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Couch With Pillows

How to Shop for a New Sofa

Couch With PillowsIf it’s time to replace your sofa, don’t rush out and buy the first one you like. Instead, take your time deciding which sofa would be best for your home, since it’s a big investment in terms of furniture. Keep the following tips in mind when you start shopping for your next sofa.

Determine the Right Size

Sofas come in different sizes, and you don’t want to end up getting one that won’t fit in your living room. Measure the room your sofa will be going in, and use that measurement to figure out what size sofa you should get. A sofa that’s too big will make your living room feel overcrowded and cluttered, while a sofa that’s too small will make the room look too bare and sparse.

Select a Material

The type of material you get should go well with the rest of your living room decor. You might also want to take practical concerns into consideration, especially if you have small children or any pets. For example, a suede sofa in a lighter color might not be a good choice if you have pets or kids, but a leather one that’s easy to clean should work better.

Choose a Style

The style of sofa you get should be based on the overall style of your home decor. Choose a sleek, contemporary style of a sofa to match a more modern home design, or go with a vintage sofa if your design tastes are more eclectic. If your home decor might change from time to time, choose a traditional sofa in neutral tones.

Decide on a Color

The color of your sofa should complement the surrounding decor or add a touch of contrast without being too harsh. You can choose a neutral tone and spruce it up with colored accent pillows if you already have a lot of color in your living room, or go with a brighter sofa to add color to a room that mainly has neutral walls and decor.

The living rooms in our apartments in West Miami, Florida have beautiful tile floors that go well with many different sofa styles. Please contact us for more information on our available apartments.

Man and Woman Shopping

Where to Go Shopping in Miami

Man and Woman ShoppingThere are plenty of places to shop in West Miami, but sometimes it’s hard to know which one is right for you. The following list is meant for shoppers of all kinds, whether you like eclectic and local or the more traditional retail experience. For shops close to our West Miami apartments, consider the following options to treat yourself.

Merchandise Mart

This place may have been designed with wholesalers in mind, but the Merchandise Mart has become a destination for those looking for a little luxury at a lower price. Located in a hotel, this is a good place to go if you’re in the market for accessories or apparel. There are even places to get artisan coffee and gourmet food when you need a little break.

Miami International Mall

If you’re looking for something a little more familiar, then Miami International Mall has shops that cater to penny-pinchers and big-spenders alike. Buy a cute shirt for yourself at H&M and then pick up a bottle of fancy perfume for your mother at Macy’s. Plus, there are always deals and specials happening around the holidays where you can get plenty of free goodies for yourself after shelling out some cash for someone you love.

CocoWalk

For a whole day of fun, try CocoWalk for a choose-your-own-adventure kind of day. This is the perfect place to go if you enjoy the experience of shopping. Window-shop for an hour or two before you get a coffee. Pick and choose what to purchase after you’ve had a few moments to think it over. Catch a movie to break up the day, and then end it all with a little dinner and dessert.

With the holidays coming up, it never hurts to expand your shopping options. From a locally owned boutique to a national chain, there are plenty of unique gifts to find out there. It all starts with where you look. If you’re looking for an apartment that can hold all your shopping (and then some), try the District West Gables. Our amenities and floor plans are made for those who enjoy the finer things in life, so stop by for a quick tour to see what we mean!

Ragdoll Cat

The 5 Best Cat Breeds for New Owners

Ragdoll CatAfter a day in a bustling city, coming home to a pet eager for companionship is a relaxing option for residents of our West Miami apartments. If you’ve decided to add a cat to your household for the first time, you’ll be joining more than 93 million U.S. owners. Here are the five breeds best suited for apartment living.

British Shorthair: High Marks for Adaptability

These cats have a positive reputation for adjusting well to apartments. If your ideal is a lap cat, this breed is a great choice. British Shorthairs tend to be both friendly and quiet to their owners.

Persian: Laid-back Cats

Want a cat that’s affectionate and laid-back? Think Persian. These cats do well in apartments thanks to their calm demeanor. However, they do require attention and thrive when their owners aren’t gone a great deal. They also need grooming every day to avoid matting. Some cat fans prefer the Exotic, a short-haired version of a Persian that requires far less grooming.

Russian Blue: Mr. or Ms. Independence

Cat fanciers often comment on the fact that Russian Blues, while affectionate, are such extremely independent creatures. This makes them well suited for living with an owner who works outside the home. Although a Russian Blue is somewhat standoffish or even shy with individuals who are unfamiliar, they are usually particularly loyal to the person it considers a favorite.

