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Follow These Tips for Your Next Spring Picnic in Austin

Outdoor picnicSpringtime in Texas is picnic season! The residents at our Austin apartments have been packing their baskets and stocking up on flying discs, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to share some spring picnic tips with you.


There are a few items that are simply picnic essentials.

  • Large blanket. Go for an oversized blanket that’s ideally large enough to accommodate food and people.
  • Insulated picnic tote. Insulated totes do the duty of keeping refrigerated items chilled. Plus, they help keep everything organized and easy to carry. Look for a tote with pockets that hold easy-to-forget tools, such as corkscrews.
  • Plates & cups. Styrofoam is hard on the environment. Strong paper works perfectly, and it’s recyclable. If you’re looking for something even more eco-friendly, look for compostable products made from fallen leaves.
  • Utensils. Plastic, disposable utensils get the job done most of the time, but it helps to have a few real knives on hand in case you have cheese or hard-to-cut items.


Most picnic food can be made ahead of time, allowing you to enjoy the carefree afternoon when you unpack your basket. A quick online search will provide you with thousands of tasty recipe ideas that travel well and are delicious make-ahead outdoor meals. In addition to sandwiches and salads, be sure to pack a variety of nuts, cheeses, fruits and berries; they’re great for grazing throughout the day.


Many parks don’t allow glass, so be sure to check the rules before you head out. For beer, it’s just as easy to opt for cans. If you’re going for wine, cartons are a great workaround in glass-free spaces.

With this checklist, you’ll be on your way to fun in the sun in no time! Naturally, a great picnic takes place outside, but it’s even better when the basket’s packed in a great kitchen. If you agree, stop by our 9500 Apartments, and check out our beautiful living spaces.

Tips for Keeping Your Pup Healthy and Happy This Spring

White puppyWith the weather warming up in spring, you can expect your pup to want to spend more time outdoors. While fresh air and exercise are great for your pet, there are certain hazards you should be aware of, such as tick-borne diseases and illnesses spread by other dogs. Use the following tips to make sure your pup stays safe and happy this season.

Keep Fleas and Ticks at Bay

Fleas and ticks can make your dog miserable or even ill this spring. Some dogs are allergic to flea bites, while ticks can spread certain diseases to dogs. Applying a preventative flea and tick product can help reduce your dog’s risk of being bitten by these pets when you’re outside.

Check Your Pup’s Vaccinations

Your dog should be up-to-date on all vaccinations required by law and recommended by your vet. Being vaccinated helps reduce your pup’s risk of getting seriously ill from infectious diseases, such as rabies and distemper. Keep in mind that some vaccinations are good for three years, while others are only good for one year. Your vet can let you know which vaccinations your pet needs, so you can schedule an appointment.

Use a Leash

Don’t let your pup run around off leash when you’re out and about this spring. The only exception should be local dog parks that have off-leash areas that are fenced in. Keeping your dog on a leash when you’re outside helps reduce the risk of having her run off and get lost or injured. When you do take your pup out this spring, make sure she also wears a collar with current tags and microchip information in case she does get loose.

Our community in Austin, TX has well-tended ground for you and your pup to explore this spring. Please contact us to learn more about our available apartments in Austin.

3 Cocktail Recipes to Make for the Big Game

CocktailThe big game is just around the corner, which means that football fans all over the nation will be gathering to eat finger foods and cheer on their favorite team. If you are hosting the party this year, you may want to spice up the party with some fantastic cocktails. Below are just three ideas to get you started.

Sweet Tea Cocktail

If you are hosting a game day party, this sweet tea cocktail is sure to be a score with your guests. This cocktail is incredibly simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. Start by mixing mint, raspberries, cucumber and ice in a shaker, and then add lemonade and sweet tea vodka. After you shake the mixture very well, poor it over ice in a mason jar.

Lemonade Cocktail

Lemonade is a staple at most parties, and this cocktail will be no exception. You can either make homemade lemonade or use a mix, and then simply add your light liquor of choice, such as vodka or gin. It will be a great refresher to keep your guests in the game.

