6 Ways To Show Your Gratitude This Holiday Season

The holiday season is always a special time of year. The world seems a little bit happier and brighter. Although 2020 has been quite an eventful and challenging year, taking a second to remember what you are thankful for can really help boost your mood and change your perspective! Here are some ways that you can show your gratitude this season.

Write a card

Writing a card is a classic way to show someone how thankful you are for them. There’s really nothing like receiving a handwritten letter/card filled with words that you know came from the heart. This a special and personal way to show someone that extra appreciation!

Donate Toys/Clothing/Food

Donations are awesome any time of year. They are a fantastic way to give back and show your appreciation for the things that you have that others may not. With current events, many people are struggling. If you are in a position to donate food, clothes, toys– it is a great way to show your gratitude and someone out there will truly appreciate it! 

Call someone

We all tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life which makes it difficult to keep up with friends and family that you do not see every day. Take some time this holiday season to call someone who you haven’t chatted with in a while. Reconnect and enjoy the special bond that you have with them! Before hanging up, maybe just remind them how much they mean to you and how thankful you are for them. It is sure to bring a smile to their face!

Compliment someone

When you are out running errands, at work, school, etc, give someone a compliment! Whether it be about their hair, outfit, personality–one compliment can really turn a person’s day around. We do not know what anyone else is going through. You could really make someone feel good about themselves by saying one nice thing. Spreading kindness and positivity is a great way to get in the spirit of the holiday season!

Live in the moment

When you are with someone who you love and care about, put your phone away and live in the moment. Give them your full attention when they are telling a story, ask questions to show your interest, smile at them as they talk, etc. Sometimes we are so busy with what is going on in the virtual world that we don’t give our undivided attention to those right in front of us. This is a simple way to show your gratitude for them!

 Pay it forward

Paying it forward is a great way to spread the holiday cheer! If you are able to, pay for the person behind you in the drive thru, another person’s parking meter, gas, etc. Whether you know them or not, it is an unexpected surprise for them and is sure to make them feel thankful and hopefully they will pay forward to someone else!

There are so many fun and simple ways that you can show someone your gratitude and appreciation this holiday season. Bask in the spirit of the season and share the magic!

How To Get Your Apartment Ready For The Holidays

Hosting the holidays can be a fun time but preparing everything to be perfect for your guests may seem like a daunting task. Not only do you have food to prep but your apartment needs to be up to par as well. As the holidays approach, you may be feeling the pressure… but no worries! Follow these tips on getting your apartment ready for the holidays and hosting will be a breeze!

1.Prepare for guests to spend the night

If your guests are coming from another city or state, they will most likely be spending the night at your house. Before they arrive, it is a good idea to figure out where they are going to be sleeping so when they come, so that they know where to put their stuff. It is also important to remember to find clean sheets, pillows, and blankets. Sometimes guest may forget to bring their own and as a host, you should always have some prepared. Even if your guest are not planning on staying the night, it is still smart to be prepared. Something could come up and they may not be able to get home and being ready for the unexpected will help so they do not feel as though they are putting you out. Plus, how fun is an impromptu Holiday Pajama Party with friends?!

2. Find entertainment other than the television

When guests are coming over for the holidays, it is important to prepare what are you going to do during the party. Rather than depending on the television as the sole form of entertainment, come up with other ways your guests can have fun! Board games and card games are always a fun option and are often a lot funnier with a group of people! Another option is to encourage your guests embrace their inner superstar with a karaoke machine! Who knows– Grandpa might have some pipes! If you are looking to get out of the house, take a stroll to look at the dazzling lights around the neighborhood. Not only will this encourage some great conversation, but will definitely enhance the holiday spirit!

3. Clean / Freshen it up with candles

Whenever guests are coming, cleaning up is an obvious must. Take the time out of your busy schedule to deep clean each room so your guests walk in to a fresh clean home. When you are finished, light some holiday scented candles! This not only will make your home smell delightful but makes it feel warm and welcoming as well which is ideal! Nothing like the smell of fresh baked sugar cookies to greet you at the door!

4. Holiday decor to make it more festive

Along with scented candles, holiday decor will make your home feel all the more festive! Pillows with cute holiday phrases like “Let It Snow” or characters such as snowman on them will make the cutest addition to your couch! Lights not only brighten up the room but they make it feel comfy and cozy! You could also add blankets, table decorations, candy dishes, and other fun ornamentation to boost the overall mood of the room!

