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Apartment Living

How to Host a Holiday Dinner in Your First Apartment

How to Host a Holiday Dinner in Your First Apartment

One of the joys of living alone is, well, being alone. You get to choose when to have people over, and all your living space is just yours, nobody else’s. So when you’re having a bunch of people over for a holiday dinner in your apartment, preparing for the big night can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if your apartment is on the smaller side. Don’t fret, though – other people have done it time and time again, and you can, too. Here’s how to host a holiday dinner in your first apartment.

Make the best of your space

Trying to relegate dinner to your kitchen? You might want to consider other options. If your living room and bedroom are right next to each other – or, better yet, if your front door, living room, and bedroom are all in a straight line with no doorways separating them – you might want to break out an expanding or folding table for the holiday.

With a long enough folding table, you don’t have to worry about struggling to seat everybody, and you can achieve the classic dining room table feel of holiday dinners from your childhood. You’ll have plenty of tabletop space on which to place food for everyone to serve themselves, and with classy tablecloths, candles, cloth napkins, and other decorations adorning your table, nobody will notice just how much space your gathering occupies.

Make even more of your space

Properly using your space to accommodate a large number of visitors isn’t just about having a big table for the feast. Have a plan in place for where to stash coats and bags – the holidays can get cold, and they lead to lots of travel – and reorganize your furniture to allow more room for movement and give the illusion of a larger apartment. This doesn’t necessarily mean pushing your heavy, big couch all the way across the room – it means moving the coffee table to the far end of your apartment or designating it as the go-to spot for hors d’oeuvres.

Set the mood right

Even if you do everything you can to make more room for your guests and set up a killer dinner table, your visitors could still feel a bit claustrophobic. Proper mood lighting can help make your apartment feel less overwhelming. Dim your lights for an elegant, calm, restaurant-like ambiance while still keeping things bright enough that everyone can see what’s in front of them. Add candles to make things seem just a bit fancier. Quietly play soft, relaxing music in the background to really drive home the mood.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

No matter how you decorate, make room for movement, or set up seating, your holiday dinner in your apartment will be far more enjoyable for everyone – yourself included – if you get all the night’s food and drinks ready in advance. Get started on the night’s big ham first thing the morning of the dinner, and make sure that baked mac ‘n’ cheese is good to go a good 15 minutes before your first guests arrive. And hey, if you can’t quite get it all done before your guests arrive, then distract them with appetizers and drinks they can enjoy before the main courses are ready.

What tips do you have for how to host a holiday dinner in your first apartment? Sound off in the comments!

Published at Mon, 09 Dec 2019 13:52:27 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Baton Rouge Neighborhoods Where Rent Prices are Increasing the Most

Baton Rouge Neighborhoods Where Rent Prices are Increasing the Most

While New Orleans gets all the press and attention, Louisiana’s state capital of Baton Rouge is quietly sitting under the radar.

Just 100 minutes up I-10 from the Big Easy, Baton Rouge offers the best of Louisiana, but in a more laid back, less touristy setting.

Baton Rouge features its own versions of great Cajun cuisine, hot Delta blues and a vacation-worthy Mardi Gras featuring the wonderful Krewe of Mystique Parade. But despite the similarities, the state capital city is also a world away from its NOLA neighbor to the south, with smaller crowds, a lower cost of living, lower crime rate and a 30,000-head research university in Louisiana State — not to mention its three-time championship football team.

Just like in the Crescent City, the living is easy in Baton Rouge for long-time residents and new arrivals alike. But which Baton Rouge neighborhoods have seen the largest increases in rental prices over the last 12 months?

We compared the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in every Baton Rouge neighborhood on Rent.com to prices in those same spots a year ago. From this, we determined the five Baton Rouge neighborhoods where rent has increased the most year to year.

5. Old Goodwood

Old Goodwood baton rouge

  • Price increase over the past year: 0.44 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Old Goodwood: $812.93
Source: The Patrician

Set within the larger Mid-City South district, the Baton Rouge neighborhood of Old Goodwood is located southeast of downtown, a historic neighborhood among the oldest outside of the city center. The area is a diverse and close-knit community featuring single-family homes and small apartment complexes, cozy bungalows all the way up to million-dollar mansions.

But the most renowned home in Old Goodwood sits on the Goodwood Plantation. Long before residential development came to the neighborhood, the historic Goodwood Plantation home sat as the centerpiece of the 2,000-acre plantation that dates back to the 1850s.

Set away from downtown to avoid malaria and yellow fever outbreaks, the home was a modern miracle at the time, the first in Baton Rouge with running water, utilizing rainwater collected in zinc-lined cisterns, allowing the home to feature the first plumbing-connected bathtubs, showers and wash-stands.

In the 1930s, a community began to spring up around the old plantation along the then-gravel Goodwood Avenue, utilizing much of the former plantation’s property as pieces were sold off in lots. Today, even the park surrounding the plantation home is under development, as the 47-lot boutique Adelia development remains under construction. Much of the rest of Old Goodwood’s blocks away from the plantation is residential, but there are more than homes filling the space between Old Goodwood’s borders.

