How Do You Get Your Grain On?

Decisions, decisions…There is so much talk today about what to and what not to consume. One day something is good for you (think chocolate, coffee, and red wine), the next day it’s not.

So what’s up with grains? Are they or aren’t they good for us? What grains should we consider? How much should we eat? What are the benefits?

The Great Debate: Whole Grains vs Processed Grains

Whole grains are just that, they are in their natural state. Nothing has been done to modify the grain. Processed grains have been cracked, crushed, rolled, and/or cooked. A diet that is a 50%-50% mix is acceptable. However, there is a lot to be said about incorporating more whole grains into your diet.

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Photo courtesy of About Health website

 

breads

Photo courtesy of Foodie Noodie website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole grains include and are not limited to:

  • brown rice – one of the healthiest types of rice
  • wild rice – found naturally in the majority of U.S. states
  • oats/oatmeal – a great way to start the day
  • popcorn – nothing goes better with a movie and your favorite beverage
  • wheat – the most widely cultivated cereal crop in the world
  • corn – summer barbeques and corn on the cob.  It is one of the sweetest tasting     grains.
  • rye – mmm…how about some pastrami to go with that rye bread?
  • Barley – a versatile cereal grain

 

oatmeal

Photo courtesy of Health.com website

 

Popcorn

Photo courtesy of sites.google.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rye Bread Sandwich

Photo courtesy of PR Newswire

 

Nutritional Benefits

Whole grains provide many sources of nutrients including B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate (B1, B2, B3 and B9). Other nutrients include potassium, magnesium, selenium, fiber and iron. Whole grains also contain complex carbohydrates, minerals and antioxidants. They are naturally low in fat.

How many servings of whole grains should we eat?

According to the American Heart Association, it depends on your age, gender, and calorie needs. The Association recommends, at least, half of the grains you consume should be whole grains.

Benefits of whole grains

Whole grains have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, and other health problems. Studies have shown that people who eat 3 daily servings of whole grains have reduced their risk of heart disease by 25% to 36%, stroke by 17%, Type II diabetes by 21% to 27%, and certain cancers by 10% to 43%.

It’s Up to You

Whole grains vs processed grains, it’s a personal choice. As with all health decisions, consult a dietician or your doctor for further advice.

 From all of us at Camden, we encourage you to get your grain on in 2016. We wish you and yours a happy and healthy 2016!

Life Hacks: How to Lose an Old T-shirt in Six Ways

Who doesn’t love a good style hack? Especially when it’s hassle free, takes a few snips here and there, some tying and no sewing. Have you looked in your closet lately? In your dresser drawers? I know I have and it’s sad to say that I have an ample amount of t-shirts that A. don’t fit me anymore and B. that just need to be thrown away because, well, they are just blah. Trust me, your closet at home will thank me and so will your wallet.

Why not up-cycle your t-shirts?

Here are six ways to do just that:

  1. The t-shirt tote bag This multi-use bag is incredibly versatile and can be so unique depending on the t-shirt you use. Dress it up, dress it down. Can be used as a reusable grocery bag, diaper bag, purse, laundry bag, beach bag etc.
TshirtToteBag

Photo credit: leethal.net

  1. Crisscross back t-shirt – Who’s ready for summer? I know I am. This crisscross back t-shirt is perfect as a beach or pool cover up or can be worn with a pair of jeans or shorts. The choices are endless.

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    Photo credit: WobiSobi.com

  1. Vest This no sew project makes a great accent piece to any outfit. All you need is a LG or XL t-shirt and scissors! Get cuttin’!

    tshirtvest

    Photo credit: WobiSobi.com

  1. Headband –  I have just a slight obsession with headbands. You can dress them up, dress them down. Wear them when your cleaning your house, going to gym, grocery shopping, you name it. Plus, this one only takes about 2 minutes to make! You’ll be a headband hoarder in no time!

    headband

    Photo credit: helloflourishing.blogspot.com

  1. DIY One shoulder shirt   This would be my favorite t-shirt DIY hack! Create an awesome one shoulder shirt from a boxy tee with no sewing! All you need are scissors, chalk and a t-shirt.

