If ever there is a time that holds equal parts joy and frustration, it’s got to be the holidays, and right behind that – holiday travel. Holiday movies center around the ups and downs of holiday travel and while we laugh at the classic, “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” if those mishaps befall us, it’s not quite as funny! Here are some timely reminders for making the most of your vacation days and traveling with ease:
Before you check in to flights, rental cars, and hotels, check in with yourself! The holidays have their own set of stressors, so best to check in with yourself and make sure you’re in tip-top shape for holiday travel.
Stay healthy! Get plenty of rest the night before your road trip or flight. Get in some good walks and exercise before you’re forced to be sedentary and make sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid catching a cold from your fellow travelers! Colds and flu viruses often live on handles, railings, and doorknobs, so avoid touching your face before washing your hands or carry a small sanitizer with you. (2oz or less for TSA regulations)
Prep the car for a road trip. Take your vehicle in for a quick check-up, and/or check your car’s fluids, tire pressure, and battery charge before you leave. If you’re going off the grid to get to Grandma’s house, pack some extra water, food, and blankets. Make sure your phone is fully charged and if your GPS fails, that you still know how to get to Grandma’s house!
Prep your pets! If your furry friends are staying home for the holidays, double check with pet sitters ahead of time to make sure they’re still available to pet sit and that they have an inclusive list of instructions, including the vet’s contact information. If pets are traveling with you, here are some helpful traveling with your pet tips from TSA.
Pack wisely. If you’re traveling to a different climate, it might feel like you’re going to need your entire closet, but with a little planning, packing gets a lot easier. Pack by Essentials first – underwear, meds, toothbrush, then move on to Temperature and Terrain – sweaters, snow boots or bathing suits, then by Events and Adventures – cocktail dresses or ski goggles, followed by Favorites and Extras – jewelry, perfume, your favorite socks. This categorized formula helps keep you focused on where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing and helps avoid packing more items than you’ll actually use.
At the Airport:
Arrive early. Expect delays during holiday travel and allow plenty of time. Generally speaking, allow 2 hours for a domestic flight and 3 hours for international travel. For up to the minute information, download the TSA app.
Double Check your Docs. Make sure your tickets are downloaded on to your phone and that the phone is charged up, or get boarding docs when you get to the airport as a backup. Double check to make sure your identification matches the name on your ticket, exactly. So if your legal name is Robert and your tickets say “Bob,” you could experience delays.
Add extra kindness and patience to your travel. Emotions are heightened during holiday travel. Your fellow travelers might be pre-occupied with what’s going on at home or work as they travel out of town. For the best holiday travel, add a smile, add words of kindness, and offer to help where you can. We all share one thing in common during holiday travel – we’re all trying to get somewhere else. Sometimes, it really does take a village!
Plan ahead and enjoy your time with friends and family because before you know it, you’ll be right back on the road or at the airport on your way back home! The holidays go by so quickly; cherish and enjoy!
From all of us at Weidner, safe travels and happy holidays!
If you haven’t noticed while strolling by any retail or grocery store, the holidays are upon us! It’s time for all those favorite holiday traditions, including hosting the perfect holiday party. Just because you don’t live in a mansion, doesn’t mean your holiday festivities have to be limited. Here are a few tips for hosting parties in smaller spaces:
First, decide on your theme and build your party around that. Is this a cocktail party featuring bite-size appetizers, a 5-course sit-down dinner, or a buffet-style potluck? Once you know what kind of entertaining you would like to do, you can start planning your party.
Plan your guest list. Planning ahead will help you, the host, enjoy your own party. Plan out your guest list, taking into consideration the size of your apartment and how many guests will comfortably fit. You can also check in with the leasing office about reserving extra space if your community features a banquet or entertainment room.
Plan your menu. Once you’ve determined your guest list, make a list of foods and drinks you’d like to serve, and whether or not you want to make those items yourself, purchase prepared foods, or hire a caterer. Keep in mind that the holidays are all about giving and that guests might enjoy contributing their favorite dish or drink to the party, so don’t be afraid to ask!
