« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 21 2014

7 Must Haves For Your First Apartment

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















There are obviously many things you have to purchase when you move into your first apartment, but we've compiled a list of 7 must-have items that you'll need right away!

1. Trash can- When you're moving into a new home you'll be surprised how much trash you can accumulate while you're getting settled!

2. Bedding- Whether or not you have a queen sized bed or you're sleeping on the couch, you'll certainly need a blanket and pillow when it's time to rest!

3. Bathroom necessities- Besides your normal toiletries, you'll need to make sure you have a shower curtain, soap, shampoo, towels and toilet tissue.

4. Plates & eating utensils- You might be ordering takeout while getting adjusted to your new home, but you'll need plates and forks to have on hand.

5. A coffee pot and coffee - If you are a caffeine lover, you'll need a way to get your fix while spending your days unpacking boxes.

6. Drinking glasses/ mugs - You'll need mugs for your early morning cup of joe and glasses for water so you can stay hydrated while you're hard at work!

7. Lamps- Let there be light! You'll need to be able to see while you're moving! Any rooms that don't have overhead lighting will need lamps.

Tags:

what to buy for first apartment, apartment necessities, items for a new home

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 15 2014

How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


















Keurig coffee makers have certainly made our lives easier! They make a single cup in seconds and we no longer have to wait for hot coffee to perk before we can enjoy it. If you have a Keurig at home, do you clean it often? Do you know the proper way to clean it? Here are the steps to follow!

1.Disassemble the brewer. Open the cover of the brewer by lifting the handle and remove the K-Cup holder inside.

2. Wash the holder, drip tray, funnel and drip plate in the dishwasher. These parts are all dishwasher safe!

3. Clean the exit needle. The bottom and upper portions of the K-Cup holder both have exit needles with three holes. You can use a small, sharp object like a needle or paper clip to ensure there isn't any leftover buildup inside.

4. Use hot water and soap to clean out the plastic water reservoir and cover in the sink. Make sure to get all of the soap out and then let it dry.

5. Use a sponge to wipe down the exterior of the machine to remove any dirt or dust that might have been floating around your kitchen.

6. Reassemble your Keurig and enjoy a hot cup of coffee in your freshly, cleaned machine!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 10 2014

How to Choose the Best Pumpkin for Carving

By Princeton Properties | Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments























Tis the season for pumpkin carving and when it comes to picking the right pumpkin, there are steps you can take to make sure you pick a winner! Keep reading to find out what you should look for when you are searching at the pumpkin patch!

1. Pick it up and feel the weight. You'll want to choose a pumpkin that feels heavy for it's size.

2. Look at the coloring. Make sure there isn't patches of different coloring on your pumpkin. You'll want one that has a great orange color throughout.

3. Flip it upside down and push on the bottom with your thumb. If the pumpkin flexes or feels soft at all it isn't fresh.

4. Feel around and check for any mold or soft spots that indicate it will spoil earlier than other pumpkins.

5. Look at the stem and make sure it looks solid. If it has a green tinge to it that means it was freshly harvested.

6. Feel the surface. You'll want a pumpkin that has a wide, smooth surface on at least one side so you can properly carve your masterpiece with plenty of space!

Tags:

pumpkin carving, how to pick a pumpkin, how to choose a pumpkin for carving, picking out a pumpkin

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 06 2014

5 Halloween Safety Tips

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Food, Community, | (0) Comments






















We're only just in the beginning of October but the Halloween festivities are upon us! Here are 5 Halloween safety tips to help you and your family enjoy this spooky holiday in the best way possible.

1. Make sure your children are seen at night. Whether you are at a haunted house or just trick or treating, make sure your kids are either carrying flashlights or wearing reflectors on their clothing if they'll be walking in the dark.

2. Stick with familiar neighborhoods. It's best to go door to door in a neighborhood that you are comfortable in. You will most likely know the neighbors and you won't risk getting lost.

3. Watch for welcoming signs and signals. If a house is dark and the lights are turned off, chances are the owners don't want visitors on Halloween. Stick to the houses that are bright and friendly.

4. If you're attending a local fair, make sure to decide on a meeting spot in case your group gets separated.

5. If candy or food handed out on Halloween or at parties you attend looks suspicious, throw it out! There's no sense in risking it. If wrappers are partially open or torn or something just doesn't look right toss it in the trash. There's plenty more candy to be had!

Tags:

halloween safety, how to keep kids safe on halloween

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 01 2014

5 Ways to Keep Your Home Free of Pet Hair

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















We love our furry friends but sometimes their fur and hair can get to be a burden! It covers the couches, our clothes and our carpets. Here are 5 ways to get your house pet-hair free in no time!

1. Cover your pet's favorite spot with a blanket or cover up - especially if that favorite spot happens to be on the couch.

2. Use lint rollers on your clothes AND your pillows. They will pick up tiny hairs that can't be seen by the naked eye.

3. When fur causes build up on your baseboards or hardwood floors, use dryer sheets to pick up the mess. They also smell great which is an added bonus!

4. Invest in a vacuum that specializes in pet hair cleanup. Some vacuums have filters that contain pet dander better than others. They also come with special attachments for furniture.

5. Groom your pets as often as possible. You don't have to spend a fortune bringing them to the groomer either. You can brush them and trim them right at home to eliminate any fur that might fall!

Tags:

cleaning pet hair, how to eliminate pet hair, how to keep house clean of dog hair, cleaning cat hair

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 26 2014

5 Ways to Bring Fall into Your Home

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments






















Now that we've officially entered the autumn season it's time to bring out the fall decor! Here are 5 ideas that will spruce up your apartment and give you that festive, fall feeling!

1. Create a festive centerpiece for your dining room - Add mini pumpkins and pine cones to a vase or decorating with fall-colored candles





























2. Add mums to your porch or balcony - The orange, yellow and dark red colors of these plants will brighten up your outdoor space through the season



























3. Add a festive wreath to your door Whether you are in a single family home or an apartment, adding a wreath to your front door is a great way to brighten up your entryway for your guests



























4. Add a seasonal doormat to your entryway They may just be used to wipe your feet, but switching out your doormat each season is a great way to add some autumn flair.
















5. Dress up your mantel Have a fireplace in your home? The mantel is a great place to add pumpkins, garland and other autumn pieces for extra color in your living room!


Tags:

autumn decor, how to decorate for fall, ways to add fall decor, apartment fall decor

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 11 2014

10 Family-Friendly Fall Activities

By Princeton Properties | Environmental, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments




















We're still a couple weeks away from the first official day of fall but the temperatures have certainly made it feel like it's already here! With the season change comes a lot of great family-friendly activities for you to try! Here's a list of ideas to try between now and winter to get in the fall spirit!

1. Go apple picking
2. Visit a corn maze
3. Go leaf peeping
4. Go to a pumpkin patch
5. Carve pumpkins
6. Go on a hayride
7. Visit your local fair
8. Build a scarecrow
9. Go to a haunted house
10. Bake pumpkin and apple-flavored treats

Tags:

fall activities, things to do in fall, autumn activities, things to do in autumn, fall ideas for kids

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 05 2014

5 Great Recipes for Football Season!

By Princeton Properties | Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Football officially kicked off last night and in some households Sundays are football days! Whether you are hosting a crowd or just feeding your family while watching games, we have some great recipes to fit the season!

Football Cheese Ball















Blue Cheese Hot Wings















Touchdown Taco Dip














Playoff Meatballs















Snack Stadium

Tags:

football recipes, tailgate recipes, football snacks, appetizers for football

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 29 2014

5 Ways to Get Ready for the First Day of School

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


















Labor Day Weekend is officially upon us and that means school is sure to follow (if it hasn't already started!) Sometimes getting yourself organized and ready for school time can be overwhelming. Here are some tips that might help eliminate the chaos!

1. Check the weather - Before letting your kids choose what they want to wear for the first day of school be sure to check your local forecast! Early September weather can be very unpredictable and being prepared will help avoid any last minute changes the morning of school.

2. Set alarms the night before - Chances are while being on summer vacation your kids were sleeping later and not setting alarm clocks. Make sure alarms are set well before bedtime and even set a back up alarm on your phone just in case.

3. Make lunches right after dinner - While you're still in the kitchen cleaning up after dinner, start packing the lunches for the next day. This will save you the trouble of forgetting to do it or rushing to do it in the morning.

4. Make checklists - Want to pack up your kids backpacks? Make a checklist and cross off the items as you add them to their bag. Leave lunch as the last thing on the list and add it to their bags before they leave the house.

5. Test out the bus route - Does your child have to walk far to the bus stop? Make sure you give the walk a test run before the big day. Then you'll know exactly how long it takes to get from your front door to the location. Make sure you know what time the bus is scheduled to come too!

We hope everyone has a successful start to their 2014/2015 school year!

Tags:

back to school, school tips, back to school organizing, how to get ready for school

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 26 2014

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Dog Toys!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Check out the video below to learn how to make a simple and fun toy for your dog to enjoy!

Tags:

dog toys, diy dog toy, water bottle dog toy, pet crafts

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 21 2014

7 Ways to Keep Your Laundry Organized

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

























Let's be honest...sometimes our laundry gets out of control! Whether we've been away on vacation or we've felt too lazy to throw in a load, the clothes can certainly pile up! Here are 10 tips for making your laundry situation a bit more manageable!

1. Invest in a laundry sorter - A stand that has 2 laundry bags (one for whites and one for colors) will make you feel much more organized. This will help you from having to pull out all of your whites from the pile on laundry day.

2. Keep your laundry essentials together - If you live in an apartment where you have to travel to the laundry room, try to keep your stuff together in one place! Keep a basket handy with your detergent, change, dryer sheets etc. This will save you the trouble of having to search for it all.

3. Choose designated laundry days - If you hate spending your weekends doing laundry, choose designated days during the week instead! If you do a load on Mondays and another on Thursdays, you will feel organized before and after every weekend.

4. Put the clothes away- After we've waited for the dryer to finish drying our clothes, the last thing we want to do is fold them and put them away. If they don't get put away quickly, they will wrinkle and piles will start forming. You'll thank yourself later if you put the laundry away ASAP.

5. Bring hangers with you - As you pull items out of the dryer that need to hang, put them on a hanger right away. This will help wrinkles from forming and will make it easier to put your clothes away.

6. Don't keep hampers in every room - If each room has it's own hamper, things could get out of control. Instead, have one central hamper (in your laundry room or in a centralized place) and when it's full, throw it in the washing machine.

7. Keep a bag for dry clean only items - When it's time to get items dry cleaned, throw them in a designated bag. This will save the mistake of accidentally washing your delicate items and will help you keep them organized for their trip to the cleaners.

Tags:

organizing laundry, how to keep laundry organized, tips for doing laundry

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 18 2014

5 Ways to Save Money When Decorating Your Apartment

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















When you move into a new home there's nothing more exciting than making it your own! You want to add all of your own personal touches and decorate in a style that reflects your personality! Here are five ways you can get the look you want without breaking the bank!

1. Update old furniture - Rather than buying all brand new furniture, consider updating old pieces. You can re-stain wood to gain a new look or reupholster chairs/cushions with fun, new fabric.

2. Make your own window treatments - Good with a sewing machine? Pick out a fabric that fits your personality and decor and make your own window valances or curtains. You will save a lot of money if you aren't ordering custom pieces from a store.

3. Make spray paint your new best friend - Head to a yard sale or to your local goodwill and pick up pieces like frames, lamps etc and update them by giving them a fresh coat of paint! Many brands make spray paints that are gold/silver and give the look of an expensive finish.

4. Use natural pieces for centerpiece decor - Fill a vase in your kitchen with fresh lemons or add real pine cones to a bowl in your living room in the fall. Using natural items look beautiful and save you a lot!

5. Stay away from expensive department stores - When buying your accent pieces, try visiting stores like Home Goods, Ikea or Michaels Craft Store. They offer unique pieces that give your home the look you want at a fraction of the cost of other stores.

Tags:

decorating on a budget, how to decorate new apartment, decorating home, inexpensive decor, interior decorating tips

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 11 2014

5 Ways to Organize Your Bill Paying System

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Corporate Furnished, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments














Sometimes we can get busy and forget about a utility bill or misplace our cable bill.
Follow these steps to sort out your bill paying system and you'll feel much more organized!

1.Keep bills together in one area- Whether its a plastic tray on your desk or a basket on your kitchen counter, always place the bills you receive in one place. Receive e-bills for some of your utilities? Print them out and put them in your designated place too so you don't forget about them!

2. Make a calendar- Use a small pocket calendar to mark the dates that your bills are due along with the amounts. Seeing this visually will help you keep track of your finances for the month.

3. Designate 2-4 days per month to pay bills- If most of your bills are due at the beginning of the month, you can probably get away will only paying bills once but most of us have them spaced out. Pick the days that you will sit down and write out your checks and put stamps on your bills to ensure they get out on time.

4. Record your paid bills immediately- As soon as you pay each bill, immediately record the payment in your check book (or spreadsheet). Don't wait until later because if you do, there's a good chance you will forget.

5. Prepare envelopes for reoccurring bills that you mail- If you pay a certain bill by check each month, write out 12 envelopes with the proper mailing address and put stamps on them all at once. Now you have a year's worth of envelopes prepared and you don't have to worry about being late with payment if you run out of stamps.

Tags:

paying bills, how to organize bills, how to remember to pay bills, how to organize my bill paying system, paying utilities on time

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 07 2014

Pedaling for a cure - Princeton Properties' President rides the PMC

By Princeton Properties | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Health, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Pedal Partner - PMC team photo














Every year over 5,500 cyclists gather from all over the country for the annual Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) bike-a-thon. The PMC has raised over $414 million for adult and pediatric cancer care and research since 1980. 100 percent of the funds raised by riders is donated directly to the cause and amounts to over 50 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue.

This year’s PMC was held this past weekend, August 2nd and 3rd. Princeton Properties’ President, Terry Flahive, is a veteran rider and this year marked his sixth PMC. Terry rode the two-day route, which covers 192 miles and runs through 46 towns across Massachusetts. The cold, wet and slippery road conditions on Saturday made this year one of the most challenging PMC rides in history.

This year, even more than the last five that I have ridden, seemed more important, meaningful, and unforgettable” Terry said. “I was really chilled and my hands had stopped working. I couldn't use my fingers to shift gears and I had to get someone help me finally take off my helmet strap!”

As if to put the whole ride into perspective, a cyclist passed Terry and said, "Tough day today, but better than a day of chemo." Like Terry, thousands of riders, were committed to riding as long as it took, knowing that their efforts were helping to make a difference.

Every year Terry rides for a 'pedal partner' - a child currently receiving treatment at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This year Terry is riding for Jack, a two year old who is fighting for his life (pictured above with his parents and older sister). They cheered Terry on along the route and provided support early Sunday morning.

"Every time I looked at Jack, all I could think of was how lucky I am to have three healthy grand kids and how hard it would be to have one as sick as Jack"
Terry said. "Then, there were so many survivors and doctors and nurses out there with me, riding with all their strength to provide more money for more research. We know that with every little break through, someone is living a better life."

Cyclists put their physical, mental and emotional energy to the test, using their combined strength to bring researchers closer to finding cures for various types of cancer. The 2014 PMC has currently raised just under $30 million of their $40 million goal.

Tags:

Princeton properties, #PMC2014, Pan-Mass Challenge,

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 06 2014

5 Ways to Make a Small Room Feel Bigger

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments






















We've all heard the trick about adding multiple mirrors to a space to make it appear bigger but there are other steps you can take to give the illusion of more space!

1. Use light colors - Decorating in dark colors makes a room look and feel smaller. By keeping the walls white or a light neutral shade it will appear larger.

2. Make room for natural light - Open the curtains and blinds and make way for natural light! This will brighten up your space and having the windows open makes any small room feel bigger.

3. Reduce your clutter - Make sure you aren't over-doing it in the decorating department and only display minimal decor. Having too many knick knacks and pieces of furniture in a small room will make it feel closed off.

4. Rearrange the furniture - Don't stick with your original layout! Every once in a while its a good idea to rearrange the furniture in a room to see if there's a better way to set up. Maybe you've been missing out on lots of extra floor space and you didn't even know it!

5. Buy multi-functional pieces - Instead of having a coffee table, an ottoman and an end table in your living room, maybe search for a piece of furniture that can take on all three roles. This will save you both money AND space in your home.

Tags:

small rooms, how to decorate a small room, making small rooms feel bigger

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 01 2014

5 Things to Do Before Summer is Over

By Princeton Properties | Travel, Environmental, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments





















We're already in August...can you believe it? It always seems like the summer flies by and we don't get a chance to enjoy the warmth and everything this season brings. Before September hits, try checking these things off your list to get the most out of August!

1. Pick your own fruit! Many local farm stands offer pick your own options and now is the time to take advantage before cold weather hits! You can pick your own blueberries, raspberries and strawberries for a delicious, fresh fruit salad!

2. Put your toes in the ocean! If you haven't had a chance to hit the beach yet this summer, now is the time to start planning! You don't want the end of September to hit and you realized you never got to feel the salty water and sand on your feet!

3. Visit your local farmer's market! Many towns have farmer's markets weekly throughout the summer but they close up shop once the fall hits. Take advantage now and buy some fresh produce, plants and other goodies from your local vendors.

4. Relax by the pool! There's nothing like putting your feet up and reading a good book while sitting by the pool. Make sure you get in all the pool time you can in the next several weeks before yours gets covered up.

5. Go to an outdoor concert! Concerts in the summer are always a great time! Whether you purchase tickets online for a famous act or attend a free show locally, get out there after work and listen to some music in the company of great friends!

Tags:

end of summer, things to do before summer is over, summer activities, end of summer activities

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

July 28 2014

5 Ways to Make Your Apartment Closet More Organized

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















We're all guilty of letting our closet get out of control every once in a while. To save yourself from making a mess and drowning in clothes and shoes in your closet, keep reading for our closet organization tips!


1. Get rid of what you don't wear! Rather than letting old items take up space, clean out your closet at the end of every season and make a pile of clothes/items that can be donated.

2. Use baskets and hooks! Baskets on the shelves in your closet can hold smaller items like hats, gloves and purses. Hooks can be used to hold items like belts and scarves to keep them out of the way.

3. Get a shoe organizer! If you are someone who has a lot of shoes, try investing in a shoe organizer that hangs over the door to your closet to free up all of the space on the floor.

4. Avoid piles! If you fold clothes and start piling them on the shelves in your closet you'll quickly start losing space! Pretty soon your pile will grow and become the home for items you don't know where to store.

5. Use vacuum-sealed bags for storage! If you are normally keeping your winter clothes in the back of your closet during summer, consider investing in vacuum storage bags! You can store all of your sweaters and coats in the bags and then shrink the bags down and store on the shelves or on the floor to make space.

Tags:

small closets, apartment closet storage, reorganizing closet, saving space in closet, cleaning out bedroom closet

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

July 24 2014

5 Ways to Make Your Living Room More Cozy

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















When we come home at night we want to kick off our shoes and relax in a place that is warm and comfortable. Does your home currently feel cold and uninviting? Try out these ideas for making your home a bit more cozy.

1. Invest in a soft throw rug. If your home has hardwood or tile floor, try adding a rug in the sitting area to make the surface softer and more comfortable to walk on.

2. Buy comfortable throw pillows. Sure those pretty pillows covered in sequins look nice but are they practical? Add some soft, fluffy throw pillows to your couch to maximize comfort.

3. Add a blanket. Whether it's on the back of the couch or you have a basket full of them, make sure there are soft blankets available whether you or a guest want to curl up.

4. Think about scents. What smell makes you most relaxed? Is it lavender or sandalwood? Maybe it's the smell of fresh baking apple pie. Add some scents using plug-in air fresheners or oil warmers to give your home a signature smell.

4. Low lighting is key. Try adding 3-way bulbs to your living room lamps so you can dim the lighting when needed. Low-lit rooms are more relaxing and cozy than bright, fluorescent ones!

Tags:

how to make living room cozy, cozy apartment, living room ideas, ways to make apartment comfortable

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

July 17 2014

5 Ways to Stay Organized in an Apartment

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Sometimes our homes can get cluttered and the mess can give us added stress that we don't need! When living in a smaller space like an apartment, it's important to keep things well-organized so you don't feel over-crowded. Here are 5 tips for staying clutter-free in your apartment.

1. Invest in a file cabinet and shredder- Have lots of bills, old insurance documents and junk mail laying around? Instead of letting a pile accumulate on the kitchen table, shred what you don't need and file the important documents in a well-organized file cabinet!

2. Keep your sink dish-free - Sometimes dishes can get the best of us (especially after cooking a large meal) but to keep food odors away, spend five minutes after eating cleaning the dishes and filling up the dishwasher.

3. Have specified laundry days - Dirty laundry can really pile up making your bedroom feel smaller and smaller! Invest in a good size hamper to hide the dirty clothes and schedule designated days to get the laundry done. When the laundry is finished drying, fold it and put it away before it sits around and becomes wrinkled.

4. Make use of the space under your bed - Our beds take up a lot of room in our bedrooms. If your bed frame allows, start using that space for storage! Purchase air-tight plastic bags to store winter clothes during the summer or full a large plastic container with your blankets and shoes. Don't waste the space just because you can't see it!

5. Purchase baskets or bins for closet storage - Rather than throwing all of your toiletries and towels on shelves, try organizing your items by putting them in baskets! Hats and gloves can go in a basket in your coat closet and purses and accessories can go in baskets in your bedroom closet. Having designated spaces for items makes your home look and feel more organized.

Tags:

apartment organization, how to organize an apartment, ways to reduce clutter, how to organize a small space

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

July 11 2014

10 Activities for Summer Vacation

By Princeton Properties | Travel, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments




















By now the kids are all out of school and summer vacation is in full swing! Some days it's too hot to play outside and some days the rain interrupts our plans. Here are ten ideas for activities you and the kids can try to stay entertained until school starts up again!


1. Visit your local library! A lot of libraries offer summer activities for children like story time or sing alongs. Take the kids and register them for a library card if you haven't already. While there they can rent a few books to read over vacation!

2. Play mini golf! Mini golf is a fun activity for both kids and adults. Many establishments offer other fun activities like ice cream, bumper boats and live music too.

3. Visit a zoo! Whether it's a small petting zoo or a large zoo full of wildlife, the kids will be sure to enjoy seeing animals in their natural habitats.

4. See a matinee! On a day when the weather isn't cooperating, take the kids to see a movie during the day. Lots of local theaters serve a variety of lunch foods too so you can have lunch AND a show all in one!

5. Check out an indoor or outdoor playground! Depending on the weather there are both options! Maybe even call some friends and have their kids meet you so a group of you can all play together.

6. Plan a day at an amusement park! What kids don't love rides, arcade games and delicious food? An amusement park has a little something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

7. Enjoy a pool day! Whether you live in one of our apartment communities that has a pool or your town has a local one, sitting poolside is always a fun summer time activity.

8. Create some art! Whether you do this at home or head to a local paint shop or pottery making class, the kids will enjoy unleashing their inner artist during their time away from school.

9. Visit a museum! Keep their minds moving over summer vacation by taking the kids to a local museum. Lowell has lots of textile museums and there are children's museums in Boston and Acton, MA!

10. Check out the aquarium! Sharks, fish, turtles and penguins! There's plenty to see at your local aquarium. Some places even have shows you can attend once you get there so you can see penguins getting trained and fish being fed!

Tags:

summer vacation ideas, summer activities for kids, how to keep kids entertained in summer, 10 activities for kids, indoor summer activities

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

July 03 2014

5 Festive 4th of July Desserts!

By Princeton Properties | Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Hurricane Arthur may be on his way but that isn't going to stop us from celebrating the 4th of July up here in New England! Whether you are celebrating on the 4th or the weekend after, there will be plenty of cookouts and parties to attend! Want to bring a festive dessert with you? Check out these 5 Patriotic recipes!

1. July Fourth Flag Cake (recipe here)














2. Red White and Blue Trifle (recipe here)
















3. Rice Krispie Treat Cheesecake bars (recipe here)
















4. Blue Velvet Cupcakes (recipe here)
























5. Patriotic Whoopie Pies (recipe here)




Tags:

4th of july recipes, july 4th desserts, red white and blue desserts

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

June 30 2014

20 Days to a Clean and Organized Home

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Did you know you could organize your entire home in 20 days? Sometimes when we think about the amount of cleaning and organizing that needs to be done at home it can be overwhelming. The best way to handle your organization is to tackle it one area at a time! If you designate one day (or even just a couple hours in that day) to one area you can have an organized and revitalized home in no time! Here's our 20 day organization challenge list! Feel free to tweak it based upon your own needs. Remember...you don't have to tackle these projects on consecutive days. Cross them off as you go and when you're all done sit back and relish in the cleanliness:)

Day 1: Medicine cabinets
Day 2: Coat closet
Day 3: Under beds
Day 4: Laundry area
Day 5: Under sinks
Day 6: Fridge and freezer
Day 7: Kitchen cabinets
Day 8: Bedroom closets
Day 9: Desk or office
Day 10: Garage
Day 11: Patio or balcony
Day 12: Linen closet
Day 13: Kids toys
Day 14: Living room
Day 15: Car
Day 16: Bedroom dresser
Day 17: Nightstands
Day 18: Handbags or backpacks
Day 19: Pet areas
Day 20: Pantry

Tags:

home organization, organizing the house, apartment cleaning tips, organization challenge

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

June 25 2014

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY July 4th Parade Wands!

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below to learn a fun and easy DIY project your kids will love for the 4th of July!


Tags:

parade wands, 4th of july crafts, diy projects, easy summer diy, 4th of july parade

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

June 20 2014

5 Home Remedies for Repelling Mosquitoes

By Princeton Properties | Health, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Warm weather brings sunshine and outdoor fun but unfortunately is also brings another pesky nuisance....mosquitoes! Sprays and lotions will work to an extent but you can also give these other home remedies a try to give yourself some extra protection.

1. Citronella- This one is pretty well-known! Light some citronella candles in your yard when you're sitting outside after dark. They even sell citronella for tiki torches if you have them.

2. Garlic - Are you a fan of garlic in your food? Well guess who ISN'T a fan of the smell....mosquitoes! If you have garlic in your system it will naturally repel the pesky little guys.

3. Lavender- Another smell mosquitoes can't stand...lavender! When lavender is in an oil form mosquitoes will stay away. Try purchasing a lavender essential oil to rub on your skin before heading outside.

4. Dryer sheets - Throw a dryer sheet in your pocket if you are hiking or near the woods after dark. You can also rub it on your arms and legs for extra protection.

5. Catnip - It will make your cats wild and the mosquitoes run for the hills! Try planting some in your yard or in a pot on your deck and mosquitoes will steer clear!

Tags:

ways to repel mosquitoes, how to repel mosquitoes, mosquito remedies

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

June 17 2014

6 Ways to Stay Cool While Sleeping

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















The hot summer is just beginning which means we will have many warm nights in our future! Rather than sweating it out, here are some tips for staying cool while you sleep that don't include cranking the air conditioning!

1. Keep the sun out! Rather than open your shades first thing in the morning on a hot day, keep them closed in your bedroom! Keeping your room dark will help keep the temperature down all day.

2. Eat lighter meals! Remember this....the larger the meal you eat, the more metabolic heat you will generate. When the weather is hot outside, try eating a lighter fare for dinner like salads and fresh fruit.

3. Keep your head cool! Smaller firmer pillows won't trap as much heat while you sleep as big, fluffy ones will! Make sure your pillowcases are made of a breathable fabric too - not a heavy flannel.

4. Circulate a fan! About an hour before you're ready to hit the sheets, start circulating a fan around your bedroom and close the door.

5. Freeze your sheets! It may sound a little crazy, but throw your top sheet in the freezer for several minutes before you're ready to call it a night. This won't keep you cool ALL night, but it will allow some quick relief on sweltering days.

6. Cool your pressure points! Take an icepack or ice cube and place it on your pulse points for a few seconds. These include your wrists, your neck, behind your knees and your ankles.

Tags:

sleeping in summer, how to stay cool at night, sleeping comfortably in summer heat

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

June 12 2014

5 Ideas for Father's Day Gifts

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, | (0) Comments






















There are still a few shopping days left! Haven't gotten anything for your dad yet? Don't worry! We've compiled a list of great ideas to make your life easier.

1. New grill tools - does your dad love to BBQ? It certainly is the season for it! Try getting him some upgraded tools for handling his grill.

2. Let him make his own beer - There are many places popping up these day that allow you to brew a batch of your own beer (or wine.) Get him a gift certificate and he can make himself a case!

3. ITunes or Amazon gift cards - Whether your dad likes listening to music or reading book on his Kindle, having gift cards like these will come in handy!

4. Plan a Day Out - Whether your dad likes to fish, drink martinis or go to the theater, do some research and take him out for a day just the two of you.

5. Golf supplies - Whether you buy him some new gold equipment or attire he'll be sure to get use out of it during the upcoming summer.

Tags:

father's day, what to buy dad for father's day, father's day gift ideas, gifts for dad

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

June 05 2014

5 Health Benefits of Swimming

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















It may be cool and rainy today but the temps will warm up again and our pools are opening at all of our properties! Swimming isn't only fun and refreshing, there are also many health benefits! Read on to learn how you can improve your health by taking a dip in your pool this summer.

1. The pool provides an ideal place to work stiff muscles and sore joints. If you are someone who suffers from arthritis, using the pool is very beneficial!

2. Looking to tone up? Swimming is a great way to increase muscular strength and muscle tone.

3. Yoga isn't the only thing that can make your body more flexible. Swimming puts the body through a broad range of motion that helps joints and ligaments stay loose and flexible.

4. Since swimming is considered an aerobic exercise, it's a fun way to get your cardio in and also work the body's most important muscle...the heart!

5. Jumping into a refreshing pool can allow our bodies to release endorphins which make us happy and ultimately reduces stress!

Tags:

health benefits to swimming, swimming effect on body, swimming benefits

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

May 28 2014

How to Cook Pizza on the Grill!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Step aside burgers and hot dogs....pizzas are now getting grilled too!
If you like your pizza crispy and like cooking it at home, throwing it on the grill gives it a great restaurant flavor that the oven can't provide. Here are the steps to take to make your very own grilled pie!

1. Stretch out and shape your dough. Then put it on a floured pizza peel or pan (make sure it's floured well enough so that it doesn't stick.)

2. Oil your grill grates and reduce your heat to medium. Put the shaped dough right on the grates. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of the dough is browned (about 2 minutes.)

3. Brush the non-cooked side of the dough with olive oil then flip using your pizza peel (or a giant spatula if you have one!) Now brush some olive oil on the side of the pizza that is facing up.

4. Top the pizza with sauce, cheese and your favorite toppings. Close the lid and cook on medium heat until the cheese has melted (about another 2-4 minutes.)

5. Using your pizza peel or grill spatula, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and let it cool a bit before slicing it up to eat!

Tags:

how to cook pizza on the grill, cooking pizza on gas grill, how to grill pizza

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

May 22 2014

How to Pack Light for a Weekend Getaway

By Princeton Properties | Travel, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















Heading away for the long weekend? Sometimes when we get prepared for a short weekend trip it's hard to decipher what we WANT to bring and what we NEED to bring! Before you load up the car for Memorial Day, read our tips below for packing light for a weekend getaway!

1. Make a list - Instead of going into packing blindly, sit first and jot down a list of essentials. This will help you refrain from throwing lots of extras into your bag.

2. Check the forecast - Don't pack for every season! Check the weather and dress accordingly. Bring one light jacket or sweatshirt in case of cooler weather.

3. Buy some things when you get there- Save space in your car by purchasing food and beverages once you get to your destination. Without having to pack big coolers your trunk will have much more space.

4. Think before you pack it - If you don't use it at home, chances are you're not going to use it on vacation (think gadgets, toys, etc.)

5. Call and see what's included- Instead of packing your hairdryer and coffee maker, call the hotel or homeowner and see what's already included in your accommodations.

We hope everyone has a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend!

Tags:

how to pack light, packing for a weekend trip, how to save space when packing

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

May 20 2014

5 Veggies You Can Grow Indoors

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Food, | (0) Comments






















Some might think that just because they live in an apartment home or a home that doesn't have a yard that they can't plant a garden. WRONG! Did you know that there are lots of vegetables that you can grow indoors? Here's a list of some items you can start growing in the comfort of your apartment.

1. Beans - French beans are one type of bean that you can grow in a pot right in your kitchen. Not only will they produce food, their climbing leaves are a beautiful addition to the decor on your windowsill!

2. Radishes - these root veggies don't particularly need a deep pot to grow. A normal indoor pot will do just fine and they will grow from just a few seeds.

3. Tomatoes - Many varieties of tomatoes grow well indoors especially if they are planted in hanging baskets in your kitchen.

4. Mushrooms - Mushrooms are an ideal indoor crop for any time of year which makes them a great option for your indoor garden.

5. Green Onions - These might be the easiest of them all! The next time you buy green onions at the supermarket, place the last one inch of them in a jar of water. Just trim as needed and add water when it gets low.

Tags:

indoor vegetable garden, veggies that can grow inside, how to plant a garden indoors, vegetables I can grow in my home

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

May 13 2014

How to Add Feng Shui to Your Apartment Bedroom

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments






















The bedroom should be a place in the home that calms you. Here are five ways you can add feng shui to your bedroom to make it more relaxing and give it good energy.

1. Remove distracting electronics. No need for a TV or computer in your bedroom. By removing these items you'll feel calmer in your sleeping space.

2. Buy an air purifier to clean the air. Every once in a while when the weather is nice, open the windows in your bedroom too to invite in a calming breeze.

3. Invest in dimmed lighting. Try three-way switch bulbs in your lamps or get a floor lamp with a dimmer. Having the low light will help relax your mind.

4. Place your bed correctly. According to feng shui guidelines, your bed should be easily approachable on both sides. Not pushed up against one wall.

5. Choose calming colors. By decorating with light blues and soft greens and whites, your room will feel quiet and soothing instead of loud and bright.

Tags:

feng shui, how to add fend shui to bedroom, how to have feng shui in apartment, calming techniques for bedroom

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

May 09 2014

10 Ideas for Mother's Day Gifts

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Mother's Day is this Sunday and if you're having trouble thinking of a unique gift for your mom - look no further! We have put together a list of 10 great ideas for gifts to show your mother how much you appreciate her this Sunday!

1. Wine & chocolates
2. A hanging basket for her garden
3. A gift certificate to a spa (think massage, facial or a manicure/pedicure!)
4. A tree for her yard. Bring it over and plant it for her!
5. Gift certificate for dinner and a movie
6. A e-reader
7. New pajamas and slippers
8. Tickets to the theater
9. An Alex & Ani bracelet (they have some varieties specifically for moms!)
10. A bouquet of fresh flowers

Tags:

mother's day, gift ideas for mom, unique mother's day gifts

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

May 06 2014

How to Entertain Friends in Your Apartment

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















1. Just because you're not living in a single family home doesn't mean you can't entertain! Pick a night and invite your friends over for a dinner party.

2. Ask everyone to bring something. Sometimes it's easier to have all of your guests bring their favorite dish so you aren't stuck slaving in your apartment kitchen all day preparing!

3. Rearrange your furniture! Don't worry too much about how the layout looks style-wise. You'll want to rearrange your furniture for the night so your guests don't feel crowded and so that everyone has a place to sit.

4. Extend the party outdoors! Does your apartment have a balcony or patio? Try serving some appetizers on the patio first before moving inside for the meal to switch up the scenery.

5. Remember to be mindful of your neighbors! Make sure the party doesn't last too late into the night. If it's getting late and you don't want the party to end, move it to a local establishment for a drink or dessert before your guests head home.

Tags:

how to entertain in apartment, apartment dinner party, how to host a party in an apartment

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

May 01 2014

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Scarf Organizer!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

It's (finally) time to put away the winter scarves! Watch the video below to learn an easy way to hang and organize your scarves!

Tags:

diy projects, creativity corner, scarf hanger, diy scarf organizer

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 30 2014

Princeton Cleans up Kittredge Park

By Princeton Properties | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Multifamily, Environmental, Community, | (0) Comments




















Despite the unusually cool spring weather here in New England, the Princeton team isn't letting that stop them from getting outside and cleaning up one of the area's many delightful parks.

Members of the Princeton team from the Corporate office, Princeton Park and River Place Towers spent the afternoon raking, spreading mulch, and making Kittredge Park in Lowell MA look great, just in time for the warmer weather. Located in Lowell's historic Belvidere neighborhood, Kittredge Park is one of the most beautiful public parks in Lowell. The park has a playground for kids, benches to sit on, a picturesque gazebo often used in wedding photographs and plenty of room to relax in the sun.

Local Lowell residents recall how former Senator Paul Tsongas could often be found in the park planting, watering and tending to the gardens. Princeton Properties is happy to continue the tradition!

Tags:

spring cleaning, Kittredge Park, park cleanup

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 28 2014

5 Tips for Green Cleaning

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Environmental, | (0) Comments






















Earth Day is now behind us but it's still important to bring "green living" into our every day lives! When it comes to cleaning, here are some great tips for keeping your home clean the all natural way!

1. Mirrors & Glass - Most glass cleaners are filled with harsh chemicals like ammonia. In order to clean them the "green" way try mixing 4 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with a half gallon of water.

2. Furniture - Instead of using furniture polish and sprays, try mixing 2 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice and apply it to your furniture using a soft cloth. The combination gives your wood furniture a nice smell and a sparkling shine.

3. Copper or Brass - If you brass or copper antiques in your home, clean them using lemon slices dipped in salt. Rub your copper or brass item with the salted lemon. Afterward, rinse and dry thoroughly.

4. Antibacterial Soap - Skip using this soap which is filled with chemicals and instead make your own natural soap using liquid castile soap and filtered water.

5. Cleaning Wipes - Not only are store-bought wipes expensive, they can be full of harsh chemicals! You can get your home surfaces clean using your own a roll of paper towels. white vinegar and water (1 1/2 cups of each.)

Tags:

green cleaning, how to make natural cleaning products, how to clean naturally

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 22 2014

Where to Store Your Produce at Home

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















Should I put all of my fruit in the fridge? Should I store my potatoes in the pantry? These are questions we all ask ourselves and we think we know best! Here is a breakdown of the best places to store certain produce in your home to keep them fresh.

Store in Pantry Away from Sunlight and Heat
Potatoes
Onions
Garlic

Store on the Counter
Apples
Avocadoes (until ripe)
Bananas (until ripe)
Citrus Fruits (lemons, limes, grapefruits)
Peaches (until ripe)
Pears
Tomatoes (until ripe)
Tropical Fruits (mangos, pineapples, kiwis)
Watermelon
Winter Squashes

Store in the Refrigerator
Artichokes
Asparagus
Berries
Broccoli
Carrots
Celery
Cucumbers
Green Beans
Green Onions
Mushrooms
Peas
Peppers
Radishes

Tags:

where to store produce, what fruits to store in the fridge, what to store in my pantry, where should potatoes get stored

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 17 2014

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Out Your Closet!

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















We've moved on from one season to the next which usually means our wardrobe makes a change too! It's time to clean out that closet and we've written some tips to make this difficult task a bit easier for you!

1. Pull out everything that is on a hanger! If you pull everything out and lay it out in front of you it's easier to decide what items will make the cut. Then you can either hang them back up or store them away if they fall in the fall/winter category.

2. Ask yourself "would I buy this again?" If you were at a store today and you saw this item on the rack would you purchase it? If the answer is no, put it in the donation bag!

3. Take inventory! Did you realize that you have 12 pairs of jeans? Probably not! I bet there are a few pair hiding in the closet that you haven't worn in quite a while so why not give them away?

4. Store small items in baskets! Do you keep hats or scarves in your closet? Put them in baskets and store on a shelf to make room. If you have winter hats and gloves in your closet, store them in bins or storage bags for the next several months.

5. Don't forget the footwear! Do you have 3 or 4 pairs of sneakers? Consider donating the pair you no longer wear to make room in your closet. Purchase over the door organizers to store small footwear like flip flops so they can stay off the floor and out of your way!

Tags:

cleaning out your closet. how to organize your closet, closet purging

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 14 2014

5 Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















With Earth Day quickly approaching it's time to start saving energy! There are plenty of simple things you can do to help you reduce your energy consumption and limit your environmental impact.

1. Turn off your dishwasher's drying cycle and allow your dishes to air dry.

2. Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. These provide the same amount of light while using less energy.

3. Shut off and unplug your electronic devices when you're not using them! This includes your cell phone charger that seems to always stay plugged in.

4. Use a toaster oven to warm up leftovers rather than your regular oven.

5. Avoid over-drying your clothes in the dryer. Check them before the cycle is over to see if they need the extra 15 minutes to dry or not.

Tags:

saving energy, easy ways to reduce energy, saving energy at home

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 09 2014

6 Steps to Organizing Your Junk Drawer

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















Let's all admit it, somewhere in our house we have a junk drawer. Whether it's that drawer right next to your kitchen sink or the top drawer of your home desk, there's a spot in your house where junk makes it's home. Here are 8 steps to organizing your junk drawer!

1. Dump out the drawer - It's important to see what you have in your junk collection. Tip the drawer upside down so you can get a closer look at everything.

2. Clean it - Once everything is out of the drawer, grab a wet cloth and wash it down with a little soap.

3. Test the writing utensils - You know there are at least 5-10 pens in that drawer and some of them may not even work! Toss out the ones that are out of ink.

4. Toss the junk - Expired coupons? Old receipts? Start tossing/shredding the items that don't serve a purpose.

5. Use an organizer - Purchase a plastic or wire organizer with trays that will fit in the drawer and start giving everything a designated home. (i.e. takeout menus, pens, batteries, etc).

6. Store small items in plastic bags first - Items like thumbtacks, batteries, coins etc can be stored in plastic Ziplock bags before they are put into their tray in the drawer to reduce clutter.

Tags:

junk drawer, organizing junk drawer, cleaning out the junk drawer, spring cleaning

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 04 2014

5 Ways to Get a Better Night's Sleep

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















Having trouble sleeping? Sometimes when we first move into a new apartment or house it can take some time to adjust to our new surroundings. Here are five ways to help you get a better night's sleep!

1. Skip the afternoon coffee- Sometimes when 2:00 hits we feel like we need a boost to give us a little energy. In order to sleep better at night try to avoid caffeinated beverages after noon.

2. Have a glass of milk- Eating a very light snack along with a glass of milk about an hour before bedtime can help you catch some z's.

3. Prep for bed - If you are someone who has a hard time getting tired at night, create a routine for yourself! About an hour before you'd like to go to bed lower the lights, fluff the pillows and put on your slippers!

4. Have quiet time - Going out late at night or listening to the TV or radio can rev your engine instead of slow it down. Spend the last few hours before bed quietly reading or relaxing.

5. Lower your thermostat- Getting too warm at night is a culprit for sleep deprivation. Lower your thermostat several degrees before bed so you aren't woken up abruptly hours later.

Tags:

how to sleep better, ways to get better sleep, ways to stay asleep at night

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

April 02 2014

Low Maintenance Flowers for your Patio or Balcony Garden

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Environmental, | (0) Comments





















Spring is officially here and it's time to start thinking about sprucing up our patios and balconies! Sometimes we can put a lot of effort into planting gorgeous flowers only to have them wilt on us weeks later! Here is a list of annuals that are low maintenance that you can use to brighten up your pots and window boxes this year!


Begonias are a favorite with many gardeners because of the durability and low maintenance. You can put them in full sun if the soil stays moist or have them in the shade and they'll flourish.

Coleus is an old favorite among gardeners for both indoor and outdoor gardens . The leaves of the plant are the most exciting as they will add texture and vibrancy to your garden.

Impatients are a great addition to your pots if you're patio or balcony gets a lot of shade. These pretty little flowers don't need to be trimmed or pruned. They will flourish with very little maintenance.

Petunias are great for a garden that gets a combination of both sun and shade. They come in vibrant purple and pink hues and as long as their "dead heads" are plucked every so often they will survive through the season.

Tags:

flowers for window boxes, low maintenance flowers, easy flowers to plant, best flowers for balcony or patio, low maintenance annuals

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

March 28 2014

Exercise and Fitness Tips for Apartment Living

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















After a LONG winter we all may feel a little sluggish but it's time to get our energy back! Did you know that there are ways that living in an apartment can benefit your exercise routine? Keep reading to learn our tips for living a healthy lifestyle in your apartment home!

1. Use the stairs! If you live on a floor above the ground floor try using the stairs instead of the elevator. Even doing this just once a day will benefit your health.

2. Use your apartment gym! Does your apartment have a facility with exercise equipment? Take advantage of it! Most gym memberships cost around $25 a month but when you live in an apartment sometimes you get this benefit for free!

3. Organize a workout group! Does your apartment have a common area? Maybe recommend to the staff that they offer weekly Zumba classes or even get together with some of the other residents and try yoga together!

4. Walk! The great thing about living in an apartment is that you always have neighbors around! Plan a walking route around your apartment area and get together with neighbors to walk in the evenings or on the weekend to get some exercise in.

Tags:

exercise tips, exercising in apartment, apartment fitness tips

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

March 25 2014

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Colored Succulents!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below to learn how to make your own colored succulents to spice up your apartment decor!


Tags:

creativity corner, diy plants, diy succulents, colored gravel projects, easy window decor, easy apartment diy

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

March 20 2014

Ways to Spice Up Your Drinking Water

By Princeton Properties | Health, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















They say we should all drink 8 glasses of water a day and sometimes plain old drinking water can get boring! Check out these ways to spice up your drinking water the natural way!

1. Add lemon and lime to give your water a citrus flavor without extra sugar.

2. Want a cool refreshing taste? Consider slicing up a few pieces of cucumber and muddling in your glass.

3. Try flavoring your ice cubes. Freeze some herbs like rosemary or mint and drop them in for a unique taste.

4. Make a pitcher full of frozen fruit. Add raspberries and blueberries for a delicious combo and keep refilling your glass to get your essential ounces during the day!

5. Crushed ice may sound boring but it can give your normal glass of water a new texture and you can chew on the ice when you're done for even more h20!

Tags:

what to add to drinking water, adding fruit to water, mixing fruit in drinking water, ways to spice up drinking water, drinking water and fruit recipes

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

March 18 2014

5 Ways to Save on your Grocery Bill

By Princeton Properties | Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


















We've all heard of the coupon craze but there are other ways besides clipping coupons to save on your grocery bill!

1. Stock up - if a perishable item or toiletry you buy every week goes on sale, stock up! You can store these items in your pantry and save in the long run.

2. Substitute for bargain brands - sometimes we enjoy buying brand-name items but check the price difference compared to the bargain brand! Sometimes the items within the packages are exactly the same but the brand name price is almost double.

3. Don't buy prepared meals - Yes sometimes it's more convenient to buy that pre-made dinner or frozen pizza but if you do the math, it's usually cheaper to purchase all of the ingredients and make these meals yourself from scratch.

4. Use your drugstore points- Have a CVS or Walgreens card? Usually you'll get coupons and points when you use them. If you've stocked up some credit at drugstores, buy some of your weekly items at these places rather than letting your coupons expire.

5. Substitute ingredients - Does tonight's dinner call for an ingredient you don't already have and will probably never use again? Before buying it, do some thinking and see if you have something in your pantry that you can use as a substitute instead of wasting the cash.

Tags:

saving at the grocery store, ways to save money when shopping, how to reduce grocery bill, tips for saving money

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

March 12 2014

Quick Ways to Boost Your Energy During the Day

By Princeton Properties | Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















Right now it's dark outside when most of us get up in the morning for work. It can be hard to get out of bed and usually in the mid afternoon our energy crashes! Spring is right around the corner and sunnier days are ahead! Until then here are some ways to boost your energy during these last days of winter.

1. Get up and move! If you work in a job where you are required to sit at a desk, try your best to move around. Maybe go for a walk during lunch or take a few extra trips to the water cooler for breaks.

2. Get a good laugh! Have a funny friend? Enjoy reading silly articles on Buzzfeed? These things can help your energy. A good laugh raises your blood pressure and boosts heart rate, too, which can pump you up when you’re feeling sluggish.

3. Surround yourself with bright colors! Hues like bright reds and oranges can keep you alert in your cubicle. Maybe keep some bright-colored flowers on your desk for a visual boost.

4. Eat nutritiously! A lunch full of greasy foods can leave us all feeling a little tired and sluggish. Nourish yourself mid day with foods full of omega-3 fatty acids. They help improve mood and brain function.

Tags:

how to boost energy, energy boosters, how to stay energized at work, ways to beat mid afternoon fatigue

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

March 07 2014

5 Cooking Herbs You Can Grow in Your Kitchen

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Food, | (0) Comments




















Ever considered growing your own cooking herbs indoors? Some are more difficult than others but we've put together a list for you of five easy herbs to grow right in your kitchen!

1. Lemongrass
When looking for a stalk of lemongrass at your local grocer, look for one with plenty of stem. Trim the top and place the stalk in a couple inches of water. The stalk will produce roots and dozens of new shoots.

2. Mint
Start your peppermint plant with seeds in a small pot full of potting soil. Peppermint will thrive in shade, but make sure it’s in a spot where it gets at least a little bit of light each day.

3. Chives
Grab a bunch of chives from an established plant (including the roots), place it in a small pot half-full of potting soil, then cover the roots up to the crowns with more potting soil. Cut about one-third of growth off the top to stimulate new growth.

4. Parsley
Parsley doesn’t require much light or maintenance once you get it started. Plant your seeds in soil but keep in mind, though, that this plant is a fairly slow grower, so initial clippings will not harvest a lot.

5. Oregano
All oregano requires six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so a well-lit window is best for growing this well-liked herb.

Tags:

cooking herbs, how to grow cooking herbs at home, growing herbs in kitchen

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

March 04 2014

5 Things in Your Home You Should Clean More Often

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















We all wash our clothes and vacuum our floors on a regular basis but there are many items in our homes we tend to neglect! Here are five that you should keep on your radar when planning your Spring cleaning this year...

1. Bed Pillows - We all wash our sheets but the bed pillows tend to get forgotten. Throw them in with your next load of laundry.

2. Dishwasher - Every once in a while it's important to grab a cloth and remove all of the debris and food particles from the bottom of your dishwasher. You can set a glass of vinegar on the top rack and run a cycle with hot water to get it really clean!

3. Kitchen Sink - Leftover food or bacteria can get into a sink that hasn't been cleaned. Try plugging your drain and fill the sink with warm soapy water to give it a good rinse.

4. Bathroom Rugs - Just like your pillows, these can be put in the washing machine. Just hang them to dry and they will be ready for use!

5. Couches - Next time you are vacuuming your carpets, use your vacuum attachment (or handheld vacuum) to give your couch a once over. This will help remove any dust and dirt that has piled up.

Tags:

items to clean in house, spring cleaning, things in your home to clean more often

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

February 28 2014

What to Have in Your Home First Aid Kit

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Safety in the home is important. Besides having risk detectors and fire extinguishers, it's important to also have your own first aid kid in case of emergency. Check your house to make sure you have these essential items and if not, pick them up the next time you are out shopping!

(List created by the Red Cross)

Whether you buy a first aid kit or put one together, make sure it has all the items you may need:

• Include any personal items such as medications and emergency phone numbers
• Check the kit regularly.
• Make sure the flashlight batteries work.
• Check expiration dates and replace any used or out-of-date contents.


The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

• 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
• 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
• 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
• 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
• 5 antiseptic wipe packets
• 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
• 1 blanket (space blanket)
• 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
• 1 instant cold compress
• 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
• 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
• Scissors
• 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
• 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
• 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
• 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
• Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
• 2 triangular bandages
• Tweezers
• First aid instruction booklet

Tags:

first aid kit items, how to make a first aid kit, anatomy of a first aid kit

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

February 25 2014

5 Ways to Get your Apartment Ready for Spring Now!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















It won't be long before we all start our "spring cleaning." Why not get a head start and prepare the inside of your home for the next season that's heading our way!

1. Start buying bins/bags to store your winter clothes. Vacuum seal bags are great space savers and can be stored right under your bed when it's time to pack away winter clothes.

