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photo provided by thepetwiki.com

photo provided by thepetwiki.com

Summer is in full swing and so is the heat! The hottest months of the summer season are now upon us and we are feeling the temperature rising! I know that we all love summer and the ability to get out and enjoy the outdoors with our friends and family, but it is important to remember our pets during this time. Summer temperatures can prove to be uncomfortable for ourselves but it can also be just as uncomfortable for our pets as well. Many of the same effects that external temperatures play on our bodies will impact pets as well. Their bodies do not respond to heat the same as our bodies do so it is important to remember a few safety tips when it comes to protecting your four-legged friends this summer season.

Never Leave Your Pet in A Parked Car. On warm summer days the heat held within a vehicle can climb up to dangerously high temperature levels. Within 10 minutes inside of a car with the windows open can raise the temperature inside the car up to 20 degrees!Within 30 minutes it can be up to a 40 degree temperature difference than it is outside. And this is with a widow open…. can you imagine the temperature difference if the windows were rolled up? A minimum 20 degree temp spike on top of the sweltering heat we are already enduring can be tragic for a pet trapped inside. Leaving your pet in this environment can easily lead to organ failures, dehydration, heat stroke, and possibly death.

Fans Are NOT a Solution. We all work to keep our electric bill as low as possible during these hot summer months. None of us look forward to the utility bills that come along with trying to keep us cool during the heat. Often times we will rely on fans to help cool the area so we can turn our thermostats up. It is important to remember that fans do not cool pets as effectively as they do humans. Dogs release their heat, or sweat, from their feet therefore making fans less effective in cooling them down. I am not telling you to crank your AC down to 70 to keep your pets nice and cool and soar your electric bill up; however, I just wanted to make you aware that if you are relying on fans to keep the area cooler then you may want to consider another option for your pet in keeping them cool.

fandog

Exercise. When exercising your pet this summer try to limit your activities to the morning or the evenings when the temperature is cooler rather than during the extreme heat of the day. Make sure that the activity you have planned is in accordance with the temperatures of that day. During your outdoor summer activity make sure you have water for your pets to keep them the cool and hydrated to prevent a heat stroke.

photo provided by saragingerich.com

photo provided by saragingerich.com

Humidity. Although it is easy for us to look at a number to determine how “hot” it will be that day, however, it is important to consider the humidity levels as well. Humidity can affect your pet just as much as the temperature can. According to Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD of the Human Society Veterinary Medical Association, “Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperatures will skyrocket to dangerous levels.” There are several parts of the US where humidity levels are a huge concern for pets. It is important to remember to consider humidity levels along with the temperature when you plan outdoor activities for you pets.

Shade and Fresh Water are a Must. Pets need to be able to get out of the direct heat. Allowing them the ability to get out of the sun and into shade is very important to prevent them from getting too hot. Shade trees, a tarp that they can get under, a covered porch are great ways for outdoor pets to get a break from the heat. When possible, especially on extremely hot days, it is recommended that pets be brought inside to keep them cool. A dog is house is not an acceptable form of shade! Dog houses trap heat much like a car does making the temperature soar. It is also important for pets to have access to fresh water through the day to keep them cool and keep them from getting dehydrated. Make sure to check their water bowl throughout the day to make sure they have plenty water available to them.

Heat Stoke is one of the biggest concerns for pets that are exposed to extreme summer temperatures. If you think your pet may be suffering from a heat stroke take them to vet immediately! Some signs and symptoms of a heat stroke include rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, vomiting, deep red or purple tongue, dizziness, and fever. If you see any of these signs your pet may be suffering from a heat stroke and needs medical attention as soon as possible.

I hope that you and your pets enjoy your summer season! We all love the summer months because it gives us the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy fresh air, warm sun on our bodies, and the fresh scent of flowers, grass, and trees. I know your pets do as well and we want to keep them safe for many more summers to come. You can get more pet safety tips at www.humanesocity.org. After your day of funfilled summer activities we want to welcome you home to your pet friendly apartment home at www.camdenliving.com!

