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Tips for Planning a Successful Staycation

Vacation AccessoriesBetween the long airport lines, expensive tickets and being dubbed a tourist, the idea of a “staycation” may be more enjoyable than exotic places. By not traveling abroad, you can truly relax and catch up things you never seem to have the time to do. Here are some staycation tips we hope our Hannover Grand at Sandy Springs community members in Atlanta, Georgia, enjoy.

Plan Your Staycation

One of the areas that some people take for granted is doing a little research. Being from a place, such as Atlanta, means that you know the lay of the land. But no one really knows every inch of a place or the wealth of upcoming cultural and leisure activities. Think about how many times something fun happened and you found out about it after the fact.

Living in the greater Atlanta area means there will be a tremendous number of one-off shows, major festivals, unexplored shops and wonderful restaurants. By taking the time to plan your staycaction ahead of time, you could schedule it during the Georgia Renaissance Festival, ONE Musicfest, or the Atlanta Underground Film Festival among many others. It’s not difficult to be immersed in amazing gatherings by strategically scheduling your time off.

Research Package Deals and Discounts

Many of the major events are designed to draw in tourists. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot take advantage of the same discounts offered to visitors. From package deals on events and restaurants to buy-one-get-one-free offers in niche shops, think about applying the same cost-saving methods travelers cherish. When you enjoy discounts without paying travel costs, that is a huge saving.

One Night Getaways

One of the drawbacks that avid staycationers sometimes run in to is getting pulled into everyday chores. Succumbing to that desire to spend time decluttering your living space or catch up on organizing home finances isn’t exactly in keeping with the spirit of fun and relaxation.

What veteran staycationers often do is to check into a nice local hotel. Relaxing by the pool, not worrying about picking up after yourself or cooking meals goes a long way toward removing your regular workload. If you leave those electronics behind for a day, you may even experience some welcome alone time.

Be Spontaneous

An important aspect of a relaxing staycation is to go with the flow. When traveling abroad, there’s a tendency for people to schedule a considerable amount of time with seeing all the sights in mind. That won’t be nearly as important when exploring your backyards. So, pick a few things that you would like to do and let the winds of change blow you the remainder of the time. Think Atlanta adventure!

We hope our Hannover Grand at Sandy Springs community members enjoy these staycation tips. If you or a friend would like more information about our Atlanta apartments, call us today.

Strawberry Tart

Spring Dessert Recipes

Strawberry TartThe weather is warming up at our apartments in Atlanta, GA. With the leaves and lawns getting greener and peaches blossoming, it’s a good time to think about light, sweet spring desserts. While it will be a while before peaches turn up at their peak sweetness, spring dessert flavors can include citrus, strawberries, and tropical tastes like coconut and banana. From bundt cakes to tarts and baked goods, the choices for spring desserts are tempting.

Coconut-Banana Pudding

Use store-bought banana pudding mix and add 1/4 tsp of coconut extract and 3 tablespoons of grated coconut. Layer in individual dessert cups with vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and sliced bananas. Add pineapple slices for an additional taste of the tropics.

Chilled Strawberry Cream Cheese Tarts

Use prepared tart shells or bake six individual 3 to 4-inch tarts. Make no-bake cream cheese filling by blending an 8-oz. package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 tsp. lemon juice, and 1 cup of heavy cream. Pour filling into baked or prepared shells. Cover and chill for at least 5 hours before topping with 1 to 2 cups of sliced strawberries tossed with 1 Tbsp granulated sugar.

Lemon-Lime Pound Cake

Using prepared pound cake mix, substitute lemon-lime soda for the recommended liquid (milk or water). Bake the cake as recommended in a tube or bundt cake pan. Make lemon-lime glaze from 2 cups of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons of lemon zest, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Whisk together and pour over the cooled cake. Slice and serve.

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are a classic spring bread recipe eaten around the world. Made from a rich buttery yeast dough, the buns are lightly sweet and contain cinnamon and raisins. Hot Cross Buns take two risings and approximately 3 hours from start to finish. Serve warm with tea and coffee.

The weather is getting warmer and the time is right for light, sweet desserts and springtime fun. With our sparkling pool and outdoor areas, it’s a great time to serve a light dessert to loved ones and friends in the fresh air. Stop by our Hannover Grand at Sandy Springs Apartments in Atlanta, GA, and see which of our floor plans are currently available.

Small Dog

Ways to Stop Your Dog From Barking

Small DogHannover Grand at Sandy Springs is a pet-friendly community, which means you can enjoy the company of a dog in our Atlanta apartments. The only issue with having a dog that you keep indoors in an apartment community is your neighbors are in close proximity, so a barking dog can be a problem. If your dog is a very vocal pet, there are a few ways you can stop your dog from barking.

