Apartment Living

Holiday Apartment Décor

admin - Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tomorrow marks the start of December which means it is officially acceptable to decorate our homes for the holiday season! Whether you want to turn your place into the North Pole or just add a few festive items to spice up your apartment, we have gathered the latest trends to transform your home for the holidays. Blast your favorite holiday tunes, have a few friends over and get decorating!

Eucalyptus Garland

Forget the traditional garland you’ve seen all over Christmas trees and mantles for decades, instead try using Eucalyptus in its place! This style gives your apartment a festive look that is chic instead of tacky.

Marquee Lights

This year, don’t waste hours trying to figure out which strand of lights still works. Swap your old lights out for these Marquee Letter Lights! Choose whatever words mean the most to you during the holiday season and decorate your place with them!

Small touches to your kitchen

You don’t want to overcrowd your home with a ton of decorations that will leave it feeling smaller. Decorate your kitchen in a few small ways that are really festive. Grab a few mason jars and stuff them with Candy Canes, marshmallows, and Hot Cocoa Powder. Not only are these adorable for decorations, you can eat them too!

Pinecones, Walnuts, and Candles

A few simple items go a long way when decorating for the holidays. Add a few pinecones and walnuts to a bowl or simply place them on your coffee table and you’re living area will be transformed. Add candles to the table to really amp the decoration up.

White Christmas Lights

The best part about white Christmas lights is their ability to be used all year long! During the holiday season, add a bunch of strands all over your living room for that cozy, winter feel. When the holidays are over, you can leave them up for great mood lighting the rest of the year.

Metallic/Copper Flare

Recently, metallic and golds have made a comeback! Spray paint your old bulbs with coppers, rose golds, and silvers to change the look of your tree! For the complete look, wrap the presents you will put under the tree in metallic paper to pull the whole tree together!

Sparse Christmas Tree

Living in an apartment, you don’t want a huge Christmas tree taking up half of your living room and leaving you feeling cramped. Opt for the newly popular “sparse tree” so you can get your tree fix while still having a spacious apartment.

Plaid and Buffalo Pillows

For a quick and easy way to transform your home, add plaid design and buffalo style pillows to your couches, chairs and beds. These patterns scream winter without being holiday overkill! You can even use these the entire winter season instead of just the holidays!





Try a few of these holiday trends around your home this season and your apartment will be in perfect condition for all your holiday visitors! Share pictures with us on Instagram of how you decorate your apartment for the holidays!

REMINDER to Park View and City View residents: Don’t forget to join your neighbors December 14th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in your ugly sweater! Enjoy Hot Apple Cider, Cookies, and a Chocolate Fountain with a chance to win awesome prizes! RSVP to rnagy@farosproperties.com!

Winter Recipes to Warm Your Soul

rebecca - Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The cold days are here to stay for a while and, luckily, there are plenty of food choices to keep us warm through the next few months. Winter food is all about comfort — the slow cooked casseroles, stews, and pies to keep us warm during the cold days. Treat yourself this winter to these delicious winter recipes that will keep you cozy and wanting more!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Ingredients:  Filling

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 3 cups of mashed sweet potatoes, ½ cup of milk, ¼ cup of packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 large eggs


½ cup of all-purpose flour, ½ cup of packed brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt, ¾ cups of chopped pecans

Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 and grease your casserole dish. Wisk all of your filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and then transfer the mixed ingredients into your casserole dish. For combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt in to a mixing bowl. Stir in the pecans and spread across the prepared mixture in the casserole dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden on top and set in the middle.

Beef Stew

Ingredients: – 2 pounds of beef stew meat cut into cubes, ¼ cup of all- purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 chopped onion, 1 ½ cups of beef broth, 3 diced potatoes, 4 sliced carrots, 1 chopped celery stock

Directions: Place meat into a slow cooker. Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Pour the mixture on top of the meat and mix until all meat is coated in the flour mixture. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and then cover and let sit for 10 to 12 hours on a low heat setting. High heat setting: 4 to 6 hours.


Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients: 1 seeded spaghetti squash, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, 1 chopped onion, 1 minced garlic clove, 1½ cups of chopped tomatoes, ¾ cups of crumbled feta cheese, 3 tablespoons of sliced black olives, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil.

Directions: preheat oven to 350 and grease a baking sheet. Place the squash, with the cut sides facing down, on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Once ready, set the squash aside to cool down.

In a skillet, cook the onions in the oil until onion is tender. Add and cook the garlic until fragrant and add and cook tomatoes until warmed through. Use a spoon to scoop out the stringy pulp from the squash and mix with the cooked onion, garlic and tomatoes. Top with cheese and olives.


Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients: 1-½ cups of elbow macaroni shells, 3 tablespoons of butter, 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of milk, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, 2 cups of shredded cheese.

Directions: preheat oven to 350 and cook pasta in a pot (add salt to pasta). Melt butter in a separate large skillet or pot. Add flour to the butter and stir until the mixture is lightly browned. Add milk and stir to remove any clumps of flour. Then add in the salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until it thickens. Stir in the cheese until melted and then take the sauce off of the heat. Stir the sauce and the cooked pasta and place in the oven until the top is golden brown. Add any garnish that you would like and serve.

5 Recipes to Reinvent Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

rebecca - Monday, November 20, 2017


The beauty of the Thanksgiving feast should never have to end, and if you’re lucky enough to have leftovers from your turkey day meal, check out our favorite ways to reinvent and repurpose your favorite, classic dishes.


Turkey Pot Pie

Give this homey classic a Thanksgiving-inspired upgrade and swap out your shredded chicken for turkey. Use your favorite vegetables and get cooking on this savory pie that is guaranteed to be a family favorite. Need to upgrade a little further? One user suggests swapping out the crust for cornbread—and we think she might just be a genius.


Thanksgiving in a Blanket

A twist on our favorite appetizer, the Thanksgiving in a Blanket brings a fresh twist to repurposing several leftovers at once. Simply fold up your favorites—whether that’s turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, or cranberry sauce—into crescent roll dough and bake as directed. If you’re smart, you’ll save just enough gravy for dipping.


Turkey Cheese Dip

You already loaded on the carbs on Thanksgiving day, so why stop now? This dip takes your leftover turkey and combines it with two kinds of cheese, garlic, onion, and mayo to produce the creamy dip of your dreams. The best part? This dip is baked in your very own bread bowl. We dare you to find a reason not to make this dip.


Turkey Cranberry Quesadilla

I know what you’re thinking: “Thanksgiving and Mexican food? I’m missing the connection.” Well, this recipe proves that the beauty of this tortilla sandwich knows no bounds. Top your turkey with shredded Swiss cheese and as much cranberry sauce as your heart desires, melt some butter, and get sizzling. Trust us on this one, it’s the perfect easy solution to all your post-Thanksgiving cravings.


Mashed Potato Puffs

It only seems natural that we devote one of everyone’s favorite dishes the attention it deserves with a reinvention of its own. Simply add sour cream, parmesan, and sharp cheddar to your left over taters, spoon into a cupcake pan, and let your oven do the rest. These cheesy beauties are as simple as they are delicious, and easily customizable. Get adventurous and add bacon, turkey, or whatever your heart desires—this is one risk you won’t regret it.


Its hard to let go of our favorite day of feasting, but hold onto your leftovers and keep these recipes close at hand to make your day after Thanksgiving blues a little bit more bearable. And, while you’re at it, stay in your PJ’s and cue up the Netflix, we wont judge—in fact, we encourage it.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Your Stress-Free Thanksgiving

rebecca - Friday, November 17, 2017


Thanksgiving Day is always much anticipated.  The golden-brown turkey, the sweet pumpkin pie, and the promise of laughter with family and friends is enchanting.  When you host Thanksgiving dinner, however, the anticipation of fun can quickly turn to stress.


