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Photo Editing on Phone

4 Photo Editing Apps You Need to Download

Photo Editing on PhoneWith the cameras in phones better than ever and so much storage space on each device, people are taking a lot of photos these days. But just taking the photos is not enough to get the best looking pics you can. To take your photos to the next level, you have to edit them. And for that, you will need a photo editor.

We have compiled four photo-editing apps that we think are great. Please feel free to download one – or all – of them!

4 Editing Apps for Your Photos

1. Google Snapseed

The Google Snapseed app is arguably the best free photo editing app for the Android platform and is also available on iOS for iPhones. It includes a lot of features, many of which you expect to find on desktop photo editing software. Snapseed comes with a ton of filters so you can customize the look of your pics, and it allows you to fill in the background of photos to make them larger as necessary.

2. Adobe Photoshop Express

Another free app, Adobe Photoshop Express attempts to bring together all the most used features of the desktop app onto your phone – and does a surprisingly good job of it. You will need to create an account with Adobe to use the app, but having an account is useful for more than the app. You can also take advantage of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which lets you access and edit your photos from your app or from Adobe desktop software.

3. VSCO

For use on iOS, VSCO has established itself as a trusted photo editing app year after year. It lets you turn your iPhone into a more customized camera than the standard Apple Photos option, and it allows you to adjust your pictures after you have taken them using a variety of settings and filters.

4. Serif Affinity Photo

If you are willing to spend a little money ($19.99 to be exact) you can get Serif on your iPhone – which can easily compete with Adobe Photoshop.

Contact Us for Info on Los Angeles Living

We are your resource for everything about The Flat. Please contact us to learn more about our community or to find out about our available Los Angeles apartments.

Pen Holder on Desk

5 Items Every Desk Needs

Pen Holder on DeskThe fastest way to end up with a mental blank may be to look at a completely empty desk. Yet, most people don’t want to replace that emptiness with clutter. Instead, it’s better to add items that will be useful, and in many cases, are specifically useful for organization. Here are five essentials that will get rid of the vast expanse of emptiness without going overboard:

A Computer and Keyboard

Since computers and keyboards go together, we are considering them as a set instead of as two individual items. These things are keys to both communication and learning in the modern world, and putting them on the desk gives you the ability to enjoy a solid, ergonomic workspace.

An Inbox Tray

The amount of snail mail that comes into a household on a daily basis is amazing. Even a single-person home will typically get some bill, ad, or other mail every day.

Putting an inbox tray on your desk allows you to keep these letters in a compact area. Without one, they can easily take over the entire surface.

A Pen/Pencil Holder

These simple cylinders will save you the hassle of having to dig for pens, pencils, and other accessories of this general shape. The array of designs available is surprisingly wide, so don’t hesitate to keep looking until you find one that suits your style.

A Paper Clip/Sundries Holder

Many people use paper clips to organize their papers, but keeping the paper clips organized is troublesome if you don’t have a proper holder. Get one that matches your pen cylinder for the best visual effect.

A Coaster

Enjoying a cup of coffee, tall glass of water or other drink at your desk will be much more enjoyable if you’re not worried about it leaving a ring every time you set it down. Be sure to choose coasters that are large enough to easily fit your big coffee mug or summer tumbler. You won’t want to have to pay too much attention to hitting the target when you’re busy on your computer.

One of the best things for your desk doesn’t go on it, but all around it. See our available apartments in Los Angeles and choose a new home for you and your desk.

Glasses of Wine

4 Underrated Wine Bars in LA

Glasses of WineLos Angeles is known around the world for many things from movie stars to historic landmarks, but us Angelenos know that there is so much more to the city than just that. While a lot of the wine spotlight lands north, on Napa and Sonoma, LA definitely still holds its own as a great place to enjoy an excellent glass of wine. Just as LA sometimes flies under the radar as an oenophile’s destination spot, so do these 4 wine bars that are very much worth checking out any time you’d like to enjoy a great glass of wine.

