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Green Beans on a Plate

Best Side Dishes for Holiday Dinners

Green Beans on a PlateThe holiday season is in full swing, so it’s time to start planning holiday dinners. If you’ll be hosting a festive feast or two this year, what kinds of side dishes should you serve? Consider making one or more of the following side dishes for your holiday meals.

Sweet Potato Casserole

This side dish goes well with turkey, ham or non-meat main dishes for holiday dinners. To make it, just mix sweet potatoes, eggs, butter, white sugar, vanilla extract, salt and milk in a bowl, then put the potato mixture into a baking dish. Stir flour and brown sugar together in another bowl, then add butter and pecans. Sprinkle this over the sweet potatoes, then bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Lemon Pepper Green Beans

Put a spicy spin on green beans for a nutritious holiday side dish with this recipe. This is a simple side dish that you’ll only need a few ingredients for. To make it, cook green beans as you normally would while melting butter on medium heat in a separate pan. Sauté almonds in the pan, then season them with lemon pepper. Add the green beans, then stir them around to coat them with the almonds and lemon pepper.

Carrot-Mushroom Stuffing

Instead of making the usual boxed stuffing, try this tasty recipe for your holiday feast. Start by melting butter over medium-high heat, then add mushrooms and cook for about five minutes. Stir in green onions and cook for another minute, then remove the skillet from heat. Add rosemary, soy sauce and pepper to the skillet. Put the mushroom mix in a bowl, then add croutons and carrots. Moisten with water, then place the stuffing into a casserole dish. Bake at 325 degrees for about 50 to 60 minutes.

Buttermilk-Sage Mashed Potatoes

For this delicious recipe, just boil potatoes in water until they’re tender, then place them in a large bowl. Add sage, pepper, salt and buttermilk, then mash the potatoes until they’re as thick or as fluffy as you want them to be.

Our apartments in Oceanside, California come with all kitchen appliances, making it easy for you to prepare holiday side dishes. Contact us to learn more about our apartment and community amenities.

Sticky Notes

5 Random Acts of Kindness That’ll Make Someone’s Day

Sticky NotesWhile the practice has been going on for ages, the movie Pay It Forward really brought the concept of random acts of kindness to the modern era. You just never know how even the smallest gesture can mean the world to a stranger, so we offer these five ideas to you so you can make someone’s day unexpectedly.

1. Hook Up a Local Animal Shelter

Consider picking up some extra pet food and taking it to an animal shelter along with any extra blankets, sheets or towels lying around your apartment. No-kill and volunteer shelters are especially in need of donation items and will surely appreciate your kind gesture.

2. Thank Someone Every Day

It’s not uncommon for us as humans to feel undervalued or appreciated, but simply thanking one person each day whether it be a coworker, partner or even your child can truly make their day better. This easy form of motivation and appreciation will also make you feel better!

3. Pay it Backward

If you are visiting a cafe or coffee shop, pay for a sandwich, cup of joe or a pastry for the person behind you. You can even determine an amount, say $3-$5, to contribute towards the customer behind you’s total tab. You’ll make someone’s day right away!

4. Write Positive Sticky Notes

Brighten up the day of your coworkers or family by writing a few uplifting sticky notes to strategically place around the office or your apartment in Oceanside. Just imagine the pleasure you will bring to their senses with a few words of unexpected encouragement.

5. Leave a Generous Tip

Often underpaid and underappreciated, those hardworking staff members that bring your food and drinks can use a lift every now and again. If you are feeling generous, go ahead and boost that tip and write a kind note of thanks to your waiter or waitress.

Want to Live in a Community Filled With Random Acts of Kindness?

If you are looking for Oceanside apartments that have the beauty of the beach and incredibly generous community members, contact the office at River Oaks Apartment Homes today to learn more about our available floor plans.

