Grilling up Delicious Memorial Day Meals That Your Taste Buds Crave

memorial day meals

memorial day meals

Summer’s coming. It’s time to fire up the grill!

Due to the fire code, we can’t have gas or charcoal grills on our patios and decks, but you can have an electric grill. Or, head over to our park to grill up some of these wonderful recipes on our charcoal grills.

Worcestershire Glazed Burgers

Hamburgers are to summer like hot dogs are to baseball games. Of course, there are many fun and creative ways to spice up your burgers for a new experience.

Take these Worcestershire Glazed Burgers, for instance. Grill up your hamburger patties, basting them with Worcestershire sauce every so often. Assemble them with your favorite buns and toppings such as lettuce, tomato, cheese, and pickles.

Marinated Chicken and Onion Kebabs

How about trying something unique this summer? This Indian-inspired Chicken and Onion Kebab recipe will give you something fun to try.

It’s pretty simple. Just mix up the sauce made from yogurt and Indian spices and let your chicken marinate in it for 15 minutes. Skewer the chicken bits alternately with big slices of onion and pop it on the grill.

Eat it with naan (traditional Indian flatbread) for the most authentic flavor!

Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs

Anything tastes better when it’s wrapped in bacon, right? We think you’ll agree once you try bacon-wrapped hot dogs. What’s more, you don’t have to be a grill master to whip these babies up. Simply wrap your hot dogs in bacon and toss them on the grill.

Add any number of creative toppings to create a variety of flavors. Try pineapple and scallions, avocado and hot sauce, Jalapeños and cream cheese, or simply smother it in cheddar cheese. Regardless of what you choose, your taste buds will thank you.

Grilled Tempeh Salad

Just because it’s a grill doesn’t mean you have to grill meat on it. There are plenty of scrumptious vegan dishes that can be made on a grill. Check out this Grilled Tempeh Salad with peaches and pistachios, for example.

Simply marinate and grill the tempeh and the peaches. Lay them on a bed of greens with the homemade dressing, tofu feta, and a sprinkle of pistachios and voila! A gourmet, grilled, vegan meal that anyone would love!

Grilling Up Your Summer Meals

Here at Willow Creek Crossing Apartments, residents are welcome to use the grills in our park for their summer meal creations. You can get outside and enjoy a little fresh air and sunshine. If you prefer to stay closer to your kitchen, you are also welcome to set up an electric grill (please no gas or charcoal grills) on your patio.

For those of you looking for an apartment community that allows grilling, give us a call. We’ll be happy to show you around!

Things to Do While Stuck Inside During the Coronavirus Quarantine

stuck inside

stuck inside

Effective March 25, the state of Indiana is under a directive to stay indoors to help slow the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Most regions are under similar restrictions. And if you’ve been online at all, you might have noticed all your friends and relatives growing a little stir-crazy.

Most people aren’t used to being stuck inside for such a prolonged period of time. And by now, they’re quickly running out of things to keep themselves occupied. So to help stave-off cabin fever, here are our top suggestions to keep you occupied while social distancing.

Take Advantage of Remote Experiences

The sudden surge in coronavirus cases threw everyone for a loop. Not only are public places shuttered, but events planned months in advance needed to be canceled. However, some artists and performers are determined not to leave their fans hanging.

Performers such as Ben Folds and Pink have already organized remote performances for everyone to view. Many more are going online to try to brighten their fans’ stints in quarantine.

Many public institutions have likewise found ways to engage the public from afar. The Chicago Aquarium, for example, took the circumstances as an opportunity to let some of its inhabitants have some extra enrichment. Taking their resident penguins on a field trip around the aquarium, staff members recorded the whole thing for the public to enjoy.

Arrange a Digital Hangout

For many of us, the most difficult part of staying at home is not being separated from friends and loved ones. While there’s no real substitute for person-to-person contact, people all over the world are making do with the circumstances presented to them.

Many are turning to services like Skype or Zoom to arrange virtual hang-outs, happy hours, watch parties, or game nights.

