Volunteering! So many opportunities, so many needs.

Do you have a little extra time to give? There are so many great organizations out there that are in need of volunteers.  If you don’t want to make a long term commitment to an organization try giving just one day to help feed starving children in the world.  Feed My Starving Children is an incredible organization that has come up with a way to feed many children nutritious meals on a small budget.  They just need help packing those meals to ship.  Check out these opportunities.  At times they even have mobile packs in Rochester.

FMSC offers volunteers a one-of-a-kind experience. You’ll hand-pack rice, soy, dried vegetables and a nutritionally complete blend of vitamins and minerals into bags which are then sealed, boxed, placed on pallets and shipped to our incredible partners working hard to reach the neediest children around the world.

Through volunteering at FMSC, you’ll get the chance to impact hundreds of kids in just two hours per packing shift. You’ll experience what it’s like to make a tangible difference today.

Feed My Starving Children meals are produced by volunteers in Minnesota, Illinois, Arizona and all over the United States through MobilePack events.

Another great place to volunteer would be a very own Ronald McDonald House.  With so many people having to make Rochester their long term temporary home, a friendly smile and some help can go a long way.  Here’s what they say about volunteers.

Volunteers truly are the heart of our House. The Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota offers numerous opportunities for individuals or groups to donate their time or talents. We understand everyone has different schedules and different strengths. From HouseWarmers who volunteer on a regular basis, to group activities and service projects – there are many different opportunities to serve our House.

There is one last volunteering opportunity I would like to mention and that is with The Salvation Army.  They have so many areas you can help with, from meal serving to bell ringing to taking a child shopping.  Look through all the opportunities they offer on their webpage.

Volunteering

There are plenty of opportunities out there, this is just a few.  So make someone’s day by volunteering and you’ll feel fantastic in the process.

Until next time!  Katherine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer cookin!

We are right in the thick of good ol’ summer in Minnesota. Hopefully you’ve had some time to enjoy this short lived season with some grilling, some swimming and some days off. Summer is a great time to make some of those dishes that are best with fresh vegetables right from the garden or the Farmer’s Market.

If you like pizza you may want to give this recipe a try.  Once the zucchini are out in full force you’ll be able to make them as often as you want.

Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Ingredients

  • 3 medium, uniformly-sized zucchini
  • 1 (24 to 26 ounce) jar tomato basil marinara, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped brown button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shaved or shredded Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons Italian style panko bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Measure out 1 cup of the marinara sauce and set aside.
  2. Trim ends from zucchini and slice in half, lengthwise. Use the tip of a spoon to scrape out the zucchini flesh (see recipe note), chop it and set it aside. Place the scooped out zucchini boats into a 13″ x 9″ baking dish and add about 1″ of water. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until just slightly fork-tender. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, add olive oil to a 12″ skillet and place over MEDIUM heat. Add turkey (or beef), onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring to break up the ground meat as it cooks. Continue to cook and stir until meat is thoroughly cooked and veggies have softened. Drain off as much grease as possible and return the skillet to the heat.
  4. Add the chopped zucchini flesh, mushrooms, remaining marinara in jar (reserve 1 cup for later), parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and allow to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove partially cooked zucchini from baking dish and pour off water. Pour the 1 cup of reserved marinara sauce into the empty baking dish and place zucchini boats on top of the sauce.
  6. Divide the filling between the zucchini boats. If you have extra filling, spoon it into the dish around the zucchini boats. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for 20 minutes, or until zucchini is fork tender. Remove dish from oven and set oven to BROIL.
  7. Remove foil and sprinkle zucchini boats with mozzarella, Parmesan and the panko bread crumbs. Place dish in oven, watching closely, and cook for just a couple of minutes until cheese has melted and bread crumbs are golden brown.

Mmm, delicious, pizza in a zucchini.

As long as you bought some zucchini, how about making dessert with it also.  These cupcakes look awesome, lets face it anything that has almond extract in it is. H

Zucchini Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • FROSTING:
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat first five ingredients. Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to egg mixture and blend well. Stir in zucchini.
  • 2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  • 3. For frosting, combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cool to lukewarm.
  • 4. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.