Books on a Table

4 Things to Add to Your Coffee Table

Books on a TableThe smooth surface of a new coffee table is always an enhancement to a home. However, if it remains entirely unadorned, it will also look too Spartan for many decor styles. Here are a few things that will liven up the table without overwhelming it:

A Centerpiece

This is the standard addition for tables, and there’s a good reason for it. Centerpieces provide focal points, and they come in so many different styles that you’ll always be able to find one to fit both your table and your overall decor. Whether you choose a flower bouquet or a statuette, you’ll always have a good look with a well-maintained centerpiece.


These can be used as a centerpiece, but they also do well as a smaller display. Bring some life to your room with a couple of filled bud vases or a similarly-diminutive accent on the table.

A Coffee Table Book

Yes – the obvious! These books are so popular because they give those who are sitting on the sofa something to look at while they wait for things to emerge from the kitchen. They’re also great ways to show off your personal interests.

A Newspaper

Residents and frequent guests to our apartments in Oceanside will quickly read through any coffee table book. If there isn’t anything else to read, this will leave them bored when there’s nothing else to do. Subscribe to a daily paper and put the latest edition on the table to ensure that you and anyone else in the home will always have something interesting to go with the coffee.

These are just some of the ideas you can use for spicing up your coffee table. Thinking of more is easy. That said, be careful not to put so many things on the surface that it ends up looking cluttered. Four or five items are about the max for the best-looking display, and keeping the accessories to this number will leave room for coasters, coffee mugs, dinner plates, and other objects that aren’t meant to be permanent additions to the table.

To see some of our great apartments in Oceanside, just stop by our office. We’ll be glad to show you our available floor plans.

Two Tacos

Our Favorite Mexican Restaurants in Oceanside

Two TacosOceanside is home to dozens of great Mexican restaurants that are well worth a visit. Following is an overview of some of our favorite ones for your consideration.

Colima’s Mexican Restaurant

Colima’s Mexican Restaurant gets high marks for several reasons. The food is both fresh and delicious, there are plenty of dishes to pick from and the large portions give you good value for the money spent. Additionally, waiters and other staff members are very friendly and you don’t have to wait a long time to get your food.

Mi Asador Mexican and Seafood Restaurant

Those who love both seafood and Mexican food may want to check out this incredible Mexican eatery. Portions are large, the service is prompt and extremely friendly and the food is utterly delicious. The restaurant makes a plethora of Mexican sauces that you can add to any dish and there are free chips to munch on while you wait for your order.

Anita’s Restaurant

Anita’s Restaurant is best known for its amazing margaritas. They are large, powerful and delicious, making it a great place to visit if you enjoy Mexican drinks. Other dishes that are popular with those who have visited this eatery include sour cream enchiladas, beef tacos and chile relleno. Furthermore, it’s located right next to the ocean, giving you a lovely view as you enjoy your food.

Fiesta Mexicana

Fiesta Mexicana gets high marks for offering both authentic Mexican food and a genuine Mexican ambiance. The staff members are friendly and outgoing, the dishes are great and there are complimentary chips and salsa to snack on while you wait. You can also order Mexican beer and margaritas here.

Our Oceanside apartments are centrally located to make it easy for you to enjoy all the city has to offer without spending too much time traveling. We also provide great community amenities such as pools, spas, picnic areas, playgrounds, barbeque areas and a fitness center. We offer one- and two-bedroom floor plans with great features such as private patios and balconies, a full-sized washer and dryer, an additional storage and linen closet and high-speed internet. Get in touch with us to find out more or take a tour of our community at your convenience.

French Press Coffee

3 Different Ways to Brew Coffee at Home

French Press CoffeeCraft coffee is hot. Given the popularity of high-end coffee shop chains and independent boutique coffee cafés, this trend doesn’t seem to be cooling down anytime soon. Treat your guests to bistro quality coffee at home in your own apartment.

Three Popular Ways to Brew Coffee at Home

Currently, there are so many ways to brew the perfect cup, here are three popular methods. All three fit the apartment living lifestyle.

