Summer for parents and children can be great when it first starts and then it can wear everyone down when the kids get bored and the parents run out of ideas.
No worries! Here are some ideas for you to check out to keep the summer fun going till they go back in August!
There are SO many things for children to do this summer. From camps to physical activities indoors and out, Jacksonville offers endless opportunities for your child to stay busy this summer.
For as large of a city as Jacksonville is, you don't need to go far to find something to keep your children busy!
The Jacksonville Zoo offers camps as well as one day activities your children will love. Check out their "Night at the Zoo" taking place on four dates this summer. You can enjoy live music, food trucks, and seeing the animals at night!
Another hot spot in Jax for kids is Adventure Landing. There are various passes you can buy along with add-ons for say meals or tokens for games. In case you were unaware of all of the things to do here, there is laser tag, miniature golf, a water park, and even a roller coaster! It is a full day of fun at Adventure Landing.
If your kids have more energy than you care to deal with I suggest one of these places for full on movement. Jumpstreet offers different pricing based on the child's age. This location offers all the typical jumping trampoline courts and dodge ball courts. It is located on Beach Blvd. Pump It Up is also on Beach Blvd. and offers slides, air hockey, and mostly bounce houses.
Velocity is another jump place that on the southside of Jacksonville. This place also has a trampoline park and an arcade. They also have foam pits and slam basketball as well. Rebounderz has the same activities as well and is located off of Old St. Augustine Road.
Once they are all tired, why not head to a movie? I know, they can be SO expensive, but there are $1 movies here in Jacksonville!! The Regal Cinemas will show Tuesdays and Wednesdays so definitely check it out! Buy a large REFILLABLE popcorn and you will save some money when all the little ones are wanting some buttery fingers to enjoy the cinema!
If your child needs some quiet time (yes, this is the teacher part of me) I'll always suggest hitting your local public library. Not only can you check out FIFTY books at one time, there are plenty of programs to take part in.
Do your children like rock climbing? Ok, so it's indoors but the Edge Rock Gym offers classes to teach people how to rock climb for all ages. They also offer yoga and Pilates classes.
If your child is too young for those of those places, try Bay & Bee. There is a location on Atlantic Blvd. and one near Bartram. This company bases its philosophy of "free play". This place takes more of the Montessori approach of allowing children to play on their own and explore. Creative dance, learning Spanish, and even learning sign language are just a few of the classes you can sign up for here at Bay & Bee.
How about the good 'ol YMCA? They have multiple locations around Jacksonville and offer an array of activities and camps for your child.
Maybe you want to spend the day with your kids and miss the days of roller skating. Try Skate Station at their two locations in Mandarin and Orange Park. Now there is much more to do than just skate! They offer a playground, rock climbing, and an arcade. Click here for the Skate Station in Mandarin. Click here for the location in Orange Park.
In Jacksonville there are so many camps as well. Sure a lot of the local schools offer camps, but check out this unique one at the Happy Acres Ranch. It is known for being a camp for children of all ages and they will swim, learn about nature, canoe, kayak, arts & crafts, fishing, archery, and more!
Frankly, after writing this blog post, I also want to remind parents that bored children is not a bad thing. Let them be bored and have to use their imaginations to inspire creativity and fun. Kids do not need to be entertained 24/7!
Enjoy your summer everyone!
Yes, I felt the heading needed to be large and in caps because IKEA is just that-large with an incredible presence that we are about to experience here in Jax.
IKEA is a furniture retailer based in the Netherlands. The store is best known for its ready-to-assemble furniture and home accessories, but has since expanded its base to just about anything you need in the home, outside the home, and more. It is the world's largest furniture retailer.
IKEA stands for its founder's initials Ingvar Kamprad along with the farm he grew up in, Elmtayard and the city the farm was in, Agunnaryd.
IKEA is of course world-wide and before the one here in Jax is finished, fans of IKEA had to travel to Orlando. There are also locations in Tampa, Miami, and Sunrise. Jacksonville is slated to open this fall.
You can eat in IKEA. Yep, when you are tired of walking around shopping, grab a seat and have a bite. Winning I say!
Why is it "ready-to-assemble"? The story isn't a shocking one. An IKEA worker bought a table and couldn't fit it into his car...so the idea of "flat pack" was born.
There are almost 400 stores in 48 countries.
HEY PARENTS!! Most stores offer day care so you easily drop your kids off and shop in peace! They have playgrounds and you will be given a beeper (of sorts) in case you are needed etc.