And what can you do with all the rhubarb this time of year.  Well, that’s easy, make some delicious strawberry rhubarb jam of course.  Here is a great recipe to try. 2 h 40 m192 servings42 cals

Stawberry Rhubarb Jam

 

 

 

 

 

12 half pint canning jars with lids and rings

Instructions

  1. Place rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, fruit pectin, and butter into a large kettle over medium heat. (Butter is optional but helps keep jam from getting too foamy). Stir the fruit mixture to help the juice start to form, and add sugar, about 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and the juice is starting to simmer. Turn up heat to medium-high, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Skim off any foam that forms.
  2. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. With a jelly funnel and a soup ladle, pack the jam into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
  3. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart, until cool. To help the jam set, don’t move or touch the jars until cooled. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all). Store in a cool, dark area.
  5. Happy cooking, baking and grilling!  We all hope you are enjoying our wonderful summer weather.

Until next time ~Katherine

Farewell Mandy!

Our dear friend and co-worker Mandy has decided to follow her dreams and make some big changes in her life. She finished working for The Brittany’s last Friday and has decided she would like to make Florida her home. We will miss Mandy’s “can do” attitude.  Mandy was willing to do anything that needed to be done on the property from cleaning empty townhomes until late in the evening, to weeding, to taking on any kind of paperwork sent her way.  We will truly miss having such a hard working, loyal and kind, co-worker.  We wish Mandy the very best in all her endeavors and hope that Florida will become her dream location.

Farewell breakfast at Roosters.

Mandy, Dave, Katherine, Nancy, Giang (pronounced Yang)

   Katherine and Mandy 

  Mandy and Giang 

  Our fab four; the office won’t be the same. 

Mandy you will be missed!!!

And just in case you aren’t aware, one of Rochester’s best summer activities is an ongoing  event every Thursday all summer long.   It’s Thursdays on First, and they offer something for everyone: live music, great food, and vendors selling everything from pottery to jewelry.  I am attaching their website information below.

 

Thursdays on First & 3rd

When: Every Thursday, June 1 – August 31, 2017
​Time: 11:00AM – 8:30PM​
Where: First Avenue SW / Peace Plaza

Thursdays on First & 3rd Summer Market & Music Festival is a weekly outdoor market of over 100 art, craft and food vendors and live entertainment every Thursday throughout the summer. Thursdays on First & 3rd begins on June 1st and runs until August 31st. Thursdays on First & 3rd is an event that unites the Rochester community and provides a free option to simply enjoy life, feel a sense of place, and interact with others! Dogs are welcome at Thursdays but must be on a leash.

Sit back and relax with friends and family as musical talent is featured from 11:30 AM-1:00 PM. Stick around for the Music Festival performances at 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM on two stages!

This is definitely something  you want to check out at least once this summer.

Until next time ~Katherine

 

It’s the perfect time for a day trip!

Now that the weather is reminding us of why we live in Minnesota it is time to get out and enjoy it. There are a lot of great places near by that offer a fun day or night out. You may want to check one or all of them out.

Take a little trip to Berne for a wood fire pizza.  It is picnic style and outdoors and musicians play on the outdoor stage starting at 6:30.  Here is a link to check out their website.  https://sites.google.com/site/bernewoodfiredpizza/

 

What could be better than music and pizza…. well maybe music and wine.  If you love a relaxing evening outdoors listening to music and drinking a little wine then Whitewater Wines is the place for you.  Their summer music schedule comes out tomorrow.  Every Saturday evening they provide free music, you just purchase the wine from the wide variety on their wine list, all produced right on site.    Here is the link to their website.  http://www.whitewaterwines.com/

If you are looking for a little (or a lot of) exercise and excitement then climbing the Elba Fire Tower might be for you. Just a little northeast of Rochester,  it’s free to the public and has around 700 steps up through the woods just to get to the fire tower.  It’s a serious workout.  Then, only if you are not afraid of heights, dare to climb the fire tower, the views are unbelievably beautiful.  You will definitely feel like you’ve earned a dinner out after all that exercise.  Here is the link:  http://www.nhlr.org/lookouts/us/mn/elba-fire-tower/

As long as you are in the area there is a fabulous place to pick up your spring flowers.  I make the trek annually.  It’s called Pork and Plants and it’s in Altura, just up the road from the Fire Tower.  It offers home grown meat and the most beautiful flowers.  I recommend checking it out.  Here is the link:  http://porkandplants.com/heritage-farm/pasture-raised-meat/

 

I hope some of these places intrigue you enough to go check them out.  We are lucky to have a lot of fun places to visit that are so close by.  So happy exploring this summer!

