1. FALL in love.

    It’s time to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall. Time to welcome cooler weather, sweaters and pumpkin flavored everything. Living in Florida, we often don’t get the atmospheric changes of fall such as the leaves changing colors or cool autumn breezes. Despite our constant greenery, Floridians can get in the fall spirit too!

    Decorating the home to match the season is a quick and easy way to celebrate.

    1. Add a touch of autumn to your home décor with Autumnal colors, wicker pieces and accent pieces from nature such as gourds, pumpkins, branches or dried leaves.

    2. Instead of carving pumpkins this fall, try a unique approach of painting your pumpkin. You can create endless designs using acrylic paint and painter’s tape. Try designs such as a two-tone, dipped look or popular chevron stripes. Take a look at these,“12 Painted Pumpkin Ideas” to gather inspiration.  Set a bewitching scene inside or out with jack-o’-lanterns in whimsical, easy-to-paint designs this fall.

    3. Spice up any door with an autumn themed wreath. This splash of fall color brings warmth and life to any front door.

    4. Fill your home the delicious smells of fall with pumpkin, spiced apple or cinnamon. These signature autumn scents are sure to bring the feeling of fall in your home.

    5. Another great way to bring the scents of fall into your home is to do a little fall baking. Not only will your house smell amazing but indulging yourself with a warm pumpkin treat will surely put you in the mood for the season.

    Check out this easy recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS

    Author: Erin Alderson

    Recipe type: Breakfast

    Prep time:  2 hours 30 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time:  3 hours

     

    Serves: 12

    • ¾ cup milk
    • 2½ teaspoon yeast
    • ⅓ cup natural sugar
    • 1 cup pumpkin
    • ⅓ cup melted butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 whole eggs
    • 4- 4½ cup Unbleached all purpose flour
    • divider filling
    • ¼ cup butter
    • ⅔ cup sucanat
    • ¼ cup natural sugar
    • 2 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • divider Pumpkin Glaze
    • 1 cup pumpkin
    • ¼ cup natural sugar
    • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
    • ¼-1/2 cup milk
    • Heat milk (either in a sauce pan or microwave) until milk begins to simmer- add butter. Let cool until a warm temperature (about 120˚)
    • In a stand mixer bowl, at milk mixture, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for five minutes. Add 3 cups of flour, salt, pumpkin, eggs and start mixer with dough hook. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time continuing until the dough pulls together. Continue kneading the dough until smooth and elastic- at least eight minutes.
    • Either in the mixer bowl or a separate bowl, lightly spray the dough with cooking oil and place in a warm, draft free spot until dough has doubled in size (around an hour and a half.)
    • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a 10 by 14 rectangle. Rub butter over entire surface and cover with sucanat mixture. Roll the dough into a log, squeeze slightly and adjust to form. Cut into 12 pieces (cut in half, the cut each half into half then each piece is cut into three pieces.) Place in a sprayed 9 X 13 pan.
    • Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. (Or if you want to continue on, cover and let rise for another hour and follow with remaining instructions.)
    • The next morning, preheat the oven to 350˚ and remove cinnamon rolls from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for a half hour.
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes until cinnamon rolls are a nice golden brown color. Let cool slightly.
    • While cinnamon rolls cool slightly, combine icing ingredients and while cinnamon rolls are still warm spoon icing over the rolls.

    Enjoy while warm (as if there is such a thing as cold cinnamon rolls-usually they are gone before they even have the chance to cool down!)

    For more tips, tricks and recipes for the fall season visit our Pinterest Page and follow our boards.

     

    http://www.pinterest.com/nealcommunities/holidays/


  2. Getting Pre-Approved for Your Next Home

    It is a lot of fun to daydream about purchasing a new home. Are you one of the people who can spend hours on Pinterest daydreaming about the features, details, and quirks of what your dream home would look like? You aren’t alone.

    Purchasing a home is an exciting adventure, and most likely the largest purchase you will ever make.  There are many thing to consider when purchasing a home, starting with making the decision to become pre-approved.

    What does this mean? A pre-approval is a commitment in writing from a lender that a borrower would qualify for a particular loan amount based on credit information and income. Typically, these letters are good for 60-90 days.

    Why should you consider being pre-approved? Where to begin because there are many reasons to consider this! Most importantly, being pre approved gives you an idea of how much you can afford. Once you have this budget, you will have a better picture of the price range you should be looking in. Another reason is to ‘cut the line’ if you will in competitive markets. If you find a home you love and want to make an offer on, having a pre-approved letter will help you be taken more seriously. Not to mention, bank-owned homes usually require the letter before they will even accept an offer.

    How do I get pre-approved? If you’re sold on the idea of being pre-approved,  you will need to know the next steps. Your first step will be to contact a lender and wait until you are approved and they send all necessary paperwork.

