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

Technology Package Survival Kit

Ever wonder what key things you can not live without? Of course there are the obvious, food, water, etc. but what about your relationship with technology? Imagine your life void of Google, Netflix, Facebook or Instagram. I am sure we can agree that staying connected is one commodity needed for survival.

Here at Camden, we strive to improve the quality of life of our residents.  In addition to our other amenities which help us to achieve living excellence, Camden uses technology to improve apartment living.  Here is an outline of convenient tech services provided to all residents at many of our communities…

Cable & High-Speed Internet

  • More than 70 channels, plus HBO
  • Wi-Fi speeds up to 15Mbps and access to over 250,000 nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots
  • HBO Go from your smart device or computer
  • Automatic approval, no contract, no deposit, negotiated Camden-only discounted rate, annual savings up to 32%

Wi-Fi Access

  • Access to Wi-Fi hotspots within the community

MyCamden.com

  • Available 24/7 on-line and allows residents to submit maintenance requests, pay rent, contact the office, reserve an amenity, submit a key release, socialize with neighbors, buy & sell items, receive community updates, sign & renew your lease

Business Center Access

  • Exclusive access to a fully-equipped business center with computers, printers, Internet and Wi-Fi

As a former Camden resident, I found this particular amenity the most useful and convenient, not to mention, it was my life line.

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.bellymotions.com/dance-classes/zumba/

Taking the Work Out of Workout

Have you ever been to a Zumba Class? It’s like a super fun dance party with easy choreographed moves that make you forget that you’re even working out. The best part is, that you don’t even need to know how to dance to join in on the fun!

One thing you should know about Camden is that we really like to have fun! We had brain stormed so many fun ideas for resident events.-food trucks, pool party, etc. when we came across the idea of hosting a Zumba class here at Camden Plantation. We figured being that we have this enormous racquetball court, why not take advantage of our wonderful amenities?

We started to research local Zumba instructors in the area and reached out to a few of them. I emailed Catherine and immediately she was on board. We started promoting the event through our Facebook, Twitter, and flyers. We asked residents to RSVP through the mycamden.com portal.

There were 25 people RSVP’ed for the class, and we were so eager to see the turnout and ready to have some fun. Cristina, one of our amazing leasing consultants, and I decided to stay and take part of this awesome event. People that were registered and even some that hadn’t, showed up and were ready to get their dance on. The class was so fun and the instructor was great too! She was very patient and involved and danced with us and in between us. It was only one hour and you wouldn’t even think that with all the laughter and smiles that you we were burning calories. The group had  such a good time, that they asked for an encore!

We will now be hosting Zumba classes at Camden Plantation every Thursday at 7pm starting December 3rd. So if you haven’t taken a Zumba class yet or are looking for a great place to have fun with your neighbors, come to our very own Zumba class!

 

TICK OR TREAT PUMKINS

Fun and Cheap DIY Halloween Projects!

My favorite time of the year is upon us! I know I am not alone when I say I LOVE fall weather! It is a nice welcome from the hot and humid summer heat and it brings cooler temps and changing leaves. One of the things I love so much about fall season is the decorating! I enjoy bringing out the pumpkins, and leaves, and acorns. It is the official start to decorating season in my house and I look forward to it each and every year.

To kick off the decorating season is Halloween! Scary? Fun? Contemporary? The choice is yours! The possibilities are endless as you prepare to decorate your Camden home for the Halloween season. An even better part about decorating for his fun holiday is that there are several ways that you can decorate inexpensively and you can do it yourself! A DIY project with your family or friends is a great way to customize your projects and make them fun and original. I have a set of crafty boys at my house so we do all sorts of fun projects and set their finished products all over the home for all to enjoy. Not sure where to start? Try some of these ideas and I am sure your wheels will start spinning!

Coffee Cans/ Canned Foods:
Most of us are coffee drinkers. Keep your empty metal coffee cans because they are great to use in projects. You can use these in several ways. Take a metal coffee can and paint it a color of your choice. I typically pick black but feel free to use which ever colors fits your personality and décor. My boys will paint them black and then the real fun begins! They decorate them to look like scary monsters or witches or black cats for the season. You can glue eyes to the can to create part of the face. Construction paper or paint can be used to create the mouth or nose or warts or whatever you want to add to the can. Pipe cleaners are great additions as well because they can serve as arms, ears, horns, tails, etc. Want more of a 3D affect? Styrofoam balls are great additions to projects! They can be painted numerous colors and simply glued on to the can to give you the look you are after. Once you have painted the can and added all of your fun additions step back and look at your customized product that you created! These are cheap, cute, and personalized to decorate your home with!