    shouldertshirt1

    Photo credit: WobiSobi.com

  1. The whopping 8 second shirt to skirt – You will be blown away at how ridiculously easy this is!Use your old long sleeve shirt and put your body through the top where your head would normally go. Then use the two sleeves to create a nice bow. You can tie the bow tightly or feel free to sew or glue for a permanent skirt.
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    Photo credit: Ourlifeisbeautiful.com

    Enjoy hacking up those old t-shirts and turning them into to something beautiful!  Looking for more DIY projects? Check these out:

    DIY Personalized Stationary

    Easy DIY Wall Decor

#SimplyCamden

Austin’s 3 Stop Shops

Austin, Texas is a pretty “Weird,” place to call home.  With a great economy and a growing in population, Austin finds itself in a great place to set up shop! With these three different stores you are bound to find something to dress up or add that awesome piece of art to your empty wall that will truly make you feel like you’ve been living in Austin your whole life!  With nine different Camden Apartment Communities throughout the city one will never find themselves too far from that awe-inspiring find!

With a home base in Austin, Texas, Kendra Scott is within minutes of many Camden Apartment

Photo By Yvanna Navarro

Photo By Yvanna Navarro

Communities here in Austin, Texas.  Camden Huntingdon, Camden Lamar Heights are two of the closest locations to a Kendra Scott Store.  The “Honorable Mention Award” goes to Kendra Scott, because your birthday month you get half off your purchase.  Who doesn’t like a good sale every now and then? Any girl in your life will certainly enjoy opening that neatly wrapped bag with an extensive choice of earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets that are truly one of a kind. “The versatility of her jewelry is amazing; her quality will last for years.”  Stephanie Thornton; Camden Lamar Heights.

“It’s all Texas all the Time,” is Parts and Laboour’s logo, they will not disappoint.  They have spectacular jewelry, men’s and woman’s clothing all Texas themed with a funny twist. Want to deck out your new digs at Camden Stoneleigh? No prob, they got you covered! “A highlight of Parts and Labour is that they support local artists and is a true representation of Austin, and the South Congress Area.” Angelica Burrus, Camden Stoneleigh.

Photo Credit of Parts and Labour.

Photo Credit of Parts and Labour.

Camden Cedar Hill’s Own Naomi Rodriguez recommends Uncommon Objects, also located in the SoCo District and only minutes away from her community.  This is an antique store that fits Austin to a T.  Their website is amazing and provides links to their Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts where you can use what they sell to awesome creations!

Their website describes what they are are about better than any blog! “Uncommon Objects has been described as ’your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids.’ And remember, this is no museum. This stuff is for sale…there is something to satisfy your nostalgic yearnings and peak your sentimental curiosities.” Uncommon Objects.

Click here to have your eyes dazzled with a “visual display” of these uncommon objects!

Whether you’re just visiting Austin or living at a Camden Community you are bound to come across exclusive Austin shops of your own.  The three highlighted retail establishments do not even cover the splendid

Did you know moving ages us?

moving stresses usThe Huffington Post posted research done by In-Deed concluding that the stress and pressures we go through when moving can age us by 2 years! This study also questioned 2,000 participants and they found:

  • 10% suffered from hair loss
  • 14% short-term memory loss
  • 19% admitted a lack in their sex-drive

Death and divorce came in 1st and 2nd place, with moving coming in 3rd place for the most stressful life event we can go through. Yikes!

The typical American will move 11.7 times in their lives, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Migration/Geographic Mobility” data. With each move shaving 2 years off our life expectancy, we are cheating ourselves out of 22+ years!

So, why do we move from apartment to apartment? We all know how stressful it can be and how awful it can be for our physical and mental health, but year after year, we find ourselves in the same dilemma- do we stay or go? Yearly rent renewal increases have us looking across the street contemplating if we don’t mind trading customer service and amenities or location for a cheaper rent. However, each year we are back at this same dilemma and cyclically trading down to get a better deal. There are several factors to consider when you get your renewal notice that are important:

  • Location and convenience
  • Moving costs
  • Market rent growth
  • Not to mention service and amenities

These are just a few things to think about as you weigh this decision- this doesn’t even cover all the reasons.