The names of the furniture pieces DO have actual meaning. I mean cmon..what is a "vejmon" or "nyboda"??? Well, it turns out the founder Kamprad is dyslexic so reading numerous bar codes was a problem. Therefore, he developed a system whereby each item has a different name origin. For example, carpets are named after places in Denmark, while sofas, coffee tables, and other items are named after places in Sweden.
There is a great IKEA Family Program you may want to check out. This is a loyalty program that offers discounts to its members. When you go to the store you will receive a free coffee or hot tea anytime. Also, it's FREE to join!
IKEA in Jacksonville will be located off of 295 and Gate Parkway..you can't miss the ginormous royal blue building trust me.
Anyone worried about traffic?? This is a concern since we are already congested in that area of Jacksonville. When other stores have opened IKEA has been known to take in TEN THOUSAND PLUS customers in its first few weeks. When other stores in the US have opened there have been exit closings, police help, and a lot of patience was needed. Come fall here in Jax, the key will be patience and respect to fellow drivers in that area so we stay safe.
Want a print or digital catalog to start shopping? IKEA CATALOG
If you live in the area IKEA is being built, and you don't want to deal with what it will bring traffic wise, or you love IKEA and want to live on the Southside, give us a call. That area of our city has a HOT market going now for buyers and sellers!
If YOU have an IKEA near you, give us your thoughts on the store or anything regarding your IKEA!
Ok I DESPISE opening the refrigerator and it's empty and I also dread when the kids say "Do we have______?" (when they never asked for that item in the first place!). I am not a fan of the grocery store. I am not a fan of anything about food unless I hear "We are going to ________ to eat." So when I heard about being able to order groceries from my home, and not only does someone ELSE shop for what I need but also brings them to my DOOR??? HEAVEN! Who wouldn't love this????
So there are lots of companies that delivery groceries like Walmart, in some areas Amazon, and there are also ones in regional areas. In Jacksonville, two of the bigger companies who are out there advertising online grocery shopping are Instacart and Shipt.
We tried Instacart. Wes chose this one because they offered not only a free trial but we can use the one app and order from SIX stores! The grocery store is Publix, but we can also order from CVS, Whole Foods Market, Petco, Costco (I don't know a soul who loves going to Costco!!), and.....(drum roll) ABC Fine Wine and Spirits. Shipt offers ABC Fine Wines, Costco, and Publix.
Wes took his phone and started ordering away! He loved the whole process and I will say it looked pretty simple. Once we made a cart of groceries, we were told our shopper was busy shopping for us, and one feature I really like? If something was out of stock, the shopper will text or call you to let you know of a similar item available or maybe a different size or brand is available. You are given a window of time your groceries will be delivered and within one hour? Our groceries were at our door and all I had to do was put them AWAY!! Yay us!!
So it's all great right? Soon stores will be empty and those of us who detest going to the grocery will lead a happy fulfilling life...but wait. SOMEone has to make money off of this. It's too good to be true. Do they jack up the prices on the items, charge hidden fees, delivery fees...?
Depending on the company you choose there is an annual fee which is around $100/year. Also, some companies will charge a delivery fee. Instacart for Publix says if you spend $35 your delivery is free, BUT, if you are ordering during a "busy time" or you have ordered a lot of items, there may be a delivery fee stacked on. Also they require you spending at least $10. Shipt does not change their delivery fees no matter the time. Shipt also has a $35 minimum for free delivery, and charges about $7 for ordering less. Shipt claims you will pay about $5 more than you would if you went to the store yourself. The fees for the different participating stores can vary from region to company to store so be sure you check it out.
Now, for some of the the heavier items (especially with stores like Costco) you will pay a little more due to the weight of the items you select.
Some of the possible cons would be that you won't be picking up those "extra" items that you would by shopping in the store; you know those items you say "Oh I forgot I need that." stuff. Some people also won't like that for food like fruit, meat, vegetables, etc., you don't get to pick it out and relying on someone you don't know (or may not care like you do) to carefully inspect what you prefer. Others have said the more online shopping options there are will lead to more people staying in and not going out to be social. I don't know about you, but I don't consider the grocery store a social experience. Plus, I would rather spend that "grocery time" with my family at home!
All in all if you have small children, if you are not feeling well, or maybe you are rushed and just too busy to get to the store, this is something you really need to look into. We order food from restaurants that deliver, why not get your groceries delivered too?
