Community Spotlight: Asbury Park

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If “pristine” and “peaceful” are words that come to mind when you’re thinking about your ideal apartment, take a look at Asbury Park Apartments in southwestern Gainesville. Asbury Park is located a few minutes off Interstate 75, near the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in a secluded gated community. Apartments at Asbury Park are one to three bedroom apartment homes with garages; you’ll feel more like you’re in your own home and not in a giant complex full of other people above and below you.

If you take a look inside the apartments at Asbury Park, you’ll see open airy spaces with high cathedral-style ceilings. You’ll also see large, fully equipped kitchens, a washer and dryer in every unit, and a nice screened in porch for enjoying the outdoors without having to leave your apartment. Safety is a priority at Asbury Park and not only is the community gated, but each unit has its own individual alarm system.

Outside on the grounds, there are a number of great amenities for residents to take advantage of! If you love to spend time outside, there are plenty of places for you to enjoy a sunny Florida day in the serene atmosphere at Asbury Park.   Depending on how you like to spend your times outside, there is a beautiful pool with a jacuzzi, there are lighted tennis and basketball courts, a 24-hour fitness center, and a playground.

Leases at Asbury Park start at 7 months and go up and pets are allowed, so schedule an appointment to see this charming community today!

Community Spotlight: Hunters Run Apartments

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Just south of the University of Florida and west of Sweetwater Wetlands Park is Hunters Run Apartments, where residents enjoy a calm atmosphere and are just a quick drive from city entertainment. The location is also convenient to Shands Hospital, Butler Plaza, and I-75. Apartments at Hunters run are spacious and inviting, with floor plans that range from one to three bedrooms. You can also pick a floor plan with a den if you want some additional living space in your apartment.

Well-kept grounds provide an ideal environment to call home. The space outside Hunters Run is complete with lush greenery as well as spots to spend an enjoyable afternoon out of doors. If you like to swim, there is a pool with lap lanes at your disposal. There is also a basketball court and a tennis court for having a match with friends or just getting some practice in on your own. If you prefer to stay out of the sun when you exercise, there’s a fitness center indoors with an array of exercise equipment.

Each apartment has great amenities to offer both inside and out. If you’re dreaming of a new place with high, vaulted ceilings and an expansive floor plan, this is the spot for you. Hunters Run apartments have screened in porches and even have fireplaces for added ambience.

Convenience is one of the many perks of living at Hunters Run. Apartments include washer and dryer connections within the unit, but there is also a community laundry room for residents as well.   Extra storage is also an option in case you need it. And last but not least, one of the best conveniences is how many utilities are included in your rent: water, sewer, trash removal, pest control, and cable are all included. This makes tracking monthly expenses much easier!

One more great reason to live at Hunters Run is pets are welcome! Dogs up to 90 pounds are allowed as well as cats and you can have up to two pets. Leases at Hunters Run start at 7 months and security deposits are as low as $250! Schedule a tour to see how you could call the apartments at Hunters Run home.

When to Buy Organic and When Not To

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Eating healthily these days seems overly complicated – there are so many choices. Organic, Non-GMO, farm-raised, and so forth. And while eating foods with these labels is good for you, it’s hard on your wallet. Some items are worth the extra cost, though. Buying produce grown organically means the growing methods are almost completely free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and are non-GMO. The USDA has a strict compliance guide for growers of organic produce to follow which is listed on their website here.

Certain fruits and vegetables are more heavily treated with pesticides than others or retain the chemicals even after washing, which when ingested can have negative effects on your health. Other items however are less treated or don’t absorb as many of the chemicals and there is not a significant difference between buying the regular and the organic.

According to www.organic.org, the most highly contaminated produce items are as follows:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

The following are less contaminated and therefore less harmful to just buy the regular mass-produced variety if you are on a budget:

  • Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Bananas
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Papaya

Keep in mind there is some controversy surrounding the organic food trend due to the USDA’s definition of “organic” and what some people might like to believe it is. According to the Washington Post, growers are only required to have 95% organic ingredients to be qualified as organic. There are 200 plus types of non-organic additives that can be used in foods while still maintaining the title, so some of that could be pesticides used on produce. It’s good to do a little research into what you’re buying before you go grocery shopping if you want to be informed on what you’re eating and how it can affect your health.

Community Spotlight: The Crossing at Santa Fe Apartments

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Located right by Santa Fe College and just northwest of the University of Florida, the Crossing at Santa Fe is situated right in the mix of what’s happening in Gainesville, Florida. But the Crossing at Santa Fe has more than just a great location to offer! The Crossing’s spacious floorplans are sure to wow you with contemporary design and a student-friendly price tag.