Forbes magazine gives us this advice from their article entitled “Should You Renew Your Apartment Lease?”  when faced with the decision between moving and lease renewal:

“If your current location offers an easy commute to work and good public transportation or parking options, you may want to stay at least in the same area.”

This is a convenience that is worth its weight in gold considering vehicle maintenance, gas and commuter grief. For those who live in big cities, a 20-mile commute can mean an hour in traffic one-way. So ask yourself, what is your time worth?

In a healthy economy and market, property managers are going to increase rents to keep up with market growth rates. So, keep in mind any new apartment you move into will also give a renewal increase when your lease is up. Don’t be enticed by the fancy specials because you get what you pay for. If you sign a lease with a great move-in special, be prepared for a significant increase when your lease is up because they will be bringing your rate up to current market value.

Another way to look at a rent renewal increase is to ask yourself if you can afford to move, then most likely, you can afford the renewal increase- especially if it is under $100. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, an inner-state move costs around $1200 and an out-of-state move is $5700. Do the math. You are still winning with a $100 increase if you stay put, not to mention you save stress and anxiety from cutting you short by 2 years.

In short, moving is stressful! Weigh your options, research, and be sure you are making a good choice for you and your family before taking the risk of moving to a new location, with new neighbors, and a new leasing staff. There are some things money can’t buy and you get what you pay for.

If you absolutely do have to move, consider these Moving Day Tips You May Not Have Thought Of.

1522498_10100644383836803_6173449684515600523_oBy Chelsea Isaacson. Chelsea is a former English teacher who drank the Camden kool-aid and has been a Camden Trainer for almost 3 years. She loves her fur-babies + future hubby, traveling, volunteering at the Houston Rodeo and with local pet shelters, and spending time with family.

@camdenliving  #Living Excellence

(infographic provided by zornmovingandstorage.net)

Best Adventures in Corpus Christi

It’s a new year, and it’s time to look for new and exciting ways to spend your days. Corpus Christi boasts quite the variety of nature parks and wildlife areas that many of our beautiful city’s residents either don’t know about or just haven’t taken the time to explore! No matter what you are looking for, Corpus Christi has just about anything and everything to suit your wants and needs. Whether you’re looking for a new place to exercise and take a more active approach to the outdoors, or looking for some beautiful scenery to relax and take in, it’s all within 5 – 15 minutes away. If you happen to live at a Camden community you might even be a little bit closer! Take a look and see some of the best places to visit!

  1. Padre Island National Seashore

 

If you are looking for an adventure and want to escape the city life that exists in Corpus Christi, take a drive out to Padre Island National Seashore! This area has gorgeous beaches and if you are looking for the best sunset in South Texas this is definitely the place for you. Head out to see the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and enjoy the breeze for a relaxing day with friends and family. One other thing you can keep an eye out for are the Sea Turtle releases! Take a look at the Sea Turtle Science & Recovery Facebook page for updates on any hatchings and releases! This is also a great opportunity to volunteer and help some of the coolest creatures on the planet.

  1. Cole Park and Downtown Area

One of my personal favorites, Cole Park is probably one of the best places to go for a run or walk along the beautiful coastline. If you do happen to head to this area you will not only see beautiful waters and parks, but also some incredibly beautiful houses. If you live at Camden South Bay it’s only about 5 minutes away and you have access to everything downtown. While you are here take a stroll down Shoreline Boulevard! While you are in this area you can also take a look at the breathtaking Water Gardens. Our #CamdenFamily here in Corpus Christi recently participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness walk here and it was incredible. The volunteers dye the waters pink to support the cause and add some fun to the area!

