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People Talking to Each Other

Improve Your Conversation Skills With These Tips

People Talking to Each OtherOne of the nice aspects of apartment living is the opportunity to build relationships and to network. This is especially true of Orlando apartments with large common community areas like NorthBridge at Millenia Lake. Residents appreciate our large resort-style pools and lounge area and the opportunities they present for socializing. If you are looking to improve your conversation skills, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Find Common Ground

The easiest ways to begin a conversation is by bringing up a subject you have in common. This may be your city, the weather or food or beverages you may be enjoying. Make a conscious effort to keep comments positive.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

It can be a struggle maintaining a conversation when most of the answers can be responded to with a simple “yes” or “no.” Instead, ask questions that may require more of an explanation. “What do you like best about living in Orlando?” will likely solicit a better response than “Do you like it here?”

Use Sincere Compliments

Offering a sincere compliment is an excellent way to start a conversation, but avoid getting too personal. Complimenting a person on a piece of clothing, shoes or sunglasses is acceptable. However, complimenting them on their eyes or other personal features may send alarms.

Focus on the Other Person 

Make eye contact and pay full attention to what the other person is saying in a conversation. Far too often we get wrapped up in our next response or in our quest for one-upmanship that conversations become superficial. If you’ve ever been in a conversation with someone who is constantly looking elsewhere, you can understand what a conversation killer that can be.

Remember to Use Non-Verbal Forms of Communication

Important parts of conversations are the non-verbal aspects. A handshake, smile, nod or other gestures can help solidify communications with another and even provide added energy.

Avoid the Temptation to Interrupt

One simple way to improve your conversational skills is to let the person you are talking to finish their thought before responding. This demonstrates that you are not trying to monopolize the conversation while providing you more time to give a thoughtful response.

At NorthBridge at Millenia Lake, we understand the important role social aspects play in apartment life for many. We encourage you to take advantage of our common areas. If you know someone who would make a great neighbor, invite them to learn more about living in our luxury, amenity-filled Orlando apartments.

Hot Tea With Lemon

5 Caffeine-Free Drinks to Help You Stay Warm This Season

Hot Tea With LemonEven in Orlando, a hot cup of coffee tends to be the first thought when one feels thirsty on a winter day. Drinking caffeine, however, has the potential to keep you awake at night. Quench your thirst, warm your body, and maybe even enjoy a few added health benefits by brewing up these hot drinks of your own on a cozy day in your Orlando apartment.

Warm, Toasty, and Tasty Caffeine-Free Drinks

  1. Turmeric Tummy Warmer – Turmeric has been shown to stabilize blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and boost brain power. Why not enjoy it in a hot drink? Simmer two cups coconut with one teaspoon each of turmeric and ginger, a pinch of ground cardamom, a dash of salt and pepper, and about one teaspoon of honey to taste. Let stand for five minutes. Strain and enjoy.
  2. Herbal Tea – Although tea has less caffeine than coffee, many herbal varieties, like chamomile, have none at all. Brew up a cup of peppermint tea, which is not only caffeine-free but also has the power to calm an upset stomach. Add a twist of lemon or orange and sweeten to your liking with honey.
  3. White Hot Chocolate – A new take on a classic, make this hot chocolate by melting 1/2 cup white chocolate chips in three cups of milk and one teaspoon vanilla. Add nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.
  4. Milky Steamer – Steamers can be made at home by heating and frothing milk (cow’s, almond, soy, or coconut). Heat milk, sweeten with sugar or honey and add any combination of flavors, such as cinnamon, almond, and vanilla. Steamers are also available at most coffee shops for purchase, making them an easy choice when you are on the go.
  5. Mulled Cider – Simmer peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves, anise seeds, cardamom, and oranges in apple cider and strain for the coziest concoction yet.

