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Summer Pasta Salad For Six

  • 1 – Box Large Pasta Shells
  • 1 Cup Feta Cheese Crumbled
  • 1 Pt. Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Pt. Red Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 3 English Cucumbers diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Mint Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley Chopped
  • 1 Rib Celery Chopped, if you have fresh Celery Leaves you can chop them in too
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped Black Olives
  • 2 Cups Low Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Clove Garlic Minced
  • The Zest of One Lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil to toss with the pasta after draining
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Cook Pasta according to package directions, drain and place on a sheet tray and toss with olive oil to cool


Once pasta is cooled place in a large bowl and fold in the rest of the ingredients.

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Planning a Summer Escape is not easy when you live life surrounded by beauty in Solivita

A Summer Escape for the Day, the Weekend, or a few weeks, any of these choices or all are fun. Below are a few suggestions for a Fun Florida Adventure.

A Day in Deland

Visit the Museum of Art and/or take a walk through Historic DeLand and enjoy a collection of more than a dozen sculpture installations. Two of the pieces you will enjoy are the Continuation and Jeugo, they are located prominently near City Hall and in front of the Bank of America Building at 230 North Woodland Ave. Both the Sculpture Walk and Public Art is a collaboration between the museum and the city of DeLand. The artwork changes annually and features a variety of styles and media including concrete, aluminum, stainless steel, PVC, bronze, and cooper. Enjoy the Public Art in the Utility Box Art Wrap Program which features vinyl wrap installed onto the utility boxes.

After taking an art walk or enjoying the Permanent Collection and exhibits at the museum enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in town.

A Weekend Trip to Wakulla Springs

Truly a weekend away from it all, casual, comfortable, and fun. Wakulla Springs is about a 5-hour drive north, near Tallahassee, but away from the typical tourist crowds. The area is beautiful with over 6,000 acres of pristine forest. The Wakulla Springs Lodge is known as the “Castle of North Florida” and was built in 1937 by Edward Ball, an industrialist. You can stay in one of the twenty-seven guest rooms at the lodge, or you can stay in the area and enjoy the nature, history and the comfort surrounding Wakulla Springs State Park.

Wakulla Springs is largest, deepest freshwater spring in the world. In 1937 Ball purchased 4,000 acres surrounding Wakulla Springs and built the Lodge as a guest house. He imported marble and tile and hired craftsmen and artisans who built everything on site. The lodge has 27 unique guestrooms, each with a voluminous marble bathroom, walk in closet and period furnishings.

After taking a walk, hike, or a boat tour in Wakulla Springs State Park be sure to stop at the Soda Fountain. The fountain is an old Marble Soda Fountain known as the “longest marble soda fountain ever built.” The marble soda fountain is 70 feet plus 6 inches long and serves Root Beer Floats, Cherry Phosphates, Ginger Yips, and Sundaes. Soda Jerks man the counter and serve guests 7 days a week with ice cream treats, hot dogs, chili, sandwiches, and chips. A flash back to the fountain service you may have enjoyed “back in the day.” When I was a child, My Aunts and Uncles had a Soda Fountain in Little Ferry NJ and this fountain brought back many happy memories of sitting at the counter, legs dangling from the stools that spun around sipping Chocolate Egg Crème Sodas.

Enjoy a walk in Fort Sam Marcos de Apalache State Park, you can take a self-guided interpretive trail that will walk you through the historic ruins or book a ranger guided interpretive tour a few weeks in advance of your visit. The rangers will make every effort to accommodate your request. When Lee and I were last in town, we stopped at one of the local markets, picked up a picnic lunch and enjoyed a quiet afternoon in the parks’ picnic area. Head over to Tucker’s Point for a scenic view at the water’s edge where the St. Marks River joins the Wakulla River and flows out into Apalache Bay.

The park’s museum displays pottery and tools that were unearthed near the fort. Stop and stay to view the short video recounting the days the Spanish, English, American and Confederate forces occupied the site. The video is informative and will tie all the periods of the fort’s history together for you.

There are lots of small towns in the area to stop and enjoy that “away from it all” feeling. Enjoy a Stay in a B & B, a Motel, the Lodge, or a hotel, but take time to enjoy the quiet beauty that surrounds you.

