Let this be your guide for cooking, entertaining, gardening and landscaping, health and fitness and design trends for Florida living. Here you’ll get great insight from chefs and hostesses, recreational leaders, golf pros, tennis pros and other professionals who know everything there is to know about living the Florida Lifestyle!

New Home? Don’t Make These Landscaping Mistakes

If you’re a new homeowner, you may or may not know your way around a lawnmower or sprinkler system. You also may not want to. But if you do, and you’re willing to admit you’re “green” about how to tackle lawn and gardening chores, don’t begin spraying, cutting and trimming without following a few basic guidelines. Here’s our common-sense tips to avoid big landscaping mistakes at your new home.
Read the directions!
Never eradicated dandelions? Crabgrass? It’s tempting to blast away all repugnant greenery with that gallon sprayer of weed killer, but you could kill your new sod while you’re at […]

Update Your Interiors With These Thrifty Tactics

If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you probably have a few interior-design tweaks you’d like to make. Maybe the closet off the garage isn’t large enough for jackets, backpacks AND athletic gear. Maybe you’re done scrubbing those white kitchen cabinets you thought would be simple to clean. We all run across design elements we liked when we moved in, but ultimately don’t fit our household. Changing them, however, doesn’t have to be expensive and time-consuming. Think quick and cheap! Read on for some thrifty tactics to update your interiors.
Paint ideas
For the cost of one gallon of […]

Must Have Garden Tools This Season

If you’re a resident Florida gardener or hope to become one, you already know a major perk of Florida living is year-round gardening. The Sunshine State’s sunshine, coupled with sup-tropical and tropical climates, means the growing season literally never ends. Gardening fever is especially catching in spring, however. To get you ready, here’s a selection of this season’s must-have garden tools.
For Digging in the Dirt
Unless you work sizable acreage and need a tractor and tiller, handheld tools will do a fine job. Use trowels (they look like mini-hand spades) to dig, plant and move dirt or potting soil. Garden […]

Shopping List After Moving In Your New Home

So you’ve moved into a new home and conquered all those cardboard moving boxes. Some of what came out of them may not look all that great against a fresh backdrop. Or, you’re over that 25-year-old stainless steel cutlery and not putting in a new kitchen drawer. If you’re like most of us, moving can prompt both urgent and spur-of-the-moment purchases once you’re settled in your new abode. Here are items that frequently top those post-moving-day shopping lists.
Furniture
Your family will never part with that comfortable leather couch and Aunt Janie’s heirloom china cabinet goes wherever you go. You even […]

Outdoor Entertaining With Lighting

If you’re building a new custom Florida home, one of your first considerations should be how to enjoy the Sunshine State’s superb climate. If you’re a current resident, we shouldn’t need to convince you. If you’re heading our way from another climate, our advice is to get outdoors! Living and entertaining outside is a way of life here, and comfortable, versatile outdoor spaces are as important as interior ones. Decorative lighting is one of the best techniques to enhance your exterior living space. Read on for our tips on lighting up your outdoor life.
Take Indoor Lighting, Outdoors
All forms of […]

How to Pick Plants that Help

If you’re a gardener, you likely know some plants can contribute more than scenery to our homes and lives. If you’re not a gardener, look closer at the lovely landscaping surrounding your gardening friends’ homes. While you admire their handiwork for its beauty, they might be nurturing specific plants for practical reasons. Some plants are natural air-cleansing and bug-repelling powerhouses, while others such as fragrant, flavorful herbs, are all-purpose workhorses. Plants fight pollution by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Below, discover how to incorporate especially healthy, helpful plants inside and outside your new Florida home.
Helpful Indoor Plants

Spider plants, […]

Enjoy Container Gardening, Not Lawn Chores

With thousands of miles of gorgeous beaches and innumerable world-class attractions to explore, who wants to mow grass, trim weeds or blow off driveways? Many new Florida homeowners discover that lawn chores aren’t something they want to prioritize, so big yards get reduced or eliminated completely. Giving up a yard doesn’t mean giving up your green thumb, however. If you enjoy growing your own herbs or geraniums, here’s how to enjoy container gardening.
Space Doesn’t Matter with Container Gardening
You may not have a half-acre out back, but you don’t need it. A patio, pool deck, courtyard or outdoor living room […]

Spring has Sprung: Let’s Get to Work in the Garden

Spring has sprung and you’re eager to create some natural beauty outside your new Florida home. There’s nothing like making your landscape bloom with exuberant color and textures, especially if you’re an experienced gardener or want to be one. Plus, it’s a legitimate way to play in the dirt! Here’s a quick primer on how to choose and use your favorite flowers and foliage.
Start With a Clean Slate
Clear your flower beds, planters and window boxes of dead plants and tired mulch. Clean, vacant space allows you to determine a game plan — what to plant where, and how much […]

Six Ways to Maximize Your Outdoor Space

If you’re looking for a new Florida home, don’t overlook the outdoor living opportunities that accompany it. The Sunshine State boasts a fabulous climate — likely one reason you’re seeking to relocate or retire here — so take advantage when you choose your home plan. Consider how you’ll use an outdoor living space, how you’ll maintain it and how to budget for it. Whether it’s a classic covered lanai or a gourmet outdoor kitchen, be sure you create space to enjoy the fresh Florida air. Here are six suggestions.

Light a Fire
“In balmy Florida?” you say? Absolutely! The cooler months […]

Is a Saltwater Pool Right for You?

A shimmering pool beyond the back door is a prerequisite for many new Florida homeowners. Whether cooling off, turning workout laps or using it as a beautiful party backdrop, residential pools are crucial to the Florida lifestyle.
But, there are more choices than the traditional chlorine pool. Saltwater pools, a popular option, are both environment friendly and cost effective. Consider your preferences before making the salt-or-chlorine decision.

It’s more expensive up front, less expensive later
Installing a saltwater pool system is expensive, but you save money later because you don’t need as many chemicals to maintain it. Forget those plastic chlorine containers. […]