New To The Neighborhood – 4 Tips For Making New Friends

Moving to a new area as an adult doesn’t have to be a frightening experience. It’s perfectly okay not knowing anyone because everyone must start somewhere, right? Once you’ve moved all your stuff into your apartment and gotten all settled in, it’s time to try to find that new social niche.  

Putting Yourself Out There

Most everyone is comfortable sitting on their couch watching Hulu or Netflix, but in this case, it’s a no-no. This step requires you to get out of that comfort zone and go outside to the familiar and well-known places around town. This way, you will be able to start meeting people and forming connections. You must find the right balance between “you time” and social time; too much “you” time can get lonely, and too much social time can get stressful.

Getting Involved

Getting involved is easy; what are some of your hobbies? Once you narrow it down, you will be able to find activities that match up with your interests. Find a good gym around town, volunteer at a charity you like, join a sports league. Getting involved is an excellent way to quickly be a part of a community, especially if you just moved there.  

Find Local Events  

It seems as if every weekend in West Texas has something that it can offer you. Whether that’s a local band that is playing or the First Friday Art Trail, there is something that would be able to pique your interest. Going to things that interest you will help you find your niche because you will be around like-minded individuals.  

Using Your Resources

Technology can be useful in trying to get more involved in your area while making friends. There are plenty of apps now that can help you either find a date for a Friday night or find out where people your age hang out on the weekends or after work. You can use Facebook once you have a couple of people in your corner to branch out even further.  

There are a ton of people out there that are waiting to meet you. So pause the new Netflix series you started and get out there!

Lubbock Eats (Patio Edition)

It’s hot in Lubbock, but not warm enough to where you can’t sit outside and enjoy a nice dinner around town. Lubbock is known for having great local spots that could host your next girls’ night or a family event; you have to know where to look. These are the best spots here in town that have great outdoor patios.   

Teddy Jack’s Hub City Grill

In Lubbock, people know Teddy Jacks for its tasty eats and drinks. This place is perfect for people that enjoy live music, and they typically have no shortage of local talent come out and play on the weekends. This establishment has multiple TV’s, great for watching big games, picnic style seating, and an outdoor bar. What more could you want?  

The Funky Door

Over on Milwaukee Ave., The Funky Door is a place where people go if they want to enjoy some live music, fondue, and their large outdoor patio. What’s great about this place is that they have one of the best happy hours in town for the quality drinks and food you’re getting. It has a spacious outdoor area with plenty of seating. You can easily indulge in a glass of wine outside with a group of friends.  

Café J

This restaurant is known for being a classy spot to take family or friends. This place even has chicken and waffles for Sunday brunch! Café J’s patio is on the smaller side, but very quaint. This outdoor patio has fans, comfy couches, chairs, and plenty of seating for a smaller group to enjoy drinks outside. Café J’s menu is distinct, and unlike any other place in town, if you want a more upscale dining experience that has an outdoor patio, this is your place.  

 

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Torchy’s Tacos

Torchy’s, located near Texas Tech’s campus, is the perfect spot for chips and queso and a drink or two. When the weather permits, Torchy’s patio usually fills up quickly due to its high popularity. This place has everything you’ll need, like big TV’s, outside lights and plenty of seating to make sure your next group hangout will be fun for everyone.

6 Natural Fragrances Guaranteed To Make Your Home Fresh

Everyone’s home has a distinct smell; whether that’s because of the laundry detergent you use or the candles you burn. Aroma is critical to think about because the scent is one of the first things people notice when they enter your home or apartment. The more regularly you’re in your home, the more you become “nose-blind” to how your space smells. Many things can contribute to a good or bad smelling area, but with these simple tricks, you should be able to start smelling different and better smells.  

Lemon and Rosemary

If you are looking for a clean smell, this combination would be your go-to. You can make this yourself; and can be done on the fly. All you need is a regular mason jar or something similar to put, water, rosemary, lemons, and vanilla inside.  

Lilac

Lilac is the perfect scent for summer, and with just a few small ingredients, you could have your apartment smelling the part. The lilac room spray contains water, vodka, and lilac oil. Pretty simple, yet very useful for making any room smell good. If you choose to not make your own, you can buy a lilac room spray here.

Rosemary and Lavender Carpet Powder

If your carpets are dingy and dirty due to high traffic going in and out of your apartment, then you need this all-natural carpet powder. It requires baking soda, dried rosemary, and lavender oil. After you mix everything, you sprinkle it directly on your carpets and let it stay there for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum your carpet like normal.  