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  1. South Texas Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

When you need a little more nature and wildlife in your personal life, the Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the place to go. This site hosts a variety of plant life and animals to add a little fun and calmness to your day. When you just want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, but also want to really stop and enjoy your surroundings come here to immerse yourself into the environment surrounding you. You will also find many pieces of art here as parts of special galleries that help bring nature and urban life together. There are always plenty of events going on here that will give you something new and exciting to experience!

 

These are just a few of the beautiful parts and wildlife areas throughout Corpus Christi. This area is bursting with outdoor life that is extremely close to any part of the city. Camden has communities in close proximity to the area! If you are looking for a new home that is in a perfect location, with easy access to everything Corpus Christi has to offer take a look and find your piece of #CamdenHappy today! For a little more information about the area and for things and events to go to go to the Corpus Christi, Mustang & Padre Islands website for all the info you could ever need!

Camden Victory Park

Now Leasing! Camden Victory Park

Here in the Camden Contact Center, we’ve been receiving calls the past few months for people inquiring on the opening date for one of our newest luxury communities, Camden Victory Park. So I am incredibly pleased to share that they are now not only available for touring,  but also for leasing!

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Get 1 month FREE at move-in and SAVE $299 when you Tour & Lease same day. For a limited time only. Restrictions may apply. Call for details.

To view the community’s current available apartment homes, head over to Camdenliving.com. All of the apartments available for leasing are listed neatly, along with up to date pricing for your convenience. Save a 48 hour quote by logging in with your email address, then give us a call at (877)871-7279 to schedule your appointment to tour today! The community is currently open 7 days a week and offering extended hours just for you! If you aren’t able to stop by, you can still lease online in just a matter of minutes!

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These beautiful urban apartment homes are located in the heart of Dallas, near local hot spots like Klyde Warren Park, American Airlines Center, or The W Hotel. If you’re interested in learning more about the neighborhood and all that the community has to offer, check out their featured blog: Camden Victory Park: A Walkable Urban Dream.

Below are featured pictures of the community, but you really must stop by to see all it has to offer including amenities like:

  • Spectacular Swimming Pool
  • Unleashed Bark Park
  • Paw Spa Pet Grooming Lounge
  • Rentable Entertainment Venue
  • High Endurance Fitness Zone and Flex Workout Studio

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Once you’ve decided to make Camden Victory Park your new home, you’ll want to know about all of the Online Living features they have to offer. Don’t forget to stop by the NorthPark Mall to shop for Luxurious Furnishings for Your Dream Home and maybe even check out these 5 Luxurious Hacks to Tech Up Your Home before move in. (Did I mention each apartment comes with USB outlets? So cool!)

Don’t miss your chance to be one of the first people to live at this incredible community in the heart of downtown Dallas! Give Camden Victory Park a call today!

Office Hours:

  • Mon – Fri 8:30AM – 7:00PM
  • Sat 10:00AM – 6:00PM
  • Sun 11:00AM – 6:00PM
2787 N Houston Street
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (877) 871-7279
underdog brussels sprout

Brussels Sprouts on the Barbie!

Anyone can host a dozen hungry Football fans with the basics….Bean dip, Salsa, Nachos, Chips, Veggie tray (that you bought at the local Kroger grocery store). Let’s face it most of us are either trying to eat healthier or shed a few lbs. Right? Why not be the Queen or King of the “The Big Game” by bringing something that’s not only delicious but actually good for your body. We’ve already found out why some of us are genetically prone to hate the Brussels sprout in my blog “Why we hate the Brussels sprout?”, now let’s combine this newly found passion of the Brussels sprout with our #1 love…..FOOTBALL!

Yes, football and Brussels Sprouts CAN go together like peanut butter and jelly. Take a look at these healthy treats that your Football guests will thank you for serving.

 

Brussels on the Barbie

  • 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts (As similar in size as possible)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Directions: Heat your grill to medium. Cut off the stems of the sprouts and remove any bad or yellow leaves. Place the Brussels sprouts into a microwavable bowl and heat on high for 3 minutes. Add your ingredients (olive oil, garlic, mustard, paprika and salt). Lightly toss. After the sprouts have cooled, skewer 4 – 5 sprouts onto each skewer. Have your stem ends facing the same direction, and leave about ½ inch in between each of your Brussels sprouts. When placing your skewers onto the grill, make sure the stem end is closest to the flame. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. For extra flavor brush any of the remaining mixture onto the skewer before you serve. Enjoy!

