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How to Prepare for Holiday Gift Giving and Shopping

Shopping BagsIt’s that time of year when you need to start getting ready for holiday gift giving and holiday shopping. Whether you have a long or short list of gifts to get, you can make the experience go more smoothly by being well-prepared. Use these tips to help you get ready for shopping and gift giving this holiday season.

Make a List

Keep a handy list of all the people you need to buy presents for during the holidays. You can also jot down gift ideas next to their names, so you can easily refer to it when you’re out shopping. Keep in mind that you can use your smartphone for making lists, so you’ll have them available anytime you need them when you’re out and about.

Figure Out Your Budget

It’s easy to go overboard while buying holiday gifts for others. Coming up with a gift giving budget and sticking to it helps you avoid overspending this season. Determine how much you want to spend on others for gifts, and keep that figure in mind as you do your shopping.

Look for Great Deals

This time of year is known for being a hectic one filled with crowds, but it’s also a great time to find outstanding deals on gift items. Look around to find stores that offer steep discounts on the gift items you’re interested in during the holidays. You should also use any coupons you have to save even more money. Taking advantage of holiday deals and coupons means that you can make the most of your holiday budget.

Aim for Less Busy Times

If possible, try to do your shopping during times when stores are usually less busy so you won’t have to deal with crowds. This helps keep holiday shopping less hectic and stressful. You can also do some of your holiday shopping online for even greater convenience this season.

Our apartments in Fort Lauderdale, Florida are conveniently close to the downtown area and major roads, including I-95 and 595, which makes it easy to get around and do your holiday shopping. Contact us for more information on our available apartments.

Woman Doing Crunches

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Woman Doing CrunchesDo you indulge during the holiday season? If you are like many Americans, all that eating, drinking and merrymaking may result in weight gain and sleep deprivation. Staying healthy during the holiday season is challenging, but with a little effort, it is possible.

According to a New York Times article, average Americans gain anywhere from five to ten pounds during the holiday season. However, you can still have fun and stay healthy this holiday season. Try these tips!

Three Strategies on How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

1. Be Flexible

Best intentions aside, the holiday season disrupts your normal fitness and sleep schedule. You may attend more parties, travel more or just have extra chores to prepare for the holidays. Accept the chaos and be flexible with your fitness routine.

Commit to at least 15 minutes of activity most days. Most often those 15 minutes will turn into 30 minutes or longer as you get in the mood for your workout. This is easy for Port Royale community members as you enjoy the convenience of our upcoming onsite fitness facilities. Hit up our fully-equipped fitness center for cardio and strength exercises. Tone your abs and do some yoga in our yoga/ab studio! Or, you can even do crunches, squats, push-ups, lunges and jumping jacks right in the comfort of your apartment home!

2. Include Active Recreation in Your Social Plans

Enjoy the season with friends and family through active recreation. Some ideas include:

  • Spend the afternoon at the pool with a few close friends if the weather is nice
  • Sign up for a Turkey Trot or holiday-themed 5k race
  • Take a walk or bicycle ride to enjoy neighborhood lights and holiday decorations
  • Plan a hike with family during the holidays
  • Go bowling with friends or colleagues
  • Go dancing

3. Healthy Breakfast Ideas

You can stay healthy without depriving yourself. Consider whipping up a delicious berry and yogurt smoothie or savory oatmeal with an egg for breakfast. Other healthy breakfast ideas include quinoa fruit salad, avocado toast with egg, PB&J waffle sandwich, sweet potato and black bean breakfast burrito and blueberry almond overnight oats. With a bit of creativity, the breakfast options are endless!

Healthy holidays are easier than ever at our Fort Lauderdale apartments. Never miss a workout with amenities like swimming pools, soon-to-come fitness center, walking trails and an on-site yoga/ab studio. Call us today to learn more about our apartment community.

Thanksgiving Silverware

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner in Your Apartment

Thanksgiving SilverwareWhen it is being decided who is going to host Thanksgiving dinner, much of what goes into the decision sets with who has the place with the most space. But this strategy ends up being unfair for a number of reasons. Most notably is that one person winds up having to take on the expense of hosting year after year, not giving others an opportunity to let their hosting skills shine.

The good news is that our apartment homes can accommodate more people than you might think, and chances are your friends and family will be willing to make adjustments in order to assure that the holiday is successful for everyone. Here are some tips on how to plan ahead so you can truly enjoy the holiday.

Decide Where Everything Will Go

There are many elements that go into making a Thanksgiving holiday successful that have nothing to do with what is on the menu. When you host, you’ll need to make sure everyone has access to a plate and any silverware, cups, and bowls they might need. You will also need to make sure everyone has somewhere to sit, and that there is a place designated to put everyone’s coat and shoes. If you don’t want shoes on your floors, post a sign near the entryway in order to help your guests remember.