DIY Plug-in Refill

If you have bought the nice plug-ins from retail stores, you know they smell amazing but are costly. There is an alternative to the sweet-smelling plug-ins you’ve previously purchased. All you do is fill an empty plug-in with water and whatever essential oil you want and voila!  

Cinnamon-Orange Air Freshener

This air freshener is for the people who aren’t big candle people, and who enjoy fall scents year-round. This air freshener contains cinnamon oil, orange oil, water, and water-absorbing polymers. Wayfair carries a cinnamon-orange room spray if you would rather purchase one.

DIY Reed Diffuser

A reed diffuser will add fragrance to any room, and it isn’t difficult to make. You’ll need a glass container with a small opening at the top big enough to let out the aroma, rattan reeds, almond oil, alcohol and another essential oil of your choosing. Depending on where this reed diffuser lives, is how you choose the extra essential oil. Lemon works best in kitchen or bathroom spaces, while lavender would be fitting in a bedroom. Instead of the DIY route, you can buy a similar one here.

Apartment Safety When Leaving For Vacation

Summer is here, and that means vacations and graduations are in full swing. By this point, I’m sure that you have planned most of your trips, down to the places that you’ll stay, where you will be going and the restaurants you’ll be dining at. These things are important to think about when planning a trip. However, securing your apartment is something that should be on your to-do list as well.  

Check your doors and windows

Checking your doors and windows a couple of weeks before you leave for vacation is essential. Doing this in advance will help you to figure out if all your door and window hinges are working correctly and to be proactive about it if something needs a repair. The farther in advance, the better, that way maintenance would be able to fix anything before you leave. Fixing these issues ensures that your apartment will be safe during the duration of your trip.

Checking your smoke alarms

Nothing is more frustrating than when your smoke alarm beeps to signal low battery, or it beeps while you’re cooking a steak. While on vacation you don’t want to lock up your room with a low battery smoke detector, especially if you live with other roommates or pets. By replacing the batteries in your sensor before you leave will ensure that you don’t bother anyone with the loud noises.  

Pets are important too

If you decide not to board your pets during vacation, then you should make arrangements with a trusted neighbor or friend to keep watch of them while you’re away. Also, you should leave your veterinarians’ contact information with the person that will be taking care of your animals, just in case something was to happen.  

Ask a friend to keep an eye on your place

Asking a trusted friend or neighbor to watch your apartment while you’re away is always a good idea, that way someone can keep an eye out and make sure nothing out of the ordinary is going on while you’re unable. Make sure that the people you’ve trusted have your number along with an emergency contact for you to call in case something were to go wrong.  

These are the few things to do to make sure your apartment is safe as can be. After checking all these boxes, you are well on your way to full R&R mode.

Home Habits Proven to Make You Happier

Our homes define who we are and where we are going. The roof above your head shapes your mood, productivity, and influences for what is to come. Over the past several years, studies have shown that the small day to day habits we make will impact our happiness.  

Are you ready to start living a happy life? Read these simple home habits that are proven to make you feel happier and live happier.  

Make Your Bed Every Morning

As a little kid, do you remember when your mom or dad insisted you couldn’t go anywhere until your bed was made? After hearing this, you probably came up with a hundred reasons to why you thought this was such a pointless task. We are here to tell you otherwise.  

This five-minute task is one of the simplest habits you can adapt to make a positive impact on your life. By making your bed every morning, you will gain a sense of accomplishment, increased productivity, and reduced stress.  

Complete Simple Favors

Whether you live with your best friend, spouse, or just a random roommate, make it a habit of doing simple favors for them. The ability to cultivate a strong and supportive relationship will add happiness to your life. When you do good, you feel good.  

Doing simple favors such as taking out the trash, cleaning the dishes, or writing a sincere note to your roommate, goes a long way. Plus, when your living mate is happy, you will be happy.  

Find a Place for Everything

It is been proven that if your home is a mess, this will cause stress. Make it a priority to keep your home organized and find a place in your home to store your items. This mood-boosting habit is easy and quick to do.  

Depending on your daily routine, pick a time, morning or evening, to clean each room and put everything back in its place. There is no greater feeling than coming home to a clean house.

Call Your Loved Ones

No matter what, always set aside time out of your day or week to call your loved ones. It is proven that human interaction is beneficial to our happiness. Talking to people you care about can have a significant impact on your life.  

Happiness comes from within us. In addition, maintaining close relationships with our loved ones is critical. Human interaction will boost your mood temporarily but keeping it up will increase your happiness for years to come.

Organization Must-Haves: Kitchen

Organizing your kitchen can be a bit intimidating, but we have the perfect solutions for you to organize your kitchen. You may already feel like you are maxed out on your kitchen space. What if we told you there is a way to free up more space? Good news, there is a way, and it’s as simple as stated below.

