cargo ship was finally recovered out of the sand and is afloat again. This allowed for business along the Suez canal to resume.

 

A lot happened in the first quarter of 2021. Now we are in April, and things are looking bright. We are thankful for all the good news that we come across. We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year has in store for us. Let us know if we can help out with any big plans that you may have in mind!

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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Spring 2021 Starts On Saturday!

Get out the gardening tools and flip-flops, because spring officially begins on Saturday, March 20th, 2021. We decided to plant some flowers in your blog garden with spring reminders and tips.

 Spring 2021

It sure does feel like spring, with temps hanging around the 80’s and the sun is setting when it should be- around 7:30-8 PM. Now, it’s that time of the year to prepare your house and yard for hot weather. First, close up winter items, such as your fireplace.  Next, put your winter clothes away, as in a storage bin. While we’ll still have chilly nights until April, there’s no need for all of your jeans and hoodies anymore. Swapping out your closet twice a year is much easier than cramming everything in there. Next, check your attic. Make sure your vents are still good, and that there are no air leaks. And, if there are any uninvited critters, please remove them in an eco-friendly and humane manner. If you have screens on your windows, make sure those are secure. Brace yourself, bugs are coming.

Planting season is here! If you’re concerned about the bees, try planting purple flowers. They can see purple the best. Also, plant flowers with open petals where bees can easily access the pollen. Bees love lavender, single dahlias, alliums, crab apples, and honeysuckle. Read here for more bee-friendly flowers and herbs. Along with bee food, why not grow some food for yourself? Try growing your own herbs. Rosemary is easy to care for and will last year-round. Parsley, basil, cilantro, mint, and dill are also good to grow and season food with. If you want to try something a little more advanced, cherry tomatoes are fun to grow!

Remember to save energy in the warmer months by setting the A/C to a higher temp when you’re out. Check out our blog here for warm-weather energy-saving tips!

Welcome back, Spring!

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

Blue, Pink and Orange Circle Games Influencer Facebook Cover

Social Media Tips To Freshen Your Posts

Facebook and Instagram have been around since 2009 and 2012, respectively. Chances are, you’ve probably had your profile for a while. Give your feed a new, 2021 touch with these social media tips.

 

 Social Media Tips

Naseem Buras’s photo on Unsplash

Food posts are still popular, though maybe not quite like before. Thanks to TikTok, texts on your photos are in. Give your exotic fish taco plate a better background with Canva. With Canva, you can make a special birthday post for a friend, or grab your followers’ attention when promoting. Start with a template, then customize. Options include changing color theme, a variety of fonts & text effects. You can add photo effects, such as giving it a more digital look.

Adding an artistic touch to your posts is nice and definitely gets attention and clicks. Urban Jungle can help you with that. With this photo editing app, you can add more life to your photos. Including a large variety of plant, animal, and other nature stickers. Then, use any tools to help blend everything together, such as brushes and shadowing. Top it off with filters and other color effects! Created by highly-reputable Elise Swopes, who created the app for social media posts.

To use high-quality, professional photos, check out Unsplash. This website has photos in every category, and it’s free! Don’t forget to credit the artist and landscape/model. You can use these photos on their own or build on them. Try changing out some photos on Canva templates with more relevant photos from Unsplash.

Finally, a good photo post starts with a quality photo. Check out the focus filters on your phone, such as the food focus and selective focus. Also, there’s an “edit” wand that perfects lighting and rids blemishes. Then, your photo will be prepped for further additions.

 

Interested in social media/marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

 

solar panels on green field

Top Ten Solar Companies in Texas

Renewable energy is on the rise as we try to balance green energy with oil and gas. About 15% of Texas’s energy comes from wind, and 3.8% from solar. Solar is a great energy source for street lights, homes, anything that requires electricity. We encourage you to go green by looking at these solar companies in Texas.

Texas gets an average of about 220 days of sunshine per year.

