Why Summer is the Best Time to Move

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer can be an ideal season for most anyone, the weather is in our favor, school is out, and we can finally take our well-deserved vacations! It’s even an ideal time move into a new apartment.


In the Northeast we value our seasonal changes, when winter comes to an end we are more than ready for green grass and sunshine. These elements also make it easier to move.

While heat may be slightly uncomfortable, it’s certainly more desirable than the alternative-a blizzard. There’s nothing worse than having a snowstorm hit our area and interrupt your moving time. Not only does it cause headaches, but it can also be dangerous attempting carry furniture and boxes on wet or snowy walkways. Snow storms may also delay your move completely.

More Availability

Many Americans move between May and September, which means during these months there are numerous apartments available for rent. While this will give you plenty of options while browsing, you shouldn’t wait too long as the apartment you love because someone else could be vying for the same space.

School is Out

Not only is there a higher availability of rental units, but, many families choose to move during the summer months so school time is not disrupted. There can also be a period of adjustment time for kids, this will give them time to adjust and acclimate to their new surroundings.

We know you’ll love living at Hawthorne Gardens. Contact us when you’re ready to schedule a tour!

Summer Savings Made Easy

Hawthorne Gardens - Monday, May 22, 2017

Saving money doesn’t mean you have to go without updating your wardrobe or décor for your apartment. With a little patience and insider knowledge, you can get some great items without breaking the bank. Thrift stores may seem intimidating at first, but once you know your way around the process, it’s easy, and even fun to check in and see what you can find.

The best tips for beginners include:

- Going Often: There’s no way to predict what a store might have at any point in time. New items are put out constantly, so even if you go one day and find nothing you could ever possibly want to take, a few days later, the store might be full of items that have just been donated.

- Know Where to Look: Every store is different. If you have an idea of a specific item that you’re looking for, try to identify the area of town that you’d find someone donating it in, and go to that store. Once you’re inside the store, be sure to look around for bins that you’ll likely see sitting around with items in them. Before items are placed on the shelves, they are priced and put out in bins. Sometimes, you can find the best deals before anyone else has even noticed them. 

- Find Out About Rewards and Benefits: Be sure to ask at the stores you frequent about coupons, rewards programs, and discount days. Some offer coupons when you donate old items of your own. Some also offer reward programs, where you may get discounts after so many times shopping there. Discount days also happen on certain days, but are rarely advertised. Ask about these, too, and shape your shopping trips around them!

- Be Open-Minded: If you go in looking for something specific, you’re more likely to walk away let down. Go into thrift shopping with an open mind. You never know what you might find, and what dirty old items could turn into chic new additions to your apartment with a little bit of attention.

Ready to turn your apartment around? We’ve got just the place for you here at Hawthorne Gardens

Windowsill Herb Plants to Have at Hawthorne Gardens

Hawthorne Gardens - 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 Hawthorne Gardens 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!

How You Can Support Your Local Community

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Community volunteers working together

Looking to get involved near your home at Hawthorne Gardens? Here are some great volunteer opportunities nearby:

Habitat for Humanity: Did you know that the Capital District has a Habitat for Humanity branch? We do! You can get involved in many ways, whether you wish to work on the construction sites, at the Habitat ReStore, or in the office.

Albany Pine Bush: Are you interested in working outside and having an opportunity for hands-on conservation work? Albany Pine Bush has several opportunities for volunteers to get involved on the trails, researching rare species and habitats, and more.

The Arts Center: If you love the arts, this volunteer opportunity is what you need to get involved! Some of the available volunteer positions are camp counselors for arts camps (over spring break or in the summer), distributing catalogs, and working at the gift shop.

No matter how you get involved, we’re proud to have you as a part of our great community at Hawthorne Garden!

Four Local Vendors to Get Your Sweets From

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Sweets From Local Vendors

Are you hosting a family get together soon? Picking up some candy for the kids? Do something a little different this year and support your community too by shopping from local vendors! There are many wonderful options in our area, including:

  1. Electric Cookie Jar: Craving cookies? Look no further – Electric Cookie Jar offers almost any flavor that you can imagine! If you can’t find a flavor you’d like to try from their list, simply call up and see if they can make a special flavor that’s custom-made for you! This local shop also offers vegan and sugar-free options.

  2. Country Hearth Baking: Looking for more than cookies? Country Hearth Baking has everything from breads and pies to scones and easy mixes to whip up at home. They also offer options that fit almost every need, with soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free baked goods that are sure to bring some smiles to everyone’s faces!

  3. Le Marais Chocolat: With locally-sourced, fair trade, and organic ingredients, Le Marais Chocolat makes a great choice for anyone in the region. Here, you can find gluten-free scones, cookies, and brownies, French Macarons, chocolate bark, and custom pastries and desserts by request. What they’re most known for, however, is their truffles, made from Cordillera chocolate, and with flavors including Raspberry Sherry, Vanilla Bean, and Lavender Rose.

  4. Bon-Bon Brazil: If you’re looking for something a little different to wow your guests, Bon-Bon Brazil is for you. This shop offers homemade Brigadeiros, a unique Brazilian sweet that is often compared to fudgy truffles. Surely, anything you get here will make for a great topic of discussion at your next party!