Until next time.  ~Katherine

 

 

 

The Brittany’s Easter egg hunt and some fun outdoor activities!

The Brittany’s held our annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 15th and it was another successful and fun event! We were so happy for the break in the rain so that the event could go on as planned. Thank you to all the residents who came out to participate. We had one lucky $50 winner.   Below are some highlights.

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Hope to see you all again next year!!!

 

Now for spring outdoor fun.  Sargents gardens is offering classes for youngsters called Wee Wednesdays. These classes help children cultivate their  inner gardener.

 

 

Wee Wednesdays are gardening related classes for preschool and Kindergarten-aged children. Each Wee Wednesday class has a 9:30 and 10:30 session, April – December. All classes include hands-on activities, a story, and a tasty treat. A $8 class fee covers supplies and snack. Please plan to stay with your child. SAVE $4 on each additional ticket for siblings. To enroll your child or grandchild in these fun-filled classes, please register online here or call (507) 289-0022 today. Pre-registration is required.…

Sounds like a lot of fun to me, and for some adult fun this weekend they offer this.

Savvy Succulents

April 22 @ 1:30 pm2:30 pm
Sargent’s on 2nd, 1811 2nd St SW
Rochester, MN 55902 United States

Cacti and succulents are all the rage. Our experts will show you fun projects, proper planting techniques, and how to add style to your home and garden while keeping it low maintenance. In addition to succulents, we will cover the popular hobby of miniature gardening and how to properly plant a terrarium. (This class is a seminar, not a hands-on workshop.) RSVP below or by calling 507-289-6068.

Let’s enjoy every moment of the short time we have to be outside and be warm at the same time.  Until next time!  ~Katherine

 

Who’s ready for some spring cleaning?

The weather is starting to get nice and I don’t know about you but it actually puts me in the mood to freshen up my home a little bit.  It definitely gets me thinking about making trips to Salvation Army and Goodwill, but that’s another post.  Anyway, I’ve been looking online for some good spring cleaning tips and here is what I came up with.

Clean your kitchen cabinets

Over time build up can collect on your kitchen cabinets, to remove build up use a “cabinet cream” to cut through dirt and leave wood moisturized.  The House Beautiful website recommended Parker and Bailey cabinet cream, I have never heard of it but you can bet I’m gonna give it a try.

Washing Windows

Instead of just wiping down the inside make sure to take to the outdoors to remove spots and smudges. Pro tip: Wash them on a cloudy day so the sun doesn’t dry up the cleaner before you are done wiping.

Clean your dishwasher

To ensure this heavy duty appliance gets the tomato stains off your plates, you have to clean it too.  Remove bits of food from the washer and then use a specialty cleanser made for your dishwasher, we like Dishwasher Magic.  If you use this once a month you’ll keep your dishwasher happy.  

Your stove

If you start to smell something burning when you turn your oven on, it may be time for a deep cleaning.  First, chip off loose pieces, then spritz burnt on food with ammonia.  Sprinkle baking soda with a few drops of white vinegar on the bottom, let it bubble up, then wipe the grime away.

Your washing machine 

Don’t wash your clothes in a smelly machine, instead disinfect it with white distilled vinegar and baking soda to keep it fresh. Run the machine with hot water, then add the cleaning agents and let it sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Restart your machine and let it drain, then wipe out the interior.

These are just a few tips to help you get started.  I found many great tips like these on the House Beautiful website but there are so many others too.  For another month we can talk about organizing, my true passion.  In the meantime, happy cleaning!

Until next time ~Katherine

Fun ways to show your sweetie you love them.

Candy hearts

In honor or Valentine’s Day I did some looking online for some cute ways to show your sweetheart that you love them. Personally, I think every day should be a day to show those that you love how you feel, but since there is a special day dedicated to this very thing, let’s roll with it. Some of these may be too late to try this year, but now you can start planning for the best Valentine’s ever for next year!

1. On small pieces of paper, write down every kind of kiss that you can think of (examples: passionate, on the cheek, etc.). Then fill an inexpensive red felt bag with your “kisses” and give it to your sweetie. Ask your sweetheart to pull several pieces of paper from the felt bag, and then give your sweetheart whatever kind of kiss is described. 

