Friday, February 28, 2014

Get Your Move On The Hassle-Free Way

(Image courtesy of movingcompanies)

It’s almost that time to start meeting our new residents and we couldn’t be more excited! Though moving in to a brand new apartment community can be exciting, there’s no denying that relocating can be a little bit of a hassle even under the best of circumstances. Though there are a few unavoidable difficulties that need to be faced, there are quite a few tips that can make your moving process as seamless as possible.

Proper preparation before your move can make all the difference in the world when determining how stressful your new-apartment chores will be. Follow these 10 tips courtesy of to make your transisition to live at Montecito as quick and easy as possible!

End well at your old place

1. Add any last-minute items you have to your Priority Box, including medications, toiletries, cell phone charger and cleaning supplies. Prepare a cooler of food and refreshments for everyone. If it’s going to be a hot day, pack extra drinks!

2. Look after all your living charges, whether that means your kids, plants, cat or dog, or your pet guppy. Make sure that any sitters, playdates, meals or special transport you’ve arranged go smoothly so you can focus on the move knowing that those in your care are safe and content.

3. Next, take care of your old apartment. Deal with any last-minute cleaning needed to prepare for your landlord’s walk-through inspection, disconnect and prepare appliances you plan to take, and leave the place free of trash.

4. Remember that you shouldn’t lose any security deposit money for normal wear and tear, but if your old apartment has been damaged, a landlord may deduct repair costs. You and your landlord should resolve these issues clearly during the walk-through. Remember to lock up, turn over your keys and leave a forwarding address.

5. After you pick up your truck or your movers arrive, be sure the truck is parked legally and that there’s plenty of space between the truck ramp and nearby cars. Ensure that movers, whether professional or just friends, know which boxes and items are fragile so extra care can be taken. The truck should be snugly packed so items don’t shift in transport.

Transition time

6. Before moving in, perform a walk-through with your new landlord. Make sure electricity and other utilities are working. Clarify which stairs or elevators are available for the move and any other ground rules you’re expected to follow while moving in.

7. Coordinate your crew. Be sure everyone helping out has maps and necessary cell phone numbers, and that you know where to get the key and park the truck before you arrive.

8. Whether you rented a truck or hired movers, check for any damage to the truck or contents that occurred en route and make note of these.

Moving in: easy does it!

9. Have your movers place boxes and furniture directly into the correct rooms. This will save time and effort over the next week or two as you unpack. Be sure the priority box is front and center, where you have easy access.

10. Don’t sweat it after this. Share a tasty takeout meal with your friends, or pay and thank your professional movers. Then, get an early night. The fun of moving in has just begun, and you’ll need to wake up refreshed tomorrow!

Friday, February 21, 2014

DIY Apartment Pick Me Up

(Image courtesy of

Wherever you live, little projects will crop up that are not big enough to call your landlord (or property manager) to handle. In these situations, there has to be some way to take care of the stain in your carpet or the nail holes that you can’t cover up.

Rather than simply learning to live with these non-emergency issues it could be worth your while to learn to trouble-shoot these problems on your own. This article from will equip you with some DIY solutions to some more common apartment problems. Keep reading to learn more:

Stained bathtub: Real Simple recommends a concoction of cream of tartar, baking soda and lemon juice to remove stains from porcelain. Better yet, this method is less toxic and less expensive than abrasive store-bought cleaning products.

Drafty windows:
Cranking up the heat is not the best way to compensate for old windows. Buy weather stripping or plastic for your windows and plug up any holes that are letting cold air in. This will not only make your place warmer, but should also help decrease your energy bill.

Slow drain: If you don’t have a drain snake handy, BuzzFeed recommends pouring a cup of baking soda, followed by a cup of vinegar, down the drain. Then run the hot water to create a gunk-fighting foam.

Slamming door: Another Real Simple solution, use foam weather stripping or a rubber band to decrease the noise.

Ugly nail holes: If the former tenants didn’t do a good job of spackling where their pictures used to hang, buy some yourself, let it dry, then go over it with a damp sponge. This Old House says this method is damage and dust free.

Grimy showerhead: The website Household Hackers is full of quick fix ideas. For a showerhead, fill a plastic bag with vinegar and let it soak for 15 minutes.

Dull sink fixtures: Readers Digest offers up all sorts of uses for toothpaste, including shining up faucets, cleaning the bathroom sink, and removing crayon from walls.

Rusty cast iron pans: Cut a potato in half and cover the flat end in salt, then use it to scrub your pan. Get the full details at

Squeaky floor: HGTV says sprinkling baby powder or baking soda onto the squeaky joint will lubricate the wood and keep the floorboards from rubbing against each other, which is what causes the noise.

Friday, February 14, 2014


(Image courtesy of Fevi in Pictures)

Here at Montecito at Dos Lagos we’re excited to be close to not only one, but TWO golf courses! Golf is a great way to relax, enjoy time with friends and get outside and get active. Though golf is a sport with a dedicated following, the expected behaviors on a golf course are much different than those you would see on a football field, baseball diamond or other sport arena.

