Dealing With Kitchen Pests

kitchenpests

Maybe you’ve never seen the FX show Archer (and maybe that’s a good thing considering its brand of off-color humor) but every time I see crumbs on the kitchen counter I can’t help but conjure up an irritable Stirling Archer screaming, “This is how we get ants!”. That humorous little tidbit helps remind me that kitchen pests are a real thing and boy are they annoying to reckon with.

Not only do insects and rodents look nasty, they are pretty nasty. Particularly the mice and rats tend to carry diseases – “Hello, Bubonic Plague calling…” and insects are mostly annoying because you never want to find a trail of ants leading into your pantry and worse, into your food containers.

So step one is to try and prevent this from happening. If your apartment complex offers pest control, make sure it is up to date and most likely you will be in the clear. However, some of it is your responsibility. Keep food cleaned up regularly and don’t leave dirty dishes sitting around or open containers of food products out for any period of time. Keep an eye on the countertops and wipe up crumbs and spills that might attract critters. Standing water is also attractive to roaches, so keep your shower and bathroom as dry as possible. One more harmless way to prevent an insect infestation is to keep dried bouquets of lavender around. It smells nice anyway and helps keep those bugs out.

Chances are if you’ve seen one culprit of any variety, there are others. For mice, clean up any waste matter with disinfectant and wash any dishes that are within the general area of the evidence. Then, set traps around the edges of the room and bait with peanut butter. It’s not the most attractive method but it is effective. You may also want to consider calling an exterminator.

For insects, you can try household bug sprays, but you have to be careful with pets around and make sure you’re not harming them while trying to eradicate the pests. For insects you may also want to spray outside the apartment as well where they may be coming in. Chances are they are coming in from within the building and if you have a recurring problem you may also want to talk to a professional to get rid of the pests.

 

Life Saving, Space Saving Tricks!

shelving

Jumping from one apartment to another over the years, I’ve had to adapt to a number of different sized and shaped spaces. While each apartment comes with its own unique set of space related conundrums, there are some reliable tricks I like to apply to any space I inhabit.

As much as I love trendy low beds, under the bed storage is a must. A couple years ago I discovered the beauty of the under-the-bed space. It doesn’t sound glamorous, but you wouldn’t believe how much space it can free up other places! For things you may not use all the time, you can buy inexpensive bins to stash underneath the bed. If you want to make it more accessible, storage drawers can be accessed from the side or the foot of your bed. Either way, you’re maximizing the usable space in your bedroom.

For clothes, instead of using a bulky chest of drawers I’ve started using a standing clothes rack. I don’t have a lot of closet space, so instead I hang part in the closet and part on the metal standing rack. It takes up a lot less space (depth-wise, especially) and also doesn’t look as bulky either. The bottom of the clothing rack has shelves for bins and shoes and then I’m also able to hang my necklaces on one of the sides. It’s definitely an amazing multitasker.

And speaking of multitasking, you really can’t thrive in an apartment without furniture that does double duty. I’m a big fan of seats with storage in them – Target sell inexpensive cube versions of these and they’re great to have extra seating for guests, but also somewhere to hide things in. Benches with storage are also an excellent idea, but they take up a little more space horizontally.

Aside from the bigger things, the number one thing I do to help save space is remove the packaging from things I buy. For example: Q-Tips come in a long box with plastic. If you store them in a resealable bag, they suddenly fit in to more spaces and are easier to work with. Drawer space is usually at a premium in my apartment so removing bulky packaging is a necessity. You can do this with some food, too if it is individually packaged and you don’t need an oversized box anymore. If you get creative there are a number of ways to maximize what space you have!

Community Spotlight: Greenwich Green Apartments

greenwich-green-apts

If you’re looking for a spacious apartment only a short drive from the University of Florida and convenient to all the great shopping and restaurants of Butler Plaza, it’s time for you to check out Greenwich Green Apartments. They have flexible options for renters – both townhouses and flats available, and layouts to fit what you’re looking for. Do you want to have roommates? Greenwich Green has two and three bedroom apartments in varying sizes and floor plans so you can find the right fit.

Greenwich Green has great amenities and plenty of options for all of its residents. Do less picking and choosing and have it all instead: a patio or balcony, walk-in closet, a washer and dryer in the unit, free HBO, and more! The community spaces don’t fall short either. Check out the beautiful pool area where you can lounge or go for a swim. If you’re looking for options to keep yourself fit and get your heart rate up, there’s a tennis court, basketball court, racquetball court, and fitness center. There’s even a putting green so you can practice for your next golf game!

When you’re choosing somewhere to live, convenience is a big factor. If you’re a student, Greenwich Green is not only close to campus but is also located right by a UF bus stop. If you need to go to the store for some things, you can walk or bike easily to Butler Plaza which has a little bit of everything – shops, restaurants, and grocery stores. You won’t have to worry about getting in your car to run errands!

