June 18 is International Picnic Day and we thought we’d share some of our favorite ideas to host the perfect picnic. Whether you’re hosting the family, a group of friends, or your date, picnicking with prowess requires some preparation for the best results.
Gather your supplies! You can find complete picnic baskets with all the supplies already inside or you can roam around your own apartment and create your own customized picnic basket. You’ll need at least one blanket for the ground, utensils and napkins. Some other items you might consider are hand sanitizer or wipes, a tablecloth, umbrellas for shade (or rain if you like picnicking in moody weather), bug spray and sunscreen. This is in addition to your food and beverages.
Find that perfect spot. If that happens to be a picnic table under a picturesque shade tree – great, but sometimes you might have to do a bit of scouting to find just the right spot to spread your blanket and feast. Serious picnickers make an entire day of it and set up tents or cabanas. If that’s you, scout early and stake your claim. Summer is a lovely time for family picnics. Consider how much privacy you want and how much room you may need for games like horseshoes when you choose your ideal spot.
The menu. Most grocery stores have pre-made picnic boxes with ready-made foods like sandwiches and fruits and snacks, but if you don’t mind the extra prep time, check out these delectable recipes from Martha Stewart and the Barefoot Contessa.
Entertainment. Who says picnics have to be quiet? Plan your entertainment out with your favorite playlist, accompanied by some games like horseshoes, cornhole, and all things cool like water balloons and water toys. If someone plays the guitar – ask them to play some tunes for the outdoor concert effect.
Miscellaneous tips for the perfect picnic:
Keep the bugs, bees, and birds away from your food by keeping it covered tightly. Fill up a pitcher of sugar water and set the pitcher away from your feast to distract bugs and bees. Slice up some citrus fruit and place it on a plate away from your table to distract the bugs, bees, and birds! Residents near beach areas know all too well how fast a seagull will swoop in for your sandwich. Keep food tightly covered in special containers or aluminum foil. Or, invest in a pack of hair nets. The elasticized band fits perfectly around a dinner plate, protecting all your favorite foods.
Pre-freeze water bottles and use them as ice packs to keep food cold during the day.
Repurpose an egg cart and/or a muffin tin to transport smaller food items and keep them from spilling.
The most important ingredients for any picnic are fun and relaxation. Enjoy your summer picnic on International Picnic Day and every day!
Ranking #1 on the Weidner Best Cities list and #10 on the U.S. News Best Places to Live list is Seattle, Washington! Seattle is situated on the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by evergreen forests, mountains, and miles of parks. It’s also home to tech giants Microsoft and Amazon, a bevy of coffee houses, eateries, and cultural landmarks, making Seattle one of America’s most eclectic and favorite cities.
Things to Do, See, and Taste in Seattle
Starting with one of the city’s most recognizable and iconic landmarks, the Space Needle offers stunning views of downtown Seattle, the Cascade Mountains, Mount Baker, and Mount Rainer from its 520-foot observation deck. Just below the Space Needle sits the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum, a series of 8 galleries and a 40-foot Glasshouse.
For the ultimate in Farmer’s Markets, Pike Place Market puts the eclectic pulse of Seattle at your fingertips with a combination of specialty shops, fresh fish and seafood markets, antiques, collectibles and an array of delectable restaurants.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Seattle offers a supple offering of places to explore and things to do. From paddle boarding and boating to skiing and snowboarding to hiking and biking, there’s something for everyone at every level of fitness! Waterfront Park, Kerry Park, Kubota Garden, and Woodland Park Zoo are just a sampling of outdoor excursions the entire family can enjoy. Day trips are also available to Mount Rainer or nearby Victoria.
For a tour of museums, locals and tourists alike rank the Children’s Museum, Pacific Science Center and Museum of Flight high on their list of favorite cultural outings. Seattle is also known for its eclectic blend of music venues including The Crocodile, The Sunset, and the Tractor Tavern, for a sampling of local and national bands.
Also synonymous with Seattle are its coffee roasters including Starbucks and Tully’s with coffee houses on just about every corner. Storyville Coffee Pike Place, Ghost Alley Espresso and Moore Coffee Shop are among the favorites.
