Your Minneapolis Summer Bucket List

It’s 80 degrees and sunny in Minneapolis, and weather like this doesn’t last long around here, so let us help you with your summer bucket list. There’s plenty to do to stay cool in the Twin Cities in the summer, and we’ll cover the highlights that are budget friendly, and accommodating to life near campus.

First, here are some tools to make crossing items off your summer bucket list as easy as a slice of Sarah Jane’s Pie.

  • Take a Nice Ride around the cities! The Nice Ride Bike Share is a project active across the Twin Cities that allows you to rent a bike for cheap! Pick up and return the bikes at one of many docking stations across the cities!
  • If you’re driving, download the MPLS Parking app on either the Apple or Android to save time fooling with parking meters, and ensure that your meter won’t run out of time.
  • Stay up-to-date with current events and happenings with City Pages (app available through Apple and Android)

Lake Calhoun

Lake Calhoun is a short bike ride away, and offers all sorts of summer activities to make the most of the weather. If being active is your thing, you can take advantage of the running and biking trails surrounding the lake. If you’re training for a 5k, then you’re in luck because the running trail around the lake is exactly 5 kilometers around! The docket for your trip to Calhoun can also include swimming, tanning, kayaking, and even SAILING!

Wednesday Nights at the Ball Park

Student tickets to Twins games at Target Field are available for only $5! What could be better? It’s also Dollar Dog night! Get your cheap ticket, stuff yourself with hotdogs, and crack a cold one with the boys while enjoying America’s favorite pastime on a cool summer night.

Camping

The Minnesota State Parks and Forests system has over 6,000 campsites available, and you can reserve them online. Go ahead and grab your fishing pole, tacklebox and fishing license, and take advantage of the Land of 10,000 Lakes. For more information on equipment rentals to really make the most of your trip, check out the Minnesota DNR website.

Art Museums and Fairs

It’s a sin to say you lived in Minneapolis, unless you’ve visited the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. Since the garden reopened on June 10th, after a two year renovation, thousands of people have visited to check out its newest additions. Guided tours are always free, and you can find a schedule of them on the Walker Art website. To find more information on other museums in the Twin Cities, check out this article from City Pages!

Art fairs pop up all over the area during the summer, and perhaps the most notable would be the Uptown Art Fair spanning the weekend of the 4th-6th of August. The Uptown Art Fair gives a chance to many artists to display and sell their artwork of many different mediums, and is welcoming to the entire community. Going on the same weekend, just over two miles east is the Powderhorn Art Fair around Lake Powderhorn.

Altogether, there’s plenty to do to stay busy in Minneapolis in the summer, no matter what your interests are. One of the best parts of living in the Twin Cities is that you get all the benefits of living in an urban area, but you’re only minutes away from large forests. Hopefully, this will help you cross a few items off your summer bucket list.

Why I chose the 700 on Washington

By Noah Stout
Junior in the College of Liberal Arts

All students face issues adjusting to the new environment and stressful work load that attending college presents. When I transferred to the University of Minnesota mid-way through my freshman year, I was left to the luck of the draw for places to live on campus. Unfortunately, I was placed in a dorm VERY far away from all my classes, and that took a toll on both my academics and my social life. After my freshman year, I thought I had it figured out. After doing what I thought was sufficient research, I signed at an apartment that I was absolutely positive would be “close enough” to meeting what I wanted. Unfortunately, I was left in a similar place as the year before: both farther away from campus than I would have liked and generally out of the way. Since then, I’ve learned a few things that I wish I would have known before signing my lease.

Here are four reasons why living at the 700 on Washington will be beneficial to a student’s life style.

  1. The 700 offers a quiet living environment, with plenty of space to spread out and study either in your room, or in one of our many study lounges.
  2. It’s only a block away from campus. The 700 on Washington is closer to all my classes than most of the dorms! Forget the long walk in the winter, be at your first class in less than five minutes.
  3. Conveniently located in the heart of the stadium village neighborhood adjacent to many shops, restaurants, and bars. Who doesn’t want to live right next to Sally’s? Visit 700washington.com/neighborhood for more information.
  4. It’s a block from the light rail station (free on campus for students!), which makes getting to classes on west bank a breeze. Especially during the winter months, making the long walk across the bridge to make it to your 8am economics lecture is less than ideal. Since it’s so close to the light rail station, I can get there in only a few minutes. This also makes the occasional trip downtown easy as well!

