December Newsletter! Happy Holidays!

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Monroe Place Apartments Gives Back to the Children!

Gift Giving at Monroe Place!

The response to the Salvation Army Angel Tree program has been simply amazing! The old holiday saying that “it is better to give, than to receive” prevails at the sight of all the wish-gifts and needs that will go to all the children this year.

We are so proud of our Monroe Place residents! According to D. Simms, “I have been in the business over 12 years and I have never seen a response like I have seen from our residents, vendors and employees.”

Some of the larger donations this year include: roller skates, Barbie dolls, school uniforms, bedding and toys. It’s certainly beginning to look and feel like the holiday season around here.

If you have not had a chance to sponsor an Angel, and would like to do so, please stop by and grab a little Angel’s wish list from the tree. The pickup and collection date has been extended to December 2nd, so hurry on down to the leasing lobby and make a child’s wish come true.

You may continue to give all year-long, but we thank all of you for all that you have given of yourselves this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Discover the Best in Free Atlanta Events!

Can you believe we have already made it back to October? It seems like only yesterday we were preparing to decorate our patios for the scariest in Halloween themes-which is something we absolutely love to do around here. May the best patio win.

With the return of Autumn, the weather has cooled down which means plenty of events to choose from to enjoy the change in season.

Atlanta is one of the greatest cities to live in-especially Midtown-since there is a plethora of events to attend and most of them free that encompass a wide variety of themes and genres.

Here is a list of a few events and festivals happening in Atlanta during the month of October:

  • Latin America Film Festival – held at the Woodruff Art Center; expect screenings of a variety of Hispanic movie features
  • Scottish Festival and Highland Games – held at Atlanta’s Stone Mountain Park, this annual event see a range of activities paying tribute to Scottish heritage and culture; expect to see folk dancing, parades and athletic events accompanied by traditional Scottish bagpipe music
  • Harvest Moon Bluesfest – held at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, this three-day event is Georgia’s premier blues festival. Visitors can hear live blues performances while enjoying a variety of food and drink

Where do you go for fun? Tell us about it!

Make the “Swap” all of September!

In keeping with the tradition that, Midtown Atlanta is one of the greatest locations in Atlanta to live, here is another article that supports this cause.

Did you know that September is “Swaptember”? For the whole month of September, Atlanta attractions have collaborated to offer the community a way to experience all that Atlanta has to offer.

SWAPtember offers members of participating attractions discounts at all of the others. If you’re not already a member, it’s a great time to join. Members of any of the participating attractions can show their membership card and receive all of the fantastic offers including $3 off general admission; 10% off in retail store; and so much more. Membership discounts vary by attraction.

Take a look as some of the participating venues that might interest you:

You definitely don’t have to enjoy having fun out on the town of Atlanta by digging deep into your pockets. Atlanta On The Cheap is a great place to find current information on events. So get out and enjoy yourselves!

If you currently live outside of Atlanta, and are looking for a great apartment community to move to within this location, be sure to check out Monroe Place Apartments right here in the heart of Midtown Atlanta.

You Be The Judge: 2011 Atlanta Food Bank Cooking Competition

Yumm!…One of My Favorites!

Talk about mouth-watering!

Feast your eyes on these!

Shrimp Summer Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Shrimp Rolls makeup one of my favorite dishes! I have been wanting to try making homemade summer rolls for some time, and I finally found a good recipe from Pillsbury.

INGREDIENTS
Dipping Sauce
1 jar (7.25 oz) hoisin sauce (3/4 cup)
1 cup water
2 teaspoons roasted red chili paste (from 4-oz jar)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Summer Rolls
4 oz dried thin rice noodles or rice vermicelli (from 8.8-oz package)
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup shredded carrot (about 1 medium)
10 oz frozen cooked salad shrimp (about 1 3/4 cups), thawed, drained
12 round rice paper wrappers (about 8 inch; from 12-oz package)