On the eastern side is the campus of Baton Rouge Community College and the retail and fast-casual restaurant corridor along Government Street and Jefferson Highway. And situated out west are the green space grounds of Independence Community Park.

The main park space offers activities including shuffleboard, athletic fields, a model airplane field and a “children’s forest.” The surrounding land features a botanic garden, garden café and bakery, 12-court tennis center, the Liberty Lagoon water park and the 780-seat Independence Park Theatre and Cultural Center that houses concerts, plays, seminars and ceremonies. The main branch of the East Baton Rouge Public Library also sits on the space, featuring genealogy and local history archives.

With an ever-increasing profile, Old Goodwood is on the rise, as are rental prices — slightly. The average rent for a one-bedroom stands at $813 a month, an increase of .44 percent from a year ago.

Fun Fact: The Goodwood Plantation was the main shooting location for the 1967 Otto Preminger film “Hurry Sundown” starring Michael Kaine and Jane Fonda. For the shoot, Preminger’s crew planted cornfields, erecting small houses and created a scale reservoir and dam filled with 18 million gallons of water.

4. Mid-City

mid-city baton rouge

  • Price increase over the past year: 2.10 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Mid-City: $740.61
Source: Provincial & The Crillon Apartments

There are many definitions of what outlines the borders of Baton Rouge’s Mid-City. “Mid-City North” reaches all the way up to where the Baton Rouge Bypass of Airline Highway (U.S. Routes 61 and 190) crosses the Mississippi at the Huey P. Long/O.K. Allen Bridge and “Mid-City South” stretches from just west of downtown out to the Airline Highway cloverleaf with I-12. One planning classification bounds it by I-110 and I-10 to Foster and Choctaw.

Regardless of which borders are considered, it’s the district from I-110 to Lobdell Avenue between Choctaw and Westdale Heights that’s the heart of Mid-City. This region contains some of Baton Rouge’s most prestigious and historic neighborhoods including Ogden Park, Bernard Terrace, Lobdell Woodale, Capital Heights and Ardenwood. But the one community that stands above the crowd is Baton Rouge’s Garden District.

An economically and socially diverse region, the Garden District is where young working professionals and artists congregate and is one of Baton Rouge’s most LGBTQ-friendly communities. The Garden District features a number of upscale homes and bungalows and is steeped in history. In fact, three separate Historic Districts define much of the neighborhood.

Baton Rouge’s first subdivision, the Roseland Terrace Historic District dates from 1911 and is dotted with one- and two-story single-family homes. The most famous is undoubtedly the Reiley-Reeves House, the last remaining Queen Anne Revival style home complete with turret and steeple.

The district had previously been a rural area housing a racetrack ringed with Cherokee rose-covered fencing, which laid rise to the district’s moniker and the area’s many flower-themed street names. The Drehr Place and Kleinert Terrace Historic Districts also lie within the Garden District and offer nearly 200 properties in the historic zone including the individually-listed Sanders House on Wisteria Street, the Pecue House on Myrtle Avenue and the Manship House on Kleinert.

Smack in the middle of Mid-City is the Mid-City Campus of the Baton Rouge General Medical Center opened in the early 1900s and the historic non-denominational Roselawn Cemetery with gravesites of famous Baton Rougeans like Olympian Willie Davenport and civil rights activist Governor Henry Fuqua.

A large retail and service business corridor surrounds the intersection of Government Street and South Foster Drive near Baton Rouge Community College in the aforementioned Old Goodwood district.

This well-known region of Baton Rouge is generally affordable, with a one-bedroom apartment leasing for $740 a month on average. But that represents a slight rise of 2.1 percent from this time last year.

Fun Fact: The ground-breaking 1989 film “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” takes place and was shot in Mid-City’s Garden District. The film was the first to be written and directed by the legendary Steven Soderbergh, who spent his high school years in Baton Rouge.

3. O’Neal

O

  • Price increase over the past year: 2.26 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in O’Neal: $902.67
Source: Lakeside Villas

A small tract of land on the East Baton Rouge/Livingston Parish border, the neighborhood of O’Neal is getting itself a big profile. Tucked in along the western bank of the Amite River and the northern shore of Jones Creek south of Interstate 12, much of the area is forested swaths of Shenandoah woodland. In fact, the entire western portion of the O’Neal neighborhood is entirely Louisiana forest along the floodplain of the Amite River crosscut by the Honey Cut Bayou.

All that forested land gives residents sets of amazing views and a vast wooded backyard. But two subdivisions within O’Neal offer a suburban lifestyle at the edge of the city. South of South Harrells Ferry Road is the community of Woodshire Village. The area features several intertwining blocks of planned community-style single-family homes nestled along the forest line and among a number of small ponds formed within the bow between the Amrite and Jones Creek. The eastern edge of Woodshire Village contains a selection of rental properties and small apartment buildings around St. Jean Vianney Church’s geodesic dome.

