Category Archives: Apartment Living

How to Grow a Winter Vegetable Garden in your Apartment

You might not think that an apartment is big enough for a garden but don’t let size fool you! It’s fairly easy to grow your own vegetables and herbs in your apartment. You can eat healthier while saving money on your grocery bill!

So here are the tips and tricks of what to plant and what you’ll need to start growing vegetables and herbs inside your apartment.

What You’ll Need

Sunlight: If you don’t have a sunny window in your apartment, a grow light is the next best thing. 5-6 hours of sunlight per day is the minimum amount of sunlight that these vegetables need; 5-10 hours per day is preferred.

Grow lights aren’t very expensive and it’s easy to regulate how much sunlight your plants are getting each day. This grow light is $57 and it can hang in a shelf or from a window.

Planting Pots and Water Trays: Purchase containers that are big enough to accommodate root growth as your plants start to grow. Add rocks to the bottom of your planters to ensure proper drainage and airflow before you add your soil.

Soil: Lightweight-potting soil is ideal for an indoor vegetable garden. Spurge and get some fresh soil for your new plants to ensure that there are no bugs or “surprises” in your potting soil.

Seeds or Plants: Whether you plan to start with seeds or small plants, buy just a few different varieties to begin your indoor garden. You can always add more vegetables to your garden as time goes on.

What to Grow

These vegetables are the best options for an indoor garden. It’s easier to start with herbs like basil and rosemary before starting with these vegetables:

  • Green Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Small Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Lettuce
  • Red Peppers
  • Small Dwarf-Size Versions of Vegetables

You will truly love having an indoor vegetable garden in your apartment and the added benefits of fresh veggies will bring your home-cooked meals to a whole new level. With more choices, more variety, and many options, it will be easy and convenient to use your own produce, the freshness and pride of growing your own food is more than rewarding.

With just a little work, a bit of patience, and some necessary supplies, you’ll have an apartment vegetable garden growing in no time at all.

Discounts for San Diego Military Personnel

Discounts for San Diego Military Personnel

San Diego is home to numerous Coast Guard, Marine and Navy institutions and the region is quite popular for its military presence and impressive achievements through the years. Military bases such as Marine Corps Recruiting Depot San Diego, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Naval Base Coronado, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and Naval Base San Diego are found in the city of San Diego.

Many institutions like hotels, sports clubs, arts museums in San Diego offer discounts for services and activities exclusively to the men and women in uniform. Given below is a list of the places where you can avail discounts for military personnel which are currently seen in the city. The list is categorized according to the kind of activity or service offered.

  1. Sports clubs or resorts
    • Maderas Golf Club offers active and retired members of the military a discount of up to 35% over the regular rates. The golf club is located in the North community of Poway.
    • Sycuan Golf and Tennis Club offer active military personnel a discounted fee of $25 for their championship courses. Although this offer is available only on the weekdays, you may avail the offer throughout the year.
    • Sycuan Casino gives all active service members, veterans and retirees a Platinum level membership in the Club Sycuan Military Program. The Platinum level membership comes with exclusive discounts, promotions and offers to military personnel.
    • You can get discounted tickets to the San Diego Aztecs versus Wyoming which would take place in Qualcomm Stadium, by visiting the Marine Corps MCCS and Navy MWR ticket outlets.
  1. Hotels
    • The Embassy Suites Hotel San Diego close to La Jolla offers active military personnel discounted rates on many features which come under the military couple’s romance package. The offer includes a two room suite, a host manager’s reception, breakfast, and 50% off on self-parking.
    • The Westin San Diego offers active military personnel discounted rates on deluxe suites, complimentary upgrades to rooms with a bay-view and amenities for a family movie night.
  1. Tours
    • Brew Hop tours offers a 10% discount for military personnel chauffeured tour of San Diego. Military personnel and their entire group can avail the discount and participate in a tour designed for the enjoyment of beer.
    • Adventure Rib Rides provides active and retired military personnel a 10% discount for boarding their Navy SEAL Inflatable Boat. Military personnel and their families would enjoy close views of many features along the bay of San Diego.
    • Hornblower Cruises and Events provide discounted tickets through a military ticket office for their cruises exclusively for members of the military. You may avail discounted rates on their nightly three-hour cruise, weekend brunch cruise, and even on their two-hour and one-hour harbor cruise.
  1. Museums and other attractions
    • The Museum of Photographic Art offers free admission to active members of the military and their dependents and $1 off on admission for retired military personnel. As it houses more than 7000 works of art, it would be a great place to visit. It is located in Balboa Park.
    • The New Children’s Museum provides 50% discounts for active, retired and veteran military personnel and their dependents. The museum focuses on children, exhibiting many engaging works of art and projects to spur imagination.
    • The Veteran’s Museum and Memorial Center offers free daily admission to the active uniformed members of the military and their families. Located in Balboa Park, this memorial center has a large collection of artwork, photographs, military artifacts and other such items on display.
    • San Diego Symphony allows military personnel to enjoy a $3 discount on tickets for certain sections of the Copley Symphony Hall. The Hall is located in downtown San Diego.
    • Legoland California offers active and retired military personnel a huge $40 discount on tickets. You can purchase the tickets at a military ticket office. But even if you directly approach Legoland California with a valid military ID, you can receive a 10% discount on all the tickets.
    • SeaWorld San Diego provides a free single-day admission to active service members, National Guardsmen and activated or drilling reservists. Your Dependents can use the Here’s to the Heroes program to gain free entry into the park. Ensure that all your dependents over the age of 10 must carry a valid dependent ID.