Check out the different layouts for your next prospective apartment – the Crossing offers three and four bedroom apartments, furnished or unfurnished, with the added bonus of a bathroom for everyone on each floorplan. Apartments at the Crossing are the complete package: attention to details in the kitchen with granite countertops, cherry cabinets, and a dishwasher included, a washer and dryer in the apartment to make laundry easy, and an alarm system to keep your safety in mind.

The Crossing’s community amenities don’t disappoint either. Spend time outside your apartment in the sunshine by the gorgeous community pool. You can swim laps or lounge on one of the comfortable reclining lounge chairs on the pool patio. Other ways to have fun right outside your own apartment are by playing a game of basketball at the community court, play some beach volleyball, or tennis. If you want to stick to getting your exercise indoors, try out the Crossing’s gym facility. You’ll find that all the things you need to enjoy an afternoon at class are right at your fingertips at the Crossing!

If you’re bringing pets along, you’re in luck! The Crossing at Santa Fe allows both dogs and cats so you can live it up with your furry friends. Leases range from six to twelve months and application fees are only $35! Schedule a tour today and see how the Crossing at Santa Fe can be home.

 

Is Owning a Cat Good For You?

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Has your apartment been feeling a little empty lately? Have the local shelter’s Facebook posts been tugging at your heartstrings? They are pretty darn cute, those fluffy little critters! Having pets has been proven to improve your quality of life overall.

If you live in an apartment, it is easier to have a cat than a dog and still find a great place to live at a decent rate. Cats are also relatively low-maintenance; as long as you can afford to take care of one and you have a small chunk of time every day to dedicate to it, it’s a pretty great partnership between human and feline. So if you’re considering it, take a moment to ponder a few pros and cons:

The Cons…

Nothing is Sacred. I repeat, NOTHING is sacred. I live with three cats and I come home to little joys like these on a semi-regular basis. Things get knocked over, torn up, eaten, mutilated and absolutely no remorse is shown. This is just the nature of the cat. Dogs look guilty when they are caught misbehaving, but cats just look insolent.

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Exhibit A – what’s left of my box springs     Exhibit B – formerly a potted orchid

Allergies. If you’re not sure if you have an allergy to pet dander, you may want to find out first. Sneezing and having a headache and a runny nose all the time isn’t really my idea of fun.

Cost. Owning a pet isn’t always expensive, but vet bills can get expensive fast. So especially if you’re a student consider your budget for the upcoming year and see how a pet fits into that.

Now for the pros!

Companionship. Cats are wonderful companions, even with just a small amount of interaction. They may try to dominate your time, but thankfully it’s very cute when they do it. Phones, laptops, books…they all make great places to sit if you’re a cat.

Health Reasons. Noise frequencies between 18-35 HZ have been shown to help heal bones and muscles in people. Cats purr at about 20 HZ and love to lay around on you when you’re resting so they make a pretty amazing healing aid. Owning a cat has also been proven to lower stress levels and ultimately lower the risk of heart disease, too!

Entertainment. If you haven’t already spent hours of your life watching funny cat videos, it may make a great preview to what being a cat owner is like. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a good laugh about something ridiculous one of these cats has done (which also brings us back to the health pro of #2). If you need examples, just google search “cats afraid of cucumbers” or “cat fails”. Cats make great entertainers, whether they mean to or not!

If you do decide to get a fancy feline and you’re in the midst of apartment hunting, use the Gainesville Apartment and Condominium Guide to find a perfect place that’s cool with cats by using the “narrow search” option and clicking “pet friendly”!  

 

Apartment Workouts

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It seems like there are more workout regimens than ever, and so many are available online or through DVD sets. With all these ways to get fit anywhere you have internet access, it’s easy to work out at home instead of going to a gym. For people like me, this is ideal – I’ve never been much of a gym rat myself. Unfortunately if you live above someone else in an apartment, this can present some challenges to getting your workout on. That is, at least while maintaining a good neighborly relationship with the folks downstairs!

If your exercise is very important to you and you’re shopping for apartments soon, you may want to start by checking out apartments with gym facilities. You can find local apartments with exercise rooms on the Gainesville Apartment and Condominium Guide by searching the number of bedrooms you need, then by using the Narrow Your Search feature to specify that you need a fitness center. If you also want things like tennis courts, basketball courts, or a pool to swim laps in, you can also check those boxes under Narrow Your Search.

If you want to be able to exercise inside your apartment and you’re still hunting for the perfect place, try looking for an apartment with carpeted floors. If you want an apartment with hardwood floors or you already have one with them, it might be worthwhile to get a nice thick rug for the room you use to work out on. Doing workouts which require little to no jumping, like pilates or yoga may also be an option if you are running out of other ways to be active within your apartment. There are also a lot of videos on youtube for “apartment friendly workouts” you can check out and try so you can stay fit!

Commonplace Things Turned Into Awesome Apartment Decor

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If you’re short on wall art in your apartment and looking to spruce it up a bit for upcoming visitors, don’t break the bank on wall art from Target or Urban Outfitters until you consider some more affordable, totally fun, and eclectic options! There are a number of ways to create a put-together, stylish apartment with things you may not have considered before. The key is to just add a frame!

