1. Building Hope with Pink Pride

    Neal Communities participated in the ‘Make Strides Against Breast Cancer’ walk this past Saturday, October 27th and it was a HUGE success! We want to personally thank everyone who joined us either by making a donation or walking with our team ‘Building Hope with Pink Pride’. We were one good looking team of walkers out there on Saturday. And, we couldn’t have done it without the help of Kori Clark (wife of Chris Clark, Neal Communities’ Director of Construction) who designed our fabulous logo! Thank you Kori!

    Our team consisted of 40 participants and we raised over $3,200 for the cause. This surpassed our initial goal of $2,500 and put us in 4th place overall for company funds raised. Woohoo! Way to go team ‘Building Hope with Pink Pride’!

    If you would still like to contribute to the cause, you can until November 30th. Please click on the following link – and choose a specific person to donate to.

    Also, our fabulous Realtor Liaison, Gail Shane, conducted an interview with team captain, Raylene Gaines, on her radio show the morning of the event, which you can listen to at the following link – http://www.gailshane.com/

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women after skin cancer. Today, about 1 in 8 women (12%) will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women (lung cancer is first). The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012, about 226,870 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and about 39,510 will die from breast cancer. We all can do our part to help find a cure.


    Thanks again everyone for supporting this very important event.  Additional event pictures are posted on Neal Communities Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/NealCommunities

     


  2. A Stress-free Way to Preparing for the Holidays!

    You have probably noticed that major retailers are already setting up for the holiday season! Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations are making their way into the aisles of many of your favorite shopping stores.  It won’t be long until you begin ‘making your list and checking it twice’ in preparation of the onset of holiday festivities. Christmas is less than 65 days away!

    For many folks, the holidays can cause undue stress and anxiety. There are presents to be purchased, pies to be baked and cards to be mailed. It can be a little overwhelming at times! Here are seven tips to help you prepare for the upcoming holiday season, stress-free.

    1. Start early! Don’t wait until the last minute to get started. If you prepare well in advance, by the time the holiday’s roll around you will have all your major tasks completed and you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of the season!
    2. Create a ‘to do’ list of everything you need to accomplish. Once you have this created, prioritize and break that list down into ‘bite size’ nuggets. This makes all your tasks much more manageable.
    3. Delegate, delegate, delegate. Assign specific tasks and projects to family members. Ask your children to address holiday cards and your husband to schlepp the ornaments and decorations down from the attic. In other words, if there is a task that you don’t have time to do, outsource it!
    4. Remember – gift cards are your friend. This is an easy (and inexpensive) gift to give to your children’s teachers, your hairdresser, and the paper boy and mail man. Remember to pick up some extra gift cards just in case you receive a gift from someone you were not expecting to get.
    5. Bake your favorite holiday goodies and then store them in the freezer for later. When the holidays arrive you can enjoy spending time with your family and friends, not slaving over a hot stove or oven.
    6. Don’t feel obligated to attend every holiday party, gathering, or event that you are invited to. Make sure you have some self-appointed ‘down time’.  If you can’t make it to your neighbor’s ‘cookie exchange’ this year, that is ok.
    7.  Take advantage of on-line shopping. Most of us do not enjoy the traffic, long lines and short tempers that are often synonymous with holiday shopping. Many of your purchases can be made quickly and easily in the comfort of your own home. In addition, you can shop at any time that suits you!

    Finally, remember to slow down and enjoy the next few months. With the proper planning and preparation there is no need to be stressed out or anxious.


  3. November Farmers Market

    Bright like fresh lemons, as beautiful as a bouquet, and as soothing as a strum….this is how their website describes the Sarasota Farmers Market! And they couldn’t be more on target! For over 30 years, the Sarasota Farmers Market has been serving our community with local produce, plants, prepared foods and artisans.

    If you haven’t been to the Sarasota Farmers Market, you simply MUST add it to your list of items to experience! With over 70 vendors and over 5,000 sq. ft. of produce and plants, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Sample fresh fruits and vegetable, listen to local artists, and capture the essence of a true Farmers Market in your own town!

    The market is held every Saturday (rain or shine) from 7 am – 1 pm on Main and Lemon Streets in downtown Sarasota. Homemade jelly, fresh fruits and vegetables, and colorful plants and flowers are just a few items you will find as you stroll through the market.

    Bring your family, friends and four legged companions and make an event of it. There are freshly pre-packaged meals you can purchase as your stroll the market meeting the local farmers who grown and produce these culinary delights.