Javanese: Lots of Love

If you’re looking for a vocal, playful cat that’s also very affectionate, consider a Javanese. While Javanese adapt to living solo in the daytime, they do require one-on-one owner interaction every day. These affectionate pets thrive with an owner who is around much of the time.

Ragdoll: The True Lap Cat

Ragdolls have gentle temperaments and are generally laid-back. They love to snuggle in laps.  However, they aren’t particularly demanding pets. They do need to stay indoors 24/7.

Choosing a cat from a breed best suited for living in our apartments in West Miami could provide a companion that remains forever dear to your heart. Call us today to learn which of the exciting floor plans in our pet-friendly community best meets your needs and those of your feline friend.

Fruits at Farmers Market

The Best Farmers Markets in Miami

Fruits at Farmers MarketOne of the best things about living in Miami is the plethora of fresh produce available to the residents who live here. From plantains to yucca root, you’ll find everything you need to make a meal that is worthy of your apartment home’s gourmet kitchen. Here is a rundown of the best farmers markets in Miami and the surrounding areas. Try each of them to see which ones are to your taste!

1. Lincoln Road Farmers Market

Located between Meridian Avenue and Washington on Lincoln Road, this year-round farmers market operates between 9 in the morning until 6:30 p.m. every Sunday. The convenient hours are perfect for cooking up a big Sunday meal for the family in your West Miami apartment’s kitchen.

2. South Pointe Triangle Park

You can find this farmers market on Alton Road, between the blocks of 1st and 2nd. Every Saturday, year-round from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., shop for your daily breakfast food items as well as lunch staples. The beach is just a couple blocks away so bring your flip flops!

3. Aventura Market

Over 25 local farmers and crafters sell their wares at 19501 Biscayne Boulevard each Sunday from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m., year-round. Here you’ll be able to stock up on a multitude of tea varieties, nuts and exotic fruits and vegetables from local vendors and beyond. Don’t forget to pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers from the ever-present local florist.

4. South Miami Farmers Market

Headed down south for the weekend? Then check out the South Miami Farmers Market in front of South Miami City Hall. It’s open every Saturday from 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon, year-round. Although it’s small compared to some other farmers markets, it’s got all you need to eat healthy, natural, and organic. Just know that this particular market is cash only.

5. Pinecrest Garden Green Market

On hot Sundays, why not cool off with a stroll under the banyan trees on Watson Island in Miami? Starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m., this market offers a delectable array of artisanal breads, conch fritters and crepes from its many food stands. You won’t go back to your Miami apartment hungry, that’s for sure!

Are you in the market for West Miami apartments? Why not check out our spacious floor plans and luxury living accommodations?  Contact us today to schedule a visit of our apartment community.

Art Mural

What to Do in the Wynwood Art District

Art MuralLiving in the Miami region means almost year-round warm temperatures and sunshine. When you are not at the beach or enjoying the comfort of your West Miami apartment, you may want to get out and explore. One of the most interesting places to do so is the Wynwood neighborhood. Housed in what was once a dilapidated warehouse district, Wynwood is now home to boutique shopping, unique dining options and plenty of art galleries. Here are some ways to spend your time while exploring this artistic district.

Attend the Wynwood Art Walk

On the second Saturday of the month, you can experience Wynwood to the fullest during the Wynwood Art Walk. Each month restaurants, galleries and retailers will have specials and stay open past their normal business hours, and live music will take to the streets. With over 400 businesses in the neighborhood, you will easily find something to match your tastes. This event is often called Miami’s largest block party, and the party atmosphere will get you excited.

Take in the Street Art

In the early 2000s, developers and property owners took on the task of transforming run-down warehouses and closed factories form Miami’s old Garment District into something new, innovative and inviting. One way they did this was through the power of street art. On your next visit to Wynwood, you will want to explore the over 200 murals that now add vibrant color to the district.

Grab a Bite to Eat

Wynwood has over 30 places to dine. The artesian restaurants and cafes in the district provide quite a bit of variety for diners. Whether you have a hankering for Mexican food, want to have some flavorful Italian or wish to explore a trendy new bar, you will find it in Wynwood. Most of the restaurants are unique to Wynwood, offering flavors you can’t find anywhere else.

When you are done exploring the art, shops and restaurants of Wynwood, you will want to have a comfortable place to return home to. Your feet may be a little tired after all the walking! For an inviting apartment in West Miami, contact our office to see what floor plans we currently have available.

Face Mask

Treat Yourself: 3 Face Masks You Can Make at Home

Face MaskWhy spend hundreds of dollars every year getting a facial at a luxury spa when you can do it right in the comfort of your own home? That is exactly what residents at our apartments in West Miami can do.

