Community Spotlight: Madison Pointe Apartments


Are you going to be ready for a new spot when your current lease is up? You’re most likely compiling a list of apartments in Gainesville to check out so you’ll be ready to transition into a new space. If you haven’t added Madison Pointe to your list, you’ll want to for sure.

Madison Pointe is centrally located in Gainesville and is close to the University of Florida, Santa Fe College, and all the attractions and entertainment downtown Gainesville has to offer. This great location makes it perfect for students or young professionals who want to live in the heart of the city.

The apartments at Madison Pointe are available starting with one bedroom floor plans and range up to three bedroom layouts, each with their own bathroom. The floor plans all have their own appealing names too, so you can choose from Serenity, Tranquility, Sanctuary, Harmony, and Oasis to be your new home. Each apartment comes complete with a fully equipped kitchen, a washer and dryer, tons of space, and a patio or balcony, among many other fantastic amenities.

The Madison Pointe community is ideal for whether you’re working, playing, exercising, or studying with the number of community features available. There is a pool, fitness center, tennis court, basketball court, study room, game room, and clubhouse at residents’ disposal.

This serene gated community in Gainesville has a lot to offer its residents – schedule a tour and see what’s in store for you at Madison Pointe apartments.

Battling Smartphone Addiction


This topic has been on my mind a lot today as well as on and off over the course of several years. I’m part luddite, so it’s not uncommon for me to have rash moments of “chuck all the technology” style thinking from time to time. Today I read a great article on Wired’s website titled, “How I Got My Attention Back” which reminded me of exactly why I sometimes get fed up with my cell phone addiction. The article goes in-depth into one individual’s frustrations with our incessant connection to phones and the internet, etc., and takes the reader through his experience going offline for a month.

So the conundrum is, how do we lessen our dependence (or obsession) with smartphones while still being realistic and true to our modern age in which they are so ubiquitous? We can’t all simply go offline for a month while we stay at an artist’s community like the author of the article. Both from that article and from discussion with a friend of mine, I’ve discovered several small ways to combat the constant distraction of the smartphone.

The method which was relayed to me by a friend was this- he told me about an article he read in which a former design ethicist from Google compared technological design to that of a slot machine – notifications from apps provide a “reward” type stimulus to us as users, which is very much like gambling. If we check it frequently we may be rewarded. And this same person suggests one way to lessen this addiction is by making the screen grayscale. The idea is that if your phone is black and white, many of your apps will seem less stimulating and appealing. I’ve tried it all day today and I have to attest that it has made a difference.

From the aforementioned article, the author acknowledges the importance of technology and makes a compromise that most of us could uphold (at least with our smartphones). The deal is this: no phones right before bed and through the following day until after lunchtime. I think the main reason for this time frame is due to the importance of our waking ritual. The way you wake up can determine how the rest of your day will go. This quote from the article I found particularly poignant:

“There is a qualitative and quantitative difference between a day that begins with a little exercise, a book, meditation, a good meal, a thoughtful walk, and the start of a day that begins with a smartphone in bed.”

Another, albeit more curious way to possibly put cell phone addiction to rest is an idea dreamt up by designer Klemens Schillinger. It’s a “substitute phone” with tactile, physical parts that move and function basically as a fidget spinner for adults. Take a look at them here. They’re not readily available yet, but could this be where we’re headed?

My goal is to try to implement these small ways of fighting smartphone addiction and see if I’m more aware of the world around me. That, and similar to the original Luddites destroying weaving machinery, maybe I’ll delete Instagram while I’m at it, too.

Community Spotlight: Lux13 Apartments


The Lux13 apartment community in Gainesville has so much to offer that it’s an apartment hunter’s dream. Not only is it convenient to both University of Florida and Santa Fe College, but it offers a surprising number of options for prospective renters.

When you’re checking out Lux13 you’ll notice that there are nine different floor plan layouts to choose from, ranging from one bedroom villas to four bedroom apartments, all with varying amenities. Something all the varying floor plans have in common is style, comfort, and security for residents. Many of the units have washers and dryers in them, cable included, and high speed internet. Some layouts boast their own special amenities, such as fenced in backyards on all the one bedroom villa units.

