Sneak Peek – My Yard Makeover Reveal

Sneak Peek – My Yard Makeover Reveal

yard makeover on apartment 34

If you followed this little ole’ blog nearly eight months ago, you may recall that I started yet another project at This Old Victorian. This time it was tackling a major yard makeover. Thankfully, the massive project’s (near!) completion came in the nick of time. Since shelter-in-place began, we’ve relied on our yard daily. I’m hoping to give you a detailed tour of the entire space and a recap of our whole design process very very soon. The transformation is just as dramatic as our interiors. If you’re feeling impatient – or need something to fill up your SIP hours – definitely check out the before tour of the yard on my IGTV.

Obviously our outdoor spaces are critical now more than ever. No matter if you have a postage-stamp-sized patio or an expansive backyard oasis, you want to make sure it’s living up to its full potential. Since I’m not at liberty fully reveal our yard design juuussst yet, I thought I’d at least offer some inspiration in the form of all my favorite pieces for outdoor spaces. From seating and long-lasting outdoor cushions, to accessories like fire pits and planters, outdoor pizza ovens and lawn games, now is the time to invest in getting your yard in tip top shape.

I have a feeling we’re in for a loooong summer friends. Let’s make the best of it, shall we?

What yard projects are you currently working on??

For more outdoor space inspiration, CLICK HERE.

landscape design and construction by Beth Mullins of Grows Green Landscape Design, photo by moi

Published at Mon, 18 May 2020 23:16:21 +0000

Expert Interview: Keeping Kids Happy and Healthy While in Quarantine

Expert Interview: Keeping Kids Happy and Healthy While in Quarantine

Isolating at home with kids is a task that requires constant creativity. Thinking of ways to keep them active and engaged and coming up with activities and games they enjoy is no simple endeavor; parents need to adapt and overcome these situations. Luckily, there are many sources for inspiration online, as well as free tools and advice.

If you’re in need of extra help, we’ve asked some expert parenting bloggers what their tips for dealing with this new situation are. From ways to keep kids active to discussing the much feared screen time, here’s what these parents shared with us:

Julie, founder of Fab Working Mom Life 

parenting blogger“Living in a small space — especially during this time when parks are closed — is a challenge. Try to go on family walks around the neighborhood, and find some options for good exercise for the entire family.

My son loves doing silly minute-to-win-it type games and arts and crafts. Those are great ways to keep him motivated and having fun (and off his tablet). He’s in Pre-K so the amount of homeschooling we need to do is minimal, but I try to do a few letters and early reading activities with him daily to continue preparing him for kindergarten. If parents in a similar situation are able to take family walks along their neighborhood streets, do so daily. Parks might be closed but the outdoors is still available for a healthy lifestyle.

cooking with kids

Try to make any activity meaningful. For example, during the walks, point out specific flowers and have your kids count the different types you see. Parents living in an area where long family walks are not as easy to accomplish can have fun, active time with their kids by following along an online video, such as Cosmic Kids Yoga. Break out the board games if kids are older, and even make clean-up a fun competition. This is the time to simplify and focus on the few things that matter so we don’t get overwhelmed with it all.”

Tara, founder of Feels Like Home

parenting blogger“First of all, don’t panic about screen time. Accept that your kids are going to have more screen time than usual during this weird and difficult time. Just like you are feeling the need to be more connected to the outside world, they are feeling the same need, and getting on social media or YouTube helps. More screen time also helps to keep them engaged and out of parents’ hair during work from home time. It’s not ideal, but it works.

Every kid has passions. Help yours cultivate their unique passions, even if it means more screen time or making messes. One of my daughters is in love with Minecraft. She plays Minecraft on the phone and watches endless Minecraft YouTube videos. When I lamented about this infatuation to an educator whom I really respect, she reminded me of all the things my daughter is learning while she plays and that problem solving and creativity are just as important and valuable as math and reading skills. It was an eye-opening moment for me as I realized that Minecraft is not time wasted but a valuable activity because she’s pursuing something she loves.

kids activities

Finally, encourage independence in your kids. Allow them to self-monitor their activities and switch when they want. Remind them to clean up after themselves, and help a little if they need it. Show them where the (healthy) snacks are and allow them to feed themselves throughout the day. Prepare enticing “stations” where there are interesting activities or games, and give your kids the freedom to wander into and out of the stations. Don’t harass them to do what you think they should do; let them guide themselves.

