Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Kenzie at the Domain

The Kenzie at the Domain is a new apartment complex being built right in the center of the Domain.  Construction on this luxury apartment complex just steps from high-end shopping and dining, as well as employers, began this past summer and the first units should be ready in summer of 2014.
The Kenzie will have 279 apartments from studios, which will be 500 square feet, to three bedroom units, which will be 1600 square feet.  While rental rates for the Kenzie have not been announced yet, leasing will begin in Fall of next year.  The developer, StreetLights Residential, sees the Domain as a prime location for new apartments due to the diverse tech employers in the area like Apple, IBM, and Dell.
The Kenzie will have two outdoor courtyards and be directly connected to the new 12 acre park that is planned for the Domain.  Some units will also have screened porches, so you can enjoy the amazing Austin weather year round.  
Steps outside your apartment, the Domain doubles as your own personal shopping and dining playground.  Without even getting in your car, you can walk to high end shops such as Neiman Marcus, Banana Republic and Anthropologie and delicious restaurants like Cru and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Travis Heights

Bordering South Congress, Travis Heights is a fun, vibrant, historic neighborhood located just south of Lady Bird Lake, West of I-35, East of Congress Avenue, and North of Oltorf Street.  Within walking distance of the block of shops, restaurants and music venues known as SoCo (south Congress), houses and apartments in this adorable enclave are highly desired and tend to be priced at the higher end of Austin rental prices.  Rents range from $1500-$2600 monthly for apartments in the middle of the action on Congress Avenue.

If you like eating, Travis Heights will be a great destination for you.  South Congress is home to loads of tasty eateries, many of which have been written up in national publications.

The Mighty Cone Trailer serves food in, you guessed it, cones.  The unique food combination grew out of a concept that was originally created by Hudson's on the Bend as an easy to eat food to serve at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in 2002.  
Vespaio is a tasty little Italian restaurant that has been delighting local and visiting diners alike for over 14 years.  Vespaio isn't afraid to evolve with the times, though.  They now offer gluten-free pasta and added a Trattoria next door a few years ago that provides food to go and a more casual dining experience.
South Congress Cafe is a delicious spot for nouveau American food from the owners of Austin's beloved Mexican Restaurant, Trudy's.  They're famous for their brunch (and brunch cocktails), and accordingly usually have a wait, but it's well worth it.
After you've filled your belly full of food, go shopping!  Or maybe before, if you're concerned about the clothes you're trying on fitting;)  South Congress is full of locally grown boutiques featuring clothes you can wear without fear of running into someone else dressed in the same exact outfit.  You'll also find lots of knick knacks for your home that are out of this world.
Parts and Labour is about as Austin as they come.  Exclusively featuring the work of artisans and crafters who reside in Texas, you can pick up an ironic t-shirt, handmade jewelry, or a baby gift that will blow the minds of everyone else at the shower.
Uncommon Objects is the mega-store of Antique stores, and soooo Austin!  Spend an afternoon in here scrounging for anything from an antique quilt to some extremely old medical instruments to aging taxidermy.  Definitely one not to miss on any trip.  Or any Saturday for that matter, as their inventory is constantly changing!
Want to get fancy?  Check out Maya Star for amazing designer dresses and accessories, as well as more reasonably priced girly couture.  Get a special frock to don for an evening out on South Congress at The Continental Club listening to music with a Texas flair in a Texas institution.
You're exhausted and need somewhere to lay your head?  If you haven't found the perfect Travis Heights Address yet, hit the pillows at Hotel San Jose, the amazing boutique hotel located in the heart of the action.  But before you close your eyes, make time for a cocktail in their secluded courtyard; you might just find yourself sipping your juice across from a celebrity!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Perfect Christmas Tree

The perfect Christmas Tree can be yours with these tips from Apartment Therapy and designer Sabrina Soto.  From where to place your ornaments, to how many lights to use, they've got you covered to make sure your apartment shines with the gorgeous splendor of your Christmas Tree.
For a stronger visual impact, place the largest, most striking ornaments near the trunk, and the smaller, less ornate ornaments closer to the outside of the tree.  The large ornaments will still be seen through pine needles and the branches are at their most sturdy where they meet the trunk.  Large ornaments also work well to cover any bare places in the tree.
Placing smaller ornaments towards the top of your tree and the bigger ones towards the bottom will trick the eye into thinking your tree is taller than it actually is.  Also, once again the more fragile branches tend to be at the top of the tree.  But don't be afraid to top off the tree with a big topper!
Another way to make your tree more interesting is to use a variety of shapes and textures.  Consider using white LED lights, which are super-bright, to catch every facet of your ornaments and make them shine even brighter.  Placing the shiny ornaments in close proximity to bulbs will give you the most impact.  Also, think about how many lights you should use.  A great rule of thumb is 150 lights per foot of tree.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

STAAR Scores Won't Count Towards Final Grade

STAAR scores won't count towards the final class grade of high schoolers this year, reports.  The announcement was made by Education Commissioner Michael Williams today at a school adminstrator's conference.  
The original plan was for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR)'s score for students to be 15 percent of their final grade.  However, lawmakers filed bills this week that would change that requirement, by getting rid of it or allowing school districts to decide how much the test score will account for.  This reprieve relieves the pressure on students for the current year and gives lawmakers time to revisit the issue.
Parents and school districts balked at the requirement after the more difficult standardized tests were administered this past Spring, so the state allowed school districts to opt-out of it if they wanted to. 90 percent chose that option.   
The governor and other State House and Senate leaders requested Thursday that the Education Commissioner grant the deferral.  
Looking for a great Austin apartment near great amenities like schools?  A Plus Apartment Locators can help!