And speaking of games, those too are helping friends overcome the distance separating them. The latest installment in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing series has already proved immensely popular, thanks in large part because it allows players to meet up in a laid-back environment.

Work Through Your Media Bucket List

Everyone has a stack of books or an untouched streaming queue that they’ve just been putting off because life gets in the way. Well, they say every cloud has a silver lining.

Whether you’ve been waiting to give a trending show a binge-watch or finally read some mammoth book series end-to-end, there is no time like the present.

The Most Important Thing While Stuck Inside is to Keep Occupied

These are strange, uncertain times for everyone. But we can at least take comfort in the knowledge that we’re stuck inside together. And together, we will see the other side of this.

In the meantime, keeping your mind active and occupied will help to keep your spirits high. In addition to these suggestions, it might help to think about things you’d like to do after this quarantine has come to an end.

For example, since you’ll be spending a lot of time indoors, you might find yourself thinking about making a few design changes. If you start getting tired of your decor, check out our guide on furnishing a modern apartment for ideas on how you can revitalize your living space.

The Newlywed Game: 5 Tips for Couples Moving in Together for the First Time

tips for couples moving in together

tips for couples moving in together

If you’re recently married and moving in together for the first time, there’s likely going to be plenty of ups and downs along the way.

While moving in together can be an exciting experience, there are a few crucial things that every couple should keep in mind for a happy life.

Read on for a list of five tips for couples moving in together that will make the transition smooth and seamless.

1. Hash Out Your Finances

Before you move in together, you should sit down together as a couple and go over your financial budget. Doing this before you move in will make the process much easier along the way.

Come up with a list of your incomes and all of your expenses to find out where you might be able to save. When you do this in advance, financial troubles are less likely to come back and haunt you later.

2. Agree On An Emergency Fund

One of the most important tips for couples moving in together is to come up with an amount to put into an emergency fund. This fund should only be used in serious emergencies, and it will give you both peace of mind.

You can each contribute an equal amount to the fund or agree to add to it as you go. When you have this type of money already in place, it takes the pressure off if you ever need it later to make rent or house payments and other expenses.

3. Get Ready to Downsize

If you both had your own place before, you probably have double the stuff. Be prepared to downsize some of your belongings and sell or donate them before moving day.

Talk about the big items you both have and agree on who will keep what and who will get rid of what. Furniture like the bed, sofa, and other big items should be decided on before you move in so you can downsize your stuff in advance.

4. Make a List of What You Need

Whether it’s cleaning supplies or pantry staples, every couple will have a list of must-have items they need before they move in. Put your heads together and decide which items you’ll need to buy for your new home.

Things like towels and sheets should be something you already have, while curtains and rugs might be something you need to buy. You might be surprised at what your other half has, so write it all down beforehand so you don’t end up buying things you don’t need.

5. Compromise is Key

Even if you’re newly married, you’re not going to agree on everything. Remember to compromise on certain things and pick your battles wisely.

As long as you both agree on the apartment and the payment, the rest should be fairly easy. All good relationships require compromise in order for them to work.

Make the Most of These Tips for Couples Moving in Together

Use these helpful tips for couples moving in together so you’ll have all of your finances and belongings straight before moving day. When you learn to work as a team, cohabitating will be a much more pleasant experience.

If you’re looking for apartments in the Fort Wayne area, visit our website and apply online today!

5 Ways to Add Personality to an Apartment WITHOUT Painting the Walls

add personality to an apartment

add personality to an apartmentDid you know that research indicates that your home decor can have a significant impact on your mood? Creating a residential space that is uniquely your own can make you feel comfortable and help you unwind at the end of the day.

Of course, this can be admittedly difficult to do when you live in an apartment. Your landlord may have regulations that prevent you from painting the walls or hanging photos. But these restrictions don’t have to stop you from creating a space you’ll love.

Check out this guide to learn how to add personality to an apartment without breaking your lease agreement.

1. Removable Wallpaper

Think that wallpaper is only for your grandmother’s house? Think again. Modern wallpapers with trendy designs can be a great way to add a personal touch to a room.