Employment and Education in Seattle, WA
Seattle is home to major employers including Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, University of Washington, and Providence Health & Services. Colleges and Universities include University of Washington, Seattle University, and Seattle Pacific University.
Weidner Communities in Seattle, WA
Weidner Apartment Homes is pleased to offer an array of apartments for rent in Seattle, WA with amenities designed to please. Vive Apartments is a brand new community located in the heart of the Ballard neighborhood, featuring breathtaking views of the Sound and Olympic mountains. Tower 12 Apartment Homes is located in downtown Seattle, with easy access to sports stadiums, restaurants, shopping and downtown office buildings.
Whether you are new to Seattle or a longtime resident of the city, Weidner shares your enthusiasm for this bustling city.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Weidner List of 10 Best Cities Series. We’ve introduced you to some of our favorite cities, including Sacramento and Tuscon, where Weidner offers you quality apartment homes that you can rely on for comfort, style, and the ultimate in livability. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the rest of the series to see if your favorite city made the cut!
We are pleased to announce our most recent acquisition, Swan Creek Apartment Homes in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.
Swan Creek Apartment Homes is located just 4 miles from downtown Madison, Wisconsin and offers studio, one, and two bedroom floor plans ranging from 524 to 1,257 square feet. Each interior features amenities that are designed to help residents feel at home from the moment they step into these stylish and comfortable apartments.
Stylish, Comfortable Amenities
A generous amount of living space is complemented by classic hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens, convenient walk-in closets, and stylish window coverings. In select apartment homes, there is also a cozy fireplace. With 8 floor plans to choose from, Swan Creek is sure to have an apartment that fits your unique style and preferences.
The Swan Creek community amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, manicured landscaping, underground parking, laundry facilities, and easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment. Best of all, Swan Creek is a pet-friendly community! This is comfortable apartment living at its best in Fitchburg, Wisconsin!
About the Neighborhood
Swan Creek is conveniently located just outside Madison, near the Fitchburg Technology Campus. Residents have plenty of nature and trails to explore at nearby parks including Knollwood Conservation Park, Capital Springs State Recreation Area, and Turville Point Park. The area boasts lush, mature trees, and a family-friendly neighborhood with plenty of nightlife and cultural landmarks just minutes away.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, Chazen Museum of Art, and Capitol Square rank high on the list of cultural landmarks and are an easy drive from Swan Creek. State Street and downtown Madison is a favorite among residents for its eclectic offering of shops and dining venues.
Whether you’re relocating from across the country or around the corner, we’re happy to welcome you home to Swan Creek Apartment Homes in Fitchburg, WI.
Ranking #2 on the Weidner Best Cities list and #15 on the U.S. News Best Places to Live list, Salt Lake City, UT mesmerizes with the Wasatch Mountains as its natural backdrop. This bustling, metropolitan city also boasts an array of dining, shopping and entertainment venues.
As Utah’s capital city, Salt Lake is perhaps best known for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and 10-acre Temple Square, but it also offers a vast array of things to keep the whole family entertained. There are five national parks and several ski resorts in the vicinity, offering some of the best skiing, hiking, and biking trails in the country. Home to the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002, Salt Lake City is considered paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
Things to Do, See, and Taste in Salt Lake City, UT
Residents and tourists alike can’t get enough of the Wasatch Mountains and have ranked the 3-hour tour of this natural beauty as one of their favorite things to do. The tour gives you an up-close look at Big Cottonwood Canyon, Cottonwood River, Great Salt Lake, and Silver Lake. Be prepared for amazing photo ops and a deep appreciation of all the history and wildlife.
For museum enthusiasts, The Natural History Museum, Clark Planetarium, and Utah Museum of Fine Arts are among the top favorites with stellar exhibits, tours, and events. Red Butte Gardens, Gilgal Gardens, and Tracy Aviary offer a more interactive experience with nature and seasonal tours all year long.
For something a little different – Salt Lake City can be discovered through a scavenger hunt that transforms the city into a “real-life game board.” Through a self-guided tour “via any smartphone, teams travel to Salt Lake City’s well-known and hidden gems. Along the way, you’ll solve clues and complete challenges while learning about local history.”
