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Shopping Bags

Black Friday Shopping Tips

Shopping BagsSnagging those Black Friday deals can be sweet, but navigating the crowds and the mad rush for super-hot items at rock-bottom prices can be daunting. However, here are a few tips we recommend to help you get through Black Friday unscathed and with a load of bargains.

Start Shopping Early

There are many retailers that offer Black Friday deals a few days ahead of the official post-Thanksgiving day release. Check your ads or go online to explore which stores are willing to offer those bargains a bit earlier, which can help you snag the best items without having to hurdle over other shoppers. Some stores even offer deals as early as the Monday prior to Black Friday.

Let Technology Lead You to Deals

There are apps and websites that can help you save time by finding the best deals for you. dealnews.com, for example, broadcasts highlights of top deals as the big day approaches. You can also allow apps to send you notifications as hot items you are looking for such as tablets, TVs and home appliances become available.

Commit to High-End Purchases

Certain items such as jewelry, winter apparel and most children’s toys are often better purchases after Black Friday. Trends in big box retail stores tend to lean towards offering big savings on electronic gadgets, gaming consoles, and high dollar appliances. Remember, Black Friday is not the end-all shopping experience, and other deals will surface before the holidays.

Maximize on Coupons

Quite a few retailers that place those splashy advertisements in the paper or in your mailbox often add some very generous coupons that can help you maximize your savings. They will also advertise special doorbuster deals that can help you save as much as 50 percent off of certain items even days before Black Friday. However, be sure to read the fine print on your promotions to be sure you’re getting the best deals.

Shopping for an Apartment in Fort Myers, Florida?

Are you also on the hunt for a great place to call home within a community of friendly residents? Check out our spacious floor plans at our apartments in Fort Myers and discover what sets us apart from the rest.

Linzer Cookie

3 Yummy Thanksgiving Desserts to Make

Linzer CookieThe Thanksgiving holiday season opens the doors for the creation of tasty treats at our Fort Myers apartments. The treats are fun to give away to friends, family and neighbors in the spirit of giving. You can also serve them up at your holiday parties to keep everyone delighted with your creations. When you have Thanksgiving desserts in hand, everyone will consider you the life of the party. Here are three incredible thanksgiving desserts to add to your regular holiday baking rotation.

Cranberry Linzer Cookies

You can take traditional Linzer cookies to the next level by giving them a truly festive cranberry filling. You will need to create the top and bottom cookie halves using the base recipe and then set the cookies aside to cool while you work on the filling. Create the cranberry mixture by mixing the fruit with butter, lemon juice and brown sugar over medium heat. Spread the filling between two cookies, and then dust over the tops with powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Cheesecake to Serve at Our Fort Myers Apartments

When you make pumpkin cheesecake, you combine the amazing flavors of pumpkin pie and traditional cheesecake. The pumpkin cheesecake recipe replaces pumpkin puree with a portion of the cream cheese and sugar. When making this pumpkin cheesecake at your apartment in Fort Myers, you will omit the sweet fruit topping, but you can serve each piece with whipped cream made fresh or from the container.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

You can perform magic by combining the flavors of sweet potato pie with the taste and texture of cupcakes. When you make these sweet potato infused cupcakes, whip up a basic marshmallow frosting to use as a filling and topper. You can also sprinkle sweet cinnamon candies on top of the frosting to dress up your cupcakes for the holiday.

Once you have your full spread of Thanksgiving desserts made and wrapped up, take the time to reflect on your digs and determine if you want to upgrade your apartment. If you are ready for an upgrade, contact our office at Gulfstream Isles by calling (866) 521-1728 to learn about our available floor plans.

Rug

A Guide for Choosing the Ideal Rug for Your Apartment

RugOne easy way for residents of our apartments in Fort Myers, FL to personalize their space and make it feel like home is using rugs when decorating. Here are five tips for choosing just the right one.

Think Multiples

Everybody needs to mark a change in seasons, even in a climate that boasts relatively warm temperatures all year long. One way is to purchase two rugs with differing colors or styles. You might prefer one of them most of the year and use the other one during the winter holidays.

Create a Focal Point

Making a rug the focal point of a room is a great way to avoiding busting a budget. A room’s overall look should never be overwhelming. When walls and other furnishings are neutral, a rug’s color, patterns or texture draws the eyes.

Pick the Right Place and Size

Before investing, use tape to outline the area where you’ll place the rug and its size. You might be surprised at how the room looks. Adjust your outline until the rug and the furniture appear balanced.

