The Marvel Experience

It's your turn to save the world!  photo courtesy of Marvel

It’s your turn to save the world!
photo courtesy of Marvel

Dallas nerds, rejoice! Are you still looking for something to do this weekend that doesn’t revolve around the Super Bowl? Your problem is solved! There is still one more weekend to enjoy The Marvel Experience at Fair Park. This production bills itself as “the world’s first hyper-reality tour” and, according to fans and critics alike, it does not disappoint.

Are you ready for your new job? photo courtesy of Hero Ventures

Are you ready for your new job?
photo courtesy of Hero Ventures

During this nearly 3 hour adventure you will join forces Continue reading

Decoration Storage in a Small Space

Living in a small space? Or, did you read my previous blog and purchase an entire new holiday decor that you don’t know where to store? If so, the likelihood is that you’re already using all the closet space your apartment home has to offer.  So where do you put all of the newly acquired seasonal decorations? Well, in order to answer this question, you’ll have to think outside the box…literally!

Sure, you can incorporate the clever storage ideas shown in the picture below.

In fact, you can get more ideas like this from other clever storage fanatics here   and here! But maybe you’ve got traditional storage bins that are large and bulky, and you’ll need more space for those. I’m proposing you try ‘open design storage’. This entails you going through the items you currently have stored away and deciding whether or not you think they’re worthy enough to display out in the open as part of your home décor. Sounds crazy, I know! But by doing this you may find that your items are more accessible and that you have more space to store all the new and upcoming seasonal décor that you’re about to purchase.

So, let’s look at a few non-traditional ways of creating more storage space for your Camden apartment home.

    • If you have a lot of shoes on your closet floor, this idea is for you. Clear out all of those shoes from your closet floor and try displaying them in an armoire, preferably glass or see-through. Ladies, I recommend this for you as it will add a feminine appeal to your room and free up ground and wall space for some of those heavier storage boxes that tend to be harder to store away. For the guys, I recommend using cubby holes that match the furniture in your room, as shown below. You can even add additional removable shelving with small decorative storage bins and inexpensive plastic dressers to the floor of your closet.
    • Clear up space in your linen closet by storing your towels out in the open on a wine rack in your bathroom. If your towels match your bathroom décor, then it will look cohesive and clean.
    • Install cubby holes or regular shelves above your bed, night stands, and dressers for more shelf space. Not only will this give you more open storage space but it will give your room more depth.

The possibilities with open storage design are endless! The ultimate goal of trying open storage design is to display show-worthy items you’re currently hiding in your storage spaces, thus, creating storage space for the items you don’t want guests to see. And if you’re still needing more storage space after trying at least one of these ideas, contact the front office to see if your Camden community offers storage units for rent. Good luck!

It’s That Time Again! Spring Cleaning!!


Spring time is just around the corner and we all know what that means! Yep… the dreaded spring cleaning that comes to haunt us once a year. We all know it is coming but if you are like me then you avoid it like the plague. Anything is better than the dreaded spring cleaning event that takes place yearly at your home. Hopefully these easy quick tips will help the annual festivities go by as soon as possible and as painless as possible.

Make a list! I know the dreaded “list” that seems never ending. I’m here to tell you that it is ok! The list will truly help to keep you organized and it gives you something to check off as you complete. Senses of gratification as you see that list slowly coming to completion. Divide the list into rooms and make a list of each thing that needs to be completed in each room. As you complete the tasks simply check them off. You will win the battle with the list as you strategically work your way through it.


Time your chores. If you time how long it will take you to complete each task then it will make the time go by faster. If you know it will take 10 minutes to clean out a drawer in your kitchen then allot yourself those 10 minutes to complete a task on your list. Before you know it your tasks will be completed in no time at all. When we look at the “list” we tend to want to give up before we even start, but if you set time limits on each item then it will be an effective way of completing the daunting list because you can do it as you have time to do it. There isn’t any rule that says it has to be completed all at one time. We can work on it as we have the opportunity.

Multitasking will be one of your best traits during this time of year. Physicians always recommend that when excising that we watch television or listen to music to distract us and keep our minds off the exercising, the same practices can be used to complete the spring cleaning lists. Watching TV, listening to music, or talking on the phone can make completing the check list much more manageable.

Trash bags will aid quickly in sorting and determining what makes the cut and what goes to the trash or donation centers. Have a couple of trash bags for each room as you begin your cleaning regiment for that area. One trash bag needs to be designated as trash and another for donations. As you begin your cleaning having these bags readily available will save you trips to the garbage and having to clean up any more piles that come from separating what you are keeping or getting rid of.