2. Figure out what clothes you want to donate. With only a few more weeks (hopefully) of winter weather it's time to start deciding which winter clothing items are going to make the cut.

3. Clean out your pantry. When the weather warms up the last thing you'll want to be doing is sorting through the pantry checking expiration dates! Toss anything that has expired and consider donating any unwanted can goods to your local food shelter.

4. Stock up on cleaning supplies. Have a coupon for cleaning materials now? Buy them in preparation for your big "spring clean."

5. Pack up the seasonal decor. Yes it's almost March but some of us still haven't put our holiday decor! Pack it up in boxes that are labeled so you can easily find them when the time comes again.

Tags:

how to prepare for spring, getting home ready for spring, tips for spring cleaning

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

February 20 2014

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Chalkboard Wine Glasses!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below to learn how to make your own chalkboard wine glasses! These are great to use for parties so everyone can label their own glass!

Tags:

diy wine glasses, how to paint wine glasses, how to write on wine glasses with chalk

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

February 14 2014

5 Ideas for Breakfast in Bed

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Today might be Valentine's Day but tomorrow is the weekend which means no alarms and getting to sleep in! Want to whip up something delicious for breakfast in bed? Here are five ideas for making your weekend tasty!



1. French Toast Muffins (recipe here)















2. Spinach Tomato and Feta Quiche (recipe here)














3. Egg Strata (recipe here)














4. Breakfast Parfait (recipe here)
















5. Homemade Cinnamon Buns (recipe here)

Tags:

breakfast in bed ideas, what to cook for breakfast, french toast muffins, egg strata, spinach quiche, breakfast parfait, cinnamon buns, breakfast recipes

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

February 14 2014

A Touch Of Grace

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, Travel, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Grace Restaurant
15 Chestnust St Portland ME

When you visit Portland, Grace Restaurant has to be on your top of list for places to visit. Grace Restaurant offers a first rate menu in an atmosphere of artistic mastery. In 2009, the Chestnut Street Church, in downtown Portland reinvented as a sister restaurant to the very successful Foreside Tavern in Falmouth. The building itself dates back to 1856-1857 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places and is one of the few surviving examples of early Goth Revival style in Portland. The wood work is unbelievable and the stain glass windows will take your breath away. The building is a true masterpiece, whether you go for dinner or drinks or just to stop by and look around, there is nothing like it!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

February 12 2014

5 Ways to Brighten up Any Room

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Corporate Furnished, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments













Is your apartment feeling drab since Winter has hit us? It's time to brighten up your rooms! Just by adding one or two new features to a room can make it look brighter and brand new! Here are some ways you can brighten up any room in your home.

1. Add mirrors - We all know the trick that mirrors make rooms look bigger, but they also add a touch of light and sparkle that will brighten up a dreary space.

2. Get some indoor plants - Nothing says Spring like some greenery in your home! Pick up a couple potted plants next time you are out and place them next to open windows.

3. Hang bright artwork - There's a way to brighten up your walls without adding a coat of paint - add a picture instead! Bright-colored paintings can change the whole look and feel of a room.

4. Rearrange furniture - If you're just in need of a change try rearranging your furniture! When you are done you will feel like you're sitting in a brand new room.

5. Fresh flowers - Flowers can brighten up anyone's day. You don't have to wait for someone special to give you a bouquet - pick one up yourself! Having fresh-cut flowers in a room is a sure way to brighten a room and your mood all in one!

Tags:

how to brighten up a room, ways to change decor, how to rearrange a room

« Back

msides's photo

February 09 2014

Surpising Benefits to the Groundhog's Prediction!

By msides | | (0) Comments

PhilIt's been a week since that pesky rodent Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. Assuming he's right, we still have a lot of winter ahead of us. I've heard nothing but negative comments to this year's prediction, but maybe we should give Phil a break and try to enjoy this beautiful season in New England.

Some benefits of the cold winter months:

*The frigid temperatures ensure fewer bugs, giving us a break from the mosquitos and black flies.\
*The blanket of snow on crops and plants keeps their roots warmer providing healthier plants in the spring
*The winter months mean little to no encounters with harmful animals (they're all hibernating)
*Without winter we wouldn't appreciate the summer months!

There are also some surprising health benefits:

*Cold temperatures help reduce swelling, so someone with bad joints can have some extra relief this time of year
*Cold temperatures also help reduce recovery time after a workout

I'd say the only disadvantage to winter is seen by Gilette and other razor brands with the reduction in sales they must see this time of year. Men stop shaving their faces and women stop shaving their legs!

So let's enjoy the beauty and wonder of winter, and try not to give Punxsutawney Phil a hard time. Besides, according to Wikipedia, "Out of 117 predictions on record so far, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an "early spring" 16 times (13.7%). As to his accuracy, according to the StormFax Weather Almanac and records kept since 1887, Phil's predictions have been correct 39% of the time."

Maybe this year he'll be wrong!




Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

February 09 2014

Yummy Recipes For Your Dog!

By Kathy Sutherland | | (0) Comments

Whether your dog has allergies or just loves to eat .....here's a few alternative treats that you'll enjoying baking for your furry friend! It's nice to use doggie type cookie
cutters, like bones or fire hydrants.

If your dog has skin allergies, this recipe might do the trick!

Original recipe makes 60 biscuits

1 3/4 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup golden flax seeds

2/3 cup brewers' yeast

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup brown rice flour

2 cups oat flour

2 tablespoons organic raw sugar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 eggs


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease two cookie sheets.
2. Combine oats, flax seeds, brewer's yeast, cheese, rice flour, oat bran flour and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together chicken broth and eggs; mix with oat mixture to
make a fairly stiff dough.
3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, then flatten into discs. (Or, roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 or 3/8 inch thick and cut into 1-inch x 1 1/2-inch rectangles.) Place on cookie
sheets 3/4 inch apart.
4. Bake until dry and the edges turn a light golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool before serving.

"These cookies are great for your favorite furry friend. Every dog I have given these to loves them. It is nice to use doggie type cookie cutters, like bones or fire hydrants."



Birthday Dog Bones

Original recipe makes 18 treats

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup unsalted natural peanut butter

1 cup skim milk

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Stir together the flour and baking powder; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and milk. Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll
out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.


Your Dog will thank you for the treats!


Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

February 07 2014

A Sweet Treat For Your Valentine!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments




TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:16 servings


Ingredients
• 3/4 cup butter, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 eggs
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup baking cocoa
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
• CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
• 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup butter, cubed
• 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
• 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• RASPBERRY FILLING:
• 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
• 1/4 cup red raspberry preserves
• 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon raspberry liqueur
• CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
• 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
• Chocolate curls and fresh raspberries

Nutritional Facts
1 slice (calculated without chocolate curls and raspberries) equals 656 calories, 31 g fat (19 g saturated fat), 106 mg cholesterol, 301 mg sodium, 94 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein.

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

February 06 2014

10 Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















Whether you're buying for your significant other or surprising your mom with a sweet Valentine, we have ten great ideas for Valentine's Day gifts! This should help with the stress of searching the mall for a great sentimental gift!

1. A framed photo - This one is pretty self explanatory! Have a great photo on your iphone? Time to get it developed and put it in a decorative frame!

2. Bake some goodies - Jump in the kitchen and whip up a batch of cookies or brownies for your Valentine! You can display them in a decorate box or basket when you deliver them!

3. Make a photo book - Websites like Snapfish and Shutterfly offer great programs for creating unique photo books!

4. Decorative coffee mugs - Remember our Creativity Corner video here where we showed you how to make your own unique sharpie mugs? Make one for your Valentine and write them a special message!

5. Jewelry - Whether it be a pair of earrings or a sparkly bracelet, jewelry is always well-received on February 14th!

6. Hat and mittens - It's still cold outside in February. Why not warm your Valentine up by buying them some cold weather gear in their favorite color?

7. Build a Bear - Have a son or daughter you want to surprise this year? Head to your local Build a Bear and make them a stuffed animal. You can even record your own voice and have it put inside!

8. Plan a night out - Never get to go out? Book a babysitter in advance and plan a night out for your Valentine! You can preorder movie tickets and make dinner reservations all online!

9. Make a playlist - Mix tapes are a thing of the past! Make a playlist for your love and surprise them by uploading it to their phone!

10. Make breakfast - Set the alarm for an hour earlier on February 14th and make a delicious breakfast at home!

Tags:

valentine's day gift ideas, what to buy for valentine, diy valentine's day gifts

« Back

Claire Collins's photo

February 05 2014

How I Made A Cold Last Less Than A Week

By Claire Collins | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, Lifestyle, Claire Collins, | (0) Comments

What kept my cold away.A week ago I woke up with the tickle in the back of my throat that means one thing: a cold is coming.

I immediately started taking Zicam for zinc, Airborne for Echinacea, and using saline nasal spray. Thinking I’d do almost anything to keep from spending the next ten days feeling miserable, I asked my Facebook friends for their cold remedies. I tried as many of their suggestions as I could, and other than three days of annoying sniffles I didn't really get that I-want-to-remove-my-head-from-my-body sick that I usually do.

For what it’s worth, here’s what my friends suggest:

- Echinacea, two capsules two to three times a day.
- Green tea. Lots of it.
- Sleep and Netflix
- A good curry (Thai or Indian), as spicy hot as you can stand it.
- Hot Toddies - ginger and whiskey
- Lomatium, a native American tincture used for respiratory illness. It works best if taken at first sign of illness.
- Oregano Oil, which comes in pill form.
- Zinc, 50 mg every two hours for four times in one day
- Tom Yum Soup!
- T.o.d.d.y. Not sure if it actually cures anything but you should feel better!
- Umcka Cold and Flu; Sambucus; and Oscillococcinum all work quite well. First and third are homeopathic and the second is herbal.
- Esberitox (branded echinacea)
- Sudafed 24hr from behind the counter to keep your head clear. Once it gets full it's harder to stop.
- Oranges, tangerines, tangelos, etc.
- Saline solution for nostrils and nasal passages, Neti pot

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

January 31 2014

Fun Friday Night Family Ideas

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments






















It's Friday which means the weekend is here! How are you going to spend your night? If you're looking for some ideas for fun family activities look no further!

1. Have a movie night - Whether you like to go to the theater or rent a flick and watch it at home, movie nights are a great way to get the family together.

2. Game night - break out the monopoly or catch phrase! Game nights are a great way to have fun and get everyone laughing.

3. Go out for pizza - Something about Friday makes people think of pizza! Why not take the whole family down to your local pizza parlor for a slice or two?

4. Have a family dinner at home - Feel like staying in? Cook up a warm meal and gather around the dinner table. Maybe afterwards you could even head out for frozen yogurt for dessert?

5. Go to an arcade- Arcades are a great place to let your kids have fun after a busy school week. BONUS - you can even blow off some steam from your week by playing air hockey or a little skeeball!

Tags:

family activity ideas, friday night activities, family night, game night

« Back

Liz Roloff's photo

January 30 2014

Buffalo Wings Without the Mess!

By Liz Roloff | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

buffalo wings dipYou may remember from a previous blog (“Sports Superstitions – do they work?”) that I am not a die-hard sports fan. Therefore, this Sunday, for me, is more about the cute commercials and the good food that are traditional parts of “Super Bowl Sunday”... (Super Bowl is this Sunday, right?)

A friend of mine, who I suspect feels the same way I do about the game, posted this Kraft recipe and it had all the necessary ingredients; cream cheese (guilty pleasure), hot sauce (as much as you want), and it’s easy. Just my speed. There are a few other ingredients like chicken and cheese which only add to my anticipation of enjoying this real soon, like on Sunday.

So here it is, enjoy, and GO Denver and Seattle! (aren’t you impressed I know who’s playing?!)

http://myphil.ly/19YT91X (go to this link for reviews and tips)

PHILADELPHIA Buffalo Chicken Dip

What You Need
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. (6 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Deli Fresh Oven Roasted Chicken Breast
½ cup FRANK’S® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
¼ cup KRAFT Natural Blue Cheese Crumbles
2 green onions, sliced

Make It
SPREAD cream cheese onto bottom of microwaveable 9-inch pie plate.
COMBINE chicken and pepper sauce; spoon over cream cheese. Top with blue cheese and onions.
MICROWAVE on HIGH 2 min. or until heated through.
(a few reviewers suggested baking instead of microwaving, I think I would agree)

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

January 28 2014

Fried Pickles

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
MAKES: 8 servings
Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 eggs

1 cup milk

3 cups thin dill pickle slices, drained

Oil for deep-fat frying

Ranch salad dressing, optional

Directions
1. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt and pepper. In another bowl, beat eggs and milk. Blot pickles with paper towels to remove moisture. Coat pickles with flour mixture, then dip in egg mixture; coat again with flour mixture.
2. In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. Fry pickles, about 10 at a time, for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with ranch dressing if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

Originally published as Fried Dill Pickle Coins in Taste of Home August/September 2004,

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

January 27 2014

Where to Order Area Rugs for Your Apartment

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Corporate Furnished, | (0) Comments












Adding an area rug to your living room or dining room can make a huge difference for your decor! You can introduce a pop of color or separate rooms just by throwing a patterned rug under your furniture. There are many great websites that offer great prices on area rugs for your home and can typically have them shipped the next day! Here are 5 great places to order rugs online.

1. Ikea
2. Wayfair
3. Surya
4. Rugs USA
5. Rugs Direct


Already have one in your home? We'd love to see a picture! Share one on our Facebook wall HERE!

Tags:

area rugs, throw rugs, where to order rugs online, where to order new rug, wayfair.com, ikea.com, rugsusa.com, surya.com

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

January 27 2014

January's Beautiful Birthstone

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Happy Birthday to anyone (including myself!) who has a birthday in the cold, snowy, blustery month of January! I have had many a birthday party cancelled due to unexpected snow storms where guests didn’t feel like driving, or going out at all, in the snow!!

One of the warmest things the month of January has to offer is its beautiful birthstone, Garnet. The gemstone Garnet comes in a variety of colors from the deepest red to a bold green. In between those colors are shades of beautiful oranges and yellows. Probably the most commonly recognized shade is the rich, deep, dark red to which the gemstone Garnet derived its name. Garnet derives from the word granatum, which means seed, and is referring to the Garnet’s resemblance to the pomegranate seed.

Keep in mind the beautiful Garnet for friends with January birthdays…as the gemstone also represents eternal friendship and trust!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

January 21 2014

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

By Princeton Properties | Health, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















Typically by January we're all sick of cold temperatures and ready for Spring to be upon us. We're still 57 days away from the next season so we wanted to share some ways to beat the Winter blues!

1. Exercise - Hitting the gym or walking around the mall in the winter can help relieve the stresses of cold weather. Exercising also helps your body release endorphins which are a great way to boost your mood.

2. Eat Healthy Foods- Fruits and veggies are great for our physical health but did you know they are also great for our mental health too? Eating a diet full of both helps with mood swings!

3. Relax - Having a busy schedule can be tough enough but when it's cold outdoors it is even harder to get things done. Make some time for yourself in the winter by taking a warm bath, reading a book or just relaxing on the couch with a cup of coffee.

4. Get Together - It seems in the Summer we all are busy with plans every weekend. In Winter everyone goes into hibernation! Crack your winter habits by making weekend plans with friends and sticking to them.

5. Get Some Light - Try and take some time to get outdoors each say when the sun is shining. Too cold? There are light bulbs you can buy for your home that mimic sunlight. Just a little bit a day will help improve your mood and remind you warmer weather is on its way!

Tags:

winter blues, ways to beat winter blues, winter depression

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

January 20 2014

Buffalo Chicken Dip

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments


Ingredients

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup ranch salad dressing

1/2 cup sour cream

5 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 green onion, sliced

Tortilla chips


Nutritional Facts
1/4 cup (calculated without chips) equals 167 calories, 14 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 47 mg cholesterol, 348 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 8 g protein.
Directions
1. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, dressing, sour cream and blue cheese. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker. Layer with chicken, wing sauce and 1 cup cheese. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours or until heated through.
2. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and onion. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 6 cups.

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

January 15 2014

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Gold Alphabet Magnets!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below to learn how to make your own DIY gold alphabet magnets using just 2 materials!




Tags:

gold magnets, fancy alphabet magnets, gold alphabet magnets, spray painted magnets

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

January 13 2014

How to Choose your Home Accent Colors

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments























Colors can effect our mood and energy. Before deciding the colors of your throw pillows and rugs, take a look below at the impact colors will have on you!

1. Orange - this expands your thinking. It is also a bright color that makes us feel younger. Having orange accents in your kids play area will help unleash their self confidence.

2. Blue - this color clears your mind and helps you make decisions. If you want to have a clutter-free room, decorate it in blue! You will be more apt to keep the room clean by deciding to throw away junk more often.

3. Green - this color will inspire you to grow and show your true talents. It's a great idea to have green accents in your home office. This is the place where you work and unleash your inner-talents.

4. Red - this color helps you be bold, assertive and fearless. If some of us are afraid of cooking or trying new things, it might be a good idea to add red to the kitchen and dining room!

5. Yellow - this color is a cheerful color that helps open our minds for conversation. Try having yellow accents in your living room/sitting area to brighten the mood for you and your guests.

Tags:

choosing home colors, what colors mean, how colors effect mood, choosing accent colors

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

January 06 2014

10 Lunch Ideas That Don't Include Sandwiches!

By Princeton Properties | Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


















Since you were a kid, your typical bagged lunch probably consisted of some sort of a sandwich. Whether it was turkey, tuna or peanut butter and jelly, there was always something inside two pieces of bread waiting for you at lunch. We've come up with list of different options for a bagged lunch to bring a little variety to your daily routine!

1. Chili
2. Enchiladas
3. A green salad
4. Soup
5. Quiche
6. Quinoa salad
7. Homemade pizza
8. Vegetable stir fry
9. Sushi
10. Chicken and vegetable kebobs

Is your stomach growling yet??

Tags:

bagged lunch ideas, homemade lunch, something different than sandwich for lunch, what to pack for lunch

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

January 06 2014

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Frigid Weather

By Kathy Sutherland | | (0) Comments



Brrrr—it's cold outside!

The following guidelines will help you protect your companion animals when the mercury dips.

1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases,
including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

2. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are
outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

3. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the
winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.

4. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous
chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

5. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely
dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the
base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

6. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to
death.

7. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

8. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip-top shape.

9. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain
propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.

10. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

Lastly, Dr. Hall with Northside Animal Hospital said to watch out for some common symptoms animals display when they catch a cold. "Just like humans, our pets
can get sick from this weather too," Dr. Hall said. "They might stop eating, they might be lethargic, they might be coughing constantly, or have a nasal discharge.
Make sure your pets are doing well this winter."


Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

January 02 2014

Ways to Stay Warm Outdoors this Winter

By Princeton Properties | Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















Winter has only just begun and with snow in our future it's time to start dressing appropriately for cold outdoor temperatures! Whether you are heading out to sled in the snow or you are going outside to shovel out your car it's important to wear the right clothing. Here are some things to keep in mind before stepping out the door!

1. Eat a hot meal! Food supplies heat to the body so make sure you've had a good hearty meal if you're about to spend some time outdoors.

2. Dress in layers! Wearing several light layers is better at keeping heat in rather than one heavy layer.

3. Wear waterproof footwear! There's nothing worse than cold toes. If you're outside shoveling snow it's important to wear heavy-duty footwear that's going to keep your feet dry.

4. Purchase some hand warmers! Most sporting good stores have these guys by the register this time of year. They are great to keep in your pockets if you need a quick warm up.

5. Wool is your friend! Even though wool coats can be heavy, they have the ability to keep their warmth even if they get wet!

Have fun this winter and stay warm!

Tags:

staying warm in winter, how to dress in winter, what kind of clothes to wear in cold, ways to stay warm while shoveling, ways to stay warm while outside

« Back

msides's photo

December 30 2013

Life Outside of Bean-Dom!

By msides | | (0) Comments

BootsThe Unnecessary Struggles in the Pursuit of the Perfect Boot!

As most of you may know by now, I’m still pretty new to the New England area, and thus, I am in need of a pair of good winter boots. In the south, Ugg boots are about as warm and rugged as one would need. But up here in the harsh Maine winters, something of A LOT more substance is needed, as I’ve discovered.

I decided many months ago, long before I need a pair of boots, that I was going to get the end-all be all of boots, the L.L. Bean 'Bean Boot'. Seems like everyone has them and they wear them for everything from shoveling the front walk to perusing the mall. Scrolling through the website I found the pair, the women’s 10-inch, shearling-lined bean boot in black/black. I was so excited to find a pair in all black as that is the color I wear every day. In case you are wondering, the following link will show you which ones I’m referring to.

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/43281?feat=513860-GN3&page=women-s-bean-boots-by-l-l-bean-reg-10-quot-shearling-lined

So I decided as soon as I can purchase them I will, and being as we’re so close to the flagship store in Freeport, I thought, why not go there first to try them on? Unfortunately, the soonest I could go up there was the day after Christmas (since I spent all my funds on family and friends gifts, and my mother sent me an L.L. Bean gift card.) and you can guess what I encountered when I arrived. Yup, sold out! Not just in the black/black, but in every boot in my size. Damn my average size foot! I was shocked, and beyond irritated that this multi-billion dollar company ran out of their signature item! What is going on here? In their defense, the sales rep I was so fortunate to speak to (he was very rude, but that’s another story) said that this was their biggest year yet! Exciting for you, but terrible for me! I decided to try on the men’s boot just to see how they felt, and while they fit in the size, they were very wide in the leg, so that just wouldn’t work.
I decided to take this as a learning experience and make a mental note to check the L. L. Bean website every other day until the boots are in stock. For now, I really need some quality boots if I want to keep my toes this winter. The only thing I could think to do was check Google. I was able to narrow my search down to black/black women’s winter boots and was able to find these:

http://www.sorel.com/womens-winter-fancy-tall-boot-NL2021.html

They’re absolutely perfect, right? They are very similar to the Bean Boot, which is what I wanted in the first place. I tried on the short version at Cabela’s (shhh, don’t tell Bean!) and they are even more comfortable than the bean boot. I know, I know, it’s blasphemy! But ya know I’m really excited to have found what I like, and it’s in stock. Sorel looks like they have tons of great products, and excellent reviews. And who knows, this could be the start of a new boot trend. Maybe not, but I like them!

Tags:

« Back

msides's photo

December 30 2013

Life Outside of Bean-Dom!

By msides | | (0) Comments

BootsThe Unnecessary Struggles in the Pursuit of the Perfect Boot!

As most of you may know by now, I’m still pretty new to the New England area, and thus, I am in need of a pair of good winter boots. In the south, Ugg boots are about as warm and rugged as one would need. But up here in the harsh Maine winters, something of A LOT more substance is needed, as I’ve discovered.

I decided many months ago, long before I need a pair of boots, that I was going to get the end-all be all of boots, the L.L. Bean 'Bean Boot'. Seems like everyone has them and they wear them for everything from shoveling the front walk to perusing the mall. Scrolling through the website I found the pair, the women’s 10-inch, shearling-lined bean boot in black/black. I was so excited to find a pair in all black as that is the color I wear every day. In case you are wondering, the following link will show you which ones I’m referring to.

http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/43281?feat=513860-GN3&page=women-s-bean-boots-by-l-l-bean-reg-10-quot-shearling-lined

So I decided as soon as I can purchase them I will, and being as we’re so close to the flagship store in Freeport, I thought, why not go there first to try them on? Unfortunately, the soonest I could go up there was the day after Christmas (since I spent all my funds on family and friends gifts, and my mother sent me an L.L. Bean gift card.) and you can guess what I encountered when I arrived. Yup, sold out! Not just in the black/black, but in every boot in my size. Damn my average size foot! I was shocked, and beyond irritated that this multi-billion dollar company ran out of their signature item! What is going on here? In their defense, the sales rep I was so fortunate to speak to (he was very rude, but that’s another story) said that this was their biggest year yet! Exciting for you, but terrible for me! I decided to try on the men’s boot just to see how they felt, and while they fit in the size, they were very wide in the leg, so that just wouldn’t work.
I decided to take this as a learning experience and make a mental note to check the L. L. Bean website every other day until the boots are in stock. For now, I really need some quality boots if I want to keep my toes this winter. The only thing I could think to do was check Google. I was able to narrow my search down to black/black women’s winter boots and was able to find these:

http://www.sorel.com/womens-winter-fancy-tall-boot-NL2021.html

They’re absolutely perfect, right? They are very similar to the Bean Boot, which is what I wanted in the first place. I tried on the short version at Cabela’s (shhh, don’t tell Bean!) and they are even more comfortable than the bean boot. I know, I know, it’s blasphemy! But ya know I’m really excited to have found what I like, and it’s in stock. Sorel looks like they have tons of great products, and excellent reviews. And who knows, this could be the start of a new boot trend. Maybe not, but I like them!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

December 20 2013

How to Stay Entertained on your Holiday Road Trip

By Princeton Properties | Travel, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

















It's the weekend before Christmas which means everyone is going to be hitting the road and heading to Grandma's! Long rides in the car can be rough but we've got you covered. Here are some things to do to prepare for that impending road trip for the holidays to make it a bit more tolerable.

1. Update your iTunes library before heading off. You'll be thankful especially if the driver has a different taste in music than you!

2. Speaking of iTunes....try downloading some movies to watch!

3. Have an Amazon Kindle? Download a new book that you can dive into from the passenger's seat.

4. Never played the license plate game? Now may be a good time to give it a try! While you're at it, google some general trivia questions to ask your car mates on the trip.

5. When all else fails - take a nap! Unless you're the driver of course:)

We hope everyone travels safe this holiday week!

Tags:

how to stay entertained in the car, ways to pass the time in the car, activities for road trips

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

December 17 2013

The 10 Best Websites for Recipes

By Princeton Properties | Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















In charge of cooking Christmas dinner this year for your family? Don't worry! We've scoured the web and put together a list of 10 of the best websites for recipes! Now you just have to worry about the shopping.

1. All Recipes
2. The Food Network
3. Food.com
4. Martha Stewart
5. My Recipes
6. Epicurious
7. Food & Wine
8. Cooking Light
9. Chow
10. Taste of Home

Tags:

christmas recipes, sites for recipes, recipe websites, cooking websites, where to find christmas dinner recipes, cookinglight.com, foodnetwork.com, allrecipies.com, epicurious.com, chow.com, food.com, marthastewart.com, foodandwine.com, tasteofhome.com

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

December 13 2013

What to Do When You're Snowed-In

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















Cold weather has officially hit New England and it looks like we're in for a storm this weekend! When snow starts piling up and we're trapped indoors sometimes we can go a little stir crazy. Here are some ways to keep yourselves entertained through a long winter.

1. Bake - there's no better way to feel warm and cozy than to fire up the oven and bake some goodies to enjoy.

2. Write out those holiday cards - 'Tis the season for holiday greetings! If you've been procrastinating on sending out your holiday cards, this weekend may be a great time to get it done.

3. Break out the board games - Have a game night to pass the time

4. Have a movie marathon - Grab a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate and watch some of those flicks you've been waiting to see.

5. Update your music library - Tired of the songs in your iTunes? Why not spend a snowy afternoon downloading some new tunes?

6. Clean - This one doesn't sound like fun but you'll be happy when it's done!

Tags:

what to do when snowed-in, snowy day activities, entertaining yourself during snowstorm, indoor winter activities

« Back

Claire Collins's photo

December 12 2013

Because Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Are Meant To Be Together

By Claire Collins | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, Claire Collins, | (0) Comments

nullKids in the northeast grow up eating fluffernutter sandwiches. Unfortunately their primary ingredient, Fluff, isn’t available throughout the country. It wasn’t until college that I gained an appreciation for the wonderful peanut butter and Fluff sandwich when a dorm mate from New York received Fluff in a care package from her mother. We were lucky that she was so generous and shared.

Peanut butter and marshmallow are meant to be together, so I came up with this treat:


FLUFFERNUTTER BALLS

1 1 lb. bag Nutter Butter cookies, crushed
1 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
1 ½ cups Fluff or marshmallow crème
1 pound bag milk chocolate chips (Use Nestle or Ghirardelli, not the store brand. You'll be glad you did.)

Combine crushed cookies and peanut butter until the peanut butter is fully incorporated and the mixture looks like crumbs.

Fold Fluff or marshmallow crème into the peanut butter and cookie mixture until it holds together. It should have a marbled appearance.

Roll into one inch balls.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler, or in the microwave. (30 seconds at a time until they start to melt, then stir every 15 seconds.)

Dip balls in chocolate, put on waxed paper, and refrigerate until set.

Makes 6 dozen balls.

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

December 11 2013

7 Items to Keep in Your Car for Emergencies

By Princeton Properties | Travel, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments



















With winter quickly approaching we've put together a list of items to keep in your vehicle should emergency strike!

1. Mobile phone - no explanation needed. Keep your phone fully charged at all times in case of emergency

2. A blanket - Keep a blanket (or 2) folded in your trunk in case your car ever dies in cold weather. You'll be happy to have the blanket while waiting for help!

3. A First Aid Kit - these are always a good idea to have in your glove compartment or center console.

4. Kitty Litter - This one sounds strange....but if your car gets stuck in snow or ice this winter, sprinkle some kitty litter around your tires to help your traction.

5. Food & Water - Traveling for the holidays? Throw some granola bars and bottled water in your glove box. They'll come in handy if your car breaks down or you have a long trip!

6. Flashlight - Some of our cell phones have flashlights but don't waste your battery! Store a heavy-duty flashlight in the trunk of your car.

7. A shovel - You never know when you might need to dig yourself out of a snowy situation!

Drive safely this winter!

Tags:

items to keep in your car, safety when driving, driving in the winter, what emergency items to store in car, what should I store in my trunk

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

December 10 2013

Fantastic Holiday Side Dish!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments



I have made it several times and everyone loves it.....Warning: it is NOT figure friendly! Note: I do not add a stick of butter when melting the cheese...it doesn't need it....Enjoy!


BROCCOLI CHEESE CASSEROLE
Printed from COOKS.COM
________________________________________
4 bags (12 oz) broccoli
about 3 sticks butter (or your preference)
1 pound Velveeta cheese
2 stacks of Ritz Crackers
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 X 13-inch baking dish.
Cook broccoli according to directions on the package. Let it drain for 25 minutes in a colander (stir after you cook to get water out).
On stove, melt all the cheese with 1 stick of butter. Pour mixture with broccoli into a big bowl. Mix and stir completely. After you mix the broccoli with the cheese pour in a 9x13 dish.
In Microwave, melt remaining 2 sticks of butter. Mix that butter in a bowl with Ritz Crackers crumbs. (Mash the crumbs before putting them in the bowl.) Spread over top of broccoli in a 9x13 dish.
Cook, uncovered, at 350°F for 20-30 minutes (depends on the oven you have. Some cook faster than others).

Servings: 8
Nutrition (per serving): 618 calories, 47.6g total fat, 115.2mg cholesterol, 1169.9mg sodium, 785mg potassium, 33.8g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 7.1g sugar, 18.6g protein, 27.1g saturated fat, 2.7mg iron, 139.1mcg folate, 788.1mg phosphorus, 6722.5IU Vitamin A, less than 1mcg Vitamin B12, 158.6mg Vitamin C.

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

December 09 2013

5 Places to Order Your Holiday Cards Online!

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















Haven't ordered your holiday cards yet? Don't worry there's still time! Here are 5 great places to order personalized holiday cards and still receive them in time to send!


1. Vistaprint -Choose from thousands of holiday card templates or upload your own pre-made design.

2. Tinyprints- You can get your cards by Friday with expedited delivery!

3. Shutterfly - Create a holiday card featuring premium quality printing, vibrant colors and design options. Shutterfly also offers great discounts up to 50% off!

4. Zazzle - Personalize with your photos and message. (Tip: enter code Holcardssale to get 65% off)

5. Snapfish- Hundreds of premade templates allow you to drop your family photos in with ease!


Happy holidays from everyone at Princeton Properties!

Tags:

holiday cards, where to order holiday cards, online christmas cards, personalized christmas cards

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

December 04 2013

10 Ideas for Yankee Swap Gifts

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


















10 Ideas for Yankee Swap Gifts

Tis the season for holiday parties which means it's time to break out our thinking caps. Choosing a gift for a yankee swap can be tough since you have to choose something that will appeal to all types of people. Take a look at the list below for help in choosing the perfect gift!

1. iTunes gift card
2. A bottle of wine
3. A holiday movie on DVD
4. Lottery Tickets
5. Coffee (Starbucks & Dunkin' Donuts can be bought by the pound)
6. A holiday ornament
7. A gas card
8. Amazon.com gift card
9. A box of chocolates
10. A car scraper & brush (this always comes in handy in New England)

Happy shopping!

Tags:

yankee swap ideas, white elephant ideas, christmas gift ideas, what to buy for yankee swap, holiday gift ideas

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

November 22 2013

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Dry Erase Boards!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below to learn how to make your own DIY dry erase board using just 2 materials!


Tags:

creativity corner, diy dry erase board, how to make a dry erase board, diy craft project, easy dry erase board

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

November 20 2013

Tips for Hosting a Successful Thanksgiving Dinner

By Princeton Properties | Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


















Thanksgiving is only about a week away and we have you covered when it comes to pulling off a perfect Turkey Day!

Make Sure To Get a Head Count!
It's important to get a firm commitment from those who will be attending your feast. Write down the menu that you plan to feed to your guests (and always plan for leftovers). There’s nothing more embarrassing than running out of food or drink!

Stick with what You Know!
Thanksgiving dinner isn't the right time to try a new oyster stuffing or tofu turkey! Make sure to cook classic foods that your family and friends will recognize and enjoy.

Practice any NEW dishes!
Trying a new recipe for blueberry pie? Test it out this weekend so you can be sure it's worthy of the Thanksgiving Day menu!

Accept Help!
People will always ask "what can I bring?" Take them up on their offer and let them prepare some appetizers and desserts so you can take some pressure off of yourself.

Nail Down the Decor!
Start thinking about what dishes, linens, glasses, and silverware you plan to use. As you start to think about this, you’ll know if you need to borrow any of these supplies from a family member or friend. Order any flower arrangements for the tables early!

When in Doubt - Eat Out!
If all fails and the stress is getting to you just pick up the phone and make a reservation. There are plenty of restaurants that would be happy to host you and your family this Thanksgiving!

Tags:

how to host thanksgiving dinner, preparing for thanksgiving, tips for cooking thanksgiving dinner, how to host a thanksgiving dinner party

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

November 17 2013

It All Happened At Trader Joe's

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Travel, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments




I went to Trader Joe's here in Portland ME about two weeks ago to do my regular grocery shop. It was a Tuesday night at 6:15, needless to say it was crazy busy. I almost got run into twice with a cart, someone walked into me because they were on their phone not paying attention. I was frustrated and beyond annoyed. I thought I had everything on my list and then I realized I forgot something. I went back to get what I needed, and as I was walking back up to the registers, I noticed an envelope falling out of someone’s pocket. I started to yell to get their attention. They did not hear me, I left my cart in the aisle ran to the person that dropped it. He was very grateful and said you have no idea how much this means to me, his rent money was in it. The envelope had cash in it and it said rent on the front of the envelope. He kept thanking me and we walked off. I finished shopping and was waiting in line at the register, the man in front of me was telling the cash register attendant what just happened. The man turned around and said, it was you; you were the one that picked up the envelope, and he kept shaking his head and said he just could not believe it. Then they both started clapping, and more people started clapping. It was really nice but I was a little embarrassed and I feel my face on fire. I honestly felt like, is this really happening? It was something you see on TV or in a movie. I left Trader Joe's thinking I made some people believe for just a moment, that there are decent and honest people still out there in the world. There is no greater feeling than that!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

November 15 2013

The 5 Best Places to Find Online Coupons

By Princeton Properties | Marketing, Food, | (0) Comments


















Who doesn't like to save a buck? Well next time you're writing out your shopping list for the grocery store (or even your holiday shopping list), make sure you hit up the following websites to check for coupons! These sites have hundreds of deals that will help keep your pennies in the bank!


1. The Krazy Koupon Lady If she's crazy enough to spell crazy with a K then she must have some crazy deals to offer!

2. Passion for Savings If you have a passion for savings, this site is a great match for you!

3. Hip 2 Save The slogan for this site is "Not Your Grandmother's Coupon Site" so they must mean business!

4. Coupons.com This one is a favorite for grocery shopping. It has an easy to navigate design and printing these coupons is a cinch!

5. Retail Me Not Great for online shopping and Black Friday Deals (oh no...did we say Black Friday? Yes...it's right around the corner!)

Tags:

best coupon sites, where to print online coupons, grocery coupons, black friday coupons, retailmenot coupons

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

November 11 2013

How To Carve A Turkey

By Kathy Sutherland | | (0) Comments

1. Remove the string
Place the turkey on a carving board. Remove the string tying the legs together, using the tip of your chef’s knife.
Related: How to Hone a Knife
2. Remove the legs and thighs
Cut through the skin that connects the breast and the drumstick. Slice down until you reach the joint. Using a paper towel, grab the leg and push down, separating the leg and thigh from the bird. Use your chef’s knife to slice through the joint.
3. Remove the drumsticks
Separate the drumstick and the thigh by cutting through the joint that connects them. Transfer the drumstick to a platter; set aside the thigh meat on a cutting board to slice later. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the other leg.
4. Remove the wishbone
Find the wishbone at the front end of the breast. Use your fingers to pull it out.

Tip: Removing the wishbone makes it easier to carve off the breast meat.
5. Remove turkey breasts
Find the breastbone. Position a long, flexible knife (or a boning knife) on one side of it, and slice downward, as close to the bone as possible. As you slice, use your other hand to pull the meat away from the breastbone, until you’ve cut the breast off the carcass in one piece. Transfer to the cutting board.
Related: Cutting Board Know-How
6. Remove the wings
Using the chef’s knife, slicing through the joint to remove a wing, and transfer to the platter. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the other side.
7. Slice the thigh meat
Work on the cutting board. Holding the thigh bone with tongs or a paper towel, remove the meat from the bone with the edge of the chef’s knife. Transfer meat to platter.
8. Slice the breast meat
Using the tongs to steady the breast, position the meat so you’ll cut it at its shorter length. Slice against the grain, taking care to keep the skin attached. Transfer pieces neatly to a platter.

Tags:

« Back

msides's photo

November 09 2013

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which Will You Pick?

By msides | | (0) Comments

Black FridayThe most important day of shopping is almost upon us! BLACK FRIDAY! Throughout history there have been many Black Fridays (as in 1945, Hollywood Black Friday was named after a riot broke out at the gates of the Warner Bros. Studios!) but the one we all know, and maybe love, is happening this month on November 29th.
I have participated in one Black Friday and I personally do not understand the hype. Why spend a wonderful holiday with family and friends stuffing your faces, dozing on the couch, and reminiscing about that one time Grandpa caught his pants on fire, just to end it all to head over to your favorite local store or mall to sit outside and freeeeeze for hours? Now I know some people live for Black Friday; they’ve got it down to an art. They have all the right camping gear, a planned out schedule of what stores to hit and when. Statistically, more people do their shopping on Black Friday than any other day of the year. The amount spent on this momentous day has been steadily climbing over the years.

Check it out:
2007 – $34.6 Billion 2010 - $45 Billion
2008 – $41 Billion 2011 - $52.5 Billion
2009 – $41.2 Billion 2012 - %59.1 Billion
That’s a lot of billions! So yes, I get it. It’s a big deal. But what about Cyber Monday? Now that sounds like more my style! I can stay home, in my pajamas, and snuggled up to my laptop and shop til my fingers bleed! There’s not an official date of the first Cyber Monday, but instead it’s been a trend that retailers have noticed an increase in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. (According to Wikipedia, “’The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled 'Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year’”.) So why the sales are not as high as those of Black Friday, the popularity is increasing nonetheless.
Check it:
2007 – $733 Million 2010 - $1.028 Billion
2008 – $846 Million 2011 - $1.25 Billion
2009 - $887 Million 2012 - $1.46 Billion

By the way, all my numbers came from Wikipedia as well, if you want to check it out, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(shopping). Anyway, I think this year I’m going to give Cyber Monday a go. And just think, the more popular the day gets, the more sales and discounts retailers will offer us! So enjoy your Black Friday, but save some of that dough for Cyber Monday!

Tags:

« Back

msides's photo

November 09 2013

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which Will You Pick?

By msides | | (0) Comments

Black FridayThe most important day of shopping is almost upon us! BLACK FRIDAY! Throughout history there have been many Black Fridays (as in 1945, Hollywood Black Friday was named after a riot broke out at the gates of the Warner Bros. Studios!) but the one we all know, and maybe love, is happening this month on November 29th.

I have participated in one Black Friday and I personally do not understand the hype. Why spend a wonderful holiday with family and friends stuffing your faces, dozing on the couch, and reminiscing about that one time Grandpa caught his pants on fire, just to end it all to head over to your favorite local store or mall to sit outside and freeeeeze for hours? Now I know some people live for Black Friday; they’ve got it down to an art. They have all the right camping gear, a planned out schedule of what stores to hit and when. Statistically, more people do their shopping on Black Friday than any other day of the year. The amount spent on this momentous day has been steadily climbing over the years.

Check it out:
2007 – $34.6 Billion 2010 - $45 Billion
2008 – $41 Billion 2011 - $52.5 Billion
2009 – $41.2 Billion 2012 - %59.1 Billion

That’s a lot of billions! So yes, I get it. It’s a big deal. But what about Cyber Monday? Now that sounds like more my style! I can stay home, in my pajamas, and snuggled up to my laptop and shop til my fingers bleed! There’s not an official date of the first Cyber Monday, but instead it’s been a trend that retailers have noticed an increase in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. (According to Wikipedia, “’The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled 'Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year’”.) So why the sales are not as high as those of Black Friday, the popularity is increasing nonetheless.

Check it:
2007 – $733 Million 2010 - $1.028 Billion
2008 – $846 Million 2011 - $1.25 Billion
2009 - $887 Million 2012 - $1.46 Billion

By the way, all my numbers came from Wikipedia as well. Anyway, I think this year I’m going to give Cyber Monday a go. And just think, the more popular the day gets, the more sales and discounts retailers will offer us! So enjoy your Black Friday, but save some of that dough for Cyber Monday!

Tags:

« Back

msides's photo

November 09 2013

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which Will You Pick?

By msides | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Marketing, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Black FridayThe most important day of shopping is almost upon us! BLACK FRIDAY! Throughout history there have been many Black Fridays (as in 1945, Hollywood Black Friday was named after a riot broke out at the gates of the Warner Bros. Studios!) but the one we all know, and maybe love, is happening this month on November 29th.

I have participated in one Black Friday and I personally do not understand the hype. Why spend a wonderful holiday with family and friends stuffing your faces, dozing on the couch, and reminiscing about that one time Grandpa caught his pants on fire, just to end it all to head over to your favorite local store or mall to sit outside and freeeeeze for hours? Now I know some people live for Black Friday; they’ve got it down to an art. They have all the right camping gear, a planned out schedule of what stores to hit and when. Statistically, more people do their shopping on Black Friday than any other day of the year. The amount spent on this momentous day has been steadily climbing over the years.

Check it out:
2007 – $34.6 Billion 2010 - $45 Billion
2008 – $41 Billion 2011 - $52.5 Billion
2009 – $41.2 Billion 2012 - %59.1 Billion

That’s a lot of billions! So yes, I get it. It’s a big deal. But what about Cyber Monday? Now that sounds like more my style! I can stay home, in my pajamas, and snuggled up to my laptop and shop til my fingers bleed! There’s not an official date of the first Cyber Monday, but instead it’s been a trend that retailers have noticed an increase in sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. (According to Wikipedia, “’The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled 'Cyber Monday Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year’”.) So why the sales are not as high as those of Black Friday, the popularity is increasing nonetheless.

Check it:
2007 – $733 Million 2010 - $1.028 Billion
2008 – $846 Million 2011 - $1.25 Billion
2009 - $887 Million 2012 - $1.46 Billion

By the way, all my numbers came from Wikipedia as well. Anyway, I think this year I’m going to give Cyber Monday a go. And just think, the more popular the day gets, the more sales and discounts retailers will offer us! So enjoy your Black Friday, but save some of that dough for Cyber Monday!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

November 08 2013

Paw Prints: Holidays Bring Digestive Dangers For Fido & Fluffy

By Kathy Sutherland | | (0) Comments



It’s happy holiday season again.

The fun and festivities bring food and, right behind, Fido and Fluffy. That’s right, your pets have no idea why you’re celebrating, but they can smell the delicious bounty, and they’re delighted to invite themselves. Interestingly, cats cannot taste sweets and are rarely tempted by the chocolate treats. Chocolate poisoning is a well-known danger for dogs. The risk depends on several factors, including how much your dog weighs, how much chocolate was consumed, how dark the chocolate was and Fido’s other health issues. In general, the smaller the dog and the darker the chocolate, the greater the risk of chocolate poisoning. If your pooch devoured a candy bar with just a thin coating of milk chocolate, he may have avoided chocolate poisoning, but he’s not out of the woods. Treats can be tricky for pets. Inside that thin layer of milk chocolate is sweet, greasy candy, and lots of it. An overindulgence of sugar and fat can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Symptoms may be mild with decreased appetite, or severe with fulminant pancreatitis and ulcerated, hemorrhagic bowels. These patients can become very sick very quickly and often need supportive hospital care to survive.

Thanksgiving beckons us in a few weeks. The delicious aroma of a roast turkey dinner tempts even the best-behaved pet. Cats and dogs beg, drool, perform and whimper. If all else fails, thievery is a last resort. Whatever it takes, they want some of that scrumptious dinner, too. The problem is that our pets’ digestive systems are not designed to handle greasy, heavy food. As with the candy bar scenario, it is not uncommon for cats and dogs to fall ill after a Thanksgiving indulgence. Common symptoms are those of a mild tummy ache — loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. However, some cases progress to pancreatitis or HGE — hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. The pancreas is involved in normal digestion. During pancreatitis, this organ becomes inflamed. Patients feel ill and are in a lot of pain. Many owners do not recognize this pain, as their pet is not crying out loud like a person would. Instead, the pet becomes lethargic. Some cases of pancreatitis are life-threatening. Other cases lead to diabetes. HGE is a horrible illness that starts with a belly ache but rapidly progresses to ulcerated and bleeding bowels. .Without rapid treatment, infection and dehydration can lead to shock and death.

Although both pancreatitis and HGE can be managed medically, prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Another caution with the holiday turkey is the string used to tie the bird while roasting. By the time the bird is carved, that string is completely saturated with turkey drippings and gravy. Pets won’t hesitate to devour this string. Cats are particularly fond of this tasty temptation. The danger with strings is that both ends can pass through the intestines at different rates. As the faster end progresses through the digestive tract, the slower end creates a tug. This results in a tight string that begins to saw through the soft intestines. Gastrointestinal string foreign bodies are among the most dangerous objects to be caught in your pet’s intestines.

After the turkey is put to rest, sparkle and glimmer dance through December. From a pets’ perspective, holiday trees shine with glittery toys. Cats love to play with tinsel, but don’t let Fluffy eat it. Electric wires for holiday lights are not chew toys for pets. Electrocution and fire hazards are real dangers that affect pets every year. Even button batteries can be fascinating for pets. They may seem like fun amusement for our furry friends, but their small size makes them easy to swallow. Ingested batteries are dangerous and usually need to be removed surgically.

Finally, Many dogs like the taste of beer and mixed drinks, and cats may take some sips, too. Be sure to keep these out of reach of your furry family members. Pets are unable to metabolize alcohol as we do and can quickly succumb to alcohol poisoning.

If you’re looking for the “purrfect” holiday present for your precious pooch and fancy feline, remember that what your pet wants more than anything else is time with you. Plan an extra walk with Fido, and snuggle with Fluffy in front of the fireplace. Your pet will thank you, and you will feel better, too.
---
Provided by: Dr. Heidi Bassler practices at Bassler Veterinary Hospital (www.basslervet.com)

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

November 08 2013

Preparing to Move Checklist!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, | (0) Comments


















Moving can be a headache! We've cut out some of the stress by creating a checklist for you to follow before you key-in to your new home for the first time!
You can download your own copy of this checklist HERE so you can print it out and start getting organized before the big day!


Tags:

moving check list, how to prepare for a move, organizing to move, apartment checklist

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

November 06 2013

How Long Basic Pantry Items Last

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Food, | (0) Comments





















It seems canned goods and spices can last forever in a pantry. We buy them and a year later they are still there looking at us when we open the cabinet doors. Do you ever wonder how long some of these items last? Do they last longer if they are unopened? We have the scoop on when to toss some of your basic pantry items if they've made a home in your cabinets and not in your fridge or freezer....

Most Dried Spices
2-3 Years (opened or unopened)

Olive Oil
Opened - 18-24 months
Unopened - 2 years

Brown Rice
3-6 months (opened or unopened)

Vinegar
2 years for best quality (opened or unopened)

Peanut Butter (unprocessed)
6 months (opened or unopened)

Shortening
Opened - 1 year
Unopened - 2 years

Vanilla Extract
4 years (opened or unopened)

Dried Pasta
3 years (opened or unopened)

Sugar (white, brown or confectioners)
Keeps indefinitely (opened or unopened)

All Purpose Flour
1 year (opened or unopened)

Tags:

how long pantry items last, when to clean out pantry, how long canned goods last, expiration dates of pantry items

« Back

Heather Libby's photo

November 05 2013

Keeping Your Wallet & Your Hearts Full This Holiday Season

By Heather Libby | | (1) Comments


















Every year at this time I am ever-so-nicely reminded that the holiday season is among us when I walk into the local mall and hear Christmas music. For me, this time of year has always brought mixed feelings. The joy of spending time with family and the first snow fall of the year have always been things I look forward to. On the other hand, there are the traffic jams, the grumpy scrooges, and the ridiculous amounts of money spent on gifts, food, and decorations.
In my growing family with over ten nieces and nephews, one brother, one sister, mom, dad their spouses, grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins I am always looking for ways to save during the holidays. My family is always coming up with ideas from Black Friday shopping, adult Yankee Swaps to pot luck dinners. Last year we came up with one of my all time favorite money saving gift ideas. We started giving the gift of time.
Instead of buying a gift that will be played with for a month and soon forgotten, quickly consumed, or even re-gifted, why not give the one thing no one can have enough of: time. In my family we have started a new tradition instead of buying a gift for one another, we do something together. We take our children, nieces and nephews to the movies or to one of those fun indoor gyms like Cowabungas (Hooksett NH) or Nothin’ but Good Times (Merrimack NH). We set a date with our grandparents, aunts, and uncles to do their favorite things whether it be baking cookies with my aunt or watching my grandfather’s favorite World War II movie. This allows us all to save money and make some amazing memories. Try it; this may become your family’s new favorite tradition.

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

November 04 2013

Setting Up a Monthly Budget in 6 Steps

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments
















Once you get settled in a new apartment it's a great idea to set up a monthly budget with your new and existing expenses! Here are 6 steps to get you started....


1. Set your goal. Maybe you want to start saving for a new car or maybe you want to get out of debt.

2. Calculate how much money you make in a month (after taxes). Include tips, side-jobs, investments etc.

3. Calculate your expenses. This includes all of your utilities and bills. Save receipts for a month so you can track your how much you spend on things like groceries or gas. Divide your expenses into categories (housing, food, auto, entertainment, savings, medical, etc)

4. List all your spending for each category. Let's take Auto as an example: $300/month car payment, $100/month insurance, $250/month on gas. So, your total Auto budget for the month would be $650/month. If you don't know the exact amounts you spend, make good estimates.

5. Add up all your spending by categories. This should show your total monthly spending. Compare it to how much you make each month after taxes. This is the total you have left after all expenses have been paid. If your goal is to save, determine how much of that total you want to set aside.

6. Decide on a method to keep track of your budget. You can keep track in a ledger book or Microsoft Excel. Update your budget as income and expenses change throughout the year.

Tags:

monthly budget, how to start a budget, setting up monthly budget, how to calculate expenses

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 29 2013

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Pumpkin Carving with a Drill!

