Friday, March 29, 2013

5-Step Spring Cleaning + 10 Tricks

It's that time of year again.  Time to open the windows, leave your coat at home, slip into a pair of shorts, and clean your apartment from floor to ceiling.  Wait... what?!  Spring cleaning!  Maybe the first springtime breeze urges you to do it.  Maybe you've just been cooped up too long.  Or you're just tired of the mess.  Perhaps you avoid cleaning altogether.  

Love it or hate it, spring cleaning can be very kind to your health, mind, budget, and move-out time.  Get rid of those germs to avoid any spring cold.  Put your mind at ease by de-cluttering.  Sell or consign unwanted items and clothing.  And get a jump-start on your move-out cleaning so that you'll do a little less when that date rolls around.

Glitter Guide compiled a fantastic 5-step program to spring cleaning your apartment in just one day!  Breaking it down into five easy steps and building a portable cleaning kit to carry from room to room makes spring cleaning a whole lot less intimidating.  Check out the guide below:

See?  Not so bad!  It'll be so worth it when you get to add fresh flowers and light a candle at the end of your day in your freshly cleaned apartment.

BrightNest also shared their 10 Best Spring Cleaning Tricks Ever.  Who knew denture tablets, coffee filters, banana peels, and cinnamon could be so handy in helping you get your apartment spic'n'span?!  Check out all ten tricks below:

Now that you're armed and ready with your 5-steps and 10 tricks, it's time to hit the ground running... or, uh... the floor scrubbing!

Do you have any special cleaning tricks from Mom or a favorite blog?  Share them with us in a comment!  

Happy spring cleaning!

Friday, March 15, 2013

How To: Host a St. Paddy's Day Shindig

St. Paddy's Day is Sunday!  'Tis time to bring out the luck of the Irish, leprechauns, shamrocks, and everything green.  If you're looking to gather friends for a festive St. Paddy's shindig, we've rounded up some simple ways to add Irish flair to your gathering.  

Look the Part

1. Layer on the Irish flair.  A festive party starts with the host looking festive.  Scavenge your dresser for green clothes.  Go through your jewelry, finding all the green pieces.  May hit up the thrift store or pop some tags at Goodwill.  The more green apparel and accessories, the better!  (Going all out with a leprechaun hat is optional.)

2. Deck the halls.  But rather than boughs of holly, go for for garlands of shamrocks.  Pick some up from your local hobby store or make some yourself with some green 

Eat the Part

3. You don't want your party guests going hungry.  Load up on a hearty Irish stew.


4. Whip up some of the comfort food colcannon, an Irish staple.

Sweet the Part

5. These minty green crinkle cookies are "impossibly easy" to make.  


6. Put an Irish twist on a classic with these green velvet cupcakes.

Drink the Part

7.  What's St. Paddy's Day without the green beer?  Squirt a few drops of green food coloring into the bottom of your pint glasses before pouring in your lager.  (Lighter hued beers work best, while the food coloring will really only turn the foam green in darker beers.)

8.  Not a beer fan---green or otherwise?  Make your own homemade Irish cream, then use it to create tasty Irish flag cocktails.  

Not old enough for the green beer and Irish flag cocktails?
Try one of these instead:
Left: Shamrock Shake, Center: Cut out clovers to add to straws and stick into glass soda bottles. (Jones Soda, anyone?), Right: Make ice cubes out of green Koolaid and pour Sprite over it for a fizzy, green concoction.

How are you ringing in St. Paddy's Day?  

Are you just sticking with wearing green and pinching those who don't?  Or are you going all out with some festive shenanigans? 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Break Giveaway | Spring Breakers' Plans

We wanted to know what you guys and gals were up to for Spring Break... and boy, did we get some awesome responses!  Sounds like a lot of you are off to the beach, hitting the road, and even globetrotting!  We're sure that no matter whether you're leaving town or staying put, you'll be able to put a $35 Kum & Go gift card to good use.  That's a free $35 for GAS! SNACKS! DRINKS!  Check out some of these Spring Breakers' plans and be sure to share yours when you enter the giveaway!  (Enter the giveaway here or just scroll to the bottom of this post for the form.)

Sand, Sun, and Sea!

Driving to Florida with a few friends. Spending 3 days on the beach in Cocoa Beach, FL. Spending another 2 days on the beach in Miami. And then heading to Orlando, FL for some fun at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Round trip on Google maps has it at 3,237 miles and 48 wonderful hours in the car! Those hours in and miles on my car will be well worth it for a week of sunshine in Florida!

Panama City Beach! 7 days of soakin' up the sun and only a 2 minute walk to the beach! It's going to be crazy!

I am heading down to South Padre Island, Texas with my family and a friend. We will be beachin' it er' day ev' day! Wahoooo!

After bending over backwards to get my boyfriend to dish out the money for Mexico, I finally got him to agree to go to Cancun! We fly out Friday morning and return next Thursday evening. The next morning, I have an interview for a summer internship! It should be a fantastic break!

I'm heading back to Minnesota for a few days to see my family. Then on Sunday my friend and I are flying down to Tampa, Florida to visit my sister and my niece for a few days. We will be celebrating my birthday on Wednesday at the beach, too!