    Having a local farmers market benefits both the producers and the consumers of these organic products. By purchasing from these local farmers, residents know exactly where their food comes from, and the ingredients are fresher and likely contain fewer chemicals than the same ingredients found at a local supermarket.

    Farmers Markets also help to stimulate the local economy. When people purchase from local farmers, they help to keep these farmers in business so they can continue to harvest a healthy crop every year. This helps to keep our community closer, as it creates direct ties between the local farmers and our local residents.

    Farmers Markets benefit not only the producers and consumers; they also are great for the environment and the community! So, won’t you join us this weekend at the Sarasota Farmers Market?

    To learn more, visit their website at http://www.sarasotafarmersmarket.org/

    Also, check out these other local farmers markets as well:

    BradentonFarmersMarket.com

    BridgeStreetMerchants.com

    Lwrfarmersmarket.com (Lakewood Ranch)

    North Port Farmers/Craft Market

    OldMiakkaFarmersMarket.com

    Farmhousemarket.org (Phillipi Farm House Market)

    SiestaFarmersMarket.org

    TheVeniceFarmersMarket.com

     


  4. Trick or Treat – Fun Ideas for Adults on Halloween!

    Trick or Treat – fun ideas for adults on Halloween! Goblins, ghosts and ghouls….oh my! Halloween is nearly upon us! Children everywhere are already dreaming about all the goodies they will be collecting around their neighborhood as they walk door to door dressed up in their fanciest (and spookiest!) Halloween costumes. Tootsie rolls, candy bars and other sugary snacks are bound to be on your shopping list in the upcoming weeks. But, why should children be the ONLY ones enjoying the spookiest time of the year? Adults can have fun too! Here are some ideas for adult Halloween fun!

    1. Host a Halloween block party! Invite your neighbors over for a pre- Halloween celebration before the trick or treaters make their arrival. Be sure to have tunes playing like ‘The Monster Mash’, ‘Thriller’, and ‘Werewolves of London’.

    2. Have a pumpkin carving contest for adults and children a few days before Halloween. This will get everyone in the spirit.

    3. Create a spooktacular dinner! Brains and eyeballs (spaghetti and meatballs) anyone? There are plenty of great Halloween recipes! From goblin cupcakes to baked monster eyes! Check out this website for more ideas. http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/halloween/

    4. While the kids are out trick or treating, watch a scary movie! Remember Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween? That was some scary stuff!

    5. Get in the spirit and don your most terrifying costume when you answer the doorbell. The neighborhood kids are sure to get a kick out of seeing you dressed up for the occasion.

    6. Host a ‘pet’ costume party! Everyone will love seeing your Cocker Spaniel dressed up like Cinderella.

    7. Visit a haunted house! Whatever you decide to do, have fun! Remember, you are never too old to enjoy the fun (and fear!) that comes around every October 31st!

    For more ideas on how to have fun this Halloween, visit

    http://events.heraldtribune.com/venice-fl/events/halloween+events+sarasota


  5. Creating that ‘Fall’ Feeling in Florida

    Oftentimes in Florida, the difference between the end of summer and the beginning of fall can be nothing more than a few degrees being shaved off the thermometer. While we don’t get to experience quite the same colorful change of seasons like our neighbors up north, we can however ‘create’ the sensation of fall by following a few simple tips.

    1. Light scented candles around the room to capture the ‘smell’ of autumn! With fabulous fragrances like spiced pumpkin pie, evergreen forest, and gingerbread it’s easy create an autumn aroma in every room!
    2. Plant some fall flowers! Traditional fall plants, such as pansies, violas, snapdragons, mums, asters, cabbages, and kale, are reliable methods of injecting a splash of color in your yard.
    3. Bake an apple pie! There are so many fabulous recipes that remind us of fall!
    4. Make your own fall centerpieces. A quick trip to a craft store will provide you with everything you need to create a colorful fall centerpiece. Pine cones, vibrant silk plants, and other creative items will make your home a fall fashion statement.
    5. Travel north. Florida fall foliage, believe it or not, features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage — and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families — even in the Sunshine State. The Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail is a 30-mile circle along the east coast of northern Florida that cuts through four state parks (including Tomoka State Park), six local parks and 10 miles of up-close-and-personal ocean views.
    6. Check your local newspaper for Octoberfest, Halloween, and other fall events. It’s a beautiful time to enjoy the great outdoors!

    Looking for other fun fall ideas? Check out this website for things to do in our area!
    http://events.bradenton.com/bradenton-fl/events/fall+festivals