It’s unfortunate that it took me so long to realize what an impact this can make on your life in school, but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. When you’re searching for a place to live, don’t settle for less. The 700 on Washington, and its amenities have enabled me to be successful in school, without compromising my social life

A Day in the Park

Warmer weather is among us and Minneapolis itself is home to over 400 public parks. There are many things to do between Dinky Town and Stadium Village; but where can one go to enjoy the outdoors around here? We have a list of the top 3 parks and trails you can bike, blade, or run to from your home!

East River Flats Park

Located off East River Parkway behind the UMN Medical center, this park is known for its scenery of the Campus area along the river. East River Flats is recently an off-leash dog park. This is a great location to get to know your campus community and furry friends. There is plenty of green space for picnics and throwing the ball.  The trails follow the Mississippi River all through South Minneapolis and connect with other parks along the way.

Mill Ruins Park

Known as Minneapolis’ Historic Park, Mill Ruins runs along the river and around the Stone Arch Bridge. With hiking trails throughout the river in the woods you can park you bike along main street and go tour the historic Minneapolis Dam Front and learn how it all began. Original buildings are still in place and the loading docks are hanging on to memories of the barges that used to come through and deliver supplies to the booming city. Hungry? Stop for a bite along main street at their variety of restaurants and cafés and enjoy the patio this spring and summer or drop in for a movie in the park along the stone bridge every weekend during the summer.

Mississippi Gorge Regional Park

The Gorge is a taste of nature outside of the city. Enjoy the walking and biking trails in the woods that lead to the bluffs with magnificent views of the city and surrounding neighborhoods of time. Many drop a paddle boat or kayak in the quiet back waters of the Mississippi along the trails. Need a relaxing day in the outdoors? The Mississippi Gorge Regional Park is your spot.

Spring into Cleaning!

It’s that time of year where we can open the windows up, let the fresh air in and get the dust out. Spring cleaning isn’t always fun as we find ourselves rushing to get that long winter bug out and studying for finals. Don’t sweat it this year, we have some tips for you to keep you on track for a tidy apartment and successful spring!

Living Space

  • Dust light fixtures, TV and coffee tables/desks
  • Dust picture frames and wall décor
  • Vacuum Carpet and clean underneath/behind furniture
  • Clean windows and blinds
  • Clean out air vents and W/D vents
  • Wash all blankets and fluff pillows in dryer
  • Declutter and reorganize closet

Kitchen Space

  • Throw out food that hasn’t been touched in 6 months
  • Wipe down refrigerator
  • Wipe down cupboards
  • Sweep and mop floor
  • Scrub counter tops and clean under sink
  • Make sure there is no leaks by dish washer or sink

Bathroom Space

  • Clean out vents
  • Scrub tub, toilet, and sink
  • Sweep and mop floor
  • Make sure sink and toilet are not leaking anywhere
  • Wash floor mats
  • Unclog Drains
  • Clean out drawers and wipe down inside

There is no better feeling then coming home to a perfect apartment that smells fresh. You can find room freshener plug ins and spray at any corner store and even the dollar store! You can also find affordable cleaning supplies at any Dollar General or Dollar Tree to help save money. Take time this spring to unclutter and reorganize. This is proven to help you kick back into gear for a productive year. May this spring bring new life, new opportunities, and new friends!

Don’t have an Average Valentine’s!

As February rolls around, love is in the air! Valentine’s day is the one day of the year where you can go above and beyond to show your love for that someone special. Year after year, this day seems to get more and more cliché. Ideas get old- a fancy dinner is just another dinner and a card is just like every other card. So, we are here to help you think outside of the box this year and bring a little life back into your surprise or gift!

‘You Da Bomb’

  • All you need for this is their favorite candy (that is round shaped), some red/pink construction paper and a black twisty tie. Also have some plain white paper and a pen for a label or note for when you are finished.
  • Stack the candy vertically
  • Wrap paper around candy and tape together
  • Tape off bottom so candy stays in the cylinder
  • Use black twisty tie for fuse or to hold ‘bombs’ together.
  • Use plain white paper to make label with personalized note

‘Donut You Know?’

