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Don’t Miss Out on the Festival of Flavor

Ok, so I am going to let you in on a little secret….I am not a Texan. Ok, so I said it. As my Texan hubby would say, I am an honorary Texan or a Texan by default. I am a Colorado girl living in a Texan world. We call our kids “Texacos” because they are half Texan, half Coloradoans. I am sure you get my point, now.

Let’s get one thing straight, Texans know their Mexican food. Tex-mex is never better than it is in abundance in Texas. However, I grew up in the green chile belt aka the Southwest aka “not Texas.” Some people refer to the type of Mexican food that I grew-up eating as “mountain-mex.” One of the key components of mountain-mex is green chiles. There are two types of green chiles: Hatch and all others. We use these green chiles in stew, sauce, in cheeseburgers, eggs, and just about anything and everything else. Even McDonalds used to have a green chile cheeseburger.20150815_123028

To give you an abbreviated background on green chiles, there is this magical place in New Mexico, a little village named Hatch. These luscious green chiles grow there and were originally cultivated in the 1800s. According the the Village of Hatch’s website, Hatch is the self-proclaimed “Chile Capital of the World”. They are holding their annual green chile festival on Labor Day weekend. Only green chiles that grow in this region are allowed to be called Hatch green chiles.

During the month of August, in Houston, not only can you experience Houston Restaurant Weeks, but Hatch green chiles make their magical appearance everywhere. Hatch green chiles are harvested and angels deliver these bundles of green goodness to your local grocery store, farmers markets, restaurants, grandma, etc.

  • Stores such as Kroger, Central Market, HEB, Randalls all have Hatch green chiles both roasted or fresh chiles that are ready to roast available for purchase. Some of the stores even have celebrations here in Houston. Makes my heart happy! As a Colorado girl, it makes me teary eyed when I smell the roasters out in front of my local HEB and reminds me of home.
  • Grocery stores stock Hatch green chile items ranging from bacon, sausage, cheeseburgers, soup, and even macaroni and cheese.
  • Even Pappasitos sells a Hatch green chile margarita and has a special Hatch green chile menu . Chuy’s has an entire green chile menu, aside from their two types of green chile sauces on their regular menu.2015-08-17 09.01.27

Hey Camden residents, if you are lucky enough to live in Houston, go find you some Hatch green chiles. I promise that you won’t be disappointed!  Go and get you some!

Now, if I could only find some friends to try the Hatch green chile margarita with…

It’s ALWAYS Valentine’s Day

Ahhh love is in the air!

LOVE

LOVE

 

One of my favorite holidays is Valentinus’s Day!   I know.. I know “It’s not a holiday, Danielle!” But I really love-LOVE! The candy, the beautiful color scheme (pink and white) and hearts everywhere!  Everyone should feel extra LOVE on this day!  Don’t worry its ok if you do not have a significant other to share this Hallmark holiday with; I am going to give you some non-Valentine’s Day activities. There are so many other fun activities you can take part in, without feeling left out.

  1. Visit a local pet shelter! Who doesn’t want a cuddle or snuggle from a furry companion? The best part about visiting a pet shelter are the animals will enjoy the time spent with them as much as much as  you enjoy the seeing those wagging tails when you open their cage. Hey, maybe you can take one home! Many of our Camden communities are pet friendly!
  2. Visit a local nursing home! Many of our “seasoned” citizens love to get visitors! This time of year I am sure most of the adults in the Active Living homes would love to speak with someone young and spunky!  I am certain most of the residents in those homes are pretty spunky themselves! Nothing would make their Valentine’s Day better then to see a new face.
  3. Make it a Girls Night/ Guys Night Out! During my college days; the best times were hanging out with my girlfriends! Watching our favorite romantic movies and eating all the chocolate with no guilt! I know most guys would rather spend that time talking sports; so maybe go to a basketball game or the local sports bar.

As long as February 14th is spent with the people you care and love- that is all that matters. Many of our Camden communities have been showering our residents with love too! Hey, what can we say, we LOVE our residents!

 

Camden Paces sending some LOVE to their residents!

Camden Paces sending some LOVE to their residents!

 

 

 

Welcoming Your Guests

“We’re about fifteen minutes away.” Music to my ears, when I am awaiting the arrival of a houseguest. It could be family, friends, or even a babysitting gig it doesn’t matter, I get pumped. I enjoy doing special things to make my houseguest feel welcomed and here are just a few tricks that make the experience memorable.

Beautiful nosh cheese plate, with fruit and pastrami.

Beautiful nosh cheese plate, with fruit and pastrami.

After a long day on the road or at the airport, your guest can work up quite the appetite. Providing some easy to manage small bites, is a great idea to knock the edge off before your dinner plans.

