1. Spark Appetites With This 4th of July Dessert!

    Are you looking for the perfect summer dessert? Look no farther! This delicious fruit pizza is delicious and offers the nutrients (and sweetness) you are looking for. Not to mention, it’s super easy to make!


    -One tube sugar cookie dough

    -One jar of marshmallow fluff

    -One 8 oz. box of cream cheese – softened. (fat free if you want to cut some calories!)

    -Your choice of fruits


    -Roll out the sugar cookie dough onto a cookie tray in one sheet. This will be used as the “crust” of the “pizza.” Bake in oven according to package. Set aside and let cool.

    -Meanwhile, mix marshmallow fluff and cream cheese until smooth.

    -Slice fruits into

    bite size pieces for the toppings.

    -When the crust has cooled, spread the marshmallow fluff/cream cheese mixture over it.

    -Place the fruits on top.

    Fruit can get pricey at the grocery, so consider visiting a local farmers market to buy it instead!

    The Sarasota Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 7am to 1pm.  You’ve been warned, with so many amazing vendors you will probably walk away with more than just fruit!

    In Venice, check out their local Farmers Market from 8am to noon on Tampa Avenue.

    Live further south? Don’t Miss the Fort Myers Market Thursdays between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. or the one in Naples called Third Street South on Saturday mornings from 7:30 until 11:30.

    To scope out the best prices, check out this list of fruit that is in season.

    Bon appetit!

  2. Swimming Safety 101

    Summer is finally here! It’s the time of year when we can soak up the sun, drink lemonade, and relax in the pool whenever we want.

    If you have a pool, you are certainly lucky, but you also need to keep in mind the responsibility that comes with it.

    Did you know, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of drowning ranks 5th among the leading causes of unintentional death in the U.S? Sadly, one in five people who die from drowning are ages 14 and younger.

    Keep these tips from Waterscapes Pools and Spa, the masterminds behind Neal Communities’ casual and elegant pools, in in mind for a safe summer.

     Invest in a pool cover. Anytime your pool isn’t being used, place a cover over it. This will lower chances of someone falling in.

    Invest in a fence. It is recommended for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, that pool owners install a four-sided fence, at least 4 feet high.  Waterscapes will take measurements to create a custom fence for your pool and ensure all requirements are met.

    Consider an alarm. In accordance with the Florida Building code, Waterscapes installs a child safety fence and alarms. This is a removable mesh fence designed with the intent of creating a protective barrier around pools to keep young children and infants safe.  Due to the way it is designed, it is easy for adults to remove, supervise small children around, and replace when needed.

    Enforce No Diving. Make sure visitors know to jump in feet first to avoid head injuries.

    Enforce No Running. If you have a floor around the pool that gets slippery when it’s wet, encourage visitors to walk around your pool instead of running. This will help decrease the likelihood of an injury.

    Keep the water sanitary. Make sure you are cleaning the pool regularly and checking the water for a proper pH level. Otherwise, bacteria and germs can cause sickness and infections to swimmers.

    Keep an eye out. Never leave a child unattended at the pool. Even in a moment’s time, something could happen. Be sure to remove items that might tempt a child to enter the poo, such as beach toys or beach balls.

    Don’t forget the Sunscreen. Even on a cloudy day, your skin is still exposed to the sun. Be sure to lather up to avoid painful burns.

    It’s always a good idea to teach children how to swim if you have a swimming pool or to offer floating devices. The better swimmer they are, the more comfortable you will feel having them around the water. Local YMCA’s and other swimming school offer these lessons all over the Sarasota area.

    Now that you have these tips, jump on in and have some fun in the sun!

  3. Kids DIY Fathers Day Craft

    A dad is a man who wears many hats. He is the brave man who checks for monsters in the closet and under the bed. He is teacher on how to throw a baseball, or how to fix a car. He is the master of the grill, the fixer of the broken objects around the house, and an all-around fun guy to be with.

    This Fathers Day, give your dad a gift he will love that comes from the heart!

    Coffee Lover Dad. Buy a plain colored mug and paint either a message or picture on it. “I love dad” or “World’s best dad” are some ideas to get you started.

    World Traveler Dad. Put together a traveling shaving kit. Include shaving cream, toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, and other necessities he could use on the road.

    Office Dad. Paint a picture frame and place your favorite photo inside.  That way, he can see it everyday while he is at work.

    Chef Dad. Buy a plain white apron and decorate it “ King of the Grill” “Kiss the Cook” or Grill Master are all fun things to write. We loved this apron idea from this blog.

    Card Player Dad. If your dad loves playing cards, consider making him his own set. Trace the shape of a card and cut 52. You can make each suite something he loves, a baseball, a golf ball, hamburger, car, etc. Get creative!

    No matter what you decide to do, your dad will love it knowing it is coming from you. Share with us what you are giving your dad this year or in years past!

    Happy Father’s Day to all of the dad and granddads out there!

  4. Are you Ready to Cast a Line This Summer?

    The first week of June is recognized as “Fishing Week.” (As if you needed another excuse to go fishing!) Living near the beautiful Gulf of Mexico opens many opportunities to Neal Community residents to go fishing.

    But in order to not let something like this happen to you, keep these safety tips in mind.

    -Wear sunscreen- Not only will your skin hate you if you forget to lather up, but you’ll scare aware the fish, too.

    -Take a lifejacket. Can you float? Can you float better than a floatation device, such as a lifejacket? We didn’t think so, so make sure to have it packed.

    -Bring a buddy. There is safety in numbers, so use this as the perfect time to reconnect with an old friend.

    -Use your equipment responsibly- Check behind you before casting to ensure a nothing is behind you. Remember, you are fishing for fish, not trees or other fisherman.  Leave your tackle box in an area where you or someone else is unlikely to trip on it.

    -Pack a first aid kit. Make sure to have a kit stocked with band-aids, gauze, medical tape, and other survival items.

    So where can you reel in a prize fish in the Sarasota area? Check out this website for the locations of local saltwater piers, tips on how to prepare what you catch, and even seafood restaurants in case you just can’t wait until you get home and grill your own.

    Fishing isn’t a dangerous sport, especially if you follow these safety tips. So cast your line and enjoy your time fishing.

    “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” – Doug Larson