If you are determined to have everyone around a table, you can either dress up your dining table or add an extra portable table to create more seating. Don’t be afraid to mix and match seating, using various stools, office chairs, deck furniture, and couches as places to sit.

Take Advantage of the “Giving” Nature of the Holiday

While not everyone will be able to bring a side dish to your Thanksgiving party, you can still ask people to bring some utensils or plates, or maybe even a folding chair or two. By having guests bring an item, whether it be silverware, a dessert, or drinks, it helps take off the stress of having to gather everything for dinner.

Spend Time Outside Your Apartment

When you are a resident in a quality apartment community, such as Port Royale Apartments, you aren’t restricted to staying in just one area of our community. There are a variety of amenities for you to enjoy, and to show off to your guests as well. There is plenty of guest parking available on the grounds so that those joining the party will have a place to park without people having to ask one another to move their car when it is time to leave. If the weather is nice, you can also check out one of the two pools on the grounds or go on an after-dinner stroll on one of the walking paths.

At Port Royale, we offer a wide range of conveniences to our residents, including a gated entrance and a fitness center to making service requests and online rent payments. To learn more about our apartments in Fort Lauderdale, contact us at (877) 580-3383 to find out which floor plans are currently available.

Oatmeal With Blueberries

Energy-Boosting Breakfast Snacks

Oatmeal With BlueberriesWhen your mornings are typically busy, it’s hard to find time to make a big breakfast for energy. If you need an energy boost in the morning before you leave for the day, keep these breakfast snacks in mind. They’ll provide you with a quick pick-me-up so you can focus on your day.

Yogurt and Cereal

When you don’t have time for a bowl of cereal, some yogurt with added cereal will do. Sprinkle healthy cereal, such as any made with whole grains, on top of your favorite yogurt for more energy. The cereal and yogurt both have carbs that your body can turn into energy, while the yogurt also has protein to help you feel full for a longer period of time as you go about your morning. For the healthiest option, choose yogurt that’s low in fat and doesn’t have added sugar.

Smoothies

Smoothies are quick to make if you have a food processor or blender, and they’re a great way to pack a bunch of energy-boosting nutrients into one filling drink. For a delicious breakfast smoothie, use vanilla yogurt, chopped mango, tofu, ginger, ground flaxseed and cardamom. All you have to do is combine these ingredients in your food processor or blender, then blend it until it’s smooth. You’ll have a highly nutritious breakfast snack to enjoy that will give you a plentiful supply of energy for the morning.

Oatmeal With Blueberries

A bowl of instant oatmeal with some blueberries added to it is a great way to gain energy for the day without having to spend a lot of time cooking. Choose oatmeal made with whole grains and don’t add sugar to it, since this can cause an energy crash. When your instant oatmeal is ready, top it with blueberries, which contain antioxidants and other nutrients that provide you with energy. You’ll have a quick breakfast snack to enjoy that will help you feel full and give you a healthy dose of energy.

Our apartments have a patio or balcony where you can enjoy your breakfast snack before heading out the door. Please contact us to learn more about our available apartments in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Fall Tablescape

4 Essentials for a Fall Tablescape

Fall Tablescape

It’s already October, and if your apartment isn’t already decked out in fall decor, the time to start is now. One of the best ways to bring fall into your home is through an eye-catching tablescape, complete with warm colors and autumn accessories. Trust us—you don’t have to over-decorate your humble abode to emanate festiveness! If you want to impress your dinner party guests, start building your simple fall tablescape with these tips:

Fall Tablescape Necessities

Table Runner

A table runner lays the foundation for your fall tablescape. Think of it as the bow on a present—it functions to tie all the elements of your table together. It can be as plain as orange cotton, or if you’re bold, a pumpkin-patterned linen. Make sure your table runner is wide enough to fit your next decor element in the middle: the centerpiece.

Centerpiece

Your centerpiece makes the first impression when it comes to your tablescape. Plus, it’s the ideal opportunity to get creative. For example, you can stay on the simple side and place three pumpkins of varying heights in the middle. If you want to be more extravagant, you can buy an ornate vase and place large flowers in it. The possibilities are endless!

Fall Accessories

A fall tablescape isn’t complete without, of course, fall accessories. Embrace the season and scatter your table with faux foliage, pumpkins, and even vegetables and fruits. When it comes to fall decor, the best part is that you aren’t limited to a craft store. Keep your eyes open for pinecones, twigs, and other rustic accessories on your next stroll.

Candles

Top off your seasonal arrangement with autumn-scented candles, such as pumpkin cinnamon or maple brown sugar. Not only will candles add irresistible fragrance to your dining room, but they’ll create an ultra-cozy feel as well. Remember to not place candles in areas that might be a fire hazard.