4 LA Wine Bars You May Not Have Heard of but Should Check Out

  1. Tabula Rasa Bar: Hiding out in Thai Town, this spot has everything you could want in a wine bar. The owners, Zach Negin and Daniel Flores, opened up with the goal of creating “the quintessential neighborhood wine bar that serves superb wine, beer and food.” And they deliver, in an atmosphere that is both relaxed and romantic.
  2. fundamental LA: When you’re looking for a wine that’s underrated, you can’t go wrong with this bar. This Westwood restaurant has a wine program overseen by sommelier Alicia Kemper, who has a talent for finding obscure and affordable but nonetheless incredible bottles of wine to pair with the food. They also offer a subscription package to increase your knowledge of great wines you’ve never heard of.
  3. Vertical Wine Bistro: This wine bar is a short drive away in Pasadena, but with over 650 wines by the bottle and 70 by the glass on offer, consider it a visit to wine mecca. The depth and breadth of the wine list are impressive, and it might be the best way to sample Europe’s finest without having to purchase a plane ticket.
  4. Upstairs 2: The Wine House in LA is the city’s largest and most well-respected wine shop and they have opened their own unique restaurant and wine bar called Upstairs 2. You can enjoy a full education on all things wine at this snazzy location. Offering 2.5 oz. & 6 oz. pours of all wines by the glass make it the perfect place to sample new wines to your heart’s content.

Our Los Angeles apartments could not be more conveniently located. Our community is close to the Financial District, just a 5-minute walk from the Staples Center, and only steps away from the city’s best restaurants and bars. But when you feel like staying in, enjoy a California red from The Flats’ gorgeous sundeck. To learn more about our amenities and available floor plans, give us a call.

Faucet With Running Water

Tips for Using Less Water at Home

Faucet With Running WaterWith California dealing with the recent drought, people are still encouraged to conserve water. Residents of our apartments in Los Angeles can help with water conservation efforts by making small, subtle changes that lead to using less water at home.

Wondering how you can help conserve water at home? Here are some home water conservation tips that will have you using less water on a daily basis.

Don’t Leave Water Running When Brushing Your Teeth

Leaving the water running while you are brushing your teeth is a bad habit that can waste a lot of water. Simply turning off the faucet while brushing could help you save up to 6 liters a minute.

Reuse Water From Cooked Pasta

The water you used to cook pasta can be reused for those plants around the house. All you have to do is let the water cool down after removing the pasta and it can be used to water your plants.

Cut Down on Your Time in the Shower

For every minute you are in the shower, you are using anywhere from 6 to 45 liters of water. Getting out of the shower 3 minutes faster than normal can help you conserve anywhere from 18 to 135 liters of water every time you shower.

Quickly Fix Dripping Faucets in the Kitchen or Bathroom

At first glance, it may seem like a dripping faucet isn’t using a lot of water, but it can over time. If left unfixed, a dripping faucet can waste up to 15 liters of water a day. Those 15 liters can quickly add up to a whole lot of wasted water.

Keep a Jug of Water in the Refrigerator

On those days when you want a cold glass of water, you can reach for the jug of water instead of standing at the sink and letting the water run until it gets cold. This can save a considerable amount of water each and every time you want a drink.

All of these water conservation tips are easy to do when you choose to make The Flat your new home. Call our office today to learn more about our luxurious studio apartments in Los Angeles.

Smoothie Bowl

3 Smoothie Bowl Recipes You’ll Love

Smoothie BowlFor the ultimate healthy breakfast in your Los Angeles apartment without all the mess, smoothie bowls are the perfect fresh alternative. They’re the biggest breakfast trend on Instagram right now, and for good reason: they’re nutrient-packed, filling and absolutely gorgeous. Not to mention, they’re so delicious, they’ll probably become your new go-to way to start the day. They start with a thicker-than-usual spoonable smoothie, then they’re topped with a wide variety of healthy, chunky ingredients. The result is a decadent dish that makes you feel like you’re indulging in a bowl of frozen yogurt or melted ice cream for breakfast.

Blueberry Bliss Bowl

The oatmeal in this bowl makes the smoothie extra thick and filling, but soaking it overnight allows it to blend up completely. Soak 1 cup of quick cooking oats overnight in 1 cup of almond milk. In the morning, blend with 2 cups of blueberries, 1 banana, and honey to taste. Pour it into a bowl and top with your choice of chunky, crunchy toppings such as flaked almonds, toasted coconut, chia seeds or fresh berries.