2. Make a book about why you love your sweetheart and why you are thankful for him/her. The woman who sent this idea wrote, “He loved it! Said it was the best gift he has ever gotten. And it helped me to focus on the things I love about my husband and not his shortcomings.”

3. Take your sweetie on a scavenger hunt. Ask him/her to answer riddles to find the clues to items that you placed somewhere around town. The last item should give instructions that lead to your Valentine’s Day activities.

4. Surprise your sweetheart with a special getaway together. The man who suggested this made reservations at a bed and breakfast, arranged for childcare, asked for time off from work for himself and his wife, and packed his and her bags. When he asked his wife to go to lunch on Valentine’s Day she was in for a wonderful surprise.

5. Give your sweetheart a dozen roses. On each stem attach a note for a future date—to do something that she would enjoy. (For example, “Go to the symphony.”)

6. If possible, go on a date with your sweetheart to a restaurant that you enjoyed when you first met. After you order your meal, take some time to write down favorite memories from the past year. Then share your lists.

7. Create an intimate Valentine’s Day evening at home, without the children.  The woman who suggested this idea said that she and her husband “enjoyed planning the menu, shopping for the meal, and ultimately preparing the meal together. Cooking to soft, romantic music can really be a turn on! While dining, the same soft, romantic music is a wonderful mood-setter. Dinner was followed by just the two of us having the whole dance floor, our den, to ourselves.

8. Order food from a take-out restaurant and have a picnic for all the Valentines in your family on your living room floor. The person who suggested this said, “The kids look forward to this every year. When we tried to change it, they wouldn’t allow it … it has become a tradition. 

9. If you are separated across the miles, send a care package filled with things that are red.

10. Hide little heart candies in your spouse’s shoes, coat, car, etc. The woman who suggested this said that she’s been doing this for decades. “Now a couple of the grandkids help me with delight.”

11. Fill a jar with Valentine candy and notes for your honey. Examples of notes are: Good for a backrub, 10 kisses, etc. Notes could also express your love and respect: “I am so glad that God blessed my life with such a great husband like you.” Individually roll each note and tie it with a ribbon.

12. Write a poem for your sweetheart and frame it. 

13. On individual note cards, write why you love your sweetie. Insert these cards in a small photo album. The woman who suggested this idea began her album with a honeymoon picture and introductory note card, and ended it with a love note.

14. Make a special “14 Reasons I Love You” Valentine’s Day breakfast for your sweetheart. On his/her plate, leave a letter or card listing 14 reasons that you love them. 

15. Create a trail of Hershey’s kisses to a room you are waiting in. 

16.  Tape notes to your sweetie’s steering wheel with reasons that you love him or her, or decorate the bathroom mirror with lipstick kisses.

Ideas were taken from Family Life Today which also offers marriage retreats called A Weekend to Remember.

I hope some of these ideas have gotten your creativity flowing.  But remember let’s show love to those important to us every single day of the year!

Until next time  ~Katherine  

 

 

Things to do in the dead of winter and a heartwarming story.

It’s January in Minnesota, the time of year when some of us start to long for warm days and more sunshine. Those of you who thrive in this weather, more power to you. For those of us who are just waiting for spring I have found a few things to take part in during the upcoming weeks.

How about a youth fishing contest in February, bring your kids or nieces and nephews or just borrow a fun neighbor kid for a day of fun.

Youth Ice Fishing Contest

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Time: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Location: Foster Arends Park, Rochester MN

Sponsor: Rochester ‘76 Lion’s Club

Proceeds benefit: Lion’s Club Sight Preservation Projects

Cost: $10 donation
Contact: Dudley Parsons, parsons.dudley@charter.net

Description: An ice fishing contest for all youth 15 years old or under, accompanied by an adult.  Cash prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd largest (by weight) fish in each of three age categories. Door prizes given out every 20-30 minutes. Register on site.

Or how about this…. The Polar Plunge.  Sorry, I’m not gonna participate in this one.  Honestly, I think anyone who does is nuts, but hey, it’s for a good cause.  I’ll give in other ways.

polar_plunge_logo_510x202

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics

Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11, 2017

Time: 1:30 pm

Location: Foster Arend Beach, East River Road, Rochester MN

Sponsor: Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

Proceeds benefit: Special Olympics Minnesota and Special Olympics Rochester Area

Firs,t the “”To Cool for School Plunge””  the time frames are 10:00 am – 1:00 pm but schools from throughout SE Minnesota will be encouraged to plunge during the noon hour on Friday, February 10.  Sr. High students will sign up to plunge representing their school and be treated like Kings and Queens at the Plunge site!

