Aug 06 2020
Summer is here, and that means it’s grilling season! Are you prepared for the many joys and occasional challenges of grilling when you live in an apartment complex? Our residents’ guide to grilling should help you master the art of apartment complex grilling.
Before getting started, you’ll need to know the grilling options available to you, the rules of your complex covering where you can and can’t grill, and the proper etiquette of grilling when you’re sharing prep and grill space with the other residents.
The Different Types of Grills
There are many types of grills and your enjoyment and results will depend in large part on choosing the right grill for how you like to cook and the flavors you’re looking for in your grilled food.
Indoor grills — These electric grills let you enjoy the delicious flavor and appetizing look of char-grilled food even when there’s a thunderstorm raging outside. The best indoor grills are easy to use and just as easy to clean. However, foods cooked on them may lack some of that grilled flavor you’re expecting.
Gas grills — These grills are generally fueled by portable propane tanks, although they can also be fueled by a permanent gas line. Simply turn a knob and you’re ready to grill. This makes them perfect for last minute grilling and those impatient grillers who hate waiting for coals to ash over. They also don’t produce any ash, so they’re quicker and easier to clean than charcoal grills. Gas grills at Station A can be used in designated grilling amenity spaces.
Charcoal grills — Fueled by charcoal briquets, these grills are familiar old favorites to those who like the challenge of creating the perfect amount of heat from heaps of burning coals. It’s easy to add soaked hickory, mesquite, apple, or cherry wood chips to the fire for an extra layer of delicious smoky flavor. Many people prefer the authentic ‘grilled’ flavors that come from burning embers. Utilize the designated grilling areas when grilling at an apartment. Most apartments, including Station A, do not allow for charcoal grill usage on patios.
Outdoor pizza ovens — What tastes better than a crispy, slightly charred crust supporting a load of your favorite toppings? Delivery pizzas simply can’t compare with a pizza fresh from the blistering heat of an outdoor pizza oven and eaten just a few steps away! Check out Station A’s outdoor kitchen including pizza oven!
Always Practice Grilling Safety!
Safety is a priority whenever you’re grilling, and it’s especially important when you’re surrounded by other people who may not be paying attention to what you’re doing.
Follow these suggestions for safe grilling:
- Always follow the apartment complex’s rules for grilling.
- Never, ever leave a hot grill unattended!
- Know how to use the equipment properly. If you’re unsure, ask someone to show you.
- Keep hot pads or oven mitts handy.
- Always remember to turn all the knobs on a gas grill off when you’re done using it. Dispose of charcoal ash safely in a designated container.
Know Proper Grilling Etiquette
Don’t hog the shared grills! Other people might have grilling plans, too. Be prepared to share grill space with your neighbors and never leave the community grills in a mess. Remove any residue, clean the grates, wipe down the prep areas, and throw away all of your trash. Leave the grilling area as fresh, clean, and inviting as you found it and everyone will have fun grilling!
Get to Know Your Neighbors
Grilling is a great way to meet your neighbors and make new friends. Appetizing smells wafting around the area are sure to spark comments and questions. You may even find yourself swapping grilling tips or recipes with your new-found friends! You might even want to organize a potluck so everyone can share their favorite grilling or picnic foods while you all get to know each other better.
Enjoy Station A’s Outdoor Amenities
At Station A, our outdoor amenities include an outdoor kitchen with a food prep area, grilling stations, pizza oven, picnic nooks, and ample places to enjoy al fresco dining. Not a resident yet? Contact us to schedule a tour of our wonderful apartments and exceptional amenities!
Jul 10 2020
Summer is here! If you love the scorching heat and blazing sun, that’s good news for you. For some of us though, walking outside after 8:00 in the morning makes us feel like we’re melting right into the asphalt. If that’s the case, you probably spend most of your time in the pool–a crisp, cool oasis in the middle of the sweltering heat of summer. The pool is a great place to hang out with friends or just relax after a long week. After scouring the internet and reading tons of reviews, we’ve compiled a list of the coolest pool accessories for every occasion.
Choose classic games for traditional summer fun
Summer is the time to gather a bunch of friends in the backyard, grill your favorite foods, and play games. These party games and sports are even more fun when you add the element of water–check out the pool variations of these classics:
No barbecue is complete without a game of cornhole. If you’ve mastered cornhole in your backyard, it might be time to add a new twist. Make it a bit more challenging with the gentle rocking motion of the waves in your pool. This corn toss set has two cup holders and includes six waterproof bean bags. Added bonus? Foam and plastic pellet filling means they won’t sink when they hit the water.
Add some air to your slam dunk with an inflatable basketball hoop for the pool. The Hoop Shark set is extra durable so it stands up to even the toughest slam dunks. So grab the included basketball, get a running start, and see how high you can get before slamming into the water.