DIRECTIONS
1. In medium bowl, mix dipping sauce ingredients. Cover; refrigerate while continuing with recipe.
2. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package. Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix lettuce, cilantro, carrot and shrimp.
3. Sprinkle water over 1 paper towel; place on cutting board. Fill a 10-inch pie plate with water. Place 1 rice paper wrapper in water 45 to 60 seconds or until pliable but not completely softened. Gently remove wrapper from water, shaking to drain excess water; place on damp paper towel.
4. Starting close to 1 edge of wrapper, form a row of about 1/4 cup noodles. On noodles, arrange about 1/3 cup of the lettuce mixture. Starting with edge covered with fillings, roll up wrapper over fillings, stopping after first turn to tuck in sides. Continue to roll up, tucking in sides. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
5. Place rolls, seam sides down and without touching, on platter. (If rolls touch, they will stick together.) Serve immediately with sauce, or cover with moist paper towels and refrigerate up to 2 hours. To serve, cut each roll in half diagonally.

Enjoy!

Rethink Your Nighttime Routine

A Sleeping moon in a cap.

Bedtime Routines!

Are you not quite tired or have a lot on your mind when it’s time for your head to hit the pillow? Have you ever thought about starting a nighttime routine and unwinding at least 1-2 hours before heading to bed?

We all have trouble sleeping from time to time. But you can make it easier to get a good night’s sleep every night with these simple steps:

  • Relax before bedtime. Stress not only makes you miserable, it wreaks havoc on your sleep. Develop some kind of pre-sleep ritual to break the connection between all the day’s stress and bedtime. These rituals can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour.
  • Choose activities that won’t get your adrenaline going or stress you out. Start by preparing for the next day. Make tomorrow’s To Do list, pick out clothes, gather things you need to take with you, brush your teeth, hair, etc. Then relax.
  • Cut caffeine. Simply put, caffeine can keep you awake. It can stay in your body longer than you might think – the effects of caffeine can take as long as eight hours to wear off. So if you drink a cup of coffee in the afternoon and are still tossing at night, caffeine might be the reason. Cutting out caffeine at least four to six hours before bedtime can help you fall asleep easier.
  • Exercise at the right time for you. Regular exercise can help you get a good night’s sleep. The timing and intensity of exercise seems to play a key role in its effects on sleep. If you are the type of person who gets energized or becomes more alert after exercise, it may be best not to exercise in the evening. Regular exercise in the morning even can help relieve insomnia, according to a study.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable. For many people, even the slightest noise or light can disturb sleep like the purring of a cat or the light from your laptop or TV. Use earplugs, window blinds or curtains, and an electric blanket or air conditioner everything possible to create an ideal sleep environment. And don’t use the overhead light if you need to get up at night; use a small night-light instead. Ideal room temperatures for sleeping are between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 75 or below about 54 can disrupt sleep.
    Bed made with white bed linen. Four fluffy pil...

    Bedtime should be inviting.

  • Eat right, sleep tight. Try not to go to bed hungry, but avoid heavy meals before bedtime. An over-full belly can keep you up. Some foods can help, though. Milk contains tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting substance. Other foods that may help promote sleep include tuna, halibut, pumpkin, artichokes, avocados, almonds, eggs, bok choy, peaches, walnuts, apricots, oats, asparagus, potatoes, buckwheat, and bananas.
  • Avoid watching TV, eating, and discussing emotional issues in bed. The bed should be used for sleep and sex only. If not, you can end up associating the bed with distracting activities that could make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
  • Create your own list of relaxing bedtime activities. Such as, light household chores like picking up, read easy-on-the-mind books and magazines, watch light TV, listen to relaxing music or whatever relaxes you. Then when you feel sleepy, roll into bed!

If you try to sleep before you feel a little sleepy, you’ll just toss and turn. Also, try not to drink fluids after 8 p.m. This can keep you from having to get up to use the bathroom during the night. Do you ever have trouble sleeping? What thoughts run through your head that keep you from getting enough sleep?

Music Midtown, 311 Call Center, and the Streetcar Are Coming to Atlanta

Montage of Atlanta images. From top to bottom ...

