Friday, July 25, 2014

7 Pre-Vacation Tasks to Tackle

Whether your idea of a vacation is going to a big city or laying on the beach, it is a time that should be as stress-free as possible. Aside from the normal tasks of packing and making sure you have all of your travel necessities, here are 7 less thought of tasks to take care of before your trip, courtesy of Apartment Therapy.

1. Tell your neighbors and/or friends. Inform your neighbors and friends of the dates that you will be gone and ask them to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity around your home. Leave an extra set of keys and contact information with a trusted neighbor or friend. If you will be gone for more than a few days, ask your neighbor or friend to pick up your mail. You can also go to the USPS website to place a “stop” order on mail and newspapers. Consider asking a friend to check in if you have plants that need to be watered.

2. Tidy your kitchen. Clean out your fridge. Dispose of food that will spoil, eat your leftovers and take out the trash and recycling. Any food left in the trash or the sink will spoil and stink up your home, so make sure to do the dishes.

Photo courtesy THOR.
3. Tend to the bathrooms. Sprinkle a little baking soda in toilets and down the sink drains to avoid coming home to the stench of stagnant water dripping.

4. Take safety precautions. If you are concerned about safety, invest in a light switch timer that can turn lights on and off according to a programmed schedule, park a car in your driveway, and leave curtains or blinds exactly as they usually are. Make sure all windows and doors are locked before you leave and double-check that the alarm system is armed, if you have one. It is also a good idea to place any valuables in a locked safe or in a part of your home that is out of plain sight.

5. Pay the bills. This is especially pertinent if you are going to be gone a few weeks. Plan ahead and pay all the bills that will be due while you are away. You shouldn't need to worry about when bills are due while you are on vacation.

6. Conserve energy. Adjust the thermostat so that it saves energy. Make sure all faucets are turned off and no water is dripping. Consider shutting off water lines to washing machines to avoid flooding problems. Make sure all lights of the home are turned off. Double-check to make sure all appliances are turned off and unplug electronics to save on power.

7. Clean the house. Tidy up and clean up the clutter! I love coming back home to a clean house; it makes you appreciate your home that much more and will make unpacking and getting back into the routine that much easier.

What is your normal pre-vacation routine like? Is there anything you would add to this? Share your thoughts below!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Local Cuisine without Leaving Your Apartment

Photo courtesy Stu Spivack
Part of #LaCanteraLiving is actually getting to enjoy time in your apartment. While the city of San Antonio has a lot to offer, sometimes you want to just kick back and relax at home. We like to do our part to make sure this happens, so we want to give you more information about food delivery at La Cantera.

In our most recent newsletter, we mentioned G-Runners grocery delivery service. If you have never used this service before, it is very simple and reliable. You can place your grocery order via phone or website, and it arrives at your door either the same day or the next. If time is of a concern you can always call ahead to see what the turnaround time will be. G-Runners accepts cash or credit.

We’re also excited to share something new that’s in the works. We have a few local restaurants within The Residences at La Cantera on-board to deliver to La Cantera residents’ doors, including Burger Fi, Z’Tejas and Va Bene. As this goes into effect, each apartment unit will be equipped with a special delivery menu compiled by each restaurant.

You have to leave your apartments for this, but you don’t have to go far. This Saturday, July 19, come to the clubroom/pool area for complimentary samples from Burger Fi from 3-6 PM! We hope to see you there!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fitness at La Cantera

Photos courtesy Ashton Paley
As a part of La Cantera Living, we like to encourage our residents to lead a healthy lifestyle by having fitness equipment and classes readily available. Our fitness director, Artemus Moore of Core Fit, and his staff are available daily to both lead group fitness classes and to provide one-on-one fitness training. Please note, you should always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen.

Fitness Center
The fitness center at La Cantera has cardio and weight equipment. Residents have the option of participating in one-on-one personal training or working out on your own. We also provide a complimentary fitness assessment to our residents To schedule your assessment, call Artemus at 548-2913.

Yoga Room and Classes
At La Cantera, we have a room solely dedicated to the practice and teaching of yoga. Our current class schedule includes Hatha I, Hatha I & II and an All Levels class.

