Engagement Story

AHH! I can't believe it, Im engaged! If you haven't see from Instagram this past weekend, Henry and I got engaged! I am just over the moon so excited. So I just had to share the story with you! (There's going to be a lot of exclamation points :))

So I work from home on Friday's and Henry called me at 2 which isn't like him at all.  So of course at first I thought something was wrong, but he told me to sign off work and I have 30-45 minutes to get ready.  My response "No I couldn't possibly leave work!".  He told me my boss was aware and would cover my work.  I literally couldn't believe it but I started getting ready (and continued working).  He came to pick me up and I figured something was going to happen but I was running around like a crazy person. 

He took me to a rooftop bar and as we went up to the stairs I heard our song "Mess is Mine" by Vance Joy playing and I started to tear up.  Henry guided me to this spot where you can see all of Downtown Cincinnati and told me how much I meant to him.  (To be honest we were so nervous we don't remember what was said.) He got down on one knee and said "Will you marry me?". I said YES! The ring was more than I could ever imagine and that's my reaction!

He had rented the rooftop so it was ours for an hour and David from David Stephen was there. We got some amazing photos taken.  It's seriously so amazing to have photos of that moment.

And THEN our whole family flew in to be with us, from California, Florida, Chicago and Mexico City!! We are very lucky, my pregnant sister was able to come and Henry's brother surprised us. 

We got to spend the weekend with them, and I didn't post anything for 24 hours.  It was fun to be engaged and have no one know but our families. He then arranged to have all our friends come in town for Saturday to celebrate more with them.

We are so grateful and lucky to everyone that has congratulated us.  We are so excited for this next chapter of our life and I can't wait to bring you along with me! 

 I hope you enjoy the photos! 

Apartment Searching: What To Look For

I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!  I recently just put a deposit down a new apartment I will move into this winter and I already have a countdown on my phone for when I can move in (75 Days).  I tried to keep my expectations low, but I have been dreaming of dark kitchen cabinets, a space to do work from home and a place to have a makeup desk (Having a make up desk is amazing, especially when you have roommates!).  Okay so maybe my goals were a little lofty, but I was willing to put the work in and after ten, yes TEN viewings of different apartments I finally found the one.  It’s by downtown Cincinnati, but has a little town square with a few restaurants and coffee shops. I plan on documenting the whole process for you guys!

But first I wanted to give some tips and point out a few things that I learned to look  for when apartment searching. There are often a lot of things that are left out on apartment websites and it's important to look out for these things!

What to look for inside the apartment:

  • Mold: Check for any weird/intense smells, I have had apartments with mold before that left me sick for months. This is very important! You can also ask when the apartment complex was built/completed and that could be a good indication of its condition and potential for icky mold.

  • Washer/Dryer: Most apartments should have a washer/dryer hook-up where you can put your machines. Some places will offer you the ability to rent them for a monthly fee or sometimes if you’re lucky you just pay your water and electric bill and they come included! It's important to ask if there is a fee, if there are washer and driers because I've heard them cost $15-100 a month. If there isn't a hook-up most places have a laundry mat on site.

  • Bills: Ask a ball park on monthly utility bills, this helps when you're on a budget and know what your monthly bills will really be.  If you find a LEED Certified apartment this helps cut down on monthly cost as they are more energy efficient and help the environment at the same time (Win Win)!

  • Maintenance: This is a big one.  Make sure that there is 24 hour maintenance in case of emergencies, and see if they have general maintenance on site, so it won't take days to get things fixed.

  • Bathrooms: They are always a good indicator as to the apartments cleanliness and upkeep.  I usually found the shower as the best indicator (also mold, check for mold).

  • Ceiling Fans: Sometimes apartments allow ceiling fans, but they come at a price.  Make sure you ask if that’s something you are interested in. Usually there are some upgrades you can get to make the apartment more your own but the fee is usually monthly.

  • Painting: Most places have different rules on what their requirements are for painting, whether its leave a primer on or paint it back to white. Check before you go crazy and paint away. 

Outside:

  • Parking: Ask about parking, what's available and if it will cost any money on top of your rent.

  • The Residents: Sometimes the property manager will tell you the demographic around the apartment to see if there will be tenants similar in age.

  • Public Spaces: Most apartments I saw had a clubhouse and fitness center, check these areas out.  In the fitness center I always looked to see if they had free weights there, if they did but some were missing it told me a lot about how the property was taken care of.

  • Fees: Make sure you ask about additional charges, such as application fees, deposits or pet fees. Sometimes there are additional fees that aren’t stated and may take you by surprise.

  • Weather: If you live in a cold area, ask them how they deal with the snow.  You don’t want your car getting stuck and end up being late for work/appointments.

Of course, do some digging and make sure the area is safe if you don't know the city well.  I’d suggest mapping from your work to the apartment during rush hour to get a feel for your future drive.  Also, going to the area on the weekends and nights to see what kind of crowd is around.

Some of my favorite sites are apartmentratings.com, which specifically tells you what renters think of a property. Apartments.com, is a great site too, very interactive.  You’re able to draw a circle on the map of where you want to live and input the commute you'd be willing to drive to work.

There are also sites specifically for space planning.  This helps you get a sense of how big or small a room really is and the type of furniture you will be able to fit.

I find it helpful to have all the information before I put down a large deposit and then sign up to live there for 12 months.  

Hope some of my tips help and happy apartment hunting!