1. French Press or Cafetière Coffee Press

The French press or cafetière style coffee press is a sophisticated and classic option for coffee brewing. The method is simple and yields a strong & smooth tasting cup of coffee.

Pros to using a French press to brew coffee:

  • Does not require paper filters so eliminates that cost and waste.
  • Avoids over extracting since the post doesn’t have a heat source.

Cons to French press:

  • Cools quickly since the pot doesn’t have a heat source.
  • Requires a little extra work to clean.

2. Cold Brew Method

Cold brew is the current cool kid on the coffee block. Fans love it because they can brew a strong cup of coffee that is less bitter. It is also a perfect method to brew iced coffee. Brewing options range from simple mason jars to dedicated extractors.

Pros to cold brewing coffee:

  • Enjoy lower acidity coffee, which is easier on tooth enamel and digestion.
  • The flavor is less bitter and pleases some taste preferences.
  • Produces better tasting iced coffee which is perfect to serve all-year long.

Cons of cold brewing:

  • This is one of the more time-consuming methods since heat dramatically speeds coffee extraction.
  • If you want hot coffee, you have to heat it up after brewing the coffee.

3. Method Stovetop Moka Pot

People sometimes refer to this method as the original espresso. The resulting coffee is espresso-like.

Pros of using a Moka Pot:

  • Like the French press, you don’t need paper filters.
  • The pot is sleek and takes minimal space on the counter.
  • People describe the resulting coffee as similar to espresso but not quite as strong.

Cons of using a Moka Pot:

  • The small sized pots yield small amounts of concentrated coffee.
  • This method takes a little longer since you brew on your stovetop.

Your guests will love coffee that is brewed using any of these methods. Best of all, these methods can be done right in your kitchen at River Oaks. Give us a call today to learn more about our available apartments in Oceanside!

Flower Arrangement

How to Beautifully Arrange Flowers

Flower ArrangementFew things add a freshly elegant accent to a home than a vase brimming with flowers. However, many people find themselves struggling to create attractive arrangements — flowers sometimes seem to simply flop, droop, and prematurely die no matter what they try. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional flower arranger to craft an appealing floral display. Following are four tips and tricks designed to help residents of our apartments in Oceanside arrange flowers like a pro.

Cut off the Ends of the Stems

Cutting off the ends of the stems about an inch helps them absorb water more efficiently. Be sure to use a sharp knife or sharp pair of gardening scissors — ragged ends will just make it tougher for the vascular system in the stems to take in water. Cut the stems at an angle to increase the overall surface space.

Use Floral Foam to Provide Stability

One of the major flower arranging issues of those without access to the inside knowledge possessed by floral industry professionals is that their arrangements lack stability. You can fix this simply by using floral foam to anchor your flowers firmly in place. Be sure to soak the foam in water for about 15-20 minutes before using it, and water it every few days.

Placement Matters

The tallest flower stems should go in the very center. Graduate the height accordingly, making sure that the width balances with the height, and place trailing, airy flowers around the edges. Always cut off any leaves that go below the water line — they’ll just make the water murky as they decompose as well as suck up water that should be going to the flowers. Drape some of the foliage over the rim of the vase for a natural look.

Maintenance Matters

Your arrangement will wilt and die quickly if it’s placed too close to a vent so keep it out of the direct path of these. Also, too much direct sunlight may cause your bouquet to age prematurely.

Our office is always open to questions about our apartment community and floor plans, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about River Oaks.

Açaí Bowl

Where to Find Açaí Bowls Near Oceanside

Açaí BowlSummer is the perfect time to eat a refreshing, healthyaçaí bowl. Grown in Brazil, theaçaí berry is a superfood that is supposed to have a number of health benefits. But what is most apparent aboutaçaí is how good it tastes. People love it, and for good reason. It tastes wonderful, leaves you feeling good and is good for you.