Extend your Weekend Trip and take a detour on your way home

If the Wakulla Springs Trip sounds like your “cup of tea” then why not make this weekend destination into a road trip and extend your stay a few more days. Simply continue your road trip to Cedar Key, it is on your way home to Poinciana, travel south and head to the Gulf Coast to enjoy Florida, the way it was before Disney Moved into town. If you love Florida fresh seafood, you have arrived in paradise. Book a fishing charter, take a walk along the hidden Gulf Coast, and enjoy the sweet, salty air. Tourists, like the condominiums outnumber the fishermen these days, but the tourists are laidback as the beaches are not the main draw. Instead, these beaches are quiet little strips of sand hidden away from lots of beach goers. Grab a book, blanket, a chair, a hat for sunshade, and find the perfect spot to spend the day.

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New Address, New Key

In an amazingly brief time, smart home technology has made the transition from a novelty to real world integrated features that homeowners rely upon. Lee and I installed a Ring Doorbell at our new address and my sister installed a Keyless Home Entry System at her home. No need to carry a key anymore, we now open our homes with a verbal command, a touch of a button, or with our cell phones, even when we are not anywhere near our homes. These systems are dependable, attractive, and easy to use. We are all happy with our new keyless systems, but in addition, we have keypads on our garage, plus garage door openers in our cars, so the days of our being locked out are over and we no longer need to hide a key under a rock or our door mat.

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Moving In and Moving Out. Who do you Notify?

It is always fun to move to a new address and begin a new adventure, but to be honest the moving part is not so much fun. Between deciding what to pack and, more importantly what not to pack, to interviewing movers, to obtaining moving estimates, the task seems daunting.

Lately we have had many sellers decide to sell their homes furnished, or to sell most of their furniture prior to listing their home. It is a good idea to lighten the load, moving costs have become quite expensive, and it is fun to start over with some new items. Our tastes change, styles change, and our needs change, at this stage, who needs place settings for twenty. As a realtor I recommend that when you decide to list your home you take a good hard look at what you really want to move to your new address, what to donate, and what to sell. In Solivita it is easy to purchase items from folks in our community but, if it is new furniture you seek, furniture stores are all over the world and that includes Florida. Of course, antiques, artwork and cherished items should move with you to your new address. If you are moving a Piano, a hot tub, refrigerator, or any other heavy items, please get a price to move the item before making a final decision. I have found through my own home moves and our many client moves, that sometimes it costs more to move an item than it is worth.

Knowing whom to notify when you move is essential to making a smooth transition. I have made a checklist to help reduce the stress and worry that will accompany any move.

  • The Post Office
  • Your Employer
  • Utilities
  • Financial Institutions
  • The DMV
  • Insurance Providers
  • IRS –
  • Cellphone provider
  • Social Security Administration
  • Voter registration – In Florida when you register your car at the DMV you can register to vote too.
  • Health Care Providers
  • TSA Precheck/Global Entry
  • Subscriptions
  • Family and Friends

You can make the move less stressful by planning in advance, hiring a qualified team of moving professionals and “rolling with the punches” just in case the move is not as smooth as you planned. However, the move goes, once you arrive at your new home in Florida rest assured your new home will be ready to welcome you. The fun begins the minute you open the door and start getting settled in. The pools are perfect, the weather is sunny, the grass is green, and the skies of Central Florida are blue. There is always time to unpack the boxes, but first take a walk around your new neighborhood and embrace the start of your new adventure.

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Maintaining Your Solivita Home

Home Maintenance in Solivita. Our HOA requires that every 7 years our Home’s Exterior must be repainted. This rule certainly keeps the homes in Solivita looking good, but not every homeowner is excited about the work or the expense of a repaint. With that frame of mind, my sister, Linda, and brother in-law reluctantly went to the Office in Solivita to look through paint colors and to their surprise, loved what they saw. They both came away from the paint sample books excited about the new paint selections and a fresh look for their home. In fact, the new colors sparked their interest in not only changing the paint colors but their entrance too. Eager to make changes, they went shopping and had a blast redecorating. They had their front patio redone, planted a new garden, installed new outdoor lighting, purchased new outdoor art, a fountain and new furniture. Change of heart, they now sing the praises of a redo every 7 years. Linda said “It forced us to look at our space with fresh eyes. We had fun redesigning the front of our home and we love the way the project turned out.” Their home looks fresh, and they are thrilled with their new look. This week I overheard Linda telling a client, who too was reluctant to paint their home, about her positive experience and it inspired me to draft this article. So, if you receive the dreaded time to paint your home letter, do not dread the task, but embrace the project and bring joy to your life with a fresh new look for your home.