5. Rearrange the furniture

Having guests over can be stressful especially trying to make sure there is enough room to eat and mingle. Take a look at the main area you will be hosting. If there is room to push the furniture back against the wall more– do it! This will open up the room a little bit more and a little more space is definitely better than none. If you have any decorative chairs or tables that you do not really use, relocate them for the night. This will create more room and your guest will feel comfortable and not overwhelmed!

6. Have a designated area for items your guests may bring

December can be a chilly month so your guests may be wearing coats. Depending on how many people are coming, make room in your coat closet to hang up their coats. If there are more people coming than coats you can fit into the closet, think of a designated room to place the coats in. This way coats are not laying all over the place. This is a great way to stay organized and everyone can easily grab their coat before leaving. Guests often bring gifts with them as a thank you for hosting. Think ahead of time about where to put gifts they could possibly bring so you do not have to pile them all in one place and take up more room than you would like. In case someone brings a cake, make room on the kitchen counter ahead of time for it. If you have a wine rack, create room on the top and place the wine there so you know which one came from them so you can pop it open for dinner!

Whether you are hosting or traveling this season, we wish all of our residents a happy, healthy, warm, and safe holiday!

5 Gift Ideas For Your Loved Ones!

The holidays are not only about receiving, but giving as well! Getting your loved one that one item that they have had their eye on and watching them unwrap it is a rewarding feeling! The smile that stretches across their face creates great memories! But sometimes, it is rather difficult to figure out what exactly to get that certain someone. If you are searching for gift ideas, look no further! Here are some fun holiday gifts to give this season!

1. Clothes!

Buying someone clothes can be tricky because everyone has different sizes and styles but you can never go wrong with buying something cute or funny such as one size fits all adult onesies, knitted scarfs, bath robes, etc.– these all make for some great gifts that you don’t need a specific size for! Fuzzy socks are another popular suggestion! You can never go wrong with fuzzy socks– they’re super cozy and let’s face it, you can never have too many socks! I think we can all relate to putting on a load of laundry and coming out with only one sock of the pair so the more socks, the merrier!

2. Television/ Movie themed gifts!

Is there a television show or movie that the person you are gift hunting for loves? If so, try to base your gift that! Depending on the show, it should be a relatively easy task to find merchandise with something like their favorite character or quote on it! For example, if they love the Harry Potter series, there are numerous of sweaters, hats, socks, etc., that you can find with spells on it or buy them a wand so they can imagine themselves in the wizarding world they love! Duplicates of the props found in the show/movie are also a really fun gift! If they love NBC’s The Office, you can get them something such as a Dundie award! The Dundie awards were given out by Michael Scott to each of the people in his office. You could get it customized to say something like “Best Brother!” or “Favorite Co-Worker!” Creativity is key. Find something that that is unique and fun! Etsy is a great website to find these types of items!

3. You can’t go wrong with Gift Cards

Let’s face it. Gift cards are most likely the easiest gift to give. Not only is it small and easy to wrap, but it gives the receiver the opportunity to buy what they want with it. As mentioned before, shopping for someone is sometimes challenging especially when it comes to clothes. A giftcard to Target, TJ Maxx, Old Navy, etc., is never under appreciated! Gift cards to restaurants, gas stations, movie theaters, etc., all make amazing gifts!

4. Tickets to a live event!

Tickets tend to make a popular gifts as well! If they have a favorite band/ artist/ comedian that is going on tour, tickets to see them live would make the ultimate gift! If you are giving to a sports fan, buy them tickets to a game! Going to a game live compared to watching it on TV is a whole different experience that they are sure to appreciate! Do they love musicals? Broadway shows? Buy them tickets to see a show! It does not have to be in New York City– most major cities around the country have productions! This is a fun night out on the town that gives you a reason to dress up!

5. A picture is worth 1000 words

Pictures can be sentimental. Looking back at the good old days and bringing yourself back to that day and thinking about the memories that were made is a special feeling. There are many stores, online and offline, that can print pictures on any surface you would like so these memories do not just have to exist in a flipbook of photos. If you are trying to find the perfect gift for your mom, dad, grandfather, or grandmother– print pictures of their children/grandchildren on a large canvas to hang in her living room or a soft blanket they can snuggle with each night! If the person you are giving to went on a fun vacation with you, create a scrapbook for them to cherish forever! As said before, creativity is key but no matter what the gift is, it is sure to touch someone’s heart!

Overall, giving is even better than receiving! It’s not about the how much you spend, it’s always the thought that counts. No matter what you give someone, it will be special to them because it came from you!


