Thanksgiving is here and our number one concern, after ensuring that there's plenty of pumpkin pie to go around, is your safety. We did some research and discovered that there are some no-brainer tips that could ensure you and your family enjoy a nice Thanksgiving dinner, instead of a trip to the ER.
Get a kitchen fire extinguisher - This is probably the best $20 you can spend on Amazon. If a grease fire breaks out, attempting to extinguish it with water can actually make the situation worse, much worse. A fire extinguisher is your best option, followed by suffocating the fire.
Don't fry your turkey - Although it sounds delicious, this video offers all the proof you need to convince you to cook your turkey in an oven.
Don't overload the lights on your tree - Dry Christmas tree + short circuit spark = danger.
We wish you all the best this Thanksgiving and hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.
When smartphones first began hitting the stores, many of us became a bit too excited when it came to downloading apps. With loads of games, silly gimmicks and more made available to us for free, many of us had pages and pages of apps on our smartphones, taking up all of our storage and using up all of our battery life. But now that the excitement has died down, there is still plenty of room in our lives for apps - but ones that actually aim to improve our lives. Recently moved out of home to start your new life as an adult? There's an app for that... in fact, there are a few!
GroceryPal - Free
Especially if you're shopping while hungry, the supermarket is the easiest way to run through your hard-earned money. But GroceryPal lets you make a list of everything you actually need and for the best price. Syncing up with local supermarkets in your area, it'll also look at your list and tell you where the best deals can be found. It will even sort the items into aisles, so you'll know exactly where to find everything!
TripIt - Free
For those who travel often, Tripit will be your bible. Whenever you book a trip - whether it be on a plane, bus or train - simply wait for the auto-response email from the vendor to confirm your trip. Then, you forward this to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will cleverly turn it into an itinerary, along with all of your other plans. So for example, if you're catching a bus to get to the airport to catch a plane, then need to get a train from there, etc., TripIt lets you keep all of this information in one handy app.
Check - Free
Working in a similar way to Tripit, Check will keep track of all and any bills that you're responsible for, all in one place. And the best thing is that it will set up reminders, so you'll never be late for a bill again.
LastPass - Free
This could possibly be one of the most helpful apps we've come across. We think everyone's complained about having too many usernames and passwords these days - so LastPass allows you to keep track of all them. Storing your data offline, you'll be able to keep all account details for anything and everything all in one handy place - your phone. Of course, the app is highly secure and in the event that your phone is stolen, there's certainly no risk of the thief finding all your details. So if you're sick of trying to remember all your details for various accounts, definitely check out this handy little app.
So you've found the perfect roommate - and now it's time to find a place for you both to live. During this stressful time, while it may be tempting to settle on the first apartment you lay eyes on just to cut the process short, it's important to find an apartment that you actually want to come home to every day.
Write a List of Wants and Needs
Sit down with your roommate and decide on exactly what it is you're looking for in your new home. Important things to discuss are the area and the costs - these are things that you both should make a firm agreement on. From this point, there is room for compromise. For example, you might have found the perfect apartment in the right area and within your budget, but it's only got one bathroom. Is this a deal breaker, or can you and your roommate learn to share? These sorts of questions will need to be answered prior to beginning the apartment hunting process.
Learn About the Complex
One of the first questions you should ask about any apartment is what the situation is with the manager. If the apartment manager lives in the complex, then you can rest assured that if problems ever arise with your apartment, help is never far away. Additionally, you should ask about the inhabitants of the other apartments. Found the perfect apartment, but it's in a complex full of retired pensioners? Then it's possibly not the perfect apartment for you. It's important to consider who your neighbors will be and just how well you'll get along living together.
See the Actual Apartment
Often when looking at apartments to rent, you may be shown a similar apartment that is said to be exactly like the one you'll be renting. However, while the layout might be the same, it's vital that you see the actual apartment you'll be renting before signing a lease agreement - you definitely don't want to be held accountable for any damages made to the property that you didn't see in the apartment that was "exactly the same". By making sure you've seen exactly what you're moving into, you'll be confident that you're moving into an apartment that you'll actually love.
Finding the perfect apartment in your price range is hard enough…and finding the ideal roommate can be nearly impossible. Two people can have very different options about decorating, furniture, bills, groceries and more, so before signing your name on the dotted line, iron out your living arrangements prior to move-in to avoid an all-out war.
Apartment Décor. No two people have the same decorating style and when its time to decorate your social spaces (living room, dining, kitchen, etc.) you will need to compromise. To find common ground go shopping together and choose pieces that complement both of your styles. If you are a DIY’er, go to the local thrift shops and pick out pieces that you can renovate together – total bonding experience!