And the eastern corner of the neighborhood, south of the Interstate between O’Neal Lane and Millerville Road, offers a transitional district of urban-edge, highway-adjacent peripheral land in the Li Rocchi subdivision. Li Rocchi offers tightly-aligned single-family homes along open streets and cul-de-sacs, along with a few rental properties including Camden Lake, Lakeside Villas and Regent Apartment Homes.

Nearly all of O’Neal’s commercial businesses lie along O’Neal Lane off I-12’s exit 7, including a Walmart Supercenter, local Louisiana eateries like The Jambalaya Shoppe and Rice & Roux and, of course, a Sonic Drive-In and a Waffle House. The large Ochsner Medical Center and Health Center also lie within the Li Rocchi district of O’Neal.

Locals are slowly discovering this convenient and woodsy neighborhood. Rents here run just over $900 for an average one-bedroom apartment, which is up 2.26 percent from twelve months ago.

Fun Fact: The stretch of O’Neal Lane between South Harrell’s Ferry Road and the diamond interchange with I-12 was formerly a state highway signed as Louisiana Highway 3245, but the state route designation was terminated in 2018 as part of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Road Transfer program. Now, it’s just a road.

2. Downtown

Downtown baton rouge

  • Price increase over the past year: 4.33 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in Downtown: $1,354.28

It should stand as no surprise that Downtown is the heart of Baton Rouge’s entertainment and cultural life. And being the capital of Louisiana, Downtown is also the center of government within the entire state. Spread out along the Mississippi River waterfront to Interstate 110, also known as the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway, from U.S. Business Route 190/61 (Chippewa Street) south to the Downtown Baton Rouge Historic District.

The area around the Downtown Baton Rouge Historic District, along Third and Fourth Streets from Main Street to North Boulevard, offers a number of museums, eateries, bars and historic buildings on the south end of downtown. Cultural stops include the Shaw Center for the Arts, which houses the Manship Theatre performance venue, Brunner Gallery and the LSU Museum of Art, and the Louisiana Art and Science Museum inside historic Baton Rouge Station, which includes permanent exhibits on Ancient Egypt and the Solar System.

Nearby is the castle-like Old Louisiana State Capitol, which was in government use until 1932 and is now the Museum of Political History. Main Street Market offers a number of retail shops, cafes and a number of events throughout the year. National and regional touring acts hit the stage at the Basin Music Hall, Baton Rouge’s newest live venue, and Stroubes Chophouse, Capital City Grill and Tsunami, with rooftop dining, offer some of BR’s best cuisine.

Further north surrounding Capitol Lake is the current Louisiana government complex. The focal point is obviously the Louisiana State Capitol Building, the tallest building in Baton Rouge, where Governor Huey P. Long was fatally shot by Carl Weiss on September 8, 1935.

The capitol complex has two urban green spaces, Capitol State Park and Veteran’s Memorial Park, and also features the Capitol Park Museum, the Louisiana Welcome Center and the Pentagon Barracks Museum. Culture and history not your thing? Just a mile and a half from the Capitol is the riverside riverboat Hollywood Casino.

If sports (outside of LSU football) are your thing, downtown offers both the BREC Memorial Stadium, a 21,500-seat stadium dating back to 1952 for high school football, concerts and even monster truck rallies, and Goldsby Field, which was built in 1956 for the semi-pro Baton Rouge Red Sticks with a grandstand that accommodates 2,000.

Unlike many downtowns, Downtown Baton Rouge offers very limited housing, especially for renters. That demand is one reason why rents downtown are up 4.33 percent from last year, averaging $1,354 for a one-bedroom unit.

Fun Fact: On display at the Capitol Park Museum is the Bayou St. John submarine, a Civil War-era, 20-foot long submersible that was purposely sunk by its own Confederate troops in 1862 to avoid the technology from falling into Union hands. The submarine was discovered during the dredging of Bayou St. John in New Orleans in 1878 and has been on display (and under restoration) in Baton Rouge since 1999.

1. North Baton Rouge

north baton rouge

  • Price increase over the past year: 6.87 percent
  • Average rent for one-bedroom in North Baton Rouge: $671.86
Source: Bellemont Victoria Apartments

Around Downtown? Near the LSU campus? Up by Scotlandville? Where would you find the fastest growing neighborhood in Baton Rouge? The surprising answer is the neck above Mid-City of North Baton Rouge.

The urban neighborhood of 44,000 is finding a new foothold as a growing residential district after many years of poor economic health and safety issues. Lease prices in North Baton Rouge are low, with rents of just $672 on average for a one-bedroom, but that comes as the largest increase in B.R., up 6.87 percent from a year ago.

North Baton Rouge sits a bit northeast of Downtown, bounded by the North Acadian Thruway and Airline Highway between Prescott Road and Choctaw Drive down to Washington Avenue. Sitting with portions in Mid-City North and Midway Place, much of North Baton Rouge surrounds the community of Howell Park. And central to the neighborhood is the large Howell Community Park, which is undergoing major redevelopment.