Know Your Fabrics

Wool has been a long-time favorite because it can be in place for a few years without appearing dirty. Wool rugs do require professional cleaning outside the home. Nylon has stain-resistant properties for easy cleanups. Olefin/polypropylene rugs contain dyed plastics that are hard to stain and that a carpet cleaning company can steam clean.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Do you have high-traffic human or pet areas in your apartment? Go for durability plus comfort in colors that blend with the existing décor. You don’t have to sacrifice style in order to get an easy-to-clean rug. Think low-pile rugs that are synthetic or wool. Also consider rugs that are manufactured for indoor-outdoor use and keep in mind that bold, rich patterns and colors tend to hide stains and wear and tear.

Rugs are more than objects to cushion the feet and pamper pet paws. Residents of our Fort Myers apartments can use them to express their personal style and make their space truly home. Be sure and take a moment to call us today to learn more about which floor plans can best meet your needs.

Minions Costumes

Halloween Costumes to Try With Friends This Season

Minions CostumesHalloween will be here soon! It’s time to prepare for a wonderful and enjoyable night of tricks and treats. These fun Halloween costumes are perfect for two, so you and your best friend or loved one can get dressed up and enjoy a fun night on the town.

Your Favorite Television Duo

Television duos make great Halloween costumes because so many people can recognize them. These television duos make easy to assemble costumes that can be thrown together over the course of a weekend.

  • Daria and Jane. Daria’s green jacket and black skirt combo should be easy to find in any thrift store, while Jane needs only a red jacket, black shirt and black pants. Easy!
  • Meredith and Christina. Anyone who’s seen Grey’s Anatomy knows that you only need a pair of blue scrubs to dress up like this best friend combo.
  • Sam and Dean. A couple faded pairs of blue jeans, some neutral-colored jackets and cheap beer is all you need to dress up like this brother pair from Supernatural.

Minions

You’ll need solid colored pants, suspenders, yellow shirts and eyeglasses with amazing powers of magnification for this cute and fun Halloween costume! Stay together as a pair or go off on your separate ways; people will still be able to recognize who you are!

Harry Potter Pairs

Everybody knows and loves Harry Potter. If you’re dressing up like the gang from earlier movies, we recommend using graduation robes to simulate the Hogwarts robes. If you’re dressing up like the gang from later movies, you can wear normal clothes. Don’t forget your wands and possibly scarves in colors that correspond to your house color. Whether you’re dressing up like Harry and Ron, Ron and Hermione or Harry and Ginny, you’re sure to be recognized.

Happy Halloween From Gulfstream Isles

At Gulfstream Isles, we’re preparing for a fun Halloween. Many of our residents will be decorating and dressing up for the holiday. We welcome you to join in on the fun and become part of our community! Call us today at (866) 521-1728 to make an appointment and see our available Fort Myers apartments!

Preparing Fish

Tips on Cooking Seafood

Preparing FishYou’ve spent considerable time browsing our apartments in Fort Myers and think you may have found one. Now’s the time to celebrate. Embrace the coastal atmosphere of beautiful and sunny Florida by making some delectable, fresh seafood.

Of course, it’s natural to be nervous about cooking seafood, especially if you’ve never done it before. After all, if the meal isn’t cooked through all the way, you could get very ill. By following these tips for preparing seafood, you can make restaurant-worthy food any night of the week.

1. Don’t Overdo It on the Seasoning

Some seafood, like cod, doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own. It’s fine to season it, but don’t drown the fish in spices. Instead, sparingly use fresh herbs, a touch of citrus, and only a dash of pepper and salt.

2. Watch Your Poaching Liquid Temperature

Poaching fish involves cooking it in a liquid bath. The liquid should be cooler at first and gradually get hotter as the fish cooks. Otherwise, some parts of the fish might be more done than others.

3. Know Your Cooking Times

It’s tempting to leave your seafood on too long because you don’t want to undercook it. Overcooking it is just as bad since the food is no longer palatable. With shellfish like shrimp or lobster, these will be pink or opaque, typically in less than 10 minutes. If you’re making fish, for every inch, leave the fish on for at least eight minutes (or 10 minutes). Don’t forget to flip it over!

4. Don’t Rush It

You don’t want your seafood to cling to the pan. Once the seafood is totally cooked, it should slide off any pan with ease. If it won’t budge, it still needs more time.

Are you looking for a place to sit down and enjoy a nice homecooked meal? At Gulfstream Isles, you can choose from several floor plans, like the Seahorse (with one bedroom and one bathroom), the King’s Crown (with two bedrooms and two bathrooms), and the spacious Osprey (with three bedrooms and two bathrooms). Give our office a call today to learn more about our availability!

