The wonders of baking powder

Like baking soda, baking powder can be used for several non-food purposes around the apartment/home.  Putting a bit of baking powder in your laundry will boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power and leave your clothes fresh.  You can also use baking powder as an agent to get rid of grease by pouring a bit directly on the grease stains on dishes or clothes and watching the baking power soak it all up.  Baking powder has also been known to be great for removing tarnish from sterling silver.  All you need to do is rub it on the stains for a couple of seconds and then rinse it off;  you should see the stains diminish right before your eyes. This natural cleaner is a must have to keep your apartment/home fresh and clean.

Time your showers to save on your water bill

Many people consider their shower time to be their “me” time.  A time for solitude, quiet (well at least nothing more than the steady flow of the water and maybe your own singing), and time to think. However, letting that water run while you have all that “me” time is a waste of water and will add up on your water bill every month.  Instead of taking that 30-minute shower, try cutting that time in half and take a 15 minute shower.  Ensure that you take a 15-minute shower by getting yourself a shower timer that forces you to recognize how much time you are spending in the shower.  Your water bill will be looking a lot sweeter once you do so.

Square 1 Burgers & Bar

A new restaurant has opened in Gainesville at 3105 SW 34th Street and it may be worth your time to check it out. Square 1 Burgers & Bar, or just Square 1, may be just the place to go to for some of the best burgers in town. Start off with one of their delectable appetizers of double dipped onion rings, fried mac and cheese, or spicy egg rolls. Choosing one of their burgers is going to be really tough when you have choices like BarBQue bacon, 3-mushroom, drunken pig and bull, or poblano peno. You even have the choice to substitute your beef for chicken, turkey, or even Kobe beef! Scarf down your meal with any of their delicious white or red wines, beers to specialty drinks. Open from 11 am to 11 pm Sunday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.  Be sure to stop by and have a meal that will be sure to leave you satisfied.

How to give your balcony a little life

If your balcony is a bit bare, then a perfect way to give it a bit of life and put it to good use is to make your balcony your own, personal garden. Add a little spice to your life by growing your own peppers, next thing you know you’ll have your own Mexican restaurant going in no time. You can also grow your own herbs. You won’t believe how much different fresh, homegrown herbs taste compared to store bought ones. Your herbs will taste crisp and delightful while adding a perfect pop of color to any pasta dish.  If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can just plant an array of beautiful plants and flowers along your balcony. The colors will really brighten up the space and make your balcony a pleasure to use. No more drab balconies here!

Alachua County Farmer’s Market

If you are a supporter of locally grown goods and fresh produce then you may want to try shopping at the Alachua County Farmer’s Market located at 5920 NW 13th Street, in Gainesville. Everything sold there is grown within 50 miles of the market, so purchasing your goods there is supporting your local farmers, while ensuring that everything you get is fresh. The market is open every Saturday from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm, but many of the vendors will have sold out by then so prime time shopping is before 11 am. The Alachua County Farmer’s Market is a farmer’s only market, meaning that the vendors have to have grown everything they are selling. New vendors are always welcome, so if you would like to be a part of the farmer’s market community, visit the website.

How to save while furnishing your home

Furnishing a new house or apartment may seem like a lot to take on. It can be costly, and take a lot more from your wallet than you intended. Here are a few tips on how to save while personalizing your living space.

-Get furniture from a thrift or consignment store. You’d be shocked at how many pieces there are practically brand new but for a fraction of the price. On top of that, you’ll be sure to find many unique and beautiful pieces that you would have never found at a regular furniture store.

-Consider doing a few things yourself, or DIY, pieces. This will save you a ton of money, while also making the piece very personal.

-Make sure to avoid buying things that are hard to clean or tear easily. That way even if something does happen to it, it can be easily fixed and you won’t have to completely replace it.

-Set a budget. Know what you have allowed yourself to spend and be sure to follow that instead of just getting every nice piece you see.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid Florida

A big part of caring about your community is caring about the people in it, especially children. One of the ways to help the children in your community is to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid Florida. The BBBS’s mission is to “change children’s lives for the better, forever” by working with parents, children, donors, and partners in the community to find solutions to the challenges that youth, especially disadvantaged youth, face. BBBS hopes to prevent detrimental activity like alcohol and substance abuse, bullying, theft, and skipping school. You can have an impact by volunteering your time and being a big brother or big sister to a child in need or even just donating. Check out the website to see how you can really give to your community.

Fencing in Gainesville

For those of you who have a thrill for sports and who like to try out something new, fencing may be something to add go to your to do list. Located at 809 West University Ave, in Gainesville, the Florida Fencing Academy offers fencing classes from group lessons, private lessons, to elite training for various prices even as low as $15. You can even opt to take a fencing camp to really learn or enhance your skills as a fencer. From reflex training, to blade work, to footwork, fencing will teach you not just how to work a sword, but how to coordinate your own body. Check out the website to find out where the classes are and at what time, and get ready for a sporting lesson like no other.

Keeping your Wi-Fi to yourself

Having Internet access is a huge luxury, a luxury that can be expensive from buying routers, to getting virus protection to keep your computer safe from harm. However, there are people who may try to finagle free internet from you by getting access to your Wi-Fi… don’t let them.  The more internet you use, the more bandwidth you use and if one of your neighbors is using your Wi-Fi you may end up paying way more than you should. One easy way to tell if someone is using your Wi-Fi is to turn off and unplug each and every one of your Wi-Fi devices in your home, from your phone and computers to even game consoles. Once they are all off, the indicator lights on your router should be off, but if they are still blinking, someone outside of your home may be connected to your Wi-Fi. When setting up your Wi-Fi keep in mind to have a password that would be hard for someone to guess. If you are still having trouble, contact your Internet provider to take further security measures.

Puppy proofing your apartment

Puppies are adorable and a joy to be around and having your very own puppy run up to you and lick your face after a long, hard day is one of the best treats you can receive, but dogs especially brand new puppies, are also a lot of work and require you to puppy proof your apartment if you still want your home to be presentable and your puppy safe. Here are some tips to keep your home safe from your little ball of fur.

-Keep your puppy confined to one area

Not all the time, but when you are away from home. Make sure the space is large enough to give your pup a little room to move around, but small enough that if they just so happen to make a mess, it is easy to clean and only in one area of your home as opposed to stumbling upon a mess anywhere in your home.

-Keep cords and chargers out of reach

If you are at home and keeping a watchful eye on your pet, that is fine, but when you go out, make sure to put all cords, electronics, and other harmful items out of reach. To keep your puppy from chewing on your expensive electronics or furniture, make sure to leave them with plenty of toys instead.

-Put away all food

You may love to snack in various parts of your home, and trust me, your pet would love to snack on all those foods with you. However, lots of snacks like sweets or chocolates are very harmful for your pet so you want to make sure to keep them away from your pet.

Keep your home safe and your pet safer.