We’re very proud to ring in our countries New Year (see what we did there) with all of our families, and are happy to share it with our online family as well. We wish you all the best on this (rainy) Saturday… Be careful with any fireworks and make sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby! Now here is a bit of patriotism for you to enjoy!
Small apartments are a pain, but they are also a common necessity for life in a big city. With rents skyrocketing faster than wages, sometimes we have to settle for smaller domiciles. Of course, this doesn’t mean we can’t continue to enjoy ourselves as we would in a regular, large apartment. We’ve put together a couple of tips to make living in a smaller, compact apartment a breeze, even if you have a mentality that is larger than life
Counter Top Dishwashers
I swear, I didn’t even know these things existed 2 years ago, when I first saw it at my Aunt’s apartment. After spending nearly 8 years in a dish-washer free apartment, I forget dishwashers for even a thing. I was so used to doing my own dishes that I was resigned to the fact that an appliance couldn’t help me. When I saw the mini-dishwasher I was amazed. What the hell? This thing is so clutch, it fits right on the counter top and can fit a decent set of plates and glasses (the manual says it serves a set of 4).
The downside is that it can’t really do big pots and pans, those will have to be done by hand. That’s ok though, as long as you get some use out of the thing, and save yourselve the time of washing dishes manually. It’s a steal at around $250. I would highly recommend it.
I’ve only had mine for 2 years, but my Aunt has had hers for nearly 5 years and she says it still works like a charm.
PROTIP: Get commercial grade dish detergent if you can (with phosphates). I found mine at www.restockit.com. I got a package of 6 and it’s going to last me until I get old.
Stackable Washer Dryer Sets
This is another key innovation that I didn’t even realize was a thing. Of course, of washer/dryers you need a water hookup and a gas hookup, and some apartments don’t have that, but if you can finagle it (or if you rent out the first floor of a house) you can hook up one of these bad boys in a closet or tuck it away in a corner. I did some research about this a few months back and came across a good source of information, Stackable Washer & Dryer is a blog devoted specifically the stacked washer and dryer units, and has over 20 write-ups of various models. If you can get one with free shipping, I’d recommend it, as the shipping on these things can cost you over $100.
Obviously, as with most things in a compact space, you are going to have less capacity for clothes in both the washer and the dryer. I would recommend taking it easy and doing more loads with fewer clothes, rather then jamming it with a ton of heavy clothes at once. You don’t want to have to get it repaired. I never listened to my grandmother when she asked me to do the same, but now that it’s me paying the repair bills, I tend to have a different mind set.
The conversation around small apartment living wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Ikea. It’s likely the king of fitting things into small spaces. Coming from countries where (unlike America) land isn’t as plentiful, the culture is usually to fit a ton of stuff into a smaller space. Places like college dorms, Japanese apartments and broke-hipsterville Brooklyn studios will make for perfect places to put some Ikea stuff.
Also, if you’ve never travelled to Ikea and tried shopping there on a sunday afternoon, you don’t know what hell is. Go on a tuesday night to avoid the massive crowd of parent and their gross children.
I know we haven’t posted in quite some time, but I’d like to reach out and say Happy Spring to everyone! It was a long, cold winter, and now we finally get to enjoy the fresh, clean spring air and the warmth that comes with a new season. I think everyone who went through this winter deserves a break!
Also, hopefully everyone had a great Easter holiday, sorry we missed it!
Many options are available for spicing up a backyard or adding variety to a home during the beautiful spring and summer months. Garden’s and trees add natural beauty, but playsets and swingsets add a level of architectural beauty and function that can be a excellent addition to a home.
Playsets also add many options for young children to get lots of physical activity, something lacking in many of todays homes. Daily exercise is important for young ones, so a wooden backyard playset adds that option as well as an architectural addition and a natural looking scenery.
The installation of this option can sometimes be a difficult task. Companies specialize in playset installation in new jersey and more than just handymen, so it’s important to pick the right one. Don’t just settle for somje random guys that are looking for business. Do a little research, check on Yelp or some other review site for companies in your area.
Before you do that you need to track down a good swing set itself. Some available options are:
Cedarbrook from Toys R Us
Look at some of the brilliant examples of these types of playsets. See how beautiful they could be if given the right treatment and installation:
Now that you’ve chosen the right supplier, and perhaps chosen the correct installation and assembly company, it’s now time to enjoy the spoils of your hard earned money, and get those kids out enjoying the playground. Instead of taking time out of your day to drive to the park or sending your kids down the block, you could just have them run around in your backyard and make use of the swings, slides, or even rock-walls and tire-swings (see the pictures).
I know it’s still winter, but this time of year is the perfect time to get ready for spring, because it really is just around the corner (probably only 8 weeks away). If we want to be best prepared to enjoy the good weather, we have to start getting ready during the bad weather.
Well, that’s pretty much it, finding a good provider of the equipment, finding a good installer of the equipment, and making sure you enjoy the finished product (once the weather turns around!).
Hope you enjoyed this! Check out this cool video with a slideshow of some more photos of backyard playgrounds. Perhaps you could have your yard looking like this sometime in the future!
Thanks to everyone who helped my 2014 a great year, and everyone who helped bring in 2015 in such a great way!