Apr 18

How to Choose the Right Collar for Your Dog

Small Dog Wearing CollarWhen you get a dog, a collar provides a place for ID tags and a way to hook up a leash for walks. It’s important to make sure that you get the right type of collar for your dog. The right collar ensures a secure yet comfortable fit while lowering the risk of injuries, which can happen when collars are too tight or too loose. Consider these tips when picking out a collar for your dog.

Know Your Dog’s Neck Size

Knowing how large your dog’s neck is makes it easier for you to choose a collar that offers the perfect fit. Measure your dog’s neck about one inch below the head for smaller breeds and two inches below the head for bigger breeds. When you’re selecting a collar, make sure that you can fit one or two of your fingers below the collar when it’s around your dog’s neck. If you can’t, it means the collar is too tight or too loose. Keep in mind that if you have a puppy that Is still growing, you’ll need to adjust the size or get a new collar every so often.

Select the Right Material

The majority of dog collars that you’ll find are made of nylon or leather. Nylon offers a collar that’s easy to clean and should last for a long time. Leather provides a softer material for dogs, but keep in mind that these collars tend to cost more than nylon ones.

Choose the Right Collar Type

Most dogs do well with a buckle collar, which is the type you’ll commonly see in stores. You can adjust these collars easily if needed, but make sure that you get one that’s sturdy and secure enough if you have a larger dog or one that’s harder to control during walks. You might want to consider a safety stretch collar, which reduces the risk of strangulation, if you have a dog with a lot of energy or curiosity. Break-away collars offer a safe option if your dog is home alone for longer periods of time.

Our community is pet friendly and welcomes dogs and cats. Please contact us for more details on our available apartments in Arlington, VA, including our pet policy.

Apr 18

Tips for Cleaning Out Your Closet

Clothes in ClosetYour closets can easily fill up with clothes and other items to the point where you run out of space. If your closets could use some cleaning and organizing, use the following tips get this project done. You’ll have tidy closets with more space for any new items you get.

Get Rid of Duplicate Items

If you come across any duplicate items in your closets while cleaning them, give one away if it’s in good condition. If not, toss it out. You don’t need to keep more than one version of a clothing item, so this is a great way to clear up space in your closets.

Box Items Up

If you’re having trouble deciding whether or not to toss certain items into a garbage bag, consider putting them in a box or bin. Keep this box or bin in your closet for a few months. When this time is up, get rid of any items you haven’t taken out during that time. Not wearing these items means that you’re not going to miss out on having them around. This method can make it much easier for you to eliminate items from your closets without forcing you to make snap decisions during cleaning.

Toss or Give Away Problem Clothes

As you go through your closets, you might find that you have outfits or other items that don’t fit anymore or items that you don’t find flattering. Donate or give away any of these items that are in good condition, and throw the rest away. There’s no practical reason to hold on to these clothes, so it’s better to get rid of them.

Keep Track of What You Wear

You might be surprised to discover that there are outfits or clothing items that you rarely wear. Keep track of which clothes you tend to wear more often, and keep those items. Give away or toss out items that you normally don’t wear or never wear at all. This helps you eliminate unused items from your closets.

Our apartments in Arlington, VA, have walk-in closets available in select floor plans, which provide even more storage space for clothes and other items. Please contact us to learn more about our apartment and community amenities.

Apr 18

Delicious Recipes Made With Garlic

GarlicApril 19 is National Garlic Day. This culinary staple enhances the flavor of almost any dish. Try these recipes for ultimate garlicky goodness.

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, cubed butter, plus melted butter to pour over biscuits
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk or milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, garlic powder and baking powder.
  3. Use a fork or pastry cutter to break the butter into pea-sized lumps.
  4. Stir in the cheddar cheese with a fork. Add milk. Mix the dough until it mostly comes together. Gently fold in the dry bits.
  5. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat it down to a 1 & 1/2 inch thickness and cut it into circles. Place biscuits on baking sheets and brush the tops with melted butter.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Garlic Rosemary Hummus

  • 3 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 7 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary

Using a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until relatively smooth. Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftovers.

Sticky Garlic Chicken Bites

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Panko

For the sauce:

  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, dip chicken into eggs, then coat with panko.
  2. Add chicken to baking dish. Bake 15-20 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sauce ingredients until thickened (about 1-2 minutes). Add chicken. Toss to coat.

