Are You Ready For The 4th of July?

4th-of-july-plank-flag-manditremayneOne of our nation’s most patriotic events will be here this Friday – are you ready for the 4th of July?  What will you be doing this year?  Barbecue at home, hanging out at family or friend’s or celebrating it with your community?

Whatever you are doing, here are some great ideas that you can add to your celebrating to bring your full patriotic spirit to your home.

Here in South Florida, the 4th of July is one of our favorite summer days.  It usually is a beautiful sunshin-ey day, great for spending outdoors.  Enjoy the pool or beach or local park and cool off from the heat with this Watermelon Blueberry Salsa.

Watermelon Blueberry Salsawatermelon-blueberry-salsa2

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 small Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (discard seeds for a milder salsa)
  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Combine tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno in the bowl of a food processor; pulse briefly or until finely chopped (do not fully liquefy). If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the ingredients by hand.
  • Transfer tomato mixture to a medium bowl; stir in watermelon, blueberries, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Read more at http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2012/08/watermelon-blueberry-salsa.html

Serve up these great Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes for Dessertred-white-and-blueberry-cheesecake-yogurt-cupcakes

Skinnytaste.com

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts Calories: 98 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 3.6 g • Carb: 10.5 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Sugar: 7.6 g Sodium: 29.5 mg

Ingredients:

  • 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 8 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
  • 8 oz blueberries

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Line cupcake tin with liners. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.
  • Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat free yogurt, egg whites, and flour. Do not over beat. Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool to room temperature then chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

healthy-4th-of-july-strawberry-blueberry-poke-cake-dashingdishWe LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe for a Strawberry Blueberry Poke Cake, served with sparklers and all!

Check out the recipe here

 

4th-of-july-mantel-landeeseelandeedoIf you are crafty, you can try these great ideas for decorating for the holiday to add to the patriotic spirit!

 

Check out these great mantel ideas from Landeelu

 

 

IMG_3063-1Try these super cute Kids’ Flag Shirts from Make It And Love It.

 

 

This year, we will be celebrating the 4th of July with our community at the beautiful Plaza Heron-Bay-2del Lago Clubhouse in Heron Bay in Parkland!  It is so wonderful to live in a community that puts on such fun, well-organized events for our neighbors and ourselves to enjoy and to celebrate our country’s Independence together!   Our own poolside Cabana Grille has a great, special menu planned and it is going to be one packed, fun-filled day for Heron Bay residents!!!  We can’t wait!!!

Whatever you do, enjoy your 4th of July! Don’t forget all who have fought for our freedom and independence so that we can live in and as the greatest nation on earth!!!

Happy Independence Day to All of You!!!

 

 

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Summertime Fun at Zoo Miami

Summertime is now upon us and many are looking for new, fun things to do with their families.   We are very excited about a visit to Zoo Miami this summer because it is the home of a series of great animal exhibits and activities that are sure to be very exciting for the whole family!

Zoo Miami has just introduced one of their newest additions  – a female black rhinoceros named “Aria”! She is the 13th successful birth at Zoo Miami for this very highly endangered species. The African Black Rhino is also one of the species you can adopt at Zoo Miami!rhino2 rhino

In addition, lioness “Kashifa’s”  five cubs are now on exhibit: “Saba,” “Bantu,” “Asani,” “Amirah,” and the adopted male, “Kwasi,” son of Kashifa’s late sister, “Asha”.

lion pride 2lionpride1

Check out the Creatures of Habitat Exhibit – a gazillion-piece animal adventure” all made

legozoomiamiof LEGO® bricks.  Zoo Miami will be presenting this most exciting, educational, and fun exhibit until June 22, 2014, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, at Dr. Wilde’s World (DWW), so hurry there to catch it!  The exhibit will be displayed both in DWW’s air-conditioned museum space as well as on its outdoor plaza.  The Creatures of Habitat, a popular exhibit made up of LEGO® bricks, comes to Zoo Miami from the Philadelphia Zoo, where it captured a wide audience.  The purpose of this exhibit is multifaceted:  to educate visitors on the potential extinction of various animal species and habitats; to inspire them to protect our planet; to teach them how our behaviors and actions contribute to the destruction of these animals and their habitats; and how we can change our lives to ensure and promote our planet, animal species, and habitat conservation.

