1. Celebrating Summer! Tips on How to ‘Stay Cool’

    In the United States and the rest of the northern hemisphere, the first day of the summer season is the day of the year when the Sun is farthest north (on June 20th or 21st). This day is known as the Summer Solstice.
    For children, summertime means two relaxing months of freedom from going to school. It can also mean summer camp, sleeping in ‘til noon, lounging poolside, and enjoying the plethora of outdoor activities that are available.
    Those of us who live in Florida know that the summertime heat can be intense. So how do you ‘stay cool’ while still enjoying all the fun that summertime brings? Here are our top five tips for keeping your cool in the summertime heat.

    1. Avoid being in the sun during peak hours. This typically means 10 am – 2 pm. And, if you are out during the peak hours be sure to use a sunscreen with PLENTY of SPF, and apply it regularly.
    2. Take a break from the heat and go to a movie matinee! Ticket prices are generally less during the day.
    3. Drink plenty of liquids, including water or sports drinks that have electrolytes. This will help to keep you hydrated.
    4. Take a trip to the mall! There is something for everyone to enjoy at the mall!
    5. Make homemade ice cream with the kids! Here is an easy recipe for delicious key lime pie ice cream. Don’t forget to buy the cones!

    Ingredients (Recipe from allrecipes.com)
    • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
    • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 cups milk
    • 2/3 cup heavy cream
    • 2 egg yolks, beaten
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup lime juice
    • 2 teaspoons lemon extract (optional)
    • 1 (3 ounce) package lime flavored gelatin mix
    • 6 whole graham crackers

    1. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, milk, and heavy cream. Cook until warm, whisking frequently. Once the mixture is hot to the touch, whisk in the gelatin mix and sugar, stirring constantly until sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved. Whisk in the egg yolks, and remove from the heat. Stir in the lime juice and lemon extract.
    2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This recipe takes a bit longer to set up than the usual ice cream.
    Once the ice cream is thick, open the canister, and place large pieces of graham cracker evenly on each side. They will break into smaller pieces as the machine churns. Mix for about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a freezer container, seal, and freeze until solid

  2. It’s summertime and the living is easy and breezy in Sarasota! Our top 10 picks for fun times this summer!

    If you’re from the Sarasota area, you know there is ALWAYS something fun and exciting to do. Even when the mercury is rising – the fun just keeps coming. Here are some of our favorite summertime adventures for you and your family to enjoy!

    For the list of the Top 50 ideas and suggestions on how to enjoy your summer in Sarasota, visit the Herald Tribune’s website to view the complete list with slideshow!


    1. Hunt for a shark’s tooth in Venice - Caspersen Beach is the famous spot to find these mysterious treasures. Have fun and bring plenty of sunscreen!

    2. Stargaze at South Florida Museum’s planetarium, and meet Snooty!- Head over to the Parker Aquarium at the South Florida Museum and pat Snooty, our beloved manatee. Then check out the exciting exhibits and catch a show in the planetarium.

    3. Treat yourself to a meal on St. Armands Circle - After a day of shopping and strolling make sure you stop and enjoy a bite to eat on St. Armands Circle….from fudge and ice cream to pasta and seafood, there is always something delicious to eat.

    4. Get SCUBA certified - Explore the undersea world with the help of a regulator and oxygen tank with a simple diving class . Then feel free to explore the treasures under the waves off a local beach.

    5. Learn to bodysurf or skimboard - It looks simple, but just wait until you try it! You might want to enlist your children for some lessons!

    6. Climb the Myakka River State Park Observation Tower - 74 feet above the ground, the wooden observation tower in Myakka River State Park offers a panoramic view of the forest and scrub below, perfect for catching a glimpse of soaring bald eagles.

    7. Go canoeing at Oscar Scherer and look for gators - Oscar Scherer’s South Creek is one of the most placid and relaxing canoe/kayak spots in town, and the on-site canoe rentals make it easy to dip a paddle with little hassle. Just don’t feed the gators.

    8. Bike, run or walk the entire Legacy Trail – The Legacy Trail is 10 miles that runs from the city of Sarasota all the way to Venice along the former CSX railroad corridor, with trailheads at six different Sarasota parks.

    9. Visit the Ringling Museum on a Monday, free of charge - This is one of those secret benefits of being a local: On Mondays, the Ringling Museum of Art offers free admission to Florida residents. Take advantage of this great deal!

    10. Explore Sarasota Jungle Gardens - Sarasota Jungle Gardens is one of the oldest continuously operating attractions in the State of Florida. Open to the public in December of 1940, the “Gardens” has retained its old Florida charm. Check out the birds of prey show and alligator encounter, along with the hundreds of reptiles, birds, monkeys and more.

  3. Color Your World – A Hues Flash

    Want to give your home a brand new look and NOT spend a lot of money doing so? Instead of going out and purchasing new furniture and furnishings, you may want to consider adding a splash of color to your rooms to create a dramatic flare.

    Paint is one of the easiest (and least expensive) ways to redecorate your home. And, the wonderful thing about painting is that you can change it up as often as you like.

    Before you make that trip to the paint store, here are a few tips to get you started:
    1. Think about how you use a room and what mood you want to create. Lively colors, like reds, oranges and yellows, turn up the volume, providing a friendly backdrop for a family space, kid’s room or dining area.
    2. Want a tranquil spot for reading and relaxing? Cool off with blues, greens or purples.
    3. Neutrals- grays, whites and browns- complement most rooms and size up your space.
    4. Pale shades work best in sun-filled rooms; white deep tones thrive in poor light
    5. To cozy up in a cavernous place, go dark.
    6. Feeling cramped? Light hues lend a sense of airiness and expansiveness.
    7. A rich color can make a tiny room look like a jewel box.

    Remember, rules are meant to be broken. Always go for a color that YOU truly like. After all, you will be the one spending time in the room.
    Have you ever wondered what different colors represent? According to Color Wheel Pro, http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html, this is what our ‘rainbow’ of colors really signifies.

    Red is the color of fire and blood, so it is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.

    Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy.

    Orange combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement.

    Green is the color of nature. It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility. Green has strong emotional correspondence with safety. Dark green is also commonly associated with money.

    Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.

    Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Purple is associated with royalty. It symbolizes power, nobility, luxury, and ambition. It conveys wealth and extravagance. Purple is associated with wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, and magic.

    White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection.

    Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.