Does Your Data Reside On A Cloud?

shutterstock_132771947Clouds are no longer just part of the weather forecast or a soft, cozy place to take a nap. In fact Clouds were rockin’ when Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones topped the charts with “Get Off of My Cloud. Move over rain clouds, these clouds are invisible savers of data housed on a remote base.

If you’re not careful, your private information could be all over the Internet; recently some celebs saw their pictures being compromised and distributed without their knowledge or consent. A simple solution followed with an Apple spokesperson demonstrating how to make sure your data isn’t saved and stored, at least on Apple smart phones.

shutterstock_114408466There are pros, cons and what ifs to cloud storage just like everything else. If one of the mammoth Internet sites that sell music online had cloud storage at the time I purchased tracks, it would have saved me time and money. I noticed just days after my tracks were downloaded and paid for, many of them would not play with the explanation of “file not found.” When I reported it to the provider I was told they would replace a few and explained that it was a problem with my computer, and they were sorry. Needless to say, I didn’t buy from that Internet site for a long time after that. Just about all sites selling music online now back your purchases up high on a cloud somewhere.

Of course, you have other choices for storing your data. Among them are internal and external hard drives, writable DVDs/CDs and portable USB flash drives. If you save your data on a cloud, be careful what you store!

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Save Money on Rent and Move-In Costs

shutterstock_133534910croppedBetween application fees, renter’s insurance, and security and utility deposits, move-in costs can start to climb well before you’ve even added your first month’s rent. Fortunately, with a bit of strategic planning there are still ways to save some money.

Timing is everything. Rental rates will spike between May and September which are peak move-in seasons. This results in increased availability but costs of high rental rates can really put a dent in your budget. Leasing agents will be scrambling to attract tenants in winter and spring months with great move-in deals that vary from a free month’s rent to waived application fees. Because less people are moving out of their apartments, there will undoubtedly be less units available. If you’re pro-active and patient you just may luck out on a great place that won’t cost an arm and a leg to move into. Another way to save is to take advantage of pro-rated rent. Simply put, if your move-in date is the middle of the month you’ll only owe half the month’s rent.

Look for apartments currently undergoing construction or renovation. It may seem a bit scary leasing an apartment in a building that is still undergoing construction but  fearlessness in this situation can pay off big. Rental rates will be lower to attract tenants shutterstock_6252571and will only increase as the building reaches capacity. Typically a model will be available to view, but you should definitely ask to see an empty finished apartment as well.

Have good credit. Many rental agencies will waive one or several fees for potential tenants that have great credit. Having to forgo a security deposit of one month’s rent or a $100 application fee will definitely lower your move-in costs freeing up your funds to be saved or allocated elsewhere as you see fit.

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How to Budget For the Upcoming Holidays.

shutterstock_128716616The holidays are fast approaching. With the regular rent, utilities, school items for the kids, and the regular typical expenses of renting, sometimes one needs to step back and just express gratitude that you are not yet an owner, since a resident does not have to be concerned about unforeseen housing repairs.  However, everyone wants their dollar to stretch farther, so be sure you take advantage of numerous discount options to help keep your budget.

Many people store their nice holiday decorations away, however; as a rule, most people do not keep the inexpensive paper decorations.  Most paper decorations are throwaway items and every year, items such as crepe paper, confetti paper, or other inexpensive paper decorations that people hang in or around the house are purchased yearly.  For these type of inexpensive paper decoration items, there are numerous low cost chain stores that allow you to purchase these items at an inexpensive price.

shutterstock_131399510However, if you are on a tight budget and every penny counts, do not discount the popularity of the newer dollar store chains that have created so many stores.  These types of dollar stores are an excellent place to purchase paper products, such as crepe paper that may have cost you $5 at the low cost chain store, however, at these stores, it would only cost you a dollar.  That similar gift bag that you needed for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas can cost almost $7 each, and at these stores, it will only cost you about 99 cents.

However, I need to advise you that when you shop at these dollar stores, set a budget since you will find an assortment of inexpensive products that nay cause you to overspend.  If you buy what you need at these dollar stores or discount store chains, you should be able to save hundreds of dollars and that will help with all the holidays.

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Halloween in Apartments

halloween1Halloween is one of the most fabulous holidays for children and adults. It is an enjoyable time for children especially.  When else can kids get free candy and play dress up?


On Halloween night, “Trick or Treat” is heard throughout the night. Almost everyone in every neighborhood will hear a knock on his or her door. Apartments are the most favorite place for children to seek out their treats because they can visit many apartments in one area.