 

Brussels Chips

  • 15 Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • A few grains of salt

Cooking Directions: Heat your oven to 350°F. Using a small paring knife, cut off the tips of each sprout. This will help you remove the outermost leaves. Put all your leaves in a mixing bowl. TIP: If you continue to trim a thin slice more as your work of the bottom steam, each layer will come off easier. When you have removed all the leaves, toss them gently with the oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. You will not need a lot of salt, as the flavor will increase when roasted. Place on a baking sheet in one layer. TIP: Be sure they are not clumped together, they roast the best when separated into one layer. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until leaves are brown and crisp. TIP: I would check them at 10 minutes and remove any leaves you think are completed, while roasting the rest for a few minutes. Also don’t fully roast the entire leaf, if you want them to be bitter-free. Enjoy!

Whether you are rooting for the Denver Broncos, or Carolina Panthers don’t forget to root for your green pal. Give a little love to the original underdog ——The Brussels Sprout!

underdog brussels sprout

avocado

6 Reasons to Love Avocados

When you think of avocados you automatically think of guacamole. It’s rich, creamy, and tastes great with chips and salsa!  You can add them to salads, make various recipes, or you can simply eat them plain. Especially here in Southern California we love them! But what you may not realize is avocados have become a “superfood”, because of all the health benefits. Below are some of the benefits of eating and using avocados in your daily life.

  1. Even though they have a rich fat content, they also have 20 different vitamins and minerals. The most abundant nutrients are vitamins K, C, B5, B6, & E. Avocados have more potassium then bananas, which most people aren’t getting enough of. Potassium intake has been linked to reduced blood pressure. Along with B6, avocados have folic acid which helps reduce cholesterol levels which helps decrease heart disease.
  2. Avocados have antioxidants that can protect your eyes.  These nutrients are Lutein and Zeaxanthin which help lover the age-related eye conditions. They can also help protect the tissues of the eyes from sun damage and cataracts.
  3. As we age, arthritis and osteoarthritis can be concerns. Avocados have several antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids that make then an anti-inflammatory to reduce arthritis pain and avocado oil will help slow down osteoarthritis.
  4. Avocados can even help with weight loss. They contain 6-7 grams of fiber in just half of a medium avocado! The fiber helps you feel full and satisfied longer.

avocadobenefits

Continue reading

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Camden Victory Park: A Walkable Urban Dream

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Now Open! Camden Victory Park is the newest addition to the Dallas Camden apartment home portfolio.

Camden Victory Park opened its doors on January 12, 2016 in one of the hottest neighborhoods in Dallas. Everything about this community and the surrounding area is absolutely amazing!

It is not possible to live any closer to the American Airlines Center.

It is not possible to live any closer to the American Airlines Center.

Continue reading

photo Courtesy of Life Hacker

How to Avoid a High Energy Bill-Part 2

Most people think turning off their lights are the only way to save energy, but indeed there are many ways you can make your home more Eco-friendly right in your kitchen especially living in an apartment. These tips for Making Your Kitchen Energy Efficient are easy to implement and are very effective. These tips will not only save on energy expenses, you will are also learn how to be more Eco-friendly in today’s world.  

1.Why not put that Crock Pot you bought months ago to a good use?

Did you know using an electric stove-top burner for 30 minutes uses the same amount of energy as your crock pot uses in eight hours? So imagine how much energy your favorite skillet dinner takes to cook! Crock pots are so easy, helping you make one-pot dishes that save on prep time and cleanup. So go ahead, roast that delicious brisket recipe all day, and start saving on your electric bills. Start saving right away by making this delicious  Play Off Chili or the Slow Cooker Cream Corn included in 3 Corn Recipes for Game Day!

