Finding the Perfect Roommate

Posted on 3/25/15 11:30 AM

Living alone is the ultimate dream but if finances are tight, roommate living might be your only option. If roommate living is your reality, choose wisely and follow our essential roommate commandments to stay on the right side of your new live-in friend.


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Tips to Find a Roommate: Start with your close friends first, if they are not interested, ask if they will put the word out – a friend of a friend is far better than a stranger. Post your roommate interest on your social media channels or checkout a roommate finder website (,,

Finding the perfect roommate can be a grueling task but it’s not impossible. The real challenge begins the first day you live together, so keep our roommate commandments close by!  

Tags: roommate peace, living with a roommate

Spring Wallpapers for Your Devices

Posted on 3/20/15 8:32 AM

It's officially spring and Shea Apartment Living is celebrating by sharing some inspired wallpapers for your devices. This year, we're celebrating the Dahlia. We have spring-themed wallpapers for your desktop, tablet and mobile device. Spring up your device and enjoy the season. 


Spring Fling Dahlia Wallpaper Desktop  |  Tablet  |  iPhone



Lovely Lavender Dahlia Wallpaper Desktop  |  Tablet  |  iPhone



Purple Passion Dahlia Wallpaper Desktop  |  Tablet  |  iPhone

Dog Friendly Spots in Orange County

Posted on 3/17/15 10:27 AM


You love living in Orange County because of the fantastic weather, friendly people and beautiful locations; guess what? Your dog loves it for the same reasons, and there's certainly no shortage of places where both you and your pooch can have some fun. Whether you want to romp on the beach, play in the park or dine in style, there's something on this list for everyone.

Beautiful Beaches

  1. Huntington Dog Beach - well, the clue is in the name. A non-profit society works hard to keep this beach dog-safe, clean and fun. Dogs are welcome both on and off the leash, from 5 a.m. – 10 p.m., 365 days a year. The only thing you pay for at the beach is for parking, and there's even a Doggie Bus, offering free transportation to and from Tustin.
  2. Laguna Beach - packed with rock pools, coves and beautiful-natural elements, and open to leashed dogs from September 17th - May 31st every year. There's plenty here to keep you both exploring for many hours.

Parks for Picnics

  1. Dana Point Heritage Park - featuring beautiful views of the marina and only 2 miles from Seabrook at Bear Brand Apartments, the Dana Point Heritage Park is the perfect outdoor adventure to share with your leashed dog. There's also a fenced off dog fun zone where your best friend can run wild and free.
  2. William R. Mason Regional Park, Irvine - 345 acres of woods and parkland, with a boating lake, equestrian trails and lots of picnic areas. There are ducks for your pooch to make friends with and plenty of wide open spaces to sniff and to explore.
  3. O'Neill Regional Park, Trabuco Canyon - now here's a wilderness! You and your dog will love exploring over 1700 acres, including dog-friendly camping spots. On these hiking trails, Orange County will seem like a world away.


There are numerous restaurants across Orange County that welcomes leashed dogs, especially for outdoor dining. Many will offer water and perhaps some dog treats too - Aliso Viejo, Irvine and Dana Point in particular stand out for the number of dog-friendly restaurants - why not take Fido somewhere new today?

Tags: dog friendly orange county, dog friendly apartment living

The Humble Crockpot: Best Friend to Renters on the Go

Posted on 2/27/15 2:16 PM


When you're leading a busy life, trying to fit in work, fitness, family friends, pets and any hobbies you might have, cooking often gets pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Result = expensive, unhealthy fast food or a frustrated and frazzled cook.

Enter the humble crockpot, best friend of renters on the go. Although hardly a new invention, a new generation of apartment renters, professionals and young families are discovering exactly why this gadget is such a winner.

Cooking with a crockpot is:

1. Cheap

Most crockpots cost less than $100 to buy, even the digital crockpots, and are much more economical to run than an oven or a stovetop, despite being left on for many hours. You save money on the actual food too - because your food cooks for a long time, you can safely buy cheaper cuts of meat and leave them to tenderize.