My favorite thing to say to my kids is this: “Boredom is good for your brain.” I say it anytime someone tells me that she’s bored, because it’s true. Boredom sparks creativity and passion. Let your kids be, even when they’re bored. Feel free to use my line, tell them that you know they’ll come up with something good to do, and let them do it.”

Vicki, founder of Honest Mum and author of Mum Boss

parenting blogger“Parents like myself have a challenging job right now, as we juggle homeschooling duties with work during the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s crucial that parents make time for self-care so they can be strong and well for their families. This means taking some time off, eating well and exercising once a day (getting the heart rate up to burn off stress).

What you can do is head out once a day for exercise, kids in tow, wracking up a minimum of steps each time, following the social distancing rules. Use this time as an extra-curricular educational moment, exploring nature trails, logging birds, insects and flowers, using these findings during home-school activities, researching what you’ve discovered on your trips out, and illustrating the observations.

Another good activity is cooking as a family more at home. Parents tend to focus on baking with kids, but I’ve decided to teach my sons more about healthy snacks and main meals to help them slowly become more independent. You can do the same with more detailed chores. Give your kids more of a chance to skill up and learn about the daily chores of maintaining a home.”

There’s no right recipe for caring for your kids, and as such you should follow your instinct and listen to their needs and requests. Everyone is different, but we hope these other perspectives helped you out in understanding what others are also going through. Take it easy and stay safe!

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Published at Sun, 03 May 2020 09:50:41 +0000

Expert Interview: Avoiding Aesthetic Monotony in Your Rental during Quarantine

Expert Interview: Avoiding Aesthetic Monotony in Your Rental during Quarantine

If you’ve lived in your apartment for a while now, it is sure to carry your unique style with it. However, being indoors all the time can make the apartment feel a bit too flat, since you’ve probably gotten used to the layout and the overall look of your design. That’s why it is a good idea to look for design tips and implement some creative solutions for avoiding aesthetic monotony in your rental.

These solutions can range from rethinking your layout and moving the furniture around, to painting your walls or adding some accents. Depending on your lease and your level of commitment, there are different options for you to try. Below, you will find some tips from interior designers on how to do just that.

add art colors

Also, as more and more people start working from home, another innovation is likely to pop up in your apartment: a home office or a workspace. Although many people think it takes a whole lot of space, that mustn’t always be the case. Check out what practical tips these experts have about creating a productive workspace.

Beth Diana Smith, owner of Beth Diana Smith Interior Design

interior design advice“Art and décor are both quick and simple ways to transform a space; plus, they’re easy to take with you when you move. If you’re not ready to make a large art investment, prints and digital prints are budget-friendly especially when you use places such as Etsy, Minted, and Juniper Print Shop. As far as retail décor goes, CB2, Jung Lee NY, and West Elm are great online choices.

When it comes to creating a workspace, keep it clean and create storage for the items that you want easy access to such as pens, scissors, AirPods, and charging cords. And you could easily do that now by using items you have around the house; for example you could use a mug for pens and scissors, a simple binder clip to help you keep the cords at bay, etc.”

Kesha Franklin, principle designer of Halden Interiors

interior design advice“With the standard restrictions that come along with renting an apartment, renters can sometimes feel like it’s not worth investing in decorating their home. But, there are ways to add interest in the space. One of my go-to recommendations is hanging art on the walls. A gallery wall in particular can make a great statement and show off your personal interests. Another cool visual option is removable wallpaper which has a big impact; it’s easy to install and won’t cost you anything to bring the apartment back to its original state when it’s time to move on to bigger and better things!

Let’s discuss the home office situation. Typically, a rental apartment means there is limited space. So, having a designated area to work from home during times like this can be a challenge. A few tips that I would offer are to find a spot near a window to pull on the outdoor energy to feel productive. You can also purchase a folding screen to create a work area with a small desk and chair, that you can use and keep visually separate from the rest of your living space. Lastly, a C-Table is a great option to easily use at your sofa where you can place your laptop, phone and notebook. They come in a variety of heights, widths and finishes and are aesthetically pleasing to compliment your existing décor!”