Beer Margaritas

Beer and football go together like a touchdown and a field goal, so why not add a little fun to your party by making some beer margaritas? All you need to do is mix together limeade, tequila, and your favorite beer in a pitcher. Then, poor the drink into margarita glasses that have salt around the rim. Now, you are really ready to support your team.

Regardless of which team you support, having amazing cocktails at your party will make you the winner of the night. If you are looking for a new place to host your party for the big game, take a look at our Austin apartments and call today to see which floor plans are available!

5 Winter Skin Care Strategies You Shouldn’t Be Without

LotionIt’s no secret that winter weather conditions often result in dry skin. Indoor heating plays a part as well. Fortunately, there are strategies available to residents of apartments in Austin, TX, for keeping their skin soft and supple no matter what the environmental conditions are. Following are five ways you can keep your skin smooth and glowing during winter.

Hydrate From the Inside Out

You undoubtedly already know that keeping the surface of the skin moisturized is an essential part of fighting winter dryness. However, it’s just as important to guard against dehydration by drinking enough water, so make certain that your fill on a daily basis.

Exfoliate Often

Dead skin cells in super dry parts of the body such as the upper arms often collect around hair follicles, causing bumpy skin and rough patches. Using a lotion with salicylic acid to keep this from occurring, and use an exfoliating mitt when you take a shower or bath.

Use Nondrying Cleansers

Using body and hand cleansers that don’t contain alcohol or soap helps keep skin from drying out too much in winter. You can also use alcohol-free sanitary hand sanitizers to help keep hands well-hydrated, and always wear gloves or mittens when outdoors in cold temperatures.

Use Lukewarm Water Whenever Possible

Washing your face and hands, showering, and bathing with lukewarm water is far less drying than performing the same activities using hot water. However, few things are better than relaxing in a hot bath at the end of a cold winter day, so add an ample amount of a good-quality bath oil to prevent skin from drying out while soaking.

Moisturize Immediately After Bathing

Slathering on moisturizer as soon as possible after stepping out of the shower or bath keeps precious moisture locked into the skin. At least once per week, use a spa-quality body oil designed to really sink in.

If you’re looking for a new home in Austin this winter, give us a call today!

3 Holiday Party Dishes

Table SettingPicking holiday dishes can be a puzzle. Everything may look delicious to you, but what will other people like? Everyone’s trying to convince you take a chance and try something new, but aren’t the ‘classics’ classic for a reason? Narrowing down your options is the first step unless you want to serve an over abundance of food in your Austin apartment.

Take a look at a few of our favorite holiday dishes!

Crostini with Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes

This dish is simple, festive and delicious. It’s similar to bruschetta, but with a few key differences. In this dish, you’re using one half of a plum tomato, and you’re getting the irresistible flavor of thyme baked right in. It’s great color on your table, and an appetizer that will go quickly.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

You don’t always have to go with ham or turkey over the holidays. Instead, try beef tenderloin that has been coated with black pepper, roasted and served with a black olive sauce. This may be slightly pricier, but if you’re only having a few people over for dinner, it’s a good way to get everyone fed without having to try to eat or freeze lots of leftovers.

Chai-Spiced Honey Bundt Cakes

It doesn’t have to be all fruit pies around this time of year. Chai is inherently associated with the holidays, and it gives everyone that warm feeling as they breathe in the spiced air. This cake is going to impress your guests, and the best part is that it’s not all that hard to make. Serve it with coffee or  chai tea as a complement at the end of the night.

The holidays don’t have to be hard or confusing. It’s all about taking your favorites this year and using your second-best choices for next year or even just your next big event. Apartments in Austin are the perfect place to host, and 9500 has the best in the city. Call us if you’re looking for a new spot to call home!

3 Fun Thanksgiving Games to Play

Thanksgiving isn’t just about great food. It’s a time for friends and family to come together. And while sparkling conversation, football and the Macy Thanksgiving Day’s Parade on TV are all great, sometimes it’s a good idea to have a few more things planned on the agenda to be assured that everyone has a wonderful time. Here are three fun games to get you started.

