Five Ways to Change Your Bedroom Without Spending Money

After a certain amount of time, even the most wonderfully-decorated bedrooms can feel boring and in need of a change, but spending a ton of money on re-decorating isn’t always in the cards. Luckily, there are many ways that you can infuse new life into your bedroom that don’t cost any money at all. Try these simple tactics to help you see your personal space with fresh eyes and excitement.bedroom bed

Clean Your Bedding

When life is busy, cleaning the bedding may be the last thing on your list, but if you take everything off the bed and give it a good wash, putting the bed together again with crisp, delicious smelling fabric can make the whole room feel fresh and renewed.

Use Pieces from Other Rooms

If your bedroom is feeling drab, try taking artwork and lighting from other rooms in your home. Maybe the wall piece above your couch would really change the space above your dresser; or maybe the floor lamp by your book case could really bring a fresh lighting scheme into your bedroom. Small changes like this make the world of a difference, and get you excited about the things you already own.

Organize Your Nightstand

It’s easy to let your nightstand gather clutter and that can make your bedroom feel messy and frustrating, especially since it is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you see in the morning. Take time to organize and de-clutter your nightstand; keep only what you need and want displayed next to your bed and you can change your whole attitude about your room.

Make Your Bed

Cleaning your bedding is one way to help refresh your bedroom, but on a daily basis, making your bed is key. When you are busy, it may be an easy thing to think you can “do later”, but then you end up with an un-made bed all day, every day, and the bed is one of the biggest pieces in any bedroom. Simply making your bed every morning can make you feel organized and make your space look clean. And you can always remind yourself: in a world of chaos, at least the bed is made.

Get Rid of Things You Don’t Love

In your closet, in your dressers, and on your tables, take a month and each day get rid of one thing that you don’t use, need, or love. Built up clutter and things that we see and don’t want anymore can make us feel frustrated and chaotic. Getting rid of excess makes room for the new, and seeing only the things we love in our closets and dresser can help us to appreciate and utilize the things we own more, and more clearly see what it is we actually need in our lives.

5 Tips for Being Happier at Home

Happiness is a state of being. Many of us, when busy or upset, can start to feel down and frustrated with our surroundings. Instead of just deciding you don’t like your place, you can rejuvenate the space and bring more happy into your home life with a few simple tweaks. A little care and effort can change your perspective on things inside the home and out. Try some of these tips to start feeling happier at home right away. be happy

1. Bring in a Plant – Caring for a living being brings a sense of vitality and commitment into a home, and a plant is a simple way to experience those feelings, while also bringing pleasing, and even soothing, color into your décor.

2. Decorate with Personal Touches – Sometimes making a space feel more like home and more like yours can be as easy as decorating with one or a few sentimental items. Displaying things like family heirlooms or precious souvenirs from some of your favorite trips can remind you that you and your experiences are what really make a home special.

3. Focus on One Thing You Love – Gratitude changes everything; you can choose to focus on the negative, which can be found in anything, or you can choose to pick at least one thing a week to focus on that you love about your home. Every time you pass it, you will smile with appreciation, which breeds more appreciation for other things, and brings about inspiration and pride in your space.

4. Find Time to Relax – Our lives can be so busy; making time to relax in your space can make it feel more like home and your sanctuary, rather than just a place to store your things. Take time for reading a book in a cozy nook, squeezing in a weekend nap in perfect afternoon light, or put some music on and cook yourself a lovely meal. You deserve it.

5. Treat Yourself – Every once in a while you need to invest in yourself and your space. Buy yourself a treat that you’ve been wanting to get for the home and let it be something that makes you smile and brightens the room. If you do this every so often, you will begin to see the home you’ve always wanted.

Summer Meals: the Best Fish for Grilling

Summer is the perfect time for grilling, and 1st Lake residents can do it right at home with grilling stations provided at many apartment communities. Fish is a lighter, healthier alternative to steak or chicken and taste delicious grilled over an open flame, however you have to be careful when choosing what type of fish to grill. Some more delicate, flaky fish like tilapia and flounder won’t work on the grill. Opt for the firmer, eatier fish to put on the grill. Here are the best fish for grilling.

grilling fish summer


Swordfish is perfect for grilling. They are sold as steak fillets, so you can throw them on the grill whole after seasoning, or cut them up into skewers for delicious fish kabobs.



grilled salmonSalmon is delicious grilled, and can hold up to the heat of a grill without falling apart. Season with spices, lemon juice and dill for great flavor.


