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All Aboard the Train from Poinciana Station

Our friends, neighbors and clients have been raving about the new train station in Poinciana. This train station is right up the road with lots of parking for everyone. A welcome addition to our community, as we can now “get out of Dodge” for the day without the hassle of a long drive. My mom and her friend Marilyn took the train to Sanford. The ladies enjoyed a nice, inexpensive ride to Sanford. Upon arrival they hopped on the free downtown trolley, kindly provided by the City of Sanford, between the Amtrak Auto Train and the Sanford SunRail Station.

The town of Sanford has a thriving art community, shops, brew pubs, restaurants, a beautiful lake and is a nice spot to spend an afternoon. Sanford is the perfect stop for a Delicious Lunch and Mom and Marilyn could not resist stopping for lunch at Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café. Upon their return from Sanford the reviews were glowing, they shared an outdoor table and a delicious meal of schnitzel, warm German potato salad and wurst.

When we lived up north one of our favorite restaurants was the Mountain Brauhaus in Gardiner, New York, near New Paltz at the base of the Shawangunk Mountains. It was a beautiful drive through farmland and mountains to an authentic German dinner in a quiet, country location. Mom said that lunch at the Willow Tree Cafe brought back many fond memories of shared family dinners in Upstate NY. Lee and I have now put the Café on our radar, and we are looking forward to sharing a delicious German dinner soon. I will keep you posted.

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Dinner and a Show at Disney Springs!

Recently we enjoyed an evening in Ireland, at Disney Springs. No planes, passports, or lines involved. We were in Disney Springs on a Sunday afternoon enjoying the nice weather when we decided to have a bite to eat. Expecting nothing more than a good glass of Guinness, and an order of fish and chips, we walked into the Ragland Road Irish Pub. Before we even had the chance to open our menus the music started. The entire pub sang, laughed, clapped and enjoyed the Irish Fiddle and Celtic Harp, traditional music of Ireland, plus a step dancing performance, complete with costumes. Sometimes the best things in life are the unexpected and unplanned. Disney Springs is about a 30-minute drive from Solivita and a nice way to spend an afternoon or evening.

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Gardening in Solivita

We have some great big planter boxes on our lanai and happily we just put in a crop of Early Sprouting Broccoli, Marion Market Cabbage and Leaf Lettuce. This weather is perfect for growing vegetables, and when growing them in a controlled environment, such as your lanai, the work involved is all pleasure. A small amount of weeding, a daily sprinkle of water and before we know it we are harvesting the fruits of our labor. Lee also is growing pineapples in the lanai. I must say they do not grow large, but they sure are sweet.

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Holidays in Florida

Happy Holidays to all of our neighbors, clients, friends, and family. Another year is coming to an end and we are happy to celebrate the holidays in sunny Central Florida. We plan on having a fun Christmas Eve shared with family and friends and a beautiful, quiet Christmas Day. Not traditional, but lovely – I am folding up my apron and letting Santa Claus take us out for dinner on Christmas Day. A holiday without dishes, what more can a working girl ask for? Well, I know we can ask for more, but why? We are lucky to live in the award-winning community of Solivita, surrounded by the beauty of nature, and every day are thankful not to be shoveling snow, chopping ice, or defrosting car doors just to get to work. We so enjoy the Florida lifestyle and suggest, if you are considering a move, you give it a try too! With so much entertainment in Central Florida, life is certainly nicer in the warmth, safety, and beauty of Solivita and Central Florida.

Lee and I hope that each of you enjoy every moment of the holidays. We wish you a happy and healthy New Year and hope the beauty and wonder of the season brings joy, health and peace to you and yours.

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Our Guardian ad Litem – One Plus One Equals Happiness!

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. We are proud to say our 2018 One Plus One Giving Program for Foster Children was a Huge Success. This year 4 carloads of gifts and gift cards were donated for the Children in the GAL Program of Osceola County. Our Holiday Sleigh (AKA Cars with Wheels), successfully delivered piles of gifts to the GAL Offices in Kissimmee where they were graciously unpacked and will be distributed to the children during the 2018 holiday season.

December is a busy month with parties, special dinners, celebrations, galas, house guests, and New Year’s Eve Celebrations. We are looking forward to a wonderful holiday season filled with good will, fun and peace. I am keeping our decorations minimal this year thereby allowing time for more fun with less fuss.

Sales in Solivita are heating up now that our weather is cooling down. This is the perfect time to list your home as the snowbirds are in; if you are thinking about selling your home; this is the time of year to put your home on the market. Call us and we will be happy to do a market appraisal on your residence and sell your home!

Of course, if you are interested in buying a home in Central Florida, Bella Verde Realty is the Brokerage for you. We sell homes all over Central Florida and we are happy to show you a home that matches your desires in your price range.

