Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Story of Survival and Hope

Today's post is written by one of our Managers, Natalie Young. Natalie is a Model of Courage for Ford Warriors in Pink and graciously agreed to share her story of overcoming breast cancer in the hopes of encouraging and inspiring others. Thank you, Natalie.

I was 28 years old when my doctor told me I had breast cancer. Words I never expected to hear. I was healthy and exercised daily. I had breastfed my daughter for a year. I had no family history.

After navigating through the shock of my diagnosis, it was time to fight. I can vividly remember looking at my daughter sleeping peacefully that Sunday night, while my mind was racing with fear and anxiety. I told my Mom, "I'm more scared of how she is going to have to see me go through this". And that's when my fight really started.

I went through many treatments and procedures over the course of the next couple of years. As of December 2010, I was done. I am done. No more surgeries, no more chemo. I'm cancer free...but that's just one side of my story.

The other side is, I am a breast cancer SURVIVOR! I have learned so much about how strong I can be and myself. I was inspired by a survivor here in Austin, Texas, who said that she "didn't want to waste her cancer." When I heard that, it really struck a chord with me. I knew that what I had been through stunk. It was hard. I didn’t want to do it again. But I also knew I had to do something with it. I may have been cancer free, but I wasn’t done. That is the other side of my story… and it’s just beginning.

Earlier this year, I was chosen as one of eleven Models of Courage for Ford Warriors in Pink. What an incredible experience! Models of Courage are survivors from across the United States--nine women and two men--that are doing something with their cancer. Ford Motor Company has raised more than $115 million dollars to fight against breast cancer in the past eighteen years. You can watch a new documentary featuring the Warriors in Pink program, Bang the Drum: Living Out Loud in the Face of Breast Cancer, at their website

I'm also very proud that the company I work for, WTA, is helping in the fight against breast cancer with their Go Pink Campaign, which has raised nearly $13,000 for breast cancer awareness, treatment and research over the last 4 years. You can learn more at

Please consider contributing to or joining our Race for the Cure Team, Forever Young, and help us race towards ending this disease.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hawaii Party a Great Success!

A big thank you to all the property managers and agents who came to our annual Hawaii Party Friday, October 5th at Molotov.  It was a phenomenal success!  We loved having the opportunity to talk to all our highly valued managers and leasing agents and toast you for your hard work.  
 We want to give an especially big congratulations to Kathy Chomycia from Broadstone Travesia who won the trip for two to HAWAII!  Kathy was a great sport as she grinned from ear to ear while donning her grass skirt and showing off her certificate.  Aloha, Kathy!
As always, we're very grateful to the Austin Rental Community for all that you do.  It's been a pleasure working with you for the last 25 years and we look forward to 25 more and beyond! 
Until next year!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Craft Brewers Try to Find Common Ground

Craft brewers cannot legally sell their beer at their brewery, under Texas laws that have been in place since Prohibition. Brewpubs, on the other hand, can't sell their product to distributors.  They've been trying to change the law for the last few legislative sessions, but are now exploring new tactics to get their cause heard, reports.

The law divides the sale of alcohol into three tiers:  manufacturing, wholesale and retail.  Manufacturers of any size are prohibited from selling their products to consumers directly.  The original intent of the law was to combat monopolies and marketing that promoted "excessive consumption."  But as the volume of craft beers consumed continues to climb, Independent Craft Brewers say that it's time to reexamine the law.

A lack of legislative savvy has hindered the craft breweries when trying to lobby legislators for a change in the law, but the brewers are now trying to align themselves with the two wholesale beer distributor lobby groups that have opposed their measures in the past.  The brewers are currently conducting meetings with the two lobby groups to try and craft a law that benefits the big and the little guys.

The two lobby groups expressed appreciation for the craft brewers, but were a little gunshy of changes to the law that might take a bite out of their distributors' sales.  The craft brewers have at least two state lawmakers on their side, but that might not be enough to get the big guys to loosen up on their share of the sales and allow the little guys to expand their businesses because of the increased revenue on site beer sales would cause.

Looking for a great Austin Apartment where you can kick back with a tall crafty brew?  Call Apartment Specialists today!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Make Your Fridge Efficient

Making your fridge efficient might not be the most exciting topic you've ever tackled, but considering the fact that your refrigerator is probably 3rd in the power-using department after your air conditioner and your water heater, it's worth it to find out how you can save money and save the environment at the same time. has tips on how to make sure your fridge is running optimally.

Cover liquids and keep food wrapped in the refrigerator.  Food that isn't covered can release moisture, causing the compressor to work harder and leaving the foods dry and inedible.  You should also clean the door gasket.  You can make sure your fridge is sealing properly by closing the door on a dollar bill.  If the dollar bill comes out easily without any resistance, it's time to replace the gasket.  If you have a newer fridge that has a magnetic seal, place a flashlight inside the refrigerator and close the door, turn off the kitchen light, and see if you can see light leaking out.

If you keep a deep freeze or refrigerator in your garage, turn it off.  It costs $310 (or more) annually to run an appliance outside.  Be sure to take the door off so children can't get stuck inside.

Vacuum the condenser coils on the refrigerator at least once a year.  They're usually located on the back of your fridge or underneath it.  If the coils are clean, waste heat is carried off more quickly, and the refrigerator will run shorter cycles.  You should also make sure there is at least 2 inches between the coils and the walls to allow for air to circulate.

If your refrigerator has a power-saving or summer/winter switch, keep it in the power-saving/winter mode.  Also, if frost is built up, defrost your refrigerator.  If relocation is possible, keep your fridge away from the stove, dishwasher, or direct sunlight.  Keep your refrigerator set between 38 and 42 F and your freezer between 10 and 15 F, judging the temperature by a real thermometer. 

Finally, keeping the refrigerator full will make it work more efficiently, and opening it as seldom and for as short of a period of time as possible will keep the cold air in.

Looking for an apartment where you can take good care of the refrigerator?  Call Apartment Specialists today!