Enjoying these caffeine-free drinks later in the day will do your beauty rest a world of good. Are you still looking for a comfortable corner of your own in Orlando? Take a look at NorthBridge at Millenia Lake Apartment Homes to find the perfect floor plan to enjoy a warm cup of winter happiness.

Coleslaw

3 Potluck Dishes Everyone Will Love

Coleslaw Our Orlando apartments have been the place for many good times—and your next gathering can be another great one to add to the list. If you’re hosting a potluck soon, you’ll want to make at least several dishes yourself, even though others will bring more. Here are three potluck dishes that everyone will love.

Potluck Deliciousness at Your Apartment in Orlando

Your apartment in Orlando can offer up some amazing food during your next potluck gathering if you try these recipes. There’s a salad, a dip, and a dessert that everybody will love.

Asian Coleslaw Salad

To make this unique dish, you only need to combine one package of crushed up ramen noodles (toss the seasoning out) with slivered almonds and sunflower kernels. Toss this mixture into a plain coleslaw mix to get a fun and delicious salad. Add ginger or an orange flavor dressing for some delicious zest.

Two Cheese Spread

  • 16 oz ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Beat ricotta cheese in a large bowl for two minutes until fluffy. Add in all other ingredients in turn, blending well each time. Transfer spread into a serving bowl and chill for at least an hour. Serve with crackers, fresh veggies or breadsticks—it’s great on everything!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Delights

  • 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine the graham crackers and butter. Add the sugar and peanut butter, mixing until well blended. Smooth the mixture into the bottom part of an 8-inch square pan. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until they’re mostly smooth. Stir quickly, and then spread over the peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate for half an hour, then cut into squares. Refrigerate for another half an hour.

NorthBridge at Millenia Lake Apartment Homes are luxurious and centrally located. Our community is minutes to Universal Studios, Orlando Eye and Wet N’ Wild. Contact our office to find out which of our floor plans are currently available.

Gift in Red Wrapping Paper

4 Thoughtful Hostess Gifts

Gift in Red Wrapping PaperThe holiday season brings many great events to get you out of your Orlando apartment, and when you head off to fancy dinners and holiday parties, it’s always classy to show up with a great hostess gift. A bottle of wine is a popular choice, but consider coming up with some unique, thoughtful ideas this holiday season.

Unique and Thoughtful Hostess Gifts

Make sure your gift stands out from the crowd. Try one of these four hostess gifts that are sure to please during the holidays.

1. A Cheese Board for Parties

For the hostess who is always throwing parties, a classic cheese board is a gift that will be used again and again. Go with a slate option that can be written on with chalk to make it easy to label favorite cheeses.

2. Cozy, Festive Throw

Everyone enjoys kicking back with a cozy throw during the holidays, and a throw makes a wonderful hostess gift. Choose something with a festive, holiday design that can be used during the holiday season. It’s cozy, fun, and you can be sure you’ll be invited back again.

3. Pretty Holiday Wreath

A pretty holiday wreath makes a wonderful hostess gift that can be used right away. Choose something that will look great on the front door, but still looks good for indoor décor as well. Make sure you keep your hostess’ sense of style and current décor in mind if you go with this gift.

4. Coffee in a Holiday Flavor

Is your hostess a coffee drinker? If so, bring along a package of a delicious, flavored seasonal coffee that will be a perfect treat for the holiday season. Your hostess can enjoy brewing it up for guests or can save it for a delightful treat the next morning after the party is over.

Heading out to dinners and parties is an excellent way to enjoy seasonal good cheer with friends and family members. Don’t show up empty-handed. Make sure you take along a thoughtful gift for your hostess to express your thanks. If you meet someone looking for apartments in Orlando while you’re attending social events this season, take time to give them our number and have them call today to learn what floor plans we have to offer.

Soap Bars

4 Homemade Gift Ideas

Soap BarsHomemade gifts aren’t just a good way to save a little money, they’re a way to share your skills and time with the people you love. Whether you like to cook, assemble, or build, consider the following unique gifts to make for the people on your list this year.