Cookinwithelectric

photo courtesy of mind of the mother 

 2. Don’t overcrowd your refrigerator or freezer.

This is one thing that people don’t think about as much as they should. Overcrowding your refrigerator and freezer means the air can’t circulate well. Make sure to allow space between items and not overcrowd so it cools efficiently. By over stocking you will create pockets of warm air that will make the fridge or freezer work harder and use more energy to cool everything evenly. Make sure that you regulate the temperature all the time, don’t keep it too low because the colder the setting, the more energy your fridge uses. For maximum energy efficiency and food safety, set it to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and the freezer to 0 degrees.

MessyFridge

Picture Courtesy of Real Simple 

 

3. Bake multiple items at once.

Don’t turn on your oven just to bake 2-3 potatoes. When you bake, make sure that you are using your oven for multiple items at once. Add dessert, homemade bread or a main dish into your oven all at once. Adjust temperatures and cook times as needed, but make sure to use that heat source effectively. Most ovens have a 25 degree variance, in case one of the dishes you are making needs to be cooked at 350 degrees and the other at 400 degrees, just set the oven at 375 degrees. Don’t forget to space the items out so air circulates and everything bakes evenly.

Bakingoven

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest 

  1. Only run the dishwasher when it is full.

This one will make many people upset, but it really is the most efficient way to use your dishwasher. Make sure you are loading your dishwasher properly to use the space wisely. Typically that means glasses, bowls and larger utensils are on the top rack with plates, cutting boards, and other larger items on the bottom rack. Did you know that by using your dishwasher with a full load only can prevent 100 pounds of carbon pollution and saves you $40 per year on your water bill? You can also save 15 percent on energy consumption by air drying your dishes instead of using the dry heat option.

photo courtesy of Bosh Diswasher

Photo Courtesy of Martha Stewart 

I know that these are simple ways to make the kitchen in your apartment home more energy efficient and most of the time people think that it won’t make any difference if they make these simple changes. If you make these small steps on a regular basis it will help to keep you on budget and you will be helping our environment in the process.

ecofriendlyhome

Photo Courtesy of greenlichen 

Lilly

3 Tech Cameras for Obsessive Pet Parents

Have you ever wondered what your pet is up to while you’re away?  Are they jumping on the couch or just napping?  Now you can watch them, even when you’re at work or on vacation!  Pet parents have multiple options for monitoring systems and cameras, depending on how high-tech you want to get.  There are free apps, night vision cameras, and even a treat dispensing camera.  Here are my top three picks for the pet parent who wants to see the secret life of their furry friend.

First up is Camio.

  • This free app is the easiest and least expensive option.
  • All you need is two electronic devices with video capabilities to use as the recording and viewing devices. Personally, I set up my iPad to record and used my iPhone to watch.
  • Simply download the app on each device, set up one device where you can see the desired area, press record, and watch from the other device.
  • The app monitors motion and takes snapshots or videos of movement.
  • Log in anytime to watch a live feed, or go back to recorded snapshots taken throughout the day.
  • There is even a voice option, so you can say hi or tell Fido to stop chewing your shoe.
Camio2

With Camio I could check in on my dog, Lilly, while I was at work!

Next up is the Motorola Pet Scout66 Monitoring Camera.

  • This small, webcam-like mounted camera connects with a free app to allow for remote HD quality video streaming.
  • Like Camio, the Pet Scout has motion triggered recording and image snapshots as well as two way communication.
  • Motorola takes monitoring a step further with in room temperature display and infared night vision.
  • Amazon prices the Pet Scout at under $90.
pet scout

Motorola Pet Scout66 is a small, webcam-like mounted camera.

By far the most technologically advanced monitoring system is Petzi Treat Cam.

  • The mounted device allows pet owners to see through a wide-angle camera at any level.
  • Pet parents can speak through high quality audio.
  • The camera can snap a picture to save or share.
  • The dispenser shoots 1-3 treats with the push of a button.
  • With Petzi’s own app, users can even post their pictures to a dedicated social media feed.
  • For $169, your purchase includes the Petzi Treat Cam, Mounting Kit & Rubber Feet, Power Adapter, Quick Start Guide, and Sample Treats.
petzi treat cam

Petzi Treat Cam dispenses treats to your pet!