Our apartments in Arlington, Virginia, come with spacious kitchens that offer the ideal setting for residents to prepare their favorite meals. In addition, our floor plans feature a breakfast bar, full-size washer and dryer, and wall-to-wall carpeting. Contact us for more information about our available one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and amenities.

Mar 18

3 Nutrient-Dense Foods to Incorporate Into Your Diet

Salmon DishIn the spirit of National Nutrition Month, you should consider making changes to your diet to better your health and well-being. While there are many nutritious foods to choose from, you should keep in mind that not all foods are made equal. Here are three nutrient-dense foods to incorporate into your diet this month and going forward.

1. Salmon

Fatty types of fish like salmon contain the most Omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential for promoting the optimal function of various organ systems in your body. Research studies indicate that Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to greater well-being and the reduced risk of various serious diseases. While salmon is touted for its high composition of fatty acids, it also contains many other nutrients, such as magnesium and potassium.

2. Kale

Kale is one of the best leafy greens. This vegetable is packed with vitamins, fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and bioactive compounds. Just 100 grams of kale contains 1000 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA) for Vitamin K1, 200 percent of the RDA for Vitamin C, and 300 percent of the RDA for Vitamin A.

3. Seaweed

The sea is home to more than just fish. There are also thousands of plant species called seaweed in the ocean. Some of these plant species are very nutritious. In fact, in some cases, these plants are more nutritious than many of the vegetables grown on land. Seaweed is high in minerals like manganese, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Seaweed is loaded with carotenoids, phycocyanins, and many other bioactive compounds. Some of these substances happen to be antioxidants that possess powerful inflammatory activity.

Seaweed contains a substantial amount of iodine, which is a mineral that the body uses to produce thyroid hormones. Eating seaweed a few times a month will give your body a sufficient amount of iodine. If you don’t like the taste of seaweed, you can also consume it as a supplement. These supplements are very cheap and just as nutritious. Many sushi dishes contain seaweed.

If you want to incorporate more nutritious foods into your diet, you should consider the three nutrient-dense foods discussed above. Consider reaching out to friends and loved ones for more recommendations. If you’re interested in joining The Citizen at Shirlington Village community and living in our Arlington apartments, feel free to contact us.

Mar 18

5 Ways to Motivate Yourself

Doing Work on LaptopLiving in our apartments in Arlington, VA, just a stone’s throw from Washington, D.C., you’re surrounded by high achievers. It’s inspiring to have such successful role models, but it’s likely you could use some extra motivation on certain days. Here are five effective ways to motivate yourself to reach great heights.

1. Change Your Definition of Work

If you think of work as something hard that requires a lot of effort, no wonder you have trouble motivating yourself! Instead, change how you define work into something that’s a puzzle that requires creative problem solving. Keep in mind that every problem solved brings you one step closer to your ultimate career goals.

2. Take Smaller Steps

Giant leaps are daunting. Make it less intimidating to get big projects done by breaking them down into smaller steps. Every project, whether it’s building a bridge or building a fire in your cozy fireplace at our apartments in Arlington, VA, can be broken down into tiny little actions. When you take this approach to work and to life in general, motivation comes automatically!

3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

A lot of things that make you hesitate don’t even really matter. Every day, some things will go wrong, especially at work. But in order to motivate yourself, don’t let these tiny setbacks get to you. Instead, look at them as learning experiences, and keep moving forward.

4. Read Every Day

Surprisingly, stepping away from the task at hand can motivate you to accomplish your goals, too. One great way to get your mind off things is to make it a habit to read every day. The best thing is to read things that will inspire you, such as autobiographies of successful people who have had to overcome great adversity. If they can do it, so can you!

5. Reward Yourself

If you can look forward to a nice reward after powering through some particularly challenging task, you’ll be more motivated to achieve it. Reward yourself with something nice each time, and soon your motivation will soar.

When you use these motivation tips, you’ll find that everything seems to flow easier. To see beautiful floor plans that flow naturally at The Citizen at Shirlington Village, contact us today.

Mar 18

Tips for Cleaning Blinds

The Citizen at Shirlington Village BedroomBlinds provide an attractive window treatment for your apartment, but they’re often overlooked in your regular cleaning duties. Over time, blinds become dingy from dust and dirt buildup. In our pet-friendly Arlington apartments, blinds can not only become clogged with dirt, but also with pet hair and dander. While there’s more than one way to effectively clean blinds, here are some general tips to get you started.

