More natural cleaning tips

We’ve been scouring Pinterest for our favorite natural cleaning tips, and it’s time to share our findings.

  • Because Alvern Gardens Apartments feature stainless steel kitchen sinks, we were especially excited about this cleaning regiment, though we’re not so sure about that last step of buffing with olive oil. Why waste delicious (expensive) olive oil like that? The tip of using a citrus fruit peel before tossing it is, however, genius.
  • We’re especially excited to try the toaster and pan cleaning tips on this list.
  • Dirty blender? Hair in your drain? Grimy grout? Dusty air vents? Dirty vacuum filter? Carpet stains? Nasty oven? Scratched ceramic? Nail polish spill? You name the job, this list will help you tackle it.
  • Finally, here’s an excellent infographic that shows you how to make your own natural cleaners for every room in the house.

So why use all natural cleaners instead of the store bought stuff? First of all, it’s better for you, your family, and your pets as well as the environment to use natural products instead of harsh chemicals. Second, it’s gentler on the items you’re cleaning. If you have an acrylic tub, for example, some cleaners are so powerful that they eat away at the tub itself and do more harm than good. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, making your own cleaning products can save you money.

45 Uses for Dryer Sheets

We stumbled across this article today on 45 ways to reuse dryer sheets. Because we like anything that saves money and gives new purpose to something that would otherwise land in the trash, we just had to share it.

Here are our personal highlights:

  • Cleaning bugs off your car with a wet dryer sheet is a much faster alternative to going through the car wash when all you need is that little touch-up.
  • Keeping bugs away while spending time outdoors is suddenly a lot easier and more pleasant. Goodbye stinky bug spray! And while we’re lining our pockets, we’re also going around our homes stashing dryer sheets under the mattress, under the couch cushions, and in other unobtrusive places in hopes that the creepy crawlies are kept at bay indoors too.
  • Getting deodorant marks off clothing is apparently made much easier with a wet dryer sheet, and we all know how stubborn those white marks are.
  • Reducing static in clothes and hair is one we’ve heard before, but it’s such a smart tip that it bears repeating. You can even wipe down your pit to reduce static in their fur.
  • Trapping and reducing tobacco smoke by exhaling into a dryer sheet is a brilliant way to keep your home smelling just a little fresher and a little less like smoke.
  • Removing soap scum and the ring around the toilet bowl is a hassle, but we can’t wait to try it with a dryer sheet.
  • Cleaning oven racks, irons, and scissors with a dryer sheets are probably some of the more far-fetched tips on this list, but it’s worth a try.
  • Wiping up dry spills like flour is easy with a dryer sheet because it traps small particles. Who knew!
  • Dusting, pet hair removal, and cleaning baseboards with a dryer sheet means you’re freshening your home at the same time you’re wiping up dust, debris, and pet hair.

Do you know any uses for dryer sheets that aren’t listed in the linked article? Share your tips below!

Apartments near public transportation in Pittsburgh

Last week, we offered advice on how to find an apartment near public transportation in Pittsburgh. This week, we’re featuring the Prudential Realty communities close to bus and T stops. If you’re on the hunt for a new place, one of these might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

pet friendly apartments
Alvern Gardens has all the amenities you need, including a dog park and a T stop close by.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

Looking for an affordable home for yourself, and maybe for a small pet? Not only is Alvern Gardens mere blocks from the St. Anne’s T stop, it also welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. There’s even a dog park on site as well as a pool. If you’re interesting in Alvern Gardens, email or call 412-561-4663.

The Brett Apartments

The Brett Apartments in Shadyside are close to several bus stops that will take you to Oakland, South Side Works, and beyond. Plus, if you have a car, you could park it in the garage. Call 412-722-8546 for the current availability at the Brett Apartments.

free parking
In addition to its garage, Place Seville has a free, first come, first serve parking lot for its residents.

Cornell Place

For an apartment in a beautiful building complete with stained glass windows close to shopping and dining in Mt. Lebanon, Cornell Place is just what you’re looking for. Located about 10 minutes walk from several bus and T stops, you have plenty of options for getting where you need to go. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Cornell Place.

Place Seville Apartments

covered parking
Some of the Sleepy Hollow Townhouses have a little deck over the garage entrance, so a second car in the driveway can be partially covered as well.

If you’d like to live at the heart of Castle Shannon, Place Seville is the place for you. Located steps from the Overbrook Junction T stop, Place Seville offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments as well as covered parking for those who have cars. Call 412-563-7256 for the current availability at Place Seville.

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments

From 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom townhouses, Sleepy Hollow has the right size home for you. Plus, the Memorial Hall T stop is right down the road. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Sleepy Hollow.

Tips for dog owners living in apartments

In the past year, we’ve offered a few posts about owning a dog in an apartment. Because there were among our most popular posts of the year, we thought we’d round them up in one convenient post.

dog care tips
Keeping flea and tick medication up to date is just another part of being a responsible pet owner.
  • Dog park etiquette is an important part of keeping you and your dog safe while playing with other visitors.
  • How to keep your dog from barking is a key concern in an apartment complex. You want your dog to be a good neighbor.
  • Exercising your dog not only keeps him healthy, it also keeps his energy levels manageable. While this can be challenging when you live in an apartment, it’s not impossible.
  • Dog friendly apartments in Pittsburgh can be hard to find, but Alvern Gardens is one place where pooches under 40 lbs. are welcome and even have access to to a free on-site dog park.