Vertical Organizers

Instead of storing your frying pans and baking sheets horizontally, flip them on their side and store them vertically. By doing so, you won’t have to go through the hassle of moving through the whole stack to pull out what you are looking for.

You can buy pot and pan vertical organizers to keep from having your kitchen items from falling over or sliding around. It is a great way to make your pans more accessible. Plus, you will be maximizing your cabinet space.

If your pots are too big to store vertically, stack them in order of most used pots at the top and least used towards the bottom.

Add Dividers To All of Your Drawers

People often think you only need drawer dividers for your eating utensils, but this is a misconception. You can buy kitchen dividers that are adjustable and will accommodate larger cooking utensils or oddly shaped utensils.

Tupperware Organizer

How often have you searched for a lid to one of your Tupperware bowls? To stop the hassle of searching for a lid that fits, store all your containers and lids in a Tupperware organizer. This sleek organizer is a game-changer.

Color Code Your Kitchen

Some of you may already color-coordinate your closet, so why not do the same for your Kitchen? Color coding your kitchen will give you the kitchen organization you need. Start by grouping all your foods items in your fridge and pantry.

Magnetic Knife Bar

Go out with the old knife block organizers and in with the new magnetic knife bar. Magnetic knife bars will clear up your counter space and look better in your kitchen. They are less than twenty dollars on Amazon and are a perfect organization must-have.

Regain Sink Space

Get rid of the wet sponges and drying towels off your countertop by getting an organizer to hang on the side of your cabinets. If you don’t want them showing outside your cabinets, you could also get a hanging rack to place inside of your cabinets or under your sink.

Entertaining at Home: Wine + Succulent Party

‘Tis the season for a summer party and what better combination than succulents and wine? Succulents are small in size and are an easy-care plant. Get ready to “wine” down with your friends and show your love for these cute and fun plants by having a memorable wine and succulent party.

Set the Succulent Scene

What’s a party without decorations? You can decorate your apartment with terrariums and other plant arrangements filled with succulents of all different shapes and sizes. If you are planning to have a small group of guests, have the party inside your apartment. If not, you may want to consider finding a spot outside to host. We will be happy to accommodate your wine and succulent party wishes and needs.

Get the Wine Ready

It’s not a party without food or drinks. Get your wine bottles out and enjoy your favorite wines with your friends. Summer wines are a must. Choose light white wines such as Rocks 2014 or California White Wine. Rose, Champagne, or sparkling wine are also great alternatives. To make things more fun, you could even ask your guest to bring their favorite bottle of wine and when each bottle is opened, ask them to share why it’s their favorite.

Creative Potting Station

Add a creative spin to your wine and succulent party with a potting station. All you need is simple terracotta pots, succulent potting mix, decorative sand or gravel, and a selection of succulents for your friends to choose from. You could also add some small seashells or crystals to the mix for your guest to add a cute touch to their pots.

Party Favors

Spruce up your party with these cute favor ideas from Portofino. You can send your friends home with the simplest party favors. Some ideas you could use are teacups, coffee mugs, flower vases, candles, and wine glasses. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or not, a simple party favor is a thoughtful touch that will go a long way.

Tips For Keeping Your Apartment Cool This Summer

It’s that time of year again, and things are heating up. Whether you are on a budget or just looking for tips to keep your apartment cool, you came to the right place.  

Start with Your Windows

Believe it or not, a significant amount of unwanted heat comes through windows. Therefore, keeping your blinds closed will decrease the amount of sunlight that comes in and helps cool down your apartment. You can even block out your blinds by adding shades or curtains.  

Leave Doors Open

Keeping doors closed to unused rooms shut and all others open can make a huge difference. This lets air flow naturally through your apartment and will almost automatically make it feel cooler.  

Adjust Sheets

It’s time to switch out the flannel and fleece for some cotton sheets. Adjusting your bedding to lightweight material will keep you cooler and allow you to sleep and breathe better.  

The best cooling sheets we recommend trying out, are soft bamboo sheets. Bamboo is a breathable, lightweight fabric that will keep you cool and comfortable.  

Cooler Cooking Solutions

Every time you use your oven, you are heating your apartment. Kick out the kitchen oven heat by making fresh summer salads, sandwiches, and more.  

Another alternative cooking solution we suggest is grilling outdoors. The less you use the oven and stove; the cooler your apartment will be.  

Counter-Clockwise Ceiling Fans

This is a tip that many people are unfamiliar with. Adjusting your ceiling fan to a higher speed and a counter-clockwise rotation will generate a cool breeze.  

