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Macon's Famous Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s Springtime in Middle Georgia - The time has changed giving us that extra hour of sunlight we are all craving. The birds are happily singing their song as we slowly begin to see the joy of new life blossoming in nature.

Macon, GA

Macon, GA

Each March, our familiar streets flourish with the 350,000+ Yoshino Cherry Trees that are planted here. These stunning trees can trace their Middle Georgia roots all the way back to 1949 when William A. Fickling Sr. discovered a unique and unrecognized blossom – later to be discovered as the Yoshino Cherry Tree. The Fickling family continued to develop their love for this new tree and decided to distribute them throughout the city of Macon. 

When we begin seeing these pink blooms all over town, this is a sure indicator that the Spring season has arrived. In Middle Georgia, with Spring also comes the fun! In 1982, Carolyn Crayton established the Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the beauty of these trees and to honor the Fickling family for all that they had done for the city. The Cherry Blossom Festival is a beloved tradition that is perfect for all ages. This festival is a great time for Macon natives to come together as a community. We also get to share our community and fellowship with travelers from all over the world that are drawn here for the festivities. There is surely something to be enjoyed by all. 

This year the Cherry Blossom Festival will extend for two entire weeks starting March 22ndand ending March 31st. The festival has several events to choose from ranging from the Pink Pancake Breakfast, the Bed Race, concerts, food trucks, parades, and so much more. Our town will certainly be buzzing with activity in celebration of this Macon tradition. For full event details please see below.

Dates: March 22 - 31

Times: 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. daily

Price: $16.50 (Adults) $12.50 (Students) $8.50 (5 & under)

Event Schedulehttps://cherryblossom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CBF2019_events_Sponsors.pdf

Write up provided by: Alex Putnam

Photo: maconga.org

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The Accomplishments of Our Own Mercer Bear

Daniella 1.JPG

One of the most rewarding benefits of working for Live at Lofts - Student Housing is that we get to watch a number of our employees transition from a fresh-faced intern to an accomplished academic and employee.

Daniella Chrabuszcz is one of those individuals. She came to us in March of 2017.  Daniella has proved to be an asset to the team at the Lofts at Mercer Landing. Her fantastic personality and work ethic shine through each and every day. We can always count on her to bring originality to any brainstorming session and team exercise. 

Daniella is pursuing her bachelors degree in Biomedical Engineering and then continuing on to her masters in the same field. To keep in line with her STEM field endeavors, her minor will be in Chemistry.

We are incredibly proud of her most recent accomplishment. Mercer University recently announced the President's List and Dean's List for the fall 2018 semester. Daniella was included on this list due to her meeting the rigorous grade-point-average standards specific to the college or school within the University.

Congratulations!! We can’t wait to see the amazing things you will continue to accomplish.

Write up provided by: Anna Daniels

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NEW YEAR, NEW STRESS?

You finally got through the hustle and bustle of the holiday madness. It’s all over now. You’re returning to your normal routine. So, tell me - why you do not feel relieved or less stressed. Is stress becoming your new ‘norm’? Can you recall the last time you went to sleep without a worry in the world?

completeneurologicalcare.com

completeneurologicalcare.com

Stress can be helpful in our day to day lives by increasing our productivity and boosting our memory. However, excessive stress and worry can actually lead to pretty serious health issues. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, stress is the health epidemic on the 21stcentury (Colquhoun, 2018).

To better understand how stress can negatively affect your health, we must first understand the different types of stress. There are 4 main types of stress: eustress, acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress.

Eustress tends to be a moderate stress that is interpreted as being beneficial or exciting. Acute stress is the most common form of stress. Acute stress tends to be short-termed and comes from pressures of the recent past or anticipated demands of the near future. Episodic acute stress, is very similar to acute stress. Episodic acute stress is when the individual seems to let acute stress run rampant. This occurs when an individual takes on too many tasks, becomes overwhelmed by all the demands with an inability to meet those demands. The last type of stress is called Chronic Stress. Chronic Stress can seem never ending like the stress of a bad marriage or a strenuous job.  This stress continues over a long period and makes the individual feel as though they have little to no control.

Now that we know more about the different types of stress, let’s dive deeper into why prolonged stress is so bad for the body.  Stress is like a small crack in a windshield. If the crack is left unaddressed, its tentacles spread throughout the glass until it completely breaks down. Stress works the same way. If left untreated, stress rises and has growing negative impacts on your physical and mental health (CNC, 2018).

