Spring Vacation!

For anyone wanting to get away this Spring, but not wanting to spend a small fortune to do so, check out Daytona Beach, Florida! Not only are there plenty of things to do, it’s at the top of the list for most affordable Spring getaway destinations and there’s no need for a passport!

Daytona Beach has many beach-front hotels that offer special Spring trip rates, which keeps you on budget and leaves you with more money for fun! As Daytona is a top choice for a Spring travel, many hotels have special daily events such as music and poolside contests during the months of March and April. If you plan to check out the night life, many of the major beach-front hotels offer FREE transportation to and from all the hot spots! If you don’t mind leaving the beach for a day, you can take a quick trip to Orlando and visit “The Happiest Place on Earth” or catch some thrills at Universal Studios Orlando.

Disney World is made up of a total of six parks – four theme parks and two water parks. Spend the day at your favorite park or get the Park Hopper ticket to make the most of your time. Walk through Cinderella’s castle, travel around the globe, become one with the animals and watch Hollywood come to life all in a single day! If you have time to spare, you can make a splash at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach!

If Universal Studios is more your speed, you can choose from two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, or visit them both with a park-to-park ticket! Go on an adventure through many different worlds as you cast a spell at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, help your favorite super heroes defeat the villain and escape the sharp jaws of a T. Rex. Once you’ve had your fill of thrills, you can head back to Daytona to relax poolside or take a nice walk on the beach and feel the sand between your toes.
When you’re fully refreshed and on your way home, you can rest easy knowing that you made the most of your Spring vacation and can look forward to your next getaway!

It’s Time For Spring Cleaning!

Spring is in the air, so open-up those windows and let that fresh air in. Spring is the perfect time to take care of that cleaning you’ve been pushing off through the winter months. Here are some simple tips to help make your Spring cleaning a breeze!

While opening those windows, go ahead and give them a good scrub as well. The best cleaner to use is either a window spray, like Windex, or just soap and water. To make sure the cleaning solution does not dry before you’re able to wipe it clean, avoid the sun and do your window washing on a cloudy day. Another helpful hint is to purchase a window squeegee (Lowes or Walmart) to get a flawless finish.

The next things that are easily forgotten are the cabinets. Over time they can collect anything from dust to fallen food or grease particles to pet hair and anything in between. An easy way to get rid of the build-up, is to use a wash cloth or towel and a cabinet cream (try Home Depot or Amazon). Wipe down all cabinet fronts and in-between spaces and presto, your cabinets are like new!

Another area of your apartment home that probably needs some love is the carpet. The carpet is often forgotten about when cleaning. It’s a huge pain to pull out the vacuum cleaner and maneuver around the furniture, and it’s only really necessary to do a deep clean three to four times a year. So, skip the fuss and hire the pros to do your Spring carpet cleaning.

Now that the carpet has been brightened up, take a look at your closet. How long have you had that striped shirt that still has the tag on it? Have those jeans been on the shelf untouched for years? Well, there’s no time like the present! Clean out that closet and give yourself a fresh start. When putting things back, turn all your hangers the opposite direction. This will make it easier to see what you wear most often and what you should get rid of next time you thin out your clothes.

Pets of the Month!

DOG: My name is Cooper and I live at The Biltmore in Omaha, NE. I was adopted from the Humane Society a little over a year ago. I am a King Charles Spaniel and I’m 8-years-old. I enjoy long walks and long rides on my dad’s motorcycle.Squeaky duck is my favorite toy, and I love to meet new people and furry friends. My dad says I’m the sweetest guy you’ll ever meet!

CAT: My name is Kora and I am 4-years-old. I live in Houston, TX at the Lanesborough Apartments. I love to play fetch with my toy mice, and when I get tired from that, I enjoy sunbathing in the window. I love to cuddle and have my chin rubbed. When my parents fall asleep, I love to pull all of my toys out of my toy box. Sometimes I even leave a few of my toys in my mom and dad’s shoes to show them my love.