With options like these, supporting your local community surrounding Hawthorne Gardens couldn’t be sweeter!

Great Ways to Declutter: Clothing Swap

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Declutter the clothes in your closet

It’s the struggle we all face – there are way too many clothes in the closet, and we just don’t like most of them anymore. It might sound too good to be true, but you can actually get some new clothes without sacrificing more space in the closet, and without spending money! A good old-fashioned clothing swap with friends is just what you need. Here’s what to do:

Set-up Some Guidelines – Send an invite to a few friends, but make sure to keep the items at the swap party even. You can do this by suggesting to each friend that they bring a certain number of items. This way, you can be sure no one is walking away with more than they provided. All of the clothes must also be in good shape if they come to the swap!

Make it a Game – There’s no reason not to have a little bit of orderly fun at the swap! It’s helpful to set up a lottery to determine the order that participants can pick out clothes. Otherwise, you might have three friends fighting over one pair of shoes that you contributed, which in turn could spoil the whole night!

Organize the Presentation – Designate spaces for the clothing. For example, one table may be used for shoes, a rack for shirts, and all of the pants laid out on a coffee table. This way, everyone can plainly see what Is out there for them to choose from!

Call up some friends today, and treat yourself to a fun night and some new clothes for next season! You can do it all here at Hawthorne Gardens.

How You Can Do Yoga at Home This Year

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Woman doing yoga in an apartment

Believe it or not, you don’t have to go to a studio to enjoy the benefits of yoga! You can set up your own makeshift yoga studio in the privacy of your own home with just a few simple steps:

  1. Carve Out Your Own Yoga Area: The first step to being serious about doing yoga at home is to create your own area for your yoga studio. Whether you use a curtain or wall divider to separate your space, or even use a coffee table or other piece of furniture to section it off, it’s important to have a designated space to keep you motivated.

  2. Find What Works For You: Whether you prefer to do yoga first thing in the morning, or to wind down at night just before bed, find what works for you and stick to it.

  3. Get Searching For Instructional Videos: Finally, it’s time to try out some yoga! There are many different styles and techniques for different purposes. We suggest looking to see what kind of yoga you may be interested in and finding some instructional videos on YouTube to keep you going!

If the ideas above just don’t fit into your personal space, stop by our fitness center to begin your exercise routine! How are you going to do yoga at Hawthorne Gardens this year?

Reasonable Restaurants to Make Your Valentine’s Day Reservations

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Couple at Valentine's Day Dinner

The holidays are over, but now we’re coming up on Valentine’s Day, so it’s time to make your reservations! If you’re new to Hawthorne Gardens, don’t fret, we’ve got some great restaurants right in the area to recommend:

Lark & Lily - One of the more iconic local wine bars, Lark & Lily’s has a laid-back and romantic attitude that is perfectly suited for Valentine’s Day. The wine menu is desirable, appetizers are perfect for sharing, and the pricing is all just right.

Café Capriccio - For those who want an Authentic, romantic Italian meal, Café Capriccio is just your place. Known as one of the legendary restaurants in town, the cozy atmosphere and fine dining is sure to please any date.

New World Bistro Bar - This is a local restaurant that is truly a safe bet, even if your Valentine’s Day date is someone quite new. New World Bistro Bar’s menu features many items that can be made vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, leaving no need to worry that your date will have a hard time finding something they like. Not to mention that the prices are extremely friendly, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. Really, what’s not to like?

No matter where you decide to go this year, we hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day here in Albany, NY!

Workouts You Can Do at Home!

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Working out in your apartment

It’s cold and you never know when the roads are going to be icy – who wants to get out this time of year? Luckily, there are workouts you can do right at home (or in the Hawthorne Gardens fitness center) to get or stay in shape this year! All you need is an exercise ball (otherwise called stability ball).

Some of the workouts you can do with an exercise ball to improve your core strength include:

  • Push-Ups
  • Squats
  • Planks
  • Ball Pass
  • Lunges
  • Frog Jumps
  • Side-Splits

The opportunities really are endless! Check out the instructions for these moves here.

If you are looking for more instruction from a professional at a local fitness center learn more here or check out:
Orange Theory Fitness 
Freestyle Fitness Center

3 Ways to Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa

Hawthorne Gardens - Tuesday, December 20, 2016
decorations to make your apartment bathroom feel like a spa

Living in a rental means you can’t remodel your bathroom, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t personalize it and make it feel as luxurious as you’d like! There are many ways to make your apartment’s bathroom feel like a spa:

  1. Brush Décor – Use a bath brush, loofah, or natural sea sponge that will not only make your exfoliating easier, but can also act as a piece of décor hung on your wall.
  2. Scent It - To imitate a spa’s aromatherapy room, simply add fresh eucalyptus (often found at the florist and some grocery stores) to your bathroom. You can even tie a bundle of eucalyptus to your shower head, so that the steam will carry the aroma through the entire room.
  3. Use a Side-Table Stool – Adding a side table to your bathroom is not something many think of, but it’s a great addition for those who love to indulge in a spa day in their own home! Keep the side table next to your bathtub, and use it to hold a book, your favorite candle, and more!

Luxurious living is easy when you live at Hawthorne Gardens. Visit us today to see how!

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