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Knives aren't the only thing you can use to carve a pumpkin! Watch the video below to learn how to carve a pumpkin using a power drill!



Tags:

pumpkin carving, carving pumpkin with drill, how to use a drill to carve pumpkin, diy pumpkin carving, unique pumpkin carving

« Back

Liz Roloff's photo

October 26 2013

Sports Superstitions - do they work?

By Liz Roloff | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

This seems like the perfect time to talk about sports superstitions. If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve seen them, the ritualistic taps, pats, tugs and steps that the players do before batting. I love the quote that’s become so popular this year; “it’s only weird if it doesn’t work”!

Since I’m not a die-hard sports fan, I do tend to watch the little details going on on the playing field and I don’t always know what team I’m watching. I do know what sport, however. So there is a baseball player who, after every pitch, steps away from home plate and readjusts his batting gloves. The things look like they fit like second skin, I don’t imagine they shift with every swing of the bat, but he pulls the Velcro closure open, re-sticks it, claps his hands together, picks up his bat, and steps back into his stance. I don’t know his name but his ritual is fascinating and it’s something in this crazy ever-changing world you can rely on.

Now, after reading an article about sport superstitions online (http://www.askmen.com/top_10/fitness_top_ten_60/99_fitness_list.html) I have a better understanding as to why athletes do this. It keeps them focused and it’s all a part of the series of motions their muscles have memorized. To make a change in the sequence or, heaven forbid, leave out a step, would throw their whole balance off. So, no problem if they need to tug their cap, tap their shoes, and spit on their gloves before stepping up to bat. What I would like to know is does this carry over to their fans? Does it really matter to a game that’s being played hundreds of miles away if a fan leaves the chair he/she was sitting in when the grand slam was hit? According to the sports-watching rules in my house, the answer is a resounding YES!

So, before a game on TV begins in our house, it’s in your best interest to pick the most comfortable chair, turn on the lights you would like to be able to read by should you lose interest in the game (because you aren’t leaving the room), have snacks and a cold drink within reach, oh, and use the restroom – extra innings are a killer!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 21 2013

5 Great Attractions in Salem, Massachusetts!

By Princeton Properties | Massachusetts, Travel, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments












Halloween is a big holiday for some people but its even BIGGER in the town of Salem, Massachusetts! Since Salem was the scene of the witch trials of 1692, Halloween has taken on a cultural identity for the Essex County town. If you're looking for some Haunted Happenings in Salem this year, we've got you covered. Here are the top places to visit (minus Princeton Crossing which we would consider number 1 of course!)

1. The Salem Witch Museum - The Salem Witch Museum presents one of the most tragic and enduring events in American history... THE WITCH HYSTERIA of 1692. Interest in what happened 300 years ago remains high and in fact keeps growing.

2. The Witch Dungeon Museum - An award winning live re-enactment of a 1692 witch trial plus a guided tour through the dungeon.

3. Gallows Hill Museum & Theater - Visit Salem's most unique attraction! Discover the facts, myths and legends surrounding Gallows Hill of Salem in this spectacular interactive, witchcraft and ghosts experience.

4. Salem Wax Museum - Salem’s #1 rated Haunted Attraction! Savor famous Maine apple buns, kettle corn, and other treats.

5. Frankenstein's Castle - Voted Salem’s best Haunted House. Step into the dungeon and enter the notorious chambers of Dr. Frankenstein.

Tags:

Salem, Massachusetts, Halloween in Salem, Things to do in Salem, The Witch Dungeon Museum, The Salem Witch Museum, Frankenstein's Castle Salem, Gallows Hill Museum

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

October 18 2013

Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere!

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Travel, Corporate Furnished, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Seems like everywhere you go there’s pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin! Who doesn’t love pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin chili…even pumpkin lasagna?

But how about the good ol’ original pumpkin pie? A staple on many a Thanksgiving table.

Here is a piece of what John Greenleaf Whittier wrote in his 1850 poem entitled "The Pumpkin" :

Ah! on Thanksday, when from East and from West,
From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest;
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board
The old broken links of affection restored;
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more,
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before;
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye,
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?

Let’s enjoy the "pumpkin everything" out there this season while it lasts!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

October 18 2013

Cute Halloween Cake Pops!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

nullCake Pops



Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Servings: 36

"With this recipe, cake balls and cake pops are a cinch By using your favorite flavor of cake mix, you will have a people-pleasing and easy party food."
INGREDIENTS:
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (16 ounce) container prepared frosting
1 (3 ounce) bar chocolate flavored confectioners coating

(Food coloring could be used to make orange pumpkins.)

DIRECTIONS:

1.Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.
2.Melt chocolate coating in a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
3.Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture. Dip the balls in chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper to set.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 10/18/2013

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 15 2013

5 Places to Shop When Decorating on a Budget!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Everyone wants their home to look chic and unique but sometimes popular home decor stores can be pricey. If you just moved into your new apartment or you've lived in your current home for a while and are ready to decorate, check out our list below of places you should hit before breaking the bank!


1. Consignment Shops
Consignment stores that focus on home decor items and furniture are excellent places to shop for new items for your home. You can even try bargaining with the item’s owner to get the best deal possible!

2. Online Classifieds
Need a desk for a home office or a dresser for your spare bedroom? Check eBay or Craigslist before heading to the furniture store! You can find many gently used pieces of furniture that are sometimes even FREE if you are willing to drive and pick them up!

3. TJMaxx or Homegoods
Pillows, lamps, curtains, knick knacks.....TJMaxx and Homegoods have all of these items and more at great prices. While there check the clearance shelves for seasonal items that are heavily discounted. Next year when the holidays roll around you'll be happy you did.

4. Yard Sales
Yard Sales are a great place to peruse old treasures without the high prices of some antique shops! Next time you see one in your neighborhood stop in. You never know if you're neighbors are selling something your home desperately needs at a great price.

5. The Dollar Store
The 99 cent store is a great place to find home furnishings like picture frames, dish towels, placemats and flower vases. The best part? You guessed it! Everything in the store is 99 cents!

Tags:

decor on a budget, cheap home decor, inexpensive home furnishings, shopping for new apartment, 5 places to shop for home decor

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 11 2013

The Ultimate Shopping List for Stocking a New Kitchen

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















When you move into your new apartment and the cupboards are bare it can be overwhelming trying to remember everything you need at the supermarket!
We've put together the Ultimate list that will have you cooking and baking in your new kitchen in no time!


REFRIGERATOR/FREEZER
Milk
Eggs
Cheddar
Mozzarella
Fresh Fruit (Apples, Oranges, Berries, Watermelon etc.)
Fresh Vegetables (Spinach, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Tomatoes etc.)
Applesauce
Jams/Jellies
Salad Dressings
Fresh Cilantro
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Ketchup
Salsa
Hot Sauce
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Lemon Juice Yogurt
Butter
Sour Cream
Dry Active Yeast
Poultry
Meat
Fish
Frozen Fruit (Blueberries, Strawberries, Mixed, etc.)
Frozen Vegetables (Spinach, Corn, Peas, etc.)


PANTRY/CUPBOARDS
Evaporated Milk
Condensed Milk
Olive Oil
Canola Oil
Cooking Spray
Vinegar
All-Purpose Flour
Whole Wheat Flour
Sugar
Brown Sugar
Powdered Sugar
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Baking Soda
Vanilla
Chocolate Chips
Canned Tuna
Canned Soups
Cornstarch
Dry Pasta
Pasta Sauce
Bread Crumbs
Olives
Enchilada Sauce
Onion Soup Mix
Canned Beans
Tomato Sauce
Brown Rice
White Rice
Oatmeal
Honey
Peanut Butter
Nuts
Chicken/Beef/Vegetable Broth or Bullion
Canned Tomatoes
Baking Powder
Bread
Tortillas
Buns
Potatoes
Onions


SPICES
Salt
Pepper
Cinnamon
Chili Powder
Oregano
Basil
Cumin
Ginger
Thyme
Rosemary
Parsley
Red Pepper Flake
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Paprika
Cloves
Nutmeg
Sesame Seeds
Bay Leaves

Tags:

stocking new kitchen, ultimate shopping list, how to stock a new kitchen, what to buy to fill kitchen

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 08 2013

5 Places to Donate Old Clothing!

By Princeton Properties | Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments





















It's time to clean out the closets and pack away the summer clothes. While packing the shorts and sleeveless shirts away this year, take a moment to look through your seasonal wardrobe and see if there is anything you might consider donating! If you are able to put together a pile, here are some places you can consider when making your contribution....


1. Goodwill
Sales from clothing donated to Goodwill help fund job training programs and employment placement services for people who have disabilities, lack education, or face employment challenges. Visit their site HERE to find out where your local Goodwill is!

2. Donate My Dress
Have an old bridesmaid dress to get rid of? This organization gives your old dress new life by gifting it to teens who can’t afford prom dresses. Head HERE to find a drop-off location near you.

3. Clothes4Souls
This non-profit organization collects new clothes from manufacturers and gently worn clothes from you, then supplies them to impoverished countries around the world. They have over 670 locations in the U.S. and you can find them all HERE.

4. Room to Grow
If you are also cleaning out your children's closets, you can give new or barely worn baby clothes, toys, and furniture to this family-friendly, non-profit charity to support those living in poverty. Click HERE to find out where you can donate in Boston.

6. Salvation Army
With locations countrywide, this 147-year old organization accepts gently worn clothing, toys, furniture, and household goods to benefit the homeless and less privileged. Visit website HERE to find your nearest location or to organize a pick-up.

Tags:

donating old clothes, where to donate clothing, how to donate old items, room to grow, salvation army, goodwill. donate my dress, clothes 4 souls

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

October 04 2013

Happy Baking Season

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments



When I think of fall I think about football, apple picking, Halloween, pumpkins, the cool fresh air and baking. The fall is when I do the most baking than any other time in the year. However, by the time the holidays come around I am pretty much over it. Everything that I bake now I freeze and serve when the time comes to use it. It’s nice to get a jump start on it, when you are not in a time crunch to get it done. It is always a blast to bake with friends, turn up the tunes and have some fun. I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake:
Ingredients
Crust:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs , 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 stick melted salted butter
Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For crust:
In medium bowl, combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
For filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined. Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
After the pumpkin cheesecake has set you can drizzle caramel or hot fudge and serve with whip cream or ice cream to garnish. If your sweet tooth is anything like mine, you might want to try it all on top!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

October 03 2013

5 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


















The weather is changing and that means colder days are ahead of us! Get yourself ahead of the game by reading the following 5 tips to cut your energy costs so your winter bills don't hurt your wallet!

1. Open the shades and blinds during the day. The natural sunlight will heat the surfaces in your home like carpet and furniture. At night close the blinds or curtains to trap the heat inside your home.

2. At night wear layers and use extra blankets on the bed. For every 1 degree Fahrenheit you turn down your thermostat you will save up to 3% on energy costs.


3. Don't let your dishwasher dry your dishes. If your dishwasher has a hot air setting, shut it off and dry the dishes by hand.


4. Unplug unused appliances. Shut off the computer at night and unplug the coffee pot if you don't need it. Just because the power is off does not mean the appliance is not using energy.


5. Use compact florescent light bulbs. These bulbs are generally brighter and use less energy. Replacing all the light bulbs in your home with florescent bulbs can reduce your energy costs up to 7%.

Tags:

cutting energy costs, ways to lower energy bill, ways to lower electric bill, how to lower gas bill. how to lower energy costs

« Back

msides's photo

September 30 2013

How to Make Your Pumpkin Carving Last All Season!

By msides | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Fall is in full swing and soon we will being seeing all the amazing pumpkin carvings decorating everyone's homes. But sadly as the season morphes into winter, the pumpkins morph into saggy, stinky, warped versions of their former selves. I stumbled across this awesome website that offers the best way to preserve that beautiful work of art you worked so long and hard on!

http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/carvedpumpkins.php

This site has provided way more information than anyone could ask for about Mr. Jack O. Lantern, including a link to purchase your very own preservation kit. Who knew?

I also came across several websites hosted by people who have taken it upon themselves, for the great good of all pumpkin carvers, to test which products and methods work best to preserve the infamous orange gaurd we love so much.

http://www.myscienceproject.org/pumpkin.html

It kind of makes me wonder who thought up these methods in the first place! I think it would be fun to line up a row of pumpkins and try these different products for myself. I'll make it a scientific Halloween this year!

So go out there and sharpen up your carving skills! Don't be afraid to give Jack your all, he'll be around a lot longer this year!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 27 2013

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Fruit Fly Trap!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Everyone hates have pesky fruit flies in their home! Watch the video below to learn how to make a homemade trap to get rid of these unwanted visitors!

Tags:

« Back

Heather Libby's photo

September 26 2013

Crock Pot Cooking

By Heather Libby | | (0) Comments

Crock pot cooking

I love fall for so many reason but one of my favorite things about the season is pulling out my good old crock pot. Cooking in the crock pot is quick and easy. The best part about it is that you have a home cooked meal when you get home from work. Here are some helpful tips to using your crock pot this season, or any season.
Crock pots come in different sizes and usually have two or three setting; low –200 degrees, high - 300 degrees and warm -165 degrees. Some older crock pots may vary so you’ll want to keep an eye the first few times you use your new or used crock pot.
Fatty foods such as meat will retain heat more. If you are cooking meat it is best to trim off the fatty part or place it on top with your vegetables like carrots and potatoes, such as in a beef stew, on the bottom and sides.
Crock pots are known for simply being able to “set it and forget it”. However, if you have the time to marinate and/or brown your meats and sauté your vegetables it will add more flavor to your meal.
To assure all food is thoroughly cooked you will only want to fill your crock pot about 1/3 of the way full.
Avoid opening the crock pot while it is cooking. If you must open it at anytime make sure to add an additional 20 minutes to your cook time.
Lastly, Enjoy!
Here is one of my favorite crock pot recipes: Beef Stew
Ingredients
• 2 pounds stewing beef
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 cups beef broth
• 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled
• 2 or 3 bay leaves
• 1 medium onion, sliced
• 3 medium potatoes, quartered
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 3 large carrots, sliced
• 3 ribs celery, chopped
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 gallon sized sealable plastic bag
Directions
• Combined salt, pepper, paprika and flour into plastic bag. Add beef to bag coating all sides with mixture.
• In large skillet heat oil on medium/high and brown meat on all sides. Do not cook through.
• Place potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions at the bottom of your crock pot with beef on top.
• Add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours
• For thicker gravy, remove 2 cups of broth from crock pot and combine 2 tablespoons flour in a separate. Mix together until smooth and stir into crock pot. Cook for another 20 minutes.

*Try serving over egg noodles

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 24 2013

5 Things to Consider when Buying Art for your Home

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments























The art you choose for your home says a lot about you to others who come by to visit. Just as the art piece captures the emotions of the artist, the purchase captures the taste of the buyer. Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you head to the checkout counter with a piece of art....

1. Do I want a statement piece that will stand out or more of a neutral piece that will go with changes in the color palette of my home?

2. Do I have the right size available wall space for this piece?

3. Do I love it or do I just love the price?

4. Is it a seasonal piece that I will have to take down when the seasons change?

5. Does this piece really reflect my personal taste?

Now that you've answered all of these questions...have fun enjoying the piece of art you've chosen for your home!

Tags:

Choosing art for my home, how to pick out artwork, choosing artwork, things to consider when buying art, wall art ideas

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

September 22 2013

Save Energy Be Green

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

nullCheck out these energy savings!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

September 20 2013

It's Apple Season!

By Shannon Earley | | (0) Comments

















The weather gets colder and everyone in New England starts thinking APPLES!!! Well, me too! Apple picking gets you out in the gorgeous fall weather and there is nothing better than getting lost in an orchard. Every year we argue over the best apples, Cortlands to cook with, MacIntosh’s for eating, and then there are Galas, Empires, Red Delicious and Honey Crisps. Which one is your favorite?

Here are some great sites for finding apples in New Hampshire and Massachusetts:
http://www.pickyourown.org/NH.htm
http://www.orangepippin.com/orchards/united-states/new-hampshire
http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/apple_pyo.htm

And when you get home there is a flurry of cooking and baking: apple pie, and apple crisp and apple crumble and apple sauce and fresh pressed apple cider!

Just remember apples always taste best in the orchard!
in the orchard!

Tags:

apple picking, apple pie, apple crisp, Cortland, MacIntosh, Gala, Empire, Red Delicious, Honey Crisp, orchard

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 19 2013

How to get Acquainted with New Neighbors

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments





















You've moved into your new apartment and now it's time to have some fun! Ready to meet new neighbors but don't know how? Follow these helpful tips!


Mingle where the people are!
One of the easiest ways to meet people in your neighborhood is to find out where people gather and go there. If you’ve moved during the summer and your neighborhood has a pool (like many Princeton Properties do)l, take a few hours away from your unpacking, jump in and make friends!

Let the children mingle!
If you have children, it’s often easier to meet neighbors and to make new friends. Keep an eye out for children who seem to be close in age to your own children, then go introduce yourself and your offspring.

Knock on Doors & Introduce yourself!
Your new neighbors may be interested in meeting you, but might feel like you’re too busy unpacking and settling in to be bothered with an unexpected visit. That’s why you need to take the first step by knocking on their doors.

Volunteer!
Get to know your new neighborhood by researching some local charities that could use volunteers! Your friends at the rental office are very knowledgeable when it comes to volunteering so they should be able to help. Find a great volunteer project? Ask if you can hang signs in the apartment common areas.

Visit the Gym or Local Exercise Class!
People who sweat together stay together! Check and see if your community offers any free exercise classes (this is something many of our Princeton Properties do!) You can meet friends and arrange to take weekly classes together.

Go to Community Events!
Princeton Properties offers events for their residents several times per year. Head to the next event and introduce yourself to your neighbors! Make sure to exchange information so you can meet up with them after the event is over!

Tags:

meeting new neighbors, how to meet new neighbors, tips for introducing myself to new neighbors, how to meet people at my apartment

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

September 18 2013

Please Pass The Salt

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


Although it is most often used to season food, salt has many other practical uses.
Got stains on your copper cookware? Dip lemon halves in salt and rub the stains away. You can also clean copper, bronze, brass, and pewter with a paste of salt and white vinegar.
Brighten cutting boards by rubbing with a damp cloth dipped in salt. If grease spills in your oven while cooking, sprinkle salt on it before it is baked on. Continue cooking and by clean up time, the spill will be an easily removed pile of ash.
Keep windows frost-free by wiping them with a sponge dipped in salt water.
Using salt and baking soda to unclog a drain will take care of bad odors at the same time. Pour one cup salt into drain, followed by one cup baking soda. Pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain and let it work on your problem.
Neutralize bitter coffee by adding a dash of salt to your cup.
Remove rust from screwdrivers and other tools by rubbing them with a slice of raw potato dipped in salt.
Have a water ring on your wood tabletop? Mix equal parts of corn oil and salt, rub it into the ring and then polish it off with a clean cloth.
Prevent runs in pantyhose by first soaking them for thirty minutes in a solution of ½ cup of salt dissolved in one quart of water. Rinse and drip dry. The salt strengthens the nylon fibers.
Salt has been an essential preservative and flavoring since ancient times and continues to be a staple of life, useful in so many ways.


Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 17 2013

6 Steps to Organizing your Refrigerator

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















Refrigerators can easily get messy (and even scary) if we don't take the time to clean them out every so often. Here are 6 steps you should take to make sure your fridge stays fresh!


Step 1: Empty it out!
Remove everything from your refrigerator. This includes all drawers and bins.

Step 2: Sort all of your items!

Sort everything you've removed from your refrigerator into the following categories:
• Beverages
• Condiments, salad dressing and sauces
• Produce - vegetables
• Produce - fruits
• Lunch meats and cheeses
• Eggs and butter
• Yogurt, cottage cheese, dips, etc.
• Leftovers


Step 3: Throw Away Any Science Experiments!
Throw away any leftovers that are old. Do the same thing with fruits and vegetables that have been in the produce drawer for a while.

Step 4: Organize Your Condiments!
Review all of your condiments, salad dressings and sauces. Throw away any past the expiration date. If you have two opened bottles of the same thing, combine them and throw one of the bottles away.

Step 5: Clean Clean Clean!
Use warm, soapy water and clean the inside of your refrigerator. Take shelves and drawers out and clean them in the sink.

Step 6: Put it all back together!
Put everything back in your refrigerator! Condiments, dressings etc should go on the door. Lunch meats and cheeses should go into a drawer. Produce should go into crispers. Everything else can be organized neatly on shelves. Put small items (like yogurts) in baskets to avoid getting knocked over.

Tags:

cleaning refrigerator, how to clean fridge, steps to cleaning refrigerator

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

September 14 2013

Fleas On Dogs & Cats and What You Can Do About It!

By Kathy Sutherland | | (0) Comments

Fleas on dogs and cats! These small dark brown insects prefer temperatures of 65-80 degrees and humidity levels of 75-85 percent -- so for some areas of the country they are more than just a "summer" problem.

Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment. The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. (Fleas do not have wings, so they cannot fly!) The flea’s bite can cause itching for the host but for a sensitive or flea-allergic animal, this itching can be quite severe and leads to hair-loss, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Some pets, hypersensitive to the flea's saliva, will itch all over from the bite of even a single flea!
The flea information presented here will focus on treatment for and prevention of fleas, which, let’s face it, is just as important to the pet as it is to the pet's caretakers!

How do you know if fleas are causing all that itching – formally known as pruritus? Generally, unlike the burrowing, microscopic Demodex or Scabies Mites, fleas can be seen scurrying along the surface of the skin. Dark copper colored and about the size of the head of a pin, fleas dislike light so looking for them within furry areas and on the pet's belly and inner thighs will provide your best chances of spotting them.

Look for "flea dirt", too. "Flea dirt" looks like dark specks of pepper scattered on the skin surface. If you see flea dirt, which is actually flea feces and is composed of digested blood, pick some off the pet and place on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes the tiny specks spread out like a small blood stain, it's definitely flea dirt and your pet has fleas!

Understanding the Flea Life Cycle
In order to understand how and why treatment options work, we must first understand the flea’s life cycle since the various modern treatment and prevention products work on different parts of this life cycle. There are several stages to its life cycle: egg, larva or caterpillar, pupa or cocoon, and adult. The length of time it takes to complete this cycle varies depending upon the environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and the availability of a nourishing host.

The flea's host is a warm-blooded animal such as a dog or cat (or even humans!) However, the various flea stages are quite resistant to freezing temperatures. The adult female flea typically lives for several weeks on the pet. During this time period she will suck the animal’s blood two to three times and lay twenty to thirty eggs each day. She may lay several hundred eggs over her life span. These eggs fall off of the pet into the yard, bedding, carpet, and wherever else the animal spends time.

These eggs then proceed to develop where they have landed. Since they are about 1/12 the size of the adult, they can even develop in small cracks in the floor and between crevices in carpeting. The egg then hatches into larvae. These tiny worm-like larvae live among the carpet fibers, in cracks of the floor, and outside in the environment. They feed on organic matter, skin scales, and even the blood-rich adult flea feces.

The larvae grow, molt twice and then form a cocoon and pupate, waiting for the right time to hatch into an adult. These pupae are very resilient and are protected by their cocoon. They can survive quite a long time, waiting until environmental conditions and host availability are just right. Then they emerge from their cocoons when they detect heat, vibrations and exhaled carbon dioxide, all of which indicate that a host is nearby. The newly emerged adult flea can jump onto a nearby host immediately.

Under optimal conditions, the flea can complete its entire life cycle in just fourteen days. Just think of the tens of thousands of the little rascals that could result when conditions are optimal!
Knowing this life cycle allows us to understand why it has always been important to treat both the host animal and the indoor and outdoor environment in order to fully control flea numbers. Simply sprinkling some flea powder on your pet will not work; simply vacuuming the home vigorously will not work, simply placing a flea collar or using a flea topical on your pet will not work.
Prescription Medication

There are a wide variety of flea products on the market today, but the newer prescription products are finally taking the frustration out of flea control with popular and highly effective brands. In some cases it is even possible to gain control by treating only the pet. Some of these flea products do not harm the adult flea but instead prevents her eggs from hatching, thus breaking the life cycle of the flea; with no reproduction the flea population eventually dissipates as long as the pet isn't coming in contact with new fleas continually.
In warm climates, this treatment is typically year round, but in other climates treatment should begin in early spring before the flea season starts. In addition, these type of products are not a good choice for animals that are allergic to flea saliva (have flea bite hypersensitivity) since the adult fleas are not killed and are still able to bite the animal.

Information provided by PetMD

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 10 2013

5 Benefits of Living in a Studio Apartment!

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (1) Comments





















Studio apartments tend to have a negative reputation just because they are small but have you ever thought about all of the positive aspects to living in one?
Don't worry, we've here to help....


You won't collect clutter - While we all love stuff, with a studio apartment you have to only choose what you really love; nothing else will fit!

No room for unwanted guests- Living in one room without a guest bedroom can come in handy in thwarting any unwanted guests that might want to come for extended stays with you!

Smaller place to clean - Sweeping, to vacuuming and even laundry is all diminished due to your living space being physically smaller and having less room to keep clothes and unwanted junk.

Multi-tasking made easy - With everything in one room and within reach, cooking, cleaning, paying bills and even watching the evening news can all be done without having to switch rooms!

Save $$$ - Utilities will obviously be cheaper in a smaller space! Studio apartments are easier to cool in the summer and cheaper to heat in the winter.

Tags:

Benefits of Studio Apartments, studio apartment living, reasons to live in a studio apartment, do studio apartments save money

« Back

Heather Libby's photo

September 10 2013

Hunger Action Month!

By Heather Libby | | (0) Comments

September is Hunger Action Month! Wear your orange tops, slacks or scarves to bring awareness. If at all possible, set some time aside to volunteer or put together some non-perishable food items to donate. The use of food banks and soup kitchens is on the rise daily; now more than ever it is an important time to give to your local food banks. Here is a list of the most common needed items:
Canned Chicken
Canned Tuna
Canned Salmon
Peanut Butter
Jelly
Mac n Cheese
Canned Soup/Stew/Chili
Canned/Dried Beans
Canned Nuts
Rice and Rice Mixes
Pasta
Noodle Mixes

Tags:

« Back

Claire Collins's photo

September 09 2013

My First Chalk Painted Furniture Project

By Claire Collins | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Claire Collins, | (0) Comments

Annie Sloan Chalk PaintI kept hearing about using chalk paint to refinish furniture, how easy it is, and how it doesn’t require priming or sanding before painting. With two old and worn brown dressers in my spare bedroom, I was game.

After a little research reading blog posts, looking at Pinterest photos of finished projects, and getting over the initial shock of how expensive the paint and specialty brushes are I posted as my Facebook status “Chalk paint: who's tried it? Is it as easy as they make it sound?”

The responses came quickly and were positive. My stylish college roommate who now lives in California commented, “I have tried it. Very easy to use. You have to use the wax afterwards... and even then I find the finish to be a little flat. It's definitely a ‘look’ - shabby chic.”

Annie Sloan, the woman and the company, is in England and has been making chalk paint for 20 years. The retailers, or stockists as they are called, of chalk paint in the US are somewhat limited. I was able to visit an antique shop with a helpful owner who gave me some good advice, though the paint and brushes can also be ordered online. Had I been more patient and less eager to begin the project, I would have purchased a nicely priced starter kit from Perfectly Imperfect in Troy, Alabama www.perfectlyimperfectshop.com.

I removed the hardware from the two ugly dressers and got started. Just like everyone said, the old brown stain was covered with only two coats of French Linen chalk paint. Each coat of paint dried in about an hour, I waxed with the special Annie Sloan wax, distressed the details lightly with fine sandpaper, waxed again, and buffed. The whole process took less than a day, and less than a can of chalk paint for two dressers. The hardware was freshened with black spray paint, and now the spare bedroom looks very cottage cute with its “new” dressers.

So, my first chalk paint project will not be my last. Now that I’ve invested in the brushes and need to perfect my technique, next weekend’s project will be two tired white painted chairs that will be transformed by Provence blue chalk paint. Annie and I will soon become good friends, I’m sure. I'll watch some more of her YouTube videos, invite her over for tea...

Tags:

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

September 09 2013

Apple Picking in Maine

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

As fall is quickly approaching, apple picking season in Maine is in full swing. Many local orchards are open and ready for business. Why not head out to a local orchard and spend the afternoon apple picking?
There are numerous ways to enjoy apples not just as a snack or dessert! There are soup recipes that incorporate apples, salads, roast them with vegetables, make cookies, or apple butter. Of course there are always the old stand bys of apple crisp, apple pie, apple sauce or pick up a gallon of apple cider!
Check out this website that lists apple orchards in Maine as well as many mouth watering recipes and some history about the apple I bet you didn’t know!
http://www.maineapples.org/directory/

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

September 06 2013

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

By Kathy Sutherland | | (1) Comments


Foods that Can Hurt Your Dog

Most dogs love food, and they’re especially attracted to what they see us eating. While sharing the occasional tidbit with your dog is fine, it’s important to be aware that some foods can be very dangerous to dogs. Learn which ones.

Chocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our animal companions. Our nutrition experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine

These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

Avocado

The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Grapes & Raisins

Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

Yeast Dough

Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones

Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Xylitol

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Onions, Garlic, Chives

These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.

Milk

Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Salt

Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!


Foods that Can Hurt Your Dog

Most dogs love food, and they’re especially attracted to what they see us eating. While sharing the occasional tidbit with your dog is fine, it’s important to be aware that some foods can be very dangerous to dogs. Learn which ones.

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 06 2013

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Autumn Wall Art!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below for instructions on how to make quick, easy and affordable autumn decor for your home!


Tags:

diy fall decor, easy autumn decor, diy leaf art, fall decorations, easy autumn decor

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

September 04 2013

5 Safety Tips for Living Alone

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments



















Living alone in your own apartment can be exciting! You have your own space all to yourself. You can decorate how you want and enjoy the peace and quiet of being your own roommate. If this is a lifestyle that is preferable to you, please read these safety tips for people who live alone...

1. Don't answer your door if you aren't expecting a visitor! Friends, family and apartment staff will typically let you know when they will be dropping by. Use your peep hole or just simply leave your door unanswered if you don't feel safe when home alone.

2. Get a dog! Princeton properties offers many pet-friendly apartment homes and having a dog can help you feel safe since they bark when something unusual happens.

3. Familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood! By learning the patterns of the neighborhood, you'll be more likely to tell when something suspicious is taking place. Also, pay close attention to unfamiliar vehicles that are roaming the streets at odd hours

4. Know your local emergency numbers! When moving into a new city, make sure to jot down any emergency phone numbers you might need and keep them in a safe place (like the kitchen).

5. Lock your doors when you aren't home!

Tags:

safety tips, living alone, being safe while living alone, 5 safety tips, how to be safe in apartment

« Back

Liz Roloff's photo

September 04 2013

'Tis the season for soup!

By Liz Roloff | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Minestrone soupMy cousin, David Straight, is an amazing chef and former inn keeper and has spoiled us over the years with some fantastic meals. One of my favorites is his Minestrone soup - easy, hearty, and chuck-full of good-for-you vegetables! Don't be afraid of the prep work, it's easy and so worth it! Remember the Parmesan cheese before serving, it's the perfect touch to a great cool weather dish.

Minestrone with fresh tomatoes

This can easily get very salty, so try to pick canned beans w/as low sodium as possible. Also, V8 has a low sodium version.

½ cup olive oil
4 small yellow onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small zucchini, chopped
4 red potatoes, unpeeled, large chop
2 stalks celery, large chop
2 cups fresh green beans, cut to 1 inch pieces
5 ripe, plum tomatoes, chopped
8 cups vegetable broth (College Inn garden veg. Is the best!)
1 ½ tsp dried parsley
1 ½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried sage
1 can canellini (white beans) undrained
1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1/3 cup V8 juice
1/3 cup elbow macaroni

In a small saucepan, sauté onions and garlic in the olive oil until onion is translucent (5-7 minutes). In a soup kettle, combine zucchini, potatoes, celery, green beans, plum tomatoes, broth and onion/garlic mixture. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes.

Turn heat up and add herbs, beans, macaroni, and V8. Cook for length of time directed for macaroni.

Serve with Parmesan cheese, great with crusty bread and white wine!

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 28 2013

5 Benefits to Having House Plants

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Health, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments




















Having plants in your home or your office aren't just for decor....there are many health and wellness benefits! Here are five reasons you should add some greenery to your home.

1. Improving Health - Adding plants to hospital rooms speeds recovery rates of surgical patients, according to researchers at Kansas State University. Compared to patients in rooms without plants, patients in rooms with plants request less pain medication, have lower heart rates and blood pressure, experience less fatigue and anxiety, and are released from the hospital sooner.

2. Sharpening Focus - A study at The Royal College of Agriculture found that students demonstrate 70 percent greater attentiveness when they’re taught in rooms containing plants. In the same study, attendance was also higher for lectures given in classrooms with plants.

3. Removing Toxins - Plants remove toxins from air – up to 87 percent of volatile organic compounds every 24 hours, according to NASA research.

4. Breathing Easier - When you breathe, your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This opposite pattern makes plants and people natural partners. Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels and help you breathe!

5. Releasing Water - As part of the photosynthetic and respiratory processes, plants release moisture vapor, which increases humidity of the air around them. Plants release roughly 97 percent of the water they take in. By putting several plants together, you can increase the humidity of a room, which helps keeps respiratory distresses at bay.

Tags:

Benefits to having house plants, house plants, reasons to buy plants, plants and health, plants improve health

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

August 27 2013

Summer 2013

By Jackie Tirado | | (0) Comments

Summer has flown by! September is approaching way to fast. I can't complain though this summer has been amazing ! In the beginning of the season I wrote up a to do list, since then I did almost every single thing on my list. I've taken a few last minute road trips out of state to visit family, watched the sun rise on more than one occasion, got caught in a few unexpected rain storms and gone to the lake almost every weekend. My friends and I have had some great BBQ's and bon fires. We got to go hiking recently which is such a great way to get some exercise. The beach has become a common place to head to after the office. I learned how to surf and have enjoyed fresh seafood by the beach every chance I got. This summer has been great a lot of wonderful memories were created. I'm hoping for some great weather for labor day weekend to wrap it all up. I hope summer 2013 was good to you as well.

Tags:

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

August 26 2013

Get Your Fitness On

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

nullYour friends can be the best source of inspiration. One of my best friends has been doing the couch to 5K program. If you have never heard of this, it basically gets you up and running a 5K from scratch in 10 weeks. It is pretty brilliant and this past weekend she ran her first 5k!

While I’m not sure about that program during Maine winters, this one sounds like a good option for the chilly months that are right around the corner. It’s turn on, tune in, tone up. It’s essentially a workout planned for a 30 minute TV show. Check it out!
http://www.self.com/fitness/workouts/2006/10/work-out-while-watching-tv-slideshow#slide=1

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 22 2013

5 Tips for Getting Back into the "Back to School" Routine

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments
















Summer is winding down and pretty soon we're going to see those big yellow school busses in our neighborhoods! After a long Summer full of sleeping late and relaxing on the beach, it can be hard to get back into a "school routine" come September. Here are 5 tips that can make the transition a bit easier on you and your kids!

1. Make sure you give your kids a strict bedtime! Starting a week before school, make sure your kids are starting to adhere to a schedule by promptly going to bed the same time each night.

2. Designate a homework station! Let your kids help you start cleaning out a spot now where they will sit quietly after school and get their homework done.

3. Create a morning routine now! Start setting that dreaded alarm now so it won't be a shock for your kids come the first day of school. Follow the wake up with breakfast and getting dressed for the day.

4. Organize the closets! The new school year is a great time to start packing away a lot of the Summer clothes. Save yourself the aggravation later by taking a day to organize your kid's closets and hang new school clothes in the front.

5. Start Meal Planning! Pretty soon you will have to start making breakfast, packing lunches and preparing dinner daily. Get a head start by researching some healthy breakfast ideas and buying your children lunch boxes for the school year.

Tags:

back to school routines, getting back into a routine, going back to school, back to school tips, getting back into a school routine, back to school organization

« Back

msides's photo

August 21 2013

Some Ideas to Help You Try Your Best!

By msides | | (0) Comments

http://www.parade.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/worlds-oldest-man.jpgHas anyone seen the article online discussing the newly-found Oldest Man Alive? I found this article discussing this man in Bolivia, Carmelo Flores Laura, who is not only the oldest person alive at the estimated age of 123, but also the oldest person ever documented.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57599028/is-bolivian-peasant-carmelo-flores-laura-oldest-person-ever-documented/

Most of us want to live long, fulfilling lives and rarely live to an age even close to Flores. This man made me think that if we would like to live as long as possible to get the most out of life, we should really simply our lives in general. As this article from CBS news states, Flores lives in a straw-roofed, dirt-floor hut and walks a lot. He also doesn’t eat noodles, rice or barley. He drinks water from the snow-capped mountains near his home, and doesn’t drink alcohol. He also has never traveled farther than fifty miles from his home. And while he has lost all his teeth, he doesn’t wear glasses or use a cane. He lives an extremely simply life as a farmer and rancher, and is the patriarchal leader of a very large family.

But would we want to live a very simple, somewhat uneventful life just to live as long as possible, or do we live every moment to the fullest and get to enjoy the most that life has to offer? Every person’s answer will vary, but this man definitely gets me thinking. I think I’d like to live somewhere in the middle of each philosophy. Maybe take care of my body while also exploring and experiencing as much as I can. So maybe I’ll cut back on all the processed foods and plan a hiking trip! Who’s with me?

Tags:

« Back

vbevington's photo

August 21 2013

Take Charge of Your Birthday!

By vbevington | | (0) Comments

nullThis year was one of my best birthdays ever! And it wasn't even a particularly "special" one, I just decided to celebrate me this year smile Here are my tips for making sure that no matter who you're with, how much money you have, where you are, or what you get, that you'll have an AWESOME birthday from now on:


1. Buy Yourself a Present This doesn't have to be expensive, but try to get yourself something you've wanted for awhile, and not somehing you NEED. I bought myself a $10 iPhone case and I'm still excited over how snazzy my phone looks now.


2. Do Something Fun & Out-of-the-Ordinary Go to a museum, the zoo, or the movies (if you never get out anymore). Or just take that walk around the lake, or up the beach, that you're always too busy to take.


3. Pamper Yourself Again, doesn't have to cost anything. Don't get me wrong, you can spring for the spa day, but you could also give yourself a facial while soaking in the tub and letting your at-home pedi dry.


4. Eat Something Delicious

5. Take It Easy

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 20 2013

5 Household Items You Didn't Know You Could Recycle!

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments





















When we think about recycling we immediately think of the obvious household objects like tin cans, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes etc. There are so many other items that we quickly send to the trash that can actually be recycled!

The following are some uncommon household items that can actually be recycled — and easily.

1. Athletic Shoes/Sneakers
Rather than throwing away an old pair of sneakers, research local recycling programs for your footwear! Nike offers a Reuse-A-Show program where Nike will incorporate your old shoes into the raw material called Nike Grind, which is used in everything from running tracks to shoe soles to zippers.

2. Cosmetics
Cosmetic compacts, tubs, tubes, and other containers can be easily recycled. Various companies have their own programs, including: M•A•C Cosmetics, Origins and Aveda, to name a few.

3. Crayons
The National Crayon Recycle Program will recycle your rejected crayons and turn them into new ones. So far, the program has diverted more than 88,000 pounds of crayons from landfills.

4. Hair Dryers
Folica.com is one option for recycling your old or broken hair dryers! The company accepts mail-back dryers and will issue a $40 credit towards the purchase of a new one.

5. Packing Peanuts
Did you just unpack from a move and now you're surrounded by packing peanuts? Fortunately, these guys are reusable, so many shipping companies will take them back. Try Mailboxes, Etc and UPS, you can also find other drop-off locations at loosefillpackaging.com.

Tags:

recycling, unique items to recycle, recycling household items, recycle crayons, recycle sneakers, recycle hair dryers, recycle cosmetics, recycle packing materials

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 16 2013

Tips for Entertaining on a Budget

By Princeton Properties | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments





















During the Summer months our schedules get jam packed with fun events like parties and cookouts which can be fun to attend but expensive to host! Food, decorations and invitations are just a few things that need to be considered when hosting a party. Today we're happy to share with you some tips for entertaining on a budget!

1. Host a party with only appetizers. Preparing big main courses and buying food to throw on the grill at a party can be expensive AND time consuming when you're the host. Skip the main course and serve your guests finger foods instead!

2. Make your party a BYOB. Alcoholic beverages can be pricey, especially when you have several guests who all have different "drinks of choice." At your next event, casually mention on your invitation that you will supply the food and everyone can just bring what they'd like to drink!

3. Make your own table arrangements. Going to a florist for centerpieces for an event is both costly and inconvenient. Skip the trip to the flower shop and visit your local grocery store instead! Most grocery stores carry a large variety of bouquets that you can throw together for less then half the cost.

4. Be a minimalist when it comes to decor. Streamers and balloons are decorations that are not reusable. At your next event try placing different types of votive candles on your tables instead! They give the room great ambiance and if you purchase LED flameless candles you can use them at all your events.

5. Make your own ice. It seems silly that we purchase ice for a party when it can be made right in your kitchen! Start filling your ice trays a few days before your event and use reusable ice packs for coolers.

Tags:

entertaining on a budget, summer parties for less, low cost parties, budget-friendly parties, tips for low cost entertaining, inexpensive cookout

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

August 16 2013

Chicken Quesadillas on the Grill!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments





Grilled Chicken Quesadillas


Prep Time: 35 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes


Ready In: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Servings: 6



"This recipe is a delicious snap. The meat is coated with adobo seasoning, grilled, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Then a tortilla is layered with cheese, chile peppers, chicken, and olives."

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

adobo seasoning to taste

12 (10 inch) flour tortillas

1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

1 onion, chopped

1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

1 (7 ounce) can diced green chilies, drained


Directions:

1. Place the chicken on a plate, and sprinkle with adobo seasoning on both sides. Let it marinate for 15 minutes.

2. Heat grill for medium-high heat.

3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place chicken on grill, and cook for 10 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. Remove chicken from grill, and cut into bite-size pieces.

4. Place one or two tortillas on the grill, and sprinkle with a thin layer of cheese, chicken, onion, olives, and chiles. Top with another tortilla, and grill until brown and crispy on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut into wedges to serve.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com

Printed from Allrecipes.com 8/16/2013

Tags:

« Back

Princeton Properties's photo

August 13 2013

10 Rainy Day Activities for Kids

By Princeton Properties | Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

















Summer vacation is a time for swimming in the pool, bringing the kids to the park or the beach and soaking up as much Vitamin D as possible before Fall closes in on us. Luckily there are lots of fun outdoor activities for kids from June through August but there's one thing that can always be sure to ruin our fun, Summer plans.....RAIN!

When it rains while kids are on break it's easy to let them sleep in and sit in front of the TV all day but they'll get bored quickly and eager to do something fun!

Here are 10 great ideas for enjoyable INDOOR activities that the rain can't ruin...

1. Visit a local museum or aquarium
2. Bake cookies or cupcakes
3. Break out the board games
4. Create an indoor scavenger hunt
5. Head to the local bowling alley for a string (or 3)
6. Play your own version of "Minute to Win it"
7. Have an indoor picnic (possibly in a fort)
8. Turn on your iPod and have a dance party
9. Make homemade cards for friends
10. Visit with animals at the local shelter

Tags:

Rainy day activities for kids, indoor activities, activities for toddlers, rainy day projects, indoor summer vacation ideas

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

August 09 2013

Time? What Time?

By Tracy Hilker | | (0) Comments

nullThere is a song by the Rolling Stones, “Time Is On My Side,” but I’m realizing that may not be the case. I feel like I’m always running out of time. Busy with this job, busy with my part time job, busy being a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter. I wear many different hats, and sometimes my head gets tired and I just want to rest.

I am a fan of lists, so here is my list of things you can do to save time for the important things in life.



5. When doing work on your home computer, shut all other apps down. Sometimes I am working on my second job at home, and I not only have my work website up, but I have my Facebook, email, this website, that website… I realize if I shut everything down but the one thing I should be working on, my work gets done in more than half of the time.



4. Stop saying yes. Instead of saying yes to every summer cookout, event, party, take some time for yourself and for your close loved ones. On the 4th of July, my husband and I decided to stay home. We got wine and a bunch of different cheeses and just relaxed. It was absolutely wonderful! My parents joined us for a bit, and it was so much better than running here and there to make everyone happy. Instead of fireworks, we had smores. Delicious!



3. Slow down. Don’t schedule things so close. I find with two jobs and a household it can be a difficult juggling act. I am constantly answering emails for job number two while I’m riding the bus to work, talking with clients on my lunch break, and the minute I leave work at 6 I’m on the phone with clients. Sometimes I have to just step out of the office for lunch and actually enjoy a nice salad and some chit chat or go home and watch a movie with my husband instead of talking with clients. It’s all about time management.



2. Keep a journal or blog. Write down fun things that you have done, experiences that you have had. This way you can read back on them in years to come.



1. Instead of spending money, spend time. I love to just take the day, take a drive with my husband, or go to a port city with my sister, or the zoo with my parents. Instead of birthday presents, say let’s spend the day together!

Tags:

« Back

Lyndsay Geer's photo

August 05 2013

Super easy and yummy salad

By Lyndsay Geer | Health, Food, | (1) Comments

nullNeed a refreshing and healthy salad? This is the one! It’s super easy to make and delicious.

What you will need:
-1lb jumbo cooked shrimp-chopped
-1 medium tomato-diced
-1 avocado-diced
-1 jalapeno- seeds removed-diced fine
-1/4 cup chopped red onion
-2 limes
-1 tsp olive oil
-1 tsp chopped cilantro
-salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.

In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, and jalapeno. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. ENJOY! smile

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

July 31 2013

Easy Summer Bruschetta!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

Bruschetta Servings: 8

"A little French ...a little Italian ...and the end result is a sensational appetizer. A scrumptious spinach/basil pesto is whirled in the food processor until of spreading consistency. Slices of baguette are lightly toasted and then anointed with the pesto."
INGREDIENTS:
1 (8 ounce) loaf French baguette
1 1/2 cups spinach - packed, rinsed and
torn
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups finely chopped almonds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Arrange the bread slices on a non-stick cookie sheet.
2. In an electric blender or food processor combine the spinach, Parmesan, almonds, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until a paste forms. Pulse in 2 tablespoons olive oil; continue pulsing until the mixture is the consistency of soft butter.
3. In a small mixing bowl combine chopped tomatoes, green onion and 1 tablespoon olive oil; stir.
4. Bake the bread slices for 5 minutes or until crisp and brown.
5. Arrange toast on a serving platter. Spread each piece of toast with a thin layer of the blended pesto, then top with the tomato mixture.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 7/31/2013

Tags:

« Back

vbevington's photo

July 27 2013

Good Summer Read!

By vbevington | | (0) Comments

nullOnly about two or three times a year do I find a book that I absolutely LOVE. I mean "stay-up-all-night," "can't-put-down" love. Last week I found that book in "Defending Jacob" by William Landay. I usually don't go for crime dramas, but this one was based in Natick, MA and came highly recommended. I don't want to give too much away, but if you're looking for a great read, this would be my #1 suggestion!

Tags:

« Back

Angela Lavespere's photo

July 26 2013

Picking Paint Colors For Your Home

By Angela Lavespere | | (0) Comments

null













A month ago I moved to a new apartment with a landlord that gave me the go-ahead to paint. Thrilled with my new freedom, I wandered into the home improvement store and was immediately overwhelmed by all the choices. I knew I wanted a light teal for my guest room, but it seemed like every brand had hundreds of options for just that one shade! I was drawn to the display for Martha Stewart Living paints… it looked so much more clean and organized compared to the other big-name brands. There are only 280 colors to choose from, so choosing to go with Martha’s brand immediately limited my hundreds of “light teal” options to only 2 or 3!

I was sold. Over the next few weeks of living in our new place, I painted every single room with a different Martha Stewart shade, and loved every one! (Suggestion: always get a buddy to help you paint! Painting alone can be very overwhelming and discouraging. Plus, you’ll be done in half the time with the extra help!)

Paint is such an easy and inexpensive way to completely change the look of any space. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options (like me!) and afraid you’ll choose the wrong color, grab a Martha Stewart color palette book and start dreaming! (The booklets are free at Home Depot). It’s amazing how much easier it is to narrow down your favorites when you aren’t bombarded with thousands of options.

Happy painting!*



*Always get the ok from your landlord or leasing office before grabbing that paint brush!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

July 25 2013

How to make it better!

By Shannon Earley | | (0) Comments

nullMoving is hard. Whoever says it is easy is, well, just plain wrong! And the longer you live somewhere the harder it is to move. You’ve put down roots, found a rhythm and the nice guys at the deli counter who always gives your daughter two cheese slices instead of one. So yeah, moving is hard.

But I have found that all you really need is one thing to call your own and then you will feel at home. For me, it’s the library. I am a bookaholic. I consume books the way some people drink soda. It’s a must have for me, an everyday essential. When I moved I had a new library card within a week. I was at the library desk with my lease getting a new card, before I even had a utility bill to prove where I was now living! But there are a lot of ways to make a new place your home.

Here are some of the best I’ve heard:

• Plants – nothing makes a space feel more like home than green growing thingsgrowing things
• Curtains – they turn a white, empty square box into a real room• Paint – If you can do it, it truly claims a space as your own
• Finding your new grocery store, or coffee shop or restaurant – this helps you feel like you live in more than just your apartment, but the whole area as well.real room


And maybe for you, like me, it’s a library card

Tags:

books, library, moving, apartment living, houseplants, curtains

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

July 25 2013

Two Ingredient Lemon Bar

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Summer time is here and what better way to refresh than with zesty, simple refreshments to offer family, friends, or neighbors when they stop by. Anything lemon or lime is a huge hit in my family and is always a welcome treat!

Here is a “Two Ingredient Lemon Bar” recipe that came from my church newsletter. The note at the bottom states “It’s like you cut yourself a slice right out of the middle of a lemon pie.” How luxurious is that? And the recipe is so simple!

Ingredients –
One box angel food cake mix
Two 21 oz cans lemon pie filling

Directions –
Mix dry cake mix and cans of pie filling together in large bowl (may be mixed by hand)
Pour into greased 9 x 13” baking dish
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until top is starting to brown slightly
Cool on wire rack then sprinkle with powdered sugar

So simple and delicious, so easy to have on hand for guests!

Tags:

« Back

Heather Libby's photo

July 19 2013

Fruit Pizza!?!

By Heather Libby | | (1) Comments

nullFound this fruit pizza idea on Pinterest and am making one for my son’s first birthday party. Its super cute and a great alternative to other sweets, candies, and even cake. This fun and easy to make summery treat took only 20 minutes to make. Has anyone made a fruit pizza and did your party goers enjoy it? I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Fingers crossed for success!

Tags:

fruit, summer, pizza, healthy living

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

July 18 2013

Top 10 Pet Travel Tips

By Kathy Sutherland | | (0) Comments




If your life includes pets, then you know that making travel plans (whether for business or pleasure) includes deciding whether to take them with you or leave them in the care of a sitter or boarding facility. Like many pet owners, you’d like to take your pet with you but don’t know to prepare for pet-friendly travel. Here is a checklist of ten tips on preparing to travel with your pet.



#10 Identification Tags

No matter how you choose travel, it is vital to outfit your pets with proper identification prior to setting out. After all, if you should become separated from your pet, their identification is the surest way they’ll find their way back to you.



#9 Permanent Identification for your Pet

In addition to fitting your pets with I.D. tags, your veterinarian may recommend fitting them with a microchip. You can also have your pet tattooed with the National Dog Registry. But, if you decide to use this method to I.D. your pet, register the number or you will not be able to find your pet.



#8 Train Them Young

Our article, Training a Puppy for Car Travel provides many useful tips on how to acclimate your new addition to car travel. Train your puppy to remain calm and focused on your commands with practice sessions in the car, and a reward system. If you have more than one dog, train them separately.