You don’t have to let the expected behavior deter you from playing a few holes! This article from reminds us of a few simple tips to keep in mind to stay courteous to the course and to other golfers. Keep reading for a quick refresher on how to keep the P’s and Q’s in your putts.

1) Always try to respect the day's tee areas. Courses put markers on the tee boxes for reasons, usually as a means of rotation to stimulate healthy grass growth.

2) Always attempt to repair the divots you take on the fairways and tee areas. If the divot is clean, pick up the clump of grass and replace it. If not, use the mixture provided by many courses - on the tee boxes, and in the carts (if you are driving).

3) Always repair your ball marks on the green. Be sure to have a repair tool in your pocket (although a tee will also do). If unsure of the correct procedure - ask someone. You can do more harm than good if you dig up the roots! A good rule: Repair your mark and one other - to make up for those that do not know any better, or simple don't care. And pick up your feet - soft spikes or not!

4) Always rake the sand bunkers after you hit out of them. If a rake is not readily available, use your club to smooth the surface.

5) Always be aware of those around you. Your conversations or expressions of joy or disgust can disrupt the concentration of other players - especially in areas with parallel holes, or when the greens and tee boxes are in close proximity.

6) Always be aware of the group in front of and behind you. Do not be a source of SLOW PLAY.

Some tips here:
  • Have at least one person spot your tee shot, so that errant shots are easier to find.
  • If there is a hole or so open in front of you, and the group behind you is constantly waiting for your group, either let them play through, or speed up your play. If this is the case, do not look for lost balls or badly errant shots…take your drop and play on. You are not on the PGA Tour! If beginners are in your group, have plenty of balls, and let them take "free drops" instead of constantly looking for lost (or possibly lost) balls.
  • Singles and doubles playing on a busy course cannot always expect to play through. If the course is jammed, it may be better to pair up with other singles or doubles - or just take your time and enjoy the day. Certainly, if the course is not overly busy, letting smaller or faster groups play through is the right thing to do.
7) If driving a cart, stay away from the greens, and do not approach tee boxes until the group in front has teed off. Obey the day's rules (ie 90 degrees) and know that if it is "cart path only" - there is probably good reason.
8) Do not allow alcohol to interfere with correct etiquette. The golf course is no place to get drunk! Drink in moderation if at all, or save it for the nineteenth hole!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Get Ready, Foodies!

(Image courtesy of anitakhart)

On those nights when cooking feels like too much of a hassle, it’s nice to go out and enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant - no cooking, no cleaning just enjoying great food with great company. Though we all have our go-to places for a quick meal, wouldn’t it be nice to spice things up a little bit?

Rather than subscribing to the same old menu day-in and day-out, spice up your dining routine with a little something different. We’re not saying to go out and try live squid for dinner tonight - unless you want to- but it could be fun to get a little more adventurous This article from lists a few of the best dining experiences and flavors to make your inner foodie’s mouth water. Keep reading to learn more about what to do on your next night out.

Tableside Service

Who doesn’t love sitting at a Hibachi table? Between the fun hats and the daring tableside chefs, it turns eating out into an event. Tableside serving in 2014 will become even more daring and, as points out; some restaurants have already begun exploring this new trend in a majorly unique way.

Sweet Veggies

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Dietitian and Huffington Post contributor Dawn Jackson Blatner attended the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo and found that, although it may sound odd, this is, indeed, going to be a healthy food trend in 2014. Companies are going to try and sneak veggies into our diet, such as Green Plate Foods’ Zucchini chocolate-chip cookies, which reportedly taste and look identical to the ones your mom makes. Garden Lites now has a line of veggie muffins, which have half the sugar and calories and five times the fiber as traditional muffins. Finally – a muffin that won’t give us a muffin top!

Munchie Mashups

These are food items that combine two (or more!) tasty items to create a unique culinary creation. People love their portmanteau, especially when naming their fave celeb couples (remember “Bennifer”?), so it’s not a big surprise this trend has crossed over into the food world. Think treats like the now infamous “cronut” (donut and a croissant) or a “duffin” (donut and a muffin).

Restaurants in Retail Stores

If you’re like us, you’ve been scratching your heads at the non-food items that keep popping up in grocery stores. In 2014, just the opposite will supposedly become a “thing.” According to the Baum & Whiteman report (via Fox News), the trend in the New Year will be brand-themed restaurants inside retail stores.

Food Halls

Food courts had their time and place in our teen years, as they were a great place to meet up with friends for a soda and a slice of pizza. But what about when we hit adulthood and our preferences lean towards the more sophisticated? 2014 will apparently cater to this, as there will be a new trend called food halls. Word is they will carry artisanal food from local, high-end restaurants and, although they will be more expensive than traditional food courts, many will appreciate the finer fare.
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