Community Halloween Decorating Ideas

When we think of Halloween, a few things come to mind, and one of those is the traditional haunted house! Hosting your own frightening funhouse may be a lot to under-take, but making it a block party or community event lends to plenty of helping hands, and Halloween fun!

Haunted houses have no rules so you can have free range to be as elaborate or modest as you like! Hosting one in a garage is a great idea; using inexpensive black drape and faux cobwebs to cover the walls, and playing eerie music can make a huge impact! Getting the whole neighborhood involved can make this a freakishly fun activity that can become an annual celebration to look forward to.

There are many ways to decorate for the Halloween season that can be very easy and won’t haunt your wallet.

Start by decorating your front door with a fun yet spooky mummy. It is super easy and cheap to make all you have to do is take white streamers and wrap them all the way around the door. Cut out big eyeballs from construction paper and voila we have a mummified door.

crop-960x540-000

This Halloween decoration may not cost you a dime! We all have empty milk jugs hanging around waiting to be thrown out, so why not use the milk jugs to spook up the outside of the house. Turn your milk just into Casper the friendly ghost! Draw faces on empty, clean gallon milk jugs and fill them with a ghostly glow lights.

0211131

You will get a kick out of this, literally! Spice up your porch or living room with a pair of witch legs. All you need is a pool noodle and shoes, you put them in a flower pot or stick them in your bushes and BOOM you have pool noodle witch legs.

httprdmmedia.topscms.comRDMCityTVPublishedimages2657d994bd824a49bed489ed0f1bf456-1.jpg

Fill your trees or front porch with free-flying ghosts. Made inexpensively from balloons,  gauze fabric, and black tape these little Caspers catch the wind to add movement to your outdoor decor.

1420698941728.jpeg

Another way to get the whole community involved in the Halloween fun is a holding a classic pumpkin carving contest.  Have everyone in the community grab their pumpkins, and give them a few hours to create their Halloween masterpiece. In the end, select a panel of judges to pick the winners based on the criteria of your choosing.  Then, display the pumpkins for all of the night’s trick-or-treaters to see!

We LOVE candy and sweets on Halloween so what better way to round up the spirit than to have a community spooky bake sale. Come up with your best treats and set up a stand in your neighborhood.

Lets have a spooky Halloween together!

Advertisements

Qualities of an Effective Association Management Company

analyzing-brainstorming-business-1124062

Community Association management is an industry that involves many different disciplines such as accounting, marketing, information technology, legal, and insurance. As a result, board members often face challenges when finding a good management company that meets all of their association’s needs.

When looking for a management company, the specific needs of the community must always be considered to ensure a good fit.  Additionally, there are certain qualities that every management company should possess such as transparency, experience, and commitment to ongoing education.

 Transparency

Transparency is the cornerstone of trust. Residents place extensive amounts of trust in their association management company when hiring them. The two most common complaints in the industry are lack of communication and transparency regarding financial information. At Leland Management, we set ourselves apart by addressing these complaints head-on through the structure and culture of this company. From the systems used to track tasks, to the web portal we provide for our board members and residents, communication and transparency are at the forefront of our service.

8 reasons why we stand out final

Experience

When looking for a management company experience is paramount. Hiring an experienced management company offers many benefits to both the board and the entire community association.   For example, when recruiting, the company can rely on their experience during the interview and selection process to find the best candidates and perfect fit for the community. Without a good team to assist in everyday activities, a management company could not survive, as the company is truly only as good at the team.

skills-3371153_1920

Education

At Leland, we have dedicated the past 20 years striving to continuously advance our field through education.  By offering educational courses to not only our employees but also association boards, we are able to assist board members in understanding their roles and responsibilities. Continuing our industry education and enhancing our knowledge of the ever-changing landscape of Association Management is critical and we are always in search of opportunities to learn more and become more effective. With education comes skills, knowledge, competence, growth, and the ability to get things done.

Conclusion

When deciding on a management company make sure to keep an eye out not only for the services the company can provide but the qualities that make up the structure of the company.  Ask questions that will speak to the company’s overall transparency, experience and commitment to education. These qualities will help ensure that you are picking the best management company and add significant value to your community. Having an effective property management will bring many benefits like less stress, more freedom, ultimately giving you back more of your time. What are you waiting for? At Leland, we are ready to serve your community.

 

5 Ways to Save Money this Holiday Season

activity-autumn-blond-1374545

While the holidays certainly bring thoughts of love and joy to the mind, they can still be incredibly stressful. If you want to be generous with your giving but mindful of your spending, you need to start saving up now. Finding ways to save money each month gives you more money to pay off debt, save for a vacation, prepare for retirement, save for a new house and get all those wonderful gifts you are wanting  to give everyone. Here are some creative ways to keep your spending under control this holiday season.

