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Guatemala

Affordable Destinations for 2018

GuatemalaWinter can be a lovely time of year for residents of our Chicago apartments with the snow, the many events and festivals and the ice skating in Millennium Park. However, sometimes it’s nice just to get away and experience a different part of the world and a different culture. Fortunately, there are a number of affordable destinations to consider while making your vacation plans for 2018.

Where to Go on Vacation in 2018

1. Guatemala

Though less publicized than neighboring Costa Rica, Guatemala has many of the same features at a fraction of the price. This Central American country offers tropical rain forests, Mayan ruins, inexpensive and delicious food, and a fascinating culture. Three-star hotels in Guatemala can be found for less than $20/night and Airbnbs are even less.

2. Morocco

Located on the northwest corner of Africa, Morocco offers a unique blend of architecture, arts and crafts, food and natural beauty. More hotels are less than $20/night and you can eat like a king for a few dollars a day.

3. Albania

This small European country along the Adriatic Sea shares a border with Greece and is just a short ferry ride from the east coast of Italy. Visitors can savor the diverse Albania cuisine, tour castles and wander Adriatic beaches. Accommodations are surprisingly affordable, with clean, convenient hotel rooms to be had for under $25/night.

Living in Chicago’s River North neighborhood

Chicago’s River North neighborhood is located just north of the Loop, across the Chicago River, and just west of the city’s Magnificent Mile shopping and dining district. The neighborhood is noted for its many warehouses and industrial buildings that have been converted into stylish condominiums and apartments. River North is also home to a diverse collection of art galleries, ethnic restaurants, fashion and home decor boutiques and antique stores. River North is one of Chicago’s favorite places to be after dark, with a varied selection of jazz clubs, concert venues, wine bars and dance clubs. River North Park apartment residents can spend time outdoors (without the yard maintenance) in one of the neighborhood’s many city parks, several of which abut the river.

To learn more about our available Chicago apartments in the River North area, contact our office today at (866) 489-7207.

Woman Playing Guitar

New Hobbies to Pick up This Year

Woman Playing GuitarThere’s nothing like a new year to spark interest in a new hobby. Whether you’re a new member of our Chicago apartment community or you’ve been around for years, you’ll find plenty of space to spread out and practice your new interests.

Learn Healthy New Habits

More New Year’s resolutions are about weight loss and healthy living than anything else. Why not jumpstart your diet by learning to cook healthy new foods? You’ve got a roomy kitchen with plenty of counter space, and you can even take advantage of our community grills to create a tasty low-fat barbecue treat. Cooking healthier meals is a simple way to lower your calorie intake while creating food that just simply tastes good.

Learn a New Language

Have you ever wanted to visit a foreign country, or just communicate better with some interesting new people in the neighborhood? Learning a foreign language can be a challenge, but it’s a rewarding one. Websites that break lessons up into small chunks make learning easier than ever now. Learn to speak a new language today so you’ll be ready to roam the streets in another country next year.

Learn About Your Past

How much do you know about your family’s past history? Genealogy is a fascinating hobby, and thousands of people have made surprising discoveries just by looking into the people who came before them. The tools are all online, and you can find dozens of groups filled with people willing to help you get started.

Learn to Play an Instrument

Were you forced to take music lessons when you were a kid? Your mom was right, playing music is fun and rewarding. If you regret giving up that oboe or clarinet, switch it up with something more to your liking, such as a guitar, keyboard, or even concert flute.

Practice a Healthy Activity

Do you get enough physical activity during the week? Our fitness center is the perfect place to start working out again. Start spending time swimming, doing yoga or pilates, or just working out on the treadmill. Your body will thank you.

Our apartments and amenities at River North Park are ideal for any new type of activity you want to try. Call our office to schedule a tour of our apartment community!

Winter Decor

Chic Winter Decor Ideas

Winter DecorWhether you’re not a fan of traditional Christmas decorations or simply want seasonal flair that doesn’t tie into the holiday, chic winter decor adds some sparkle when the weather outside is gray. For example, add spruce branches, candles and gold and silver accents to celebrate winter in a festive way. Moreover, strategically place plush throws and pillows to cozy up our Chicago apartments and chase away those winter blues with decor that brightens up even the dreariest day.

Vintage is the New Chic

If you’ve ever heard the old adage that everything old is new again, it’s definitely true when it comes to chic winter decor. It’s easy to add vintage charm to your apartment home by using classic mixes of vintage wooden decor, greenery and pine cones. Try vintage fruit crates to display dishware, miniature potted pine trees and faux wool throw rugs over the backs of your kitchen chairs for delightful dining.