The initial physical symptoms are mild, like chronic headaches and an increased susceptibility to colds. However, the longer chronic stress presents itself, the worse the symptoms develop. Some of the top stress influenced conditions include but are not limited to: 

·      Diabetes

·      Hair Loss 

·      Heart Disease

·      Hyperthyroidism

·      Obesity 

·      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

The effects of stress also impact us emotionally. While some stress may produce feelings of mild anxiety or frustration, prolonged stress can lead to burnout, anxiety disorders, as well as depression.

We all experience stress from time to time. It is when this stress becomes chronic and unmanageable that it starts to have a negative affect on our mind and body. In order to prevent further damage, there are several ways to effectively manage your stress levels. 

·      Quit the Caffeine 

·      Meditation/Yoga

·      Track your Triggers 

·      Say No to Screen Time 

·      Take a Walk Outside 

·      Drink in Moderation

With these tools, you have the power to change your thoughts and transform the mind which in turn will change your life. If you’re feeling particularly stressed out or you’re just in a rut you can’t seem to shake it, try a few of these tools we recommended. Remember, it’s only temporary. You got this!

Write up provided by: Alex Putnam

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Marie Kondo - Organizing to Live

condoliving.onemega.com/marie-kondo-netflix/

condoliving.onemega.com/marie-kondo-netflix/

Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is an international sensation and now her approach to living has come to Netflix. “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” has given people another binge worthy option on Netflix, only this time it motivates you to get up off the sofa and tackle your living space as well.

Previous Blog dated September 21, 2018:

Time implies change and movement; movement implies the passage of time. So many of us get lost in the “everydayness” of our daily routines. We all have had those days where from the time our feet hit the floor to our heads hitting the pillow we are go, go, go! Sadly, we feel as if we rarely accomplish anything worthwhile. 

Work, responsibilities, and finances can take so much energy from us (and we can give it freely) that we begin to question how a purposeful and fulfilling life can fit among the rest. There are millions of books and speakers, retreats and services, that offer programs and steps to give you the tools to simple life. They promise to remove the stress and replace it with joy and enlightenment. In my experience, these may frame an idea in a way that is more pleasing to our own approach to life and therefore speaks to us on a more “sellable” level but it’s really just a matter of quieting that inner critic. 

What could lead to a happier life for you? Quality relationships? Maybe less clutter both materialistically and emotionally? Freedom? A change in scenery? Could it be a shorter commute which leads to more time for you to fill based on your priorities? 

Time is our most valuable asset and the most treasured gift another person can give us. We move through time whether or not we are using it to the best of our ability. When was the last time you came across a home project that you never finished? Or a friendship you had meant to rekindle but never did? Maybe there was an interest in art, music, travel, volunteering, or going back to school, but a day turned into a month, which turned into a year without taking the plunge.

Creating an simple environment that allows you to be free, spontaneous, and mindful can make a positive impact on you for years to come and lessen your environmental footprint on the world around.

Consider what you find truly important and begin to use YOUR time to surround yourself with “the good stuff”.

Write up provided by: Anna Daniels


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BEYOND THE DESK: MEET MATT COBB

MATT & MADDIE

MATT & MADDIE

MEET MATT COBB:

COMMUNITY MANAGER AT LOFTS AT MERCER VILLAGE & LOFTS AT TATTNALL

Where were you born? Fort Sill, an Army base in Oklahoma, but I grew up in Toccoa, Ga.

What city do you currently live in? Downtown Macon

What is your favorite lunch spot? Spud Dogs. If you haven't tried their Cuban sandwich, you're missing out. 

What do you like most about the Lofts? The incredible atmosphere that the employees, corporate office, and mostly students create. This is a welcoming environment that fosters inclusion, opportunity for growth, and the ability to express yourself without fear of judgment. 

What do you like most about Macon? Macon is an incredible city. There are so many things to love about it. There are fantastic restaurants, plenty of things to get involved in, opportunities for nightlife adventures, and the entire city is dog friendly. As our Convention and Visitor's Bureau likes to say, Macon is truly #WhereSoulLives

What are you most looking forward to? We've officially hit October, so I am looking forward to cooler weather, celebrating birthdays, and the holiday season. #HappyHalloThanksMas

Favorite quote? Either “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” or "The noblest of arts is that of making others happy.", both by P.T. Barnum

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Creating Time for Living

Time implies change and movement; movement implies the passage of time. So many of us get lost in the “everydayness” of our daily routines. We all have had those days where from the time our feet hit the floor to our heads hitting the pillow we are go, go, go! Sadly, we feel as if we rarely accomplish anything worthwhile. 