Many people have discovered amazing at-home facial masks that work just as well, if not better, than the facials you get at a luxury spa. Now, you can get in on the secret. The following are three face masks you can make at home.

Moisturize Your Skin With the Banana Facial Mask

If you want to firm up your skin, try the banana facial mask. The banana facial mask has been proven to moisturize your skin. Moisturized skin looks softer, healthier and firmer.

To make the banana facial mask, do the following:

  • Mash up a medium-sized banana
  • Mix the mashed up banana with 2 tablespoons honey and ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • Apply the mask to your face and leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes
  • Wash the mask off with cool water

Rejuvenate Your Skin With a Powdered Milk Mask

The powdered milk mask takes seconds to make and can completely rejuvenate your skin so it has a healthy glow.

To create a powdered milk mask, do the following:

  • Take approximately ¼ cup of powdered milk and mix it with water
  • Create a thick paste and apply it to your face
  • Let the mask dry and rinse it off with warm water

Clean Your Skin and Reduce Visible Pores With the Yogurt Mask

A yogurt facial mask is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cleanse your skin. Just take some plain yogurt and apply it directly to your face. Let the yogurt sit for approximately 20 minutes then rinse with warm water.

The yogurt facial mask doesn’t just clean your skin, it also reduces visible pores. The yogurt tightens up the pores, which makes them appear smaller.

Choose to make District West Gables your new home and you will have plenty of room to enjoy getting a facial at your at-home spa. Call our office today to schedule a tour of our luxury West Miami, Florida apartments.

Two Cocktails

5 West Miami Hot Spots

Two CocktailsFor every chaotic workday, there’s a hip happy hour place to head to afterward. West Miami and the surrounding area has some of the best places to stop for an afternoon (or even night) drink if you’re looking for a way to take the edge off.

The Forge

For a bit of a twist on a standard happy hour, you’ll only find The Forge’s selections available on Friday nights from 6 to 9 p.m. Dubbed Veuve Clicquot Happy Hour (after the champagne), this French restaurant will serve you up some of the bubbles at just $10 a glass (trust us, it’s a bargain!). Chandeliers, wine cellars, and risotto all await you at this elegant Miami Beach hot spot.

High Tide

Head to the Kimpton Surfcomber hotel to check out this fashionable tiki bar and their early happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. from Monday to Thursday. It’s a great time to sample their rum punch at a discount.

Ted’s Hideaway

If you’re looking for something on the very casual side, then the juke box, pool table, and dark interior at Ted’s Hideaway will make you feel right at home. Ted’s Hideaway has a happy hour that runs from 12 to 8 p.m. every day and gets you 2-for-1 drafts, wines and well drinks.

Mondrian Caffé

When your day runs late and you just want to be by the water, try this place any weekday from 4 to 9 p.m. This spot is known not just for their beautiful views, but also their inventive and delicious cocktails. Whether you like sweet, tart, or a little of both, the apple, lemon, and honey notes are all ready to greet you.

Doraku

Sometimes you just need some sushi in your life — even if you don’t exactly want to spend your whole paycheck. Head to Doraku any day between 5 and 7 p.m. for happy hour. You’ll get a discount on the drinks (including margaritas) and their delicious sushi and sashimi choices.

Living in our apartments in West Miami opens you up to a number of new places to try, whether you want something upscale or casual. If you’re looking for a new apartment community, call District West Gables to find out more about our floor plans and availability.

School Supplies

Tips for the Back-to-School Transition

School SuppliesFor those with young children, the back-to-school routine has not yet become a nearly-automatic process. To help with the seasonal transition, we’re offering a few tips:

Refresh Your Memory on School Policies

Parents should check the school’s policy on early arrivals, late pick-ups and emergencies. Even if you checked just last year, there may be changes you need to be aware of.

Dress codes often change frequently, so be sure to grab any updates on these before or soon after school starts. If there’s a general rulebook or sheet you can get from the office, pick that up too.

Set Up a Suitable Homework Area

Even adults have trouble concentrating when there are a lot of tempting distractions, and for kids, such situations are just too compelling to ignore. Provide an area with a desk, plenty of room for school books and papers, and even more importantly, without any distractions like TVs or game systems in sight or earshot. Make sure this spot is brightly-lit and has a comfortable – but not too relaxing – chair to go with it.

Make Sure Your Kids Get Enough Sleep

This requires more than a set, enforced bedtime. It’s also important to limit extracurricular activities so that there are enough hours left in the day for at least eight hours of solid downtime. Not enough sleep can cause less learning and more behavioral problems, so sufficient sleep needs to be a priority.

