Dealing with a Difficult Roommate

Don’t Hate Your Roommate, Work It Out

I’m sure you are already rolling your eyes since “working it out” with a difficult roommate can be tough work.  However, in most cases, it’s easier to work things out than to end things on a sour note.  Here’s some of our advice for getting through your lease with your difficult roommate. Continue reading

Apartment Plants…That You Won’t Kill!

Something that many apartment dwellers don’t incorporate into the décor for their new homes are plants! Some people intentionally leave them out for fear that they won’t be able to keep plants alive. Others just don’t even consider the benefits of having an apartment plant. Plants can do wonders for small spaces! They add a bit of beauty to your space, and they even help with your indoor air quality.

Here are 5 of the most neglect-proof plants that will survive your apartment…as long as you give them just a little bit of water, sunlight and, occasionally, some extra love!

bonsaiBonsai

These are great little plants that not only serve as a source of greenery in your home but also as living artwork! The delicate art of trimming a bonsai tree can be witnessed with Mr. Miyagi in “Karate Kid”, when he’s not forcing Daniel to scrub the deck and wash the cars. Trimming the bonsai can also help as a form of meditation. They aren’t too finicky…just water them a bit each time the soil is nearly dry.

Jade_PlantJade Plant

Also called a “friendship” or “money tree” (see, money can grow on trees), a jade plant is one of the most common household plants. If given the right conditions, perfect water, trimming and light, you could see white or pink little flowers each spring! And, this is a succulent. That means this plant needs just a little water in the summer and even less in winter. This is a plant that can be killed by overwatering and will survive if you forget water for up to a few weeks!

Snake_Plant_(Sansevieria_trifasciata_'Laurentii')_1Snake Plant

There’s a chance you’ve seen a snake plant in someone’s home…even in your own home growing up or someone else’s apartment. The snake plant is an essential apartment plant because it doesn’t need a lot of light and it rarely needs water. Again, we have a succulent that can survive long periods with little H2O. You actually need to let the soil dry out between watering!

peace lilyPeace Lily

This beautiful house plant grows best in…wait for it… indirect sunlight! It can be anywhere in the apartment as long as sunlight is coming into the room from somewhere. It doesn’t want to be on a windowsill. And, this plant thrives on once a week watering. The soil, like a snake plant, needs to be dry before watering again.

cactusCactus

Listen…if you manage to kill a cactus, there might not be any hope for you. Here’s a plant that needs a drop of water once a month. In fact, it needs water so infrequently, that it might be easy to forget to water it all together. You might miss a month…but don’t go two or three. The trick in the winter here in Wisconsin is to keep it away from cold windows. These prickly little plants make for great conversation starters…but watch your pets around them.

There are plenty of plants out there to bring home and care for. We stuck with the easiest in case this is your first time with attempting to keep a plant alive and well. If you’re a green thumb, share your thoughts on great apartment plants!

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Getting Back to the Books!

StudyingNo one is quite sure where the phrase “Hitting the Books” came from, although many would like to physically harm their books once the semester is officially underway (especially during exam week)!  It more than likely came from the term “Hitting the Trail” when cowboys used it as they headed out for a journey. We know that getting back to the grind of school and studying can be a difficult journey in and of itself, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you get back to it! Continue reading

Eating Well Without Breaking the Bank in College…It’s Possible!

You might think you don’t have the time to have a healthy meal because of all the classes, and studying…and partying. You might think that eating healthy food is too expensive or too complicated with all of the fad diets on the market.  But now that you have have your own kitchen in your apartment, there’s no need to waste your money on Junk food, eating out, or fast food in-between classes (although the food carts are kinda sweet, right?). You don’t have to eat gluten-free, all-organic, gourmet home cooking in order to ditch the junk and eat a little better.  Here are a few simple ways to eat a little bit healthier without breaking the bank.

Healthy Snacks

Eating-Healthy-College

Some of our favorite snacks are peanut butter/banana rice cakes and avocado toast.  We like these snacks for for three reasons.  First, these snacks are super easy to make. Second, they are inexpensive products to buy, and third, the protein and carbs will work well together to tide you over longer. Put them in a container, bring them with you, and eat them between classes. Granola bars, mixed nuts, fruit, or even un-buttered popcorn are healthy snacks as well!

We got some of these ideas from an article in BuzzFeed. You can check it out here.