boo-lantern

The same principal with the coffee cans can be applied to canned food. These are smaller cans so they are perfect for adding small touches throughout the house. One of my favorite projects that I completed with the canned food is my letter cans! My boys painted the cans either solid black or solid orange. They cut out letters with either orange or black construction paper. We hammered small pin holes throughout the can. Once that was completed we glued letters to each individual can. The black cans received orange letters and the orange cans received black letters. My boys choose the word “Spooky” to spell out but you can choose whatever word you choose! Place a battery operated tea light in them and it is complete! You can add ribbon or other decoration to personalize even more if you choose. These cans line my fireplace mantel during Halloween. It is super cute with the dancing flames from the tea light and the best part is my boys created it themselves to add to our home holiday decor.

Milk Cartons:
Do you go through milk at your homes like I do at mine? I am always buying a gallon of milk! Recycle those empty milk cartons and use them in your Halloween decorations. They make perfect ghosts. Clean out your milk carton, use a black Sharpe marker to draw the eyes and the mouth, insert a battery operated tea light or clear Christmas light strands and you now have ghosts! Yes, it really is that simple

babble.com

babble.com

Pumpkins:
One of the easiest things to bring into the home to decorate and no it doesn’t have to be carved! The common misconception is that pumpkins have to be carved. That is false and in fact there are a number of ways to decorate a Halloween pumpkin without carving it! And you pick the size, color, and shape of the pumpkin you want to use! Use Halloween ribbon and tie a large bow at the top of the pumpkin and wallah! You have a decorated pumpkin! Want a little more than just ribbon? You can use glitter, buttons, stones, etc. to spell out words on your pumpkin. Spelling to the word “Boo” or “Spooky” with some fun stones and decorative ribbon makes for a cute pumpkin that fits right into the holiday season. My kids paint scary and happy faces on their pumpkins and they are creative and personalized. They each decorate their very own and are eager to show it off and for it to be on display. It is a fun project that they enjoy and its quality time spent together.

homedit.com

homedit.com

Decorating your home for any holiday does not have to be super expensive. There are several projects that you can do using things you already have to create your own decor that fits the personalities of your home! Perhaps you prefer to just decorate for fall so that it carries you through Thanksgiving! Here are some great tips to get you started into the fall season! Look around your home and let your imagination go wild. Wine bottles, paper grocery sacks, empty jars, old sheets, etc can all be transformed into fun holiday decoration.I am sure you will find all sorts of things you can use to make your beautiful Camden home holiday perfect!

Where’s the Cake? Fluff Bake Bar!

Birthday Cake - funfetti cake, vanilla buttercream frosting, cake crumble and and sprinkles on top. Photo courtesy of http://fluffbakebar.com/thegoods/

Birthday Cake – funfetti cake, vanilla buttercream frosting, cake crumble and and sprinkles on top. Photo courtesy of http://fluffbakebar.com/thegoods/

Recently I went to a birthday party with a friend of mine. The cake came out with the typical candles on it as we sang “Happy Birthday” to the birthday girl, but as I glanced at the cake I noticed this was no ordinary birthday cake. It was a 3 layered vanilla buttercream funfetti cake with sprinkles and crunchy bits on top! It was a cake that just made you smile from ear to ear before even trying it! This was no store bought cake. This had to be an expensive cake from a bakery I had never been to.

So of course I asked, “Where did you get that cake?” The birthday girl said, “Fluff Bake Bar. It has only been open for a few months.” Well no wonder! Here in Houston, when a new restaurant or bakery opens word travels fast…especially if it’s good. Once I got my hands on a slice and took the first bite, I was transported back to my childhood. There was something so familiar about this cake! It was moist but at the same time had a little crispy crunch, and the frosting was creamy sweet buttercream goodness. I couldn’t believe how yummy it actually was!

Rebecca Masson - Fluff Bake Bar owner and chef. Photo courtesy of http://fluffbakebar.com/contact/
Rebecca Masson – Fluff Bake Bar owner and chef. Photo courtesy of http://fluffbakebar.com/contact/

While researching this new local bakery, I found out the owner of Fluff Bake Bar, Rebecca Masson, is an award-winning pastry chef who went to Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France for culinary school! She also competed on Top Chef: Just Desserts, didn’t win, but made Houston proud even with a pink cast on her left arm! She has made quite a reputation for herself in the pastry world, and is even “a highly sought consultant creating signature dessert menus for the top tier of Houston restaurants, including, Vic & Anthony’s.” Rebecca also supports the Lucky Dog Rescue with various charity events! She is a pastry angel in my eyes, and I am going to be a long time customer of Fluff Bake Bar…no wonder she is known in Houston as “The Sugar Fairy.”