Variety of Seashells

Fun and Free Things to Do in Fort Myers

Variety of SeashellsTrying to save money but still looking for fun things to do? That’s not a problem in Fort Myers, where you’ll find plenty of free activities to keep you entertained even if you’re trying not to spend.

Fort Myers Art Walk

This popular art walk, which first started in 2008, is held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the first Friday of each month and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the following Saturday in the Downtown Fort Myers River District and the Gardner’s Park area. This is a self-guided walking tour where you’ll not only get a chance to buy great art, but you might even meet the artists who created it. In some cases, the artist may even be on hand to demonstrate their skills and techniques.

Music Walk

If you love listening to live music, head to the River District on the third Friday of the month starting at 7 p.m. You’ll find just about every type of genre being played during this monthly event, including rock and roll and jazz.

Sanibel Island

Located just about 20 miles from Fort Myers is Sanibel Island, one of the best places in the world to find shells. This island was, in fact, ranked as one of the best shelling beaches in the United States by Travel & Leisure. Wandering down a quiet beach searching for pretty treasures is a lovely way to spend a day, especially if you have children to entertain.

Manatee Park

Because this park is located on a canal where a Florida Power and Light plant discharges warm water into the river, manatees are drawn to this location during the cold months of December, January and February. Chances are, thus, high that you’ll spot one of these creatures during these months. The park also has a concession that rents kayaks on the weekends or you can bring your own.

Another idea? Enjoy a staycation. It’s easy to do at our Fort Myers apartments, which boasts four beautiful pools, picnic areas and two dog parks with agility equipment. Not already a resident? Contact us now so we can help you choose the right floor plan for your needs!

Black Standing Fan

Looking for Ways to Save Energy AND Money?

Black Standing FanGoing green is not only good for the environment but it can be good for your wallet too. Whether you’re interested in making a few changes in your apartment or you’d like to overhaul the way you use energy every day, becoming more conscious of how you use energy is highly beneficial. With less weight on your shoulders and more cash in your bank account, soon you’ll be spreading the news to friends and family too! Check out these simple and effective ways to conserving energy and saving money.

7 Top Energy Saving Tips for Apartment Residents

1. Turn off your fans when you leave the room. Running a fan regularly can cost up to an additional $7 per month on your energy bill.

2. Make sure you always change the water level on your washing machine to match the actual size of your load. This is especially important when washing with hot water. When possible, always select a cold rinse cycle as well.

3. Always clean the lint filter in your dryer before putting in a new load. This will help your clothes to dry faster and prevent the possibility of fire.

4. If available, always use the auto sensor function on your dryer to conserve energy and avoid over-drying any delicate clothing.

5. Try replacing your standard showerhead with an updated water-efficient option. Newer models can help you save up to $80 a year on your water bill.

6. Take 5-minute showers to reduce the amount of water you use each day. With an updated showerhead and limited shower time, you can save thousands of gallons of water and lower carbon dioxide emissions by up to 80 percent.

7. Use insulated shades or curtains on your windows to keep heat indoors during the colder months. When you need some extra light, avoid turning on a lamp and let the sunshine in to warm and illuminate the space.

Go Green and Save

Making a few simple changes to the way you approach your energy usage can help you to save greatly each year. Want to learn more about our apartment community? For more information or to take a look at the available floor plans at our apartments in Fort Myers, be sure to visit our office at Gulfstream Isles today.

Single Key

Safety Tips for Apartment Residents

Single KeyApartment living is often enjoyable. You don’t have to worry about landscaping chores and you get to establish lasting memories and lifelong friendships with fellow community members. As an apartment resident, it is also helpful to be aware of and follow important safety tips.

Safety Tips for Apartment Residents

  • Lock cars, windows, and doors – The first rule of safety for apartment living is to keep the doors to your home and car locked at all times. While some apartments have more foot traffic than others, you never want to make it easy for burglars to enter your home. Consider supplemental locks for windows and sliding glass doors, especially if you are on the ground floor of the building.
  • Use a safe for valuables – This is the best way to secure jewelry and cash in your apartment home. While you may not be able to secure the safe to the floor or wall, it will still be a deterrent to thieves who focus on items that are easy to carry out.
  • Don’t give out spare keys – While this may seem obvious, the fact remains that even if you gave a spare key to a friend or family member, your safety is at risk because you no longer have singular control over the entrance to your home.
  • Install a security system – This can be as simple as a single monitoring camera or a motion-detection surveillance system. Thieves are attracted to the easiest criminal options, and a security system is a great deterrent.
  • Maintain renter’s insurance – This is not only a wise solution in case of theft but also for the destruction of property and any loss due to a fire. Even if someone is hurt while visiting your apartment home, the renter’s liability insurance will protect you from any costs.
  • Be aware of fire exits – In addition to the normal exit you may take for your apartment, be aware of alternate routes in case of smoke or fire blocking the main exit.