Healthy Lunch

For lunch on the go, sandwiches or salads are always an easy option! It’s OK to eat one 5 avocadodays a week if you choose your ingredients healthfully. Making a different type of sandwich every day is a great way to keep a routine without getting bored of what you eat (unless you like eating PB and J every day)! We recommend ditching the white bread and choosing wheat or 7-grain. Get different kinds of meat at the deli counter, making sure to just get a few slices of each. If you are vegetarian, we recommend hummus as a protein packed sandwich-stuffer.  Salad is another easy lunch option.  Grab some dark leafy greens, and top them with a healthy protein like eggs or chicken, and add a little bit of healthy fat like avocado or walnuts.  Finish your salad by tossing in your favorite dressing, and you’re all set!   Stick with a bottled water, or better yet, get a reusable bottle and fill it with water! Grab a fruit like a banana, apple or orange to go with your lunch, and you’ve got yourself a filling meal.

Healthy Dinner

One of the things to remember is that dinner doesn’t have to be your heaviest meal of the day. Going to bed with a full stomach isn’t really ideal. One rule of thumb is that you can never have too many veggies.  Make vegetables the “main dish” and supplement them with smaller portions of meat and carbs.  Your healthy dinner shopping list might include chicken breasts, some kind of fish, or tofu.  Avoid processed meats, frozen meals, and preservatives when you can.  For your starchy side, sweet potatoes are a great option.  Forget the white rice, switch to brown rise or even quinoa. Keep your portions reasonable.  For example, you don’t need to stuff yourself with two chicken breasts. You can cook two and save one for the next day’s lunch or dinner!

You might be wondering about breakfast. We will make this easy. Some of our favorite breakfast items are Yogurt with blueberries and granola or a veggie scrambler with toast.  Adding protein into your breakfast will give you the perfect boost you need to kick off your day on a good note. You know what they say: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And drink water throughout the day!

Balance and moderation are the key.  You don’t have to give up your favorite foods to eat conscientiously.  Plan ahead so you can go shopping each weekend in small batches rather than spending hundreds on one huge shopping experience each month. See, it’s not that difficult to keep healthy habits living on your own! And, you know what? On Sunday, go ahead and splurge!

Apartment Neighbors and Noise

Something everyone has to deal with, unless you live on a farm or in a cabin in the woods, is neighbors. Those of us who live in apartments quickly get to know quite a bit about neighbors; we know when they get home, when they get up, when they are cooking, when they are watching TV, slamming cupboards, doing laundry, having friends over, etc. They also know the same things us, so remember that. Here are a few things you can do to help limit hear and/or being the culprit of apartment neighbor noise. Continue reading

Budgeting For Your Apartment

For-rent-sign

You are out of the house, out of the dorms and officially “on your own” in an apartment! It’s a great day to be alive! And now comes the reality of renting an apartment…and really, the reality of life in general: money is a necessity. If you don’t put together a budget for the apartment, you could find yourself heading back to mom and dad’s and the tiny room you grew-up in. Sure, you love that room full of memories, but let’s stick together on this and get you into the grown-up world! Continue reading

The Apartment Checklist

Whether you are moving into your first apartment or you are an “old pro” making yet another move to yet another apartment just down the street, using checklist to help your move go smoothly is a must! You can use a checklist to make sure you have just what you need, organize what you still want to get, and make sure you’re on the same page as your roommates about who is bringing what. Continue reading

Getting Ready to Move

Madison-Move-OutWe are a few short weeks away from the annual “Downtown Moving Day”, and if you aren’t getting ready yet, you should start now. Preparation saves you time, will save you money and will save you lots of frustration. Let’s avoid the stress from moving with a few tips and shortcuts. Continue reading

Moving Back With Parents From Your Apartment

moving-homeMillennials moving back home with their parents isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.  The number of adults who move back in with their folks has increased since 2008; in 2015, one in four adults aged 18-34 moved back home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 6.3 million adults age 18 to 24 lived at home in 1960. This number more than doubled to almost 15 million young adults moving in with their parents in 2008. People aren’t just moving home for economic reasons, by the way. Recent studies show that millennials feel a stronger bond with their parents than previous generations, and they actually want to spend time with their immediate families. If you’re considering moving back in with dear old Mom and Dad, here are a few things to consider before packing your bags: Continue reading

Having a “Grown-Up” Apartment

apartment-organizationNow that you’ve grown up, your apartment needs to suit you. You do not live in a dorm room anymore and you aren’t sharing rooms with several other friends.  There’s no need for a mini-fridge in your room or common area, no need for a white board on the wall to detail tasks and no need for lofts (unless you are utilizing space in a smaller apartment). It’s time to have a “grown-up” apartment. Continue reading