giraffesDid you know that this Saturday, June 21st, is World Giraffe Day?  Be sure to take the kids out to Feed the Giraffes at the SAMBURU GIRAFFE FEEDING STATION.   Have you ever been face to face with a giraffe? Since these famously tall creatures stand at about 16-20 feet tall, most people would only be able to compare to one of its legs in height. At Zoo Miami, you can get up close and personal with Titan, Kita, Fezzick, and the rest of your favorite giraffes at the Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station. At this interactive exhibit, guests can walk up a custom built ramp that leads to an elevated platform overlooking the African Plains exhibit. Every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can purchase delicious green veggies like lettuce or collard greens to feed to these giant creatures for only $3! You will get to check out their spots up close and look into their eyes as they come right up to you and extend their 14-inch long tongues to gently scoop the treats right out of your hand.

There is no shortage of great, fun things to do with the family this Summer and Zoo Miami is one of the best ways to do just that.  For more information on what’s happening at Zoo Miami, visit their website.

 

 

Parkland Does Independence Day…

This Heron Bay Community in Parkland, FL decorated each street with US Flags at the curb of each home.  It was a beautiful sight as we went out and about in Parkland today!  Now we’re looking forward to the Fireworks…

Cobbed a Deal In Parkland…

Okay – excuse the ‘corny’ jokes, but I just made the coolest discovery!  I was preparing for my Fourth of July BBQ tomorrow by getting some groceries and discovered that Georgia Sweet Corn on the Cob is on sale at our local Walmart – 5 for $1.00!!!

Also, our local Publix has Porterhouse Steaks on sale too!  I think I made a brilliant choice of menus for our BBQ!

#justsaying…

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Happy Fourth of July!  We are really looking forward to the holiday and are sure you are too!  What do you have planned for Independence Day this year?  

There are a lot of great, fun, family-events to consider in Broward County this year, starting with Parkland‘s own Red, White and Blue Bicycle Parade held at Terramar Park, 6575 NW 76th Drive on Monday July 4, 2011 from 9:00am-11:00am.

Bring your bike decorated in patriotic colors and parade around the park while the judges’ award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. This event is open to residents of all ages who want to show their patriotic sprit.

Evolution Martial Arts will showcase a karate/martial arts demonstration. Broward Sheriff’s Office will also have a bike course set up to test the children on bike safety and the Coral Springs/Parkland Fire Truck will be displaying their famous green fire truck! This is a FREE event open to all Parkland residents.

Watch the Fireworks at The City of Coral Springs‘ Annual Independence Day celebration, which takes place from 6-9 p.m. at Mullins Park, located at  10150 NW 29th St. in Coral Springs.

There will be entertainment, with food and refreshments available for purchase. Fireworks display starts promptly at 9 p.m. The event is free but there is a parking fee of $3.

Another great option is Fireworks at The Beach on Pompano Beach.  The Fireworks Extravaganza will begin promptly at 9 p.m. on the city’s main public beach, north and south of the fishing pier by Atlantic Boulevard. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. 

Thinking of heading to Fort Lauderdale?   The city’s centennial events commemorate the Wade-In 50th anniversary. This historic event led to the integration of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Celebration begins 9 a.m. at Eula Johnson house, 1100 NW Sixth St., followed by a state historic marker unveiling at 11 a.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Call 954-828-4755 to reserve a seat on the free Sun Trolley.

The “Fourth of July Spectacular” on the beach will have a DJ, beach games and the American Legion Patriotic Orchestra performing. Brass Evolution will also take the stage. Festivities start at 12:30 p.m. The half-hour fireworks presentation blasts off 9 p.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard.

In Hallandale Beach, the kids will have a blast with a bounce house, arts and crafts, pony rides, music and balloon animals from 4-8 p.m. at The Village at Gulfstream Park. Their Fireworks show is at 9 p.m. over Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, 501 S. Federal Highway.

The Independence Day weekend on Hollywood Beach will feature nightly musical performances at the theater (Johnson Street and Broadwalk) from 7:30-9 p.m. Caribbean Music Farm is scheduled to play tonight, upbeat jazz by Phil Fest & Friends on Saturday and classic rock ‘n’ by White Noise on Sunday. Then on July 4th, country music group Rodeo Clowns will be followed by Galo’s tribute to Santana (6-10 p.m.). Twenty minutes of fireworks will light up the sky over the Atlantic Ocean at 9 p.m. Park at a downtown parking garage and ride the free express bus to Hollywood Beach. Normal downtown parking rates apply.

