Mar 18

Ways to Stay Warm in Cold Weather

Woman Wearing a JacketChicago residents know that the winters can be long, cold, and filled with unexpected lake-effect snowstorms, that much to the delight of children, cause school closures and snowball fights in the numerous city parks. Whether you and your friends love to venture out in the colder temperatures, or simply want to keep your Chicago apartment warmer during the winter, there are several simple ways you can keep the cold at bay.

Stay Warm With These 4 Cold Weather Tips

When the temperature drops, you don’t have to spend a fortune to stay warm. Instead, you can use these four easy tips to stay warm inside and outside your Chicago apartment.

  1. Dressing in layers starts with your feet. It is better, and far warmer, to dress in multiple thin layers instead of one or two bulky layers. The thin layers will make it easier for your body to regulate its temperature, while also providing additional insulation against the colder temperatures. Don’t forget to wear thick socks or slippers when you are indoors. When your feet are warm, your entire body will stay warmer.
  2. Swap your cotton sheets for flannel. When the cold winter winds start to blow, it’s time to switch your cotton sheets for flannel sheets and a down comforter. These two simple changes will keep you warm without the added cost of running your heat at full blast throughout the night.
  3. Rugs can provide warmth and a decorative flair. Turn your apartment into a beautiful space by using rugs to keep your feet warm and to provide a stunning contrast to your hardwood, laminate, or tile floors.
  4. Leave the oven open after cooking or baking. One of the easiest ways to heat your apartment at no additional cost is to leave the oven open after you have cooked or baked a delicious meal. Even though the oven will be in the “off” position, the warm air will escape into the kitchen to naturally heat it to warmer temperatures. For safety reasons, don’t leave the oven door open if you have small children or pets.

From December through the beginning of March, the average high temperatures in Chicago rarely make it out of the 30s. Fortunately, with the above four tips at the ready, you can stay warm in your Chicago apartment all winter long. For more helpful local living tips or to discover spacious floor plans that will look great with those warm area rugs, contact our office to schedule a tour today.

Mar 18

Stay Healthy With These Nutrition Tips

Healthy FoodsMarch is National Nutrition Month and there’s never been a better time to start paying more attention to your health. But instead of concentrating on all the things you can’t have, it’s time to start thinking about all the things that you can add to your life. Too much denial will ultimately cause people to fall back on their old habits (or worse, overcompensate for them). As your New Year’s resolutions start to falter, it’s time to get back in the right mindset with the following tips.

Add More Food

Adding more vegetables, fish, and nuts to your diet are all excellent ways to get nutrients like omega fatty acids, vitamin E, and magnesium into your body without feeling the need to alter the rest of your diet or lifestyle. Of course, the idea is that after you add all of these extras, you’ll have less room (and less desire) for the unhealthy sugars and processed foods you know you shouldn’t be eating anyway. (But you don’t have to tell yourself that at first.)

Add More Exercise

No matter how you feel about exercising, it’s probably time to add more of it. It doesn’t have to be rigorous sports or cross-training fitness routines, but it does have to get your heart pumping at least a little. One of the most cost-effective (and easiest) forms of exercise is to walk more. If you live in our apartments in Chicago where it can get a little chilly outside, try pop pilates or a 7-minute workout for exercises you can do inside your home without the use of gym equipment.

Add Some Moderation

Moderation is a very different approach to nutrition than dieting, so it’s more likely to work in the long run. It doesn’t mean skipping dessert every night, but it may mean skipping dessert every other night. Moderation is a skill that takes a lifetime to perfect, so never beat yourself up if you can’t master it in a month (or even two decades).

Our Chicago apartments wants everyone to stay healthy, which is why we offer a 24-hour fitness center for our residents. If you’d like to see our amenities or check out our floor plans, give us a call to find out more today!

Mar 18

How to Throw an Unforgettable Dinner Party

Dinner PartyDinner parties can be a bit of a challenge. Creating the perfect menu, preparing your home, and making sure that all of your dishes are well made and arrive on your table on time can fray one’s nerves. But when done properly, a dinner party can be a memorable and fun way to spend the evening with good friends. The key to throwing a great dinner party? Meticulous planning, and then going with the flow when things don’t go exactly as planned (remember, nothing wrecks the mood of a dinner party faster than an uptight host). Here are a few more tips to help you plan a fun and festive evening.

Prep the Day Before

Your most important job during your party is to be a great host. But it can be hard to find the energy to entertain with a smile if you’ve spent the whole day prepping and cooking. That’s why you should strive to set your table and do as much of the cleaning, decorating and cooking prep work the day before your event as possible.

Choose Your Guests Carefully

Compared to other types of gatherings, dinner parties tend to be more intimate. So it’s a good idea to be selective about the guests you choose to invite. Try to avoid, for example, inviting people who have different views. The last thing you want is for your guests to start arguing and lose their appetites.