Eliminate the Provoking Element

Dogs usually bark as a response to something. For example, your dog may bark when they see someone through a window or if they hear a car go down the street. If this is why your dog is barking, remove what is provoking them from the equation. If it’s a noise that provokes the barking, try to block it out by keeping the windows shut. If it is something your dog sees through the window, keep your blinds closed or curtains drawn.

Never Reward Your Dog for Barking

It’s common for owners to provoke their dog to “speak” by offering a treat. While this is a cute trick, it teaches the dog that barking is something you want them to do, and that is not the impression you want to give when you need your dog to be quiet. Do what you can to ignore your dog when he barks, and eventually, he will lose interest in barking to get your attention.

Distract Your Dog With a New Command

Your vocal pooch refuses to stop barking, so what can you do? In most cases, dogs are easily distracted by you, their human companion. All it may take is you creating a distraction to take your dog’s mind off of what they were barking about in the first place. For example, you could play a short game of fetch, take them for a walk, or command your dog to lay down for a treat.

Give Your Dog Ample Exercise

Some dogs will bark simply because they’re bored or anxious, both of which are problems that can be combatted with some exercise and play. If your playful pup is tired and worn out, they are less likely to be overexcited and noisy. So take your pet for a walk or play some games with your dog in the apartment.

Our apartment community offers one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans for you and your pup. Contact our office to learn more about our apartment homes!

Hannover Grand at Sandy Spring Kitchen

Microwave Cleaning Tips

Hannover Grand at Sandy Spring KitchenYour microwave can get dirty when you use it often and don’t wipe it down regularly. Splatters and spills from the foods or beverages you heat up in there can coat the inside with debris. If your microwave could use a good cleaning, keep the following tips in mind.

Cleaning Stains and Splatters

Stains and splatters can be tough to remove from inside your microwave, especially if they’ve been there for awhile. An easy way to loosen these spots up and make them easier to wipe off is by heating up a bowl of water and vinegar or water and lemon, orange or lime in the microwave until it starts to boil. Leave the bowl in there for about 15 minutes, then take it out and wipe down the inside of your microwave.

Cleaning the Door

The door on your microwave can get covered in grease over time, making it hard to see inside when you’re heating something up. You should be able to remove grease using water and a cloth or sponge. If you’re having trouble with it, you can use water and vinegar.

Cleaning the Exterior

The outside of your microwave can also get dirty, mainly from dust. You might also have fingerprints on your microwave’s buttons or controls. You can remove dust and fingerprints using an all-purpose cleaner. Spray the cleaner onto a cloth rather than on your microwave directly, then wipe it down.

Keep It Clean

If you don’t want to have to scrub your microwave clean every once in awhile, make it a habit to wipe it down every other day. This helps prevent grease, grime and dust from building up in and on your microwave. You should also wipe down the inside of your microwave as soon as you see food splatters, such as after heating up sauce or soup. This helps keep these splatters from setting in and becoming harder to remove. Once you get into this habit, you’ll have a clean microwave on a regular basis without having to do much scrubbing.

Our apartments in Atlanta, GA, include a microwave and pantry in each floor plan. Please contact us today to get more information about our floor plans, community amenities and available apartments.

Beer Glass

Fun Ideas for Throwing a St. Patrick’s Day Party

Beer GlassSt. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular multicultural holidays in America. Everyone loves to participate, whether they have a drop of Irish blood or are just Irish at heart. Residents of Hannover Grand at Sandy Springs Apartment Homes are gearing up for what may be the best holiday yet on March 17. Are you ready to be part of the St. Patrick’s Day spirit?

Decorations

Think rainbows, green, and gold. Some easy apartment-friendly decorations include:

  • Swapping out clear lightbulbs for green ones
  • Using colorful, Celtic-inspired throws, rugs, or tablecloths
  • Black pot centerpieces filled with golden coins

Food and Beverages

You can go two ways when it comes to food, here: traditional Irish fare or more whimsical, Leprechaun and rainbow-themed food.

For a traditional menu, one must-have item is corned beef. You can make it in your slow cooker or pick one up from your local deli. Balance out all this protein with items that include cabbage, potatoes, and cottage pies.

Are you planning a whimsical party? Include ‘pot of gold’ cupcakes decorated with chocolate coins or a purchased rainbow cake edged with green shamrocks. You can also bring the green theme to non-traditional fare like having salsa verde on top of spinach-based taco wraps.

Guinness and green beer are St. Patrick’s Day staples, but you can wow your guests by including other festive drinks, too. Think about naturally green lime margaritas, green jello shots, and green-tinged punch with kiwi slices and honeydew balls.