Veruca Salt
Veruca Salt

Being the foodie I am, I rushed over to Fluff Bake Bar with an excuse to get a cake! While I was in there I noticed all the other goodies they had in the glass display case. I was a kid in a candy store, or in this case, a cake store! In addition to their cakes, Fluff Bake Bar has different kinds of cookies and cakes, but my eyes were draw to something I had never seen before! Cute little 8 oz. clear cups which looked like mini versions of their cakes with a clear lid on top (great way to have a few bites and save the rest for later). It just so happens that’s what they call their “cup|cakes!” How genius!

Chocolate Chip Cookie, SOL - (their version of a moonpie), Cup|Cakes - Birthday Cake (vanilla), Carrot Cake , Black Velvet, and Birthday Cake (chocolate)

Chocolate Chip Cookie, SOL – (their version of a moonpie), Cup|Cakes – Birthday Cake (vanilla), Carrot Cake , Black Velvet, and Birthday Cake (chocolate)

I picked up the Veruca Salt cake along with a few cookies, and some cup|cakes (of course). The Veruca Salt was so yummy with devil’s food cake and a salted caramel buttercream frosting with some chocolate crunch pearls and pretzel toppings! The marriage of sweet, salty, and a little crunch most of us crave, on a plate! My dad had the carrot cup|cake and said it was one of the best carrot cakes he has ever had, and this is one picky man! I took a bite and fell in love with this cake…the moist carrot cake with half-baked cheesecake, candied carrot pieces, hazelnut crunch, and cookie-butter buttercream icing! I have no words for pastry chef Rebecca Masson for creating this amazing carrot cake!

If I lived at Camden Midtown, Travis St., or even City Centre I would be a regular at the Fluff Bake Bar, and by regular I mean daily visitor. However, Midtown isn’t that far from anyone in Houston, right? Run, don’t walk, over to the Fluff Bake Bar for a sweet treat today! I recommend taking home a little of everything! Can’t stroll over to the Fluff Bake Bar? Well why not place an order online or by phone and pick it up later…I’m placing an order right now!

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Moving Day Tips You May Not Have Thought Of

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I am moving. After the initial excitement of moving to a new community, (of course, it is a Camden) and a huge apartment home, came the dread of packing. This will be my fifth move since 2011. Between moving from a roommate situation, to being by myself, to moving in with my fiancé, I have acquired a lot of stuff. Our main focus for moving this time around is to purge as much as possible before going into a huge new space.

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Welcoming Your Guests

“We’re about fifteen minutes away.” Music to my ears, when I am awaiting the arrival of a houseguest. It could be family, friends, or even a babysitting gig it doesn’t matter, I get pumped. I enjoy doing special things to make my houseguest feel welcomed and here are just a few tricks that make the experience memorable.

Beautiful nosh cheese plate, with fruit and pastrami.

Beautiful nosh cheese plate, with fruit and pastrami.

After a long day on the road or at the airport, your guest can work up quite the appetite. Providing some easy to manage small bites, is a great idea to knock the edge off before your dinner plans.

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Upcoming Facebook Privacy Update – What does this mean to you?

Photo courtesy of freedomworks.org

On January 1st Facebook is once again changing their privacy settings – all Facebook users received an email about this update. The big question is, how  will the changes affect you?

Facebook is the place where people can find out everything about you and if you don’t know how to manage your privacy settings, they may be seeing things you don’t necessarily want them to. So, here’s a breakdown of what’s happening:

  • Privacy Basics: Facebook has finally developed an easy to understand tutorial to help you adjust your privacy settings. Think of it as Facebook Privacy 101. There are three main areas they will cover:
    1. What others see about you.
    2. How others interact with you.
    3. What you see.
  • Explanation of Facebooks Apps and Services: Facebook offers a lot of different services and now they are going to do a better job of explaining how these can help or affect you. For example:
    • How Facebook gets location information based on different features you may use.
    • Testing a Buy button to purchase products directly from the Facebook site.
    • Explaining how they use the information they get from you.
    • How apps interact, like Facebook and Instagram’s relationship.
    • How Facebook uses your information to help advertisers target you.
  • Ability to opt out of certain ads: Facebook will explain how this works and now any changes you make will apply to all devices you use.

