Simple Rental Kitchen Cabinet Transformations


I think I spend more time each day in the kitchen than any other room – do you find this is also true for yourself? I know we’re all different and we prioritize certain rooms of our apartments over others when it comes to the amount of work put in. To me, the kitchen is an area I want to enjoy every time I’m in it. Whether I’m cooking, eating, or even washing dishes, it’s nice to have a fun and friendly space. So when you’re stuck with bulky, oppressive kitchen cabinets (sometimes in a less than attractive hue), it’s good to have some options for making your kitchen a little more tolerable.

One way to quickly make a kitchen feel airier and more open is to simply remove the kitchen cabinet doors. This is so simple and totally renter friendly – just keep up with the screws and which doors go where…hint hint, draw a diagram. With open shelving, you won’t be looking at blank cabinet fronts, but at your collection of dishes instead. You can even organize your dishes by color or in a way you find aesthetically pleasing.

Another option for lackluster kitchen cabinets is using decorative contact paper on the doors. This you’ll want to test on another surface to see how easily the contact paper can be removed before trying on your cabinets. But if you can find a good paper with a pretty color or pattern, you can liven up your cabinet fronts. You can even make bold geometric designs with the contact paper to spruce things up.

If you have small cabinets you want to cover up, you can also use a tension rod to hang a curtain in front of them. That way you can choose the color of the curtain and the length to cover up the unattractive area.

Community Spotlight: Huntington Lakes


Huntington Lakes Apartments are nestled between a number of Gainesville destinations: the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, Devil’s Millhopper State Geological Park, and the Oaks Mall, just to name a few. This great location makes it easy for Huntington Lakes residents to get where they want to go in a matter of minutes.

The Huntington Lakes community is made up of lovely two-story apartment homes surrounded by lush green space. If you love spending time outside, the grounds at Huntington Lakes are perfect for you – the outdoor space includes two pools, sun decks, a basketball court, playground, and tennis courts for spending an afternoon in the Florida sunshine. No worries if you’re more of an indoor enthusiast, especially in the heat of the summer, because the interior spaces at Huntington Lakes are just as appealing as the outside!

A look inside one of the Huntington Lakes Apartments shows the great attention put into each living space. The high, vaulted ceilings create an airy, open environment that’s comfortable and inviting. Features like walk-in closets, individual washer and dryer units, and double sinks in the master bathrooms make everyday activities more convenient. Attention to details like crown molding and ceramic tiles in bathrooms are what makes the apartments at Huntington Lakes go the extra mile. All of the layouts, from one to three bedrooms include a patio space so you can bring the outdoors in or enjoy some fresh air from the comfort of your home.

If you’re looking for a new place and have pets in tow, Huntington Lakes is an excellent choice. Both cats and dogs are allowed and you don’t have to worry about a weight limit for your dog – all breeds are welcome! The application process is affordable and lease options are flexible, ranging from three to twelve months. Stop by Huntington Lakes to tour what could be your new apartment!

Declutter for a Cause


Whether it’s the weather that’s got you in a cleaning and decluttering mood or the fact that you’re moving out after graduation, it’s a natural time of year to shift gears and get things done at home. And this go around, instead of just tossing all your unwanted items to the curb, consider donating your gently used goods to local Gainesville organizations who will pass them on to those in need.

When I’m clearing out the clutter, I try to make three piles of items: things to put away, things to trash, things to donate. This will help you keep track, room by room, of where everything needs to go. While you’re sorting, keep these organizations and groups in mind for potential donations.

Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore

The ReStore accepts donations of most household goods – appliances, furniture, decorative objects, books, cd’s, and tools. Proceeds from the ReStore’s sales go toward helping Gainesville families in need acquire a home of their own.

2317 SW 13th Street Gainesville, FL 32608

(352) 373-5728

Alachua County Tools for Schools

Tools for Schools is a program which helps provide area school teachers with the supplies their students need and may not be able to afford. You can donate office supplies of almost any kind, paper, math and science tools, and so forth. Check the website linked above for a complete list of suggested donations. The Tools for Schools center is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:30-5:30 pm throughout the school year.

1147 SE 7th Ave

Gainesville, FL 32641

(352) 374-5213

Humane Society Thrift Store

The Humane Society’s thrift store collects used household items as well to benefit their shelters for animals. Most of the types of items you would be cleaning out of your apartment would be accepted there, like books, clothes, furniture, etc. However check the donations list on the website above to see some of the items not accepted at this particular store.

