Friday, September 14, 2018

7 DIY Hacks to Get Your Apartment Ready For Fall

1. Fall Spice Candles

The best part of fall is the crisp air coming through an open window and the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin wafting through the house. You can make your room smell like pumpkin pie with this DIY pumpkin pie spice candle!

 What You’ll Need:

-Mason jar, candlewick, beeswax, coconut oil, pumpkin pie spice
1 spice_candlesvia littlehouseliving

2. Pine Cone Centerpiece

Scented pine cones smell DELICIOUS, and add a cute decorative touch to any space. Fill a bowl of them on your coffee table, and add a candle (in a vase, let’s be fire safe) for a relaxed vibe. This is a great centerpiece for a dinner party or to enjoy every day!

You’ll Need:

-Wooden bowl, pine cones (scented or unscented), glass vase, candle
2 pineconevia countryliving

3. Fall Banner

Your mantle wants to feel the fall lovin’ too, so make this DIY banner to celebrate all things fall.

You’ll Need:

-String, triangle stencil, letter stencils, paint, fabric or card stock, ribbon in fall colors
3 fall_bannervia creationsbyKara

4. Fall Wreath

If you love having a wreath on your door to welcome visitors, you can custom make one to add your unique flair! Customize with initials, your surname, or lots and lots of jack-o-lanterns. Get the kids involved making paper leaves and pumpkins for an activity the family will love (and admire) throughout the season.

You’ll Need:

-Pre-made grapevine wreath, burlap ribbon, scissors and hot glue gun, pine cones, mini chalkboard, wired vine, baker’s twine
4 door_wreathvia craftsunleashed

5. Canning Jar Pumpkin

If you’re a mason jar lover and have lots of extra lids around, consider making them into a pumpkin. All you have to do is string the lids together and add some cinnamon sticks for the stem.

You’ll Need:

-Canning jar lids (same size), twine, cinnamon sticks, burlap (for the leaves)
5 jar ring pumpkinvia yellowblissroad

6. Fall Mug

In the season of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, hot chocolate, and tea, you definitely need to have a great mug. Personalize yours by painting it with fall leaves in fall colors to get even more into the fall spirit!

You’ll need:

-White mug, metallic glass paint in fall colors, sticky leaf stencils, paint brush and dauber
6 leaf_mugvia handsoccupied

7. DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

Sometimes you don’t feel like a daily Starbucks trip, or you want to have your PSL available to you at all hours. This is a totally understandable feeling, because PSLs are, well, there are no words. To make your own swoon worthy cup, you only need a few ingredients, and you can make a huge batch of syrup and store it in a cute canning jar.

You’ll need:

-Your favorite, coziest mug, espresso, steamed milk, DIY PSL Syrup (brown sugar, pumpkin puree, water, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract), whipped cream
7 PSLvia gimmesomeoven

Also check out…

This bomb pumpkin bread recipe. If you’re craving moist, yummy pumpkin bread, look no further. Make this and your house will smell incredible. Not to mention, you’ll be full on pumpkiny goodness.
8 pumpkin_breadvia sallysbakingaddiction

Friday, August 24, 2018

Best Date Night Spots in Frisco

Frisco went from a suburb north of Dallas to its own unique, bustling city. The fastest growing city in America for much of the 2000s, Frisco went from a place simply to live to a place to explore and enjoy. With tons of restaurants, unique entertainment destinations, and shopping, people who live in Frisco will never be bored. One of the things you might not know about Frisco is that it’s a great destination for date night. Our team at The Civic at Frisco Square has put together a few great ideas on some of the best date night spots in Frisco.
We have put together a couple perfect date night ideas that you can enjoy just minutes away from The Civic at Frisco Square.