So if you want to partake in the Halloween fun then please put decorations on your front door and or windows and get ready for “Trick or Treaters.” While in your apartment you should be ready to welcome the children and have a ready supply of candies and maybe some new small toys. Secondly, be aware of dogs because dogs may become frightened or excited and bark. As a matter of fact, one of the most important safety measures is to keep all pets like dogs, cats and others a safe distance from children as masks and loud kids may scare them.

Thirdly, it is necessary to offer trusted known candies or small toys. Parents are rightly concerned about what their children bring home then night of Halloween. After all, there have been many news reports of people giving children bad things.

shutterstock_62862112Lastly, make sure your lights are on inside the house. This lets the kids who are trick or treating know you are home and participating. Keep the outside light on as well and the pathway clear since children wearing masks may not see as well. If possible put motion lights out so that everyone’s vision will be clear. Halloween should be a safe and fun time for everyone.

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Some Easy Ways to Create an Illusion of More Space.

shutterstock_91954775You moved into your dream home and after a few months or years, one day you wake up and realize, Honey, the house has shrunk!  Some residents may have increased their family size with a new child who comes with all their new belongings or your child’s new toys and hobbies have accumulated and filled up the closet and now the closet doors cannot close.

There is also you or your significant other who has also gathered new items and your house feels like a GPS system is needed to find anything!  But, don’t despair.  Here are several ideas on how to create more space.

Of course, the easiest way is to clean and throw away old items or give away useable items to your thrift store or Church. Then peruse the various chain stores in your area and visit the area dedicated to storage space items.  There are numerous ideas and devices that can help create more space.  There are plastic storage covers that deflate with a vacuum cleaner and instead of having a four foot high clothing storage bag, these bags reduces the size to almost as flat as a thin board and now can slide these clothes under a bed or in a closet.

shutterstock_131110499There are also numerous types of racks or plastic-hanging cases that have numerous pockets that hang over a door where could one could fit many pairs of shoes or accessories in those poaches.  These space saving devices allow numerous items to fit in their plastic pouches and are placed on one side so it can be hidden behind a closet door and still allows the door to close.

Other ideas can include purchasing bunk beds to save space or buying a convertible table that triples as a television, computer station, and storage unit all in one.  Some property owners have storage rooms to rent which are less expensive than renting at a private storage facility or sometimes, garages are available to rent as well.  If all else falls, you always have the option to move to a bigger place and most property owners usually allow long-term residents first choice when a bigger floor plan opens up.  One only needs to wait and ask.

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Fall Inspiration

shutterstock_76315189Fall is officially here! Cooler days are the perfect time to cozy up your apartment with the latest fall colors, design trends, and even a dinner party.


Let’s start with color. Updating your palette for Fall doesn’t mean you have to decorate with orange. Whether you like warm neutrals or saturated hues, there is a perfect seasonal color for you.

If neutral is your game, try cognac. There is a giant dose of warmth in this rich, brown tone. Not feeling cognac? How about mauve mist? This is not your grandmother’s mauve. This is a beautiful pink-purple color that pairs perfectly with natural wood tones and white.

If your interior design is big and bold, we have a color for you as well. Sangria! Because painting your apartment is probably not an option, find throw pillows and blankets in the plummy purple color.

Last but not least, my favorite color, deep teal. This versatile color is the ideal backdrop for pumpkins and traditional fall decorations.


Neutral color and high contrast textures scream Fall in a classy and understated way. Think grass cloth, antlers, and warm velvets. However, the key to making this work is curation. You must remove the old to make room for the new. Only collect and display what you love, so pack away your summer accessories to make room for that perfect vignette.

Speaking of vignettes, combine old, new, high-end, and affordable pieces. More specifically, 3-5 pieces. Search flea markets to find the perfect piece to build your vignette around.


Host a farm-to-table dinner party! Use your farmer’s market for inspiration.

They have shutterstock_82003318the freshest produce available, and they are also a great place to buy baked goods, meat, and even flowers.

If you’re not comfortable in the kitchen, keep it simple with a fresh salad, delicious cheese, cured meats, and of course a locally made apple pie. What’s more Fall than that?!

An added bonus, keeping the meal simple leaves you with more time to arrange seasonal flowers and wine taste!