Our apartments in Fort Lauderdale have floor plans that are perfect for hosting a fall party. Our living and dining areas give you plenty of space to create a fall tablescape your guests will love. Contact us today to learn more about our specific dimensions!

Different Pumpkins

How to Pick the Perfect Pumpkin

Different PumpkinsWhether you plan on carving a jack-o’-lantern for Halloween or putting a painted pumpkin on display for fall, it helps if you know how to choose the right one. Otherwise, you can end up with a pumpkin that doesn’t make it through the season. Keep the following tips in mind when you go looking for the perfect pumpkin this fall.

Check for Firmness

You’ll find pumpkins for sale at supermarkets, pumpkin patches on farms and roadside stands. When you head to one of these to select your pumpkin, make sure you check for firmness. The pumpkin you pick should feel solid and firm all around and not have any mushy areas. Softer areas could indicate that the pumpkin is in danger of going bad already, which means it won’t be a good one for carving or painting.

Look at the Coloring

Healthy pumpkins tend to have coloring that doesn’t vary much unless you’re specifically looking for a more decorative variety. Pumpkins for carving should be consistently colored overall.

Focus on Freshness

How do you know if your pumpkin is fresh? Push on the bottom of it using your thumbs. If it’s not firm and sinks in at all, you don’t have a fresh pumpkin. The other sign of a fresh pumpkin is a green stem. Check the stem color on your pumpkin before you buy it.  Pumpkins with green stems were recently harvested, while those with brownish stems are older and not as fresh.

Check for Flaws

If you’ll be carving or painting your pumpkin, you’ll want to make sure that it has a smooth, fresh surface. Look over the surface of your pumpkin for a lot of wrinkles or folds. You might also find spots of mold or holes. Having any of these flaws indicates that your pumpkin is already starting to spoil.

Test for Flatness

Put your pumpkin on a level surface. This helps you determine if it will stay up straight on flat surfaces after you’ve carved it or painted it.

Our apartments in Fort Lauderdale, Florida have a patio or balcony that you can put your new pumpkin on. Contact us for more information on our amenities and available apartments.

Swimming in the Pool

Best Workouts During a Hot Summer Day

Swimming in the PoolWhen the summer months finally start to heat up, working out may be the furthest thing from your mind. Whether you hate the idea of sweating it out in the sun or you simply feel like you’ve got better things to do, skipping your workouts can interfere with your fitness goals. Luckily, the perfect summer workout schedule can be maintained when you get creative and have a bit of fun!

5 Great Workout Ideas for Summer

Swimming

This low-impact workout option is ideal for cooling down and getting in some serious cardio. In fact, if you bring along a few water weights, you can actually get a full workout in one of our two swimming pools.

Yoga

While you may want to avoid taking a hot yoga class, any regular beginners yoga workout will leave you looking and feeling great. Stretch out those muscles and find your center with this perfect summer exercise. Continue your yoga exercises in our yoga/ab studio, available this winter!

Biking

Looking for an excuse to get out and enjoy some fresh air? Bicycling is a fun workout option for everyone from beginners to seasoned athletes. Whether you own your own bike or need to rent one, taking a ride through the city is a great way to spend a weekend day.

Hiking

While you may think that hiking is for more serious outdoor adventurists, exploring the greater Fort Lauderdale area on foot can make for a great workout. Just make sure that you plan ahead by wearing proper shoes, bringing plenty of water and dressing appropriately for the weather.

Basketball

If working out with a few friends sounds like your cup of tea, scheduling a weekly game of pickup basketball can be another cool workout idea. Whether you join a local parks and recreation team or gather friends from the office, basketball allows you to get in some great cardio and workout without getting bored at the gym.

Stay Fit and Have Fun All Summer Long

With so many great things to see and do around the city, there’s no reason to spend your summer inside working out. For more information about our community or to check out the available floor plans at our apartments in Fort Lauderdale, visit our office or give us a call today.

Outdoor Picnic

Labor Day Picnic Celebrations

Outdoor PicnicWith the Labor Day holiday just around the corner, residents at apartments in Fort Lauderdale are preparing for all the fun. One of the best ways to enjoy the holiday is a picnic, and Fort Lauderdale has plenty of great parks where you can enjoy the food in a beautiful outdoor setting. Here are some tips for making a picnic for Labor Day weekend.

From Fort Lauderdale Apartments to the Best Labor Day Picnic Celebrations

There are a number of great local parks in Fort Lauderdale, including Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, and Colee Hammock Park. All of these parks offer places to relax, water to enjoy, and beautiful views — but what about the food? Well, that part is up to you, and there are a number of easy and fun picnic options to consider.

Foods For an Easy and Fun Labor Day Picnic at the Park

While sandwiches are always an easy choice, you may want to have something a bit more elaborate for Labor Day. How about barbeque ribs? If you make the ribs in a pressure cooker overnight, you’ll have delectable ribs ready to eat for your picnic the next day. Don’t forget to pack plenty of napkins!

