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4 Recipes Using Seasonal Fruits

ApricotsThe change of seasons brings new fruits to celebrate and enjoy, so it’s time to get started on a few new recipes for spring. Eating produce at the peak of freshness is not only delicious, it’s also the ideal way for your body to process the nutrients within them so you get the best possible health benefits.

Lillet-Poached Apricots

Apricots are best between mid-May and early July, but they’re extra delicious if you take the time to poach them. No matter what the quality of your apricots is, this method has a tendency to bring out the best of the flavors while leaving the worst in the dust. This recipe uses cardamom and vanilla to really highlight the sweetness of this popular stone fruit.

Strawberry Sorbet

Perfect for when the days start to heat up, strawberry sorbet is a great way to turn those fresh strawberries into a stunning mid-afternoon treat. All you have to do is puree the strawberries before adding sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. You can use ice cube trays to freeze if you don’t happen to have an ice cream maker!

Zoodles With Tomatoes and Spinach-Caper Pesto

Perfect for when you want a light dish that will gear you up for bikini season, these zoodles with fresh tomatoes are a treat that you can enjoy without the guilt. The saltiness of the pesto and the sweetness of the tomatoes combine in perfect harmony to give you a perfect bite every single time!

Cherry Barbecue Sauce

Making your own barbecue sauce is an accomplishment in and of itself, but mixing it up every once in a while can really help you stand out at your next barbecue. The tangy cherries in this recipe are exactly what a sweet barbecue sauce needs to give it some zing. You can try it on any meat you crave, but it’s recommended for either baby-back ribs or chicken.

Whether you love fruit or not, these recipes give you options to see spring produce in a whole different light. If you’re looking for a new kitchen to try out your favorite creations, Parkside at Firewheel has the Garland apartments you’re looking for. Our floor plans and amenities are perfect for the gourmet chef in training, so give us a call today!

Picnic With Wine

How to Celebrate National Picnic Day

Picnic With WineIf you love picnics, April 23 is your day – National Picnic Day. While every day is a great day for a picnic, you don’t want to miss out on celebrating this special day. The end of April usually offers perfect weather with warmer temperatures and beautiful flowers blooming everywhere. Even if you get rained out by April showers, you can always take your picnic indoors.

Unique Ideas for National Picnic Day

You don’t have to own a picnic table or head to a park to throw a great picnic for National Picnic Day. Here are a few fun, casual ways to enjoy a meal with friends and family.

Sunset Wine and Cheese Picnic

Picnics aren’t just for lunch. Shake up your picnic game and consider having a sunset wine and cheese picnic. If you’re near the water, watching the sunset while you picnic with wine, cheese, a little bread, and some crudités offers a romantic way to celebrate the day with someone special.

Movie Theater Picnic

Transform your living room into a movie theater! Have a picnic blanket, plenty of comfortable pillows, and have a light supper while you enjoy watching a movie. Pizza with popcorn on the side makes a perfect choice for your special picnic.

Sunrise Breakfast Picnic

Is breakfast your thing? Consider a sunrise breakfast picnic. Have it at the lake or in the comfort of your own home. Grab some breakfast sandwiches, fresh fruit, and coffee, and enjoy picnicking outdoors with loved ones or friends. It’s lovely to see the sunrise, hear the birds wake up, and enjoy feeling the sun’s warmth as you enjoy your breakfast.

Indoor Picnic

In April, there’s always a chance your picnic is going to get rained out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a grand time. Move some of the furniture in your living room, throw down a big blanket, and spread out a picnic for your guests. The great thing – you can simply throw the blanket in the wash and you won’t have to worry about crumbs on the floor.

There are so many fun ways that you can celebrate National Picnic Day. Try one of these unique ideas or come up with your own. Know a picnic lover looking for apartments in Garland? Hook them up with our phone number and have them call us to find out what we have available today.

Flower Crafts

5 Craft Projects for Spring

Flower CraftsIt’s been a long winter season characterized by frigid temperatures, and a gloomy, darkish atmosphere that you’d be forgiven for thinking it would not end. Spring, the season of warm weather, blossoming trees and beautiful flowers, is already here.

Aside from the beautiful weather, this is the best time to implement a few crafty projects. We have gathered 5 craft projects you can try at home to signal and usher spring in style:

DIY Brunch Centerpiece

It’s time to elevate that floral centerpiece to a whole new level by painting the vase and attaching a few butterflies on top. The centerpiece is a perfect symbol of the spring season’s beauty. Start celebrating your creativity, here.

Tissue Paper Flowers

We’re already in spring, and you can see that flowers have already started to pop up. Soon they’ll blossom, and the environment will be nothing short of beautiful. But you can go right ahead and start enjoying the spring season even before the flowers bloom.