Check out these links for more info:
History tells us Mothers Day technically started in medieval Britain. The 4th Sunday of lent was the day servants were given the day off to be with their mother and it was called "Mothering Sunday".
Later, the real "Mothers Day" came early in the 1900s when a woman named Anna Jarvis had a memorial for her mother. It is said she heard her mother pray that a day would be established to thank moms for all they do, so when her mom died in May of 1905 she vowed to make her mother's prayer a reality. Anna contacted a philanthropist and joined a committee to honor all moms all over.
In 1910 West Virginia was the first state to hold the second Sunday of May as Mothers Day. After campaigning, Anna got the congress to recognize the holiday so in 1914 it became an official "holiday". Originally the tradition was to attend church with your family while the moms wore carnation flowers and afterwards the children were to write a letter to their mom. In 1920 pre-printed mothers day cards began selling and it soon replaced the hand written letters from children. As the holiday became more commercialized, Anna began to get so upset she wanted the holiday abolished and was even arrested to make her point. Sadly she spent all of her time and money on fighting the holiday she once fought so hard to create she died having no children of her own.
Guess which day has the largest telephone activity? Yep, Mothers Day as more calls are made on this day than any other.
Although we celebrate Mothers Day on the second Sunday in May, other countries have their own date for celebrating. For example, in Ethiopia & Thailand Mothers Day is celebrated in the fall while in Mexico it is always May 10th.
For all you moms out there Wes and I wish you the best Mothers Day yet!
Wes is a certified Nocatee agent and we really love to sell in Nocatee. One trip around Nocatee and it's a no brainer. A lot of neighborhoods can be "wonderful" and "full of amenities", and yes, Nocatee is all of that but the best word to describe Nocatee to me is....comfortable. Comfortable because Nocatee is a place anyone wants to be...where you will actually want to come home and enjoy where you live. Where you have friendly neighbors and you have instant friends who care.
Nocatee encompasses two counties. St. Johns County and Duval County. St. Johns County is known for their schools and 85% of Nocatee is within this county.
One of the most surprising things to learn about Nocatee is that only 65% of people who want to live in Nocatee use a Realtor. If you are still under the impression that you don't need a Realtor to build your home read this article on "Do I Need a Realtor if I am Building?"
Nocatee is the third fastest selling community in the USA. Those stats speak for themselves as to the popularity of all Nocatee offers to its residents. Nocatee sells 100 homes per MONTH! Last month alone, FORTY homes sold in just 7 days...truly Nocatee sells at this rate for a reason.
At the Welcome Center you (and your Realtor) will be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable people who are familiar with the entire area and help you see on an interactive map what neighborhoods best suit you. The Welcome Center tells us that 1000 families a month come into the center.
With your Realtor you can get on a "Nocatour" which will put you in a golf cart for a real tour of this great area. We have taken buyers out on a golf cart and shown them Nocatee the way it is meant to be seen and it sells them on it every time.
On Facebook Nocatee Sales has "#WalkThroughWednesdays" where they go live with the latest happenings in Nocatee. People enjoy this because more buyers than ever are doing their research online while searching for their future home. Check out the latest Nocatee listings online here.
A new area within Nocatee will start selling very soon. It is called Timberlin Ridge and Providence, ICI, and David Weekley are the builders in this section of Nocatee. Slated to open this fall, the homes will start in the low $300s and will have similar plans and prices to The Crossing. Also coming soon are The Hammock and The Vista. These will be custom built homes with Glenn Layton building in The Hammock and Pineapple Corp. in The Vista.
There are parts of Nocatee reserved for people 55 years and older. Artisan Lakes, The Villas, and Del Webb are areas within Nocatee designated for this age of people with so many activities to do you will never be bored!
The town center of Nocatee is growing with more restaurants to enjoy soon. Jimmy Johns, GNC, Timoti's Seafood, Starbucks, and Tijuana Flats are coming very soon for even more cuisine choices! Pieology remains my personal favorite....love having my own pizza made exactly how I want or a salad too!
For the outdoor lover, Nocatee has plans to expand their fields next to the swim club. This will allow for great space for the Farmers Market and more Nocatee events, including a stage!
Planet Swim will open next year. This will be next to Davis Park and is a great concept. This is a place where you can get swim lessons as well as a training facility for swimmers.
If you are looking for even more than Nocatee's pool has to offer, get ready for a 2018 opening of a FOUR story interactive spray park. Talk about kids having a blast-this will be a hot spot for sure.