Top 10 Solar Companies

  •  SunPro Solar4.8 stars on Google. They cover all of Texas and a few other states as well. They have been in Texas since 2008. Last year, Solar Power World ranked Sunpro #5 for Top Residential Solar Installer in the United States. With a 25 year warranty, customers can feel safe with SunPro.
  • Freedom Solar – 4.9 stars on Google. Rooted in Texas and Colorado, Freedom Solar gained some reputable clients. The University of Texas, Whole Foods, and Austin Board of Realtors all have Freedom Solar panels. The best part is that Willie Nelson endorses them.
  • Solar Electric Texas –  4.7 stars. Buyers can enjoy installation, monitoring, repairs, and management. They service San Antonio, Houston, Rio Grande Valley, and Austin. Buyers can also enjoy service from a family-owned business. The Gonzales family has been running Solar Electric Texas for 50 years!
  • Solar CenTex – 4.9 stars. Central and West Texas turn to Solar CenTex for their solar energy needs. They offer residential and commercial solar services, but they specialize in setting up solar power for farms and ranches. They can even install solar panels on RVs, making solar energy accessible for everyone.
  • Wells Solar – 4.8 stars. This company is Tesla certified, so therefore they offer Tesla technology and engineering for solar installation. They promise this best retains leftover energy to use later and helps use less energy overall. Residents are also invited to try. Located in DFW, Austin, and San Antonio.

The future is looking bright!

tree beside house under clear sky

  • TriSmart Solar – 4.8 stars. Covering all of the big cities in Texas, TriSmart claims to offer “smart energy for smart people.” With smart technology, they can create a 3D custom blueprint. That way, customers can approve of the design or further customize if needed. TriSmart offers smart energy, technology, and savings.
  • Kosmos Solar – 4.9 stars. You can find them in DFW, Austin, and San Antonio. Founded by Kevin Seok, an avid advocate of green energy as well as accessibility. Seok believes that honest & quality service will help encourage solar popularity.
  • KW Solar – 4.9 stars. Based in Houston, these guys help efficiently light up Texas and the Gulf. They also offer Tesla’s Powerwall. The guys at KW are laid back, friendly, and get right to the point. Their website alone proves their uniqueness and humor, enticing visitors to collaborate with the installers.
  • Circle L Solar – 4.7 stars. This Texas company focuses on maintenance. For instance, they will come to weatherize panels as the seasons change. They also offer solar technology on window panes as well. Check out their IM chatbox on their site for instant answers.
  • IES Texas Solar – 4.8 stars. Offering Texas commercial, residential, and off-grid power since 1973. They also offer repair services for panels. As part of IES Residential, they understand all the electrical works inside a home. So, IES has the most intelligent electricians around.

 

 Go Solar, Texas!

None of these solar companies are in a particular order. Depending on where you live, one of these companies will be the right company for you. Going solar can give you some tax breaks. But more importantly, give more hope for our Earth.

 

Want to get more leads for your solar energy business? Contact us about solar marketing today!

red Texas store signage

A Closer Look At Texas Power Grids

Following up with our previous blog, we will look at power grids and how they work. We’ll look at Texas’ power grid and what exactly went wrong. Including grid regulations.

 

Texas Power Grids

First, the United States has 3 power grid systems: the Eastern & Western interconnections, then Texas’ own system, ERCOT. It stands for Electric Reliability Council Of Texas. As Texas began to light up at the turn of the 20th century, they naturally developed their own system. Then, during FDR’s tenure as he passed New Deal laws, Texas ran from the idea of federal regulations. ERCOT formed in 1970. It is not entirely exclusive to Texas, and Texas is not exclusive to ERCOT. El Paso and a part of the Panhandle is part of the Western grid. A small portion of East Texas is on the Eastern grid. ERCOT is connected to Mexico as well.

So, the main reason why Texas has ERCOT is to reduce federal regulation and interference- laissez faire. Roughly 25% of Texas energy comes from wind, 51% natural gas, 13% coal. When demand is low, Texas will use wind power. Electricity is formed at power plants, then gets to high voltage power lines through transmission substations, then to power substations, to distribution bus. Then, it goes to the regulator bank. The regulator bank controls the power throughout the area, and rolling blackouts. Normally, regulator banks have electricity flow on a schedule based on the most frequent activity. CPS/Ercot can control each individual house and building.

 

Regulations

If Texas is good at anything, it’s ignoring the rest of the U.S.’ regulations while we live by our own rules. However, this was Texas’ own undoing. Regulations would call for winterizing power plants, which is only optional for ERCOT. Now, the company is heavily under fire for not taking precautionary measures for the winter storm. After 4 million people were left in cold, dark homes, Governor Greg Abbott called for some members of ERCOT to resign.