The shared community areas at Lux13 don’t disappoint either. On a sunny day, check out the beautiful pool which is complete with a waterfall feature. If you want to invite friends and have a get-together outside there are grills for holding a barbecue in the courtyard. Inside the community buildings you can break a sweat at the 24-hour fitness center or hit the books in the study room. You can even make use of the community computers and printers in the business center.

Besides the aesthetic of the community and its many features, Lux13 is pet friendly as well, which is an added bonus. Cats and dogs are both allowed, with a weight limitation of 80 pounds for dogs.

Lux13 is flexible on leases and if you’re looking for something more short-term, leases start at 6 months and increase from there. Check with the office at Lux13 to see if there are any leasing deals or specials going on!

How to Handle Messy Roommates


Growing up, my mom always drove me nuts with her (what I considered) obsessive cleaning. She’s a very thorough woman and I assumed she was simply Type A and I wasn’t because it didn’t matter so much to me. However, that all changed when I became the ruler of my own domain. Now, one of my biggest pet peeves is coming home to a mess…whether it’s clutter or dirt, they’re both equal offenses in my book. So Mom, you finally rubbed off on me, and now comes the challenge: how to deal with others who might be less tidy than myself.

After a bit of research, I’ve come to the conclusion that these are the best methods for handling the offending parties-

Compromise With Your Roommates If you feel it’s necessary to have a clean kitchen, but nobody else is cleaning it, offer to tackle the responsibility of that area for a chore or task in return. This way you clean to your own standards without feeling completely slighted on the responsibility end. Also understand that their bedrooms are not necessarily a topic of discussion (you wouldn’t want someone else telling you how to manage your personal space) unless there’s a health hazard.

Be Diplomatic Like with all confrontation situations, it’s best to be diplomatic and try not to ruffle feathers. Make sure when you bring up the offense, you aren’t using language that sounds like you’re accusing your roommate. That will cause hurt feelings or make the situation more volatile and harder to smooth over. Try explaining ways you’d like to keep the apartment cleaner. Avoid using the word “you” when pointing out offenses and be as mature and conscientious as possible. Another thing to keep in mind is that it’s better to have these conversations face-to-face and not over text message. It will come across less passive-aggressive and more genuine. You do live with these people and it’s probably best to keep the peace and be considerate while you get your point across.

Don’t Let it Make You Bitter When you’re habitually frustrated by someone’s habits, it can easily cause a rift in your friendship. Try to understand that your roommate’s habits are not necessarily something they realize they’re doing and it has little to do with your initial chemistry. You also don’t want to add extra stress to your plate by being upset every time you come home to your apartment, which should be your personal safe haven. So take a deep breath, and try to remain calm!

Community Spotlight: College Manor Apartments


If proximity to school and living somewhere fun and energetic are at the top of your apartment shopping priorities, College Manor is the place to be. You can be as close as a couple minutes’ walk from all your classes as a resident at College Manor apartments. The location also means you’re right downtown where you can be privy to fun events and community activities as well as shopping and public transit. In addition to the convenience of its location, College Manor offers a great number of perks and amenities to its residents.

Find an apartment layout to suit your specific needs for both space and your budget at College Manor with the variety of options available. Units range from studio spaces all the way up to three bedroom units, with varying floor plans for each. Some of the many features of their apartments include contemporary and stylishly designed layouts, balconies or patios, beautiful wood floors, dishwashers, cable, and washers and dryers in the unit (or laundry room access for some).

Outside of the apartments, the community space at College Manor showcases a pool where you can hang out in the sun with friends or relax in between classes. You’ll never have to worry about having a parking space with parking garage access for residents. To top off all the great perks, College Manor is pet friendly so you won’t have to worry about rehoming your furry pal if you have one!

You can call College Manor and find out if there are any current specials too, so you get the best bargain available!