Howell Community Park sits in the middle of North Baton Rouge and the co-named Howell Park neighborhood, bisected by Hurricane Creek waterway. Built as a super-regional park, meant to serve more than just its immediate community, the existing western half of the park offers a swimming pool with an educational aquatics program, three picnic pavilions and a large space-themed community playground, including a rocket ship-shaped jungle gym. The adjacent athletic fields contain a baseball diamond, an indoor basketball court, two tennis courts and a walking track.

Until 2015, the eastern half of the large park featured a public, 18-hole golf course. The Recreation and Park Commission voted unanimously to close the underused course and turn it into a large extension of the playground and athletic facility.

Utilizing a $2 million grant, the city is currently in the middle of redeveloping the park into a brand new facility that will feature a boathouse with a fishing and paddling pond, lighted outdoor basketball courts, a multipurpose athletic field, grassy amphitheater, paved track, an adventure-themed playground and, in a concession to those opposed to shuttering the golf course, a putting and chipping practice area and “First Tee” youth golf educational program.

Most of the rest of North Baton Rouge is residential, a mix of small single-family homes, multi-family residences and a number of apartment buildings and rental complexes. A few commercial corridors can be found around the outskirts of the neighborhood, primarily along Airline Highway across Greenwell Springs Road, which shares a cloverleaf interchange. The former food desert now offers a Hi Nabor Supermarket along its east side and a Piggly Wiggly along the west, in addition to several small markets.

Fun Fact: North Baton Rouge’s main secondary school is Istrouma High School, whose name comes from the Choctaw word for “red stick,” or “baton rouge.” Due to falling enrollment, the school was closed from 2014 to 2017, but reopened in 2017 after $24 million in renovations were complete. The school’s most famous alumnus was football player Billy Cannon who won the 1959 Heisman Trophy while playing at LSU and was Most Valuable Player of the first two AFL championship games as a member of the Houston Oilers.

Methodology

We looked at all neighborhoods in Baton Rouge with sufficient available inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com and compared the average price from November 2018 to November 2019 to find the neighborhoods with the highest percentage increase in one-bedroom apartment prices.

The current rent information included in this article is based on November 2019 multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com and is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.

Published at Mon, 09 Dec 2019 16:28:11 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

How Much Can Your Landlord Charge You For A Security Deposit?

State Limit

Alabama No statutory limit

Alaska Two months’ rent, except where rent exceeds $2,000 per month

Arizona One and one-half months’ rent (unless tenant voluntarily agrees to pay more)

Arkansas Two months’ rent

California Two months’ rent (unfurnished, no waterbed); two and one-half months’ rent (unfurnished, tenant has waterbed); three months’ rent(furnished, no waterbed); three and one-half months’ rent (furnished, tenant has waterbed)

Colorado No statutory limit

Connecticut Two months’ rent (tenant under 62 years of age); one month’s rent (tenant 62 years of age or older)

Delaware One month’s rent on leases for one year or more; no limit for month-to-month rental agreements

District of Columbia One month’s rent

Florida No statutory limit

Georgia No statutory limit

Hawaii One month’s rent

Idaho No statutory limit

Illinois No statutory limit

Indiana No statutory limit

Iowa Two months’ rent

Kansas One month’s rent (unfurnished, no pets); one and one-half months’ rent (unfurnished with pets or furnished with no pets)

Kentucky No statutory limit

Louisiana 30 days’ rent

Maine Two months’ rent

Maryland Two months’ rent or $50, whichever is greater

Massachusetts Two months’ rent

Michigan One and one-half months’ rent

Minnesota No statutory limit

Mississippi No statutory limit

Missouri Two months’ rent

Montana No statutory limit

Nebraska One month’s rent (no pets); one and one-quarter months’ rent (pets)

Nevada Three months’ rent

New Hampshire One month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater; no limit when landlord and tenant share facilities

New Jersey One and one-half month’s rent

New Mexico One month’s rent (for rental agreement less than one year); no limit for leases of one year or more

New York No statutory limit (for non-regulated units)

North Carolina One and one-half months’ rent for month-to-month rental agreements; two months’ rent if term is longer than two months

North Dakota One month’s rent (or $1Health Fitness Articles,500 if tenant has a pet)

Ohio No statutory limit

Oklahoma No statutory limit

Oregon No statutory limit

Pennsylvania Two months’ rent for first year of renting; one month’s rent during the second and subsequent years of renting

Rhode Island One month’s rent

South Carolina No statutory limit

South Dakota One month’s rent (higher deposit may be charged if special conditions pose a danger to maintenance of the premises)