Here are some of the best places to grab one of the tasty breakfast bowls in the Oceanside area.

Where to Get Your Açaí Bowl Fix

Beach City Smoothies

Located in Carlsbad, only a short drive from Oceanside, Beach City Smoothies is a favorite smoothie spot for locals and tourists alike. And, like all good smoothie spots, they have açaí bowls that you can get for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.

Swami’s Cafe

This local cafe serves up açaí bowls along with a wide variety of other great breakfast options. You can get eggs, fruit, coffee andaçaí bowls, so you and the people with you have some options.

Ricos Antojitos

With ice cream, fresh juice, smoothies, frozen yogurt andaçaí bowls, there is a lot to love about Ricos Antojitos. You can also get churros here, as well as horchata and a number of other delicious treats.

Shake Smart

Another shake and smoothie place, Shake Smart offers a perfectaçaí bowl, designed to hit all the right spots.


disFRUTA, on Redondo Drive, features shakes, fruit juices and smoothies, as well asaçaí bowls. The friendly service and the wide variety of fruity concoctions make it a local favorite.

Tropical Juices & Deli

Tropical Juices & Deli has more variety than many of the smoothie-centric options. Located a short drive away in Vista, you can get sandwiches, along with what many say is the bestaçaí bowl in the area. Don’t take our word for it – try it out!

Helping You Enjoy Oceanside

Remember, we are here to help you get the most out of living in Oceanside. You can come by the office or give us a call any time during business hours to learn more about what is available in the area. Please contact us with questions, or to learn more about our awesome Oceanside apartments. We look forward to speaking with you!

A Map for a Road Trip

Tips on Preparing for an Epic Road Trip

A Map for a Road TripMaking the Great American road trip is a daydream for many people. But those who are stricken with wanderlust, it’s time to make a plan. Here are some preparation ideas for River Oaks residents before you pull out of our Oceanside apartment community for a fun adventure.

Be Prepared

That Boy Scout motto definitely works for road-trippers. Before hitting the open road, get your vehicle safety checked and fully serviced two weeks before leaving. The two weeks is important because you don’t want a leak caused by mechanic work suddenly affecting you after you leave. And, check your spare tire.

Two days before leaving, clean and vacuum your vehicle. Smells matter on long hauls. Load in a small toolbox in case you need to make repairs. Also pack flashlights, car fuses, antifreeze, engine oil, brake fluid, fix-a-flat and plenty of water. Better to be prepared for the least likely thing breaking down just in case.

Plan Your Trip

Before you load gear, it’s important to have an idea about the terrain and potential weather. For example, if you decide to trek east out of Southern California and experience the amazing Southwest, expect some hot, dry weather and cool nights. Visit the Federal Bureau of Land Management website for camping spots. Many are free and others require only small camping fees. There are also indie traveler sites such as that provide important anecdotal information about options. They detail things like cleanliness, bathrooms, WiFi service, etc.

What’s Your Road Trip Philosophy?

Part of the planning will entail decisions about how long to stay in each area. There are two ways to approach a road trip. You can zoom around and sightsee or spend time in cools spots getting to know the lay of the land. For first-time road tripping, you’ll most likely want to see a lot and plan extended stays on the next adventure.

You’ll also need to decide on your level of luxury. There are folks you travel around in trucks and vans that sleep in the vehicle or tent camp. Roughing it has a certain allure. Others buy or rent an RV that has a reasonable number of amenities such as stoves, refrigerators, bathroom facilities, etc. It’s a comfy and cozy way to see the country without renting hotel rooms.

Hit the Road and Enjoy the Adventure

If you have these things figured out, load up your clothing, outdoor gear and food. If you are using a cooler, put a small rack in it to elevate food above the ice. Soggy sandwich meat is unpleasant. You might forget something but don’t sweat it, that’s part of road tripping! Just roll down the window and play the sounds of your favorite tunes.