This sweet treat of a valentine is the easiest (and maybe the cheesiest). It is good for starting your loved one’s day off right. We recommend leaving it on the counter or on their way out the door to help kick start their day with a corny smile.

  • But their favorite choice of donut holes
  • Package it out how you want (some people use bags and decorate them.
  • Leave them a note like the one pictured on the left. (personalize it how you wish).

‘Love Bugs’

For this gift, you will need plain plastic bags, valentine cards or paper, a pen, stapler, and your choice of bug shaped gummy candy. Some use a variety of sweet, sour and types of bugs.

  • Fill bag with choice of gummy bug candy
  • Staple bag with card or paper
  • Write a note on the valentine card or paper

We hope that this opened up your imagination to a fun and loving Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. Thinking creatively can tough when you are in a rush with school, homework, work, and trying to keep up with everyone. That’s were us at The 700 are happy to be here and help!

A few Tips for a Better 2017

Life is good, but there is always room for improvement. As 2016 comes to an end, it is always good to reflect on everything it gave you- positive or negative. And just like any other new year, everyone is looking to better themselves in one way or another. This year, rather than making one or two big goals, try breaking it down into different categories. By doing this, change and trials will not seem so hard to overcome and at the same time you will be able to notice the differences you are making in yourself and lifestyle. 

Here are a few tips that can make your 2017 a little bit better. In the end, all you can do is take it one day at a time…

Organize your workspace- Before ending your day, tidy up your workspace so you can start fresh the next day.

Journal before bed- Take a few minutes before bed to review the day's accomplishments and best moments.

Drink Ice water- Drinking cold water burns calories by trying to get it up to body temperature.

Cut Out Soda- Researchers say by cutting out one can of soda a day would equal roughly 15 lb of weight loss per year.

Get Rid of Time Wasting Apps- If you are spending too much time playing games, find the courage to delete them. Take a walk outside or read a book instead.

Make Your Bed Everyday- Making your bed is correlated with better productivity and has been shown to boost happiness.

Play Music Instead of TV- Music and TV have different effects on people. Turn on some music and stay productive!

Start Your Day by Stretching- Stretching wakes you up, helps flexibility, improves circulation, and gives you more energy.

Eat a Protein Filled Breakfast- Research shows that a protein based breakfast boosts metabolism, keeps you fuller and prevents overeating.

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Make a Plan- By setting a plan in place and making it visible, you are more likely to obtain your goal(s).

We hope you can take a tip or two from here and make the new year a better year!

“When life gives you limes, rearrange the letters and make it SMILE” :)

Winter Savings - You Can Do it!

Now that the holidays have come and gone, our wallets and banks accounts seem to have gone with them. Being stuck inside during Minnesota’s harsh winter season can be rough on our wallets as we seem to be using more of our electricity and gas due to being at home, keeping warm. Here at the 700, we have a few easy moves that you can make to live more efficiently this winter and save up for a fun filled summer!

How can I save on my gas bill?

Control your thermostat-The biggest utility expense in the winter is heating. In fact, heating and cooling typically account for more than half of energy costs in your home. The good news is that you can save 3 percent on your heating bill for every one degree you lower your thermostat, per Jones. For example, if you normally keep your apartment temperature at 75 degrees and lower it to 72 degrees, you’ll save 9 percent on your utility bill or nine cents on every dollar. Set your heat at a lower temperature during the daytime when you are usually not home. Then, set it a few degrees higher for the times that you are home. This way, you aren’t throwing away money on keeping it heated at a higher temperature when you are not even there.

Insulate your windows- Your windows are a big factor into heating and cooling your apartment. During the winter, the cold air will find its way through. And between the cool glass and cold atmosphere, it naturally cools down the surrounding area. There are two easy solutions to keep your temperature steady so you don’t have to overuse your thermostat and run up the bill to keep your room cozy.