Work, responsibilities, and finances can take so much energy from us (and we can give it freely) that we begin to question how a purposeful and fulfilling life can fit among the rest. There are millions of books and speakers, retreats and services, that offer programs and steps to give you the tools to simple life. They promise to remove the stress and replace it with joy and enlightenment. In my experience, these may frame an idea in a way that is more pleasing to our own approach to life and therefore speaks to us on a more “sellable” level but it’s really just a matter of quieting that inner critic. 

What could lead to a happier life for you? Quality relationships? Maybe less clutter both materialistically and emotionally? Freedom? A change in scenery? Could it be a shorter commute which leads to more time for you to fill based on your priorities? 

Time is our most valuable asset and the most treasured gift another person can give us. We move through time whether or not we are using it to the best of our ability. When was the last time you came across a home project that you never finished? Or a friendship you had meant to rekindle but never did? Maybe there was an interest in art, music, travel, volunteering, or going back to school, but a day turned into a month, which turned into a year without taking the plunge.

Creating an simple environment that allows you to be free, spontaneous, and mindful can make a positive impact on you for years to come and lessen your environmental footprint on the world around.

Consider what you find truly important and begin to use YOUR time to surround yourself with “the good stuff”.

Write up provided by: Anna Daniels

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Cut Out the Commute

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I don’t know about you but I am ready to be done with all the bumper to bumper traffic flowing in and out of downtown. As I sat at the 4th light of 12, I have to get through to cross over College Street, I told my son that we have to go back to our alternate route. Vineville Avenue has only become more congested over the years. This is undeniable proof that downtown is a flourishing destination for work, education, entertainment and dining.  With employees of Navicent Health and Coliseum, city workers, small business owners and staff, families taking children to St. Joseph’s and Mount de Sales and so many others, those of us who must make the drive in can feel like sardines on a slow-moving conveyer belt.

 

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This dilemma points out yet another benefit to making downtown your home. Imagine walking or biking to work? Imagine the time and gas saved by living and working in the same centralized location. The Lofts provide well lit, gated parking, so your vehicle can stay at home while you work and play. No feeding the meter or worrying about the 3-hour limit. A daily schedule that cuts out the commute in the morning and afternoon can lead to more focused time with friends and family, implementing a solid wellness routine, and kicking back to some local entertainment. Sure, we all need to make that trip to the grocery store or mall, but when living downtown, that time spent in the car is on your terms based on what you decide.

 

 

 

As more Maconites choose to make downtown their home, our eateries, entertainment venues, galleries, salons and retailers will flourish. There will be an undeniable demand for a full-service grocer within the 3-block radius of 2nd Street that will most likely lead to a smart entrepreneur or a grocery chain wanting a piece of the pie.

A larger downtown population will enable our small business owners to thrive which will attract more new businesses that will contribute to our economy, create jobs and services, and solidify Macon as a strong competitive city capable of providing the best in opportunity and quality of life.

By cutting out the commute and making downtown your home you can save time, money, and sanity while also bringing growth and stability to our much-loved city.  

 

Write up and photos provided by: Anna Daniels

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The Growth and Blooming of Downtown Macon, Part Two - Parking

Cherry Street

Cherry Street

Moving forward with our theme of Downtown growth and progress, a question on everyone’s mind is parking. With new businesses, restaurants and residential developments moving into the downtown core, the need for on-street parking is only going to grow. 

In November 2016, Macon-Bibb County Commissioners approved a new downtown parking plan that allows Macon’s Urban Development Authority to fund the addition of parking meters, pay stations and other parking management systems to Macon’s downtown core – the area between Walnut and Poplar and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and First Street. The downtown core contains 1260 parking spaces, and according to Alex Morrison, the Executive Director for the Urban Development Authority, around 850 meters should be installed by the end of this month. 