Secondly, the “Super Plunge” will begin again at 3:00 pm on Friday, February 10 with Super Plungers raising $3,000 minimum and plunging 24 times in 24 hours with their final plunge on Saturday February 11 at 1:30 pm.

Finally, the main “Polar Plunge” will kick off with the Opening Ceremonies at 1:15 pm where Special Olympics Athletes from the Rochester Flyers Special Olympics team will greet the plungers and spectators. The plunging will begin at 1:30 pm with the final plunge of the Super Plungers followed by over 1,000 plungers throughout SE Minnesota raising money for Special Olympics!

Cost: Each plunger must raise a minimum of $75.

Contact: Sheriff Kevin Torgerson, 507-273-5224, torgerson.kevin@co.olmsted.mn.us

Website & registration:

http://www.plungemn.org/events/rochester

And finally, here’s an activity I wouldn’t mind trying  – an indoor winter activity.  This one looks like fun.

Sealed with a Deadly Kiss Murder Mystery at the Plummer House

Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017

Time: 6:00 & 8:30 pm

Location: Plummer House
1091 Plummer Lane SW
Rochester, MN 55902

Proceeds benefit: Elder Network

Cost: $40

For tickets, phone 507-285-5272. Credit cards accepted, must be 21 yrs. of age and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Contact: Elder Network, 507-285-5272, LaurieM@elder-network.org

Website: www.elder-network.org

Description: SEALED WITH A DEADLY KISS Jim and his groovy friends have decided to split the rat-race and hit the road in a VW bus for a far-out experience. They’ve chipped in some bread on a swell pad with plans to crash and let it all hang out.  But will their killer weekend be the death of them?  Bring your main squeeze and join the cool cats for a hip time!

Live interactive theater at the historic Plummer House. A fun and enjoyable live performance of a “who dun it”. Enjoy wine and desserts as you stroll the mansion trying to solve the mystery.

And now for the heartwarming story I told you about.  This story is from the Post Bulletin and it features a dear couple together for 70 years and this sweet couple happens to be the parents of our painter here at the Brittany’s – Dave!  Congratulations to Leroy and Lois on 70 years of marriage, such a blessing!

A box of love letters holds 70 years of memories for Rochester couple.

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Leroy and Lois McCullough met 72 years ago, and since then all their stars have lined up.  They celebrated their 70th year of marriage on Wednesday, December 21.

“My brother and I hitchhiked from the middle of Indiana to the north of Indiana to attend the wedding of a friend of ours, and sitting back there we’re looking at the whole row of girls up ahead and one had an especially nice smile so I asked a fellow from the church what’s that gal’s name? And he said Lois Anderson,” said McCullough.

Leroy didn’t have the courage to talk to her that night, so he instead he decided to send her a Christmas car when he got home.  But Lois didn’t respond, because she didn’t know who Leroy was!

Soon after writing the first letter Leroy was stationed in Chicago for the Navy, but he still couldn’t get Lois off his mind.  So he tried his luck again, this time reminding her who he was.

“I said would you write to me or do you not write to strange sailors?,” remembered Leroy.

“I said ‘no I usually don’t but with this sailor I will’ because he was so good looking,” said Lois.

“I think God planned our marriage before we even thought about it,” said Leroy.  But not everything about their story was perfect.

“I bought a used car that was a fairly decent car but I had to sell that car to buy an engagement ring,” recalled Leroy.

They got married on a cold day in December at the same church where their eyes first met.

Since then they have never looked back.

They have 5 kids, 6 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.

Wasn’t that just sweet?  Keep warm and start looking for some of those fun winter activities.  Until next time. ~ Katherine 

Five Reasons to Call The Brittany’s Your New Home!