Don’t Make Your Guests Wait

Chances are your guests will arrive hungry and looking forward to having a bite to eat, so have some appetizers available for them to nibble on while you’re getting your main dishes on the table. Try to keep these appetizers on the light side since you don’t want your guests to get too full right before dinnertime. As for drinks, have a self-serve bar set up so that guests can help themselves to some cocktails, wine or beer.

Are you searching for a new apartment home for a nice dinner party? Then please check out our apartments in Chicago. We have several different spacious floor plans that boast 12- to 18-foot ceilings and exposed wood beams. Call us for more information!

Feb 18

How to Clean Your Gas-Range Stove

Cleaning SuppliesAny home cook will tell you that the advantages of a gas stove are manifold. From being able to precisely control the heat of your food as you cook, to being able to use everything from basic cast iron to more specialized equipment like a true wok or that heirloom Dutch oven, cooks always prefer gas to electric.

But when it comes time to clean the stove, it can feel like there are a whole lot of moving parts. There’s no need to get overwhelmed though. With these tips, you’ll find that keeping your gas-range looking its best is a breeze.

Tips to Get Your Gas-Range Stove Sparkling Clean

  • First off, clean grates separately. Even for quick cleans, it’s always worthwhile to start out by removing the grates, so you can clean those properly in the sink with a good soapy scrub and easily get at any dirt and grease hiding underneath without having to feel like your shifting around the parts of a puzzle.
  • For tough, caked on grease and residue, place your grates on newspaper in a well-ventilated area and spray with oven cleaner.
  • After the grates are clean always go over the stove top with a dry cloth or brush to remove pieces of food and crumbs before you get to the cleaning.
  • Make sure your grates are completely dry before returning them to your clean stovetop.
  • For everyday cleaning, keep it natural with a stovetop cleaning solution made of white vinegar and water combined in a 1:1 ratio.
  • To get a real sparkle, one without any streaks, use a dry kitchen towel to give it a finishing buff until all streaks are gone. If you have stainless steel then make sure you’re buffing with the grain.
  • Don’t forget the details. Bits of food and grease can get caught behind knobs and dials. Many are removable. Go over with a cloth that will let you get into those tight spaces.
  • Check your fuel ports. Keep your stove well-maintained by making sure that the fuel ports (the part that releases the gas into the burner) aren’t blocked. If it is, then clear it out with a paper clip.

All of our Chicago apartments have gas-range stoves. Check out our website to learn more about our apartment’s many amenities, including open kitchens with a large island. Or, give our office a call to learn more about our available floor plans.

Feb 18

Helpful Dog Training Tips

Dog Looking UpIf you’re sharing your apartment with a furry friend, you’re in for many happy years of love and companionship. Knowing a few dog care and training basics make everyday life go much more smoothly for all residents. Following are just several of the many strategies available to new pet owners designed to turn any pup into an excellent roommate.

Dog Proof Your Living Space

Ideally, dog proofing your living space is something that will happen before you bring your new furry friend home. Use gates to section off any part of the home you don’t want your dog to access, and consider adding a crate to provide them with a safe place to be when you’re not at home. It’s also essential to make certain that your pup has plenty of appropriate items to chew on when they’re in their teething stage.

Train Consistently

Dogs need consistency in order to learn what’s expected of them. Keep initial training sessions short and sweet, but continue them every day until your pet catches on. Reinforcing the training on a regular basis helps keep commands fresh in your pup’s mind. Always use the same words, the same tone, and the same inflections in your voice when conducting training sessions. Keep in mind that your furry friend can’t really understand English and has to depend on words sounding the same each time they’re used in order to recognize them.

Train With Tasty Treats

Dogs are extremely food-driven creatures that respond much better when the reward is meaty and delicious. Dry treats with lackluster flavor don’t provide the same incentive to please as a small piece of chicken or beef. Also, treats should be provided immediately after your pet has performed the desired behavior — waiting even a few seconds means that they won’t have the ability to connect the behavior with the tasty reward.

Please feel free to contact us at your convenience for more helpful information about our apartments in Chicago. Our pet-friendly community offers studios, one- and two-bedroom floor plans. Stop by our office or give us a call to find the right fit for you!

Feb 18

Tips for Warming Up Before Your Workout

Cobbler Square Lofts Fitness CenterThis time of year, especially with the throng of New Year’s resolution members, the fitness center is a pretty busy place. You might show up after work eager to get on any machine you can.

It turns out you forgot something pretty important. No, not your water bottle or your phone, which is loaded up with a great playlist. You forgot to warm up. Doing so prepares your muscles for the activities ahead, which can prevent injuries.

