Starting a Garden

tulipsIt’s officially spring! Can you believe it?! The change of seasons has many of us here at BH thinking about planting flowers and starting our own gardens, which is exactly what we’re here to talk about this week.

To help get you started, we bring you a guest blog written by BH Training Manager Allison Nielsen, where she walks you through the ins and outs of putting your green (or not so green) thumb to good use! Enjoy!

We’ve all heard about the benefits of creating your own summer garden – but it can certainly be intimidating to figure out where to begin.

Gardens tend to get a bad rep as being super high-maintenance – but they don’t have to be! In fact, you could plant the most low-maintenance garden in the block – then just sit back and soak in the compliments from your neighbors!

This week, we are focusing on getting your green on with potted plants. Pots can be a fantastic way to ‘dip your toe’ into the gardening world, without the commitment of ripping up your lawn!

potted plants 2First, you’ve got to figure out what light you are workin’ with. These two factors will help you determine what kinds of plants will survive – and THRIVE! –  in your new garden. We’ve detailed more information below.

The following types of flowers, herbs, and veggies require at least six hours of sunlight per day and lots of water!

Calibrachoa (Million Bells), Verbena, Cape Daisies, Browallia, Violas, Tomatoes, Peppers, Basil, and Oregano

These types of flowers, veggies and herbs need 3-6 hours of sunlight per day:

Flowering Begonia,  Thyme, Sage, Bergenia, Brunnera

The following flowers and ferns need 3 or less hours of sunlight per day:

Fuschia, Torenia, Begonias, Coleus, Coral bells

When selecting multiple plants for each pot, make sure you are choosing ones that complement each other (both in looks and in similar light and water requirements) – this will make sure the whole pot looks great!

red flowersSecond, you want to make sure that you have good drainage within the pots themselves. Make sure any pot you buy has drainage holes at the bottom – but if you just can’t resist buying that adorable decorative pot without holes at the bottom, simply use a smaller plastic pot that has holes and insert to the fancy pot. Style and happy flowers all in one! 

Third, use a potting mix soil – not a garden mix soil. Potting mix soils have extra nutrients that help potted plants look their best and last the longest!

Lastly, make sure you note the water routine for all of your plants, and be prepared to increase watering if the weather is especially warm.

Follow our tips, and your mini-garden will be the envy of everyone on the block!

Are you or someone you know looking for an apartment? If so, be sure to check out our BH communities here!

Have a great idea for next week’s blog? E-mail it to us at BHNews@BHManagement.com.

Thanks – and happy planting!

St. Patty’s Day : The Backstory

Holiday - St Patrick's DayThis week, we bring you a guest blog written by Regional Marketing Specialist Tasha Kline – where she takes you back in time to showcase a little St. Patty’s Day history. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday weekend from all of your friends at BH!

You may not be Irish, but everyone has usually participated in at least a couple of St. Patty’s Day traditions over the years. It could have been following leprechaun footprints towards a pot o’ gold while in school, drinking green beer or even just wearing green the day of so you don’t get that infamous pinch.

St. Patrick’s Day is much more than just a day to wear green and party. It actually has a long history that is sometimes forgotten during the big celebration. St. Patrick’s Day is not a legal holiday here in the United States, but that doesn’t stop us from celebrating in style using some of the most popular traditions.

The go-to meal for any St. Patty’s Day celebration should be corned beef and cabbage. Although not loved by all, this is definitely a must for any Irish celebration. The dish’s origins are one of simple substitution. Irish immigrants decided to use corned beef when their traditional Irish bacon became too expensive. Thus was born corned beef and cabbage, which was reserved for special occasions.

Other must haves at any St. Patrick’s Day feast? Shamrock shakes, Irish soda bread, green desserts, Guinness and of course — green beer!

Another important tradition is the shamrock. The shamrock was meaningful to the Irish because it symbolized the rebirth of spring and the holy trinity. This has also become the unofficial symbol of St. Patrick’s Days. We’ve all gone out, or still go out in search of that elusive four-leaf clover to make a wish on.

Besides the shamrock — there is one other, smaller symbol of St. Patrick’s Day… the leprechaun. As children, we learn that leprechauns hide their ‘pots o’ gold’ at the end of rainbows. They are known to be tricky little people who will do anything to keep their gold for themselves. It is also told that by not wearing green on this holiday, those tricky little leprechauns will seek you out and give you a pinch! This is how the tradition of pinching when not wearing green started.

Parades are also huge traditions on St. Patrick’s Day…The largest parade is held in New York City every year, where the tradition actually started way back in 1762. The second largest? That parade takes place in Savannah, GA each year bringing in more than 300,000 visitors.

Additionally, many cities also participate by dyeing their rivers green. Most notable would be the Chicago River, which happened to be the first in 1962.

So this year … when you are heading out to partake in St. Patrick’s Day festivities, remember that this holiday is about more than just having a good time. It is also about traditions which date back hundreds of years. Have fun and stay safe, everyone!

Are you or someone you know looking for an apartment? Check out our communities here!

Have a great idea for next week’s blog? E-mail it to us at BHNews@BHManagement.com

Striking a Balance

work life balanceIn this week’s edition of the BH Blog, we’re featuring a guest entry from BH Marketing Specialist Emily Brady.

If you’ve had trouble striking a balance between your work and personal life, we hope some of Emily’s words of wisdom will help you find happiness on both ends of the spectrum.

Enjoy!