1. Make a Budget

                 There are a couple different ways to set a holiday budget. First you’d want to determine what your overall spending cap will be. Once you know how much you can spend total, allocate a specific amount to each person on your gift list.

2. Track your spending

                 Your budget does no good if you don’t effectively track what you are spending. A good idea is opening up a Christmas fund bank account, where throughout the year you throw in $10 every week, you’d have about $450 to spend with this method and then with these saving tips you will be able to throw more into the fund. This will make it easier for you to separate holiday spending from regular, day-to-day expenses. Also  download your bank’s app on your phone, which will allow you to check your balance and track your spending anytime and anywhere.

3. Cut Back on Extras

  1. Turn your AC down
  2. Make your own pumpkin spice lattes
  3. Choose free weekend activities
  4. Do your dry cleaning at home
  5. Cook at home instead of eating out
  6. Pack work and kids lunches
  7. Avoid impulse buys at the cash register
  8. Buy a programmable thermostat to save on energy bills.

4. Choose Cheaper Traditions

While traditions are important and admirable, they don’t have to be expensive to be memorable. In fact, you might find that your kids prefer the cheap stuff to the grander gestures. So many activities and traditions are inexpensive, or even free – you just have to know where to look. By making cheaper events and traditions part of your celebration, you can save money without skimping on the festivities and memories.

Here are some cheap holiday activities:

  1. Touring neighborhood Christmas lights
  2. Watching a movie with hot chocolate at home
  3. Seeing Santa at the mall
  4. Making Gingerbread house
  5. Make paper snowflakes

5. Cut Monthly Bills

Monthly expenses can bite us if we aren’t careful. Cable is no exception! With the average cable bill being about $99.10, according to Liechtman Research Group, cable and other monthly expenses can really add up over time. See what you can do without , these next few months to have extra to spend on your love ones.

Final word

It’s all too easy to get caught up in the spending cycle during the holidays. Marketing campaigns are geared toward making you open your wallet in the spirit of Christmas, so it’s hard not to fall prey. However, if you’ve got a plan in place and know how to stretch each holiday dollar, you don’t have to fear your bank account statement on December 26th. Cheaper entertainment, a focus on family, and a sensible spending plan put you firmly in the driver’s seat of your own sleigh.

Happy Holidays!

 

ball-bokeh-bright-714899.jpg

Fall Fun in Florida

maple-leaf-3680684_960_720The official start of fall has arrived (according to the calendar at least.)  While the weather is still quite warm here in sunny Florida, it’s still not a bad time to start planning some fun, autumn activities with the family.

Fall is probably the best time to enjoy the outdoors in Florida.  Hiking and camping are popular this time of year as well as biking.  Florida has a plethora of trails to explore throughout the season.  Homosassa, FL is another wonderful place to visit to enjoy wildlife in the great outdoors.  Manatees are active this time of year and plentiful in the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.

If you are a fan of the theme park scene, head over to Epcot for the annual International Food and Wine Festival.  You can taste culinary delights from around the world without ever leaving your state!  For more low-key fun, check out your local farmers market or head to downtown Jacksonville for the their Jaxtoberfest celebration.  There will be plenty of delicious food and fun to kick off your fall celebrations.

When people think of fall, they usually think of leaves.  Contrary to popular belief, Florida does have a fall leaf season!  You will most likely have to travel a little to see it.  If you want to enjoy our state’s version of fall leaves, you can head to Torreya State Park in the Panhandle.  This area looks a bit different than most of the state and you’ll get to see some beautiful colors around late October.  You can also view lovely, red sugar maples in Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park which is located south of Tallahassee.  It’s worth these day trips to get a little exposure to one of the things people love most about autumn!

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to get out and enjoy all of the fun things happening across Florida during the fall season!

Summer Fun in Florida!

photo-1473496169904-658ba7c44d8aSummer will be over before we know it, even if it feels like it just begun! This time of year can be a good occasion for certain activities, both inside and outside.

Visit the Springs

Florida has a lot of parks across the state that are home to natural springs. These destinations are popular since they allow you to spend some time in nature and still be able to dip into the cool, spring water to beat the heat.

Take a Bike Ride

It’s time to bring that bike out of the garage and have some fun! Florida is home to many great bike trails.  This is a good time of year to get the family out for a nice ride. Just make sure to bring plenty of water and try to head out early to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Keep it Cool and Dry

Summer days sometime come with rain or it’s just too hot to walk around. Use these days to explore one of Florida’s unique museums. There are museums on a huge variety of topics so you can find something that piques your interest.