Fun Crafts To Do This Holiday Season!

Crafting is always fun especially during the holiday season! There are so many creative ways to utilize the things you use in your everyday life and turn them into a decoration that will last you a lifetime! Kids crafts can be a heartwarming piece of decor that will hold so many memories! Grab the kids, your best friends, your significant other, or anybody who loves to craft and make these 5 adorable pieces!

1. Felt reindeer, candy canes, Santa, and more!

Felt is easy to use and maneuver and a great tool for crafting! It comes in an assortment of colors that make it easy for your imagination to run wild with ideas! For your holiday craft, you will be sticking to the basic colors of red, white, black, green, and brown! If you are a crafting beginner, don’t worry! Felt crafts are all about basic shapes! Your craft can become anything you want it to be! There is no right or wrong when it comes to crafting! 

What you will need: Felt, Glue. Scissors, any other accessories depending on what you make!

2. Paint Plastic ornaments

Finding clear plastic ornaments is simple! You can buy them online or in your nearest craft store! Painting plastic ornaments are the perfect canvas to use especially with kids! This is a much safer alternative to using glass because you do not have to worry about the ornament breaking which is a big relief as a parent!  After they dry, hang them up! Be proud to display the beautiful work and fun memories that go with it!

What you will need:

Clear plastic ornaments

Washable paint


Ribbon to hang the ornaments

3. Hand painted Santa

Another fun holiday craft is a hand painted Santa! Head to your nearest craft store and buy washable white and red paint! Cover your fingers in the white paint and along the thumb in red and place down on the canvas with your fingers pointing towards the bottom. Flip it right side up and draw the rest of Santa with your hand portraying his beard and hat! Voila! You have an easily made hand painted Santa! This is the perfect craft for people of all ages! What you will need:

A blank canvas

White Paint

Red Paint

Crayons or Markers to draw the eyes and nose

4. Cotton ball beard

One of the most classic holiday crafts is creating Santa’s beard and hat out of cotton balls! White and fluffy, just like his beard, cotton balls are the perfect crafting supplies! For Santa face you can either print out a coloring page ahead of time or draw it yourself! Not only that, but if you want to do a full body Santa– cotton balls make the perfect lining to Santa’s infamous red coat! Overall, this is a cute idea that does not take long to make!

What you will need:

Cotton Balls

Any skin tone colored construction paper/felt for the head

Red construction paper or felt for the hat

Hot Glue/ Elmer’s Glue

Crayons or Markers for the eyes and nose!

5. Popsicle stick reindeer

Popsicles are a sweet summer treat but make for a great Christmas time craft! One popular craft is creating a reindeer out of popsicle sticks. To begin, paint your popsicle sticks brown and let them dry. Next, take your popsicle sticks and glue them together to form a triangle. Create antlers out of pipe cleaners and glue them on. Lastly, add a red ball and googly eyes for the facial features! If you want to make an ornament out of it, that’s no problem! Glue a string onto the back and there you have it!

What you will need:

Popsicle sticks

Brown paint

Googly eyes

Red cotton ball

Pipe cleaners


5 Tips For Enjoying and Embracing The Holiday Craze!

It’s that time again! The holidays are a fun and crazy time of year!  From Thanksgiving to New Years, people are running around non-stop to get everything that they need to get done complete. It is important to remember to embrace the holiday spirit in the midst of all the craziness. Shopping and wrapping and events — Oh my! We have some great strategies to keep the holiday light and bright during this busy time!  

1. Remember the most important thing is not how much something cost

Giving presents during the holiday season is just as exciting as receiving them. It is hard when your loved ones deserve so much and your price range is not quite that high. That’s ok! The gifts you buy do not have to cost a lot.  It is not about the price tag, but rather about spending time with your loved ones and enjoying each other’s company. Whether you buy someone a $200 purse or a $8 candle, it is the thought that counts and they will love it either way because it came from you! With that being said, make time to visit your family and friends if you are able too! You may see them every day or you may only see them twice a year, either way your company, especially during such a special time of year, is the perfect gift!

2. Give back to your community

Giving back makes the holiday season all the more special and magical. Anything from food, toys, clothes, time– it is more than welcome! A lot of people go without during the holidays and as easy as is to get wrapped up in materialistic items, sometimes taking a minute to step back and put things in perspective is extremely helpful. If you are interested in giving back, check out our last blog, “Tis The Season For Giving!” to learn more about your closest food bank donation location as well as other ways to give back!