Of course, traditional wallpapers are not an option for apartment living, as they can leave residue on the walls. But luckily, removable wallpaper offers a way to decorate your walls without damage. With this product, the wallpaper will easily peel off, leaving no trace.

2. Add Curtains

Generic white blinds can make your apartment look boring. That is why another great way to add color to the walls in your apartments is to hang window treatments.

Curtains are both a functional way to keep light out of the room and an attractive way to make the room look more interesting. Consider choosing curtains in a bright color to add an accent to your walls.

3. Hang Artwork

Just because you can’t put holes in the walls doesn’t mean that you can’t hang artwork. Using command strips or wall putty can make it easy to hang paintings or family photos without damaging the walls.

Hanging pictures with different colors in them can help draw attention to a certain part of the wall. Another creative idea is to choose multiple pictures of different sizes and arrange them in an interesting way.

4. Make Bookshelves a Focal Point

Bookshelves are obviously a good place to store your books. But that does not have to be their only function. You can also place decorative items on top of the bookshelf or arrange knick-knacks, flowers, and photos on the shelves. This can be a good way to display artwork without having to hang it on the walls.

5. Rearrange Your Furniture

Want to make your living space more interesting? Consider arranging the furniture in a different way. For instance, instead of pushing furniture up against the wall, use your couch to divide the room into two separate spaces.

Add Personality to An Apartment Today

With these tips in hand, you will soon be able to add personality to an apartment and make it your own.

Ready to get into an apartment you will love? Apply online today to take the first step to getting in your new home.

5 Single Mom Budgeting Ideas To Help You Save More Cash

single mom budgeting

single mom budgetingDid you know there are around 80 percent of children in the United States are in single mother households? Are you the head of one of these households and looking for ways to save money every month? Look no further. Here’s a list of the best ways to save with single mom budgeting.

Single Mom Budgeting Using Weekly Ads

You know those annoying junk ads you get in the mail every week that take up space in the mailbox? Those can actually come in quite handy for budgeting. Weekly ads can have savings for anything ranging from food to clothing, and even oil changes! If you keep an eye out for the right deals, you’ll save even more.

Budgeting with Coupons

Along the lines of weekly ads, you can use coupons. Coupons can be collected and used along with store sales and discounts. Check online for deals and online coupons. There are even websites that offer coupons, so check around.

Make a Food Budget

Another way to make it as a single mom is to make a budget for your grocery bill. Experts say the best way to figure out your food budget is to use six percent of your income toward groceries and then you can use five percent of any unused money toward eating out.

Using coupons is also a good way to help stretch those dollars. As is finding recipes that don’t require a lot of ingredients. You can really make your groceries go a long way when you plan your menu right.

Save Money on Living Arrangments

By living in an apartment, you can save yourself a lot of money too. Not only do you save on property taxes, but you can also save on repairs and lawn equipment. Of course, if situations get dire, you can always enlist the help of roommates to pick up the slack on the rent. That isn’t the easiest thing to do when the mortgage of a house is placed solely on your shoulders.

Single Parents Advice About Debt

Of course, budgeting is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you and your family can thrive in a single parent home. But it’s easy to get into debt if you’re not careful. So, the surest way to make sure you are keeping yourself afloat is to pay off your bills on time and don’t accumulate too many credit cards.

Apartments to Make Your Family Feel at Home

If you’re looking for a place to call home, Willow Creek Crossing has affordable apartments for you and your family that we’re sure you’ll love. Give us a call today to schedule your tour!

If you liked reading about single mom budgeting try, “Apartment Budgeting Tips for First Time Renters [Budget Worksheet]“.

Spring Cleaning Tips You Need to Try in Your Apartment

spring cleaning tips

spring cleaning tips

Spring is here! And you know what that means. It’s time for spring cleaning.

This annual cleaning frenzy is a worldwide occurrence that is actually rooted in ancient Jewish, Iranian, and Chinese cultures. And when you think about it, it makes sense why this tradition would have spread all over our modern world. After all, Spring is a time for rebirth and regeneration.

