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Falling for Fallsgrove

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Image Credit: CamdenLiving.com

Once again I was given the opportunity to help out at another Camden community for the day. This time, I spent my day at the beautiful Camden Fallsgrove, in Rockville, Maryland. Located just a short distance from I-270, I was able to easily make my way to the property in the morning. Just three main roads and an hour and a half later (I drive from Fairfax, Virginia, so rush hour traffic is no joke), I pulled up to the stone front building of the Welcome Center.

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Image Credit: CamdenLiving.com

Before my day of work started, I took the time to walk around the community. The first thing you will notice is the beautiful landscaping and well maintained grounds. This is all thanks to Choung, a maintenance technician who has proudly worked at Camden Fallsgrove for almost 10 years now. There are several areas to sit around the community, but my favorite spot is by the outdoor terraces located behind the Welcome Center and near the swimming pool.

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Say hello to Jorge!

I had the pleasure of spending my day working with Assistant Manager, Jorge. I also met with Maintenance Supervisor, Jose and Fallsgrove’s newest maintenance team member, Mitchell. These gentlemen are very passionate about their jobs, and there is a definite sense of pride when they talked about Camden. It was such a joy to converse with Jose, who is so humble, and walks around with a smile on his face throughout the day. Even the hot heat of the day could not make this guy frown.

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Image Credit: CamdenLiving.com

The apartment homes at Camden Fallsgrove are truly spectacular. After viewing the 2.2C model, I immediately fell in love and wanted to move. With the newest, modern touches, this place stands out. I love the granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Gas cooking stove top and fireplace compliment the living space. Massive bathrooms with plenty of storage space for makeup are essential for a girl like me. I was completely blown away by the gigantic walk in closets in both bedrooms. It felt like home.

Fallsgrove is also a pet friendly community. I got to meet a few little dogs during the day. As the owner of a fabulous miniature poodle, it made me feel more comfortable about considering this to be a future home. Dog stations are generously located on the grounds for convenience.

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Image Credit: CamdenLiving.com

Though I did not spend much time around the amenities, I can say that they have a great fitness center close to the office. There is a business center with computers and internet for those without. With the pool opening this Saturday, the lifeguards were busy making it spotless. I personally wouldn’t have minded taking a dip with the heat outside. The clubroom is perfect to use for any type of event.

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Image Credit: CamdenLiving.com

It was a great day, and as I look at the clock, I am sad to be leaving. I can honestly say, that I think I will back to Camden Fallsgrove, and maybe as a resident next time!

What should you do this weekend? Explore Houston!

Looking for fun things to do this weekend in Houston? Now that the weather has warmed up there are a lot of great outdoor events. Here’s a few to tempt you:

 Photo courtesy of Houston Culture Map

Photo courtesy of Houston Culture Map

 20th Annual Houston Greek Festival

Take advantage of Greek food, wine, beer, music and dancing, alongside a marketplace that features a variety of items that you just can’t find anywhere else. I’ve gone several times and can attest that the food is amazing and the shopping will keep you entertained for hours.

 

Photo courtesy of Houston Culture Map

Photo courtesy of Houston Culture Map

 Discovery Green Flea Market 

The market will feature merchants and their recycled, renewed and refreshed merchandise. Treasure hunters can also enjoy light bites and local music while strolling for unique items. Who wouldn’t want to shop in such a picturesque place as Discovery Green?

 

Photo courtesy of Houston Culture Map

Photo courtesy of Houston Culture Map

 Rice Village Food & Wine Festival

The Rice Village Alliance’s food establishments are joining together for a special food and wine festival. The event includes a shrimp and crab boil at Savory Spice Shop, paella at El Meson, tea at British Isles and more. All that food and some amazing shops just a few steps away! Nothing goes better than wine and shopping.

 

All of these events are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from our Houston Camden communities, so I encourage our residents to get out there and enjoy them. There is a lot more going on in Houston this weekend – just check out Culture Map. But these three caught my eye. Who doesn’t love food, music, and shopping?!