Trips in the Midwest

Several small trip around Iowa and Minnesota. Iowa trips are to see friends and Minnesota trip is to interview for internship opportunities.

I am travelling to Missouri with other 4-H alum to meet at the National Invitational. At the invitational, we will be able to share ideas and strategies for working with 4-H'ers to develop Iowa's youth!

Going to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to hopefully get better!

I will be going to Wisconsin and Minnesota to see/visit some of my best friends... Road trip!!

Going to visit family in Indiana!

Cross-Country Ventures

For my spring break, I am flying to Baton Rouge, LA. While there I will be spending a lot of time outside in the nice weather! A couple of days into spring break, I will be heading up to Boston, MA! There I will be walking on the Freedom Trail, touching Plymouth Rock, and walking the halls of Harvard.

I'm flying to Texas on Saturday with my boyfriend! We will be visiting San Antonio for a few days then driving to Austin! I'm excited to see some family and visit some places I've wanted to go to. The warm weather doesn't hurt either. :)

Work and Homework

Working 2 jobs so I can afford to go on an awesome spring break trip next year!

Staying in Ames and working all week logn to make some extra money- Woot woot!

Held up in my apartment doing all the homework I have been putting off :(

Matthew Johnston
Stuck at home working and riding the new motorcycle!

Catching up on homework and watching movies!

Going Home Sweet Home

Hanging out with some friends back home and playing some golf.

Going home for some R&R and shopping!

I will be attending a friend's wedding this weekend. Then I will work a little at my current job. During the nights I will be working on some writing I need to do for my summer job (that is quickly approaching!)  On Wednesday and Thursday I will be traveling back to my hometown to babysit my adorable niece. Then on Friday I will be getting my wisdom teeth yanked out and spend the rest of the weekend recovering. :( Good start! Not such a happy ending! At least I will be able to enjoy some of my mom's cooking before my diet turns to jello and applesauce!

Well, let's see... I had the amazing idea to get my wisdom teeth taken out this Friday, so it looks like my Spring Break will be filled with days upon days of watching Netflix and not eating solid food. Pretty excited. Should be a good time. Not my best decision.

I will be working at the Memorial Union with the Event Staff. During the times I am not at work, I will be Skyping with my family (and my adorable nieces) in Mexico and catching up with friends.

Working my bum off to pay my bills!

Touring Tennessee 

Heading to the grand city of Nashville, Tennessee and going into country overload. I 'll be making stops at the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry to see Alan Jackson perform live! I'll also be spending some time in Memphis at some historical Elvis landmarks. It may not be the traditional spring break location, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

I am going to Tennessee with my parents and one of my roommates. Should be a blast because we are line dancing in a country bar and going to the Grand Ole Opry to see Dierks Bentley! Also don't forget ELVIS!!! Yes, yes, we are going to see Graceland!

International Travels

Traveling to China with my Supply Chain Management 428 class. We will be working on projects and tracing the entire chain of Target backwards. So far, we've visited a Target store and distribution center. Tomorrow we are flying to Los Angeles, CA where we will visit the Port of Long Beach and a deconsolidation facility. Then, we fly to China and visit several cities; we will be visiting various ports, warehouses, suppliers, and factories for Target. It's no PCB or South Padre, but we will still be able to enjoy a similar warm climate for most of the week in southern China. I'm looking forward to it!

Enter for your chance to win a $35 Kum & Go gift card!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Win a $35 Kum & Go Gift Card! - Spring Break Giveaway

Just in time for Spring Break, Haverkamp Properties is giving away a $35 gift card to Kum & Go.  It's perfect for spending on gas, snacks, beverages, and more!  Entering is easy!  Just fill out the form below before 9:00 AM on Friday, March 15.  We'll be announcing and contacting the winner that morning!  Good luck and happy Spring Break!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Inside the Fridge | Refrigerator Infographics

Does this "typical" renter's fridge reflect what's in your fridge?  

What food are you guilty of keeping past its freshness?

Is your fridge free of smelly stenches?  

Who knew you shouldn't store apples with cucumbers?!

How many times do you clean your fridge per year?

Friday, March 1, 2013

BBQ & Ice Cream Sundaes at Hickory Park!

Haleigh and I both celebrated birthdays in the same week last month.  So as we pondered what local establishment to hit up, Hickory Park came to mind.  A rustic, vintage, cozy atmosphere.  Mouthwatering BBQ.  And a special deal on ice cream sundaes for the birthday girls?!  We were sold.  Ames' famous and beloved Hickory Park is is located at 1404 S. Duff and serves about 15,000 guests on average each week.  

So what did we chow down on?  We started out with mozzarella bites as an appetizer.  Then Haleigh went with a smoked chicken and smoked sausage dinner with mashed potatoes and cottage cheese.  And I opted for my favorite: the cheese and jalapeno hickory paired with a side salad.  

Of course, we had to save room for our birthday ice cream!  The ice cream sundae menu at Hickory Park is extensive and exciting---it's so hard to choose just one sundae from the many, many sweet options!

Check out Hickory Park's website for trivia, the menu, and additional information... and give 'em a "like" on Facebook for updates that may lead to hunger pangs.