Harry Potter Decor to Make Your Apartment Positively Magical


I recently visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios for the first time and it rekindled the love I have for the entire Harry Potter universe – especially the books. Although I will admit the movies brought a certain fantastical visual experience to the original stories I loved so much. Being the design nerd I am, one of the great highlights of watching the movies for me is seeing how all the interiors look! So if you want to recreate your favorite Harry Potter space from the movie (or the books!) there are some fun and whimsical products available to help you bring it to life!

There are so many delightful Harry Potter themed pieces on Etsy. I narrowed my top picks down to the following items:

Pottery Barn [Teen] (don’t laugh! It’s pretty grown-up looking for the teen section) has an amazing collection of Harry Potter themed goods to make your space feel as whimsical as a room in Hogwarts castle. My two favorite items are this velvet Platform 9 ¾ throw pillow and this set of starry owl bed linens.

On Society 6’s website, you can get your favorite designs printed on a number of household items, such as pillows, shower curtains, art prints, and more. There are so many great artists who upload work there as well so it makes it a perfect spot to find the right piece for your apartment. I love this well designed Basilisk print– and there is a whole set of other fantastic beasts related prints on this particular artist’s page. The same artist also has a “When in doubt, go to the library” design that makes a fabulous tapestry to decorate your wall with.

You can get crafty with your Harry Potter decor too and DIY it. There’s a plethora of ideas on Pinterest, of course. Embrace your love of all things magical and make your apartment fit for a wizard.

Community Spotlight: Woodland Villas Apartments


Finding an alternative to big apartment communities with floor after floor of units isn’t always an easy task. However, Woodland Villas Apartments offers an appealing option to those looking for a comfortable and quiet place to call home in southwest Gainesville. You can enjoy serenely living near all the excitement Gainesville has to offer without the noisy neighbors.

Apartments at Woodland Villas are designed as two bedroom lofts. The layout is perfect for those who prefer the privacy of their own townhome-style spaces without the disruption of upstairs neighbors. Each apartment comes with a contained courtyard space outside for added outdoor privacy and for the convenience of pet owners. Inside, the apartments are spacious feeling with high ceilings and skylights. There’s plenty of storage space including additional outdoor storage on the patio, kitchen appliances including a dishwasher, washers and dryers in select units, and a number of other amenities in the apartments.

Outside in the community space residents can enjoy taking a dive in the pool or lounging on the sun deck. Woodland Villas apartments are pet-friendly too, so you can enjoy the scenery while taking your dog for a stroll around the property. You can also feel safe at all times at Woodland Villas, knowing it’s a gated community with on-site night patrol.

There are so many reasons to check Woodland Villas apartments out! With reasonable rates, low fees, and fantastic amenities, you can see how Woodland Villas should be on your list when you’re apartment hunting in Gainesville!

3 Painless Ways to Save Money This Year


If you’re looking for some ways to save a little cash – maybe for a vacation or just so you can beef up your savings account, sometimes it’s best to start small. You’ll be surprised at how quickly these little tricks make your money add up. Master these simple habits and you’re sure to be a super-saver!

Empty your change every day

I did this for a year and ended up with well over $100 in leftover change in my jar! If you use cash frequently, this is an absolute must. At the end of the day when you go to put your PJ’s on, empty your pockets (or your purse) of all its coin change into a piggy bank, jar, or anything that will hold it. You’ll be amazed at how it grows! Pick up some coin papers from the bank and roll the change while watching your favorite show on Netflix.

Set up your bank account to save for you

Some banks and credit unions have the option to round debit card purchases up and move the difference to a savings account. Some of them add $1 to a savings account for every checking account debit. So for instance, if you spent $5.25, $0.75 would go into your savings. Each bank is different so explore the saving options yours has available.

Cut your coffee habit

Starbucks or your local coffee shop is a great treat, but scale it back to exactly that: a special treat and not an everyday habit. If you spend $3 every day on a coffee drink, that adds up to $21 a week, which is about $1000 a year! While it’s probably not healthy to pick apart every little purchase you make, buying fewer cups of coffee every week isn’t too difficult of a habit to learn. If you have to have it every day, consider buying a coffee maker and grounds because the cost will still come out in your favor!