#7 Secure Your Pet for Their Safety

Now that you’ve trained your pet to behave in a car, you may think it’s okay to let them roam freely in the vehicle. Not so. Just like people, pets can become injured if the car makes a sudden movement, say to avoid an accident. For safety, it is always recommended to crate your pet.



#6 Best Travel Crate for your Pet

Fabric carriers are a good way to transport your dog or cat, but a hard plastic carrier is more versatile. If you want to travel with your pet, invest in a plastic carrier, they’re safer for different modes of travel, such as transporting your pet via air.



#5 Pets and Cars

Dogs and cats are quick and agile, and they will put all those talents (and more) to use if they feel their safety is threatened. If you leave your pet loose in a moving vehicle and they become startled, they’ll panic, and go into attack mode seeking out the safest spot.



#4 Consider Sedating your Pet

Initially, the idea of calming your frightened pet with medication prior to transporting them may seem like a bit much. But if your pet experiences extreme anxiety in an unfamiliar setting (such as an older pet) giving them a sedative could save them from trauma, not to mention a fear-induced potty accident.



#3 First Aid Pet Kit

When you prepare a pet travel kit that includes a copy of their current medical records, consider your pet may need first aid during travel. The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) can provide information on the nearest animal hospital. Also make sure to pack a simple first aid kit, including gauze, bandages, and hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if necessary. Always take steps to contact an animal healthcare professional first, before personally treating a pet for possible toxin exposure.



#2 Pet Food and Water

Unexpected turns and delays are a part of traveling, so when your plans include your pets, take along extra food for them. A travel delay (or getting lost en route to your destination) could result in your pet waiting an undetermined amount of time for food or clean water. Be prepared ahead of time.



#1 Be Extra Vigilant

No matter how well you think you may know your pet, you never know how they’ll react if they’re startled by a loud noise or unfamiliar stimuli. A cat left loose in a car, for example, may seek safety under your legs… while you’re driving. An irresistible urge to chase down a tantalizing smell could inspire your uncrated dog to jump out of a half-open window. Keep your pet safe and secure at all times.


All the rules of traveling with your pet focus and maximize on keeping them safe and happy. Taking extra precaution prior to leaving your home with them will keep everyone safe and sound.

Happy Travels!






















Tags:

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

July 15 2013

Rembrandt's Birthday

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

Did you know that today, July 15, is Rembrandt’s birthday. If he were alive today he would be 407 years old. In honor of this celebrated Dutch artist visit your local art museum today.

Portland has a wonderful art museum located in the heart of the city. The current exhibit is Shangaa: Art of Tanzania. A little far removed from the works of Rembrandt but fascinating I’m sure.

If you are close to the Boston area a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts is a must. I spent many weekends in college just wandering this beautiful museum. It didn’t hurt a poor college student that it was free to get in either! My favorite part was the French Impressionists. Did you know that at one point the MFA had the largest collection of work by Monet outside of Paris. Who is your favorite artist?

Tags:

« Back

Beth Devoe's photo

July 14 2013

New England Aquarium Visit

By Beth Devoe | | (0) Comments

PenguinI recently took a trip to the New England Aquarium in Boston with my family. We were on vacation and it was a rainy day so we figured it would be a nice indoor activity to do. I loved the aquarium as a child and have been since as an adult. It was a good trip overall and I loved showing my kids all the different fish and other animals like the sea lions. My son loved the sea lions the most and everytime we'd leave where they were he'd point and want to go back to see them. Since it was his first visit my husband went back 4 times to show him them. I do wish I had checked out their website though before we went because I didn't know that they were reconstructing the penguin habitat and were working on the main giant tank where all the fish swim around. They had little signs up which were cute that said that the penguins were on vacation and that we could see the baby penguins over by the sea lion exhibit. The baby penguins were cute but I definitely want to go back when they finish the reconstruction of the penguin habitat. It just wasn't the same to me without them, even though my kids didn't mind I want them to get the whole experience as I did when I was younger. I am hoping the penguins come back from vacation soon so we can take another trip to the aquarium!

Tags:

boston, ne aquarium, penguin

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

July 13 2013

Peachy White Wine Sangria

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments



Today is the perfect day for a glass of this! Try out this recipe this summer when going to a BBQ!

Peachy White Wine Sangria:

• 1 Bottle of white wine (Riesling, Albarino, Chablis, Gewurztraminer, Rioja, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
• 1/2 cup Peach Schnapps
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer your Sangria)
• 2 sliced peaches (frozen peach slices work well)
• 1 sliced orange
• 1/2 mango peeled and sliced
• 1/2 liter of ginger ale
Preparation:Pour wine and Schnapps in the pitcher and add sliced peach, orange, and mango. Next add sugar and stir gently. Chill mixture for at least one hour. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.
If you'd like to serve your Sangria right away, use chilled white wine and ginger ale and serve over lots of ice.
Addition ideas: sliced strawberries, a handful of fresh raspberries, kiwi slices, a shot or two of triple sec, a cup of citrus soda pop.



Tags:

« Back

vbevington's photo

July 09 2013

Summer Eats

By vbevington | | (1) Comments

nullI hate to admit it, but I'm sort of already sick of all of the grilled chicken, burgers on the grill, hot dogs, etc. that come with the summer weather. So last weekend I tried the following recipe. Although I've never had the Wendy's version, I think this home-made twist on the classic grilled cheese is a keeper! If you feel adventurous and try it, let me know how you like it...


BACON PRETZEL GRILLED CHEESE

Ingredients:
1 frozen pretzel, thawed and sliced
1 thick slice harvarti cheese
2-3 sliced of bacon, cooked
1-2 thin slices of tomato
2 tbsp butter

Just assemble the bacon, harvarti and tomato onto the pretzel, and fry each side in the butter until crisp. Enjoy!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

July 07 2013

The Perfect Summer Dessert!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments



No Bake Cheese Cake Stuffed Strawberries

Ingredients:
1 Packet Strawberries
1 Large Packet extra creamy whipped cream
1 packet cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet cheesecake flavored pudding
Freezer bag

To make:
Wash strawberries, cut an X in the top, allow to dry, chill in fridge for 2-3 minutes.
Fold together whipped cream and pudding till blended. Slowly add cream cheese and vanilla extract. Place into freezer bag (zip locked) and chill for 30-35 minutes.
Remove bag from fridge, snip a corner off and pipe into the strawberries. Enjoy!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

July 03 2013

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY July 4th Utensil Holders!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Marketing, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below for instructions on how to make quick and easy utensil holder for your 4th of July BBQ!

Tags:

DIY, Creativity Corner, Crafts, 4th of July Crafts, Utensil Holders, Mason Jars

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

July 01 2013

Curling up with a Good Book

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Travel, Development, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

readingReading still seems to be something I'm telling myself to do more of instead of actually just doing. Now that we're officially in the throes of a lazy, hazy summer, though, I'm thinking it's about the perfect time to take action. Now, I know that summer reading may bring back memories of school days when we were forced to work our way through what seemed like a wicked long list of books...but we're older & wiser (hopefully) now and there's nothing wrong with grabbing a good book and spending some quality time lost in another world. I'm currently devouring The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli. (Talk about a crazy world to get lost in! Marilyn's fascinating; I definitely recommend this book.) Need a little help making your selections? Check out what the Massachusetts Libraries have going on! Their "summer reading programs for readers of all ages" offer great resources - and they even partnered with the Boston Bruins for some awesome prizes. So whether you're in it for the prizes, you want to encourage your kids to read more, or you just want to keep the ol' brain nice & sharp, grab a book and start reading! What's on your list for this summer?

Tags:

Summer reading, Massachusetts Libraries, books, summer, libraries

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

June 28 2013

Hot Weather And Your Pets!

By Kathy Sutherland | | (0) Comments

• Overheating (heat prostration) can kill an animal. Never leave an animal alone in a vehicle, since even with the windows open, a
parked car, truck or van can quickly become a furnace. Parking in shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.
When traveling, carry a gallon thermos filled with fresh, cold water.

• Don’t force your animal to exercise after a meal in hot,humid weather. Always exercise him or her in the cool of the early morning or evening.

• In extremely hot weather, don’t leave your dog standing on the street, and keep walks to a minimum. He is much closer to the hot asphalt and
his body can heat up quickly. His paws can burn since they are not protected by shoes.

• Never take an animal to the beach unless you can provide a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for her to drink. Rinse her off after she has
been in salt water.

• Always provide plenty of shade for an animal staying outside the house. A properly constructed dog house serves best. Bring your dog or cat
inside during the heat of the day and let her rest in a cool part of your house. Always provide plenty of cool, clean water for your animal.

• Please be sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs (especially bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston
terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus) and those with heart or lung diseases should be kept indoors in air-conditioning as much as possible.

• Keep a current license and identification tag on your dog or cat and consider tattooing or microchipping as a means of permanent identification.

• Avoid walking your dog in areas that you suspect have been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals, as poisonings increase during the
summer when gardens, lawns and trees are sprayed. These chemicals can sicken or kill an animal. Call your veterinarian or The ASPCA
National Animal Poison Control Center (ASPCA/NAPCC) if you suspect your animal has been poisoned.

• Be alert for coolant leaking from your vehicle. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste of coolant and ingesting just a small amount can cause an
animal’s death. Consider using animal-friendly products that use propylene glycol rather than those containing ethylene glycol.

• A clean coat can help to prevent summer skin problems, so keep your dog or cat well groomed. If he has a heavy coat, shaving your dog’s
hair to a 1-inch length will help prevent overheating. Don’t shave a dog’s hair down to the skin; this robs him of protection from the sun. A cat
should be brushed frequently to keep his coat tangle-free.

• Take your companion animal to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer checkup, including a test for heartworm if your dog isn’t on year-
round preventative medication. Have the doctor recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.

• Never tie an animal outside on a correction collar. He can choke to death. If you must tether him, use a buckle collar with identification tags
instead. (This applies in any season.)

• Never let your animal run loose. This is how an animal can contract a fatal disease, including rabies, or be injured, killed or stolen. Be sure there
are no open, unscreened windows or doors through which your animal can fall or jump.

Courtesy of
ASPCA
National Shelter Outreach


Tags:

« Back

Tim Richard's photo

June 28 2013

The neighborhood market is back!

By Tim Richard | | (0) Comments

nullSeveral years ago a great little market popped up a block away from my house, seemingly overnight. The building had housed a bakery years before, but had sat empty for quite a long time. Suddenly, Rosemont Market and Bakery was providing great fresh bread baked right on the premises, all sorts of fresh, local organic produce, a large variety of cheeses and nice wines to go with it. I started stopping by on a regular basis for their great baguettes and any other difficult to get produce or items that might be more difficult to find at the big box stores. The quality of everything was excellent and people in the neighborhood were flocking to the market for wine tastings and other fun little events. Over the course of the last few years Rosemont Market has expanded to a new location across from the original location, but kept that original store front as their bakery, opened new Market and Bakery locations on Munjoy Hill in Portland and on Main St in Yarmouth and last year opened Rosemont Produce Company on Commercial Street in Portland, which features a massive selection of the freshest, locally sourced, organic and foraged produce that can be found in Portland. By focusing on developing healthy working relationships with farmers, producers and patrons Rosemont Market and Bakery exemplifies a business model that is community centered and shrinks the distance between you and those that make the food you eat. As the Market has grown they have added prepared foods that are made in house with all those great ingredients, the freshest locally raised meats and even their own in-house smoked meats. I love being able to walk a couple of blocks to get the last couple of things I need to turn a good recipe into a great meal! It is just awesome that the old – fashion neighborhood market, but with a thoroughly modern sensibility, is making a comeback! Check them out at www.rosemontmarket.com!

Tags:

Maine, Health, Food, Lifestyle, Community

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

June 26 2013

Sky Diving

By Jackie Tirado | | (0) Comments

Every year since we've met my best friend Kristen and I have done something thrill seeking for our birthdays, this year we will be sky diving. It will be the first time for each of us which makes it that much more exciting. A typical jump involves individuals exiting an aircraft (usually an airplane, but sometimes a helicopter or even the gondola of a balloon), at anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 meters (3,000 to 13,000 feet) altitude. Our trip isn't booked yet because sky diving season doesn't start until mid May, we will be aiming for sometime in late June. I am so excited for this to take place my only concern is what will top this next year. It's funny because our personalities are so different Kristen is more reserved, while I'm outgoing and daring but she's the one that comes up with all these trips for us. Every time we sign waivers I take the time to read what they aren't liable for while she signs on the dotted line and moves right along. I will be writing a follow up to this blog when we get back from our dive. Wish us luck!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

June 26 2013

I love Kids Movies!

By Shannon Earley | | (0) Comments

Mary PopsI love kids movies! I always have, ever since I was a kid! And now as a mother I love watching them with my children. But I have discovered that now not only must I love the movie when we watch it but I must still love it after roughly 107 viewings – because kids love watching what they like over, and over and OVER again!
So finding movies that the kids like and don’t drive Mom and Dad insane are precious treasures. Here are some that have been big winners in our house:

Mary Poppins- My daughter would call it Mary Pops. She loved the music and I love the dancing and it has a great mix of scenes that gave clear stopping points in the movie. And best of all I didn’t feel like it was corrupting our brains as we watched it every night .
Despicable Me – I still find the minions a riot – and I can’t wait for the sequel. My daughter asks for bedtime stories about the minions too! minions too!It does not teach any great life lessons, but there is fun in it for both the big and small watchers.
Jungle Book – Good music is what it’s all about! all about!
Brave – A Girl who ride and shoots arrows and we love the little brothers. I like the strong female figures, it’s really a story about mothers and daughters and you won’t find too many of those out there.
classic Disney.BraveRobin Hood – This is one I loved as a child and my kids do too! We always laugh at the king sucking his thumb and it has some good songs too – classic Disney.

One tip – make sure you like the beginning of the movie – that is really the only part that we ever get to watch in full! I have now seen the beginning of Brave about 19 times in the past few weeks, but the end only 3 times.

Do you have any movies that are hits in your house? We’re always on the lookout for our new favorite!

Tags:

movies, family, kids, mothers and daughters, The Jungle Book, Brave, Robin Hood, Minions, Mary Poppins

« Back

Lyndsay Geer's photo

June 22 2013

Easy Summer Salad

By Lyndsay Geer | Health, Food, | (0) Comments

nullTasty Salad

With summer upon us and wanting to continue to eat different, healthy meals I came across this grilled chicken and mango salad. I was so surprised how easy it was to make and how delicious it turned out to be. It’s a great recipe because you can add other fruits and vegetables, depending on what you like! This will be something that I will absolutely make again so I wanted to share it with everyone smile

What you need:
1 cup prepared GOOD SEASONS Italian Dressing Mix, divided
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
6 cups torn fresh spinach
2 mangos, peeled, sliced
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
½ cup sliced red onions

Make it:
HEAT greased grill to medium. Pour 1/2 cup dressing over chicken in shallow glass dish; turn chicken over to evenly coat both sides of each breast. Refrigerate 15 min. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade.
GRILL chicken 5 to 7 min. on each side or until cooked through, Slice chicken into desired size. Quickly grill slices of mango (or pineapple)
COVER platter with spinach; top with chicken, fruit, onions and remaining dressing.


ENJOY!!!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

June 16 2013

"Delicious and fresh summer treat. A favorite for everyone."

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments





Garlic Corn on the Cob







Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes


Ready In: 40 Minutes

Servings: 12



"Delicious and fresh summer treat. A favorite for everyone."

Ingredients:

12 ears corn, husked and cleaned

12 tablespoons butter, divided


1/4 cup garlic powder


Directions:



1.

Preheat grill for medium heat, or preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).



2.

Place each ear of corn on a separate square of aluminum foil. Place 1 tablespoon of butter on each one, and sprinkle with garlic powder. Wrap ears tightly with the foil.



3.

Place ears of corn on the grill or in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning over occasionally.




ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com

Tags:

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

June 15 2013

Color Me Rad

By Caitlyn Irving | Maine, Health, Travel, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments



I first heard about Color Me Rad when my sister ran a race last year. In looking at her pictures and hearing all about it seems like a real fun race. Color Me Rad goes all over the US and the proceeds go to various causes, not just one in particular. Which is why I am so excited that Color Me Rad is coming to Maine on August 24, 2013. The whole idea behind Color Me Rad is run for the heck of it, not for any other reason than that. The race is at the Brunswick Landing and starts right at 9:00 am. Color bombs start flying right at 9:00 and every five minutes after that for the duration of the race.

All the proceeds are going to the YMCA, which is so near and dear to my heart! When I moved to Maine I worked for the Summer Camp back in 2007. I really loved the people that I was working for and children I was working with. I am excited to be able to do something that I love and the proceeds of this race will benefit the YMCA of Portland ME that I love.

I hope to get a group of people to join in with me, way more fun that way! Happy running!

Tags:

« Back

Angela Lavespere's photo

June 10 2013

Affordable, Delicious Recipes!

By Angela Lavespere | | (2) Comments

null











This pulled pork recipe http://www.budgetbytes.com/2012/07/root-beer-pulled-pork/ (which we recently posted the link to on our Facebook page) is soooo yummy and surprisingly easy! I've made it before with rave reviews, and on my recommendation two of the girls in the office tried it over the weekend, also with smashing success!

Whenever anyone asks “do you know a good recipe for ______?” I almost always direct them to a recipe from Budget Bytes. After saying this a zillion times, I realized I should spread the word about this gem of a blog a little more broadly.

To name just a few of my favorites, I’ve tried Beth's hearty black bean quesadillas, honey spice chicken thighs, roasted root vegetables, Italian meatballs, balsamic bruschetta chicken, teriyaki meatball bowls, chicken yakisoba, English muffins, sweet potato corn cakes… ok that was more than a few, but that just goes to show how obsessed I am with this girl’s recipes! Her creations make up at least 80% of my meal plan. On top of her recipes being consistently delicious, they’re affordable! Here’s Beth's mission statement from her website:

"As a food lover and a number cruncher I've decided that cooking on a budget shouldn't mean canned beans and ramen noodles night after night. This is my web log of good food cooked with little cash. My wallet is full and my stomach is too."

Can’t decide what’s for dinner? Head on over to www.budgetbytes.com

Happy Cooking!

Tags:

« Back

msides's photo

June 07 2013

A Copy-Cat Recipe to Make Your Own Golden Chick-fil-A Nuggets!

By msides | | (1) Comments

nullI’ve been in Maine for almost five months now and I have been starting to get cravings for one of my favorite restaurants! Unfortunately, these restaurants do not exist in Maine. In fact, the closest locations are in Nashua, NH and just outside of Boston, MA. If you haven’t tried or even heard of Chick-fil-A then, my friend, you are missing out! They have the best fried chicken in, well, the world! (I could be a bit biased as I did work for a franchise for two years in my Florida days.) Don’t believe me? Give it a try! I have provided a couple of links for you to see what Chick-fil-A is all about and where they are located.


http://www.chick-fil-a.com/

http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Locations/Locator


I have been just aching to get some of their delicious chicken nuggets. So instead of driving more than an hour away every weekend to satisfy my increasing desire for these juicy, breaded morsels from Heaven, I have decided to look up a copy-cat recipe I can try at home. Now I’m sure the people at CFA would not be happy to hear that one of their previously devoted patrons has resorted to mimicry, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Now keep in mind that the following recipe is not the exact recipe used in the restaurants. That, I know for a fact, is a very well-kept secret. People have definitely attempted at re-creating it, though, and I believe I have found the closest version.

List of Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts
1 ½ cup milk
1 cup dill pickle juice (any other pickle juice won’t taste right)
2 eggs
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and Pepper
2 cups peanut oil

Directions:

1. Trim chicken breasts of all fat and cut into large bite-sized pieces.
2. Mix eggs, pickle juice, milk and dash of salt and pepper in bowl.
3. Place mixture in large gallon size zip lock bag. Add chicken.
4. Allow chicken to marinate in mixture for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
5. Mix flour and remaining spices in shallow bowl or dish.
6. Remove chicken from plastic bag and add to flour/spices mix.
7. Cover chicken pieces evenly with flour.
8. Put peanut oil into large deep skillet. The oil needs to be deep enough to cover the chicken pieces.
9. Heat peanut oil to 300 degrees Fahrenheit in large, deep skillet.
10. Once heated, carefully add chicken pieces to skillet to fry.
11. Rotate nuggets often to ensure even frying and avoid crusty/burnt edges.

Fry the chicken however you prefer here. Chick-Fil-A deep fries theirs in a pressure cooker, so you can try that if you have one on hand. Once cooked, place the nuggets in a colander or on paper towels to drain or absorb any excess oil. The nuggets are best eaten hot and with dipping sauce of your choice. Ranch and honey mustard are the most popular, but BBQ sauce and ketchup are great too. Or even enjoy them plain, their naked flavor is amazing!

Please feel free to share your new found love for Chick-fil-A with your friends and loved ones. And be sure to travel down to your nearest location to try the real thing for yourself! And remember, EAT MOR CHIKIN!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

June 07 2013

Creativity Corner Presents...DIY Coffee Candles!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below for instructions on how to make quick and easy personalized coffee mugs!

Tags:

DIY, Creativity Corner, Coffee Candles

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

June 06 2013

Take a Hike!

By Shannon Earley | | (0) Comments

I have been hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire since I was little. My dad and I took our first overnight trip when I was seven and I have loved the White Mountains and hiking ever since. This is one of the most wonderful things you can do, as an individual or as a family. Hiking has so many benefits: you get out into the fresh air, get great exercise, take in gorgeous views and I have never met an unfriendly person on a mountain! Summer is a great time to go hiking, so here are a couple of ideas of great places to go! go!
• Mount Monadnock. It is a good beginners hike and has the benefit of rocky summit so you get some incredible views as it is the highest peak in 30 miles! It is mentioned by both Emerson and Thoreua in their writings. Hike it – trust me and thousands of other people – there is a reason this is one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world!  world!
• Hike in to Lonesome Lake Hut operated by the AMC. I can tell you from experience that this is just not a hard hike. The first time we took my cousins there they hiked in with SUITCASES instead of packs! Come for a day or spend the night! And remember to bring your bathing suit because there is no way you can pass up a dip in the lake!
• Mt. Washington! This is the highest of the peaks in the White Mountains and the summit is known to have some of the worst and most changeable weather in the world, so do not hike this unprepared! However if you do – it truly is wonderful. If you don’t think you are up to doing the whole loop in one day, or if you just want to enjoy the view some more, then make a reservation with the AMC for the Lake of the Clouds Hut and spend the night! night!
So grab your boots and some GORP and hit the trails!

Tags:

White Mountains, Mount Monadnock, Lake of the Clouds, hiking, New Hampshire

« Back

's photo

June 02 2013

Get Up And Get Moving!

By | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, Lifestyle, | (1) Comments

You don’t need a gym in order to exercise. Even three 10 minute walks three days a week can lower your blood pressure, shrink abdominal fat, and raise HDL cholesterol levels. Exercise keeps your brain healthy and is a great remedy for stress. There are many ways to painlessly fit exercise into your daily life. If you are a pet owner, walk your dog daily. Avoid drive-throughs, park your car and walk into the building( park at the far end of the lot and walk quickly for even greater benefits). Use the stairs instead of the elevator or try to spend half of your lunch time taking a walk. Instead of emailing, walk to colleagues’ desks to talk to them.

Housework is calorie-burning exercise as well. Listen to music to make it more enjoyable. TV watcher? Get up to change the channel, instead of using the remote. Walk in place during commercials, instead of getting a snack. Phone addict? Stand or pace while you talk. Walk around the mall several times while shopping.

Have fun and involve your whole family. Swim, ride bikes, jump rope, or play basketball with your children. Schedule family outings such as berry picking, mini-golf, bowling, or hiking in state parks (pick a trail with hills for maximum results). Don’t just lie in the sun at the beach, take a walk at the water’s edge. Climb rocks with the kids and look for shells.

Change your attitude. Exercise can be fun and a real opportunity to enjoy yourself.



Tags:

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

May 29 2013

Focus Foods

By Jackie Tirado | | (1) Comments

Lately I've been re-evaluating my eating habits and focusing on making better choices especially around the office where I spend most of my day. On a weekly basis there is always donuts and pastries it's hard to resist them when that's all that's available to you at the time. It made me start thinking about the effects of eating such foods on a regular basis, not only do you start to gain weight but you also become sluggish and less productive. Food is fuel for our bodies and when you fuel yourself with the right foods it creates a domino effect of positive outcomes. I did some light research on focus foods, online studies suggest we eat leafy greens, fruit, whole grain, nuts & seeds, pop corn and berries for better mental focus each food is suggested to improve your attentiveness. To keep my metabolism going I eat every 2 hours totaling 6 small meals a day. Summer is slowly on its way and that is all the more reason to be cautious with our food choices.

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

May 28 2013

Great grilling!

By Shannon Earley | | (0) Comments

Jamie OliverwonderfullyMay is National Grilling Month! Now there is nothing better than steaks, or hamburgers and dogs on the grill. But sometimes you can get a little tired of meat on the grill. What’s so good about grilling is that you can cook far more than just meat – veggies and fish taste great over an open flame too! The easiest way to do this is on kebabs – use a good meaty fish and they hold up wonderfully.
Here are some quick as a flash ideas for great kebab grilling!
• Use rosemary stalks as skewers – it adds great flavor and looks very impressive! And remember – always soak your skewers first.
• Marinate! And get creative – Italian dressing will always do the trick, but just check out his yogurt marinade from Jamie Oliver http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fish-recipes/the-best-marinated-fish-kebabs
• Try some different fish – Cod, halibut and haddock are always good, but so is swordfish and monkfish!
• Go with the whole from the sea idea. Fish, and scallops and shrimp all taste great grilled. Look at what Emeril made! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/teriyaki-glazed-seafood-kebabs-recipe/index.html

So be adventurous and have fun breaking out of the meat on the grill rut!

Tags:

grilling, fish, rosemary,

« Back

's photo

May 27 2013

Healthy Teeth = Happy Pets

By | New Hampshire, Health, | (0) Comments

Healthy Teeth = Happy Pets

Oral Disease

Oral disease is the most common health problem for pets. By the age of three, approximately 80% of dogs and 75% of cats have developed periodontal disease. Left untreated, the infection can lead to tooth decay or tooth loss and can even spread through the blood stream and cause kidney, liver, lung and heart problems.

Oral disease is easily treatable, and can be prevented by following a program of regular veterinary oral exams and a home dental care routine.

Preventing Oral Disease

By preventing oral disease, you can help your pet live a healthier, happier life. Do not feed your pet table scraps – this can increase the formation of plaque and tartar. Dry, crunchy pet food can help clean plaque from the teeth.
Causes of Oral Disease

Oral disease begins when plague – a soft film containing bacteria – forms on the pet’s teeth. If not removed, the plaque will harden into tartar. Tartar builds up below the gum line, causing inflammation of the gum tissue (gingivitis) and the lining of the tooth socket (periodontitis). Without treatment, your pet’s teeth can loosen or fall out, and the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body and cause serious health problems.

Common Signs of Oral Disease
• Yellow-brown tartar near the gum line
• Red, swollen or bleeding gums
• Persistent bad breath
• Abnormal drooling
• Pawing at the mouth
• Sneezing and nasal discharge
• Loose or missing teeth
• Difficult eating and loss of appetite
• Behavior change

Your pet is never too old to start a dental care routine. It is an important step in maintaining health. The older your pet gets, the more likely it is to develop oral disease. Ask your veterinarian to help you get started.

Tags:

« Back

Beth Devoe's photo

May 26 2013

Cookout Season!

By Beth Devoe | | (1) Comments

nullI love when spring turns into summer because then cookout season begins! If you are like me, have no time and like quick easy recipes that your friends and family will enjoy then you will love my pasta salad. It's super easy to make and I always get lots of compliments about it!

Ingredients:
1 Box of rotini pasta (you can do 2 boxes if you have lots of mouths to feed)
1 Bottle of zesty italien dressing (I use more than 1 bottle if I cook more than 1 box of pasta)
1 Container of cherry tomatoes
3 Cans of sliced black olives
1 Container of crumbled feta (you can also substitute with shredded cheddar cheese)
1 Bag of sliced pepperoni slices

Directions:
Cook the box or boxes of pasta according to the directions on the box. While the pasta is cooking I slice up the cherry tomatoes into halves or even quarters if you prefer smaller tomato pieces. I also place a stack of pepperoni slices together and cut them into quarters. I don't use the whole bag of pepperoni slices so this way it looks like there are more without using a lot. Once the pasta is done and drained I let it cool for a few minutes and then start using the zesty italien dressing (about half the bottle). Then I just put all the ingredients in with the pasta (you will need a good size bowl once all the ingredients are together) I mix everything together and then use the rest of the dressing. If I've made more than 1 box of pasta I usually will do a taste test to see if I need more than 1 bottle of dressing. If you prepare the pasta salad ahead of time make sure to put it in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I and my friends and family do!

Tags:

summer, pasta salad, cookouts, recipes

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

May 24 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

memorial
Memorial Day weekend is usually considered the kick-off to the summer. If you are heading out to any Memorial Day celebrations this weekend, please remember there are usually local parades to attend as well.

Memorial Day parades are a nice way to pay remembrance and to honor those who gave their all for our nation’s service.

Here in Portland, Maine, the city's Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 27, 2013 at 10:30 am. The parade will start at Longfellow Square and head down Congress Street to Monument Square; where ceremonies will take place.

Check out more events for this Memorial Day weekend at http://www.portlandmaine.com/events/

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

May 23 2013

Microwave Cake

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

cake2Admittedly, the words "microwave" and "cake" don't look right next to each other. But let's face it: apartment living can sometimes mean settling for slightly less than a gourmet kitchen and we've got to work with the resources we have - even if we're cooking/baking and our resource is a microwave. So if you're craving something sweet and feel like you're out of options, think again! Give this little microwave recipe from Yahoo! Shine a try and you just might be pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients -- flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, salt.
2. Stir in egg, milk, and vegetable oil.
3. Pour batter into a single coffee mug, or two ramekins. Make sure they are microwaveable.
4. Microwave on high for one minute and 30 seconds in a (lightly-greased) mug, or 45 seconds in a ramekin.
5. If the batter isn't fully-cooked, microwave an additional 15 seconds on high, repeating if necessary, until fully cooked. Remember that microwaved foods continue to "cook" for an additional minute afterwards. Try not to overcook!
6. Serve while still warm! Enjoy!

Tags:

Yahoo!, Shine, microwave, cake, recipes, food, dessert, sweet, apartment, baking

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

May 22 2013

Chunky Monkey Pancakes

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

Ingredients
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup skim milk
• 3 tablespoons butter, melted
• 2 eggs
• 1 tablespoon white sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 large banana, diced
• 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
• 1/4 cup chopped pecans
• cooking spray
Directions
1. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Set bowl aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the skim milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix the batter. Gently fold in the banana, chocolate chips, and nuts.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 195 | Total Fat: 10.2g | Cholesterol: 58mg

Tags:

« Back

Virginia Partridge's photo

May 21 2013

Sesame Place is a great Disney World Alternative!

By Virginia Partridge | | (1) Comments

Early next month, I will be braving my first theme park with a two-year old. Fortunately, or unfortunately, my husband's whole family will be there to help me with this feat of parenting! And as you can tell by the title of this post, I just thank god it's not the very LARGE, magically CROWDED kingdom of Disney - that will come when my daughter is a little bit older. Instead, we are trekking to Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA. After scouring the website, it actually looks like my daugher will absolutely love the trip, which is well worth the experience. There are dry rides, water parks, parades and live shows with her favorite characters - Elmo, Abby, Big Bird, Zoe and Cookie Monster. However, it's smaller and less well known than Disney World, so I can only imagine that lines and prices won't be too ridiculous (knock on wood). Furthermore, it's only a 6 hour drive, versus the 2 days or heinous plane ride it takes to get to Orlando. Sesame Place is only 30 minutes from Philly, so I'll get to check "get an authentic cheese steak" off of my bucket list. And, most excitingly for me, the park is only 2 hours from my family in Maryland. I hope I'm not counting my chicks before they hatch, but I'm actually looking forward to this mini vacation!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

May 19 2013

The Merry Month of May

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

May is a month filled with food and fun. It is National Barbecue Month, Hamburger Month, Salad and Salsa Month. Celebrate with your favorites during Restaurant Week in New Hampshire (May 17-24). Lunches and dinners at a wide variety of restaurants in the state are offered at prices ranging from $10-$35. It’s a great time to try something new!

Looking for something to do? Have you visited the Nashua Public Library? Library cards are free for anyone who lives or works in the city. Besides books, music, and DVDs, the library offers passes to many museums: the Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts and New England Aquarium in Boston. Passes are available for the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord and many others. Call the library at 603-589-4600 for more information.

Memorial Day will soon be here (the unofficial start of summer). This holiday honors Americans who gave their lives for their country in any war while serving the United States. Please take a minute to remember these brave men and women.

Tags:

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

May 16 2013

Farmer's Market

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

nullSpring is in full swing! One of the best parts for me is the farmers markets starting to pop up. There are quite a few close by. For a full list visit www.getrealmaine.com.

Tags:

« Back

Casey Swan's photo

May 15 2013

The Psychology of Color

By Casey Swan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Marketing, Environmental, Lifestyle, Casey Swan, | (0) Comments

colors affect our attitudes, our moods, our interpretation of time, and our impressions of each otherWhen I was in fifth grade, I was called to a meeting with the school Principal, Mr. Murphy. I don't recall the reason for the meeting, but I clearly remember asking him, "why is your office pink?" To me, pink was girly and I was astounded that a full-grown man would want to spend an entire day surrounded by that color. Mr. Murphy's answer to my query was to explain that, psychologically, pink was a calming color and it helped to alleviate anxiety in students who had been called to his office.

Did you know that there is an entire branch of the psychology field called Color Psychology, which focuses on how color affects human behavior? This study is certainly fascinating, although it can be influenced by many factors, such as culture, region, context, and personal experience. However, the collective subconscious of society often means that certain colors are related to particular attributes.

One of the earliest theories about what later became Color Psychology came from poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1810. While based on his intuitive perception of the impact of color on mood, Goethe's insights have been substantiated by modern scientific research. Carl Jung became a pioneer of Color Psychology when he suggested that art could be used as psychotherapy. Even Winston Churchill recognized the effect of color on mood when he stated, "I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colours, I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns."

Colors can be used to manipulate our purchasing habits, our sense of time, our health, and even the color of the automobile we drive suggests characteristics of our personality. The following list relates the common properties and symbols associated with various colors:

Pink
As I mentioned previously, pink is a tranquilizing color that is representative of understanding and love. The color inspires nurturing, comfort, sincerity, and friendliness.

Red
Red is the most intense color and is usually associated with passion and excitement. Red is also attention seeking, which may be why thieves and police officers target red vehicles more frequently. Red is a stimulating color, and researchers have discovered that people's reaction times are quicker under red light, as well as that sports teams wearing red jerseys have a higher chance of winning. However, red may be overwhelming for people whose nature is more relaxed and the color may trigger confrontations.

Orange
Orange is an uplifting, motivational, and warm color. On one hand, it stimulates independence, spontaneity and adventure, but at its extreme, orange may invite assertiveness and competition.

Yellow
Yellow is closely related to the intellect. Research suggests that the color enhances concentration, communication, and metabolism. Although it is associated with happiness and joy, yellow is the most difficult color for the eye to take in. As a result, researchers have discovered that tempers flare and babies cry more frequently when in yellow rooms.

Green
Green is an emotional color and is closely related to renewal, balance and peace. It is the easiest color for the eye to perceive and generally has a calming effect, which is why guests on television shows relax in the "green room" before their appearances and why formal Colonial gatherings were held in rooms with green walls. Green inspires harmony, but an overload may lead to complacency, boredom, and even hypochondria.

Blue
Blue offers tranquility, safety, and reservation. It is frequently presented as a conservative color. Witnesses at trials may be instructed to wear blue, as it lends a feeling of reliability. Blue is emotionally sedating, which is why many hospital recovery rooms may be blue. In 2000, Glasgow installed blue street lights in some of its tougher neighborhoods and subsequently saw a reduction in the crime rates. On the negative side, blue may also be cold and depressing. It is also an appetite suppressant, as naturally blue foods are frequently toxic. Therefore, if you're dieting, install a blue light in your refrigerator or eat from blue plates.

Purple
An inspiring color, purple stimulates creativity, individuality, and spirituality. Traditionally, purple was associated with royalty, so the color also connotes wealth and sophistication. In the negative, purple may be seen as impractical, immature, insincere, or overindulgent.

Brown
Brown is reliable and down-to-earth. It suggests authenticity, honesty, and responsibility. However, brown may evoke dullness and it can enhance maudlin feelings.

Gray
The most unemotional color, gray is pragmatic and isolating. It feels "corporate" and promotes indifference.

White
White is unquestionably the ultimate symbol of purity and innocence. It may also suggest a sterile, fastidious, hands-off personality; think Martha Stewart and her perfectly crisp white button-down shirts.

Black
This is a color with very complex associations. In one aspect, black is powerful, authoritarian, elegant, and sophisticated. It can also be serious, intimidating and may elicit fear. Another interpretation is that black is a color of aloofness and submission, like a priest wearing black in submission to God or a widow wearing black in mourning.

What can we learn from this? One way Color Psychology can be used is as an introspective device; what does your favorite color imply about you? Is it correct? Is it the message you want to send? I hope it also makes you aware of how color may be subtly used to manipulate the masses. For instance, be aware of the packaging on products you purchase, political signs, the colors of certain rooms... subliminally, someone may be trying to sell you something, but there's also the possibility that there's something from which they're trying to distract you.

Sources I used:
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/08/17/goethe-theory-of-colours/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_psychology
http://www.holyorderofmans.org/Color%20Philosophy/ColorPhilosophy/philosophy_of_color.htm
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/colors.html
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0932396.html
http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/meaning-of-colors.html

Tags:

Color, psychology, human behavior, mood

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

May 12 2013

Tick Season Has Arrived - Protect yourself and your pets

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, | (0) Comments


Lyme Disease & Tick Bites
Ticks can transmit Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Symptoms vary by disease, including fever, chills, and fatigue.
The New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food offers free tick identification to New Hampshire residents. The intent is to monitor the distribution of tick species in NH. Complete the Tick Submission Form and mail the tick and form as described. Ticks submitted will not be tested for disease-causing pathogens.
Avoiding Tick Bites
o Stay on trails outdoors; avoid areas of overgrown brush and tall grasses.
o Wear light-colored clothes so ticks can be easily seen.
o Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt and long pants tucked into boots or socks.
o Check yourself often for ticks.
o Use insect repellent containing DEET or permethrin (follow directions).
o Arboviral & Tick Prevention for Kids
o Avoid Mosquito & Tick Bites
o Protect Yourself from Ticks Where You Work (Lyme Disease and
Outdoor Workers)
o Tick/Mosquito Poster
Is It A Tick Bite?
o Spider Bite – Several fluid-filled bumps appear at the site of the bite.
o Tick Bite – The bite is hard, itchy, and forms into lumps. A red, rash-like halo surrounds the bite and then slowly spreads outwards.
Removing An Attached Tick
1. Remove the tick promptly. The sooner you remove it, the less chance of infection.
2. Use tweezers to grasp the tick's mouthparts at the surface of the skin.
3. With a steady motion, gently pull the tick straight out.
4. Wipe the bite area with an antiseptic, or wash with soap and water.
5. Be alert for symptoms of illness over the next 7-10 days.
o Do not squeeze the tick.
o Do not rub petroleum jelly on the tick.
o Do not use a hot match or cigarette.
o Do not pour kerosene or nail polish on

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

May 11 2013

C'mon - Get Happy!

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Development, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

happiestIt's finally that time of year when all we want to do is be outside. Since pretty much everyone is either working, in school, or just plain busy for most of their waking hours, though, it's not always a guarantee that we'll get to spend much, if any, quality time out in the fresh air. This can make us a little resentful...which leads to crankiness...which will probably only end up leading nowhere good. But instead of letting your inner monster come out when you're replying to the next annoying email or sitting through yet another hour-long conference call, why not try a couple of tricks from our friends over at Yahoo! Shine? If there's even a small chance that certain movements alone can make you feel a little happier, what have you got to lose?

Tags:

spring, summer, outdoors, work, school, home, Yahoo!, Shine, life

« Back

Liz Roloff's photo

May 09 2013

Paperbacks vs. iPad; keeping score

By Liz Roloff | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Lifestyle, | (2) Comments

stack of booksI’m a die-hard paperback book lover. About a year ago I received an iPad as a gift (I know, very generous!) and started little by little building a library of books. After a year, I’ve compared the pros and cons of paper vs. electronic and this is what I’ve come up with.
Electronic books let you carry your entire collection of books with you, it’s easy to mark your page, if you don’t like what you’re reading, click, click and you have another book open. And, you don’t have to design every room in your house around how many bookshelves you can squeeze in.
But then,
Paperbacks are easy to tuck in a pocketbook, they don’t weigh anything, and they are a must-have for a beach vacation (you know the real juicy kind of story…murder mysteries set on Cape Cod. Oh…what kind did you think I meant?), grains of sand caught in the spine. And how would we press flowers without paperbacks?
Last night I started a score sheet; Paperback vs iPad. Picture this; you’re lying in bed, holding your book/iPad on your chest two inches from your face, then you doze off. What happens to the paperback? It slips lightly to your face and your significant-other finds you under it snoring gently. What happens to the iPad? It comes crashing down on top of your face, you bolt up, grabbing your nose checking for blood! Paperback = 1 iPad=0.

Tags:

« Back

Sheri Apprille's photo

May 07 2013

Can you spare any change?

By Sheri Apprille | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

Change.

It's a word we all know and most of us do not like. Some people fear change. Some resist it. Others embrace it and all of the excitement that it offers. I am probably a "middle of the road" person when it comes to change. For a long time I did not like change or do well when it came to change. But what I have learned is that change IS good. It is necessary. And even though in invokes fear and anxiety, it ultimately takes us to where we need to go next. I have been through enough "change" to know that no matter how scary it seems, what is on the other side is worth it. This could be for anything. For me, it started with my weight loss journey 3.5 years ago. After losing 97lbs, I experienced so much change that I wasn't sure I could handle it all.

Baby steps. Focus. Perspective.

It could be any part of your life where you are experiencing any kind of change - change of job, change of homes, change of relationships, change of health...anything. The key is to always remember that no matter what changes and/or how it changes, it is happening for a reason and the best thing to do is embrace it and allow things to fall into place. I am a true believer in that everything happens for a reason - whether things are in our control or not. It is up to us to accept the change and make things work the best you can.

So. Are you afraid of change? Do you embrace change? Are you willing to change? These are questions to ponder.

Whether we like it or not, change happens. We are constantly changing and evolving as humans. Again, I say change is good, especially when it feels bad. It's entirely up to you to decide if you are going to resist or embrace it. But just remember, change will happen even when you are resisting it! So I say, smile and embrace it, because only good things can happen from it!

Keep an open mind and a positive attitude and you will create great things for yourself!

Click on the link below for some great ideas to start making small changes....

http://worldobserveronline.com/2012/04/25/15-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-happy/

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

May 05 2013

Pineapple Pork Tenderloin

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments



PINEAPPLE GLAZED PORK TENDERLOIN
Printed from COOKS.COM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin
1 (8 1/2 oz.) can sliced pineapple
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cornstarch

Drain pineapple and keep the juice. Keep pineapple rings for garnish. Trim excess fat from pork. Place pork on a rack in a baking pan. Mix 1/3 cup juice, mustard, ginger, paprika, brown sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a small pan. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened. Brush pork loin with part of the glaze. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Brush meat with glaze several times during baking. Turn meat over and brush both sides. Arrange pineapple rings and serve. Slice meat across grain.

Tags:

« Back

kbrownlie's photo

May 02 2013

Dinner Time!

By kbrownlie | | (0) Comments

nullWe have all been there…… Its late, we worked all day, we’re tired, kids screaming, and then get asked the biggest question of the day “What’s for dinner?” Our brains scramble to come up with something nutritional and something they will actually eat- which is the hardest part. Well here’s a quick recipe to satisfy everyone, from hungry kids to hungry husbands.
Sweet and Sour Kielbasa (4 servings)
Ingredients: 2 kielbasa links-sliced, 3 cups of ketchup, 1 cup dark brown sugar, and 1 can of pineapple chunks. Optional ingredients can include: 1 jar of cherries, 1 green pepper - sliced, and 1 small white onion- sliced.
Directions: In skillet add sliced kielbasa, ketchup, sugar, and pineapple. (Also add in any optional ingredients you choose at this point) Stir together. Simmer for 15 minutes, with occasionally stirring. Then serve!
This is the perfect quick dish for anyone on the go or any last minute party planners!

Tags:

Recipes, Dinner time, Mom, Sweet and Sour, Pineapple, Cooking, Running late, Hungry

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

May 02 2013

I love Cake!

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments



Mocha Tiramasu Cake

In light of my birthday coming up this weekend, I am going to make myself a cake. My favorite kind of cake is Pistachio with Pistachio Frosting and I have it every year for my birthday. This year I feel like being a little ambitious and ready to take on Mocha Tiramasu Cake. I am pretty confident in my baking abilities and up for the challenge. I came across this recipe and it just too good not to share!

Ingredients: 1 pkg. Duncan Hines® Butter Golden Cake Mix, 3 large eggs, 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 2/3 cup water, ¾ cup espresso or very strong coffee, cooled 1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur or dark rum, 2 cans Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter, 2 packets Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Mocha Flavor Mix, 4 oz. mascarpone cheese, 23 ladyfingers 2 oz. chocolate shaved

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans.
2. Prepare cake batter as directed on package.
3. Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cakes comes out clean.
4. Let cakes cool completely and turn out of pans.
5. In small bowl, combine espresso and coffee liqueur.
6. Poke holes in cooled cakes with a skewer. Generously brush tops of both cakes with espresso mixture, using up to 1/2 cup. Set aside the remaining ¼ cup.
7. Pour 1 packet of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Mocha Flavor Mix into 1 can of Duncan Hines® Frosting Creations™ Frosting Starter. Stir until evenly blended. Repeat with second packet and can.
8. Transfer 1/2 cup of the Mocha frosting you just created to a piping bag.
9. Transfer another 1/2 cup of the Mocha frosting to a small bowl and combine it with the mascarpone cheese. This will be your cake filling.
10. With the piping bag, pipe a circle or “dam” of the Mocha frosting around outer edge of bottom cake layer.
11. Fill center circle with mocha/mascarpone filling. Top with second layer of cake.
12. Frost sides and top of layer cake with remaining Mocha frosting.
13. Dip or brush flat side of ladyfinger cookies with remaining espresso mixture and adhere to sides of cake.
14. Chill 20 minutes. Garnish top edge of cake with shaved chocolate before serving.

Tags:

« Back

Heather Libby's photo

April 30 2013

Pack a Picnic

By Heather Libby | | (0) Comments

There are so many great places to travel in New England during this time of the year and eating out or grabbing food on the go can be costly. Before you head on out to the parks, beaches, and lakes you’ll want to pack up that cooler too so here are a few easy picnic items to bring on your trips.
Warps or sandwiches are always easy and ready to eat. Try something classic like your favorite cold cut with cheese or chicken and tuna salad. Try using large pieces of roman lettuce and tooth picks instead of bread to avoid sogginess.
Chicken or steak skewers are an easy to eat and pack and a yummy alternative to those everyday sandwiches. Marinate in your favorite dressing for about two hours grill up and let cool and wrap in tin foil. You can even add peppers, onions and mushrooms to get your veggies in too!
Don’t forget the salad! Pasta, potato and tortellini salad are wonderful picnic items and make great side dishes to almost any lunch on a nice day.
Here’s a list of a couple of easy snack to pack for the between time:
• Carrots , celery, cherry tomatoes and dip
• Pretzels or chips
• Hard boiled eggs
• Cubed cheese and crackers
• Berries or cut fruit


Be sure to bring plenty of water and drinks to keep hydrated.
Now grab the Coppertone and your stylish shades and enjoy the next couple seasons in New England!

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

April 29 2013

Get Out!

By Kristen Donovan | Massachusetts, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Marketing, Health, Travel, Development, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

bloomsLet's be honest for a second: we all hate Massachusetts in the winter. Ok, so maybe skiers and snow bunnies and kids and happy people don't hate it. But a lot of us can't deal with the frigid temps, the digging through snow to get to our cars, the short days, the darkness, the snow, the cold. Alright, so I hate Massachusetts in the winter, whether you're with me or not. Fortunately for everyone, though, winter's over. It's sunnier, it's warming up, and people actually want to be outside again. So what are we supposed to do? Turns out, we have lots of options in this great state of ours! And they're all mapped out in an excellently organized list at MassVacation.com. Whether you want to stroll through a state park, search the beach for sea glass, get out on a golf course, or anything else, chances are it's either pretty close to your own backyard or just a short drive away. Check the list out for yourself and start planning your daytrip or weekend adventure today!

Tags:

winter, spring, New England, MassVacation.com, Massachusetts, outdoors, activities, local

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

April 29 2013

Signs of Spring!

By Shannon Earley | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Travel, | (0) Comments

nullSigns of Spring!

I love spring. I love how the season warms everyone up. I love how you can start wearing no coat, then no sweater, then just long sleeves, and I am happiest when it is jeans and t-shirt weather!

But the best signs of spring are the flowers! It starts with the crocuses, which I love to see pop up, usually in spite of the snow that is still to be found. Then come the daffodils, which are my favorite flowers by far! Then the tulips! And don’t even let me get started on the hyacinths, which somehow I can never seem to grow. I love that you plant the bulbs in the fall and forget about them and then are pleasantly surprised by flowers in the spring. And as one kind of flower follows another, they bring us into warm weather.

That is how I track the changing of the season. Not by the dates on a calendar, but by the blooming of the spring flowers!

Tags:

« Back

msides's photo

April 27 2013

New Ideas for Decorating This Season!

By msides | | (0) Comments

As some of you may know, I have recently moved to Maine from Florida. It is common to see a more tropical themed décor in most Floridians homes. Ya know the palm trees, the dolphins, and the beach scenes. I had not participated in this form of decorating as I was never really into my apartment looking like the ocean. What I have seen more and more as the warmer months approach is Maine’s version of the coastal décor, and I LOVE IT! It’s a more nautical themed style which makes you feel more like you live near the ocean and not under it. I really like the oversized anchors, oars, and mermaids!

I have become so obsessed with the cute items available that I have decided to do a complete make-over of our bedroom and bath. What’s even better is that the boyfriend is on board (pun intended). I have started looking everywhere for fun, cool ways to bring the beauty of Maine’s coastal life into our Falmouth home. (By the way, we reside at Princeton’s Foreside Estates in Falmouth, and love our apartment!) I wanted to share my findings with everyone, just in case you are in love with this décor as much as I am. The location with the best accessories I have found so far is Pottery Barn. They are on the pricier end but with the special offers they have and the high quality of their products your money is well spent.

I’ve grown especially fond of the more weather worn and rustic looking pieces. Like this wooden carved whale.

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/carved-wood-whale-wall-art/?pkey=cart&

And looking on Pottery Barns website, you can see they have everything from throw pillows to picture frames to display shelves.

Now that I have you hooked (more puns!) on this style, you can also find similar pieces at bargain prices at TJMaxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls. If you are looking for more unique items, I strongly suggest checking out your local consignment shops. You never know what you may find there, and you’re supporting your local businesses.

And of course, any ideas or places you know of or find, please don’t hesitate to share with me! Happy shopping!

Tags:

« Back

Angela Lavespere's photo

April 25 2013

It's time to spruce up your patio!

By Angela Lavespere | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullAs the weather is finally starting to warm up, I’ve turned my attention outdoors… in particular, to my patio. While daydreaming about the changes I could make, I came across an article loaded with inspiring patio and balcony photos: http://www.shelterness.com/25-cozy-balcony-decorating-ideas/
Check it out! I promise you'll get the itch to remake your outdoor space, no matter the size!

I’m resisting the urge to spend a fortune and entirely remake my patio. A potted plant with bright flowers, a fun pillow to add to a tired patio set, a small outdoor rug… it doesn’t need to be something big to add a bit of happy to an outdoor space!