The Couple That Competes Together
A friendly rivalry is a great start to a romance (at least according to a million different rom-coms), and if you’re one of the couples that loves to enjoy some friendly competition, we’ve put together the perfect date night for you.
Your night starts out with something different at, within walking distance of The Civic. If the name didn’t tip you off, this new hotspot does food and drinks a little differently. Food options range from chef specialties like the chicken fried steak to traditional staples with a gamer twist burgers and flatbreads. It’s also a well-known fact that nerds know cocktails, and the drink menu incorporates the restaurant’s gamer heritage with some inventive concoctions. What makes @nerdvana special is the unique atmosphere: this destination is a hotspot for gaming. With virtually any meal, you’ll be handed a controller and access to an extensive library of games, from retro classics to modern day hits. TVs also are tuned to the biggest names in gaming streaming their own gameplay. It’s like if nerds ran a sports bar, and the result is better than you can imagine!
After finishing up your main course and with your controller fingers warmed up, it’s time for round two of your date night competition. Decide who is the best gamer at Strikz, a boutique bowling alley. On top of pristine lanes and a fun atmosphere, Strikz offers a full drink menu and a delicious assortment of snacks. If you strike out on bowling (not in the good way), you can continue the gaming competition at the arcade or shoot some pool in the billiards room.

Foodies’ Night Out
You don’t have to go to downtown Dallas to find great food. Frisco is a food lovers paradise, and our team at The Civic has put together a few highlights for an unforgettable date night so tasty you’ll be asking for seconds.
If you want a pre-dinner date spot and a nice destination to have some conversation, Eight|11 is the epitome of cozy and romantic. The unique wine bar and kitchen located in downtown Frisco—and only a few minutes away from The Civic at Frisco Square—gives couples an opportunity to get their palate warmed up while imbibing on a wide selection of wine, craft beers, and cocktails. Depending on the night, you’ll also be treated to live music.
After a romantic start to your evening, it’s time for the main course. While there are tons of options, we chose Trattoria al Giardino for several reasons. For one, it serves up authentic Italian cuisine that’s always fresh and delicious. While the menu changes depending on the season, one thing is certain: an evening of great, homemade pasta, a glass of wine, and fresh ingredients. The other reason we chose Trattoria al Giardino is the charming atmosphere. The spot captures the feel of Italy, and if it’s the right season, you can enjoy the outdoor patio and discover the true meaning of “la bella note.” Between the fresh food and atmosphere, you’ll swear that you’re overseas at an authentic trattoria.

A Touchdown
If you’re in Texas, you have an embarrassment of sports teams to choose from. Chances are, you and your date have a favorite team, and if you share a common love, this date night is for you. If you’re a house divided, though—well, we can’t help you there!
Start your night off at The Star, a multipurpose complex and home to the Dallas Cowboys Corporate Headquarters. If you’re a Cowboys fan, you should consider the VIP Guided Tours and explore the facilities where players train 355 days a year and work. If you don’t care so much about football, you can also enjoy some great shopping. If you want a sweet treat with your sweetheart, swing by the Cow Tipping Creamery. The ice cream shop serves delicious soft serve with unique flavors and toppings. Regardless if you choose to start your night out with a treat or simply some fabulous shopping, the Star is a great place to start your evening.
From football to a different kind of football, continue your date night by catching an FC Dallas game. The team, which plays in Toyota Stadium, is highly accomplished, and the fanbase for the team has steadily grown over the years. If you’ve never witnessed a soccer game in real life, it’s an event worth experiencing. Soccer matches take place from spring through the fall, and with an exceptional team, North Texas fans have a lot to be excited about.
Once you are done at the game (or if you’re in the off-season), we recommend the Frisco Bar. A favorite destination for locals wanting to catch the big game or enjoy a few drinks, the Frisco is everything you want in a sports bar: solid food, a wide selection of drinks, and a fun environment. If you and your date share the same love of sports, cheer on your favorite team and hope for overtime, extra innings, or, at the very least, a second date!
Frisco offers nearly an endless amount of options for date night, and almost as many places to live. However, those who know the area know that The Civic at Frisco Square is the perfection combination of amenities, location and style. Residents enjoy granite countertops throughout the apartment, stainless steel appliances, and spacious rooms, all while being just a beat away from the pulse of Frisco and the rest of the Dallas metroplex. The community also offers a movie theater, pet park, and a two-tier resort style pool with water features. As Frisco continues to grow and add even more fun date night options, you will find living at The Civic at Frisco Square to get better every year.