Tennessee No statutory limit

Texas No statutory limit

Utah No statutory limit

Vermont No statutory limit

Virginia Two months’ rent

Washington No statutory limit

West Virginia No statutory limit

Wisconsin No statutory limit

Wyoming No statutory limit

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Apartment Living

Finding the Best Apartments For Your Needs

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By looking at a lot of different apartments for rent near me, you will be able to find the best one for you. This does not mean that you physically have to walk through a lot of them though. You can look them up online and find pictures of the exterior and interior. Many websites also offer floor plan layouts for you to view and much more. You might just be looking for a basic place to stay, or you might be looking for a place with a lot of features. Some people want to rent a place near a beach and there are plenty to choose from. You should always begin your search by looking at what is available in the town that you want to live in. After that, you can look at them and finding the one that offers what is important to you. Many people choose one based on location, while others choose one based on price. You will want to make sure that you only look at ones that are within your budget though. This is important because there is no point looking at units that you cannot afford. One of the things that you will want to look at in apartments is the size. If the unit is just for you, the size of it might not matter as much. If you have a spouse and a family, you may need one with several bedrooms. Having two bathrooms might also be something that is important to you. If you look around, you can find this option offered through many complexes. There are also units that offer a washer and a dryer within the unit. This is a feature that you will not find in all buildings. This is something that is great to have; yet it is not always a necessity for everyone. Most people find it very convenient though to have a washer and dryer within their apartment.Looking for apartments may also mean looking at the neighborhood around it. If you want to live somewhere close to businesses, then look for one that is located in an area like this. You may want to be near beaches, restaurants or a grocery store. You may also want everything to be within walking distance for you, because maybe you don’t have a car. Finding apartments in good neighborhoods is also important. You will want to choose a place where you feel safe. If you don’t feel safe, this can be a really bad feeling. Finally, you may want to find one that has features on site. Some buildings offer swimming pools, recreational centers or fitness centers. These are great amenities to have, but they are not offered through all buildings. You may have to look really hard to find an apartment that meets all of these needs, but don’t give up. You will be able to find the best one for you and when you do, that is the one that you will want to rent.

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Apartment Living

DIY Christmas Decorations: How to Make String Art Trees

DIY Christmas Decorations: How to Make String Art Trees

  • Don’t waste money on Christmas decorations this holiday season
  • You can easily make decorations that will look great around your apartment
  • These Christmas string art trees can be made with supplies you probably already have around your house

Trees of all shapes and sizes are a classic piece of winter holiday decor.

Because they’re so popular, they often end up being expensive, even for small ones.

If you’re in need of a cute, decorative tree but don’t have a big budget for one, here’s another fun DIY Christmas decoration you can make alongside your own DIY wreath — a string art tree that you can quickly make and display for the holidays.

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What you’ll need:

  • Cornstarch
  • Small pot or pan
  • Paper
  • Embroidery floss (but other string will work fine)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Saran wrap

supplies for string art trees

Step 1: Make the starch solution

Heat 1 cup of water on high in a small pot or pan on the stove. Once it comes to a boil, stir in 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and let it boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir periodically until the solution has cooled. As it cools, it will thicken into a starchy paste.

corn starch mixture

Step 2: Make a cone

Roll the paper into a cone. This cone will determine the size of your trees, so make it whatever size you want. Once you’ve achieved your desired size, use tape to hold the paper together.

paper cone

Trim the excess paper from the bottom of the cone so it can stand freely.

trim the paper cone so it can stand freely

Step 3: Saran wrap it

Roll out the saran wrap and cut a piece of it big enough to cover your paper cone.

covering the cone in saran wrap

Cover the cone in saran wrap. Make sure the entire cone is covered so the tree will come off easily once it’s dry.

paper cone covered in saran wrap

Step 4: Soak the string

Unravel some of the string and let it sit in the starch solution for a minute or so.

string soaking in corn starch solution

Step 5: Wrap the string

Loosely pinch the string with your fingers and run them along the string to remove the excess solution and carefully wrap the soaked string around the cone.

stringing the treestring art tree drying

Repeat for additional trees and let them dry for 24 hours.

string art trees drying

Step 6: Remove the paper cone

Once the trees are dry and feel sturdy, carefully remove the paper cone by pinching it together at the bottom and gently lifting the string tree off.

removing the saran wrap and paper

Step 7: Display and enjoy

That’s all you need to do! You can display these however you like! For a fun effect, you can put an electric tea light underneath it or even set them on top of a string of Christmas lights.

finished string art trees

O Christmas tree!

These string art trees are a great DIY Christmas decoration for the home, or you could easily give them as gifts. Enjoy!

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Published at Fri, 06 Dec 2019 15:20:32 +0000

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Apartment Living

The Best Christmas Movies for Kids

The Best Christmas Movies for Kids

With so many options, how do you choose the best Christmas movies for your kids to watch this season? Stick with the classics!

You can rewatch your favorites through the eyes of your child, while they learn important lessons about sharing love, giving to others and believing in the magic of the Christmas season.

1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

This funny Christmas movie for kids shares an important lesson for every child — we must care more for people than things.

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You and your little one will laugh your way through this Christmas classic while learning an important lesson from one of our world’s greatest teachers, Dr. Seuss.

2. Miracle on 34th Street

Remind your child that seeing isn’t always believing with a Christmas movie that never gets old. Fall in love with little Susan Walker all over again as everyone in the family is reminded that there’s magic everywhere during the holiday season.

3. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

This classic Christmas movie is a reminder that everyone matters, no matter what they look like. Give your child a taste of the movies you watched as a kid by putting on the original and watching it through their eyes.