Open up your windows. Who doesn’t love a little fresh air on a beautiful day? During the first days of spring we are all busting out of the doors to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and the warm sunshine. The warmth is inviting and just makes us feel better. Opening up your windows and bringing the outside in will help in making the spring cleaning more enjoyable. Listening to the birds chirping outdoors and feeling the warm sun rays on your skin always makes for a better afternoon. Enjoy it! Just because you are cleaning and organizing doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the outdoors as well. A little fresh air is always good and helps to air out the rooms from the being shut up during the winter months. So open up those blinds and windows and enjoy!


If you are like me the closets are always a wreck and it seems like there is always something we have stored in there. Trying to “de-clutter” my closet seems to be never ending so one trick that I started last year has been a successful tool in keeping my closet better organized is planning for seasons. If it is not in season then it is packed away in a storage bin. All winter way is stored away in the summer and all summer clothes are packed away in the winter. This simple technique has helped in ensuring that my closet is not packed all year long. When packing my clothes away for the season, if I haven’t worn it or it looks like it needs to be retired then it goes to a donation pile and not in the bin for storing. Quick, simple, and effective.

These binsa have solved my storage-challenged issues more than once...

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a daunting task. I know and understand we dread this time of year but we know that it must be done to make our homes clean, organized, and efficient. I am confident these quick cleaning tips will help you spring clean your Camden home this season and all year long! Happy Spring Cleaning!


A French Bulldog Is a Pretty Good Pet

Over the years, we have had a number of pets. Mostly due to my inability to control an uncontrollable love for animals. Occasionally, Mr. Perfect has been involved, but usually it is all me. Our first pet we had together was about 23 years ago, when I fell head over heels in love with a white french bulldog I saw on TV. There was a segment about this really cute little white french bulldog who adored everyone in the family except the teenage son. It only made sense that the family called in a dog psychologist. As it turns out the son never played with the dog or fed it or petted it, so the little frenchie had no use for him. Frankly, I don’t think I would like that kid either! During the story some of the quirks of the French Bulldog were revealed, but this did not deter me.

At the time it seemed liked no one had a frenchie in Tampa. This prompted Mr. Perfect to suggest we be mature about our pet decision and research the breed more. Although in this process, I learned of health issues and behavior problems (super stubborn – oh sure, they would mind you ….. eventually), I still had to have this dog. Mr. Perfect’s next suggestion was that we consult with breeders and our vet to make sure the frenchie was the right match for us. So we talked to breeders on the phone (out of state) and they told us we should go to some dog shows and meet the real dog and some breeders. So we did. Oddly, the breeders did not want anything to do with us! Well! Over time we made buddies with a breeder out of Orlando who connected us with a breeder in Michigan who had one female 5 month old puppy available. The breeder, Lloyd lived on a farm and fed his animals only organic/natural food that he made. WOW, I felt really good about this. I could just see that sweet little white frenchie!

Maime-9It was quite a surprise, when I received a Polaroid photo of an ugly brindle, crooked tooth, wall eyed bulldog. Yikes. My rules included a strict “no brindle” policy. For some reason (probably because I live in a fantasy) I called Lloyd anyway, thinking positively that I could work my way to a white dog. Lloyd was quite a character and it was so nice talking to him. At some point he mentioned the dog cost $1,200 and 23 years ago this seemed especially impossible to me. As a sensible individual, this clearly had to be discussed with Mr. Perfect. We were almost married, this decision should be made together! It was the right thing to do. When Lloyd ask for my name, I told him it was Cindy Fredlund (Why did that come out of my mouth, my brain said. My name is not yet Fredlund). Lloyd said, that’s funny, I knew some Fredlund’s in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, (Population 3,000 and positively the frozen tundra most of the year). Iron River to be specific. He mentioned some names that I did not recognize, but after a few minutes we realized he knew my in-laws. It turns out, he and his parents lived two doors down and played cards on Wednesday nights with my father in-law and family.
As you can guess, I saw this as an omen and threw all reason out the window! Mr. Perfect would think this was a great idea. How could we not get her? I quickly negotiated a reasonable payment plan and the wheels were set in motion.

After Mr. Perfect recovered from shock, we decided to name her Maime. Maime was the name of Mr. Perfects grandmother who came from Sweden at the same time as Lloyds mother!

Maime arrived on a night when we were experiencing a huge thunder and lightening storm. She flew in the cargo section of an airplane and was transported across the airport on one of those luggage trams – open air. When we met her she was horrified and somewhat of a mess. Do not under any circumstance fly a dog in a cargo area, there must be a better way. It just can’t be necessary!