Alvern Gardens now offers virtual tours!

If you’re moving from across the country—or even across the globe—to Pittsburgh, finding an apartment can be challenging. How are you supposed to know what you like if you can’t see it in person? Fear not: Alvern Gardens has the solution!

living room
Here’s an example of the living room and dining room of a 2 bedroom at Alvern Gardens. This floor plan goes for $675/month plus electric.

We got a call about a week ago from a future resident looking to move north from the deep south. The only hitch was that she wouldn’t be able to come up north to tour apartments before making a decision. She asked if we had a virtual tour option, so, on the fly, Chi Quach, assistant property manager set up a Skype account for Alvern Gardens. Using his smartphone’s camera, he gave a tour of our 2 bedroom model and then of the available 1 bedroom apartment.

The tour made it possible for our new resident to see everything almost as if she was there in person rather than miles away in Louisiana. She liked what she saw so much that she submitted an application the same day.  And so, through the power of technology, she found her new home without having to leave her old one.

Spending a lazy day pool side is just one way to enjoy summer. Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments can enjoy their summer poolside for a $10 season pass.

After the first Skype tour was such a success, we have decided to make it available as an option for all those who can’t make it in person but would like to tour our apartments before applying. Virtual tours make it possible for future residents to tour the available apartment(s), as well as the grounds, pool, and dog park all from the comfort of their couch.

Anyone interested in a virtual tour may send a Skype contact request to alvern1000 and call our leasing office at 412-561-4663 to schedule a tour.

Happy anniversary to us!

Happy first anniversary to us! Prudential Realty’s blog has officially been around for a whole year. In honor of this milestone, we’ve rounded up our top 5 posts. These are the posts that have gotten the most views/visitors.

  1. How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget kicked off our series on decorating the 2 bedroom model at Alvern Gardens. This first post focuses on the living room. Check out the rest of the series for posts about the dining room, master bedroom, and home office.

    Happy anniversary!
    We’re celebrating 1 year online with (virtual) fireworks. Here’s to another year of fun and informative posts!
  2. More grilled cheese contenders is a follow-up to our countdown of the best grilled cheese in Pittsburgh.Read both posts, try the contenders for yourself, and let us know what you think: who does serve the best grilled cheese?
  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Look at last week’s post for things to do this week while your family’s in town.
  4. Dog park safety and etiquette have become important to us ever since Alvern Gardens opened its very own dog park for its resident pooches.
  5. Bado’s is a favorite local eatery of ours. Situated in the middle of the picturesque Shops on Beverly in Mt. Lebanon, the self-described pizza grill and alehouse has something on the menu for everyone.

Have your own favorite Prudential Realty post? Let us know, and you might see follow-up posts in the coming year!

Healthy pet, happy home: flea treatment

Even if your pet never sets paw outdoors, it’s important to keep flea and tick medication up to date, just in case.


keeping flea and tick medication up to date
Keeping flea and tick medication up to date is especially important in a multi-pet home.
  1. No matter how vigilant you are, your pet could get out. If they get out, you’ll be relieved that at least they’re micro chipped, vaccinated, wearing their tags, and safe from flea and tick bites while you search the neighborhood.
  2. Fleas can hitch a ride on clothing, so if you visit a friend with pets, or a friend with pets visits you, your pets could get their fleas.
  3. A tick bite can transmit Lyme disease to you or your pet and requires antibiotics for treatment.
  4. Fleas can cause an allergic reaction that will lead to giving it a whole lot of money for allergy medicine, special shampoo, numerous trips to the vet, even steroid shots.
  5. Preventing fleas is a whole lot cheaper and easier than getting rid of an infestation. If you rent, your lease might entitle you to free extermination, but that might not apply to a flea infestation if you have a pet. If you own your home, you’re guaranteed a high bill from the exterminator, because fleas can lay their eggs in carpet.

Besides, for you renters out there, if you read the fine—or not so fine—print regarding pets kept in your rental, you might find that your landlord requires your pet’s flea and tick medication to be up to date.

Consider also that in a multi-pet home, your cat stay indoors, but your dog goes out. Both of them need to be treated to prevent fleas and ticks, not just your dog, because the fleas could hitch a ride on you or your dog and make themselves at home on your untreated cat.

While high quality flea and tick medication is expensive, you get what you pay for. Cheaper products often don’t last as long, and many off brands have gotten in trouble for causing epileptic seizures. So buy what your vet recommends, but shop around for a good price. 1-800 Pet Meds often has coupons, and many specialty pet stores such as Pet Supplies Plus and Petco sell the good stuff over the counter.

Looking for a pet friendly apartment? Contact Alvern Gardens Apartments at 412-561-4663 or for their current availability.