• Atlanta Online Resources for New Residents

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 30, 2014

    Atlanta Online ResourceAtlanta can be an overwhelming place for first-time residents and visitors, so it’s a good idea to take some time to get to know your new city before you arrive. With these great online guides to dining, entertainment, transportation, and more, you’ll be sure to find your feet and start exploring everything this city has to offer.

    City of Atlanta
    : Get to know the official side of the area with the Atlanta city website. Learn about city services, municipal facilities, and visitor information in one easy location.

    Atlanta Magazine: If you want a comprehensive look at the city, including everything from the latest in dining and fashion to pop culture and politics, Atlanta Magazine is a good site to visit. They also have a physical magazine if you prefer to do your reading the good old-fashioned way.

    MARTA: Short for Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, MARTA is your guide to public transportation in the Atlanta region. Because of the city’s huge size and busy downtown center, many residents rely on the train and bus system to get where they’re going.

    Atlanta Urbanist: If you live in the downtown area or want to get to know your new city from an insider’s point of view, the ATL Urbanist is a good blog to check out. Lots of urban pictures help you to see the beauty and architecture of the area.

    Atlanta History Center: From a historical standpoint, few places are more intriguing than Atlanta. As an important part of both the Civil War and of the Civil Rights Movement, you’ll find more than your fair share of interesting people, great heroes, and monuments to the past. This picture blog showcases, letters, photos, and other insight into the area’s rich history.

    Eat it, Atlanta: One of the things Atlanta is known for is its great cuisine. With such a diverse and global population, the food here covers just about every taste and palate possible. One man tackles the dining scene and recounts his findings in this popular foodie blog. (Blissful Glutton is another great local food blog you might want to bookmark.)

    Atlanta Moms: You don’t have to be a parent to appreciate the Atlanta Moms blog. Although you’ll find plenty of information on activities for the kids, you’ll also get updates and discounts on events that people of all ages can enjoy.

    Creative Loafing Atlanta: For information on events, concerts, movies, bars, and clubs in the Atlanta region, you may want to visit Creative Loafing. This website offers as much information as the official tourist site, but with much more emphasis on activities for locals.

    Curbed Atlanta: If you’re moving to the Atlanta area and haven’t yet found a place to live, a website like Curbed can help you find the perfect place to put down roots. You’ll find information on neighborhoods, houses for sale, condos, apartments, and more—and all with plenty of pictures so you can get a feel for the local architecture.

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  • Storage Solutions for Small Spaces

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 24, 2014

    Friday Favorites - Small SpacesAnyone who has lived in a small apartment or house can tell you—the secret to making it work is clever and innovative storage. Whether you plan to hide your clutter away from prying eyes with a secret cupboard or turn a closet into an office, here are our five favorite storage solutions for life in one thousand square feet or less.

    > Under the Bed: Your bed is an untapped gold mine of unused space. Instead of letting the dust bunnies multiply uninterrupted, turn that space into storage. Bed risers give you an extra foot or so to slide Tupperware containers and extra drawers in, or you can go all out and buy a storage bed with lifting mattress.

    > Tables that Turn into Art: Almost everyone has heard of or seen a Murphy Bed by now (they’re recognizable as the beds that lift into a wall panel after you’re done sleeping in them), but did you know that similar items exist for tables? This clever picture frame table drops to a table and back up again whenever you need some extra horizontal space.

    > Towel Storage: Small apartments and houses rarely have room for enough kitchen cupboards, let alone bathroom ones. This wine rack towel holder allows you to store all your clean linens on the wall and with an elegant finish—it can even save you the trouble of coming up with bathroom decorations!

    > Under the Sink Elegance: Wherever you do have the fortune to have a cupboard or closet, it’s in your best interest to use as much of the space as possible. Look beyond storing things on a single shelf by adding curtain rods that allow for extra hanging room. In larger or deeper closets and cupboards, you can actually mount several of these.

    > Roll-Out Pantry: Kitchens tend to be the most difficult area to find extra storage, since the shelves and cupboards are usually maximized for space already. Roll-out pantries are fast becoming popular among apartment owners, since they give you quite a bit of food storage space and only take up a few square inches on the floor next to your refrigerator.

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  • Moving to the South

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 20, 2014

    Southern StatesAny time you move from one city to another, you’re going to feel a bit of culture shock at the change. After all, every town (and even every neighborhood) has its own way of doing things; from the food served in restaurants to preferred outdoor activities, no two locations are exactly the same

    Of course, some changes are a little more drastic than others—and no location is quite as unique as the South. If you’re making the transition from a northern state to the warm, welcoming world of the South, here are a few changes you can expect in your overall lifestyle.

     > Diverse Economy: In terms of economics, there is no single way to define the South. The large cities tend to have fast-paced and bustling job markets, and are home to some of the top Fortune 500 companies in the world. As you move out to smaller towns, however, you’ll find lower incomes and a more relaxed approach to life. This kind of variability is more marked in the southern states than it is in northern ones, and it shows in the homes and city centers in each region.