The Civic offers studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Discover what it’s like to live in luxury in one of the hottest locations outside of Dallas. If you’re interested in learning more about our apartments or to find out availability, contact us online.


Friday, June 29, 2018

Ways to Enjoy Your Apartment's Pool this Summer

Summer is here, and the cool, cerulean tranquility of your apartment’s pool beckons. While any day at the pool is a good day, there are certain ways you can make sure you’re making the most of your time. Follow a few tips, and you’ll get the maximum enjoyment from every moment spent lounging in or around the pool.

·         Beat the crowd and get to the pool early. Swimming is more fun when you don’t have to fight the crowds. Get there early enough, and you’ll have your pick of tables and lounge chairs. Not a morning person? The crowds often thin in the late afternoon, so that might be a good time to go, as well.
·         Use sun sense. Make sure you slather on water-resistant sunscreen: and keep putting it on every couple of hours. Skip the burning hours in the middle of the day, when sun exposure is at its peak. Instead, hit the pool early, then take a break at midday to go inside and regroup. Afterward, you can head back down for some late afternoon fun.
·         Play it safe.
o   Make sure any children with you are well acquainted with the pool rules.
o   The adults, too, should know and follow the rules, taking care to obey “no diving” signs. Never bring glass to a communal pool.
o   Learn CPR, and keep a close eye on kids, even if they’re proficient swimmers or have flotation devices.
o   Look out storms, too. Summer storms can pop up in a flash, and you should be prepared to take cover when they do.
·         Gather your gear, so there’s no going back. Nothing spoils a day at the pool more than having to trek back up to the apartment for supplies. Before you head down to the water, make sure you have:
o   Sunscreen
o   Towels
o   Plenty to drink, so no one gets dehydrated
o   Snacks to carry you through the morning
o   A hat and sunglasses for each person
o   Floaties and pool toys for the kids
o   Something to read, if you’re by yourself
o   Goggles for anyone with sensitive eyes
o   Water shoes for anyone with sensitive feet
·         Plan a summer party with a theme to make your gathering even more fun. Fire up the grill or bring down a picnic, but make it festive by incorporating a theme like:
o   Luau: Leis for your guests, grass skirts around the tables, and tropical fruit on skewers will make any poolside party feel like a tropical paradise.
o   All American: Everything red, white and blue will bring out the patriot in you and all your guests. Serve watermelon and grill burgers and dogs to make it feel like a nostalgic 4th of July party.
o   70s Glam: Bright colors and groovy patterns will liven up your space, and serving fun 70s favorites like meatballs and piῆa-coladas can make it feel authentic.
o   Fun Fiesta: A sombrero for a centerpiece, chips and salsa for snacking, and margaritas for the adults can make your party sing.
o   Beachy poolside: Beachballs to bat about, shells on the table, and colorful beach towels for lounging will make pool time feel like a day at the beach. Beach picnicking is easy, too: Just bring some sandwiches and your favorite canned drinks.
o   Dusky Delight: Plan your pool party at the end of the day, and watch the sunset over the pool, as lanterns and candles flicker on your table and you sip wine with your guests.
·         Be respectful of neighbors. Limit the number of guests you bring, and make sure your noise levels are reasonable. Keep a close watch on children, and make sure everyone is following the pool rules, including those pertaining to hygiene. And even if you’re tremendously proud of your bikini body, be mindful of others around you, and save the skimpy swimwear for an adult-oriented resort.
If you’ve got your eye on an apartment at The Civic at Frisco Square, the pools should push you right over into renting. Our 2-tier resort-style saltwater pools have a water feature, and our private cabanas are perfect for a summer party or gathering. Whether you’re having friends over or just hanging out with your kids, it’s a summer getaway that’s right outside your door.
The Civic at Frisco Square offers sparkling, pristine, inviting pools and so much more. Located within the $5-Billion Mile, this complex is in the heart of over 500 acres of land that are currently being transformed into high-end developments. Just outside the door of your spacious apartment home, you’ll find the shopping, dining, and nightlife of Frisco Square, along with events like Major League Soccer games and concerts. Stop by The Civic at Frisco Square to see all that we have to offer: beautiful apartment living with all the amenities you’d expect from an upscale community in the heart of Frisco Square.  You can also give us a call at (214) 618-8530 or contact us through our website.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Kanye West's First Home Design Is Here—and It's Strangely Genius

