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Six Facts You Should Know Before Moving to Florida

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Are you thinking about moving to the Sunshine State? Florida has so much to offer, from unspoilt beaches and ocean-facing houses to great schools and an immersive culture that’s ideal for families and retirees alike.

Discover the facts you need to know before you make the move to the Sunshine State: 

Luxury properties mean you’ll be spoilt for choice

Whether you have a generous budget and are considering Vero Beach luxury homes, or you’re moving with retirement in mind and the famous golf courses of the Gulf Coast are at the top of your wish list, when you search for properties in Florida, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you see yourself overlooking miles of unspoilt beach in a family home, or you’re searching for a property with nightlife, restaurants and glamour in mind, you’ll find famous landmarks, gated communities, great schools and ocean-facing properties in abundance throughout the Sunshine State. If you’re unsure of which region you want to reside in, start with a list of your essentials and factors that are important to your chosen lifestyle and begin your search from there.

Tourists are part of the culture

Living in a state that is famous for its landmarks, landscapes, beaches, theme parks and persistent sunshine and heat, doesn’t just attract homeowners and families looking for a better life. Tourism is a huge part of life in Florida and moving to the Sunshine State means dealing with large numbers of visitors throughout the year. Florida is renowned for being a friendly, welcoming state so make sure you keep up appearances!

Southern Florida and its hurricanes

Although Florida is famous for its heat, it’s just as infamous for its severe weather conditions, particularly in the South of the state where hurricanes are prevalent during the aptly named “Hurricane Season”, which typically lasts between June and November each year. Before moving to Florida, it’s worth reading up on hurricane safety and the precautions that many residents take every year to protect their homes.

Be ready for election fever

Florida is a swing state, which means casting votes here carries a lot of weight and influence. As a major swing state, residents can expect election fever to sweep their locality in the run-up to presidential elections every four years. This means flyers, ads, knocks at your door, TV crews, and even heated debates with friends, family and colleagues during this dramatic period. Something worth keeping in mind if you’re not currently politically minded!

It’s not all for retirees

Retirees and seniors are everywhere in Florida, after all, wouldn’t you like to retire somewhere warm, friendly, and tax-friendly? However, don’t let this demographic put you off moving to the Sunshine State. While seniors might be in abundance, Florida is a diverse and captivating location, with something for all ages, families, singletons and couples alike.

And finally, the cost of living is low

Thanks to its generous stance on income tax, and its utilities coming in cheaper than the national average, Florida can certainly mean a cheaper cost of living, allowing you to enjoy the life you want for yourself and your family, without breaking the bank.

3 Tips on How to Promote Good Humor in Your Children

This post is sponsored by Community Care Plan. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

While the past year has definitely been one of challenges and uncertainties, my family and I decided that we were going to make the most of every situation. One of the ways that we have learned to deal with unfortunate circumstances is by finding humor. I firmly believe that laughter and good humor truly are the best medicine for the soul. Good humor and laughter not only provide a great way for us to connect as a family, but it also provides a sense of positive self-esteem and makes life more enjoyable overall.

Did you know that April is National Humor Month? National Humor Month is meant to bring awareness to humor and to showcase how it can bring therapeutic value in our everyday lives. In fact, the creator of National Humor Month, Larry Wilde, stated, “The idea of laughing and the use of humor as a tool to lift ailing spirits is growing. Scientific research now indicates that the curative power of laughter and its ability to relieve debilitating stress and burnout may indeed be one of the great medical discoveries of our times.”

The people at Community Care Plan appreciate how good humor, particularly in children, promotes a positive impact on the health and wellness of those around them. There’s a reason that Community Care Plan is known as the health plan with a heart.

Speaking of getting healthy, did you know that scientific research has proven that humor is a tool to relieve stress while helping us to heal emotionally and physically? When it comes to humor in children, I think it is important for them to realize that laughing and good humor is not only good for the soul, but it can make them feel good physically as well. There is just something about a good old-fashioned laugh that makes your entire body feel good!