Image via Wikipedia

Three big news items we’d like to cover today:

We’re sure you’ve heard…after five years, Music Midtown is finally returning to Atlanta. September 24, the long-time Atlanta music festival will return to Piedmont Park after a six-year hiatus. Headlining bands will be Coldplay and The Black Keys. Other bands scheduled to perform include Cage the Elephant, The Constellations, Young the Giant, Band of Skulls, The Joy Formidable, Manchester Orchestra, and more. We’re excited to have a significant music festival back in Atlanta. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, July 16 for $55. But how would you feel if Music Midtown ruined your wedding? An Atlanta couple who had booked part of Piedmont Park for September 24 started a Facebook group protesting about the surprise event that would conflict with their wedding. Fortunately, it was reported this week that the City, Piedmont Park, and Live Nation helped find a new venue for the wedding, and cheers were heard all around.

This week, it was reported that Bloomberg Philanthropies donated $3.3 million to fund an “Innovation Delivery Team” that will develop a 311 call center allowing the city’s citizens to dial 311 to find the right department for a service, freeing up 911 and other phone lines and improving customer service for Atlantans unsure of how to report information to the city. Additionally, part of the grant will help to fund anti-homelessness and anti-panhandling initiatives that will serve to reduce the incidence of both in Atlanta.

Finally, the Federal Transit Administration has announced that work can begin on the Atlanta Streetcar Project. The electric streetcar system will run 2.6 miles through the heart of downtown Atlanta, with access to residential, cultural, educational, and historic centers, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the World of Coca-Cola, and the Georgia Aquarium. Additionally, it will provide easy access to the new residential and dining districts popping up on Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward and at the Pencil Factory on Decatur Street, offering easy transit to Georgia State University and MARTA.

With all this buzzing development, it’s an exciting time to be in-town!

Those Tanning Beds Don’t Give You Personal Skin Care

A tanning bed in use.

Image via Wikipedia

Tanning beds! They don’t exactly care for your skin during the hot summer months when the Sun‘s heat is pretty harsh. What necessary measures do you take to keep your body’s skin healthy? Do you burn easily or do you always just turn a deep brown?

Like many people, my skin is fair during the cooler months in comparison to what it looks like during the warmer months. And I choose to not go to a tanning bed venue to maintain a dark complexion.

Now, I really enjoy laying out by the pool or just simply being outdoors and catching some rays, but I am guilty of not using a strong enough sunscreen or even sunblock and we are all well aware that preparation is key. Although I will brown in the following days, I can burn very easily at first exposure to the sun right around the shoulders and neck area.

Did you know that those pesky ultraviolet A and B rays (UVA and UVB rays) can damage your skin even if you don’t get a sunburn? And a tan is the body’s attempt to merely protect itself from the Sun’s harmful rays. And on top of that, the sun releases vitamin C to try and repair the damage.

What are some of the elements that put you at risk for skin damage?

Here are a few:

  • Being fair-skinned
  • Having light-colored eyes. Who knew?
  • Sun-burning easily
  • Having many moles, freckles or birthmarks

Are you fair-skinned and light-eyed? What do you do to prepare for laying out in the sun? What is your preferred level of sunscreen or sunblock protection? 12? 35?

Get Inspired With A Great Playlist

iPod 5th Generation white.

What songs get you movin'?

A little bit of country and some dance music – that’s what I listen to when I exercise! But what about you? I often feel like I need some really energetic tunes to get me moving.

Is your iPod playlist the only thing that gets you through your intense workout? Do the grooves of Whitney Houston’s “Million Dollar Bill” keep you at a steady pace on the treadmill? Can Daniel Bedingfield’s “Gotta Get Through This” motivate you to do one more rep on the weight machine?

What’s the best way to find music you might actually like? Well, the short answer is A LOT of trial and error. However, here are a few ideas for expanding your search techniques:

  • Borrow from your spouse, partner, family members or friends.
  • Expose yourself to a wider variety of tunes even when you’re not working out.
  • Check with bloggers who have made lists or asked their readers for suggestions. (InTheGym.net)
  • Go to a big database and browse through their categories or search user favorites. (Amazon or iTunes)
  • Let sites with fancy algorithms recommend things you like. (Pandora)

With these ideas and many more you are sure to find something you like that will keep you motivated and inspired to workout and reach your goals. I have actually conditioned myself to look forward to the time I get to spend working out and listening to some music. I find it’s a great way to unwind from a long day.

What’s on your playlist? What do you groove to?

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