Kanye West is one step closer to bringing his brand of stark, minimalist living to the masses! After last month’s announcement about his plans to "make the world a better place" by creating Yeezy Home—an architecture arm of his Yeezy brand, which includes fashion and footwear—we’ve been waiting on bated breath to see what the heck a Kanye West–designed house looks like.
It didn't seem too off base to assume the aesthetic would be similar to the notably spare interior of his Los Angeles home that he tweeted never-before-seen pictures of in late April. Or perhaps West's architectural leanings would be more in line with Yeezy headquarters, designed by the rapper's longtime collaborator Willo Perron, who summed up his own influences in Pin-Up magazine: "brutalism, essentialism, utilitarianism, and Postmodernism."

Still, though: This star thrives on his ability to shock the public, so we didn’t want to make any assumptions about Yeezy Home until we had some hard evidence. That evidence came on Sunday, in the form of photos of Yeezy Home's first project: low-income housing.
Renderings of the interior and exterior of a home were revealed on Instagram by one of West's collaborators, Jalil Peraza. According to the two photos he posted, the houses will be made of prefabricated concrete and expanded polystyrene components, a type of inexpensive resin plastic.

Nothing is cooler than concrete

Although West thrives on being a pioneer, concrete architecture is hardly new. The neobrutalist look, which peaked in popularity from the 1950s to the mid-1970s, is seeing a resurgence lately.
"From Australia to Paris, concrete panels are showcased in every shelter magazine, online loft, and industrial-chic space across Instagram," says interior designer Ana Cummings, of Ana Interiors, in Alberta, Canada. "Kanye might not be reinventing the wheel here; however, he may be trying to claim a cog as his own."
Some see the value—and appeal—of prefabricated concrete dwellings.
"I actually quite like this aesthetic," Cummings says. "It is completely devoid of stimuli, something we are bombarded with day in and day out."
"I personally love it," says Dolly Lenz, a real estate agent who works with high-end properties. "Concrete is inexpensive and easier to maintain. Very fancy development properties are using these finishes in rec rooms for this reason."

Designing for good?

Stepping away from the trendiness of concrete architecture, perhaps the greatest benefit of prefab concrete homes—and the reason why Yeezy Home chose the material for its first project—is that it's sturdy, inexpensive, and easy to replicate.
"Recognizing the absolute need for affordable housing across the nation, Mr. West is developing a design concept that can be translated into various communities," says Lauren Visco, an interior designer in Chicago. Cement panels are easy to fabricate and can be cast into any desired shape.
Prefab cement homes are also ideal for areas that face threats of natural disasters.
"It would really make sense to use precast concrete in hurricane- and tornado-prone or postdisaster areas," says Bob Whitmore, vice president of communications for the National Precast Concrete Association, in the Indianapolis area. Prefab concrete is an ideal building material for homes in these areas because it's strong and can be used to erect homes quickly, he explains.
Cummings says she designed an outdoor space for a client in St. Maarten using rebar and concrete, and when Hurricane Irma hit, the structure remained completely intact.
"He should come with me to the Caribbean and see firsthand what a hurricane can do. Even nine months later, almost every home has a blue tarp covering a spot on their roof ... and that’s if they even have a roof," says Cummings. "What stood up, though? Reinforced concrete. Even though this new aesthetic is so austere, there really is something quite lovely about [West's] home and the idea of using concrete panels to save the world."


Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Best Things To Do In Frisco, Texas

The Lone Star State is full of amazing places to visit. Frisco is one Texas city that you will not want to miss, located 20 minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Whether you are interested in sports, history, shopping, or cultural events, Frisco has something for everyone. Here are my suggestions for the best things to do in Frisco.

#1 Tour The Ford Center at the Star

The Ford Center at The Star (a 91-acre complex that also includes shopping, dining, and hotel options) is the new indoor practice facility for the world-famous Dallas Cowboys. It features 12,000 seats in an indoor setting with interactive displays, Cowboys’ Hall of Fame memorabilia, restaurants, shopping, and a huge Super Bowl trophy display. Among the Star’s facility, there are two outdoor fields and one indoor field, where local high schools also practice. How cool is that? The dazzling light display at the Star’s entrance was created by the designer of the San Fransisco Bridge. How cool is that? Stop by and tour this state-of-the-art facility.

The Ford Center at The Star is such an exciting place to visit.
The Dallas Cowboys practice field.

#2 Meet a friend for lunch at BarnLight Eatery

This lunch spot, serving modern South Texas cuisine, is a great place to enjoy a delectable meal. BarnLight Eatery’s Chef, Philip Doyal, knows his stuff. Philip’s impressive menu and delightful presentations will dazzle both your eyes and taste buds. BarnLight’s rustic dining room is the perfect place to enjoy Biscuits and Gravy (only in the South!), Buttermilk Fried Green Tomatoes, and homemade Chips and Queso. Lunch favorites range from Texas Chili (Beef sirloin, no beans here!) with Cornbread and Southern Fried Catfish, to the comfort food choices of Chorizo Meatloaf and Zinfandel Pot Roast. My favorite was the Pork and Slaw Sandwich, piled high with pickled onions, cabbage slaw, and chipotle cream. You will not leave the BarnLight Eatery hungry!

Biscuit and Fried Green Tomatoes appetizers from Barnlight Eatery.
#3 Check out the National Videogame Museum

Attention gamers: this museum is what will take you strolling down memory lane. You will LOVE this mind-blowing museum, opened in April of 2016. Never has there been such an expansive collection of all things gaming related under one roof. The National Videogame Museum features 100,000 pieces of eye-catching video game memorabilia gathered in its 10,000 square foot home, dedicated to the history of the video game industry. Commodore, Atari, Nintendo, Coleco, and other computer favorites are on display so guests can peruse the early creations as well as today’s biggest selling giants. The National Videogame Museum is home to the world’s largest Pong game, created especially for the museum’s owners. Unleash either your inner nerd or too cool for school self, at this one-of-a-kind museum.
The National Videogame Museum is located in Frisco, Texas.
Playing Pong with the owner/founder of The National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas.
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#4 See the Frisco RoughRiders Play Ball

Frisco’s minor league baseball team, the RoughRiders, are the AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Their impressive Dr. Pepper Ballpark is designed after a New England boardwalk with beautiful landscaping. Games at this ball field are very enjoyable. Take in America’s favorite pastime with the family time or sip a few beers with friends and enjoy being outdoors. You will want to take home a souvenir as Teddy Roosevelt (of his RoughRider, the first US Volunteer Cavalry fame) is their adorable logo. Guests can enjoy a free firework display after the game on Fridays.Travel writers with the Frisco Roughriders mascot.

Baseball park view from my room at the Embassy Suites in Frisco.
#5 Devour the Culinary Dishes at Mash’d

Food, Moonshine, Life is this high-energy eatery’s motto and after your first visit, you will be nodding your head in agreement because their food and moonshine sure made my life a bit better. Mash’d serve hand-crafted cocktails (in adorable Mason jars) and moonshine, plus innovative dishes that would please any foodie. They call their way of cooking a rebellious American twist. You must have the Chicken Fried Pepperoni; it is epic. Other popular dishes include the Avocado Bomb Salad, Bootleg Ribs, “Pho”-Kin Soup, and classic Fried Chicken. Mash’d has a Saturday and Sunday brunch featuring Bulls in a Blanket and Chicken and Biscuits. They also offer two happy hours per day, from 3-6PM and 9PM to close. Try a moonshine flight from Mash’d, I dare ya. Shout out for Mash’d for having the best restaurant website I’ve seen to date!We loved dining at Mash'd Restaurant in Frisco, Texas.

