Friday, November 23, 2012

Pre-Holiday Deep Clean

A pre-holiday decorating deep clean is a great idea before you put those Christmas decorations up.  If you clean before you cover your apartment with tinsel and lights, you'll have less to clean around later and you can spend your time on more fun holiday activities.  Apartment Therapy gives you a run down of what to do now so you can get on with the holiday fun!
 
Your first task is dusting.  Second, vaccuum and mop the floors to make sure your tree doesn't harbor any hidden dust bunnies.  Also, if you had a huge house of people for Thanksgiving dinner, chances are you've got a lot of dirty feet that need to be cleaned up after.  Run a feather duster or broom over your ceiling and in the corners to ensure all cobwebs are wiped away before lights go up that could put the spotlight on creepy crawlies.
 
Post-Thanksgiving dinner is a great time to give your kitchen a thorough cleaning.  Giving the oven, stovetop, sink, counters, cabinets, floors and sink the cleaning attention they deserve will make you want to bake those Christmas cookies, pies, cakes and candies.  
 
Now is a great time to go through your closets and get rid of things you don't need anymore to make room for not only house guests' belongings, but also any clothing or accessory gifts you may get for Christmas.  Finally, cleaning the windows can allow more light in during the short days of winter.  It also can prevent having those strands of light illuminate every finger smudge on your windows.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Austin Unemployment Rate Down

Austin's Unemployment rate decreased again in October to 5.3 percent, Statesman.com reports.  The data from the Texas Workforce Commission shows that construction and technology were responsible for most of the hires.
 
October's construction numbers were up after a decline in September and are a good indication that Austin continues to experience a building boom.  In the last year, the number of jobs in the Construction sector has gone up over 5 percent.
 
Many of our city's high tech occupations fall under the professional, scientific and technical services category, which was also up in October.  Over the last year, that sector has added approximately 6,600 jobs, an increase of almost 11 percent.  Local high-tech companies are reporting that they are having trouble getting workers for their positions, especially engineering and technical ones.
 
The unemployment rate of 5.3 last month was better than the 5.4 percent in September and the 6.6 percent a year ago.  
 
Across the state, we continue to have better job growth and lower unemployment that the rest of the nation.  Texas's unemployment rate, adjusted for seasonal changes, was 6.6 percent in October, a decrease over the 6.8 percent we saw in September.  A year ago, unemployment for the state was at 7.8 percent.
 
The U.S.' jobless rate was 7.9 percent in October, a slight increase from the 7.8 percent in September, but much lower than the 8.9 percent we saw a year ago.
 
Looking for a great new apartment to go with your new job?  Call A Plus Apartment Locators today!

Friday, November 9, 2012

5 Home Cook Essentials

Home cooks' needs are different from those of professional cooks, but sometimes it's hard to know exactly how different.  The Kitchn shares the advice of two professional chefs who are also cooking teachers as to what you need to be a successful cook at home.
 
First, rather than having the timer let you know when your food is ready, use your senses, letting the sound, smell and textures of the food tell you when your dish is done.  Cooking times are just suggestions, and the actual cooking time depends on factors such as your individual oven or stove and the dish you are using.  Also, have a tasting spoon by the stove and taste your food continuously as you cook.  
 
Second, when you have stale bread, don't throw it away.  Instead, turn the bread into breadcrumbs with the help of your food processor and then put them in the freezer in an airtight container.  The breadcrumbs will taste great sauteed in butter or oil and then put on pasta, fish, salad, pretty much anything!
 
Don't like lingering cooking smells?  Fill a bowl with plain, white vinegar and put it on the counter while you are cooking.  It gets rid of cooking odors, particularly ones that linger if you leave the bowl out overnight.  It's great at getting rid of bacon and fried food smells, even fish!  
 
Next, to see if your meat is done, poke at it with your finger to test its level of doneness.  Finally, measure how big your pinch of salt is so you can salt food to the right amount.  You should also pour a teaspoon of salt into your palm to get a feel for how much that is so you can just eyeball it in the future.  
 
Ready to use all your senses to cook an incredible meal?  Need a great new kitchen to do it in?  A Plus Apartment Locators can help you find the perfect apartment where you can showcase your culinary skills!

Friday, November 2, 2012

US Economy Adds 171,000 Jobs

The US Economy added 171,000 jobs in October, and there was more hiring in August and September than initially thought.  The unemployment rate did increase slightly to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent in September,  Statesman.com reports.
 
In the last 4 months, 173,000 jobs, on average, have been created a month.  That's a large increase from the 67,000 created monthly in April through June. However, the President still faces voters on Tuesday under the cloud of the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since FDR. 
 
The number of people in the work force, which includes both those with jobs and those looking for them, rose by 578,000.  410,000 more people said they were employed, but the number of unemployed people increased by 170,000 to 12.3 million.  The increase in the work force may be a sign that people are starting to see better job prospects, so that actually could be a positive aspect to the report.  The stock market certainly reacted favorably to the news.
 
The government also reported that 84,000 more jobs were added in August and September than was previously thought.  The economy has added jobs for 25 consecutive months and there are now 580,000 more than when President Obama became president.  The housing recovery is generating construction jobs, manufacturers are started to add jobs, and professional services, hotel and restaurants, and education and health care all added jobs.  The government got rid of 13,000 positions, after increasing employment for three months.
 
Looking for an apartment near one of Austin's great jobs?  Call A+ Apartment Locators today!