6 keys to success for a work life balance

6 Keys to Success: From Davina Brown, a Nationally Recognized Camden Employee

Looking for the right path to becoming a multi-millionaire? Well, we don’t have that, but we do have a few tips and tricks from a successful employee at Camden.

Davina Brown, A Nationally Recognized Camden Employee

Davina Brown, A Nationally Recognized Camden Employee

Davina Brown started with Camden in 2012. She hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped since. In addition to being a full-time, nationally recognized Leasing Consultant at Camden Bay in Tampa, Florida, she is a hard-working MBA student at St. Leo University, as well as a devoted daughter, girlfriend and brand-new Aunt! Davina has managed to balance these life tasks with dedication and ease.

Here, she is sharing the top keys to her successes so that we can all copycat.


1)Take a Hands-on Approach to Life

Opportunity is out there, but it won’t be handed to you, you have to search for it! It’s okay to rely on the support of mentors and friends, but to succeed in life you must constantly set goals for yourself and make sure that you have the tools you need to achieve those goals.


2) Always Plan your Next Move

Look at your situation right now and leverage the tools you have at hand to launch yourself to the next level of success. For instance, in 2014 Davina’s goal was to become a nationally renowned Camden Employee and she succeeded! For 2015, she is setting a new goal: becoming a Camden Mentor.

Davina Brown, a Nationally Recognized Camden Employee

Davina in action!


3) Stay Organized. Stay Organized. Stay Organized.

This isn’t easy, but it’s the only way to achieve success, especially if you are balancing work, school, and life. Davina suggests two calendars, one for work and one that is personal, with timed tasks to hold you accountable for completing each task daily.


4) Leave Work at Work.

If you take a problem at work with you to class, or you continue to stress about things at home while at the office, you will not have an easy time getting your work done and you will just add more stress to your life.


5) Take Vacations

Getting away from life for a little while is very freeing and makes you ready to dive back in to life when you return. Without this time to relax you could become burned out, which will get you nowhere.


6) Hang with the Winners.

Surround yourself with positive, supportive people who will drive you to thrive. Davina draws her love and support from her immediate family as well as from her National Camden Family who are all pulling for her to succeed.


Interested in learning more about Camden? Check out more about Camden Careers and find out how, as a Camden employee, we could assist you in achieving your success goals!

Want to learn more about setting goals and achieving success? Check out more Simply Camden posts such as How To: ACE your office meetings and Setting & Achieving your Goals.

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Easy Tip to Avoid Losing Socks: in Honor of Lost Socks Memorial Day

Everyone has an area in their home dedicated to lonely socks missing their mates. The fate of the misplaced socks is still one of the greatest mysteries of all households. Some choose to believe in Sock Heaven, others in the Sock Ness Monster. Whatever your beliefs, May 9th is Lost Socks Memorial Day, a holiday dedicated to spending a short time trying to find the absent socks, exalting in any that are recovered, and reverently discarding the matchless socks that are left behind.

Have you ever imagined a world where socks don’t go missing and your drawers are filled with happy, perfectly paired socks? That world is possible with one simple trick that my grandfather taught me. In all the years that I knew him, that man never lost a sock. Here’s how:

Safety pin your socks and they'll always be together!

Safety pin your socks and they’ll always be together!

1)  Keep a bowl of safety pins in a spot easy to access from your sock drawer.

2) As you remove your socks each night, safety pin them together before putting them in the laundry hamper.

3) The socks go through the washer and dryer securely pinned to each other and then make it safely into your sock drawer.

4) When you are ready to don a pair of the pinned socks, simply remove the safety pin and place it in the bowl then start the whole process over!

It’s that simple! Begin this easy process and you will start seeing your pile of forlorn single socks disappear.

Interested in more laundry tips? Check out these posts from Simply Camden:Shirts, Jeans and Socks, When Will it Ever End? and Preserve Your Clothes.

