Should-I-Rent-Or-Lease-An-Apartment-Accountants

Reasons Why You Should Rent Instead of Buy

Should-I-Rent-Or-Lease-An-Apartment-Accountants

Have you looked around lately?  I have. And you know what I see? Tons of apartment communities being built. Camden itself is bursting with new construction in places like Los Angeles and Texas. It’s a renter’s paradise out there and apartments are becoming the way of the future.

It can be said that most of the population, at some point, wants to own their own home. I mean it is the American Dream, right? Mowing the lawn on Saturdays, picking out a new color for the front door, watching your dog run free in the back yard. There is also this enormous sense of pride and it’s a great investment in the majority of cases. But hold the phone…since when was that the only American Dream?  Can’t renting just be another version of it? As a matter of fact, there are beau coups of perks to renting over buying.

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How to make Fabric Panels that fill a large wall

Easy DIY Wall Décor

Although my blog, Wear + When, typically focuses on fashion, I have also always had a passion for interior decorating. Luckily for me, my husband has pretty much let me have full reign on this matter in our homes. We have lived in our current house for almost two years, and I have enjoyed every minute of decorating it!

One of the biggest challenges I think I face when decorating homes is what to do with large amounts of wall space. I love photos, but it seems like a bit much to do a photo collage on every large wall in my home. When it comes to artwork, I have a hard time finding a piece I love enough to spend the money on it, not to mention it would also have to be the appropriate size.

When we were still living in our old house, I discovered the best (and easiest) little DIY trick to dress up large

DIY Wall Decor

Large Fabric Panel to fill some extra wall space!

walls- I call them High Fashion Fabric Panels. This project was definitely a good Pinterest find!

Here’s everything you need to make your own Fabric Panel:

  • Plywood cut into the size and shape you want (for this project I used two pieces and they just happened to already be the size I needed).
  • Interior fabric of your choice (amount will depend on the size and number of pieces you are making)
  • A staple gun
  • A wall picture hanging wire kit

Once you have your materials, the project is simple! Here’s how to create your custom Fabric Panels:

DIY Wall decor

Attach fabric to back of plywood with a staple gun and hang with a wire picture hanging kit.

1) Just wrap your fabric around the piece of plywood and fold the edges around to the backside of the plywood

2) Using a staple gun, fasten the fabric to the wood.

TIP: Make sure to pull the fabric tight enough from every side before stapling it down, so that it doesn’t ripple anywhere on the front side. You may need a buddy!

3) Once you have your fabric completely attached to the plywood, all you need to do now is attach picture hanging wire to the backside and hang on your wall!

DIY Wall Decor

The final result! These two panels frame the media center nicely and fill large wall space.

I chose to do two pieces to frame our media stand in our family room, however, this project is so versatile that you could add it to any room in an apartment or even in an outdoor space. Living in Houston, TX, I got this fabric from High Fashion Home. I love their selection of fabrics because they are nice, high quality fabrics and have plenty of modern choices. I love to decorate with neutral colors, (most of our house is gray/taupe with some black thrown in) so I wanted to stick with the same color palette when choosing the fabric. I did want something with an eye-catching pattern though to create a little more visual interest around what would have otherwise been a very plain wall.

Xo,
Loren

About Loren: Loren is a recent addition to our guest bloggers at Simply Camden! She is a fashion blogger with a keen eye for home decor. She lives in Houston, TX with her husband and daughter and her two fur babies. Read more of her Bio here.

Orange County’s Best Beaches

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, Orange County has some of the best beaches, known as the “Orange Coast’. The beach actually stretches 42 miles ranging from broad sand beaches to cove beaches to tide pool areas.  Each beach has something different to offer, whether you want to swim, surf, skim board, or just relax in the beautiful California weather.

Photo by JT Steves

Photo by JT Steves

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is one of the most popular beaches and the most vibrant; it is known as “Surf City”.  The beach is over 8 miles long, popular for swimming & surfing and has a bike path for bikers, skaters, & walkers. Huntington is also known for the Pier, Main Street, which has great restaurants & shops, the U.S. Open of Surfing and the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament.