4. The Polar Express

The popular children’s Christmas book was turned into a movie that will keep your child wrapped up in the magic of the holiday from start to finish. Cuddle up on the couch with a cozy blanket and enjoy a ride on “The Polar Express.”

5. A Christmas Carol

With so many versions to choose from, “A Christmas Carol” is one of the best Christmas movies for kids and can be enjoyed in live-action or animated versions. Remind your child to be grateful this holiday season with a true classic.

6. A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Charlie Brown cast comes to life in this Christmas movie for kids of all ages. They also teach us important lessons about life and the holiday season. Most importantly, it’s OK to be sad this time of year and that our friends are there to help us when we need them.

7. Home Alone

This classic Christmas comedy can’t be missed during the holiday season. Laugh alongside your little one as you watch Kevin McCallister outsmart the bad guys. Don’t forget about “Home Alone 2” and “Home Alone 3,” too!

8. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton puts a spin on the traditional Christmas movie in his holiday-themed masterpiece. Your little one will love watching the adventures of Jack Skellington as he discovers Christmas Town and finds a way to make this holiday his own.

9. Elf

This instant Christmas classic is perfect for kids and adults alike. The tale of Buddy will keep your child glued to the T.V. and the humor will keep you laughing from start to finish. Plus, as with any great Christmas movie, we learn an important lesson in the end — the holiday isn’t about things, but instead, the people we love.

10. Frosty the Snowman

Your kiddo may know every word to this classic Christmas song, but have they seen the movie? Put this one on and step back in time with old school animation and a journey that teaches little ones the importance of living in the now.

‘Tis the season!

Whether you’re looking for a new take on an old tale or a classic cartoon, your family will love watching any of these Christmas movies.

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Published at Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:49:37 +0000

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Apartment Living

Artificial Christmas Trees vs. Real Christmas Trees: Which is Best for Your Apartment?

Artificial Christmas Trees vs. Real Christmas Trees: Which is Best for Your Apartment?

‘Tis the season!

Christmas is right around the corner, which means it’s time to decorate. Everyone has plans to create a magical, winter wonderland in their apartment, but there’s one vital thing yet to figure out do you get a real Christmas tree or an artificial Christmas tree?

Both have their pros and cons, so how do you pick? Well, you better not pout and you better not cry because we’re telling you what you need to know.

A brief history of Christmas trees

Germany is credited with the first use of the Christmas tree starting in the 16th century, and German settlers in Pennsylvania made Christmas trees popular in America in the 19th century.

Ever since then, picking out and decorating a tree has become synonymous with the Christmas season.

Things to consider with artificial Christmas trees

artificial Christmas trees

Artificial Christmas trees have been around since the 19th century. Considering they started off as dyed goose feathers, it’s safe to say they’ve come a long way. You no longer have to pluck the goose to decorate your apartment.

Today, you can get a really nice looking tree from a local craft or big box store for a reasonable price. The cost of fake trees can be anywhere from $30 into the thousands depending on what you’re looking for. As you’re making your decision, here are a few reasons to consider a fake Christmas tree this year:

1. Variety of styles and options

There are a lot of different types and styles of trees to choose from. From the traditional-looking green pine tree to sparkling silver to trees dusted with fake snow, you can pretty much buy any type of pine you want for the holidays.

2. Ease of use

One of the benefits of choosing a fake tree as an apartment dweller is how easy it is to set up. Most fake Christmas trees come in a box, so it’s much easier to get it into the apartment, especially if you live in a building with a small elevator.

A great deal of fake Christmas trees come pre-decorated with lights attached. That alone saves you a lot of time and energy. They’re easy to maintain as you don’t have to water them and you also avoid needles constantly falling and cluttering up your space. It’s also not as much of a fire hazard as a real tree because there are no dead pine needles that could spark.

3. Reusability

Unlike a real Christmas tree that has a short life span, fake Christmas trees are a one-time purchase that can last you for years to come. You’ll never have to purchase a tree again and can use the same, beautiful tree year-over-year.

When you’re done with Christmas and it’s time to put away the decorations, all you have to do is break down the tree and stuff it back in the closet it came from.

4. Lack of pine smell

While fake Christmas trees have a lot of perks, there is a con. With a fake tree, you’ll miss out on the fresh pine smell that’s linked to Christmas. Of course, there are candles and other substitutes to fix this problem, such as Thymes Frasier’s dispensers, but at the end of the day, nothing is as good as the authentic smell. But, if you have allergies, a fake tree is a great solution.

Things to consider with real Christmas trees

real Christmas trees

Christmas tree shopping is one of the many joys of the Christmas season. The thrill of picking out which tree shall be yours is exciting and can be a great family tradition. There’s nothing like walking the rows, debating between the small, Charlie Brown-looking tree or choosing the largest tree in the lot. But there are some other things to consider, too.

1. Choose a unique tree each year

The experience of picking out a fresh tree each year is unforgettable. You can find great trees in your local forest and chop them down yourself. Or, if sawing at a stump for hours in the cold isn’t your thing, then you can go Christmas tree shopping at a local lot. Either way, you’ll be sure to get a tree that is special and doesn’t look like everyone else’s.