Mally Skok, founder of Mally Skok Design

interior design advice“I am an Etsy fiend. Nothing warms up a space like a fun Turkish or Morrocan vintage rug. The Etsy shipping is usually free, the vendors are reliable, and there’s a whole lot of bang for your buck. Also you can roll the rug up and take it with you when you need to move.

Colorful pillows are a way to make your space feel distinctly yours. John Robshaw has ready-made pillows that are gorgeous; if these are too pricey, you can always find some cheery ones on West Elm or Crate and Barrel.

There are some clever new ways of hanging pictures on the walls without a nail. I am all for piling up the things you have hanging around in your life — old posters, old photos or postcards. Buy ready-made frames off Amazon and go bananas on your walls.

Another great idea for a quick improvement is plants. Do some research on plants that do well with limited water and sunlight. There are many! Having another living thing in your space — even though it won’t talk back — will make your apartment a whole lot homier.”

Stacey Sheppard, founder of The Design Sheppard

interior design advice“When you live in a rented property it is often difficult to put your own stamp on it. Many landlords are not particularly flexible with what they allow you to do to a property, but there are plenty of creative ways in which you can adapt your home to avoid aesthetic monotony. Changing up your textiles is a great way to make a space look different. Adding new cushions, blankets, rugs or curtains/blinds is very simple. You can change them with the seasons and — by switching to a new color palette — you can give a room a whole new look.

Repainting is a cheap and easy option that has the ability to completely transform the look and feel of a room. You don’t necessarily even need to paint entire walls. Making a feature by painting geometric shapes in different colors can work wonders. Wall art is also a great way to add visual interest. If you aren’t allowed to hang pictures, consider investing in larger framed pieces and simply lean them against the walls. And don’t forget the power of plants. Plants are not only good for our well-being and our health, but they can really bring a room to life. Move them round to change things up, buy new ones to fill empty spaces or — even better — propagate your existing plants to breed new ones.

add plants

To comfortably work from home, you should design a space for your home office. You don’t need a huge amount of room to set up a productive workspace. There are plenty of space-saving desks on the market that will fit into narrow spaces, unused corners or even that fold away when not in use. Make the most of the space you have available by putting wall shelves up above the desk to store all your office supplies. If your landlord won’t allow you to drill into the walls, consider buying a freestanding shelving unit that has a small desk shelf built-in. It is extremely important to invest in a good office chair that supports your back and provides maximum comfort. Whatever your desk space is like, try to ensure you position it in an area of your home that gets plenty of natural light, is quiet and comfortable. You’ll be most productive when you enjoy spending time in a space.”

We hope these tips proved useful and you’re ready to embrace a bit of change. Even the simplest details can wake up your apartment, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Start small and build your way up to refresh your home.

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Published at Wed, 06 May 2020 11:51:30 +0000

Watch Diane Keaton KonMari Her Closet on Instagram

Watch Diane Keaton KonMari Her Closet on Instagram

Just when you thought Diane Keaton couldn’t get any more Diane Keaton-y, the iconic actress hits a new high. Sporting head-to-toe black and a hat that reads “KOOK” across the front, the legendary actress posted a video on Instagram of herself cleaning out her closet. And clearly, trying to KonMari her belongings is just as stressful for Keaton as it is for us normals. 

“It’s been a long time. I mean, I have a lot of clothing, and it’s time for me to let it go,” says Keaton, standing in her hallway, a sea of neutral tones with a lineup of her trademark hats in front of her. “And I’m going to give it to the Goodwill, because this is ridiculous.”

Captioned “Diane By Design: Diane Goes To Goodwill” (now that’s an HGTV show we’d definitely watch), Keaton writes that she’s lived in her home for three years, and her closet is overwhelmed with clothing. 

“It’s time for me to get over myself and let it go! I don’t need all of this,” she tells the camera. 

Leading us into her accessories closet, Keaton opens up drawers and begins to pull out her designer goods. 

“There’s a few little small items in here I’m going to show you, okay?” she says, opening drawers and pulling out everything from belts to jackets that probably cost more than the contents of our bank accounts. Yanking shoes off the top row, she grabs a pair of tan boots (“These I can’t wear at all because my feet have gotten bigger”) and platform leather boots with giant orange and red flames cascading up the sides (“Who was I kidding when I bought these?”).