Activities

Have a limerick contest. If your guests aren’t that skilled with a rhyme, let them whip out their smartphones and search for the most outrageous limericks that fit a theme. Warning: this can get silly. You can also watch Irish or Leprechaun-themed movies or have a costume contest where everyone shows up in a themed costume and you judge the winner. Record the results; they’ll make a great addition to the photo montage on your holiday card.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Hannover Grand at Sandy Springs

Whether your party’s a big bash or a fun evening with your closest friends, you want to welcome your guests into a comfortable space. At our apartments in Atlanta, we have a wide range of floor plans. Contact us today and we’ll help you find the right floor plan for your lifestyle.

Red Bike

Spring Activities to Enjoy the Season

Red BikeAlthough winter is certainly worse in much of the country, we still get a little bit of spring fever in our Atlanta apartments. Luckily, the end of this chilly season is near, and soon, spring will be here! The first day of spring is March 20, which is just around the corner.

In honor of the blossoms and blooms that will soon shower this sunny season, we’ve compiled a few spring activities you can do to enjoy the coming months.

Have a Picnic in the Park

Picnics in the park are springtime must-do activities. Pack your picnic basket with everything you’ll need to devour a delicious lunch in the great outdoors, and head to one of the many parks around town.

Need a little inspiration?

  • Old Mill Park. Are you a fan of waterfalls, old architecture, and nature? Old Mill Park has all three!
  • Morgan Falls Overlook Park. This is a place where you will truly marvel at the natural beauty Mother Nature has given us.

Ride a Bike

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been on a bike since you were six years old; now is the time to embrace two wheels and the open road!

Perch Yourself on a Patio

Brunch mimosas, after-work happy hours and coffee shop spaces all have their places in your life. Take this time to find a few establishments that offer outside spaces, and relocate yourself into some fresh air.

Fly a Kite

There’s nothing quite like the innocence of childhood. A simple string and a breeze-inspired innovation can turn a typical afternoon into something pretty magical; this activity is destined to bring you back to those lazy days of summer when you could sleep in and not have to worry about homework or any responsibilities.

Send Someone Other Than Your Mother a Mother’s Day Card

Mother’s Day is May 13. This year, make it a goal to make someone else’s mother smile (but don’t forget to send your own mom a card!)

Does spring cleaning mean looking for a brand new apartment that comes complete with all the bells and whistles? Hannover Grand at Sandy Springs Apartment Homes offers an incredible assortment of amenities meant to make you enjoy every moment you’re home. Come stop by and see our community!

Small Dog

3 Household Items to Keep Away From Your Pet

Small DogAs a pet lover, you would never intentionally hurt your furry best friend. But, unfortunately, there may be some hazards in your home that could potentially sicken or even further harm your pet. To protect your beloved pal, make sure to keep the following household dangers safely out of their reach.

Products That Contain Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute that can be found in many human foods, including gum and baked goods. It can also be found in many common household items, such as vitamins, lip balms and toothpaste. Unfortunately, Xylitol is very toxic for dogs and cats, and ingesting even a small amount can result in hypoglycemia. It’s important to check the labels on all of the products that you bring into your home for Xylitol and to store them safely out of your pet’s reach.

Human Medications

Most medications are bitter so you might think that your pet would refuse to eat them. But a bored or hungry pet might just chow down on a dropped pill. Unfortunately, many common medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (e.g. Advil) and acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) can cause serious harm to your pet. Another hazard that many pet owners are unaware of? Asthma inhalers. Some dogs will mistake these for a chew toy and puncture the container with their teeth. This could release a potentially deadly amount of asthma medication directly into their mouth.

Candles

A lit candle can perfume the air with an inviting scent and can also be very romantic. But if you have pets around, they can also be a hazard. A lit candle at coffee table level can be easily knocked over by a wagging dog tail. And a leaping cat could accidentally knock a candle over or cause something to fall into its flame, which could start a fire. In addition, some people believe that the fumes given off by some candles might actually be toxic to pets.

If you are a pet owner who has been searching for a new place to live, please check out our apartments in Atlanta. Not only does our community offer a host of amenities, including a fitness center and a resort-style pool, it is also pet friendly! Call us today to learn more.

Purple Orchids

4 Unique Flowers to Get for Valentine’s Day

Purple OrchidsValentine’s Day is just around the corner, and when it comes to the month of love, nothing makes the atmosphere so cool and pleasing than flowers. The red rose is perhaps the most iconic symbol of this day, but there are other types of flowers with a different meaning that you can buy for your loved ones.

You can even ditch the traditional bouquet and purchase a living plant as a surprise to your partner, friend or loved one. Do you want something unique and exciting this Valentine’s Day? Check out our selection of the top four flowers to buy for Valentine’s Day.

The Red Lion Amaryllis

This is always the best alternative to the traditional red roses if you’re looking for romantic red flowers. The good thing about the red lion amaryllis is that there is a variety of it called the red lion which appears like a candy apple and is super romantic with a considerable stem length. The red lion amaryllis will last for at least two weeks, and it looks gorgeous with its evergreen leaves and stem which still shows through a clear vase.