2. Fresh pine tree smell

With a fake tree, you won’t have the crisp pine tree smell. But, with a real tree, your apartment will smell like fresh pine the moment you bring the tree home. No diffuser or candle can quite replicate that balsam fir smell.

3. Size and upkeep

There’s the joy of decorating your tree and deciding which ornaments go where. But, you can safely decorate both fake and real trees, and a downside to having a real Christmas tree in an apartment is the sheer size.

It can be a pain to lug a massive pine up to your apartment and then take it back down only a couple weeks later. There’s also the matter of having to care for the tree, making sure it gets enough water on a regular basis. When you’re deciding between a real and fake Christmas tree, make sure you consider the upkeep involved with a real tree.

Your final decision

There are many pros and cons to real Christmas trees vs. artificial Christmas trees. At the end of the day, it’s really up to you and what’s best for your apartment.

Do you want the authentic feel of a real Christmas tree or do you want the ease of an artificial tree? Either one is a great option and will make your apartment feel like a Christmas wonderland.

Published at Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:22:58 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

Irvine Apartments | What to do and How to get Around

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Irvine is a great year-round destination. It’s perfect for a visit anytime. Keep in mind that the town is only a short drive to DisneyÕs Magic Kingdom, and if thatÕs on your itinerary you may want to come after school starts again to beat part of the crowds. The University of Californias Irvine campus, Pepperdine University, and Concordia University also attract crowds during points in the academic year. May through September are extremely dry; donÕt expect to need your umbrellas. January through March, you can expect an average rainfall of around two inches a month. Year-round mean average temperatures range from the mid-50s through the low 70s. December is the coolest month with average highs hitting 67 and average lows hitting 40. The warmest month is August with average highs of 84 degrees. Year-round the weather is pleasant and sunny.Amtrak California’s Pacific Surfliner trains stop in Irvine. Amtrak San Joaquin Motor Coaches also stop at Irvine, providing all-day connections to and from the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento. Ten commercial air carriers serve John Wayne/Orange County Airport; numerous shuttle services are available at the airport. The Orange County Transportation Authority, which can be telephoned at (714) 636-7433, provides bus service within Irvine. Car travel is the most convenient way to get around; Alamo, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Enterprise and National all have airport locations.Irvine is always expensive. If you can find a hotel priced at less than $100 a night, grab it! Expect to pay around $150 nightly for a hotel stay unless you find a special rate. While you could easily spend $50 per person for a nice dinner with wine in Irvine, youÕll find the standard array of fast food options if youÕre cutting costs or in a hurry. If you are in Irvine for a lengthy stay, expect to spend quite a bit on gasoline; there are just too many interesting things within an hour’s drive to stop yourself.So there you have it, plenty of ways to get around and see the sites in Irvine while you search for you new apartment.Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Russell writes about a variety of subjects. This article discusses moving to Irvine, CA. For more information about Irvine apartments, visit Apartment Finder.

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Apartment Living

The Best (and Funniest) Christmas Family Photos We’ve Ever Seen

The Best (and Funniest) Christmas Family Photos We’ve Ever Seen

It’s that time of year again.

You’re probably sending and receiving lots of greeting cards, despite the fact that snail mail has dropped by almost half (43 percent) since 2001.

But holiday cards are still popular. Greeting cards are a multi-billion dollar industry, with the average household snatching up about 30 greeting cards each year, thanks to millennials.

There’s a reason why Hallmark is more than 100 years old. People love sending and receiving cards. So, this year, forget the picture-perfect smiles and poses. It’s been done and bo-ring.

Instead, get creative and downright funny with your family photo greeting cards. If you haven’t sent this year’s family photo yet, these ideas may be worth replicating. It could just put a smile on the receiver’s face (and land your photo smack dab on their fridge).

We’ve gathered 14 humorous ones to spark ideas and entertain you.

1. This family decided to make blinking great again

whole family blinking at once

Photo courtesy of My Organized Chaos

Say cheese — and close your eyes. Don’t forget to wear your obnoxious, matching Christmas sweaters.

2. Go vintage, with your pet

montage of couple with pug

Photo courtesy of Team Jimmy Joe

Nothing says let’s remember the ’80s quite like these odd, profile photos. Or was it a convenient way to be in the same photo because they weren’t able to be in the same place at the same time? Either way, the pug looks great. Thanks, Photoshop.

3. Strike a pose

Family striking a pose in front of the Christmas tree.

Photo courtesy of Team Jimmy Joe

Aren’t throwback photos the best? This family definitely wanted their photo to stand out. It’s an awkward display of creepy hand placements (and jazz hands). This photo would’ve failed miserably without the step stool.

4. Pet owners that call themselves “parents”

Dog parents with matching sweaters.

Photo courtesy of My Organized Chaos

There’s no doubt that dogs are an essential member of your family, and this is one, very proud dog couple. Just look at this dad’s smile. Why send photos of babies when you have Fido by your side?