2. Easy

No culinary skills required. If you can chop vegetables and trim fat from meat, you're good to go. Using a crockpot is simplicity itself; just pop in the raw ingredients, switch on and leave.

3. Tasty

Because the ingredients get to stew for a long time, the flavors meld together beautifully and the resulting taste is usually much better than if you had made the same dish faster on the stove.

4. Healthy

The crockpot method of cooking typically requires very little in the way of added oils or fats. A crockpot dish is therefore usually healthier and lower in calories than an equivalent dish cooked a different way. What's not to love?

5. Fuss Free

Not only is there no fuss in the cooking, there's no fuss in the cleaning up either. With just one pot to wash, you get to spend more time with your family or entertaining your friends, and less time chained to the sink or the dishwasher.

Imagine getting home late and being able to dig right in to a delicious, home-cooked meal. It's the next best thing to living with Mom - although sadly, they've yet to invent a crockpot which will also pick up your socks and do your laundry!

Here are some of our favorite Crockpot recipes:

Against all Grains, Crockpot Thai Beef Stew

The Healthy Foodie, Slow Cooker Lemon Thyme Chicken

Gimme Some Oven, Barbacoa

Carmel Potatoes, Pulled Pork with Apple Cider Sauce


Tags: cooking, recipes, crockpot

Zenith Meridian Named to "2014 Top 100 ORA© Power Rankings” List

Posted on 2/16/15 7:00 AM


We are excited to announce that Zenith Meridian has been named to the "Top 100 Properties for 2014 Online Reputation Analysis (ORA)" Power Rankings by J Turner Research.

The ORA© Power Rankings rank apartment communities and management companies across the country based on an aggregate score of online ratings. Over 48,000 communities were each scored based on their respective online review information. Zenith Meridian, located in Denver, CO was ranked at #15.

"We are very proud of this accomplishment," said Christi MacIntyre, Community Manager for Zenith Meridian.  "We will keep striving to provide the best customer service for our residents, along with continuing to build an outstanding reputation for Shea Properties," she added. 

Congratulations are also in order to The Artisan Apartments at East Village, who also made the list. 

J Turner Research is the leading provider of true operational intelligence geared specifically for the apartment industry. With 31 years of industry experience, Joseph Batdorf launched J Turner Research into the multifamily housing industry in 2003, helping apartment managers measure and market their customer service.

Tags: Zenith Meridian Apartments, the artisan apartments

4 Valentine Gifts That Don’t Suck

Posted on 2/12/15 7:00 AM


Valentine's Day - over commercialized nonsense or essential date on the romantic calendar? Whatever your views, unless you and your partner have mutually agreed to ignore the day altogether, you’re going to need to come up with the goods, gift-wise, or risk offense, the cold shoulder and sleeping on the couch.

The two secrets to a great Valentine’s Day gift are thought and effort. Anyone can go and splash some cash - picking something more thoughtful which has involved your own blood, sweat, tears and hot glue gun burns makes a much more romantic gesture. 

1. Mason Jar Romance

The humble mason jar can be a sweet and quirky Valentine gift which you can tailor exactly to your partner’s personality. Fill it with love notes on tiny scrolls, or fold heart shaped pieces of paper and on each one write a date or activity idea, to be used once a week until next Feb. This kind of gift is a reminder of your love which lasts well past Valentine’s Day itself, and since it involves quite a bit of effort on your part, you get full kudos for trying.

2. Experience Day

What would your partner love to do? Learn how to cook from a top chef? Try an adrenaline sport? Go to the races? Pick something you wouldn’t normally do, and preferably something you can enjoy together, and either arrange the date yourself or buy a ready-made experience day package. If you’re not sure what he or she would really love to do, get a voucher instead and sit down to choose the activity together.

3. Special Relationship Moments

How about creating an album packed with hand-picked photos of special moments from your time together? Annotate each one with why it means so much to you, and mix it up between formal moments and candid or funny snapshots, even selfies. Bind and decorate it with love, and bingo - instant Valentine bliss. 