We hope our River Oaks community members take an opportunity to enjoy a fun and safe road trip. If you or a friend would like more information about our Oceanside apartments, call us today.

Red Printed Rug

Choosing the Right Area Rugs

Red Printed RugMany residents of our Oceanside apartments choose to customize their homes with area rugs. Rugs allow the appearance of the floor to be drastically changed without making any permanent alterations. They can also be easily switched up for changes in the seasons, decor updates, or other reasons. Getting the right look is also simple when a few simple guidelines are followed:

If the Room is Now Empty, Start With the Rug

It’s easier to match furniture and accessories to a rug than to do it the other way around. Therefore, if you’ve just moved in or are completely redecorating, start with the rug.

If You’re Only Changing the Rug, Complement the Major Existing Decor

Big items in a room, such as sofas and chairs, should have their colors matched or complemented by the rug so that everything looks properly tied-together. This isn’t as important with smaller accessories, so don’t worry too much if you can’t match the rug with the colors of all of these items. Focus on what will be noticed the most.

Getting the Right Size of Rug

Surprisingly, the size of the room isn’t always the main determining factor for the size of the rug. Instead, the type of room and how it is furnished both come into play. In the living room, the rug should be big enough to allow at least the front legs of the room’s chairs to sit on it. In a dining room, the rule is a bit different. There, the rug should be big enough to pull the chairs all the way back without any of their legs falling off of the surface. Meanwhile, the main consideration in the bedroom is to set it up so that when people get out of bed, their feet land on the rug.

Remember Texture

A textured rug will add interest to a room in a way that colors and patterns cannot. Even so, that doesn’t mean that the best rug always has the most texture. Visualize everything else that will be in the room and choose the texture that will complement the decor rather than overwhelm it.

One of the easiest ways to start with new decor is to start fresh with a new apartment. Stop by our office to see our available floor plans.

A Man Surfing

The Best Surf Spots Near Oceanside

A Man SurfingSurf’s up people and if you haven’t discovered the joys of riding the Pacific Ocean’s finest waves, there’s no time like the present. The Oceanside shoreline has a terrific reputation for excellent surfing and here are some spots we hope our River Oaks residents enjoy.

Black’s Beach

Area surfers rate this as one of the most consistent beaches to enjoy good swells. The water is crystal clear and rich with rising bottlenose dolphins. The waves are generated from Scripps Submarine Canyon and have wonderful shape and definition. Part of the San Diego-Scripps Coastal State Marine Conservation Area, it also enjoys government protection from misuse. The spot is located about 25 miles or so to the south. You’ll find a devout surfing community on most days.

Oceanside Pier

If you want to keep it more local, the Oceanside Pier area is renowned for good surfing. There’s plenty of parking off Mission Ave and steady wave quality. Swells range between 3 and 8 feet and the spot provides consistently top-notch surfing with long rides just about every day. It has a beach break that runs from right to left. During the week, it gets a modest crowd of mostly surf aficionados and a big crowd on the weekend ranging from beginners to expert. Best thing of all, it’s practically in your backyard.


About 20 miles up the coast off Interstate 5, Trestles Beach is considered a surf grooming locale. In other words, this is where you make your bones (or not) learning to surf respectable waves. It’s a very popular location and offers outstanding southwest swells. You may encounter world-class wave riders. So, don’t be surprised or intimidated by an incredible surf show or two.

Sunset Cliffs

This stunning swath of coastline sees a wide variety of swells ranging from novice level to only the brave. The spot has a long surf community history and the older crew often huffs in long boards to rip. The good news about Sunset Cliffs is that the wave variety opens the door for all levels. If you are gaining skill, shuffle over to a spot with heftier waves and roll. The waters can present some strong currents so stay within your experience and skill level. It’s beautiful but exercise caution. The spot is located a little less than an hour drive south taking Interstate 5.

We hope our River Oaks community members find these wonderful surfing spots helpful. If you or a friend would like more information about our Oceanside apartments, call us today.

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