Holiday Decorating Simplified

With the holiday season approaching, decorating is in full swing. Over 72% of Americans decorate for the upcoming holidays, and what a better way to kick off the holiday spirit than decorating?! It is a great way to add your own flare to your home when friends and family visit for the holidays. I’ve put together a list of budget-friendly tip & tricks to kick the stress. Check it out below!


Centerpieces are a perfect way to bring the holidays into your living space. For a classic festive look, start by collecting items: pinecones, ornaments, pieces of pine tree, tinsel (or any small festive trinkets you’d like) and a glass bowl ($10.99). Arrange the trinkets you collect into the glass bowl and DONE! Very little time and effort!

Easy-Peasy Centerpiece



If you have children and would like to include them in the festivities, bring out the popsicle sticks, markers and glitter and let the creativity fly! Popsicle stick trees and hand prints are always a fun easy way to allow children to personalize decorations, along with making adorable keepsakes to hang on the tree.

Popsicle Trees



Garland and lights always bring happiness to your outdoor areas. Whether you choose white lights or colored, icicle or single strand, they’ll be sure to captivate all onlookers big and small.


Happy, happy holidays!

 (Leasing Assistant)

Get Your Cook On (Thanksgiving Edition)

Hello friends! Gabi’s my name, cooking’s my game! My passion for cooking sprouted from my family’s love of it; even more so, from my dad who’s been in the restaurant industry since before I was born. Family dinners were the “norm” and Thanksgiving is a day that is near & dear to us. I’m here to give you quick, easy-peasy side dish recipes that are ready to serve in 60 mins or less! Below are recipes to help reduce the holiday stress and make cooking something the entire family enjoys on Thanksgiving Day!


Sweet Potato Casserole

Okay, let’s start this post off with a Thanksgiving classic! I can’t remember one time my grandma didn’t make sweet potato casserole. AllRecipes is my go-to for how to make something because there are many users and it’s easy to find a recipe that has awesome reviews. (Word from the wise: Look at the reviews! People will post what they changed about the recipe & how it turned out.) This Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole from Tina B. is almost exactly how I make mine. She uses a topping made from pecans, brown sugar and flour. Now, I know some love marshmallows as the topping; I would recommend using a little less sugar (1/4 to 1/3 cup instead) in the sweet potato filling if marshmallows are your thing!
BONUS: This is a recipe to get the kiddos involved in by having them mash sweet potatoes or mixing items together. Make sure that they know proper safety around the kitchen beforehand (i.e. knives, hot surfaces, etc).

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe by Tina B. (Courtesy

Crispy Brussel Sprouts

As a kid, I ate all my veggies EXCEPT brussels sprouts… That is until I had them “crispy” style a few years ago! One of my favorite bloggers on all things food is Alex Snodgrass who manages The Defined Dish. She adds her own flare to healthy, nutritious ingredients to make them absolutely delicious plus she’s a mom herself and knows time is valuable. In under 30 minutes, her Crispy Brussel Sprouts are ready for all to gobble up! She recommends serving them with her awesome Lemon-Basil Aioli, which also pairs well with sweet potato fries, grilled chicken, steamed artichokes & more.
BONUS: This recipe is gluten-free & ah-mazing! Check out Alex’s other recipes on gluten-free & paleo eats on her website/Instagram.

Brussels Sprouts with Lemon-Basil Aioli
(Courtesy The Defined Dish)

Cranberry-Walnut Rice
(Courtesy Food Network)


Cranberry-Walnut Rice

You know those recipes that you just can’t seem to get enough of? THIS. This is the one for me. It is so flavorful and underrated in my opinion. My grandma makes Cranberry-Walnut Rice during the holidays and (sadly for me) there are never leftovers to take home. Rachael Ray features this side dish on her “30 Minute Meals” episode.
BONUS: These ingredients won’t break the budget AND it takes a total cook time of 25 minutes to make!


Easy Homemade Rolls



Homemade Rolls

Tired of those frozen, tough rolls? Take a little time and effort to really WOW your family and friends with fluffy, homemade rolls. Kathi Kirk simplifies this recipe on so that you have 24 rolls ready before you know it. (You’ll probably want to make more because they go quick in my household!) Again, read the reviews at the bottom for any questions you may have.
BONUS: Her recipe is very easy to follow & she responds fairly quick to comments/questions.



Cranberry Sauce
(Courtesy The Pioneer Woman)

Cranberry Sauce

Many people put a lot of time into making the perfect gravy. Well don’t forget about the cranberry sauce too! Instead of trying to make your cranberry sauce not look like a tin can, use those 5 minutes to make a mouth-watering sauce to pair with your turkey! Creator of the Fifteen Spatulas food blog and Youtube channel, Joanne guest posted on The Pioneer Woman website a fabulous article titled “Thanksgiving Dinner: Cranberry Sauce” with simplified step-by-step instructions and pictures.
BONUS: I use this as a spread on leftover-turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving. Give it a try! Also, “the recipe can be made 2-3 days ahead of time before serving.”

Mangia! (Eat up!)

-Gabi Mangiamele
(Leasing & Media Assistant)


Budget-Friendly November Events

Hi there! November is upon us and who isn’t excited? Vivian here to let you know of a few fun things happening around Bryan/College Station area that are sure to make your wallet happy! There are many events going on from things for the entire family to date night outing ideas. Check them out below!


    Take the family out on this Friday night to enjoy some kid-friendly FREE fun. Every 1st Friday of every month, vendors and restaurants around Downtown Bryan come out and show us what it really is like to have some fun. There’s live music and snack on kettle popcorn with a nice, warm cup of coffee while you view some of THE cutest shops downtown has to offer!

    First Friday in Downtown Bryan


    Every Friday night, Power Sports allows parents to drop their kiddos off from 7pm to 11:30pm. There is a $15.00 admission fee but is open to the public! Kids of ages 3 to 10 must be potty trained. This is awesome because the kids always have a blast… PLUS you can catch up on laundry or maybe kick-off the weekend watching your favorite TV show! How nice?!


    Want to mingle but tired of the typical bar scene? Check out The Village in Downtown Bryan for salsa, merengue and bachata dancing. Every Wednesday from 9pm to 12am, get in for $8 for all-you-can-dance! From 9-9:30 pm, they host a quick lesson to get the basic moves down. Then at 10:30pm, the “social” dance floor opens up. Make sure to bring your ID if you are over 21; they offer specials on beer, wine and sangria. (Also have delicious food if you work up an appetite!) Grab your gal pals or significant other & get ready for a great time!

    Salsa Dancing at The Village 


    C&J BBQ (after 6 pm) and Chicken Oil Co. allow kids to eat free on Wednesday nights (with a purchase of adult entree). You can thank me later on this one! 🙂

Now go try some of these budget-friendly ideas and ENJOY! Chau for now!
-Vivian Chau Molina
  (Senior Manager Assistant, Twin City Properties)