If you are planning a family BBQ at home to celebrate, why not try  one of our personal favorite menus:

  • Rosemary Porterhouse Steaks with Olive Mayo
  • Red Potato Salad
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob
  • Watermelon Sorbet
(Click here for the Rosemary Porterhouse Steaks with Olive Mayo Recipe.)

Set up your patio and backyard for the party and add some flair to your table by adding a red, white, and blue crepe paper streamer around the edges. Apply double-stick tape to the edge of the table, pinch the crepe paper to create pleats, and place it on the tape. You also can run a stitch line through the crepe paper to create extra pleats.

Here’s a little bit of July 4th Trivia for you:  Did you know that the first real July 4th party was held at the White House in 1801?

Whatever you decide to do this Independence Day, we hope you have a wonderful time.  Don’t forget to give thanks for the troops fighting for our freedom and safety and for our many blessings.  

God Bless America!!! 

Gourmet Truck Expo Event in Boca Raton, FL

CALLING ALL FOODIES!

Have you heard about the latest Gourmet Food Truck Craze?  Recent Events in Ft. Lauderdale and Sunrise were huge successes, and now we have one nearby, in Boca Raton!  

The Sun Sentinel will be hosting a Gourmet Food Truck Expo Event this Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 from 5:30pm-10pm at the  Boca Center, located at 5250 Town Center Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33486.  

Bring your appetite and join us for fun, family entertainment and yes – lots of food.

Experience the gourmet food truck craze and enjoy 30+ vendors. There’s something to satisfy everyone’s palette.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket and food sales will benefit the Sun Sentinel’s Children’s Fund.

Get your VIP Ticket here.  There will be an additional cost for food. 


Parkland Real Estate All Summer Long…

The summer real estate cycle is heating up

Alice Cooper summed up real estate’s yearly seasonal shift with just four words: “Schools out for summer!” His hit song rings true each year as the kids pack up their bags, say goodbye to their friends and put their summer gear on.

For parents getting ready to make a move to another suburb, city, or state, it means the “For Sale” signs go up and the hunt starts for the next home. Not surprisingly, 60% of all moves in America take place in the summer. It’s a seasonal shift that has been around as long as school has been in. Here are some points to consider when buying or selling your home during the summer months.

SUMMER SELLING SEASON

The nicer weather brings buyers out of hibernation and into your spring-cleaned home. As a seller, know that the summer cycle typically causes an increase in inventory creating more competition in the market. It’s likely though, that more people will be looking at your house, making it easier to negotiate on price. Buyers who want to move in before the new school year starts may forego any unnecessary haggling for a move that fits within their time frame.

On the other hand, don’t be too optimistic about price – the market today is still facing rough waters – and a higher price, not to mention more options, will probably put you at the low end of the buying list. This could leave you waiting for a buyer on into the winter months, when homes typically sell for less. And if you’re one of the many who are selling and buying all before school starts, pricing your home correctly so that it sells quickly is crucial.

BUYERS IN BLOOM

Buying during the summer months, as we know, has it plusses: it’s an excellent time to pack the kids up and relocate while school’s out and the weather is nice, there’s more inventory on the market and you can use your income tax return toward your down payment.

If it’s in the cards for you, there could be some benefits to waiting – late summer opens up a window of leverage for buyers who are working with slow moving family homes. Ultimately the family wants to move quickly before school starts (maybe you do too) which means getting to the table fast could cut down on time spent haggling over price. Buyers remember: it takes time to close on a home, so start looking in the spring months when more “For Sale” signs start to peek up out of the ground.

There are many important issues that come into play when deciding to buy or sell your home. As a real estate agent it’s my job to provide expertise on the unique shifts and help you either sell your current home or find one that fits your family’s needs. If you’re looking to move out-of-state, I have an excellent network of agents I hold within high regard who will take great care of you and your family while you search for a home. Give me a call or send me an email anytime.

Cinco De Mayo in Parkland and Other Great Things To Do This Weekend…

This Thursday is Cinco de Mayo!  Get out your dancing shoes and get ready for Margaritas!!!!  Many of us celebrate this annual event without really knowing what this Mexican Holiday is all about.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates a battle that Mexico won in 1862 against the French who were trying to take over the country.  The French later returned and managed to take over rule until 1867 when Mexico finally achieved Independence.  Therefore, Cinco de Mayo continues to be a day that marks the Mexican battle cry for Independence and sovereignty and is celebrated each year with song, dance and food to remain focused on regaining the country and retaining their heritage.