Our weather here in Nashua is forecasting temperatures in the upper 60s for at least the next 10 days, so get outside and start decorating!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

April 24 2013

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Sharpie Mugs!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below for instructions on how to make quick and easy personalized coffee mugs!

Tags:

DIY Project, Personalized Coffee Mug, Creative Project, Sharpie Mug

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

April 22 2013

Amazing images on line

By Shannon Earley | New Hampshire, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Travel, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

nullThere is beauty in the most unlikely of places sometimes. Following a random link on a weather site, I came across this photographer’s online gallery and there is something wonderful, peaceful and enchanting in his pictures of deserted French chalets and castles. Check them out at: http://www.thomasjorion.com/category/ilots-intemporels-thomas-jorion/italie These images make me want to buy a ticket to France just so I can go exploring in these abandoned places of beauty. The juxtaposition of man-made beauty and encroaching nature is entrancing. They make me feel like a little girl in a fairy castle!

places of beauty

These incredible pictures sent me on a treasure hunt of other images of beautiful, abandoned places. And in my search I came across the blog of Francesco Mugnai. http://blogof.francescomugnai.com/2013/01/30-of-the-most-beautiful-abandoned-places-and-modern-ruins-ive-ever-seen/ It seems as if I am not the only one who finds these images awe-inspiring. He has collections of abandoned spaces and separate ones of castles from all over the world.

castles from all over the world

This picture is actually of a ruin in the woods of our dear own New Hampshire! Even though I know some are photo-shopped they still bring light and wonder to my day. So whenever you feel like life is too ordinary, go on an image treasure hunt. You will be amazed at that you may find!

wonder to my day

Tags:

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

April 18 2013

We Are Boston...

By Tracy Hilker | | (0) Comments

nullWhat can I say that hasn’t already been said? We are Boston, we are strong. Our people are fighters, always have been. Bostonians are known for being a little rough around the edges, a little heavy on the language, and a little pushy and crass. We love our sports, we love our chowdah, but over all, we love our city.

The events that happened this Boston Marathon Monday shook us to the core. But we are Boston. We rocked a little, but it only made us stronger. As I sit here and wait to hear the President talk about our steadfast hometown, I know I will be moved to tears. I have seen an out pouring of love and support from those all around the country.

Text messages, emails, phone calls, and Facebook messages flooded my life on Monday afternoon, friends from far and wide checking on me and my family. My brother sent out a family text message, making sure we were all safe. Everyone knows someone who was there, who was affected, who was going to go, who walked those streets the day before, like my mother and my sister did.

I have seen pictures of those runners, spectators who ripped off their shirts and held them against those who were injured… Store owners in the area who pulled people in from the streets to safety and used brand new clothing off their shelves to cover those in need… Police, military, fire fighters, hospital staff, off duty workers, and common every day people, running towards the explosion and helping to carry people to safety.

My heart has been broken, touched, moved, over and over again. Now we need to heal. We need to help all of those that were there that day. All those who were injured, witnessed the horror, helped those in need, ran for their lives, watched from their homes, they need our help now. To those runners who were diverted, stranded, finished, involved… I tip my hat to you and we are proud of you. Your day was over shadowed by a black cloud created by cowards. Your hard work will not be forgotten.

My words can not do much at all. They can’t bring back lives, they can’t heal bodies, they can’t help nightmares of that day be pushed away. What they can do is be there and remind us not to forget. They can remind us all in a month, six months, a year, why we all became “Boston.” I hope this blog serves as a reminder, despite whatever we find out in the next few days, to stay strong, to stay connected, to pray, to be kind, to love.

We are strong, Boston strong. All of America has become Boston. To those who are hurting and scared, we love you and we will help you heal. To those who are loving us right now, Thank You, we need your support more than ever. I am proud to be from this town. I am proud to call this place my home. I am proud to be Boston.

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

April 17 2013

Bucks for Bauman

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Community, | (1) Comments

Our beloved city of Boston is going through heartbreak after the horrific incidents that occurred on Patriot's Day. A classmate of mine I've known for over 20 years was one of the victims who was critically injured in Monday's attack. I ask that all of you keep Jeff Bauman, the courageous victim from my hometown of Chelmsford, MA in your thoughts as he recovers from losing both of his lower limbs. If anyone is interested in giving back and helping Jeff and his family, a fundraiser called "Bucks for Bauman" has been set up by his close friends. Below are two links where donations are being accepted (the second link doesn't require Paypal)!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Y8FDWV553VW8N


http://www.gofundme.com/BucksforBauman

Tags:

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

April 12 2013

Favorite Movies and Books

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Pretty in Pink In continuing with my favorite movies and books theme, the movie Pretty in Pink is another favorite.

As in The Outsiders, the story is told of teens divided by social status, trying to become friends with each other, without losing their current circle.

Pretty in Pink was released February 28, 1986, written by John Hughes and included such stars as Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader and Andrew McCarthy. Under John Hughes some of these actors became household names in the 80’s as the “Brat Pack” took hold.

Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) had really cool fashion sense, inspiring many an outfit among me and my friends. The soundtrack had songs like, “Pretty in Pink” by The Psychedelic Furs and “If You Leave” by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark. Cool clothes, great music and a timeless storyline about friends trying to find their place amongst each other… makes for a great movie that I still watch today when it comes on TV.

Tags:

« Back

kbrownlie's photo

April 11 2013

Spring Cleaning Time

By kbrownlie | | (0) Comments

nullIt’s that time of year again…..time to attack those dust bunnies and wipe down furniture. So as we begin the ritual tossing of unwanted items into donation bins, here are a few tips to help make the process a little less painful.
Tip #1 Dryer sheets aren’t just for making clothes soft, they are also great for wiping up dust from tables, bookcases, ceiling fans, and getting pet hair off the couch.
Tip #2 Newspapers. If they are just sitting around taking up space, use them to clean your kitchen sink. Just crumble some of the dry newspaper and rub it against
the stainless steel basin and it will soon sparkle like new.
Tip #3 Get containers! Plastic or cardboard containers are easy to stack, label, and create an organization system that will benefit the whole family.
Tip #4 Year rule! If you haven’t used it, opened it, worn it, or moved it in a year’s time, it’s time to get rid of it!
Don’t forget - one man’s trash is another man’s treasure- so donate all that unwanted stuff!

Tags:

spring cleaning, tips, salem, donate

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

April 09 2013

Soup's On - Now Recycle the Can!

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

cansEarth Day 2013 is April 22nd - and it's quickly creeping up on us. If there's something that we're almost all guilty of, it's having more canned goods stashed in the pantry than we know what to do with. Cream of Mushroom soup for that green bean casserole we make twice a year. Tomato Soup to go with the grilled cheese sandwiches we eat when we don't want to "really" cook. Chicken Noodle Soup for when we're feeling yucky. The list goes on and on (and yes, there's a tie back to Earth Day and I'm getting to the point). Most of us are probably pretty good about recycling all the empties once we're done with them (and if you're not...get on that!), but who knew we can actually get a little creative with those cans?! Check out All Souped Up! 7 Ways to Recycle Old Tin Cans over at Yahoo! Shine for some adorable ideas that'll make you wonder why you didn't come up with them yourself! Got any other cool ways to acknowledge Earth Day this year? Share them with us!

Tags:

Yahoo!, Shine, Earth Day, cans, soup, recycling

« Back

Kristen Aquaros's photo

April 09 2013

Wedding Fever!

By Kristen Aquaros | | (2) Comments

When I was little, my friends and I would make pretend our weddings. I used to imagine my wedding to be the picture perfect Cinderella story. I would be announced in riding on a horse and carriage, wearing a huge puffy dress (glass slippers and all!), and there would be a castle full of people waiting to see me and prince charming being married. I dreamed that I would marry the love of my life and have a whole bunch of children. Now that I am older, I realize how unrealistic that is, not to mention my idea of the perfect wedding has changed…. A lot! Im still searching for “Mr. Right”, and when he shows up I already have it planned out! Call me crazy but law of attraction has got to kick in sooner or later! During my weekly daydreaming session of what I would want my wedding to be like, I decided to look up what others have done for their big day. I found out that June the biggest wedding month, hence the reason of this blog seeing that June is just around the corner. I’ve used a few different websites that I searched on google to come up with a list of some of the “top tens” for planning a wedding

Top 5 Places in the US to be married:

1. The Inn and Spa at Loretto- Santa Fe, New Mexico
2. The Plaza – New York
3. The Hawks Cay Resort- Duck Key, Florida Keys
4. Paris, Las Vegas – Nevada
5. Grand Wailea- Hawaii

Top 10 first dance songs:

1. "Alison" (Elvis Costello)
2. "All I Want Is You" (U2)
3. "As" (Stevie Wonder)
4. "Blood Of Eden" (Peter Gabriel)
5. "Crash" (Dave Matthews Band)
6. "Everything I Do" (Brandy)
7. "Forever in My Life" (Prince)
8. "Heroes" (David Bowie)
9. "Ice Cream" (Sarah MacLachlan)
10. "If I Was Your Girlfriend" (Prince)

Top 10 Guest Complaints:

1. An inconvenient date.
2. Invitation confusion
3. Seating Snafus
4. Cash bars
5. Climate Crisis
6. Inedible Food
7. Never ending toasts/ Photo montages
8. Dj Please stop the music
9. Ungracious hosts

Top Wedding Themes

1. Medival
2. Winter Wonderland
3. Seaside
4. 1920s
5.1940s
6. Arabian Nights
7. Japanese
8. Las Vegas
9. Butterflies
10. Football

Top cake flavors

1. Red Velvet + Cream Cheese Frosting
2. Devil's Food Cake + Chocolate Ganache
3. Lemon Cake + Lemon Buttercream + Lemon Curd
4. Pink Champagne Cake + Raspberry Mousse + Vanilla Buttercream
5. Apple Spice Cake + Caramel Buttercream + Brown-Sugar Mousse
6. Chocolate and Vanilla Cakes + Chocolate Buttercream + Mocha Mousse
7. Sponge Cake + Vanilla Buttercream Topped with Coconut + Bavarian Cream with Fruit

Tags:

www.theknot.com

« Back

Virginia Partridge's photo

April 06 2013

Get crafty this spring smile

By Virginia Partridge | | (0) Comments

I wanted to share this fun, easy, inexpensive, pretty and eco-friendly craft that is PERFECT for spring! It's a teacup bird feeder smile I'm planning on making this after we build our front porch this summer, and hanging it next to some windchimes

Here's how:
First, you simply find an old teacup and saucer - there are plenty to choose from at any yard sale, local thrift store, antique store, or even HomeGoods!
Next, stock up on some E6000 craft adhesive. You can easily find it at Michaels, AC Moore or Joann Fabrics. A little will go a looong way.
Tip the cup on it's side, glue to the saucer and leave overnight. Hang the bird feeder from a shepard's hook, or suspend it from your porch ceiling with decorative fabric.
Lastly, fill the cup and saucer with bird seed and ENJOY!

Tags:

« Back

Beth Devoe's photo

April 04 2013

It's Salem Willows Time!!

By Beth Devoe | | (1) Comments

PopcornI was born and raised in Salem, MA but never appreciated what a great city I lived in until I moved away. Now that I am working here again I am reminded of all of my favorite places to visit. One of my favorite places was and still is the Salem Willows. I used to ride my bike there when I was younger and would stay there for hours with my friends. Playing skeeball, arcade games, riding the carousel, having a tender steak with cheese (YUM!!) and eating Hobbs popcorn (YUMMMMMM!). Now that spring is upon us (well sort of) the Willows is starting to open up which means nice weather should be following soon! I've already had my first box of Hobbs popcorn and am looking forward to going there multiple times this summer. My daughter has been there a few times and now I am excited to bring my son. It's a piece of Salem that I truly miss having at my fingertips!

Tags:

salem, salem willows, popcorn, hobbs

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

April 03 2013

Creative Apartment Decorating

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

nullHang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. This gives smaller windows the illusion of height and makes the room look larger

If you can’t paint your apartment paint your furniture. It is an easy way to add color without a lot of cost. Another great way to bring character to your beige apartment is area rugs. They add a pop of color plus they save the carpets when it’s time for your security deposit.

Use multi function furniture. Add a long table in your living room.; it can function as a work space and when entertaining it can double as a bar or buffet.

If your apartment lacks an official entry space create one using a bookcase and chair. Remove the top shelves and add hooks for hanging. Adding decorative baskets to the bottom shelves keeps clutter out of site.

Tags:

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

April 01 2013

Hosting Easter Dinner

By Jackie Tirado | | (0) Comments

nullEaster crept up on us early this year. Every year my family takes turns hosting holiday dinners at each other's homes. My place was chosen for Easter. My family gets together every Sunday to share a meal. We look forward to it all week so when we get together for a holiday we make it even more special by preparing something we don't eat often. On the menu for Easter is roasted pork shoulder. It is a traditional meal for special occasions. My grandmother will be seasoning it and it is served with yellow rice , chick peas and macaroni or potato salad. Roasting the pork takes 4 hours. Seasoning it is done the night before and my grandmother puts it in the oven around 10am. We eat dinner early in my culture so everyone arrives by 3pm to feast. Hosting dinners at my place always stresses me out. I'm usually in charge of drinks and desert but this year my uncles asked for lasagna. I have a large family of big eaters so I will have to make 3 lasagnas. Cooking is second nature to me and I enjoy doing it very much. While I look forward to eating this mouth watering meal, I don't look forward to all the dishes I end up with. I absolutely love the fact that my family is as close as we are and every Sunday dinner or holiday spent with them warms my heart. When I start a family of own someday I plan on continuing this wonderful tradition. I'd like to wish everyone a very happy Easter!

Tags:

« Back

Angela Lavespere's photo

March 29 2013

Easy no-sew curtains that will save you big bucks!

By Angela Lavespere | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (2) Comments

If you’re like me, you’ve browsed Pinterest and drooled over all the gorgeous designer rooms, only to be frustrated by the price tags that accompany most of the items that make the rooms shine! One of the easiest changes you can make in your apartment that has the biggest impact is your curtains. But curtains are expensive, easily running you $50-200 per window!

An easy solution to this is to make your own. Ok I know a lot of you just tuned out as soon as the picture of a needle and thread popped into your head, but don’t worry, there’s no sewing involved!

I recently made curtains for my living room and including fabric purchased from http://www.fabric.com stitc,hery-witchery (aka hem tape) and curtain clips from Joann Fabrics, my grand total came in under $45!




curtains




…and up close:





curtains 3





Not bad, right?


Here’s a great example of how much money this can save you: I LOVE these curtains from Crate & Barrel: http://www.crateandbarrel.com/teramo-curtain-panels/f43025




Crate & barrel curtains




….but the $89 price tag PER PANEL?? Not something I’m willing to commit to! Head on over to my favorite site, http://www.fabric.com and w,hat do you find there? This lovely fabric for only $7.48 per yard:





premier prints zigzag





To make standard 8 ft panels, you’ll need roughly 5 yards of fabric, bringing your curtain total to just $37.40! (You can get it even lower than that… always check online for coupons before making your purchase… I got 15% off!)

My favorite no-sew curtain tutorial can be found here:

http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/02/nursery-progress-getting-the-hang-of-it/

(Feel free to get addicted to their blog while you’re at it… you won’t regret it!)

You can do this! I promise the hardest part will be narrowing it down to just one fabric.

Happy Curtain Making!

Tags:

Decorating, curtains, budget friendly

« Back

Heather Libby's photo

March 22 2013

How to Make Your Own All Natural/Organic Household Products for Pennies!

By Heather Libby | New Hampshire, Apartment Living, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Over the last few years there has been a boom of these extreme couponers. Television networks like TLC created TV shows for these people calling themselves “coupon queens” and other crazy things. I’d never heard of this before or knew anyone who did. It fascinated me, I was instantly hooked. I could imagine the rush these people would get watching the $700 register totals come down to under $20. They showcased these people’s “stock piles” of a year’s worth of laundry detergent, deodorant, hand soap, dish soap, tooth paste, cleaners ect., that only cost them pennies. I started to think of how I could do this and how huge it would be to save thousands of dollars every year on my grocery budget. So I watched and took notes.
I was about a week into my mini obsession with TLC’s Extreme Couponing only to be let down by my lack of storage space. I didn’t have a spare closet in my little apartment let alone a bedroom to keep a year’s worth of household cleaners. I did some more research over the next few weeks because I was determined to find a way I too could save this kind of money on the items I use regularly.
Then it dawned on me, I would make my own. I started with all purpose cleaner and it was great, I even used it on my windows and mirrors and it sparkled without streaks. It works so well I find myself using less and saving more.
Making my own household cleaning products has almost become part of my weekly “to do” list along with laundry and grocery shopping. I’m constantly thinking of new things I can make and how I can save money for me and my family. The best part about this is that it works better than the Tide, Cascade, and Greenworks I’d been spending hundreds on every year and I can make it organic! It’s so simple and inexpensive I wish I had thought to do this sooner.

Follow my blogs for new “How to make your own…” all natural/organic household cleaning products

How to Make Your Own All Natural All Purpose Cleaner:
Fill an empty Windex bottle (or whatever product you currently use) with white vinegar, then add the peals of 1 or 2 oranges, lemons, or limes (be sure to eat the fruit for a healthy snack!).
A gallon bottle of all natural white vinegar is about $3 and a couple organic oranges, lemon, or limes are about $2 at your local grocery store. Making about 5 bottles of all natural all purpose cleaner for about $1 each.

Tags:

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

March 22 2013

Spring Fashion Trends 2013

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Travel, Corporate Furnished, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

SPRING 2013 FASHION TRENDS

It is time to get ready to put away our winter coats and sweaters and bring out the spring and summer clothes. Every season I like to go through my closet and get rid of clothing that I know I am just never going to wear again. If you question it, just get rid of it! The best part of getting rid of the old is making room for the new! I like to follow the new trends and am always curious what the hottest fashion trends are. I like to be in the know. In doing a little research and following some of the big magazines like Vogue, Elle and Cosmo, these are some of the trends that we want to watch out for this spring. Ok, we want to start adding more Pastels into our wardrobes. You want to be head to toe in Pastel . If you are going to wear Pastels, go for it. Another color to watch out for this spring is Gray. Gray was all over the runway recently. Floral patterns are very hot right now, I especially have been seeing many floral dresses everywhere that are super cute! Stripes are making their way back on the hot trend list too! They can be vertical, horizontal, thick or skinny. I am not much of a stripe person, but I will try it out to see if it would work on me. Another hot trend is Lace. I absolutely love this! Lace dresses and tops were very big on the runway as well. I recently was at the Gap Outlet and found a white lace dress. I can’t wait to wear it this spring. I think I try it on at least once a week! Now this one is my favorite of them all, Leather is very hot in fashion right now. Not going to lie, I have always wanted a pair of leather pants and now I know that it will be ok for me to get a pair and wear them in public. I am definitely going to try this one out! Fashion is so much fun, and it is very fun trying new things, especially when you have some friends with you. Even if you just include a couple pieces to your wardrobe, like a floral, pastel or stripped top you will be styling wherever you go.

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

March 22 2013

Creativity Corner Presents....DIY Wine Cork Magnets!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Watch the video below for instructions on how to make quick and easy wine cork magnets for your fridge!

Tags:

diy, wine cork magnets, creative projects, arts and crafts

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

March 21 2013

Hanging with my Peeps

By Tracy Hilker | | (1) Comments

nullEaster is right around the corner, and while most people opt for the traditional candies such as jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and Cadbury Eggs, I hold a special place in my heart for Peeps bunnies and chicks.

I don’t know what it is about these little sugar covered beauties, but I just love them. But not right out of the package mind you. OH NO. I’m a different kind of Peep enjoyer. I like to open the package along the box, and let them sit for a minimum of three days. Yes, it’s true, I love stale Peeps. I then eat their little eyes off, and if they are chicks, their heads go next, bunnies, so long ears!

I started to do some research about Peeps… Where they came from… Flavors… Forget those things. I found WAY better stuff. Get prepared, this blog is about to get awesome and I shall call this next section:

Amazing Peep Stuff:
1. Peep Jousting. Yes, there are even tournaments and brackets people set up for this. You get some Peeps, two colors if not more. Mark them with a Sharpie and give them a number (or name). Ready them with a tooth pick, their jousting stick. Put two on a plate, facing each other. Turn on your microwave. The Peep who wins is the one who stabs the other one first, causing his opponent to pop. Yeah, I’m totally doing this.
2. Peep food. From everything to Peepza, pizza with Peeps on it and yes they DO melt on there in big colored sugar globs, to Peepshi, sushi made from Peeps, fruit roll ups, and rice Krispie treats, to even dipping the bunny peeps in chocolate and making them some chocolate bowties (fancy bunnies!) to using a Peep as the marshmallow in a traditional smores and fondue, Peeps have taken the culinary world over!
3. Peep decorating: Why spend a ton of money buying Easter flowers when you can make a wreath of multi colored Peep bunnies, or string a garland of Peeps chicks? Still want some flowers? Get a large clear vase; fill the bottom with jelly beans and a layer of peeps on the top.
4. Peeping pictures. Google, Peeps Funny Pictures. Do it. I dare you.

My question to you… what do you do with your Peeps?

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

March 21 2013

Spring Cleaning

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullEach year, it seems as though we feel we're never going to make it through the winter - no matter how much or little it snows, how cold or mild it may be, or how long and dark the days always feel. But then, before we know it, spring is upon us. And what do we do? We start obsessing over the fact that it's now time to clean like we've never cleaned before. (We're humans - we have to have something to obsess over, don't we?) Getting started can take a while; maybe this article from Yahoo! Shine can help point you in the right direction. It may seem crazy to have a game plan for cleaning or to even worry about the spring cleaning phenomenon in the first place, but it's all worth it in the long run. You may "just" be renting right now, but you might as well get right into the habit of keeping a sparkling-clean home - and what better time is there than springtime?!

Spring cleaning - do you do it? Love it? Hate it? Avoid it? Look forward to it? I'm a crazy cleaner, myself ... and I love it. Don't judge.

Tags:

Yahoo!, Shine, spring, cleaning, apartments, renting, home, life, people

« Back

Tammy Jackson's photo

March 19 2013

Things to do for FREE!

By Tammy Jackson | | (0) Comments

nullToday, I was challenged with the question “What is there to do around here that doesn’t cost money?” My initial thought was to volunteer; I thought about it some more, though, and realized I really wanted to know what else you could do for free. Apparently, there’s a lot!

Volunteering: This is a great way to fill a few hours and fill your heart at the same time. I found that there are many places that welcome volunteers! It can help if your company or affiliation can coordinate volunteer time with organizations in your community. Organizations such as your community hospital may allow for volunteering, whether it be delivering wheelchairs to areas of the hospital for patients, reading or playing games with kids that are terminally ill, or even playing the part of a “patient” so the students can “diagnose “your symptoms. Many other organizations would welcome your help, too: your local Y, food banks, shelters, churches, museums, and libraries.

I also found that there are many places that offer free admission, free gifts, and free classes; you just have to be a little savvy.

Museums: You may find museums in your area that offer free admission on a certain day or at a certain time. The Worcester Art Museum offers free admission on Tuesdays from 10am-12pm. Want more options? Check out this great find from the Smithsonian to see the many museums, galleries, and parks that offer free admission: https://affiliations.si.edu/mainpage.asp
If you agree to join some mailing lists of area museums, you will often receive free tickets for admission or free gifts.

Libraries: They’re more than books and research! Our Library offers free movies, story-time, puppet shows, craft classes, and musical performances. When you get your free library card, they’ll tell you about all the upcoming events and opportunities. The Worcester Library even offers discounted passes to museums, theaters, and many other area attractions.

Colleges: They’re not just offering education with a large tuition bill! They also offer things for free. The College of The Holy Cross offers free movie viewings; just last week, they screened ARGO! Other area colleges offer free courses, book signings, and even brown-bag luncheons with a speaker or concerts.

Theaters and Music Halls: Mechanics Hall in Worcester offers Brown Bag Concerts and, of course, they’re free! Check out the schedule at http://www.mechanicshall.org I also found that many historic locations in your area will offer free tours of the buildings; what a nice history lesson!

Senior Centers/The Y: Free CPR classes are often available, as well as dance, computer, and many art lessons.

Crafts/Home Projects: Places like Michael’s and Home Depot are good for Saturday “How-to” projects! You just have to keep an eye out for the FREE ones.

If all of this wasn’t enough, consider joining a club/group, such as a book club, men’s and women’s clubs, mom groups, etc. If you are an enthusiast of some sort, there’s a free club/group for you somewhere. There are also plenty of outdoor things to do for free as well; I found an Ultimate Frisbee group and a softball league looking for players. Don’t forget the many trails and areas to walk, hike, and bike ride.

One last thing that I found was that if you become a AAA or AARP member or sign up to receive newsletters from places like Barnes and Nobel, the Zoo, etc., you will often receive discounts, free gifts, and more.

Your FREE time can truly be FREE!


Tags:

« Back

Claire Collins's photo

March 19 2013

How I Will Save $1000 On Groceries This Year

By Claire Collins | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, Claire Collins, | (0) Comments

nullI hate to pay more than I have to for anything, and that starts with what I purchase every week: groceries. It doesn’t take clipping coupons in massive quantities or setting up shelving for a year’s supply of food like the fanatics on the TLC Network show Extreme Couponing. By doing a little planning and research, I’ve managed to reduce my grocery spending by about 20%. Here’s how:

1. First and most important: know how much the items that you purchase regularly cost. This helps you recognize when a special is actually a good deal. How much is a box of your favorite brand of cereal? Toothpaste? Pasta? When the price is low, buy two or more.

2. Make a list, and stick to it. Impulse purchases will negate any savings. Only grocery shop once a week, because the more time you spend at the store, the more money you’ll spend.

3. My mother’s rule: never shop with an empty stomach. As she says, "When canned spaghetti starts to look good, you need to leave the store before you buy things you shouldn't!"

4. Use coupons for items that you buy regularly. If you don't subscribe to the newspaper, pick one up on Sunday for the coupons. Printable coupons are available online at coupons.com, save.com, smartsource.com, redplum.com, and Target.com. Resist the urge to buy things that you don’t need ($1 off Sarah Lee pastry!) or that you haven’t tried just because you have a coupon. 75 cents off a new brand of shampoo that you find you hate isn’t a bargain if you end up throwing it out.

5. Make Target your first stop for groceries and household items. Though the prices on produce, meat, and dairy are higher at Target, many of their grocery items, frozen foods, and cleaning products are priced lower than the grocery stores. Target often offers gift cards for multiple purchases; last week I got a $5 gift card for buying five boxes of my son’s favorite NutriGrain cereal bars. Extra bonus for you and the environment: buy Target reusable shopping bags, and get 5 cents off for each one you use.

6. Get a Target Red Card Debit card. This takes 5% off everything you buy in the store. Your receipt shows your annual Red Card savings, and it adds up!

7. Get friendly with store brand products. Though some are inferior quality (the grocery store brand saltines – yuck!) many are the same, if not virtually identical to name brand products and cost 50 cents to $1 less than name brands.

8. Like Jill Cataldo’s Super-Couponing on Facebook and check out her website, supercouponing.com. She shares sensible savings strategies and great coupons. I learned a lot of what is on this list from her.

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

March 15 2013

Liquid Gold!

By Shannon Earley | Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Travel, Environmental, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullIt’s Maple Syrup Season!

One of my favorite parts about living in New England is Maple Sugar Season! I know that this is a confusing time of year, it’s warm, it’s cold, it’s raining, it’s snowing; but the confusing weather is what makes it work: warm days and cool nights.

So go out and hit your local sugar shack! There is nothing better than eating hot maple syrup on a snow cone, with snow scooped fresh from the ground and syrup just boiled down! I love the smell of burnt sugar and the magic of making something so unique from sap. And remember, squelching through the mud is half the fun!

If you are driving through New Hampshire keep your eyes open for a sugar shack on the side of the road. If you want to make sure to find an active one, check out http://www.nhmapleproducers.com/ where you can search by county. I highly recommend Parker’s Maple Sugar Barn in Mason NH, but there are tons of other places to get the liquid gold of the season.

Enjoy!

Tags:

« Back

msides's photo

March 15 2013

The Renter's Guide to Saving Money: Part 1

By msides | | (1) Comments

Recently I have seen a new commercial for Glad Force-Flex garbage bags discussing the environmental benefits of using fewer trash bags. The idea is to wait until your trash is completely full before taking it out, thus using fewer trash bags and reducing the amount of plastic added to landfills each year.



If you’re anything like me then you already wait until the bag is practically overflowing. Does that mean there are people out there that are throwing their trash out before the bag is full? To those people guilty of such a heinous and frivolous habit, I say, “Stop it!"

Anyway, this commercial got me thinking. I’m already doing my part to save plastic, what other ways can I cut back on my carbon footprint, and even save a little money in doing so.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; yet another frugal nature lover with a list of tips to “help” save money and energy. But give me a chance and maybe these tips are ones you haven’t heard before that may really make a difference.
1.) Phantom Power: Not everyone is aware of the small amount of power used by electronics and appliances when they are not in use. Radios, televisions, DVD players, and computers all use a small wattage amount, around 3 watts, to remain receptive to any remotes or start ups. This small amount of energy may not seem like a big deal to one person, but if every home in America is using small amounts, it adds up to a very large amount each year. The tip: plug your devices and electronics into a surge protector or power strip. Then when you aren’t watching tv and using that awesome surround sound, turn on the strip with one switch. This will save you a few dollars on each bill, which adds up over the year.
2.) Displaced Water in the Toilet Tank: This tip I hadn’t heard of before and it sounds like a good idea to me. Growing up in the woods spending time at my grandparent’s house, we were taught the “If it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule. Using less water was a good idea then since we were limited being so far from a city water system. I think a lot of us living with a seemingly endless supply of water that comes to us at a somewhat low price; we tend to take advantage of our fresh water supply. The tip: fill a small plastic bottle with sand or rocks (anything to weigh it down that won’t leak out) and drop it in your toilet tank. This will cause less water to reach the fill line in the tank, thus saving a little bit of water with each flush.
3.) Keep Your Freezer Full: It takes more energy to cool an empty freezer than a full one. So if you’re freezer is ever not completely full, try your best to keep it that way. Even packing it with more ice can help. Again, this will help with just a little bit of energy use, but in the long run it will save money on your utility bill.
In case I haven’t supplied you with a sufficient supply of energy saving tips, feel free to visit the following link for more ideas to help you save money in other ways.
http://artofmanliness.com/2011/04/27/money-saving-tips/


Stay tuned for Part 2 for more fun ways to save money and Mother Earth!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

March 13 2013

Easy DIY Wall Art

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Have you ever spent a long time searching for a piece of art work to match your decor? I sadly face this dilemma all the time! I've had an empty space above my nightstand in my bedroom that has been begging for art work. A few months ago I paid $20 for a beach scene print that matched nicely but it was an awkward size and when I went to the store to have it framed they told me the custom frame would cost $450!!

$450?? I nearly passed out on the floor!!

I decided that I needed to make this into a DIY project so I headed to the local craft store. I walked up and down the scrapbook paper aisle and found a beautiful piece of 79 cent scrapbook paper that had greenery on it....a perfect match for my bedroom decor! Next, I headed to the photo frame aisle and found a frame that was 50% off! Perfect.

I went home and placed my green scrapbook paper inside the frame and VOILA....a new piece of artwork for my bedroom that was inexpensive and a perfect match!

Have you tried creating your own art work??

Tags:

DIY wall art, framing artwork, DIY art project

« Back

Kristen Aquaros's photo

March 08 2013

"It takes a village to raise a child"

By Kristen Aquaros | | (2) Comments

nullI’ve been stumped on what to write about for a couple of weeks now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am going to write about what I do best the best way I know how. My life…. I am a single working mom of 2 Children and I wanted to give a few words of wisdom to all of the single parents doing it alone. I’ve been asked on more than one occasion “How do you manage? I could never handle what you do”, and to be quite frank, half the time I don’t know how I’ve been managing all along. Would I say I am the best parent in the world, absolutely not, but I Smile, I love, and give 100% effort all of the time when I have the energy. Having virtually no time for anything, and continually playing catch up on everything it can be challenging at times. Starting with laundry at home to staying late at work to catch up on files. I found myself being overly consumed in life so much that I’ve forgotten to how appreciate the little things. Yes I am a firm believer that time management has a huge role in being successful at anything you do, but at the end of the day unless you are a single parent, I feel its hard to understand the idea that no matter how many “to-do” lists I make things happen. I spend most of my time “winging it” facing life as it comes along. Just recently a friend of the family offered to watch my 2 kids once or twice a week so I can take time out for myself, we started this 2 weeks ago and so far it’s already been an enormous help, leaving me with plenty of time to think about why I am so “on the go” constantly. Sure as a single mom I face an entirely different set of issues than the married mom, however I feel even stay at home moms would appreciate any tips on how to manage. I have come to find that the best way to manage is to have balance in your life. Being balanced between work, kids, and me time is huge! Take a second and question is what your doing necessary at the very moment. No one likes the feeling of being rushed, nor feeling behind all of the time. I’ve resorted to the KISS approach, acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid. The idea is this; Life should be simple if it’s difficult or stressful you’re doing something wrong. Often times I have to take a step back, breathe and continue on with life. Stress can get the best of us at times, but only if you let it. Work will always be work, kids will continue to be kids, and chores will always be chores. Point is no matter what life throws at you, the way you approach it, makes all the difference. Plan for what you can and if you miss the mark its okay, pick up and carry on. I recently came across and article on how to be a strong single parent that quoted…

“Through all the hardships of raising kids as a single mom, there are moments of utter bliss. But often mothers suffer feelings of hopelessness and aloneness. In the end, a mother hopes only for the best for her children. The ultimate goal is their success in life as human beings and their attainment of happiness. If a mother can achieve this, she is successful…”


Read more: How to be a Strong Single Mom | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2269891_be-great-mom.html#ixzz2MxzLMTN8

Very good article worth a peek! Keep smiling no matter how crazy your life is!!

Tags:

« Back

Casey Swan's photo

March 08 2013

Letting Jack out of the Box

By Casey Swan | | (0) Comments

Jack Kerouac, handsome man with pipeIs there anyone more evocative of Lowell, MA than Jack Kerouac?

As a twenty-plus year enthusiast of Kerouac's writing and a four-year resident of Lowell, I have witnessed firsthand that while the citizens of this city disdain Kerouac for his behavior and vices and how they played into his role as an international representative of Lowell, Jack Kerouac truly loved his hometown.

I was first introduced to Kerouac by a mentor during my Sophomore year of high school. At that time, we were studying poetry and "My Gang" was on the syllabus. Never before had I read a poem that wasn't straightforward, a poem that created nonsensical language, a poem that played with words and sounds as if they were skat:


In the mighty mu Missouri lame image
of time and again the bride and groom,
bloom and again the bridal blood, oo,
too-too and rumble o mumble thunder
bow, ole Salvey is my alley

Ole Salvey's my alley I'll lay it on me
I'll shoot fourteen farthings for Father Machree
and if ole Hotsatots don't footsie
down here bring my gruel, I'll
be cruel, I'll be cruel


It wasn't until I was in my early twenties that I began to read Kerouac's books and each one left me breathless. "On the Road" is frenetic. It was written on a single scroll of paper and it deserves to be read as rapidly as possible, without breaks, otherwise the reader doesn't experience the full, outrageous pace of this episode of Kerouac's life. "The Dharma Bums" contrasts Kerouac's hectic city life with the laid-back, open-minded simplicity of the country. And "Dr. Sax" is Kerouac's true love story to Lowell, vividly describing the neighborhoods and people, memorializing the might of the Merrimack River, projecting his awe at even mundane day-to-day activities, and eventually recognizing and accepting that all life, all the world, in fact, is connected.

As an author, Kerouac received little critical acclaim during his lifetime, although he was dubbed "the voice of a generation." I would argue that his voice was not only the voice of a single generation, but that his words are timeless and as relevant today as when he originally penned them. Kerouac's collected works portray a lifestyle of freedom and travel that few of us have the opportunity to experience. He struggled to balance his ingrained religious beliefs with a changing world. Many moments in his books are introspective, portraying Kerouac as an outsider looking in on and trying to belong to a society about which he was uncertain.

March 12 would have been Jack Kerouac's 91st birthday. " It was in Centralville I was born, in Pawtucketville... [a]cross the wide basin to the hill--on Lupine Road, March 1922, at five o’clock in the afternoon of a red-all-over suppertime..." This year, Lowell has a Jack Kerouac Birthday Celebration to memorialize its native son. See the programmed events at http://www.lowellcelebrateskerouac.org/festival. For me, March 12 has always been a day of contemplation, a time to dig into the author's word and to let him speak to me. In fact, if you search late in the evening, you may find me graveside in Edson Cemetery communing with the essence of the man who has fascinated me and nourished my spirit for well over twenty years.





Tags:

Jack Kerouac, Lowell, events, literature

« Back

Liz Roloff's photo

March 08 2013

Snowstorms in March

By Liz Roloff | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Lifestyle, | (1) Comments

"The weather channel predicted snow over night, it hadn't started by the time you went to bed. Morning comes, you lay there with your eyes closed for a minute. That rumble outside, is that a plow? You jump out of bed with the question in your mind "what did we get?" Throw open the curtains and look out on a world of white. Everything is covered with snow. "I wonder how much we got? I wonder how much Keene got?" (the next town over and your travel destination for work this morning). Waking up to an overnight snow storm is like getting a Christmas present you don't have to unwrap, and after you admire your gift, you call your friends to see what their gift was, is it as wonderful as yours?" Ok, so that would be how it plays out in December, January, maybe even in February. But March? Look out the window at a snow covered March morning and think "Rats."

Tags:

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

March 07 2013

Favorite Books and Movies

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Health, Travel, Lifestyle, Community, | (3) Comments

The Outsiders The Outsiders, one of my all-time favorite novels which I have read many times and passed down to both my boys to read, was made in to a movie and released 30 years ago this month. March 25, 1983, the world got to see Ponyboy, Johnny, Dally, and Cherry up on the big screen.

The cast of The Outsiders included many famous names such as Tom Cruise, Diane Lane, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio and others who went on to have very successful careers . What an amazing cast fit to an incredible story that after re-reading so many times I still find relevant.

The novel was written by S.E. Hinton and published in 1967. S.E. Hinton was only 18 years old when the book was published but had done most of the writing when she was just 16 and a junior in high school. The book follows two rival groups, the Greasers and the Socs (short for Socials), who are divided by their social status in society.

What brilliance on the part of S.E. Hinton to write about this timeless topic, in such a way to reach so many people and to have such an impact on so many readers. At such a young age herself, to be able to write something to which so many people can relate, is incredible.

Other movies of my generation come to mind, The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink, again, movies about teens divided by social status.

Check out The Outsiders, the book or the movie….and remember, “Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.”

Tags:

« Back

Virginia Partridge's photo

March 06 2013

Steals and Deals!

By Virginia Partridge | | (0) Comments


Have you ever heard of the blog Hip2Save? I believe they are sponsored by the TODAY show, and have loads awesome savings on this site! The blog was started by a mom and has expanded rapidly since she started it ni 2008. Typically, the site has at least 3-4 pages of deal postings per day. Furthermore, they have guides to begin your couponing journey.

Every Wednesday they also feature Jill's Steals and Deals segment from the TODAY show, and will link you to all of the offers. Another sweet reward is the "comment fairy" who will grant small gifts for those participants who have especially helpful additions to the posts. You can even sign up for their daily newsletter to get all the newest savings info, and automatically be entered into their weekly $50 amazon.com gift card sweepstakes

The posting subjects range from books to grocery items to jewelry, clothing and so much more! You can sort by freebies, coupons, stores and even by reward clubs. I'm only disappointed I didn't stumble upon this earlier - it's more addictive than Pintrest!

Tags:

« Back

Tim Richard's photo

March 04 2013

Get better produce with a CSA!

By Tim Richard | | (0) Comments

nullEven though March has only just arrived, the first thoughts of spring are starting to creep in. As spring approaches I start to think about warm days out at the Farmers Market on a sunny Saturday morning and seeing our friends at Maple Springs Farms. Jena and I have, for the last couple of years, have been getting fresh fruits, vegetables and more from Mark Hiedmann, the owner and farmer at Maple Springs farm as part of a CSA that we purchase each yeah.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is program that one can participate in by prepaying at the beginning of the season in order to get discounted produce though out the growing season. For example, one could provide a $300 payment at this time of year to the grower of your choice and when their crops are ready that $300 will become credit that you may use at that grower in exchange for produce. Farmers get money early in the season in order to get their crops up and running and then the supporters get the same dollar amount in amazing fresh produce. Usually, there is also an additional discount for CSA share holders as well, so that $300 will go even further that it would if you just came to the Farmer’s Market with cash. It’s terrific to be able to just go to the market and grab what you need without opening your wallet.

This is a great program that allows growers and consumers to meet and interact, so that each learns from the other about the product, how it’s grown and ways it is best used. You can pick up a lot of ideas from just a short conversation with a farmer.

Check out the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association website at the link below for more info about CSA’s and finding a grower near you!

http://www.mofga.net/Directories/CommunitySupportedAgricultureinMaine/tabid/268/Default.aspx

Tags:

Health, Lifestyle, Food, Community

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

March 01 2013

Moving Costs

By Jackie Tirado | | (1) Comments

nullEarlier this week during one of our marketing meetings I was asked to do a market study of how much it costs to move these days. After the meeting I did some light research on it and quickly realized what a big decision it is to move. I put myself in the shoes of a person that is relocating and started doing the math on how much it would cost if I wanted to move. As a leasing consultant we only go over the rental costs with our perspective residents we don't factor in all other costs. Not only do you have to come up with a security deposit and first month's rent but you must purchase boxes, protective wrapping for your fragile items, rent a u-haul and find friends or relatives willing to do some manual labor if that's an option. It all quickly adds up to a few thousand dollars. I got a price quote from a moving company and for a 2.5 mile in town move they quoted me $1,649.00 I can't even imagine an out of state move. Transferring cable service from Comcast will cost $50. National Grid does not charge for a transfer of service. This market study was a big eye opener and it gave me a different perspective on my role as a Leasing Consultant. Before this study I thought of moving as new and exciting though I still feel this way about it I now realize not everyone sees it for all it's positive changes. For some people a simple move may take them months to recover from financially on top of adjusting to their new surroundings. As much as I value my new move ins this made me want to be even more compassionate towards them for making such a big decision.

Tags:

« Back

Sheri Apprille's photo

February 28 2013

Think Spring!

By Sheri Apprille | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

marchToday is the last day of February! That means tomorrow is March 1. I know what you are thinking, "Wow, Sheri, you're pretty observant!" wink

Well, here's the thing. It's been a long, cold and snowy winter and I am ready for spring! And, in my mind, once the calendar changes over to March, it is purely just a matter of time before the trees start budding, the mercury on the thermometer starts going up (and staying up!), the birds start chirping and the winter clothes start finding their way back into the closet!

In March we spring ahead one hour (yay!) and for all of you college basketball fans, March means only one thing - it's bracket time for March Madness!

This year, March is chock-full of days to mark on the calendar! http://www.wincalendar.com/March-Calendar/March-2013-Calendar.html

So as you "March forward", think spring! Sunny days are a'coming, people! Hang in there! grin

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

February 26 2013

Books, books & More Books!

By Shannon Earley | | (0) Comments

nullDo you love to read? I do! Personally, I love the library, but sometime you just have to buy the book. And then slowly, your home is covered in books and you have more coming in!

Here is a great way to clean house, save money and get new books all at the same time: PaperBackSwap.com! This is a website you can join for free. Each book you swap earns you a credit towards getting a new book that someone else has listed to swap. As one of their users said, “Send your previous loved books in exchange for new books that you will now love. IT’S THAT SIMPLE!” They also have sister sites for CD swapping and DVD swapping as well.

So check it out! What could be better, clean home and new books! Enjoy!

Tags:

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

February 26 2013

Road Trip

By Tracy Hilker | | (0) Comments

nullWe love traveling and we normally end up in Disney, our favorite vacation spot. But for our spring trip we are planning something different, our first ever road trip! My husband and I have taken a few small road trips to places like Vermont and Baltimore, but never as far as we plan to this time. Our final destination: Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

Planning has begun, and I am very interested in finding all the strange and bizarre stops along the way. We started a www.roadtripamerica.com profile, which sets you up a map with dining, attractions, events, lodging, and many other categories along the way. It is a great resource and I have found some interesting things that we are planning to check out.

We definitely want to stop at Niagara Falls. I’ve been to the Canada side, but never the American side. Can’t wait for a second visit to Chicago, we just love the windy city! The Jelly Belly factory tour is a MUST. But those are just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m looking for the strange, the unique. Such as Circus World, 64 acres of circus facilities, exhibits and performance halls. And then there is Wizard Quest, an interactive role-playing fantasy game in a little town in Wisconsin. Not doing it for you? How about the world’s largest six pack, filled with actual beer? Or the SPAM museum? But the one I’m really looking forward to is the Corn Palace. I saw it on a TV show years ago, and have wanted to visit ever since. I do not know why, but I’m excited about it! Artists create murals using locally grown corn. Yeah, I know… Get psyched!

There are many other historical places, monuments, and museums we also want to check out, but I’m still researching those. We will be documenting this trip with pictures, video and knowing us, probably a Facebook page too. Have you gone on a road trip? Any tips?

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

February 25 2013

How To Lower Your Moving Costs!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

Moving is a stressful process and sometimes it comes with unexpected and unwanted costs that we all forget about. Packing supplies, storage units, UHauls, movers...it all adds up leaving us wishing we just stayed put!

Here are some tips to limit your costs and save you an unwanted headache before moving into your apartment!

Time it right- A mid-month move will save you some money! Movers are busiest during the beginning and end of the month as leases turn over so they tend to increase their prices.

Save on boxes- You can purchase recycled boxes and pack small items up yourself to decrease the amount of time the movers will have to spend. You can then even sell your boxes back to the store you purchased them from!

Plan ahead- Label your boxes well and if you think of it, snap pictures of your next home and draw on them to show the movers in advance where each item goes. You'll reduce the moving time quite a bit that way!

Snag a tax break- If you're moving because of a job change, you may be able to deduct certain moving expenses, such as transportation and storage costs for household goods!

Tags:

Save money on moving, how to lower your moving costs, stress free moving tips

« Back

Tim Richard's photo

February 15 2013

Shake off the cold during Restaurant Week

By Tim Richard | | (0) Comments

nullWinter in New England can be tough. Frigid temperatures, brutal snow storms, biting winds and shorter days leads many folks to hunker down and spend most of the season in the comfort of their homes. Every once in a while something comes along that helps pull people out of the funk of winter and brings them out and about again. One of those events, at least for me, is Maine Restaurant Week. This year Restaurant Week has expanded and will run from March 1st to March 10th, increasing the great opportunity to get some terrific bargains at some of the finest restaurants on Maine.

As some of you are sure to know, Restaurant Week started in 2009 as way for local business, from suppliers to purveyors, to get a much needed economic boost during the difficult winter season. This year there are 86 restaurants participating in Restaurant Week! During the week participating restaurants will feature set 3 course prix fixe (fixed price) menus, either $22, $32 or $42 depending on the restaurant. Most include a couple of appetizer choices, two or three entrée choices and desert, though some provide more options, all for the price that would usually only buy an entrée. This is a great way to eat at some of the higher end restaurants without breaking the bank!

The week begins and ends with a special event designed to provide a platform for local chefs to display their amazing wares. This years opening event is The Incredible Breakfast Cook-Off, where The Good Table will be defending its crown against all comers with its “Crème Brulee French Toast”. The week is capped off by the Maine Restaurant Week Signature Event, where local mixologists and pastry chefs with provide over two dozen samples of great original cocktails and deserts.

Even though it’s cold outside, there are still exciting places and tastes out there for everyone. Maine Restaurant Week is one of my favorite ways to break the winter doldrums and warm up for the spring that surely comes. Make it one of yours!

Tags:

maine, restaurant, week, prix fixe, bargain, winter

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

February 13 2013

Dreaming of Puerto Rico

By Jackie Tirado | | (0) Comments

prDreaming of Puerto Rico
My vacation cannot get here soon enough! Every year I take a trip to the gorgeous island of Puerto Rico where both my parents were born and raised. This year I am going in April with my mom and little sister. My mother likes to check out houses each time we go. Her dream is to move back to the island some day. Though we go every year, no vacation is ever like the other. Last year we visited El Morro where the Spanish-American war took place my mother loves history and will take any opportunity to spark our interest. It was my first time there and the views were breath taking. When we pulled up to the landmark there were tons of brightly colored kites being flown on the front lawn. We explored every inch of it and took tons of pictures. What I always look forward to when we go is the food. I'm very afraid of gaining weight during my trip because of how large my appetite grows while I'm there. One can't help but indulge in all the different dishes they have to offer. There are food stands literally in every corner and the smell alone is intoxicating. As you may know Puerto Rico is a U.S territory so the island is for the most part bi-lingual. They have all of the same American brands and stores. I always plan ahead and save up a good amount of shopping money because though it's the same brand the styles are a lot different. Waking up at 8am to 80 degree weather is my absolute favorite. Almost every day is a great beach day. I always stay in San Juan (the capital of the island). It's where most tourists stay. The diversity of the people we meet is fascinating. Though we are Puerto Rican the locals always spot us out of a crowd and I frequently get asked what nationality I am. It leaves me wondering what makes us stick out if we look just like them? Nonetheless I am very excited for my upcoming trip where all I plan on doing for the week is shopping, some unhealthy eating and taking in the beautiful sites the island has to offer.

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

February 13 2013

How to Hang Pictures...The Easy Way!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Apartment Living, | (0) Comments

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a hard time hanging photos and art on my walls. I always pull out my tape measure, my level and my hammer but somehow end up hammering 2 holes where only one should be because my measurements are off! Also, nothing is more frustrating than hanging a collage of photos only to step back and realize that one picture is about 3 inches higher than it should be, throwing off your whole design!

I've found a system that is easy and fool proof for tackling both of these tasks!

First, cut some scrap paper to the size of the frame (or frames) and mark the nail location on the paper. Using painter's tape, move the paper templates around the wall until satisfied. Once you have your frames exactly where you want them, hammer the nails through the marks you've drawn on the paper. Finally, remove the tape and paper and hang your artwork! It may take a little longer this way but you'll be much happier in the long run when your frames are level and beautiful on your wall!

Tags:

How to hang photos, hanging art on wall, photo collage hanging

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

February 12 2013

Storage Space

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullAfter "Sex and the City" premiered in film form a few years ago, it seemed like the entire female population was yearning for the same thing: "A really big closet." After perusing my favorite site for quirky & interesting stories - Yahoo! - I found out that the desire for such a large storage space hasn't abated; it's actually getting worse. Case in point: the article titled "The $100,000 Closet". Let me get this straight - people are willing to shell out $100k to build a room the size of their living rooms and with seemingly more features than your average hotel...just so they have somewhere to store all their stuff?! There's so much about this idea that makes me crazy. First of all, who has an extra 1/10th of a million dollars to shell out on a room? Second, who has enough stuff to warrant having such a room?! There have got to be more frugal (and "frugal" is putting it lightly) ways to create extra storage space. If you're on a budget - and who isn't these days? - start your quest for organization by stocking up on baskets. Places like The Container Store sell more varieties than you can imagine...though I'd have to recommend using this store strictly for inspiration simply because their prices can usually be beat. Roam the aisles and then head to HomeGoods, Christmas Tree Shops, or Michael's and find more affordable versions of what you need to get started. The great thing about the baskets is that they come in a variety of sizes and you can place them anywhere - in a closet, under the bed, on shelves - so they help to keep all your stuff corralled nicely. Worried about how your extensive wardrobe is going to fit in that too-small closet in your apartment? Skip the thick, plastic hangers and opt for the thinner wire ones that take up less space (relax - you can get them with protective material over the wire so you don't end up with weird indentations jumping out of your shoulders). Not sure where your precious shoe collection's going to fit? They make wonderful stacking shoe racks that can be placed right at the bottom of your closet; they take up very little space and they make it easier to see your selection. Have your own sneaky storage suggestions that you swear by? Share them here! And remember - you don't need a lot of money to get yourself organized!