Handmade Soap

There are several schools of thought about how to make the best homemade soap, but the easiest one is melt and pour. With this method, you’ll need to start with the soap base which can be purchased for just a few dollars a pound. From there, melt the base, add the colors and perfumes, and then pour into a mold. Once it’s hardened, it’s ready to be put into a gift bag.

Tablet Holder for the Chef

Anyone who’s ever tried to use their tablet to complete a complicated recipe will be instantly grateful for this cutting-board turned tablet holder. You can make this one using an old scrabble tile holder to cradle the tablet, and a wooden doorstop to ensure that the tablet stays in place no matter what. Now the cook is ready without having to prop it up every few minutes.

Handmade Winter Jewelry Box

Sometimes it’s fun to not only switch out our major decor for red and green but also to substitute our smaller accessories as well. This jewelry box just needs a few pine cones, moss and potpourri to complete, plus some velvet and cardboard to help affix the arrangement.

Rolo Chocolate-Chip Cookies

For all the bakers out there, nothing beats making little boxes of cookies to give everyone a little treat during the dark winter nights. This recipe takes chocolate cookies to the next level by adding caramel candies to the center of the cookie. Put them in a decorative box, and hand them out to all the sweet tooths in your life. Everyone from the mailman to your yoga teacher will be grateful you did.

Our apartments in Orlando come alive with the colors and the scents of the holiday season, and NorthBridge at Millenia Lake Apartment Homes wants you to see just how good it can be. If you want to learn more about our community or floor plans, give us a call to talk to our friendly staff!

Winter Decor

How to Decorate Your Apartment for Winter

Winter DecorEven here in sunny Orlando, the weather’s starting to cool down. Your thoughts may be turning to decorating your Orlando apartments for winter, so here are some fun and exciting winter decor ideas that you’ll love.

Decorating Our Orlando Apartments This Winter

Decorating our Orlando apartments this winter may be easier than you think. With a few quick and easy changes, your decor can become uniquely winter ready. These ideas aren’t costly and they can take just minutes to implement.

Bring in Cozy Fabrics

With winter starting, coziness becomes more important than ever before. It’s easy to give your apartment in Orlando that cozy feeling with the introduction of a few new fabrics. Choose furry or fuzzy blankets with the kind of textures that you just want to bundle up in. For extra style and coziness, add pillows with similar textures.

Add Holiday Specific Decor

With the winter comes major holidays for most people, and your apartment home in Orlando can be a beautiful reflection of that. Winter themed decorations—featuring items like snowflakes and pine trees—can really reflect the season beautifully. You can add small touches here and there, including even the table linens. Another fun way to reflect the current holiday is to frame memories from past holidays and place them all around your apartment.

A Cozy Rug to Relax On

Nothing says winter quite like a sheepskin type rug, and it’s super easy to place a faux sheepskin rug in a central spot in your apartment home. The rug is a great place to curl up and read, nap, play games, or enjoy time with your friends and family. The rug can actually give the living room area a whole new look, especially when it’s combined with the other decorating ideas discussed here.

Your New Orlando Apartment Home is Waiting for You

NorthBridge at Millenia Lake Apartment Homes is a stunning and elegant apartment community with one of the best locations you could ask for. We’re only minutes away from Universal Studios and the Orlando Eye. We even have a private walkway directly to Millenia Mall. Call our office to learn more about our community!

Thanksgiving Centerpiece

4 Tips for Hosting Friendsgiving in Your Apartment

Thanksgiving CenterpieceThere’s a lot to love about Thanksgiving, such as the great food and time spent with family. But if we’re being completely honest, a full day with the extended family is not without its stresses. Whether it’s getting there during the biggest travel days of the year or the hours and hours of cooking, it’s not always a purely fun-filled day.

Enter Friendsgiving, which some choose to take the place of Thanksgiving celebrations entirely and skip long-distance travels, while others opt for an extra Thanksgiving, just for friends, on the weekend before or after. You get the delicious food and camaraderie of Thanksgiving without the extra stresses.

