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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…

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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Sleeping Beauty's Castle Disneyland

Apartments That Rival Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Okay, I am beyond lucky to live in Southern California and I know this. A lot of people across the country are dealing with cold temperatures, shoveling snow and I am running through Disneyland on a random Friday night in 70 degree weather. Did I mention it’s the middle of November? Disneyland is a travel destination for many. People visit from around the world to experience the park during the holiday season and it never disappoints. The amazing team at Disneyland decks out the park with lights, decorations and holiday music. It’s an incredible experience for people of all ages. There is so much to see and so much to do. You may even run into Pluto if you’re lucky.

Just hanging with Pluto...

Just hanging with Pluto…

Are you a little on the futuristic side like me? Tomorrowland has rides like Space Mountain, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and the high-flying rocket ships, also known as Astro Orbitor. I recently got my friends to ride the rockets with me. This tends to be a ride for the little ones, but we owned it and had an amazing time. Yes, it felt a little weird waiting in line for a ride with no child in tow, but whatever. It’s okay to be a big kid sometimes, especially when you have friends that stand alongside you.

Is the Haunted Mansion more your style? What about Pirates of the Caribbean? Head over to New Orleans Square and chow down on some of the best Cajun cuisine in California. I recommend eating at Blue Bayou Restaurant. The Portobello Mushroom and Couscous Macque Choux is pretty amazing. Don’t forget to make a reservation. As one of the highest Yelp rated restaurants at the park, it’s not a secret and they get really busy.

I know you’re still a little full from the couscous, but now that you’re feeling like a kid again, let’s grab a churro and get a little adventurous. Race me to Adventureland, where we can climb Tarzan’s Treehouse™ or journey deep into the unknown thrills of the Indiana Jones™ Adventure. When you’re at Disneyland, your worries disappear and you feel like you’re ten years old again. Everything is magical and there is always a new adventure waiting just around the corner.

Imagine if you could experience this excitement all the time. What if you could live in California? Better yet, what if you could have an apartment that rivaled Sleeping Beauty’s Castle? Lucky for you, Camden has multiple apartment communities throughout Southern California. What’s that old saying? “Work hard, play harder.” Yeah, that tends to happen when you live thirty minutes from The Happiest Place on Earth. Our Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego apartments are ready for you. Are you ready to experience Southern California living? Having Disneyland in your backyard is pretty amazing. If you don’t live here yet, come visit. The weather is perfect and you’re bound to fall in love our amenities.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle - I'm an amazing photographer.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle – I’m an amazing photographer.

I mentioned some of my favorite things, but please leave your favorite Disneyland ride or favorite thing about the park in the comment section. Share this post and remember that it’s okay to be a kid sometimes, even if it’s for a day, a weekend or a fun afternoon. You’re never too old for Disneyland.

Camden vs. Atlanta Falcons

The energy was very perceptible, as I rode into the VIP entrance of the Georgia Dome for the Atlanta Falcons versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game. The crowds paraded towards the dome, for what turned out to be a big win for the Atlanta Falcons. Even though attending a NFL football game is exciting, I was more excited about the opportunity to share the experience with my Camden family via my Twitter feed. Imagine if you will something big happening and you can’t wait to call your family to share. That’s how I feel, when I have the opportunity to experience super cool events  and the opportunity to represent the company I work for.

Lights, camera, action.

Lights, camera, action.

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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

Five Fun, Free-ish Things to do in San Diego This Weekend!

There are plenty of free things to do in San Diego like hiking, biking, running, going to the beach but below I’m going to list 5 of my picks for free-ish things to do in San Diego.

1. Visit La Jolla Cove – There is so much to see and plenty of places to shop and eat. The best part, in my opinion, is Children’s Pool which is an enclosed beach that many Harbor Seals call home. You can watch them sunbathing and playing in the water from a great viewing point on the wall that encloses the beach and protects it from the waves.

Children's Pool photo from lajollatravelinformation.com

Children’s Pool photo from lajollatravelinformation.com

2. Have a bonfire on Fiesta Island – Fiesta Island is a neat island right Continue reading

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.

 

Dolores_Umbridge_(Promo_still_from_HP5_movie)_10-15-2009

Photo of Professor Umbridge courtesy of Harry Potter Wiki

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Father’s Day Gift Ideas For The Dad Who Has Everything!

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Father’s Day is almost here! We only have 5 more days to hunt for the perfect gift for Dear Ol’ Dad! 6/15/2014 is the big day, and if you’re like me, you haven’t bought your dad a gift yet! Dads can be super difficult to buy for but i’m here to help! I came up with a list of 5 cool Father’s Day gifts that chances are he doesn’t have (yet). Check it out!

1.) Walgreen’s Personalized Photo Calendar

This is a big hit with dads! I bought one for my dad last year and he cried. Its only $30 but it makes a really special gift for a really special dad!

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2.) Why a Daughter Needs a Dad Photo Book

This is a wonderful gift to give your dad if you have the time to spend to create it. For only $30, each page can be customized with your own special photos and sentiments. They also make this book in the version of “Why a Son Needs a Dad” – awww!

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3.) Beer in a Box

If your dad loves to relax and drink a beer every now and then, this is the gift for him. Yes, beer in a box! The size of the box can vary from about $30 to $70. You can buy these at Spec’s. Its the gift that keeps on giving. I’m sure he will share!

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4.) Personalized Guitar Pick – Sterling Silver – www.Etsy.com

My dad LOVES to play guitar! Its his passion in life. What better way to show him how much you love him than this awesome guitar pick! You can personalize the pick to say whatever you would like. The finished pick comes in a black pouch and can be shipped right to dad’s door!

Best. Gift. Ever.

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5.) Quality Time

Qualify time is priceless! Take your dad fishing or take him to the driving range to hit a few golf balls. Nothing shows how much you appreciate your dad than good ol’ quality time.

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Happy Father’s Day to all of the AMAZING Father’s out there!