Let It Snow

Snowy Chicago, Illinois days may seem bleak when you’re stuck in winter traffic, but adding a touch of snow to your indoor decor can be whimsical and chic. Make festive winter luminaries from mason jars that feature snow-covered pine cones. Wrap the rim of a mason jar with twine and a piece of lace, then attach a couple of pine cones with hot glue. Add glittery, snow texture paint to the rim and pine cones. On the inside, add an inch of Epsom salt and a white candle for your own winter wonderland to display on tables and countertops.

Decorate With Warmth

Choose furry blankets and throw pillows, sheepskin hides and shag wool rugs to instantly add cozy, warmth to your home’s ambience. Your seating is always more comfortable and inviting with plush throw pillows and warm throws to snuggle up in. These elements also add texture for a more elegant interior. Round out your decor with scents reminiscent of winter by setting a large clear glass vase in front of a sun-filled window filled with fresh pine branches.

On cold, wintry nights, come home to one of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods. Our apartments in Chicago features a unique, 1/2-acre landscaped courtyard that looks beautiful all covered in snow, while you stay toasty warm indoors. Call (866) 489-7207 to tour our various floor plans.

Margarita

Winter Cocktails to Sip All Season

MargaritaIt’s a fantastic time of the year to get people together to have a little fun. Whether you are celebrating the holidays or just looking for some downtime, what you have in your hand matters. At River North Park, we know our residents love coming together to have fun and celebrate. That’s why our apartments in Chicago are designed to be welcoming. Now, to help you prepare for this special day, it’s time to think about the drinks.

Fun Drinks to Sip On

Having a cocktail before dinner can help warm you up on any of Chicago’s cold nights. It can be fun to create your own and to try something a bit more enjoyable and interesting than what you’ve shared previously. Here are a few suggestions.

Toby’s Toddy: For this drink, you’ll mix an ounce each of cognac, aged rum, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Mix that with five dashes of bitters. There’s a lot of flavors here, and it will warm you through and through.

Winter Margarita: Perhaps you love those summertime margaritas that you spend hours enjoying with friends. Here’s a take on a wintertime version. Mix together one ounce each of slightly aged tequila (called reposado) along with mezcal, and lime juice. Add three-fourths of an ounce of simple syrup and an egg white. No ice needed here at first. After shaking it, add to a glass of ice.

Good Tidings: This recipe is fantastic for those who want something fun and yet full of seasonal favorites. Start with an ounce-and-a-half of good vodka. Add an ounce each of lemon juice, Cointreau, and cranberry juice. Then, add a bar spoon of allspice dram. Shake well, strain, and pour over ice.

Check out these and other winter cocktail recipes at here. You’ll love being able to serve each one of these at your next event.

Celebrate in Your Home This Year

Now is a fantastic time to welcome people into your home. If you are looking for a spacious, welcoming location to live in, check out our apartments in Chicago. You’ll love being this close to everything you love. Contact us about our available apartments today.

Masquerade Mask

Theme Ideas for a New Year’s Eve Party

Masquerade MaskIf you’re planning a New Year’s Eve party at your Chicago apartments, make sure you have a great theme. Parties can seem a bit boring if you don’t use a fun theme, and your theme will also help you decide on a color scheme, menu, game ideas, favors, and the overall mood for the big night.

Creative Themes to Try This New Year’s Eve

Whether you want to throw a formal party or something that’s casual, there are plenty of fun theme ideas. Here are a few creative themes you can use to make sure your party rings in the new year on a high note.

Theme #1 – Disco Dance Party

Guests are sure to be decked out in gold and silver, so why not go with a disco dance party theme this year. Make sure you have a great disco ball as your centerpiece and plenty of great disco music so guests can dance the night away. Decorate with gold, silver, and touches of ’70s-inspired colors.

Theme #2 – Masquerade Party

Make your party mysterious by going with a masquerade theme. Green, gold, and black are great colors for decorating. Have guests make their own masks or supply masks to your guests when they arrive.

Theme #3 – Flashback Decade Party

A flashback party is always fun, and you can choose to go with the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s depending on your favorite decade from the past. Choose music and decorations from the decade you choose, and let guests have some fun singing karaoke with songs from that decade.

Theme #4 – Elegant Black and White Party

If you want to go formal on New Year’s Eve, a black and white party is an elegant option. Have a dress code that includes black-tie attire in black or white. Use black and white décor on invitations and throughout your party area to stick with the theme.

Commit to a great theme and your New Year’s Eve party is sure to be memorable. If you have any guests looking for apartments in Chicago, have them give us a call to find out more about the floor plans we have available.

Pine Cones

Creative Ways to Decorate Your Apartment for the Holidays

Pine ConesIt’s the most wonderful time of the year! From now until January, Chicagoans will be buying their turkeys, stringing up their Christmas lights, and braving the cold to enjoy the holiday festivities.