We value the safety and concerns of all our residents as a key factor of our apartments. Contact us for a tour and to start enjoying our beautiful Fort Myers apartments.

Bowl of Salad

5 Refreshing Salads to Try This Summer

Bowl of SaladAh, summertime and the living is easy. Why not make your meals as easy as the rest of the summer style? Salads make great one-dish meals that are quick and easy to prepare. As a bonus, you don’t have to heat up the oven on those hot summer days. Following are five refreshing salads that you will enjoy all the way through the dog days of summer. Our Fort Myers apartments are the ideal place for preparing and savoring salads like these!

Peachy Chicken

This salad is an entire meal in just one dish. Place fresh spring mix lettuce in a large salad bowl, and then top that with fresh sliced peaches, red onion and pecans. Add goat cheese and corn. Top with grilled basil and lemon chicken, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and vinaigrette dressing.

Avocado Dream

Raise your hand if you love summer fruits and veggies. This salad’s as beautiful as it is refreshing. Place fresh spinach leaves in a dish along with strawberries, avocado, blue cheese, sliced almonds and red onion. Mix all of these together with avocado oil poppyseed dressing and enjoy.

Easy Pea-sy

Bean salad is a great side dish for your summertime cookouts. Mix together drained or freshly cooked black-eyed peas. Add some chopped red peppers plus slices of onions and red tomatoes. Add fresh spinach leaves. Stir all ingredients together with olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing.

Berry Blast

Fruit salad is super refreshing and hydrating for any meal of the day or as a snack. Cut up a variety of fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Add any other fruits you enjoy, like cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, watermelon and apples. Garnish with a piece of fresh mint.

Pasta Perfect

Quick and easy to prepare, pasta is so versatile, simple and delicious. Cook elbow pasta and drain. Add chopped hard-boiled eggs, red peppers, carrots, celery, onions, parsley and tomatoes. Stir together with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, honey, vinegar and yogurt dressing.

If you need a great place to prepare and serve yummy summer salads, our apartments in Fort Myers have spacious kitchens for you to enjoy. Call our office today to see which of our floor plans are currently available.

Desk and Accessories

8 Ways to Decorate Your Desk

Desk and AccessoriesWhether you use it for work, homework or even crafting, you can spend a lot of time at your desk. Making sure that your space is comfortable, stylish and beautiful is important; you’re more likely to enjoy and use your space if you think it is lovely.

8 Ways to Decorate Your Desk

  • Go beyond the surface: You have the desktop and any drawers, but if you add some small storage pieces underneath or even on top of your desk, you’ll expand your space.
  • Enjoy natural light: Anything with color will simply look better and more accurate if you view it in natural light. Position your desk by a window with a view for added interest and to shed plenty of light on your work surface. Our Fort Myers apartments get lots of natural sun so take advantage of our area’s beauty when you set up your desk.
  • Go green: Add a plant or two for a natural touch – succulents require very little care and offer plenty of texture and style – and are not likely to drop leaves on your desk, either.
  • Add task lighting: Overhead lights work well for some projects, but not if you need to see details. A small task light can help brighten up your space and allow you to see everything you need to, even at night.
  • Corral supplies: A simple desk organizer made from metal or wood can collect your papers, cards, scissors and accessories so they are close at hand when you’re ready for them.
  • Add a planner: Whether you like a small datebook or go all out with a bullet journal, your desk is a natural home for your planner and schedule.
  • Personalize your space:  You may love the spartan look of the desktops in magazines or on television, but you’ll enjoy your own space more if you add some of your own favorite things. From your favorite candles or trinkets to the stunning seashells you picked up at the beach, your desk can hold some beautiful personal items, too.
  • Go vertical: All of those little notes, clippings and memorabilia you’re keeping don’t need to be relegated to a desk drawer. Hang a bulletin board to create a centerpiece or focal spot for your desk. You’ll be able to see those inspiring items, but not have to move them every time you want to work.

At Gulfstream Isles, we know how important it is for you to have the perfect space to work, do homework or create a masterpiece. Stop by and see how spacious our apartments in Fort Myers are and imagine yourself working in one of our light-filled, stunning floor plans.

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