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

 

texas-snow

Texas and Winter Weather Are Not Compatible

On Friday and Saturday of February 12 & 13, temperatures dropped all over Texas. Texans everywhere rushed out to stock up and prepare, and HEB was just as packed as the day before Thanksgiving. But Texans had never faced such frigid conditions, so they had no idea what was to come. Now, power companies are overwhelmed. Here’s how energy sources fared in the Lone Star State.

Couldn’t Stand The Weather

In this state, the heater comes on when outside temperatures dip below 70. The cold front started coming in on Friday, with the ice arriving on Saturday. The trouble began on Valentine’s Day, when the snow brought record-breaking freezing temperatures. Texans cranked the heater up. This overwhelmed cities’ power systems. Those who have gas systems were the only ones with consistent heat. All major cities, especially those in the southern TX half, had to roll power throughout the city. On Monday, the power came on and off for about 30 minutes at a time while each grid took a turn. 4 million Texans had no power at all. As Monday night pressed on, the gap between active power widened, and the power would only be on for a couple of minutes.
Additionally, CPS urged everyone to conserve as much power as possible. They suggested keeping the thermostat on 68, unplugging all unused appliances, and turn off all unused lights.

Another problem Texas faced is everything freezing up. Hundreds of pipes froze and broke open. Even wind turbines froze and stopped turning. Now, there’s no running water as well as electricity. Frozen phone lines cut off cell service. Lastly, stay off of Texas roads when it snows and ices over. On Saturday morning, there was a 100-car pile up on I35 in Fort Worth.

When it freezes in Texas, the whole state shuts down. Power has to evenly distribute accordingly for the city, pipes freeze and break open, cars go all over the road. But, at least nearly all Texans had Monday off due to the snow. Hopefully the state will learn from this past weekend and be better prepared if this happens again. If you live in Texas, let us know what your artcic experience was like.
Stay warm and stay safe! Please keep your animals warm and safe as well.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

Cheers

Happy New Year 2021!

Hello everyone, and happy new year!! Although we are still cleaning up from 2020, the world is ready for a better year. In fact, many reported hearing more fireworks than ever when ringing in 2021. With the distribution of the vaccine, we will once again be able to live our lives as we please. Here’s to a better year!

New Year, Better You

You always hear about “new year, new me”. But this is how resolutions fail so quickly, ending in some serious cognitive dissonance. Instead, just focus on improving one aspect of your life, whether it be your lifestyle or personality. Having one specific goal will help you stay on track and will be more realistic to accomplish.

Need some ideas rather than go to the gym/eat healthier? How about working on your professional self? Look at LinkedIn and take their relevant courses. Study more words to expand your vocabulary. Re-evaluate the information you currently take in from news and social media. Adjust your following to align with a more intelligent circle. Or, maybe this will be the year you step out of your comfort zone and go after that dream job you’ve always wanted. With a changed job market, now is the time for new beginnings!

Other resolutions you can try to adopt is keeping a journal. For example, I personally decided to write down recipes that I love and will go to often. It’s much easier than using a smart device and having multiple cook books. You can also try managing your items better. Go through all your stuff as if you’re about to move and chunk out anything that you can’t connect with anymore. On that note, when purchasing items, ask yourself if you really need it. We don’t realize how wasteful we are with money until we realize that $40 shirt was only worn once and now it’s just taking up space. Be more realistic with your items!

Also as we proceed into 2021, we would like to acknowledge and remember the hardships of last year. 2020 taught us many lessons- the importance of financial security and companionship. 2020 also taught us not to take anything for granted- life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness were all challenged. Now, we will take it back and live the way we were meant to.

 

Thanks for reading RWC’s first blog of the year! Let us know if you have any New Year’s resolutions in the comments below. Make it a great year, or not- the choice is yours. Happy New Year!

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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Best Professional Podcasts to Follow

Staying at home more means more time to listen to podcasts! There’s a podcast for everything: news/current events, Hollywood, and product reviews. Here are the best podcasts to follow for professional inspiration.\