Green Smoothie Bowl

Unlike some green smoothies, this bowl tastes like melted ice cream. You’ll never know the greens are in there. Blend together a frozen banana, half an avocado, 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries, 1/3 cup of almond milk, 2 handfuls of spinach and 2 handfuls of kale. Pour it into a bowl and top with your favorite treats like mixed seeds, granola or goji berries.

Berry Banana Smoothie Bowl

This quick smoothie bowl is a breeze to make on busy mornings. Keep the ingredients together in the freezer, easy to grab when you don’t have a lot of time. Mix together 1/2 cup of almond milk, a cup of spinach, a cup of frozen berries and a frozen banana. Pour it into your favorite bowl and top it with banana slices, fresh berries, toasted coconut or chia seeds.

Life in L.A. is busy, and smoothie bowls are the perfect quick and healthy way to start your day. The kitchens in our apartment are great for experimenting with these recipes and finding your favorite flavors. Call our office today to schedule a tour, and see what it’s like to live in our community.

Cups of Coffee

How to Brew Perfect Pour Over Coffee at Home

Cups of CoffeeSo much of enjoying our Los Angeles apartments is having access to some of the world’s best food and, of course, coffee. But sometimes, you want to just be able to enjoy a cup of coffee at home. Just because it’s homemade doesn’t mean it has to be any less excellent than what your favorite barista around the corner can make for you. And, one of the best home brewing methods to get a spectacular cup of coffee is by making pour over. Here’s how.

The Steps to Follow to Enjoy a Perfect Cup of Coffee Every Time

The Grind

One of the most important factors in creating a great cup of coffee is having not only the right grind for the job but making sure the whole grind is consistent. Plus, many coffee aficionados will swear that the standard electric grinder heats the beans, diminishing the flavor for when you’re ready to really brew. Instead, choose a ceramic burr grinder that won’t heat the beans and will get a uniform grind throughout. You can invest in an electric one as they have in coffee shops, or buy a manual one and get a mini-workout in before you have your first cup.

Measure the Coffee

As simple as a pour over method is on the surface, what causes it to yield such an incredible cup is the precision involved in each tiny task. This includes how much coffee to use. A kitchen scale is an inexpensive scale and has many uses beyond making coffee. Start with 60 grams of coffee per liter of (filtered) water. From there, find the ratio that is just right for you and then stick with it.

Heating the Water

So maybe you’ve gotten in the habit of just waiting for the kettle to whistle to know when the water is ready to use. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the sweet spot for pour over is somewhere between 195 and 205. Just like the ratio of coffee, finding the perfect temperature of water is a matter of personal taste. Experiment to find what you like the best.

Equipment

Beyond what we’ve previously discussed, there are three other items you’ll need. A slow-pouring kettle, a paper or metal filter and a vessel that will hold the filter, beans and finished coffee. There are several options such as the Chemex or the V60, which actually just holds the filter directly over the cup the coffee will be used from. Do a bit of research and decide what’s best for you.

It’s Time to get Pouring

If using a paper filter, first wet it with the hot water and discard this first pour. This will rinse any ‘woody’ taste from contaminating the flavor of the coffee and also heat the container the coffee goes in, allowing the coffee to hold the heat longer. Now, add the ground beans to the filter and using the slow pouring kettle, very slowly pour the hot water over the beans. Make sure that the water is distributed evenly and all the grounds are equally moistened. Let the water filter through the grounds and repeat the slow pour three more times, yielding a perfect cup every time!

It’s pretty great being able to roll right out of bed and enjoy a world-class cup of coffee from the comfort of your pj’s. But when you feel like dressing up for a night on the town or indulging in a leisurely meal that trades in the work of cooking and cleaning for being fully waited on, there’s no shortage of Los Angeles’s best restaurants and nightclubs just steps away from your front door. To find out more about all that downtown LA has to offer, contact our office today!