“This is a lot of work,” says Keaton, giggling to herself. “This is a really fantastic experience.” Adding that she used to go to Goodwill shopping with her mother all the time, Keaton shoves shoes and accessories into a white garbage bag. “This is pile one!”

Soon, we see her crossing 26th Street in Santa Monica toting several handfuls of white garbage bags filled with goodies as she heads to Goodwill. With her mask on, she walks up to the storefront only to discover that it’s closed due to coronavirus. “Oh damn! Hello? This is insane,” she says. Hey, at least vintage fanatics will know where to hunt for Diane’s duds after the quarantine is over.

Published at Thu, 07 May 2020 20:45:00 +0000

This Bath Towel Looks Like a Throw Blanket, But It’s One of the Most Absorbent Towels I’ve Ever Used

This Bath Towel Looks Like a Throw Blanket, But It’s One of the Most Absorbent Towels I’ve Ever Used

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission.

Some things that I repeat a lot on this site: “I’m a hot sleeper”; “I love linen”; and “I prefer a textured bath towel”. I am a Virgo, and I am nothing if not predicable. Because I write about products and shopping for Apartment Therapy, I’m lucky enough to get to try new products all the time, and I feel especially fortunate when I find a product that genuinely thrills me. It doesn’t happen often, and when it does I immediately tell you all about it—which is why I’m here today, letting you know that I’ve found another textured bath towel that I’ve fallen in love with.

My first foray into waffle weave bath towel territory was Snowe’s Honeycomb Towel, and since then I’ve taken a particular interest in testing out more waffle weave bath products. Because of their construction, waffle weave towels tend to be lighter weight and more absorbent than typical terry cloth towels, plus they’re known to dry quicker. And of course, they’re also more textured, which is a personal preference I haven’t been able to shake. I recently got my paws on Allswell’s Stonewashed Waffle Towels, and let me tell you: They’re a game changer.

When they arrived, I gotta be honest: I felt a little doubtful. This towel looks and feels much more like a throw blanket than a bath towel, with a thicker feel than most waffle weave options. It’s also… really pretty. Thanks to the very on-trend waffle design, pretty color (it comes in white, silver gray, and blush), and fringed ends, this towel could be draped over a bed or sofa and seriously no one would know the difference. When hung up in a bathroom, well, it’s capable of changing the entire vibe of the space. But how well does it work?

Again, first time I tried it out I felt skeptical. Would it be weird to wrap myself in a throw blanket after stepping out of the shower? As it turns out, this towel is just as functional as it is beautiful. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it absorbed water absurdly fast, and when I hung it up it dried in record timing. I was floored! It’s like all the best things about waffle towels combined with all the best things about terry cotton towels. The only downside is that it’s not quite as soft as those extra thick, fluffy towels you’re probably used to, but I will say that it’s much softer than other waffle towels I’ve tried. And personally, I’ll take better absorption and quick drying properties over an ultra soft feel any day.

Allswell is known for its budget-friendly bedding and bath products (I also have their mattress and love it), but their waffle towel is on the expensive end at $25 per towel. Right now though, the brand is running a Mother’s Day promo: 25 percent off with code PAMPERMOM, through May 10. If you’d like to go all in on these beauties, you can save by purchasing a bundle: 2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, and 2 washcloths, all for $81 plus an extra 25 percent off right now.

Published at Tue, 05 May 2020 18:00:00 +0000

12 Important Things People Should Learn About Colorado Springs Before Moving There

12 Important Things People Should Learn About Colorado Springs Before Moving There

Colorado Springs is a famously attractive destination for people seeking to relocate. The rental market is cheaper than in most big cities, while the job market is thriving. Also, there’s a generally laid-back feel to the town, which some might even describe as bohemian, and of course a myriad of opportunities for outdoor activity.

If you’re considering Colorado Springs for your next move, here are some funny, quirky, interesting and very useful things to learn about this city.

