Spring is finally making its presence known in the Pittsburgh area. Unfortunately that means lion/lamb fluctuations throughout March followed by a healthy dose of April showers. But the change is in the air and lots of us are developing cabin fever. Luckily, the new Sky Trail Ropes Course at Pittsburgh Mills is opening just in time.
Opening early next month in the mall’s food court, the Sky Trail promises indoor adventure for the whole family. There’s the full-size rope course for anyone at least 48 inches tall and the Sky Tykes Ropes Course for kids under 48 inches. The full-size course costs $14 and the Tykes course costs $7, but it looks like it’ll be worth the money (there’s also a group rate for parties of at least 10 people). The attraction will be open 10 a.m-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sundays.
Just what does the ropes course consist of? Well, the full size course is 32 feet high and includes rope bridges, a roughly 70-foot long zip line, and more. But don’t be scared: participants wear a harness and there are professionals on hand to supervise.
The grand opening date isn’t set yet, so we’ll be chomping at the bit a little while longer, but sometime after Easter, the adventure begins!
If you’re looking for some more immediate indoor fun (it could be getting colder this weekend), South Hills Village Mall, at the opposite end of the city from Pittsburgh Mills, is celebrating its completed renovations with a Macy’s fashion show, free makeovers, and more this weekend.
If you scour the internet, you’ll find all sorts of creative natural cleaners that you can DIY with stuff you already have at home.
Not only are natural, homemade cleaners an affordable way to an effective yet safe and environmentally friendly clean, it’s also good for your security deposit. Some heavy duty cleaners out there are so harsh that they damage the very thing you’re trying to get clean, and you might not want to clean as thoroughly or as often if it involves a risk of inhaling dangerous fumes. With a natural, homemade cleaner, you’re unlikely to need protective gear and you don’t have to worry about using it around kids or pets. Plus, mixtures like baking soda and vinegar pack a punch without damaging surfaces.
If you’re looking for smart uses for vinegar, vinegartips.com is our favorite place for pointers on one of the cheapest, most versatile natural cleaners out there.
Most of the time, vinegar is the way to go for deodorizing and wiping away greasy grime. It’s excellent for wet dusting and getting your microwave to sparkle. For a deeper clean, combining it with baking soda for a fizzy paste does the trick. This method works wonderfully on stained coffee mugs. With any vinegar solution, giving it time to sit and do its work is key.
Here are some tips and recommendations we’ve offered in the past:
Mildew is gross, and it can building lots of places, especially in bathrooms. Here are some tips for keeping at bay—and cleaning it up when it appears.
Ventilate your bathroom. If you don’t have a ventilation fan in your bathroom, you surely have a window, so use it. As long as it’s warm enough out that your heat is off, and as long as it’s not raining, open your bathroom window. This is most important right after showering. To create a cross breeze, it’s a good idea to also leave your bathroom door open. If you prefer them closed, shut them again once the room is aired out.
Wipe down your tub/shower after using it. Wiping away excess water with a squeegee or rag keeps mildew out of grout. Bonus: it also prevents soap scum buildup and stains.
Clean it up right away. If you see mildew starting to form, clean it up as quickly as you can. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. No matter the cleaning method you use, make sure the room is well ventilated and wear rubber gloves while you work. You’ve probably heard of using bleach on mildew, but there are safer cleaners that don’t produce toxic fumes. Vinegar and undiluted hydrogen peroxide are two of the safest cleaning methods, and they work on a wide variety of surfaces. Mixing borax with warm water makes a safe, effective cleaner not only for mildew, but mold as well. The two-step process of baking soda and vinegar also works on both mold and mildew. First, spray a mixture of baking soda and water onto the affected surface, then spray vinegar on top of it. After the fizzing of the chemical reaction slows, wipe everything clean.
Just like keeping your bathtub clean, prevention is key when it comes to fighting mildew. So ventilate and wipe, and clean when you need to.
Moving is a hassle, yes, but if you’re organized and plan ahead, you’ll save yourself plenty of headaches. Here are 10 tips for a successful, less stressful move.
Measure twice, move once. Not only should you know the dimensions of the rooms in your new place, you should know the size of the doorways and hallways that you’ll have to maneuver furniture through. Plus, you’ll need to know the dimensions of your furniture.
Make check lists and use them. Go through your old place room by room and list all the items you need to pack up and move. Check off items as you move them onto the moving van, and check them off again as you unload them at your new place. This way, nothing will get lost or left behind.
Label your boxes. This might strike you as a no-brainer, but it’s such a quick, simple step that it might easily slip your mind. Unpacking in your new place really will be much easier if you know what each box contains without having to look inside.
If it comes apart, take it apart. It might seem easier to move with intact furniture, but it’s actually much simpler to break down everything into manageable pieces. Pull the drawers out of dressers (you could leave items in removed drawers in lieu of boxes) to lighten the load. Take apart your sectional and reassemble it in its new home. Unscrew the legs from you dining room table for flatter transport and an easier time fitting it, piece by piece, into the allotted space.
Wrap it up. This might sound goofy, but cellophane is your friend when it comes time for moving. If you already have all your silverware inside a drawer organizer, all you have to do is wrap that in cellophane and it’s ready to move. Remember those drawers you pulled out of your dresser? Wrap them in cellophane to secure the items inside, no boxes needed! Buy the cheap stuff and wrap up your whole mattress and box-spring to protect them during the move and make it easy to slide them across carpeted floors.
Clean your trash cans and use them for storage. You can even nest a small bathroom can inside your bigger kitchen can and then store stuff inside. Suddenly, you have a box or two fewer to lug from place to place.
Use your Tetris skills and leave no space unused inside boxes or inside the moving van.
Know where you can park. If you have a large moving truck, make sure you know the neighborhood’s rules and the borough’s ordinances about where you’re allowed to park it and for how long. The last thing you want is your truck full of all your possessions getting towed. Your present and future landlords are likely in the know about this stuff, so ask them where you can pull up as you vacate and later as you move in.
Take pictures. After you’ve vacated your old place, take pictures of everything as evidence that you cleaned up and took everything with you. It’s a good way to go through one last time and make sure you didn’t forget anything. Before you start moving into your new place, take pictures of everything exactly how you find it. The pictures of your old and new places will be important when it comes time to get your security deposit back. Once you’re done moving in, take pictures of everything in its place to keep on record in case you need it for insurance purposes. If you decide to feng shui later, take more pictures. While you’re at it, take some pictures for your scrapbook to preserve the memories.
Remember how you handled the move. There’s a fair chance that you’ll be moving again in the future, so after the move is complete, sit down and think about what went well and what could have gone better. It’s probably a good idea to write this reflection down for future reference. At the very least, you should recall the size moving van you rented, how you got everything into the apartment, and how you got it all to fit in said moving van. You’ve already solved the puzzle once, so save your future self the headache of having to do it all over again.
Do you have your own moving tips? Share them in the comments below.