    >  Lots of Driving Time: When compared to the Mid-Atlantic States, the South is a huge, sprawling area with a spread-out population. Instead of hopping on a train and commuting a half an hour to the next big city, you’ll probably be located a few hours away from your metropolitan neighbors. Expect to live and play in the same area where you work—and to find plenty of room to spread out and enjoy your surroundings.

    > Warm Weather, Summer Heat: In other parts of the United States, your outdoor recreation activities probably follow a pattern of skiing in the winter and water sports in the summer. The South doesn’t make it quite so easy to set a schedule. The summer weather is often too hot and humid to really enjoy being outside, but a mild winter day might find you out enjoying hikes with your family in perfect comfort.

    > Cost of Living Decreases: Overall, the South offers a lower cost of living than the rest of the United States. While there are exceptions (especially if you’re looking at large cities or the more affluent suburbs), you’ll most likely spend less on everything from groceries and health care to housing, transportation, and utilities. You can expect comparable costs on things like private education, though.

    > Conservative Politics: The South is considered a conservative area when it comes to things like politics and religion, and this outlook seeps into the overall lifestyle here. From the companies doing the hiring to the neighborhood associations where you live, people here tend to place the empowerment of the individual above that of the collective.

    Moving to the South is something that many families undergo for school, work, and to improve their quality of life overall. Although it may take some getting used to, there is much about this area to make you feel welcome. Take some time to get to know your neighbors and the unique lifestyle here—chances are, you’ll feel like you’re home in no time.

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  • What to Know Before Moving to Brazil

    by Patrick Redmond | Oct 16, 2014

    Moving To BrazilLife in Brazil is unlike anything else you’ll experience in this world. The tropical location lends itself to plenty of outdoor fun and recreation, while large urban centers provide great opportunities for professional growth. Plenty of families decide to put down roots and stick around because the people here are some of the friendliest you’ll find in South America

    Because of the vast size of the country, however, there is no one-size-fits-all guide to moving to Brazil. If you’ll be going to one of the major cities, you’ll find a much different way of life than if you take up residence in a small coastal village. Here are some tips for navigating your way around this large and vibrant international destination.

    > Secure a Residence Visa First: In order to do most things in Brazil (including opening a bank account, renting a home, or getting a cell phone), you’ll need a visa first. Always make sure your paperwork is in order before you make the move.

    > Have Employment Lined Up: Good jobs are hard to come by in Brazil, so it’s best if you have employment lined up and ready to go before you arrive. Not only will this allow you to establish a budget ahead of time, but you can also find a residential neighborhood close to your job to cut back on transportation costs.

    > Always Visit Before You Lease/Buy/Rent: Although Brazil is emerging as an economic powerhouse, the country is not without its problems. There is a large disparity among the rich and the poor in the country, and the real estate proves it. Always explore an area by foot (and both during the day and at night) before you move in, so you know for sure what to expect from your community.

    > Cost of Living Differences: The cost of living in Brazil is actually much higher than most people anticipate. Because this large country has such a huge population living in poverty, it seems to outsiders as though living there would be less expensive than living in a regular U.S. city; however, this is rarely the case if you want to maintain your current standard of living. In fact, three of Brazil’s major cities (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Brasilia) are listed among the 50 most expensive cities in the world. Expect rent/mortgage costs to take up the largest portion of your monthly income, followed immediately by transportation costs and private school (if you have children).

    > Pets are Welcome (With the Right Vaccines): Pets that are cats and/or dogs can be brought into Brazil as long as they have the proper International Health Certificate from a veterinary professional. Any other animals will need a special import permit from the Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil.

    > Make your Healthcare Plans Now: The healthcare system in Brazil isn’t always equal to the care in the United States, but it can be. Public hospitals tend to be crowded and busy, and may not meet your usual standards. Private facilities, however, are some of the best you’ll find in South America, though the costs are steep. It’s usually best to set up private insurance to access these facilities ahead of time.

    Life in Brazil can be everything you want from an expat experience you won’t soon forget. With the right planning and preparation, you can enjoy your stay—no matter how long you plan on making it.

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  • northAmerican works with the Gary Sinise Foundation

    by Ryan Cox | Oct 15, 2014

    Gary Sinise Foundation
    See northAmerican on Fox News Wednesday October 15


    northAmerican Van Lines will be part of a featured news segment on wounded warrior SSG Travis Mills and the Gary Sinise Foundation, which will air Wednesday 10/15, at 7pm Eastern Time on the Fox News program “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”  The program will focus on SSG Mills and the Gary Sinise Foundation “Smart Home” he received this week in Maine.  northAmerican agent Cord Moving and Storage transported the new “smart furniture” for SSG Mills’ home, and northAmerican Van Lines General Manager Andy Kroll will be participating in the official dedication of the home on Wednesday, October 15 in Maine, along with planned notable attendees and Governor of Maine Paul LePage.

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