So get your cleaning products ready and your work clothes on! And don’t let this seemingly big undertaking stress you out. By following these simple spring cleaning tips, you’ll have an organized plan that can’t fail.

Clean One Room at a Time

There’s no easier way to get overwhelmed and set yourself up for failure than by starting a bunch of little tasks and not finishing them right away. For example, if you’re organizing your closet and realize you need the duster to clean off a shelf, so you walk into the kitchen only to remember that you were going to take all of the fine china out for cleaning, so you start doing that… well, you get the picture. It’s a mess!

By focusing on one room and one task at a time, you’ll be managing your time appropriately and keeping yourself focused mentally. Having a bunch of half-finished projects all over the house is sure to leave you feeling frazzled.

Make a List

And speaking of going one room at a time, it’s a good idea to plan your attack strategy ahead of time as well. Walk through each room of your home with a notepad and jot down each task that needs to be completed before you begin cleaning.

This will help you stay on track and give you a realistic time frame of how long your spring clean may take. Cleaning on multiple days is a great idea!

Get Others Involved

If you live with your family or roommates, get them involved! After all, why should you be the one doing all the work if everyone will be enjoying a nice clean home as a result?

After you’ve made a plan for each room in your home, sit down with your co-inhabitors and assign appropriate tasks to each person. Or, better yet, get volunteers for tasks which they don’t mind undertaking. And don’t forget to share these valuable spring cleaning tips with them for extra efficiency!

Don’t Forget These Often Overlooked Tasks

It’s easy to forget certain tasks when you’re cleaning your apartment. Check out this handy list of commonly forgotten activities!

Flip Your Mattresses

In each bedroom in your apartment, flip those mattresses! It will help everyone sleep better.

Check Smoke Detector Batteries

And change them if needed. Here’s how!

Check Expiration Dates

This doesn’t just apply to the condiments in your fridge. Check the prescriptions in your medicine cabinet as well and properly dispose of anything that has expired.

Stick with These Spring Cleaning Tips for Success

If you follow the tips above, you’ll experience an organized, thorough, and rewarding spring cleaning experience. Just remember to make a list, take it room by room, get the whole gang involved, and don’t forget those easily overlooked tasks!

If you need multiple days to complete your spring clean, don’t stress. Just take each task in turn and watch the list dwindle until your apartment is sparkling clean!

Want more tips and info? Check out our blog. Or, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us anytime.

5 Clever Small Bedroom Closet Ideas for Apartments

small bedroom closet ideas

small bedroom closet ideas

Living in a smaller space after downsizing can be a challenge when it comes to storage. But this doesn’t mean you should live in an overstuffed apartment and trip over piles of clothes and shoes. There are clever hacks you can use to create extra storage space, even in the tiniest of homes. And with a little bit of effort, you can have a clean, organized bedroom closet in no time.

You may be wondering how you can add space in an already packed apartment. To help you out, we gathered the most genius small bedroom closet ideas. By implementing our suggestions, you’ll have more room to store seasonal items and neatly organize everyday clothes.

So keep reading to discover the easiest ways to get extra storage out of small closets.

1. Use Woven Baskets

Woven baskets are the modern way of storing things you can’t find a suitable place for. You can use them for clothes, socks, underwear, linens and even shoes. They’re also stylish and fit easily into almost any decor, so you’ll have everything tucked away neatly. The baskets can also act as drawers if you place them in a row on a bookshelf.

2. Hang Items On The Closet Door and Empty Walls

Even in a small bedroom closet, empty spaces can be easily turned into storage. Consider hanging some of your things on the inside of the closet door. You can use hooks, rods or over-the-door organizers to store shoes, belts, accessories, socks or other small items.

3. Get a Bed Frame With Storage Space

If you can, shop for a new bed frame with included storage space. This can be done by under-the-bed drawers or headboard storage. These bed frames provide extra space for seasonal garments like jackets, boots, sweaters, and blankets. But you can also use them for linens, duvet covers, extra pillows, and towels.

