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    Losing weight starts with training the mind to banish this "sinfulness" and shift towards healthier options that are not necessarily less... Show more

    6 days ago
    Celebrate National Potato Month with a Spud-tacular Event! 6 days ago

    September is National Potato Month, and what better way to celebrate than inviting residents to take part in a fun potato-themed event. Here are a few activities to keep everyone entertained at your spud-tacular event.

    Potato Games

    Potato Car Races / Potato Derby

    Potato car races are a great activity for all ages. Kids especially love to make their spud vehicles and race them to see how they compare to others’ creations. To make a mini potato racing event you’ll need very few things – a racetrack, potato cars, and lots of excitement. 

     

     

     

     

    Image source: Cruise Oregon

    Building the racetrack is a great handyman project to beat monotony of regular community repairs and activities. Here are instructions for building your own derby track.

    The cars can either be made ahead of time by residents or supplies like derby car wheels, nails, washers, bolts, toothpicks and other car “decorations” can be provided the day of the event. 

    Here are some additional tips for making potato derby race cars. You can also share this fun potato derby video with residents.

     

    EMBED VIDEO:  https://vimeo.com/12071980

    Potato Sack Races

    If you have a wide green area on your property this is a great racing activity to get the blood pumping. It’s also suitable for all ages – including adults! However, if you don’t have any large green spaces in your community, I don’t recommend racing on pavement or in parking lots because if anyone falls they can fall pretty hard and could get seriously injured on cement.

     

     

     

     

    Image credit: Akronist

    1. Potato sacks can be bought or borrowed from local farmers and supply stores. You can also make them yourself.

    2. Have two judges on hand to make sure everyone is playing fair and set one up on each of the start and finish lines. 

    3. It’s best to set up age groups and ranges for these types of events to ensure they are a more fairly competitive, what ages you group together depends on the demographic of your community and the number of participants. 

    Potato Spoon Run

    This is another racing game that involves holding a potato on a large spoon and racing to a specific point and then back where the participants started. It’s harder than just maintaining the speed required to run and win. This activity involves keeping a potato carefully balanced on a large spoon for the entire race – and dropping the potato means disqualification.

    Gather up some old spoons from your house or you can find cheap used spoons at local yard sales and thrift stores.

     

     

     

     

    Image credit: The 42

    Potato Toss

    This game is similar to beanbag throw in that participants have to get the potato through a small opening to score points and/or win prizes. If you already have a bean-bag toss that you use for your annual summer carnival it can be easily repurposed for this potato themed event.

    **TIP** don’t forget the winners’ trophies and certificates of participation for residents. Trophies can be customized with potato-themed images and/or with the community branding.

    Potato Kids Crafts

    There are tons of fun craft ideas using potatoes, here are just a few:

    Potato Stamp Prints

    This is a craft where children use potatoes to stamp designs on paper or other items to make creative patterns and designs. 

    1. Older children can be allowed to design and/or carve their own potatoes with parent supervision. Younger children can use made-ahead simple stamps like hearts, stars, triangles, and other simple shapes. 

    2. One easy way to make quick potato stamps is to use cookie cutters to help cut off excess potato when crafting a stamp.

    3. Purchase disposable paper plates for paint trays and washable poster paint for stamping

    4. Large paper works best for these larger “stamps” so ensure you have some bigger colored paper sheets on hand.

     

     

     

     

    Image source: Fun Stuff To Do

    **TIP** For even more memorable fun, make fabric paint available to residents and encourage parents to bring along an old t-shirt to make a washable and wearable potato-themed souvenir of the community potato day event!

    Rolling Potato Borders

    More intricate than your basic potato print, rolling potato prints are cut on the edges of thick round potato slice and then rolled over a paper to make a continuous border design. This method creates long designs that can be used to craft borders, stripes, or edges to other stamps. 

    **TIP** Pre-cut a few straws for the potato axels.

     

     

     

     

    Image source: We Heart It

     

    Potato-based Recipe Swap

    The only requirement of the potato recipe swap is that potato has to be one of the main ingredients. 