Tags:

Yahoo!, closets, storage, The Container Store, HomeGoods, Christmas Tree Shops, Michael's, Sex and the City, baskets, organization

« Back

Nathan Strange's photo

February 07 2013

Water Bottles

By Nathan Strange | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Marketing, Health, Travel, Environmental, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

With the busy and sometimes chaotic pace of life these days, have you noticed how many people are carrying around a water bottle? Well, I am one of them. I always have my 18/8 stainless steel Kleen Kanteen water bottle by my side. While mine is complete overkill at a whopping 64 ounces, you can purchase a variety of sizes to fit your lifestyle and help you stay hydrated.

I am a big fan of Kleen Kanteen because they sell “The Original” BPA-Free stainless steel bottle. The sizes and prices range from $18.95 for a 18 oz all the way up to $32.95 for a 64 oz. They sell a variety of sizes and colors with many types of caps to match your needs. The traditional loop, flip D ring, and sport top bottle are all options at the checkout process.

Visit http://www.kleankanteen.com/ for more information. Stay hydrated my friends.

Tags:

water bottle, hydrate, stainless steel, BPA Free, metal

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

February 07 2013

Bathroom Closet Organization

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

When living in an apartment or townhouse we're limited with space. We don't always have basements, extra closets or garages to store all of our "stuff." I recently opened my linen closet in my bathroom and was SHOCKED at how messy and crowded it had gotten. I spent Saturday doing an early "spring cleaning" and put on my thinking cap to figure out how to best organize the small space. Using decorative baskets in your lined closet is a great way to store all of those small items like medicines, toothpastes and soaps....they also look really nice! I bought mine at Michael's craft store for $8 a piece! Taking an hour out of your day to throw away old, unused items and get your products in order will make a huge difference in your storage space allowing for a lot more room!

Tags:

closet organization, bathroom storage, apartment living storage, linen closet

« Back

Sheri Apprille's photo

February 01 2013

To See or Not To See

By Sheri Apprille | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

groundhog...that is the question.

Tomorrow is February 2 - known to many as "Groundhog Day". This is a day that we all suspend our sense of reality and depend solely on a groundhog to determine whether or not we are going to see winter come to a quicker close. I have to laugh because, as ridiculous as this is, I am always interested in knowing whether or not the groundhog saw his shadow. Whether it's legit or not, it's something fun to help break up the monotony of winter! The good news is that we are that much closer to Spring!

Check out the history of groundhog day.

http://www.groundhog.org/groundhog-day/history/

Tags:

« Back

Virginia Partridge's photo

January 29 2013

During the cold days of winter, let's not take the simplicities of life for granted

By Virginia Partridge | Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Community, | (0) Comments

In light of the new year, and in light of the recent Newtown, CT tragedy, Mary McElroy and I have decided to focus more on the needs of other. In her "free time," Mary is actually involved with the Horizons for Homeless Children organization. Did you know that one in every 45 children in the U.S. is homeless each year? Futhermore, family homelessness is the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population. Homeless children are three times as likely to have emotional and/or behavioral problems.

Inspired to do more, we visited RandomActsOfKindness.org for some ideas - coincidentally, RAK week is coming up February 11th-17th! So, Mary and I will be handing out carepacks to the homeless as a kick-off to our year of selflessness. See below for more details about this idea we found on the RAK website:

"There are so many everyday accessories and toiletries we take for granted - toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, deodorant. Imagine how you would feel if you didn't have access to these small things. Well, many people in your community can't afford these things. By donating even the smallest items to those who don't have them, you'll be providing someone with a greater sense of self-worth. Simple accessories you may take for granted could be greatly appreciated by those who are less fortunate. Maybe your support will open a door that will give that person a change to get a job or give them a fresh start to a new life.Pack toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, snacks, gloves and warm socks in backpacks and hand them out to the homeless in your city."

Or, keep it simple and look up your local homeless shelter to donate toiletry items.

Tags:

« Back

Nicole Paulino's photo

January 29 2013

Start Smart today!

By Nicole Paulino | Massachusetts, Lifestyle, | (1) Comments

Start smart today!
Now you can even start your car with your smart phone! I was shocked to learn this was possible, so this is for everyone who has not heard of this cool technology yet! How handy will this come in on those frigid cold mornings when you can't bare the thought of getting out of bed?! Now you can start your car while still in bed!
Check it out @
http://www.viper.com/smartstart/

Tags:

viper, start smart, smartphone

« Back

Jen D'Apice's photo

January 29 2013

Consignment shopping!!

By Jen D'Apice | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

nullHave you ever considered selling your unwanted clothes or goods? Have you ever considered buying slightly used goods from a shop? Currently I have been enjoying shopping in consignment shops because you can fine great deals!!! Here are two good reasons:1) It’s good for you because it keeps your closets and cupboards filled with only the things you actually love and use. It simplifies your life and saves you time otherwise spent maintaining under-appreciated possessions. Best of all, it turns your cluttered closets into cash.
2) Recycling is good for you, your family, and your wallet.
Keep your closets clean. Why waste time organizing things you don't use and love? It's a snap to get everyone dressed in the morning—or the party table set—if you love every choice you own
I found a great website http://www.howtoconsign.com describing benefits of shopping or selling to consignment shops that I would like to share.

Do you have a favorite consignment shop?

Tags:

« Back

Ashley Anger's photo

January 27 2013

Pets! Pets! Pets!

By Ashley Anger | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments


It’s amazing how many people in the U.S. have pets. I don’t think people realize how good it is to have a pet. Not only is it good for your health in reducing stress levels, but it can increase your social life! One of our vendors (http://www.ForRent.com) posted a great article on the top apartment friendly pets and why they are good to have. Click below to read the article and see if your pet made the top list!

http://www.forrent.com/tips/tips-for-pets/pet-friendly-apartments/best-worst-pets-for-apartment-living

Tags:

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

January 22 2013

Superbowl 2013

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

The Superbowl is right around the corner and I can’t wait. Even though my Giants are not playing I still love watching the game. I love all the hype, the commercials and of course get excited for the halftime show. I am hosting the Superbowl this year and really looking forward to it. I want to wow everyone with decorations and of course the food. I usually make the same dips and recipes but for this I am going to mix it up a bit. Here is my menu:

Zucchini Fries: These crispy veggies are half the calories of regular french fries.
Ingredients: Zucchinis, eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs. Preparation: preheat oven to 425°. Cut zucchini into 3-inch sticks. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl, and add milk. Preparation: combine Parmesan and seasoned breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Dip zucchini sticks into egg mixture, and then roll in breadcrumb mixture. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, and place zucchini on sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Lemon Drop Chicken Wings: Are different take on wings, lots of sweet lemony flavor.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup vodka, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 1/2 pounds chicken wings, tips trimmed off . Preparation: in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine vodka, lemon juice, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Add the chicken wings and mix to coat. Cover bowl or seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a 9- by 13-in. baking pan with two layers of foil. Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer in the pan, and pour the marinade evenly over all. Bake until meat is well browned and pulling away from the bone, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Southwestern Layered Bean Dip: this is always a hit and one of my favorites. Be sure to have lots of baked tortilla chips on hand when you serve it!
Ingredients: 1 16-ounce can nonfat refried beans, preferably “spicy”, 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, 4 scallions, sliced, 1/2 cup prepared salsa, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño slices, chopped, 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 1 1/2 cups chopped romaine lettuce, 1 medium tomato, chopped, 1 medium avocado, chopped, 1/4 cup canned sliced black olives, (optional). Preparation: combine refried beans, black beans, scallions, salsa, cumin, chili powder and jalapeños in a medium bowl. Transfer to a shallow 2-quart microwave-safe dish; sprinkle with cheese. Microwave on High until the cheese is melted and the beans are hot, 3 to 5 minutes. Spread sour cream evenly over the hot bean mixture, then scatter with lettuce, tomato, avocado and olives (if using).

Curry Dip: there are many ways to make this one, here is my families take on it. Can serve with your choice of veggies!
Ingredients: 1 cup Mayo, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons curry powder.
Preparation: in a medium sized mix together all ingredients. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Whatever you do for the Superbowl have fun and Go San Francisco!!!!!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

January 18 2013

Just in time for game day!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments



Chicken Artichoke Bacon Dip


Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes


Ready In: 50 Minutes

Servings: 8



"Blending bacon, chicken, artichoke hearts, and spinach with an assortment of cheeses produces a creamy, flavorful dip."

Ingredients:




1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed

and drained

1 (3 ounce) package cooked chicken

breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

4 strips cooked bacon, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


2 ounces Neufchatel cheese, cut into

cubes

2 tablespoons milk, or more to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

2 slices Swiss cheese, cut into strips

ground black pepper to taste

1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

(optional)


Directions:



1.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).



2.

Blend artichoke hearts, chicken breast, spinach, bacon, mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese, Neufchatel cheese, milk, garlic, Swiss cheese, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor; spread into a baking dish.



3.

Bake until browned and bubbling on top, 30 to 40 minutes.




ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com

Printed from Allrecipes.com 1/18/2013

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

January 17 2013

Getting Fresh

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Development, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

nullWell, we're halfway into a new month in a new year. Everyone's got lists going of things they want to do to improve themselves and their lives in the next twelve months. Some goals - like eating healthier (for some people; obviously not for you!) - can prove to be tough to stick to for more than a couple of weeks. What we should try to keep in mind, though, is that our New Year's resolutions don't necessarily have to be life-altering, crazy-difficult, or super-expensive! If you're looking for a little change, why not start at home? The kitchen might be too daunting a project to tackle, so maybe start with the room that should be your escape: your bedroom. You might want your first step to be clearing out any clutter that you've got stashed in there. And let's face it - we've all got junk stuffed into drawers, under the bed, and in the closet that really just doesn't need to be there. In fact, if it's covered in dust or dated sometime in the '90s, it probably doesn't need to be in any room at all! Sell what you can, donate if you're feeling generous, or just throw it away. Once you've done that, you'll probably feel like bigger changes are more doable. If you live in a community that allows you to paint in your apartment (and be sure to find out if it's ok before you do anything), find a color you love and paint the walls! Make it bright, make it soothing, make it whatever you want; you'll be shocked at how dramatic a new color can be in a room.

Whether you're able to paint or not, you can always make big changes with furniture and accessories! One of my absolute favorite go-to places for that stuff is HomeGoods. They've got unique items at very affordable prices - and their inventory is different every time you go (which is actually kind of dangerous, so maybe try to come up with a budget before you go). My other favorite source of budget-friendly home accents is Target. Target doesn't even need to be justified; you know how good it is. Between these two stores, you can find new bedding, funky throw pillows, pretty slipper chairs (I really don't know why they're called "slipper" chairs - I only know they're called that because I shop at these two places so frequently. Sigh.), unique art & decorations, mirrors, end tables - everything! Replace all of your old stuff or just update a few items; either way, you'll be feeling fresher and ready to tackle the rest of the year in no time! Need some inspiration? Check out these ten incredible bedrooms that were recently featured on Yahoo! Homes...and get to it!

Tags:

Yahoo!, HomeGoods, Target, 2013, resolutions, home, decor, projects, apartment, New Year

« Back

Tammy Jackson's photo

January 16 2013

Spend and Save All Year Long

By Tammy Jackson | Multifamily, Apartment Living, Corporate Furnished, Lifestyle, Community, | (2) Comments

nullSpend and Save All Year Long
Have you been in the market for a car? Have you been told all the “secrets” on when to buy? Like, “Buy it at the end of the month! The sales people are hungry to meet goals and will give you a better deal!” Or, “Buy in August! The new model stuff is arriving on the lot and they need to make room!” Well, believe it or not, there are studies on when to not only buy a car, but to also buy furniture, electronics, seasonal items, and more.

Here are some great examples from some of those studies:

Jan. – Linens and bedding (white sales are everywhere this month)
Winter clothing (most is already on clearance)
Feb. – Fitness equipment (resolutions are well under way)
Indoor furniture (just in time for spring)
Mar. - Winter sports gear (skis, skates, hockey stuff, etc.)
Electronics (cameras, TVs)
Apr. - Spring clothing (yup, by then, summer is out and spring is on clearance)
Computers (school is almost out – no one’s thinking computers!)
May - Camping and outdoor gear (watch the sales- they can get pretty good)
Snow blowers and winter equipment (end-of-season clearance)
Jun. - Swimwear (start of summer for consumers, back to school for retail)
Carpeting and flooring (could be a good vacation project)
Jul. - Office supplies (early bird back-to-school sales!)
Outdoor furniture (making room for fall and back to school)
Aug. - Air conditioners (end of season in most places or close to sold out)
School clothes and backpacks (summer is officially over)
Sept. – Bikes (still a few months to ride, but retail is preparing for the holidays)
Gas grills (steaks for us until the snow flies!)
Oct. - Lawn mowers (retail is making room for snow blowers)
Winter coats (some places offer great sales to get you in the door)
Nov. – Baby products (not sure why, but okay)
Toys (watch those Black Friday deals!)
Dec. – Small appliances (not too many people buying big before the holidays)
Holiday décor and gift wrap (from Dec 26th – January 3rd, 50-90% off!)

There are some popular items that are available at great pricing during multiple months of the year, such as TVs and computers – so watch those flyers and save, save, save!






Tags:

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

January 15 2013

Sweet ipad apps

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

nullThere are apps out there that claim to make life easier but honestly they take more time than they save. I’m sure we have all done it, downloaded an app for our iphone or ipad thinking it will organize some part of our crazy lives but come to find out we have to spend more time entering data than we actually get out of it. Well here is a run down of some apps that I have found to be helpful without feeling like they are extra work.

Grocery IQ; I don’t know about you but when I grocery shop I have to have a list. I also have to create a meal plan for the week, otherwise there goes $100 and we have nothing to eat. With this app you can create as many lists as you like. One for the grocery store, one for Target, anything you need. Adding items is super easy you can type them in or scan the bar code if you already have the package. Once the item is entered you can specify the quantity and price. That way while you are shopping you add the item to your cart and it keeps track of your total. The other cool thing is if you have an ipad and an iphone the app will sync your lists. So for instance you can create the list while on your ipad browsing for recipes, then sync it to your phone for when you actually go to the store. It also keeps track of your history so you can easily add items you shop for every week.

My Fitness Pal; This handy app allows you to enter in your daily food and exercise diary. You start with your allotted calories for the day and as you enter in what you ate they go down but when you enter in what you have done for exercise they go up! It’s a really cool way to keep track of what you are really eating. The database of foods is vast so you are bound to find exactly what you ate and exactly how many calories it was. Plus you can find friends who also have the app and send them encouraging notes.

Dash Magazine; This monthly magazine is full of awesome recipes and handy kitchen tips and tricks. It pulls information from Bon Appétit, Parade, Gourmet, and other great food resources. There are interactive videos and extra recipes imbedded in the pages.

PS Express; Otherwise known as Photoshop Express. With this handy app you can easily edit your photos without having to buy the full version of Photoshop. It comes with some pretty great effects you can add as well. Once you have doctored up your picture you can share it via Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, or regular old email.

The best thing about all of these apps is that they are both great for your iphone or ipad. And even better they are all free!

Tags:

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

January 11 2013

The Year of the Dream

By Tracy Hilker | | (0) Comments

nullMy husband and his best friend have decided to call 2013, "The Year of the Dream." At first when they text me on New Year's Eve and said, "Year of the Dream begins soon," I replied with, "Is that a new movie?" Yeah. Sometimes I can be a bit slower than the rest. This year they have taken it upon themselves to work on a project they have had in their minds since the day they met. My husband and I are continuing to work on our health by starting a Facebook page to support others along thier journey. I also have some other special dreams that I hope can one day come true, and maybe this year!

So what is your dream? Have you thought about it? Let's see if we all can take it on, and empower "The Year of the Dream" and maybe, just maybe, our dreams will come true!

Tags:

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

January 08 2013

New Year's Resolutions?

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, Development, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

ResolutionsWhat is a New Year’s resolution you can keep?

It seems so many people make New Year’s resolutions that sound great, you share them with everyone you know, you start off full steam ahead but then eventually the commitment wears off and the resolution fizzles out. You’re left feeling like a failure and every time someone asks you, “How’s it going?” you have to explain you gave up!

How about just making a slight change that fits in to your lifestyle already?

If you already work out, make an effort to try a new style of class. If you already volunteer, try a new place for awhile.

Give yourself a chance to adjust and embrace the newness then move on to adding another change. Change is good and can be very refreshing, breathing new life and new challenges into something you may not have even realized was stale.

Enjoy your success no matter how small.

Here’s an article from WebMD that illustrates this theory. I like the quote from, Elizabeth Zelvin, LCSW, that says "'One day at a time' is the antithesis of making New Year's resolutions," she says. "It's not saying, 'I'm going to do this and keep it up all year,' it's saying, 'What can I do today?'"

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/new-years-resolutions-in-one-year-out-other

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Earley's photo

January 08 2013

Get them out of the House!

By Shannon Earley | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

It’s winter time in New England. A time when we all hunker down and wait for spring to return, but if you have kids, hibernating is out of the question! Instead of turning on a move you have seen a hundred times before, head out for some cultural fun. Here are some great indoor (but not in your home!) activities to try with the kids:

The New England Aquarium – You can’t beat watching the penguins. It’s even better than watching Happy Feet! Head to your local library and see if they have passes. They will get you discounted tickets.
The Boston Museum of Science – Dinosaurs! And shipwrecks! And stairs that make music! Again – go to the library. They have passes they get 4 people in for $7/person, rather than the $20+ it will cost you!
The Boston Children’s Museum – two words – library passes!

Want something closer to home?

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester has a lot of family activities, week days and weekends: Storytime in the Gallery is the 4th Monday of Every month, where there are stories, special works of art and make your own art in the studio all organized for you! There are Family Saturdays as well on the second Saturday of every month!
• Or try the SEE Science Center in Manchester – they have been voted the Best Place to Take your Kids by the Hippo – 5 years in a ROW! It has great hands on stuff for kids of all ages to enjoy!

So bundle the kids up and head on out – you will love it as much as they do!

Tags:

New England Aquarium, Boston Children's Museum, Museum of Science, Currier Museum of Art

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

January 02 2013

How to Lower Your Grocery Bill

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

When the new year comes we all try and improve different aspects of our lives. One common thing a lot of people do in the new year is save money. A good percentage of our income goes toward what we eat so it’s important to stay on a budget when shopping at the grocery store!
I recently came across an article that gave 4 tips for lowering a grocery bill and I wanted to share with you all.

1. Choose items you can do without – Do you buy orange juice every week but usually end up pouring half of it down the drain? Juices can be expensive and we can get the same vitamins from fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. Don’t be a brand snob – I immediately thought of my husband when reading this one. He is VERY brand loyal and insists on buying the pickles with the silly bird on the label. Opt for the store brand instead to save!
3. Cook from scratch – pre-packaged items certainly save us some time but baking items (like sweets) from scratch is a way to get more bang for your buck.
4. Keep a price list – Check other local markets and find out who has the best price on items you buy regularly. You might find that a different store offers your usual items for less!

Tags:

grocery shopping, saving money, shopping on a budget

« Back

shotgunflat's photo

January 02 2013

butterfly

By shotgunflat | | (0) Comments

Butterfly Upload: Success!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

December 29 2012

Just in time for New Year's Eve! Garlic Prime Rib!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

Garlic Prime Rib
Rated:
Submitted By: Chef Mike
Photo By: SISSYZEKE
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes Ready In: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
Servings: 15

"Quick and easy marinade and so tasty, I was trusted with this recipe but I can't keep it to myself!"
INGREDIENTS:
1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
DIRECTIONS:
1. Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
3. Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 135 degrees F (57 degrees C) for medium rare.
4. Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices.

Tags:

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

December 28 2012

Boxing

By Jackie Tirado | | (1) Comments

I got into boxing a year ago and I must say after a few training sessions I wondered why I hadn't tried it sooner. Those who know me best would never picture me in the ring but I've gotten very good at it and it's my favorite thing to do in my spare time. Boxing is a very intense but amazing full body work out. At first it was the most intimidating feeling walking into class being the only woman there. I knew it was a rough contact sport and that I would have to endure some hard hits but I refused to give up. I still struggle with it, the training sessions are always a series of different exercises from jumping rope to dropping down for mountain climbers followed by burpies and that's just the warm up. After that you glove up and get ready to work on combos such as upper cut, hook 1,2 it's all very fast pace moves while concentrating on form and good body mechanics . My coach incorporates a lot of self defense into my sessions as well which thankfully I've never had to use. The most challenging thing I ran into was proper body mechanics I injured myself numerous times for not having the right form before attempting a move. I now boldly take on any of the boys that want to spar with my bright pink gloves and matching mouth guard. It keeps me in shape and very conscious of what I eat, I've developed strength I never thought I'd have! I really wish more women would join the group. I go to Combat Sports Club in North Chelmsford. The owner is so great to train with and teaches a lot of the classes himself. I really encourage anyone who's interested to try it out.

Tags:

« Back

Nathan Strange's photo

December 26 2012

How much electricity do you use?

By Nathan Strange | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Did you know that an unused appliance that is left plugged into an outlet can use electricity even if it is turned off? Yup that’s right! Your cell phone charger, microwave oven, and TV all draw electricity when not in use that can add up and cost you money!

No Fear, there is a device called P3 Kill A Watt that can help you save money. When you plug Kill A Watt into the wall outlet then plug an appliance into Kill A Watt you can see how much electricity the device draws when in use and when turned off.

By taking a couple minutes and testing out appliances you can see which ones draw the most electricity when off and unplug them to save yourself money.

Check out the brochure at: http://www.p3international.com/brochures/P4400.pdf

You can purchase Kill A Watt and most electronic store or online. Full price is around $50.

Tags:

Save electricity, eco-friendly, save power, lower bills

« Back

Kristen Aquaros's photo

December 26 2012

Winter Season Must! Frog Pond Ice Skating!

By Kristen Aquaros | | (0) Comments

nullSince 2007, I have been taking friends and family ice skating at The Boston Common Frog Pond rink around the holidays. Growing up in the Boston area we were always looking for new things to do near down town at the holiday season. I figured I would share this information with you. If you are looking for something different to do this New Years Eve, Frog Pond will be hosting the First Night skating spectacular at 6:00pm. Students from The Skating Club of Boston Skating Academy will be putting on a show open to the public. Season competitor’s national and local champions will be performing. Whether you are a fan of the art of Ice Skating or not, it’s a great idea for an outing. If you don’t get a chance to watch the show New Years Eve, Frog Pond is open for public use until March for Ice skating. In the past years, I’ve always parked in Malden and taken the orange line to downtown, this year we decided to find parking close to downtown, and come to find out there is a parking garage right on the common. I would recommend if you can handle the craziness of city drivers, parking in the garage near the commons was fairly inexpensive and much easier with little ones. They also have a mini cafe right on the rink, offering hot/cold refreshments and food. If you get a chance, it makes for a day trip not to mention it is right in downtown close to all the stores for shopping. I highly recommend looking into it! Happy Skating!

« Back

Heather Libby's photo

December 19 2012

Eating Healthy During the Holidays

By Heather Libby | | (0) Comments

Enjoying all the typical holiday foods and drinks is one of the best parts of the season and for many one of the hardest. Getting through the holidays without gaining that extra 5 lbs is easier than you think just be realistic and honest with yourself. Here’s a couple ways to cut down those holiday LB’s

Bring your favorite healthy dish to your upcoming get together. This way you’ll have a dish you know you’ll like and won’t feel guilty eat.

Cook from scratch! Whenever possible it is always best to make your dishes from scratch. This cuts out all the added fats, sodium, sugar and other unnecessary ingredients that can add to your scale.

Choose veggies instead when deciding from one of the many yummy appetizers and finger foods often available at your holiday events. This doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid those delicious pigs in a blanket but instead of two or three take one and substitute the others for a more healthy choice like carrot sticks. Avoid those creamy dips!

Try leaner meats like roasted turkey. A small portion of white meat without the skin is your best choice for your holiday meat. If you like to enjoy stuffing with your turkey cook it separate in a casserole dish to keep the added fat from the turkey soaking into it.

Water! As we all know one of the best parts of the holidays is the many different beverages like eggnog, cider, beer, wine and other cocktails and juice. It’s okay to enjoy a glass of wine or some eggnog while decorating your tree or during your meal or get together but in between these occasions drink water and lots of it. Drinking water is one of the best ways to avoid weight gain and to even lose weight.

As always continue to exercise daily, get plenty of rest, and make sure you are eating three well balanced meals per day. Good luck and happy holidays!

Tags:

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

December 18 2012

Clever Closets

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

nullEasy ways to make your closet more user friendly. I know we all have those moments where we say we have nothing to wear then start going through the closet one by one to find a shirt we totally forgot we had.

The easiest way to organize your closet is in clusters. A clothing cluster is 5-8 pieces that work well together in a variety of outfits. For example you can have a blazer with tones of red, navy and camel. Then add in a navy skirt, white blouse, red t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Then using one of the hanging shelf organizers pick a cubby and add in coordinating accessories like scarves and bags. Using just that cluster you can have at least 4 different outfits. Dress it up with the skirt, blouse and blazer. For a more casual look layer the t-shirt under the blazer with the jeans. Or skip the blazer all together and layer the t-shirt under the blouse and pair it with the skirt and a scarf.

Not sure where to start? Start with a piece of clothing that you think will only go with one other thing you own, then weed through your closet and match it up with something else. The main idea is coordinating colors not season or style. You never know what you can come up with unless you try it out.

Accessibility is the key you can’t wear something if you can’t find it. If you are short on space there are several things you can do, hang an additional handing rod below the current one for another whole row of clothes. A towel bar on the back of a door easily holds scarves, and using shower curtain hooks you can hang bags too.

Tags:

« Back

Casey Swan's photo

December 18 2012

Not a Victim but a Victor

By Casey Swan | | (0) Comments

Just one touch can change a lifeAttitudes at this time of year are tell-tale; the holidays are not always cheerful. Some people may be facing the first Christmas without a beloved family member. Others may be afraid that the dark memories of last year will poison this year's celebration. Many people are alone or isolated. Still more are just stressed, tired, and financially overextended from the expectation of living up to Martha Stewart -esque festivities.

But then we see the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT replayed and analyzed on television or filling up our Facebook feeds and it seems like there is no sense in the world, only evilness.

However, I can't help but try to see a silver lining in this horror. In the fallout of Friday's crisis, people are pulling closer to their loved ones, reaching out to help those whose lives were forever affected, taking a moment to slow down and be a little kinder than necessary, and cherishing the minute details of life.

And aren't those things that bring us happiness in the long run? Isn't a feeling of support and togetherness what the season is all about? Unquestionably, a mass shooting is horrible and distressing, but please don't let this incident make you bitter; let it make you better. Let it give you the opportunity to reach out, to share, to mourn, to pray, to connect, to contribute, and most of all, to show love.

Tags:

Holidays, crisis, Sandy Hook shooting, love, kindness

« Back

Liz Roloff's photo

December 17 2012

Bright Nights at Forest Park

By Liz Roloff | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Travel, Corporate Furnished, | (1) Comments

There really is no place like home for the holidays, and even though I’ve lived in New Hampshire for thirty one years (!), Springfield Mass is still “home”. My very favorite thing to do around the holidays is to visit Forest Park in Springfield for their famous “Bright Nights at Forest Park”.

This 735 acre park has been a landmark in Springfield since the late 1800’s and is worth a trip any time of year. But for THE BEST lights display, head to the park between 11/21 and 1/1/13. For a small fee, you can pack your car with as many people as will fit and drive through a 2.6 mile route lined all around with lighted displays. Some are actually cleverly timed so they look alive (my favorite is the deer leaping across the road, or maybe it’s the frog jumping into the pond, but I do love the kids sledding down the hill…hmm can’t pick).

Add to the atmosphere by tuning in your radio to a special station that plays Christmas music (the station is listed as you enter the park) then stop at the snack area for a hot chocolate and salted pretzel (sweet and salt – is there a better combination?).

My last recommendation for the perfect outing is to have your dinner at Red Rose Pizzeria on Main Street in Springfield – great food, fun atmosphere, and another Springfield landmark.
Here are the links; check them out, get directions, pack your car, head to Springfield, and have a really great time!

http://brightnights.org
http://www.redrosepizzeria.com

Tags:

« Back

Claire Collins's photo

December 13 2012

Great Deals at Vineyard Vines' Whalehouse Sale

By Claire Collins | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Lifestyle, Claire Collins, | (1) Comments

Whale Of A SaleI’d heard that Vineyard Vines held an annual warehouse sale at a temporary location in one of the mill buildings in Lawrence, MA, and wondered why I’d never heard about it ahead of time. This year, if not for a small ad on the right side column of Facebook, I would have missed it. The sale isn’t promoted on Vineyard Vines’ website or its Facebook page, and even a search of Facebook came up with nothing.

I love Vineyard Vines’ clothes, though rarely can bring myself to pay full price for them. So, with a meeting at Princeton at Mount Vernon in Lawrence, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity check out the sale while I was in town.

There’s a big banner on the side of the building, and from there it’s a bit like following clues to get to the sale. Find the right entrance, up the elevator, through two doors, and down a loooooong hall. The sale is well organized by size, with neat piles of preppiness on long tables, helpful associates, and no dressing rooms.

I ended up with an armload of items for everyone in our house, and paid $153 for a stack of clothes that originally retailed for over $400. Best find: a tunic from last summer’s line that I coveted, but would never have paid $165 for. I got it for $42. Score! Bonus: the friendly cashier gave me a card for 25% off my next purchase at the Vineyard Vines Outlet store in the Merrimack Premium Outlets.

The Vineyard Vines “Whalehouse” Sale is running through December 23, with new items arriving daily, I was told. It’s located in Everett Mills, 15 Union Street, Lawrence, MA.

Tags:

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

December 13 2012

Portland Harbor Hotel Ice Bar

By Caitlyn Irving | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Travel, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments




Looking for something fun to do after the Holidays? Or having a hard time with finding the perfect gift? Check out the Portland Harbor Hotel Ice Bar. This year the Ice Bar is happening January 26th to the 28th. Tickets are fairly inexpensive and each ticket comes with a free drink token. The Portland Harbor Hotel has a beautiful terrace area where they set up two ice sculpted bars. The terrace is all lit up and all around are these amazing ice sculptures. As a Christmas present last year, my mom got my sister and I tickets, we had such a blast! It all starts at 5:00 and goes trough till 9:00 each night. We sipped on our Hot Buttered Rum cocktails, looked at all the sculptures and had fun mingling. You will want to dress warm that’s for sure! Inside the hotel they have complimentary hors d’oeuvres from various restaurants that are in the Old Port. There is also live entertainment as well. We had so much fun and it was just nice to do something different! Cheers to the Portland Harbor Hotel!

Take a quick peek at a video of the Ice Bar!

http://www.portlandharborhotel.com/video-icebar.php

Tags:

« Back

Sheri Apprille's photo

December 12 2012

12/12/12

By Sheri Apprille | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Travel, Lifestyle, | (1) Comments

I'll admit, I'm a bit of a superstitious freak. I read a lot into numbers, signs and messages. For the past 2 years I was on a bus in Disney when the clock turned to 10:10am on 10/10/10 and 11:11am and pm on 11/11/11. So I'm a little disappointed that I am sitting at my desk typing this on 12/12/12 - I completely missed 12:12pm this afternoon. grin What does that mean? Probably nothing more than I just wish I was in Disney to witness it for the final time. grin Check out some interesting facts about today's date!

http://glo.msn.com/relationships/the-power-of-12-12-12-8819.gallery?gt1=49006

Tags:

« Back

Dan Harvey's photo

December 10 2012

Holiday Gift Guide, $20 or less

By Dan Harvey | Massachusetts, Lifestyle, Dan Harvey, | (1) Comments

Here's an awesome gift guide from http://blog.effortless-style.com/ .

No.1: I don’t know about you, but every time I’m in the city I’m either tempted by eating a street hot dog or pretzel or let’s face it sometimes I want both. In ode to my love for NYC street vendor food I adore this pretzel key ring. It’s a unique yet practical gift.

No.2: A cozy throw is always a winner during our Yankee Swaps. Pick out a neutral shade or go bold! These are a steal at $19. If faux fur is more your style this option is amazing at $15!

No.3: I try to use canvas tote every time I head out to the market, library or local shops. I think a chic canvas tote would be a great score. There are many options to choose from on etsy. This one is my favorite!

No.4: Everyone entertains, but not everyone has appetizer or dessert plates so help them out by picking up a set. This appetizer set from Target is only $20 and has 8 plates. Target has a great variety of appetizer/dessert plates for less than $20.

No.5: Books can be hard to buy when you don’t know who you are shopping for, but I think cookbooks are always welcomed and perhaps something you wouldn't buy for yourself. I love supporting bloggers turned authors so I would need to pick Dinner: A love story by Jenny.

No.6: I love this classic yet rustic yet modern take on oil and vinegar set.I think most everyone eats salad or uses oil when cooking that they would get used by anyone.

No.7: Ah bread. I love it. I love nothing more than dipping it in oil. I've never had a special tray for this purpose, but I found this board and I sorta love it. I think I’ll buy it and then pick my own gift.

No.8: As you could probably tell by now I’m sitting dieting and clearly I’m hungry! I love s’mores. I even had a s’mores bar at my baby shower.So a contraption that lets me have real s’mores indoors without the help of a microwave is amazing.

No.9: I don’t like giving $$$ for a Yankee Swap, because that just feels like cheating, but if you are in a jam and uninspired I think a fun gift is lotto scratch offs. The receiver of this may win big, little or not at all, but it’s all in fun.

No.10: I love a good piece of flare for my desk area. These cute Jonathan Adler giant erasers are a must buy. I have an elephant one already (Gifted to me by a super sweet client. Thanks Julia!)and I love it. Plus at $10 you can pick up a whole menagerie if you like.

No.11: Who doesn't love a little Christmas music to get you in the holiday spirit? I would pick something classic by Frank,but really it’s up to you.

No.12: It’s must be the Southern belle in me, but I love this mason jar dispenser.Only $20 and it holds 2 gallons. It would be perfect for a small get together or just everyday use.

What are your creative gifting ideas this year?

Tags:

Holiday Gift Guide, Holiday Gifts, Yankee Swap

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

December 08 2012

Christmas Décor on a Dime

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Marketing, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

nullThe holidays are fully upon us. And this time of year calls for our attention from all angles - but perhaps from none more than our wallets. We're buying gifts for friends and loved ones, raiding the grocery store for parties we're throwing, thinking of thoughtful hostess gifts for other crazy people who decide to throw parties...and let's not forget all those decorations that make the season so bright. But all that can add up pretty quickly and, if we're not careful, can cause us to lose sight of our other financial responsibilities. You know, like the rent/mortgage, electric bill, and other such evil necessities. Fret not, though, because Reader's Digest has provided us with an impressive list of 32 Budget-Friendly Christmas Decorating Ideas. Some of it may not work for you but, rest assured, some of this stuff will have you muttering "Why didn't I think of that?!" to yourself as you scroll through. It just goes to show that you really don't have to spend a fortune to have your home looking the a winter wonderland this season! Got any other great ideas for inexpensive decorating? Share them below!

Tags:

Holidays, Christmas, decorating, Reader's Digest, budget-friendly

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

December 07 2012

'Tis the Season for Holiday Cookies!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (1) Comments


HOLIDAY EGGNOG COOKIES
Printed from COOKS.COM
________________________________________
1 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. rum extract
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. nutmeg (fresh if available)
1/4 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar
Cream butter, gradually adding sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and rum extracts. Sift together flour, nutmeg and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to cream mixture. Shape into 1 inch balls or put mixture through a cookie press. Place on cookie sheet (ungreased) and bake in a preheated oven (350 degrees) for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from sheet and sprinkle with powdered sugar. A family tradition! Makes 2 dozen.

Tags:

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

December 06 2012

Finding Christmas

By Tracy Hilker | | (0) Comments

nullThere is a song by Faith Hill, “Where are you Christmas?” that starts off with that question, and wondering why Christmas has gone away? They go on to question if they can’t feel Christmas because their world is changing and does that mean Christmas changes too? Later on in the song they realize that “If there is love in your heart and your mind you will feel Christmas all the time.”

This year more than ever my husband and I have felt very blessed in our lives and have decided that we don’t need or want for anything this Christmas. Instead of buying gifts for each other, we have decided this year that we want to give back to others. The gift of giving is one of the best ones you will ever receive. Think of all you are blessed with, and then start to think of others and see if there is anyone you can help instead of wanting that new electronic, or those diamond earrings you have been eyeing.

Is there a family that you know who may have fallen on hard times? Maybe a family member became ill, or lost a job. Maybe there was a new member added to the household and money is tight. Maybe a family member or coworker is all alone this Christmas season and a nice meal and a little gift may go a long way. How can you give back? Can you pay a bill for someone, or send a box of food for a Christmas dinner? Can you buy some clothes for a child in need, or grant a special Christmas wish?

As much as I love presents and gifts, I realized I’m pretty spoiled, or blessed if you want to think of it that way. I have fallen on hard times and have had friends and family pick me up and help me unexpectedly. How do I repay them? I pay it forward.

If you have never given of your time or resources during the holiday season, try it this year. I guarantee that you WILL find Christmas in the gift of giving!

Tags:

Christmas, Where are you Christmas, Spirit of Christmas

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

December 04 2012

Candy Tree Centerpieces

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Food, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

I was visiting my mother in law last night and she was explaining how she was in charge of the holiday decorations at a fundraising event she was working this weekend. She's normally someone who has a hard time being inspired by crafty projects but she came across the instructions for "candy trees" and thought she'd give it a try!





Here's what you need to create some "candy trees" of your own....





1. Styrofoam cones (can be bought at a craft store)
2. Your favorite holiday candies
3. A hot glue gun


You can glue the candies on the cones however you'd like and they look beautiful as centerpieces (especially if you create a few in different sizes and colors). I was surprised how easy these were and how great they looked when she was finished!

How do you decorate during the holidays?

Tags:

holiday craft, candy trees, holiday centerpiece

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

November 28 2012

Looking for a tasty holiday drink to go with your meal?

By Jackie Tirado | | (1) Comments

Our family holiday tradition is to serve Coquito, a creamy, tropical, coconut eggnog that is made with spices (and the optional white rum!) Holidays aren’t complete without this drink at the table and is a special request at Spanish holiday gatherings. My family serves it with our homemade yellow rice with pigeon peas and roast pork shoulder. It is delicious and I recommend you try it with your family this year. I guarantee it will be a big hit!

2egg yolks, beaten

1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 tea spoon ground cloves

1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon

1 tea spoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup of white rum (optional)



Directions:

1. In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.



2. Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottles, and chill overnight.

(Please drink responsibly)


Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

November 24 2012

Here's a Tip!

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Marketing, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullA lot of people do a lot of things for us over the course of the year - and the holidays are the perfect time to thank those people in one way or another. It's hard to know how to thank someone, though! Do we send a nice card as a written thank-you? Should we slip a little cash into an envelope and leave it as a surprise? What about an actual gift? CNBC has shared their Holiday Tipping Guide 2012 to help eliminate the guesswork involved with this sort of thing. Some of the suggestions may not apply to you and some of them might need a little tweaking to fit your personal situation (for example, as a leasing professional at an apartment community, I speak for everyone who works on the property when I say there's no way we'd ever accept a tip of any kind - so skip suggestion number 1!), but there seems to be something for everyone here. Got any people or tip ideas you'd like to add? Leave them here as a comment on this post - and happy holidays!

Tags:

holidays, tipping, gifts, thanks, finances

« Back

Sheri Apprille's photo

November 21 2012

To Shop or Not To Shop...

By Sheri Apprille | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Marketing, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

There was a time in my life where I said, "I don't get out of bed for NOBODY at 4:00am,especially to shop!" when asked to participate in Black Friday shopping.

black friday

The thought of getting out of bed to stand in line and shop at that hour was ABSURD to me.

Then the stores started opening earlier and earlier...so I started to join an already-established tradition with my in-laws, but it involved standing outside in line all night. So I actually stood by my word that I wouldn't get out of bed at 4am to shop...now I just don't go to bed on Thanksgiving. Crazy...I know. But there is something to be said about the thrill of the chase. The challenge of making sure we all divide and conquer to secure that most coveted "door-buster"! It's very hard to explain, but it is actually like a game. Who can outwit, outplay and outlast all of the other shoppers while ending up with - pardon the expression - the most toys!

Last year a lot of stores advertised that they would open at midnight, but due to Massachusetts blue laws, they couldn't open until 1:00am - unbeknownst to all of us standing in line. 2 years ago we got in line at Toys R Us at 10pm - they were opening at midnight - the line of people was already wrapped around the store, down the end of the driveway and along the neighboring sidewalk. Luckily, the store opened at 12:01 (which they can no longer do) - however -we never set foot into the store until 1:30am! That's how long it took us to get through the line! toys r usWe grabbed our 2 purchases and then had to wait in line in the EXTREMELY small and crowded electronics department for an hour! I was literally sitting on the floor - miserable! We finally got to the register, picked up the iPod touch that came with a free $50 Toys R Us gift card, checked out and were back in the car at 2:45am! Seriously?! Then we moved on to Target - they opened at 5:00am - we stood in line there for 2 hours! We maneuvered our way through the crowd and manage to get everything we needed before a line at the registers even formed! Victory! (The year prior to that we waited in the check out line at Target for 50 minutes! and ps - I am a cranky shopper to begin with, so it wasn't pretty!)

Regardless, after a full 12 hours of shopping and door busting, it always seems worth it because there is always a new story or two to share, lots of laughs and always happy squeals of joy when that present that they "just gotta have" is opened!

This year, there is a lot of controversy over stores now opening up on Thanksgiving night. I have to say, I refuse to give up my Thanksgiving to shop. All I can do is hope that the $179 40" LCD tv is still available when I get there - most likely at midnight. If you are planning on door-busting, make sure you know when your stores are opening. Blue Laws still exist in MA, ME and RI.

Check out this great article in the NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/21/us/blue-laws-curb-consumerism-where-pilgrims-gave-thanks.html?pagewanted=1

Happy Thanksgiving and happy shopping!!

Tags:

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

November 20 2012

Those in Need

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

With the holiday season on the brink of being in full swing, many people are busy cooking, travelling, shopping, and wrapping up last minute things at work preparing to be with family and friends.

Many people are looking to give back to the community by volunteering at soup kitchens, food pantries and putting together food baskets to deliver to those in need, or by contributing to charity.

A place to consider donating needed items to might also be your local Animal Refuge League. Many cats, dogs, and other animals awaiting families to adopt them need help too.

The local Animal Refuge League here in Portland has a website with their Wish-List posted right on the website. Their List does note that there are some items they cannot accept and also advises to call the League ahead of time if you have an item you’d like to donate but is not listed on their list.

http://www.arlgp.org/donations/wish-list/

An Animal Refuge League in your area might need some help through the winter and it might be a nice idea to check out their website for their Wish List. A little may go a long way in brightening an animal’s day!

Tags:

« Back

Ashley Anger's photo

November 19 2012

Etsy the New eBay?

By Ashley Anger | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Georgia, Lifestyle, | (2) Comments

Etsy
Most of us by now have heard of Etsy. But did you know you could buy almost anything on Etsy? Etsy is known as a site where you can find the most handmade and vintage items for sale on the web. As I was looking for bridesmaids gifts, I found everything from wedding dresses (and pretty cheap, too!) to Louis Vuitton bedazzled pacifiers. What’s the advantage to shopping Etsy instead of eBay? There is no bidding and everything is very inexpensive! Another great thing about their site is that it’s also a social site. They have everything from blogs to wedding registries. If you haven’t started shopping on Etsy yet, I suggest you do. I’ve already purchased a few items from the site and was very pleased with how easy it was. Hello Etsy, good-bye eBay!

Tags:

« Back

Casey Swan's photo

November 16 2012

Buy Online and Look Devine on a Dime

By Casey Swan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Lifestyle, Community, Casey Swan, | (2) Comments

shopping online may mean big savingsLet's get this out in the open, once and for all. I am a woman that hates shopping. Yes, I know that sounds like a lion claiming to be a vegetarian, but I have my reasons: crowds of people; bored, rude, or oblivious sales staff; racks full of clothing stuffed with everything but your size; or my number one complaint, exorbitant prices. That's why I am all about shopping online and today I'm going to share a few of my go-to websites.

For me, one of the most distressing things about online shopping is making a return... There are two websites that make this bothersome possibility almost obsolete. First, Target.com gives you access to merchandise that isn't necessarily carried in the store. Other benefits include regular internet specials, such as "buy 3 get one free " or free shipping on select merchandise or on orders over a particular amount. In addition to clothing, Target.com carries all the goodies you'd expect to find in the department store, such as shoes, housewares, and electronics. Best of all, if you need to make a return, there's likely a Target just down the road so you won't pay return shipping.

One of my other favorite sites for easy returns is Modcloth. This company appeals to a clientele who appreciates retro and vintage-inspired pieces (think Zooey Deschanel). One function I love about Modcloth is that the article description specifies the fit of the piece, whether it is true to size or if it runs small or large. New stock is added every day, so that cool little shift that appears today may be in the sale section within a couple of weeks. In addition to clothing, Modcloth carries shoes, jewelry, hosiery, and homegoods. Plus, if the sizing is not what you expected, you can print a return postage form, drop the parcel at the post office and pay nothing for return shipping.

I confess, I'm also addicted to Forever21, mainly because their inventory is so extensive. They carry Women's, Men's, Girl's, and Plus sizes, as well as accessories and shoes. This company is trendy and fun and you never know what you'll find - maybe that perfect party dress for a night out on the town, the boyfriend blazer for next weekend's date, or a basic pencil skirt for work. Forever21's sale section is enormous and often heavily discounted. Today's sale page for skirts featured prices ranging between $4.99 and $15.99. What a deal! In addition to the traditional sales, Forever21 offers daily "Flash Deals" that are 21% off select new merchandise.

My beloved new discovery is Zulily. Yes, you must sign up to be a member (free of charge), but this allows you access to designer merchandise at greatly reduced prices. I recommend you use this website only if you are a bold shopper because there are several caveats to doing business with Zulily. First, Zulily does not carry inventory; they get their stock directly from the designers, so in addition to sizes and quantities being limited, returns are not accepted. Also, because they deal with such a variety of clothiers, sizing may be inconsistent. Finally, because items are not "in stock," it may take up to two weeks before your order is shipped. That being said, the price is The Important Thing. I recently scored a stylish, python-print dress with black piping for just $16.00, a piece similar to one my supervisor swore she had recently seen in a fashion magazine.

I am not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but over the years I've learned what I like and what is flattering on me. I'm certain that there are other amazing online shops and I'd love to hear where you score your deals, so please be sure to leave me your secrets in a comment below!

Tags:

fashion, online shopping, deals, discounts, cyberdeals, clothing

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

November 14 2012

Health Benefits of Having Pets!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Health, | (0) Comments




According to an article written on Care2.com, there are several health benefits related to the ownership of pets. Want to know how our furry friends can help boost our well-being? Keep reading!

Pets can help us to heal emotionally, physically, and mentally, but scientists are also discovering that cats and dogs can help fight disease and assist us in coping with chronic conditions. They can have a biochemical impact on their owners’ body chemistry. Numerous medical experts have provided the results of scientific studies that support this biological basis for what we’ve felt intuitively. Here are some of the ways in which pets can have a positive effect on our health.

1. Pets Lessen the Risk of Allergies & Asthma
2. Pets Reduce Stress
4. Cats Lower Risk of Fatal Heart Attack
3. Dogs Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
5. Pets Can Help People with Serious Illness
6. Dogs Help with Weight Loss

At Princeton Properties, your furry friends are welcome! We proudly offer pet-friendly apartment homes. Check out our pet guidelines for more information!

Tags:

pets, health benefits pets, princeton properties pet guidelines

« Back

Jayne Bassett's photo

November 12 2012

Mount Everest

By Jayne Bassett | Corporate Office, Health, Travel, | (0) Comments

I don’t often admit this publicly, but I have a strange fascination…(okay…an obsession)…with Mt. Everest. I’ve read the book “Into Thin Air” by John Krakauer from cover to cover seven times. I know how it begins and how it ends…but it’s the elements of passion and fearlessness that compels me to want to relive the story over and over in my mind. Anytime there is an article, news story or movie about someone who has climbed Mt. Everest…you can’t tear me away. In the back of my mind, I’ve always thought I would climb it one day. It’s on my bucket list…but it’s one of those once-in- a-lifetime adventures that I may have to realize through others. Recently I read an article in one of my Human Resources trade magazines about a successful Wall Street executive, Alison Levine, who climbed Mt. Everest. She compares the lessoned learned in her climb to the highest peak in the world to the business world. Her comparisons resonate for me…in and outside of the office. Whether the task is raising my son, fitness goals, or life in general…here is how Alison used each journey – whether it ended in success or failure - to improve her next attempt at anything.

1. Going backwards is NOT the critical mistake; not moving is. Fear is okay as a normal human emotion; complacency is what will kill you. You can’t afford to stand still when the environment around you is shifting and changing.
2. No matter how prepared or skilled you are, things can go wrong. There are always risks in business and in life. Mitigate risks by studying the success stories and missteps of those who have preceded you.
3. Failure can be a valuable learning experience. Alison’s first attempt to climb Mt. Everest in 2002 failed. She claims that the only reason she made it to the peak in 2010 when others turned around was because she had failed in 2002. By giving yourself and others room to fail, you encourage people to take educated risks, which can lead to epic payoffs.
Alison summed up her feat by saying…”You need to be able to weather the storms if you are ever going to have the opportunity to enjoy this kind of view.”

I agree. I think I’m going to read “Into Thin Air” again this weekend!

Tags:

Mount Everest, Mountain climbing, Alison Levine, Into Thin Air

« Back

Lindsey Munoz's photo

November 11 2012

Some tips for adopting a pet

By Lindsey Munoz | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (1) Comments

Adopting a Shelter Animal
Back in August, I brought home a wonderful little cat who I named “Tali.” She is an orange and white long haired cat with some health issues, including tear ducts which are too small and cause her to sneeze on everything! (You know you love a cat when you don’t mind if they sneeze on you.)

When I was thinking about getting a cat, there was no doubt in my mind that I would adopt one from a shelter or a foster situation. I also decided almost immediately that I would adopt an older cat and not a kitten. There were several reasons for this decision and I hope that if you are considering welcoming a furry friend into your home that you will follow my logic and adopt a pet instead of buying one from a breeder.

Shelter animals often come from bad situations; situations where they are abused or perhaps neglected or even where they were simply let out on the street to fend for themselves. They need love perhaps more than any other creature on the planet.

Take care in selecting your pet. I suggest several visits to the shelter or foster home to make sure that the animal is a good fit for you. Also, most shelters or foster programs require that all members of the household be present when meeting the animal. I highly recommend this, including having each person spend time alone with the prospective new addition to your family, so that the animal can get comfortable with everyone.

Another factor, of course, is the cost. Breeder fees are usually much, much higher than adoption fees, so if you are looking to get a new furry friend, adoption will cut down on costs. Keep in mind, that the cost of getting a pet is usually higher than just the adoption or breeder fees simply because of things like food and toys (and litter and box for a cat, leash for a dog, etc) as well as spaying or neutering. In this respect, it might also be better to consider giving home to an older animal. Kitten and puppy adoption costs are often double the cost to adopt a cat or dog who is only a few years old. To keep in mind also, the older and longer a cat or dog stays in a shelter, the less likely it is they will be adopted, but they often have great personalities and require less work than puppies and kittens!

By adopting, instead of purchasing, a furry friend, you are helping to curb the overpopulation problem of cats and dogs, which is a problem in many areas. These stray animals often wreak havoc on the ecosystem around them, so adoption is good for the environment as well. Please also remember to get your new pet spayed or neutered, though yet another benefit of adoption is the fact that many shelter pets are already spayed and/or neutered.