Three Games to Play While Celebrating Thanksgiving

Pass the Nut

This is the perfect game to get things moving after the big feast when you want to get the blood flowing, this will get everyone standing and excited, without any danger of pulling a muscle. The participants are broken into two teams, and a sort of relay race is done by moving small objects, like nuts and cranberries, from bowl to bowl with chopsticks.

Mobile Party Games

While we’ve been celebrating Thanksgiving for a long time, there’s no reason not to bring 21st century party games into the mix by involving your smartphone. Games like Heads Up, created by Ellen Degeneres takes a classic party game like “Who Am I” and adds entirely new layers of fun.

The Best

This game is ideal for large groups of people, making it perfect for Thanksgiving gatherings. It’s also lots of fun for families. The point of the game is to compete for inane categories. By choosing the categories, you can determine how much movement is involved in the game or if you’ll need any special equipment. Categories you could choose are tallest thumb or who can sing the alphabet the fastest.

Whether you’re looking for an open floor plan, or want a spacious private patio to take your party games outdoors, here at 9500 Apartments, we have the perfect Austin, Texas apartment for you. Check our website to find out more about our different floor plans.

5 Fun Facts About Halloween

What do you think of when you hear the word, “Halloween”? Do you think about cute tots dressed up as ghosts, princesses and the latest super heroes? Are you eager to shop the Halloween candy sales so you have an excuse to eat your favorites before you hand them out to the kids at your Austin apartment? Add a bit of fun to the holiday by learning the following five fun facts.

1. Jack o’ lanterns were not always made of pumpkins.

If carving a pumpkin into a Jack o’ lantern is one of your favorite parts of Halloween, you might want to skip this fun fact. While it is popular to buy pumpkins to carve today, in the past, people bought potatoes, turnips or beets to carve instead.

2. Dance for your treat.

It is without a doubt that many of Halloween’s traditions originated in Europe. Long ago, Europeans used to perform door to door while dressed up in costumes. Their purpose? To get a treat, of course. Experts think that this is how the United States got the idea for trick-or-treating.

3. Cabbage night.

Did you know that some American towns refer to Halloween as Cabbage Night instead? Framingham, Massachusetts borrowed a fortune telling game from the Scots and turned it into a game of throwing cabbages at the homes of their unhappy neighbors.

4. Find the love of your life on Halloween.

Speaking of fortune-telling games, Ireland has a history of people celebrating Halloween by playing them. Their purpose was to predict who might become their spouse. In that day and age, Halloween was one of the few days were the two genders could mingle.

5. Halloween = Irish.

Irish Celts are widely credited with having traditions that lead to Halloween. In order to appease the ghosts, ancient Celts would leave treats out on their stoops after dressing up.

Did you learn anything from the above fun facts? Now you can be the life of the Halloween party with your newfound knowledge.

With their superb location only eight miles from downtown, 9500 Apartments in Austin is the perfect home base for families, young couples, retirees and commuters.

Three Ways to Clean Kitchen Cabinets

Spot cleaning wooden cabinets on an as-needed basis can be done with a soft cotton or microfiber cloth dampened with warm water and maybe a bit of dish soap for hard-to-remove items.

However, when the time comes for a full-on clean, you’re going to want to use something more substantial that won’t damage the finish of the wood. The following are three fabulous options that residents of apartments in Austin can use to clean their wooden cabinets.

White Vinegar

White vinegar provides a natural cleansing solution that is mild enough for porous wooden surfaces yet tough enough to remove buildups of grease and grime that often occur on kitchen cabinets. Vinegar cuts grease easily thanks to a compound called acetic acid. It is inexpensive and can be used in a pinch for a variety of jobs when cleaning cabinet supplies are low. One of the best reasons to use vinegar on wooden surfaces is that it won’t leave a pesky residue.