Here are some warm up tips to live by each time you go to the gym.

1. Stretch it Out

The way you learned to stretch is most likely not correct. If you’re the type who stretches out, say, your arm, and keeps it stretched for up to 30 seconds, you’re harming more than helping.

What’s known as dynamic stretching is actually the correct technique. With this type of stretching, you’re always moving, first gently kicking and then rotating your arms. You might turn your torso a few times, too.

2. Begin With Some Light Jogging

Warming up includes more than just stretching. Your muscles will get ready for exercise once your heart rate increases and light jogging is one way to achieve that. You may also spend a few minutes on an exercise bike or even do light rowing.

3. Use a Foam Roller

Whether you bring your own foam roller or use one at the gym (always be sure to wipe it down after use, though!), this is a good tool for warming up. Take your time, running through your hip flexors, glutes, legs, and back to get limber for your workout.

If you’re looking for a fitness center and apartments in Chicago, consider Cobbler Square Lofts. Our luxury timber loft apartments are smack dab in the middle of the Old Town Neighborhood and include a 24-hour fitness center. You can take in the beauty and culture of this great city while having other great amenities such as exposed brick walls, walk-in closets, patios or balconies, individual climate control with personal thermostats, gas-range stoves, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a kitchen with large island, and ceilings up to 18 feet tall that include exposed wood beams. To set up your tour today, give us a call at (866) 882-2242.

Jan 18

4 Delicious Cocktail Recipes

Gin and TonicSearching for apartments in Chicago offers the opportunity to make new friends and enjoy the company of others. When you move into a Chicago apartment, you may decide to invite friends or family into your home. By learning a few simple and delicious cocktail recipes, you will be able to offer your guests a drink while they explore your residence.

Gin and Tonic

A classic cocktail mixture is a gin and tonic. When you have guests in your apartment, you will want to offer a safe option for their preferred tastes. A gin and tonic is a simple option that does not have the excessive sweet flavor found in many mixed drinks.

Mix gin with tonic water and then pour the mixture over ice. You can add a wedge of lime to the side or to the glass to improve the appearance and give a touch of flavor without overpowering the alcohol. You do not need to measure the alcohol or the tonic water because the drink is made to personal preferences.

Vanilla and Cherry Bourbon

This is a sweet summer cocktail that offers a refreshing taste and uses fresh cherries mixed with vanilla extract and bourbon. Start by placing pitted and fresh cherries in a glass. Crush the cherries to release the juice using a muddler or a spoon. Mix in fine sugar, a small squeeze of lemon juice, one shot of bourbon and 1/4 of a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add club soda and mix your drink. Pour the cocktail over ice before you serve it to your guests or enjoy the drink yourself. Keep in mind that the amount of sugar depends on your taste and preferences for your cocktail.

A Lemonade Cocktail

If you want something refreshing for the summer or just for a nice day, then a lemonade cocktail is the ideal solution. Lemonade is a classic summer beverage with a sweet and sour taste that appeals to a variety of individuals. You can make it into a cocktail by adding alcohol and a bit of ginger ale to the mixture. Start with the classic lemonade recipe by combining water, sugar and fresh-squeezed lemons. If you notice that the sugar does not dissolve, then you can heat the water and add sugar until it dissolves before you remove that water from the heat and add lemon juice. For a slightly different flavor, add mint leaves and then add bourbon to your drink. Mix it well and then run the liquid through a strainer to remove the mint leaves, seeds or other particles from the lemons. Add in ginger ale for flavor.

Dark and Stormy

Dark and Stormy is a simple cocktail to impress your guests. Pour one part dark rum over ice and then pour two parts ginger ale over the rum. Stir gently and then add a slice of lime for flavor.

Cocktails offer an opportunity to enjoy a nice day with friends or loved ones when you move into a new apartment. The key is recognizing the right options for your guests and your personal tastes. To learn more about our available floor plans, contact us today.

Jan 18

Easy Decorating Tips for Your Apartment

Cobbler Square Lofts Floor PlanAs a resident of our Chicago apartments, you’re in the middle of one of the best cities in the country. While there’s always plenty of fun and excitement outside your apartment, what about your apartment home? Do you love your decor, or could it use a bit of an upgrade? There are some easy apartment decorating ideas that can make a real impact without breaking the bank. Read on to learn more!