1. How much do apartments and self storage cost in Colorado Springs?

Renting an apartment in Colorado Springs will cost you around $1,200 per month, well below the national average of $1,468, according to Yardi Matrix. You might want to look into self storage as well, as you’ll probably require a home away from home for all those things needed for enjoying the outdoors, including hiking gear and a bike, winter clothes and gardening equipment. The city is not short of good self storage options, with the street rates for a self-storage unit in Colorado Springs hovering around $108 per month for a standard 10X10 unit, under the national average rent of $114.

2. You get to witness the majestic beauty of Pikes Peak each and every day

The 14,115-feet high Pikes Peak towers over Colorado Springs with all its picture-perfect beauty – one more reason for the social-media obsessed Millennials to love this city. Basically, most pics you take around Colorado Springs are Instagram-worthy. “Pike’s Peak provides the backdrop for the city.  Almost every day you can see it on the west side of the city. It’s gorgeous,” David and Lisa Wolf, long-time residents of Colorado Springs, told us.

American writer Katherine Lee Bates, who visited the area in 1893, was so impressed by its beauty that she wrote the famous poem “America the Beautiful.”

3. Visit the Garden of the Gods

The Garden of the Gods, located at the base of Pikes Peak, only a few miles from downtown Colorado Springs, is a national park featuring stunning geological formations. The iconic deep red, pink and white rocks formed millions of years ago due to erosion and upheavals in the earth’s surface.

The park, with its 21 miles of trails, is very popular for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding, and it attracts almost six million visitors annually.

4. Money has its own museum in Colorado Springs

It shouldn’t be assumed that Colorado Springs’ residents are materialistic – on the contrary, the city is well known for its unpretentious, relaxed lifestyle. But the Money Museum in the city, part of the American Numismatic Association, is a very cool place to visit, especially with your young ones. You get to explore the power that money has had throughout history and how it influenced culture, art, science and people’s lifestyles. Look at the fascinating exhibits about the evolution of currency worldwide and enjoy one the most extensive US gold coin collections ever assembled. The museum also organizes numismatics seminars and workshops.

5. Giraffes seem to be thriving at high altitude

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the highest in terms of altitude in the United States, and it has one of the largest herds of giraffes in captivity worldwide. About 200 giraffes have been born in Colorado Springs since the first one was brought here in 1954. The giraffes, obviously thriving at over 6,000 feet above sea level, are part of the zoo’s renowned breeding program that supports conservation efforts.

There are plenty more habitats and animals to admire at this high-flying zoo, including African tigers, several different species of bear, apes, bald eagles, and many more. In addition, an open-air ski lift allows you to admire the entire zoo from above.

6. Check out the one-of-a-kind museum of World War II aviation

As you have already noticed, Colorado Springs is a pretty unique place, so no wonder you can find an amazing, one-of-a-kind museum right here. The National Museum of World War II Aviation, opened in 2012, is the only one in the world to focus exclusively on the role of aviation during WWII.

You’ll be able to admire dozens of airplanes and other vehicles that were used in WWII. The museum also includes a state-of-the-art restoration facility, where old airplanes are brought back to life for the public to enjoy.

7. Take a stroll through Manitou Springs

As most Manitou Springs residents will let you now, their small town is not technically part of Colorado Springs. However, as it’s located just a few miles from downtown Colorado Springs, it has become a de facto neighborhood of the larger town. Manitou Springs is a National Historic District, scattered with art galleries, restaurants, cafes and boutiques. All in all, it’s the perfect spot to spend a relaxed afternoon with your family, or a fun weekend, making the most of the area’s many sunny days.

8. Get used to living near Olympians

The US Olympic Training Center has been located in Colorado Springs since 1978, and the reason why the city was selected to host the training center has to do, once again, with the altitude. Experts agree that training at high altitudes drastically improves athletes’ performance.

And not only might you casually meet your favorite Olympian while standing in line to get coffee, but you can also tour the facility and understand all the hard work and dedication behind getting those shiny medals.

9. Cross America’s highest suspension bridge

Located about an hour away from Colorado Springs, the Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the country, crossing the gorge at almost 1,000 feet above the Arkansas River. The bridge itself is 1,260 feet long, 18 feet wide, and its towers are 150 feet high – a impressive structure that offers breathtaking views. The bridge is part of the Royal Gorge Park, which also includes aerial gondolas, zip lines, hiking trails, a children’s playland and photo lookout areas.