The occasion doesn’t matter; the DIY blooms will work anyway. You’re bound to enter a new season full of greens and beautiful floral hues in style. You can find the tutorial, here.

DIY Wall Art

A good piece of art on the wall in your apartment tells a story. People can tell your interests and your creativity level from looking at your wall art. Create an abstract masking tape pattern on a canvas, then have fun as you peel the strips of one after the other.

Craft Room Wall

Pegboards are super useful in craft rooms as you can customize and modify them to suit your needs. Embed a mixture of hooks, baskets, and shelves to get things organized, easily accessible and neat.

DIY Balloon Stand

Already, the weather has started to warm up, and you can test your creativity by designing adorable balloon stands. You’ll need duct tape and tassels for this task. Decorate them as you see fit. Find instructions, here.

Looking for luxury apartments in Garland? Located in Garland, TX, Parkside at Firewheel Apartments provide easy access to all amenities. We have a sparkling pool, quaint with courtyards and offer easy access to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Call (844) 803-2292 to learn more about our available floor plans.

Organizing Items

Decluttering Lessons From Marie Kondo

Organizing ItemsStruggle with spring cleaning? Why not learn from the best and the brightest? Bestselling author Marie Kondo can help — she knows a thing or two about tidying. The author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she’s transformed millions of lives with her “KonMari” method. This approach could be your ticket to a cleaner Garland apartment. Read on for a few especially valuable insights from a true decluttering aficionado.

4 Essentials Tips for Decluttering From Marie Kondo

  • Discard first, store second. Before you invest in a brand new storage system, get rid of existing clutter. This process won’t be easy, but it’s important. Sort items based on whether they deliver joyful feelings. Next, clear away items you rarely use. These can either be donated or tossed, depending on their state of disrepair. Once you’ve culled your collection, you can finally begin to think about how you’ll store remaining items.
  • Stick with specific categories. As you begin to store the items you’ve chosen to keep, group like objects together. With clothing storage, this means placing t-shirts by other t-shirts, and sweaters by other sweaters. In the kitchen, Kondo suggests dividing items into three groups: cooking utensils, eating utensils, and food.
  • Take advantage of vertical space. Your apartment has far more space than you suspect. Instead of storing items horizontally, discover hidden pockets oriented vertically. For example, it may be possible to hang two rows of clothing in your closet or place clothing side-by-side in your dresser (rather than in your usual stacked rows).
  • Control your nostalgia. Fond recollections will make it impossible to declutter your apartment. Think carefully about whether specific items actually give you happiness in the present. Just as problematic: the time wasted when you come across a box of old photos. Set these aside as quickly as possible and resume decluttering.

Clearing away clutter is not as terrifying as you think. With the right attitude, it can be surprisingly enjoyable. You’ll quickly chase the freeing feeling of a clutter-free zone. Once you embrace Marie Kondo’s approach, a tidy apartment is well within reach.

Ample closets and storage space make it easy to keep your apartment at Parkside at Firewheel organized. Contact us today to learn more about our floor plans.

Woman Sleeping

5 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Woman SleepingOur apartments in Garland, Texas, are so comfortable it’s hard to imagine a restless night’s sleep. Every now and then everyone has a little trouble nodding off. Maybe you had a stressful day, or you have something exciting on your mind and you just can’t stop thinking about the good news. Whatever the reason, these five tips for a good night’s sleep are sure to help. These tips are just in time for World Sleep Day on March 16, so get ready to slumber!

1. Turn Off All Electronics

The blue light that’s emitted from tablets, cell phones and other devices interferes with your body’s ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is automatically created in your body to help you get to sleep. If you have a habit of watching videos before bed, it might be a good idea to lose that habit in order to improve your nightly ZZZ’s.

2. Avoid Nightcaps

Alcohol contains sugar, which can severely disrupt your normal sleep patterns. Even a small drink before bedtime can be enough to prevent your body from doing all its regular functions while you sleep, including consolidating memories from experiences you had during the day. Instead of a nightcap, try enjoying a warm cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea.

3. Rise With the Rooster

Early risers tend to get better sleep than those who lay in bed as long as possible. That early morning sun helps you wake up, and when time comes to go back to bed, you’ll be ready to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.

4. Let Go of Worries

If you have a worried mind when you go to bed, chances are those thoughts will keep you awake. Vow to celebrate World Sleep Day on March 16 by letting go of your worries until you can focus on problem solving in the morning after you’re fully rested.

5. Listen to Music

Soothing music has a relaxing effect that can put you right to sleep if you’re having troubles. Opt for something that has no lyrics, or you can even use a sound machine with sounds of nature set to music.

When you stay in Parkside at Firewheel Apartments in Garland, Texas, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep knowing you’re living the best life. For all the floor plans available right now, contact us today.

