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!

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The Importance Of Staying Hydrated During The Summer Months

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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

5 Tools Everyone In The Community Association Management Industry Should Be Using

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The community association management industry is large and can sometimes feel difficult to navigate  Whether you are a board member, resident, or a community association manager there are tips and tools out there that can help make your life easier.

  1. If you are a board member, consider hiring a community association management company if you do not have one. Managing a community on your own can be both challenging and stressful.  Board members are volunteers and often other life demands are competing for your attention.  A community association management company can be a powerful tool to help you successfully manage your community and keep up with the ever-changing laws and regulations surrounding HOA and condominium management.
  1. Utilize a community website. A community website is a great investment for any homeowners or condo association.  A regularly updated website can be a great way to answer frequently asked questions from residents.  This can be a timesaver since it will cut down on phone calls and emails.
  1. Work with an attorney well versed in association law. Statues sometimes change and even existing ones can often be interpreted in different ways.  An association law attorney can be a great resource for your community anytime you need help understanding how certain laws apply to situations within your community.
  1. Get people involved. Managing a community is tough work.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!  See if members of the community want to get involved in a committee or if they wish to volunteer for special events.  This will take some pressure off of you and also give your residents an opportunity to make a different in the neighborhood.
  1. Your governing documents. This sounds like a given, but it is still worth a mention.  Read your documents thoroughly and be sure to review them anytime you need a refresher.  This is your most important tool for effectively managing the community and deciding whether or not future amendments should be added if times have changed or if the culture of the community has changed.  This is another area where a community association management company can help.  They employ CAMs that are experts in governing documents and can help keep a community from making a costly mistake due to a misunderstanding.

We hope you find these tools useful when working with your association.  Leland Management has been in the association management business for 20 years and are well versed in all of these areas.  If you have questions about managing your association or are interested in community association management services, please reach out to us at info@lelandmanagement.com or 407-447-9955!

The Benefits of Being Thankful

giving-thanks-2Once again, the holiday season is upon us!  While there are many exciting and joyous times ahead, sometimes the stress of the season can get to us and cloud the purpose behind some of these festivities.  Let’s take Thanksgiving, for example.  Many of us get anxious about purchasing groceries, cleaning our homes in preparation for guests, and then cooking what is often the largest meal of the year!  What if we tried to take a moment to slow down and appreciate this holiday for what it is intended to be – a day to be around our loved ones and to think about what we are grateful for.

Being thankful is not just about being polite.  There are some real benefits to it that are backed up by science!  Spending just five minutes each day focusing on what you are grateful for can improve your physical and emotional health more than 10%.  This impact is the same as what you would feel if your income doubled.  Additionally, those that focus on being thankful often have better social lives.  Showing gratitude in our day to day lives makes us kinder and more appreciative which tends to have a positive effect on how others perceive us.

Thankfulness can also make us more optimistic and less materialistic.  Sometimes during this time of year, we can get caught up in the value of objects, but if you make it a point to practice gratitude in your daily life, you may find that you focus more on things like family, friends, and hobbies instead of material objects.  This can help improve your general outlook on your own life and circumstances.

With so many benefits associated with being thankful, what better time a year to start practicing?  Consider keeping a journal for the rest of the year and each day write a couple of lines of things you are grateful for.  Take your growing positivity and share it with others!  Consider working to get your neighborhood together for a Thanksgiving celebration.  You could do a potluck to spend time together or perhaps invite neighbors that might be alone during the holidays over to share in your celebrations.

This is also a good time to help the community.  Your association could consider hosting a food drive or get a group of volunteers together to help out at a local shelter or soup kitchen.  This is something that people of all ages can participate in and it can help remind you of all you have to be grateful for!

The holidays only come around once a year and can fly by in a blur of activity.  Try to take a moment to close your laptop, put down your cell phone, and truly enjoy the special things that happen this time of year and most of all, enjoy spending extra time with family, friends, and neighbors.  That is something to truly be thankful for!