Photo courtesy Ashton Paley
Hatha I: Beginner yoga class. Focuses on poses to stretch and strengthen the legs, back and shoulders. Emphasis is given to the basic alignment and fundamentals (1 hr.).
Hatha I & II: This class is the next level up from a Hatha I class. Hatha I & II mixed-level class includes the basic alignment and fundamentals shown in Hatha I, with little to no pose modification, to allow you to increase your flexibility and to prepare your body for a more intense Hatha II practice (1 hr.).
Hatha All Levels: This class is open to a wide range of practitioners, with modifications given for basic to beginner-level students, and variations given for more intermediate to advanced level students.

As with any workout routine, please advise your instructor of any injuries or special physical needs prior to class starting time.

Coming Soon...
We will soon be adding bike rentals to our amenities. Residents can take the bikes out on the paths surrounding the La Cantera community. For any residents who already own bikes, we will have an expert come in to repair and assess your bicycles. We will let you know once this goes into effect!

What are your favorite ways to get fit at La Cantera? Share them in the comments below! Have any questions about our fitness programs? Call us at the concierge desk!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Create a Scentsational Home

Photos (top L, clockwise) courtesy hurley.k e, THOR, Nic McPhee, Junhao
Just as colors and decor help to create an atmosphere in a space, so does scent. Certain scents help to energize, while others have a calming effect. So what are the basics of fragrance notes and where should you use them? This article from Style at Home gives you the rundown.

Fragrance: Florals
There’s a reason that the gift of fresh flowers is a tradition that has endured over the centuries. Once placed in a vase, the blooms are not only gorgeous, they perfume your home beautifully, memorably and entirely naturally. Though not all flowers are fragrant (notably tulips, daffodils and orchids don’t have much scent), consider the flowers that do. Rose, gardenia, lily of the valley, freesia and peony are instantly recognizable classics. Any of these floral fragrances will create a strong association for people who smell them in your home and tend to be the most memorable. If you use a peony or lilac scent in your bedroom, for instance, your kids are likely to always associate it with you. Aside from fresh flowers, a few drops of a top-quality home-fragrance oil is one of the most authentic ways to replicate floral smells in your home, which can be added to potpourri or a diffuser.

Where to use this home fragrance: Florals are timeless, traditional and highly memorable. They’re great for bedrooms and entryways.

Fragrance: Spices
Thyme, cinnamon, lavender (often assumed to be a floral but is actually a part of the mint family), ginger, and vanilla evoke the warmth of baking. These spice-cupboard fragrances are often reminiscent of the winter months, especially cinnamon. And peppermint, in fact, has been associated with curbing overeating and boosting your mood. These spicy smells are a natural fit in the kitchen but are just as lovely for any room in the home. They are usually more suitable than florals for the dining room because they don’t clash with food smells. Candles tend to do a great job of replicating spicy smells like cinnamon and thyme. Reed diffusers are wonderful if you lean toward lavender, minty, and vanilla scents as they perfume the air with just the right amount of tingly scent.

Where to use this home fragrance: Spicy fragrances create a warm, cozy atmosphere and work well in the kitchen and dining room.

Fragrance: Citrus
Citrus fruit fragrances, like lemon, orange, bergamot and grapefruit have one thing in common: they are energizing and crisp. (It’s not a coincidence that lemon is a typical scent for household cleansers and detergents; it smells clean and fresh). A citrus aroma is sunny and bright, it’s ideal for lifting up your mood and reminding you of a subtropical or Mediterranean vacation. The smell of orange, for instance, has been shown in a study to reduce stress. Citrus is also ideal for entertaining in the morning and early afternoon when it’s a little too early for heavy floras or heady spices. Room sprays, the kind you spritz like a perfume, tend to smell fantastic and zingy in citrus notes.

Where to use this home fragrance: Citrus aromas are fresh, clean and sunny. Use them anywhere in the home when you want to add an energizing mood and reduce stress.

Fragrance: Woodsy
Sandalwood, oud (also known as agarwood), cedar and pine are age-old, ever-popular scents for the home. Cedar wood has long been prized for its clean, outdoorsy fragrance, durability and moth-repelling qualities, and pine reminds us of Christmas trees and the holiday season, but also of camping and mid-summer. Sandalwood and oud are dark, mysterious and exotic. All of these resinous, woodsy scents are earthy, intricate and sensual and they can be used to create an inviting ambience in your home. Incense is an ancient way of bringing smells of a woodsy garden into the home, but candles are a more modern way to introduce these scents. They perfume the air intensely when lit, and gently when they are not.

Where to use this home fragrance: Woodsy home fragrances are earthy and can be used anywhere indoors or out, to set a mood that’s either clean and outdoorsy (pine, cedar) or exotic and sultry (sandalwood, oud).

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