4. Romantic Night In

Avoid the crowds and create a five star hotel experience at home. Order take-out or make a delicious dinner from scratch, served with a really good bottle of champagne. Hangout in bathrobes, listen to a romantic playlist and draw up a candlelit bubble bath. Have fun with this and most importantly, anticipate your sweetheart’s unexpressed needs for a luxury hotel experience. 

You could go down the flowers, chocolates and jewelry or underwear route, of course but these more quirky ideas can be done relatively cheaply (added bonus) and will bring a smile to even the most cynical of partners. Hopefully. Good luck!

50 Shades of Grey: Sexy Secrets of Christian Grey’s Apartment Set

Posted on 2/10/15 3:10 PM


Excited to see Christian Grey’s luxury penthouse apartment come to life on the big screen? Not long to wait now, but fans heading to the Escala building in Seattle will be disappointed - although the luxury penthouse suite here did inspire author E.L. James, the apartment set was created on sound stages.

Creating the Red Room

Christian’s secret Red Room proved to be the most difficult part of the set to create. E.L. James was anxious to ensure that the set didn’t turn out to be too tacky, and provided the directors with a detailed plan for the, um, “furniture”, plus a vision of a high end, luxury stable type room, with plush leathers and bespoke wooden items.

In order to get it absolutely right, designers David and Sandy Wasco invited real life dominant advisors to give their input into the set, which led to authentic details.

To see the Red Room in all its glory, you’ll have to wait for the movie release; although much of the rest of Christian’s apartment can be viewed on the Fifty Shades of Grey website, some secrets are best left unspilled.

Impersonal Yet Personal

The rest of the apartment set is in muted, stark, cold colors, with lots of marble flooring and uncomfortable, minimalist furniture. It’s deliberately aloof and impersonal, yet hidden within the set are clues to Christian’s life and personality. The art work, for instance, was carefully chosen to reflect who he is.

Spotting the subtle personal details in the Fifty Shades set design will no doubt keep fans busy over several viewings. Lots of viewings, in fact. Oh yes, lots of viewings! The design intricacies are unlikely to be the first thing on your mind, but it’s good to know how much effort has gone into creating an authentically Christian-like environment for the actors to play in.

Why not try creating your own minimalist, sexy apartment look?

Thou Shalt Not Disobey These Essential Roommate Commandments

Posted on 1/29/15 10:50 AM


The revenge opportunities available to a vexed roommate are spectacular. Toothbrush down the toilet, dog drool on your favorite mug, sharpie mustache while you’re sleeping. You get the idea.

To protect yourself against these upsetting possibilities, first you must choose your roommate wisely. Look for a compassionate, friendly soul, with limitless patience and an absence of anger issues.

Next you need to follow these essential roommate commandments. Even the most tolerate roomie has limits, so stay on the right side of your new live in friend by sticking to these simple rules.

1. Pay On Time

Splitting the bills? Pay your share on time. Getting take-out? Take turns footing the bill. Borrowed ten bucks? Pay it back as soon as you can. Being nagged for money sucks, but it’s even worse for the roommate that’s doing the nagging. Out of pocket and now wasting time chasing you, they are soon going to tire of this arrangement.

2. Clean Up After Yourself

Unless you are sharing your apartment with your mom or a maid you need to pick up after yourself. Everything! Clothes, used cups and plates, shoes, trash. Everything! Get your space-sharing arrangement off to a good start by laying ground rules. How long can you tolerate a dirty cup being left on the table? Leaving it there for the duration of a movie you are watching is fine, only retrieving it once you have completely run out of clean dishware is not. And where is your left-on-the-floor-stuff going to be banished to? A bin of shame where all dumped belongings are stored works well, with a fine payable to get belongings back.

3. Two’s Company Three’s A Crowd

Set boundaries about friends and partners visiting. Do you always want your roommate sharing social occasions with you? Or do you expect them to vacate the space in return for you doing them the same favor when needed?

