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Abby Rankin

SeaFront Running

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I’ve lived in Seattle for almost 1 year now and I recently discovered my 2nd favorite running route and thought I’d share. It’s the Seattle waterfront.

I’m lucky enough to work right on the waterfront in Pioneer Square and thought to myself the other day, why not run after work and see where it takes me? With that, I packed up my workout clothes and took them to work with me. When the clock hit 5:15 and I was over work for the day, I ran to the bathroom, changed clothes, laced up my sneaks and hit the pavement.

I began my run in Pioneer Square near Columbia Street and headed down Alaskan Way, passed the ferris wheel and the many waterfront restaurants and followed the train tracks all the way to a few streets passed Wall Street (forgot to note which street, but it was approx. 1.5 miles away). From there I simply turned around and ran back.

It was a great little 3-mile run. There were a few too many tourists for my taste, but one thing that made dodging the tourists worth it? NO HILLS. That’s right folks, there is such thing as a 3 mile run in Seattle with no hills ūüėČ

What’s your favorite place to run?

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Treadmill Tues

Let me start out with I hate the treadmill. However, when I wake up at 5:30 to hit the gym before work – it is pitch black outside and I don’t feel comfortable running outside. So – treadmill it is.¬†Today’s cardio workout sucked but finishing it was that much more rewarding! I charted what I did this morning:

Duration (min) Speed Incline Type
2 3.5 2 Walk
10 5.2 4.5 Jog
2 4 3 Walk
8 5 4 Jog
2 4 3.5 Walk
1 6 3 Run
1 5 3 Jog
1 6 2 Run
1 5 2 Jog
1 6 1 Run
1 5 1 Jog
1 4 1 Walk
1 3 0.5 Walk
1 2.8 0 Walk

Today I focused on my speeds more than my incline, although I did adjust the inclines here and there. My time on the treadmill totaled 33 minutes and was a rough but good start to my day.

Happy Tuesday friends!

Thursday Thoughts:

You¬†can’t¬†out work a bad diet.

Weight loss is 20% working out & 80% diet/healthy eating. 

Keep that in mind going into the weekend ūüėČ

Abby

It’s the small things

Today my apartment’s power went out around noon. I was sleeping in and hadn’t gotten out of bed yet when the TV shut off. I got up and slowly realized what it really meant – no coffee, no way to cook anything, no elevator, no wifi, pitch black bathroom, can’t open the fridge or freezer for very¬†long, no TV, no microwave, nothing! Well so I thought.

It quickly made me think about the people who aren’t lucky enough to enjoy the luxuries that I didn’t think I could go without for 5 hours.

What I thought was just a big inconvenience in my day turned out to be a nice little reminder to appreciate all the little things and I thought I would share it with you all.

Hope you’re all having a great Sunday.

XO

Abby

Thursday thoughts:

Outside one of my favorite local pubs near my work I saw a sign that said this:

50% of my life is spent wondering if it is too late for coffee.

The other 50% is spent wondering if it is too early for alcohol…

Then I discovered the Irish Coffee!

Thought it was worth sharing. Remember it is always 5 o’clock somewhere!

XO

Abby

#WorkoutWednesday

Challenge yourself everyday. If you know you can’t hit the gym, try to challenge yourself in other ways.

walk to work (if feasible)

bike to work (if feasible)

take the stairs, whether in your apartment building or office building

stretch for 15 minutes

do yoga (even if all you know is the sun salutation, do it 5x each morning)

What do you do to stay active during the day?

XO

Abby

#MondayMotivation

Think you won’t make a difference with one run?

You won’t make any difference doing nothing.

Get out there and make the most of today before you come up with an excuse not to.

Happy Monday & happy running!

Apartment Hunting 101

Tips & tricks to finding a great apartment in a very short time frame.

Nothing can be more stressful then having to find an apartment within a deadline. You don’t want to settle with a subpar apartment but you also don’t want to break the bank finding somewhere to stay while looking for the perfect apartment.¬†I moved on September 5th and had to be set up in an apartment by the 16th.¬†If that isn’t a short enough deadline to begin with, add in that the 5th was¬†the Saturday before labor day and shorten the deadline by three days and you’ve got a taste of the stress I was feelin’.

It all begins with…

Research, research, research

I think the most important part of apartment hunting is to research and have a plan. It will save you so much time! Below I listed the steps I took in finding my apartment, as well as dates that I did things so you can see how quickly it all happened.

First – I researched the city of Seattle and read different websites and blogs about suggestions on where to live. I figured I might as well trust the people who already live in Seattle. I learned about the several sub divisions of Seattle (examples: Belltown, Queen Anne, Cap Hill, First Hill, China Town, etc) and which ones people pegged as dangerous, pricy, safe, decent, cheap, etc… I also looked at maps to see which divisions and which categories were near my soon to be job.

Next РI calculated my budget to see how much I can even set aside for rent. This is so important! You need to calculate out the things you absolutely must budget for Рrent, utilities, parking, gas, food/groceries, misc bills such as phone and insurance, etc. You also really need to budget out the things you know you will want to spend money on. Take your lifestyle into consideration, for example I knew that I would need to budget in some money set aside for coffee from a cafe or Starbucks a couple times a week and would definitely need to have a budget for wine.