I adopted Tali from the Baypath Humane Society in Hopkinton, MA. They were absolutely wonderful people to work with and very friendly with a good facility. If you are in Massachusetts and considering adoption, please consider working with Baypath. Broken Tail Rescue is a good foster program, if that is more your preference.

Make sure to do your research and read reviews. Petfinder.com is a great resource. Baypath was up-front with me about Tali’s potential medical problems and would absolutely not let me take her home until they were sure she was healthy. They were honest about what kind of problems she might face, but I am lucky to see that she is a very healthy little ball of fluff!

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

November 10 2012

Jingle All the Way

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Hard to believe the holidays are just about here, but they are. This joyous time of year is filled with family gatherings, office parties, cookie swaps...and stress. Lots of stress. And I'm not talking the agita you feel when your grandparents ask why you haven't given them great-grandchildren yet. I'm talking about the stress you feel when you think of all the money you have to spend on gifts, decorations, food, gifts, outfits, and more gifts. Oh, and all the bills you somehow have to continue making payments on during the season. It can be overwhelming. But we've got to take a step back here. We don't have to spend all that money and fall behind on our bills and throw ourselves into debt every year. The holidays have somehow morphed into a cruel, commercialized joke on us. What happened to just getting together and enjoying each other's company and being thankful for what/who we have and making memories that'll last way longer than the iPhone 5 or whatever outrageous gift someone spent a fortune on? Sure, if you can afford to shower everyone you know with a thoughtful and/or extravagant gift, have at it. But if you're strapped for cash and you're stressing about making ends meet, don't lose sight of what's important. Pay your rent so you can keep a roof over your head, your electric bill so you've got lights & heat, and your car loan so you're able to get to all those fabulous parties and have a little fun. This time of year should be cause for celebration, not collection calls.

This isn't an anti-gift post, though! As much as I believe gifts aren't necessarily a necessity, I do enjoy giving them. So here's a great post from last year that offers helpful tips for holiday budgeting and great ideas for gift-giving. Check it out and see if you can't put some of it to use... just don't forget what the holidays are really all about. Enjoy the aseason!

Tags:

holidays, money, gifts, spending, saving

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

November 08 2012

Vacation Time!

By Tracy Hilker | | (2) Comments

nullWell it’s that time, I’m off for vacation next week. And for some reason, the week before it seems like everything goes nuts. The weather, work, me… you know, the usual. Here are my vacation tips that I always try to follow. Sometimes I may fail a little at one or the other, but at least I try!

1. Pack early and light. Most resorts have laundry facilities on site. They are normally located near the pools. It’s quick and easy to do, especially when spending time floating around the pool or lounging in the resort for some downtime. Also, if you don’t pack as much, that means you will have more room for goodies to take home! I have been known to throw away shoes and clothes before checking my luggage cause it was over the weight limit… I’ve also learned at many resorts, you can actually send items home to yourself or others instead of having to take home fragile or heavy items.
2. CHARGE! Ok, when I say that I mean make sure you have all the plugs for your electronics, and extra batteries. When we travel, we do not travel light in the electronics department. We normally both take our iPads, iPhones, laptop, camera, and two cpap machines. I like to put all our chargers into a plastic bag in one piece of luggage, so we have everything all together.
3. Split your clothes. When my husband and I travel, I pack half of his items in my bag with half of mine, and the other way around. If one of our luggage becomes lost, we will at least have some clothes. (Disclaimer: First time I tried this was on our honeymoon. Both pieces of luggage were lost. This did NOT work that time. We were out of luck)
4. For the ladies: did you know you can bring a carry on AND your purse? So… I am always sure to take my biggest purse that I can possibly bring. Even if its not full, I know it will be on the way home. If you don’t carry a purse, throw a tote in your luggage to use later.
5. Flip flops, Crocs, and sneakers. We all know how time consuming it can be going through airport security. My husband and I will always wear flip flops, slip ons, or Crocs to the airport, and pack a pair of socks and sneakers in our carry on. That way, we don’t have to worry about wasting time putting our shoes back on after we go through the check point.
6. Extras, Extras, read all about it! In your carry on, be sure to pack at least an extra pair of undergarments, a t-shirt, bathing suit (weather permitted), and socks. This way if you do have an unfortunate event such as late luggage or missing luggage, at least you have a few essentials.

Most important, try to relax and get some rest before you go. Ok, that last line made me laugh!

Ps... Guess where I am going??

Tags:

« Back

Nathan Strange's photo

November 07 2012

It's almost time for Ice Fishing

By Nathan Strange | | (0) Comments

So, Halloween is over and things are slowing down. What’s next, Thanksgiving then snow? There are other things to look forward to! If you are looking for a fun alternative to the traditional New England winter sports, skiing/snowboarding, check out Ice Fishing!

It is around this time of year that I am actually excited to see the temp dip below the freezing mark. Once the lakes and ponds have had time to freeze, usually by New Years Day, many outdoor enthusiasts head out on these frozen playgrounds to ice fish.

Ice fishing is very basic in theory. With a machine powered auger you drill 8-10” holes in the ice and set up a fishing traps called tip ups. A tip up is a wooden structure that has a basic reel with line attached to a hook. The hook is used to hold the live bait which swims around at various depths below the ice trap. Once the bait is taken by a predator then it triggers the tip up trap, which releases a flag alerting you that something is on the line!

The rules and regulations vary depending on body of water. Most allow 2-5 traps for use with live and artificial bait. There are also rules about how many and which types of fish you can keep. There are many opinions on which type of trap, type of bait, location, and time of day are best, but if you are sitting on the couch you are not going to catch anything!

We are usually awake by 3:30 and on the ice drilling holes before sunrise. One of the best parts about ice fishing is setting up a shelter (permanent or temporary), keeping it warm with a wood stove or heater, and cooking a ton of great food. It is a great time to hang out with friends and family and reminisce about past years of fishing.

Ice fishing is a fairly cheap winter sport in comparison to skiing and snowboarding, it also gets you outside and active. Give it a try!

Tags:

Maine, Ice fishing, outdoor sports, cold weather sports,

« Back

Carla Jacobson's photo

November 02 2012

8 Tips to be your best at Work!

By Carla Jacobson | | (0) Comments

Let us all take time to reflect on our work ethic, habits, weaknesses, and strengths! Here are some do's and don't's that may be effecting your advancements in your work field!

1.Not Promoting Ones Work. Plain and simple, be proud of what you do, and showcase it! You know your fantastic, so why not let your management, co-worker's, and even yourself appreciate your creativity, dedication, and hard work you put in on your eight hour work day!

2.Getting Defensive: Someone who is defensive typically will be less likely to get any feedback at all from their co-worker's. If someone feels their interaction with you has no meaning, and you are "set in your ways", the likely will not share with you their input! Your relationships and progess at work may suffer from the lack of open communication. So take all that constructive critisism and use it as a tool! We can't be perfect always!

3. Make Rash Decisions: Think it all through! Jumping the gun on any decision making without really weighing all your options can prove to be risky business.

4. Not Being Assertive: Speak Up! When you find their should be a change, a raise, or you have discovered your boss has no idea what shes talking about, do not be too shy to make a comment. Be sure to watch your tone, you wouldn't want them to be cornered into the defensive catagory!

5. Being too Negative: No complaining! No one wants to hear whining and complaining, the day is hard enough at work! You likely will be creating an unpleasant enviornment for all of those around you!

6. Lying: -Enough said

7. Being Chronically Disorganized: People always pay attention to whether you do what you say your going to do, by when you say you're going to do it. If the do, the may feel they have more confidence in you and you are a reliable person.

8. Not learning Technology: (My personal Biggest Down Fall): Don't fight it, just go with it! Technology is ever changing, and we need to be sure to keep up to date with it so we may provide everyone with the appropriate information to the best of our ability! Don't resist it because it will always come back to haunt you!

Tags:

« Back

Sarah Greenough's photo

November 02 2012

Fall Photo Contest Winners Announced!

By Sarah Greenough | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, Sarah Greenough, | (1) Comments

Fall Photo ContestThree winners of our Fall Photo Contest were announced this week. We're thrilled to congratulate the winners for their fantastic photo entries on our Facebook page.

1st Place: Corey M. with 528 votes
2nd Place: Mahi B. with 514 votes
3rd Place: Elyssa B. with 471 votes

It was a close competition, congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone for participating. Be on the look out for more fun Princeton Properties Facebook contests.

Tags:

Facebook, Photo contest, Fall Photo, Princeton Properties contests

« Back

Jackie Tirado's photo

November 02 2012

Adrenaline Seekers

By Jackie Tirado | | (0) Comments

nullFor the past 4 years, my fellow leasing agent Kristen and I go Zip lining. We go during the spring and summer months to a place in the white mountains called Alpine Adventures. We started this little tradition one summer for Kristen's birthday. After one trip, we were instantly hooked. The tour starts with an off roading ride to the top of the mountain. Once you get off, there are 4-5 tour guides that strap you up and secure all of your gear. The tour guides are always a great bunch of guys that not only ensure your safety but crack you up the entire tour with playful humor. It's a bit of a hike to the first ledge and not many volunteer to go first. Once someone brave enough volunteers, we all get to watch as they zip across through the trees. Depending on the tour you take you go through 6-8 zips that range through all different heights. I can't even describe the mixture of excitement and fear that comes over me every time I jump off a ledge. I am always one of the loudest screamers. Even though we go every year the, thrill doesn't fade. They book tours year round and the prices range from $90-120 depending on which tour you choose. If you're looking for a rush I recommend you give it a try.

Tags:

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

October 31 2012

Are You Ready For The Zombie Apocalypse?

By Jenilee Provencal | | (1) Comments

raceThis summer the Zombie 5K is coming to New England. This race is part obstacle course, part running from zombies, part muddy mess. The race starts with health flags attached to your belt. As you make your way to the finish line you have to climb over mountains of hay bales, crawl through a river of mud, all while trying to avoid the zombies who want to steal your health. If you make it to the finish line with at least one health flag you have survived the zombie run.

A friend of mine ran the race in LA about a month ago and said that almost 9000 people turned up to see if they could survive. At the end only 2500 made it to the end with any health flags. Visit their website for more details if you want to run. http://www.runforyourlives.com/

What a great excuse to get in shape for the summer!

Tags:

« Back

Sarah Greenough's photo

October 31 2012

Why do we celebrate Halloween?

By Sarah Greenough | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, Sarah Greenough, | (0) Comments

JoJo ZombieAs we dawn our scariest costumes and unwrap our favorite Halloween candies does it ever cross your mind - why? Why do we celebrate Halloween? October 31st, straddling the line between fall and winter, Halloween appears at a time of transition from plenty and paucity, is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts.

In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as "trick-or-treating". In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

The American Halloween tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives. The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food, and money.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

Happy Halloween everyone - note the "Princeton Zombie" pictured in this post! Have fun and be safe.

Tags:

halloween, celtic, all souls day, all saints day, candy, costumes

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

October 30 2012

Life Changing Ways to Use Everyday Objects

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

A couple days ago I came across an article titled “35 Life Changing Ways To Use Everyday Objects” and was quickly intrigued. I wanted to share a few that made me stop and say “why didn’t I think of that?”


1. You know those pesky plastic packages that are hard to open and sometimes scissors won’t even do the trick? Use a can opener instead!












2. Use non-stick cooking spray to keep candle wax from ruining your votives!











3. Use mayonnaise to erase water stains from wooden furniture!








If you are intrigued by this as much as I was, you can read the full article here… 35 Life Changing Ways to use Everyday Objects

Tags:

buzzfeed, ways to use everyday objects

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

October 28 2012

Healthy Pasta Bake

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

This was surprisingly good and my daughter had me make it twice in one week. I used Broccolli instead of Zucchini and I am sure other veggies would work well.

Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
25 Min
Ready In:
45 Min

Original Recipe Yield 6 servings
Ingredients
• 8 ounces penne pasta
• 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup crushed saltine crackers
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 onion, chopped
• 2 cups chopped zucchini
• 1 tomato, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 pinch dried celery flakes
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add penne pasta, cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain. Lightly grease a medium casserole dish.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a blender or food processor, thoroughly mix the Parmesan cheese and crackers.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the onion in the skillet, and cook and stir until tender. Mix in the zucchini, tomato, and garlic, and season with oregano, basil, celery, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook and stir until the zucchini is tender.
4. In the prepared casserole dish, mix the pasta with the vegetable mixture and mozzarella cheese. Top evenly with the Parmesan cheese mixture.
5. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the topping is lightly browned. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 271 | Total Fat: 7.9g | Cholesterol: 15mgPowered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Tags:

« Back

Beth Devoe's photo

October 28 2012

Looking for something new to bake?

By Beth Devoe | | (0) Comments

If you are looking for a new cake recipe to try I recommend this Hawaiian Cake recipe that a family member shared with me. It was very good!

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter (softened)
2 eggs well beaten
1 20oz can crushed pineapple

Cake Steps
1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease & flour a 9x13 inch pan
2 - Combine flour, sugar, baking soda & salt
3 - Cut up butter into small pieces, add to mix with eggs & pineapple. Mix well with a mixer and pour into pan.
4 - Bake 35-45 minutes - check with a toothpick and if it's clean then the cake is done!
5 - Cool completely before frosting

Frosting Ingredients
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of lemon extract
2 cups of powdered sugar

Frosting Steps
1 - Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla & lemon extract until well mixed. Gradually add sugar, mixing in between.
2 - Frost & Enjoy!

You can also sprinkle toasted coconut on top. Make sure to refrigerate the left overs. It's not a diet-friendly cake, but it's something different to try for the holidays! Enjoy!!

Tags:

hawiian, cake, recipe, holidays

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

October 27 2012

Furry Friends

By Kristen Donovan | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Development, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullApartment hunting can be tough for pet owners; it's hard to find two communities that have the same policy when it comes to owning pets. Luckily, however, lots of places do allow cats. (If you're a "dog person" and you're reading this post, I'm sorry to exclude you!) Having a cat in an apartment may mean that you're forced to keep it indoors - which, to some people, may feel almost cruel. Do they have enough room to run around? Do they feel cooped up? Are they sad looking out the window and not being able to run free? These questions may sound crazy to some but, to cat owners, they're real concerns. With a little help from Google search, I was able to find a great source of tips for indoor-cat owners courtesy of - who else - mspca angell. Check out the link - and feel free to leave more tips as a comment on this post. Meow!

Tags:

cats, apartments, pets, mspca, Google

« Back

Sonja Kreh's photo

October 24 2012

What in the World is that?

By Sonja Kreh | | (0) Comments

PALEO diet what in the world does that mean? Maybe you’ve heard of the caveman’s diet. Eating all natural, organic food, shopping from only the outside isle’s of the grocery store. Eating only food that comes from the earth. I used to think organic, “that is just a sticker they put on produce to make it more expensive.” Well I have been known to be wrong before and it seems like I was wrong again.
I started an all natural-organic, no sugar, no gluten diet about 6 weeks ago. The first thing I noticed was my stomach shrinking…in about 7 days I could feel the difference. I believe this was the effects of all the toxins and sugar leaving my body. I am not going to lie to you the first couple days were the most difficult. First you have to be organized, fridge and freezer stocked, you need to be prepared to EAT and cook a lot.
I changed from eating 3 meals a day to eating 6 smaller meals a day with ¾ of it being from organic-grass-fed meat, Omega-3 eggs with carbohydrates and fat to follow. Plus I try to drink a gallon of water a day! I can see and feel the pounds melting off. I have also been logging my food and exercise on www.myfitnesspal.com. There are a ton of other free sites you can use to log your food. It is amazing how logging your food affects what you put in your mouth. The other advice I have is weigh yourself once a week, this will keep you honest. I suggest weighing in on Monday’s so you are accountable for your food/drink intake on the weekends.
You can find all kinds of recipes online, you can also find suggestions for how much protein, carbohydrates and fat you should consume. The difference from this diet and others is that once you have get through the first 72 hours your hunger will diminish, you will have more energy, less headaches and overall feel great. Good Luck and Happy Health

Tags:

« Back

Sheri Apprille's photo

October 24 2012

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

By Sheri Apprille | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

You've all heard that saying before...you all know what it means....but did you ever wonder where it originated from? We did too.

Yesterday, I was asking Andrea what she thought I should blog about this week and sarcastically she replied, "Why don't you blog about the price of tea in China!" We both laughed. Then we stopped and asked, where did that saying come from anyway? And what about a Catch-22? We know what it means, but what exactly does it mean? So I started to do a little research about these little phrases known as idioms. These are the little sayings you hear all the time - "I've got an axe to grind", "We're going to paint the town red", "Don't let the cat out of the bag".

The more I researched these, the more I am convinced that my mother speaks only in idiomatic phrases! There are so many of them! And she USES so many of them!

The funnest part about researching them was thinking that I could actually figure out the origin before finding it on the page. For example- "Mind your Ps and Qs" was something my fourth grade teacher, Sister Antonita, would always yell at us if she caught us looking at our classmate's paper. The origin is this: Comes from the early pub days when beer and ale was served in pint and quart containers. The tab was kept on a chalkboard used to count the pints and quarts consumed. To watch your Ps and Qs is to control your alcoholic intake and behavior. - Very interesting coming from a nun!! grin

But my favorite so far is "Saved by the bell"! You would think this was an easy one - saved by the school bell, perhaps? Or maybe it has to do with the ringing of the bell in a boxing match, possibly. But this is the origin I found and I was completely surprised:

There was a strange disease in the 1500's that would slow one's heartbeat and breathing enough that upon inspection, the afflicted person would indeed seem quite dead. When England began to run out of room to bury recently deceased people, they dug up the coffins of people who had long been deceased, removing their bones from the coffins and placing them in a bone house and re-using the gravesite. When opening the coffins of long ago buried bodies, they noticed that 1 out of every 25 coffins had scratch marks on the inside. The town folks had been burying people while they were still alive. To avoid anymore people being buried alive, a string would be tied to the wrist of each corpse, threaded through the coffin,up through the ground, and tied to a bell.
Someone would have to sit in the graveyard all night and listen for the bell to ring, just in case the corpse was not really a corpse. Hence the phrases: Saved by the bell, Dead ringer and Graveyard shift.


Anyway, I found this to not only be fun, but very informative and I can't wait to start throwing origins at my mother when she starts throwing the idioms my way! (which may be as early as this evening!) grin

Here are a couple of links to see some other fun idioms! Enjoy!

http://www.bachelorsdegree.org/2011/01/30/30-common-english-idioms-and-the-history-behind-them/

http://www.pride-unlimited.com/probono/idioms1.html#a

Tags:

« Back

Dan Harvey's photo

October 22 2012

World famous maze in Worcesters backyard!

By Dan Harvey | Massachusetts, Community, Dan Harvey, | (0) Comments

Fall in New England isn't complete without a visit to the Mega Maze at Davis Farmland. Davis Farmland is located in Sterling MA is only 20 minutes from Worcester. The Davis' Mega Maze was actually drafted in England by Adrian Fisher, the world's leading maze designer. Mr. Fisher has designed hundreds of mazes for castles, palaces, and visitor attractions around the globe and holds 7 Guinness World Records. Since designing the world's first cornfield maze, Adrian has created a number of "Signature Series" maize-mazes each year. These creations include the finest field maze in the United States at Davis' Mega Maze.

For more information visit https://www.davisfarmland.com

Tags:

Davis Farm Land, Fall, New England, Corn Maze

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

October 19 2012

Re-Use Your Pumpkin!

By Caitlyn Irving | | (0) Comments

What do you do with your pumpkin after Halloween? The past few years I have tried not to just throw it away. I try to use the pumpkin in a new recipe that I want to try. I came across this recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Soup and I am going to try it out. It looks pretty easy and has gotten very good reviews!


INGREDIENTS
• 1 (4-pound) sugar baby pumpkin, cut in half and seeds removed
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup small-dice bacon (about 3 slices)
• 1/2 cup small-dice shallots (about 2 medium)
• 1/4 cup dry (fino) sherry
• 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
• 2 cups water
• 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• Parsley Croutons, for garnish (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Rub the cut halves of the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet, cut side up, and roast until fragrant, tender when pierced with a fork, and golden brown, about 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheet until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes.
2. Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh, place it in a medium bowl (you should have about 3 cups), and set it aside.
3. Place the bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook until crispy and the fat is rendered, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small paper-towel-lined plate; reserve for garnish.
4. Add shallots to the bacon fat, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add sherry and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, water, thyme, and reserved pumpkin and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, then bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer until flavors have melded, about 10 minutes.
5. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap from the blender lid (the pour lid) and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam from the hot soup to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Place the blended soup in a clean saucepan. Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve garnished with the reserved bacon and croutons, if using.
I don’t want to wish Hallowween away but I really want to try this recipe out! It is the perfect day today for some Roasted Pumpkin Soup!

Tags:

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

October 17 2012

Ten Foods That Can Make You Grumpy

By Audra Kelloway | | (0) Comments

nullCame across a very interesting article the other day on-line posted by 7 News about the Top Ten Foods that can actually be affecting your mood! Items we eat almost daily and never even know about! I was shocked to see foods on this list that I eat that could be contributing to a low mood or a sugar rush crash!

According to the article number 1 is ham...I love ham and had no idea that this was a mood killer but apparently it is due to being packages with high amounts of preservatives that trigger low moods.

Number 2 is something most people use as a substitute for butter since what we know of butter is that it isn't the best for you but I guess now I know neither is margarine which holds high levels of omega 6 fatty acids which tend to tamper with our moods.

Number 3 is peanuts that include high salt levels and MSG .

Number 4 is pumpkin and I'm stunned by this and the amount of pumpkin I have been enjoying this fall season! Apparently pumpkin seeds are coated in preservatives which block iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid which is a big part in depression.

Number 5 is a big staple in holiday cooking...shortening! Used a lot in baking this item increases omega 6 fatty acids which we know is not good for us!

Number 6 is something most people drink on a daily basis...soda but as we know soda is pure sugar and turns to fat once inside the body sending moods plummeting after that initial sugar rush.

Number 7 is another holiday staple in most households..sweet potatoes which when packaged they tend to be packages with excess sugar that cause a crash and burn affect.

Number 8 is agave nectar which may seem healthy and in most grocery stores is sold in the organic food section but it is actually made with high fructose which is definitely not a healthy item.

Number 9 is another popular breakfast item...a bagel.. and yes, we all know they are high carbs so that in itself is a bad thing but they are made with refined cards that cause us to have a quick pick me up in the morning but by lunch time we tend to crash and send our mood with it.

And lastly number 10 is a huge american favorite especially during football season but potato chips are fried in oils laden with omega 6 fatty acids that block out mood enhancing. Some of these might be a shock to you but some of course may not but was still an interesting article to read about foods we might be ingesting on a daily basis and weren't aware they could be affecting our over all mood!

Tags:

« Back

Debbie Melino's photo

October 16 2012

Let’s Celebrate Halloween!

By Debbie Melino | Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Everyone is a kid on Halloween. You can play dress up, stage pranks, decorate, party, and eat all kinds of fun treats!
The Disney family website always has some great ideas. http://family.go.com/holidays

I’m going to make the Mickey mummy cupcakes and pumpkin whoopie pies for our neighborhood trick or treat night!

Wicked Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Recipe- http://www.squidoo.com/utility/print_module/162356029


Mickey Mummy Cupcakes- http://family.go.com/food/recipe-924031-mickey-mummy-cupcakes-t

Happy Halloween!

Tags:

« Back

Jen D'Apice's photo

October 15 2012

Connors Farm

By Jen D'Apice | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Travel, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullEvery September and October, Connors Farm in Danvers, has an amazing corn maze. This year’s theme is Old Salem’s Village. Admission is only $12.95 per person and this includes unlimited access to the maze, hayrides, cow train, grain train, jumping pillow, bouncy houses, pedal carts, duck races, pumpkin teatherball, cornball, mini hay bale maze, hay jump, barnyard animals, sand box, corn box, pig races, spider web. There is even special activities as well: corn cannon, pumpkin blaster, sling shots, pick your own apples, pumpkins raspberries.

For additional information, please check out their web page www.connorsfarm.com

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

October 13 2012

Take Me Away

By Kristen Donovan | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Marketing, Health, Travel, Development, Environmental, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

nullIt's hard to believe, but the holidays are approaching and life is about to get a little bit busier. Don't get me wrong - it's a fun time of year and it's nice to spend even more time with family & friends...but it also kind of makes me daydream about getting away. I've never been very interested in "typical" vacations (you know the ones: an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, a Caribbean cruise, and the like), but I've always loved the idea of going to historical sites or far-out places. When I saw the Yahoo! headline that read Ten Trips of a Lifetime, I had to check it out! From Bora Bora to Turkey and all the way to China, they've listed some trips that they claim could actually be life-changing. With rent and other bills dictating where my money's going, these places are all probably going to remain daydreams for me (for now, anyway) - but it's fun to imagine the day I book my flight. Check them out for yourself...and feel free to suggest other places I should add to my must-see list!

Tags:

travel, Yahoo!, getaways, vacations

« Back

Sarah Greenough's photo

October 11 2012

The Mayonnaise Jar Lesson

By Sarah Greenough | Corporate Office, Health, Lifestyle, Sarah Greenough, | (0) Comments

Mayonnaise Jar LessonThe Mayonnaise Jar.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favourite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.” he said.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you...” he told them.

“So... pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Tags:

Mayonnaise Jar Lesson, priorities, golf balls, coffee, important things

« Back

Kim Miller's photo

October 10 2012

These Ideas are Spook-tacular!

By Kim Miller | | (0) Comments

1) Don't delay: Leaving costume selection until the last minute is never a great idea, especially if you have a specific costume in mind. Deciding on a costume now will give you enough to plan accordingly.

2) Get groupy: Coordinating costumes with a partner or group of people very popular. Some examples are the Flintstones, the Jetsons and Saturday Night Live's Spartan Cheerleaders.

3) Vintage is in: Costumes inspired by '80s-era and earlier shows are gaining popularity. Offerings include Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony and Smurf costumes, with many available in adult and child sizes.

4) Think big screen: Many of the newest costumes on the market are based on movies that were blockbuster hits this past summer For instance, there are costumes inspired by this summer's “The Dark Knight Rises", “Ted”, and for the kids “Brave”, and " The Avengers,"

5) Accessorize, accessorize: For maximum impact, don't stop with just a costume. Accessories like wigs and colored contact lenses can really take a costume to the next level, There are thousands of wigs available through Halloween costume retailers – Check out iparty.com and costumecraze.com for some great ideas.

Remember have fun and be safe!
Happy Halloween!!!

Tags:

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

October 09 2012

Winter Preparations

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

I’ve been working really hard over the past few weekends to get my house ready for winter. Bringing in fire wood, closing storm windows, raking leaves and things like that. I’ve also been cleaning the bedrooms (bags for trash, bags for Goodwill) dusting behind furniture, washing winter blankets & curtains and organizing. I wanted to have my house ready ahead of time this year for the onset of cold weather and for the holiday season.

The funny thing is while I have been doing all this, and going in and out of the house a lot, I have seen this little chipmunk almost every time. The chipmunk has been scurrying in and out of the wood pile in my garage when my garage door is open, running across my yard, peeking at me from under my car.

The chipmunk is doing the same thing I am! Preparing his home for the winter. I hope he’s got plenty of supplies stashed in his burrow for his winter hibernation. Otherwise I might see him and his brother trying to sneak in to my prepared house on a branch of my Christmas tree! And that would not be funny...

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

October 09 2012

Curbside Pickup

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullOne of the things I look forward to LEAST after a long day at work is grocery shopping. I hate the busy parking lot, the long lines at the deli counter and fumbling through my coupons once I reach the register. As I was complaining about this to my sister Brittney last month she asked “Why don’t you use Stop & Shop’s Curbside Pickup?” Brittney has an 18 month old son who refuses to sit still in a grocery cart so she’s been using this service for months – I had never heard of this before but was quickly intrigued!

Now some may call me crazy for using curbside pickup when I am fully capable of walking through the grocery store but curbside pickup has its benefits for me too! I am able to login to their website, see the specials, choose the items with the best prices this week and everything is bagged and waiting for me at my chosen “pick up time.” Also, shoppers aren’t allowed to tip when they pick up their groceries so there is no added cost! I simply pull up, pop my trunk, hand over my coupons and payment and the Stop & Shop team fills my car with groceries.

There's something to be said for choosing your own produce and meat at the store, but the next time you have had a long day and don’t feel like fighting the crowds at the grocery store, give Stop & Shop Curbside pickup a try!

Tags:

groceries, curbside pickup, stop & shop

« Back

Beth Devoe's photo

October 03 2012

It's that time of year again in Salem!

By Beth Devoe | | (0) Comments

PumpkinStarting on October 4, 2012 at 6:30pm Salem will be kicking off Halloween with their Annual Haunted Happenings Grand Opening Parade! I grew up in Salem so I know what an exciting time October is for not only residents but for visitors from all over. The parade happens rain or shine so let's hope that tomorrow will be a sunny bright day!

To get a complete list of street blockings go to www.salem.com.

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Tags:

salem, haunted happenings, halloween, parade

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

October 02 2012

Apple Crisp

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

APPLE CRISP
Printed from COOKS.COM
________________________________________
4 cups apple slices, peeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oats, rolled (raw)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
Put apples in shell baking dish and sprinkle with lemon juice. Combine dry ingredients, add melted butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb mixture over apples. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Makes six servings.

Tags:

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

September 27 2012

What's Cooking This Fall?

By Audra Kelloway | | (0) Comments

nullOkay so I know in past posts I have mentioned many great things this time of year has to offer and right there at the top of my list is beef stew! There is no better comfort food on a cold night and yet, it can be something really simple to make! C'mon you 9 to 5 people, I know you know how tough it is to get home after a long day at the office and have to think about preparing dinner and be stuck eating at a late hour but with a crock pot its wake up, throw the ingredients in and you are good to head off to work and know that when you get home dinner is done and ready for you to eat! It's definitely a great lil time savor that cooks just about anything! Beef stew, soups, chili etc...i could go on and on and what better than a steaming bowl of chili while huddled around the tv this Sunday for a football game!? So many websites out there offer amazing easy recipes for crock pots so don't worry about that you are going to cook tonight after a long hard day when all you want to do is go home and put on sweats and sit on the couch in front of the tv and enjoy some home cooking that was cooking all day and ready for you as soon as you need it! Enjoy all the fall goodness with simple recipes and a crock pot! What a time savor!!

Tags:

« Back

Debbie Melino's photo

September 26 2012

Fabulous Fall Fun!

By Debbie Melino | Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Apartment Living, Travel, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

There’s simply so much to see and do in the fall! This is my favorite time of year to take a drive and enjoy living in New England. Don’t you just love the fall foliage? Well, as the Massachusetts slogan states… “It’s all here.” This site has some great fall foliage driving route suggestions, and places to visit, http://www.massvacation.com/blog/2012/09/create-your-own-fall-adventure .

I love the Berkshires, and I found this wonderful bed and breakfast, The Birchwood Inn, http://www.birchwood-inn.com . Their blog boasts of Governor Patrick’s favorite cider doughnuts and the “Top 10 Things to do in the Berkshires. “ One of the Birchwood Inn’s recipes is included in “Virtual Cities’ Internet Cookbook with more than 6,000 recipes” from Innkeepers, Chefs, Culinary Professionals and Gourmet Lovers. http://www.virtualcities.com/ons/recipe.htm What a great resource! Website combines great locations, activities, and recipes. Enjoy!

Tags:

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

September 26 2012

Technology Took Over...

By Tracy Hilker | | (0) Comments

nullI have an iPad, iPhone, computer, Google TV, Apple TV, Comcast, Netflix... I get stuck in a YouTube loop, you know the ones, you go on looking for ONE thing and end up spending an hour drifting off into the land of side videos and find out you just watched your 24th video about talking animals... Yeah, that YouTube loop. We exercise on our Wii Fit. I text my husband and family. I also text and email clients for job number two all the time! Facebook is where I keep in touch. I find interest in Pinterest. I even met my husband on line, no not a dating site! A Boston chat room through Yahoo, remember those? I made fun of his screen name.

Technology is an amazing thing, but I miss the little things. Here are some that I really miss, and I try to keep alive, and why they are so important.

1. The hand written letter or card. There is nothing better than checking your mail and finding a card or letter from a long lost friend. I am a membef of a couple of birthday card clubs, yeah dorky, but it's great. Around my birthday I recieved cards from all over the US and even places further. There is just something about someone taking time out of thier day to sit down and write to YOU. If you miss someone, instead of sending them an email, try a card or letter. It does the soul good.

2. Hanging out with someone while they are disconnected. How many times have you been out with a friend and it takes all you can to get them to look up from thier phone as they text or tweet or update thier status. I know that I have been guilty of this. It's hard to break away. Shut off your phone if you can, or keep it in your pocket.

3. A hug. Yes, that little thing! A virtual hug is one thing, but there is nothing like a big squeeze!!!

4. Photo Album. Like a real live one that you can hold onto. Or a picture in a picture frame. In our bedroom we have an electronic picture frame. It's nice, but nothing like a picture you can hold in your hands or put in your pocket.

5. A real conversation. I love messaging my friends around the world, but there is nothing like hearing a voice!

What do you miss?

Tags:

« Back

Cathy Vilardi's photo

September 24 2012

Time for the Topfield Fair

By Cathy Vilardi | | (0) Comments

Time for the Topsfield Fair!
Summer has come and gone and autumn is officially here… That means football season is in full swing, the leaves have begun to change color and yes… the Topsfield Fair is just days away. America’s oldest agricultural fair opens on September 28th and run through October 8th and promises to provide enjoyment and entertainment to everyone regardless of age.
This year the Topsfield Fair will feature a brand new Ferris Wheel designed with spectacular LED lighting. In addition to the Ferris Wheel, the fair will also have 3 new rides including Wizards Wands, a fun 2 story maze, Toy Barn, an exciting new fun house and Swamp Gator a kiddie coaster that winds through the swamp. Other crowd favorites from last year are Vertigo...riders will ascend 90 feet into the air and twirl around until their head spins and the Big Splash water raft ride that gives riders the feeling like they are going over Niagara Falls!
In addition to the fun rides, the fair brings many agricultural exhibits, first class entertainment and exciting events. You must stop to see the famous Robinson’s Racing Pigs. The Marine Corp Band will be performing week 1 at the fair and Disney Channel star and Hollywood Records recording artist Bridgit Mendler and pop rock band Hot Chelle Rae will be performing on Saturday, Oct. 6.
Go hungry because the food is great…From burgers to corn dogs, to sausage & peppers to Gobbler sandwiches, there is quite a selection to choose from. My personal favorites are German fries and funnel cake!
Topsfield Fairgrounds is located at 207 Boston St., Route 1, Topsfield MA. Admission tickets on the weekends, holidays and Oct. 5th are $15 per person. Weekday tickets, Sept. 28th and Oct. 1st to 4th are $11 and children under 8 accompanied by an adult are free at all times. Parking is $10.

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

September 22 2012

The Big E

By Kristen Donovan | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Marketing, Health, Travel, Development, Environmental, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullNothing says Fall in New England quite like The Big E in West Springfield! Begun more than 90 years ago, the Eastern States Exposition was intended to provide a way to develop and showcase the declining farming culture of the region; today, it does that and more. Over the course of 17 days each September, "more than one million people attend the ... autumn extravaganza of entertainment, exhibits, and agriculture" (see their website for the full history). Some have been going for generations and some are inevitably first-timers but, somehow, everyone in attendance is having the best day ever - probably because there really is something for everyone! There's a huge carnival set up on the grounds with lots of rides and games for kids and adults - but, to get to it, you have to make your way through all the concessions. You want fried food? You can get just about anything you want in fried form at the Big E: dough, pickles, butter and Kool-Aid (yes, you read that right). There's a lot more than just food & rides, though. The New England states are all represented, too, with the best they have to offer (from Vermont maple syrup to the Maine baked potato). On the agricultural side of it, you can see cows, llamas, sheep, goats, piglets, chicks, alpacas, horses, and - if you can believe it - more. There are giant pumpkins, pepper flowers (what?!), mums...the list goes on and on. Needless to say, it's easy to lose track of time and literally spend an entire day roaming around! The fair is running through September 30th, so you still have time to make it out there. Check out TheBigE.com for all the info you need... and just GO!

Tags:

The Big E, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, farming, agriculture, fair, carnival, New England

« Back

Dan Harvey's photo

September 18 2012

www.warbyparker.com

By Dan Harvey | Massachusetts, Lifestyle, Dan Harvey, | (0) Comments

Everyday eyeglass wearers understand how important choosing the right frame and style is. Glasses have a huge impact on your appearance, state of mind and how others perceive you. A study by the UK’s College of Optometrists finds that people who wear glasses even do better in job interviews. Traditionally my experience buying glasses is that they are expensive, on average $300 per pair making owning multiple pairs/styles cost prohibitive. The worst part is selecting the frames, trying on pair after pair while huddled in front of a tiny mirror at the eye doctors. I always feel rushed and make this important decision in just a few minutes when you really should get to test drive them for a little bit. That was the old way to buy eyeglasses thanks to www.warbyparker.com , which has made the process of glasses shopping so unbelievably easy.

Here’s how Warby Parker does it:

First visit www.warbyparker.com. Then select 5 frames to try on at home for FREE. That’s right totally free. My trial frames arrived 3 days after ordering them. Once the 5 day trial is up simply use the enclosed UPS shipping slip and send them back.

Now it’s time to buy some glasses; simply log in to warbyparker.com select your frames and upload or email your prescription. I was able to take a pic of my script via iPhone and emailed it to them. Super easy!

My new glasses arrived 5 days later, they are perfect - I love them. All Warby Parker frames are just $95, so having multiple styles is totally doable.

There’s more to love about Warby Parker; they donate a free pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of glasses that they sell.

Great people, awesome company – check them out.

Tags:

www.warbyparker.com, Warby Parker, eyeglasses

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

September 18 2012

Fall Fashion

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

As the summer shifts into fall the weather can be very unpredictable especially here in New England. This can make dressing appropriately a little tricky. The mornings still have the cold snap in the air but by afternoon the temps can reach into the high 70’s.

The key to dressing for this time of year is layers! It is very easy to transition your summer pieces into the fall by adding a cardigan, or blazer over your summer maxi dresses. Or a mid-weight scarf over your favorite summer tees.

These top five pieces will help transition your wardrobe into the fall and keep you within budget.

A mid-weight cardigan in a neutral color such as camel. This will pair well over your summer dresses and as the weather gets colder will look great with skinny jeans and riding boots. Remember if you choose a less form fitting sweater a skinny belt over it will help define your shape. I have found that Old Navy and Kohls have a good selection and price point.
Colored tights are a great way to keep your legs warm and because they are so budget friendly you can have a few colors. Think about wearing them under your summer dresses for the unexpected pop of color .

The classic black blazer is a wardrobe staple. To make it work for fall layer it over a dressy summer tank and pair it with skinny jeans. When choosing a blazer make sure that it does not extend past your hips, and it should be only two buttons. Also look for one that has darts sewn in so it doesn’t look so boxy. H & M has the best selection and fit, plus they are usually under 40.00. If you already own a black blazer try spicing things up with a brown tweed or a charcoal gray.
A good selection of lightweight scarves will last right through the winter too. They add the perfect amount of color while adding some warmth. Target has a great selection, and they are all around 12.00.

Lastly a good pair of riding boots in either black or brown. These are something that you should spend a little more on and they will last you a few years. Riding boots go perfectly over skinny jeans, leggings, and pair well with a skirt or dress.

Hopefully these tips will keep you looking stylish and within budget.

Tags:

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

September 18 2012

Fall Favorites

By Audra Kelloway | | (0) Comments

They are back! With the crisp cooler weather comes the release of many great things example...football is back which I'm sure most of you are excited about, fall tv shows return finally letting us catch up where we left off all summer! Halloween candy is released, horror movies are all over tv for those scary movie nights smile Fall fashion is in full swing which is of course my favorite part of the season...yes fall fashion week is a major highlight but with that and all the fall scented candles and the smell of wood-burning stoves, the beautiful colors of the leaves comes something else I could not be happier about...yes, Starbucks Pumpkin Latte has returned with all its delicious goodness bringing smiles to many faces as they sip this fall flavored drink! Released on September 4th this year I was there bright and early before work to swing by and pick up my hot cup of happiness! If you are a pumpkin lover like me and try anything pumpkin and haven't already fallen in love with this drink you need to stop over and try one! And yes, I know the price is a bit more than Dunkins but the taste is bolder and better! My wallet has taken a small hit from this seasonal drink but hey, its only here for a limited time so relax...and enjoy a delicious pumpkin latte...you will be happy you did!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

September 17 2012

A Fall Inspired Breakfast

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Food, | (0) Comments

nullIn the spirit of the season I thought I’d share a recipe that will add a little “fall” to breakfast in your house. I love anything pumpkin flavored and so does my husband. This breakfast is both easy and inexpensive to make!




Pumpkin Pie French Toast

Ingredients
• 14 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup milk
• 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
• 1 tsp homemade pumpkin pie spice
• Butter and syrup for serving


Directions
• Set out the bread for dipping.
• In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin and pie spice until smooth.
• Dip each side of the bread and cook on a hot, greased griddle or skillet. Flip after 1 – 2 minutes.
• Once all are cooked, serve with butter and maple syrup.

Tags:

pumpkin french toast, fall recipes, fall breakfast

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

September 15 2012

What's for Supper?

By Kristen Donovan | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullWhen I was little, the last thing I'd ask my mother before I left for school was always "What's for supper?" My mum's an awesome cook and I always wanted to know what dish I could look forward to at the end of a long & grueling day of 3rd grade. As I got older, I tried to get her to teach me her tricks in the kitchen; sadly, however, I could never really catch on (her lack of patience with my learning curve didn't help too much, either - but that's another post on a completely different blog). Fast-forward to today and I'm useless in the kitchen - unless you count clean-up, which most hungry people don't. I keep wanting to take a stab at making something but the recipes always feel like a science project to me. I need something easy! I need encouragement! I... may have found what I'm looking for.

Shine from Yahoo! is quickly becoming one of my go-to sites (you may recall this post). I've just discovered they have a Supper Club, which is a little forum where they give you food themes & challenges; once you've attempted their challenge, you go back to the forum and discuss your experiences with everyone else who tried it. It's sort of like a support group for people who fear the kitchen - whether it's because they don't know how to throw a dish together or because they're bored with the ones they've been making. It's a really great feature on the site and I think it'll really help people like feel a little more at home in their own kitchen. Whether you're a beginner like me or you're some sort of master chef, if you're up for a challenge - give it a try!

Tags:

Shine, Yahoo!, supper, dinner, food, meals, cooking, recipes, community, clubs

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

September 14 2012

Apple Stuffed Chicken

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

Ingredients
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped apple
2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish




Directions
1. Combine apple, cheese, and bread crumbs. Set aside.
2. Flatten chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Divide apple mixture between chicken breasts, and roll up each breast. Secure with toothpicks.
3. Melt butter or margarine in a 7 inch skillet over medium heat. Brown stuffed chicken breasts. Add wine and 1/4 cup water. Cover. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
4. Transfer chicken to a serving platter. Combine 1 tablespoon water and cornstarch; stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir until thickened. Pour gravy over chicken, and garnish with parsley. Serve.



Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 139 | Total Fat: 5.1g | Cholesterol: 46mg

Tags:

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

September 12 2012

TRICK OR TREAT!!!!

By Caitlyn Irving | Maine, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

My favorite holiday is just around the corner. Halloween is the best, what more can you ask for; awesome decorations for outside and inside your home, ridiculous costumes, and an excuse to eat your favorite candy. I love driving home this time of year and seeing the houses in the Halloween Spirit. Front doors decorated and Jack-O-Lanterns out on the steps, the spookier the better!

I have been seriously slacking in the scary decoration department the last couple years. I feel like Halloween is not done up the way I remember it being as a kid. I remember my very first Halloween trick or treating with my family, I was a Ballerina. The first house that we went to was a monstrous Victorian house. It was all dark and there were candles in the windows. My sisters and I held onto each other as we tiptoed up to the door, looking all around in case something were to jump out at us, and the only noises you could hear was howling sounds and the scary music playing in the background. It was always an issue of which one of us going to ring the doorbell, and of course I was always chosen because I am the youngest. We could hear each others chests pounding as we waited for that door to open and have no idea what to expect or what was going to answer it. And when it did Trick or Treat!!! We were going to get candy! And as we walked across the lawn on to the next house we weren’t as scared as we were before. I miss those days and being able to trick or treat, why did I ever stop?

Lets all get into the Halloween Spirit this year and make this one better than the last. Whether you dress up and go to a Halloween Party, or hand out candy or even stay in and watch a scary movie, have a fun with it. That is what this holiday is all about!!!

Tags:

« Back

Tammy Jackson's photo

September 12 2012

Outdoor Movie Night Event

By Tammy Jackson | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Corporate Furnished, Community, | (0) Comments

nullOutdoor Movie Night Event

Do you miss the experience of the drive-in movie? Some of you can remember the days of the outdoor movie experience; others may have no idea what they have missed. It is unfortunate that drive-in movies are few and far between; however with today’s technology, you can create your own similar experience.

Princeton Place Apartments recently hosted an Outdoor Movie Night for the residents. You didn’t have to pack as many people as you could into one car for $8, you could just walk out your apartment door. No speaker attached to the side of the car, or tuning into a select radio station, this was surround sound. It was the modern day version of the outdoor movie. Blankets and lawn chairs covered the parking spaces, popcorn, cotton candy, burgers, hot dogs, and soft drinks were available for all residents to enjoy.

The average outdoor movie night would cost about $1200 to host with the food and snacks included, however we were able to do it for a fraction of the cost.

Here are some tips so you can plan your budget friendly event for your residents, as well!

*Find Sponsors – We had two sponsors for the event. Charter Communications was the large sponsor, covering the expense of FunFlicks Outdoor Movies. Central Mass Party Rentals donated the use of the grill, popcorn and cotton candy machines, we just paid for the supplies used.

*Get a licensed copy of the movie you are viewing – Even though you may not be advertising to the outside public or charging money for the event, you are required to pay licensing fees for viewing of movies by large groups. We used Swank, but Criterion is another source.

*Make movie passes that can be sent to each apartment as their invitation. There are templates available online.

*May, June, and September are considered the better months, because the sun sets earlier.

*Select a movie that is fun for kids of all ages and that your adult residents will enjoy as well. We showed “The Goonies”.

*Have plenty of bug spray on hand!!

Enjoy your show!

Tags:

« Back

Tammy Jackson's photo

September 12 2012

Outdoor Movie Night Event

By Tammy Jackson | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Corporate Furnished, Community, | (0) Comments

nullOutdoor Movie Night Event

Do you miss the experience of the drive-in movie? Some of you can remember the days of the outdoor movie experience; others may have no idea what they have missed. It is unfortunate that drive-in movies are few and far between; however with today’s technology, you can create your own similar experience.

Princeton Place Apartments recently hosted an Outdoor Movie Night for the residents. You didn’t have to pack as many people as you could into one car for $8, you could just walk out your apartment door. No speaker attached to the side of the car, or tuning into a select radio station, this was surround sound. It was the modern day version of the outdoor movie. Blankets and lawn chairs covered the parking spaces, popcorn, cotton candy, burgers, hot dogs, and soft drinks were available for all residents to enjoy.

The average outdoor movie night would cost about $1200 to host with the food and snacks included, however we were able to do it for a fraction of the cost.

Here are some tips so you can plan your budget friendly event for your residents, as well!

*Find Sponsors – We had two sponsors for the event. Charter Communications was the large sponsor, covering the expense of FunFlicks Outdoor Movies. Central Mass Party Rentals donated the use of the grill, popcorn and cotton candy machines, we just paid for the supplies used.

*Get a licensed copy of the movie you are viewing – Even though you may not be advertising to the outside public or charging money for the event, you are required to pay licensing fees for viewing of movies by large groups. We used Swank, but Criterion is another source.

*Make movie passes that can be sent to each apartment as their invitation. There are templates available online.

*May, June, and September are considered the better months, because the sun sets earlier.

*Select a movie that is fun for kids of all ages and that your adult residents will enjoy as well. We showed “The Goonies”.

*Have plenty of bug spray on hand!!

Enjoy your show!

Tags:

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

September 07 2012

Another DIY Tip

By Audra Kelloway | | (0) Comments

Okay so last week a posted a creative way to store excess jewelry and today I'm going to share another way to store excess ties, belts or scarves. So yesterday I decided to pull out all my scarves since its about that time to start wearing them again, and yes, I am pretty excited about that cause I absolutely love scarves! If you don't already know I tend to shop ALOT and scarves happens to be one of those items i tend to purchase in excess and I snatch up anytime I see one I like so as you can probably guess when I pulled out my collection I was shocked by its size and tried to downsize but I loved each one too much so i got to thinking of what to do to display yet conserve space in my closet and thats when this idea came up and yes, its a very simple DIY task. All you need to complete this is a durable hanger of some sort ( don't recommend the plastic ones cause they bend with the weight) I like the idea of the wood ones or the felt ones in different colors. I personally decided on the colored ones available at Home Goods at a great price and then all you need after the hanger is some simple plastic shower rings and yes, you can grab those in different colors if you like too smile After those two items are selected you are ready to hook the shower rings onto the bottom part of the hanger, then drape your scarves in the rings and taadahh! Complete! Simple enough right? Then hang where desired and now you have them neat and organized and easy to get to while conserving space in your closet. Just another simple idea I thought I'd share for any of those excess item people who are always looking to save space smile

Tags:

« Back

Ashley Anger's photo

September 07 2012

Surviving the Engagement

By Ashley Anger | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Travel, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

engagement
As many of you know, I just recently got engaged this week! We are so excited but overwhelmed at the same time. There is so much that goes into planning a wedding and trying to keep the stress levels down. Here are some great pointers that I’ve already put to great use.

-Budget for everything! Sticking to a budget might be the hardest thing to do when you want a lavish wedding. But once everything is said and done, you won’t be stressing over wedding debt.
-Plan a longer engagement. We are planning for a 2014 wedding which gives us plenty of time to explore our options and do a lot of DIY to cut costs.
-It’s all about who you know. If you want to cut costs, hire a friend or family member that specializes in photography or a DJ.

Remember that in the end you love each other and this day is about love not stress!

Tags:

« Back

Sarah Greenough's photo

September 05 2012

Salem has a lot to offer!

By Sarah Greenough | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Travel, Food, Lifestyle, Community, Sarah Greenough, | (0) Comments

Salem MAThe Boston Globe recently published an article about Salem, MA. It was titled "Salem without its masks, Night and day, city offers sights, scenes, arts, history, and food." We often think of visiting Salem in October given the amount of Autumn festivities and Halloween events offered in the "Witch City". But the Globe correspondent, Steve Holt points out the many attractions offered in Salem year round! There are even a number of self guided walking tours throughout the city, available for download here: Salem Walking Tours

Top 10 Highlights from the Boston Globe article:

1. Strolling For Snacks - check out Mike and Honey Green Grocer at 32 Church Street, a local favorite!
2. Secondhand Salem - stop into Witch City Consignment and Thrift at 301 Essex Street, known to many locals as "Jerry's Army-Navy Store".
3. Kids' Corner - Enjoy toys and games at Mud Puddle Toys at 221 Essex Street for kids of all ages.
4. Treat Yourself - Beverage break! Enjoy coffee or a pint of craft beer at The Gulu Gulu Cafe at 247 Essex Street.
5. Dinner time - In the mood for dark wood and plush chairs? Check out the warm and cozy Tavern on the Green at 18 Washington Square for a historic and tasty meal.
6. Stay the Night - Sleep over at the family-owned Salem Inn, 7 Summer Street originally built in 1834.
7. Revolutionary Brunch - On the outside, it's a late-18th century coffeehouse, on the inside it's Red's Sandwich Shop, 15 Central Street.
8. Cultural Shop - Salem's cultural and artistic jewel, the Peabody Essex Museum is a must see located at East India Square.
9. Still Hungry? - Enjoy your second brunch at the Scratch Kitchen, 245 Derby Street for a casual and fun atmosphere, frisbee-sized pancakes or a North Shore beer.
10. Historic Endings - Before you head home, take the time to walk down Derby Street which showcases the Custom House, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, House of Seven Gables and many more of the city's first homes.