It’s the perfect time to move to our apartments in Chicago and participate in all the fun. Of course, holiday cheer starts with your own apartment. If you want to get a little creative with your décor this year, you’ll love these five ideas.

1. Add Pine Cones and Lights in a Hurricane Vase

Take a standard glass hurricane vase and make it pretty for the holidays with pine cones and lights. Arrange the pine cones naturally, wrapping lights in and around the vase as you go. A big plaid bow makes for a nice finishing touch.

2. Hang Ornaments From Light Fixtures and the Ceiling

Who said ornaments only go on Christmas trees? Hang a few of your favorite holiday baubles from light fixtures and even the ceiling. You’ll either need hooks or heavy-duty tape that won’t buckle. You’ll feel like you’re walking through a winter wonderland each time you enter your apartment!

3. Place a Wreath in Front of a Large Mirror

Dress up a statement mirror with a big wreath. The reflection of the wreath will make the whole area appear quite grandiose.

4. Spruce Up the Chairs, Doors, Cabinets, and More

Wrap garland or festive red ribbon around cabinets and chairs and cover your whole front door in wrapping paper so it looks like a giant gift. You can even affix faux pine boughs around the apartment.

5. Make a Pine Cone Christmas Tree

This is a great craft to do with the kids or other relatives. With some glue and pine cones you found or bought, construct a Christmas tree. Then use pipe cleaners for garland and tiny beads for ornaments. Don’t forget your Christmas tree topper!

Are you ready to celebrate the holidays in Chicago? River North Park is the perfect apartment community for you. With studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, you’ll get fantastic amenities such as high-speed Internet, a laundry center, ceramic tile baths, walk-in closets, maple cabinets, granite countertops, and chef-caliber kitchens. You can also easily reach I-90/94 and the Red and Brown CTA EL lines. Please call our office today to learn more about our floor plans and availability.

Houseplants

Low Maintenance Houseplants That Will Clean Your Air

HouseplantsHaving plants in your Chicago apartment home adds a naturalistic look while also keeping your indoor air clean. Pollutants, such as those that certain types of furniture give off, and pollen, dust and other allergens can lower the quality of your indoor air. Consider getting the following houseplants for your apartment, especially if you have asthma or allergies.

Garden Mums

Garden mums are among the most effective plants to have when you want to eliminate several indoor air pollutants, such as benzene, ammonia and xylene. These flowering plants add some color to your apartment in addition to cleaning the air.

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are flowering houseplants that add a touch of elegance to your home. These plants get rid of formaldehyde, VOCs in cleaning products, benzene and other indoor pollutants. If you have pets, keep these plants out of their reach, since the leaves can make them sick.

Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palms help eliminate benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Since they can grow to be up to 12 feet high, make sure they have enough room and plenty of natural light.

Spider Plants

Spider plants help remove xylene and formaldehyde from homes. If you’re not good at taking care of plants, keep in mind that these are highly easy to grow and care for. They don’t need much watering, but you should make sure they’re in a place that gets plenty of light.

Dracaena

Dracaena plants can also add color to your home. These plants have leaves with lines in different colors, including red and white. Dracaena plants get rid of benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and trichloroethylene. Just keep in mind that their leaves are toxic for pets.

Boston Fern

Boston ferns get rid of benzene, formaldehyde, xylene and other air pollutants that can make their way into your home. Make sure you water your Boston fern on a regular basis and mist the leaves each day if needed.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera helps get rid of formaldehyde and also has healing properties for cuts, sunburns and more. It’s also an easy plant to take care of.

Our apartments in Chicago, Illinois have plenty of spaces that are perfect for indoor plants. Contact us to get more details on our available apartments and community amenities.

Christmas Lights on Trees

Best Chicago Events in November

Christmas Lights on TreesBy living in our apartments in Chicago, you’ve got all the best things in the city right at your fingertips. This November, there are plenty of fantastic events leading up to the holidays. Here are some of the most exciting and interesting events that Chicago has to offer this month.

November Events Close to Our Chicago Apartments

Several great events are close to our Chicago apartments this month. Consider attending these events for plenty of fun and excitement in November.

The Christkindlmarket Chicago: The Christkindlmarket Chicago is a traditional German market. Since 1997, it’s been held at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago. It offers not only unique traditional German gifts, but also sweet and savory treats from all over the world. The market is scheduled from November 17 through December 24 this year. Hours are Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Magnificent Mile: This lights festival is now entering its 26th year. The event, happening November 17 through November 18, celebrates the beauty of the Magnificent Mile when it’s at its most stunning — the holiday season. Events include a grand tree-lighting parade featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse on Michigan Avenue, appearances from Santa Claus, and live music. Samples and special offers from local retailers and restaurants are available as well.