    • Your W2 from the past two years
    • Your paystubs for the past three months
    • Your tax returns from the past two years
    • Your checking or savings bank statements for the past three months (this will likely have your down payment funds in them as well)
    • Your statements for all your other assets (stocks, bonds, retirement accounts) for the last two months
    • The name and phone number of your landlord (if you are renting) or your current mortgage documents
    • Your divorcee decree, if applicable
    • If you are self-employed: Your business tax returns for the past two years in addition to your year-to-date profit and loss statement and year-to-date balance sheet

    If you are not able to get pre approved, do not fear. Ask your lender for tips on what will raise your credit score and improve your chances on qualifying for a loan.

    Check out this video for more tips and advice on the process.


    As you begin your search for the perfect home, we invite you to visit a Neal Community. We have a feeling you will love what you see.


  3. Say Goodbye Stress this September

    Life can be completely overwhelming. Balancing work, personal, financial and family priorities can be tough! For those with kids, fall schedules can be packed with soccer practices,

    cross country meets, football games, school functions, and other activities that stretch you too thin.

    It is important to find time to do activities that help you cope and overcome stress.  Here are a few tips to manage anxiety and help lower your stress levels.

    Physical Activities- According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension. Elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.  Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years. As a Neal Communities resident, many of our communities offer amenities to make exercise easy!

    River’s Reach offers sand volleyball courts, a fitness center, canoe and kayak livery, and more.

    Boca Royale offers residents amenities such as an 18-hole golf course, tennis facilities, and more!

    Grand Palm offers residents fitness classes such as Zumba, Water Aerobics, and Yoga.  View the schedule to find when classes are held!

    Nutrition- The American Psychological Association suggests that 50% of men and women use food as a major coping mechanism for dealing with stress. The reason for this is because fatty and sugary foods in these times is because they release serotonin. Serotonin is the body’s “feel-good” chemical. To avoid gaining weight in stressful times, follow these tips:

    • Portion out the foods you eat so you are aware of how much you are eating.
    • Eat healthy snacks versus fatty or fried foods.
    • Think about what you are eating. If you feel pressed for time, try some of these 30 minute healthy dinners!


    Have some fun! Try a new activity to keep busy and meet new people. Many of our communities offer amenities to help you do this. Consider cooking out, lounging by the pool to soak in some Vitamin D, go for a long walk on one of the nature trails, check out nearby shopping, or consider attending some of the events thrown within your community!

    Life can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these simple tips to relive some stress. Exhale tension. Inhale serenity.


  4. Kickoff Football Season with Recipes That Will Score Big

    Fall. There are so many things about this time of the year to be excited for. Cooler weather, pumpkin coffee, and the return of football just to name a few.

    Do you have people over for the games or hangout with friends? While arguments can arise on who will win, if the penalty was fair, or whom the referees seem to be favoring, one thing is for sure; the recipes we are about to share will be a hit. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

    Bored of the simple and overused chips and salsa? Add some flavor by subbing guacamole.  Avocado is delicious and healthy so you can enjoy this snack guilt free. This recipe, from Jeanette’s Healthy Living is a winner!

     

     

    Guacamole

    Ingredients

    2 large avocados

    1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne, depending on how spicy you like it

    1/2 medium red onion, finely diced

    1 large tomato, seeded and diced

    1 tablespoon cilantro, minced

    1 garlic clove, minced

    Directions

    .     Cut avocados in half. Stick a knife in the seed and give it a twist to loosen seed. Pull out the seed using the knife. Use a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh. Place avocado and lime juice in a mortar and pestle and mash until smooth.

    .     Add salt, cumin and cayenne and mash until well combined with avocado.

    .     Add onions and mix to combine.

    .     Add tomatoes, cilantro and garlic, and mix well.

    .     Serve with tortilla chips.

     

    If you are craving something a little more filling,  consider making these effortless meatballs, which only require three ingredients, to rally the teams!

    Meatballs

    Ingredients

    1 bottle chili sauce

    1 (14oz) can jellied cranberry sauce

    2 pound bag frozen meatballs

    Directions

    Are you ready for this? It doesn’t get any easier! Dump all of the ingredients into a crockpot and heat until the meatballs are warm.

    Saving the best for last, let us not forget dessert.  Check out these beautiful chocolate covered strawberries decorated to look like footballs! If you are brave enough to make these, make sure to refrigerate the chocolate dipped strawberries until the chocolate is hard enough to decorate with white frosting. 

    Whether you decide to cheer on the hometown team this season, the team with the cutest quarterback, or the team you’ve been following since you were born, offer these delicious football snacks to win over fans and score big!