  • Plastic wrap your windows. You can find window insulation wrap at any Menards, Lowes, Home Depot, or Fleet Farm. The average box goes for $12, which can be saved in just 2 months of using it. Follow the instructions to cover your window and keep that cold air out!
  • Substitute your average decorative curtains for a warm fleece blanket. Fleece is a very affordable and insulating material. You can go to your closest fabric store and pick out your desired design to match your room. Next, just cut slits in the top of the blanket to slide the curtain rod through and say goodbye to those cold winter drafts!

How can I save on my electricity bill?

Avoid Vampire Energy Charges- A staggering $10 billion is wasted every year on vampire energy, also known as standby power, per the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "New devices automatically power down computers and other electronics when they are not in use. Otherwise, these television sets, video games and other electronics simply waste electricity," Jones says. Smart power strips can help. They cost about $40 and can save you $100 per year. If you do not have access to newer devices or technology, just leave yourself reminders. Stick post-it’s by the light switches to remember to turn them off. Set a sleep timer on your TV before you head to bed so you don’t leave it running all night long. If you do not use simple electronics all the time like a coffee make or toaster, unplug them to avoid wasted power going to them.

Chose Energy Efficient Lighting-Lighting has changed dramatically over the years, and the latest trend, LED lights, are incredibly efficient. For example, a 40-watt LED bulb uses only six watts of power, which is 85 percent less energy than a standard light bulb. Although LED bulbs are more expensive, they are worth the investment. Depending on usage, a single bulb could last up to 20 years and costs only 72 cents a year to operate. Plus, you can take these energy savers with you when you move.

**For more tips on how to save, check out your local utility and energy companies online for easy solutions in your location or lifestyle**

Easy and Healthy Holiday Treats!

As the Holiday seasons come around faster than ever, so do the calories! It is hard to resist grandma’s baking and mom’s cooking; but we can help you be a little bit healthier this year and still keep that savory sweet flavor.

Another struggle of the holiday goodies are the food allergies. Most people have a perception on sugar free, gluten free, or nut free treats as boring and bland. Well, not this year! Here at the 700 we have some great, easy and yummy recipes to help your holiday hassle. With these recipes, you can not only be healthier but fit the lifestyle of all friends and family.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 28 cookies; Units: US; Calories per Cookies: 45

Ingredients

1/4 Cup Vegan Margarine

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Caster Sugar

1 Egg- Beaten

3/4 Cup Rice Flour

1 Cup Soy Flour

1 Bag Dark Chocolate Chips

1/2 Bag Dark Chocolate Chips- Melted

 

Directions

1.    Beat margarine, sugar and egg in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

2.    Transfer mixture to a large bowl.

3.    Stir in sifted flours and chocolate, mix well.

4.    Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls.

5.    Place 5cm apart onto greased oven trays; flatten slightly.

6.    Cook in a moderate oven, for about 20 minutes on 375*, or until lightly browned.

7.    Stand on tray for 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool.

8.    Decorate cookies by drizzling with extra melted chocolate.

Nut Free Christmas Crack

Yield: 1 Sheet; Units: Us; Calories per serving: 98

Ingredients

1 Sleeve of Saltine Crackers

1 Stick of Butter

1 Cup of Brown Sugar

2 cups of Chocolate chips

 

Directions

1. On a baking sheet, spread out Saltine crackers. Melt butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until gooey. Pour over crackers and bake at 350 degrees for five minutes, or until bubbly.

2. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Let sit for a few minutes until chocolate chips begin to melt. Then, spread over crackers evenly with a spatula.

3. Stick in the freezer for an hour, or until chocolate hardens. Break into small pieces and put into gift containers or baggies. Store in the freezer until ready to eat or give away.

Sugar Free Pumpkin Delight

Yield: 6 servings; Units: Us; Calories per serving: 300

Ingredients

1 (3 ounce) package instant sugar-free vanilla pudding mix

1 ½ Skim Milk

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree           

1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 ½ Cups Lite Frozen Whipped Topping

1 (9 inch) Low Fat Graham Cracker Pie Crust

 

Directions

1.    In a mixing bowl, beat the pudding mix and milk until well blended. Blend in the pumpkin, pie spice and fold in whipped topping.

2.    Spoon into pie shell and chill. Top with low-fat whipped topping for garnish. Sprinkle a little ginger on topping if desired.