10. Are you ready to track Santa?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)’s famous Santa tracking program started in 1955, and Colorado Springs is the origin of this beloved tradition. It appears that in 1955 a child trying to reach Santa Claus on a hotline provided by Sears misdialed and instead reached Colorado Springs’ Continental Air Defense Command Center.

The call was answered by Colonel Harry Shoup, who provided Santa’s “current location” for the young caller. From there, the Santa tracker exploded in popularity, and today NORAD, who took over this huge and extremely important mission, relies on hundreds of volunteers to answer the approximately 100,000 phone calls and 12,000 emails coming in each Christmas.

11. Colorado Springs is a favorite destination for Millennials

According to research done by the Brookings Institution, the city registered a 15% growth of its Millennial population between 2010 and 2015, the highest nationally. The proportion of Millennials among the entire population of the town is over 26%, the same research says. This obviously indicates that Colorado Springs is a young and thriving place, with plenty of amazing food and entertainment options available.

12. Learn the good and the bad about Colorado Springs: there’s plenty of sun but a little less oxygen

Due to the high altitude of its geographical location and the dry weather in the area, Colorado Springs benefits from about 300 days of sunshine per year, making it one of the sunniest places in the United States. However, there are some downsides regarding the weather in Colorado Springs.

“With the elevation comes crazy weather — it can be really warm, almost hot one day, and the next day snow,”  added David and Lisa Wolf. “Last year we had a horrible blizzard May 20 that wiped out so many trees. The earliest we have had snow since we’ve lived here was September 8…then everything went brown and dead.  Very short growing season! We usually have thunderstorms every afternoon in summer and unfortunately really bad hail frequently.”

The elevation of over 6,000 feet also means that Colorado Springs only has about two-thirds of the oxygen concentration found at sea level. For some people, the exposure to low amounts of oxygen and the changes in air pressure can lead to altitude sickness, characterized by symptoms such as headache, nausea, and tiredness. “It takes about a year to get used to living at this altitude. Some people cannot – especially if they have heart issues,” explained our Colorado Springs couple.

Are you already living in Colorado Springs? Let us know in the comments what your favorite things about the city are and what else a person planning to relocate there should know about.

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Published at Thu, 30 Apr 2020 06:42:23 +0000

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

FINDING AN APARTMENT DURING COVID-19

It looks as though social distancing will no longer be the new norm, but the way that we will now be living our lives. It was only 2 months ago that we had never heard of PPE, unless we worked in healthcare or unless you were a scientist, flattening the curve was about weigh loss. Mostly about flattening our stomachs. So here we are all settled at home wondering how to move forward. (Source: NAA)

But what about the folks who were thinking about moving or who were in the middle of a relocation? Any sort of housing transition is stressful enough without having to deal with a national health crisis. But during social distancing it could be additionally stressful.  Take heart, there are many technologies that can help us lease an apartment while keeping you and your apartment community staff safe.

There are many digital advertising sources that you can access from the safety of your living room or kitchen. You can search by typing the word “apartments” into any browser. This will give you a very broad search. After you feel comfortable with user experience with an Internet Listing Service provider, narrow your search by location, price, floorplan size, schools and amenities. Or you use a “long tail search”. For example, a “two-bedroom apartment in Richmond, Virginia with a pool”. This may be more time efficient than a more generic search such as “apartments”. It will provide a short and more refined list of apartment communities that fir those criteria.

Another new aspect to think about during physical and social distancing, is the systems that the community uses to communicate with their residents after you move in. Can you pay your rent on-line? How do they let you know about any community events or repairs? Many communities use Call Assist 24/7. It’s a way that you can send a video or photo of your emergency service request to the on-call maintenance technician.  This will keep you informed via text throughout every step of the process. You will even get a photo of the technician coming out late at night. How cool is that!

Most listings have virtual tours of generic units or their furnished model. Seeing a furnished apartment is always a good way to get a feel for what the space may look like with your own furnishings. (Source: Realtor.com) Many leasing agents are happy to use zoom, skype and Facetime to show you the actual unit that is available if it is currently vacant. Ask the agent to walk through the community as well so you may see the location of your apartment home. Is it close to the pool or does it have a view that you like? Google maps is a great resource for information on shopping, parks and interstates. If you are moving locally, go drive through the apartment community at different times of day to see where the sun sets or where the bark park is located. So there a lot of great resources to help you navigate through finding the perfect new apartment home during Covid-19. Be safe and have fun!