If you like the neighborhood feel and love to be social while eating, enjoy Nocatee's Food Truck Fridays. They have a crowd of about 1500 people that come down to enjoy meeting neighbors and making friends while eating some fabulous food. Nocatee has events most every Friday and Saturday year round!
Nocatee is the third best selling community in the United States for a multitude of reasons. If you would like us to show you all Nocatee has to offer give us a call or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 904-477-7556. Check out our website at www.jax-homes.com.
TPC? If you are not into golf you may not know what that acronym is. It stands for Tournament Players Championship and every year in May, Ponte Vedra Florida is the place to be. If you have an affinity for golf, this is one of the best experiences to be able to walk around this incredible course, enjoy people watching, and partake in some great food and drinks!
If you score tickets to this annual event, make sure you stop by the clubhouse. It is gorgeous for dining, or just for exploring the 77,000 square feet space. What is most interesting is they have storytelling docents that will help you wander around as well. There is also a world-class golf shop to purchase some great items.
The golf course itself opened in 1980 and is a part of a string of public and private courses that is run by the PGA. The TPC here in Ponte Vedra is called "TPC Sawgrass" due to its history of the PGA TOUR's commissioner Deane Beman. She wanted to find a location for the tour and approached the Sawgrass Country Club to do so. The course boasts the ability to accommodate all types of players of the game from professionals to mere fans of the game.
The first tournament was played in 1982 and never fails to please the avid fan with its astounding finishes during the tournament. However when that first championship was being played, there was a lot of controversy. When Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer did not make the cut along with complaints about the design, people started to doubt its worth. Obviously this is not an issue anymore, as it is one of the most popular golf tournaments ever.
Wherever you stand on this course to watch a hole be played on this course is a good spot. The course was designed specifically for spectators to be able to watch the golfer playing by creating "mounds" that replicate stadium seating for all to get a good view of the player and the hole.
The course's 17th hole is very famous. It is a par 3 where not only is it unique in that the golfer must putt out to an island hole, but it has also become famous for making or breaking a golfer's game. The hole is only 78 feet long so you do not have a lot of wiggle room and you need to be precise.
Interested in seeing how the top golfers have taken on this course with amazing shots?
Here are the Top 10 plays from the TPC.
You may take your phone but you may not take video of any kind and you can only take pictures during practice rounds. **Especially important for the ladies, your bag may not be any larger than a 6x6x6 and all bags will be searched before entering. You may bring in an umbrella and/or chair, but they must be uncovered (if your chair or umbrella has a covering or case you will be asked to take it back to the car). Leave all of these items at home or you will be sent back to your car:
Here is what you can and should take!
-*CASH (in case the ATMs run out of money plus some vendors don't take a card)
-comfortable clothing & shoes (lots of walking!!)
-jacket (if cool or may rain)
After a long day of walking the beautiful golf course, most people head to one of the amazing restaurants and bars in the vicinity to get out of the heat. One place that draws a huge crowd every year is Pussers Caribbean Grille. They are known for their great cuisine and...the Painkiller. This drink comes in "levels" depending on your ability to handle your alcohol! It has rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut. It is served on the rocks with an orange slice and a cherry and some freshly grated nutmeg. Some other great places to eat are the Aqua Grill, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Nona Blue, or Trasca & Co. Eatery.
Unfortunately with summer approaching , the time of year is upon us more than ever for hearing the tragic stories about people dying from a water injury.
According to the CDC children between 1 and 4 have the greatest risk of fatal and non-fatal drownings. Most children die in pools, while more adults die in natural waters.
As parents we can all say adult supervision is key to preventing accidents, however there are a multitude of other things you as a pool owner can do to make sure wherever your child will be swimming is in place for added safety measure, and for the parent of a child going to a pool to be aware of.
The pool should have a fence around it. It should have a latched gate as well to keep the children out when they cannot be supervised. This fence should keep the pool completely separate from the home. Every door leading out to the pool should have an alarm on it and ideally an underwater alarm.
If the pool your child will be swimming in does not have these safety measures, you can purchase a "personal alarm" of sorts that you place on your child's wrist that alerts whomever you decide it to if the band gets wet. The CDC does not recommend these as the sole source of supervision.
Teaching your child how to swim is another obvious yet helpful way to prevent accidents but for children under 4 it has been found they may just not be strong enough to get themselves out of the water if they were in trouble. It is always recommended to get your child swim lessons so they can learn to float in case of danger.