4205 NW 6th St.

Gainesville, FL 32609

(352) 373-9522


Opting for Greener Cleaning Options in Your Kitchen


With Earth Day approaching and spring in full bloom, it’s easy to think about our planet and the state of our environment. How we live day to day in a global population of 7 billion has a dramatic effect on earth. However, dramatic change can happen with small changes made even in just your apartment. Simply adjusting home habits can significantly reduce waste and help you live a little greener.

Here are two small ways to seriously reduce waste in your apartment’s kitchen:

Opt for washable dish cloths instead of sponges

Sponges have a limited life and have to be replaced every couple weeks, or more often. Unless you’re using a natural sea sponge, they’re not made out of a biodegradable material and just become more trash in a landfill. If you threw out a sponge every two weeks for a year, that’s about 26 sponges you’re tossing each year. What I’ve done recently is bought a couple washable microfiber dish cloths with a soft side and a scrubby side. They still clean really well and after a week you can toss them in the wash with your other laundry and reuse them. The ones I got are inexpensive from Target and are well worth it.

Reusable bamboo paper towels

I’m not a big tv person, so I’m usually pretty out of the loop on the current cable shows. But thankfully the internet exists and I can at least absorb the gist of it without watching hours of television. What I’m getting at is that apparently Bambooee Towels were one of the products on Shark Tank recently and also apparently they’re pretty awesome. I read a detailed review on the bamboo paper towels, which come in a perforated roll just like regular paper towels, but are much more absorbent, durable, and they can be washed. The Bambooee company claims that one roll of their bamboo towels can replace 286 traditional paper towel rolls. That’s quite an improvement!

Finding Green Space in Gainesville


Warmer weather is here! Spring is in full bloom and summer is approaching, which means more opportunities to spend some quality time outside. Strolling along city sidewalks and around town is nice, but having some greenery around is nice too! So if you live in the city and you’re wondering where to go for a game of frisbee golf, where you can have a picnic with friends, or enjoy a nice hike, a park may be nearer to you than you realize. Gainesville has over 20 green spaces to visit and enjoy the great outdoors.

Here are a few close to University of Florida-

Bivens Arm Nature Park

This natural gem is situated right smack dab in the middle of an urban jungle. Bivens Arm is Gainesville’s first nature park and it’s been around since the early eighties. This particular spot is more of a hiking trail of footpaths than an open expanse of grass, so put on your walking shoes and step out for a walk through the marshy vegetation. This park is open 9am to 5pm, so plan accordingly!

Loblolly Woods Nature Park and Albert “Ray” Massey Park

Loblolly Woods is a large wooded nature park surrounding Hogtown and Possum creeks. Loblolly Woods has a hiking trail, bike path, and beautiful scenery great for an afternoon walk. This area is serene, yet located very close to the University of Florida in the heart of Gainesville. Nearly attached to the Loblolly Woods Nature Park is Albert “Ray” Massey Park, which is more of a traditional city park space with a playground, tennis courts, basketball court, grassy space for games, and picnic tables.

Green Acres Nature Park

This little park is tucked away, with a not-so-obvious entrance on SW 38th street. Green Acres is a great place to go for a jog or take your dog for a walk while enjoying the lush green all around. The best part is it’s only a few miles from the University of Florida’s campus!

Cut Your Coffee Budget in Half!


One of my biggest budget woes is the coffee portion – I cringe to think about how much money I would be saving every week if I cut this part out. My Mint app often reminds me of this fact, too…”Exceeded budget for coffee”….yeah, yeah I hear you. I don’t think I could totally cut this part out for my particular lifestyle (I really enjoy the coffee breaks!), but there definitely ways to cut back on how much I’m spending on java each week. I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll save my pennies and start saving for that vacation.

Get a Good Travel Mug A solid vessel for your coffee that’s easy to carry around and good to drink out of may make all the difference. Making coffee at home is dramatically cheaper. So if you can DIY that coffee and carry it with you to work, school, or wherever, it’ll cut down on the temptation to stop at Starbucks.

Set the Coffee Pot Timer Basically the best idea ever – the timer on your coffee pot. If you’re like me, you’ve never quite understood the definition of “morning person”. Therefore, the night before when you’re you know, actually awake, prep the coffee pot for the next day.   Then you’ll be ready to throw the coffee in your travel mug and hit the road.

Cut Back Your Coffee Consumption This one doesn’t sound like much fun, but you might actually be consuming more caffeine than is healthy. According to the Mayo clinic, up to four cups a day is healthy. I however cannot handle over two without it interrupting my sleep pattern. It’s something you may want to take note of and possibly substitute water in for that fourth cup of coffee.

Limit the Number of Times You Hit the Coffee Shop a Week If you make going to the coffee shop a special thing once a week, you’ll quickly learn this as a routine. You’ll know that the coffee shop is not an everyday thing, but a once a week thing!