There is this challenge circulating the globe. It is called the 100 Happy Days Challenge. Perhaps you have you have heard of it or noticed some of your friends on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter participating in this 100 Happy Days Challenge. If you did notice it, did you know that it is an actual honest to goodness challenge? That it isn’t just some hashtagging thing where you post photos all willy nilly each day? It is completely legit and has a true purpose. The website is www.100happydays.com.  Here’s the skinny. You sign up on the website, create your own hashtag and get to posting. You take one thing out of your life each day, take a photo of it and then post your little piece of happiness. Everyone from the you’s and me’s of the world to celebrities are doing it. Even The Today Show just accepted the 100 Happy Days Challenge.

Here is why this is such an epic and important challenge…

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The Billabong Pro in Rio, Brazil, The Quiksilver Pro in France, and the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. These are just a few spots where pro surfers compete during their season each year. Every July, pro surfers such as Taj Burrow, Dane Reynolds, and local boy favorite Brett “Simpo” Simpson converge on the south side of the pier in Huntington Beach to do battle in the Vans US Open of Surfing. Continue Reading »

Nothing multiplies faster than my household laundry! At least one, out of my two days off during the week is spent doing from between 6 – 7 loads; mostly from my husbands hamper. When I look at all the stains on his clothes, I often wonder how he stays fed. Because it seems that his lunch misses his mouth and ends up on his dress shirts and slacks! Stains happen of course; I just wish Continue Reading »

Denver in 4 Days

GoatA fantastic week in Denver!  While it may be the 21st most populated metropolis in the country, with 2.7 million people, it doesn’t feel like it. Denver is a great city, with character, culture and friendly people. We felt at home instantly.

Arriving on Monday and leaving on Saturday, I was able to attend a trade show, seminars, meetings, listen to amazing speakers, enjoy the Denver Botanical Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, 16th Street Mall, hear James Taylor at Red Rock, and visit Boulder (including a Celestial Seasons Tea Tour). It was really tremendous. Throw out the travel days and you realize all that happened in a 4 day span!

Several years ago when we visited Denver (from Florida – sea level), we got off the airplane, into a rental car and drove almost directly to the top of Mount Evans just outside Denver Mount Evans is the highest peak you can drive to in the continental United States. Don’t do that.  In our excitement to be adventurous and see mountain goats, we didn’t drink water or eat.  Sea Level to 14,240 feet above sea level, in just hours.  Really not a good idea, both my husband – Mr. Perfect, and I got altitude sickness.  Blue lips, head ache, nauseau and all.  At least it was a beautiful drive and we got to view the amazing mountain goats – so close you could touch them.  With a good night’s rest and breakfast we got back on the road to enjoy 4 days driving through Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Estes Park, Boulder and back to Denver. We had such a good time and witnessed so much beauty in the nature of the mountains. This year, to avoid being “green”, as soon as we got off the plane we drank a nice cool bottled water before moving on!

Glass BallsOur first fun on the Denver 2014 trip was to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens - which happened to have a Dale Chihuly Art exhibit throughout.  Dale Chihuly is so talented, his glass accented an already beautiful garden. Blue GlassWe have enjoyed seeing Dale Chihuly exhibits in the Belagio Hotel in Las Vegas, in the museum he founded in Tacoma, Washington, in Sarasota, and St Petersburg, Florida.  The Denver Botanic Gardens has to be my favorite so far.  It is magical the way the glass sculptures seemed to fit so naturally.

We also got to see James Taylor at Red Rock.  If you have never been there, it is definitely something that should be on your bucket list. James Taylor’s voice is still as pure as it ever was. To have the privilege of listening to him at the acoustically perfect Red Rock Ampitheater was really a joy. We sat on the 67th of 71 rows, it was the most clear concert ever. Imagine this spectacle of an amphitheater cut out of the red rocks outside of DenverRedRockThere was subtle lighting to illuminate the huge red rocks around the theater.  In the mountainous area outside Red Rock Theater, deer and other wildlife played. The seating looks like giant curved steps, by themselves a form of art. Underneath the theater is a museum to tell the history of Red Rock. Included are photos of everyone from musicians in the 60’s to Hip Hop Stars of today. As you sit in the seats, looking down upon the stage with a simple but awesome light show and the sun sets, the lights of Denver begin to twinkle. You think it can’t be any better, then the stars come out. Imagine James Taylor singing “Sweet Baby James”. When we got to that point in the evening, I thought I might just cry it was such a special moment!