    Potato lovers can bring recipe cards for their favorite potato-inclusive meals to share and swap with other residents. You can also have residents email their recipes to you ahead of time. Compile submitted recipes into a booklet to you send out via your monthly newsletter after the event.

    **TIP** For even more fun, and to make it a taste-tantalizing event, encourage a resident potluck.

     

     

     

     

    Image source: Food Network

     

    Have residents bring potato-themed snacks, salads, entrees and desserts (hey, sweet potato pie counts!) to the event to share with their neighbors. Be sure to prepare for messes by covering floors and tables as needed and make plates, cutlery, and drinks available to residents.

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    2 weeks ago
    Splash-tastic End of Summer Party 2 weeks ago

    Labor Day is a great opportunity to encourage your residents to mingle and have a bit of late summer fun. Before it starts getting too cool in the fall, aim for a water play party that accommodates all ages of participants. 

    Here are a few wet and fun activities that will make your next water play event one to remember.

    Water shadows

    The concept of water shadows is simple. Kids and adults line up agaist the side of a building, fence, or wall and pose up against it. 

    Using a watering hose (sprayfeature works best) lightly spray across all participants to create dry negative-space “shadows” around the outlines of their bodies. Kids especially love to do this more than once, so it’s best to choose an area that dries fast like a concrete wall or side of a building in full sun. You can also have them lie down on the sidewalk as well.

    Drunk waiter 

     

    Drunk waiter is a game great for both adults and children, and is best played in a soft-grass covered area away from sidewalks, buildings, light poles, benches, trash cans, and parked cars. The idea is similar to the traditional frat-party game of spinning in circles with one’s head on a bat and then attempting to move in a straight line to a fixed point – like towards the rest of your team.

    In this game, the participants spin in circles while looking up at the sky holding a small stick. Then after 10 seconds of spinning, the added challenge to this game is that once the player is completely dizzy they are also handed a tray of plastic cups filled with water (“drinks”) to be served. Not only is it nearly impossible to stay upright and walking straight, but the spectacular falls are sure to get everyone drenched.

    Keep buckets of water handy for easy and fast refilling of the cups on the waiter’s tray, and establish competitive and inclusive teams that score points based on how many full cups of water they can deliver in a set amount of time.

    Keep a stopwatch and notebook handy for recording scores and timings.

    Water balloons

    Large and small balloons filled with water are not just for fights, there are many other games that you can play with they as well – and not all of them have to get you drenched.

     

    Target practice - One idea to accommodate parents or kids that may be wary at first of getting too wet is to set up a water balloon target practice on a large sidewalk. Draw targets on the sidewalk in chalk and give each child three to five balloons for testing their aim.

    You can make the targets big or small (depending on age and ability) and you can also assign point values based on difficulty. The kid with the best score wins a prize!

    Water balloon piñatas – instead of candy and confetti these piñatas are filled with close to a gallon of water. Hang some water balloons from nearly trees and structures, give kids some bats or sticks and let them swing away. 

    **Tip** This activity, like all activities with swinging bats, is best supervised by at least two adults. One to watch the child who is taking a turn swinging, and one to keep other children out of the swing of the bat (i.e. out of the “danger zone”).

    For more games and ideas check out this link for more water balloons activities.

    Sponge bombs

    An option is to avoid small water balloons is to replace them with premade sponge bombs. Instructions on how to make these sponges and use them can be found
    here.

     

    The great part of using sponges instead of small balloons it that they’re much easier to put together (no hours of time-consuming water-balloon filling), more earth-friendly, and reusable year after year.

    Clean up

    While the water will dry and this type of party is pretty quick to clean up, one thing that is a headache is cleaning up littered broken balloon pieces after a water-balloon fight – what a nightmare!

    **Tip** After the fun is over, one great way to make quick work of the project is to award raffle tickets to children for each balloon piece they pick up. Have kids put their names on the tickets for each balloon piece they hand in. Cleaning up 10 broken balloon pieces means 10 raffle tickets – and a better chance of winning a fun prize.