Think you have the world’s cutest pet and want everyone to know it? There’s nothing wrong with being a show off! Enter your pet in Richdale’s Pet of the Month contest for a chance to win a BarkBox or KitNipBox for your furry friend. Tell us about your furry friend and if he or she is featured, YOU win! Send pictures and a brief description to: TheLeaf@richdale.com!

Make Every Day Earth Day!

In order to keep our planet green and beautiful for all generations, we must work together. Being informed is the first step to ensuring the future of our incredible planet. The next step is to take action. There are three ways you can help.

Get involved, give to a cause and spread the word. To get involved, you can do something as simple as planting a tree or you can help reduce your ecological footprint by using less disposable plastic. You can also help by giving to a cause of your choice. Some great causes include National Geographic – helping the conservation of our precious wildlife, The Canopy Project – helping to plant trees all around the world, or the Earth Day Network – helping to educate people on the effects of global warming and how to help.
A final way you can take action is to spread the word! Take to your social media accounts and educate those closest to you about their effects on the environment and what they can do to reduce their footprint. If we all come together, we have a greater chance of conserving our beautiful home. To find out more and learn about other ways you can help, please visit earthday.org.

Carrot Patch Pudding Cups

Ingredients:

  • Pudding:
  • 1/4 C Cornstarch
  • 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
  • 1/8 TSP Salt
  • 3 C Whole Milk
  • 6 oz. Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 TSP Pure Vanilla Extract

Decorations:

  • 15 Strawberries
  • 1 (12 oz.) Bag of Orange Candy Melts
  • 10 Oreos, Crushed to Crumbs

Pudding Instructions:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt
  • Whisk in the milk slowly until fully incorporated
  • Heat over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens –
    whisk occasionally to break up any clumps
  • Add the chocolate and continue to stir until smooth, about 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract
  • Pour mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining clumps
  • Portion pudding into individual cups about 3/4 of the way full – place in
    fridge 2-3 hours

Decorating Instructions:

  • Line a cookie sheet with wax paper- Place candy melts in a microwave-safe
    bowl and heat for 30-second intervals – mixing well between each
    interval until smooth
  • Dip each strawberry in the candy melts as far up to the green as you can
  • Place the dipped strawberries on the wax paper
  • Use a spoon to drizzle more orange candy melts for a striped look
  • Place strawberries in the fridge for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to
    cool completely*When the pudding is ready, sprinkle each cup with a layer of Oreo
    crumbs. Place a dipped strawberry in each cup, submerging the
    strawberry about halfway down. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

February Pet of the Month

My name is Charlie. I am a Yorkie and I live in Lincoln, NE at the Lenox Village Apartments with my mom and dad, Deb and Mike. I am 11 years old. I love to walk at least 3 times a day, sometimes more. I love being able to go to work with my dad while my mom travels during the week. I love treats and expect one every time I come back in from a walk. My mom and dad love me to pieces and I love them very much too!

Recipe: Taste the Love with Red Velvet Puppy Chow!

Ingredients:
• 5 C. Rice Chex Cereal
• 3/4 C. White Chocolate Chips
• 1/4 C. Chocolate Chips
• 2 oz. Cream Cheese (room temp)
• 1 1/2 Tbsp. Milk
• 1 C. Red Velvet Cake Mix
• 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
• Valentine Colored M&M’s
• Heart Sprinkles

Directions:
1. Measure out Rice Chex cereal and place into large bowl.
2. Place cake mix and powdered sugar into a large plastic bag or tupperware with a lid.
3. Melt chocolate chips together in the microwave for 30 second increments. Careful not to burn and stir until smooth.
4. Stir cream cheese and milk into the melted chocolate.
5. Pour chocolate over Rice Chex cereal and stir until coated.
6. Dump cereal into the bag or tupperware with powdered sugar and cake mix. Shake well.
7. Spread onto a cookie sheet and let cool.
8. Mix with M&M’s and sprinkles and serve!