According to a March 2018 article by Linda Morris of the Macon Telegraph, paid parking will be enforced Monday – Saturday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and will cost $1.25 an hour. These parking meters are anticipated to generate $1 million annually, which will support the parking system itself, and then any extra revenue will be put back into downtown through accessibility and parking improvements. Bibb Urban Development has contracted with Lanier Parking Meter Services to install and manage parking meters and the authority’s parking decks downtown. The bright side to this new parking system downtown is that there will be a higher turnover of available spaces because of the two-hour parking limit, meaning more opportunities for people to park downtown and enjoy all Macon has to offer. 

The great thing about living at a Lofts property is the gated, access-controlled entry parking! At Lofts at Capricorn and Lofts at Navicent, residents have guaranteed parking spaces. Both properties are located downtown, meaning an evening stroll down a block or two leads you directly to a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and theaters! You could even grab your morning coffee just one block from Lofts at Capricorn at Taste and See! 

Living downtown definitely has its perks, but with downtown growth booming and new parking regulations starting, the idea of guaranteed parking presents an easy choice -

Live it, Love it, Loft it! Life just got better at the Lofts!

http://www.macon.com/news/business/article206026124.html

Write up provided by Blog Contributor: Reed Jones

Additional photos provided by: Gateway Macon, WGXA, and Macon.com

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The Growth and Blooming of Downtown Macon

View from Lofts at Capricorn

View from Lofts at Capricorn

Spring has finally sprung in Macon, GA! The cherry blossoms are in full bloom and there is a nice warm breeze in the air. I don’t know if it is just me, but something about this time of year makes me want to be outside and enjoy this weather as much as possible. While taking a stroll downtown, I began to think about how the flowers weren't the only thing growing in Macon this year. The downtown area is certainly changing! Many new attractions have started to pop up and there are many more to come; including restaurants, hotels, retail space, office space, apartments, and more parking.  

One of the restaurants that is set to open later this year is Your Pie, a brick oven pizza restaurant that allows customers to create and customize their own personal pizza. It will be located on Poplar Street beside Taste and See Coffee Shop. According to the Newtown Macon website, several other eateries will be coming to Poplar Street as well including Decadent Desert Bar and Famous Mike's. To help with the influx of people these tasty attractions are sure to bring, more parking is also being added throughout the downtown area. 

If anyone has ventured down Poplar Street lately, it is easy to see the construction that is going on in the median. This area is being turned into an attraction itself. The City of Macon is transforming the Poplar Street Commons into an area that will contain new concrete, trees, and landscaping. Not only will it be beneficial for downtown events and festivals in the future, but all the new green space is also sure to be easy on the eyes.  

There are also many new apartments and lofts coming to the downtown area. The Lofts at Capricorn just opened up on MLK Jr Blvd. It is built at the site of Capricorn Records. When walking through the doors, the old town music feel is immediately mixed with a modern touch. The walls are covered with records of the artists that once made music in that very location. It'll make someone want to pull a guitar right off the wall and begin strumming a tune! All of this along with beautiful state of the art lofts makes this one of the hottest new places to see and live in the downtown area.  

It is interesting to take a walk through the streets of downtown Macon and make a mental note of what is seen now, while also thinking back on how the area has already changed. It is a privilege and a pleasure to watch this town grow. And just like this spring season, Macon, GA is really starting to bloom! 

Citations Link:  http://www.newtownmacon.com/new-kids-on-the-block/ 

Write up provided by Blog Contributor: Laura Beth Shealy

Additional photos provided by: Anna Daniels

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BEYOND THE DESK: MEET LAURA BETH SHEALY

Laura Beth Shealy

Laura Beth Shealy

MEET LAURA BETH SHEALY:

ASSISTANT MANAGER AT LOFTS AT MERCER VILLAGE AND LOFTS AT TATTNALL

Born: Newberry, SC

Currently Living: Macon, GA

Favorite Lunch Spot: El Camino or Fountain of Juice

Favorite part about the Lofts: There are so many things that I love about working for Sierra Development; it is hard to pick a favorite! But if I had to choose it would be the people. I truly enjoy my coworkers! We are all passionate about our jobs and excited about the products we produce. As a company, I feel that we are always trying to do things to make Macon an even better place to work and live than it already is.

What I am looking forward to: There is always a new project on the horizon for Sierra Development, so there is always something exciting to look forward to! It really is a privilege to watch our projects grow and turn into something that is beneficial to so many people.

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