    Hold a drawing for a few large colorful water guns (easy to pick up on clearance at the end of the summer season) or give away a colorful beach towel or other fun back to school items. This will encourage all the younger residents to help clean up after themselves and the event. Your maintenance team will thank you!
     

     

    No matter what activities you choose be sure to snap lots of pictures and have a fun and safe water themed event!

     

     

     

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    Annual Car Show 3 weeks ago

     

    Essex Skyline 5th Annual Car Show

     

    Luxury Lifestyle, Luxury cars.

     

     

     

    Essex Skyline’s residents have some of the finest cars in the OC! For the past 5 years this has been a favorite event for the residents at Skyline to show off their luxury cars to fellow car enthusiasts. This year’s cars were amazing with over 3 million dollars of fine luxury cars on display at the event. We had 2008 Lamborghini LP640, Rolls Royce Ghost ,Porsche  Panama Turbo, Lamborghini Aventador ,and Mercedes-AMG S63 to name a few. Essex partnered with a few local car vendors  who help to support the event. Matt Gray owner from Top End MoterWerks  for the 5th time help to arrange what cars were in the event. Skyline’s car detailer Tony  Moreen from The Right Touch Detailing, help to sponsor the beer and our own resident Sammy Lakhamy owner of  Envus a local car dealer in the area showed some fine new cars and gave away fun t-shirts and promotional items!  Skyline partnered with a gourmet truck Soho Tacos who provided tacos to over 150 guests, Buzz Box and Partida Tequila were the main drink sponsors for the event! This event was held up in front of the building in the driveway  where residents and their guests were able to view, take pictures and chat with the owners! What a perfect event for a hot August night!

     

     

     

    3 weeks ago
    3 weeks ago
    3 weeks ago
    End of Summer Cool Down with a Make Your Own Smoothie Day 3 weeks ago


    Image source: Pinterest

     

    Fresh fruit and veggie smoothies are great for all ages. Because they’re made with fresh whole-food ingredients, they’re filled with vital vitamins and minerals and also have a bunch of fiber to keep us fuller longer. Not only that, but they are great for both weight loss and even weight gain (for those that need it) by only changing the base ingredients.

    You’ll only want to attempt this event if you have easy access to a sink or other potable water to rinse and wash the blenders as you make the smoothies for residents.

     

    If you are looking for a way to cool down residents and please the kids, here is your go-to guide for running a healthy and fun build your own smoothie event at the end of the summer season.

    Planning and preparations

    When planning your event, collect the
    best recipes from around the net. Consider printing pictures of the smoothies and all-real-food smoothie recipe instructions to create stand up recipe cards to add around your smoothie-making stations.


    Image source:
    Prevention

    There are a few basic components to the perfect smoothie: fruit and liquid. Ice can also be added for a cooler drink. Feel free to include whatever fruits are in season in your area as well as other frozen fruits and veggies. Here are a few of the smoothie ingredients you may want to have on hand.

    Ingredients

    Fruits and veggies
    There are dozens of popular fruits and vegetables so I won’t list them all here. Some of the more popular late summer smoothie items, however, include berries, melon, and banana.

    Be sure to include all the ingredients needed to make the recipes you plan to post, and then a few extra as well. What you include will depend on your community likes (and dislikes) and event budget.

    Liquids and creams (for ease of blending)

    ·         Fruit juice

    ·         Milk

    ·         Ice cream

    ·         Soymilk

    ·         Yogurt

    ·         Coconut milk

     

    Flavor/calorie add-ins

    ·         Protein powder

    ·         Multivitamin powders

    ·         Probiotics

    ·         Cocoa powder

    ·         Cinnamon

    ·         Grated nutmeg

    ·         Vanilla essence

    For texture and extra fiber

    ·         Flaxseeds

    ·         Toasted chopped nuts

    ·         Whole oats

     

    Garnishes

    ·         Mint leaves

    ·         Sliced fruit

    ·         Tropical paper drink umbrellas ($4.20 for 144)

    ·         Colorful or striped smoothie straws (straight straws work best!)