Greenwich Green’s pricing is affordable for students and young professionals alike. Rent includes water and sewer, pest control, garbage removal, and cable. With a small pet fee, both dogs and cats are allowed in your apartment, so don’t worry about the thought of rehoming. Schedule a tour today to see for yourself all that Greenwich Green has to offer.

A Less Wasteful Apartment Kitchen

veggies

So if I were to take a poll of all of you out there – how many of you love taking the trash out? I’d be confident in saying nobody really enjoys lugging a big bag of garbage out every few days. Aside from the annoyance of dealing with an overflowing kitchen trash can there are also other reasons that less waste in the kitchen is a plus. One of the biggest reasons is to minimize your ecological footprint and help do your part to keep trash out of the landfill. Another reason is to save yourself time and energy emptying that can all the time.

Most of the ways you can minimize waste in the kitchen are through your shopping habits. Some of it however involves what you bring with you to go shopping.

  1. Buy bulk foods, such as dry goods (pasta, rice, etc.) and spices from your grocery store and take reusable containers with you to put it in. There will be a scale for you to weigh your container before you fill it and weigh it again so you’re only charged for what you’re buying.
  2. Buy meat and cheese from the deli department instead of going for the pre-packaged options in styrofoam trays and covered in plastic.
  3. Purchase more fresh fruits and veggies from the produce department or from a local farmers market. This means you may have to cook meals and freeze them if things are going out of date too quickly. But those meals will come in handy later when you need a quick food fix.
  4. Switch to reusable cleaning supplies like washable dish cloths or products like Norwex. I’m not necessarily a Norwex advocate, but it is an option if you want to get some reusable supplies that also eliminate harsh cleaning products.
  5. Take your reusable shopping bags with you to the grocery store and opt out of plastic bags.
  6. Size your trash can down to help encourage you to not waste! If you have a smaller trash can, you may remember to choose less wasteful products

Community Spotlight: Aspen Ridge Apartments

aspen-ridge-042004-c

Where do you envision yourself living in Gainesville? If you want to be living, working, and playing near the University of Florida and the Archer Road area, take a good look at Aspen Ridge Apartments. Not only are they conveniently located, but apartments at Aspen Ridge offer affordable rental rates, nicely laid out floor plans, and amenities for students and young professionals seeking a new place to call home.

Aspen Ridge offers both one and three bedroom apartments to residents, with great amenities in every unit. Each apartment comes with their own full sized washer and dryer. That means no more hauling heavy laundry baskets up and down stairs on laundry day! In addition to this, some units come with additional storage space to help you stay organized. The apartments are also pet friendly and allow cats as well as dogs up to 80 pounds so you can settle in with your furry friends, hassle free.

The Aspen Ridge community provides a number of outlets for fun, physical activity so you don’t need to worry about driving across town for a workout or to play a game of tennis. A fitness center, tennis and racquetball courts, and a pristine swimming pool are all available to residents. If you need a quiet space to work or do homework there’s also a computer lab at your disposal. Or if you’re feeling like enjoying a meal outside with friends there is a picnic area on the grounds.

Leases start at 7 months, making Aspen Ridge a flexible option if you need an alternative to the traditional 12 month lease. Schedule a tour today and see how easy it is to find a home at Aspen Ridge Apartments!  352.316.7681

Gainesville Food Trucks For Your Foodie Cravings

food

Over the last 10 years or so, food trucks have steadily been gaining popularity. They’ve become a great way for talented cooks to share their love of cuisine with a wider and more diverse audience. The burgeoning brewery scene has also boosted the popularity of food trucks and it seems to be a match made in heaven. Either way, since they’ve gotten so popular there are a number of tasty food trucks to choose from, all in the city of Gainesville!

Off the Griddle – This food truck specializes in using fresh, farm raised ingredients in their American fusion menu items. They have a variety of savory snacks and meals, from fish tacos to quesadillas, Pad Thai, Po’ Boys, and chicken wraps.

Humble Wood Fire – These pizza crafters make unique wood-fired pies with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. Check out their calendar to see where and when they’ll be serving their artisanal pizzas.

Swamp Religion – Get a Cajun take on all your favorite eats – Swamp Religion does wings, sandwiches, fries, and even gator tacos!

Papa Pineapples – This Hawaiian themed food truck must be good. It got itself a 5-star Yelp rating and has expanded from one truck to a truck and an additional food trailer. The food truck hails from Ocala, but ventures into Gainesville to serve up its island cuisine.

Mayflower Cellars – These guys serve up gourmet bratwurst, Italian sausages, Frankfurters, and even vegan sausages! They use high quality ingredients from local farms to make these tasty dogs. They can be found on Wednesdays at the Union St. Market from 4-7pm and on Thursdays at Swamphead Brewery from 5-9pm.

There will also be a Food Truck Rally happening on November 19, 2017 at One Love Cafe in Gainesville! Come out between 4 and 9 to try something new or get a fix of one of your old favorites!