Traditional Oil-Based Soap

Those who prefer to clean their kitchen cabinets with tried-and-true commercial products from their grocery or home improvement stores should reach for a bottle of traditional oil-based soap. These soaps also do a great job on accumulated grease and grime as well as leave behind a slightly silky finish. The oil content in the soap helps keep wooden cabinets in environments with low atmospheric humidity from becoming overly dry.

A Mixture of Mild Detergent, Baking Soda and Water

If your kitchen cabinets have somehow gotten stained, you’ll want to use a cleaning solution that contains baking soda on them in order to safely and thoroughly remove the stains. For serious stains, make a paste from the baking soda and water and apply it to the affected area prior to cleaning.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience for more information and advice on how to keep your kitchen cabinets and other apartment amenities in top shape.

Go to the Bullock Texas State History Museum For A Fun Weekend Trip!

You’ll find plenty to do if you focus your new home search around apartments in Austin, like visiting the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Located on Congress Drive in Austin, this museum has tons to offer every member of the family.

Family-Friendly Exhibits

  • Bullock Imax Theater. Affordable and conveniently located inside the museum, the Bullock Imax Theater features all the latest and greatest new releases in a dramatic and immersive movie experience.
  • Texas History Galleries. Spanning three floors, the Texas History Galleries at the Bullock Texas State History Museum encompass more than 700 artifacts that are pertinent to the story of the Lone Star State, including the reconstructed hull of the genuine French sailing ship, La Belle and the AT-6 advanced flight airplane known as the Texan that was instrumental during WW II.
  • Austin City Limits Theater Exhibition. Learn more about the musicians and the music that defined over four decades of Texas entertainment. With artifacts reaching back to ACL’s inception in 1974, to the large-screen theater experience that captures all the excitement and wonder of Austin City Limits, this exhibit is one music-lovers won’t want to miss.

Modern Apartments in Austin

If you’re planning a move to Texas in the near future, be sure to add 9500 Apartments to your list of places to tour. Its attractive location, just 8 miles northeast of the city, makes for an easy daily commute without sacrificing the appeal of nearby parks and recreation areas.

At 9500 Apartments, you’ll find modern, luxurious rooms, lovely landscaping, private balconies and a pool to while away those summer weekends. This community represents some of the best Austin apartments the city has to offer, but you won’t believe it until you see it for yourself. Schedule a tour today with a member of our friendly and knowledgeable 9500 Apartments staff.

5 Summer Events You Have To Go To In Austin, TX

Austin, TX in summertime is a bustling place of things to do with the whole family. When you are looking for a way to spend a pleasant day or an evening, you never have to go very far from home. Enjoy great music, fireworks, food and more, all in beautiful settings that will leave you feeling relaxed and peaceful.

Best Summer Events in Austin

  1. Fourth of July Fireworks and Symphony – Taking place at Vic Mathias Shores, you’ll enjoy patriotic tunes played by the Austin Symphony followed by an amazing, colorful display of fireworks over Lady Bird Lake.
  2. Body Mind Spirit Expo – On July 23 and 24 go experience this holistic expo showcasing some of the many examples of global awakening and spiritual development with other kindred spirits interested in these topics.
  3. Zilker Summer Musical – Every Thursday through Sunday evening from July 8th through August 13th, Zilker Hillside Theater will host a free musical performance of “Shrek the Musical” starting at 8:15pm.
  4. Lake Travis Hot Air Balloon Flyover – Come on down to the Mansfield Dam Park on August 6th to watch colorful hot air balloons float above Lake Travis during the early morning hours. Children will love this annual event!
  5. Austin Ice Cream Festival – Another guaranteed hit for children of all ages, Austin’s Ice Cream Festival will delight the whole family with live entertainment, games, activities, contests, and, naturally, lots of ice cream, perfect for cooling off in the hot sun.

A Plethora of Summertime Activities Right Around the Corner

Living in stylish 9500 apartments in Austin, TX gives you easy access to a huge variety of year round activities, with summertime being perhaps the most exciting time of all! As a city known for great cultural events and family friendly venues, you’ll be able to keep the whole family engaged while you enjoy impressive displays of lights, musical talent and more.