Dusting & Light Cleaning

Most buildup is simply dust that has stuck to your blinds. Cleaning dusty blinds with water often leads to a dirty mess that’s even harder to clean, so begin with dry cleaning methods. A quick, easy method is to vacuum them with a brush attachment. Simply vacuum across the slats from side to side, never up and down. Alternatively, use a microfiber or lamb’s wool mini blind duster to brush dust off in a side to side motion or wipe firmly from side to side with a microfiber cloth or dry rubber sponge. Always start at the top and work your way down, so dust from upper slats doesn’t land on the clean slats below. Also, you must clean both the concave and flat sides of your blinds, so use the tilt wand or cord to switch sides.

Deep Cleaning

Remove as much dust as possible, then determine whether you need deeper cleaning. For spot cleaning, use an all-purpose cleaner. Spray cleaner on a clean dry cloth, never directly onto your blinds, then wipe the soiled area clean. If blinds are especially soiled, you may have to wipe down both sides entirely with cleaner. While you can’t soak wooden blinds, you can soak metal or vinyl blinds in warm water, wipe remaining dirt away with a microfiber cloth, then wipe them dry before letting them hang in your windows. Blinds should be thoroughly dry before closing them to prevent slats from sticking together.

The Citizen at Shirlington Village in Arlington, Virginia, offers unique one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment homes with the best interior features, including beautiful, privacy blinds in all our floor plans. Call (866) 525-7940 to take a tour of our exciting community today!

Feb 18

Easy Tips for Giving Your Dog a Bath

Dog BathEven if your dog never plays in the dirt, regular baths are still an important part of pet care. Baths help keep your dog’s skin and coat in good condition. Giving your dog a bath doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Keep the following tips in mind for making bath time stress-free for you and your pet.

Set Up Supplies Ahead of Time

Don’t wait until after your dog is in the tub to grab shampoo, towels and any other supplies you need. Set them up on or near the tub before you start running the water for your dog’s bath. This makes it easier for you to bathe your dog without having to dash to another room to get what you need.

Use Treats as a Lure

If you have a dog who isn’t thrilled with baths, getting them into the tub can be tricky. Use treats to encourage them to come into the bathroom first, then give them more treats when they get into the water. Putting a treat on the edge of the tub along the wall might make it easier to coax them into the bath water. Using treats helps your dog associate getting a bath with something positive, which can help them feel more comfortable about being bathed.

Protect Your Dog’s Head

It’s fine to lather your dog up with pet shampoo except when it comes to their head. Doing this can get shampoo and water in their ears and eyes. Lather your dog up to their neck, then give them a good rinse to get rid of all traces of shampoo.

Use Three Towels

Instead of relying on one towel for drying your dog, have three towels ready for use. Put one on the floor to prevent your dog from dripping everywhere when stepping out of the tub. Drape another towel on your dog, so that they’ll be less likely to shake water droplets all over. Use a third towel to dry your dog off as much as possible before letting them out of the bathroom.

Our pet-friendly community includes pet walking areas for your convenience. Contact us for more information on our available apartments in Arlington and our community amenities.

Feb 18

Tips for Hosting a Cocktail Party

CocktailsThe 1950s were the heyday of the cocktail party. These gatherings were an elegant way to entertain friends that didn’t require as much effort as a dinner party and were also less costly. Today, cocktail parties are making a comeback. Are you interested in throwing one? Then check out the following tips that will help you plan a chic and fun cocktail party for your friends.

Finger Foods That Are Easy and Light

You don’t want to serve your guests drinks without having at least a few appetizers to offset the alcohol you’ll be serving. While chips and dips may be appropriate for a tailgate party, you’ll want something a little more elegant (but still easy to make) to serve at your soirée. Think a cheese board and crackers, shrimp, baked Brie or crostini topped with roasted tomatoes — food that won’t require the use of a fork and a knife. You can also find a whole slew of ready-to-bake appetizers in the freezer section of most grocery stores. Make sure to set up food stations around your party — not just in one location so that your guests won’t congregate in a single area.

Offer a Wide Assortment of Alcohol

It’s a cocktail party, so make sure to offer a full complement of liquors and mixers. According to experts, you can assume that each guest will drink approximately two drinks the first hour, then slow down to one drink per each hour thereafter. As for how much liquor to purchase, use this rule of thumb: a one-liter bottle will make approximately 22 mixed drinks.