Flower Vase

How to Create Your Own Classic Flower Arrangements

Flower VaseClassic flower arrangements can bring a warm ambiance into any room. But creating the classic looks found in a professional decorating magazine makes them seem out of reach. These are some simple flower arrangement ideas for our Parkside at Firewheel community members in Garland, Texas, to consider.

Pretty in Pink

Pink can be the perfect color for a flower arrangement for a teenager’s birthday party or special event. To pull off a classic look, gather together shades of pink, red and white flowers. Work with varieties of roses, lilies, lilacs and small petals.

Begin by setting the largest varieties near the base. While arranging, consider that the tallest blooms, such as lilacs, which can be placed in the middle of the vase. Insert smaller, accent blooms to fill in any gaps and utilize greenery to provide a base contrast to the pinks, reds and whites.

Stunning Classic Contrasts

Bringing a variety of vibrant dark blooms together with light contrasting flowers can be high drama on any table. One of the tricks is to select similar hues from a variety of flowers. For example, Black Prince Snapdragons and deep red dahlias are lovely and complementary darks. Offset those with light Hosta leaves and a sprinkling of small whites and baby’s breath and you will have an eye-tantalizing arrangement.

Classic Blue Arrangements

Violets, lavender, lilacs, hydrangeas and other slightly contrasting blues can be brought together effectively. This steady color arrangement leans toward a feeling of harmony and tranquility. This blue-leaning cluster works well in a short, white vase and the more the blooms overshadow the floral holder the better. If your grouping calls for a touch of contrast, add greenery.

Country Classic Arrangements

Consider using a low wicker basket for the exterior and insert a vase to hold water inside. Gather large, lush garden blooms such as peonies, hydrangeas, yellow roses, and other light-colored flowers. Place the larger blooms around the rim and integrate a tad of pink or yellow toward the center. Don’t hesitate to harvest a few naturally-occurring wildflowers for the arrangement. This classic, country style arrangement provides a casual grace to any room or seating area.

When creating a classic flower arrangement, it’s important to consider the room and vibe you want to project. Formal dinner tables may call for deep, red roses, while a breakfast area or outdoor space can be subtly accented with lighter blooms.

We hope our Parkside at Firewheel community members enjoy these classic flower arrangement suggestions. If you or a friend would like more information about our Garland apartments, call us today.

Essential Oils

The Benefits of Using an Oil Diffuser

Essential OilsScents that come in the form of essential oils do more than make our apartments in Garland smell nice. When used with oil diffusers, they can also improve your mood, help you sleep, and even help you avoid sickness. Since they don’t use flames, they’re also safer than candles. Here are some of the things you can use them for:

Improving Your Mood

It has long been known that scents are associated with specific moods, most likely due to associations with past events in your life. Aromatherapy turns this into a repeatable phenomenon that can be used to bring about specific moods. Some scents are especially well-associated with certain general feelings, and these are often sold with the explicit goal of creating them. Lavender, for example, is typically advertised as being calming, while citrus scents are associated with energy.

If you don’t have any particular associations that you’d like to pull up, going with the suggestions on the packaging is a good first step. However, if you know that a particular scent, such as cinnamon apple, will remind you of a positive time of year or a good event, go ahead and get that one no matter what the manufacturer thinks it will do. Your personal association will override the marketing.

Avoiding Contagious Illnesses

Essential oils typically have strong antimicrobial effects. When paired with diffusers, this makes them good for keeping cold, flu and other germs out of the air. The tiny particles from the diffuser are small enough to come into direct contact with the germs, which are then killed. Tea tree oil, sage, rosemary and grapefruit oils are all suggested for this purpose.

Waking Up Your Brain Cells

Some scents work differently depending on how you’re feeling. If you’re tired, they can wake you up; while if you’re stressed, they tend to calm you down. These “adaptogenic” effects can help you think more clearly by improving your focus. Certain oils also help to balance your hormones, which also helps to level out your moods. Peppermint, pine and eucalyptus oils are recommended for this.

One way to boost the effects of your oil diffuser is to make sure you’re in good surroundings. Upgrade to one of our available apartment homes for an instant mood boost. Give us a call to learn more!

Pasta Noodles

4 Easy Weekday Dinner Recipes

Pasta NoodlesFeeling frazzled by the hustle and bustle of busy weekdays? The residents of our Garland apartments are always on the go, but that doesn’t mean they have to forgo nutritious meals in favor of pizza delivery and fast food drive-thrus. In fact, there are plenty of ways to slide great homemade dinners onto your Monday-through-Friday menu.

We found these four easy weekday dinner recipes to get you started:

1. Chicken Tamale Pie

Here’s a little secret: Almost anything that can be made in a casserole dish will be your best friend when it’s not the weekend. Almost all of this tamale pie’s ingredients are already prepared. You just need to release them from their containers, combine the cornmeal with water and spend the next sixty minutes craving your pot pie-like concoction. Five to ten minutes at the counter leads to a filling meal you can probably reheat tomorrow, too.