Its a holiday celebration that always holds significance for me since it’s also my birthday, so it always feels like a huge party for me (smile).

Here’s a link to some great Cinco de Mayo Events out and about in our town…  We LOVE Cantina Laredo at Gulfstream Park ourselves!    But if you prefer to stay closer to home and have a great social night with friends, check out Pete’s Cafe Bella Sera for Happy Hour!    Enjoy 2-For-1 on all drinks under $15 and select $6 appetizers!  (Held every Monday–Saturday from 5pm to 7pm in The Lounge).

Or stop by Laura’s Ultimate Pilates Studio for a Wine Tasting Event at 5:30pm. There will be Wine-Tasting, a Pilates Demonstration, Food, Desserts and more!

Laura’s Ultimate Pilates is located within the Publix Parkland Commons Shopping Center next to Renaissance Day Spa.

Another personal favorite of ours is Scarfone’s Coal Fired Pizza, located in the Waterways Shoppes at Heron Bay.

If you do decide to stay in, add a little Mexican decor and try some of these awesome Mexican Recipes to celebrate at home in style!

Whatever you decide to do this Cinco de Mayo or over the weekend, have a great time Parklanders…

Summer Time…

Summer is just around the corner and the summer camp options can be overwhelming. Here are 10 tips to keep in mind when choosing a camp for your child.

  1. Consider the age of your child. Children between the ages of 8 to 10 are good candidates for overnight camps, while younger kids can benefit from a variety of day camps or local activities (at the library, through the YMCA, or ones you and other parents set up in your own neighborhood) and teenagers can look into becoming a junior counselor or acquiring new skills via certification programs.
  2. Consider your finances. Day camps range in price from a few to several hundred dollars a week; overnight camps can be in the thousands. Many offer sibilng discounts, but consider how much you’re willing to pay (what the activities at the camp are worth to your child). It can add up to a serious investment.
  3. Consider your child’s interests and needs. Does your child love arts and crafts? A more traditional day or overnight camp may be a good fit. Are you looking to specialize? There are plenty of options, from camps that focus on horseback riding or sports to ones for kids who want to hone a skill or trade. Does your child have special needs? Make sure the camp is equipped to provide the services he or she requires.
  4. Co-ed, or single sex? Does your daughter want to go to an all-girls camp? Does your son want to rough it with the guys? Would your tween prefer to be in a place that’s co-ed? There are pros and cons to each choice, and it all depends on what works best for your child.
  5. Find out what’s out there. The American Camp Association has more than 2,400 accredited camps in their database and the YMCA often has good and affordable summer camp options.  Be sure to check out the offerings at your area museums.
  6. Talk to other parents.   Ask a friend – or two!  See what they’ve done in the past or are planning for this year.  Get as many details as you can, not just opinions, so you can decide for yourself whether a camp could be the right fit.
  7. What do you and your child hope to get out of the experience? Are you looking for childcare during the summer months, or are you hoping to help your child gain a new skill? Does your child want to hang out with friends or learn a new skill? Are you and your child on the same page when it comes to what camp should to be like?
  8. What’s the best fit? Does your child need a very structured schedule, or does she function better with a lot of flexibility? Do you want him to gain leadership skills or learn how to be a better team player? Does your child need to learn how to manage responsibilities or is she learning to be more independent?
  9. What are the counselors like? Are they adults or older kids? Licensed or learning on the job? Do they come back to camp year after year, or is the turnover rate high? Talk to the staff
  10. Take a closer look at the ones you like best. Just as you would when evaluating a new school, look for red flags like class or group size, scrutinize the camp’s finances, and dig around for details like what options or activities have been cut or added over the past few years. Try to arrange a visit to see what the place is like for yourself, so you don’t have to rely on the brochure when it comes time to make your decision!

City of Parkland Summer Camp

The City of Parkland is now accepting registration by mail or in person at the Parkland Amphitheater for both the Parkland Kids Camp and Parkland Teen Camp.

Parkland Kids Camp is a summer recreation program for children ages 5 to 11 (kindergarten through grade 6) and Parkland Teen Camp is a summer recreation program for children ages 12 to 14 (grades 7-9).

Field trips are taken aboard air-conditioned motorcoach busses to facilities located in the tricounty area such as movies, bowling, water parks, arcades, skating, museums, etc.

For further details, contact GerriAnn Dougherty at gdougherty@cityofparkland.org or by calling 954-757-4129.