Cleanliness. Create a clean-routine that you and your roommate agree to and set strict rules. Is it ok to leave dishes in the sink? Can you leave personal belongings in the living room? Who takes out the trash? To keep you and your roommate on track, write down the rules and hang them on the refrigerator. Don’t forget to list the weekly chore schedule too! The best rule of thumb is to keep your mess to yourself to avoid any issues.
Bills. Nobody likes them but they have to be paid so decide how you are going to pay the bills prior to their due dates. The best approach is to put the responsibility on both parties; each roommate should put an equal amount of the bills in their name to hold everyone accountable for a portion of the bills. The easiest way to pay the bills is to split them right down the middle. Get tech-savvy and download Splitwise. Splitwise is a free tool for friends and roommates to track bills and shared expenses.
Groceries. To share the cost of groceries or to fly solo? If you and your roommate decide to buy your own groceries, designate and label shelves in the refrigerator and pantries to avoid late-night temptations; when your food choices are looking far less appetizing then your roommates. Using the sharing approach? Go shopping together! In the end you will most-likely use a merged method of sharing and solo-grocery shopping. When you do this, define what the shared items are so that there is zero confusion.
Woodbridge Apartments in Irvine, centrally located in the master-planned community of Woodbridge, threw a Big Western BBQ Sunday, October 26. Over 75 residents mixed and mingled while enjoying all the fix‘ins of a real western shindig including authentic BBQ, a pie eating contest and ice cream cart, games, giveaways and raffles – yeehaw!
Control your cravings with this handy-dandy Kitchen Safe. The Kitchen Safe is a time-locked container that can only be opened during pre-set times with no overrides – limit munchies, lock up video game and TV controllers, even stow cards and cash to prevent spending!
Keys are the things of the past with Lockitron. The first easy-to-install app-connected home solution that turns almost any common deadbolt into a smart keyless entry system. Instantly unlock your door for friends and neighbors, track when your children are home and even know when there is a knock at your door. Best part is that Lockitron is portable and landlord friendly.
Hard-fridge butter is no match for toast these days with Butter Up. This amazingly-awesome knife takes hard butter head on and wins by revamping the breakfast knife with a little grader combo, that transforms any solid brick of butter into a spreadable delicious treat.
Take your apartment security to the next level with iSmartAlarm, an intelligent home security system with motion sensors, infrared cameras and contact sensors, which can be all managed through a real-time app on your smartphone. The bonus is there are no monthly fees or contracts! You can secure your apartment for a onetime cost of $199.
Lose weight, stay hydrated and regulate sugar and caffeine through the Vessyl, a smart cup that automatically knows and tracks everything you drink. Don’t believe us?! Check Vessyl out for yourself.Not only is the Vessyl one of the smartest cups we have ever met but it also has a great app that updates you with real-time info – awesome!
Out with the old and in with the new was so last year! These days it’s all about saving mother earth and reducing your carbon footprint. If you’re looking to freshen up your apartment and take your decorating style to the next level, go eco-friendly.
Reduce, Recycle and Reuse
When you are looking to go eco-chic, start at the thrift shops. Thrift stores are a great place to find hidden treasures and one-of-a-kind pieces that will give your home a little originality. The perfect artwork, mirror, lamp and accents can all be found at your local thrift store for just pennies. Not love at first sight? Don’t look at a piece of furniture for what it is but view it for what it could be - with a coat of paint, creativity and a little elbow grease, you can transform any drab piece of furniture into a new work of art. “One of the greenest things you can do is opt for vintage pieces and re-imagine them in new and interesting ways.” – Sanny Seo
Craigslist, eBay and garage sales are also great places to find decorating décor.
A Pop of Color
Add a recycled pop of color to your walls by visiting your local recycling depot. Many recycling depots have a free paint exchange programs, where you can drop-off leftover paint or grab a bucket of paint for free – great for small projects!
Swap your old unwanted furniture for some new digs on the Freecycle Network.
If you are not into repurposing old furniture and are dead set on buying new pieces, many retailers offer eco-friendly décor; here are some of our favorites:
The kitchen is the center of the household and where most of the action takes place – it is the room that people gravitate to and where conversations begin. But how do you entertain in a tiny apartment, let alone cook a meal in a tiny kitchen? The thought for some can be a frightening task. The lack of space to maneuver and spread out can entice even the best of cooks to order takeout. Cooking in a tiny kitchen can have its disadvantages but according to Terri Lee, Creative Director of Great Performance, it also has its advantages,
“Learning to cook or entertain in a small space is a fantastic skill-building exercise! It forces you to be organized, stay simple and start perfecting techniques to help maximize your space,” says Lee. “Soon enough you’ll rediscover the joys of cooking.”
Just because your kitchen is tiny doesn’t mean it can’t be mighty! Here are a few helpful tips that will make your life easier while cooking:
Efficiently is key! Before you get started on your cooking adventure, plan out exactly how much food you're really going to need and only take out that amount; you'll save a lot of counter space by only taking out the essentials. If you’re really feeling wild, prep the food you are going to cook the night before, store it in Tupperware and it will be ready for you the next day; eliminating the need for a cutting board, etc., freeing up even more counter space.