It’s super important that we all understand how privacy settings work on Facebook considering more than 1 billion people are using it daily. Know your options so you can present your best face to the world!

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Photo courtesy of thedrum.com

The 100 Happy Days Challenge – Can You Do It?

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 Sights and Sounds of Fort Lauderdale

I can think of many wonderful things to do in the City of Fort Lauderdale, after all it is a beautiful part of South Florida to visit. From the sunny beaches to the swampy marshes, you can never run out of places to see and have fun.  Below are some of my personal favorites. Continue reading

Live the Good Life at Camden Foothills

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The illustrated vision for Camden Foothills at DC Ranch.

Live the Good Life at Camden Foothills
I am excited that I will be working as the Assistant Manager at the latest development for Camden in Arizona. Camden Foothills is the newest apartment community to be built in the North Scottsdale neighborhood of DC Ranch. Imagine living near the foothills and being able to walk to local shopping and dining all while being moments away from the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. No need to imagine because this summer dreams will be turned into reality. Located behind the DC Ranch Crossings Shopping Center, Camden Foothills will be an oasis in the desert for its residents. The community will feature one, two and three bedroom apartments with 14 unique floor plans to choose from. Some apartment homes will have direct access to large garages that can also double as additional storage space. The 220 unit DC Ranch apartment community will have chef inspired kitchens, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets with built-in wooden shelving, USB enabled wall outlets, designer carpet and wood plank flooring among other interior features. Camden Foothills residents will also have access to state of the art amenities including a sparkling heated pool, outdoor retreat with BBQ area, community campfire, high endurance fitness zone + yoga room, social lounge with mountain views and an unleashed dog park with controlled access plus a pet wash station. Camden Foothills will sit on more than 9 acres of land and is scheduled to open summer 2014.

Camden Foothills

An aerial  view of the Camden Foothills at DC Ranch construction.

Why DC Ranch is Where You Want to Live
North Scottsdale’s DC Ranch is a prestigious community that was established in the early 1900’s and was a part of a working cattle ranch. In the mid to late 90’s a large portion of DC Ranch land was developed and residents begin moving into the Desert Camp Village and Country Club Village. Today DC Ranch is home to over 25 neighborhoods that make up the four villages of Desert Camp, Silverleaf, Country Club and Desert Parks. When developers purchased the DC Ranch land their main focus and promise was to avoid changing the natural landscape of the community. As you drive through DC Ranch you can’t help but notice and admire the effort that was made. Streets feature different types of cactus, desert flowers & natural shrubbery. Camden Foothills residents will be near over 10 golf courses, multiple community centers and parks in the Scottsdale area. Camden Foothills will be located within the Scottsdale Unified School District. The local K-8 school is Copper Ridge School and high school students will attend Chaparral High School. Residents who live at Camden Foothills will have the luxury of living at a professionally managed community all while enjoying the benefits of being a apart of the DC Ranch community.
My Favorites So Far
I was recently able to tour the construction site at Camden Foothills and one of the things that stood out to me were all of the large windows that the one, two & three bedroom floor plans will feature. Most of the apartments will have stunning views of the mountains and the valley and I plan to take a lot of sunset and sunrise photos from the community. Another benefit to the location of Camden Foothills are all of the unique dining options nearby. So far I have had an amazing burger (Bella Angus Burger-AMAZING!) at Lush Burger which is walking distance from the community in the DC Ranch Crossings Shopping Center. I also had drinks with friends at Armitage Bistro at DC Ranch Market Street which is just down the street from Camden Foothills. I look forward to discovering the local shopping & dining and sharing all of my finds with our new neighbors once Camden Foothills is open.

 

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a resident of Camden Foothills please visit www.CamdenFoothills.com and follow the community on Facebook “Camden Foothills” or Twitter @CamdenFoothills for more information.

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A shot I took in one of the one bedroom floor plans. Look at all those windows!

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Community Manager Jeff Coleman and Maintenance Supervisor Andy Berg taking a tour of the Camden Foothills construction progress.

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This could be your kitchen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer 2014 Movies You Must See

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Photo Credit: eonline.com

Summer is the best time to go to the movies. Movies are a great way to escape the summer heat. For the past 2 years, I have shared my picks for the top 10 must see movies this summer. Looking back, I have fulfilled seeing all of the movies on my list. Here we go with my picks for 2014.

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