Along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake City offers a multitude of cultural shows and events including the Utah Symphony, Capitol Theatre, Eccles Theatre and Ballet West. The chef in the family will appreciate the city’s eclectic restaurant scene, from fine dining to casual eateries. Valter’s Osteria, Log Haven, The Pie Pizzeria Underground, and Legend’s Sports Pub are just a sampling of the city’s menu.
Employment and Education in Salt Lake City
Major employers make their home in Salt Lake City including Bringham Young University, University Health Care, University of Utah Healthcare, and Sun Products Corp. Nearby colleges and universities include University of Utah, Western Governors University, Westminster College and the BYU Salt Lake Center.
Weidner Communities in Salt Lake City, UT
Lucky for you, Weidner Apartment Homes has a few beautiful communities for rent in Salt Lake City, UT. With plenty of floor plans to choose from and amenities that cater to your need for comfort and style, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Weidner. Welcome home to Salt Lake City, Utah!
Whether you’re considering sharing the rent with your best friend, your significant other, or someone new, ironing out some of the day-to-day details before you sign that lease can help make sharing your space a success. At Weidner, we’ve seen our share of move-ins and move-outs and thought we’d share these 7 tips with you:
Be clear on your reasons for moving in together. Make sure your goals match your future roommates’, even if you’ve known each other for a long time. Is the decision to move in together meant to further and deepen the relationship, or is to simply split the rent and expenses? If each of you has a different set of reasons for moving in together, it may cause tension. Just be clear upfront so there are no surprises or unfulfilled expectations.
Agree on the rent and expenses budget. Nothing says “Surprise!” like not having your share of the rent. Make sure both of you agree to the budget, including all utility and related expenses before you sign the lease.
Agree on pets. If each of you has pets, make sure they are capable of cohabitating. Consider doing a trial run for a weekend to see how everyone gets along. Also, consider that allergies might be an issue.
Who’s doing the chores? One person’s version of neat and tidy may not be another’s. Discuss some ground rules for common areas and come to an agreement on how to keep your apartment home comfortable and clean. Consider hiring an outside service if you’re both busy and would prefer not to do much cleaning.
Find a middle ground for décor. Tastes and styles can vary greatly, so it’s important to know what look and style you both want to create in your shared space. If you are into all things antique and your roommate prefers the modern look – it could cause a problem if you don’t communicate it first. Work towards a compromise the best you can and have some fun with it!
Guess who’s coming to dinner? Having guests over can be great fun or an awkward inconvenience, depending on who you talk to. Even if you already share a lot of the same friends and social schedule, make sure to ask your roommate or partner how they feel about having guests over and whether or not they prefer some notice.
Pick your battles. Successful cohabitating is largely dependent on clear communication of expectations and knowing how to pick your battles. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Consider the reasons you moved in together in the first place and let that serve as the guidepost to how important a difference of opinion is. While we all should feel understood and respected, minor differences shouldn’t weigh down the positive aspects of sharing your space with another person.
Communication, setting expectations, mutual respect, and a sense of fun makes for a good foundation for any partnership. From all of us at Weidner, we wish you a very successful co-habitation!
Ranking #3 on the Weidner Best Cities list and #2 on the U.S. News Best Places to Live list, Colorado Springs, CO ranks high on the livability list for its stunning natural landscape, combined with a strong economy, employment opportunities, and great schools.
Sitting at an elevation of 6,035 feet, Colorado Springs is at the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains near Pikes Peak, a favorite landmark in Pike National Forest. Garden of the Gods is one of the most photographed and visited parks in the nation, offering front-range climbing, trails, bike, jeep and Segway tours, as well as the simple pleasure of dining and admiring the stunning view of 300-foot sandstone rock formations, against pristine blue skies and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains.
Colorado Springs is also home to the United States Olympic Committee Headquarters and the future U.S. Olympic Museum. According to ColoradoSprings.gov, “Athletes and coaches have long recognized the city as the epicenter of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The region boasts incredible natural training grounds, inspirational views and vistas and a commitment to excellence that transcends sports and infuses itself in our educational, medical, technological and cultural assets.”