     

    **SAFETY TIP** At this event, residents may come into contact with food residues from other resident’s orders. Be careful of any food allergies and make people aware of what ingredients are being used in the smoothies.

    You’ll want to have at least two blenders available for making smoothies so that one can be rinsed while the other is in use. Depending on expected demand (and the demographic of your community) you may want to have additional blenders, and staff to attend the blenders, available.

    **TIP** For the smoothest results and dreamiest blends, use a mix of fresh and frozen fruit instead of ice to whip up the creamiest smoothies. Buy frozen fruits and veggies in bulk. Keep them in resealable bags or containers, in ice chests with ice, on the day of your event.

    Day of the event

    Arrange the fresh cut and frozen fruits and vegetables and other add-ins in clearly marked bowls either on tables or inside ice chests. Offer spoons or tongs to residents.

     

    1.       Have residents fill a cup with the needed ingredients as per their taste and desire



    Image sources:
    Martha Stewart

    2.       Once filled, they can hand over the cup to have the smoothie blended up by staff. (For speed and safety reasons, it’s better to do the blending for your residents instead of allowing them to do it themselves.)

    3.       If using plastic to-go cups with lids ($17 for 100), you can just pour the blended smoothie right back into the same cup to serve the resident.

    4.       Add some garnish, a lid, a colorful IKEA straw ($6.99 for 100), then top with a festive umbrella, and residents are good to go!

     


    **GO GREEN TIP**If you have access to a larger full kitchen you may want to make your event more earth-friendly by renting and using reusing glasses made of clear plastic or glass. Keep extra disposables on hand just in case. You may have a few residents that need to take their smoothie to go or you may have overwhelming demand and people don’t drink their smoothies and return their glasses quickly enough. As the cups are used you can rinse and rewash them for reuse.

    Have a great event, and remember, “In life, much like smoothies, you get what you put in!”

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    1 month ago
    Fairway Games and Activities for your Summer Carnival 1 month ago

    When planning a summer carnival party sometimes you need to think outside the box to cater to your residents. One community with a lot of college students included both bungee trampolines and bungee runs as part of their festival offerings. 

    If you have a more diverse age range of residents you’re going to want to ensure that you have a variety of carnival activities, fairway type games, and other competitions to keep residents entertained. 

    Making or renting?

    While carnival services do exist in most states, the games themselves can be expensive to rent, costing anywhere from $150-500 each. Making your own games costs a fraction of that and can also be a boredom-beating project for your team. There are plenty of fairway game ideas and many are almost free to make. 

     

    Image source: Carnival Savers

    The website How to Build Carnival Games also offers full access to step by step instructions for building 30 of the most popular, audience tested, fairway games at a fraction of the cost of renting. The website is administrated by an owner of a carnival and fundraising company based in Georgia with over 30 years in the business. For only $37 you can get full access to all the videos and instructions for building the most popular games.

    There are also free YouTube tutorials for carnival games that visually walk you through the steps for making popular games like ring toss, mini golf, and more.

    How to Make a Ring Toss Game

    INSERT VIDEO:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSqXoS1dtd8

     

    Image source: Lowes Creative Ideas

    Additionally, when it comes to stocking up on prizes and plush animals, there are numerous websites that offer inexpensive bulk candy and prizes for carnival giveaways. Some also carry wristbands and tickets.

    **A note on hiring professional entertainers**

    Balloon animals and face painting are just a few of the other activities that you may want to have at your community event. We don’t all have time to learn how to make balloon animals ourselves. 

     

    Image source: Pizzazzerie

    Depending on your budget you can negotiate with professionals on a flat fee for the event (which will allow you to offer the additional services to your residents at no additional cost) or allow professional entertainers (like clowns, balloon twisters, and face painters) to come onto your property and sell their services for a small fee on-site.