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How To Add Southern Charm to your Home

Southern Charm Southern Charm

How To Add Southern Charm to your Home We have all traveled to those beautiful homes with ivy covering the walls and wrap-around porches, where you ca...

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Hot New Bold Kitchen Trends

 The last few years saw the rise of the white kitchen. White cabinets, with some sort of light quartz or quartzite countertop, paired with a taup...

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Top 10 Fun Family Outings & Adventures in South Florida

    As a mom of twins, I am constantly looking for fun outings with my kids and family. Time spent outdoors or exploring something new always beats sitting around listening to kids argue with each other or fighting to keep them off electronics. So whether you're a local or just visiting the sunshine state, here are a few of our top favorite activities here in South Florida for kids.

1. The girl's strawberry u-pick- Located in Delray beach, this is a unique and iconic spot. It's a great lunch spot with a pizza shop and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. The decor full of old memorabilia makes you feel like you stepped back in time. Once you walk to the outdoor patio area, you will find all kinds of birds and parrots. You can now buy food to feed the goats, horses, and donkeys. A few years ago, you used to be able to pick strawberries, but they have not grown back now in many years. Sometimes you are lucky and can pick tomatoes depending on the season. It's still worth going with some fun things they added, like rock mining. My kids enjoy getting the large bag and discovering different gems and fossils as they rinse them off in the water. There is also a fenced enclosure to feed the parakeets. The little birds love to untie your shoelaces and generally are not shy to land all over you. This is always a highlight! It costs about $8 for adults and $6 for children, so the admission is not expensive, but be prepared to spend money on all the additional items mentioned.

2. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center- Located in Boca Raton, this spot is a gem with free admission, but they do ask for a donation of your choosing for visiting. The gift shop is a fun spot for the end of the outing so try to drag your kids past it and head  to the outside area. There you will find different aquariums filled with many kinds of fish. There is a top aerial view of the aquariums where you can watch the feedings when they take place. There is a turtle rehabilitation center on the first floor and an area where we have been lucky enough to watch minor turtle surgeries. Not sure if this sounds too morbid, but we thought it was cool to see. There are different classrooms and camps offered here to learn more about wildlife. They also have a path to walk out back to the butterfly gardens and immerse yourself in nature. This area is close to the beach and a par three golf course (Red Reef executive course), so you can always plan a full day of activities.

3. Dreher Park Zoo- This Palm Beach Zoo is small and easy to navigate. The admission is not cheap at $27.75 for adults and $21.75 for children over three years of age but it is worthwhile. If you live nearby, looking into a family membership is worthwhile. My kids spent hours walking around the zoo and getting food from the machines to feed fish and see the wildlife. The zoo is small enough to explore in a few hours and provides excellent shade, so you don't have a heat stroke. They have a restaurant and a food stand where you can grab your kids a snack or ice cream. 

4. Zoo Miami- This is a huge zoo and takes a ton of time to explore. This is a full-day outing. If possible, rent one of those four-person bikes with a shade top because it keeps the kids from becoming overly exhausted and allows you to cover more ground. Adult admission is $21, with children's admission coming in at $17; they also offer different food packages you can look into. This massive zoo is really incredible and well worth the visit.

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Sell Your Home Quicker

 

The South Florida market is hotter than ever, with many people relocating from up north, looking for desirable year-round weather conditions. South Florida weather creates opportunities to spend more time outdoors at the parks and beaches. However, before they can make the leap, homeowners must list and sell their homes. This brings us to what makes your home appealing to potential buyers. Most people don't want to invest a ton of money into a home they are looking to sell but invest just enough to get the maximum profit out of their investment. Here are a few simple tips on where we can start.

Curb appeal-  We all hear this expression, but sometimes people fail to understand the genuine concept of this. Working in interior design for the past 20 years, I have been to more open houses than I can count and have been on both sides of the buying/ selling process. Most clients feel that curb appeal means adding shrubs and plants. Of course, the landscape does add a great deal of curb appeal, but as usual, the less is more approach gives you the biggest bang for your buck. Trimming any overgrown trees, plants or shrubs helps more than just simply adding greens. Removing any areas of weeds and empty dead patches and replacing them with fresh grass also dramatically improves your first impression. Is there a neat pathway to the front door? Is the driveway clear and clean of weeds or stains? Remember, this is the buyer's first impression of seeing your home, much like a first date. Imagine showing up to a first date and your date has wrinkled clothes and messy hair. It creates an impression of a lack of effort. The front door does not necessarily have to be impact resistant, but is it freshly painted? Of course, in South Florida, impact windows and doors provide a massive upgrade, but some don't have this type of budget to invest.

  • Natural light- I can't tell you how many dark homes I have been in. Open the shades and drapes to allow natural light to enter the house. This will always make a space feel larger.
  • Less is more- This saying applies again, particularly to any personal items within the home. The buyer needs to be able to imagine him or herself living there. Put away all the photos and knick-knacks. Not only will this help the area appear less crowded and larger, but it will also allow the buyer to see a future in that home. Your kitchen counters should be cleared, cleaned, and as many things put away in general.
  • Upgrades- The most important question asked is what items are worth the upgrades to help sell your home and score the most important points with new buyers.

    New upgraded appliances- are always a huge plus.

    Kitchen countertops-quartz, quartzite / durable materials.

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