Things to Do, See, and Taste in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is a hiker’s paradise with trails that rank from easy to moderate, and for the more adventurous – the difficult, as in Manitou Incline. Try this list for a comprehensive guide to the Top 25 Hiking & Biking Trails. Prominent on the list of outdoor excursions is The Broadmoor Seven Falls, boasting seven cascading waterfalls of South Cheyenne Creek. Residents and tourists alike rank The Broadmoor Resort as a top destination for vacationing, dining, and as a starting point for surrounding outdoor excursions in addition to the waterfalls.
Colorado Springs offers a diverse arts and culture scene including the World Figure Skating Museum & Hall of Fame, a Pioneer Museum and art galleries such as Gallery 113, which is owned by local artists, Hunter-Wolff Gallery and Gallery of the Rockies. The nearby Space Foundation Discovery Center is an interactive museum designed to further the education of space-based science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) in space exploration.
Colorado Springs is also known for its fine and casual dining as well as a vast array of breweries. Phantom Canyon Brewing Company, Bristol Brewing Company, and Rocky Mountain Brewery are all located here. Penrose Room, Uchenna, Marigold Café and Bakery, and Caspian Café Mediterranean all rank high on the list of favorite eateries.
Employment and Education in Colorado Springs
The Colorado Chamber of Education and Commerce states, “Global pioneers in aerospace, cybersecurity, IT and medical innovation are just some of the types of companies that call the Colorado Springs region home, as well as more than 30 Fortune 500 firms and five military installations.” Some of these employers include Lockheed Martin Corporation, Progressive Insurance Company, United States Airforce Academy and the University of Colorado. UCCS, Colorado College, and Colorado State University-Pueblo all make their home in Colorado Springs.
Weidner Communities in Colorado Springs, CO
Weidner Apartment Homes offer many great communities in Colorado Springs. Our featured property of the month, Cheyenne Creek, combines scenic seclusion with all the amenities you’ve come to expect of modern living. Residents enjoy upgraded appliances, fitness center, heated indoor swimming pool and more! We’d love to help you make this amazing town your new home!
Summer is for fun in the sun, traveling, and of course – reading! Summer reading is a great way to unwind while also learning something new. The beauty of reading books is that you can do it anywhere; from the comfort of your own home to reading poolside! Whatever your plans are this summer, we thought we would share some of our favorite Summer Reads:
Elementary/Middle-School Ages 5 – 13 Reading
According to the National Education Association, “Children who read at home have a higher success rate in school.” So while school is out for summer, try some of these fun favorites:
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, and illustrated by Jen Hill, “encourages kindness and empathy.” Accompanied by drawings that tell the story of practicing the golden rule.
Ordinary People Change the World by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos offers some fun history lessons through heroes come to life in this biography series about role models from Rosa Parks to Albert Einstein and many more.
The Girl Who Drank the Moonby Kelly Barnhill. The winner of the 2017 Newberry Medal, this is a book for kids who love fantasy, magic, monsters, and dragons and is recommended for middle school readers.
Running on the Roof of the Worldby Jess Butterworth. An adventurous story set in the Himalayan Mountains with 12-year-old Tash who “embarks on an incredible journey with her best friend, Sam, encountering Chinese soldiers and the Dalai Lama.”
High School Ages 14- 17/18 Young Adult
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, a young adult fantasy novel featuring the long-adored formula of good versus evil, complete with a tyrant and a captive queen.
The Evolution of Claire(Jurassic World YA Novel) by Tess Sharpe features Claire Dearing as a young college intern at the not-yet-open Jurassic World theme park. Claire encounters prehistoric beasts, rumors, mystery, and a little bit of romance.
Always Never Yoursby Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberly Utterly is a laugh-out-loud story about the theater and one girl’s hilarious, yet heartbreaking love life. Quickly becoming a reader favorite with light, witty banter- perfect for poolside reading.