Read With Your Children Every Day

Reading with your children for at least 20 minutes per day reinforces the importance of literacy and exposes kids to new ideas at the same time. Choose books that are interesting to kids so they learn to think of reading as fun!

Don’t Ask “How Was School Today?”

People asking this question typically get a listless “okay” for an answer. To get more details, start with a better question. Edutopia suggests ones like “Tell me about an exciting time during your day,” “Did you feel confused about anything today?”, “Is there anything you’d like me to help you figure out?” and several more along these lines.

Of course, one of the keys to a successful return to school is having a good home to return to when the day ends. Stop by our office to check out our available apartments in West Miami and find the right floor plan for your lifestyle.

Palm Tree During a Hurricane

Hurricane Awareness Tips

Palm Tree During a HurricaneHurricanes are a part of life in Florida, but that does not mean you should take them lightly. Everybody in the potential path of a hurricane should practice some basic preparedness – both for safety and convenience. Here are some tips to help you get and stay prepared for the next storm.

Tips for Hurricane Awareness

1. Know Your Hurricane Warnings

There are two different warnings for hurricanes, the “hurricane watch” and the “hurricane warning.” A watch means that a hurricane could strike your area, so you should be on alert and listening/watching for warnings from local authorities about evacuation. A warning means that a hurricane is coming to your area. You should evacuate as instructed by authorities.

2. Know Your Hurricane Categories

There are five categories of hurricanes:

  • Category 1 – Winds of 74 to 95 mph and a storm surge of between 4 and 5 feet. Minimal damage expected.
  • Category 2 – Winds of 96 to 110 mph, with a storm surge of 6 to 8 feet. Flooding is possible with damage to mobile homes expected.
  • Category 3 – Winds of 111 to 130, with storm surge of 9 to 12 feet. Damage is usually significant, with flooding making some roads impassable.
  • Category 4 – Winds of 131 to 155, with storm surge of 13 to 18 feet. Extreme damage expected.
  • Category 5 – Winds of more than 155 mph, with storm surge of over 18 feet. Most buildings will be destroyed.

3. Be Ready for a Hurricane

You should have a hurricane emergency kit in your home, preferably one that is easily taken with you as you evacuate. You can buy them pre-made, or make your own. You should also have a plan of action in the event of a hurricane. It is much easier to plan before a storm is expected, than in the stressful time right before a storm hits. Do your research and determine the best way for you and your loved ones to remain safe based on your area and the resources available to you.

Contact Us With Questions

At District West Gables, we are here to answer your questions about our community and floor plans. Please give us a call or stop by our office to learn more about our West Miami apartments. We look forward to hearing from you!

Dog and Cat

Delicious Homemade Treats for Your Furry Companion

Dog and CatSometimes it’s fun to make your own gifts for the pets in your life. They may not exactly appreciate all the hard work that went into them, but they’ll know on some level that they’re extra loved when they get these special treats. In addition to making them happy, you’ll get a fun, relaxing, and creative craft to help you unwind in the evenings.

Frozen Yogurt Snacks

If your dog can’t stop jumping all over you at even the barest scent of ice cream, it may be time to make them their own treats. These delicious concoctions are made with peanut butter, yogurt (flavored or plain) and a couple other ingredients. They’re excellent if your dog tends to gobble up everything they see without even bothering to find out if it’s food or not. Due to their creamy, cold texture, it takes a little longer for dogs to eat so they’re less likely to make themselves ill by eating too fast.

Homemade Catnip Yarn Balls

These yarn balls are as much fun for your cat as they are functional for their playtime needs. All you need is a hot glue gun, some yarn, paper, catnip, and styrofoam balls. Essentially, the catnip is hidden inside the balls but surrounded by yarn for your cat to play with. They’ll make their own game as they try to get everything untangled. You can either join in the game or let your cat entertain themselves!

Homemade Trail Mix

This familiar treat may not be what you’re used to, but your dog will certainly appreciate the flavor. Plus, it’s fun to make, and this recipe allows you to use up some of your extra trimmings from cooking. You can use any meat, veggies (except for onions), or fruit that you like to make a big bag of trail mix for your dog. Just cut everything down into 1/2 inch pieces and stick into a food dehydrator or a 200 degree preheated oven until dried. A bag of this can last a while, so your dog doesn’t go overboard!

If you’re looking for a pet-friendly apartment for you and your companion to live in, consider making District West Gables your new home. Our West Miami apartments are so much fun with the snuggly smiles of our four-legged friends, and no one knows this better than we do. Call today to schedule a tour!

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