Easy Decorating Tips for Your Chicago Apartments

You can make your Chicago apartments into a cozy and beautiful home with several easy decorating ideas, including all of the following:

  • Use multipurpose pieces: One of the best ways to decorate in an attractive and functional way is to use multipurpose pieces. For example, an ottoman that also happens to have storage space can be beautiful and useful. You can also consider pieces like a futon that can fold out into a bed, which you can use for overnight guests.
  • Fill the empty spaces: When you look around your apartment in Chicago, do you see any spaces that aren’t being used? Don’t forget to consider all types of spaces, even the walls and the corners, when you look around. You can purchase corner shelving for those empty corners—it even allows for attractive displays while filling the space neatly.
  • Make displays vertical: One of the best ways to create a great look in your apartment is to create displays that add vertical height. Choose tall bookcases or stack display cubes vertically to create an easy and attractive place to stack books, trinkets, and other objects that you want to show off.
  • Add unique rugs: Unique throw rugs can really change the look of an area, and they’re easy to add to nearly any room. Consider a uniquely shaped rug—round or even asymmetrical—for your living room, for example. To add a unique look, consider a rug that picks up on accent colors rather than focusing on your dominant room color.

Looking for a beautiful apartment in Chicago? We offer luxury apartments right in the center of Chicago’s Old Town. Call our office to learn more about our floor plans!

Jan 18

Where to Spend Your New Year’s Eve in Chicago

Champagne FlutesOne thing you can say about living in our apartments in Chicago is that there is never a shortage of things to do in the neighborhood. This is even more apparent on New Year’s Eve. It seems that Chicago, a city of 2.7 million people, knows how to throw a party. If your calendar isn’t already full, you just might want to check out one of the events below.

Brew Year’s Eve 

If you love beer, then you will love Brew Year’s Eve. On the last day of the year, 10 different Chicago breweries will serve up to 25 craft beers and some will even throw in their signature cocktails. Partygoers will enjoy live music, a pizza buffet, and many opportunities for unique photos with their friends. When you’re ready for something different on New Year’s Eve, then this event is the one for you.

Big Night Chicago New Year’s Eve Gala 

Do you like big parties in fancy surroundings? Then you need to attend this event at the Congress Plaza Hotel. Party guests can dance the night away in one of the hotel’s many ballrooms or dance floors. Your admission price includes cover charge for the bands, a buffet, services of the DJs, all-inclusive drinks, and much more. Big Night Chicago is the place to be when you want to dress up in your finest clothes and enjoy an exciting night out.

Chicago Resolution Gala 

There’s always something happening at Navy Pier, but it really transforms itself on New Year’s Eve. When you buy tickets to the Chicago Resolution Gala, you can view fireworks from the ballroom inside of Navy Pier. With more than 30 bars available, you won’t have to worry about not having enough drink choices for the evening. In addition to a fully-stocked buffet and drinks, you will enjoy DJs spinning their tunes in the main hall of Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom. You might even recognize one of the DJs as the Chicago Bulls’ DJ Metro.

Considering a Move to Chicago? 

You’re always part of the action when you live in a Chicago apartment. If you’re looking to combine luxury and convenience, contact our office at Cobbler Square Lofts to inquire about availability.

Dec 17

Christkindlmarket – Chicago’s Favorite Holiday Tradition

Christmas MarketTake some time to enjoy Chicago’s largest outdoor holiday fair. This Christmas event showcases the city’s own take on the festival that originated in Germany during the 1500s. Whether you’re a native Chicagoan, a recent transplant, or just visiting friends at our apartments in Chicago, you’ll have a great time celebrating the holidays with friends and family at this one of a kind European-flavored event.

Chicago’s Christkindlmarket History

The idea for the event first came about back in 1995 as city officials were searching for different ways to encourage bilateral trade between Germany and the United States. Members of the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest Inc. (GACC Midwest) reached out to officials in Nuremberg, Germany about the idea.

They encouraged German businesses to travel to Chicago and join with other local companies to showcase their wares at the event. The success of the festival encouraged the GACC Midwest to make it an annual event currently held at Chicago’s Daley Plaza.

What Goes Into Christkindlmarket

Residents of Cobbler Square Lofts in Chicago who attend get the chance to indulge in some of the finest food to be found anywhere. Enjoy delicious offerings from both local and German vendors. Spoil yourself and fill up on sausages, Strudel, and other delicacies. You’ll also get the chance to purchase a variety of goods from German businesses. Take a look at some of the items you could pick up as a gift for your loved ones.

Christkindlmarket Goods Available

  • Hand-blown ornaments
  • Jewelry
  • Toys
  • Clothing
  • Handcrafted goods

Many vendors showcase their skills out in the open. Take the opportunity to have someone handcraft a gift just for you. It’s a great opportunity to pick up a truly one of a kind gift for someone in your life.

Come Down and Enjoy

Christkindlmarket runs now until December 24. Come visit before it leaves for another year. Similar events are held in the Naperville suburbs and in Wrigley Field. Check out the official website for more information about the events at different locations.

We want Cobbler Square Lofts community members to experience the best that Chicago offers. Contact us today to learn more about our apartment community and available floor plans.

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