An intense game of volleyball is the perfect way to spend a long day in the sun. Intex makes a fantastic inflatable volleyball set that works well in any pool. It’s easy to take anywhere, weighing only three pounds and inflating quickly. It’s large enough to get a big group of people in on the fun, and it comes with a repair kit, just in case.
Engage in crazy challenges with your most competitive friends
We all have those super competitive friends–you know, the ones who turn everything into a contest. They are the friends who will casually ask you if you want to run a 5K next month (it’ll be fun, they say), and for the next 30 days you’re up at the crack of dawn, living on protein shakes and raw eggs, with “Eye of the Tiger” stuck in your head for the rest of time. Those friends will completely appreciate these pool toys that are sure to inspire a bit of healthy competition….
Think your mechanical bull skills rival those of Travolta in Urban Cowboy? Even if you’re as good as you think, bringing that bull into the water might make things a little more challenging… Round up your friends and see who can stay on this inflatable bull while the rest of you create a bunch of choppy waves.
Chicken fights are probably one of the most fun water games ever. It’s a real bummer when you don’t have enough people, though. These giant chicken floats allow you to have all the fun of the fight with only two people. Push, pull, wrestle, and flip your friends off their chicken and into the water!
Spikeball (or roundnet, if you prefer) is all the rage now at barbecues, beaches, and backyards across the country. With Spikebuoy, you can challenge your buddies to a game of Spikeball in the pool. An anchor bag and leg straps attach to your net in the water, adding an awesome new element to a fantastic game.
When that’s all done, it’s finally time to relax…
It’s great to have wild, crazy fun with the friends, but sometimes you just need to step back and take some time out. These accessories will help you relax and recharge after a long work week:
Floating Pool Speaker
Music makes everything better, especially a leisurely float around the pool. This Bluetooth speaker floats along with you, playing your favorite tunes and adding a pretty glow to the water with brightly colored LED lights. The built-in microphone allows you to make hands-free phone calls while you’re relaxing the day away.
The pool is the perfect place to spend a starry summer night. After a long day at work, kicking back and relaxing in the pool is just the way to unwind. Of course, you absolutely must have your favorite drinks handy to help you loosen up. This Intex Mega Chill floating cooler is perfect for storing up to 30 cans in the main cooler and up to 15 more drinks in the cup holders and storage area.
You want to relax in your pool, but it’s a real scorcher and you can’t even hang out on your float without breaking a sweat. Trade the float in for a pool hammock. The design of the hammock keeps you partially submerged in the cool water while still allowing you to drift lazily along. The headrest and footrest provide extra comfort.
For the ultimate in summer relaxation, you need to splurge and treat yourself to a pool canopy. The spacious design, soft material, and cushy pillows are incredibly inviting. Grab a tasty snack and lay back with a good book or kick off a Netflix binge.
Whether you’re splashing around with friends or relaxing while indulging in the latest Netflix craze, the pool is the place to do it. Please feel free to contact us to learn more about the wonderful amenities here at Station A.
Jun 10 2020
Cleaning your apartment might be the chore you hate the most, but it doesn’t have to be. Breaking it down between rooms and using the right products will have you finishing up in no time, and leave your apartment sparkling. Check out these tips to make cleaning your apartment a no-nonsense matter.
Plan Your Attack
Deep cleaning your apartment doesn’t have to be done in one day. If you keep the place tidy throughout the week (make your bed, do your dishes, put away laundry), you’re already one step ahead. Making a schedule can help you stick to the routine, but also breaks it down so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Start with the dirtiest rooms, usually the bathroom and kitchen. Here you’ll need to scrub and disinfect, so clean those areas on the same day.
Cleaning the living area and bedrooms should be done on another day. This routine can easily fit into your schedule, and you won’t spend hours cleaning the whole apartment and dreading it the entire week.
To give your home a deep clean, what you do first matters. Mopping the floor and then dusting is backward. All the dirt and dust will just fall onto your clean floors. Try these tips to work smarter.
- Start with the dirtiest rooms where you’ll spend the most time.
- In each room, start from left to right. This gives you a clear beginning and endpoint.
- Work from top to bottom.
- Dust before mopping or vacuuming.
- Use a vacuum, with attachments if needed, to suck up hair before cleaning the bathroom (Hair and dust that is wet will make your job ten times harder).
To clean effectively, you need the right arsenal of tools. Here’s a list of the basics.
- Microfiber cloths for dusting.
- Vacuum and mop
- Scrub brushes for those hard to clean areas.
- White cloths can be used to wipe down cabinets, outside of toilets, sinks, and baseboards. The best part is you can reuse them after laundering with some bleach to clean and disinfect.
- Cleaners — This comes down to preference, but to clean kitchens and bathrooms, you’ll need to disinfect. Using bleach and hot water can get the job done, but there is a proper way to mix a solution.
