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Simple Changes to your Solivita Home

Looking to change-up the style of your home. Small changes can make a big impact. Add a new statement rug to your dining room, living room or den. Neutral rugs are great, but how about a statement rug that can function as artwork for your floor. Buy a rug in colors that work in your room and create a warm welcoming space.   

If a statement rug seems too bold, how about statement lighting.  A new Table Lamp with lots of style, saturated color, or an interesting finish.  I have been seeing lamps with pleated linen shades, ceramic shades and shades in bold colors.  Friends just added two Art Deco Lamps with beautiful art glass backgrounds to their living room and in the evening when lit they add a lovely glow to their space.    

Add some color to your neutral furniture with the addition of throw pillows, today’s trend is to use sets of threes, two pillows on one side of the couch plus one on the other. The addition of a bit of color and pattern can add a sense of style, a touch of whimsy and interest to your otherwise neutral furniture.  

No need for new furniture, a few simple changes can really change the look of a tired room and pep up you and your space for the upcoming fall weather.  Fall – The weather we wait for.  Enjoy the rest of the summer.

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Grand Children Activities

Summer is the time when Solivita’s Grandparents have time to share with their children and grandchildren.  We have lots of pools in Solivita for the kids to enjoy but we also have tons of

activities outside our gates.  Disney and Universal Parks are always fun and amazing, but are quite costly, especially if you have a large family.  Don’t despair you don’t break the bank, you can entertain the family without spending a fortune in the big parks.  

Of course, what you do with the kids depends on their ages, we enjoyed many nice afternoons at Island H2O Waterpark.  It is close, fun, clean and a wonderful way to spend one day or a few days.  There are enough activities to keep the children happily entertained and the adults cool and happy in the summer heat.   

If you have little ones, then a day in Legoland is a great way to enjoy some fun times.  Florida residents get a discount and will enjoy a nice day.  

If a water park is not your idea of fun, visit the roller rink, the bowling alley, the skating rink, or the trampoline park, see a movie and take the kids for an ice cream, all great activities for the kids. 

All these activities are close by and a great way to enjoy a family adventure.  Happy Summer.

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Solivita Activities

Our Activity Team has been quite busy planning fun gatherings, Wine Parties, Ladies Nights, Concerts, Chef Cooking Classes, Pub Crawls, Pool Parties, and in September we see that the beautiful event JAZZ in the Garden is in the plans.   It is hard to keep up with the creative team heading the activities and now it is easy to get tickets for events.  No need to rise at dawn, get on line, and wait for tickets, like we did for Dead Concerts, now go to home page and purchase tickets for your events as they go on sale.

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Recipe: Watermelon & Strawberry Margaritas for 4, 2, or one big drink for someone with a powerful thirst.

Watermelon & Strawberry Margaritas for 4, 2, or one big drink for someone with a powerful thirst.

  • 3 cups packed frozen chopped seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup packed frozen quartered unsweetened strawberries
  • 7 TBSP Tequila
  • 7 TBSP Triple Sec
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 TBSP Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 4 Small thin watermelon wedges

Puree first 7 ingredients in blender until smooth. Pour into chilled Margarita Glasses. Garnish with watermelon wedges.

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Road Trippin with the Bella Verde Team to the Hardrock in Tampa

We celebrated Mom’s 90th Birthday this month with a weekend at the Hardrock in Tampa.  We are still working so you can tell we had no big wins, but we had lots of fun and made some nice memories together.  We were pleasantly surprised at how lovely the Hardrock is.  It had been quite a few years since we were there, it surely has come a long way.  Our rooms were beautiful, large, modern and had nice amenities.  One of our rooms was our party room with lots of space for hosting in-room cocktails and parties for groups of 8 or so.  We joked, enjoyed some good wine, and ate well.  We had reservations in Council Oak Steak and Seafood our first night and on our second night we enjoyed dinner at Cipresso, the Hardrock’s Italian Restaurant.  Both had great service, delicious food, good vibes, and nice offerings from the bar.   Although both restaurants were delightful, our favorite was the steak house.  The steaks were Prime wet-aged, tender, and flavorful, plus served at the perfect temperature.  Two of our group had seafood and enjoyed every savory bite. We skipped dessert, but shared cappuccino and a port to end our evening.  Our only negative, the lack of entertainment in the lounges.  We had expected to hear live music nightly in the cocktail lounges, but if bands were playing, we did not hear them.  What we did enjoy was the artifacts the hotel assembled from rock musicians. Elvis Presley’s 24K Gold Leaf Kimball Grand Piano from Graceland is showcased, as well as one of his guitars, a Scarf Jimi Hendrix wore in concert in the late 60’s, Keith Richard’s Rhinestone Yellow Jacket, Cher’s Knit Poncho, and Stevie Nicks White Corset Dress were among our favorites.  Amazing how such giant stars with amazing talent wear such small sizes.  It is an easy drive over, about 80 minutes and worth the trip for a day off the ranch.    A sweet ending to Mom’s Birthday was a dinner and a surprise visit from our Aunt Laurie.  Thank you Everyone for your cards, wishes, calls, flowers, gifts, visits, and the love you share with us every day.  Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!!!