Statistics have shown that children are believed to laugh 10 as much daily as the average adult. Therefore, good humor should be a vital part of their life! Here are several ways that we can help to promote and encourage good humor in children:

  1. Create an environment that promotes humor in children.

It’s true that laughter improves your mood and makes you feel better. This is why good humor inside the home is so important. Create a positive environment and teach your children that even in the midst of difficult circumstances you can still laugh, have a good time, and be happy. Our children will look back at our time together at home and remember the laughs that they had as a family. They will especially remember those challenging times and how we as parents tried to promote a positive view of the situation. Laughter is so very good for the soul.

  1. Teach children that it is okay to be funny and to have humor.

My husband and I want our boys to know that laughing and having good humor is a vital part of our lives. If our boys see us laughing and having good humor, then they are more likely to follow suit. We want them to realize that people want to be around those who are happy and have a good sense of humor. Laughter is contagious. The ability to laugh and to have good humor shows our personality. The more we laugh, the more that others will want to be around us. In fact, one of the qualities that I admire in most people is their ability to laugh and to have a good sense of humor.

It is okay to be funny.

It is okay to laugh.

It is okay to be silly.

I guarantee that our children will remember the memories that are made of laughter and silliness more than any other in their lives. Let’s teach them that laughter is good for our relationships, both in-home and out in the world.

  1. Be a good role model and showcase good humor in your life.

Not only am I a parent, but I am a Paraprofessional Educator as well. Being an educator allows me to be a good role model to those children that I come in contact with each week. One of the ways that I can be a good role model is to promote good humor among my students. I want them to see that I am funny and witty, and that even though things may not always go as planned, that I can still have a good attitude and humor about the situation before me. I can’t tell you how many times that I have said something, and it came out the wrong way. I just laughed about it and did not get flustered. This, in turn, made my students laugh. I have learned to laugh at the little annoyances that may take place in the classroom, and to not take myself so seriously.

Happy National Humor Month! Don’t forget to take some extra time today to laugh with your children and those around you! I love this quote from Charles Dickens, “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” Spread joy today and remember that laughter is medicine for the soul!

Be sure to check out Community Care Plan on Facebook, Instagram and You Tube for more details on benefits, coverage, and more. They also offer several resources to help you make self-care a priority. The health plan with a heart serves the health of their community through access to a high standard of health care and community resources. Their health plans cover a wide range of local medical services, offering an excellent choice of physicians and benefits that help members get and stay healthy. Put your health in good hands with Community Care Plan.

Sam’s Club Membership Deal: Free $45 Gift Card with Membership Purchase! (like getting it for Free!)

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

This awesome deal is back! If you have been waiting for another deal on a Sam’s Club membership, this is a great one! Through June 13, Sam’s Club is offering a FREE $45 Gift Card when you purchase a one-year membership for only $45! That is like getting your membership for Free when you factor in the gift card! 

GO HERE to take advantage of this offer. After you enter your email address they will send your promo code right away. You can join online or at your club. Check your email for a link to join, or simply visit your nearest club.

Redeem your $45 gift card in club.

After joining, head to your club’s Membership Desk. It is that simple! 

Italian Turkey Sausage and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

One of my absolute easy, quick, and delicious dinners is a Sheet Pan Meal. You just throw everything on the pan, put it in the oven, and dinner is served! This recipe for Italian Turkey Sausage and Veggie Sheet Pan Dinner is packed full of flavor in every bite! I love that you can really customize it and use whatever veggies that you have in the fridge at the moment. This is a great meal too if you are watching your calories and doing a program like Weight Watchers.

Ingredients: 

1 package of Butterball Italian Turkey Sausage (you could use regular Italian Sausage as well, but these have less fat) I personally have to use 2 packs of sausages when I make this meal as my boys like to eat. 🙂

Chopped up Veggies (use whatever you have on hand. I used broccoli, peppers, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini.

Drizzle of olive oil to coat everything

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place all ingredients on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil making sure all the veggies and sausages are coated.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes or until sausages and veggies are cooked through.

Enjoy!

Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

When it comes to my favorite things, Açaí Bowls are at the top of my list! They can be rather pricey when you buy them at your favorite coffee shop, so I started making them at home. They are just as delicious, and I love that you can add your personal touch! This recipe for Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl is so easy and delicious! Feel free to substitute the quicking oats for your favorite granola! 

Açaí Berry Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients: 

Smoothie 

  • 2 Frozen Packets Açaí  (find in the frozen section of any grocery store)
  • 1 Banana 
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Berries 

Toppings: 

  • Banana Slices
  • Quick Oats
  • Blue Berries 
  • Sliced Strawberries 
  1. Place 1 banana, 1/2 cup berries, açaí packets & 1/4 Almond Milk into the blender.
  2. Once blended, pour into a bowl.
  3. Top with banana slices, oats, blueberries & sliced strawberries. Enjoy! 

Lemon Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Sheet Pan Dinners are my life these days. I love how they allow me to get a quick and healthy dinner on the table in no time at all. This Sheet Pan recipe for Lemon Chicken is a new fave! Every bit is packed full of delicious flavor that your entire family is sure to love!

Lemon Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Ingredients: 

  • 1Lb Red Potatoes Cut Into 1inch Pieces
  • Avocado Oil Cooking Spray
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 2Lbs Thin Asparagus Cut Into 1-2inch Pieces
  • 1 1/2 Lbs Chicken Breasts Cut Into Cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic 
  • 1 Lemon 

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread the red potatoes out on a sheetpan. Spray the potatoes with avocado cooking spray then sprinkle with garlic, salt & pepper to your liking. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. While potatoes are baking, toss asparagus & chicken into a mixing bowl. Squeeze half of a lemon into the bowl and then sprinkle the rest of the garlic, salt & pepper into the bowl. 
  4. Toss to coat, then transfer to the sheet pan with the potatoes. 
  5. Place the sheet pan back in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
  6. While the Sheet pan is in the oven, slice up the second half of the lemon into cubes. 
  7. Once sheet pan is fully cooked, remove from oven and place the cubed lemon pieces onto the sheet pan. You can squeeze the lemons before eating for extra flavor!

Enter to Win BIG with the #GoShopPlayWin Giveaway!

This post is sponsored by Sivan Social. All comments and opinions are my own.

Is anyone else up for a fun giveaway to earn some extra cash? I think that we can all use some extra money in our wallets these days! When you play the Shop, Play, Win! Monopoly Game, you have a chance to earn $230,000,000 in prizes just by participating and shopping at your local Albertsons! 

The Shop, Play, Win! Monopoly Game is happening now through May 4 at Albertson’s family of stores, so you have plenty of time to enter and win! With $230,000, 000 in prizes, your chances of winning are pretty good! Visit ShopPlayWin.Com for details on how to play this fun game. 

So Many Great Ways to WIN:

  • When you open your Valpak envelope, see if you’re an instant winner of a $100 gift card and to get more details on how to win groceries for life!
  • RSVP to join the #GoShopPlayWin Twitter party at 10AM PT/1PM ET on Thursday, March 25th, to talk about the game and for even more chances to win a $100 gift card.
  • Enter to win one of Head to the Albertsons merchant page on Savings.com and submit your email address on the form on the page. Begins Wednesday, March 3rd at 12:00 AM PT to Wednesday, March 31st at 11:59 PM PT.  There will be Sixty (60) winners who will each receive a $100 gift cards to spend at Albertsons Companies stores. The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Thursday, April 1st via the email address they used to enter. See complete Official Rules for entry instructions, full prize descriptions, restrictions and other important details.

Good luck! Be sure to let me know if you win!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Game tickets end 5/4/21. Must be resident of an eligible U.S. state listed in rules; 18+. Visit www.shopplaywin.com for full rules, incl. how to enter without purchase. Series MON-14. MONOPOLY™ & © 1935, 2021 Hasbro, Pawtucket, RI 02861-1059 USA. All Rights Reserved. TM & ® denote U.S. Trademarks. Hasbro is not a sponsor of this promotion.