Purple Orchids

Roses aren’t the only flowers that you can give to your loved one. The purple orchids also symbolize love and affection. The purple orchids are a true representation of exotic beauty and strength. They are elegant and universal flowers that usually carry a lot of emotional weight and represent perfect beauty.

Hyacinths

Valentine’s Day comes in winter, and nothing smells better during the cold season than hyacinths. In fact, you can think of them as an excellent alternative to great-smelling perfume. These great flowers also come in a wide variety of stunning shades and brilliantly represent a perfect choice for the occasion. The unique profusion of blooms clustered together on each of its stems looks aesthetically pleasing and romantic.

The Red Tulips

A sensational bouquet of red tulips is an excellent gift to buy for your partner on Valentine’s Day. Although every color of the tulip flower has a unique meaning, the red ones represent passion, and they are an ultimate expression of your commitment to your partner. You can add some purple tulips to make a perfect mix.

Are you thinking about spending your Valentine’s Day in Atlanta? Check out our Atlanta apartments which are conveniently located near shopping, great entertainment and more!

Person Writing

Tips on How to Stay Motivated

Person WritingSetting goals are fairly easy to do, but seeing them through can be quite a challenge. Whether your goals involve health and fitness, finances, interpersonal relationships or your career, the key to achieving them is staying motivated. Use the following tips to help you stay on track when it comes to working toward your goals.

Keep It Fun

Setting out to accomplish goals can be difficult at times. If you’re struggling to make progress, add some fun to help you stay motivated. For example, if you’re trying to get in shape, try dancing or another fun exercise that you really enjoy. Doing this helps encourage you to continue working on your goals rather than losing steam and giving up when things get tough or tiresome.

Track Your Progress

If you’re trying to reach a goal that requires a lot of time and effort, you can quickly lose interest if you think you’re not making much progress. You can avoid this by keeping an eye on how much you’ve accomplished so far. Tracking your progress provides you with proof that you’re on the right track toward achieving your goals. As you move closer to reaching them, seeing how far you’ve come by looking back at your progress can provide you with the motivation you need to keep going.

Give Yourself Rewards

You don’t have to wait until you hit your goals to celebrate these achievements. In fact, giving yourself smaller rewards along the way can help you stay on track. Treat yourself when you successfully complete steps that are part of working toward your goal. For example, if your goal is to get out of debt, give yourself a small reward after paying off each individual debt, such as a student loan or credit card balance.

Adjust Your Approach

If you’re not making progress toward your goals, be open to adjusting how you’re trying to accomplish them. Making a small change here or there can give you a renewed interest in working toward your goals instead of getting discouraged.

If your goals include getting fit, our apartment community in Atlanta, Georgia has a brand new fitness and cardio center, as well as a resort-style pool. Contact us to learn more about our available apartments in Atlanta.

Cookies

3 Desserts That are Perfect for Winter

CookiesFruit salad and Italian ices are great desserts for summertime, but when the chilly winter weather arrives, people crave a cozier dessert. If you don’t make a habit of creating sweet concoctions at home, this is the perfect time to start. The roomy kitchen in your Atlanta apartment is perfect for experimenting with new recipes, so why not make a sweet treat for the end of your winter meals?

Apple Cobbler With Maple and Walnuts

Add chopped walnuts and maple syrup to taste to canned apple pie filling, or get creative and make your own homemade filling. When the apples are hot and bubbly, pour them into a baking dish and top them with spoonfuls of sweet biscuit dough. Bake until the dough puffs are golden brown, then serve with whipped cream or cinnamon ice cream.

Cranberry Layer Cake

Stir dried cranberries into vanilla cake batter and bake it into layers. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting, either in the original white or tinted pink. Give some variety to the recipe by using raspberry-infused cranberries, adding chopped walnuts or pecans, or by stirring berry pieces into the frosting. Switch up the serving sizes by turning this recipe into cupcakes, and top the fluffy white frosting with pink and white sprinkles.

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Take your chocolate chip cookies over the top by turning your favorite basic recipe into something truly special. Begin by adding cocoa powder to the batter to give it more of a fudge flavor. When it’s time to stir in the chocolate chips, use a variety mix of semi-sweet, milk chocolate, cinnamon, and butterscotch chips. Add chopped walnuts or pecans, dried cranberries or cherries, or miniature marshmallows to the mix. The resulting cookies will look lumpy, misshapen, and definitely homemade, but they’ll be the most delicious and decadent cookies you’ll ever eat.

Baking is an art than anyone can perfect, and it leaves a lot of room for creativity. If you’ve never been an expert baker before, you’ll have the perfect place to practice your skills in the gourmet kitchens in our apartments. If you’re ready to move up to a better way of living, give us a call to schedule a tour.

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