Geocaching

This unique hobby involves looking for items that have been hidden by others. All you need is a phone and a sense of adventure to start hunting! This can be a fun way to explore areas which you might not have thought to go before.

Don’t let the last days of summer pass you by!  Head out to enjoy some fun in the sun.

Do You Know Your Fireworks Laws?

dark-1845065_960_720It’s time once again to celebrate the 4th of July!  Millions of people will celebrate Independence Day throughout the country.  Often times, the first thing people think of when picturing a 4th of July celebration is fireworks.  While fireworks are very enjoyable to watch, there are some important things to keep in mind.

In Florida, many types of fireworks are illegal.  Though many people purchase fireworks and sign a waiver, this is actually a misdemeanor offense unless you are using the fireworks to frighten birds away from your crops.  As a general guideline, fireworks that do not fly or leave the ground are okay such as sparklers, colorful smoke bombs, and snakes.  Even fireworks such as Roman candles which seem tamer are not legal.

In addition to fireworks being illegal to purchase, many communities have restrictions in place regarding the use of fireworks in the neighborhood.  Board member Dan Isbell from Trillium of Brooksville communicated to residents regarding this issue.  “We live in close quarters and we need to be considerate of our neighbors and remain lawful,” Dan stated.  “Fireworks can disrupt needed sleep, can frighten babies and/or pets, and can cause tempers to flare.”  Most communities take a similar stance and will enforce the law regarding the use of fireworks.

This is certainly not to say you don’t deserve to celebrate the 4th of July while watching a beautiful fireworks display.  After some fun with cooking out and playing with sparklers, check your local area to find the nearest fireworks display.  These are abundant on 4th of July and often in the days leading up to it.  These shows are put on by professionals that have proper permitting and are able to do these displays in a safe manner.  Many of these displays are free also so bring the entire family to marvel at a lovely light show in the sky.  Most of all, have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!

How to Enjoy Camping in the Summer in Florida

campfire-984020_960_720When you think of camping in Florida, most people picture themselves doing this during the milder fall and spring months.  However, summer can still be a wonderful time to go camping in Florida with a little planning.  The time of year is especially ideal since kids are out of school and it can be a very inexpensive family activity.  Follow these tips to have an enjoyable and memorable camping experience!

Water, water, water.  During the summer, your best bet is to find a great camping spot near the water.  Many beaches offer camping.  This is a perfect location since you can spend the day having fun in the sun, and at night you are getting the breeze from the water to keep it cooler than what you would find inland.  Many parks with natural springs also offer camping.  The springs are perfect for an afternoon or evening swim to cool off.  Also, be sure to bring plenty of drinking water!

Keep cool and dry.  Summer in Florida is marked by rain and/or heat.  Prepare for this by bringing a pop up shelter.  This can be set up outside of the tent or over it to provide additional shade and serve to protect you from afternoon rain showers.  Bringing rain jackets or ponchos is also a clever idea.  You can bring sealable plastic bags to protect any electronics or food items from water.  Consider packing a couple of battery powered fans to keep you cool inside of the tent at night.

Don’t get bugged.  Everyone knows mosquitos can be aggravating during the summer.  Bring some bug repellant that includes deet as an active ingredient to discourage pesky insects.  Also pack some anti-itch cream to soothe any bites that do occur.

Have fun!  Plan activities that the family can enjoy during your camping trip.  Swimming is ideal during the hottest part of the day.  Mornings are a great time to go on a nature scavenger hunt and see how many plants and animals you can spot.  In the evening, break out the cards or board games.  Of course, you can’t pass up telling stories around a campfire while roasting marshmallows!  Most of all just relax and enjoy the break from the hustle and bustle.

Don’t let the heat stop you from venturing out to enjoy a camping trip with the family.  Camping is a fantastic way to unplug from the stresses of everyday life and spend quality time with friends and family.  With a few preparations and the right campsite, you will beat the heat and have a trip to remember.

The Importance Of Staying Hydrated During The Summer Months

aqua-3445987_960_720

Summer means swimming, sports and other outdoor activities. It also means extreme heat and humidity. When you mix physical activity with the summer sun, it can be easy to become dehydrated.

There are several things to keep in mind before sending your kids off to summer camp, the beach and sports conditioning camps, or engaging in summer activities yourself.

Always have water handy

Many believe that eight glasses of water a day is standard for healthy hydration. However, you want to consider drinking at least 12 to 15 glasses a day during the summer months, especially if you are very active and frequently outdoors.

For those engaging in physical activity in the summer heat, such as runners and athletes, make sure to always have a water bottle with you and access to a water source for refills.