It’s Open Enrollment with Florida Prepaid College Plans + Promo Code!

This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans promo code SWEET2021 to save $25 off your application fee. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy

The past year has been one of uncertainty for so many. When I look back at 2020, it is amazing to reflect on just how much that has happened. In the midst of physical and financial loss, to political and social unrest, one thing that I am thankful for is the bond that our family has. We have learned so much about one another, and our love is stronger than ever before.

While it seems that many families may not have saving for college at the top of their to-do list during these difficult times, you just might be surprised! In a recent survey conducted by the Florida Prepaid College Board, statistics show that 60% of Florida families have maintained saving during the pandemic and 24% increased their college savings. Those statistics are amazing! Now, more than ever, Florida families are realizing that saving for college is a top priority.

Bright days are ahead for our boys, and we are so excited to see what their future holds! Drew has dreamed of working for NASA or Space-X since he was very little, and Brady has huge aspirations to become an airplane pilot. Whether our boys decide to attend a college/university, or vocational school of their choice to pursue their dreams, we can rest assured and be financially prepared thanks to help from Florida Prepaid College Plans!

While it seems that many families may not have saving for college at the top of their to-do list during these difficult times, you may actually be surprised! In a recent survey conducted by the Florida Prepaid College Board, statistics show that 60% of Florida families have maintained saving during the pandemic and 24% increased their college savings. I was honestly surprised by those statistics! Now, more than ever, Florida families are realizing that saving for college is a top priority.

I am excited to let you know that you too, can start saving for your child’s future college education! 2021 Florida Prepaid Open Enrollment is happening now! Use promo code SWEET2021 through April 30, to save 50% off your enrollment fee. NOW is the time to prepare, plan and save for your child’s future education!

  1. Prepare for the future by opening a Florida 529 Prepaid College Plan

Since 1988, Florida Prepaid College Plans has been offering Florida residents an affordable and stress-free way to save for their child’s college education. In fact, Florida Prepaid is the longest running prepaid program in the nation! Fun fact: To date, there have been over 1.8 million Prepaid College Plans sold! (We are thrilled to be included in that number!)

Our family appreciates that Florida 529 Prepaid College Plans, allow us the flexibility to prepay for our boy’s future college savings on a monthly basis. This really helps us to take the guesswork out of planning, and we know exactly how much that we are setting aside each month for their college education. You can even opt to pay a lump sum amount if that is a better option for your family. Either way, saving for college has never been easier!

You will also be happy to know that there are several plan options to choose from, including a 2-year prepaid plan to a 4-year plan. They even offer a 1-year University plan, which is the most flexible option. The 1-year University plan is actually what we have, and I love that this plan allows for us to add years as we choose, and family members can even purchase additional years if they opt to do so. If you are looking to start small, this is the plan for you! It is important to remember that saving something for your child’s future education is definitely better than nothing at all!

529 Prepaid College Savings Plans are guaranteed by the state of Florida and allows you the ability to lock in future college costs for less. Since these 529 Prepaid College Plans are guaranteed by the state of Florida, you can rest assured in knowing that you will never lose your investment. This is a risk-free investment that you don’t have to worry about. These were huge deciding factors for our family and gives us such peace of mind!

 2. Plan for the future with Florida Prepaid College Plans

What if your child decides that they want to attend an out-of-state college, vocational school, or private school? No problem! Florida Prepaid makes it super easy! Their plan will travel with them and will pay the same amount that it would have paid at a public university or college in Florida. Florida Prepaid will apply funds to other schools what would have been paid to a Florida school. Just another reason why we love these plans- they are very flexible!

What if your child decides that they want to wait a few years after graduation to attend college? Can you still use their 529 Prepaid College Savings Plan? The answer is YES! In fact, a Prepaid Plan locks in coverage for up to 10 years AFTER their projected high school graduation/college enrollment! If your child decides that they don’t want to attend college, you can transfer the funds to another family member or request a refund. It is that simple.

What if your child receives a scholarship or Bright Futures?