Once you’ve worked out your expenses for each week, you’ll need to compare it with your income that is coming in (after taxes of course) so that you can see where you’re standing. (Tip: make a chart like the one below and fill in whatever applies to you)

Rent $1,000 Salary $3,000
Utilities $100
Bills $50
Gas $0
Parking $0
Grocery $250
Alcohol/coffee $100
Total $1,100 Remaining $1,900

If you don’t pay rent or utilities yet, those would remain blank, and you’d calculate everything else to see what was remaining. Then decide how much of that you want to set aside/save and there you have it! You have your budget for rent.

From here you can decide if you can afford to live alone or if you want to get a roommate.

Thirdly РI began my apartment search online and used different search engines. My favorites were http://www.apartments.com & www.craigslist.com. It is important to document the location, size, rent, phone number and certain amenities that you value. For example, it was very important to me that my apartment had a washer and drier in the unit. I used a chart like the one below to do my initial audit of places.

Name Location BR/BA Sq Ft W/D Rent Phone number
The Loft BellTown 1 BR 1 BA 500 Y 1500/mo 206.255.3262
Pandamonium Magnolia Stu/1 BA 350 N 2000/mo 425.321.3252
Berringer Loft Shorline 1 BR 1 BA 575 Y 1425/mo 360.526.9856
Studio 54 Northgate 1 BR 1 BA 800 Y 1475/mo 206.598.9874
Anthem First Hill 1 BR 1 BA 675 Y 1675/mo 206.574.2379

Compile as many places as you can – even if you think they’re out of your budget.

After that, I went on http://www.apartmentratings.com & I suggest you do to. All ratings need to be considered with a grain of salt though. Some things to keep in mind while you read the ratings… If every rating is horrible and there’s one really good one, it may¬†have been written by people who work there.¬†Also look at when it was posted – a few ratings I saw were horrible but they were from 2012 and since then the management had changed. I noticed that just about every apartment I looked at had some bad reviews so don’t let the reviews deter you from visiting, just read them to familiarize yourself.

Then you’ll want to call the apartments on the list you made. If you fill out the “check for availability” tab and request they email you it can take 1-2 business days for a reply. Quick tip is to call them, you can figure stuff out right then and there. Some places advertise their studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments but when you call you will find out which apartment size is actually available and when so you can better decide if the apartment is a good fit for you.

Once you’ve narrowed down the list to the ones that are available, then you’ll want to look up the addresses¬†of the places you want to visit and map out a route that makes the most sense for your day of apartment hunting.

The day of apartment hunting, things to bring:

-notebook

-pen/pencil

-list of places you made

-mapped directions/addresses of each one

-list of past rental history/ contacts (you’ll be ready to apply if you like it)

-checkbook (you’ll want to be ready to deposit for a place if you really like it)

Now when you go to¬†tour the apartments,¬†you’ll want to document everything (even if you think you already have it documented from your research because most places will advertise their best and biggest floor plan, and some have refurbished models for more $$)

Ask lots of questions! (examples: is parking included? How much are parking spaces? How much is garbage and sewage? When does the garbage go out/from where? How much are utilities? How much is the deposit? How much is the application fee? Are the appliances gas or electric? Is there air conditioning? Are pets allowed? Is there a pet fee? How much? Is there a washer/dryer in the unit? etc.)

Make sure to note all green lights and all red lights while visiting. If an apartment has a washer and drier in the unit (green light), free parking (green light), but the appliances are hanging on by a thread (red light), you’ll want to note it so that you can weigh the pros and cons of each of the apartments.

If you found one with no red lights then you definitely found your apartment. Pay your application fee, fill out the application and hope you get approved! 

For me, it went much smoother then I thought. I spent one day researching and calling apartment complexes. Then I went out on Friday and went to 3 apartments before I found “the one.” I knew it was the one because it had no red lights for me. It was brand new, I would be the first tenant, it had a gym (so I wouldn’t need a gym membership), they had a special where if you signed a 12 month lease, you get one month of rent free! So when I moved in and payed a prorated rent for September, I wouldn’t have to pay rent until November 1st which was a huge plus for me. The whole apartment was super modern and aesthetically pleasing and the roof had a killer view and two grills for use and a firepit. It was perfect, so I applied, deposited and it was mine!

With a lot of research and a little determination you too can find your dream apartment.

XO

Abby

City livin’

Ever dreamed of starting fresh in a big city?¬†I recently did just that. I graduated from a small private university¬†in New Jersey and took a job at a tech PR firm in Seattle. I packed up and moved across the country this past September. I moved back on September 5th and had just two weeks to find an apartment and move in before I began my new job on the 16th.¬†Talk about stressed out…

I managed to do a day of planning and a day of visiting in order to find the perfect place. The key is in the planning. Keep a look out for future posts going into depth about my process of finding my perfect apartment, as well as posts about decorating on a budget.

But either way, I am here now and looking forward to my new life in Seattle. I plan to eat, drink & dance my way through this city, and document it here along the way.¬†I am pleased to introduce a new section of my blog, the LIVE in liveandletsrun. So stay tuned to learn about the hottest spots in Seattle. The touristy must try’s and the hidden tricks and treats in this concrete jungle.

XO

Abby

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