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How to be a Great Tenant

RV_LeaseBeing a great tenant is clearly one of the best ways to build a positive relationship with your landlord. However, it is important not to let the landlord walk all over you in the process. Here are some guidelines to follow to be a good tenant and gain the landlord’s respect at the same time:

Know Your Lease Agreement

Probably the single most overlooked thing in the world of tenancy is the lease agreement. In short, if there is anything the landlord doesn’t want you to do, it’s in here. If there is anything you want to do in, around, or with your apartment, consult the lease agreement first. Yes, this means getting a copy and keeping it somewhere safe. It also means actually following the contents of the agreement. If you are not willing to follow everything in the agreement, speak with your landlord about any points of contention before you sign on the dotted line. Continue reading

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Preparing For a Safe Halloween.

shutterstock_113293567Halloween and Christmas are two of the most popular holidays for most Americans.   With Halloween fast approaching, preparing for Halloween can be easy or frustrating and organizing early always helps to have a smooth and enjoyable holiday.  If you prepare late in the game for this holiday, this could cause excess overspending and frustration with not finding the right costumes or decorations.

In any case, one of the first things to do is mark off on the calendar several days very early in October since that will allow you to clean and move furniture to other areas, especially if one intends to have a party.  Next, you should plan your objective for this holiday.  Are you planning to have a party this year, will it be a simple gathering with relatives and friends, will you just stay home and pass out candy with the children, or do you want to celebrate with your Church?  There is a new movement with numerous Churches to coordinate this celebration and you may want to contact your neighborhood Church who may already have this night celebration all coordinated and organized.

Whatever you decide to do, if you have stored decorations, now is the time to find those boxes of Halloween decorations and review their contents.  If you intend to place Halloween decorations on the house or in the front or back yard, be sure there is not a problem with the owners or neighbors.  Sometimes, too much decorations can cause a complaint from a neighbor. Remember that if you use electricity to light up decorations, it can cause the electric bill to increase and it should be included in your budget.

shutterstock_115768180Asking the kids well in advance on what they want to be this year will help you to find the appropriate costumes while you do your routine shopping in an easier fashion and may help you notice sales items.  Finally, limit your sugar intake since we all can benefit from less candy treats and look for other Halloween tricks that can be a substitute.  Have a happy and safe Halloween!

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Get Ready to Organize for the Holidays.

shutterstock_155251784With the new season of fall coming and the evidence of new coloring of leaves emerging and falling, the holiday season quickly comes upon us.  In a few weeks, numerous holidays are approaching.

Many individuals celebrate numerous secular and religious holidays and now that the children just returned to school, most families have to quickly switch gears and organize their schedule to get their homes holiday festive for the upcoming celebrations.  Hopefully, most of you have already gotten organized and carefully boxed and tagged each storage container that contained those yearly festive holiday decorations.

In a few weeks, the secular holiday of  Halloween begins and the following month of November includes Thanksgiving and before you know it, December quickly brings the holiday of Christmas.  This does not even include any other religious holidays that you may celebrate in addition to these occasions. However,  if you rent a residence, you can get quickly get holiday festive.

First, remember foremost, that you want to celebrate the holidays in a good mood and that includes safety first and ponder whether any possible holiday decoration set-ups might require your owner’s approval. Then, mark on the calendar several set days for cleaning and where you plan to move any necessary furniture to any specific areas to accommodate that particular holiday.

shutterstock_113198965Next, it is time to evaluate and reassess your budget.  After figuring your typical costs for gifts, food, and possible relative visits and sightseeing costs, select a monetary budget for new decorations.  As a general rule, always add an additional $100 for each holiday for unforeseen exigencies. After figuring out your budget, this will help you stick to your allotted monetary amount and help you to avoid overspending on frivolous party decorations, which can become costly. Now make a list of your routine expenditures and enjoy the season of holidays as they come!

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It’s Time for a Tailgate!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Fall, sweaters, football, 55 degree weather. Does it get any better? Nope! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, football season!

Whether you’re tailgating in a parking lot or throwing a bash in your apartment, you’re sure to love these pre-game tips to make your weekend easier and more festive.



  1. How to pack a cooler. (
  2. Float a helium balloon from your tent so your friends can find you. Just last weekend, I spent 45 minutes looking for a tailgate party!
  3. When you tailgate introduce yourself to your neighbors and invite them over. This applies to parties at home and in a parking lot.
  4. Make a tent chandelier. BTW, this is completely normal, and almost expected, in the south. (
  5. Photo courtesy of

    Photo courtesy of

    When you have a noon kickoff, forget the beer. Go all out with a bloody Mary bar. (

  6. Pack jumper cables. How many of us have learned this lesson the hard way?
  7. It’s a must have for the young and the old for your tailgate enjoyment. (
  8. Keep the food simple. Pick up easy items like marinated olives, crudité trays, and pre-made sandwiches. Toss the tacky grocery store trays and use a pretty platter. No one will know the difference.
  9. Don’t skimp on your presentation. Decorate a standout table with pom-poms, props in your team’s colors, and even a football or two.
  10. And last but not least, if football isn’t your thing, go shopping! The grocery stores and shopping malls are empty on college football Saturdays!
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