Now that you have a plan and the proper tools, it’s time to get cleaning. Start with the dirtiest room.
Begin by tidying up. Use your solution of bleach and hot water to clean your toilet, shower, and sink. A scrub brush may be needed for tough grime.
Clean faucets with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. Put the mixture in a baggie, and tie it around your shower head and bathroom faucets. Leave on for a few hours.
Finally, mop your floors, but make sure you run a vacuum through first to pick up any hair.
Clean cabinets and countertops with your bleach solution, followed by the refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. Use a cleaner to keep the top of your stove in pristine condition. If you have stainless steel appliances, these cleaners will leave them streak-free.
Use your vacuum attachments to get in the grates of your refrigerator and under the stove. Finish up with mopping the kitchen floor.
Tidy up these areas — put away laundry and add new sheets to your bed. Dust with your microfiber cloth — don’t forget the ceiling fans and any window blinds! Use your vacuum attachment to clean baseboards and furniture. Finish up by vacuuming the floors.
If you’re looking to move into a clean apartment, contact us to schedule an appointment.
May 28 2020
You can still enjoy a garden when you live in a bright and sunny Station A apartment! Large windows and spacious open floor plans practically invite houseplants while your private patio or balcony is the perfect spot to add some favorite outdoor greenery.
A surprising number of plants will grow in a container. Everything from flowers to herbs to peppers, tomatoes, and other vegetables are suitable for container growing. There are even ornamental Japanese maples and dwarf fruit trees that will thrive in a large enough container. Just imagine enjoying the delicious fragrance of citrus flowers wafting in from the patio as you garnish drinks with homegrown lemon or lime wedges!
The key to growing a container garden lies in choosing the right plant variety, pot or planter, and potting mix. For example, not every tomato variety is suitable for growing in the confines of a container. Indeterminate tomatoes are rampant growers that won’t stop growing both outwards and upwards until frost kills them. Determinate tomatoes are more restrained varieties that usually only grow about 3′ tall. Many are perfect for large containers and will produce plenty of juicy, ripe tomatoes rather than rampant foliage.
Choosing a large enough container is also essential for success. Make sure your containers have adequate drainage and use a soilless potting mix in order to keep your plants from drowning. Potting soil is okay for outdoor garden beds but it doesn’t drain well enough for containers. It might also carry soil-borne pathogens that can infest your plants.
Making Good Use of Your Space
A combination of railing planters, hanging baskets, windowsill planters, plant stands, and other display methods will allow you to enjoy your garden both indoors and out. Using unique planters like large seashells will add a touch of whimsy.
Planting a mixed container lets you grow a wider variety of plants in the same number of pots as if each pot held a single variety. Try planting basil around the base of your tomatoes. They’re naturals together! Since basil comes in a wide range of scents, flavors, colors, leaf shapes, and sizes you can have a very pretty and colorful garden from tomatoes and basils alone.
When planting a mixed container, make sure that all the plants have similar sun, watering, and fertilizing needs. If they don’t have similar requirements, some will probably thrive while others will fade away. They should also look good together, with a range of heights, leaf shapes and textures, and colors.
Keeping Your Plants Watered
If you have just a few pots, a watering can may be sufficient to keep them watered. However, if your pots are large or you have a lot of them, it might be worth investing in a drip-irrigation system along with an automatic timer. This setup lets you sit back and enjoy your container garden rather than constantly worrying about whether you’re under or over watering your plants. It also lets you take off on a long-anticipated vacation or camping trip without worrying about your garden while you’re away!
If you also have indoor plants, there are several ways to handle their watering needs. Do you have a neighbor or friend with a green thumb that you can ask to water your plants while you’re away? Make it easier for them to care for your plants by clustering plants with similar watering needs together and moving them out of direct sunlight.
You can also use a large, clear plastic bag to make a mini greenhouse. Lay the bag out on a waterproof floor out of direct sunlight. Line the bottom with a damp towel, set your well-watered pots on the towel, gather the top of the bag and blow air into it, and then seal it with a twist-tie or rubber band. The puffed up bag will hold the moisture the plant leaves give off, keeping the air inside the bag nice and humid. Any excess moisture will drip down onto the plants.
Set up a wick system for larger plants using cotton cord and dollar store buckets. Make wicks from the thick cotton upholstery cord sold at any craft or fabric store that sells upholstery fabric. Cut a piece long enough to reach from the bottom of the bucket, over the pot rim, and down 3″ into the soil. Fill each bucket with water and leave knowing that your plants have ‘straws’ to sip water as they need it while you’re gone.
Gardening Is Another Fabulous Amenity at Station A!
At Station A Apartments, we value our residents and work hard to provide a range of fantastic amenities for your enjoyment. Contact us for more information or to schedule a tour. We would love to show you everything we have to offer!