Any time you can use something personal it will make your space look more like your own – so sometimes going to Pier One or World Market, etc., for all of your decor can make your space seem impersonal. You can actually save money and make your living space more interesting by framing personal items or interesting graphic items you find at thrift stores or antique stores.

One of the easiest ones to use is old post cards! They’re 4” x 6” most of the time so they’ll fit a standard frame, which you can even buy at the dollar stores if you’re really on a budget. I also like to check thrift stores for fun frames that I can mix and match together for an artsy vibe. Group a number of framed post cards together for a gallery style wall.

If you’re a vinyl record addict, you know how cool album art can be. Craft stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell frames specifically for records so you can turn your favorite album covers into awesome wall art! It’s another way to express your personal taste and style with ease in your apartment.

Some of my favorite framed pieces are from vintage 1940’s magazines a friend of mine gave me. You can find these easily at thrift or antique stores at a reasonable price and gently tear the pages out to frame. Luckily, the magazines I used were a perfect fit for 8” x 10” frames. The design from the mid-century era makes for fantastic art to hang up, too!

Last, one more thing that makes a cool decoration: maps. They’re easy to find, cheap, and can be a great visual addition to your apartment!

Crates on Crates on Crates!

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One of the most wonderful qualities a piece of furniture in a tiny apartment can have is to be versatile. Multitasking furniture or pieces that you can rearrange easily (think modular furniture) are key to having a balanced space to live in when square footage comes at a premium. There’s a fair possibility you’ve seen things made out of either antique or new wooden crates online – they seem to be pretty darn popular right now. With that being said, I can see why they’re so popular! I myself have an old wooden crate leftover from my family’s apple orchard days, which makes it pretty cool and special to me. It has our family name stamped on the side and it’s beautifully weathered after being used for so many years. It’s truly been an indispensable staple in my apartments over the years!

Here are some of the many ways you can use crates in your apartment:

Nightstand Turn a crate up on its smaller side to create a shelf/nightstand combo or stack two on top of each other if your bed is taller. Bonus- it also gives you additional shelving inside of it if you stack it two deep.

Book Shelf I’ve used my crate as a bookshelf for quite some time and I love the way it looks. If you have a number of crates you can make a myriad of shelf combinations by simply stacking them like building blocks. It also looks really cool this way! If you buy new unfinished crates, leave them with no finish for a Scandi-inspired look or consider painting them for a color coded theme.

Side Table / Coffee Table Depending on the size of your crate, it might make a better end table, but if you have a large enough one it makes an excellent coffee table! Simply turn your crate upside down with the bottom facing the ceiling and you have a pretty trendy looking table for your apartment. It also works well for patio spaces since most crates are either unfinished or already worn, you don’t have to worry much about the weather’s effects.

Wall Shelf You can wall mount a crate like a shadow box to show off trinkets and other lightweight decorative objects.

Desk If you want to get crafty and creative, you can screw two crates together, bottom to top in two sets to create the supports for a table top. Then cut a piece of wood or MDF to fit across the top and anchor it into place. Voila, you have a desk with shelving built into its supports!…mind blown.

If you’re looking for even more fun crate furniture ideas, there are about a million on Pinterest, waiting to be brought to life!

 

 

 

Stay Cool All Night Long

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Summer’s here! Granted, it’s been pretty toasty for a while now in Gainesville. There are a million ways to keep cool in your apartment this summer, but do you specifically have trouble staying cool at night when you’re sleeping? Not being cool enough at night can really disrupt your sleep, even potentially causing you to have bad dreams! Try this list of things to help you get some good shuteye over the sweltering summer.

Check your lights Cut the lights off in rooms you’re not using to prevent the buildup of unnecessary heat in your apartment. This is a good habit to have all day long, but is something to especially keep in mind at night when you might be using more electricity while the sun is down.

Pick the right sheets What you’re sleeping on makes a big difference! When I was visiting Taiwan, we slept on woven bamboo mats on the beds (which were surprisingly comfortable) due to the high temperature and humidity. If you’re not feeling that adventurous, make sure your sheets are made of cotton or linen. Synthetics will get damp and sticky and are not able to breathe. A trick you can also use with your sheets is to put them in a plastic bag and in the freezer for 10 minutes before you go to sleep!

Utilize your fans Fans are an obvious choice, but did you know if you put a box fan in the window facing outward, it will move hot air out of your apartment? You can also try the trick of placing a bowl of ice water in front of a fan that’s blowing toward you to cool things down.

Wear loose pj’s Don’t wear anything form-fitting to sleep in or you’ll sweat all night long. Pick loose articles of clothing to sleep in, again made from cotton or linen to help keep you cool and dry.