Clean As You Go
No one likes a dirty kitchen, so why not clean as you cook? Cleaning as you cook will not only clear away the clutter but it will eliminate the nightly task altogether, allowing you time for some R&R.
Only The Essentials
You have to focus on functionality and not gadgetry. It's nice to have all the latest gadgets for all kinds of things you can do in the kitchen, but if you don't have the space to store them, they simply become clutter and take up valuable space. Be realistic about the things you will actually use; if you don't anticipate using your small appliances several times a week, you don't need it. Make sure that you have the basic essentials, a chef's knife, a spatula, wooden spoon, saucepan, and a fry pan. Most people can get a pretty decent meal done with just these items.
Cooking in a small kitchen can be very frustrating if you're not organized. Learning to focus on only those things that are going to be used regularly and are going to prove to be worth the investment is the secret to a smooth running kitchen. Take the advice of Gloria Dawson of Earth 911,
"An apartment dweller can't flip through cookbooks or culinary magazines without feeling inadequate. Images of spacious countertops, shelves that hold every spice imaginable and long dining room tables all strike envy in the hearts of city cooks. It's enough to make you want to call for takeout and never cook again."
Yet, with a little practice you'll soon learn that you can cook fabulous meals in the smallest of spaces without missing a beat. With careful organization and a little creative thinking you can show that size really doesn't matter when it comes to your kitchen. It may take some time to get used cooking in a small apartment kitchen, but you'll soon discover that once you apply your creativity to kitchen design there will be plenty left over to throw into you cooking.
Everyone loves a spotless apartment - when a home is clean and tidy people are happier, healthier, and more productive in their day to day lives. Even though we all love a clean apartment, it is not always easy to find the time. With work, children, friends and more, life tends to get in the way of chores and lack of motivation can come into play. This is a common problem to most of us, as stated by Andrea Atkins of Woman's Day magazine,
"You love a spotless house - but you don't want to spend the bulk of your time actually cleaning.... you can make chores easier, more effective and much less time-consuming, so you can have a tidy, sparkling home in no time flat. Even Mom would approve."
Kick-off in the Kitchen
Cleaning experts have found that starting in the kitchen and cleaning in a clockwise motion, starting on the right of the stove, is a more natural and instinctive approach to completing the job. Since the stove is usually the dirtiest area in the kitchen, cleaning it last will keep you from spreading the dirt and grease around the room as you go. Always sanitize your sink, first wash with soap and water and then spray vinegar followed by hydrogen peroxide and let dry before washing away. Wipe down your dishwasher with baking soda and run an empty cycle with Dishwasher Magic, for a deep clean. To keep your oven looking shiny and new line the interior with a non-stick overliner, this also makes cleaning the over fast and easy! Clean your garbage disposal with a cut-up lemon, ice and salt to clean it inside and out.
Next Move to the Bathrooms
Make your glass shower doors shine with lemon oil and throw your shower liners in the wash with a couple of towels to clean-off mold and mildew. To disinfect sponges lying around your bathroom, squeeze them out and then nuke them in the microwave for a minute, if they have a funky smell, toss them out. To get your toilet nice and clean, drop a teaspoon of Tang Drink Mix in the bowl and let the natural citrus acid work like little scrubbing bubbles. This is a great cleaning secret if you have pets and little children who may think that the toilet bowl is just another place to play in. It's non-toxic and does most of the work for you.
Finish with the Floors
Cleaning should always be done from top to bottom so last but definitely not least are your floors - another area that is often neglected and collects most of the dirt in your home. Whether you have carpets or hard surfaces, there is a right way to clean both. When sweeping hard flooring make sure that you use the right kind of broom for the area you're cleaning. Brooms with finer bristles work better on indoor and porous surfaces. And an outdoor broom will require stronger and stiffer bristles. Once you get the sweeping out of the way, make sure you mop to sanitize and wipe the dirt away. To keep your carpet nice and clean, vacuum once a week.
There are a variety of little tricks and secrets you can use to keep your home nice and tidy and it doesn't have to take all day to do it. One way to do this is to make cleaning a family affair - teach your kids to clean up after themselves, you are not only creating a clean and safe environment for them to live in, but also preparing them for a healthy future. According to Lifestyle.com,
"One of the best things to teach your kids from an easy age is to clean up after themselves and help with general home maintenance. This teaches children accountability and responsibility - and can help give you a much-needed break when you simply can't face doing the dusting."
Most people do not approach cleaning with relish, but if they do it right and they have happy helpers, they can find that the task can be very rewarding… and if that doesn’t work for you, just call a cleaning service!