Archive for the ‘Orange County/Long Beach’ Category

This is actually what my hubby did today at work for a holiday party. It must be rough to have that kind of job, huh? ;)

This is actually what my hubby did today at work for a holiday party. It must be rough to have that kind of job, huh? ;)

It’s almost Turkey Time at Camden!! I love this time of year! Just the thought of my chef hubby’s turkey and gravy, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn, and chocolate pecan pie can make my tummy grumble! I cannot wait for a beautiful Thanksgiving feast! I know that in our fast-paced world, most people only cook a full meal in their kitchen a few times a year. With that in mind, I asked the fabulous maintenance staff at Camden to give our residents a couple of kitchen tips before they start to cook next week. Far and away they said the two biggest party-poopers are issues with ovens and garbage disposals. Here are some tips to hopefully avoid a Thanksgiving nightmare.

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. I love gathering together with family while the children run around the house, the men yell at the football game playing on the TV, and the women laugh and talk about everything under the sun. Thanksgiving is one of the few times a year where we can all gather in one place and simply enjoy one another and catch up on everything that has happened since the last gathering. If you are like me, family time is a cherished time and there is simply nothing better than gathering around and enjoying one another. Of course who can forget that massive meal that happens on Thanksgiving! The one day a year you are allowed to wear your “fat” pants and dig in and NOT count the calories. Calorie counting is absolutely not allowed on Thanksgiving Day!


Have you recently thought about the true meaning of Thanksgiving and where the tradition originated? Typically when we gather for the holidays this is not a conversation topic that comes up. I believe that there are times in life in the midst of the hustle and bustle that we need to stop and think and remember why we celebrate certain occasions and why it is still important and relevant to us today.

Thanksgiving is more than just the story of the Pilgrims and Indians. Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrims and Indians. It was later adopted by President Abraham Lincoln and nationally recognized as a holiday in 1863. As we all know, Thanksgiving is celebrated every 4th Thursday in November. But what does this mean? Thanksgiving is 2 separate words; Thanks and Giving. Therefore, this holiday is a national day for giving thanks and for sharing. Counting our blessings at the family dinner table is one way, however, the holiday consumes much more than that. It goes beyond simply our immediate family and friends and being thankful for far more than just the blessings and riches we have received. The Holiday reminds us to share our economic and material wealth, and to share also our time and talents with other people who could use our help. This is the season to put into perspective the abundance of riches in our own lives by aiding those less fortunate.  Giving your time and sharing your resources with those who are not as blessed as you are is the true meaning of Thanksgiving. This is demonstrated all year-long, not just on one day. Thanksgiving Day is a designated day to reflect, praise, and celebrate with those closest to you as you discuss the ways you have given and shared all year-long. The Holiday is much broader and encompasses a great deal more than we realize and celebrate.

Give Thanks

As you gather with your loved ones this joyous holiday season, I urge you to celebrate the true meaning behind Thanksgiving and remember to be thankful for all of your blessings that you have received throughout the year. Even the smallest of blessings are still blessings worth celebrating. Continue to be thankful for all you have and will continue to receive and always remember to pay it forward to those less fortunate than yourself.

We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. Enjoy these small moments that will turn in to lasting memories.

Make sure you look for your next home to turn your moments into lasting memories at www.camdenliving.com.

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Last week I had the chance to attend an event at Elaine Turner’s Rice Village store here in Houston, TX. Elaine Turner is a Texas-based luxury lifestyle brand for women made up of accessories, shoes, handbags and apparel. Bloggers and fans of Elaine Turner mingled among the vibrant pink walls and glittering merchandise while munching pink popcorn and sipping champagne.

Elaine unveiled the first five minutes of her new YouTube docu-series, Elaine’s Big Life, premiering November 5, 2014. Elaine herself is the President and Creative Director of Elaine Turner and the new video diary series will highlight the “glamorous (and at times, not so glamorous) life of a fashion designer.” The five minutes were filled with an upbeat, quirky Elaine taking us on the journey of her day to day at Elaine Turner. Not only did we get a glimpse of how a fashion designer conducts business, but we saw it through Elaine’s wide Texas eyes, full of fun and mischief! The series promises a load of laughs and inner-office pranks, but also a stirring story of a talented woman trying to make a difference in the world.

Follow the new YouTube Docu-Series chronicling Elaine Turner's Big Life

Follow the new YouTube Docu-Series chronicling Elaine Turner’s Big Life

As she introduced the five minute preview Elaine said, “This is about the inspiring journey that I’ve been on for fifteen years and I want it to inspire others and their dreams.” The series will reveal Elaine’s brand and lifestyle at a critical time in her luxury brand’s life- as it enters the national scene. Additionally, Elaine is an activist for breast cancer awareness and created a collection this fall benefitting the Cancer Support Community.

With multiple locations across Texas and a Madison Ave location in New York, Elaine Turner is making a name for herself, but this fun and upbeat gal with her Big Texas Hair remains a local treasure. Here at Camden, we love to support local businesses, especially ones like Elaine Turner with such big hearts for giving back. Currently our Camden Spring Creek, Camden Greenway and Camden La Frontera communities can enjoy the close proximity of an Elaine Turner store. Camden Riverwalk can take advantage of Elaine Turner’s new Southlake store and the residents of Camden Post Oak will be able to enjoy a short walk to her upcoming location at San Felipe and Post Oak Blvd.

Watch the trailer below and to tune into Elaine’s Big Life each week subscribe to her YouTube page here!