There is no question that hosting a dinner is a lot of work.  Luckily, however there are a few things you can do to ensure a stress-free day. Whether this is the first Thanksgiving dinner you’re hosting or you’re a seasoned veteran, there are some tips that can make your day less stressful.


One of the most important things you can do to help alleviate stress is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time.  Be sure to clean your house and set the table a day or so in advance.  This will shorten your to-do list the day of Thanksgiving.  You can also complete pre-cooking tasks, such as peeling vegetables or making a pie crust, the night before.  Again, this gives you one less thing to do the day of Thanksgiving.


Another thing you can do to lessen your workload is request that your guests each bring a dish.  This can be anything from a bottle of wine to a bowl of mashed potatoes.  They will feel grateful that they are able to contribute to the day and you will have one less dish to worry about.  This is a great way to get a few meal items out of the way.


Although it can be tempting to try every new recipe you see because they all look so good, make an effort to limit yourself.  Keeping a simpler menu of classic foods is a great way to cut down on stress because you won’t be trying to prepare ten dishes simultaneously.  There will be plenty of opportunity to try cooking new dishes in the future – they don’t all need to be made on Thanksgiving!


The day of Thanksgiving, be sure to have appetizers available for when your guests arrive.  The platter can be as simple as a cheese plate someone else brought, but its presence will prevent your guests from becoming ravenous before dinner is ready.  That way, if dinner is running late, your guests will have something to occupy their time, (and stomachs), until everything finishes cooking.


Finally, the most important thing you can do to mediate your stress level is to remember the meaning of Thanksgiving.  It was a holiday created to spend time with friends and family and give thanks for all the great things in life.  It is your guests and the atmosphere that will be remembered even more than the food.  If the mashed potatoes you cooked didn’t turn out quite right, that will not ruin the great dinner you hosted.


So, remember to relax and enjoy the day even if you are responsible for the meal.  And, if you have hosted a Thanksgiving meal before and have a trick that works particularly well for you, be sure to leave it in the comments below!

Your Guide to Black Friday

rebecca - Thursday, November 16, 2017

For many, Thanksgiving is all about spending time with your family, consuming as much food as your stomach will allow, and taking a much-needed nap from all the hard work. However, for more and more people the turkey is fuel for the shopping spree they are going to embark on, known as Black Friday. However, this day of deals is longer contained to just Friday, instead, it has spilled over into Thursday evening, Thursday afternoon, and even Thursday morning. Whether you love the thought of more time to shop or just want to get in and out as quickly as possible, we’ve put together a list of tips to get the most out of Black Friday. Maybe you hate the idea of it all together? Share this with someone who is going to buy you a present 😊

  1. Plan ahead.

Just like most things in life, it is very important to go into the shopping masses prepared. Between figuring out store hours, where the best deals are, and what kind of coupons are available to you, you want to have this all figured out before you step foot into a store. Depending on how many places you plan on hitting, a road map would be a useful tool to get from store to store efficiently.

No matter how great you are at planning, it is hard to predict the lines you will wait in or the amount of time you will spend deciding which shirt would go great with the pants you just bought. Make it a point to go to the stores or the deals you most want first. This way when you are crashing from the lack of sleep you won’t be disappointed you never made it to *insert store here*.

  1. Create a budget.

While it may be hard to anticipate the great deal on those designer shoes you just have to have, it is important to set yourself with at least a rough estimate of the amount of money you plan on spending. Having a limit on your spending will help you decide if you really love something or not. In addition, you won’t go overboard on any one particular person’s gift.

  1. Bring a notebook.

Or just use the Notes on your smartphone, whichever you choose, it is important to keep track of your purchases in one place. Writing down what you bought and who it’s for will not only help you stay within budget, but will remind you who you did and didn’t buy for so you don’t accidentally show up with 20 gifts for your mom and only 1 for dad.