4. Use Shelf Dividers and Under-Shelf Baskets

If you have closet shelves extending from wall to wall, use shelf dividers to maximize the use of space. This way, you won’t have stacks of clothes, but a nice, organized closet. You can use the dividers to keep your bags straight or place woven baskets for added storage.

Under-shelf baskets are another great addition to your closet shelves. Simply hang them under the shelf and you have even more storage space for keeping smaller things like accessories, underwear, socks etc.

5. Use Tension Rods to Hang Your Shoes

The walls in your closet (or even bedroom) are considered potential storage space. So if you’re wondering where to put all your shoes, the solution is to hang them on the wall using tension rods. Other than shoes, you can also hang other lightweight items like shirts, pants, workout gear and more.

Now Go Put These Small Bedroom Closet Ideas into Use

Squeezing out some extra storage space when downsizing is not a walk in the park. But with our simple suggestions, you can easily make more space in your small bedroom closet.

Do you have any small bedroom closet ideas to add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Decorate Your First Apartment: 5 Stylish Tips

first apartment

first apartment

Renting an apartment is a great way to gain independence without busting your budget. Finding your first apartment is always exciting, but how do you make it your own?

Decorating Your First Apartment

If this is your first time renting, you may be nervous about making any changes to the space. But while you probably won’t be ripping out cabinets or tearing up carpets, there’s actually a lot you can do to make an apartment feel like home.

1. Sort Out Your Storage

Adequate storage is a must, especially if you’re downsizing from a house. Take a good look at the items you have, and what types of storage will work best. If you have a lot of books and movies, shelving units are a great option. For general clutter (or an oversupply of shoes and accessories), woven baskets are an attractive way to stash away these items.

2. Find the Right Furniture Fit

Don’t start shopping for furniture before you measure each wall and doorway of your apartment. Determine how much space you have, and how much room each item will occupy.

If you have a small living room, take that into account when couch shopping. Also, remember to factor in issues like staircases and elevators when it’s time to move furniture inside. Even if a sofa will fit in your living room, that doesn’t mean it’ll make it up the stairs.

3. Remember Texture

Most items in your first apartment will serve a specific function, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have character! Size isn’t the only thing to keep in mind when choosing furniture. Consider different upholstery options to see what you like. And regardless of whether your apartment has carpeting, hardwoods, or tile floors, an area rug can add new life to a space.

Get a feel for different materials, colors, and styles when choosing room accents. And remember to pick something that you’ll want to use! A bold, flannel couch might make a statement, but is it comfortable to sit on?

4. Entertaining Options

No matter what size your first apartment is, you’ll want room for guests to get comfortable. In addition to seating, find tables that can be placed within easy reach of each guest. Coffee tables are common in a living room, but accent tables and end tables also work well throughout a space. And even if you don’t have room for a dining room table, consider collapsible options or side consoles that can be pulled out for larger gatherings.

5. DIY Flair

Renting your first apartment is a significant milestone. Create something that bridges the gap between where you’ve come from, and where you’re going. Create a piece of art using leftover paint or other supplies from your move. Or, find a map of your hometown and frame it on the wall if you’ve moved further away.

It can even be as simple as repainting an old dresser to give it new life. Either way, it’s about finding ways represent yourself in your new home.

Taking That First Step

Moving in and personalizing your first apartment is an exciting time in anyone’s life. But first, you need to find that apartment! Browse our available apartments to see what’s right for you.

How to Save Money on Your Utility Bill: 5 Simple Solutions

utility bill

utility bill

Are you looking for a way to cut down on monthly costs but not sure how? Sometimes, the promise of a cheap rent can be spoiled by the reality of high utility bills. While some prices, like internet and tv, are set in stone each month, many utilities fluctuate from month to month and could break your budget. And although you may think you have no control over these fluctuations, you have a lot more than you think. You can save money every month on your utility bill, you just have to be smart about it.

So how do you outsmart the bill? Read this article to discover 5 simple solutions for saving money on your utility bill.

