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Windowsill Herb Plants to Have at Stonegate

Stonegate Apartments - Monday, May 08, 2017

Gardening is a summer hobby that many enjoy, but most apartment-dwellers don’t realize that they can get in on the fun with! All you need is one or two sunny windows at Stonegate to get started.

What Herbs Should I Grow?

For a windowsill garden, it’s best to stick to herbs that won’t quickly outgrow and get out of control, especially when you’re first starting out! Kitchen staples such as basil, rosemary, thyme, and parsley will get you started. Remember – starting with seeds is less expensive, however, they require more attention and may take months before you are able to reap the benefits.

How to Manage Your Plants:

1)      Start with your containers. You have a couple of options here. You can opt to plant multiple plants in a large container that is at least 6-12 inches deep. Or, you can use individual pots that are at least 6 inches for each plant. If you’re starting with seeds, you can use any small container, and transport the plants into larger containers once they are between 2 – 4 inches tall. Finally, you’ll want to ensure that your containers have drainage holes and are sitting on a saucer or similar dish that will hold the drainage water.

2)      When transporting your plants to a new container, be sure to use potting mix instead of garden soil, which makes it more difficult for the water to pass through after time. You’ll want to create a 2-3 inch layer of potting mix at the bottom of your container, before gently loosening the roots to flare out your plant, and gently place it into the new container. Finish filling in the container with potting mix, leaving just an inch or so free at the top for water. Water your plant immediately after transporting it to its new container.

3)      Take care not to overwater your plants. The best way to test whether or not your plant needs to be watered is to gently poke your finger into the soil. If the soil is dry an inch or two into the container, give it some water. Watering slowly is best; you’ll want to watch the bottom of the container, and stop watering once water starts to leave the container and drain into the saucer below.

4)      To encourage growth, you’ll want to snip on occasion. Snipping the tips off of basil, rosemary, and similar plants will encourage the plant to branch more. With your cilantro and parsley – which are bushier – you can remove entire stems from the outer edge of the plant to encourage new growth.

Once you’ve started your herb garden, you’ll be able to use the herbs as soon as you see new growth! Don’t let apartment living stop you this summer; impress your friends with your green thumb and some great meals made with fresh herbs!

Four Ways to Get Involved With Our Local Community

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

There’s nothing like getting involved with your local community, and one of the best ways to do so is by giving back! If you’re new to the area, or just looking to make new friends, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities near Stonegate for you!

  1. St. Peter’s Hospital: Volunteering at your local hospital can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only that, but with 65 different volunteer positions available, you can also work on building up your job skills by volunteering at St. Peter’s! Volunteer hours are flexible to fit every schedule, and there are even positions specifically for high school students!

  2. New York State Museum: If you’re interested in history of any sort, this is the opportunity for you! Volunteer opportunities with the Museum allow you to work with scientists and collection managers as you support areas such as archaeology, history, paleontology, biology, and more!

  3. Habitat for Humanity: Habitat’s Capital District branch has several opportunities for every skill set and availability! You can get involved at construction sites, manage inventory and donations at the ReStore, or even get the kids involved with youth & student groups!

  4. AnimaLovers: For the animal lovers, this non-profit, no-kill shelter is the perfect way to get involved! Volunteers who opt for this option have the opportunity to socialize the cats at the clinic, and screen potential adopters. Volunteering at an animal shelter is incredibly awarding, as you get to watch animals go to loving new homes and begin their new journey!

Five Steps to Spring Cleaning

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Spring is finally right around the corner, and cleaning supplies are popping up left and right, just like the flowers are about to. Spring cleaning – especially if you’re on your own for the first time – can be a daunting task. Don’t let that stop you – we’ve got the ultimate cheat sheet to getting your home spring-ready in no time at all!

  1. Gather the Troops: Determine what products you’ll need for your spring cleaning. A solid vacuum for rugs, a duster that can reach high for any ceiling fans or other fixtures that are up high, and gloves are always a good place to start. Also, don’t forget your glass cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, and disinfecting wipes – these will keep you going long after this cleaning sprint!