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It seems it gets harder and harder to get the family together for dinner between work, school, and sport schedules. However hard, I think it’s so important to at least come together for 30 minutes.  You get to catch up on your day, hear & solve problems, and learn about accomplishments of the day. I know the last thing I want to do when I get home is to cook an elaborate dinner. I have found some recipes that my family likes that you can cook ahead of time so you can actually enjoy your family time.

Chicken Pot Pie

Frozen Pie Crust

3-4 Large Chicken Breasts

Family Size Mixed Vegetables

2-3 Cans Cream of Chicken Soup (low-fat or fat- free)

Seasonings of choice

Preheat oven to 375. Cook & season chicken. Cut cooked chicken into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl mix chicken, vegetables, soup, and seasonings. Pour into pie crust and place 2nd pie crust on top. Poke holes on top crust using fork. Back 1 hour.

chicken pot pie


Chuck Wagon Casserole

1 lb Lean Ground Beef

1 Can chili beans (15 ½ oz)

½ Cup Onion & Green Bell Pepper Chopped

¾ C Barbecue Sauce

1 Can Mexican-Style Corn Drained

1 Package(8 ½ oz) Corn Muffin Mix

Preheat oven to 400. Chop onion and pepper. Cook ground beef, onion, and pepper. Drain. Stir in chili beans, barbecue sauce, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Spoon into 9” baking dish. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions, stir in corn. Spoon over meat mixture. Back 30 minutes.


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One Heart Source Event

One Heart Source Event

My Husband and I started to watch Sons of Anarchy seven seasons ago. I was pregnant with my oldest daughter making the first episode hard to stomach but 6 years later we are still watching every week. A few months ago I got the opportunity to meet Kim Coates from Sons of Anarchy and his family. I was standing out front waiting for them to arrive when Kim rolled down his window and popped his head out. Since I don’t meet famous people very often all I could think is, “Wow, he looks just like he does on TV!” Since he is in such an amazing show I thought that he wouldn’t talk to me much. To my surprise they are the most amazing and gracious people and they made me feel like we had been friends for years.

Kim Coates

Kim Coates

Kyla Coates, Kim’s daughter is the educational Programs Manager for One Heart Source, “a non-profit organization designed to empower young people through education, and to provide high quality education and care for vulnerable children in Tanzania and South Africa.” She said she went to Tanzania with school and just was amazed by what she saw. Kim Coates and his wife Diana visited Kyla while she was in Tanzania and that was when they came up with the idea for the “Hogs for Hearts” fundraiser.

group one heart source

I attended One Heart Source’s charity event on October 11th and meet the cast of Sons of Anarchy for the 3rd Annual Hogs for Heart fundraising event. The event was very limited in the amount of people that could attend so it gave everyone the opportunity to meet the cast. We got to take pictures and meet Charlie Hunnam, Kim Coates, Tommy Flanagan, Mark Boone Jr., Theo Rossi, Emilio Rivera, Drea de Matteo, Dayton Callie, Michael Ornstein, Niko Nicotera, and Jimmy Smits.

Group at One Heart Source

Group at One Heart Source


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I LOVE Halloween!

When my first daughter was born 14 years ago, I could not wait to share this wonderful holiday with her. I dressed her in the cutest little pumpkin costume, but since she was only just over a month old, I figured we would just enjoy handing out candy to all of the children in our Camden community. I worked in the Camden leasing (more…)

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It’s really the most wonderful time of the year! You start to feel the change in the weather and see seasonal items on the shelves while you shop. You get that special twinkle in your eye, or maybe that’s just my eye. But do you ever get the itch to decorate for the occasion? Maybe you’ve decided to have Thanksgiving at your house this year or host this Christmas’ ugly sweater party. Whatever you choose, make your apartment home reflect the occasion and decorate! It doesn’t have to cost you your arm and your leg, just browse the online retailers that I’ve listed below for those one-of-a-kind home décor pieces that your family and friends are sure to notice! They’ll be impressed to know you didn’t pay full price, either!

Zulily.com – This site started out for only mothers and children, and has since expanded to selling home goods and furniture among otherBlogShop categories. Boutiques stay open for only a certain period of time before they close so you can check daily for new boutiques and take advantage of the site’s inexpensive pricing. You can make multiple orders within a day and only pay one shipping fee. The best part is their customer service.

Hautelook.com – Similar to Zulily but tend to carry higher-end brands. You’ll find an assortment of home décor and furnishings at a discounted price. Instead of ‘boutiques’ they have ‘events’ for particular brands and categories that remain open for you to shop for a period of time. Joining the site is free and I don’t think you’ll regret joining. Don’t worry, they don’t send any spam mail like most retailers, either.

Overstock.com – The website says it all. The site sells overstocked items at a discounted price. They even have a specific home décor buying guide on their site that can help you decorate like a pro that explains everything from how to choose the best area rug for Christmas to directions on arranging a bookcase. Join their club and get even better deals than they already offer. And, they carry a lot of name brand items if that’s important to you.

Wayfair.com – They’ve branded their site as offering a “zillion things home,” so you’ll find high-end brands to everyday household brands for your apartment home at affordable prices. Pay attention to their daily 70% off deals before they sell out! You’ll also be able to find Décor Buying Guides to give you plenty of ideas if you want to recreate a look off the items they sell.

So whether you’re getting ideas from your home décor pins off of Pinterest or picking a décor theme that matches the accent wall in your apartment home, you can be sure to find good deals online to put those ideas to life without giving up your arms and legs. I know you don’t want to leave the comfort of your Camden home, so why not try out these online retailer’s today? It just might become your new addiction.

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