  1. Shop with your friend(s).

Get your holiday shopping done while catching up with your best friend. Not only is shopping with someone else a lot more fun, it’s good to get a second opinion. You’ll be waiting in lines there is no way around it, at least you’ll have someone to do it with.

  1. Split up.

While this seems counterintuitive to the last tip, if it’s crunch time and you are desperate to hit a few more stores, splitting them up between your shopping squad will be a huge help. This way you can get those shoes, that TV, and a new patio set all at once.

  1. Stay in bed.

If the large crowds, crazy deals, and long lines don’t appeal to you, stay home. Plenty of stores have Black Friday Deals online! Although, beware online traffic can move as slow as the line in the store.

Share a #selfie of you out beating the crowds with us on Instagram! Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping!

Meet Our Residents: Abigail Sugrue

rebecca - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Carson Street Commons is Faros Properties’ apartment community located in the South Side. We sat down with a resident there to learn about her experience! Meet Abigail Sugrue! Check out our blog below.

Q: Were you looking at other apartments while deciding on this one, and if so, why did you end up choosing this complex?

A: My boyfriend and I began our apartment search unsure where exactly in Pittsburgh we wanted to live.  We toured many apartments throughout the city and weren’t finding the one that felt like home.  Finally as we were walking around South Side we stumbled upon Carson Street Commons. We were immediately drawn to the secluded neighborhood feel of the complex, even with it being in the heart of South Side Works.  Carson Street Commons truly checked off every item on our list of what we wanted in a home.

Q: What is your favorite part of living in Pittsburgh?

A: I am proud Steeler and Penguins fan!  I love being a part of the vibrant atmosphere during a football and hockey season.  I also love the arts and all the culture Pittsburgh has to offer.  There are so many beautiful theaters, museums and galleries around the city that are truly amazing.

Q: Does the location of your apartment allow you to experience your favorite part of Pittsburgh with ease?

A: Yes!  My boyfriend and I enjoy biking on the Three Rivers Trail to the North Shore or even downtown.  There are also bus stops available right outside of the complex that can take you anywhere around the city you need to go.  However, if you want to just stay and enjoy your neighborhood, the possibilities are endless in South Side!  There are so many wonderful restaurants, bars, shops and boutiques.  And it feels as if there is always a fun festival happening each weekend that is within walking distance of the complex.

Q: What’s your favorite South Side bar/restaurant?

A: There are too many to choose from!  One of my favorite restaurants is Cambod-Ican Kitchen.  Their seafood wontons are the best!

Q: Do you enjoy the events that are held specifically for you and other Faros Properties residents? Are there any you’d like to see in the future?

A: The first Faros event we attended was a cookout at the new deck they had built for our complex.  We had just moved in and didn’t know anyone.  Immediately we felt welcomed into the Carson Street Commons community.  This was a great opportunity to meet our neighbors and the Carson Street Commons staff.  We loved attending these monthly cookouts, and look forward to attending more Faros events!

Meet Our Residents: City View Apartments

rebecca - Tuesday, November 14, 2017


City View Apartments is Faros Properties’ second largest apartment community. We sat down with a resident there to learn about his experience! Check out our blog below.

Q: Were you looking at other apartments while deciding on this one, and if so, why did you end up choosing this complex?

A:  I was looking at the Pennsylvanian, Heinz lofts, the Cork Factory, the Clark Building, various apartments in shady side, and various apartments in south side.  I chose City View because of the price and the court yard scenery.  Security was also a must as I was traveling a lot for my career and I was off to travel every so often.  Washington Plaza, now City View, was the most reasonably priced for the room and space.  All the features of living here (pool, lobby, gym, tennis courts, and full court yard), sold me on having a home away from home almost like a resort type of living.  Seems like the other places were way overpriced, gave a smaller feel, and the rooms were put together like a cut out. City View’s apartments are whole apartments that feel more like home in the city.  Overall in regard to the complex that’s why I stayed so long and want to stay longer.