Listen to your body

Your body will send warning signals when it’s dehydrated, including extreme fatigue, haziness and dark urine. If you are experiencing these symptoms, grab a glass of cold water as soon as possible. Drinking water will immediately help you feel better and more alert.

In some situations, like when swimming or at the beach, it may be harder to detect dehydration since you’re submerged in water. However, being in water does not hydrate your body. You still need to drink water to avoid dehydration.

Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine

If you are feeling dehydrated, reaching for a soda will not help the problem. The caffeine and sugar in some drinks cannot replace the fluids you lose when you sweat like water can, and they can actually dehydrate you even more. The same is true for alcohol.

It’s also important to have a diet that includes water-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits.

Staying hydrated is important as the summer months approach, and you should never put your health at risk by not consuming enough fluids. Make note of how much water you drink every day and talk to your kids about their activity and consumption habits as well.

Source: UCF College of Medicine

How to Spend a Rainy Memorial Day Weekend

edceee-78881-unsplashEven though the technical first day of summer is still about a month away, many consider Memorial Day Weekend to be the official kickoff to the summer season.  Families all over the state often take a day trip to the beach or have a backyard barbecue which are great options.  However, this year the Sunshine State is not forecasted to be so sunny.  What to do when rain comes to town for the long weekend?

Luckily, there is no shortage of fun, indoor activities for the family.  Here are some ideas on what to do this weekend if there is a washout for the local parade or barbecue.

  • Head to the theater. Movies are always a great rainy day activity and many anticipated movies usually come out over Memorial Day Weekend.  Browse for showtimes and purchase tickets online in advance to make sure you have a spot during the busy weekend.  Also consider checking out a local theater for any plays or other performances going on!  This can be a unique twist on the theater.
  • Learn something. Visit your local museum or science center.  It can be a great opportunity to learn about science, history, art, culture, and more.  If you have younger children, many museums have interactive sections geared towards the little ones so they can learn while having fun.
  • Have a friendly competition. Turn off the electronics and break out the board games or cards!  This is great entertainment for large groups if you need to move the party inside.
  • Get sporty. For some activity, head to the local bowling alley, indoor golf, or arcade.  Many areas are adding indoor sports complexes with a variety of activities so check Google to see if any of these are in your area.
  • Get your nerd on! It’s cool to embrace your inner nerd and what better place to do it than Megacon?  If you can make it to Orlando for Memorial Day weekend you can attend this event which is an homage to all things pop culture.  Enjoy the events and the guests that participate in often impressive cosplay.
  • Remember the reason for the holiday. If a sunny day is in the cards on Monday, many places will sponsor parades and other tributes.  You can also visit your local memorial garden and place decorations and wreaths for fallen veterans.  If it’s a rainy day, consider making some crafts with the kids to decorate with or honor those who sacrificed by writing a letter to someone currently serving.

aaron-burden-97663-unsplash
There are definitely lots of options when it comes to finding something fun to do over the three-day weekend.  Whatever you decide to do, enjoy time with family and friends and be safe!

7 Fun Ideas for Mother’s Day

Happy Mother's Day.png

It’s that time of year again. The weather is warming, dreams of summer vacation are on your mind, and kids are excited about getting out of school.  While thinking about these wonderful things, it is important to remember another occasion – Mother’s Day!

While you likely appreciate your mom every day, this is a great time to take a moment and do something special with her to show her your appreciation and gratitude for all she has done for you.  Here are some fun ideas on how to spend Mother’s Day with your best friend since birth.

  • Get packing!  Mother’s Day is a great time to plan a weekend trip.  Check out some travel sites and pick a destination neither of you have ever been to before to experience together.
  • Find something new.  Does your mom like to shop ’til she drops?  Hit local thrift stores to see if you can find that hidden gem you never knew you needed or head to outlet malls to take advantage of some discounts.
  • Brunch it up.  Visit a restaurant you have both been wanting to try.  Be sure to do a quick Google search for Mother’s Day specials; many places have these.
  • Get some fresh air.  Is Mom a nature lover?  Visit a local park or go camping together.  You are guaranteed to get some good quality time.
  • Game on!  Is your family competitive?  Get all of the siblings together with mom to have a game day.  Just be sure to make sure Mom wins a few games on her special day!
  • Pamper yourselves.  Treat your mum to a pedicure, massage, or facial.  This is a great chance for you both to relax together and not have any worries on your mind.
  • Get a hobby.  Does your mom like to garden?  Maybe she enjoys visiting local museums.  Spend the day doing some of her favorite hobbies with her.  You might discover a new hobby for yourself!

Whatever you end up doing for Mother’s Day Weekend, hopefully it will be filled with great memories and happy times.  Let us know what you did for Mother’s Day at socialmedia@lelandmanagement.com.  We love to hear from you!