Newport Beach

Newport Beach was recently named Orange County’s Best Beach by the O.C. Weekly. The wide beach is great for the serious surfer or just the beach goer and has a bike path also. The two piers, Newport and Balboa, are both landmarks for Newport and have restaurants, shops, and a “Fun Zone” with games and rides. Newport Beach has activities for everyone; enjoying the beautiful beach, renting an electric boat, shopping, dining, harbor cruises, and much more!

Photo by 101thingstodosw.com

Photo by 101thingstodosw.com

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is considered the most picturesque beach city; it has been compared with the French Riviera. There is a large beach right downtown with volleyball nets and many restaurants surrounding the beach. Along with the beautiful beach, Laguna is known for the Arts, and host the Sawdust Festival & Pageant of the Masters every year.

Photo by Anne Ackemann

Photo by Anne Ackemann

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Thrift Store Home Décor Tips

Thrift Store Home Décor

In my years of apartment living, I have often found decorating challenging. My fears of putting holes in the walls and my thrifty nature have held me back from buying décor pieces that are large or heavy. So, I looked for some creative, inspiring ways to decorate my home collage-style without putting enormous holes in my wall or bank account. I decorated my entire home from two stores: the thrift store and the craft store. Here are a few tips and tricks that I discovered.

Dining Room Collage Using Pieces Found at a Thrift Store

Open your mind up to using unique pieces on your walls.

1) Open your mind up to using unique pieces on your walls.

I found these vintage chafing dishes at my local thrift store and decided to use them on my dining room wall. I used some wire and gorilla hooks (if you’ve never used these, find out more about these versatile wall savers here) from the craft store to hang them in a collage along with a mirrored frame and handsome fish portrait that I also found in the thrift store. The result is a vintage-inspired look that has a cool 3D element.

Knick Knacks on a Shelf Using Pieces Found at a Thrift Store

Embrace knick-knacks

Knick Knacks on a Shelf Using Pieces Found at a Thrift Store

Several small pieces work together to fill a large space!

2) Embrace knick-knacks

Several small pieces can work together to fill a large space! For the large area above my fireplace I found a small set of shelves and tiny tchotchkes at the thrift store and arranged them in the center of this space. Then, I bought wood letters and white paint at the craft store to fill the excess space. The shelf is hung with small picture frame nails and the letters are on the wall using sticky tack.

Wall Art Using Pieces Found at a Thrift Store

If all else fails, stick to your favorite colors!

3) If all else fails, stick to your favorite colors!

I love being surrounded by calming green tones and I usually gravitate toward sage and moss colors in all my decorating. Whenever I see something in that color family that I like, I usually nab it and assume it’s going to work with something in my home. These three pieces I found at two different thrift stores and they match perfectly with the soft green embroidery in my curtains and bedspread. They are hung with small picture frame nails.

Now, try some of these tips in your Camden apartment just in time for spring!

4 Tips to Stay Healthier at Work

Courtesy of Google

Image Courtesy of http://www.muffinchanel.com

Stay Hydrated

Courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of http://www.wesannac.com

Staying hydrated throughout the day is very important and yet easily forgotten. It is recommended to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated throughout the day can help keep up your energy, and helps reduce headaches. Some ways that help me keep up with drinking my eight glasses of water throughout the day is drinking it out of my tumbler or adding lemon, cucumber, and berries to my water.

Meal Prep

Always wondering what you will be eating for lunch while you’re at work can be stressful and usually ends in eating something not very healthy for you. Meal prepping is a great way to avoid eating the bad things as well as saving some money in your pocket. For me Sunday is my meal prepping day. I go to the grocery store, and prep my meals for the week then repeat every Sunday. By planning your meals ahead of time you’ll find it is easier to stay on track.

Keeping Track of Yourself

Courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of http://www.jessicasays.com

With so many different workout devices to help you keep track of your progress, it’s easier now than ever to keep yourself accountable. There are several different devices that you can find; my personal favorites are Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband. But any kind of devices similar to these will work just fine. These devices you wear and they keep track of how many steps you walk throughout the day, how many calories you have burned and you can enter what you have eaten throughout the day in the app that you download to your phone which syncs with the device. There are also some really awesome apps to help track your progress if you dont want to use the ones that come with the devices. I personally use Map My Run and My Fitness Pal.

Staying Active

Courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of http://www.wesannac.com

Trying to fit a workout in your busy work schedule can seem impossible. But I have found if you dedicate working out for one month it will seem like an everyday routine instead of something you have to fit into doing. You will feel better, healthier, and happier once you get yourself into a good workout routine! Don’t forget the Camden Apartments have awesome gyms!