Published at Thu, 23 Apr 2020 12:40:08 +0000

How to make the most of your apartment’s fitness center

How to make the most of your apartment’s fitness center

How to make the most of your apartments fitness center

Drinking in fresh air while you workout may be a good motivator, but when the weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s not a practical option. You could spend a chunk of your hard-earned paycheck on a membership at a gym, but it’s going to be easy to find an excuse to skip your workout when you have a commute to the treadmill. Since your building boasts its own in-house fitness center, there’s no need to spend any extra money or travel further than a few hundred feet for a workout. Here are a few ways that you can make the most out of a fitness routine in your apartment’s own fitness center.

  1. Begin with just your bodyweight.
    Apartment fitness centers tend to vary in terms of the equipment they offer, but all of them tend to have one thing in common: limited space. So you might not see the wide variety of cardio and strength-training equipment you’d find at your typical gym. This just gives you the opportunity to simplify your workout. When you first embark on a fitness routine at the apartment gym, try skipping the equipment altogether and just using your own bodyweight. Moves like squats, lunges, and burpees torch calories and strengthen muscles, even in a small space.
  2. Strengthen your core.
    One muscle group that’s easy to shred with zero equipment and a small amount of space? Your abs. As long as your apartment fitness center has a mat, you can power through crunches, bicycle kicks, and grueling planks to really take your six-pack to the next level. If one is available, throw a medicine ball into the mix to add an extra challenge to your ab routine.
  3. Get creative with minimal equipment.
    If you do want to incorporate some of the available equipment into your workout, try creating a circuit that hits every part of the body from head to toe. Start with a round of bicep curls and tricep rows using the hand weights. Sink into a dolphin plank for intervals of 30 or 60 seconds. Then start squatting with a medicine ball or kettlebell in hand to strengthen those glutes and legs. Hop on the treadmill or elliptical for a minute in between each strength-training move to keep the heart rate high and the body burning calories.
  4. Try some supersets.
    Have you ever heard of a superset? If not, now’s the time to learn. When you’re working out in a small space, the superset is your best friend. It’s a pairing of two moves performed back-to-back, typically working two antagonistic muscle groups. For instance, you could do a set of deadlifts and then transition swiftly into a round of pushups. So, what’s the benefit of a superset? When you do this, the movement keeps your heart rate elevated, which means your body will continue to burn calories all throughout the workout.

Take Advantage of Your Building’s Fitness Center with These Workouts [DNAInfo]

Apartment Gym Workout [The Optimal You]

How to Create a Workout Program for a Small Apartment Gym [The Nest]

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:50:41 +0000

The trick to staying away from holiday snacks

The trick to staying away from holiday snacks

The trick to staying away from holiday snacks

If there’s ever a time to indulge, it’s the holiday season. The nonstop family gatherings, workplace celebrations, and get-togethers with friends certainly provide ample temptations in the form of festive treats. And while it’s fine to nibble on something sweet at the occasional soiree, when you make a habit of it, you could enter the new year carrying some additional weight. Here’s how to avoid going overboard with the holiday snacks.