Prep food and drink ahead of time and free up your kitchen space. If you are preparing foods, try to do the bulk of your cooking ahead of time and keep the kitchen counters free of clutter and pots and pans.
Make room for guests! Move items off your countertops, tables, and shelves and put coasters down for your guest’s drinks. The more space you have freed up, the better. Designate a place for purses and coats so they don’t take up much needed space during the party.
Move your furniture around to accommodate a party. Depending on the type of party you’re having, don’t be afraid to move things around to make room for your guests. For larger sit-down dinners, consider moving the dining room table into the living room and adding rented tables and chairs to each end. Now you have a dining area fit for all your favorite people. Add a tablecloth and decorations, and let the feasting begin!
Transform your space. Invest in a few sushi-style pillows and turn your coffee table into a gathering area for guests to kick back, relax, and enjoy the festivities. Move the drink bar to the patio. Transform countertops to a buffet line. Use tiered and stackable platters to conserve space. Use one half of the kitchen sink to ice drinks. Avoid congestion and split up the food around the living room so guests are encouraged to mingle beyond the kitchen/dining area.
Of course, the most important component of any party is to have fun! Share your holiday hosting tips with us at #LifeatWeidner. Is it too early to say, “Happy Holidays?!” We don’t think so, and apparently, neither do the retail stores!
DAWN, Domestic Abuse Women’s Network, “shelters and empowers survivors of domestic abuse in South King County and helps to keep us all safe by educating our community to respond to and prevent violence.” Their vision is to, “envision a community that commits to the belief that violence is preventable and takes shared responsibility and united action to create a more peaceful place to live for us all.”
The Chili Cook-off event showcased the “fun” in raising funds and awareness for this important organization! Participants not only contributed with their delectable chili recipes, but also in their costumes, booth decorations, and overall spirit of giving. According to WMFHA, this year’s charitable donations “blew past last year’s total of $33,526 and came in 29% higher!”
This year, there were more than 500 attendees, 34 sponsors and competitors, and 49 in-kind donations to DAWN, making it their best Chili Cook-off to date.
Congratulations to all the winners:
Grand Prize Best Overall Chili: Greystar
Runner-Up: Alliance Flooring
Hottest Chili: American Furniture Rentals
Most Creative Chili: Security Properties Residential
Runner-Up: Bridge Property Management
People’s Choice Chili: 1UP Floors
Runner-Up: FPI Management
Best Overall Theme and Costumes: FPI Management
Runner-Up: 1UP Floors
A big thank you to all these individuals and companies who donated to the raffle:
1UP Floors, Agua Verde, AMLI Residential, Apartment Advantage Staffing, Arcadia Townhomes, Caffe Darte, Caffe Ladro, Capitol Cider, Family Fun Center, Fikes, FPI Management Inc., Greystar, HD Supply, Indigo Real Estate, Jem’s Jewelry, Lagunitas Brewing Company, The Liberty Group, Precision Concrete Cutting, Renaissance Seattle Hotel, Rent Path, Rhein Haus, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Reign FC, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Storm, Security Properties Residential, Security Solutions Northwest, Sherwin Williams Company, Starbucks (Renton), The Liberty Group, Thrive Communities, Wild Waves Enchanted Village, Katrina Bishop, Sloane Cerbana, Kelly and Robbie Burns, Melanie Reid, CAM, Sarah Hart, Christina Koski, Brandy Hildebrand, Vanessa Nguyen, Valerie Hill, Tania Angel, MacKenzie Price, Kayleigh Fulton, and Brianna Cook.
For those of you who like to plan ahead, next year’s Chili-Cook-off Charity Event is scheduled for October 26, 2019! We don’t know about you, but this amazing event is already in our calendars!
No-Shave November “is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.”
With increased hair growth comes increased awareness around the cure for cancer. In November 2007, Matthew Hill, father to 8 children, lost his battle with colon cancer. A few years later in 2009, members of the Hill family decided to take the No-Shave tradition public in an effort to raise money for the web-based charity, raising more than $2 million dollars to date.
The concept is simple, “The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Donate the money you typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.”
