Easy Summer Recipes

With longer daylight hours and the kids out of school, Summer is the best time for entertaining your friends and family! But… who enjoys slaving over a hot stove in 90 degree weather? Click the link below to check out some of our favorite easy Summer recipes that allow you to keep the kitchen cool… Bon Appetit!

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Spring Clean Your Refrigerator

While many of us neglect to keep our fridges clean, it can be unhealthy to live with a dirty refrigerator. Spoiled food can foster the growth of microorganisms that can spread to the rest of your food. Take spring cleaning to the next level this year by getting your refrigerator clean, and keeping your family healthy.

If it’s been a while since you last cleaned the fridge, then a deep-clean is in order:

  • Unplug your fridge, removing all food and discarding anything that is no longer edible
  • Thoroughly scrub the interior with a powerful disinfectant, careful to clean seams and corners
  • Place a fresh box of baking soda to help with odors
  • Reload the remaining food into the fridge.

While it might take a bit of work, it’s important for your health that you deep-clean your refrigerator. To take it even further, you can change your habits so that food lasts longer and your fridge remains cleans for a longer period of time:

  • Maintain fridge and freezer temperatures of about 40 and 0 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively
  • Follow a food freshness guide to learn how long various types of food last in storage, and be sure to throw away anything that outlasts the recommended time.
  • Store food in air-tight plastic containers after opening packaging

By following these tips, you’ll have a lot less fridge cleaning to do next time spring rolls around!

Keeping a clean fridge is about more than just unpleasant odors – it’s about your health. Make sure that you’re doing everything you can to maintain a bacteria-free fridge by following these simple tips.

Culture Shock When Moving

Whenever you move someplace new, it takes time to get adjusted to the surroundings. This is an inevitable process, so try not to get too stressed out when it happens. Instead, take a step back do your best to get to know your new home. Be patient while you’re become acclimated to your new home, and we’re confident you’ll get settled in faster than you ever expected.

The first thing you should know: you’re not alone. For most, it takes about a year to adjust to a new city, especially if it is significantly different than your previous home.

This effect is due to a variety of factors. First, you’re dealing with a new lifestyle and daily routine. You also may not know many friends yet in this new town, and haven’t had the time to get to know your new coworkers or neighbors. Additionally, you have a new living space, which always tends to make us feel uneasy. Finally, you’re left comparing your new city – which you haven’t yet experienced fully – to your old city, where you surely had many fond memories.

But once you realize what you’re going through, it becomes easy to combat this sense of culture shock. To put it simply, you need to open yourself up to your new city and embrace its community. You can do this by:

  • Meeting your neighbors and attending events at your apartment community
  • Visiting local sights and attractions
  • Attending company outings
  • Discovering local cultural events, like concerts or festivals
  • Exercising regularly

Natural Cleaning Products

Because most commercial cleaning products are loaded with potentially harmful chemicals, switching to natural, non-toxic cleaning products is the safe choice for your family. In particular, added chemicals can adversely affect individuals with sensitive allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. Avoid these harmful side effects by switching to all-natural products.

Looking for a safe alternative to chemical-laden cleaning supplies? Try these effective alternatives:

  • Dr Bronner’s – As one of the longest-standing organic cleaning supplies on the market, Dr Bronner’s soap is an tried-and-true all-purpose solution. It also uses exclusively fair-trade ingredients, making it a good choice for your conscience as well as your health.
  • Method – Another major natural cleaning supply brand, Method, offers a wide variety of safe, non-toxic cleaning products, from hand soap, to surface wipes, to laundry detergent.

While both of these products are effective alternatives to chemical-based cleaning products, you can also make your own non-toxic cleaning supplies from ingredients you already have in your home.

For example, white vinegar is a powerful cleaner when diluted with water and also acts as a disinfectant. You can even add lemon juice to the mixture to make it stronger and more fragrant. Visit About.com to learn more about how you can make your own natural cleaning products.

There’s no reason why you need to sacrifice your physical well-being for a clean house, so try out these safe cleaning products once spring cleaning rolls around. Whether you’re cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, or washing your hands, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than the best.