Recipe from: www.yourcupofcake.com/2013/01/red-velvet-puppy-chow.html

Unique Sites For Valentine Gifts

Forget the flowers and chocolate this year! Instead, buy your valentine something unique and unexpected. Check out these cool sites for hand-made creations and other thoughtful gifts. If you can imagine it, they probably have it! Most of what you will find on these sites cannot be found in stores, which guarantees a unique gift for that special person on February 14th.

POPCHARTLAB.COM
For Her: The Compendious Coffee Chart
For Him: The Very Manly Varieties of Beer Stainless Steel Tumbler

ETSY.COM
For Him: Personalized Wooden Watch
For Her: Personalized Metal Keychain

OLIVEANDCOCOA.COM
For Her: French Grapefruit & Bergamot Spa Crate
For Him: Gentlemen’s Deluxe Shaving Set

Holiday Travel Destination

Unfortunately, the cool winter months are upon us and there will be no sign of warmer weather for at least 4 more months. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to retreat and soak up some sun, now is your chance! Where should you go, you might ask? Look no further than the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Located just off the coast of Puerto Rico the U.S. Virgin Islands are made up of three main islands, Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix, and a handful of smaller islands. Saint Croix is the largest of the three and offers a gorgeous tropical climate with little seasonal change, warm sand beaches and crystal clear waters, making it the perfect destination for a winter get-away. To get to Saint Croix you will fly into it’s major airport, Henry E. Rohlsen Airport located right on the island.

As to be expected, Saint Croix has numerous noteworthy beaches and bays to explore. One of the bays to check out is Annaly Bay. Though it’s quite the trek to reach, the warm tide pools and top notch snorkeling are well worth the journey. If you’re looking more to relax, head over to Davis Bay, located at the Carambola Beach Resort. Complete with soft white sand, quiet atmosphere and hammocks, Davis Bay is the perfect place to recharge.

If you’re looking for a family adventure, be sure to check out the Air Skills Institute where you can take to the skies and see Saint Croix island in a whole new way! Saint Croix jumps are open on weekends between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and don’t worry the Air Skills Institute has 25 years of sky diving experience.

If you’d rather keep your feet planted on the ground, there are plenty of other activities for you to choose from including a number of museums and historical sites. Two spots to add to the list include Fort Christiansvaern and the Estate Whim Plantation Museum. Fort Christiansvaern was completed in 1749 and was used as protection from pirates or other invaders. It also served as a police station and courthouse, but now displays 1830s furnishings and exhibits local military history. You can also travel back to the 18th Century as you walk the building at the Estate Whim Plantation Museum. Tour the oldest sugar plantation in the Virgin Islands and take a walk through the greathouse, see the fully restored windmill and of course, the ruins of the sugar factory.

When the day turns into night, be sure to explore all that the nightlife entertainment has to offer. Before you head out for a fun evening, enjoy a delicious traditional Caribbean meal or order something with a French or Thai influence. After dinner visit one of the many local bars to hear some live music or maybe even impress your friends with your karaoke skills.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure or nothing but relaxation, you can find it all on the island of Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. So, pack those bags and escape some of the cold winter weather months!

 

DIY: Holiday Craft

What you need:

· battery operated tea lights
· red ribbon (thick and thin)
· red pipe cleaners
· red pom-poms
· black sharpie
· orange sharpie
· glue gun
· scissors

Instructions:

1. Draw the face of a snowman on the tea light with the black sharpie.

2. Cut a piece of pipe cleaner about 2.5 inches long and use a glue gun to attach pipe cleaner to the curved portion on the snowman’s head.

3. Use more glue to attach the pom-poms to each end of the pipe cleaner.

4. Cut a piece of ribbon that is about 4.5 inches long and overlap the ends to look like a scarf. Combine ends with a dot of hot glue.

5. Glue the inside, back of the ribbon to the back of the tea light.

6. Cut a piece of thin red ribbon about 11 inches long – slide on end under the pipe cleaner and tie a small knot with the ends.

7. Color the ‘flame’ part of the tea light with the orange sharpie.

8. Hang your creations on the wall or on your tree!