The University Student Living Scholarship Program

Matriculated college students residing in University Student Living (USL) apartments are invited by the University Student Living Scholarship Program to apply for scholarship grants for the 2016-2017 academic year to be awarded in October, 2016.

Click here to find all the information you need regarding eligibility, selection criteria, procedures, important deadlines and the application form.

Quick Overview

  • Criteria used to select grant recipients includes: academic performance, character, financial need, and proficiency or potential proficiency in a chosen field of study.
  • Students must be on a lease and be a resident in good standing as of September 10, 2016.
  • The student must be currently residing at an apartment community in which USL has an ownership interest. If the scholarship info is posted on the property website, it qualifies.
  • The applicant cannot graduate on or before March 31, 2017, and must be registered for enrollment for the fall 2016 semester.
  • All matriculated college or trade/technical school students applying must possess a minimum of a 3.2 grade point average on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent.
  • College students applying for grants who have attained sufficient credits at their institution of higher learning to be considered as a junior, must provide documentation of a declared major.
  • Yes, there is an essay. Details are on the web site regarding format and content.
  • Yes, there is an alternative to writing an essay; you may provide a video presentation. Details are on the web site regarding content and format.
  • The USL Scholarship Program requires the applicant's 2016 FAFSA EFC score. This requires the applicant and/or their family to complete and submit a free application for Federal Student Aid.
  • These grants should not be confused with student loans.
  • All grants are made payable to the colleges or other post-secondary institutions where the recipient will attend during the 2016-17 school year.
  • The exact number of awards and the total amount of money to be awarded in 2016 will be determined during the selection process, in the sole discretion of the USL Scholarship Program.

October 17, 2016 Final deadline for the completed application to be submitted.

Contact Dr. Bruce W. Johnson, Scholarship Program Administrator, at bjohnson@themichaelsorg.com or 215-262-4230 if you have any questions concerning the USL Scholarship Program's work to assist students throughout the nation.

Top 8 Cheap Ideas to Decorate Your Bedroom

8. Curtains:  You can purchase endless options of fabric online or at your local craft store; all you need are the length and width measurements!  Hint: If you hang curtains from your ceiling down to the floor, it’ll make any space feel bigger.

7. Lighting: Since you’ll be reading and studying most of the time in your room, lighting is very important.  Lighting can even have an effect on your mood and attitude.  Be sure to have at least 3 points of lighting in your room.  All it takes is a different lamp shade or a smaller lamp to create special feel for your room.  Craigslist, thrift stores, Good Will, your parent’s basement, or your grandparents’ attic should save you a ton of money and you’ll have a unique feel to your room for very low cost. 

6. Art Work:  Wall art, pots, and sculptures are a way to show off your interests and style.  DIY options are possible to save money and add a personal touch to each item displayed.  Placing fresh flowers in the pots you place can add a sweet aroma to the room, too!

5. Rugs: Customize any floor with a fluffy or colorful rug.  Rugs are an opportunity for you to add your own special touch to your bedroom.  Visitors will be telling you that the rug “really tied the room together” after visiting your lavish room.

4. Candles:  After a long day of work or while studying, a candle can help calm your nerves and refocus your energy.  Candles come in all sorts of scents, so it is possible to find the perfect one to relieve all of the stress from your day.  Finding a fun stand or holder can add to the authentic feel of your room.  Always make sure candles are allowed at your place of residence!

3. Personal Photos: Picture frames from a garage sale are a great way to show off all of those photos of you and your friends to add a homey feel to your room.  DIY options to display photos are all over the internet and are easy to do, too!

2. Throw Pillows:  Fun-sized pillows add a pop of color to any room.  Whether these pillows go on your bed or on your couch, you’ll be able to add a touch of your personality to the room.  These pillows can be purchased for a low price, but can always be made if you are feeling extra crafty.

1. Organization:  Fitting all of your essentials in a small space is possible (and cute!) with the help of organizational shelves.  Repurposing various materials to make these awesome organizational displays is a great way to save money.

Open House

Mark your calender's for 02.12.16. We will have a model unit in the building! Come check out the fantastic views and enjoy some free food and drink. Every person that stops by and tours is entered for multiple door prizes

Join us and invite your friends because it's gonna be an event you won't want to miss!