Podcasts

  • The Internet of Things. Stacy of IoT runs this podcast about Internet trends. She covers influencers, news about corporations, and more. So, give her a listen for the latest on Amazon and computers.
  • Jeff Bullas. As a chief social media expert, Jeff could give some advice. Also, he offers services to help boost websites.
  • Melinda Emerson. An advocate of small business, Melinda inspires hope for those just starting out. Additionally, she gives advice on managing a new business.
  • NowThis News. Because this is a digital news source, they interview guests on their podcasts. Stay updated on current events.
  • Follow NPR for their Business Story of the Day. Featuring stock market reports, major lawsuits, and more. They have several choices of podcasts, so you’ll never run out of stuff to listen to.
  • For Apple podcast listeners, try out Ace Weekly. He encourages entrepreneur ways of thinking.
  • If you just want a quick podcast fix, then 10 Minute Entrepreneur is for you. If you need more than 10 minutes of Sean, then pick up his book.
  • The Tim Ferriss Show. Tim invites guests onto his show to discuss business happenings and tips. In fact, he’s one of Apple’s top podcasters.
  • Impact Theory goes beyond just business. They explore psychology, personal stories, and other personal aspects that aren’t always noticed in the industry world. They also interview well-known people, offering more insight into human behavior.
  • Here’s one for the ladies. The BizChix inspires women to navigate their way through a male-dominated workforce. Here’s to equal pay!

person using black laptop computer

While these are all good podcasts to follow, what’s important is listening to podcasts relevant to you. Listen from the experts on how to run your new business, how to gain following on social media, and more. Feel free to comment your favorite podcasts!

Are you interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

gray Nest thermostat displaying at 63

Tips on Saving Energy in the Winter

As the temperatures drop, the heater turns up. Here are some tips on saving energy during the winter months.

snow covered plant and road in front of cafeAlbeit, it is easier to save on energy during the summer because you can use the heat to your advantage, such as drying clothes. However, it’s harder to do so in the winter, especially if you’re cold all the time (like me). But, now is the time to enjoy cozy sweaters!

 

 The Heater

There’s a reason why dads are finnicky about the thermostat. After all, it’s the biggest contributor to your electric bill. Here are some ways you can save that heater from running all the time without freezing yourself.

  • If you live in the southern US, then chances are you may not need your air on every day. Try turning off the air (or put it on 70) on a warmer winter day then turn the heater back on at night.
  • Turn it down at night. As you build up body heat through the night, your cooler house will keep you from waking up in sweat. I like it at around 71 or 72, however some like it at 67!
  • Socks. Most of your body heat escapes through your feet. A good pair of socks will help retain that heat, keeping you warm.
  • Turn it down when cooking. The stove/ oven puts out a lot of heat so your heater doesn’t have to.

 

Other Appliances

If it’s a warmer day, use it to your advantage. When you dry clothes, dry them most of the way then let air-dry. Insulate thin windows or those with drafts to keep the cold air out. However, on a sunny day, keep the blinds open to let the sun’s heat in. Also, consider using energy-efficient holiday lights. Cover outside faucets, fireplace (when not in use) and outside vents.

 

white and brown pine leaf and dried leaf

We hope this post inspires you to be more energy conscious. Saving energy can help your bills and the environment. And, it will also save your AC/heater unit some strain, making it last longer. Thanks for reading! If you’d like to find more energy-saving tips, check out this article.

 

 Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from Redwood Creative!

Hello readers! As we wrap up the year, we would like to send out our warmest wishes for happy holidays! We would also like to end the year with thanking you for all of your support. Every click counts! Thanks to you, the team at Redwood Creative, Inc. is ending the year on a good note.

 

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Season’s Greetings

We want to encourage and inspire positivity in order to keep the holiday cheer alive. Despite the tough year, we can only learn and be more appreciative of what we do have. This holiday season is important for reaching out to loved ones and make them feel appreciated. And, after a year of complete mess, we all deserve to kick back, relax, and enjoy ourselves. Speaking of relaxing, traditional hot chocolate is out and hot cocoa bombs are in. You warm up milk (of your choice) and simply drop in the ball and stir. It’s a fun way to enjoy the classic hot treat. Some get fancy and give your hot cocoa a S’mores twist!

 

This season will be different, but in good ways. Drive-thru holiday lights are popular. People are enjoying the luxury of being able to stay inside their warm car as the car crawls through mesmerizing lights. Some people even admit that they’re relieved that they don’t have to host a party. And, with shopping being more difficult, expectations for presents are lower. Therefore, figuring out what to get everyone is far less stressful.

 

hanging snowflakes paper decor

Again, no matter what December holiday you celebrate, we hope it’s a good one. And, remember to spread cheer as well- you never know who may need it! In the words of Elf: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear.” Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Boxing Day, and Happy New Year from all of us at Redwood Creative!

Happy Holidays everyone!

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!