Ways to Give New Life To an Old Sofa

oldsofa

Whether we like it or not, our first apartments are usually filled with furniture we came by one way or another…a friend was moving and lightening the load, a yard sale down the street, the combination of pure necessity and a chance craigslist listing. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows and choosing your ideal set of furniture. Couches seem to be the thing that gets passed along from one owner to another. I myself have been the proud owner of a hand-me-down couch once or twice in my lifetime and while it’s convenient it can leave you feeling like someone else furnished your apartment.

So if you’re the owner of an orphaned sofa and you’re looking for ways to give it new life, there are strategies to make that old couch feel like your own. And if you’re on a budget this beats the heck out of shopping for a new one!

One of the ways you can improve on your old sofa is to switch the legs out for new ones. If the original ones are looking dull or aren’t the style you want, you can purchase new ones at your local hardware or home improvement store. If you’re looking for something more specific, try online as well. This simple switch can make your sofa look dramatically different.

If you have a cat who’s been picking at your sofa or its upholstery has just simply seen better days, slipcovers are a great option. Upholstery can be cleaned but if it’s beyond repair, a cover is in order. Slipcovers don’t traditionally sound glamorous, but they truly can breathe new life into a lackluster sofa.

Sometimes all an old couch needs is a little distraction from the minor flaws and picks. Oversized throw pillows make a great cover-up. Without making any dramatic changes to your sofa you can avert the eye and make a cozier place to sit while you’re at it. There’s a whole world of every kind of throw pillow you can think of out there – or you can try a website like Society 6 for a pillow design that’s more customized or alternative.

 

 

Community Spotlight: Tivoli Apartments

tivoliapartments

Tivoli Apartments is focused on their renters – and their slogan is aptly ILOVIT – TIVOLI! So there’s no doubt you’ll “love it” and feel at home renting one of the one to four bedroom apartment homes Tivoli has, just south of the University of Florida. The prices are reasonable for a student or young professional’s budget and include a number of amenities and community features that are sure to make living at Tivoli comfortable and convenient.

Apartments at Tivoli are spacious and range in size from the one bedroom unit at 748 square feet, to the four bedroom unit, which is a generous 1672 square feet. Each apartment has walk-in closets and a private bath for each bedroom. Apartments also include a patio or balcony, washer and dryer, and dishwasher. With amazing spaces inside each unit, it only gets better once you see what’s available in the shared community spaces.

Tivoli’s community space includes a beautiful, sparkling pool and patio for fun in the Florida sun. If you’re feeling like staying indoors but still breaking a sweat, check out Tivoli’s 24 hour fitness center where you can work out any time you like. Inside there are also billiards tables, ping pong, and air hockey to keep you and your friends entertained. If you want to do homework or bring your laptop with you outside, there’s free Wifi access for your convenience.

Your rent at Tivoli includes both pest control and trash pickup. Pets are welcome at Tivoli too, with a one time pet fee. To find out what else Tivoli has to offer, schedule a tour and see how this community can be your next home in Gainesville.

 

5 Small Bathroom Changes That Make a Big Difference

bathroom

When you’re living in an apartment, it may not seem like you can make significant changes to your space. While this is true on the whole, you can still make a difference if you find small changes that come with larger impact. Sometimes all a living space needs is a simple change to make it feel like an entirely new environment, which will have a positive influence on your day to day life!

Bathrooms are a great place to start since they are heavily trafficked rooms and often get less attention than they really deserve. It’s inevitable that a portion of your daily routine will be spent in this [generally tiny] room, so why not give it some much-needed love? Before you set out do make any of these changes, even if they are temporary, contact your property manager or landlord to get approval first!

  1. Swapping hardware helps you update and customize the look of your bathroom. Places like Anthropologie, World Market, and Amazon sell funky, fun cabinet hardware that can help you improve your current vanity or other bathroom storage that may be looking lackluster.
  2. Consider temporary wallpaper for your bathroom walls. Painting also works, but temporary wallpaper is a commitment-phobe / renter’s dream that makes it easy to redecorate without being stuck (no pun intended!). Find a funky pattern or a new color to liven up your bathroom.
  3. Replace your shower head. As long as your landlord permits it and you’ve got a wrench handy, get to work! Most apartments come with relatively standard shower heads, but if you find a good one at your hardware store or online, it can dramatically improve your grooming experience. Some shower heads help reduce the amount of water used and others have filters to help improve the water quality for you.
  4. Change the light fixture, or even just the type of bulbs. Getting a better or more attractive light fixture can have a pretty significant impact on the way a room feels. If changing the fixture isn’t an option, look into the best type of bulb for the room – check for a bulb which mimics natural light.
  5. Tile Stickers are a super cool idea and great way to either cover up ugly tiles or just add some fun color to your current tiles. They stick on with water and can be removed easily leaving no residue! Voila! Perfect.