Our Culture is about the People

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I’m frequently asked “What makes Camden a great place to work?” and I always say the same thing. It’s the people. Camden employees are committed to making Camden a fun place to work. Thirty years ago when Ric and I started the company we didn’t say that we wanted to build a Fortune’s Great Places to Work© for company, but that we wanted to create a great workplace and that starts with the people we recruit. We made a conscious effort to create a workplace that’s fun. Honestly, a fun workplace is outside the realm of most people’s work experience. It’s important to us to find people who get the culture we were looking for and understand that helping to build that culture is an expectation. Those are the creative and energetic people that would carry the torch and help our culture thrive.

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It’s also important to have a work environment that supports those efforts. When we built our new offices in 11 Greenway Plaza it was important to have numerous open spaces while still allowing the employees enough privacy to get their work done. We looked at the use of color, art, and materials to support the idea that our workspace is the foundation for the fun, open culture we have at Camden. Our offices truly capture the personality of our company and its employees. The Camden staircases are open, colorful and connect all our floors and people to each other. There’s no need to go into a stale, ugly stairwell to get to another floor. Both the culture and the physical environment contribute to our employees’ productivity.
Creating Camden as a great workplace has been a labor of love and has allowed us to grow our business without losing the culture which makes Camden unique. We are constantly looking for amazing people that can help carry on our traditions – and start new ones.

For more reasons your workplace is so important, check out this video.

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Should you get a Roommate?

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Roommates. Can’t live with them. Can’t live without them. There are many pros and cons to getting a roommate. Let’s take a look at just a few:

PROS:

  • Save money! In many instances it is definitely cheaper to split rent for a two bedroom than it is to pay for a one bedroom on your own.
  • Divide up the chores! Who wants to have to clean an apartment all by themselves? Having a roommate helps because you can split up the work.
  • You won’t be lonely! It’s nice having someone else in the house to hang out with.

CONS:

  • Lack of privacy! Living with someone else definitely means you can’t wander around the house in your underwear.
  • Less quiet! People make noises, some louder than others, and you’d have to get used to the weird noises your roommate might make.
  • They could be messy! While a roommate will help you clean, they will also help you make a mess and you’ll have to be okay with other people’s messes.

So, now that you’ve read them do you know if you are you ready to live with a roommate? Take our quiz and find out! No matter what you choose, a one bedroom for just you or a two bedroom for you and a roomie, Camden has apartments for rent to meet your lifestyle!  Read more about getting along with your roommate here.

Elevate Your Space

After being approved for your dream apartment, scheduling your movers, and packing your closet, the planning begins. Like most of us, we are most concerned with making our things fit into the space allotted. My favorite tips below can help you elevate your space and experience living excellence!

  • My most favorite purchase of all is my cabinet shelves! Even in the biggest apartment, we still manage to have more “stuff” then we have room for. Cabinet shelves allow you to organize and put more into a smaller space. You can organize your spices, or even get your bowls and plates in one shelf, leaving more space for pots and pans. Check out Ikea for the best priced cabinet shelves around.
  • Have a pet? Where do you manage to put their food, keep it fresh, and keep from smelling it? Purchasing a Vittle Vault Pet Food Container has been the best investment yet! It can fit conveniently in a drawer and never seen or smelt. Definitely a must for dog or cat lovers! And did you know our Camden communities are pet friendly?
  • Last but not least, have any items that need to be stored and don’t have the closet space? May I recommend an adorable box that you can adorn on your built-in bookshelf? Feel free to fill up the box with all of your excess items and then place it on a shelf! Super-efficient and super clean!

Whether you are new to renting or a home owner downsizing, anyone can make the most of their space. I hope these tips help you to elevate your space!

These shelves will change the way you view organization.

These shelves will change the way you view organization.

See the shelf in action

See the shelf in action

My Vittle Vault conveniently stored in my bottom kitchen drawer.

My Vittle Vault conveniently stored in my bottom kitchen drawer.

You would never know that inside this box is mail and junk.

You would never know that inside this box is mail and junk.

How to survive owning a Cat

Image courtesy of funzypic.com

Image courtesy of funzypic.com

 

Owning a cat can be a lovely and rewarding experience – they cuddle, purr, and show lots of love. Unfortunately, cats can also be destructive. I’ve written a few tips and tricks based on my extensive cat knowledge and general obsession with cats.