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Sales In Solivita

It is a Summer slowdown in Real Estate, the summer slowdown is compounded by high interest rates and Very Hot Weather.  Homes are selling but they are remaining on the market for an average of 150 plus days.  Remember, Interest rates do not only affect the seller’s ability in Solivita to sell a home to a client but affect the buyer’s ability to sell their primary residence.  It is a domino effect.  My recommendation is to be patient, homes are selling, they are just taking a bit longer to move off the market.  We were all a bit spoiled by the crazy market of a 18 months ago when inventory was tight, and homes were selling in days.  These are the days for sellers to enjoy every Solivita Amenity, go to the pool, the gym, play golf, pickleball, visit with friends, enjoy the activities, and soon enough the perfect buyer will be at your doorstep with an offer.

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Sales in Solivita

Sales are steady, although existing home sale prices edged a bit lower year over year in May.  This is a promising sign for home shoppers, and experts do not expect nationwide price declines anytime soon.  In May, although prices elevated in the North and Midwest, prices did fall slightly in the South and West.  The Good news for Solivita homeowners and buyers, is housing prices in Solivita have remained steady.  

Thanks to an uptick in mortgage rates and elevated home pricing mixed with the housing affordability crisis, bank sector volatility, inflation, and the debt ceiling drama there is a strain on the housing market.  Homes remain on the market for more days than most seller’s desire but are selling, even with interest rates sticking between 6% and 7%.  Housing supply is holding steady despite the explosion of new homes being built, therefore the market is being sustained by low supply and a high pent-up demand.  

Single family home construction starts rose for the 3rd consecutive month indicating builder confidence is steady.  A good sign.  New home construction is taking on an increased role in the marketplace because many homeowners with loans well below current mortgage rates are electing to stay put, keeping the supply of existing homes for sale at a low level.  Best news, if you do not need a mortgage, now is still a great time to buy.

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Crooked Bass Grill and Tavern

Local, Fresh and Tasty.  The Crooked Bass may be new to the Bella Verde Team but it is certainly not new to Babson Park, Florida.  The Restaurant was established early in 2016 and is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for Tim and Tammy Bracewell, residents of Babson Park.  Tim loves to cook, and Tammy loves to entertain.  Combine both these qualities with tons of experience in the hospitality biz, and the Crooked Bass was born.

Far from fancy, in fact had we not had the recommendation of a trusted friend, we would never have stopped our car here.  No reason to dress up, put on a pair of jeans or shorts and a tee shirt, grab your car keys and head to Route 27 South.  Babson Park is about 40 minutes away, an easy drive.  Although we live in Florida, finding fresh fish can sometimes be a challenge, but not at the Crooked Bass.  They run daily specials, and have a nice menu that includes a large selection of burgers, salads, fish, beef, pork and chicken.  Insider tip if you ask for the pizza menu you can order a pizza too.  We were a group of six, and each of us had something different to eat, including the pizza.  Every dish was good, the salads were fresh and crisp, and the blue cheese dressing was homemade.  The fish was perfectly prepared, and the ribeye came to the table at the perfect temperature.  No one in our group had dessert, but we did order coffee and our waitress brewed a fresh pot for us and that made a perfect ending to a good meal.  Crooked Bass has a full bar and lots of beer on tap.  Looking for a new place to dine, a great place for lunch or dinner, this restaurant is Worth the drive and worth the try.

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Banana Ice Cream

This recipe is perfect for a Hot Summer Day.  To serve top the ice cream with toasted coconut or toasted Almonds.  

4 Ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

1 14 oz can sweet condensed milk

¾ cup whipping cream

Combine bananas and condensed milk in large bowl. Whisk in cream. Pour banana mixture into 8 x 8 x 2 inch glass baking dish.  Cover and freeze until softly set, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat ice cream just until fluffy.  Return to same glass dish.  Cover and freeze until firm, about 6 hours.  Can be made up to 3 days in advance.  Keep frozen.

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Road Trippin with the Bella Verde Team

One of our Bella Verde Team members just recently returned from the Big Apple on a Quick Weekend Broadway Show Tour.  Great Adventure, 3 days, 2 Broadway Shows and lots of good food.   New York, New York and Some Like It Hot were the show picks for the weekend.  They returned with glowing reviews of their first NY Theatre Experience.   New York, New York, “an amazing musical playing at the St. James Theatre”. This Recently opened musical has already earned nine Tony Nominations.  The show is loosely based on the 1977 Martin Scorsese movie.  The year is 1946, the war is over, and NY is beginning to rebuild. Steel beams are swinging overhead, and a group of NY artists have dreams as big and diverse as the city itself.  But do these singers, dancers, musicians, and makers have what it takes to survive this place, let alone succeed? If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere, and make it they do.

Seems our team members thought the theatre, originally built in 1927, was as dazzling as the show itself.  They returned from Sitting in front row seats and said they felt the rich history of performers who danced and sang their way across the stage, Ginger Rogers, Tony Danza, Pearl Bailey, Glen Close, Imogene Coco and Madeline Kahn just to name a few.   

Some Like It Hot also had a stellar realtor review, but when comparing both shows, our realtors felt that New York, New York stole their hearts.  However, Some Like It Hot is playing at the Famed Shubert Theatre and that theatre won the award for amazing.  This beautiful old theatre has amazing interiors with plaster frescoes and according to our realtors “enjoying a show at the Shubert was like sitting in a cathedral and delivered all the glitter of Broadway.”    

It was interesting to hear these reviews.  Lee and I grew up in NY and spent lots of time in the theatre district.  These reviews are making us think it may be time for us to take another bite out of the big apple and revisit the charms of Broadway.