Q: What is your favorite part of living in Pittsburgh?

A:  My favorite part about living in Pittsburgh is being in the City and experiencing the night life.  The huge difference is that I can walk or take a quick ride anywhere to fully enjoy the city.  I can never miss an event and if I feel like going to a type of town atmosphere Bloomfield and Shady Side are a bus ride away.  I especially like being able to quickly go to see the Penguins, Steelers, and Pitt Panthers from living in the city.

Q: Does the location of your apartment allow you to experience your favorite part of Pittsburgh with ease?

A:  Absolutely!  The location is right next to the Hockey arena and a short walk to south side.  I especially like that its only 20 min to drive to work and back because traffic is going the opposite way and to mention the location is next to the all major exits out of the city for the ease of access.

Q: Do you enjoy all the amenities provided by the building, like the tennis courts and the pool?

A:  Only place in the city that has a pool and it’s well worth it.  On a hot or mild day in the summer I’d like to go and experience the pool without leaving my apartment.  I feel this place is a resort type of living.  When work is stressful the amenities keep me relaxed.  In fact, many times I use the grill to make juicy stakes or the court yard to have a small get together.

Do you enjoy the events that are held specifically for you and other Faros Properties residents?

A:  Yes, I love the events.  This is a good opportunity to meet interesting people.  I especially like events where cocktails are held like sky bar and the upcoming event will be great at howl at the moon.  These events are a way for me to break out of my routine and branch out a bit.  I like to talk to new people and I’ve meet interesting people at these events.

Are you a resident of City View, Park View, or Carson Street? Email rnagy@farosproperties.com if you’re interested in participating in our blog and sharing your experience.

Where to Eat Out on Thanksgiving

rebecca - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thanksgiving—a time to spend with family, friends, and a whole lot of great of food. Some may say it’s the best holiday of the year, but a lot can agree that it is a pain. The food may be delicious, but preparing the feast is never fun. So, if you love the holiday, but don’t want to headache of cooking dinner, drop the burden and head out to eat. There are plenty of restaurants in Pittsburgh that will be open for the holiday, so hop in the car and head out to enjoy some Thanksgiving deliciousness at some of the best joints in Pittsburgh. Here is a list of the top 5 places to eat out on Thanksgiving.

Capital Grille

301 Fifth Avenue


This Pittsburgh-famous steakhouse will be offering their traditional a la carte dinner menu as well as a separate Thanksgiving menu that will include the chef’s special take Thanksgiving dinner. Capital Grill will be open from 12:00 noon – 9:00 p.m.


Various Locations


A delicious three-course Thanksgiving meal with a variety of selections will be served at Atria’s locations in the North Hills, Murrysville, O’hara, Peters, Pleasant Hills, Richland, Mount Lebanon, and North Shore. You can enjoy this great dinner from 10:00a.m. – 8:00p.m. for only $24.99.


1114 Grandview Avenue


It’s a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner with an even more fantastic view. The LeMont will be serving a Thanksgiving feast buffet with options that include carved turkey, ham, filet, salmon, and almond crusted sole. Side dished will include, traditional mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and stuffing along with pumpkin bisque, cheese tortellini, and fettuccini al fresco. The buffet will be available for reservations. Seating times are 12:00 noon, 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Habitat Restaurant

510 Market Street, Downtown


Habitat Restaurant at the Fairmont will be serving a brunch buffet that will include holiday-inspired brunch items with an omelet and carving station for turkey and maple-glazed ham. The brunch buffet will be available from 11:00a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Habitat will also have a featured Thanksgiving dinner menu available from 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The dinner will include several Thanksgiving specials as well as the regular dinner menu.

Mitchell’s Fish Market

Various Locations


Mitchell’s will be serving a three-course Thanksgiving dinner at its waterfront and Mount Lebanon locations. This dinner will include turkey, gravy, stuffing, one side option, and dessert for $24.99 per person. Dinner will be served from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For more options on where to eat in Pittsburgh visit:




Quick and Easy Pie Recipes

admin - Thursday, November 9, 2017

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we’re dreaming of all things food, all the time. Pies are a fall staple, but we don’t always have time to slave over lattice handmade crusts. Try out these quick and easy recipes next time you’re craving a slice of something sweet.