Never fear, we bundled her in a clean towel right away and loved her up all the way home. Once there, we gave her a warm bath and soothed her to sleep. She slept in bed with us, where she snored all night long.

Yes its true, when we first saw her and then again when she snored all night long, we may have had second thoughts for just a minute. But alas, this is a love story. It turned out that a brindle, crooked tooth, wall eyed, stubborn dog was exactly right for us. The neighbor kids called her a pig dog. People often ask us “What is that?” 13 years, Maime provided us with much affection and laughter and three sweet puppies. Two of those puppies were adorable soft white Frenchies (thanks to the great genes of their dad, a Champion named Bruno). But that is another story!MVC-016S-1

French bulldogs were bred to be companion dogs and they are masters at it. With a minimum amount of exercise and entertainment (compared to some dogs), they are a great apartment pet! Frenchies are easy to find now, you probably commonly see them walking around. There are a number of French Bulldog rescue sights, where you could find a great pup in need a forever home. To be fair, I’m madly in love with all animals. After a life time of having pets in my life I highly recommend it most everyone should have one. You will be entertained and loved unconditionally. Even if you’ve had the best pet ever already, there is always room in your heart for the next one.

I’m so proud of the work Camden does in our communities across the country, including supporting pet rescues. Over the years we have collected blankets, food and toys and donated thousands of dollars to better the lives of animals. We love pets at Camden and have a generous pet policy. Just today I met a very young Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy and a 9 month old Beagle, Catahoula, Mastiff mix! I cannot even tell you how sweet these babies were! These residents had just taken their dogs for a long walk – the key to a happy well adjusted dog. They also enjoy taking their dogs to the Camden dog park.

Check out these great adoption sites to learn more about the amazing french bulldogs available in Florida.

French Bulldog Rescue Network
Pet Finder
Florida French Bulldog Rescue Groups


The Secret to Savings in Chula Vista

ShopChulaVistaNow Are you always looking for a BOGO deal or shop military-friendly stores because paying full price is not in your vocabulary? Well add “resident” to your discount dictionary. Locals receive the ultimate in savings with benefits courtesy of the incentive program, ShopChulaVistaNow. As a resident of Camden Sierra at Otay Ranch, part of the burgeoning Chula Vista community, you have access to discounts on shopping, dining, hotels, attractions, and more. A link to the full list is included below. Have family visiting? Receive a 10%, 15% or 25% discount on your stay at hotels nearby. This includes The Ramada, El Primero Boutique Hotel and La Quinta Inn and Suites. It’s wishful thinking, but hopefully this will include that brand new hotel the city is building in the Millenia district. The new home will be located across from the outdoor mall, the Otay Ranch Towne Centre. Need to entertain the kids? It’s BOGO at Atlantis Laser Tag which boasts an underwater themed experience with laser light shows, music, and…fighting warbots?! Check out their website as well for daily member specials. If you have a toddler, he or she may be interested in “edutainment” from Kid Ventures, the next generation in boutique-style indoor family play centers. Their 50% discount on family membership enrollment is a huge deal you can’t ignore! Hungry for some deals? If you’re planning a birthday, snag an ice cream cake from ColdStone Creamery for $3 off any signature cake (excludes pies and petite cakes). At Baskin-Robbins on Otay Lakes Road, reward someone with a treat. Buy any cone or sundae and get the second for only 99 cents! Perfect for days in the winter when the Santa Ana winds turn up the heat and it feels like summer’s back! Think you deserve a break? Get $20 off an in-person session at the Living Reiki Institute or feel beautiful in a cocktail dress with 10% off from Mouette. If you’re filling up on gas nearby, I highly recommend taking a walk to the resale boutique, Eastside Sequel, at Heritage Plaza. Flash that incentive card to get an additional 20-50% off already discounted items! Plus, you’ll be doing your part for charity. Sales benefit programs for children surviving domestic violence and abuse. Shop Chula Vista Now The full (and growing) list of featured merchants can be found here. If you are a current resident, print your incentive card now and explore the community you love by supporting small business owners. Be sure to share this information with your friends. Don’t keep it a secret to yourself!


Add a Little Marsala to Your Life


Image Credit:

The year 2015 has already started, and January is almost over. I was very excited to hear that Pantone released their selection for Color of the Year, and it is Marsala. Pantone describes Marsala as “Nurturing and fulfilling” and “this hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.”