5. Meet Grumpy Cat’s cousin

Annoyed cat with happy parents.

Photo courtesy of eBaum’s World

Looks like someone will need more convincing that the holidays have officially arrived. Hint: It’s not the humans.

6. Save the trees

A human Christmas tree

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Finally, a photo that doesn’t have a Christmas tree in the background. This group decided to get artsy and make a people tree. Next year’s card? A human Menorah.

7. Mini-dads

A dad with lookalike sons sipping tea

Photo courtesy of My Modern Met

Like father, like sons. This dad decided to show off his two little ones in the cutest way possible. What we’re all dying to know is, where did they get those baby glasses?

8. No, this isn’t a mattress ad

Family children and dog being thrown by a sheet parachute

Photo courtesy of Bored Panda

This is the power of Photoshop at its finest.

9. Oh, these naughty parents

Children taped to the wall while their parents look on

Photo courtesy of Around the World Christmas

Kids got you crazed for the holidays? Taping them to the wall should do the trick.

10. Quality time together during the holidays

Family engrossed in screen time at Christmas

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

This family gets it. Spending time together means spending it online.

11. Don’t eat me!

Family photos made into cookies

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

This is a deliciously creative and humorous twist on a family that probably loves gingerbread cookies.

12. Pillow cushion faces are the new fashion for your couch

Family photos turned into throw pillows

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

Forget those old photo mugs. It’s all about the custom-made throw pillows. This is great if you can’t get everyone together in the same room to take a photo and want to startle new guests that come to your apartment.

13. When your kids can’t take “no” for an answer

Kids tie their parents up in front of Christmas tree

Photo courtesy of All the Stuff I Care About

This family took the chaos of Christmas and captured it in a posed, but funny photo.

14. When your children get in trouble for opening their presents early

Children tied up in front of Christmas tree

Photo courtesy of Country Living

Of course, if your kids do actually open their presents early, this could be the follow-up photo.

Make this holiday creative and fun

Despite the digital age we live in, sending cards is still a strong tradition during the holidays. In fact, a survey from The Greeting Card Association revealed that nearly one-third of respondents said they keep special cards “forever.”

So, if you haven’t snapped any holiday photos yet, get going with one of these creative ideas and give them a twist to make this year memorable. Make fun of yourself, think outside the box and have fun with the kiddos.

Published at Wed, 04 Dec 2019 21:02:56 +0000

Categories
Apartment Living

How Much Can Your Landlord Charge You For Your Security Deposit

State Limit

Alabama No statutory limit

Alaska Two months’ rent, except where rent exceeds $2,000 per month

Arizona One and one-half months’ rent (unless tenant voluntarily agrees to pay more)

Arkansas Two months’ rent

California Two months’ rent (unfurnished, no waterbed); two and one-half months’ rent (unfurnished, tenant has waterbed); three months’ rent(furnished, no waterbed); three and one-half months’ rent (furnished, tenant has waterbed)

Colorado No statutory limit

Connecticut Two months’ rent (tenant under 62 years of age); one month’s rent (tenant 62 years of age or older)

Delaware One month’s rent on leases for one year or more; no limit for month-to-month rental agreements

District of Columbia One month’s rent

Florida No statutory limit

Georgia No statutory limit

Hawaii One month’s rent

Idaho No statutory limit

Illinois No statutory limit

Indiana No statutory limit

Iowa Two months’ rent

Kansas One month’s rent (unfurnished, no pets); one and one-half months’ rent (unfurnished with pets or furnished with no pets)

Kentucky No statutory limit

Louisiana 30 days’ rent

Maine Two months’ rent

Maryland Two months’ rent or $50, whichever is greater

Massachusetts Two months’ rent

Michigan One and one-half months’ rent

Minnesota No statutory limit

Mississippi No statutory limit

Missouri Two months’ rent

Montana No statutory limit

Nebraska One month’s rent (no pets); one and one-quarter months’ rent (pets)

Nevada Three months’ rent

New Hampshire One month’s rent or $100, whichever is greater; no limit when landlord and tenant share facilities

New Jersey One and one-half month’s rent

New Mexico One month’s rent (for rental agreement less than one year); no limit for leases of one year or more

New York No statutory limit (for non-regulated units)

North Carolina One and one-half months’ rent for month-to-month rental agreements; two months’ rent if term is longer than two months

North Dakota One month’s rent (or $1Article Submission,500 if tenant has a pet)

Ohio No statutory limit

Oklahoma No statutory limit

Oregon No statutory limit

Pennsylvania Two months’ rent for first year of renting; one month’s rent during the second and subsequent years of renting

Rhode Island One month’s rent

South Carolina No statutory limit

South Dakota One month’s rent (higher deposit may be charged if special conditions pose a danger to maintenance of the premises)

Tennessee No statutory limit

Texas No statutory limit

Utah No statutory limit

Vermont No statutory limit

Virginia Two months’ rent

Washington No statutory limit

West Virginia No statutory limit

Wisconsin No statutory limit

Wyoming No statutory limit