3. Fill your home with holiday scents and music

There is nothing that makes a home feel extra festive and warm than the sweet smells of the holiday season! Sugar cookies, peppermint, balsam and cedar, cranberry– oh my! No other feeling beats walking into your home after a long day and relaxing to the heartwarming scents of the holidays! Yankee candle has an extensive holiday candle collection that is sure to fill your home with cheer! Music is also another great way to boost your mood! If you have a list of housework to get done, blast some holiday music throughout the house! This is a for sure way to not only make your to do list more fun but a great way to feel more cheerful! Dance and sing your heart out to “Rockin Around The Christmas Tree” like nobody’s watching!

4. Have a cookie baking party with your friends!

Baking cookies is a classic holiday activity that many people around the world love to take part in. Call up your closest friends and put together a holiday cookie baking party! Ask them to bring their favorite recipes with them so you have an assortment of delicious cookies! While the cookies bake, pour a glass of wine, tune into the Hallmark Channel, and watch one of their cheesy holiday films that you cannot help but cry over! The holidays are about spending time with the ones you love so why not make a party out of it!

5. Take time to embrace the holiday spirit

The holidays are one of the most magical times of the year. Take some time out of your busy day and take a walk around the neighborhood with a cup of warm hot chocolate in your hands. It is amazing to see the effort people put into festively decorating for the holidays. With lights and decorations everywhere you look, it is hard not to embrace the holiday spirit. Don’t forget to compliment someone’s decor if you see them! That is a great way to spread the joy of the holidays!

7 Tips For Hosting Thanksgiving in Your Apartment

Thanksgiving is right around the corner! It is a time for family, giving thanks, and a lot of delicious food. Hosting can be stressful! If you’re living in an apartment home, space constraints can add to that. A million thoughts will be racing through your head of what needs to be done but try not to get overwhelmed! Here are 7 tips to remember when hosting Thanksgiving in your apartment home:

1. Try to keep your guest list to the right size, inviting your closest family & friends!

Though you would love to have everyone over for Thanksgiving, space can be limited. If your apartment community has a clubhouse, look into renting it! This will give you plenty of space to entertain your friends and family! If it is warm out and your community has a pool, bring Thanksgiving poolside– a fun and unique way to spend the holiday!

2. Have guest bring extra tables and chairs

You can never have too many tables and chairs. Ask your guests to bring any folding tables and chairs they have with them. This way you are guaranteed to have plenty of seating for everyone and you can set up a fun game night or an after-turkey movie! Also, homemade name cards are useful and will help keep everyone knowing their place while maximizing space!

3. Rearrange furniture to make more room

Before your guest come, take a look at the main area where you will be hosting. Can couches be pushed back? Can that chair fit in another corner more out of the way? Maneuver your furniture to make as much room as possible for a comfortable experience for your guest and less worry for you. Then you may even find enough space for a kiddie or card table as well!

4. Create to-do lists

When it comes to hosting a gathering, making lists of to-do’s, food to make, guests to invite, etc will make your life a lot easier. This is the perfect way to make sure that you are not forgetting something and you will not have to do last minute running around on Thanksgiving. Also, make your list a week in advance. Making it the day before the holiday, when you are frazzled with preparation, increases the chance of forgetting what you need to do or buy.

5. Prep as much food as possible in advance!

Think about what food you are going to be making and decide which items you can make a day or two in advance such as pies, cranberry sauce, stuffing, etc. This will decrease the load of the things you need to get done on Thanksgiving. If certain foods need to be made the day of, prep your ingredients! If the recipe calls for onion, chop it up the night before and put it in the fridge. Doing as much as you can ahead of time will be a huge help to yourself.

6. Try not to stress over the little things

Things may not always go your way especially when hosting an event. But, try not to sweat the little things that are out of your control. For example, trying to have everyone sit around one table. While it would be great to have everyone sit around the table together, it may be tight. Place some people in a room close by– that way they can take part in the conversation, and potentially even meet new friends, while insuring your guests are comfortable while enjoying the meal.

7. Send your guest home with leftovers

Insist your guest take some leftovers home. Since they will be celebrating Thanksgiving at your home, they may not have leftovers for the next day waiting for them… and let’s be honest, the leftovers are one of the best parts! Not only does that make a good host, but guests will appreciate the gesture as well!

Holidays will always be a busy time but a joyous one! It is a time to make memories with your family and friends. Do not forget to be thankful that you have a roof over your head and food in your stomach this holiday season. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving, Residents!