St. Patrick’s Day Party Ideas for Your New Apartment

Shamrock Green BiscuitsYou don’t have to be Irish to host an amazing St. Patrick’s Day party this year. All it takes is a little green, some good friends and a happening spot to host an epic party on the 17th. Regardless of how many people you’re inviting, you’ll want to get your party planning started early so that you aren’t scrambling March 16th.

Send Out the Invites Today

You need guests at your St. Patrick’s Day party, so the first thing on your to do list should be acquiring them. Start designing your invites or buy some online. Send them out to your guests and give them as much notice as possible, especially if you want RSVPs. You don’t have to be crafty to make fun invitations. In fact, all you need is some green construction paper and a computer and you can make some amazing-looking invitations in a matter of minutes — and without spending a fortune.

Create a Green-Themed Attire Requirement

Youcan’t have a St. Patrick’s Day party without everyone dressed in green. So make sure to remind your guests that green is required when they show up — unless they want to get pinched all night. You could buy some green party hats at the local party supply store too, that way everyone has a touch of green.

Think About Décor

Your decorations make or break the party. You don’t have to go crazy in your apartment, and remember everything you put up you’ll have to take down after the party. Green streamers are great décor fillers that are inexpensive and quick to put up and remove. Green balloons are also inexpensive and easy to use. If you have the time, make or buy four leaf clovers and then plaster them all over the apartment, on the doors and even windows to bring in some Irish spirit.

Don’t Forget About the Food

If you’re hosting a dinner party, you can’t go wrong with corned beef and cabbage. But if you’re hosting a casual get together where people are more likely to snack than feast, you can get creative and make some green appetizers. Green cookies or green sandwich wraps are good ideas to get started. Traditional Irish soda bread is easy to make and can even be done a day ahead of time.

For drinks, green beer is the obvious choice. But, if you have friends that don’t drink, try lemonade dyed green or offer up some green water.

Hosting the perfect St. Patrick’s Day party is easy if you give yourself enough time. If you start now, you have enough time to plan, buy what you need and get an accurate guest count.

Mar 2014

Got Bad Credit? Tips for Overcoming Credit Issues

Young couple buying or renting a home or apartment, they are meeIf you have bad credit, it can ruin your chances of getting the apartment of your dreams. These days’property owners are strict about credit requirements — as they should be. They need tenants they can trust and know will pay the rent when it’s due. But, even those with bad credit deserve a chance. If you have bad credit, there are some things you can do to increase the chances you’ll get an apartment despite that low credit score.

Explain Yourself

Everyone has difficulties in their financial situation. While you might have bad credit, you might also have an explanation for it. Sometimes a potential property owner will understand the reasons behind your poor credit, especially if you can back it up. For example, you lost your job or you encountered a medical issue that made it difficult to pay your bills on time. You pay them on time now, which you can prove. But, you can also show medical bills or unemployment records too to boost your credibility.

Use a Cosigner

Some landlords will give you the apartment if you have a cosigner with better credit. While this might not be ideal, it is a good way to get an apartment even if you have poor credit. Ask family or friends if they would mind, but remember that if they cosign, they are equally responsible for the lease. Therefore, only ask for a cosigner if you are responsible enough to follow the terms of the lease in the first place.

Ask About a Larger Security Deposit

Some apartments will overlook poor credit scores if you offer a larger security deposit. Because a poor score often means you are unlikely to pay your rent, the larger security deposit offsets the risk of any loss for the landlord. Sometimes landlords will request two to three times more, but they will overlook your low credit score.

Prove Your Worth

Property owners exclude people with poor credit because they are unlikely to pay. You can show your positive credit history by giving them references to collectors and debtors you’re paying now. Also, show paycheck stubs and income statements proving you can afford the new apartment. If you have a good relationship with a previous landlord, see if they will give you a good reference. Make sure they comment on your ability to pay rent — noting that you’ve never been late and always paid your rent in full.

Even with all of these things, some landlords might not approve you if you have poor credit. If that is the case, don’t get discouraged. Start working on improving your credit score and maintaining a positive credit history from here on out. While it might not help you today, maintaining a positive credit history for a few years can improve the chances you’ll be approved for an apartment in the future.

Mar 2014

Spring Break Ideas for Your Kids in Los Angeles

Dad and kids playing in beach surf on boardsWhen spring break rolls around, you have a full house. Kids look forward to spring break — after all, it is a week off school — but for parents it means finding ways to keep the kids entertained. There are tons of activities in Los Angeles to keep your kids busy and some are even free.

Create a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are fun and free to do for spring break. They don’t have to be complex and if you live in a family-friendly apartment building, just have the kids do the hunt at neighboring apartments. It’s a fun way to get the gets outside and exercise, but also keep them entertained. Do a themed scavenger hunt, such as an Easter or Mother’s Day scavenger hunt.

Go to the Beach

Los Angeles isn’t short of beaches and there are plenty that are family-friendly. Take the kids to the beach for the day just to have some fun in the sun. Consider inviting some friends from school and make a spring break trip out of it. A free, fun day trip will help pass the time.

Walk the Piers

You can walk the piers for free and just get out and get some fresh air. Luckily, there are a lot of pier activities going on during the spring break weeks, so you might be able to catch a special event, show, or other free activity on the pier.

Head Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles has plenty to do with the kids. From visiting the parks to going the tar pits, you’ll have something to do and learn all for free.

Visit a Museum

While the museums aren’t free, they are fun for spring break. Because spring break is usually the wettest time of year in Los Angeles, you’ll have some indoor fun that is away from the apartment. The Kidspace Children’s Museum in Pasadena or the Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles are great choices.

Host a Family Game Night

Instead of worrying about entertaining during the day, have a fun, family-focused night at home. Family game nights are great ways to connect with your kids and have some fun at the same time. Play a game that everyone in the family can enjoy (and understand). If games aren’t your thing, a family movie night is always a good idea. Get popcorn, movie theater snacks and rent a movie that everyone will have fun watching.

Spring break is a great time to get everyone together. If you can take time off work, do so and think about visiting other family you don’t see much during the year. Either way, use it as an opportunity to bond with your children and just get out and enjoy what Los Angeles has to offer, together.

Mar 2014