Continue reading

Top 5 Reasons to Spend Winter in San Diego

Top 5 Reasons to Spend Winter in San Diego

This is our Winter

Everything you’ve heard about San Diego is true. All of it. Every single palm tree you see in that photo screams “Summer!” Winter doesn’t really exist in our vocabulary and after the occasional rain lets up, we are blessed with clear blue skies and snow white powder in the mountains. It’s a yin and yang of surf and ski that creates the ideal atmosphere for a winter vacation.

1. Swimsuit or Ski Boots? How about both.

Pack both your swimsuit and snow jacket because you’re bound to enjoy the sunny beaches after a visit up in the cabins of Big Bear or Mountain High, one of Southern California’s closest winter resorts.

2. Foodies welcome!

January brings with it the semi-annual event, San Diego Restaurant Week. No tickets or passes are required to experience prefix lunch and dinner menus from over 180 participating restaurants from NorCal to SoCal. Hurry, only 7 days to experience it!

3. Photographer’s haven.

Talk about picture perfect lighting. The sunrise and sunsets in San Diego are even more beautiful in the winter, especially before and after a rain. As the cold front comes in, the colder ice crystals bend and play with the sunlight to form a palette in the sky of pinks, purples and oranges that is absolutely breathtaking.

4. We’re old.

San Diego still has remnants of its Mexican heritage and it’s history is etched into the preserved structures of the renowned Balboa Park and its treasure of museums. If you lived in San Diego, you can take advantage of free admission on Tuesdays!

5. We’re the “Hoppiest Place on Earth.”

We’ve been declared America’s Craft Brew Capital. In northern San Diego you have the HOPS Highway and pretty soon, Chula Vista and National City will experience its own liquid phenomenon. Stay tuned!

Setting & Achieving your Goals

The beginning of a new year is a great time to plan your goals and how you will achieve them. After determining your goals, do a little bit towards them every day. I found this outline in Rent and Retain Magazine that might help you ask the right questions to yourself to get started:



Ask yourself, “Do I really want this”. Is this goal consistent with your beliefs and other goals? Can you really commit yourself to this goal or is it wishful thinking? If you achieve this goal, will it really make you happy? If you answer yes to these questions then proceed!


Is the goal really yours or is someone else pushing you? If you can’t own it, you won’t get there. Will your work towards the goal take you away from work or your other goals? Can you see yourself succeeding and achieving this goal? Continue reading

“Elsa, please…I know you’re in there…”


That right there is a frozen pipe ladies and gentleman. Let that soak in.

When living in an apartment, you can become liable for any damages if you do not follow the necessary precautions to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting in your home. When pipes burst not only could your apartment flood but your neighbors as well and if you are on the third floor or higher, that could mean every apartment beneath you. Yikes. (This is a great time to put in a plug for renters insurance. All Camden communities require you to have renters insurance and thank goodness for that. You never know what kind of situation will happen and it’s imperative that you make sure it stays current and active while you live there.)   But alas, your pipes and your wallet do not have to suffer by following a simple to-do list. I personally did this yesterday before work because we received our freeze alert as our temperatures here in Raleigh went down to a single digit last night. Brrrrrrr. So check out the list below if you are under a freeze warning. Mind you, if you own a home, this would be perfect for you, too. This is not simply for those who live in apartments. Continue reading

How to be Happy in 2015 – 4 Positive Resolutions for the New Year


Every New Year, people always write down their resolutions. Sometimes they are specific and unreasonable, so I came up with four easy things to focus on this year to make sure that 2015 will be great.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


A gratitude journal is a great way to remember to be thankful. All you do is write down five things every day that you are thankful for. It can be anything from a successful project at work to a hot cup of coffee that tasted so good. No matter how big or small, remembering to write down the good things can definitely change your attitude over time.



I know, I know. Every year people resolve to lose weight, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Just make small choices to be healthier and extend your life. Get a fitness app on your phone, start taking walks every day, or cut out one unhealthy meal a week. All those small changes can really make a difference and help you feel better. If you want, join a gym! There are a ton to choose from: LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, The Exercise Coach – just to name a few.



Having a pet is proven to have great health benefits. Also, you’ll feel better taking care of a loving animal that needed a home. Pets can be your best friends and comforting companions. Not so fast, pet allergy people, you can get a fish and still reap the benefits. Check with your local Camden community for their pet policy.



Having a work-life balance is really important to your mental, emotional, and physical health. Make sure that you’re carving out time for your family and friends. We work a lot, but we don’t have a lot of time to spend with those we love. When it comes to children, you don’t want to miss precious moments that you can’t get back, so make sure you make the time for them!

These are just four simple goals that don’t take a lot of effort, but sure can make a huge difference in your life. Here’s hoping that your new year is full of great moments!