We spent one afternoon at Denver Art MuseumNative American DAMThe Denver Art Museum includes two buildings (one 7 stories, the other is 4) and a nice park/outside mall area. WOW.  The variety of art was exceptional!  There was everything from African art, Native American Art, Remington Brass Sculptures, quilt exhibit, video art, a children’s “Create” area, protest art posters and so much more.

While I was attending my conference during the day, Mr. Perfect was figuring out the public transportation (great).  So on one afternoon we took the bus from beautiful Denver Union Station (neatly hidden underground) to BoulderBoulder has the lovely Pearl Street outside mall (everything in the Denver area is focused on enjoying the outdoors). Of course there were restaurants, shops, a grassy area and entertainment.  We enjoyed a meal at Oak. Mr. Perfct had shrimp and grits and I enjoyed Ramon noodles and pork belly. Yum.

We read in the Southwest Airlines, Spirit magazine that a visit to the mint room at Celestial Seasonings Tea should not be missed.  So we hopped a cab from Boulder to Celestial Seasonings Tea for a tour of their facility.  Celesteal TeaLocated in the countryside near Boulder, the Celestial Seasonings Tea building barely seems to impact the landscape.

And the people that work there were so friendly and genuinely kind! Hanna greeted us as soon as we entered.  She won our hearts with a great smile and customer service heart (maybe she should come to work with Camden someday J).  Right way we were offered to enjoy different teas in the Celestial Café.  My favorite was Tangerine Orange Zinger! Next up, Hanna and Nathan took us on a great tour of the factory, where we learned about Celestial Seasonings Tea from start to finish. We toured through rooms that house all the flavors, we could not believe how distinct each aroma was. Probably everyone would agree that the best part of the tour is the Mint room. The huge room where they keep Peppermint and Spearment, smelled delicious.   After spending an hour and half there, it was easy to see that the people at Celestial Seasonings Tea are passionate about having a positive impact on people’s health, offering a quality product and connecting with people.

One last fun piece of the trip to Celestial Seasonings Tea is that we called for a cab and they just never came!  I called to follow up and even referred to the cab app and no one ever picked up the trip.  Oh, and it was too late to grab the bus shuttle! Shandra in the gift shop tried to help, but nothing.  We just sat outside (beautiful) and relaxed.  Liz came strolling out the door and for some reason I felt perfectly comfortable asking “Are you going to Boulder by any chance?”  To which she replied “Yes, do you want a ride?”  Did I mention that these people were nice?  Well actually everyone seems nice in Colorado. We had a nice chat with Liz along the way, she dropped us off right at the bus station and back to Denver we went.  Thanks Liz and all the nice folks at Celestial Seasonings Tea.  We will remember your kindness!

 Other highlights are the 16th Street Mall, Snooze, Union Station, Yard House, Train (yes, we saw them!) and the Wazee Supper Club.

And imagine this, Camden has 7 apartment communities in the Denver area!  This includes our newest apartment homes at Camden Flatirons. Camden Flatirons of course includes views of the majestic Rocky Mountains. And yes, you can live there with your pet. At Camden Flatirons, you will have Quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and large floor plans with wood plank floors. Also featured at the community is a gaming lounge, an internet café, a high-endurance fitness center, a sparkling pool, hot tub, fire pit, outdoor retreat and a dog park!

Fun trip, we can’t wait to go back.

 