Tuna is one of the sturdiest fish and cooks well on the grill. Get a nice sear on a tuna steak for that smoky flavor that’s perfect for summer cookouts.


Snapper is one of those fish that tastes great any way you cook it, and the mild white fish will hold up well on the grill.

Mahi Mahi

This firm, mild white fish is a crowd pleaser that will taste great from the grill flavor, seasoned with spices and lime juice.

1st Lake Properties apartments in Louisiana and Mississippi are fortunately located in the Gulf Coast area which has direct access to some of the best seafood in the country, which means you’ll have a high quality selection at the market or grocery store for your summer grillout.

Healthy Eating: How to Store Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fresh and healthy food on a regular basis requires keeping fresh produce in your kitchen. For those of us new to cooking or who often find our produce has quickly deteriorated shortly after purchasing it, there are a few basic rules of thumb when it comes to storing fruits and vegetables. Follow these kitchen guidelines for maintaining your produce’s freshness for as long as possible.

Tips for Storing Fruits and Vegetables

Don’t store fruits and vegetables together – Fruits give off ethylene which is a ripening agent and can cause vegetables to start rotting prematurely, so keep your fruits and vegetables separate from each other in the refrigerator.fruits and vegetables

Storing vegetables – Vegetables from the grocery store or market should have their ties or rubber bands removed before putting in the refrigerator. For leafy vegetables like celery, trim the ends with a little left on to keep them from drying out. Place the vegetables loosely in the refrigerator with enough space so they’re not right on top of each other, which can cause them to decompose quicker. Leafy greens can be washed ahead of time but other vegetables like mushrooms as well as delicate herbs should not be washed until they are ready to be prepared to eat.

Storing fruits – The way fruit should be stored depends on how quickly you want them to ripen if they are not already. Fruits like avocado, tomato, melons, apples and pears will ripen if stored on the countertop, but can also be stored in the refrigerator if they aren’t meant to be consumed immediately. Fruits like bananas, grapes, bell peppers, citrus and berries will all ripen quickly and should be stored in the refrigerator unless they are intended to be eaten on the day of purchase.

Healthy, Budget-Friendly Meals for Summer

When it comes to cooking your own meals at home, you don’t always have the time or money to prepare a wholesome, healthy meal with a busy schedule and a tight budget. This can result in eating spaghetti mixed with a jar of store-bought sauce or frozen dinners more often than you’d like to admit. However, with just a little pre-planning, you can avoid this these redundant meals for something better tasting and better for you without spending your whole paycheck.

Quick and Healthy Meals on a Budget

pan seared fishPan seared fish – Fish is a lighter protein that is delicious, and cooks quickly and easily. Choose something mild and inexpensive like tilapia, season both sides with spices and herbs to your liking, and pan sear on the stove top on both sides until fully cooked through. Serve with a side of sautéed or roasted vegetables and couscous and you’ve got yourself one quick, healthy and delicious meal.

Summer quinoa salad – Quinoa is a less starchy alternative to pasta and rice and can be a hearty base for a main course entrée. Cook quinoa in vegetable or chicken stock and set aside to cool. Add your choice of veggies like peppers, onions, zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Throw in some soy beans or chickpeas for extra protein and pepper and dress with a zesty citrus dressing.

Black bean tacos – These tacos are delicious and easy to make at home. Heat a can of black beans on the stove with Mexican spices like cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and coriander. Then heat up some corn tortillas with a small amount of oil on both sides. Fill your lightly grilled toritllas with the black beans and add salsa, cheese and lettuce or cilantro.

black bean tacos


Curried lentils – Add some Indian flavor into your cooking repertoire with a warm, comforting bowl of curried lentils. Lentils are a great source of protein that can be cooked just like a stew until you get the desired tenderness. Start by sautéing onion and garlic, then add your lentils and vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until lentils are thoroughly cooked. While simmering, add curry powder or paste, ginger, and salt and pepper. Throw in potatoes or peas for a heartier meal.

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