The Brittany’s Townhomes and Apartments were built in 2001 and includes 80 townhomes and 18 apartments. Located in NW Rochester, MN, The Brittany’s continues to be a place that residents are proud to call home. Below are several reasons why:

  1. Location! – We are near just about anything a renter could ask for! Grocery stores including; Aldi, Costco, HyVee and Target! Restaurants including; Five West, Osaka, Chipotle, Noodles & Company, Mr. Pizza North, Applebee’s and Panara, just to name a few! Just a short drive from The Brittany’s, IBM is also the new home of one of Rochester’s Park and Ride services! Directly from their parking lot, the Park and Ride takes Mayo Clinic Employees right downtown! If that isn’t enough, we are located right next to the Douglas Trail, for endless hours of biking/hiking/rollar-blading/walking/running fun!
  2. Maintenance! – We are certainly proud of the maintenance services that The Brittany’s provides. Resolving maintenance requests promptly is just one of the many services that our maintenance staff provides! Once a request is received, they are frequently addressed on the day of or next day. We are always here! Leaky sink? Locked out? We have an emergency maintenance line so that our residents can depend on maintenance to handle any emergency that pops up!
  3. Spacious Townhomes! – ALL of the townhomes at The Brittany’s include 1600 square feet of living space plus a two car attached garage and a large walk-out patio. Fun Fact: While we offer 3 bedroom townhomes and two bedroom townhomes with dens, ALL of the townhomes at The Brittany’s are technically three bedrooms! While there is not a window in the third bedroom, the sprinkler system does allow for residents to legally reside in the den!
  4. Beautiful Apartments! – I personally think of our apartments the hidden gems of The Brittany’s! All of our apartments have west facing windows, which allows for gorgeous sunsets in both the winter and summer alike! While all of our townhomes are the same layout and square footage; each apartment is unique and much like a snowflake, no one is like another. They are all about 1000 square feet, with two bedrooms and one full bathroom.
  5. We Get Food! – Okay, maybe this one is just a good reason for me! But residents too! We host National Night Out, an Easter Egg Hunt, and deliver Holiday goodies annually. Of course, we always have food and suckers down at The Brittany’s office for any Brittany’s resident that wants to come by for a chat! One of our proudest food moments just happened this week! Cash from Minnesota 97.5 stopped by our office with cupcakes from HyVee! Myself and Mandy were more than happy to accept the delightful nuggets of frosted happiness!

These are just some no-brainers for reasons to live at the Brittany’s for more information contact that office at (507) 280-8859

Alyssa

EASTER AROUND THE GLOBE (and at The Brittany’s!)

Yes, I know I am posting this on St. Patrick’s day but it is just about time for Easter again! In our society, we gather chocolate, eat candy, dye real eggs, discover fake eggs, and find bunnies, ducks, anything pastel, really. The world, however, is a vast intermingling of communities and customs; traditions and cute animals vary everywhere!

AUSTRALIA

Meet the Bilby! In Australia, you might run into more chocolate bibly’s than you would chocolate bunnies! This cute little creature is actually a native occupant of the island and like their relatives, kangaroos, they are marsupials. Bilbies are also endangered, which is what led to the decision to have them replace the Easter bunny. Many companies across Australia have switched their products to the bilby to raise awareness for the species and help fund efforts to keep the bilby boogying! There are several popular Australian brands that donate part of their earnings to the bilbys, including “Pink Lady” and “Haigh’s Chocolate” to name a couple.

CZECK REPULBLIC AND SLOVAKIA

If you happen to be traveling to either the Czeck Republic or Slovakia for Easter, watch out! Traditionally in these countries, men adorn themselves with a willow stick, decorate it with ribbons and go around “spanking” their wives or significant others. Since the willow tree is the first to bloom in the spring, it is believed that the vitality and fertility of the branch will give the woman youth and good fortune. So while it seems like this started as a very dark Easter tradition, it appears to have turned into a very innocent and good intentioned sport.

POLAND

I picked this last tradition because it seems like a popular one, plus, I just really like the name of it. Let’s talk about Śmigus-Dyngus! Meaning, “Wet Monday”, this tradition is celebrated on the Monday following Easter Sunday. Again with this tradition, it seems like the girls are getting picked on by the boys! Boys customarily throw buckets of water on girls and sometimes even give the girls a friendly whip with a willow branch. While this began in Poland, it has spread through most parts of Eastern Europe. If a girl gets doused on Śmigus-Dyngus, it is said that they will marry within the next year!

THE BRITTANYS

At the Brittany’s we stick pretty close to the traditions we know best. We are having an Easter Egg Hunt! Our park turns into a wonderland of plastic eggs and candy. Mixed in with the traditional eggs, there will be prize eggs! Prizes range from stuffed animals to toys to the $50.00 cash prize egg! For more information on our hunt (or any other rental needs), contact The Brittany’s office.

Have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

Alyssa