 

 

Four Swaps To Upgrade Your Diet

Healthy SwapA healthy diet consists of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and lean proteins such as chicken, fish and eggs. It is possible to switch to a healthier diet without making a dramatic change. Here are a couple of simple food substitutions that can transform your diet:

Have a protein smoothie or shake for breakfast

Sometimes, with our busy schedules, we do not have time to make breakfast. Instead of skipping breakfast or choosing bad options, try a protein smoothie. Ingredients like peanut butter, oats and Greek yogurt are natural ingredients that provide a protein boost. They will help you burn more calories all day, keep your energy high and balance your blood sugar. Smoothies from many retail outlets are loaded with sugar. When making your own, opt for fresh or frozen, no-sugar-added fruits which make your smoothie sweet. Sneak in some greens – like spinach or kale – to add to your veggie intake. (You’ll never taste them.)

Eat quality meats

When it comes to meat, try to avoid antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and mercury from grain-fed eggs and meats. Swap them for products from grass-fed, pasture-raised and free-range animals. If you are looking for fish, shop for wild-caught varieties.

Increase Healthy Fats

Some fats are good for you! Foods such as avocado, wild-caught salmon and olive oil are healthy. So are nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Try increasing these foods in your diet.

Cut the coffee

The caffeine in coffee can rev up your stress hormones. Try reducing your caffeine intake by switching to green tea. The caffeine is less, and you get the added benefit of healthy antioxidants. You can also try cutting down caffeine by mixing your regular coffee with decaf, or look for lower-caffeine varieties.

Source: UCF College of Medicine

Community Spotlight – Ventura at Turtle Creek

DSCN0194We are pleased to spotlight one of our beautiful communities located in Brevard County!  Ventura at Turtle Creek was founded in 2007 and turned over to homeowner control in 2012.  This gated condominium community is located in Rockledge.  With 160 units, this is the perfect place to get to know your neighbors and truly understand the meaning of the word “community”.

PoolVentura at Turtle Creek has a lovely pool area with a nature preserve and lake near the buildings.  The nature trail is a favorite for residents of the community since it provides a lovely place to take a run or a stroll and feel like you are away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  The residents enjoy getting together and meet annually for a Neighborhood Watch Meeting as well as an Ice Cream Social. Nature Trail

Since Leland began managing Ventura, the community has implemented preventative maintenance programs for all elements and systems, fully funded reserves, and have begun replacing all existing lighting with LED lighting.  The community association manager, Racheal Meade, appreciates the cohesive leadership of the Board, positive feedback, and consistent support from the membership of the association.  One thing that sets the association apart is the presence of an environmental committee that monitors and reports on the health of wildlife in the area.

We are pleased to manage Ventura at Turtle Creek and can’t wait to see all of the exciting events that will happen in the future!

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Why You Should Include Pumpkin In Your Diet

Pumpkin

Pumpkin-flavored everything is popular this time of year. But you don’t need to wait for fall to enjoy this nutrient-rich vegetable! Pumpkins are more than just Halloween decorations or pie fillings; they are low in calories as well as rich in vitamins and nutrients!

Benefits

Pumpkins are packed with vitamin A, which is good for your eyesight and immune system. One single cup or serving of pumpkin can supply your body with 200 percent of the recommended daily intake. Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene, which gives them their natural orange color. Because of this, consuming pumpkins can reduce your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancers.

Pumpkins can help with weight loss, too. There are only 50 calories per cup, and they are a great source of fiber, which slows digestion and can keep you feeling fuller longer.

How to incorporate pumpkin into your diet

  • Canned pumpkin is very flexible for cooking and baking. Instead of using oil or butter when baking, pumpkin puree is a great substitute. You can even use it in soups or sauces to thicken them. Be sure to read the label to be certain of all the ingredients. Some brands may add unnecessary sugar.
  • Roast pumpkin for an easy side dish.
  • Mix pumpkin into your smoothies

Credit: UCF College of Medicine

It’s Almost Back to School Time!

Back to SchoolMost of the Central Florida school districts will be kicking off the 2017 school year in the next week or two.  It’s hard to believe it is that time already!  This can be both an exciting and a stressful time for kids and parents.  We have a few tips to help ease you into the school year like a pro and make a great start for your kids (and you!)