Phone Apps For Pets

There’s an app for everything – even dog ownership! Laugh all you want, but there are quite a few apps that can prove to be greatly beneficial to dog owners. With the help of smartphone apps, you can locate dog parks, manage your pet’s veterinary information, and much more. These apps truly excel because they both give you valuable information about caring for your pet, as well as practical functionality that makes pet ownership much easier.

To help you choose the right app for your needs, we’ve compiled a list of our top five favorite apps for pets, in no particular order:

  • Pet Dossier – With the Pet Dossier app, you can organize all of your pet’s information in one convenient place. You can store medical information, grooming and medication reminders, and much more. The app is only $1.99, and 25% of the profits go to support the ASPCA.
  • Dog Park Finder Plus This app provides up-to-date information on local dog parks and dog-friendly establishments. If you’re on a road trip – and your dog has tagged along – this app will be quite useful.
  • Petoxins – Petoxins is an information app that could end up being a life-saver. The app contains a comprehensive list of common plants, with pictures and safety information. The entries are detailed, and will tell you the plant’s level of toxicity to different animal species.
  • Dog Whistler Pro Don’t have a dog whistle but want to do some serious training with your dog? The Dog Whistler Pro app is here to help! Within the app, you can control the tone’s frequency and pattern, allowing you to train your dog with more precision.

Whether you own a dog or a cat – you can use these smartphone apps to become a better pet owner. They make caring for your pet easier and give you quick access to important information. Your pets are a part of community just as you are. Make sure you’re treating your dog or cat right by using these smartphone apps for pets.

Apartment Safety

In an apartment, fire safety is paramount. You should always use your kitchen responsibly, as household fires typically start there. Luckily, it’s not difficult to keep your apartment safe from kitchen fires as long as you cook responsibly, practice wise cleaning habits, and stay vigilant while cooking. To help, we’ve put together this list of common causes of apartment fires, so you know what to look out for next time you are in the kitchen.

In order to practice good apartment fire safety habits, you must know the common ways that kitchen fires start. That way, you’ll be able to prevent unsafe conditions before they arise:

  • Oil/Grease – Oil and grease are common kitchen fire culprits. Grease can build up on your stove or in your oven if you are not cleaning diligently, and this can cause fires. Additionally, oil that is heated to a high temperature must be handled with care; if it is thrown into a trashcan haphazardly, the entire can might go up in flames.
  • Unattended cooking – This one’s a no-brainer, right? However, according to the National Fire Prevention Association, unattended cooking is the number one cause of kitchen fires. Always stay in the kitchen while you are cooking and always keep a timer running.
  • Clothing/Cloth – While clothing fires are not especially common, they present a high risk of bodily harm. Avoid loose-fitting clothing while cooking, and keep towels and oven mitts well away from burners or open flames.

If you practice these safety habits, you and your family will be at a much lower risk from kitchen fires. Practicing wise apartment fire safety habits is important – not just for you and your family, but for your neighbors as well.

Three Easy Breakfast Meals

When you have a full-time job, a whole family to feed, or all of the above, you don’t always have the time – or energy – to cook an elaborate weekend breakfast. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t eat well in the morning: there are plenty of quick and easy breakfast recipes that will leave everyone happy and satisfied. A couple of these dishes can be even be prepared in part or in full the night before, which means that you can have the meal fully prepared before your coffee is even finished brewing.

Here a just a few of our favorite easy and quick weekend breakfasts:

  • French Toast Casserole – French toast is a breakfast favorite, but it takes quite a bit of time to cook up a family-sized batch. This French toast casserole takes a fraction of the time but packs even more flavor. Prepare the batter the night before, so you can just mix the ingredients and load it into the oven in the morning.
  • Breakfast Egg Casserole – This dish can be completely prepared, then stored and reheated for breakfast. It’s a full meal – eggs, ham, and cheese – prepared in one dish, and it only requires about fifteen minutes of prep time.
  • Breakfast Burritos – Although the recipe featured here is quite tasty, you can experiment with any number of fillings for your breakfast burritos. The great thing about breakfast burritos is that they aren’t only quick to cook, but also quite quick to eat, making them the perfect breakfast for when you are on the go.

We know that our residents have jam-packed schedules. Make sure you start off your weekends right with a breakfast that is as nutritious as it is delicious.

What’s your favorite special breakfast to make on the weekend? Do you have a brunch staple that always wows your house guests?