1. Sniff Out the Vampires

It’s time to channel your inner Bella from Twilight and ward off some vampires. Don’t worry, no strings of garlic will be needed. All you need to do is take a quick walk around your house and unplug all of those devices that aren’t in use. Leaving devices plugged in 24/7 is a huge energy sucker. In fact, these “vampire appliances” take up an average of 10 percent of your bill for the year.

If you’re not using it, unplug it!

2. Temperature

Instead of reaching for the thermostat next time you’re cold, reach for a sweater. For every one degree you lower your thermostat, you can save three percent on your heating bill. That may not seem like a lot, but by consistently lowering the thermostat a couple degrees and you can save hundreds of dollars every year. And, that goes the same for the Summer months too! Keep your air conditioner turned up a couple of degrees to save money.

3. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

Remembering to drop or increase the temperature in order to save money is a lot easier task if you have a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you don’t have to worry about switching the temp when you’re running out the house in the morning. Installing one is fairly simple, so talk to your landlord about making the switch. If for some reason they won’t budge, just set reminders on your smartphone to stay on top of it.

4. Keep Your Appliances Efficient

Some of your appliances may actually be the culprit in your high energy bill, even if they are in perfect working order. For example, you can save money on your water bill by skipping the hand rinse before putting your dishes in, as most newer models can tackle the full clean for you. Switching to air-dry instead of heat-dry is another dishwasher trick that can save some money.

When it comes to laundry, wait until you have a full load to wash and make sure to remove the lint from the dryer every time. Doing so means better air flow and faster dry times. Not to mention, too much lint can be a safety hazard.

5. Contact Your Utility Company

Believe it or not, your utility company also wants to help you save money. Many of them have programs and incentives in place to encourage energy-efficient consumption, so contact yours to get the details.

Utility Bill Wrap Up

All these savings may not seem like a lot on their own, but by incorporating all of these practices you can save some serious dough. Got any questions about making energy-saving decisions? Drop a comment below. And, be sure to check out our selection of apartments if you are currently on the look out in Fort Wayne. 

Declutter Your Apartment and Make Money!

where to sell your stuff for casg

where to sell your stuff for casg

Where to sell your old stuff for cash

We all know we have more stuff than we really need. But the thought of cleaning out closets and drawers can seem overwhelming. What if you think about how much cash you can get from all that stuff that’s just sitting there gathering dust? That’s a motivator, right? So, if you’re ready to do a little early Spring cleaning to simplify your life, there are loads of ways to unload your unwanted possessions — and make money at the same time!

Sell Your Stuff Locally

Consignment Stores

We all have clothes in our closet that we never wear. Why not turn them into cash! Sell your gently-used, in-style clothes to a consignment store.  Some consignment stores also take gently-used furniture and home decor items.

Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are a great place to sell electronics and musical instruments that you no longer need.

Craigslist

You can also find local buyers with Craigslist for almost anything in your apartment. However, always exercise caution when meeting a potential buyer. If you can, don’t meet them at your apartment. Instead, meet them in a public place. Some police departments let you meet buyers in their parking lot. Stop in and let them know you’re there before meeting the buyer.

Facebook

Facebook is not only a great place to catch up with friends, it’s also a great place to sell your stuff! Join online garage sale groups (search for your city) or you can post items for sale to your Facebook friend list.

Sell Your Stuff Online

Of course, it’s also easy to sell stuff online. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Swap.com  – “The Largest Online Consignment and Thrift Store for Women’s, Men’s, Baby & Kids’ Clothing and Accessories”
  • eBay – the original Online Auction site for just about everything
  • Bonanza –  similar to eBay with lower seller fees
  • Poshmark –  sell designer clothing
  • LetGo – “sell used stuff in the US”
  • Buffalo Exchange – “New and Recycled Fashion”
  • IDO/NOWIDONT – sell used wedding or engagement rings
  • Swappa.com – “for gently used mobile tech”
  • Gazelle – “giving new life to used cell phones and other tech”

A good way to get ready to sell is to go through all your stuff and pull out things that you haven’t used in at least two years. Consolidate them in one spot, then using the sources above, sort them into the selling categories that work best for you. Happy decluttering and enjoy the new cash flow!