Four Tips for Hosting the Best Friendsgiving

1. Make it a Potluck

The whole point of Friendsgiving, after all, is to get rid of the stress and have a great time. Save yourself from hours and hours of endless cooking, by making sure everyone brings a substantial dish. As the host, the turkey is on you. If you’re skipping the turkey entirely let the guests know, especially if you’ll be having Friendsgiving on Thanksgiving Thursday, that way you’ll avoid disappointing people. As the host, you should also make sure to organize what everyone brings so you don’t end up with 7 Brussels sprouts dishes and no pumpkin pie.

2. Forgo the traditional

Part of what makes Thanksgiving so special for people are the traditions they have with their family. Hence, why those sweet potatoes with marshmallow that only Aunt Marge makes are on the table every year and have been for the last half a century. Well, if you don’t like marshmallows, don’t serve them, and if you feel like throwing out the whole rulebook, then go for it. Want to make a feast with traditional Indian flavors? Then go ahead and get your curries ready. Once again, just give your guests a heads-up as to what you’re planning. The only true requirements for the holidays are delicious food shared with those you care about.

3. Decorate

Part of making a festive atmosphere is having a beautifully set holiday table. Whether you decide to go with the traditional decorative gourds or create a different theme based on a Venetian masquerade ball, just make the evening special with how you set the table.

4. Have Drinks, but Keep it Simple

You’ll certainly want to toast to good times with good company at your Friendsgiving, but don’t get stuck playing bartender all night. Have plenty of wine and beer on hand, and limit anything more complicated, either to a punch or a single signature cocktail that you’ve prepped beforehand. And remember, sparkling wine and cider says festive and only require popping a cork.

Whether you’re hosting family, friends or both, our apartments in Orlando are perfect for entertaining. From our two resort-style swimming pools with lounge and grilling areas to our renovated gourmet kitchens with designer lighting and fixtures, you’ll love welcoming people to your home. After dinner, wow your guests with views of the Universal Studios fireworks show or take a sunset stroll along the Lakeside walkway and bridge. To find out more about our many fabulous amenities, give us a call at (866) 788-2515.

Plates With Pumpkins

5 Ways to Give Back This November

Plates With PumpkinsNovember is the month of Thanksgiving and it is time to consider giving back in your local community. When you live at our Orlando apartments, you want to find the right activities to help out others in the local area.

Donate Food to a Local Food Bank

A simple way to give back throughout November is donating food to a local food bank. By donating canned goods or other non-perishable items, you help others enjoy the holiday season. The food is given out to families who have limited funds for their meals.

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

Soup kitchens are an excellent way to give back throughout November. It helps feed homeless individuals who may not have other options for their meals. By volunteering at the soup kitchen, you pass out meals and give others a chance to enjoy a warm meal.

Volunteer for Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels provides food to elderly men and women. Many seniors face food insecurity due to their age, limited mobility and limited budgets. Meals on Wheels provides meals to elderly individuals who are not able to leave their homes or have limited mobility. By volunteering for the organization, you deliver meals to an elderly individual or several individuals.

Invite Others Over for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on your blessings and a simple way to give back during the holiday season is inviting others into your home. If a coworker or an acquaintance does not have family in the nearby area, invite them for the holiday meal. Alternatively, invite a family who is not hosting a meal in their home.

Volunteer at a Hospital

Volunteering your time at a local hospital provides an opportunity to help others and give back throughout November. When you volunteer at a hospital, you may read to young children, play games with people in the hospital or otherwise engage with others as recommended by the medical staff.

Giving back in November is an opportunity to help others in the local community. For more information about our community or to see our available apartments in Orlando, call or contact us today.

Lake Eola in Orlando

10 Orlando Fun Facts

Lake Eola in OrlandoOrlando, Florida is one of the most popular destinations in the U.S., attracting millions of tourists every year. Whether you’re new to the area or a long-time resident of our Orlando apartments, there are probably some things you never knew about this fascinating city.

