Creativity & Planning: Gift Giving Made Easy

Giving gifts can often times be as rewarding as receiving them, especially if the path to acquiring them isn’t paved with stress and dread. If you always find yourself struggling with finding the right gift for someone or waiting until the last minute, follow these tips for gift giving that will make gift giving a joy and a breeze.

gift giving

Think Ahead

Keep a calendar including everyone’s birthday and holiday so you can anticipate it coming up well ahead of time and start thinking early about what gift to seek out. This will give you plenty of time to find the best one and shop around to compare quality, style and price.

Be Efficient

If you find a stellar gift for a friend or family member that you think more of the people on your gift list would like, there’s no reason not to buy several of them for multiple people. Chances are if one person loves it, someone else you’re close to probably will too.

Give in Couples or Groups

birthday calendar partyOne way to make the gifting process easier on yourself is to join forces with your significant other, siblings or group of friends to purchase something together. This means everyone will have less to think about and search for, but also one big great gift rather than several smaller mediocre ones for the recipient.

Make Your Own

Can’t find something you’re excited about to give to a loved one? Then make your own! Decide what the person you are giving a gift would appreciate and enjoy and then create it yourself, whether that’s a homemade cookies or jam, a hand painted picture frame with a photo, a personalized playlist, a card, or anything you can imagine.

Organization: How to Get Started When You Feel Overwhelmed

A common feeling for people who are juggling a lot in their life, like work, school, parenting, being involved in extracurricular activities, etc. is to get stressed and overwhelmed which can result in not knowing how to handle it all. When this feeling takes over, it’s best to follow a few basic steps to begin scaling the situation down to a manageable size so you can tackle everything one by one.

How To Get Organized

to do list

Get prepared – This may seem pretty basic, but the best way to get started is to get up, get out of bed, get dressed, have breakfast and formulate an action plan before you dive right in. Being mentally and physically ready will allow you to be more efficient and effective once you get started.organized work space

Organize your workspace – A clean and organized workspace really does make a difference. It will help your work go faster when you have easier access to the tools you need to do the job, and a neat and tidy workspace will put you in the right mentality to focus and finish.

To-do list – Making a to-do list is crucial to keep you on track at the tasks at hand and the order they need to be completed. Start by writing absolutely everything down that needs to be done sooner or later, and then prioritize the list by what needs to happen ASAP and what can be addressed after those items are completed. Once you have your divide and conquer plan in place, go through each task one by one.

These three basic steps will get you to the best place to finish everything you set out to do, including work tasks, home chores, errands and extra commitments.

Apartment Ideas: Independence Day Party Decorations

One of the perks of renting your own apartment is the freedom to throw parties whenever you want! And what better time or reason for a party than 4th of July? Independence Day is a time of national celebration, so it’s the perfect opportunity to go all out and be as festive as you want! Try these ideas for party decorations to host the best 4th of July blowout ever!

4th of July Apartment Party Ideas

Use the patriotic red, white and blue motif to your heart’s desire and purchase party decorations like a 4th of July garland, and decorate your house with red, white and blue flowers. Adorn your table with an American flag table cloth or runner, stars and stripes place settings, and red, white and blue star-shaped glitter. Use mason jars stuffed with red and blue bandanas to hold silverware for that extra touch.

4th of july decorations

You can even take your food to the next level. In addition to the 4th of July favorites like hamburgers and hotdogs, there are many ways to incorporate the American motif into your presentation:

  • Serve blueberries and strawberries with whipped cream for an edible pop of red, white and blue.
  • Create a signature summer cocktail using festive straws or drink stirrers for even more party flair.
  • Make a cake using blueberries, strawberries and whipped cream or go miniature and make cake pops with red, white and blue frosting.

4th of july decorations

Looking for an apartment to host fun dinner parties for the holidays, or any occasion? Check out the available apartments right now in the metro New Orleans area from 1st Lake Properties.

Apartment Living 101: What Not to Put in the Dishwasher

Some people living on their own for the first time have to learn the hard way. If you’re new to certain household chores, there can be a big margin of error. You’ll quickly discover common rookie mistakes like washing clothes incorrectly as well as the wrong way to wash dishes. Not everything is meant to be thrown in the dishwasher. To avoid damaging your dishes and cookware, here’s what you should avoid putting in the dishwasher and the proper way to clean these items.
dishwasher
Cast Iron – Because of its heavy duty nature, cast iron needs a little extra care than normal dishes. Cast iron can be properly cleaned with hot water and a sponge or brush and then towel dried. Stubborn stuck-on food can be removed by scrubbing with coarse salt and water.

Good Knives – Quality, sharp knives should not be washed in the dishwasher, as they could become dull quicker. It’s better to handwash your knives and dry with a tea towel.

Crystal – Expensive, delicate crystal dishware should be given extra care and washed individually by hand. Putting in the dishwasher can cause chipping or cracking.

Wooden Utensils – Some wooden utensils can be put in the dishwasher, put others could warp, crack or lose its finish, so check the manufacturer for directions.

Nonstick Pans – Putting non-stick pans in the dishwasher may ruin their effectiveness, so it’s best to hand wash them to be safe, or check with the manufacturer on the best way to clean.

Copper Pans – The main draw for these kind of pans is their beautiful color, which may be compromised if put in the dishwasher.

Soft Plastic – Soft plastic will melt if run through the dishwasher; hard plastic can be placed on the top shelf.

Disposable Aluminum – Aluminum trays that are reusable should be handwashed, otherwise they will flake if run through the dishwasher.

Anything with Adhesives – If any of your tuperware, glass bottles or any other dishes have adhesive labels attached, they should not be put in the dishwasher as they can come off and clog parts of the dishwasher.

Moving Tips: 5 Apartment Search Considerations

1st Lake Properties has over 9,500 excellent apartment options for you to choose from in the metro New Orleans, Northshore and Baton Rouge areas.

But, before you even start looking for your next apartment, make sure you are taking the proper steps.

In order to pick the best 1st Lake property, follow these guidelines:

welcome mat apartment search

Budget

This may seem like a no-brainer, but planning out what you can realistically afford each month isn’t easy. You need to think about all expenses such as credit card and student loan payments, groceries, car insurance and spending money. Once you’ve calculated these items, subtract them from your monthly income, find a realistic budget, and stick to it.

Commute

When you find an apartment you really love, it is easy to overlook the long commute. Don’t. Long commutes can translate into lost time with family and high gas mileage payments. Try to find a place close to your school or office.

Amenities

One of the perks of apartment living is all the extra features that come along with your rental fee. What interior/exterior amenities are important to you? Do you want a washer/dryer, swimming pool, or fitness center? Many of our apartment communities have fantastic fixtures, so keep an eye out when apartment searching.

Neighborhood

Location is one of the most important factors of apartment hunting. Some people want to be in quiet neighborhoods, while others want to be around a thriving nightlife.

If you aren’t already familiar with your future neighborhood, do as much research as possible. Consult our neighborhood guides to find the right location for you:

Excess Belongings

If you are serious about moving, even if you don’t have an exact moving date set, start getting rid of all of your excess belongings now so you’ll have less to do once the time comes.

If you found this article helpful, share it on Facebook or Twitter and ease a friend’s apartment hunting woes.

Related posts: Renting a Moving Truck, Moving to New Orleans, Space Saving Tips for the Kitchen.

 

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