No Fringe, No Way

If you’ve ever owned a cat then you already know – fringe is a very bad idea. Whether it’s on rugs, clothes hanging in the closet, or a lampshade, your cat cannot resist the urge to decimate it. Cats, for some reason, see fringe and think prey. I’ve never met a cat who didn’t want to chew on some fringe. So, if a cat is in your future, make sure that fringe is not.

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Window Blinds can be your best friend or worst enemy

Cats like to look out windows – it’s just who they are. If you were cooped up all day, wouldn’t you want to look at something other than the tan sofa? And yet, somehow we are surprised when the cat in our life destroys the window blinds trying to watch their own version of kitty cat cartoons.

My problem solving technique is to always have my blinds raised at least two feet. I’m sure my neighbors think it’s odd, but my cat can always jump in the window without irreversibly bending my blinds.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Water, water everywhere

It’s rare, but a lot of cats like water and my cat is one of them. I have learned that I absolutely cannot leave a cup of water out or my cat will have his head or paw in it. If he’s desperate enough, he’ll tip the whole thing over.

I have now collected a million cups with lids or I just drink out of water bottles.

All of this has made cats sound like little terrors – and they are. But they also cuddle and purr and are totally worth it. At Camden, we proudly accept cats at all of our communities – check with your community to get more details!

So, if you want to keep your cat out of trouble and busy with something you made out of love – check this out!

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Love the Wine You’re With: A Community Event

Last night, Camden Fairfax Corner hosted a fun, interactive, and educational event about wine. Two wine enthusiasts, Jayme and Lauren, visited the property in hopes to share their knowledge of wine and food with our residents. Both full time teachers and part time employees at a local vineyard, these two ladies were able to give the experience of a professional wine tasting on a teacher’s budget.

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Approximately 50 residents attended this event, and some with their personal wine glasses in tow. With the assistance of our leasing staff, we were able to create the atmosphere and present an event that can cost up to $30 at a vineyard. Our event was free for all residents and their guests.

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The evening started with a glass of Riesling. The wine was paired with a wheat cracker topped with gruyere cheese and a slice of granny smith apple. Second, a glass of Pino Grigio and a mini caprese kabob of cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic reduction were passed out. Moving on to reds, a Pinot Noir served with brie and raspberry jam on top of a butter cracker. Finally, we wrapped up with a Cabernet Sauvignon, and enjoyed a rosemary cracker topped with goat cheese and sun dried tomato.

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Residents also enjoyed chocolate and port wine brownies as well as peach sangria.

Sangria Recipe:

  • 1 bottle of Moscato 1.5 liters
  • 1 cup peach schnapps
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries

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The night was so special and it was great to see our community get together all in the name of wine.

Getting a Pet – Are you Ready?

Everyone loves animals – that’s a given. But are you ready to own a pet? Take this quiz to find out!

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So, now that the quiz has given you some insight into whether or not you are ready to own a pet, here’s some more information to consider.

Do you have time?

Dogs require walking, play time and training. Do you have time to run home to walk your dog and pick up after it? Do you have time for play sessions and training? Dogs require a lot of time and patience. Imagine a toddler who is dependent on you and constantly makes the same mistakes over and over again. That’s a dog. On the other side, a dog can bring great joy and fulfillment to your life – not to mention some great companionship.

Cats require a lot of patience and effort. Are you ready to start scooping a cat box every few days? Do you have time to cuddle, play, or pick up after the mess your cat will make? Cats might be easier to care for than dogs, but they definitely still take some effort. That being said, there is nothing better than holding a purring cat.

Do you have money?

Pets are expensive and I think that’s what people tend to forget. Food, treats, toys, cat litter can all eat up a portion of your monthly budget. Also, keep in mind you’ll need to plan for vaccinations and the occasional emergency. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons and sometimes you’ll find that the expense is totally worth it.

Owning a pet isn’t an easy decision, but when you are ready you’ll realize it’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Camden is a pet friendly company and the majority of our communities accept cats and dogs. Check with your local community to find out their pet policy!