A pasta salad can make a great side dish for the ribs, and it’s super easy to prepare in advance. Of course, it never hurts to have traditional picnic fare like potato chips on hand as well. Many people enjoy dip with their chips, so why not bring along some veggies too? Crisp carrots, celery, and radishes offer a healthy and delicious way to dip into hummus or other dips.

For dessert, a watermelon is always a popular warm weather treat. Cube it up ahead of time to avoid the mess of cutting it and disposing of the rinds. Add in a few other dessert options like brownies or cookies and you’ve got a people pleasing Labor Day picnic.

Looking for an Apartment Home in Fort Lauderdale?

Port Royale Apartments offers one- and two-bedroom apartment homes in Fort Lauderdale. If you’re looking for a modern apartment with all the latest amenities, call our office to learn more now.

Port Royale Waterfront Living

How to Celebrate Labor Day With Friends in Your Apartment

Port Royale Waterfront LivingWith Labor Day right around the corner, residents of Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Port Royale apartment community will be using the three-day weekend to bid adieu to summer and segue into fall. But there’s no shortage of fun to be had at our community as summer comes to an official close, so if you’re in need of some inspiration on how to send the season out with a bang, read on for more.

How Residents Can Celebrate Labor Day at Port Royale

Here’s a look at how residents can celebrate the Labor Day holiday within the community:

  • Chilling and grilling: Residents can take advantage of Port Royale’s outdoor barbecue grill and picnic area where they can cook food, mingle with friends and enjoy the scenic views along the Intracoastal Waterway. After you’re done eating, head over to the lounge areas on the water to relax and further unwind.
  • At the pool: Though our Fort Lauderdale apartment residents are privy to nice year-round weather, Labor Day is still an ideal weekend to kick back and relax at one of our community’s two pools or on the sundeck.
  • Relaxing on the patio or balcony: All Port Royale apartments come with either a patio or balcony, perfect for relaxing with your friends and reminiscing about all the good times you shared together over the summer.
  • Dine in: Weather not looking promising? Don’t feel like migrating to the grilling area? Then just have your friends over to dine in. Take advantage of your fully-equipped kitchen to prepare a meal for your guests or simply order out. They’ll surely be impressed by your apartment’s vaulted ceilings, wood floors and updated amenities.
  • Dance the night away: After you’ve hosted guests on the grounds and in your home, take the quick drive to Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale for some fun.
  • Work out: After you’ve hosted company and delighted in some great food, take to one of the many walking paths from our community, to the yoga studio or to the on-site fitness center to burn off the calories.

To learn more about available floor plans and amenities at Port Royale Apartments, give us a call or visit our office today!

Salmon

Summertime is the Best Seafood Time

SalmonIf you’ve been craving tasty seafood this summer but don’t feel like dining out, we have a solution for you! The following recipes can be made in the comfort of your own apartment home. These seafood dishes are so spectacular, especially paired with their designated side dishes. Make your way to the outdoor barbecue grill and picnic area at our Fort Lauderdale apartments and give these recipes a try!

Epic Glazed Grilled Salmon

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • 1 side of salmon, 1-in. thick (about 1 lb. 10 oz.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat barbecue to medium. Mix vinegar and jam in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to stir occasionally until syrup reduces by half.

Oil the grill. Season the salmon with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place on grill skin side down. Keep lid open. Fish is done when a knife tip held in the thickest part of the fish feels warm after 10 seconds.

Brush with the apricot-vinegar mixture. Serve with Indian mango-lentil salad.

Indian Mango-Lentil Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Combine lentils, mango, onion and garlic. Sprinkle with cinnamon and coriander before drizzling with lime juice. Add cilantro, stir well and enjoy.

Kickin’ Grilled Calamari

Ingredients

  • 3 frozen squids, whole
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup fried crispy shallots

Preheat barbecue to medium-high. Use paper towels to pat squid dry. Cut 1/2 inch wide rings horizontally, leaving one seam intact. Place the squid into a medium bowl. Add oil, salt and chili-garlic sauce. Toss until coated.

Oil the grill. Grill squid 2 minutes per side until charred and tender. Sprinkle crispy shallots on top.

Serve over an Asian noodle salad.

Asian Noodle Salad

  • 4 oz fine rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp  sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Place noodles in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stir for 6 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, squeezing out excess.

Whisk lemon juice, zest, sugar and fish sauce together. Pour over noodles and add cilantro. Toss to coat.

Whether you stay in the picnic area or meander over to the sundeck, Port Royale Apartments in Fort Lauderdale is the place to relax. Are you ready to wrap up the summer grilling near our pool? If so, give us a call today to learn more about our available floor plans!

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