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#DearSummer

This year has certainly flown by! Before we know it will be time to put on the scarves, hats and boots and decorate for the holidays! Here in Atlanta children have already returned to school! It’s sad but true—summer is almost officially over! “Yes the end is near!” (Please feel free to insert awkward chuckle) But don’t worry there are still some fun things to enjoy before it’s completely over. Here is a quick list on “How to to live the end of the summer to the max!”

concert pic

Concerts- Many musical acts are touring around the country during the summer! Some are FREE which are always great to attend! Usually at nearby park location so don’t forget to bring your blanket and lawn chairs! Then there are concerts which may not be free but depending on how much you love that musical act—you may end paying a pretty penny! I had the pleasure of going to the On the Run Tour starring Beyonce and Jay Z and I had the time of my life! Summer was definitely made for concerts! Something in the summer air just makes you want to dance—but please dont’t break a hip! Continue reading

Girls Weekend

What girl doesn’t look forward to their girls weekend? It’s a time to be completely yourself with your bestie’s, be silly, and catch up on life. I feel very fortunate that I have an opportunity every July to go on my girls weekend. In fact, for the last 20 years I have gone on my girls weekend with the same group of college friends. We all met in college and pledged our sorority together in 1986.

College Days

We spent our college years growing up together, surviving the break-ups, dreaming about our futures, and finding our true loves. We even worked in Lake Tahoe during the summers together, which was an incredible time and where some of us met our future husbands.

Lake Tahoe more

The “School of Shopping” is in session!

back to school

Nationwide there is a sense of excitement as school begins, yet at the same time a feeling of sadness as summer comes to an end. With the memories of family vacations, summer blockbuster movies and sleepovers fresh in their mind, parents and children alike are preparing backpacks, uniforms and lunch boxes in anticipation of a great school year.

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Quick and Delicious Dinner Idea: 45 Minute Ravioli!

I’m not much of a chef. In fact, the only thing I’ve really perfected cooking in my lifetime is spaghetti, until now! I found an amazing recipe online and it was so delicious and easy I wanted to share! This ravioli paired with a little garlic bread and salad is simply to DIE for!

The great thing about this particular recipe is, if you don’t like or eat meat, you can use cheese-stuffed ravioli pockets and make it a vegetarian meal! How awesome is that?! Just a reminder, if cooking for a vegetarian, opt for a regular tomato sauce, rather than marinara. Only 3 ingredients and a 45 minutes to bake, how can you go wrong with this recipe? Oh, that’s right, you can’t.  Check it out!

Ingredients

You can purchase all of these ingredients at your local grocery store

1 bag (25 Oz. Bag) Frozen Ravioli

1 jar (26 Oz. Jar) Marinara Sauce

2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Parmesan Cheese, For Sprinkling

Preparation

Heat oven to 400°F. Spray bottom and sides of a 9×13 rectangular baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce in baking dish. Arrange half of the frozen ravioli in a single layer over the sauce; top with half of the remaining pasta sauce and half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers once, starting with ravioli. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot in the center. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Ravioli

Your Roommate Did What?! – A Roommate Survival Guide

Whether it is by choice or necessity, a lot of people these days are finding themselves living with someone else, i.e. a roommate. This someone else could be a friend, a family member, a bestie, a significant other, an acquaintance or yikes…a stranger. I have seen quite a few lease breaks in my day because roommates could not get along. And I’m not talking the “conscious uncoupling” kind of break-up like Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin made famous this year. I’m talking the dirty Hollywood divorce kind of break-up. I’ve heard and seen it all…from fights over cups left in the sink to the more serious things that ended with lock changes.

So how did they get there? What could have been done to prevent it? There are basics that everyone should know when living with a roommate and then there are the specifics depending upon who you are living with. Find out how to live drama-free with anyone by following some easy tips from an industry insider (me) as well as someone who has lived in most of these situations (yep. you guessed it. me, again).

Photo Courtesy : www.bubblews.com

Photo Courtesy : http://www.bubblews.com

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Old Motorcycles on Display this weekend in Santiago Canyon

riding on a motorcycle

riding on a motorcycle

There is nothing like riding old motorcycles threw Santiago Canyon on a hot summer day! If you are like me and love to ride then you will not want to miss The Born Free Show that is happening this weekend June 28th & 29th 2014.  People will attend this show from all over the United States. People will be showing all types of motorcycles such as Triumphs, Harley, and even motorcycles that they built in there garage. I have been attending the Born Free Show for about 4 years and its been truly amazing to see how its grown.

born free

born free

If you log onto http://bornfreeshow.blogspot.com/ you can read all about this amazing Born Free show. “How is about the love of old motorcycles and like-minded individuals having a good time together and enjoying these bikes of the past. It is also a family event, young and old a-like are welcome to come out and enjoy the show. This show is meant to unite people from all walks of life by bringing the passion that we all have of these old machines together for two special days. If you come out to the event please be prepared to have a great time, see neat old bikes…lots of neat old motorcycles, in a peaceful, friendly, family environment.” Continue reading

Community Policies are Essential to Living Excellence

Community policies are essential for a Camden apartment community to function successfully. Without rules, our residents would not be happy, and would most likely not want to stay living in their apartment homes. Camden is known for providing Living Excellence, and part of that is by enforcing our policies. Though I do not live in the same Camden as I work at, I treat Camden Fairfax Corner as my home.

In my 3 and half years of working in the apartment industry, specifically with Camden, I have quickly learned that there are some residents who love when rules are enforced, and others who question why we do things.

 

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Photo of Professor Umbridge courtesy of Harry Potter Wiki

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