Adult Ages 18+
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin. Set in Nashville, the story hinges on a photograph taken at Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school. Lives become intertwined as the photograph causes shock waves through Nashville’s wealthy neighborhoods.
Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg combines academic intrigue and 18th-century underworld when University professor R. Voth finds a 1724 manuscript purported to be the memoirs of real-life 18th-century British thief and folk hero Jack Sheppard.
When Life Gives You Lululemonsby Lauren Weisberger almost feels like the sequel to “Devil Wears Prada.” Emily Charlton returns to the banal suburbs of the East Coast after working with stars in Hollywood.
This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Todayby Chrissy Metz. The “This Is Us,” star, Chrissy Metz, delivers a beautifully honest memoir about “how to be to two things: kind and authentic.”
What you read is almost as important as where you read. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a Weidner community, you know you have plenty of options to sit down with a quality book. Whether you choose to relax among your community’s beautiful landscaping or curl up on the couch in your comfy apartment, Weidner hopes you get your summer reading on!
It’s hard to believe it’s time to think about gifts for grads when it seems the holiday season was just a few weeks ago. Yet, graduation season is upon us, and like it or not, our high school and college graduates are leaving home and in some instances, leaving town. We thought we’d share a few gift ideas to celebrate the graduate’s accomplishments and usher them into the big, wide world with ease:
Cash and its cousin, the Gift Card are still the top favorites. Let’s face it, cash always works as a gift. Add a personalized greeting card with some sound life advice, and you’ve got yourself a winner. For gift cards, something they’ll use on a daily basis is the best including cards for local grocery stores or Costco, Target, gas cards, Amazon, Starbucks, and movie theatres.
A new, shiny laptop. School projects take a toll on a laptop, so whether they are leaving for college or starting a new job, a new laptop might be in order.
Bikes and scooters are also a top favorite for grads. Both come in a variety of colors and scream “you’re going places,” as in, welcome to your busy life.
Luggage and backpacks. Carting things around from dorm room to work and school can get very arduous. With a huge variety of colors and styles to choose from, this is an easy gift. For an added dose of fun, pack the suitcase with laundry and cleaning supplies. After all, they’re on their own now; they have to learn to do their own laundry sometime!
Mini Toolboxes. Nothing says “grown-up” like a mini toolbox, except maybe a First Aid Kit, which also might come in handy as they enter the real world.
Coffee Machine or Tea Pot. The need for caffeine might be the most recognizable sign of adulting today. Add some gourmet coffee and a decorative thermos and walk away knowing your grad is in good hands.
Noise Cancelling Headphones. Whether they are transitioning to college or the workforce, life can get noisy!
Classy Accessories. A real wallet says you’re ready for real money. Add some designer sunglasses or a watch, gloves, or a business card holder, and it will seem like they were never children.
A plane or bus ticket home. Just in case you start missing your favorite grad in a few months. And like we said earlier – before we know it, the holidays will be upon us.
Working from home is definitely on the rise. According to a recent report by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, “3.9 million U.S. employees, or 2.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least half of the time, up from 1.8 million in 2005 (a 115 percent increase since 2005).”
If you’re one of the millions of American’s joining the telecommuting force, here are some tips and tricks on being productive and decorating your home office like the money-making sanctuary it is:
Schedule your work time. Whether you are on the virtual office clock, or you’re a freelancer who makes your own hours, sticking to a set schedule daily will help you be more efficient. Make sure to schedule in a morning/afternoon break and a lunchtime. A set schedule will help you manage your time wisely so that you never miss any deadlines.
Make a To-Do list. Once you’ve set your schedule, having a priority list of things to do will help keep you on track when distractions tempt you to stop what you’re doing. Which brings us to…
Keep distractions to a minimum. Easier said than done right? With that said, it’s important to stick to business and not let things like dirty dishes or laundry get in the way of your work productivity. It’s best to set time before or after work to handle your chores. If you’re a parent with young children at home, you might find it useful to hire a sitter for a certain amount of hours each week to allow for deadlines and tasks that take all of your concentration.