In each of these areas, make sure that you find out more about what kind of identification you would need and what the service offers so that you would be able to make maximum use of the offers.

Energy Efficient Way to Keep Cool This Summer

Let’s face the facts, its summer and the sun is smoldering outside.

It is also definitely the season of soaring electricity bills, as it gets tempting to switch on the air conditioning for long hours. Yet, with a few energy efficient tricks, you can protect your home from the scorching heat without increasing your electric bills.

Evaporative Air Coolers – Your Ultimate Summer Essential!

air-coolerThese are simple to use, cost effective, and an energy efficient tool that you cannot afford to miss this summer. Evaporative air coolers work effectively to keep your apartments cool and fresh, naturally. It technically makes use of a fan that directs warm air into the water moistened pads for cooling. It is cooled for up to 20 degrees before you experience a cool, exhilarating air in your comfort.

Evaporative coolers work efficiently in the kind of environment you are living in. It might not be sustainable in very hot areas such as the Sahara desert, but will work great in areas such as California. Since the cooling of evaporative air coolers circulates in your environments, it will make your ambience temperature feel six degrees below the actual temperature!

Evaporative Air Coolers – Your Ultimate Summer Essential!

These are simple to use, cost effective, and an energy efficient tool that you cannot afford to miss this summer. Evaporative air coolers work effectively to keep your apartments cool and fresh, naturally. It technically makes use of a fan that directs warm air into the water moistened pads for cooling. It is cooled for up to 20 degrees before you experience a cool, exhilarating air in your comfort.

Evaporative coolers work efficiently in the kind of environment you are living in. It might not be sustainable in very hot areas such as the Sahara desert, but will work great in areas such as California. Since the cooling of evaporative air coolers circulates in your environments, it will make your ambience temperature feel six degrees below the actual temperature!

Evaporative Air Coolers VS Traditional AC’s

Both technologies are solely designed for one purpose: To provide your living spaces with coolness.

However, when it comes to low cost, energy efficient and an environmentally friendly product – evaporative coolers are ultimately your best bet in the simmering heat of the summer. These come in a variety of designs and styles. The option of portable air coolers allows you to place them easily when and where you want to. Additionally, these require minor servicing and replacement costs are also low.

If you are environment conscious, evaporative air coolers are an ideal choice to make since it keeps you fresh and cool without harming the environment. Unlike AC’s, these do not add chemicals or ozone added pollutants in the environment or your homes. The constant circulation of these coolers ensures fresh air indoors, they also naturally moisten dry air to eliminate chances of rash and itchiness.

The effectiveness of your evaporative air cooler will highly depend on the size. A relatively small air cooler for a large hall will only consume energy without giving the output you require. It is best to buy an air cooler in accordance to the size of your spaces.

There are various types of evaporative air coolers available in the market. They come in both portable and window mounted versions. If you are living in an apartment, we recommend using portable evaporative air coolers that can easily be moved from your halls in the daytime to your bedrooms for a good night’s sleep!

So, what are you waiting for?

Save yourself from those hefty electric bills today by investing into an evaporative air cooler to keep your living spaces air conditioned at minimal cost!

Fitness during Extended Stays, Try Not to Gain 2 Pounds a Day

Dr. Birdie Varnedore was horrified to see the reading on the weighing scale. She had gained 14 pounds in a 7-day cruise. She weighed 153 pounds when she had boarded the ship and 167 when she got off. “14 pounds! Wow! Did I really gain 14 pounds?”