10 Fun Facts About Orlando

  1. Orlando boasts more than 100 lakes, but Lake Eola in downtown Orlando is actually a giant sinkhole!
  2. Don’t tell the swans! There are over 50 swans from five different breeds that hang out on “Lake” Eola.
  3. Lake Eola’s centerpiece is its fountain. While it’s known as the Centennial Fountain, its actual name is the Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain.
  4. To help fund the demolition of its old city hall, Orlando got Hollywood assistance. Movie producer Joel Silver was seeking a building to blow up for the opening scene of Lethal Weapon 3, so Orlando worked out a deal and the building’s demolition made movie history.
  5. Orlando began as Jernigan, named after the family who established the first permanent settlement, including a post office, in 1850. A mere six years later, the name was changed to Orlando, but no one knows for sure why. While there are stories about how the name came about, there’s no official documentation explaining it.
  6. In the late ‘80s, just before Orlando was given a National Basketball Association franchise, the Orlando Sentinel held a readers’ contest to name the future team. The finalists were the “Magic,” “Tropics,” “Juice” and “Heat.”
  7. The city of Orlando’s official nickname is “The City Beautiful.” Orlando is also known as “O-Town.”
  8. At 290,000 square feet, the largest public library building in all of Florida is the Orlando Public Library.
  9. Way before Walt Disney World opened in 1971, the first theme park in Orlando was Gatorland in 1949. It featured a 15-foot alligator, which was touted as the world’s biggest gator.
  10. In 2015, 66 million people visited Orlando, more than any other destination in the entire world.

If you’re looking for a trendy one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment in this popular destination, NorthBridge at Millenia Lake Apartment Homes is an urban-inspired village with dining options and convenient services located right inside our community. Schedule a tour by calling (866) 788-2515 today!

Ghost Treat

Creative Halloween Party Appetizers

Ghost TreatAre you hosting a Halloween celebration and want to make it memorable? Every fabulous party begins with delicious and creative appetizers. Following are just five of the many Halloween appetizer options that residents of our apartments in Orlando can use to give their spooky celebration a Halloween-themed edge.

Pumpkin Cookies

Use a simple cookie cutter to make pumpkin shaped sugar cookies, and use frosting and sprinkles to decorate them when they’ve cooled down. Let your creative juices flow when decorating them and make each one different. Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to just pumpkins — you can also make bat cookies, witch cookies, and cookies that look like ghosts and goblins.

Pepper Popper Fingers

Use your usual recipe for jalapeño poppers, place a small amount of ketchup on one end, and then place a slivered almond over the ketchup. Instead of deep frying them, bake them for about 25 minutes in a 325-degree oven. They’ll look like spooky disembodied fingers, but they’ll taste fabulous.

Stuffed Eyeballs

Use your favorite stuffed egg, (or deviled egg), recipe and top each one with a slice of black olive to make an eyeball. Use pieces of roasted red peppers to create a bloodshot look, and you’ll have Halloween-themed eyeballs.

Mummy Dogs 

This is an easy variation on classic pigs in a blanket. Use refrigerated crescent roll dough to wrap miniature hot dogs up like mummies by wrapping the dough in the same crisscross way that you’d wrap a bandage. Separate the dough at one end enough to indicate a face, and you’ve got a mummy dog.

Frankenstein Kiwis

Using a potato peeler, remove the fuzzy skin from the kiwi to about two-thirds of the way up. As you get close to the top, make ragged edges in the skin — the object is to make it look like Frankenstein’s raggedy hairstyle. When that part is finished, use mini chocolate chips for eyeballs. You could also use raisins or any other type of dried fruit, and push in a small slice of carrot at an angle for a mouth, and there you have it: a Frankenstein kiwi.

Please feel free to contact our office for more information about our available floor plans!

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