Courtesy of samicone.com

This Weekend’s Fun is on Bank of America!

Looking for something to do this weekend? How about a fun-filled day of arts and culture at your local museum? Well look no further than the Bank of America card in your pocket!

Bank of America has a unique program for their debit card and credit card customers called Museums on Us®. On the first weekend of every month, any Bank of America card holder can get into over 150 participating museums in the nation for free! All you need to do is show your Bank of America credit card or debit card and your ID at the ticket window and you will get a ticket for admission that day. It’s that easy!

My sister facing off a dinosaur!

My sister facing off a dinosaur!

I have taken advantage of this distinctive perk at science museums, art museums and even the zoo in my hometowns of Houston and Dallas. I actually get excited when the first weekend of the month turns out to be a rainy one because I know that if my plans fail, I can always wander into the museum and have an enlightening day. I’m even signed up for text alerts so that I’m reminded before the first weekend!

Goofing off and learning at the same time- for free!

Goofing off and learning at the same time- for free!

The best news? There is at least one participating museum in every city with a Camden community so Camden residents who are Bank of America customers can start enjoying Museums on Us® this weekend!

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IKEA: How I Utilized the Hemnes Collection in My New Apartment Home!

ikea-logo

Ikea logo from IKEA.com

We’ve all moved at some point in our lives. Let’s be honest, moving is not fun. I will say, however, that when it comes to buying things for your new apartment (or house), you can make moving enjoyable. Where do I buy most of my home furniture? IKEA! As you may (or may not) have assumed by reading my previous blog posts, I kind of have an obsession with IKEA. I like it because it is affordable and because there are different collections for different levels of taste. Not everyone loves the super modern, clean white furniture. They offer a more timeless, classic collection called Hemnes for those who want something that will not go out of style in a year. At my place, this is what we have.

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A solar eclipse will look like there is a ring of fire around the sun. Cool! 
Photo courtesy of Reuters

Total Eclipse of the (UK’s) Heart

A solar eclipse will look like there is a ring of fire around the sun. Cool!  Photo courtesy of Reuters

A solar eclipse will look like there is a ring of fire around the sun. Cool!
Photo courtesy of Reuters

I have good news and I have bad news. Tomorrow is going to be a super-freaky astronomical day. It is (finally) the vernal equinox, the official start of spring; there is a Supermoon Continue reading

eastervalleyguide.com

Easter Bunny Is Coming to Town! Whose Got Their Eggs Ready?

easter

Spring is in the air, the flowers are blooming, and the sun is shining! Spring time is one of my favorite times of the year. We get to begin enjoying the outdoors again and we are blessed with the warm sun rays on our bodies as we come out of the winter hibernation. Another great thing about spring time is we get a visit from our favorite floppy earned friend! That’s right…. Easter Bunny is coming to town! It is time to get into festive mode as we plan and prepare for a fun spring time holiday with our family and friends.

My kids really enjoy the Easter holiday. They get to get dressed up in their snazzy Easter clothes for the annual Easter pictures and see friends and family as we gather around and enjoy a great meal with lots of desserts! That is always my favorite part! In our family the boys wake up to a great big Easter basket that is filled to the rim with all sorts of fun toys, trinkets, and candies all delivered by none other than the Easter bunny! They look forward to the sweetness overload and prepare themselves for the annual Easter egg hunt that is complete with not only one BUT two prize eggs housing a whopping $5 in each egg! Jackpot for whoever is lucky enough to find the prize eggs.

hunt

Before they get to hunt the eggs they have to color the hard boiled eggs. It is an annual tradition in our home. They get three dozen eggs to color however they choose. They can mix and match colors. They can blend together multiple colors. When they are being extra creative they will even put designs on the eggs! There will be speckled eggs, patterned eggs, and more as they get to work on decorating these eggs. They go all out on this event and we have every color egg imaginable by time it is all over. There are even some colors that pop up that you weren’t sure even existed! Never a dull moment in our home and my boys will utilize every resource available to them to get creative. Here are some neat tricks and techniques they have used in coloring their Easter eggs.