Is vacation weight-gain for real? Going by certain news sources, eating 500 extra calories a day during your extended stay in San Diego can add 2 pounds to your weight in as many weeks. The formula comes from the orthodox belief that one pound of human body fat contains 3,500 calories (which it does).

Dr Birdie had gained 14 pounds in one week. Conventional wisdom would say she must have consumed 49,000 extra calories in a week, or 7,000 calories per day, which means she had to be eating 3 to 4 times as much as a person of her age and lifestyle needs, around 2,000 calories. Considering that she was maintaining a healthy lifestyle before her 2-pounds-a-day cruise started, it is unlikely that she was eating 4 times her usual daily consumption. She wasn’t.

What happened?

It turns out the relationship between weight gain (or loss) and calories is neither linear nor simple. Body fat is not pure fat, but contains proteins and water. When you start exercising, the weight loss during the initial couple of weeks is always very encouraging. This is because your body is losing excess water, wastes, sodium and other junk matter that has accumulated over a rather long period of sedentary living.

The opposite of this is also true. The weight that you gain at the end of a leisurely vacation in San Diego is not 100% fat. Much of it is the weight of the extra food that you ate and the water that your body retained in order to process that food. As you didn’t work out much during your vacation, your body also stored sodium and waste matters, which look depressingly heavy as you board the scale after coming back from your extended stay in San Diego.

Where the Extra Pounds Come From

The weight that you gain during your trip comes from the lack of exercise and excess of eating. Cocktails, hamburgers, shakes, steaks, pizzas, fries, waffles, chocolates, and other such irresistible temptations go hand in hand with an ideal vacation. You’ve got to indulge, for what’s the fun in a holiday that doesn’t break a few rules? Counting calories and abstaining from your favorite foods even during your rare vacation sounds a bit too unnatural and robotic.

If your stay in San Diego extends over more than a month and you are eating to your heart’s desire, you might find it very hard, if not impossible to regain the level of fitness you enjoyed before coming to San Diego. The city has a lot to engage you with, theaters, art galleries, public parks, bars, live music, boat cruises, tantalizing food, beaches, and more. Fitness may become a victim of excitement, as you abandon your workout routine and become a pleasure seeking slob. Ultimately, your San Diego vacation will be over like a dream and you’ll wake up to the hard reality reflecting on the weighing scale, and in the impossible to close trousers buttons.

How to Control Your Weight without Starving Yourself

While you may allow yourself to throw caution to wind if you are on a couple of week’s vacation. You can lose the pounds that you gain during a short vacation almost as quickly as you put them on. In the case of Dr Birdie, she lost half of the pounds she gained within a week. The other half might take a bit longer, as most of it is probably pure fat. She might need to work out for a month before she’s back to her usual 153 pounds. A month’s work out is not a big price to pay for the fun she had, she thinks.

An extended vacation demands to be treated with more respect. If you keep an unhealthy lifestyle for a month or two, the weight that you gain will consist mostly of fat. You’ll only lose a small fraction of it quickly when you resume your exercise and diet routine, and the rest may take many months to get off, or might even stay with you forever.

Extra pounds are extra pounds, whether they come from fats or water. Looking at your weight going up in double figures in a week’s time is shocking at first and depressing thereafter. Months of hard work seems to come crashing down right before you. ‘If I regain pounds so quickly, what’s the use of getting them off?’ you think to yourself. Vacation weight gain can disrupt people’s fitness routines that they had painstakingly established; it can make them throw their diet plans out the window, by making them feel their efforts are futile.

The key to making your trip away from home enjoyable is to keep a light fitness routine. There are plenty of fitness activities available in San Diego, especially if you are staying in one of the fully furnished resort style apartments. Taking a quiet swim in the pool for about 30 minutes a day should keep you in the best of shapes and would be enjoyable too. Or, if you’re not that much of a water creature, just walk or jog along the immaculately manicured green belts and lawns in the serene neighborhood. Joining a gym can help you stick to your fitness schedule.

While you should allow yourself to eat to your heart’s desire, do not overdo it. Eating junk food continuously will make you feel heavy and might even give you heartburn. Punctuate your extended stay in San Diego with healthy eating days. Bring in some fresh supplies to your apartment’s kitchen and try to cook most of your meals yourself. Packaged or restaurant food is usually laden with calories. Try to go for small portions of sweets and other high-calorie foods.

The bottom-line is, even if you are not eating healthy during your extended stay San Diego, keeping a light exercise routine would save you from gaining extra pounds that may be hard to get rid of later.

What’s your take at it? Would you rather abstain to control your weight during an extended vacation? Let us know in your comments.