Take Colder Showers

The hotter the shower temperature is, the more steam you are putting into the apartment. Taking cooler showers will prevent this from happening and will even cool your body down as well.  

Turn the Lights Off

Lights produce more heat than we know. If you practice turning unnecessary lights off, the apartment will stay cool, and you might even lower your electricity bill. We advise switching light bulbs to LED. Regular light bulbs release more heat than a LED bulb does.  

Portofino hopes you love all the above tips as much as we do. Forget the heat and use these tips to keeping your apartment cooler a try. They are all easily do-able and cost-effective.

Apps Every Apartment Renter Needs

Just about anything can be done on our mobile devices these days. Technology is one of the most powerful tools we have, and if you know where to look, you can find just about anything. As an apartment renter, we highly recommend utilizing apps.

Listed below is an outline of the most useful renter apps that will help you with keep budgets and finances organized, find properties, and allow you to apply for new leases.

Nextdoor

Nextdoor is a free app for iOS and Android. This social networking app is used only for people in your neighborhood. It allows you to get to know who is living around you, pets that are missing, local events, items listed for sale, and upcoming meetings. Get to know your neighborhood quicker with the Nextdoor app.

Zumper

Zumper is another excellent app. You can access a snapshot of exactly where you want to live and navigate nearby landmarks. There is an option to filter your exact rental needs such as weather, parks, stores, food, and culture.

When you download the Zumper app, there is a feature on it to submit rental applications without going through the hassle of calling property managers.

Sortly

Once you have found your rental apartment, Sortly is the app to use for your moving process. The app allows you to create a packing list and inventory to keep you organized. One of the best features on Sortly is you can upload to premium for only $4.99/month and sync your items and documents with your family.

Canary

The easiest home security app out today is Canary. This app is a security camera that lets renters stream live video from their apartment remotely. The camera can detect all movement and will notify you via the Canary app.

This app is a must for those who are looking for good security without paying for an expensive alarm system. The best part about Canary is it makes it possible to take your security camera anywhere with you.

Padmapper

Padmapper is another apartment hunting app. It is available on both iOS and Android and is free of cost. You can use this app to make your apartment hunt experience more fun and relevant to you. Beneficial features such as the search filter, favorite properties, and checklist feature will make the apartment process simple.

If you need help finding the right apartment with spacious floor plans, balcony space, a gym, heated pool, and more explore our website or give us a call (806) 793-3434.

Study Tips for College Students

Creating good study habits in college can be a challenge, but we are here to help give you study tips that make your life easier and keep your grades up.

As a college student, you are expected to make school your number one priority. Tests will get harder and make up a more substantial portion of your overall grade in each class, so it is important to set more time aside to study.

If you want to be more successful and not overwhelmed with your workload, keep reading to find what study tips you can do.

Set A Study Schedule

The first and foremost study tip we recommend is making a schedule and sticking to it. Maintaining proper time management skills is key to your success in college. There can be many distractions with your social life, but you must stay grounded and be strict with yourself.

As overwhelming as you may think your schedule is, there is time to study. After you receive your class schedule, set specific times between or after classes for studying.  

Find Your Study Environment

The campus library is the most common study environment for college students, but it may not be the same for you. Find a quiet place you can concentrate at with few distractions. This will allow your brain to know you are there with a purpose and get your work done.

Studies have shown that using noise-canceling headphones can help significantly. If you are someone that enjoys listening to music while studying, find a coffee shop or cafe.

Utilize Campus Tutoring

Almost every campus should offer campus tutoring or study groups. These tools are there to help you succeed and achieve your goals. You can find more information on the campus website or by asking your academic advisor.

If you feel you are getting behind in a class and are struggling with grasping some of the class material, find a tutor who can assist you.

Finding friends in your classes can also help your studying. You can make study groups, study outlines, and help each other through hard times.

Take Breaks

This tip is essential to your mental health. Studies show that our brain is most productive in the first hour of studying. You must remember to study in bursts and don’t cram. When you cram your studying, you are over exerting your brain and just making yourself more fatigue.

If you plan to study for two hours every day, take at least a 30-minute break in-between each hour. You can go outside and get some fresh air, eat a snack, take your dog for a walk, etc.

Sleep

You may not realize this, but your sleep affects everything you do. Developing good sleeping habits will make you sharper and will decrease your stress levels.

If you are not getting the proper amount of sleep each night, then your brain will become more fatigued, and you will no longer be able to retain information. It is expected to feel overwhelmed in college, but when you get rest, you will see your stress levels go down.

If you need help finding the right apartment to start your day, to study in, or provide a get away from school explore our website or give us a call (806) 793-3434.