#6  Visit the Museum of the American Railroad

6455 Page Street

The museum’s historic locomotive and rail car collection make for great photos and a vast education of the railroad industry. Founded in 1962, this outdoor museum contains Pullman sleeping cars, circa the 1920’s, and even a wooden train car. “Big Boy”, built for Union Pacific in 1941, is one of the largest train engines ever made. It is beautiful to see with a rich, dark blue color and huge shiny wheels. One of the rail cars on display at the museum pulled Harry S. Truman and his party when he ran for reelection in 1948 and another pulled the body of President John F. Kennedy from Texas to South Carolina after his assassination. Whether you are interested in trains or not, this Americana museum is unique and sure to please everyone in the family.My visit to the The Museum of American Railroad.
Santa Fe engine at The Museum of American Railroad.

Frisco Accommodations?

FYI: If you are looking for a place to stay in the Frisco area, choose the Embassy Suites by Hilton Dallas Frisco Hotel Conference Center & Spa. It is only a short walk from the Dr. Pepper Ballpark and guests can see the game’s fireworks from their balconies. You will have the best seat in the house as you can even watch the RoughRiders game from here.
We chose to stay at The Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas.

Best Things to do in Frisco, Texas Photo Gallery:

Travel writer visiting The Museum of American Railroad in Frisco, Texas.
My great friend Jerome Shaw of Travel Boldly.
The Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas is a blast for baseball enthusiasts.
The Ford Center at The Star grand opening.
Yummy cupcakes at The Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
Video game mural at The National Videogame Museum.
Travel writer Erin Bender having cocktails in Frisco.
The Dr. Pepper Ballpark has fireworks after some of the baseball games.
Delightful surprise dessert from The Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas.
Visiting the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.
Famous players and coaches listed on the floor at The Ford Center at The Star.
Most impressive train at The Museum of American Railroad in Frisco, Texas.
mash'd, frisco, texas
Journalist/Editor Jackie Sheckler Finch enjoying a classy cocktail.
The National Videogame Museum Nintendo hand held collection.
The best things to do in Frisco definitely include the National Videogame Museum.
Dessert cart at The Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas.
Cupcakes from the dessert cart at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark.
The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
The National Videogame Museum has my old Commodore computer.
Lunch option from Barnlight Eatery.
the ford center at the star
The Museum of American Railroad has a cool outdoor setting.
Melody Pittman and other travel writers in Frisco, Texas.
Travel writers Janice, Janet, Jerome, Laura, Erin, and me.
Tom Landry bust at The Ford Center at The Star.
Hotel lobby at The Embassy Suites in Frisco, Texas.
The Ford Center at The Star has years of different Dallas Cowboy uniforms.
Biscuit with gravy appetizer at Barnlight Eatery in Frisco.
The National Videogame Museum has so many computer games to check out!
Yummy apps from Barnlight Eatery in Frisco.
Barnlight Eatery in Frisco, Texas, is a delicious choice for dining out.
Replica of a kid's bedroom, circa 1980s, at The National Videogame Museum, in Frisco.
Replication of a kid’s bedroom, circa 1980’s.
The Museum of American Railroad train car offerings.
Spicy and filling sandwich from Barnlight Eatery.
Chili bowl with corn muffin from Barnlight Eatery in Frisco, Texas.
Thank you to the Frisco CVB for this familiarization trip. I did not receive any compensation for this post other than the accommodations, meals, and activity tickets. As always, my reviews and opinions are unbiased and 100% mine. Special thanks to Wesley for having me and Eddie for driving us through Frisco in style in a Prevost Entertainer.
The Frisco CVB representative and bus driver Eddie.

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The best things to see and do in Frisco, Texas.