Thanksgiving Day Parade: The Mcdonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is November 23. The event starts at 8 a.m. and ends at approximately 11 a.m. The parade route is on State Street, starting at Congress and moving to Randolph. Be sure to stake your spot along the parade route early to get a good spot for this always popular event.

ZooLights: ZooLights starts on November 24-26. ZooLights is held at the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is decked out in a dazzling array of lights for the holidays. The event includes photos with Santa Claus, special refreshments including warm spiced wine and holiday snacks, and holiday shopping. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the carousel, the train, the ferris wheel, the light maze, and much more.

Seeking an amazing apartment home in the heart of Chicago? River North Park may be exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us to find out more about the apartment homes we currently have available.

Leather Couch

How to Care for a Leather Couch

Leather CouchA leather couch can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your apartment while also providing you with a comfortable place to lounge. However, this kind of material can become damaged or worn over time, especially when it isn’t cared for. In order to keep your leather couch looking as good as new, it’s important to take good care of the material by cleaning it and protecting it from scratches and other damage. Keep the following leather couch care tips in mind if you decide to go with this material for your apartment.

Test Cleaning Products First

Before you use any type of cleaning product on your leather couch, test a small amount of it out on an inconspicuous area, such as the bottom of the couch. This helps ensure that you won’t accidentally damage or discolor your couch when you clean it. You’ll also have a better idea of what kind of results you can expect when you use that product.

Use a Conditioner for Leather Furniture

There are several types of cleaning products you should never use on a leather couch since they can damage it. These include soap, furniture polish, harsh cleaning products, ammonia-based products and varnishes. To get your leather couch clean and keep it in excellent condition, use a conditioner that’s specially made for leather furniture. You should plan on using this conditioner once or twice a year.

Dust and Vacuum Your Couch

You only need to use conditioner on your couch once in awhile, but you should dust and vacuum it regularly. Use a dry cloth to remove dust from your leather couch and a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to clean out debris from crevices.

Clean Up Spills Immediately

If something spills on your leather couch, wipe it up right away to lower the risk of stains. If it’s oil or grease that spills, gently wipe it off then let your couch air dry while the spot fades on its own.

Our apartments in Chicago, Illinois offer plenty of room for your new leather couch. Please give us a call for more details on our available apartments and amenities.

Eggs Benedict

Top Breakfast & Brunch Restaurants in Chicago

Eggs BenedictWhether you’re a fully fledged culinary enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys relaxing with friends and family over a fine meal, you’ve struck gold if you’ve recently moved to “The Windy City.” Chicago’s world-class food and beverage scene satisfies the planet’s pickiest palates. Here’s a list of breakfast and brunch venues designed to provide residents of our apartments in Chicago with inspiration as they begin the culinary journey of their lives.

Brunch

Chicago’s aptly named Brunch offers American food, cocktails, coffee drinks, and freshly squeezed juices in an arty loft setting. At this tasty eatery, you’ll find tres leches pancakes, donut french toast, Flinstone french toast, banana split french toast and many more options. You’ll also be able to choose from a variety of signature skillets, brunch bennys, and handcrafted pastries.

Roister

Cutting edge cuisine lovers will be glad to know that Chicago’s Roister has brunch service for those days when you’re craving their chicken & waffles or biscuits & gravy. Don’t let the informal atmosphere fool you — expect innovative menu options featuring refined flavors along with a healthy dash of creativity. As previously mentioned, try the fried chicken and waffles for a delicious twist on an old-school Southern favorite.

Portsmith

Seafood aficionados need to head to Portsmith for a best weekend brunch experience designed to present an abundance of treasures from the sea. You’ll find oysters, squid, clams, crab, lobster, and shrimp cocktails on the chilled seafood platter. There are also other delectables on the weekend brunch menu. Try the king crab and eggs for something truly sublime.

Clever Rabbit

If you’re a vegetarian or brunching with someone who is, you can’t beat the fare at the Clever Rabbit. You’ll find a meatless breakfast burrito, carrot dumplings, egg scramble, and avocado pancakes. All vegetables are heirloom varieties, and the menu does offer a small selection for those craving seafood or meat.

La Josie

Start the weekend on a festive note by brunching at La Josie. Breakfast tacos, mariscos, and ceviches are prepared in classic Jalisco style. Pride of ownership shines through brightly in all aspects of this family-owned establishment. There’s plenty of room, so don’t worry if you’re bringing a big group.

Please contact our office if you’d like more information on our available floor plans and amenities at River North Park.

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