Ever thought about using Kool Aid to dye eggs? Why not? When my kids want some vibrant colors they will use packets of Kool Aid to give them bright vibrant eggs. The color of the eggs turns out brighter than traditional dye. It is very simple and easy to do. It is inexpensive as you can often find packets of Kool Aid 5 for $1. Just mix the Kool Aid packet in water in a coffee cup and place the egg inside the cup and let it sit. Stir around occasionally. Just be careful because Kool Aid will stain your counter tops… hard lesson learned. I would advise placing a mat or towel down under the cups to prevent it from spilling over on to your counter tops.

kool aid

Use items to create patterns on your eggs. My boys will tie yarn/string around the eggs in various patterns. Once the egg is dunked and dyed and the string is removed you will see a neat pattern on the eggs. There are different things you can use to create these patterns. You can use string, pipe cleaners, yarn, masking tape,rubber bands, etc. Anything that will create a block from the dye reaching the egg will work in creating your patterns on your egg. Wrap the object around the egg in whatever pattern you desire and then place the egg in the dye.Just make sure your egg is dry before removing your item to prevent the dye from bleeding over and ruining your design. Once you unwrap the egg your beautiful designed egg will appear!

Another way to customize your eggs is by using paint or markers. Once the eggs are dyed and dry you can add designs to your egg using a paint set or simply a marker. I have seen polka dots, squiggles, lines, and faces added to eggs to create custom one of a kind eggs. This is super easy and a fun way for your kiddos to decorate their eggs. Try personalizing them with their names or initials for added customization! My kids enjoy looking for “their” very own egg that has their name on it.

Decoration

When it comes to decorating their Easter eggs every year it never ceases to amaze me the extent they will go to make their eggs their very own customized creation. They really enjoy being unique and making them all very different and each year their designs and ideas get better and better. It is their way of exploring and creating and I love watching them and seeing their finished products. Regardless of which way you choose to enjoy this Easter tradition in your beautiful Camden home, just remember to relax and enjoy the moment. These are the moments that turn into life long memories.

Wishing you and your family a joyous Easter holiday filled with lots of decorative Easter eggs, chocolate Easter bunnies that are super yummy, and quality family time with the ones that matter most. Enjoy!

Happy Easter

redpats

What is Business Casual?

I am excited to announce that I am one of the selected employees of Camden who has been given the opportunity to be a Camden Mentor. One of the perks of being a Mentor is visiting the Camden corporate office in Houston, TX. My excitement hit its peak when I found out that I am allowed to wear “business casual” clothing while at training. After the initial jumping for joy, I was met with a sudden fear and questioning: What exactly is business casual for women?

This is a topic that is so broad that I think it deserves its own descriptive blog, from the perspective of a Camden employee that is used to wearing black slacks and button ups at work, and t-shirts and jeans outside of the office. Everyone has their own opinion of what is appropriate business casual attire. After some lengthy searching on Pinterest, here are some options I have come up with that are appropriate to wear in a business casual setting.

For us ladies, business casual can be overwhelming. We have the choice between skirts, pants, and dresses. We also have heels vs. flats. Then we have to think about accessories. This is what I have come up with.

1. It’s okay to add some color to business casual. Though black, grey, and tan are great neutrals, you can spice up with a colorful blazer, cardigan, or top. Colorful pants and skirts are also okay if they are not too tight and are not made of denim.

pinkblazer

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

redpats

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

2. Patterns are also okay. Pinstipes, floral, animal print (in moderation) and some plaids are great for skirts, cardigans, and pants.

polkadottop

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

leopard

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

3. Yes to cropped pants, no to Bermuda shorts. Absolutely no denim is acceptable for business casual.

cropped2

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

cropped

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

4. Accessories are allowed to be trendy and funky, but keep it classy. Adding a colorful skinny belt, chunky necklace, and layered bracelets are perfect to spice up and otherwise dull look.

teal

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

necklace

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

5. Shoes can be tricky. You do not want a heel that is too high. You also do not want to wear flats that are too casual.

flats

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

heels

Image Credit: Pinterest.com

Where does one find clothing to put together an outfit, but at an affordable price? My favorite places to shop, and where I plan on buying my business casual attire, are JCPenney, Kohls, Old Navy, and Target.

As I make my way through the mall this weekend, I plan on using these guidelines to put together the perfect business casual outfits.

What do you consider to be business casual?