Dutch Apple
What would any list of pie recipes be without a classic apple? Fall is after all the season for apples, so swap out the traditional dough crust top for a sweet, cinnamon sugar crumble. Fill this beauty with your favorite apples, whether that’s a handful of Honeycrisps or a batch of Golden Delicious. This recipe is so easy to throw together, you might as well make two, because its sure to be a crowd favorite!

No-Bake Nutella
This European-favorite, chocolate hazelnut spread has made a home in the hearts of Americans over the past decade, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether it’s on toast, or a waffle, or on a spoon—we don’t judge—Nutella is a household favorite for a multitude of uses. Whipped together with cream cheese and cool whip, and spread over an Oreo crust, its comical how easy this pie is to throw together—and once you get a taste of it, it might just be dangerous how easy it is to make!

Cold Brew Coffee
If you’re anything like us, coffee is an essential part of starting the day. With this recipe, you’ve got the opportunity to come full circle and finish your day with a dessert inspired by your favorite morning beverage. With a taste compared to a perfectly creamy latte, we think this pie is the perfect after dinner treat, or even serves as a lovely addition to any brunch. With just five ingredients and a pre-bought Oreo crust, the hardest part about making it will be waiting for your pie to chill.

Frito Taco
Not all pies are sugar and spice and everything nice. This easy Frito Taco recipe proves that pie doesn’t have to be just for dessert. Not only does this recipe put a twist on tacos, it has a secret ingredient to bump up the flavor: a crescent roll base. Customize the filling however you like by adding jalapeños, refried beans, or your favorite cheese. And, while you’re at it, top it off with some guacamole—there’s no extra charge with this one.

As the weather cools down, what better way to stay warm than to hunker down at home and get cooking? These recipes are sure to be household favorites and make getting through the winter blues a little easier—and a little tastier.

The Christmas Cactus

rebecca - Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Holiday season is right around the corner! This time of year, brings on many warm and fuzzy feelings, two of which are feeling thankful and in the giving spirit.  At Faros Properties, we are beyond thankful for our residents and excited to do a HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY! This year, we are giving away Christmas Cacti! These lovely plants make for great decoration in your apartments all the while getting you in the holiday spirit! We will be giving away Christmas Cacti on the following dates:

Monday, November 20th in City View’s Lobby

Monday, November 20th in Park View One’s Lobby

Monday, November 20th in Carson Street Commons Management Office

Stop by your property’s giveaway site between 5 and 7 p.m. to pick up your holiday plant! HURRY, while supplies last!

You may be wondering, what is a Christmas cactus?

The technical term for it is actually Schlumbergera Cultivar. This plant is found in Brazil and belongs to the Buckleyi Group. Plants in this group generally have flowers that hang down, and pink pollen, you will notice this when you see the cactus! Instead of growing in the ground like many other plants, this cactus was rooted onto tree branches in the rainforest. These cacti do not look much like the typical desert cacti due to these conditions.

What does the cactus have to do with Christmas?

It doesn’t! The only thing that relates Christmas cactus to the holiday season is its period of blooming falls around the same time. When the plant blooms, lovely flowers of red, white, pink, purple or orange appear.  While the cactus has no special traditions rooted in the holiday, many display them around their homes during the holiday season!

How to care for your Christmas cactus:

  • Keep your cactus near a window because the plant needs indirect sunlight.
  • To provide humidity, like its original habitat, keep a tray of water nearby and water the plant regularly. However, overwatering is not good for this plant either. If the top layer of soil is completely dry, that is a sign to water your plant!

Share your cactus’s bloom with us! Post a picture of your cactus in its new home and share with us on Instagram!