Finding a balance between your work and your home life is a challenge for everyone regardless of the industry you’re in.  While we are challenged to give 150% every day at our jobs, how much does that leave for us? -50% for ourselves?  That can’t be right! Right?!

You really have to make a conscious effort to have me time or family time.  This is no easy feat!  With projects lining up at work, getting the grocery shopping done, bringing the kids to soccer practice, making time for relatives, friends, and all of your social responsibilities, (I could go on and on,) there just aren’t enough hours in the day…

But as difficult as it may be, finding time for you isn’t impossible!  Not only will finding that ever-so-important balance improve your day to day life, but it will also help us stay healthy, be more focused at work, and ultimately enjoy our lives more … and isn’t that what it’s all about in the end?

In order to succeed at this, here are some things you can start doing TODAY.

Schedule ME time.  With our work calendars jammed with meetings and coworkers grabbing us for “just one second” throughout the day, when we get home – it’s important to schedule that downtime.  Just as you meticulously plan every part of your work day – you really need to schedule some personal time as well!  You don’t have to cancel your activities, but find that spare 30 minutes or hour and keep it open for you.  Once it’s scheduled – stick to it!  Don’t let that “one more thing” take over …and don’t lose that important ME time. Don’t let someone grab you for ‘just a sec’ during me time.  Unless it’s an emergency – it can wait!

Find what helps you relax.  For some of us, it’s an hour at the gym — For others, it’s curling up with the latest best seller. You just need to figure out what helps you relax.  There’s no ‘right’ way to relax so find what helps you wind down and be sure you make time for that in your weekly routine.  Explore new and different ways to relax, too! Maybe its crafts or drawing, writing, bird watching, sailing, fishing, cake decorating, knitting, photography – the options are endless!

Treat Yo’ Self! Thank the Parks and Recreation TV show for this gem!  After a job well done- reward yourself.  You deserve it! Splurge on that one extra thing that you wouldn’t normally splurge on, take some needed paid time off, indulge in a spa day or a day on the golf course, go to your favorite sports team event – the options are again, endless!  You can plan this treat before a big project and indulge when the project is done – you can treat yo’ self.

We aren’t telling you to disobey your boss or not complete your tasks at work, but if you’re able to shut that phone off for an hour and take your dog for a walk, shut down your laptop and take a cooking class with your spouse or friends, you will be surprised how rewarding it can be.  It’s amazing how quickly you will find yourself enjoying your life more and … and getting more out of both your work and personal life!

Thanks for reading this week’s edition of The BH Blog!

Are you or someone you know looking for an apartment? Be sure to check out our communities here!

Have a great idea for next week’s blog?

E-mail it to us at BHNews@BHManagement.com! We would love to hear from you!

The Untethered Soul and Why it will Change your Life

bookSo, this is the first time we’ve dedicated one of our BH Blog posts to a book, but the following read is well worth this week’s attention – and then some, (to say the least.)

It doesn’t matter if you prefer fiction, fantasy, history or self-help – This one of a kind novel is sure to change your way of thinking, change your life in one way or another – or maybe change you as a person.

But before we bring forth some of the brilliant ideas brought forth in this book, we’re going to throw a few deep thoughts your way.

No pun intended – but have you ever thought about how weird ‘thinking’ actually is?

In just a minute … 30 seconds … 5 seconds, a dozen thoughts are racing through your mind at any given moment, jumping neurotically from one to the next to the next – taking you on a wild ride you never agreed to go on in the first place!

These thoughts don’t always bring us to the most joyful or positive places, which is what author Michael Singer aims to rectify in The Untethered Soul.

In his book, he talks about “falling behind” the anxious thoughts that so often arise in our minds:

“When you start to see this stuff go on inside you, relax your shoulders, relax your heart, and fall back behind it. Don’t touch it. Don’t get involved in it. And don’t try to stop it. Simply be aware you are seeing it. That is how you get out. You simply let it go.”

He talks about how the “voice” inside of our heads doesn’t actually belong to us – but rather belongs to someone who happens to live inside your mind … inside the vessel you were born with:

“Basically, you’re not alone in there. There are two distinct aspects of your inner being. There is you – the awareness, the witness, the center of your willful intentions; and the other is that which you watch. The problem is, the part that you watch never shuts up. If you could get rid of that part, even for a moment, the peace and serenity would be the nicest vacation you’ve ever heard.”

He encourages readers to take a moment and listen to that voice, leaning away from the chatter – ultimately recognizing it’s not actually you.

“Thinking is something you watch the mind do. Withdraw your attention and the thinking mind falls away.”

Ponder that one…

More or less, Singer advises readers to go through life without getting sucked down into the drama our minds create.

“There are no decisions, there is only interaction with what is in front of you. Decisions come because you have attachments, desires, and fears. The only thing that will help you is to let go. If you let go of your stuff, there are no decisions – there is just life.”

We especially love when he widens the lens and challenges us to go even deeper with this notion:

“Why should anything that anyone says or does cause you to get disturbed? You’re just on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. You came here to visit for a handful of years and then you’re going to leave. How can you live all stressed out over everything? Don’t do it.”

He reminds us there is nothing in this life worth closing our hearts over, and that we must take advantage of every moment on this earth – make the most out of life, stressing the single most important thing during our time here is being happy.

Possibly his most powerful question in the book —

“Do you want to be happy or not?”

This truly is the basis of this novel – and something we all should be asking ourselves each and every day. No matter what has happened in your life, what’s currently happening, or what’s about to happen – you can still live a life filled with joy.

The choice is yours, friends!