  1. Preemptively eat a healthy snack.
    When you grab a healthy snack before you head out to a holiday party, you won’t be ravenous by the time you show up. This will make it easier to stay away from the festive spread, or at least to keep yourself from overdoing it. So nibble on some fruit or veggies the next time you’re getting ready for a holiday party.
  2. BYO noshes.
    If you don’t think pre-gaming with healthy snacks will be enough to keep you away from the buffet table, here’s another way to avoid temptation: bring your own bites. Instead of chowing down on holiday cookies, chips, and other unhealthy snacks, bring along veggies and hummus, fruit and yogurt, or low-fat cheese and whole-wheat crackers to share with the crowd. Other health-minded partygoers will probably thank you!
  3. Focus on balanced snacks.
    If you do intend to partake in the provided nibbles at a holiday bash, make smarter selections. Opt for a healthy balance of protein and carbohydrates, ideally with a small amount of fat. This combination will help to keep you full and avoid overeating.
  4. Sip on tea or coffee.
    When you’re at the family holiday party, do you devour snacks because you’re actually hungry, or simply because they’re sitting on the table next to you? Many people will absentmindedly snack just for something to do. Distract yourself with a hot cup of peppermint tea or black coffee instead. Sipping on the warming beverage will keep your hands busy, but it won’t add any calories to your daily intake.
  5. Chew gum.
    Another way to distract yourself from the snack spread is to chew gum. Most gums contain only a few calories, and they help to trick your brain into thinking you’re snacking freely. If you’re not actually hungry, just looking for a way to keep your teeth busy, pop a stick of gum instead of snacks.
  6. Keep treats out of sight, out of mind.
    When you go to a party hosted by someone else, you don’t have control over the menu. That’s when the previous tips may come in handy. But when it comes to your own home, you can choose what you bring into it—and how you display (or don’t display) holiday treats. Try to avoid bringing candy, cookies, and other desserts into your apartment altogether. When you can’t, at least keep them stowed away in the cabinet and showcase fruit and other healthy snacks on the counter. This makes it more likely that you’ll choose a light and healthy bite over a calorie-dense treat.

Published at Sat, 01 Dec 2018 20:52:20 +0000

Bryant Park Whole Foods Closes To Become Prime Fulfillment?

Bryant Park Whole Foods Closes To Become Prime Fulfillment?

Most unfortunate and interesting. The closest Whole Foods to RentHop HQ will be closing to public shoppers. Instead, it will “focus more on prime orders” during the Covid-19 shutdowns.

 

 

I’m sure Amazon has smart people who have crunched the numbers, but it seems almost unthinkable only months ago. One of the most central and prime real estate locations in Manhattan will turn away all foot traffic, instead becoming a logistics warehouse for their delivery services?

Why It Makes Sense

Anyone who has been to Whole Foods in the past 4 weeks knows it is a lot busier than in normal times. However, the slight surge is minuscule compared to record-breaking surges in delivery demand. FreshDirect has had no delivery slots most days for weeks, and that’s with many paying customers on Delivery Pass (obviously some get slots, but I’ve refreshed daily and now my subscription has expired, which I will not renew).

So what did the Operations Research geniuses at Amazon conclude? They can serve many more customers by increasing online delivery capacity. They are already near 100% capacity, and must have taken a careful look at the system bottlenecks.

Identifying Growth Bottlenecks

Part of the bottleneck is supply of goods – but even if they are out of Classico Basil and Tomato sauce, there is always someone willing to order Raos. Tech technology is also clearly not the bottleneck – they are already one of the world’s leading cloud providers, and despite the occasional bugs, their site can withstand a lot. It is possible they lack available staff to delivery the goods – but with 16 million newly unemployed, they should getting an influx of new applicants to join the ranks.

Removing Variation

Most likely, the bottleneck is preparing the orders and distributing them to the delivery staff. By converting centrally located stores into exclusive fulfillment hubs, they no longer need to dedicate much of the staff to the cash register, the food bars, and any of the stations that require customer interaction (“how many pounds of ground beef?” “do you want 85% lean or 90% lean?”). Most importantly, it’s about reducing variation. When they need to be ready for customers who might want or need anything, it doesn’t take much to slow down the capacity of the entire system.

Simplifying Product Lines For Higher Capacity

When they slice off the foot traffic arm of the business, what is left? All of the space and personnel can focus on only online orders. The orders are pre-determined AND pre-paid. They can revamp the logistics so orders are already pre-bundled and ready for pickup when the delivery person arrives. They are also no longer confined to working regular store hours. Deliveries and inventory can happen at all hours of the day.

Order packing is more complex – the deliveries can only go out at certain day hours (7am to 11pm), and some items are temperature sensitive down to about 2 hours prior to delivery. But at least they know about the complex orders with enough lead time and can plan for them in special ways.

Will I Order More?

Where does that leave us? Unfortunately, I doubt there will be priority slots for nearby residents and offices. Instead, they might add 1000 new delivery slots per day, but I’ll be fighting for them alongside the 20,000 others reloading their Amazon checkout carts!

Published at Mon, 13 Apr 2020 13:52:12 +0000