Most importantly, have this conversation up front, when you first move in together. Laying ground rules after problems have started will likely become a blame game / conflict zone, so set the limits during peacetime.


5 Fairly Awesome Reasons to Live in Denver

Posted on 1/22/15 1:51 PM



Famed for its high quality of life, it doesn’t usually take much to persuade people this is a good place to live. But for the undecided amongst you, here are five fairly awesome reasons to live in Denver.

1. Lacrosse

Denver has not one but two lacrosse teams? What more could you want out of your weekend but the opportunity to watch some people run around with a ball in a net at the end of a stick. Lacrosse not your thing? Denver has the more mainstream sports covered too. With the Broncos, Avalanche, Rockies and Nuggets all having Denver as their home-base you're covered for football, ice hockey, baseball and basketball. 

2. The Great Outdoors

Climbing, cycling, hiking. It’s all there. Once you’ve bought the required equipment you can fill weekends relatively cheaply with a range of outdoor pursuits. Or just go outside. It’s beautiful out there. And Denver averages 300 days of sunshine every year, so you’re pretty much guaranteed good weather for your planned outdoor activities.

3. Music

The Red Rock Amphitheatre is just 20 minutes from the city. Most American music-lovers will have this geological masterpiece in their bucket-list of venues to visit, hoping to catch a concert there once in their lifetime. For dwellers of Denver apartments this is their regular music venue.

4. Beauty

If you can’t muster the energy to explore the outdoors, you can still enjoy it by simply sitting down and gazing at the surrounding beauty. From some residential blocks, like the Monaco Row Apartments you can gaze over Cherry Hills and at the Rock Mountains without ever leaving your couch.

5. No Transportation Needed

If you rent one of the many luxurious Denver apartments in Lower Downtown you can work, rest and play without needing to use transport. This compact area has ample employment opportunities and a buzzing nightlife so everything you need for fun and income is just a short walk away. But if your destination is too far for your little legs to carry you, there’s a city wide bike sharing program available through Denver B Cycle.

There are plenty more reasons to live in Denver, but we are not going to list them all - it would take far too long!

What are your favorite things about living in Denver? Share it on our Facebook


Tags: living in denver

How To Be THE Neighbor At Your Apartment Gym, Not THAT Neighbor

Posted on 1/16/15 10:38 AM



The etiquette rules that apply when using your apartment gym are pretty much the same as if you were going to 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, etc. It’s just a whole lot more important that you actually follow them.

When you go to a membership gym and you forget to mind your manners, hog a machine, or sweat over the equipment, you’re likely to make at least one gym enemy. But that’s just someone at your gym, you can walk away from that. And if you really stink up your reputation at your membership gym you can switch to another one.

Stinking up your reputation at your apartment gym will cause you a whole lot more trouble. If you want to remain ‘THE neighbor that uses the gym’ and avoid becoming ‘‘THAT neighbor that abuses the gym’ stick to these essential gym etiquette rules.

Keep the noise down

No grunting, loud cell phone conversations and certainly no cheap headphones leaking music for all to hear.

Start clean

Don’t start stinky and musty from last night’s sleep, wearing yesterday’s gym clothes. You may be in your apartment gym but you are not in your apartment, so a minimum standard of personal cleanliness is required.

Don’t hog the equipment

Most gyms have a policy poster on the wall, or guidance times on each piece of equipment. Play nicely with your neighbors by sharing the toys fairly. A good rule of thumb is 20 minutes on each machine; you can always circle back later.

Keep your distance

Being mindful of personal space is especially important when using your apartment gym. Nobody wants to share a building with a creepy dude who stands too close.

Clean up after yourself

There’s no maid. Wipe down the equipment after you’ve used it and leave the gym at least as clean as it was when you arrived.

If you can obey these simple rules you can enjoy the many benefits of your apartment gym without becoming ‘that neighbor’.

Let us know what your apartment gym pet peeves are in the comment section below. 


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