Have Alternatives on Hand

Yes, it’s a cocktail party, but some people just don’t prefer hard alcohol. Make sure to have some wine and beer on hand. You’ll also want to purchase extra soda or juice in addition to any you were going to buy to use as mixers.

Are you ready to throw a fun cocktail party, but are in need of a great apartment to host it in? Then check out our luxury apartments in Arlington. Our stylish floor plans are the perfect backdrop for that oh-so-chic cocktail party that you’ve been wanting to host for your friends. Give us a call to learn more!

Feb 18

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Plush RobeMany couples don’t require extravagant gifts from each other on Valentine’s Day. However, it’s still a nice and charming gesture to get your significant other a nice gift. As you can probably imagine, getting some combination of chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and teddy bears every year can get old. Here are a few unique gift ideas for this upcoming Valentine’s Day.

1. Leather Eye Mask

If your significant other struggles to get a good night’s sleep every once in a while, you should consider buying a luxury leather eye mask. You can buy the leather eye mask in your significant other’s favorite color. The leather eye mask you choose should have an adjustable elastic strap as well as an ergonomic shape. There should also be a comfort nose patch. If the eye mask doesn’t come with a gift box, you can buy your own beautiful gift box. The soft lining and the adjustable strap will make it a breeze for your significant other to fall asleep.

2. Vacation With a Personalized Travel Itinerary

Another Valentine’s Day gift that your significant other will surely appreciate is a vacation with a personalized travel itinerary. Chances are, there’s a country or city that you and your significant other have always been dreaming of visiting. What better day to surprise your loved one with a vacation package to a dream destination than Valentine’s Day? Be sure to include a personalized travel itinerary to take all the stress out of traveling. You may know from personal experience how stressful it can be to have to plan where to go on a vacation.

3. Plush Faux Fur Robe

Just about everyone enjoys comfortable, luxury items. If your significant other could use some new self-care products, you should consider getting them a plush faux fur robe. The softness of the material will make your loved one want to stay in the robe forever. If you’re willing to splurge a little extra money, you should consider having the robe monogrammed for a nice personal touch.

Ask friends and neighbors in your community for more Valentine’s Day gift ideas. If you’re interested in moving into one of our Arlington apartments, reach out to us for more information about The Citizen at Shirlington Village.

Jan 18

Yummy Desserts to Try This Winter

Bread PuddingThere’s nothing quite like a hot beverage and warm dessert after a winter meal to help you get cozy. Here are some warm dessert ideas we hope our residents in Arlington, Virginia, will enjoy.

Blue-Raspberry Oat Crisp

If you can spare just 10 minutes to prepare this blend of berries, oats and nuts, it will be well worth the 40-minute wait time to dazzle your taste buds. Gather together the following ingredients.

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/1/4 cup of virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 2 cups of blueberries

How to Prepare

Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan with a non-stick ingredient. Place 2 tablespoons of flaked coconut to the side. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, loosely combine the oats, walnuts, coconut, almond, salt and cinnamon. Then, gently stir in the olive oil and honey until fully blended.

Sprinkle the raspberries and blueberries evenly on the bottom of the baking pan. Cover with the mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until it is slightly golden brown. Sprinkle remaining coconut flakes over the top and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Fruit-Infused Bread Pudding

There’s something nostalgic about bread pudding that makes it a type of comfort dessert. This fruit-laden recipe should warm the body and spirit while the cold wind blows outside. Gather these ingredients and get started!

For the Bread:

  • 1/2 loaf of unsliced bakery bread
  • 2 peaches (peel and slice)
  • 2 ripe apples (core, peel and slice)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk (whole or skim)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8-inch pan with non-stick ingredient.

Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes and fill baking dish so that it will exceed height by 1 inch and then set aside. Mix eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and milk. Make a layer of bread cubes in the baking pan and infuse fruit as you build to the top. Then, pour mixture. The mix should not exceed the baking pan. Let sit for 20 minutes to settle and top with remaining egg mixture, making sure all bread has a brushing of the mix. Sprinkle thoroughly with sugar and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

In a saucepan, melt butter and stir in sauce ingredients until boil, then let stand. Serve fruit-infused bread pudding while warm and top with sauce. A side of vanilla ice cream makes a nice pairing.

We hope our residents enjoy these delicious dessert recipes. If you or a friend would like more information about our Arlington apartments, call us today.

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