Monday, November 30, 2015

The Best Selling Albums of 2015

Some of you might’ve heard of a little song called ‘Hello’ by Adele that was released at the end of October. This single was the first off of her newly released album called 25, her third album and now the #1 best selling record of the year. 25 sold 3.38 million copies the first week, making it the largest single sales week for an album since Nielsen Music began tracking album sales in 1991. Adele has beat out NSYNC as the previous single sales week record back in 2000, and we can expect 25 to sit at the top of Billboard’s Top 100 for a while, just as her last album 21 did. And let’s not forget that her latest album isn’t yet available to stream for free online like so many others are today, which makes these accomplishments that much more impressive. So who else did Adele beat out for the title of best-selling record of 2015? Let’s take a look.

The previous 2015 album with the biggest sales was Justin Bieber’s Purpose, which sold 522,000 copies its first week after being released on November 13th. Purpose was the largest music debut since Taylor Swift’s blockbuster album 1989, which reached 3.5 million units in 2014 and has racked up nearly 2 million this year.

Before Purpose, rapper Drake had the year’s best selling album with If You’re Reading This You’re Too Late, which sold roughly 495,000 copies since its release in February, and even more since then thanks to a frenzied, viral social media reaction to his Hotline Bling music video that came out this fall.

Other artists enjoying great success this year include The Weeknd, One Direction, and Chris Stapleton.

It’s been a wild year for music, but it looks like Adele will end 2015 as the grand champion. Below you can find a link to a constantly updated Spotify playlist with all of the most recent top hits of of the year, so you’ll be well prepared for whatever comes in 2016!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

In Theaters for Thanksgiving

Every year during this time, Hollywood releases some of its biggest and best films to delight audiences during the holiday season, and 2015 is no exception. This year’s Thanksgiving weekend offerings appeal to a whole range of ages and interests- something that everyone in the family can appreciate. So take some time after the Thanksgiving festivities have settled to check out a new movie together!

Two of the year’s biggest films are follow-ups in a series, namely The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 and Spectre, the 25th entry in the James Bond franchise. These movies will appeal to an audience seeking action and adventure, although catered to different ages.

Mockingjay is the epic and dark finale of the Hunger Games series, and fans will finally get to see Katniss go head to head with the Capitol. Spectre will appeal to a slightly older audience, another chapter in the 007 series filled with everything you’ve come to expect from the franchise: guns, car chases and Bond girls.

If you’re in the mood for a Christmas comedy, check out The Night Before, starring Seth Rogen. This one’s for the adults as it tells the story of three friends who reunite for one last Christmas Eve of debauchery before taking on major responsibilities and becoming ‘real adults.’ In case you need a dose of holiday cheer to tide you over until Christmas, this comedy will do the trick. If you’re looking for a more serious title, The 33 might be what you’re looking for. This drama chronicles the events of the 2010 Chilean mine disaster and the following days leading up to their rescue.

Last but not least, a beloved cartoon gets a big-screen debut in 3D animation: The Peanuts Movie. Show your kids the classic holiday television episodes (especially the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials) before taking them to the theaters for this one!

Friday, November 20, 2015

First Snow Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Another week done and closer to the holidays. With all of the upcoming travel for Thanksgiving and a winter storm watch in effect for much of Iowa tonight, we at Haverkamp wanted to remind you to drive safe and stay warm this weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Small Business Saturday

Every year, the holiday shopping season starts off with a bang the day after Thanksgiving. We know it as ‘Black Friday,’ infamous for manic crowds of people who won’t hesitate to throw some elbows for a discounted flat screen.

Ironically, the biggest shopping day of the year falls after the holiday dedicated to giving thanks, and many people are beginning to distance themselves from the shopping spree and spend more time with their loved ones. A handful of major retail stores are keeping their doors closed for both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, allowing their employees more time with their family. Other stores, however, are offering their sales earlier and earlier- some as early as Thanksgiving night.

Other reasons for a decline in Black Friday’s popularity is the growing trend to shop online on Cyber Monday or in person on Small Business Saturday. These alternatives to Black Friday have grown wildly popular in the last couple years, and it doesn’t require shoppers to stand in line for hours or face the crowds.

This year, we at Haverkamp Properties encourage you to skip Black Friday and support your local businesses on Small Business Saturday. American Express, who first started this event back in 2010, has a complete list of participating businesses on their website. Many of Haverkamp’s Fun Money vendors are included and can be found in the Des Moines area, Ames, Cedar Rapids and more. You can see them all here

How will you celebrate this holiday season? Rather than leaving our homes and loved ones in search of big box deals, maybe we skip out on Black Friday altogether and support our small local businesses instead! 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Winter-proof your apartment

Winter-proof your apartment

Winter is nearly upon us, and any resident of Iowa knows how cold and bitter the season can be. Why not use these last few days of above-freezing temperatures to winter-proof your apartment?

First things first: make sure to always keep your heat on, even if you are leaving for the weekend or the holidays. It doesn’t take much time for chilly winter temps to freeze your pipes and cause you bigger problems than a chilly apartment (like a wet, chilly apartment).

Keeping your place warm is all about the windows. This may sound like a no-brainer, but check to make sure all of your windows are completely shut and locked to avoid unwanted drafts. Sealing them with plastic helps lower heating bills tremendously, so consider this easy option to both save yourself money and keep your apartment warm. Don’t forget the curtains- heavy, dark curtains help keep the heat inside and freezing temps stay where they belong: outside.

Uncovering your vents is another way to efficiently heat your home. Many renters cover their vents with furniture (especially if they moved in during the warm summer months), so locating and keeping them open ensures that the heat goes to you, not the underside of your couch. The same rules apply to your radiator, if you have one.

Lastly, draft-proof your doors. This is another significant way heat escapes and cold air creeps in. If your doors have large gaps underneath them, you can get creative and make a DIY ‘draft dodger,’ a nifty insulated sleeve that you can learn more about making here:

Take these tips into consideration while preparing for the long winter ahead. Don’t forget your blankets and coffee!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

Today we honor the many men and women who have served! We thank you, and Happy Veterans Day!