2. Tuna Carbonara

Switch from land to sea with this simple dish. Chances are, you probably have most of the stuff you need in your pantry or fridge, but anything you’re missing can easily be picked up at any grocery store. Tuna Carbonara also makes an excellent midday lunch; double the recipe so you can enjoy lots of leftovers.

3. Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry

Veggie prep does not have to take an eternity. With a single cutting board and a few flicks of the wrist, you can quickly turn all the best parts of the produce aisle into one incredible meal. Even better? It can easily go from vegetarian to vegan if you skip the eggs.

4. Chicken Enchilada Quinoa

If you haven’t discovered the secret kitchen cheat called rotisserie chicken, allow us to open your eyes to this culinary surprise. That golden bird that turns ever-so-delicately next to the meat counter before being placed gently in its bag is your grocer’s gift to you. Stop at the store on your way home to get this key ingredient, which can be used in hundreds of entrées. Take this enchilada dish, for instance. Shred the juicy meat, add some spices and pack your plate with the power of quinoa.

It’s much easier to get motivated to make weekday meals when you come home to a great kitchen. Our Parkside at Firewheel Apartments feature open layouts, modern finishes, and excellent kitchens. Check out the photo gallery on our website and give us a call today!

Woman Reading a Book

2018 Reading List

Woman Reading a BookYou can start 2018 off with a bang by picking up amazing books to read in your free time at your Garland apartments. Of all the new books hitting the shelves this year, the following three are creating quite a ruckus with their creative imagery and amazing tales. Add them to your reading list to experience the delightful stories within their covers.

Kick Back and Relax with The Flame by Leonard Cohen

At age 82, Leonard Cohen completed his final collection of poetry, The Flame, for release in October 2018, just two short years after his death. This collection covers a mix of brand new poems and those written in notebooks throughout his life. The intertwining of lyrics within the poems magically bring the pages to life. This book will surely reward your random returns to its pages with sage advice and opportunities to challenge your perspective.

Read The Elizas by Sara Shepard at Our Garland Apartments

After the release of the prime time hit, Pretty Little Liars, Sara Shepard aims to do it again with her new novel, The Elizas. This thrilling tale explores the downward spiral of a writer who battles false memories during the investigation into her own attempted murder. As she spirals into madness, the lines blur between reality and the world in her own novel. Shepard’s latest work will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more as you work toward unraveling the mystery within at our apartments in Garland.

Enjoy The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

The Parking Lot Attendant is a surprise hit this year from newcomer Nafkote Tamirat. This novel explores the life of a 15-year old immigrant from Ethiopia who now lives on an island with her father. The island world is run by a collective of hidden figures, giving the world an air of mystery. This coming of age story demonstrates immense character depth and emotion that promises to heighten your reading experience.

Before you dive into this reading list, learn more about our available apartments in Garland by calling us at (844) 803-2292. Across our gorgeous community, we have many different spacious floor plans for your consideration.


3 DIY Candle Ideas

CandlesCandles add a bit of warmth during the winter months. They’re also an easy way to spruce up your apartment. For a whimsical touch, consider creating your own this season. You can make your own candles and candle holders with these simple DIY ideas.

Frosted Candle Holder

To make this decorative candle holder, use an empty mason jar or other glass container. Cover the outside of it with glue, then sprinkle the glue with Epsom salt. Let the container dry for 24 hours, and you’ll have a beautiful frosted candle holder. You can purchase a small candle to go inside it or fill the holder with melted beeswax if you’d rather have a homemade candle to go with your homemade candle holder.

DIY Chai-Scented Candles

These candles can fill your home with pleasant scents this season. To make them, start by combining two cups of vegetable oil and one teaspoon of cinnamon, vanilla extract, anise, cardamom, cloves and chai tea. Grind the dry ingredients, then put them in a jar along with the vanilla and oil. Shake the jar, then let it sit for a few days. During this time, shake the jar a few times and add spices if needed for a stronger scent. Strain the vegetable oil from the jar. Melt soy or beeswax and combine with the chai mixture. Pour the wax and chai mixture combination into glass candle holders, and add a wick to each one.

Color Block Candles

These colorful candles can add a burst of cheerful color to your home. To make them, put wax in a Dixie cup, then microwave for one minute. Pour the wax into the bottom of votive holders, then place a wick inside each one and let them set. Fill more Dixie cups with wax, then place broken up pieces of crayons in each one. Use one color per cup. Microwave for two minutes, then use the melted colors to form layered candles in each votive holder. As you pour each layer, let it dry for 30 minutes before doing the next layer.

Our apartment community in Garland, Texas, is close to local shopping, so you can easily purchase supplies for your DIY candles. Contact us to learn more about our available apartments in Garland.

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