I was excited to find out that 529 College Savings Plans can be used in conjunction with scholarships and Bright Futures. These scholarships can help to cover even more college costs like dormitory housing, books, fees and more. I am going to encourage my boys to apply for as many scholarships as possible.

How does my Child use their Florida 529 Prepaid College Plan?
Florida Prepaid simply takes care of everything! They will send the student a First Time in College notification in the spring of their college enrollment year. This will provide the basic information on how the Prepaid Plan is used. Payments are automatic from Florida Prepaid directly to the school, so you don’t have to worry about a thing!

     3. Save for the future with Florida Prepaid College Plans

Are you ready to start saving for the future with Florida Prepaid College Plans? Simply pick the best plan that fits your family’s budget and let the saving begin! Plan options start at $45 a month, so there is an affordable college plan for every budget. You can even get personalized monthly payment pricing and estimates for each plan based on your child’s birth date HERE.  Prepare now and plan for the future. Your child’s future. Your child’s dreams and goals.

In less than 15 minutes, you can be on the way to a brighter tomorrow for your children. Open Enrollment is happening through April 30, and you can use Florida Prepaid promo code SWEET2021 to save 50% off your enrollment fee. Sign up HERE to start saving today.

Give your children the best gift of all, the gift of debt-free college!

We can’t wait to see where the future will take our boys! They are going to do great things and I am so thankful that we have Florida Prepaid College Plans to help us along this journey.
Be sure to follow Florida Prepaid College Plans on FacebookTwitterInstagram and  YouTube to stay up to date with information on open enrollment, tips and promotional offers.

Valentine’s Heart Hot Chocolate Bombs

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Are you searching for a last-minute Valentine’s Day treat for the family? These Valentine’s Heart Chocolate Bombs are sure to be a winner! They are super easy to make, and very delicious! 

Valentine’s Heart Chocolate Bombs

Ingredients 

  • 12oz Bag White Candy Melts
  • 1 Tbsp Hot Chocolate Per Bomb 
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • White icing 
  • Valentine’s Heart Sprinkles (Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Michael’s)
  • 6 Sphere Silicon Mold (found HERE

Instructions:

  1. Pour candy melts into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds or until melts have fully melted.
  2. Spread the candy melts up the sides of the mold until every bit of the mold is covered.
  3. Let the molds sit for about 5 minutes & re-spread any of the candy melts that sank to the bottom of the molds.
  4. Place the molds in the refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Once set, carefully remove the candy melt spheres from the mold. 
  6. Fill the half of the spheres with the hot cocoa powder, sprinkles& marshmallows.
  7. Place a glass plate in the microwave for one minute. 
  8. Remove the plate and immediately place each chocolate sphere on the hot place to heat the edges.
  9. Place each heated sphere on each filled sphere. You can use the tip of your finger to smooth the melted candy around the seam.
  10. Take the icing and draw lines back and forth on the top of your sphere.
  11. Place the hearts on the hit chocolate bomb using the icing as glue. 

Sea World/Aquatica: Free 2021 Preschool Card for Kids 5 & Under!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

This awesome deal is back for 2021! Sea World and Aquatica are offering a Free 2021 Preschool Card! Kids 5 and younger can enjoy visits to SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando for FREE, now through December 31, 2021. 

Online registration required by February 3, 2021 and make first visit by February 28, 2021. (not available at the park) 
• Valid for Florida residents only 
• Does not include free parking, separately ticketed events, or other discounts

Offer valid for Florida residents only. Valid only at SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando for children 5 years old and younger at time of first visit. Verification of age via birth certificate or travel passport will be requested upon entry. Unlimited admission through 12/31/2021 with no blockout dates. Must register online by 2/3/2021. The SeaWorld and Aquatica Orlando Preschool Card offer is not available at the park. Advance online registration is required. Only the child’s parent or guardian may register online. Parent/guardian does not have to be present to redeem card. Not valid for student groups or field trips. Offer valid for a limited time and subject to change and/or cancellation without notice.

You can see more details of this offer HERE.