  2. Declutter: Before you start cleaning, it’s important to rid yourself of the items that are taking up space unnecessarily. Go through your closet and find items to donate or swap, toss out any expired cosmetics, and file away any errant papers taking up room on your nightstand. Not only will decluttering make your cleaning process easier, but it can also be a great start to get you in the mood to create a fresh start for the new season.

  3. One at a Time: Instead of trying to be everywhere at once, dedicate chunks of time to each room in your home. This doesn’t even have to be done all in one day or weekend – space it out as much as you need to so you can really make a difference in your home.

  4. Get It All: Spring cleaning is well-known for a reason. Take this opportunity to really get EVERYTHING in your home taken care of. Clean out the couch cushions, disinfect items like your remotes and phones, and get every nook and cranny of your home.

  5. Add Some Springtime Freshness: Once your house is sparkling clean, it’s time for a little reward! Update your home with a bright pop of color in the form of a new throw blanket, painting, or even a funky clock to put on the wall. You could even go out and buy some fresh flowers, or seeds to create your own mini-garden to start spring off right!

With these tips in mind, we hope you’ll enjoy the spring cleaning process in your home at Stonegate!

Three Things Every Bachelor Pad Needs

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When you’re first starting out in your own place, it’s hard to determine what furnishings are essential, and what your focal points should be. Here are the three things that should be on the “essentials” list for every bachelor/bachelorette pad:

  1. Bedding – Picking out your bedding doesn’t need to be difficult! When you’re first starting out, the best place to start is with the basics. Pick out a nice white sheet set, with a quality top blanket of your choice to lay on top. For pillows, the general set-up is four pillows – two for sleeping, and two to add some extra layering and support, when needed.

  2. A Place for Coats, Mail, and Keys – Set the mood the moment you walk into your home with an organized entryway. You should have some sort of coat rack – whether it be hooks on the wall, or a standalone version. Tables and catch-all bowls are good for mail and keys, or you can go with a dual-purpose mail and key holder to hang on your wall.

  3. Sets of Kitchenware – Mixing and matching isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s always nice to put thought into your place settings. Your kitchenware sets don’t have to be expensive – you can even stick to plain white dishes, clear glasses, and plain silverware that you can order online from IKEA.

Once you’ve got the essentials, fill your home at Stonegate with other furnishings that fit your personality! We love to see how our residents customize their spaces.

How to Choose the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Buying a Valentine’s Day gift is a unique opportunity that gives couples a chance to come up with creative and thoughtful ideas for their loved one. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive! As long as the gift shows someone that you care and were thinking of them, it’s sure to be appreciated. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

If You’re Sentimental…there are several ways to tell your love story in a gift! Create a scrapbook filled with mementos from your relationship, a plaque with your names and anniversary on it, or any other personalized gift you think your loved one might enjoy!

If You Want Something Rare…track down the first edition of your loved one’s favorite book, the first pressing of an album that changed their life, or the rare baseball card from their favorite team. Gifts like these combine planning and attention to detail – two habits that almost guarantee a great gift.

If You’re on a Budget…you can’t go wrong with a mini-adventure! It’s easy to fall into a routine with your partner, especially if you’ve been together for a considerable amount of time. Break the mold by planning a trip to somewhere you’ve never been. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy or too far away – experiencing something new together will create an exciting bonding opportunity!

Still looking for other ideas? Feel free to make a home-cooked meal, curl up with a movie, and enjoy a nice night in at Stonegate!

How to Interior Design Like a Pro

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Are you looking to redesign your apartment at Stonegate this year? Incorporate these decorating secrets for a home that is sure to wow!

  • Color Scheme Selection: The first step to creating a redesign is to select your color palette. A simple scheme of just a few colors should be used in every room throughout your apartment. Incorporate the colors in a different way in each room to create a look that remains cohesive throughout your entire home.
  • Mix Pieces: Create a complimentary set of items, rather than matching everything. For example, don’t be afraid to shop by thrift stores, shop online, and in different stores for table wear that you can mix and match to create your own unique table setting.
  • Create a Focal Point: Statement pieces aren’t just for the fashion industry. Let your star piece shine by giving your furniture some breathing room. Overcrowding your space will take away from the uniqueness of your statement piece.

Be sure to have fun while selecting new pieces for your home to create a unique space that is reflective of your personality and style!