Retirement dreams only come true when you make them happen. Call Bella Verde Realty today, and together we will make your retirement dreams happen.

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Snowbird Season

It is snowbird season and the weather is cooling down but the housing market in Solivita is heating up. Everyone seems to be looking to move to their own spot in the sun. Bella Verde Realty is always happy to help you find your special place in the sun. Call anyone of our Realtors, ask advice on selling your home, or for advice in locating your perfect home in Central Florida. Bella Verde lists and sells homes throughout Central Florida and we specialize in the communities of Solivita, Bellalago, Vitalia at Port St. Lucie, Traditions, Celebration and Reunion.
There is always something to do in Central Florida, but during the holidays our calendars fill up quickly. This year in early December we plan to kick off the season with “A Christmas Wonderland Spectacular” Show, and in late December we have tickets to see “Miracle on 34th Street”. Between the dancing, the music, the stories of wonder, and the beautiful Florida weather, we are planning to have another amazing holiday filled with the magic of the season.

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Decorating Fun for the Holidays Florida Style

Do you have rosemary growing in your garden? Rosemary is growing like a weed in my garden. Lee and I love rosemary in chicken, pork, and in roasted potatoes, but how much rosemary can one cook use? If you have too many branches to cook with, then decorate with rosemary. Build a wreath to surround candles on your table or sideboard. Layer rosemary with flowers in a vase, weave rosemary into your table decorations, place rosemary in a sachet to add a touch of piney fragrance to your living space; but most of all, enjoy the season and the bounty of the garden. This year I decorated my server with a combination of citrus leaves, oranges and limes, and rosemary sprigs. So far, I have enjoyed my display and the fragrance wafting through our home. Fragrant, beautiful, and inexpensive; I picked my decorations in my Solivita Central Florida Lanai Garden.
I am planning to use the same type of display when decorating for Christmas with the addition of a few pinecones and some glass balls for sparkle; I am going to add green and silver to my Christmas Design this year. Be creative, you can also add some of the new battery-operated strands of lights to your display. Decorating can be fun and inspiring when we let our creative side guide us.
I also stud oranges with cloves during the holidays. This is a unique way to enjoy the fragrance and beauty of fresh Florida citrus. In the medieval period, a pomander was carried as protection against infection in times of pestilence. Today, just pick a few oranges up at the roadside stand or a few from your tree, stud them with cloves, and place them in a lovely bowl. This makes a fragrant decoration and lends a touch of history to your home. A nice way to bring tradition into your celebration.
We have company coming in for the holidays. Lee’s brother will be here, and it looks like Mom’s brother Joe may be here too. With company in the house, we are planning an easy holiday. A nice dinner, some laughs, and some shared memories. What more could we ask for then to share a holiday with our loved ones.

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17th Annual Fall Festival in Solivita

Every year this festival gets better, bigger, and is more fun, and this year was no exception. The Solivita team assembled a great group of folks, musicians, food and drink vendors, photographers, artists, painters, designers, and even had a Kidz Zone. Fun for the whole family. A really nice day to wander around in the sunshine, shop, and visit with neighbors. We enjoyed a great day at the festival. Purchased a few items and shared a glass of wine, a few laughs, and lunch with neighbors.

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Lee and Lorraine’s Thanksgiving Crostini

Lee and I love a good turkey dinner. We always make a few of our family favorites, Mom’s Italian Sausage Stuffing, Lee’s Favorite Wild Rice with Dried Fruit and Nuts, and from my grandmother’s recipe box; Mrs. Bailey’s Chicken Soup. Over the years we have added many new favorites to our family table. This year we are keeping it simple and starting dinner with a crostini topped with goat cheese, prosciutto, and fig jam. Easy and delicious.
1 fresh baguette
1/8 cup olive oil
Sea salt
4 oz. Goat Cheese Plain at room temperature
6 TBSP Fig Jam
3 slices prosciutto, each cut in half
6 fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
Slice 6 one half inch pieces from the baguette on the diagonal. Place on a baking sheet and brush generously with olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt on each slice. Bake about 10 minutes, or until crisp but not too golden. Cool bread. Spread some goat cheese on each crostini. Spread about 1 TBSP of fig jam on top of goat cheese. Fold a half slice of prosciutto and place on top of each crostini. Lay a fresh basil leaf on each and serve.

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The One Plus One Giving Program for Foster Children

I am proud to say that even before the Christmas tree was decorated this year, gift donations began to roll in. The One Plus One Giving Program for Foster Children is in full swing. We are always happy to visit with you and accept all gifts you would like to share with these wonderful children. Please stop by our office to deliver your unwrapped gifts to the Christmas tree. The children served by the One Plus One Giving Program are ages birth to 18.
What does One Plus One Mean?
For every gift donated, Bella Verde Realty donates a gift. You give one and we give one.