Another means of safety is to ensure your child is wearing an approved safety vest while around a pool. It may be uncomfortable, but if they cannot swim it's a way to ensure if they fell in they would be ok.
Most parents don't think about speaking to your child about the dangers of a pool drain. Make sure you warn them to stay away from them because they could get a finger, hand, or their hair caught in it. When you are at a pool just take a glance to make sure the drain is covered properly.
Look into places that offer a CPR course. This is an invaluable way to save a life in case you need to.
Overall nothing beats keeping both eyes on your children at all times, but we all know even the slightest distraction can prove harmful.
Stay safe this summer!
Easter is a religious holiday whereby those who believe celebrate Jesus's rising from the dead. It is a day that is revered by Christians as the resurrection of Christ. Oddly enough, the word "Easter" has no real significance as far as its name. There are a lot of theories as to where the word derived from, but no one knows for sure. Some say it is derived from the goddess "Oestre"/"Eastre". It is said her name in German is Ostara and represents the dawn and spring which would make sense tying it to Easter.
Easter is always on a Sunday but it must follow the full moon after the vernal equinox.
Most people celebrate Easter regardless of their religious beliefs. We all remember Easter egg hunts, eating chocolate bunnies, waking up to find our hidden baskets the Easter Bunny left us, and decorating hard boiled eggs.
The bunny, or rabbit, may have stemmed from a long time ago where the rabbit was the ancient symbol for life and fertility. Way back in the 17th century the Protestants in Europe connected the rabbit with Easter and that idea was then brought over to America by German immigrants. In other countries there are other animals associated with Easter such as the cuckoo bird in Switzerland.
Eggs represent life however were banned from consuming during Lent (the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday), along with wine, milk, cheese, and meat. Therefore, on Easter Sunday eating those eggs was a treat after not having any for 40 days! The egg is also considered to represent Jesus's emerging from his tomb and resurrecting to life on Easter Sunday.
Decorating the eggs started in Russia where they would put jewels on them and give them as gifts. A name that may pop into your head is Faberge who lived in Russia and was asked by Czar Alexander to decorate the eggs for his wife. He is known for lavishly exquisite egg decor. Look how beautiful these Faberge eggs are!
Now we dye them with a multitude of colors, while we also hide the plastic ones with treats inside.
Speaking of treats, you probably won't be surprised to know Easter is the second biggest holiday with the most candy sales; Halloween of course being the first.
The traditions associated with Easter are a little odd when you think about it being a very religious holiday and yet we have bunnies delivering eggs because bunnies don't even lay eggs....??? However, it is truly a holiday celebrated by most of us so enjoy your eggs and candy this Sunday!
Ok, so you have hired a great Realtor who has listed your home at the right price and you have worked hard to ensure your home looks its best inside and out.
Do you feel like a sitting duck because all you can do now is wait until the offers come? Well, you're not alone. You are at the buyers' mercy and you have to keep up your home in its best shape as possible until that offer is made and accepted.
Yay! You have a solid offer and after discussing with your Realtor you decide to accept! Do you start packing? How many days or weeks do you have left before you are sitting at the closing table handing over your keys?
Here is what you need to know time-wise from when you accept an offer to when you are leaving your home for the last time.
1. After the offer is accepted and all parties have signed, the clock starts ticking. Buyers have a "due diligence" period of ten days to get an inspection completed on your home at their expense and to either ask you to make any repairs they ask for, renegotiate, or they can back out of the deal. Therefore, expect a home inspection on your home within ten days on your home to occur. Any additional days that it takes to repair what the buyers request or renegotiating are days to add on.
2. Depending on the buyers' financing is a factor on the length of time to close as well. If the deal will be financed, the buyer's lender will order an appraisal to ensure their investment is a good one. You are hoping the appraisal number and the price you accepted match up because if the appraisal comes back lower than what you accepted the buyer can now ask you to reduce it to match the appraisal so they can get financed. There are instances where a buyer will pay the difference but more often you will see a buyer ask the seller to reduce the price. After the appraisal is complete ---------
3. A cash deal can close much quicker-usually within 15 days. Deals that are financed close in approximately 30-45 days after the appraisal is complete.
4. After all is said and done the lender will schedule the closing date. Although it's hard to be ready with not much notice we all want to make it to the closing table so be flexible.
*With houses not staying on the market for long, now is a great time to see what your home is worth. Check out this tool to see the current value of your home and bookmark it to check back on a monthly basis.