  • Planning ahead is crucial! The more you can try to get prepared for ahead of time the better.
  • Start getting your children back to their school sleep routine now. This will help ease them back into it so it is not so difficult for them to fall asleep/wake up when the school year starts.
  • Post a family calendar so everyone can keep track of all of the activities the school year brings. Consider posting a second homework calendar to help keep everyone focused on what the kids need to do and when they might need some help from Mom or Dad.
  • Consider organizing some playdates with some of your kids’ classmates. Hopefully they are going back into the school year together so this will help reestablish those friendships that may have gotten neglected over the summer.
  • Check through last year’s school supplies in case there are things that didn’t get used. This can save you some money when you go shopping!
  • Use this time before school officially starts to get your kids accustomed to laying out their clothes for the next day the night before, packing things that will be needed in the morning before bed, etc. This will hopefully make those hectic mornings run more smoothly!
  • Make an inbox for school related documents. Teach your child to remember to put things that need a parent’s attention in the inbox and remember to check this inbox every day for things like permission slips or homework that needs review.
  • Make an age appropriate rewards program for your children. This will help add motivation for your child to meet important goals.
  • Don’t forget to carve out time for fun activities and happy family time. Don’t let yourself or your children get too burned out by working constantly.

Follow these tips along with anything else you can think of that will work with your family routine.  Don’t be afraid to give your child age-appropriate tasks to be responsible for during the school year.  This will help give your kid a sense of ownership and control over their day.  Most importantly, remember to work together as a family unit!  This can be a hard time for families, but you are all there to support each other so lean on one another when needed!

We wish you all a happy and successful start to the school year!

Three Natural Therapies for Falling Asleep Easier

iStock_72421373_LARGE-500x333Not being able to fall asleep can be very frustrating, especially when you consistently struggle to get a good night’s rest. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can affect your health, and while sleep medications can bring on the zzz’s, you should not be relying on medications to help you sleep in the long term.

Try these techniques to help prepare your body for sleep:

Mind-body Therapies – Techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi and deep breathing techniques can help you relax and calm your thoughts. These techniques foster a greater mind-body awareness.

Natural supplements – Certain natural supplements and herbs can help reduce anxiety and help your body prepare for sleep, with less risk of developing a dependence on using them than if you were to take sleeping pills. Some popular natural sleep aids include melatonin, magnesium, chamomile tea and L-theanine. Try not to take the supplements every day, and only take them when you need extra help falling asleep.

Get On A Sleep Schedule – When you stick to a sleep routine, your brain learns these patterns and can better prepare you to fall asleep (kind of like the famous Pavlov’s dog experiment). Stick to the same bedtime every day (weekends included) and wake at the same time every day to set your biological clock. Also, develop a routine to help train your brain that it is time for bed: put on pajamas, drink some chamomile tea, read a book and brush your teeth. Your brain will learn these cues and prepare for sleep.

Source: UCF College of Medicine

Fourth of July Safety

Can you believe that it’s Fourth of July weekend already?  Many people will be getting togetfireworks-dc-56a236c45f9b58b7d0c7f731her to enjoy celebrations and valuable time with friends and family over the long weekend.  There will be much fun to be had in communities and towns all over the country.  We hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday and also a safe one.  Below are some safety tips to keep in mind to make sure your holiday is fun and without any incidents.

 

  • It is best to view fireworks at a public event
    since these shows are managed by professionals.
  • If you do decide to have fireworks at home, make sure they are never given to children, that there is water nearby, that fireworks are never pointed towards any person or animal, and that you never try to relight a dud firework.
  • Barbecue grills should always be supervised while in use.
  • Never grill indoors.
  • Use tools with long handles that are specially made for the grill.
  • If you are heading to the beach or pool, make sure you check weather conditions.
  • Do not swim while under the influence of alcohol and do not swim alone.
  • Ensure that children do not dive headfirst into shallow water or water of unknown depth.
  • Beware of rip currents if visiting the ocean.
  • Wear sunscreen when outdoors to protect your skin.
  • Stay hydrated and be sure to drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty at the time.
  • Pets can become frightened with the sounds of fireworks.  Make sure your pets are safe and secure inside.

We hope that these tips help ensure that everyone has a safe and happy holiday.  We wish you lots of fun and time with loved ones!