These monitoring systems can be utilized for many different purposes, especially in an apartment home.  I kept up with my dog through Camio, but I was also pleasantly surprised to find a recording of my favorite Camden maintenance tech fulfilling one of my service requests!  Other uses include baby monitoring and home surveillance.  Having a small space like an apartment makes it easy to set up one camera to see the whole home.

Camio is my top choice for pet monitoring.  The easy app is free if you already have two smart devices, and it includes all of the basic functions I need.  If you want to get even more techie with your pet, check out these options for smart collars.  Now you can not only watch your pet, but you can also track and train them.  Let us know which monitoring camera and smart collar you would choose!

Shootin’ the Hooch

  • 1st Picture for the Hooch

The Chattahoochee National Recreational Park in Atlanta GA is a place where everybody can enjoy the summertime. As most natives of Atlanta would agree it could be considered one of the most traditional ways to spend the afternoon with family and friends.

Most use the phrase, “Shooting the hooch” because it refers to jumping off the side of the small cliffs into the river. When you visit you can rent a tube, kayak, paddle board, and go river boating by the hour. This 48 mile stretch of riverside has about 13 parking units with access from the states road, and offers a range of trails for hiking, boat ramps, and so many other activities that it’s easy to visit this national park with no set agenda.

Although the Chattahoochee National Park is owned by the federal government and is operated by the National Park Service, there are areas of the park’s shoreline that are privately owned. There’s a gorgeous view of homes that give you an unconditional tour of upscale living for those exploring the idea of relocating to the area.

The summer time hosts the opportunity for you to shoot the hooch with echoes of laughter trailing along with the summer breeze. Even watching the pick-up trucks being directed in order to back their fishing boats into the water is an eventful sight to see. Just to watch a complete family trail through the river, waist-high is exciting to watch in all the activities.

And you can reach the land in the middle of the river, and set up the ultimate picnic area for a full day of relaxation. I actually gathered my nerve one day to walk through the river and sit on the rocks. The method of following the trail of rocks to these specific isolated areas makes you feel accomplished enough that I found myself silently claiming victory and sat there for hours. On the hottest day, you can feel the unbelievable cool temperatures from the water.

My visits to the Chattahoochee Park, more times than none, are just to get a peace of mind for myself.   During summer, I along with a dear friend visit the Chattahoochee River at least twice a week. We are somewhat familiar with some of the people that actually live within walking distance of the river.

2nd Picture for the Hooch

During the winter months, you’re more likely to enjoy the calm flow of the river more than you would see anyone “shooting the hooch”. But don’t get it twisted. After a couple of days of freezing temperatures I thought it would be a perfect day to go and see how the cold river was flowing.

As I walked along the river’s edge, I came across a gentleman sitting in a lawn chair. He sat covered with a thick wool-like blanket. He had on what looked to be a Veteran’s cap and he was puffing on a fat cigar. He looked well within his senses, and had to be about 70 give or take some years. I continued to walk toward the area as I enjoyed the scenery.

3rd Picture for the Hooch

He looked over, and as respectful as I wanted to be and not invade his space, he said “Hello”. His vibe was quite inviting almost like being in the mountains sitting on a huge wrap-around porch with a nice cup of my favorite cinnamon soy chai first thing in the morning.

His introduced himself as “Dale”. He had just finished a four mile hike. He said he does it at least three times a week and when he’s done, he grabs his blanket and sits in the same spot each time and celebrates by lighting up a cigar. He shared this information in such comfort you’d think that he’d known me for years.

After the conversation was over, and me wishing him a good rest of the afternoon, my last thought in the moment was… even when you can’t shoot the hooch tubing down the river. You can still “shoot the hooch” in the most unexpected way.

4th Picture for the Hooch

While in the area, stop by and take a complete tour of Camden Deerfield. This beautiful property is located just 20 minutes away from The Chattahoochee River. You are sure to be welcomed with a smile, and a warm Camden hug!