3 Tricks to Stick to Your Nutrition-Related Resolution

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, January 03, 2017

The start of the New Year often inspires people to make changes to their life for the better. One of the most popular resolutions is one that relates to nutrition, whether it be a resolution to eat better, lose weight, or cut out certain foods. It may seem like a difficult hurdle once the new year starts, but there are some tricks you can use to increase your odds of success:

  1. Make Your Resolution Specific

    Resolutions that are vague and non-specific leave plenty of room to forget, or simply be uninspiring to create an actual change. Creating a specific resolution, or at least creating a set of specific resolutions, will be easier to plan for, and therefore, stick to.

  2. Be Realistic

    Small changes are the way to win this race. If you create a grand plan that you intend to implement right off, it’s easy to get off track quickly. Stick to small changes that you include in your plan over time. For example, vow to drink an extra glass of water every day in your first week. Once you have a handle on that, move toward another habit, such as switching to whole-grain pasta and breads, and continue from there.

  3. Stay Positive

    Having a positive attitude can certainly help, but don’t underestimate the power of positive language either. For example, instead of saying that your resolution is to stop eating candy bars at night, make your resolution to try one new healthy nighttime snack per week. Once you create the habit of trying healthier snacks, you’re likely to be less inclined to binge on candy bars on your sofa.

For additional resources, and more ideas to get healthier this year, visit Albany’s Healthy Living Center.

Three Useful Ways to Reuse Your Coffee Grounds

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Coffee is a mainstay in many apartment communities, including ours! No need to fill your trash with all of your coffee grounds, though – you can reuse them with these simple DIYs:

  1. Under Eye Treatment – The caffeine in coffee grounds promote healthy circulation and decrease inflammation, making them great for dark under eye circles and puffiness! Simply mix the ground beans with milk or olive oil until it forms a paste, carefully apply to the under-eye area, and let it dry. Gently remove with water after 10 – 15 minutes.

  2. Compost and Fertilizer – Used grounds provide a great pH level and source of nitrogen, making them a nutrient-rich fertilizer. Acid-loving plants, such as azaleas and roses, especially love this.

  3. Neutralize Refrigerator Smells – Like baking soda, used coffee grounds can get rid of funky smells that may linger in your refrigerator. Simply place the used grounds into a container and leave it in your fridge. Within days, they will suck up the smell, and no one will be the wiser!

However you use them, we’re sure you’ll enjoy the coffee at your Stonegate apartment.

Three Tips to Help Define Your Personal Style

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, November 15, 2016

As the years go by, our styles evolve. It’s hard to go through a wardrobe filled with your style evolution and pin down exactly what your personal style, or “brand” is going to look like going forward. Luckily, there are some ways to nail down what your current personal style is, and use it to build a refreshed version of your wardrobe:

  1. Assess Your Favorites – Take a look at your closet, and pull out all of the pieces you find yourself wearing most often. Do you notice a pattern among those items and how they are different from what’s left hanging in your closet? Create a list of what makes these pieces similar – a certain color, fabric, pattern, etc.

  2. Seek Inspiration – Spend an afternoon searching through magazines and cutting out pieces of clothing that you’re drawn to. Alternatively, you could search on style blogs, websites, or even Pinterest and save images of all of the pieces of clothing that you love. Again, take this inspiration and notice what it is that draws you to these clothes in particular, and add it to your list.

  3. Tough Cuts – Now that your list is filled with notes based on your observations, go through it again with a more critical eye. Cross out any elements that seem less important than others, and stick to the elements that you know you love. For example, you might be drawn to dark jeans, V-neck shirts, and fitted blazers with a checkered pattern. Having specific elements laid out will help create your wardrobe based on your individualized taste.

Don’t forget, the way you decorate your Stonegate apartment might be another great insight into your personal style!

Single Stream Recycling at Stonegate

Stonegate Apartments - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Recycling is now more convenient than ever at Stonegate! Our single stream recycling system allows you to combine all your recycling items into one place. This not only makes recycling easier, but also decreases the amount of waste in landfills.

Acceptable recycling items include:

  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Aluminum cans
  • Plastic containers
  • Junk mail
  • Glass bottles

To find more benefits of living in our community, visit Stonegate Apartments.