Peace,

Cindy

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 9.24.36 AMOur population is addicted to reviews.  Yelp, Google, Angie’s List and Amazon are all heavy hitters that affect business or product reputations. Apartment hunting is no exception.
As with any business, an online apartment review is only part of the equation.  Camden has an entire site dedicated to the interaction between our customers and the results achieved by sincere feedback. This page is called Voice of the Customer. Our best ideas, amenities and policies are born from feedback from our customers.  Reviews offer transparency to a small portion of their reputation.  It often deserves a better look.
Things to Consider:
  • Apartment quality, price and experience can vary greatly in any market.
  • People are far more likely to voice their opinion in the heat of a bad experience, misunderstanding or irritation. Since reviews can be written in the moment, the problem may be resolved and the reviewer may not have been able to log in to change his/her opinion. Have you ever signed up for an emailed newsletter and could never figure out how to un-subscribe because you couldn’t remember the log-in credentials?
  • Unlike Amazon,  apartment ratings have historically been based on bad reviews from people searching out places to voice their frustration.  Only in the last couple of years have rental companies sought out reviews and asked for public feedback.
  • No one will ever live anywhere without having problems of some sort. Homeowners deal with many of the same problems renters have.  Repair delays can be a reality in the best places to live.  Quirks, unavailable parts and similar repair situations can be as frustrating for the owner/manager, a homeowner or a renter all the same.
Apartment rating sites can also be a great source of good information when apartment hunting.   Look at the overall experience throughout all of the reviews.   When looking at reviews try to consider the reasoning behind the review.  People expect to be happy with their rental experience therefore they don’t feel obligated to report an expected experience.  People sometimes complain and focus on things that are very typical for multi-family living:  parking is insufficient, noise can be heard from other apartments, they have bugs on their patio and their rent went up. Other times, people can be angry because they were charged a late fee, had an unauthorized pet, occupant, or liked to grill on their balcony.
Who writes the reviews on apartments?
  • People who have been asked to rate them.
  • People who are angry about an outcome they can’t change.
  • Long-time customers who became aware of an outlandish negative review and wanted to set the record straight.
  • People with limited experience in apartments and housing responsibilities.
  • Someone experiencing unexpected regional differences in apartments (scorpions in the desert, large water bug in the south).
  • Someone angry about something else in their life.
  • Someone having a bad experience.
  • Someone who has been ignored or invalidated by the staff.
  • Someone who tried to be reasonable but had one too many bad experiences.

review wordsSome signs the apartment review might be emotionally charged and could be biased:

  • The reviewer names people in an inappropriate manner. “The manager (named) needs to get a life”.
  • The reviewer has a laundry list of complaints. This can indicate they are unloading anything and everything.
  • The reviewer talks about how long they have lived there and for some reason they are now mad about something. ” I have lived here three years and the new management company is terrible”. It could mean the new management is enforcing a rule that had not been enforced previously.
  • The story cannot be confirmed. Crime can usually be confirmed online or by inquiring with the police department.
  • Security deposit complaints and rental rate increases are often the most debated issue.
  • A lone review (good or bad) without any other corroborating experiences.
Other Resources:
  • Local news station online. Search the name of the community to see what comes up. 
  • Social media:  It’s a good sign when you visit a Facebook page for a community and see a consistent amount of posts, resident functions, various communications and equal involvement by customers or vendors.  It often means management is focused on people and communication. You might see post about resident functions followed up with photos from that event. You might even see communications to the residents about dates and times of pest control or water being turned off on a building at a specific time. 
Do your own review when you visit an apartment community.
  • Are common areas clean?
  • Are the lawns and common area flower beds neatly manicured?
  • In the winter months is the pool kept clean and free of fallen leaves? This could tell a lot about the mind-set of the maintenance team. Be more forgiving if there are seasonal trees surrounding the pool.
  • Call first to gauge their phone mannerisms.  See if they invite you for a visit.
  • Consider engaging in conversation with current customers.
  • If you are interested in a community as a serious contender, but see a post that is concerning, ask management about the review.  Start a dialogue to better understand how the communities respond to inquiries.

Never assume an apartment review is the whole story.  Even the best community could have a negative apartment review.  Use your best judgement when apartment hunting.  Do a little more digging when it seems like a good fit. Lastly, don’t let one persons opinion keep you from a great experience.

 

 

Whether it is by choice or necessity, a lot of people these days are finding themselves living with someone else, i.e. a roommate. This someone else could be a friend, a family member, a bestie, a significant other, an acquaintance or yikes…a stranger. I have seen quite a few lease breaks in my day because roommates could not get along. And I’m not talking the “conscious uncoupling” kind of break-up like Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin made famous this year. I’m talking the dirty Hollywood divorce kind of break-up. I’ve heard and seen it all…from fights over cups left in the sink to the more serious things that ended with lock changes.

So how did they get there? What could have been done to prevent it? There are basics that everyone should know when living with a roommate and then there are the specifics depending upon who you are living with. Find out how to live drama-free with anyone by following some easy tips from an industry insider (me) as well as someone who has lived in most of these situations (yep. you guessed it. me, again).

Photo Courtesy : www.bubblews.com

Photo Courtesy : http://www.bubblews.com

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