Beware the “friendly neighbor.” Nothing says community like a friendly chat with a neighbor, but it’s best to keep those chats to a minimum during work hours so you can hit your goals and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of your day. Once everyone understands your commitment to your career obligations, they’re usually happy to be supportive. Of course, this tip also applies to friends, family, and even pets! (Pets seem to have an uncanny sense of when it’s time to take a break, however.)
Don’t be a hermit. One of the advantages of telecommuting is you don’t have to get dressed and go out. It’s also one of the disadvantages and can lead to the doldrums, if not managed. Get dressed and get ready to go to work. See friends. Stay alert, aware, and connected. You work from home, you’re not under house arrest.
Set up your office like the pro that you are. Think about what makes you feel the most productive and happy and put that in your office. It sounds simple, but really give it some thought. Configure your chair, desk, lighting, and technology to your needs. Invest in your success. Throw in some color and artwork that inspires you. Do you like to work to a certain soundtrack? Load up those tunes. Do you prefer complete quiet? Invest in some professional noise-canceling headphones.
Celebrate your success. Whether you are connected to a corporate office remotely, or you are an independent contractor, it’s important to celebrate milestones and a job well done. It’s good for your self-esteem and it keeps you connected to your own goals. Set up a list of things to celebrate and how you’ll reward yourself for your achievements. Will it be a day at the spa for exceeding your sales goals? A dinner out with friends because a customer gave you a great Yelp review? Whatever it is, pat yourself on the back. Somebody’s got to, and it might as well be you!
While telecommuting is not for everyone, with a little planning, focus, and determination, working from home can be very rewarding!
Weidner Apartment Homes offers many spacious apartment homes with a den/office area – ideal for working from home. Whether you have an office, set up in the living room or you prefer to transform an extra bedroom into your personal headquarters, we’ve got the ideal space for you!
Mother’s Day is a day where everyone takes the time to honor the mothers in their families. This includes aunts, grandmas, sisters, and any woman that has shared a mom-like role in your life. So, this coming Mother’s Day, show off your mom by letting her know how much she means to you. It’s a joyous day that is typically spent showering your mothers with gifts, taking her somewhere special, or just celebrating her the best way you know how.
If you’re like millions of other Americans, you may struggle to think of the perfect gift. Rather than racking your brain to figure out what to get her, we have come up with some festive Mother’s Day Ideas you can give a try.
Places to Go, Things to See
There are a number of places you can take your mom to ensure she has a special day!
Brunch, Brunch, and More Brunch
Take your mother out to a great brunch spot. There are a variety of fantastic restaurants that have great brunch menus, some will even have Mother’s Day specials going on that weekend. Your mom will definitely appreciate the gesture.
Special Spa Day
Allow your mother to be pampered and catered to with a relaxing spa day. Taking your mom to get her nails done, or to get a much-needed massage will make her feel rejuvenated and appreciated. Plus, she’ll be in a relaxed and happy mood.
Your mom will absolutely love going to see a show. Look up any concerts, comedy shows, plays, or musicals you know your mom will enjoy. Extra cool points if it’s something she’s mentioned she’s been dying to see.
Great Gifts for Mom
When considering a gift for your mom there are both universal gifts that work, and gifts that are more unique to your mom. Either way, you can’t go wrong with showing your mom you care.
Universal gifts are gifts that most moms tend to appreciate, especially if it’s coming from you. These are gifts that are perfect if you have a lot of mothers in your family, and you’re just not sure what to get them all. They are also a good go to if you’re not quite sure what to get your mom. These are gifts like flowers, candy, jewelry, cards, gift cards and a nice gesture like making her breakfast and cleaning the house while she enjoys her meal.
Unique gifts are gifts that are more particular. They are special gifts that may reflect your mom’s personal likes and interests. For example, if your mother is into yoga, getting her a membership to a great yoga studio would definitely be thoughtful and it shows that you know what she likes. If your mom is not one to spoil herself, getting her something she has been needing like a new purse or briefcase shows that you know what her needs are and that you pay attention. These kinds of gifts show your mom you care about her interest and that you care about her.
The possibilities to celebrate Moms on Mother’s Day are endless, but at the end of the day, and every day – simply letting your mom know you love her is the best gift of all.