Friday, October 26, 2012

My Story

Today, I've been asked to share my story of overcoming and surviving breast cancer.  I'm happy to do so because I want to encourage and inspire others who are experiencing what I have experienced.

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.

Friday, October 19, 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!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Essential Kitchen Cleaning Tools

Kitchen cleaning isn't fun, but just like any job, it can go a lot faster and be a lot less painful if you have the right tools.  The Kitchn makes sure you're prepared to tackle the mess that goes on in the most important room in your apartment.

First of all, you need a scrub brush to get nasty caked on food off of your hardworking pots and pans.  You also need a good supply of dish cloths so you can change them out every time you wash the dishes or wipe down your counters and other surfaces.  Using a dirty dishcloth can spread germs and make you sick!  

Non-abrasive scrubbing pads are a must for really tough jobs, as is steel wool for those times when you really need to put some muscle into it like in the oven and on the stovetop.  Cloth or paper towels are good to have close at hand to quickly wipe up messes and spills.  A plastic scraper is another important tool to clean enamel or nonstick cookware without damaging it.  

Rubber gloves will protect your hands and nails from harsh cleaners, those steel wool pads, and leftovers that have become one with their container.  A grease-cutting dish soap like Dawn will make sure you can remove caked on food with ease.  You also should have a multi-surface cleaner for your counters, tile, sink and appliances, as well as the floor.  Finally, make sure you have a dish drainer for anything that must be washed by hand.  Just stacking stuff by the sink is a recipe for broken dishware!

Friday, October 5, 2012

City Council District Boundaries: Who Should Draw Them?

City council districts are on the ballot in November.  There are two competing plans, one of which has district lines drawn by a citizen commission, and the other which doesn't specify how districts will be drawn.  If one of the measures passes, who draws the districts could be another hotly contested issue, reports.

The first plan would have 10 district representatives and a citywide mayor and specifies that citizens will draw the boundaries.  Currently the council is made up of seven citywide members.  There are strict criteria for how these citizens will be chosen, which critics of that plan say will make the pool of eligible commission members too small.  Applicants have to fit several criteria to ensure that they do not have ties to city or state lawmakers.  The city auditor would disqualify the applicants that don't fit the basic criteria, auditors would then reduce the pool to 60, allow each council member to remove one and then draw eight names at random.  Those eight applicants would be in charge of appointing the last six members.  The group would not be able to talk to the city council.  They would then hold public input meetings across the city and at least nine of the members would have to agree on the final district lines.  The districts would be final and could not be changed.

In the other plan, there would be eight district representatives and three citywide seats, including the mayor.  Although it does not specify who would draw lines, most likely the City Council would have a final say, probably after an advisory group came up with an initial map.  Critics say this could result in the council drawing lines that benefit them.  Most U.S. cities with district-based city council members use a model drawn by the city council members themselves, which often results in odd lines being drawn that keep incumbents in office or make sure certain factions retain their voting strength.  Supporters of the second plan say that other checks and balances such as term limits and voting rights laws would keep council members from drawing the lines to serve themselves. 

It remains to be seen which plan, if any, will win on election day.  If no plan receives a majority of the vote, the council remains entirely at large.  If one plan receives over 50 percent of the vote, it will be enacted, and if both plans receive a majority (you can vote for both plans), then the one with the most votes will be put in place.

Looking for an apartment where you can draw the boundaries?  Call A+ Apartment Locators today!