Participating in No-Shave November is easy. Abandon your razor for the month, grow your hair, document the process on social media, and donate to the cause. Individuals and organization can also set up their own fundraiser page through No-Shave November by registering and/or contributing to someone else’s fundraising event. You can also download the No-Shave App for updated information on events and all the “hairy details.”
“We want every participant to embrace their hair for the many cancer patients that lose theirs due to vigorous treatments. We believe that together, anything is possible, and we’ll get closer to eradicating cancer one whisker at a time!”
We at Weidner know about the power of togetherness to heal, to help, to educate, and to elevate. We encourage you to do what you can for this important cause and share it with us at #LifeatWeidner.
Nearly a decade ago, Weidner CEO, Dean Weidner approached Marie Virgilio, VP of Recruiting, with the idea to set up a Manager-in-Training (MIT) program. The concept was to train and promote from within so that as the company grew, so would their leaders.
Marie hired a few MITs to launch the program, and Mr. Weidner said he’d consider the program a success if they recruited and trained at least 15-20 people per year, so Marie hired more people. Today, two of those original hires are now highly respected Regional Directors and several more individuals have grown into Area Directors across the country, and are leading business development in states including Washington, Alaska, and Minnesota.
Most Area Directors today have some affiliation with the MIT program; if they weren’t recruited as part of the program, they served as mentors to MIT candidates. This Certified Mentor program was launched as a subset of the MIT program, in order to spread best practices to the next generation of leaders.
MITs are generally recruited from colleges. Weidner invests heavily in RPM programs at universities like Ball State, Stout in Wisconsin, and the University of Anchorage in Alaska, as they are committed to not just building in-house talent, but raising the standard of leaders in the industry, as a whole.
Program Managers set out to find those individuals who were doing exceptional work and bring them into Weidner headquarters for 3 days of training. In turn, those stellar leaders would train MITs via a 5-module learning platform created specifically for this purpose.
During the first six months of the MIT program, MITs partnered with their assigned mentors, serving as an ‘extra person’ on the team, rather than a specific role. They cover the 5 training modules and then move on for their next 6 months at a different property. This intuitive leadership program encourages and builds resourcefulness and versatility among the candidates.
By the end of the year, the MITs are ready to run a 100-unit small property on their own as a Community Director or Assistant Community Director for larger assets.
The SIT program (Service Technician-in-Training) was created to mirror the MIT program, and though it is in the early stages, it promises to be a great success. The SIT program focuses on locating individuals with construction backgrounds and machinery experience. The new SIT is then placed with a certified mentor who works as a Maintenance Supervisor or Service Technician at a Weidner property. The end result goal is that each SIT will be ready to serve as a Service Technician at a Weidner property with little supervision.
As the business grows, so does Weidner’s commitment to foster great leadership so that Weidner residents experience the very best in apartment living.
Exercising your right to vote doesn’t have to be a dreary task and it doesn’t mean you have to “get political.” Simply, it means your voice deserves to be heard and the way to do that is to vote.
First things first – find your polling place. Check your local state for polling places near you and get out and vote! Then, go celebrate and make voting fun!
In keeping with the theme of making our voices heard, organize a group of friends and neighbors and head out to the local karaoke bar. Take a friendly bet on how many times “American Pie” will come up in the song queue.
Host your own event. Gather your friends, family, and neighbors and invite them over for an after-voting party. Add some snacks, drinks, and some music, and you’ve got yourself a party. #VoteTogether has some great ideas for hosting your own event and you can even register your event with them. Don’t forget the selfies!
Carpool together to your polling place and grab a pizza afterward.
Meet your friends at the polling place in coordinated red, white, and blue outfits and then go bowling after you vote. Again, don’t forget the selfies! We’d love to see those at #LifeatWeidner!
For crafters, create a “day in the voter’s life” collage, journal, or scrapbook. Gather with your community and post pictures and memorabilia of what it was like to vote this day, what the issues were that mattered to you most, and who you were with.
As a community both locally and nationally, we may not always agree on every issue, but one thing is certain, our history is always a shared event. Gather together, have fun, and get out and vote. Your voice matters!