Enjoy your visit to fun and historic Salem, MA!!

Tags:

Salem, Massachusetts, Tourist attraction, Boston Globe

« Back

Virginia Partridge's photo

September 04 2012

Old friend, How I've missed you...

By Virginia Partridge | Massachusetts, Food, | (0) Comments

Although it's not officially fall, it is September, so I've already started celebrating! Other than countless fall activities (like apple picking, pumpkin picking, the Topsfield Fair, hay mazes etc.), my favorite fall things are actually food - SURPRISE SURPRISE wink

As for a beverage, it's a toss up between DD's pumpkin spice coffee and Shipyard's Pumpkin Ale. The Shipyard Pumpkin Ale tastes amazing on its own, but lends itself to countless possibilities. You could add vanilla vodka, whipped cream vodka, spiced rum, or even Southern Comfort. The Shipyard website actually posts all of these recipes!


For food, I LOVE fall comfort dishes - baked mac n' cheese, butternut squash soup, apple cider doughnuts....
My next recipe to try, a Fall Salad seen below, comes from pintrest (of course!)

Ingredients
Candied pecans:
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
• 1/2 cup raw pecans

Maple-balsamic dressing:
• 1 small red onion, finely diced
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 teaspoons maple syrup

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 head endive, separated leaves
• 1 cup mixed greens
• 1 apple, sliced
• 2 tbsp crasins
• 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan

Directions
To make the candied pecans, set a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the butter and sugar and once it has melted toss in the pecans and continue to toss to coat and cook evenly, about 1 minute. Transfer to a sheet tray lined with waxed paper (use 2 forks to separate pecans) while you prepare the salad.

Make the dressing by combining the diced onion, Dijon and balsamic vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while you whisk to emulsify. Add the maple syrup and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Assemble salad by tossing greens, crasins and apple slices in a large mixing bowl with maple-balsamic dressing. Top with shaved Parmesan and candied pecans.

Tags:

Shipyard, pumpkin, pumpkin head

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

September 03 2012

The Wayside Country Store

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Marketing, Health, Travel, Environmental, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullWe're pretty fortunate to live in an area like New England; it seems like every corner you turn will put you in a place that's rich in history. Princeton Green Apartments is located in Marlborough, MA, and is no exception to that unwritten rule. Just a 5-minute drive on Route 20 East (also known as Boston Post Road) is the Wayside Country Store. The store opened in Sudbury center in 1790 and was moved to Marlborough in 1929 when Henry Ford (yes, that Henry Ford) purchased it and moved it to its current location. Entering the store makes you instantly feel like you're time-travelling! Once inside, though, you're jolted back to the present with an impressive selection of unique gifts to choose from. Whether you're looking for a historical map of the town you grew up in or a beautifully hand-carved walking stick, they've got something for everyone and it's easy to get lost in the merchandise. Once you've made your selections in the Country Store, you can head over to the Olde Tyme Candy Store - and I challenge you to leave this store without making a purchase! Any kind of candy you can think of, they've got fully stocked and deliciously displayed - and there's always someone to personally assist you with your selections. You just don't find service like that anymore, I tell you.

Whether it's a planned outing or you just happen to be driving by, it's absolutely worth it to stop into the Wayside Country Store complex. From the history to the candy, the gifts, the baked goods, and beyond, there really is something for everyone. Check them out!

Tags:

Wayside country store, Marlborough, gifts, candy, Henry Ford

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

September 01 2012

Pesto Chicken Penne Casserole

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta
• 6 cups cubed cooked chicken
• 4 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
• 3 cups fresh baby spinach
• 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 1 (15 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
• 1 (15 ounce) jar pesto sauce
• 1 1/2 cups milk
Directions
1.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil in a small bowl until evenly moistened; set aside.
2.Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
3.Meanwhile, combine the chicken in a bowl with the Italian cheese blend, spinach, tomatoes, alfredo sauce, pesto sauce, and milk. Stir in the pasta once done, and scoop into the prepared baking dish. Top with the bread crumb mixture.
4.Bake in the preheated oven until bubbly and golden brown on top, 40 to 45 minutes.

Tags:

« Back

shotgunflat's photo

August 31 2012

Falling For It

By shotgunflat | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Health, Travel, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

pumpkins and applesToday is August 31, 2012....really?

Are we really on the cusp of another fall season?

I absolutely LOVE the fall, it is my favorite time of year. The mornings are crisp, the night air is perfect for sleeping, schools are back in session, the fall colors start to emerge, Football Season begins, there's apple picking and haunted hayrides, Hockey Season begins, Halloween happens, we survive all of that eating on Thanksgiving and then, in my family, we work it all off with standing in lines at 10pm that night for Black Friday doorbusters! (AND my birthday falls between Halloween and Thanksgiving! :-p) What is not to love?

Fall to me has always represented new beginnings, even though it is really the end of a cycle. I feel like the fall has so much more to offer than all of the other seasons. There is color and life even as the leaves are technically dying. Pumpkins, scarecrows, harvest. The smells of fall. Oh, man, if you close your eyes and think of a cool Sunday afternoon with an apple pie or apple crisp baking in the oven. Or something slow-cooking all day in the crockpot. The aromas touch our senses and remind us of the comforts of home. Warm baked bread to go with mom's slow-cooked beef stew. And while it's sad that now we have to go back to the supermarket for our "fresh" vegetables, our tastes turn to things with a little more substance, like mashed potatoes and gravy, pot roast, meatloaf and turkey dinners with all of the fixings! Mmmmmm.

I love to curl up when it is just cool enough to need a blanket and grab a hot cup of tea and maybe a freshly baked muffin or coffee cake made with the apples we picked from the orchard (I'm starting to notice a pattern here about food! haha). The bottom line is that the fall holds so many special memories for me that I can't help but just submerge myself in it! Seriously, if there was a giant pile of leaves in front of me right now, I would run and jump in it!

There aren't many times of the year that I get this excited for. What can I say? I'm a sucker for fall. I just fall for it every time....

Tags:

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

August 29 2012

Picture Perfect Organization

By Audra Kelloway | Massachusetts, Apartment Living, | (0) Comments

Okay so cold weather will be approaching soon and on those long dark days you need creative things to do and what better than to get creative with projects around the house! I know, you are probaly thinking I'm crazy but I personally get motivated to clean and get organized when fun projects are involved! Was trying to organize the clutter in my house the other day and was wondering what would be a creative way to store jewlery other than piled in a box or getting tangled hanging from a hanger in the closet and I happened to run across a really creative idea on Pinterest that I couldn't wait to try! The project seemed perfect! it was neat and organized and would add to the room and could be designed to match the color theme you needed not to mention it was simple looking to design and build and overall the materials needed didn't seem that expensive. So the next day I was out the door with my supplies list ready to go! I bought a few picture frames at Homegoods, a few yards of material at JOANNs Fabric ( you can choose any pattern or color of your choice) Then headed to Home Depot where I got cork board for backing and pretty cystal knobs to hang the jewlery from and it didn't hurt my wallet.

After the shopping was done I was home to spray paint the frames the color of my choice and of course I chose classic white but you can do any color your heart desires! I saw a few pictures online of green ones, pink ones, etc but I decided to stick with simple white. Stapled the material around the cork and stuck in the frame, then added knobs and hooks and done! Hung on the wall and organized my jewlery and was relieved to have the clutter gone, my room look pretty and actually be able to find what I was looking for a whole lot easier! This was just one project I resently did but I have built other ideas to organize and store many things in my house and you too can get creative and enjoy doing a project to help elimanate any excess clutter and give you a simple project to do on a dreary weekend. Hope my idea gets you thinking of ways to store anything you need to and definatly check out online for other great storage ideas!

Tags:

« Back

Debbie Melino's photo

August 28 2012

It's almost September!

By Debbie Melino | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Travel, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Wow, this summer has gone by fast. I looked at my calendar and realized, yikes, I have not been to Gloucester this summer! I still have a chance to enjoy ‘The Gloucester Schooner Festival.’ It’s this weekend, August 31- September 2, 2012. http://www.capeannvacations.com/schooner

Don’t you just love Cape Ann? Do you have any favorite places to go? I do! Here are a few of my favorites!

-Halibut Point State Park http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/halb.htm

- Latitude 43 http://latfortythree.com

-Sugar Magnolia’s http://www.northshoredish.com/category/restaurant/sugar-magnolias

-Rockport music anyone? Shalin Liu Performance Center http://www.rcmf.org/newperformance.html

Enjoy!!!

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

August 25 2012

Lots of Logos

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Marketing, Development, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullLike so many others before me, I finally gave in and got an iPhone this year - and it's been just as lifechanging as everyone told me it would be. I'm obsessed. One of the first things I did was download all the popular apps my friends were always talking about so I could get in on the fun; one of those apps was the Logos Quiz. This addicting little game is quite simple: it shows you a series of logos and you have to identify the company to which it belongs. Think you know 'em all? Think again. They're pulling some of these out of what seems like nowhere. But fear not! It's pretty much understood that everyone who plays this game uses a cheat-sheet to advance (be careful, though; Lance Armstrong was, apparently, a cheater - and look how well that worked out). I bring all this up because I stumbled upon an interesting link thanks to Yahoo! They showed the first and latest logos of 20 of the top companies...and it was pretty fascinating to see how much some of them have changed. Check them out for yourself by clicking here. You never know - one of them could be the one you need to get ahead in your Logos Quiz game.

Tags:

iPhone, logos, apps, Yahoo!

« Back

Tim Richard's photo

August 25 2012

A little bit of heaven!

By Tim Richard | | (0) Comments

Fresh doughnuts at The Holy DonutWhen people think of Maine food, what comes to mind first? Lobster? Blueberries? Whoopie pies? How about the Maine Potato Donut? No? I hadn’t heard of it either, until Leigh Kellis opened her shop The Holy Donut on Park Avenue earlier this year and opened my eyes to whole new realms of what the traditional fried ring can be.

The Holy Donut exemplifies current trend of taking something that has been considered mundane and elevating it to brilliant new heights by using fresh, locally sourced, seasonal and unique ingredients. These delicious little circles are made with fresh potato from a farm in Freyburg, local eggs, local dairy, all natural fruits and sweeteners which Kellis combines into a secret yeast donut recipe. Once fried in 100% canola oil the crispy fluffy treats are ready for a coating of flavorful glazes or just to be eaten plain. These bad boys have a crunchy, yet yielding exterior that lacks the overly oily taste that many doughnuts have and a soft, tender interior that really satisfies. If you didn’t know that they contained potato, you wouldn’t suspect it. While these donuts are priced a little higher than you average doughnut shop, they are fully worth the extra cost.

Kellis has put together a wide ranging line up of flavors that is ever evolving, with a stable of standards that are always on and specials that you might have to get there early for or you might miss out. Some of the stand outs, for me at least, are the Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, the Fresh Lemon Glazed, the Allen’s Coffee Brandy Glazed, the Mojito Glazed (this one’s a special) and the Bacon and Cheddar Filled (!) Donut. All are amazing, but the Bacon and Cheddar is insane and totally addictive.

When you are looking for that sweet treat to go with you morning coffee, get to The Holy Donut for a little ring of heaven!

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

August 25 2012

Easy Cocktail Meatballs

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

Ingredients
• 1 pound lean ground beef
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons water
• 1/2 cup bread crumbs
• 3 tablespoons minced onion

• 1 (8 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
• 3/4 cup chili sauce
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, egg, water, bread crumbs, and minced onion. Roll into small meatballs.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once.
4. In a slow cooker or large saucepan over low heat, blend the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Add meatballs, and simmer for 1 hour before serving.

Tags:

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

August 21 2012

Farm Fresh Fun!!

By Audra Kelloway | | (0) Comments

As the mornings get a little bit colder and stores start releasing Halloween candy and autumn scented candles it gets me excited about fall which is near approaching and all the great things the crisp season has to offer. I know alot of you are sad to see the close to another gorgeous summer but every year at this time I try to think of all the good things this season has to offer that summer just can't like the smell of wood burning stoves, candles, Halloween candy, fall fashion, cool autumn breezes and I could go on and on! Of course tho, my favorite thing to do as the cooler weather approaches is visit Brookdales Farm in Hollis NH. Growing up it was a yearly thing and as soon as they opened for the short season I was there anxious to pick my own fruit, grab icecream, feed the barn animals and go apple picking! Those are just a few great fall activities that summer weather just can't offer! Not sure how many people have ever been there, have heard of it or even live in new hampshire to check it out but it is well worth the trip! So one weekend this fall head over to brookdales farm and enjoy fresh apple cider, a candy apple and pick up a pumpkin for your porch!


http://www.brookdalefarms.com/

Tags:

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

August 20 2012

My Bucket List

By Tracy Hilker | | (0) Comments

nullI was thinking today about things that I would like to do in my life that I have not done as of yet, you know, the good ol' Bucket List. I said, great blog material, let's do it! As I was searching for a Bucket List picture to add, I came across a few interesting lists that others have started.

Some had seperated thier lists in catagories such as personal, professional, creative, fashion, even strange foods. I found such items as: say hello in 10 languages, eat lambs tongue, leave 100% tip for a server, ride a bike across Canada, hand out 250 pairs of socks to the homeless, marry someone swell (yes those are the words they used!), and convert my entire apartment into a blanket fort.

Now here goes the big question, what is on your bucket list? I haven't started one of my own, but I know some things that I would add onto mine, in no particular order. And no judging!

1. Start a bucket list
2. Own two basset hounds, Toby and Sebastian
3. Visit every Disney Park around the world
4. Get my driver's license
5. Visit a nudist colony
6. Eat a beef Wellington, preferably made by Chef Gordon Ramsey
7. Visit Anne Frank's house
8. Be in a play on Broadway (yeah, I'm not kidding!)
9. Write a letter to the president and get a personal response
10. Own a home of my own
11. Learn the Tango
12. Go on a whale watch
13. Sleep in Cinderella's Castle (it could happen... I said no judging!)
14. Go see the hanging coffins in Echo Valley
15. Have a baby
16. Swim with a dolphin, again... Preferably Jaques who I met on my honeymoon, he was handsome!
17. Help someone anonymously, by giving money, items, or something.
18. Go see the stone heads of Easter Island
19. Talk with someone over 100 years old
20. Learn ten new things about each person in my immediate family

Ok... so there we go.. now... your turn... and go!!!

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

August 17 2012

A Local & Tasty Treat

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Marketing, Health, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullA hot & humid summer can only be tolerable with at least one of a few crucial things: a refreshing swimming pool, a frosty air conditioner, little to no exertion, and - last but in no way least - a delicious ice cream cone. Here at Princeton Green Apartments in Marlborough, we're extremely lucky to have a wonderful little place down the road called Trombetta's Farm. They've got a gorgeous garden center, a fun mini golf facility, and some of the most incredible homemade ice cream I've had in a long time. You'll find all the usual favorites (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, & more), plus great seasonal selections (peach in the summer, pumpkin in the fall) that will keep you coming back for more. If you're in the Marlborough area, be sure to check them out! You can grab a seat at one of their bistro tables next to the ice cream window or wander across the parking lot to the wooden bench swings under the trees. No matter where you end up after you order, you'll definitely be happy you stopped by!

Tags:

summer, hot, humid, swimming, AC, ice cream, Trombetta's, Marlborough, local

« Back

Christiana Pulice's photo

August 17 2012

Clean your home the ECOFRIENDLY way

By Christiana Pulice | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, Apartment Living, Health, Environmental, | (0) Comments

enviroHarsh chemicals are in everything these days, and using products daily made with these chemicals is harmful to our bodies and home. The products we use to clean our homes are a perfect example of this. But there is a solution, called Norwex EnviroProducts, that vows to "Clean without chemicals." Using just water and their special microfiber cloths you can get your apartment spotless and sparkling.

Here are a few quick facts about Norwex.
1. The benefits? Improve your health, Save time and money & Preserve the environment
2. Is it expensive? A starter pack of cloths costs $53.00. They last at least 2 years each AND you'll never have to buy cleaning products for your countertops, tables, windows, etc again!
3. What exactly do they offer? Microfiber cloths, Microfiber mops, kitchen cleaning, bath & body, and many more!

If you're interested in learning more about Norwex, friend Carin CleanGreen on Facebook! And view the entire Norwex Catalog here!

Tags:

« Back

Andrea Donahue's photo

August 14 2012

On the Road to Fall

By Andrea Donahue | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

Autumn RoadI was at the grocery store over the weekend and surprisingly enough, what was out in the aisles but Halloween candy?! It was August 11th and the orange and black bags of treats were lining the shelves. The stock person was opening up more boxes as I walked by. Wow. Summer isn’t even close to being over and we’re selling October 31st merchandise now. I can’t imagine asking my son today, “So what do you think you want to be for Halloween?” But I suppose some people are planning their costumes already and maybe even have been since November 1st of last year. But would you really buy the candy now? You know as well as I do that candy will not stay packaged up and un-eaten until Halloween!

But I will say the thought of cooler temperatures, less humidity (better for my hair!), apple picking and maybe a fire in the fire place on a cold evening as it gets darker earlier was not a bad thought. Break out the sweaters, fall colors, and boots. Pull out the scarves, heavier jackets, and gloves. It is football season after all…my son has been practicing with his team for two weeks now.

So, who’s with me? Let’s make some apple crisp, light a fire in the fire place, curl up with a book, and watch some pre-season football!

Wait…it’s 95 degrees and 95 percent humidity outside. The beach calls my name! Oh well, the pleasures of fall will have to wait, as they will be here soon enough and we will have plenty of cool evenings, foliage, leaf raking and Halloween candy to go around!

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

August 13 2012

Unique Towel Storage For your Bathroom!

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

nullLast week I decided I needed to change things up in my upstairs bathroom so I headed to Lowe's and got to work! After painting the walls a beautiful "olive martini" green and updating the mirror and light fixtures I started thinking....there had to be a unique way to store all of my brand new, white towels I received as wedding gifts! As usual, I headed straight to Pinterest for inspiration and I found a lot of interesting ideas that I wanted to share with you all. I love how these alternatives add a crafty touch to the bathroom! Do you have a linen closet for your towels or do you store them in an interesting way? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Tags:

bathroom decor, towels, home decorating

« Back

Casey Swan's photo

August 10 2012

Does Every Day Feel Like Monday?

By Casey Swan | | (0) Comments

An effect of social jetlag?If so, you may be suffering from a condition that has been dubbed "social jet lag."

German researcher Till Roenneberg from the University of Munich coined the term to describe a disconnect between the body's natural circadian rhythms and our unnatural social calendars. The most common culprit for this discrepancy? Having a much different sleep schedule during the work week opposed to the weekend. For instance, someone who awakens at 6 am and is in bed by 10 pm during the week, but sleeps in on the weekend and stays out late with friends would likely experience social jet lag.

In his paper in Current Biology, Roenneberg likens the effect of inconsistent sleep to jet lag because the disruption to one's schedule is as if one traveled from Paris to New York on Friday evening, and made the return flight on Monday. However, social jet lag is often chronic because most people have made the behavior routine and the variation in sunlight that would help reset the circadian clock during travel jet lag doesn't happen when someone is stationary. These individuals "have to live a life almost in a different time zone in comparison to their biological clock," says Roenneberg.

The study also finds that people who are chronically sleep deprived tend to drink more alcohol, consume more caffeine, and smoke more cigarettes. The most alarming hypothesis of the study is that social jet lag can contribute to obesity. According to Ronneberg, the risk of becoming overweight increases approximately 33 percent for every hour of social jetlag. In a related study, Assistant Professor Orfeu Buxton from Harvard Medical School discovered that people who sleep on disrupted schedules, such as shift workers or new mothers, burn fewer calories while at rest. This change in their metabolism could result in an increase of 10 to 12 pounds in just one year.

So, what can we to do to fight social jet lag and those pesky extra pounds? Pay attention to your internal clock! Remember that exposure to natural light can help to balance biological rhythms; try to see as much sunlight as possible during the day and make an effort to keep more regular sleep hours throughout the week.

See stories at NPR
and Web MD for more information.

Tags:

sleep, weight, social jet lag

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

August 10 2012

The Most Inspiring Olympic Athlete?

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Marketing, Health, Travel, Development, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullAly Raisman. Michael Phelps. Hope Solo. Usain Bolt. Andy Murray. Ashton Eaton. As we near the end of the 2012 Summer Olympics, these are all names we've become pretty familiar with - and rightfully so; they're all gold medalists! Thanks to countless hours of practicing, training, working, and improving, these athletes are capable of incredible things. As talented and impressive as these folks might be, though, there's another athlete I'm just starting to learn a little more about. Maybe there's already been lots of chatter about him or maybe he's just been under the radar, but I think 25-year-old Oscar Pistorius is my new favorite person. Both of his legs were amputated below the knee shortly after birth, due to the fact that he'd been born without a fibula ("long, slender bone running along the outside of the leg from below the knee joint and down to the ankle") in either of his legs. He grew up to become an athlete, anyway, and ended up at the Olympics (for more on his story, check out his website). No big deal, right? Ohmygosh. Seriously?! He may not be a gold medalist yet, but I can't stop watching videos of him competing. The next time I feel tired after work and don't want to get up and move, I'm going to think of Oscar and I'm going to get inspired. "You are not disabled by the disabilities you have," Oscar says. "You are able by the abilities you have." Unreal.

Tell me - have I been living in a bubble the last two weeks? Does everyone but me already know about this guy? Is it strange that I'm so moved by what he's accomplished (not that I care if you think it is - just asking)?

Tags:

Olympics, Oscar Pistorius, inspiration, motivation, gold medalists

« Back

Nathan Strange's photo

August 09 2012

Whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River

By Nathan Strange | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, Travel, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

(Picture courtesy of http://www.prlog.org) Whitewater rafting on the Kennebec River!

A couple of weeks ago I was part of an 8 person group who rafted the Kennebec River. Our rafting guide was Northern Outdoors( http://www.northernoutdoors.com/), based out of The Forks, Maine.

Our day started at 8 AM for training and instructions, and then we proceed to load onto busses and make the 30 minute drive to the start of the river. Right off the bat there are a couple of class III and IV rapids, let’s just say that will wake you up!

We proceeded down the river for about 3 hours, and then stopped for lunch prepared on a private beach by our guides. The offerings: Sirloin steak, teriyaki chicken breast, or grilled salmon accompanied by fried rice, pasta salad, ice tea and a cookie! Not too shabby considering we were half way down a river on a rafting trip.

The second half of the river calms down, so you can actually jump into the river and just float down wearing a life jacket. The second half of the trip is filled with class I and II rapids not to mention a bunch of horse play among friends.

Once you arrive at the end of the river you load up the gear and make the short trip back to camp, and relax in front of a big screen and watch a slide show of the days rafting.

This is a great time for anyone looking to enjoy the beautiful sights of Maine while adding in some thrill.

Check out http://www.northernoutdoors.com/ for more information.

Tags:

Maine, Rafting, whitewater, outdoors

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

August 08 2012

Delicious Summer BBQ!

By Audra Kelloway | | (0) Comments

nullThis past Saturday at Princeton Commons we held our summer cookout for residents and it was a huge success! People from the community showed up on a hot summer day to enjoy delicious food, great music and mingle with neighbors. Residents and Princeton team members enjoyed small talk around the pool and in the clubhouse while eating bbq provided by TEX BBQ and it was a huge hit! Cheeseburgers, veggieburgers, hotdogs, potato salad and macaroni salad where just a few items laid out for all to try as well as delicious dessert options such as gooey fudge brownies! Thanks to TEX BBQ, everyone left the party with full bellies and smiles on their faces. If you ever have an event that needs catering, consider TEX BBQ and enjoy an array of food options without the hassel of having to cook yourself! smile

http://www.texsbbqexpress.com/

Tags:

« Back

Dan Harvey's photo

August 07 2012

Single Stream Recycling has come to Princeton Place!

By Dan Harvey | | (0) Comments

Single stream recycling comes to Princeton Place:


Residents have asked and we have listened! While Princeton Place Apartments has offered recycling at the community for years the process wasn’t as convenient as it could be. The recycling program offered toter bins that required residents to sort recyclables into categories like paper, glass, plastic and cans. All of this sorting in an apartment home isn’t always easy and the bins would quickly overfill since we are lucky to have so many environmentally conscious residents. Working with our partners at Allied Waste we were able to find a solution to make recycling convenient while increasing the yield at which our community can now recycle.

Residents will now be able to recycle cans, glass and plastic as well as paper products all in one large container.

Acceptable single steam items are:

Plastic Bottles and containers numbered #1-7
Soda, juice and water bottles both glass and plastic
Milk jugs, detergent bottles, shampoo bottles
Food containers (yogurt containers, margarine bowls)
Glass bottles and jars, any color
Aluminum trays or foil
Metal cans; tin, steel, bi-metal or aluminum
Newspapers with inserts
Magazines / Catalogs
Junk mail
Phone books
Chipboard – cereal boxes, cracker boxes, etc.
Corrugated cardboard

Happy Recycling!

Tags:

Recycling, Allied Waste, Princeton Place Apartments

« Back

Jen D'Apice's photo

August 07 2012

Cape Cod Fun!

By Jen D'Apice | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Travel, | (0) Comments

nullRecently my family and I stayed at the Red Jacket Inn on the Cape. It is located in South Yarmouth and is located right on the beach. What a fabulous place for families! Being able to walk right onto the beach from your hotel room is such a treat and they supply towels, chairs and umbrellas. When you are all done with them, you can just leave them right on their private beach. There is also an large indoor pool and two pools outside (adult pool and a wading pool). The kids had so much fun because they also have so much to do for children. My nephews and niece made a kite, played soccer, dodge ball and also made a T-Shirt. This is great for parents so you can relax while they are playing with other children.
If you are looking for a family friendly stay, take a look at the website http://www.redjacketresorts.com/destinations/cape-cod-resorts.php
Has anyone ever been to their other locations?

Tags:

« Back

Claire Collins's photo

August 07 2012

A salad that will make you wish that summer could last forever

By Claire Collins | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Food, Lifestyle, Claire Collins, | (0) Comments

nullI found this fabulous recipe on The Proud Italian Cook’s blog, and have now made it twice with a few variations. It’s the perfect way to take advantage of everything that’s good and fresh at the farm stand or farmer’s market right now. It's quick, delicious, and makes two generous servings.

Summer Salad

1 ear of corn
A few handfuls of mixed greens or baby spinach
1 zucchini or summer squash, peeled, white part made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
¼ red onion, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
10 – 12 heirloom cherry tomatoes quartered, or grape tomatoes
¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Italian dressing

Cook the corn in the microwave for 3 minutes, then grill to char over a gas burner, or under the broiler. Cut the kernels off the cob and let cool.

Toss all ingredients and enjoy!

Tags:

salad, summer salad, recipes

« Back

Lisa Bettencourt's photo

August 02 2012

Fall Fun at New Hampshire's County Fairs!

By Lisa Bettencourt | | (0) Comments

nullLast night, listening to the booms of the Cheshire Fair (Swanzey, NH) fireworks marking the opening night of the fair, I thought about the agricultural flavor of New Hampshire and how a county fair can make you feel like a kid again. These fairs have been around for generations! On the directory of fairs website, (http://www.directorynh.com/NHFairs-Events/NHCountyFairs.html) the Lancaster Fair (August 29-September 3rd) has been around the longest at 142 years old!

Spend the day at a fair, scream on the rides, eat fried dough and snow cones, cheer for your favorite 4-Her as they compete with their livestock and homemade goods. Block your ears at a demolish derby and thrill with the magnificent power of the horses as they pull the stone boats to winning lengths! There is a fair running somewhere in New Hampshire every weekend in September. Fall is the season, New Hampshire is the place. Take a trip back to our roots, revisit your youth, or introduce your own kids to the pure fun of a county fair!

Tags:

« Back

Sarah Greenough's photo

August 01 2012

2nd Annual Summer eReader Sweepstakes Winners!

By Sarah Greenough | Corporate Office, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Community, Sarah Greenough, | (0) Comments

Kindle FireWe are thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s “Summer e-Reader Sweepstakes”. Congratulations to the three individuals who are now the proud owners of the newest Kindle Fire! In addition to reading your favorite books poolside on this vibrant color touchscreen devise, your new e-Reader gives you access to movies, apps, games, music, reading and much more! There is even cloud-accelerated web browsing. Yippee!




Drum roll please……congratulations to:

Mohan S. of Keene, NH
Ryan A. of Lowell, MA
Bridgette C. of Norcross, GA



We hope the three lucky winners enjoy their new Kindle Fires. Thank you all who participated, Princeton Properties certainly enjoyed hosting the sweepstakes. Be on the look out for more fun Princeton Facebook contests.

Tags:

ereader, sweepstakes, contest, winners, kindle fire, Princeton Properties

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

July 28 2012

Read Any Good Books Lately?

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Marketing, Health, Development, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullI'm always telling myself I need to make an effort to read more; the problem, though, is that I don't listen to myself as often as I probably should. There's always something I need to watch on TV or a game I have to play on my iPhone (Scramble with Friends, anyone?!), so I end up letting my books collect dust. I've thought about joining a book club - but I get nervous that it's going to feel like homework. Shine from Yahoo! may have a solution for me, though! I was losing myself in internet clicks the other day when I discovered that they've created an online book club that gives you a new book to read each month. Once the four weeks are up, you can check back to the site for a discussion with a "notable female author" (the same one who makes the book selection) and other members of the club. No meetings to rush to. No participating in the discussion if you don't want to (lurkers, I'd imagine, are more than welcome). A new & interesting book every month. Sounds good to me- check it out for yourself!

Tags:

book club, reading, Yahoo!, Shine, authors, books, summer reading

« Back

Maggie Ledgard's photo

July 27 2012

2012 Summer Olympic London Games

By Maggie Ledgard | | (0) Comments

With the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London beginning tonight I wanted to share a few fun facts regarding the highly anticipated event.

1. Because of World Wars, there were no Olympic Games held in the years 1916, 1940, or 1944.
2. Three continents – Africa, South America, and Antarctica – have never hosted an Olympics, though Brazil in South America will host the 2016 Olympic Games.
3. With London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games, they have become the first city to host the Summer Olympic Games three times.
4. The USA have hosted the Summer Games four times, the most of any country: 1904, 1932, 1984 and 1996. (http://www.topendsports.com)

Also, here is a link to a list of all participating Olympic athletes from Massachusetts, some athletes are close to some of our properties...does anyone know any Olympians?!

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/9077839/ns/sports-winter_olympics/

Tags:

« Back

Kathy Sutherland's photo

July 27 2012

Easy Chicken Recipe!

By Kathy Sutherland | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Food, | (0) Comments

This recipe is so easy and great for entertaining! It will look like you spent a lot of time preparing for your guests and it only takes a few minutes to put it together!

Ingredients:

Bread Crumbs
1 Package of Spinach
1 Package of sliced mushrooms
6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
6 Slices of Deli Swiss Cheese
Garlic Powder
Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Melted Butter
1/2 cup White Wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a large baking dish (I use a lasagna pan) with non-stick spray and then layer the bottom of the pan with bread crumbs. Next, layer with the bag of spinach, mushrooms, chicken and swiss cheese. Sprinkle garlic powder over the cheese. Then, generously sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Pour the butter and wine over all of the chicken. (I find I use more butter and wine then what the recipe calls for so there is sauce to serve over noodles.) The layers will be piled higher than the edge of the pan but it reduces down as it bakes.

Bake for about 40 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

I serve this over fettucini noodles but it can be served on its own with various side dishes. Serves 6. Enjoy!

Tags:

« Back

Debbie Melino's photo

July 26 2012

10 Simple Things

By Debbie Melino | Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Apartment Living, Health, Development, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

I came across this article that just made me smile. I love the title, ‘10 Simple Things To Make You Happier At Home.’ http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/10-things-that-will-make-you-happier-at-home-174151?utm_campaign=topblock&utm_medium=web&utm_source=main-entry
I love number 4. It’s not new, and Oprah refers to it as “the magic of gratitude.” Check it out. Which one speaks to you?

Did you make your bed today? http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/make-your-bed-it-just-might-make-you-productive-profitable-and-peaceful-173046

Tags:

« Back

Carla Jacobson's photo

July 25 2012

Benefits to a Good Night Sleep

By Carla Jacobson | | (0) Comments

SleepingI know that we all have very busy lives, and so much to take care of, and with limited hours in the day to accomplish everything, we sometimes deprive our bodies of much needed sleep! Our bodies rely on sleep to help with our over all health, and getting a minimum of 8 hours is a must! Here are the health benefits to getting a well rested night!

1. During your sleep, your body is actually working on its memory! It subconciously is recapping your day, and all you learned, while strengthening its retention of all the information fluttering around in our brains!
2. Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan. it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect.
3. People who have less then 6 hours of sleep a night typically have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more then 7 hours. This inflammation may lead to other serious health risks, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging.-Scary, and who knew!
4. Are you currently on a diet? Researchers found in a study that those who are dieting and are well rested actually lost 50% more weight! Those who were more sleep deprived had more loss of muscle mass!
5. Our cardiovascular health is not only effected by strees, but also sleep deprivation!

So instead of trying to cram everything in at the end of the night, or staying up to watch a late night tv show, reconsider the benefits to just say "No", rest your head, and head to bed!

Tags:

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

July 25 2012

Beach Reads

By Audra Kelloway | | (0) Comments

nullSummertime is the perfect time to spend relaxing on the beach a cold drink and a good read and if not at the beach, anywhere from a park bench to front porch swing is the perfect place to kick back and relax with a enjoyable novel. Reading is the perfect summer past time and I know when I'm laying out whether it be at the lakehouse or the beach a book is a must! Beach books should be simple reading, a page turning that is both entertaining and captivating allowing you to complete and enjoy before your sunscreen wears off smile There are a number of great summer reads out there whether on paperback or for us tech geeks our ereader, great beach books are available right at your fingertips! After much research I found a number of top ten lists for summer reading but thought I'd list a few books being released this month by best selling authors that are called great beach reads.
1. The next best thing by Jennifer Weiner available 7/3/12
2. Shadows of night by Deborah Harkness available 7/10/12
3. The sand castle girls by Chris Bohjalian available 7/17/12
4. Broken Harbor by Tana French available 7/24/12
Those titles are just a few options to throw in your beach bag or right on your ereader or ipad before you head out to the beach, the lake, or even on vacation. If you love reading as much as I do check out a few of these ideas or the number of great reads lists on-line for great book ideas! happy reading everyone and have a beautiful, enjoyable summer!

Tags:

« Back

Jenilee Provencal's photo

July 25 2012

Green Cleaning Supplies

By Jenilee Provencal | | (0) Comments

nullGone are the days of chemical household cleaning. We are all shifting towards a greener way of life. However you may have noticed that the so called green cleaners you can buy at the store are a bit pricy and some are made by the larger chemical companies which makes me wonder how green they really are. The United States does not do anything to monitor terms like “biodegradable” or “natural,” so the only way you can find out if the natural cleaning products you are considering are truly natural is to check the label and be able to read between the lines.

Here are some great cleaning tips using basic items that cost pennies compared to the cleaners out there.

For an overall kitchen counter cleaner take a squirt of a degreasing dish soap like Dawn and add it to warm water. Put in a small spray bottle and give a little shake. It’s perfect for after dinner cleaning.

Forget the disinfecting wipes in a can. Not only are they quite pricy but just think of the trash they accumulate. A simple solution of rubbing alcohol and hot water. Add a few drops of lemon juice for a fresh scent and extra cleaning power.

The old fashion trick of vinegar and water makes your windows really sparkle. If you want you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil so it smells pretty. Just add two cups of water and a ¼ cup of vinegar to a spray bottle.

Plain baking soda sprinkled on carpets and vacuumed up will deodorize any room without that overly perfumed smell of regular carpet deodorizers.

Funky smell in your garbage disposal? Freeze vinegar and lemon slices in ice cube trays and pop into your disposal to clean out.

Just be sure to properly label the bottles you have. Since you are being green why not cut down on the paper towels used in cleaning. Old t-shirts make great rags and newspaper is perfect for cleaning windows. Happy Cleaning!

Tags:

« Back

Dan Harvey's photo

July 24 2012

Top 10 iTunes Podcasts.

By Dan Harvey | Massachusetts, Lifestyle, Dan Harvey, | (0) Comments

Top 10 iTunes Podcasts.

If you find yourself spending a long time in the car or need a brake from books on tape podcasts are a great way to keep yourself entertained, and you might even learn a thing or two. There are tons of amazing podcasts on itunes and they are free so you can download with abandon.

Here are the top 10 on iTunes:

1. This American Life – Captivating stories from around the world.
Chicago Public Media

2. WNYC's Radiolab
Jad Abumrad & Robert Krulwich

3. NPR Programs: Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Podcast – Fun current events game show.
NPR

4. Ice Age 4: “Sid Shuffle”
20th Century Fox

5. Stuff You Should Know – Learn about everything from how bubble gum is made to how the human heart works.
HowStuffWorks.com

6. Freakonomics Radio – Endlessly entertaining.
Stephen J. Dubner

7. 99% Invisible
Roman Mars

8. NPR Programs: Fresh Air Podcast – Latest in music.
NPR

9. NPR: Planet Money Podcast
NPR

10. The Moth Podcast – Amazing true stories told by the people who experience them.
The Moth

Download at: http://www.apple.com/euro/itunes/charts/podcasts/top10podcasts.html

Tags:

Apple, iTunes, Podcast, Top 10 Podcasts

« Back

Tammy Jackson's photo

July 24 2012

Interior Decorating Tips for Couples

By Tammy Jackson | Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Corporate Furnished, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

nullInterior Decorating Tips for Couples:

Recently, my husband and I sat down to discuss making over our bedroom from floor to ceiling. Like every woman, the wheels start turning on what colors, fabrics, and shiny new things we can get. I can already see the room coming together when he wakes me from my daydream and starts telling me his ideas. OH NO! I am slowly envisioning this man cave with sports memorabilia and other manly things throughout the room. This can’t happen! It will be horrible! I won’t be able to sleep! What will I do?!

I started to think about the simple things that we could most likely agree on easily and asked for his input. “So, what color were you thinking for the walls?” His quick reply was like music to my ears: “Oh, something neutral. What do you think would be a good color?” I mentioned gray and he seemed to be intrigued, so we looked at a few gray samples, one of which we both agreed would work- so on the walls it went.

Now for accent colors, which I originally dreamt would be teal, yellow, or both. So again I asked what he thought about those colors. I did get a little resistance, so I waited and then slowly introduced a few teal accents to the room. He didn’t like them, so I took them back to the store and purchased something yellow. I couldn’t wait for him to decide on a color he would prefer, so I figured I would give him some visuals of my idea. That worked like a charm, so now we have gray walls with yellow accents… and a little teal!

The bigger challenge was going to be incorporating his taste in bedroom furniture with mine. So off to the furniture stores we went – and those trips were painful! What he liked, I didn’t, and what I liked was too expensive. I started to do a little searching on line and, as I found things, I would print them out. I tried to print things that were a hint of what he liked and more affordable so he could see I was paying attention to his ideas and concerns. Once we were able to bring those photos of furniture into the room, it made it a bit easier to decide on the style and color that would be best.

I pretty much ended up with exactly what I envisioned for the room, without him ever feeling like I pushed it on him and he had no say.

So here are some tools I used to do it:

1. Have a specific budget
2. Ask for input and ideas
3. Be open to the suggestions
4. Have specific/clear ideas to share
5. Find or ask for alternatives to ideas you aren’t keen on
6. Introduce items of your choice into the room to offer a visual
7. Figure out which design elements you can easily allow the other to make decisions on.

Tags:

« Back

Kim Kojak's photo

July 22 2012

Unique & Delicious Sangria Recipe

By Kim Kojak | Food, | (0) Comments

nullRum Sangria
I love all the exotic cocktails that can be enjoyed throughout the summer and think this unique Champagne and rum based Sangria is one of the best! This light and refreshing recipe will keep you hydrated and help make any summertime gathering extra special! You can cut this recipe in half- but why would you want to?!

1 bottle of Mango Rum
2 bottles of Champagne
1 Bottle of Sprite
1 bottle of white Cranberry and Peach juice
1 bottle of Club Soda

Add sliced fruits such as peaches, oranges and strawberries- enjoy!

Tags:

« Back

Kristen Donovan's photo

July 21 2012

Be Good

By Kristen Donovan | Corporate Office, Corporate Furnished, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Health, Travel, Development, Environmental, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullI know this blog is typically a carefree and fun place to check in but, in light of what happened Friday in Colorado, it just seems appropriate to take a giant step back for a minute. After the actions of one selfish coward, there are twelve people who won’t get to see the end of the summer. Twelve families trying to cope with immeasurable loss. Dozens of injured people trying to comprehend how close they came and how lucky they are. A nation that’s realizing that what happened in Colorado could have happened anywhere. The world is a crazy place – and we should be thankful for each moment we’re in it and the people we’re fortunate enough to go through it with. Above all else, though, we should be good to each other. We should at least be able to do that.

Tags:

Humanity, goodness, kindness, reflection

« Back

Kristen Aquaros's photo

July 20 2012

Maui, Fiji, Thailand..... Where would you go???

By Kristen Aquaros | | (0) Comments

Someone recently sent me an article listing the top ten vacations on forbes and it got me into thinking. If I could chose a destination for my next vacation, where would I go. First thing that popped into mind was somewhere with sun, beaches, and palm trees of course. As I started going through which countries had the best of all three put together, I decided on Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Not only is Santo Domingo filled with History, its also well known for the night life, food, and of course the most beautiful beaches in the world. Being somewhat familiar with the Dominican Culture, Festivals are the best way to really feel the pulse of the way of life on the island. Whether its the Carnival in February or the Merengue Festival in July I've been told it's a guaranteed good time. Santo Domingo is a lively, thriving big city, the capital of the Dominican Republic and the largest city in the Caribbean by population. It's so much more than just a big city, whether it be the sounds of merengue, bachata and salsa coming from a Malecón nightclub or the smells of conch gratinée coming from a café in Zona Colonial it would make for an amazing vacation destination. Ive also come to find out that the city is home to the first church (Catedral Primada de América), the first stronghold (Fortaleza Ozama) and the oldest street (Calle Las Damas) in the Americas. After gawking over all of the amazing pictures posted up on the internet of Dominican Republics beaches and reading up on the history and everything the island has to offer , I can only hope that one day I get to visit and experience all this amazing country has to offer.

After going researching about the country I came across some Fun facts about Dominican Republic:

1.The longest baseball game in the Caribbean Baseball Series had 18 innings. The game was 6 hours and 13 minutes long. Played at the Roberto Clemente stadium in Puerto Rico February 2, 2007. The Aguilas Cibaeñas of Dominican Republic won 4 to 3 over the Tigres de Aragua of Venezuela

2. Dominicans are famous for their "nose talk". A little twitch here and a little wrinkle there. The nose knows!

3. Did you know that the town of Nagua has its own slogan? "A Nagua tu entras si quieres, y sales si puedes" (translated, Enter Nagua if you want, leave if you can). Make sure to visit Nagua and you just may understand.

4.Dominican Republic is credited with creating and developing the Merengue style of music, which is fast-paced, rhythmic dance music.

5.The country is known as the breadbasket of the Caribbean because it grows, farms and catches almost everything that’s served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

6. Mamajuana is a special DR drink that contains a combination of rum, red wine, honey, herbs and tree bark. The taste is similar to port wine and is recognized as an aphrodisiac


7.The PGA TOUR Cap Cana Championship is held each year at the Punta Espada Golf Club, which is located on the DR’s East Coast. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course features eight magnificent holes directly located on the ocean.


You tell me.... Where would you go for a vacation??

Tags:

www.GoDominicanRepublic.com

« Back

Caitlyn Irving's photo

July 20 2012

Just a Little Afternoon Pick-Me-Up!

By Caitlyn Irving | | (0) Comments

I don’t know about you but most days I need an afternoon pick-me-up! It could be something sweet or salty, I prefer sweet. I shouldn’t have one every day for obvious reasons but once in a while. My afternoon pick-me-ups usually are chocolate, ice cream (with jimmies of course) and sometimes a piece of cake. I came across this recipe for a Lemon-Blackberry Cheesecake. As I am sitting at my desk my mouth is watering and I am trying to figure out how I can get a piece of this cake delivered right to my desk! I would love this afternoon pick-me-up today!
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons butter
softened 1 cup sour cream
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds cream cheese
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 pints blackberries
3/4 cup milk
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 eggs

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl. Press onto the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan.
In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar until smooth. Blend in the milk, then beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in the sour cream, flour, and vanilla until smooth. Divide the mixture between two bowls.
In a food processor or blender, purée 1 pint of the blackberries with the lemon zest and juice. Pour the purée into one bowl of the cheese mixture along with the remaining 1⁄2 pint of whole blackberries and mix well.
Pour the blackberry filling on top of the prepared crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the remaining filling over the top. Return to the oven to bake for 1 hour, until the topping is set. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
I can’t wait to try this recipe out, and mix it up a little with different fruits.

Tags:

« Back

Ashley Anger's photo

July 19 2012

Perfect Summer Dessert

By Ashley Anger | Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Health, Food, | (0) Comments

kabobs
Looking for a new summer dessert? Try this scrumptious and easy to make dessert! Click the link below and follow the simple step by step instructions. Perfect for a hot day!

http://theinspiredcollection.blogspot.com/2011/10/dessert-kabobs.html

Tags:

« Back

Shannon Rooks's photo

July 17 2012

A Coffee Debate: Bold Vs. Light Roast

By Shannon Rooks | Corporate Office, Travel, Food, | (0) Comments

nullI recently took an amazing vacation in Hawaii. Amidst kayaking through waterfalls, hiking volcanoes and lying on the beach, my husband and I toured a Hawaiian coffee company called the Hilo Coffee Mill on the Big Island. There were lots of different flavors to sample including my personal favorite, pineapple iced coffee! As we tasted a variety of freshly brewed coffees, the tour guide gave us a piece of information that shocked me…..

”the bolder the coffee the less caffeine” he said.

I had no idea! Maybe I’m the only one who thought that extra bold and dark roast coffees were giving me an extra jolt of caffeine! It turns out that Light roasts have the most caffeine. Similar to regular cooking the longer coffee is roasted, the more caffeine (and other elements, CO2) are cooked out of it.

So next time you are in need of a boost….opt for the light roast coffee. From now on I will! What roast do you typically choose when having your morning cup?

Tags:

coffee, hawaii, hilo coffee mill

« Back

Audra Kelloway's photo

July 17 2012

Irish Cottage Dining

By Audra Kelloway | Massachusetts, Food, Lifestyle, Community, | (0) Comments

nullNot just a pub! Ok, first off, you don't need to be Irish to enjoy this restaurant experience! I travel up to Bristol, New Hampshire frequently in the summer months to enjoy weekends up at Newfound Lake and during one of my visits there a year or so ago I discovered this quaint Irish pub in the center of a small, friendly town. Inside you will find sweet, friendly staff and the owner Kathleen who makes sure each and every dining experience is a great one!

Inside is a cozy setting complete with homemade spice bread as an appetizer and a menu that is filled with home cooked items all prepared on the premise with only the finest ingredients making sure to stay true to the traditional Irish fare. Everything I've ever ordered has been absolutely delicious and I highly recommend stopping in for either lunch or dinner if you are ever up in the Bristol, New Hampshire area, trust me it will be worth the trip and you'll enjoy both the Irish atmosphere and the tasty home cooked meal this pub/restaurant has to offer!

Oh and if you are ever able to pop over on a Friday night they have live music and different bands playing throughout the month as well as traditional Irish music, so if you are ever traveling up to the lakes region this summer defiantly stop on over to Kathleen's Cottage, have a pint, eat some great food and enjoy some live music and oh, if anyone out there loves a good ole Irish beef stew as much as I do you have to try the one on this menu, trust me, you will not be disappointed, in fact, that dish alone is what has kept me going back again and again

Tags:

« Back

Sarah Greenough's photo

July 17 2012

Creative Repurposing!

By Sarah Greenough | Corporate Office, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, Sarah Greenough, | (0) Comments

Creative RepurposingThe formal definition of Repurpose is: to use or convert for use in another format or product. What item have you found another use for recently? I have stumbled upon many creative "new uses" as of late, thought I would share them for inspiration!

This blogger, during an organizational frenzy, had the genius idea to use an old magazine holder to organize cans in the pantry! She grabbed a magazine holder that was previously used for cookbooks, tilted it on its back and packed it full of canned corn. Fun!

I love when designers are able to use old found objects to make something new. Looking for new kitchen lights recently on Etsy.com, I stumbled upon these handmade pendant lights made from very old chicken feeders. They have a cool industrial look with galvanized metal and original paint. Really unique.

And for all you wine lovers out there....here is a wine cork bath mat! Wow. This bath mat requires just three materials: shelf liner, hot glue, and 175 wine corks. Most of the fun will come in gathering the necessary 175 wine corks!

What have you creatively repurposed lately? Seems like there is an alternative use for just about anything!

Tags:

creative repurposing, etsy, reuse, organization, wine

« Back

Tracy Hilker's photo

July 13 2012

Old School Mixtapes

By Tracy Hilker | | (2) Comments

nullI was a 90's teen. You remember us... We were awesome. Ok, we were kinda lame cause we couldn't figure out our place in the world after the big hair of the 80's had just trampled everything, leaving us in a haze of Aqua Net and bobbie pins. We went the opposite... Some who wanted to embrace all cultures went over to wearing cross colors and flip up glasses, others went the moody, grungy, Kurt Cobain loving, "I only shop in second hand stores" look. I was the later.

Ok, so calm down, it's not like I had thread wraps in my hair, or hemp necklaces, or book bags with patches and song lyrics written all over them... Never mind the corderoy pants I didn't have that were held together on the seam with a million bead decorated safty pins. Wait...OK, so I had all those things, but I thought I was cool! Where are those pants they were amazing...

Anyway, so what's the point of this blog? Oh yeah. One of my FAVORITE things from being a 90's teenager, was mixtapes. OH did I love my mixtapes!!! Do you remember making them? You would sit by the radio for HOURS waiting for that one song to come on, the one you have been dying to hear, that you MUST record, because buying the entire cassette tape was WAY to expensive and you didn't like the other songs on there anyway. Sometimes me and my brother would request the songs on the radio, so we knew when they were coming on, so we would actually record a little of the LAST song, and not miss a second of our precious gem!

I was always highly disappointed when you were recording the beautiful lyrics from Smashing Pumpkins or Toad the Wet Sprocket and the tape would end in the middle of the song, leaving you crushed... with eye liner (any REM fans?)

But my absolute favorite thing about mixtapes was the gift of a mixtape. Oh nothing made my heart pitter patter louder than when a boy at school would make me a mixtape! You made sure to look for meaning in every single song. And I loved when you were given a mixtape as a gift, and the person wrote out ever song on the little sleeve that tenderly held that little box with all those beautiful songs on it. I even had a pen pal who used to send them to me all the time and really school me in music! I think his mixtapes were the best ever.

As yes... I miss the good old days of working to save your passion! Technology has made us pretty lazy with that. Here are some of the songs that bring me right back to my mixtape days: Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins, Tell Her by Delamitri, Ironic by Alanis Morrisette, and You Say by Lisa Lobe. How about you? Do you remember?

Tags:

« Back

Liz Roloff's photo

July 12 2012

Great treasuers for apartment decorating at the Brimfield Flea Market!

By Liz Roloff | Corporate Office, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Georgia, Multifamily, Apartment Living, Lifestyle, | (0) Comments

The place to go for, well, anything you can think of, is the Brimfield Flea Market in Brimfield Massachusetts!

This tiny town, tucked in the foothills of the Berkshires, hosts the country’s largest and most famous outdoor antique show three times each year; May, July, and September. The show is held along the town’s ½ mile main road, reaching back 500’ from both sides of the street, accommodating thousands of dealers. Vendors offering delicious food