Variety of Donuts

Where to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in Los Angeles

Variety of DonutsLooking for a delicious dessert spot in LA? With so many awesome and healthy options throughout the greater Los Angeles area, it’s okay to occasionally head out on a mission to satisfy your sweet tooth. Whether you love baked goods, ice cream or piles of candy — there’s definitely an amazing dessert option somewhere in the city that will keep you coming back for more!

Where to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in LA

Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts

There are good doughnuts out there and then there are delightful doughnut delicacies at Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of different flavors including the classic plain cake doughnut, bear claws, frosted dinosaurs and more!

B.S. Taqueria

With so many great Mexican food options in Los Angeles, nothing can quite satisfy the average resident’s sweet cravings quite like churros con chocolate. At B.S. Taqueria (B.S. stands for Broken Spanish), you’ll find perfectly crisp but tender churros and a brilliant Chile de Arbol-chocolate dipping sauce on the side.

Salt & Straw

Tired of boring old vanilla ice cream? Want to try an ice cream flavor that is interesting, exciting and memorable? Then you won’t mind waiting in line to try out the wild combination of flavors at Salt & Straw. Now with multiple LA locations, this Portland favorite promises to delight with your choice of honey lavender, avocado & strawberry sherbet, black olive brittle & goat cheese and much more!

Crème Caramel LA

If you need a little bit of variety when it comes to finding the perfect dessert, head over to the Crème Caramel LA bakery for your pick of bread pudding, upside down pie, vegan custards, cookies, cakes and more!

Dylan’s Candy Bar

After branching out in locations across the U.S., Dylan’s Candy Bar has finally found a happy home in Los Angeles too. Dylan’s is the candy store of dreams with one of the largest selections of sweets in the U.S. If you love candy and want to take your pick from thousands of different items, then you must make a visit to this amazing candy shop.

Life is Sweeter Living at The Flat in Downtown LA

Make every day sweeter by checking out these fun and interesting LA dessert spots! For more information on the available floor plans at our apartments in Los Angeles, visit our office at The Flat today.

Green Indoor Plant

5 Indoor Plants That Will Bring Your Apartment to Life

Green Indoor PlantIf urban studio apartments in Los Angeles are on your list of best places to live, you’re going to love life at The Flat. Beautifully designed with easy living in mind, the only thing you’ll need to bring is a house plant like these appealing and low-maintenance choices below:

1. Jade Plant

The jade plant is a succulent that’s not picky about when you water it. Place it on a sunny windowsill and it’ll love you for life, producing an abundance of shiny, green leaves that you can trim and shape into your own little bonsai-type tree. Water it only when the top of the soil becomes dry to touch.

2. Boston Fern

Your Boston fern needs lots of humidity to thrive, which makes it a perfect choice for bathrooms with showers. An indirect light source is beneficial too. Make sure you water and mist your fern diligently, almost daily even, because once it dries out, it’s never coming back from the brink.

3. Aloe Vera Plant

The aloe vera plant enjoys a small alcove that features plenty of sunlight. Indigenous to Africa, they do well indoors in controlled climates. Well-drained soil and frequent watering throughout the summer months will keep them happy, but you’ll want to scale back the water once winter sets in. Aloe vera is a medicinal plant as well, used to treat burns, sunburns, frostbite and even cold sores.

4. English Ivy

English ivy, aside from being a lovely addition to any room, helps sanitize the air. It requires bright, indirect light and cool temperatures to thrive. If you decide to take on an English ivy as a houseplant, keep it inside. It can grow so aggressively that some states consider it to be an invasive species.

5. Spider Plant

What home doesn’t benefit from the addition of a spider plant? Easy to grow and lovely to behold, a spider plant was designed with hanging pots in mind as they drape elegantly down over the side to form new “spiders.”

Los Angeles apartments have never looked better than they do at The Flat. Call or stop by today to see all the excellent amenities our community has to offer.

Hotel Hallway

Do You Know About Our Summer Rates at Waterton Hotels?

Hotel HallwayAs a resident of The Flat in Downtown Los Angeles, you get many different benefits. Our studio apartment homes include amenities like kitchenette with stove top and mini fridge, large windows, polished concrete flooring and porcelain tubs. With a wide range of floor plans, professional on-site management, and online rent payments at any time, The Flat makes it easy to love living in our apartments in Los Angeles. In addition to all of these incredible amenities, The Flat is managed by Waterton — and that means something really special when it comes to your vacations.

Summer Rates at Waterton Hotels for Residents of The Flat

Residents of Waterton residential communities, such as The Flat, get the benefit of special summer rates at Waterton managed hotels. That’s because Waterton manages both residential communities and hotels! For your reference, our hotels and rates are listed below. Keep in mind that special pricing is only good now until August 31, 2017 and based on availability. In addition, prices are subject to change. To book your stay, call the special phone number associated with the hotel of your choice and request the Waterton corporate rate.

If you’re planning a vacation here in California, you can stay at the Westin San Francisco Airport or the Aloft San Francisco Airport in Millbrae (near San Francisco) for rates starting from $159 on weekdays and $99 on weekends at both hotels. Or, you can stay at the Hyatt Place San Jose in San Jose for 20% off the best available rate.

Going Out of Town? We Have You Covered

Planning to leave the state for your summer vacation this year? Waterton manages other hotels around the United States. In the state of Massachusettes, options include the Courtyard Boston Marlborough in Marlborough with rates starting from $139 on weekdays and $99 on weekends, the Sheraton Framingham in Framingham with rates starting from $159 on weekdays and $99 on weekends, the Sheraton Needham in Needham with rates starting from $99, and the DoubleTree Westborough in Westborough with rates also starting from $99.

In the state of Illinois, Waterton manages the DoubleTree Skokie in Skokie (near Chicago) which offers rates starting from $99.

In the state of Ohio, Waterton manages the Westin Columbus in Columbus with rates starting from $159 on weekdays and $99 on weekends, the Aloft Beachwood in Beachwood with rates starting from $89, and the Comfort Inn Piqua in Piqua with rates starting from as low as $49.

In the state of Pennsylvania, Waterton manages the DoubleTree Pittsburgh Airport in Moon Township with rates starting from $89.

In the state of Wisconsin, Waterton manages the Sheraton Madison in Madison with rates starting from $99.

Ready to become a resident of a gorgeous Los Angeles apartment and get hotel discounts at the same time? Call The Flat today to learn more!

Pineapple Artwork

How to Incorporate a Tropical Theme Into Your Apartment

Pineapple ArtworkTurning your apartment into a tropical paradise can make it feel like you’re on vacation all year-round. You can adopt this kind of theme in your apartment with the following tips.

Select Vivid Colors

Tropical settings are filled with vivid tones, such as bright blue water and colorful plants. You can turn any part of your apartment into a tropical-themed room with the right colors. Decorate with a combination of vibrant tones in orange, blue, green, yellow and red. You can mix and match these colors when choosing throw pillows for your couch or linens for your bed. For a touch of contrast with these colors, mix in some white.

Add Tropical Accessories

Accessories that make you think of the ocean are ideal for adding to a tropical-themed apartment. Place driftwood decor in your living room and arrange some seashells on your shelves, end tables or nightstand. You can also look for artwork that has a tropical theme and display it on bookcases and walls. If you’re good at arts and crafts, you can also make your own tropical works of art for your apartment.

Get Tropical Plants

You can find several types of tropical plants that do well in apartments of all sizes. Some of these include Amazon elephant’s ear, birds-of-paradise, bromeliads, palm trees and orchids. Just make sure you check the sunlight requirements before getting any so your new plants will thrive.

Choose Natural Textures

Natural textures for items, such as area rugs, can give your apartment an outdoorsy or beach-like atmosphere that works great for a tropical theme. Look for rugs made of sisal or chairs made of rattan to add a tropical texture to your apartment. You can also spruce up your place with other natural textures, such as rustic wooden decor that resembles driftwood.

Our apartments in Los Angeles feature large windows which are perfect for letting the sun shine on all of your tropical decor and plants. Check out our variety of studio floor plans and find the one that best fits your lifestyle. Contact our office today to learn more information about our available apartment homes.

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